Are you a creationist? Do you think you have the definitive proof that evolutionary theory is wrong and your brand of creationism is right? Well, I’d love to hear from you. Post a comment to this page, or send an email to homologouslegs (at) gmail (dot) com with your claim/evidence/argument. I’ll try and answer any responses I (arbitrarily) find to be memorable/thought-provoking with a special post on the blog. Feel free to point out anything you think I got wrong in the response in the comments of that post.

109 thoughts on “Callout to Creationists

  1. Forgive me if you’ve had this point already discussed but it seems from your laissez-faire arrogance in your intellectual superiority that you haven’t.

    It is my belief that creationism can coexist perfectly well evolution, I don’t see why you have to have one or the other. To me and any other true believer, God can perform the impossible. I believe that God created the world as it is in 6 days, (God days of course but their time frame is irrelevant). I don’t see why this conflicts with evolution. God created fossils, he created everything to appear as if it had evolved so it’s only natural you would reach that conclusion. He devised mutations, micro and macro evolution just because he wanted to. I don’t see how a belief in evolution denies the existence of God or the other way around.

    tl;dr Creationism and evolution are not mutually exclusive.

    • Well Peter you seem to have some common sense. I don't understand why virtually all other creationists insist that creationism is perfect, true, and absolute, and that evolution can't possibly have occurred under God's supervision. Facts are facts, fossils are fossils, and you cannot deny the existence of evolution via the structure of natural selection. Of course it's still called the "Theory of Evolution" because it is a theory. The religious folk love to capitalize on that, mostly because they do not know what a "theory" actually is in the context of the scientific and experimental process. Evolution is a theory in the same way Pythagorean's theorem is a theorem. The paradigm holds true in virtually every case, it just has yet to be locked into Fact, the only true absolute in science.

      Being a Christian and believing in God requires a leap of faith; if you require visible proof or insist upon misusing and bastardizing science to force your spirituality on others (big annoying problem where I'm from) than you shouldn't bother being a Christian at all. My credentials? Well I don't possess a theology degree, but I have had thirteen years of intense Catholic education (from primary to all-male resident high school, or "boarding college" as I believe you fine folks call it down in Australia) and have withstood ignorance and suffered punishment (sometimes corporal) for merely attempting to critically examine the institution of Christianity and existence of God.

      To wrap up my point, keep theology and science lectures in separate halls.


      Ryan, an atheist and a scientist

  2. @ Peter:

    Why would a deity plant fossils in rocks that he made to appear old? Why do that? I’d like to see evidence for such a claim, but even without, I’d have to question the motives of your deity.

    Just to make sure, you are completely serious about this, right? If you are, no offense, but some people just like applying Poe’s Law.

  3. I’m not the one to be applying reason to God’s motives. Why would he create humans who would question his existence? Why would he let the Devil continue to exist? Why create the universe at all? In regards to fossils, perhaps he was practising on the rock organisms before moving onto the harder and more complex living ones. Like a preliminary sketch. Anyway, the point is, God works in mysterious ways beyond the comprehension of us mere mortals.

    Poe’s Law?

    • Without wanting to sound rude, your God is supposed to be omnipotent, so why would he need to 'practice' making 'rock organisms' (whatever they are supposed to be) before making living ones?

      It is answers like this which continue to reassure me that I am right to place my faith in nature and evolution as opposed to a sacred and magical being.

      The 'God works in mysterious ways' is a much overused 'get out of jail free' card. It may have worked on 17th century peasants, but I'm afraid I'll need something a little more substantial.

      • If you want more substantial talk, read page 2 dialogue between Willburg and forloveofscience. Definitely got me thinking my evolution may be more of a "magical being" than an intellectual theory with overwhelming evidence. Still have to ponder the likelihood of either.

  4. Okay, so you define the Creator of the Universe as a being that works in ways that make it seem like He doesn’t exist? I’m sorry, but unless you evidence for that, you can’t support a conclusion that produces supernatural existence from evidence that is completely consistent with a scientific theory that needs no other additions to it outside of itself.

    For example, it’s not logical for me to conclude: “Space aliens built my house. However, if you look for evidence that they didn’t, you’ll only find things that make it seem like they weren’t involved. But they really were, and changed the evidence to throw you off.” That’s basically what you’re saying.

    Please provide some evidence that you think supports creationism, and only creationism, without some sort of prior belief in creationism necessary for it work.

    Oh, and this is what Poe’s Law is:

    • Naontiotami,

      I would like to challenge your statement that the Theory of Evolution needs no other additions to itself outside of itself. Evolutionists openly acknowledge that the two biggest problems facing the theory is the origin of the universe and the origin of life. Neither problem is adequately explained by natural processes.

      • Hi Jacen,

        I don't mean to be rude, so don't take this the wrong way, but when you challenge someone about a statement they made, usually it's best to back up any claims with evidence. For example, "Evolutionists openly acknowledge that the two biggest problems facing the theory is the origin of the universe and the origin of life." – I'd like to see examples of quotes from "evolutionists".

