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There are valid criticisms of evolution
Wichita Eagle ^ | 3/9/2005 | David berlinski

Posted on 03/09/2005 1:46:32 PM PST by metacognative

Opinions

There are valid criticisms of evolution

BY DAVID BERLINSKI

"If scientists do not oppose anti-evolutionism," said Eugenie Scott, the executive director of the National Council on Science Education, "it will reach more people with the mistaken idea that evolution is scientifically weak."

Scott's understanding of "opposition" had nothing to do with reasoned discussion. It had nothing to do with reason at all. Discussing the issue was out of the question. Her advice to her colleagues was considerably more to the point: "Avoid debates."

Everyone else had better shut up.

In this country, at least, no one is ever going to shut up, the more so since the case against Darwin's theory retains an almost lunatic vitality. Consider:

• The suggestion that Darwin's theory of evolution is like theories in the serious sciences -- quantum electrodynamics, say -- is grotesque. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to 13 unyielding decimal places. Darwin's theory makes no tight quantitative predictions at all.

• Field studies attempting to measure natural selection inevitably report weak-to-nonexistent selection effects.

• Darwin's theory is open at one end, because there is no plausible account for the origins of life.

• The astonishing and irreducible complexity of various cellular structures has not yet successfully been described, let alone explained.

• A great many species enter the fossil record trailing no obvious ancestors, and depart leaving no obvious descendants.

• Where attempts to replicate Darwinian evolution on the computer have been successful, they have not used classical Darwinian principles, and where they have used such principles, they have not been successful.

• Tens of thousands of fruit flies have come and gone in laboratory experiments, and every last one of them has remained a fruit fly to the end, all efforts to see the miracle of speciation unavailing.

• The remarkable similarity in the genome of a great many organisms suggests that there is at bottom only one living system; but how then to account for the astonishing differences between human beings and their near relatives -- differences that remain obvious to anyone who has visited a zoo?

If the differences between organisms are scientifically more interesting than their genomic similarities, of what use is Darwin's theory, since its otherwise mysterious operations take place by genetic variations?

These are hardly trivial questions. Each suggests a dozen others. These are hardly circumstances that do much to support the view that there are "no valid criticisms of Darwin's theory," as so many recent editorials have suggested.

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TOPICS: Philosophy
KEYWORDS: crevolist; darwinism; science
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Darwinian fundamentalists must face uncomfortable facts. Their worldview is in serious trouble, hence the over-the-top reactions
1 posted on 03/09/2005 1:46:36 PM PST by metacognative
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To: metacognative

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1359440/posts


2 posted on 03/09/2005 1:48:12 PM PST by bahblahbah
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To: metacognative

It is my understanding the great weakness of evolutionary theory is that the mechanism for evolution has never been found. Random genetic mutations didn't pan out. I don't doubt there have been changes in species. But scientists have not been able to explain how or why. Because they are unwilling to look for any "intelligent design" or reason behind the universe. They want everything to be pure physical chance.


3 posted on 03/09/2005 1:52:01 PM PST by Williams
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To: metacognative

Careful there. If you DARE to question the theory of evolution you will be denigrated as an ignorant, slope-headed, bible thumping fool.


4 posted on 03/09/2005 1:52:04 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (G-d is not a Republican. But Satan is definitely a Democrat.)
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To: metacognative

The most obvious refutation of Darwinian theory...

In the years since this theory has been presented, nobody has been able to demonstrate the evolution of a single species from one to another.

They can show natural selection *within* a species, but I don't think anyone argues about that point.

Take some horse-flies, put them in a container full of fruit and lets see them evolve into fruit flies... THAT would be the kind of proof we have not seen.


5 posted on 03/09/2005 1:54:39 PM PST by Paloma_55
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To: metacognative
"If scientists do not oppose anti-evolutionism," said Eugenie Scott, the executive director of the National Council on Science Education, "it will reach more people with the mistaken idea that evolution is scientifically weak."

She said it, I didn't. Plus, think of all of those PhD careers that will go down the drain if evolution were found to be "unscientific."

6 posted on 03/09/2005 1:55:57 PM PST by My2Cents (America is divided along issues of morality, between the haves and the have-nots.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

BTW, regarding your tagline, G-d may not be a Republican, but He votes that way.


7 posted on 03/09/2005 1:57:13 PM PST by My2Cents (America is divided along issues of morality, between the haves and the have-nots.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

This could get REAL ugly Real fast. Get all the women and children out of the room.


8 posted on 03/09/2005 1:57:26 PM PST by ladtx ( "Remember your regiment and follow your officers." Captain Charles May, 2d Dragoons, 9 May 1846)
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To: Paloma_55

yeah so some supernatural agent (a big guy in the sky, presumably) waved a magic wand and made 2 people. He then put em on a planet with he also created, but with rocks that were already a billion years old.

