Skip to comments.Doubting Darwin: panic in the suites of evolution
Posted on 04/25/2012 6:54:15 PM PDT by Caleb1411
The sky is falling! Many interest groups and journalists raced to tell that to the public when a modest but important bill became law in Tennessee early in April. The law instructs teachers and administrators to "create an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that encourages students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues."
What's not to like? The law, similar to one in Louisiana, also protects teachers who help students (I'm quoting from the official legislative summary) "understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught. ..." Oh, here's the problem: Evolution is one of the theories that can now be analyzed and critiqued.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, and many others have gone ape over the inclusion of evolution. They revere critical thinking and the freedom to explore, but not when it might produce irreverence toward their idol.
Those groups and many journalists brought up Tennessee's 1925 law that made illegal the teaching of evolution in public schools and led to the Scopes "monkey trial." They did not note that most public schools in the four score and seven years since then have gone to the other extreme by forbidding the teaching of anything but evolution. In states from Virginia to Washington true believers in evolution have harassed and driven away teachers who dared to teach both sides of the Darwin debate.
If macro-evolution were proven, the true believers would have a case, but more than 800 Ph.D.-bearing scientists have signed a statement expressing skepticism about contemporary evolutionary theory's claims that random mutation and natural selection account for the complexity of life. These scientists say, "Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged."
The 1925 law tried to close off debate, but the think tank that has proposed laws like Tennessee's new one, the Discovery Institute, is working to increase the coverage of evolution in textbooks. It wants evolution, including its unresolved issues, to be fully presented to students: "Evolution should be taught as a scientific theory that is open to critical scrutiny, not as a sacred dogma that can't be questioned."
That gets to the heart of the hysteria. The New York Times editorialized in 1925 for "faith, even of a grain of mustard seed, in the evolution of life." The Times said evolution gives us hope for progress: "If man has evolved, it is inconceivable that the process should stop and leave him in his present imperfect state. Specific creation has no such promise for man."
Specific creation, of course, has the ultimate promise: God cares. Sadly, many look desperately for hope elsewhere, anywhere. Last month the New York Times editorial page editor, consistent with his predecessors, criticized critics of evolution who have "learned to manufacture doubt." The Times, of course, daily manufactures doubt regarding God, but thunders, "Thou shalt not doubt" evolution. If other states follow Tennessee's example, we'll have a robust debate instead of more attempts to suppress it.
***Exactly. Show me a fossilized velociraptor with a fossilized rabbit in its stomach and I’m a creationist, no doubt about it.***
Dr. Carl Werner was challenged about the theory of evolution by a friend. He decided that if he could find modern organisms in the same strata as dinosaurs that would falsify evolution.
He spent 30 years of his life visiting dino digs and museums. He found fossils of every modern species and genera in the same strata as dinosaurs..... including the rabbit that you mention.
He chronicled the whole thing in a book called “Evolution: The Grand Experiment - Living Fossils” There’s also a DVD out on it.
You can check out his books at Amazon. He also has some Youtube stuff out there.
Normally what happens when this kind of evidence is produced to a disciple of evolution they start with the ad hominems. They call the author a quack, a liar and a fraud. That way they never have to confront the actual issue and the evidence that he presents.
I hope, Notary that you aren’t one of those.
In my previous post (#51) I meant to say “many species and genera” not “every”.
I came across the word cladistics in "Darwin's Ghost" by Steve Jones ... a modern rewrite of Darwin's "Origin of the Species," with the same exact chapter names in Darwin's work.
Following is from Wikipedia ...
"History of cladistics The term clade was introduced in 1958 by Julian Huxley, cladistic by Cain and Harrison in 1960, and cladist (for an adherent of Hennig's school) by Mayr in 1965. Hennig referred to his own approach as phylogenetic systematics. From the time of his original formulation until the end of the 1980s cladistics remained a minority approach to classification. However, in the 1990s it rapidly became the dominant method of classification in evolutionary biology. Computers made it possible to process large quantities of data about organisms and their characteristics. At about the same time the development of effective polymerase chain reaction techniques made it possible to apply cladistic methods of analysis to biochemical and molecular genetic features of organisms as well as to anatomical ones."
