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Verdict that Demands Evidence: Darwinists, not Christians, are stonewalling the facts
Christianity Today ^ | 3/28/05 | Charles Colson

Posted on 03/28/2005 1:29:18 PM PST by Zender500

It was one of the first—and angriest—post-election hissy fits: In The New York Times, Garry Wills credited White House political adviser Karl Rove for getting millions of religious conservatives (whom he compared to Muslim jihadists) to the polls and sneered, "Can a nation which believes more fervently in the Virgin Birth than in evolution still be called an enlightened nation?"

< snip >

Committed Darwinists continue this strategy today. For example, nine years ago biochemist Michael Behe published Darwin's Black Box (Free Press, 1996). Behe argued that complex structures like proteins cannot be assembled piecemeal, with gradual improvement of function. Instead, like a mousetrap, all the parts—catch, spring, hammer, and so forth—must be assembled simultaneously, or the protein doesn't work.

Behe's thesis faced a challenge from the nation's leading expert on cell structure, Dr. Russell Doolittle at the University of California-San Diego. Doolittle cited a study on bloodletting in the journal Cell that supposedly disproved Behe's argument. Behe immediately read the article—and found that the study proved just the opposite: It supported his theory. Behe confronted Doolittle, who privately acknowledged that he was wrong—but declined to make a public retraction.

So who's really rolling back the Enlightenment? Those who invite us to follow the evidence wherever it leads—or those demanding that we ignore it? The folks who want both evolution and Intelligent Design taught in school, with all their strengths and weaknesses—or those who attempt to silence any opposition?

The evidence for Intelligent Design has become so persuasive that the 81-year old British philosopher Anthony Flew, a lifelong atheist who once debated C. S. Lewis over the existence of God, recently admitted that a creator-God must exist.

In the final analysis, any objective observer must conclude that belief in either the biblical or the naturalistic worldview demands faith.

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


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: behe; charlescolson; creation; crevolist
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To: DannyTN

TMI!!!


51 posted on 03/29/2005 1:03:33 AM PST by Melas
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To: SteamshipTime
"A better question would be how does intelligent design explain molars and appendixes, though they are probably explainable in terms of natural selection: "

Appendixes are now know to have an important function. They provide fluid into the colon which reduced the chances of getting colon cancer.

By molars, I assume you mean wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth are most likely due to microevolution with the human species. Our jaw has gotten smaller over time, causing the medical problem known as wisdom teeth. However, I see no way that this can be presented as a positive evolution. Smaller jaws and wisdom teeth do not contribute to survival. It's a degradation, consistent with devolution, and a cursed earth, with a perfectly designed human body slowly being degradated over time.

There are now over 600 inherited human genetic diseases. Where are the positive mutations promised by evolution?

52 posted on 03/29/2005 1:06:58 AM PST by DannyTN
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To: DannyTN

I did mean wisdom teeth. Thanks for the clarification.


53 posted on 03/29/2005 6:02:05 AM PST by SteamshipTime
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To: Zender500
"Can a nation which believes more fervently in the Virgin Birth than in evolution still be called an enlightened nation?"

The underlying reason for attacking creation is exposed. After all, if God created, the leftist way of fixing Social Security (Terri Schiavo) is forbidden.

54 posted on 03/29/2005 6:03:08 AM PST by Dataman
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To: Doctor Stochastic
Do you believe that "species" is a property of an individual?

No.

55 posted on 03/29/2005 6:29:35 AM PST by betty boop (If everyone is thinking alike, then no one is thinking. -- Gen. George S. Patton)
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To: Doctor Stochastic

Actually Doc, I much of my criticism pertains to certain "popularizers" of science.


56 posted on 03/29/2005 6:31:44 AM PST by betty boop (If everyone is thinking alike, then no one is thinking. -- Gen. George S. Patton)
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To: betty boop
Thank you so much for your excellent post!