        However, even without quotes, your argument is highly flawed. Evolutionary theory *is* self-contained – it is only intelligent design proponents and creationists who would like to think that it requires explanations about the origin of the Universe and the origin of life in order to have any explanatory power: this is because they, including yourself I assume, have an alternative explanation to evolutionary theory that encompasses these two other fields as well. You evolution as a rival to your entire "worldview", and the fact that it doesn't address these other areas that you have an opinion about is somehow evidence against it.

        Not so.

        You could accept evolutionary theory for the development of life on Earth and still believe that the origin of life and the origin of the Universe were both supernatural events – they are not connected in any way that makes such a believe combination impossible by itself.

        Of course, I would have serious problems with those two supernatural claims, but that's beside the point of the argument – even if there were no evidence for the natural origins of life on Earth and the Universe, evolutionary theory would still be 100% as supported by data as it currently is. There is no overlap.

        If you would like to contest this claim, perhaps you should structure an argument.

        • Hi Jack,

          I do believe that atheistic evolutionists have the most difficult time out of anything else explaining the origin of the universe and the origin of life by natural processes. It’s not some hidden secret that they are having problems trying to completely and logically explain how things came to be.

          “An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.” – Francis Crick, Life Itself: It’s Origin and Nature

          “…astronomers have not the slightest evidence for the supposed quantum production of the universe out of a primordial nothingness.” – Sten Odenwald, The Astronomy Café

          “It is only fair to say that we still have a theory without a beginning.” – Joseph Silk, The Big Bang

        • "It became an accepted doctrine that life never arises except from life. So far as actual evidence goes this is still the only possible conclusion. But since it is a conclusion that seems to lead back to some supernatural creative act, it is a conclusion that scientific men find very difficult of acceptance. It introduces an unaccountable break in the chain of causation, and therefore cannot be admitted as part of science unless it is quite impossible to reject it. For that reason most scientific men prefer to believe that life arose, in some way not yet understood, from inorganic matter in accordance with the laws of physics and chemistry." – John Sullivan, Limitations of Science

          "If I were a creationist, I would cease attacking the theory of evolution-which is so well supported by the fossil record-and focus instead on the origin of life. This is by far the weakest strut of the chassis of modern biology. The origin of life is a science writer's dream. It abounds with exotic scientists and exotic theories, which are never entirely abandoned or accepted, but merely go in and out of fashion." – John Horgan, "The End of Science: Facing the Limits of Knowledge in the Twilight of the Scientific Age"

        • “Personally, I consider fundamentalist creationism to be a far sillier idea than the craziest of all the crazy notions which scientists have ever proposed; but as scientists gloat over the deficiencies of non-scientific accounts of our origin and evolution, they should not ignore the considerable deficiencies in their own account. At the moment scientists certainly do not know how, of even if, life originated on earth from lifeless atoms. They do have a few plausible ideas on the subject, but many more rather implausible ones.” – Andrew Scott, "The Creation of Life: Past, Future, Alien"

          I think I understand what you are saying and I agree with you on some things. I agree that the belief in evolution is self-contained in that people can believe its history and also stick with their religious beliefs about the supernatural. Depending on their religion, however, they may be accepting contradictions.

        • I am a Christian who believes in the God of the Bible. The Bible does not teach that one “kind” of organism changed into another “kind” (ex. fish changing into reptiles). Rather, it says that every organism reproduces after its own kind. If a Christian believes Darwin, then they believe in millions of years of death because death is a part of natural selection. The Bible clearly states “in six days the Lord made the heavens and earth, the sea, and all that is in them” (Exodus 20:22). How can a Christian logically accept six days and millions of years? How can a Christian accept all these deaths before the sin of Adam? What causes death then? Certainly not sin, though that is what the Bible teaches (“Sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin” Romans 5:12)

        • This is why many Christians get upset every time the belief in evolution is pushed in their faces and shoved down their throats through the public school system and other media outlets. When they hear “millions of years, evolution is fact, apes are our closest relative, etc.,” that is translated to “the Bible’s not true, God isn’t real, the Bible’s not true, it’s just a made up fairy tale.” The belief in evolution undermines our entire “worldview” (as you say it) because our worldview is (or should be) completely based upon the starting point of the Bible.

        • Hence, for Christians, origins are not independent of the rest of history. We cannot logically accept evolutionary “theory” (as you say it) for the development of life on Earth and still believe that the origin of life and the origin of the Universe were both supernatural events without also accepting contradictions in our beliefs.

          I would like to contest the last claim you made in your post. You say that evolutionary “theory” (as you say it) is 100% supported by data as it currently is. Actually, the Bible and what it says is 100% supported by data as it currently is. Why do you believe in evolution?

  5. Hey Peter!
    I think your ideas are totally brilliant! How can anyone EVER prove you wrong? It’s just God’s will to leave us confused and doubtful to his existence. The way I see it, is God’s a smart guy toying with our lives, creating puzzling contradictions, getting a holy man to write the bible full of riddles that nobody can fully solve, and so never be able to disprove (it MIGHT mean something else!) them, and throwing little teasing bits of evidence that COULD lead people to conclude his nonexistence, so only the super smart ones realise he exists. Or maybe…God’s going to send all people who continue to believe in him to hell and take all the smarties up to heaven to live with him and laugh at all the silly ones. Or maybe…he’s not real and we have to accept that we’re mortal and shit happens, sometimes for no reason.