There's a lot to be learned out there Folka.
It’s so obvious how one-sided your ‘research’ of the crevo debate is. If the TOE really has a billion ‘just-so’ data points then there are somewhere on the order of trillions of data points ignored, covered-up and discarded that support creation and young ages.
DNA code can neither write nor improve upon its’ origins - it required an intelligence far superior to anything science could ever produce.
101 Evidences for a Young Age of the Earth...And the Universe
Center for Scientific Creation - In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood
Typo. “Folka” should be folks.
There’s more than enough evidence in the 2 links in my prior post to put the evo theory to shame.
Even Darwin himself admitted if you do not find thousands upon thousands of transitional fossils that TOE completely falls apart. Darwin was a major racist headcase and much more a failure than a scientist.
You folks who always want to shine the evo science credentials and your fearless leader is sore lacking any at all. Just the math alone leaves you needing more than trillions of years for mutations to ‘have enough time.’
You make good points. I can guarantee you, however, that evolution teaches, or at a minimum implies in HS texts that all animals have a common ancestors, and that we DID “evolve” from lower life forms. Blessings, Bob
I understand theory. The point is, in practice, it’s obvious that gravity EXISTS and WORKS.
Meanwhile, it’s not even intuitively obvious that anything such as evolution should exist. You have to deliberately “theorize” on it, because otherwise you cannot prove to Joe Schmoe beyond doubt that it exists. If it were so obvious, paleontologists wouldn’t keep changing their minds about what different dinosaurs are or what they did or ate or how they stood (never mind the new revelation that apparently so many of these animals had feathers, which at least has real evidence). They can’t even test their theories. That’s all it is - theory. They often base things on what they know of existent animals. All they can REALLY say is, “this creature existed”.
I am a mechanical engineer; not a specialized science expert, but I do know something about science.
Can you please elaborate on your reasons for including a reference to The Apostles' Creed and how it was changed in 2011. How does this support your position?
Science, meanwhile, has eveything to do with facts; making it an unfortunate enemy to believers.
See post 40 to see what my reference to the Apostle's Creed was about.
Au contraire my friend, science is my close friend and is also the friend of all true believers. Sorry that you do not understand this, nor see it, but it is true. Jesus loves you and I will pray for you.
But the age of the earth and the universe suggest that if there is a creator, he took his time about the process with many false starts and mistakes along the way. Which is certainly not impossible.
All my life I’ve had success in programming and other sorts of problem solving by always harkening back to the kiss philosophy ~ keep it simple silly.
Tis the same with science. If your foundational assumptions are wrong then many other conclusions will follow in the same vein. Mankind records history in every century yet the written record does not support anything beyond 6 thousand years and the Bible affirms 6 thousand years as well.
Where in the scientific method is one allowed to cherry-pick ones data and throwout a vast number of facts if they conflict with the consensus paradigm(s)?
Where in God’s inspired word [dating only from 2k-4.5k years] does one even presume to think ‘from this point on God has stopped lying to me?’
Who could trust God or His Word if He lies whenever He chooses ~ would that not put God in the same character as the father of all lies, the devil?
No iniquity is found within Him ~ not the Father, not the Son, not His Holy Spirit, and neither in His Word.
Good points OLR, esp. ‘They cant even test their theories. Thats all it is - theory. They often base things on what they know of existent animals. All they can REALLY say is, this creature existed.’
They also anthropomorphize God and think He is capable of sin and errors as Notary Sojac indicates in post #63.
I’d like to refer everyone to the links I supplied in post #54. Neither one will ‘preach’ to you from the Bible - rather like Joe Friday in Dragnet - JUST THE FACTS.
These facts are the ones most often ignored or downplayed by the scientific/academic consensus. But they are facts that are not to be ignored by anyone who claims to love science.
Your post points out something that I had to explain to my kids last week.