That is, the doctrine that holds the production of a novel species from an already existent other in response to changing physical environmental conditions/constraints, while generally held to be true "among us advanced, enlightened moderns" -- seems to have been found somewhat lacking in explanatory power in more recent times.

IMHO, the continual review of any theory is good for everyone. The advances made since Darwin's day (DNA, information theory, complex systems theory, etc.) should all be used to test, improve or correct the original theory of origin of species.

I agree with you that adaptive changes have been well confirmed over these years and that emergent functions and species (complexity, autonomy, semiosis) have been brought into question (mostly by mathematicians).

57 posted on 03/29/2005 6:37:22 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Mike85
I can assure you that unless things change our country is going to sink into a new Dark Age of sorts as the Chinese, Indians etc. pass us in the race to the stars.

This nation turned it's back on God and has fallen into a moral dark age - one that allows crap like the Judicial assisted Murder of Terri Schiavo. All a matter of perspective I imagine.

58 posted on 03/29/2005 6:45:32 AM PST by Havoc (Reagan was right and so was McKinley. Down with free trade. Hang the traitors high)
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To: Zender500
This article typifies the attack on science anti-evolutionists in their misunderstanding perpetrate on a daily basis. It is their intent to push a religious agenda into the scientific community in an attempt to oust the methodological naturalism of science, with no consideration of the efficacy of a science based on supernatural explanations.

This is not simply an attack on evolution; it is an attack on the methodology used by all science. A false dichotomy has been created by anti-evolutionists to facilitate a negative campaign against the sciences. The dichotomy simply stated is as follows; either Creationism is true or Evolution is true. If evolution is shown to be unworkable, creationism is proved true and, conversely, if evolution is not proved unworkable then creationism is proved false. Because the methodology used in all fields of science is the same and the close ties evolution has to other sciences this dichotomy applies to all sciences. Even the much touted ID (which is nothing but thinly disguised creationism) argument basically comes down to pointing out the problems with science without offering a more feasible scientific theory.

Anti-evolutionists have gone so far as to misuse the colloquial definition of the word theory to try to elevate creation science and ID to the same level as evolution. In fact this misuse actually lowers evolution and all other connected fields of science to the same level as CS and ID, as evidentially thin assumptions.

Both Creation Science and ID are at their core untestable, simply because the supernatural can be used to explain everything, whether there is independent evidence or not. It removes the possibility of identifying anything as ‘natural’ as opposed to ‘designed’. The use of supernatural causes weakens all of science, including any science said to be a part of CR and ID, to the point of uselessness. This is because testability is an essential attribute of a hypothesis; without it no hypothesis can be ruled out when developing a theory. The evidence for ID at this time is not so much evidence as an argument from incredulity, simply assigning a supernatural explanation to anything that appears to be too complex to easily understand. Behe’s method of IC determination is completely subjective, relying on the human ability to see patterns and infer causes. This subjective test can hardly be considered scientific. There is also no rigorous methodology yet in any DI subsystem. At this point, the only way ID can be considered a theory is as a ‘supposition’.

Science is methodological naturalism, based on theories developed from well tested hypotheses. The definition used in science for the term ‘theory’ reflects the high certainty that issues from extensive testing done during the development process. Evolution, the main anti-science target, is currently not able to explain all that we see, but it doesn’t profess to do so, nor does this inability make the Theory of Evolution useless, as extant problems may become extinct problems later, as is shown throughout the history of science.

If anti-evolutionists were to apply the same standards of observable proof to their own assumptions that they try to apply to evolution they would see that CS and ID fall far short of reliably and convincingly explaining nature.


