Skip to comments.White House to honor prominent evolutionist
Posted on 05/09/2002 3:18:41 PM PDT by laureldrive
UCI's Ayala wins National Medal of Science
Researcher famous for work in genetics, evolutionary biology.
By GARY ROBBINS
The Orange County Register
May 9, 02
The National Medal of Science the most prestigious award given for lifetime achievement will be bestowed upon a University of California, Irvine, researcher who has done pioneering work in genetics and evolutionary biology, the White House announced today.
Francisco Ayala, 68, is one of 15 scientists and engineers who will receive the medal from President George W. Bush during a ceremony expected to be held in mid-June in Washington, D.C.
Ayala will receive the medal along with such eminent figures as Harold Varmus, the Nobel laureate who formerly headed the National Institutes of Health, and Charles Keeling of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, a leader in global warming research.
"Each one of these individuals has helped advance our country's place as a leader in discovery, creativity and technology," President Bush said in a statement. "Their contributions have touched all of our lives and will continue to do so."
Ayala is the second UCI professor to win the National Science Medal. The late Frederick Reines, the "father of neutrino physics", was honored in 1983. A medal also was given to Corona del Mar instrument inventor Arnold O. Beckman in 1989.
Ayala is a former Dominican priest who left the clergy to study evolution and genetics. He achieved fame partly because of his work on the "molecular clock," a field in which scientists can date when some species diverged from a common ancestor. The timing of the clock involves analysis of DNA.
The Spanish-born biologist also is well-known for determining that some organisms have more genetic variation than predicted by sophisticated mathematical models.
Ayala was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1980. A year later, he and famed Harvard scholar Stephen Jay Gould testified for the defense in McLean v. the Arkansas Board of Education, the so-called "balanced-treatment law." A federal judge ruled on behalf of the plaintiff, saying that it was unconstitutional for Arkansas to require teachers to devote equal class time to creationism and evolution.
He joined the UCI faculty in 1987, raising the university's profile in evolutionary science. Fellow biologist Walter Fitch says Ayala's presence was a main reason that he joined the faculty the following year.
More recently, Ayala helped recruit Douglas Wallace, a world-renowned geneticist from Emory University. Irvine recruited Wallace with a $3 million package in February.
Some would call it an unmistakable/undeniable truth.
The modern skeptic, with his/her committment to philosophic naturalism [nature is all there is] is faced with the unfortunate, and ironic dilemma, of having to sustain their belief system by, or on, sheer faith. This, after presumably rejecting faith as an attribute of the less educated masses.
"The LORD confounds the wisdom of the wise".
I understand evolution very well.
It is quite simply whatever its adherents want it to be.
However, you are correct in your statement re: the imperfection of evolution theory.
Why haven't all of the narrow birth canal genes been selected out by now?
Yeah, right! Of course in those days it may have seemed like a thousand years. A whole lifetime and never going more than twenty miles from home. Doing the same thing, day after day after day. Having your parents pick out your wife, not in terms of someone that would be compatible to you but who would bring political stability or biggest dowry. Yeah it only seemed like a thousand years.
Simply saying evolution passes along that which works well enough...is well...weak.
I don't think our suffering was a goal; I think it is a consequence of the Fall of Man in Eden. Some people demand Eden NOW, without ever acknowledging our loss of it due to our sin in Adam.
But that takes faith to see, and we are talking about science, right?
IF you keep on making the kinds of assumptions which evolutionists and their fellow travelers make, i.e. uniformity, the curious notion that only processes which we observe today could ever have been at work in past ages.
When I was a kid, nobody got nobel prizes or presidential recognition for that kind of thinking; you got to wear a dunce cap and sit in the corner for other kids to laugh at. Something's gone seriously wrong since then.
The big lie which is being promulgated by the evos is that there is some sort of a dialectic between evolution and religion. There isn't. In order to have a meaningful dialectic between evolution and religion, you would need a religion whicih operated on an intellectual level similar to that of evolution, and the only two possible candidates would be voodoo and Rastifari.