I had a lib-in-law, while watching a travel video, tell my kids that “Allah and God are the same”.
Muslims would stone her for blasphemy if they had her in their power.
Your post states that God never lies, and that is true, that would be contrary to His nature.
Allah, however, cannot be “constrained” to alway telling the truth, or even being consistent, because that is “chaining Allah”, a blasphemous statement worthy of death.
I'd throw in epigenetics -- used to be called Lamarckism -- into the mix.
Another simplification on the basic religion tenets ~ I work or have worked with my different backgrounds. My work lends itself to somewhat of a missionary’s field. Of course these are their ideals so ymmv...
Hindu - Love and respect for all fellow men/women.
Buddhist - Love and respect for all forms of life.
Muslim - Begrudgingly respects only fellow Islamic/Muslim men. Women and children not so much. Convert, kill or enslave all infidels. In practice imho this is a religion based upon hate not love for even when a country is 100% Muslim they still create factions and fight with / among each other.
Jewish - Utmost love and reverence for God. Love and respect for all mankind, & stewardship or care of all life on Earth.
Christian - Utmost love and reverence for God. Love and respect for all mankind [with a double portion for all enemies], & stewardship or care of all life on Earth.
Bear in mind then that it's not necessary to prove that the universe is ten billion, or one billion, or even a million years old in order to demolish your stand. Proof that it's more than, say, twenty thousand years old would suffice.
The author of this article doesn't understand science. Nothing in science is ever proven. There are not two sides of a debate about evolution in science - there is a useful theory utilized by scientists and there is useless creationism that is not utilized by anyone for any productive purpose.
Science should be taught in science class.
If he claims to have found clear evidence that modern mammals and dinosaurs co-existed, as you say, I will post to you here with my impressions.
You are 180 degrees from correctness here.
I'd be happy to entertain the possibility of creation/design. Some of the arguments are intriguing and provide a valid challenge to my world view.
But when creationists describe the motivations and the ethics of the creator, they are the ones who anthropomorphize, not me.
If you want to talk to me about the mathematics of chance and the improbability of universal physical and mathematical constants occurring at random, I'm open to listen.....when you switch to telling me about how T. rex was a vegetarian up until the moment that Eve bit into that apple, I'm signing out.
In the fossil record, morality leaves no trace. Not an atom.
OK fine but hard science does not attempt to ‘reproduce’ history. There are many stories being conjured up and/or added to / subtracted from, but true science can ONLY repeat observations thru repeated experimentation(s).
Real, true hard science simply can not re-create history nor alter time in any way. No matter if there are 100 or 1000 natural clocks none of them are ever in complete agreement with each other, but the majority agree [1st link post #54] that the age for the Earth and Universe are in agreement with the written recorded history of mankind.
Their is only one true reality.
If myths must be taught in school, all myths should be taught
I agree with that. I would add that science is a process by which we start out knowing little about that reality, and by degree, over time, we approach an approximation of full knowledge.
The things I know about God I know from His Word which is directly inspired from His Holy Spirit.
I’m sure you know enough about mathematics probability and statistics to know DNA can not write nor re-write itself. It requires a higher intelligence even to place the code for natural adaptation(s) within each life form. Do you also know enough about the scientific method to understand without 50 or so great christian scientists [plus one Jewish guy with a catholic background] over the past 500 years we would simply not have our current scientific advances?
[ allmendream - this alone proves creation is not useless!!!]
It seems obvious you believe more in modern day science than God, but many non-believers have been converted by trying to prove the Bible wrong. The wisdom and knowledge in the Bible still far surpass any/all accumulated wisdom of men. Wisdom is choosing the right action when all you have is a heads or tails proposition. When, alone, you face a fork on an unknown road in an unknown land knowing it could cost you your very life this very day. When going backwards is not an option.
Sure God doesn’t share all his motivations nor all the steps involved in his physical creation [knowledge], but it is very peculiar how often the learned experts scoffed at his claims before being proved wrong again. Everytime science learns something new are they not uncovering the logic of God? Are not all of the accumulated knowledge just the logos of the creator?
