Category Archives: Evolution

Few Believers

     According to a survey, only 39% of Americans believe in evolution. I find that a bit surprising, given the constant onslaught both in the popular media and in school from evolutionists.

     To what do you attribute the failure of evolution theory to take root in the hearts and minds of Americans?  Is it simply a weak theory?  Or is the opposition to it just so pervasive?

Life (Maybe) Created

     Researchers in La Jolla, California have observed RNA enzymes that could replicate themselves without any additional proteins or cellular components.  Some scientists have hailed this as the creation of life in a laboratory, while others say that the molecules in the test tube are merely life-like.  The implication of the observations is that RNA eventually evolved into DNA, which then evolved into all the forms of life that exist today.

     I have a few observations:

  1. The main researcher, Tracey Lincoln, and his adviser, Gerald Joyce, both insist that although the little chemicals they played with have a few of the properties of living things, they are not fully living things.  To me there is still a huge gap from RNA enzymes displaying some interesting chemical reactions and a living, breathing, metabolizing, sensate organism.
  2. Professor Joyce is quoted as referring to “Darwinian evolution.”  I’ve seen debates in which people claim that only Creationists refer to evolution as Darwinism or describe the theory as Darwinian.
  3. What the observations do not prove is that RNA could somehow form spontaneously.  They do not prove that RNA would necessarily evolve into (or produce) DNA given enough time.  They do not explain how RNA could have replicated itself in an environment that is not set up in a laboratory.  Finally, they do not indicate where the material necessary for life would have “come from” in the first place, which is a more burning question to most people.  I would like to see them conduct the same experiments with an empty test tube and no starting enzymes.  Or maybe they coudl find some place in nature where RNA is spontaneously arising and replicating itself.
  4. The huge and obvious irony in the whole thing is this:  it took intelligent beings to fiddle with the chemicals.  They set up the perfect conditions for the reactions to occur and inserted the perfect material into that environment.  It is much more like creation than evolution.  In fact, the title of the linked article refers to the near creation of life.  Wouldn’t that support the biblical theory rather than Darwin’s?

Mickey Mouse Science

     There is an interesting article about the teaching of evolution in the New York Times.  This bit made me laugh out loud:

On the projector, Mr. Campbell placed slides of the cartoon icon: one at his skinny genesis in 1928; one from his 1940 turn as the impish Sorcerer’s Apprentice; and another of the rounded, ingratiating charmer of Mouse Club fame.

“How,” he asked his students, “has Mickey changed?”

Natives of Disney World’s home state, they waved their hands and called out answers.

“His tail gets shorter,” Bryce volunteered.

“Bigger eyes!” someone else shouted.

“He looks happier,” one girl observed. “And cuter.”

Mr. Campbell smiled. “Mickey evolved,” he said. “And Mickey gets cuter because Walt Disney makes more money that way. That is ‘selection.’ ”

     I’m probably not as smart as Mr. Campbell, the biology teacher, but I know two things:

1.  Mickey Mouse had a Creator.  He evolved because intelligent beings drew him differently.
2.  Mickey Mouse is still a mouse.  He didn’t become a mink or a beaver.

Church of England Apologizes to Darwin

     Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle!  Or nephew!  The Church of England has apologized to Charles Darwin for its earlier rejection of his work on the evolution of species.

     Frankly, I find the apology to be silly.  I’ve written before about posthumous apologies and how pointless they are.  Andrew Darwin, a descendant of Charles, agrees.  What good does it do to apologize to a dead man or to his descendants?  (Unless they have evolved to the point of traveling back in time to tell him!)

     If the Church of England wants to change its position on God as Creator, as taught in the Apostles Creed, then it certainly has the right to do so.  Change it, and move on.  With the rifts between traditionalists and modernists decreasaing the Church’s membership and its revenues, this smacks of a publicity stunt.

     What do you think?

Academic Freedom in Louisiana

     Do you believe in academic freedom?  I think that most of believe in it to some extent.  Students have the right to learn many different viewpoints, don’t you think?  Instructors should be allowed to expose their students to ideas that may be new to them or that may challenge some of the ones they have previously held.  Of course, there should be some limits, based on the age of the student. 

     If you do believe in academic freedom, then you must accept that it applies to all points of view.  That includes conservative as well as liberal views.  It also includes religious and non-religious views. 

     Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal believes in academic freedom.  He just signed the Louisiana Science Education Bill, which allows supplemental material to be used in science classrooms on the topics of evolution, cloning, and global warming.  The supplemental material helps students to analyze and critique various views on those issues.

     I think that kids should learn about the existence of views that are held by millions of people in America that are not politically correct.  I think that they should learn what various religions teach and what atheists and agnostics think.  They should learn mainstream scientific views and alternate scientific views.  After all, an education should not be about brainwashing them to accept only the “official view.”  We are not living in Big Brother’s world.  At least not yet.

Earthlings? Maybe Not

     If you watched the movie Expelled, you heard Richard Dawkins speculating that the very first genetic material could have come to earth from somewhere else in the cosmos.  The late Carl Sagan is thought to have originated the idea.  It solves the problem of how the very first living thing arose on earth, as the theory of evolution obviously interpolates back to an individual single-celled organism.

     Now a meteorite in Australia has been analyzed, and scientists have found traces of two organic molecules in it.  So, you and I might have evolved from material that crashed to earth from somewhere else in our universe.  Our ancestors could have been extra-terrestrials–long before they were advanced apes.

     Mind you, its a very, very long way from two organic compounds to RNA, let alone DNA. 