The dialectic is between evolution and mathematics. Professing belief in evolution at this juncture amounts to the same thing as claiming not to believe in modern mathematics, probability theory, and logic. It's basically ignorant.
Evolution has been so thoroughly discredited at this point that you assume nobody is defending it because they believe in it anymore, and that they are defending it because they do not like the prospects of having to defend or explain some expect of their lifestyles to God, St. Peter, Muhammed...
To these people I say, you've still got a problem. The problem is that evolution, as a doctrine, is so overwhelmingly STUPID that, faced with a choice of wearing a sweatshirt with a scarlet letter A for Adulteror, F for Fornicator or some such traditional design, or or a big scarlet letter I for IDIOT, you'd actually be better off sticking with one of the traditional choices because, as Clint Eastwood noted in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly:
God hates IDIOTS, too!
The best illustration of how stupid evolutionism really is involves trying to become some totally new animal with new organs, a new basic plan for existence, and new requirements for integration between both old and new organs.
Take flying birds for example; suppose you aren't one, and you want to become one. You'll need a baker's dozen highly specialized systems, including wings, flight feathers, a specialized light bone structure, specialized flow-through design heart and lungs, specialized tail, specialized general balance parameters etc.
For starters, every one of these things would be antifunctional until the day on which the whole thing came together, so that the chances of evolving any of these things by any process resembling evolution (mutations plus selection) would amount to an infinitessimal, i.e. one divided by some gigantic number.
In probability theory, to compute the probability of two things happening at once, you multiply the probabilities together. That says that the likelihood of all these things ever happening, best case, is ten or twelve such infinitessimals multiplied together, i.e. a tenth or twelth-order infinitessimal. The whole history of the universe isn't long enough for that to happen once.
All of that was the best case. In real life, it's even worse than that. In real life, natural selection could not plausibly select for hoped-for functionality, which is what would be required in order to evolve flight feathers on something which could not fly apriori. In real life, all you'd ever get would some sort of a random walk around some starting point, rather than the unidircetional march towards a future requirement which evolution requires.
And the real killer, i.e. the thing which simply kills evolutionism dead, is the following consideration: In real life, assuming you were to somehow miraculously evolve the first feature you'd need to become a flying bird, then by the time another 10,000 generations rolled around and you evolved the second such reature, the first, having been disfunctional/antifunctional all the while, would have DE-EVOLVED and either disappeared altogether or become vestigial.
Now, it would be miraculous if, given all the above, some new kind of complex creature with new organs and a new basic plan for life had ever evolved ONCE.
Evolutionism, however (the Theory of Evolution) requires that this has happened countless billions of times, i.e. an essentially infinite number of absolutely zero probability events.
And, if you were starting to think that nothing could possibly be any stupider than believing in evolution despite all of the above (i.e. that the basic stupidity of evolutionism starting from 1980 or thereabouts could not possibly be improved upon), think again. Because there is zero evidence in the fossil record (despite the BS claims of talk.origins "crew" and others of their ilk) to support any sort of a theory involving macroevolution, and because the original conceptions of evolution are flatly refuted by developments in population genetics since the 1950's, the latest incarnation of this theory, Steve Gould and Niles Eldredge's "Punctuated Equilibrium or punc-eek" attempts to claim that these wholesale violations of probabilistic laws all occurred so suddenly as to never leave evidence in the fossil record, and that they all occurred amongst tiny groups of animals living in "peripheral" areas. That says that some velocirapter who wanted to be a bird got together with fifty of his friends and said:
Guys, we need flight feathers, and wings, and specialized bones, hearts, lungs, and tails, and we need em NOW; not two years from now. Everybody ready, all together now: OOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....
You could devise a new religion by taking the single stupidest doctrine from each of the existing religions, and it would not be as stupid as THAT.
But it gets even stupider.
Again, the original Darwinian vision of gradualistic evolution is flatly refuted by the fossil record (Darwinian evolution demanded that the vast bulk of ALL fossils be intermediates) and by the findings of population genetics, particularly the Haldane dilemma and the impossible time requirements for spreading genetic changes through any sizeable herd of animals.