Regarding time - since he invented it too he can tell you everything - the alpha, the omega, and everything in between. See Psalm 22 for prophesies written about Christ [what he may have repeated entirely while hanging on the cross - he certainly was recorded repeating some of these unique scriptures] before Christ came as a man and also before crucifixion was invented.
There is no other text more worthy to take the time to try and understand.
Better yet teach no myths.
Better still teach critical thinking.
Best is to teach facts clearly, identify all assumptions, and use critical thinking to begin dissecting truth from error.
Science isn’t a myth.
Evolution is an observed fact - not a myth.
Evolution is the inevitable consequence of having a molecular form of inheritance subject to molecular change.
What is going to stop DNA from changing?
Every time DNA is copied it introduces new variations.
That is rewriting itself.
Thinking that the universe is created by God according to natural laws is productive and useful. That is not creationism, but belief in a universe explainable by natural laws. Creationism is the idea that God used supernatural means during a “special” creation.
If something is explainable by natural means that leads to further application and discovery because natural means are understandable and predictable.
Is something is explainable only by supernatural means that leads nowhere to no further application or discovery because supernatural causation is not understandable or predictable.
It seems obvious that you cannot argue against a scientific theory without making it about religious belief.
“The Bible teaches us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go.” Cardinal Baronius
***If he claims to have found clear evidence that modern mammals and dinosaurs co-existed, as you say, I will post to you here with my impressions.***
I’ll look forward to it Notary.
-—As I see it, there is zero evidence of phyletic evolution. If we really evolved from common ancestors, to me the evidence says punctuated equilbria or special creation are the only possible theories.-—
I have come to the same conclusion from examining the evidence.
I bitterly resent the speculations (artistic depictions of human evolution, evolutionary trees) and outright frauds (Haeckel’s embryo’s) passed off to me as fact in govt school in the late 1970s.
If the evidence supported the theory, there’d be no reason for the multiple “supportive” frauds that have been perpetrated.
I went back thru some of your recent posts to try to understand you better. Not much to go on but...
I saw you were a Newt supporter from early on.
I would have preferred Palin or Cain by far - both have proven a stronger christian witness to their beliefs than Bush did [the more he tried to win favor of leftist, liberal democrats the more he sold out the christian ideals]. Both Palin and Cain were closer to the faith displayed by Reagan.
What once made America great is fast becoming her downfall. Did you know 54 of the 57 signers of the declaration were christians? They also showed much wisdom with their writings.
But with the help of the msm and infiltration by the worldwide enemies of God, true christians are no longer welcome in the leadership positions of our country nor our scientific research whether fortune 500 or major universities. So sad but we truly do need a wake-up call that I fear only the apocalypse shall supply.
I say evolution has not proven anything nor will it EVER. You have not yet written anything to prove evolution is a fact nor will any of your experiments! I think I’ve been too kind in the past when I used the term micro-evolution.
From here on out I’ll be using the term natural adaptation because I believe that all of the micro changes or changes within a kind were pre-programmed in the original DNA for each kind by God. Without God and his DNA code all you have are mutations which lead only to death and extinction(s).
Yes, yes, I know the cause for extinctions can not be scientifically proven, but since 99.9% of all life forms are now only represented by the fossil record then please tell me what other suppositions you hold for their absence? No matter which type of natural disaster one may choose the remaining populations either adapt to the changing environment or fail to adapt.
Oh and yes creation was a suspension of all natural laws whereby God spoke everything into existence ex nihilo ~ out of nothing. It had to be a super-natural event simply because it was a singularity - God and God alone!
The Bible still describes and hints at more science than we would ever have without this inspirational text!
Science in the Bible
If you understood even the basics about science you would know that.
DNA is subject to molecular change. These variations are what is adaptive - mutations lead to adaptations as seen in many thousands of experiments.
There is no case where mutations have led to the extinction of a species.
If the ability to adapt was “pre-programmed in” what is the difference between the 99% of a bacterial population that dies when subjected to an antibiotic and the 1% of the bacterial population that lives?