  6. @Peter,

    Ok, so you are accusing Naontiotami of arrogance? Isn’t it more arrogant to say that your god made the universe in 6 days and you believe it? You literally think it is literally 6 days….literally? That is a hellllll (word used intentionally) of a lot more arrogant than anything built on ACTUAL research and intellectual analysis.

    I was going to say something else about your intellectual superiority comment, but there is no point because Jack is intellectually superior to you!


  7. “Okay, so you define the Creator of the Universe as a being that works in ways that make it seem like He doesn’t exist?” – Jack, evidence for evolution does not in any way dismiss the existence of God, I hoped that even you would be mature enough to accept that.

    My evidence for creationism is the universe. Not just the presence of mass and energy themselves but the fundamental laws of physics which govern our existence. The fact that some thing so complex as the universe exists and is able to support life is something I find hard to believe occured from random chance. It is my belief that there is a Divine being who decided that life should be able to exist and thus made the universe the way it is. If the laws of physics were even slightly different all life and existance as we know it would not be possible. For instance if gravity worked differently and all matter was repelled from each other then obviously things would have turned out a little differently and we wouldn’t be here talking about it.

    Back to the main point, maybe he didn’t plant fossils and maybe he did. That seems entirely irrelevant to our conversation that God and evolution can co-exist quite peacefully.

    Skelliot – I’m not even going to reply to you. Unless your post is a joke. In which case we can share a beer together someday.

    Marble – That God would be a bastard. If he was really that sadistic the world would be a (slightly) different place. If that were the case I’d join arms with you in tearing down his temples and slaying his worshippers.

  8. Skelliot, you are using personal and unjustified attacks. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as atheist as the next guy, but you’re sounding just like a crazy religious fanatic. Make sure you actually adress the points raised in a logical and reasonable manner and try not to make it personal.

    We’re a shunned community for the most part and need to keep up our reputation for tolerance, intellect and understanding.


  9. @ Peter:

    “Jack, evidence for evolution does not in any way dismiss the existence of God, I hoped that even you would be mature enough to accept that.”

    I think I’m plenty mature, thank you.

    It depends. Evolutionary theory in its current form contradicts many young-earth creationist interpretations of the Bible: their assertions are simply not compatible with the science. However, evolution could be compatible with many claims about God, ie. theistic evolution. By saying that “God and evolution can co-exist quite peacefully”, I take that as you meaning that you are a theistic evolutionist (God guided evolutionary processes) and that you think evolution did occur.

    However, this comment seems to go against that: “Back to the main point, maybe he didn’t plant fossils and maybe he did.” Don’t you realise that if the fossil record was not produced over millions of years, preserving organisms throughout the age, then evolution could not be true? If the fossil record was not laid down in a geological timeframe, then the earth would not be billions of years old and evolution would not have happened. You see, if God planted the fossils, evolution didn’t happen. It’s as simple as that.

    “My evidence for creationism is the universe. Not just the presence of mass and energy themselves but the fundamental laws of physics which govern our existence. The fact that some thing so complex as the universe exists and is able to support life is something I find hard to believe occured from random chance. It is my belief that there is a Divine being who decided that life should be able to exist and thus made the universe the way it is.”

    Here I’d like to ask this question. Would we find ourselves existing in a universe that is not friendly to life? It’s not by chance that the universe we are in just HAPPENS to allow us to exist: we would not be here thinking about it if it wasn’t. Therefore, the argument from cosmological design breaks down. The universe must exist the way it is because we are in it, not because some deity wanted it to be a nice place for us to live.

    “If the laws of physics were even slightly different all life and existence as we know it would not be possible. For instance if gravity worked differently and all matter was repelled from each other then obviously things would have turned out a little differently and we wouldn’t be here talking about it.”

    Of course, if gravity was a repulsive force then life would not be possible. But how do you know that changing any universal constant in any way would result in a life-free universe? You don’t. Plus, it goes back to the previous comment: we can only observe ourselves existing in a universe that allows us to exist. You do not know the probability of a universe existing with our universe’s traits, so an argument based upon the unlikelihood of our universe existing is therefore invalid.

    “Mable – That God would be a bastard. If he was really that sadistic the world would be a (slightly) different place. If that were the case I’d join arms with you in tearing down his temples and slaying his worshippers.”

    It’d like to hear how your God is any different, Peter. Though I would never go around killing people who believed in a deity like that, and I’m sure Mable wouldn’t either. Ever heard of free speech?