     And, mind you, it doesn’t solve the problem of origins.  It just pushes it farther back, but farther back doesn’t mean gone.  Assuming that all the necessary compounds for life piggybacked here from somewhere else, one still has to ask how they came to be in the first place.  At least I do.

For the Birds

     If you have read my blog for long, you know that I have very strong doubts about the theory of evolution.  In fact, I’m one of those wacko Creationists you’ve heard about.  As far as I’m concerned, the idea that apes and monkeys are my cousins just seems for the birds to me.

     Now some scientists are convinced that Tyrannosaurus Rex and other dinosaurs are more closely related to birds than they are to any modern reptiles.  Actually some scientists have thought that for a long time, because of the similarity in the skeletal structure of birds and dinosaurs.  Now a team of scientists thinks that they have found another bit of evidence to support the bird-dinosaur link.  An article at National Geographic called “T-Rex Protein ‘Confirms’ Bird-Dinosaur Link” discusses that evidence.  Notice the cute quotation marks around the word confirms?  That’s because other scientists are skeptical of the evidence, which consists of a few strands of collagen, extracted from a fossil, that are similar to some of the collagen in birds.  In other words, this new find hardly confirms anything.  Some scientists even question whether the protein strands from the fossil really came from a T. Rex.

     The whole thing is suspect in my opinion.  Evolutionists argue that similarity of physiology or anatomy or both is proof of common descent.  It’s like saying that a certain book case descended from a certain table because they are both made of oak and have flat surfaces.  The possibility that they are similar because they were designed by the same person doesn’t enter into it.  In fact, as shown in the film Expelled, any scientist who suggested that dinosaurs and birds have a similar design because they have a similar designer will be blacklisted.

Movie Review– Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

     A couple of weeks ago I posted a preview of the movie Expelled, which hit theaters a few days ago.  Now I have seen it, and it exceeded my expectations.  I would like to share some random thoughts rather than a well-structured review.

     1.  Ben Stein was very funny.  I enjoy his dry wit a lot.  He is also very smart, and he included lots of smart people in the documentary–smart people on both sides of the debate.

     2.  The metaphor of the Berlin Wall was probably a bit over the top, but it was certainly effective.  It is true that a group of anointed scientists has built a wall to keep out any scientific challenges to Darwinism.  Boiled down to its essence, the expulsion of ID proponents from science jobs is very similar to the Berlin Wall.  Both were meant to keep out unwelcome and unsettling ideas.

     3.  One of my internal reactions while I watched the film was Hey, they can’t have it both ways.  By that I mean that elite scientists are very unethical when they prevent ID proponents from getting tenure, from publishing research, and from winning grants, and then turn around and say that ID theory is invalid because none of the proponents is a recognized scientist with tenure, and that ID has no peer-reviewed, published works to cite.  They are also vey unethical when they expel one ID proponent after another and then claim that no ID proponents are getting expelled, as they did in the interviews shown in the film.

     4.  Stein very clearly and powerfully established the link between Darwinism and the Nazi eugenics program, which included the attempted extermination of the Jews as an inferior breed of humans. 

     5.  In light of Darwinism’s link to eugenics, which is then linked to euthansia and abortion, we must understand that there is a lot more at stake than the tenure of a few professors.  The soul of humanity, and our future, are very much at stake.  

     6.  The funniest moment for me was when Richard Dawkins posited the hypothesis that the very first self-replicating molecule on earth might have been engineered by highly intelligent creatures from somewhere else in the universe.  A lady in the audience called out, “Where did they come from?”   I thought to myself that he will regret those remarks for the rest of his life. 

     7.  People think that they have given a final death blow to the film’s credibility by saying that it is propaganda.  Yes, it’s propaganda.  So what?  It’s no more and no less propaganda than Fahrenheit 9/11 or than An Inconvenient Truth.  What matters is not whether the film is propaganda but whether or not its assertions are true.  Unless someone convinces me otherwise, I beleive that most of them are.

Movie Preview: Expelled

     Who qualifies as a legitimate scientist?  Who gets to decide what scientifc theories are adopted?  How much dissent from the majority opinion should be allowed in the field of science?  These questions and others need answers in our day.  Whether one is talking about global warming, vaccination fears, or evolution, it is important to establish what science is and who gets to speak for it.

     An upcoming documentary will explore the expulsion of Intelligent Design theorists from universities.  It is called Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed and is hosted by the funny and intelligent Ben Stein.   It apparently touches on the broader topics of academic freedom, closed-mindedness, and the role of Darwinian theory in the anti-Semitism of the Nazis.

     I can’t wait to see it.  It’s about time that this topic is discussed in such a potentially powerful way. 

Official Expelled Website

Internet Movie Database Entry

Wikipedia Article

World Magazine Review

Discussion at World Mag Blog

Trailer:

No Soup for You!

     Seinfeld fans will understand the title of this post.  For others, just refer to it as “Soup’s NOT On.”    

     When I was a kid “the experts” assured us that life began in a primordial slime pool, a “soup” of chemicals, that was struck by lightning in order to produce the first strands of DNA and the first living creatures.  Who are “the experts,” anyway, and why can’t they make up their minds?

     Now “an expert” tells us that the first organic material formed between sheets of mica.  Mica, for those of you who are not into geology the way I am, is that flaky mineral composed of transparent and streaked layers.  Apparently it was between these layers that the first compounds needed to “create” living things were blended together.

     Read more about it in a National Geographic article called “Life Began Between the Sheets.”

     I know, I know.  This doesn’t mean that we should doubt the theory of evolution.  However, I wonder how long it will be until the next “expert” tells us a new story.  I’ll hold my breath while I wait; I don’t think it will be long.