Some had the change “pre-programmed in” better? How? Can you explain it?
Evolutionary biology has an explanation, an explanation that can be used to explain and predict the response to antibiotics and the rise of antibiotic resistance.
Science is of use.
Creationism is useless.
If you knew even basic biology you would know that this was through the immune cells having their DNA for the antibody gene variable region “re-write” itself while introducing random variations and then selecting from those variations.
You say DNA cannot re-write itself.
I say that such a statement shows you don't know the first thing about DNA, what it does, or how it does it.
As such I take any pronouncement from you about the impossibility of evolution as I would a Amazonian Indian telling me a mechanical engine (something he has only a vague and superstitious understanding of) will not provide enough power to accelerate a vehicle.
You constantly play games with semantics which makes any debate with you completely useless!
And debate between someone knowledgeable about a subject and someone completely ignorant of that subject IS of no use when one party is unwilling to learn.
Do you realize that DNA does re-write itself? If not - then the debate was useless - as you learned nothing.
Do you realize that nothing in science is ever “proven”? If not- then the debate was useless - as you learned nothing.
Do you realize that any form of molecular inheritance subject to molecular change will evolve? If not- then the debate was useless - as you learned nothing.
Do you understand how the immune system uses randomly created variation and a selection process to re-write the DNA of an antibody gene to generate novel antibodies? If not- then the debate was useless - as you learned nothing.
Creationism is not only useless - it seems it cripples its adherents from actually learning anything.
No wonder those who accept creationism are more likely to be less educated.
In essence, this is a faith-based position.
My response would be that I respect where you are coming from, but I am not inclined to answer your arguments in detail, since it would be an exercise with no potential of success.
You are of course correcti It was the creo myths to which I made reference. Teach one, teach them all.
You claim evolution is observed fact and that there is no difference between micro and macro evolution.
The only observed facts [OH gasp, please don’t say proven here - whatever] are natural adaptation and mutations.
DNA is copying not ‘re-writing’ itself when it splits and re-combines one strand from the male and one from the female it is merely selecting traits from each parent. A dog is still a dog, a cat a cat, and bacteria is still bacteria. Too bad you are so willfully ignorant of the major problems with evolution.
Even if you could ‘prove’ millions or billions of years that is still not enough time to have a single cell randomly evolve into any higher life form.
And you know very little of my education or background so I’ll ask you AGAIN to please stop insulting people who don’t agree with your ‘logic.’ And please stop insulting creationism/creation science b/c it does appear you are completely ignorant of this branch of knowledge.
I always like to dig deeper into the science, the author, their background, and their assumptions whenever ‘any evidence appears to contradict the Bible’ and it has been very beneficial for my understanding of all that is important.
Of course the links I provided you are still centered squarely on the science. But it requires an open mind and the ability to see that all of our modern day science is NOT necessarily science. There’s major loads of political horse manure mixed in ~ what you get anytime the gov funding kicks in.
genetic diversity vs limited opportunity to adapt except by survival of fittest, with a higher risk of extinction, or random mutation.
They can no more stay the same year after year than language can stay exactly the same. And like language - differences accumulate in separated populations.
DNA copying is not a perfect process. Every time it copies itself - DNA “re writes” the DNA - introducing variation.
The immune system has their gene for antibodies “re write” itself.
DNA does re-write itself.
Creationism is useless, it is not a branch of knowledge it is the denial of knowledge about the universe in preference to what someone already thinks they understand.
Thinking you already understand something is the surest way to ensure you never actually learn anything about it.
Maybe that is why creationists on average are so uneducated.
Since higher education is brainwashing the youth into believing in socialism, greenhouse warming, the worthiness of sexual perversions such as homosexuality, evolution, and other lies, then it would stand to reason that those who come out from it are most likely to believe these things.
Sometimes the common man can see things more clearly than the educated, especially when the educated have been proselytized into false beliefs. Unfortunately the line of propaganda also is eventually passed down to lower learning, with the effect that soon our youth, from a very young age, become indoctrinated.