Good alternative theory!


9 posted on 03/09/2005 1:58:48 PM PST by Mongeaux
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To: Mongeaux

No thats not the theory. The creation theory is, "Evolution is a crappy theory so ours is right. Facts you want facts? run away!"


10 posted on 03/09/2005 2:00:10 PM PST by tfecw (Vote Democrat, It's easier then working)
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To: tfecw

Succinctly put. I have no problem with religions that don't own waterslides, require their members to surgically remove genitalia or crash airplanes into things. But using science to validate Religious Mythology is just SILLY!


11 posted on 03/09/2005 2:05:00 PM PST by Mongeaux
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To: Mongeaux
yeah so some supernatural agent (a big guy in the sky, presumably) waved a magic wand and made 2 people. He then put em on a planet with he also created, but with rocks that were already a billion years old. Good alternative theory!

And "it just happened, randomnly" is much more sufficient....
12 posted on 03/09/2005 2:06:30 PM PST by mike182d ("Let fly the white flag of war." - Zapp Brannigan)
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To: Mongeaux
agreed. I always wondered when people tried to mix faith with fact. I thought the whole point in faith was...uhh you had to have faith.
13 posted on 03/09/2005 2:06:58 PM PST by tfecw (Vote Democrat, It's easier then working)
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To: Mongeaux; tfecw

Look nooobies. If you want to discuss your feelings fine. Do so calmly and rationally. Do not attack the other posters for having a religious point of view. I will not sit here while you act like high school punks. Understood?


14 posted on 03/09/2005 2:08:00 PM PST by Conspiracy Guy (Reading is fundamental. Comprehension is optional.)
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To: metacognative
There are valid criticisms of evolution

Not exactly breaking news. I have yet to meet an evolutionist who will state unequivocally and without reservation that they cannot be wrong.

15 posted on 03/09/2005 2:09:13 PM PST by tacticalogic ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: tfecw

yes - faith is also required to use crosses against vampires - if you don't have it, the cross won't work. I wonder if vampires made it onto the ark? And why don't they evolve too?

I can imagine a strain that only attacks fruits, or bugs...


16 posted on 03/09/2005 2:10:21 PM PST by Mongeaux
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To: metacognative
• A great many species enter the fossil record trailing no obvious ancestors, and depart leaving no obvious descendants.

The debate over evolution should be split into two pieces. First of all, is the fossil record old and spread over millions of years, or does the poster believe in a young earth model?

And if there is agreement that the fossil record is old, then there can be a debate on how species form within that framework. Because if one poster believes in a young earth model and the other does not, you aren't gonna agree on anything because your worldviews are completely different. Too much of the debate on FR tends to skip the first step, which means both sides are yelling at each other over completely different premises.

17 posted on 03/09/2005 2:11:47 PM PST by dirtboy (Drooling moron since 1998...)
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To: Mongeaux

Are you here to discuss the thread or bash religion, especially the Judeo-Christian one?


18 posted on 03/09/2005 2:12:30 PM PST by D Edmund Joaquin (Mayor of Jesusland)
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To: mike182d

"And "it just happened, randomnly" is much more sufficient...."

Random stuff happens every second of every day. How often do supernatural agents create worlds?

For that matter, why shouldn't other creation myths be considered equally valid? Maybe we should be looking for evidence that the universe was pooped out by a giant frog or a flat dish perched on the back of a giant turtle?

Reject Reason and ALL kinds of dopey ideas become equally valid. That's why Feminists dumped it a decade ago...they HAD to!


19 posted on 03/09/2005 2:14:27 PM PST by Mongeaux
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To: Conspiracy Guy
If you could point to where i was mocking religion that would be great.

I was rational. The entire Opinion article that is already posted and is not news does nothing to further the cause of ID or creationism. All it does is accuse evolution as junk science with out providing facts for the claims made in the article. That is pretty much what i said in my post.

When you are done I'll show you where YOU used ad hominem attacks and acted like a "highschool" punk.
20 posted on 03/09/2005 2:14:43 PM PST by tfecw (Vote Democrat, It's easier then working)
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To: ladtx

Excellent Prediction!

The very next post fulfilled it.


21 posted on 03/09/2005 2:14:53 PM PST by EA_Man
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To: Williams
"It is my understanding the great weakness of evolutionary theory is that the mechanism for evolution has never been found. Random genetic mutations didn't pan out. I don't doubt there have been changes in species. But scientists have not been able to explain how or why."

The BASIC mechanism of evolution is well known---mutation PLUS selection. Neither one by itself does the job. Together they are all that is required. The ONLY valid SCIENTIFIC criticism of evolution is that sometimes evolution happens more quickly than "normal" mutation rates (molecular clocks) alone can account for ("punctuated equilibrium").