There are reasons science does not and can not use the supernatural when investigating and developing theories about natural phenomenon. These reasons, and not any desire to disprove the existence of god, is what is behind science’s reticence in using intelligent Design or any other creationist philosophy in a naturalistic explanation. It is also why they should not be included in science classes. When ID becomes a true ‘theory’ based on objectively tested hypotheses, then science will consider it a valid alternative. If the struggle is to include teaching the difficulties within the methodology of science and to show the problems within the Theory of Evolution, this can be done, and in fact is done at the university level, without resorting to teaching untestable, unfalsifiable, non-predictive hypotheses such as CS and ID.
59 posted on 03/29/2005 9:53:37 AM PST by b_sharp (Science adjusts theories to fit evidence, creationism distorts evidence to fit the Bible.)
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To: gdani
[ How does Intelligent Design explain male nipples? ]

God is an artist.. its a art thing..

60 posted on 03/29/2005 9:59:43 AM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been ok'ed by me to included some fully orbed hyperbole....)
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To: annalex
"Intelligent design's claim is not that nothing occurs through evolution, but rather that at pivotal points in the evolitionary process things happen by design and not randomly. For example, differentiation of sexes and development of diverse sexual organs might involve steps by design, as well as random evolutionary steps. "

[Quote - William Dembski]

Is Intelligent Design Testable?

William A. Dembski 01.24.01

" But isn't intelligent design just a stone's throw from fundamentalist Christianity and rabid creationism? Even if a theory of intelligent design should ultimately prove successful and supersede Darwinism, it would not follow that the designer posited by this theory would have to be the Christian God or for that matter be real in some ontological sense. One can be an anti-realist about science and simply regard the designer as a regulative principle -- a conceptually useful device for making sense out of certain facts of biology -- without assigning the designer any weight in reality. Wittgenstein, for instance, regarded the theories of Copernicus and Darwin not as true but as "fertile new points of view

[/quote]

Your answer coupled with Dembski's just equated ID with naturalism. How is that different from Evolution?

God, in fact any religion, is inconsequential to evolution; evolution cares nothing about the origin question nor whether some long forgotten designer initiated the process. The question of whether ID should be taught in schools hinges not on it's religiosity but on it's validity as science.

61 posted on 03/29/2005 10:07:30 AM PST by b_sharp (Science adjusts theories to fit evidence, creationism distorts evidence to fit the Bible.)
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To: betty boop
Thanks for the ping.

"Stark offers startling evidence that Darwinists have covered up mounting flaws in their theory"

Why should we take a Religious Sociologist's opinion about evolution seriously? He knows no more about science than does Johnson. His concept of a flaw comes down to the Theory of Evolution's inability to currently explain all facets of evolution. Current inability does not mean absolute inability.

62 posted on 03/29/2005 10:19:06 AM PST by b_sharp (Science adjusts theories to fit evidence, creationism distorts evidence to fit the Bible.)
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To: b_sharp

"The question of whether ID should be taught in schools hinges not on it's religiosity but on it's validity as science."

But it will win, or be defeated, because of its "religiosity". Winning or losing in this area is political, and by definition, idiotic.


63 posted on 03/29/2005 10:20:35 AM PST by furball4paws (Ho, Ho, Beri, Beri and Balls!)
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To: b_sharp; gdani

In my opinion, Intelligent Design is a speculative science just like evolution is. Both can point to the same fossil evidence and biological facts and offer speculative theories that match the known facts. Both theories will depend on a black box: evolution would have to explain how can irreducible complexities of life be formed wholly at random, and the ID will have to explain who the Designer is.

The fact that a designer is something religion also postulates is a corollary that is uncomfortable to the atheist; it should not be an impediment to teaching ID in schools, even if religious curriculum is excluded by law.

Back to the male nipple question, the best explanation is religious fundamentalist, and not naturalist. God created man first, then He made woman from the man. Male nipples, -- a minor sensory organ,-- were the original design. Female nipples are adaptation of an existing feature to the additional tasks the female body has.


64 posted on 03/29/2005 10:47:49 AM PST by annalex
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To: annalex
"In my opinion, Intelligent Design is a speculative science just like evolution is. Both can point to the same fossil evidence and biological facts and offer speculative theories that match the known facts. Both theories will depend on a black box: evolution would have to explain how can irreducible complexities of life be formed wholly at random, and the ID will have to explain who the Designer is. "

So far, a plausible pathway has been postulated for every IC claimed. If you are really interested, check out www.talkdesign.org and www.talkreason.org.