    @ Skelliot:

    I’m not sure he was accusing me of arrogance. He was simply carrying on with his argument and clarifying something (not that it made it any clearer, mind). I’m sorry to say this, but perhaps you could take Tim’s advice and hang back on the harsh comments, eh? I know you’re trying to help, but in some cases it doesn’t, especially in cases where we’re trying to tread on fragile ground concerning logical fallacies. Most creationist, after reading your comment, would then proclaim victory due to us having to resort to personal attacks and scathing comments not related to the specific arguments.

  10. Yes, maybe I did come on a bit strong. It just boils my blood that people who search for actual evidence get called arrogant and “intellectually superior” (in a derogatory way) by people who believe something without any evidence or research what so ever. However, I do not see how my comment was ad hominem, apart from the obvious one at the end of the comment. I think the rest of my comment is relevant, if not a bit scathing haha.


  11. @Peter:
    “My evidence for creationism is the universe. Not just the presence of mass and energy themselves but the fundamental laws of physics which govern our existence.”

    I fail to see how this is evidence for a creator. I am sure that any scientist or philosopher could come up with equally plausible or implausible explanations. Whatever the case, it is not evidence that a divine being had anything to do with it.

  12. Poor Peter,
    I have to admit you presented your creationist argument in a poor manner. Biblically speaking, the theory of evolution does not mix with the Bible. Genesis is quite clear; don’t water it down with “God’s days”, etc. I would tell you specifically but that’s another conversation.
    Naontiotami explains it correctly regarding the young creationist’s views. I hung my head when the notion was brought up about God planting fossils. No No No. Fossils are from dead things. The difference between young earth creationists and evolutionists in regards to how the fossils got there is really the timing. Evolutionists believe (in general) that over millions of years, animals died and their bones remain in rock form. Young earth creationists believe the massive amount of fossils are buried the way they are and fossilized when the earth was covered with water during the whole Noah’s ark event. (in a nutshell)

  13. I’ll come back later for that. Since you’ve visited AiG, see what they say about the flood and fossils. The website may or may not be that extensive but the New Answers book is very detailed about it.

  14. How could new traits (added complexity) develop in a species (according to the Theory of Evolution)?

    Evolutionists say “new traits are possible through vestigial organs”, but vestigial organs aren’t the keys to the development of new traits. In fact, they go against Evolution itself. Vestigial organs do not serve a function and would not help the species survive. Therefore, vestigial organs should appear only when a species loses a physical feature or ability and should eventually disappear from the species.

    Answer this: How could the Human Eye have developed? (I surely hope you do not say ‘by chance’, for that would be an absurd notion)

  15. Fantastic answer Jack, I am proud to say I know you!

  16. [Here I’d like to ask this question. Would we find ourselves existing in a universe that is not friendly to life? It’s not by chance that the universe we are in just HAPPENS to allow us to exist: we would not be here thinking about it if it wasn’t. Therefore, the argument from cosmological design breaks down. The universe must exist the way it is because we are in it, not because some deity wanted it to be a nice place for us to live.]

    this is a rather foolish objection. that's tantamount to saying " If you're right then you're right".

    Imagine you being taken out to be executed by firing squad with your buddy.You close your eyes. The firing squad lines up. Each aims at you two and all fire. You open your eyes and are surprised to find despite the fact that it was highly improbable, somehow you were still alive and no bullets hit you. you search for an explaination. Perhaps they were firing blanks, is it some kind of mock execution? Your friend however decides to be a skeptic and say. 'If the bullets had hit us we wouldn't be alive to make this observation. No explaination for this improbable event is needed'.That's what your answer is tantamount to Jack.

    • You seem to have mistaken what I was saying as explanation for the Universe's existence, when what I was really addressing was the fact that the Universe can support life.

      I completely agree that what I said is not an explanation for the Universe's existence, but it is an explanation for why we can exist in it. Sorry you got confused.

      • @Jack Scanlan your postulation is what I have been looking for!!! I couldn't put that thought into words as well as you have. I kept telling people "Our existence only proves that we exist, not that there was some grand design in it. If we didn't exist we wouldn't be here asking why we existed." But that doesn't make any sense!!! Your words, on the other hand, are extremely clear and well put.


  17. Lightforce, nice try, but I find it odd that you claim that evolutionists say that new traits are possible through vestigial organs. I have no clue as to what you mean by that. Vestigial organs are organs that had a function in a common ancestor, but have no function in the descendant in questions.

    Natural selection will lead to the eventual disappearance of vestigial organs, over a long period of time. Organisms which devote less energy to "feeding" vestigial organs will have energy for other purposes and thereby enhance their own survival.. It is through examining the physiology of our close phylogenetic "relatives" that we are able to see the function of vestigial organism. In summary, vestigial organisms served a function, but serve it no longer. Natural selection eventually leads to the disappearance of the organ, but not in a single generation.

    Secondly, you are quite right that the evolution of the human eye is absurd if only chance were involved in evolution. Darwin treats this question quite extensively. The human eye has many defects which leave it far short of perfection, and far short of the eye that has evolved for raptors. There are examples in nature of eyes that are superior to our own because the eye has developed well enough to be "suitable" for our needs. An eagle with similar limitations would starve, unable to see the mouse from high altitude.