The "criticisms" in the posted article are mostly strawmen, or valid only in the minds of the "creation science" types.

22 posted on 03/09/2005 2:15:49 PM PST by Wonder Warthog (The Hog of Steel)
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To: metacognative

The evolutionary worldview is not in trouble. Go ask GW Bush's science advisor, who said a few weeks ago that ID is not a theory.


23 posted on 03/09/2005 2:16:24 PM PST by ValenB4
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To: Mongeaux
"I have no problem with religions that don't own waterslides, require their members to surgically remove genitalia or crash airplanes into things. But using science to validate Religious Mythology is just SILLY!"

So your position is it doesn't matter how ridiculous or murderous a religion is in your book it's ok with you.

The only time you take offense with religion is when they claim that science actually supports their scriptures.

Do I have that right?

24 posted on 03/09/2005 2:16:33 PM PST by DannyTN
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To: Mongeaux

I don't think that is an accurate account of God's creation. You go ahead and believe Darwin.


25 posted on 03/09/2005 2:19:18 PM PST by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: Mongeaux

I don't think that is an accurate account of God's creation. You go ahead and believe Darwin.


26 posted on 03/09/2005 2:19:24 PM PST by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: metacognative; VadeRetro
My favorite stunning insight by Berlinski is this:
The astonishing and irreducible complexity of various cellular structures has not yet successfully been described, let alone explained.
So, if IC hasn't even "successfully been described, let alone explained", then why is everyone so impressed with Behe's book??? He didn't successfully describe what it is he claims is the problem!

Or, as Vade has pointed out elsewhere, the mystery of IC is so mysterious, the IC advocates can't even successfully describe the mystery itself. Now that's mysterious!

27 posted on 03/09/2005 2:20:25 PM PST by jennyp (WHAT I'M READING NOW: Debugging Windows Programs by McKay & Woodring)
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To: Mongeaux
Mongo? As in Blazing Saddles?
28 posted on 03/09/2005 2:20:42 PM PST by colorado tanker (The People Have Spoken)
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To: tfecw

Here. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1359489/posts?page=10#10

You'll never see me act like a punk concerning religion, except Islamofacism.

If you want to take me on bring it on. Bring some friends.


29 posted on 03/09/2005 2:21:12 PM PST by Conspiracy Guy (Reading is fundamental. Comprehension is optional.)
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To: Conspiracy Guy

"Look nooobies. If you want to discuss your feelings fine. Do so calmly and rationally. Do not attack the other posters for having a religious point of view. I will not sit here while you act like high school punks. Understood?"

I understand and agree my rhetoric is strongly satiric, but I disagree that "I was just discussing my feelings". This is an old debate - men like Galileo and Descartes fought it along with countless others. They paid a price.

Did you get a disease diagnosed with an MRI? Thank Science.
Kid doesn't have Rickets this winter? thank Science.
Men: do you think you will enjoy the extra 20 years added to your lifespan? Thank Science.


30 posted on 03/09/2005 2:22:54 PM PST by Mongeaux
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To: Conspiracy Guy

Yeah I wrote it, AND I can read. Where is the part about mocking religion come in?


31 posted on 03/09/2005 2:25:04 PM PST by tfecw (Vote Democrat, It's easier then working)
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To: Wonder Warthog

I must disagree. Random mutations do not explain the steady progress of evolutionary changes. Changes occur, and these can be called mutations, but the mechanism by which a whole species goes from living on land to living in the sea is not explained by random mutation. Nor by natural selection dealing with the random mutations that do occur. Further, similar species have evolved in lands isolated from one another, such as Australia. There appears to be some inate quality that causes life to evolve and make use of the environment in various ways.


32 posted on 03/09/2005 2:26:23 PM PST by Williams
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To: Conspiracy Guy
I will not sit here while you act like high school punks. Understood?

Feel free to change seats as the mood strikes you.

33 posted on 03/09/2005 2:27:20 PM PST by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: DannyTN

"So your position is it doesn't matter how ridiculous or murderous a religion is in your book it's ok with you.

The only time you take offense with religion is when they claim that science actually supports their scriptures.

Do I have that right?"

Sorry, no Danny you got it backwards. The wacky violent religions I have a problem with. That was what I meant when I said:

"I have no problem with religions that don't own waterslides, require their members to surgically remove genitalia or crash airplanes into things. But using science to validate Religious Mythology is just SILLY!"

The key word there was "DON'T", however I am addicted to complex grammatical constructions so I don't blame you for getting it confused.