"The fact that a designer is something religion also postulates is a corollary that is uncomfortable to the atheist; it should not be an impediment to teaching ID in schools, even if religious curriculum is excluded by law. "

The reason ID should not be taught is its inability to develop a workable theory.

"Back to the male nipple question, the best explanation is religious fundamentalist, and not naturalist. God created man first, then He made woman from the man. Male nipples, -- a minor sensory organ,-- were the original design. Female nipples are adaptation of an existing feature to the additional tasks the female body has."

Male features are a result of specific hormones during development. Everyone starts out morphologically female at conception, then either becomes male or stays female. How does this fit your hypothesis?

65 posted on 03/29/2005 11:28:51 AM PST by b_sharp (Science adjusts theories to fit evidence, creationism distorts evidence to fit the Bible.)
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To: furball4paws
"But it will win, or be defeated, because of its "religiosity". Winning or losing in this area is political, and by definition, idiotic."

As much as that is true, I would like to get the anti-evolution crowd to stop making claims that aren't reflective of current science and education.

Most do not realize that education is just the tip of the wedge.

66 posted on 03/29/2005 11:35:22 AM PST by b_sharp (Science adjusts theories to fit evidence, creationism distorts evidence to fit the Bible.)
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To: b_sharp

I am not an ID enthusiast. As a Roman Catholic I am entirely comfortable to let the science run its course as it explains the created world. If the Intelligent Design's central claims have all a random-evolution explanation, then it does not make evolution any less speculative, but it makes ID failing the Occam razor test, and so, prehaps, it should be reserved for higher levels of academia. As a bystander in this, however, I cannot escape the feeling that bigoted fanaticism is all on the evolutionists' side. I cannot account for it any differently than assuming that it is an anti-religion bias that is driving them, not a search for truth, and so I cannot take the evolutionists at their word.

The woman-first nipple theory is, of course, just as good at explaining male nipples as man-first. Neither has anything to do with evolution and they are not mutually contradictory either, because we only have scriptural knowledge of the order of creation, not the gestational order of development.


67 posted on 03/29/2005 11:54:05 AM PST by annalex
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To: betty boop
The C/E competition is not over, but it has been joined by another perspective that is neither C nor E. Call it L for Liptonism. He links thought to thought's obvious yet unexplained ability to motivate matter.

C/E/L

As in CELlular.

68 posted on 03/29/2005 1:03:18 PM PST by RightWhale (50 trillion sovereign cells working together in relative harmony)
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To: Zender500; PatrickHenry
This is a crock.

". . . For example, nine years ago biochemist Michael Behe published Darwin's Black Box (Free Press, 1996). Behe argued that complex structures like proteins cannot be assembled piecemeal, with gradual improvement of function. Instead, like a mousetrap, all the parts—catch, spring, hammer, and so forth—must be assembled simultaneously, or the protein doesn't work.

Behe's thesis faced a challenge from the nation's leading expert on cell structure, Dr. Russell Doolittle at the University of California-San Diego. Doolittle cited a study on bloodletting in the journal Cell that supposedly disproved Behe's argument. Behe immediately read the article—and found that the study proved just the opposite . . .
"

I have no idea what Russell Doolittle may or may not have said, and I seriously doubt the claim that he admitted Behe's arguments were correct, but that really doesn't matter. A more useful critique may be that of Kenneth R. Miller who, like Behe, also believes the universe reveals "a world of meaning and purpose consistent with a divine intelligence," but, unlike Behe, doesn't pretend -- and ID advocates only pretend -- to argue that this viewpoint is scientific.

The Flaw in the Mousetrap
Intelligent design fails the biochemistry test.