The fact that evolution is wrong is so crystal clear that it is glaring, which shows how easily and completely the human mind can be deceived, intelligence being not a barrier. Actually, intelligence has been proved to be a mitigating factor. It has been shown that very intelligent people are more easily hypnotized and more suggestible then the less intelligent.
Much of higher education promotes with grants, advancements and inclusion in it's literature only that which fits into it's preconceived notions. Just because a system of believing comes forth out of higher education does not mean that it is true, but rather that it is approved and thereby propagated. The belief may or may not be true, but by the time higher education is through with advancing it, the belief will be considered true by most scientist, and also eventually by the general population.
I am sorry to say, but you have been brainwashed. You are looking at this backwards. Here is hoping that light will make it into your mind and you will see things clearly. The light can come pouring in quite suddenly, like a blind man, who when his eyes are healed, takes his bandages off and voilà, he can see! It is God who can give you light and I hope He does.
A short essay about the rise and fall of the theory of spontaneous origin of life. Apparently intended to convey the message that "the scientific consensus can be wrong". Nothing really controversial here. I've thought in the past that if a new large vertebrate species were to spontaneously appear in large numbers, it would be an extraordinarly powerful argument for intelligent design......
A discussion of fossil bats and the lack of transitional forms leading thereto. Much is made of the fact that one thousand fossil bats have been found. Well, let's run the numbers:
-Assume that 500 million bats are living at any one time (conservative estimate, less than 1/10 the current number of humans)
-According to the evolutionary timeline, bats have been in existence for 40-50 million years.
-The average lifespan of a bat is 12-15 years (wow, this came as a surprise to me!)
Therefore the total number of bats that have ever lived might be something like (500 million * 40million)/14 or 1,400,000,000,000,000. The claim that 1,000 fossils represents a statistically significant sample of 1.4 quadrillon is shaky.
Similar discussions of the lack of definitive transitional forms in fish and whales. Yes. this is true, and evolutionists generally admit the fact (some are quoted in the video doing so).
A comment that science has found evidences of all phyla in all the geological strata. Well, yes they have, but to imply that this contradicts evolution shows lack of knowledge of just how general the term "phylum" is. For example, all animals with backbones (you, me, apes, bats, whales, mice, birds) belong to the phylum Chordata and there is possible evidence of chordate fossils (Pikaia) all the way back to the Middle Cambrian.
At no point does Werner ever state that he found fossils of currently living species in the same strata as fossils of species which are considered long extinct.
Yes they were, but they were Christians who were also heavily influenced by the 18th century Enlightenment philosophers. Many of them would find themselves disagreeing with a twentieth century believer in complete Biblical inerrancy.
I doubt that since most of them would have most probably continued reading and studying the copious amounts of research showing evermore uniqueness as the Bible itself claims.
For one the complete vindication of archaeological evidence supporting Biblical history.
Or how about microbiology showing we indeed are composed of the same basic elements and composition as dust.
Then too is the research into Biblical prophecies showing astounding claims vindicated time and time again [i.e. the rebirth of Israel as a nation - completely unparalleled by any other nation in all of history suffering genocide and worldwide dispersion of the survivors].
Also the Dead Sea Scrolls which vindicate the accuracy of the Holy Scriptures preserved down thru the ages as well as the sheer number of surviving manuscripts [over 10k preserved copies of the New Testament - which could also be completely replicated just by the quotes/references found in other history books written since Jesus walked among us] - again unparalleled by any other preserved ancient writings
I could go on but not much point for those who are willfully spiritually blind...
And we’re in the 21st century btw...
Regarding your last bolded statement in post #97...
99.9% of the fossil record was laid down by the global flood approx 4,500 years ago if one were to begin researching the claims of creation science. Fossilization is rare and requires rapid death and burial ~ why one finds so few fossils represented by such large populations and even fewer of the sea creature varieties.
Below is per creationscience.com written and researched exhaustively and extensively by Dr. Walt Brown, Ph.D.