Consider what Gould and other punk-eekers are saying. Punc-eek amounts to a claim that all meaningful evolutionary change takes place in peripheral areas, amongst tiny groups of animals which develop some genetic advantage, and then move out and overwhelm, outcompete, and replace the larger herds. They are claiming that this eliminates the need to spread genetic change through any sizeable herd of animals and, at the same time, is why we never find intermediate fossils (since there are never enough of these CHANGELINGS to leave fossil evidence).
Obvious problems with punctuated equilibria include, minimally:
1. It is a pure pseudoscience seeking to explain and actually be proved by a lack of evidence rather than by evidence (all the missing intermediate fossils). Similarly, Cotton Mather claimed that the fact that nobody had ever seen or heard a witch was proof they were there (if you could SEE them, they wouldn't BE witches...)
2. PE amounts to a claim that inbreeding is the most major source of genetic advancement in the world. Apparently Steve Gould never saw Deliverance...
3. PE requires these tiny peripheral groups to conquer vastly larger groups of animals millions if not billions of times, which is like requiring Custer to win at the little Big Horn every day, for millions of years.
4. PE requires an eternal victory of animals specifically adapted to localized and parochial conditions over animals which are globally adapted, which never happens in real life.
5. For any number of reasons, you need a minimal population of any animal to be viable. This is before the tiny group even gets started in overwhelming the vast herds. A number of American species such as the heath hen became non-viable when their numbers were reduced to a few thousand; at that point, any stroke of bad luck at all, a hard winter, a skewed sex ratio in one generation, a disease of some sort, and it's all over. The heath hen was fine as long as it was spread out over the East coast of the U.S. The point at which it got penned into one of these "peripheral" areas which Gould and Eldredge see as the salvation for evolutionism, it was all over.
The sort of things noted in items 3 and 5 are generally referred to as the "gambler's problem", in this case, the problem facing the tiny group of "peripheral" animals being similar to that facing a gambler trying to beat the house in blackjack or roulette; the house could lose many hands of cards or rolls of the dice without flinching, and the globally-adapted species spread out over a continent could withstand just about anything short of a continental-scale catastrophe without going extinct, while two or three bad rolls of the dice will bankrupt the gambler, and any combination of two or three strokes of bad luck will wipe out the "peripheral" species. Gould's basic method of handling this problem is to ignore it.
And there's one other thing which should be obvious to anybody attempting to read through Gould and Eldridge's BS:
They are claiming that at certain times, amongst tiny groups of animals living in peripheral areas, a "speciation event(TM)" happens, and THEN the rest of it takes place. In other words, they are saying:
ASSUMING that Abracadabra-Shazaam(TM) happens, then the rest of the business proceeds as we have described in our scholarly discourse above!
Again, Gould and Eldridge require that the Abracadabra-Shazaam(TM) happen not just once, but countless billions of times, i.e. at least once for every kind of complex creature which has ever walked the Earth. They do not specify whether this amounts to the same Abracadabra-Shazaam each time, or a different kind of Abracadabra-Shazaam for each creature.
I ask you: How could anything be stupider or worse than that? What could possibly be worse than professing to believe in such a thing?
"If a person doesn't think that there is a God to be accountable to, then what's the point of trying to modify your behavior to keep it within acceptable ranges? That's how I thought anyway. I always believed the theory of evolution as truth, that we all came from slime. When we died, you know , that was it, there is nothing..."
Jeffrey Dahmer, noted Evolutionist
Given standard theories wrt the history of our solar system and our own planet, nobody should be finding cities and villages on Mars, 2100 feet beneath the waves off Cuba, or buried under two miles of Antarctic ice.
I guess one could say "I love the evolutionist's view of science...I gonna let the weak perish and mate with as many people as possible, and attempt to become an 'overman'".
>>Point of order... Mr. Ayala.....why hasn't evolution >>allowed mother's birth canals to develop large enough for >>the increased brain size?
Uh, because natural processes aren't perfect. What's God's excuse for screwing it up?
One must also wonder how Mr. Ayala and most evolutionists were ever born. Their large empty heads surely should not fit.
...does not either. That's why even sinners go to heaven through His Grace.