34 posted on 03/09/2005 2:28:17 PM PST by Mongeaux
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To: Mongeaux
I'm not anti-science. But if you think science is the work of advanced amoebas explain it to me. Why can't scientists take the amoeba and engineer an elephant? Both creatures contain the same elements.
35 posted on 03/09/2005 2:28:42 PM PST by Conspiracy Guy (Reading is fundamental. Comprehension is optional.)
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To: jennyp

If this is any example of Berlinski's work, he'd have trouble describing a mousetrap.


36 posted on 03/09/2005 2:29:47 PM PST by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: tfecw

Post 9 dissed religion then you agreed. A tread is a series of replies. Work on the reading part.


37 posted on 03/09/2005 2:29:51 PM PST by Conspiracy Guy (Reading is fundamental. Comprehension is optional.)
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To: Williams
There appears to be some inate quality that causes life to evolve and make use of the environment in various ways.

Yeah. It's inheritance, with variation, and natural selection.

38 posted on 03/09/2005 2:32:13 PM PST by MRMEAN (You are a monkey's uncle)
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To: VadeRetro

Hey Amoeba Man. Haven't seen you in a while. Why don't you make a bold statement about Religion being for dummies or something like that.


39 posted on 03/09/2005 2:32:20 PM PST by Conspiracy Guy (Reading is fundamental. Comprehension is optional.)
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To: metacognative

There are a lot of unknowns and assumptions in evolution. Of course science is too politicized. You can't question the assumptions. Same thing with global warming. You can drive a Mack Truck through all the unknowns and assumptions, but to raise questions about them gets you thrown out.


40 posted on 03/09/2005 2:33:28 PM PST by Always Right
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To: colorado tanker

"Mongo? As in Blazing Saddles?"

Yep. Mongeaux only pawn in game of life...


41 posted on 03/09/2005 2:34:28 PM PST by Mongeaux
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To: Conspiracy Guy
Why can't scientists take the amoeba and engineer an elephant? Both creatures contain the same elements.

When I read Darwin's Origin of Species, I didn't notice him predicting you could stimulate an amoeba into morphing into an elephant. You appear to be ignorant of what evolution actually is or says.

42 posted on 03/09/2005 2:34:39 PM PST by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: Conspiracy Guy

Scientists have a limited outlook because they want to believe in a world which exists physically and stuff happens physically and randomly, with no purpose or plan behind it all. This desire for there to be no purpose is not scientific. The mere existence of life, its evolution or whatever you want to call it, and especially the development of consciousness are incredible mysteries. Even if I attribute it all to nature and not to God, Why?? Why does it all exist, and why did we rise up from nature to look back on it all and reflect? Science not only doesn't know, it doesn't want to know.


43 posted on 03/09/2005 2:34:42 PM PST by Williams
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To: Conspiracy Guy

Why don't you knock over a few ignorant yahoo strawman mischaracterizations of evolution and wait for your Nobel Prize?


44 posted on 03/09/2005 2:36:05 PM PST by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

Careful there. If you DARE to question the theory of evolution you will be denigrated as an ignorant, slope-headed, bible thumping fool.


Doesn't matter what man thinks about man. What really matters is how God sees a man, as an unbeliever or a believer.


45 posted on 03/09/2005 2:36:06 PM PST by taxesareforever
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To: Conspiracy Guy
First when I read it, it looks like he was Mocking ID/creationism, not religion.

Second I didn't agree with him. In fact thats stated in my post with the words, "No that's not the theory" I think that is pretty clear.

I then went to describe what i thought (and that thought is supported by this article) the theory consisted of.

I don't see how post 9 mocks religion, I also didn't agree with post 9. So that still leaves me wondering where you came up with your baseless accusations. If you misread the posts or made an untrue assumption thats fine. An apology will work just fine on me.
46 posted on 03/09/2005 2:36:42 PM PST by tfecw (Vote Democrat, It's easier then working)
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To: metacognative

bttt


47 posted on 03/09/2005 2:37:32 PM PST by Matchett-PI (Macroevolution is the last of the great Mystery Religions of the 19th century.)
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To: Mongeaux
LOL! Good Mongo. Knock any horses out lately?
48 posted on 03/09/2005 2:37:42 PM PST by colorado tanker (The People Have Spoken)
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To: Conspiracy Guy
You appear to be ignorant of what evolution actually is or says.

Their mantra, but their knowledge of Scripture is vast, and they can quote Scripture with the best of them, lol

49 posted on 03/09/2005 2:38:22 PM PST by D Edmund Joaquin (Mayor of Jesusland)
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To: VadeRetro

No. You did not read what I was responding to. The thank a scientist post from Mongo. He worships science so I asked why they can't take basic elements of animals and alter them.

I'll ask you why they can't create life from the basic elements? If randomness can do it why can't science?


50 posted on 03/09/2005 2:38:22 PM PST by Conspiracy Guy (Reading is fundamental. Comprehension is optional.)
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