    We can study all phases of the development of the eye in other species, from light sensitive organelles containing no more sophisticated mechanisms than the presence of rhodopsin proteins, and yet they provide enough of an advantage to their organism to further its survival.

    I would venture to say that if you invested time in the study of evolution, you would find it fascinating and not the fantasy you propose.

  18. The way I see things is that the definition of "space" can be like the definition of cold as the absence of heat, or to say space is the absence of matter, the basic teaching of science is that some form of matter combined to start the whole process that led to the creation of the universe and on to evolution. There is not even a comical, let alone a plausible theory of where or how this "mysterious" matter came into being. So until this simple question can be answered by science every concept of evolution will remain THEORY! Just as we know how to manipulate magnetism into electricity and all the marvels of science it produced, we still can not explain precisely how it works. Any Christian will tell you faith is a requirement, God designed things for this reason, to believe that something was created from nothing requires a leap of faith, and that this concept will still be true until the end of time,I therefore, choose GOD. I will continue to pray for you and should you decide to change your mind checkout In Christian love, James..

  19. The way I see things is that the definition of "space" can be like the definition of cold as the absence of heat, or to say space is the absence of matter, the basic teaching of science is that some form of matter combined to start the whole process that led to the creation of the universe and on to evolution. There is not even a comical, let alone a plausible theory of where or how this "mysterious" matter came into being. So until this simple question can be answered by science every concept of evolution will remain THEORY! Just as we know how to manipulate magnetism into electricity and all the marvels of science it produced, we still can not explain precisely how it works. Any Christian will tell you faith is a requirement, God designed things for this reason, to believe that something was created from nothing requires a leap of faith, and that this concept will still be true until the end of time,I therefore, choose GOD. I will continue to pray for you and should you decide to change your mind checkout In Christian love, James..

    • Hey James.

      It appears that you have trouble accepting the scientific explanation for the origin of the Universe. Of course, you are entitled to not being convinced by the evidence, but it is irrational to go from your position of not believing the scientific consensus to a positive belief in something with no evidence, as this is a classic logical fallacy: the false dichotomy/argument from ignorance.

      I know religion is highly personal for most people, but I fail to see how you, who I'm presuming is an evangelical Christian, could ever hope to win converts by foisting your own lack of understanding onto other people. The fact that science, in your mind, cannot explain the origin of the Universe, does not make your belief in the literal word of God any more justified, and it doesn't make me want to believe you in the slightest. I'll be happy to consider evidence that you have, but if all you're going to do is present logical fallacies, it's rather pointless is trying to convert me.


      • Dear Naon, my intention, by far is not, to force my belief on anyone. You are obviously very intelligent with a passion for science, I share this passion as well, It is an astoundingly useful tool. Science tells us matter can not be created or destroyed, merely converted from one form to another, and I believe this as fact. I assume you do as well. It is my belief that to assume cosmic matter just appeared from nothing is scientifically impossible. So a leap of faith is required to believe that it did. Therefore our very existence "is" positive evidence of the existence of God the Creator. I simply choose this leap of faith over the one that allows me to believe something was created from nothing much less, that chance brought everything together to create life as we know it. I do not know if you purposely omitted any comment of my reference to the fact that we have no explanation for magnetism, but imagine the consequences if we remove the existence of just this "one" phenomenon, I certainly would not be able to communicate with you about God, and his love for you, even if you do not believe in him. By the way, have you tried reading the bible? continuing to pray… James

        • First, Big Bang Theory does not say that something came from nothing. Scientists still say they don't know what occurred in the nanoseconds after, nor what happened/existed before. If you think otherwise, then you've been mislead. It's possible that the sources of your knowledge have intentionally misrepresented BBT, and other scientific theories, to support their own arguments which just happen to coincide with their religious and political goals. What do you think the probability is of that? You think that some people are willing to lie for their God? I do.

          The answer of theists is "Well, God did it" which isn't an answer, either. In any case, we may well never figure it out, but that does not mean that by default a divine creator did it.

          Second, about magnetism: just because we do not yet have the answer does not mean that we never will. Again, saying "God did it" just because *you* don't have the answer does not mean your answer is better than any other. You're trying to use the cosmological argument here, and maybe you should learn about the various arguments and why skeptics and non-believers call people out when they are used. There is a reason.

          If you truly want to be honest about it, don't just listen to the arguments given to you by preachers, church colleagues, biased journalists, and religious scientists who feel they have to deny the evidence before their eyes or else they feel like they've failed their faith. Understand the arguments from both sides and make your own conclusions.

          Tell me, one of the ten commandments is "Thou shall not lie," right? Do you feel that it is ok (not just ok, but acceptable, maybe mandatory) for a Christian to intentionally mislead others about facts if they feel it "defends the faith?" Well, in my opinion, and in the opinion of many others, this is exactly what creationists, specifically Intelligent Design proponents and YEC groups are doing. They feel justified in changing and misrepresenting fact if it means defending Jesus and the Bible.

          A lie is a lie, even if it is spoken in defense of something you feel is inerrant.