BTW Dr. Brown includes research quotes from both creation and evolution.
65. Index Fossils
a . Ever since William Smith [the founder of the index fossil technique] at the beginning of the 19th century, fossils have been and still are the best and most accurate method of dating and correlating the rocks in which they occur. ... Apart from very modern examples, which are really archaeology, I can think of no cases of radioactive decay being used to date fossils. Derek V. Ager, Fossil Frustrations, New Scientist, Vol. 100, 10 November 1983, p. 425.
b . It cannot be denied that from a strictly philosophical standpoint geologists are here arguing in a circle. The succession of organisms has been determined by a study of their remains embedded in the rocks, and the relative ages of the rocks are determined by the remains of organisms that they contain. R. H. Rastall, Geology, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol. 10, 1954, p. 168.
u Are the authorities maintaining, on the one hand, that evolution is documented by geology and, on the other hand, that geology is documented by evolution? Isnt this a circular argument? Larry Azar, Biologists, Help! BioScience, Vol. 28, November 1978, p. 714.
u A circular argument arises: interpret the fossil record in the terms of a particular theory of evolution, inspect the interpretation, and note that it confirms the theory. Well, it would, wouldnt it?
... the fossils do not form the kind of pattern that would be predicted using a simple NeoDarwinian model. Thomas S. Kemp, A Fresh Look at the Fossil Record, New Scientist, Vol. 108, 5 December 1985, p. 66.
u The intelligent layman has long suspected circular reasoning in the use of rocks to date fossils and fossils to date rocks. The geologist has never bothered to think of a good reply, feeling that explanations are not worth the trouble as long as the work brings results. This is supposed to be hard-headed pragmatism. J. E. ORourke, Pragmatism Versus Materialism in Stratigraphy, American Journal of Science, Vol. 276, January 1976, p. 47.
The rocks do date the fossils, but the fossils date the rocks more accurately. Stratigraphy cannot avoid this kind of reasoning, if it insists on using only temporal concepts, because circularity is inherent in the derivation of time scales. Ibid., p. 53.
Although ORourke attempts to justify the practices of stratigraphers, he recognizes the inherent problems associated with such circular reasoning.
u But the danger of circularity is still present. For most biologists the strongest reason for accepting the evolutionary hypothesis is their acceptance of some theory that entails it. There is another difficulty. The temporal ordering of biological events beyond the local section may critically involve paleontological correlation, which necessarily presupposes the non-repeatability of organic events in geologic history. There are various justifications for this assumption but for almost all contemporary paleontologists it rests upon the acceptance of the evolutionary hypothesis. Kitts, p. 466.
u It is a problem not easily solved by the classic methods of stratigraphical paleontology, as obviously we will land ourselves immediately in an impossible circular argument if we say, firstly that a particular lithology is synchronous on the evidence of its fossils, and secondly that the fossils are synchronous on the evidence of the lithology. Derek V. Ager, The Nature of the Stratigraphical Record, 3rd edition (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1993), p. 98.
u The charge that the construction of the geologic scale involves circularity has a certain amount of validity. David M. Raup, Geology and Creationism, Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin, Vol. 54, March 1983, p. 21.
u In a taped, transcribed, and approved 1979 interview with Dr. Donald Fisher, the state paleontologist for New York, Luther Sunderland asked Fisher how he dated certain fossils. Answer: By the Cambrian rocks in which they were found. When Sunderland asked if this was not circular reasoning, Fisher replied, Of course; how else are you going to do it? The Geologic Column: Its Basis and Who Constructed It, Bible-Science News Letter, December 1986, p. 6.
u The prime difficulty with the use of presumed ancestral-descendant sequences to express phylogeny is that biostratigraphic data are often used in conjunction with morphology in the initial evaluation of relationships, which leads to obvious circularity. Bobb Schaeffer, Max K. Hecht, and Niles Eldredge, Phylogeny and Paleontology, Evolutionary Biology, Vol. 6 (New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc., 1972), p. 39.