By Kenneth R. Miller

To understand why the scientific community has been unimpressed by attempts to resurrect the so-called argument from design, one need look no further than Michael J. Behe's own essay. He argues that complex biochemical systems could not possibly have been produced by evolution because they possess a quality he calls irreducible complexity. Just like mousetraps, these systems cannot function unless each of their parts is in place. Since "natural selection can only choose among systems that are already working," there is no way that Darwinian mechanisms could have fashioned the complex systems found in living cells. And if such systems could not have evolved, they must have been designed. That is the totality of the biochemical "evidence" for intelligent design.

Ironically, Behe's own example, the mousetrap, shows what's wrong with this idea. Take away two parts (the catch and the metal bar), and you may not have a mousetrap but you do have a three-part machine that makes a fully functional tie clip or paper clip. Take away the spring, and you have a two-part key chain. The catch of some mousetraps could be used as a fishhook, and the wooden base as a paperweight; useful applications of other parts include everything from toothpicks to nutcrackers and clipboard holders. The point, which science has long understood, is that bits and pieces of supposedly irreducibly complex machines may have different -- but still useful -- functions.

Behe's contention that each and every piece of a machine, mechanical or biochemical, must be assembled in its final form before anything useful can emerge is just plain wrong. Evolution produces complex biochemical machines by copying, modifying, and combining proteins previously used for other functions. Looking for examples? The systems in Behe's essay will do just fine.

He writes that in the absence of "almost any" of its parts, the bacterial flagellum "does not work." But guess what? A small group of proteins from the flagellum does work without the rest of the machine -- it's used by many bacteria as a device for injecting poisons into other cells. Although the function performed by this small part when working alone is different, it nonetheless can be favored by natural selection.

The key proteins that clot blood fit this pattern, too. They're actually modified versions of proteins used in the digestive system. The elegant work of Russell Doolittle has shown how evolution duplicated, retargeted, and modified these proteins to produce the vertebrate blood-clotting system.

And Behe may throw up his hands and say that he cannot imagine how the components that move proteins between subcellular compartments could have evolved, but scientists actually working on such systems completely disagree. In a 1998 article in the journal Cell, a group led by James Rothman, of the Sloan-Kettering Institute, described the remarkable simplicity and uniformity of these mechanisms. They also noted that these mechanisms "suggest in a natural way how the many and diverse compartments in eukaryotic cells could have evolved in the first place." Working researchers, it seems, see something very different from what Behe sees in these systems -- they see evolution.

If Behe wishes to suggest that the intricacies of nature, life, and the universe reveal a world of meaning and purpose consistent with a divine intelligence, his point is philosophical, not scientific. It is a philosophical point of view, incidentally, that I share. However, to support that view, one should not find it necessary to pretend that we know less than we really do about the evolution of living systems. In the final analysis, the biochemical hypothesis of intelligent design fails not because the scientific community is closed to it but rather for the most basic of reasons -- because it is overwhelmingly contradicted by the scientific evidence.


Though the above critique is rather short in length, and omits much I would like to see added, it points out the most basic flaw in Behe's work -- it is simply not supported by the known facts of biochemistry.

And with that you have your answer to the question "just who is holding back" the Enlightenment.
69 posted on 04/01/2005 1:11:48 PM PST by StJacques
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To: annalex
"I am not an ID enthusiast. As a Roman Catholic I am entirely comfortable to let the science run its course as it explains the created world. . . ."

Well put annalex. As a Roman Catholic I also have no fear of science because nothing it produces can deny the metaphysical truth of God I know by faith. And I refuse to let anyone tell me that science can provide the proof of God because that demeans my faith.
70 posted on 04/01/2005 1:15:28 PM PST by StJacques
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To: StJacques

Good post. Thanks for the ping, but I've been ignoring this thread.


71 posted on 04/01/2005 1:27:54 PM PST by PatrickHenry (<-- Click on my name. The List-O-Links for evolution threads is at my freeper homepage.)
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