          As a guest but soon to not be,

  20. LOL…you guys crack me up. while your busy having this meaningless debate, the Adepts of the ANCIENT mystery schools of PAGANISM have infected every part of our society and EVERY sect of religion. They dominated until the birth of Christ and now are despotically seeking their throne once again.
    Research the Vatican Council of World Churches and the Council of Ecumenical Affairs. The Vatican and its Jesuit army(please look them up…they were probably exiled from your country at one time too) are uniting ALL the churches under the two arms of Vatican power.The Black Pope…and the more publically known White Pope

    Wake the F up!

    • "3. Not enough mud on the sea floor" – I think your friends missed the class on plate tectonics.

      Most of these arguments can be refuted with simple searches or by taking an actual class related to that field. I, like Jack, am looking for a rational argument that is supported by evidence.

      • Look at the quotes on fossils at

        If we accept the facts given by fossil evidence, living creatures appeared on the Earth suddenly. What explanation accounts for that?

        "To the question why we do not find rich fossiliferous deposits belonging to these assumed earliest periods prior to the Cambrian system, I can give no satisfactory answer.." Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, Part Two, p. 90. Watch this video to learn more

        To say that the universe supports life because we are living proof of it does not address the problem of how simple or complex life appears to have suddenly popped up out of a non-living universe to begin with. Evolution seems to only give us assurances if you believe it, but no real answers to those looking for evidence-based replies to these questions.

  21. Information—the real problem with evolution
    The main scientific objection to the GTE is not that changes occur through time, and neither is it about the size of the change (so I would discourage use of the terms micro- and macro-evolution—see the appendix to this book). The key issue is the type of change required—to change microbes into men requires changes that increase the genetic information content. The three billion DNA ‘letters’ stored in each human cell nucleus convey a great deal more information (known as ‘specified complexity’) than the over half a million DNA ‘letters’ of the ‘simplest’ self-reproducing organism. The DNA sequences in a ‘higher’ organism, such as a human being or a horse, for instance, code for structures and functions unknown in the sort of ‘primitive first cell’ from which all other organisms are said to have evolved.

    None of the alleged proofs of ‘evolution in action’ provide a single example of functional new information being added to genes. Rather, they all involve sorting and loss of information. To claim that mere change proves that information-increasing change can occur is like saying that because a merchant can sell goods, he can sell them for a profit. The origin of information is a major problem for the GTE.7 ‘Information theory,’ as it is called, is a whole new branch of science that has effectively destroyed the last underpinnings of evolution—explained fully in the monumental work In the Beginning Was Information by Dr Werner Gitt, professor and head of the Department of Information Technology at the German Federal Institute of Physics and Technology.

    The second episode of the PBS Evolution series, titled ‘Great Transformations,’ faced this problem when it tried to prove the ‘big picture’ of evolution, i.e., the ‘general theory of evolution.’ Of course, it could offer no experimental evidence, only inference. Its only experimental ‘evidence’ for ‘evolution’ was a bunch of examples of biological change that don’t increase information content, and so actually these examples have nothing to do with the ‘big picture.’

    The PBS program did make a revealing comment about the real nature of the ‘evidence’ for evolution: ‘The evidence for evolution is all around us, if we choose to look for it.’ The comment is revealing, not because the evidence really supports evolution, but because the narrator inadvertently makes an important point. That is, creationists and evolutionists have the same evidence (facts), but we interpret it differently because of our different axioms (starting assumptions). In reality, evolutionists have a materialistic bias, which rejects a common Designer a priori (see Lewontin’s admission earlier in this chapter), and this applies even to evolutionists who believe in ‘God.’ Because of their bias, evolutionists interpret any facts as evidence for evolution. This would probably explain why a lot of the science in the PBS series was not even directly stated as evidence for evolution, but is shown as if it is. It also explains why fragmentary remains are interpreted as important ‘transitional forms.’ Conversely, creationists do not dispute the facts, since we have the same facts, although we frequently dispute assertions claimed to be facts when they are certainly not!

    The PBS narrator blindly asserts that all living organisms come from a single source and that we can now trace branches and roots. Yet the series utterly fails to explain one of the most vexing problems with evolution: how non-living chemicals could form a living cell by time and chance, despite the insuperable chemical hurdles.8 Interestingly, the PBS producer Richard Hutton never acknowledged this problem in the series, but he did on a Washington Post online forum, when he answered the question ‘What are some of the larger questions which are still unanswered by evolutionary theory?’

    There are open questions and controversies, and the fights can be fierce. Just a few of them: The origin of life. There is no consensus at all here—lots of theories, little science. That’s one of the reasons we didn’t cover it in the series. The evidence wasn’t very good.9

    No, the evidence for the first living organism certainly isn’t ‘very good’ (see chapter 9), but of course the producer wouldn’t want his viewers to know that! In other words, the very roots of the alleged evolutionary tree are in very bad shape. So they gloss over the problems, assert that there really is a well-documented tree, and then move on to find similarities between organisms and claim that this proves a common ancestor.