c . Peter Forey, A Home from Home for Coelacanths, Nature, Vol. 395, 24 September 1998, pp. 319320.
u Since the above discovery near Indonesia in 1998, most coelacanths are being caught off the coast of northern Tanzania, 500 miles north of what was thought to be their old habitats. [See Constance Holden, Saving the Coelacanth, Science, Vol. 316, 8 June 2007, p. 1401.]
d . Zoologists originally thought that the paired fins of coelacanths and the fossil lobe-fins functioned as true limbs, as props to lever the fish against the solid substrate of the bottom sand or against rocks. Keith S. Thomson, Living Fossil: The Story of the Coelacanth (New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Ltd., 1991), p. 160.
u ... much attention has been focused on their fins in the hope that they will tell more about how fins became limbs. Ommanney, p. 74.
u For the coelacanth was a member of a very ancient class of fishes which was supposed to have disappeared some 70 million years ago. This great group of fishes, called crossopterygians, flourished during that decisive era in the history of the earthwhen the fish, taking on legs and lungs, went forth to conquer the continents. Jacques Millot, The Coelacanth, Scientific American, Vol. 193, December 1955, p. 34.
Dr. Jacques Millot, who headed many detailed studies of freshly caught coelacanths, still held out hope as of 1955.
Perhaps their stalked fins permit them to creep along the rocks like seals. Ibid., p. 38.
This myth was buried only after Dr. Hans Frickes team observed coelacanths in their natural habitat in 1987. Their bottom fins have nothing to do with legs or creeping. Why did Millot ignore the facts he knew best? The coelacanth, he thought, solved a big problem. In 1955, Millot wrote:
One of the great problems of evolution has been to find anatomical links between the fishes and their land-invading descendants ... For a long time evolutionists were troubled by this major gap between fishes and the amphibians. But the gap has now been bridged by studies of ancient fishes, and this is where the coelacanth comes in. Ibid., pp. 3536.
Later (1987), after studying live coelacanths, the scientific world learned that Millot was wrong. The coelacanth did not bridge this gap. Therefore, the fish-to-amphibian problem is back.
u He [J. L. B. Smith] was able to report [in the journal Nature] that, like the lungfishes, the fish had an air bladder or lung (on the basis of the taxidermists report of the discarded viscera), which was a median rather than paired structure. Thomson, Living Fossil, p. 39. [It is now recognized that the discarded bag was not a lung, but an oil-filled swimming bladder.]
e . The brain of a 90-pound coelacanth weighs less than 50 grains [0.11 ounces]that is, no more than one 15,000th of the body weight. No present-day vertebrate that we know of has so small a brain in relation to its size. Millot, p. 39.
f . I confess Im sorry we never saw a coelacanth walk on its fins. Hans Fricke, Coelacanths: The Fish That Time Forgot, National Geographic, Vol. 173, June 1988, p. 838.
... we never saw any of them walk, and it appears the fish is unable to do so. Ibid., p. 837.
g . Few creatures have endured such an immense span of time with so little change as coelacanths. The cutaway drawing of a present-day specimen seems almost identical with the 140-million-year-old fossil found in a quarry in southern West Germany. ... Why have coelacanths remained virtually unchanged for eons ... 30 million generations? Fricke, p. 833. [Answer: They were fossilized a few thousand years ago, at the time of the flood.]
u Throughout the hundreds of millions of years the coelacanths have kept the same form and structure. Here is one of the great mysteries of evolutionthat of the unequal plasticity of living things. Millot, p. 37.
u The coelacanths have changed very little since their first known appearance in the Upper Devonian. A. Smith Woodward, as quoted by Thomson, Living Fossil, p. 70.
u What is even more remarkable is that in spite of drastic changes in the world environment, the coelacanths are still much the same organically as their ancestors. ... In the meantime, research is continuing ... and will try to penetrate the secret of the adaptability which has enabled them to live through many geological eras under widely differing conditions without modifying their constitution. Millot, p. 39.
u ... the coelacanths have undergone little change in 300 million years ... Ommanney, p. 74.