Evolution always happens in the future. The bones will be found in the future, the answers will be found in the future. With some 3 billion years of life on earth though they still cannot back up their stupid theory. How much time do these folk need? Seems to me they have flunked the test. Anyone who sits on a chair and writes nothing for 150 years cannot be said to have passed the test.
Everything. Human feelings, human conscience cannot be accounted for by either evolution or any other materialistic theory of the universe. To paraphrase Shakespeare , there is much more in this world than your stupid theory can account for.
But sinners have free will. Creation is god's personal handiwork.
Evolution is the warped knowledge that holds science back. All the great advances in biology in the last 150 years have come in spite of evolution, not because of it: genetics, DNA and the interrelatedness of the genome have all worked to disprove evolution, and were made comletely in contradiction of what evolutionary theory stated. The only biologists who believe profess belief in evolution are the ones sucking from the public trough.
What ID'ers appeal to is the notion of irreducible complexity.
If we consider alleged imperfections, why aren't we as strong -- pound for pound -- as cats or even chimps? Why don't we have unlimited self-healing capabiity making pain unnecessary? Why do we die?
These questions are ultimately matters of faith. Those who speak in the name of empirical science can only pretend to answer them. And by pretending, they declare themselves to be frauds as scientists.
Who says the design -- jaw, weak back, the dangerous appendix -- isn't perfect according to the thinking of the designer?
We know, for a fact, we are going to die. We know, for a fact, that the material world is destined to devolve --I'm not even trying to be sarcastic -- into disorder. We may safely conclude that manipulation of the material world is not the point of our existence.
Is your name Hillary?????
In fact, there are a couple of other options. For instance, female evolutionists could become welfare mothers, you know, the thing about "he who dies with the most offspring wins"...
TIME CUBE .
The Earth is Not Moving!.
Earth Orbits? Moon Landings? A Fraud! .
Flat Earth Society Homepage! .
Christian Answers Network.
Creationists' Cartoons .
Institute for Creation Research.
The Current State of Creation Astronomy.
Answers In Genesis .
THE MOON: A Propaganda Hoax .
CRANK DOT NET.
Sometimes "good" meant, "its plenty good enough for now" and God left it there. Part of evolution IS true, we were supposed to grow, adapt, expand and innovate our way around the compromises in our own design... based on our choices and preferences. PERFECTION of the ICE CUBE is pretty, but also pretty boring.
God forbid we be forced to endure boredom, and immortality in the icy realm of absolute perfection without opportunity for change and growth.
I'm afraid not, mlo.
A few verses later, he lets us know that our bodies will break down, will die and return to the dust from which we came. All sorts of difficulties and breakdowns. And the Bible is full of such references.
Oh, he's heard it, alright. He just doesn't accept it. He was ordained a Dominican priest in Spain in 1960. He lasted one year.
Good point. Life wasn't meant to be easy. Death, disease and even imperfections serve a purpose.
Just goes to show that scientists with PhDs are quite capable of being philosophical morons.
There are currently only 8 on the committee, plus an ex officio and a manager. The four vacancies are not explained. Cho (Lucent/Bell), Jaffe (Harvard/NAS), Neufeld (UCLA) and Lester (UCB) were all appointed by Clinton and confirmed by the Senate in late 2000. Faber, Preston, Zoback and the mysterious Patel are almost certainly Clinton picks as well, since each serves for 6 years.
I have news for you, Waco. Evolution is a religion -- born of naturalism, the false idol of secular humanism. It's catechism is that man is god, we got here by accident, we have no purpose other than survival and reproduction, and there is no moral order in the universe.
Don't count on it, LOL!
Or, put another way, it's perfect for its intended purpose.
Funny you should cite mathematicians in your example. They, above all others, have exposed the unscientific basis of macroevolution.
It's nice working with you, Brian. I point out their religion's catechesis and now you point up their dogmatics. It's all there, isn't it? Except for God.
You can be a conservative and accept the facts of evolution, you know (or maybe you don't). Hell, you can be a Christian and accept evolution. There are a number of us right here on these threads.