    • Thank you, Theo, for your lengthy comment. I think this deserves its own post in response – you've said so much stuff that using the comments section of this page would be unworkable and clumsy. Expect a response to this very soon.


    • sez theo: "The key issue is the type of change required—to change microbes into men requires changes that increase the genetic information content."
      Okay, this is the hoary old mutations-can't-create-information argument. This argument is bogus because the Creationists who use it, uniformly fail to provide a good, solid definition of this 'genetic information' thingie which would allow anyone to, like, *measure* the stuff. And if you're going to frame an argument about which processes can or cannot increase 'genetic information', well, you'd damn well *better* be able to measure it. Because if you 'can't* measure 'genetic information', HOW THE HELL DO YOU *KNOW* WHETHER OR NOT MUTATIONS CAN OR CAN'T CREATE THE STUFF?
      So: You want to argue that mutations are incapable of creating 'genetic information'? No problem! You'll find two distinct nucleotide sequences at the end of this post. Using whatever definition of 'genetic informatioin' you like, please explain which of that pair of sequences contains more 'genetic information' — and please be sure to show your work, i.e. explain *how8 you arrived at whatever your answer happens to be.

      Nucleotide sequence A: gta tgc gtt ccg tac aat tcg ttc gcg gcc ctc ttg cga ctt cat att agg gcg gga aat aac ata ccg ccg atg gtt gtg aca tgg gaa

      Nucleotide sequence B: cga gct ctt agc acg gtg act ctc ctg cgc cat tac cga acg tcg tac ccg tgt aag tgc ccg ggg tca aat agg agg ctt gta tgt ccg

      • fortheloveofscience

        Sorry cubist, but the burden of proof is on evolution…especially when the scientific talking heads jam it down everybody's throat that this theory has no holes and no contradictory evidence. Try reading Meyer or the likes to get an understanding of this foundational problem to the beloved theory. It is very unwise to argue your point ASKING for more detail to be provided in theo's argument when evolution is the epitome of LOOSE definitions, flip-floppy arguments, and LACK OF RIGOR that most other scientistific fields so easily display and work by.

        • I repeat, fortheloveofcreationism: If you can’t measure “genetic information”, how can you *tell* whether or not a mutation has created the stuff? Answer: You can’t. So when a Creationist makes noise about “mutations can’t crerate information”, I want to know if they can measure the stuff — because if they *can’t* measure the stuff, THEY DON”T KNOW whether or not mutations can create information. And if they don’t know that, their mutations-can’t-create-information argument is NOT a valid criticism of evolution, but, rather, a sequence of sciencey-sounding noises. Would you care to explain which of those two nucleotide sequences has more information, and show us all how you arrived at your answer?
          As for “try reading Meyer”, I’d think that someone who complains about the putative “loose definitions” in evolution might be well-advised to be very precise indeed when making recommendations for someone else’s reading list, as opposed to doing what you just did, namely, tossing out a single arbitrary name unaccompanied by any indication of who that person is or which of their books you’re recommending. As well, it’s amusing that a Creationist who complains about the alleged “lack of rigor” in evolution does not jump at the chance to *demonstrate* the superiority of Creationism by *demonstrating* that a Creationist argument (the mutations-can’t-create-information argument, in this case) is based on real evidence, as opposed to being nothing but a sequence of sciencey-sounding noises. Of course, if you’d rather demonstrate yourself to be a flaming hypocrite, that’s your own affair…

    • Not to complain, but I do tend to like people to give cogent arguments rather than just links to websites when I ask them for… arguments. If you want to rephrase any of the things you've linked to here in your own words, that'd be great.

  22. i believe in evolution. i believe in a creator. i believe his intelligent design WAS evolution. i believe what science has shown us, not what some goat farmers living in tents 3000 years ago wrote on scrolls. i believe in a creator out of logical necessity, not religious conviction. the universe could not have created itself. and if u say, well what if its been here eternally? then i remind u that time is part of creation and the creator is outside of creation, so he does not suffer from time. something had to decide that existence be.
    nonetheless, christianity is a barbaric creed that ignores the achievements of civilization. it is a dangerous and ignorant cult and creationism is a perfect illustration of this.

  23. "christianity is a barbaric creed that ignores the achievements of civilization. it is a dangerous and ignorant cult and creationism is a perfect illustration of this." (ezfreemann)

    Couldn't agree more. People who claim to know the Bible misuse it all the time, and it leads to some pretty self-destructive anti-social behavior. I believe if Christ were to come back and see what most Christians are doing, he would have a pretty light load to lug up to heaven.

  24. fortheloveofscience

    the craziest aspect of this fun debate, although entirely predictable, is the assertion that evolution is "scientific" and any design-based belief system is "pseudoscience." fact is there are many unanswered questions regarding both sides in regards to true empirical science, the only difference being design theorists generally accept the faith-based assumption of design while the darwinists ignorantly reject that their science is ultimately faith-based as well. One can trace events back to a point to the creation of the universe where either everything created itself or someone/something created it…there is no third option. Jumping forward form that point to the beginning of life… Abiogenesis leading to the first life has zero empirical support. Now the typical darwinistic response is that evolution says nothing about how life started, but only how it has changed over time. I once was a darwinist, so I know the deflection game all too well. Life has undeniably proven to be anything but simplistic and most certainly not reducible to chemistry (ask any origin -of-life- lab biologist:) Living creatures having the fingerprint of design characteristics plastered all over them, from organ/tissue assembly and interaction on a large scale to the amazing nano-machines on the molecular scale. To that fact there is no debate…the only debate comes into explaining how "everything in biology has the appearance of design"…due to 1.) apparent design, but ultimately random mutation providing raw material for natural selection or 2.) actual design due to a designer. To address point 1… natural selection (most often misunderstood) has zero creative power…it certainly happens but it is more of an outcome than an action and can only act upon/choose what is already present. Random mutation, in neo-darwinistic view, must be the sole provider for natural selection…and we all know (except maybe rich dawkins) the unlikely ability for that to be true based on observable empirical records…we cannot even purposefully generate increased functional complexity in organisms as simple as drosophila after years and years (even using intelligence:). But here comes the hero of the plot….the "God" for the evolutionist….Time. Time answers away all questions for this theory. Time answers away all of the problems… fossil record, the mathematical formation improbabilities of functional proteins, reproduction, editing machinery, and the most improbable truth of extreme information in all of life. Life is all about information…its what separates living from non-living, crystals and snowflakes from cells. The biggest stronghold of the evolutionary mindset is not the self-proclaimed overwhelming supporting evidence, but rather the deep hatred of the idea that there could be a creator. For if there is a creator (which all my science demonstrates clearly to me), then we are his creation and therefore under Him. I denied this for years, arguing the same ill-founded assertions of most evolutionists, until I realized that I had to follow the evidence where it truly led, even if it exposed my hatred for God, which was ultimately the only fact/truth that I possessed. I realized after I actually examined the evidence that I didn't have enough faith the be an evolutionist anymore…and praise be to God for that!

    • Can you explain the part of your "science" that makes God a "Him" please?

      • fortheloveofscience

        Sure….basic anatomy. Kidding aside, of course there is no "science" that indicates God is a he. My science stops at the point of pointing to a designer (and not the one of chance/selection). This post was a hasty and basic one, page 2 has more detailed thoughts in discussion with Willborg.

  25. I enjoy reading the arguments on both sides from Darwinian to creationists. I believe in evolution and a God who creates everything as apposed to an infinite universe with the possibility of creating life.

    However, there are aspects of Darwinian evolution that I find hard to accept, and judging by the evidence and debates the scientific community is also questioning the foundations of Darwinian evolution. In particular can random mutation of DNA create and account for the variations in an organism? (I'm not talking about natural selection but the process that creates variation in organisms for natural selection to work with) It looks like scientists don't yet know enough about how microbiology and DNA work to draw any convincing conclusions.

    Studies conducted by Barbara McClintock and James A. Shapiro suggest that Cells employ a built-in algorithm, which engineers re-arrangement of Mobile Genetic Elements. Genes and Chromosomes are re-arranged in a fantastically beautiful process which produces useful adaptations and new species.

    If further studies continue to highlight the cells amazing ability to genetically engineer itself surely current notions of Darwinian evolution will have to be questioned?

  26. I don't think Peter is really a creationist. I think he is a sock puppet posing as a creationist posting strawman arguments for creationism.

  27. Baffles me how people in the modern world still give any credit at all to creationism. I respect people who have faith when others start taking the bible literally….. It is too funny. I wonder how much time we wast arguing over this nonsense when we should be saving the planet. Yeah yeah I know it is god's will for us to screw Earth up….. sigh.

    • In case you hadn't guessed this is a different James to the religious guy posting above who can keep his conveyed peace. I will use this nickname if I pot from now on.

  28. @fortheloveofscience "the deep hatred of the idea that there could be a creator". It isn't a hatred and you shouldn't pretend to know the workings of the evolutionist mind, just your own. You say you have a scientific background but because you have unearthed a few hazy areas with evolutionary theory (which there are) you jump straight to the idea that there must be a god? Where does the obviously convincing weight for this argument come from? Why not aliens or beings froma far off planet? Why not something more tangiable just not in our locality?

    I never get this throwing equal weight to an alternative hypothesis regardess of it's likelyhood. To do this the hypothesis needs to be at the very least within the realms of possibility. Surely the further away from this it is the less likely it is?

    @Theo "Information Theory" is not a new branch of science. It is another poor creationist attempt to disguise creationism and to try and pretend some credibility for creation in to existence without offering a viable alternative arguments. Again a case of, "your idea is only 99% right so it bust be wrong and therefore God is true". FInd one piece of evidence to say that the law of conservation of information means biological life cannot become complex. This is an old and flawed creationist argument based around the second law of thermodynamics and and the idea that where energy is concerned states of activity become simpler (so DNA must too right because it is just like energy) <<<< sarcasm. For the sake of a long essay it will suffice here to say that this law applies only to closed systems and the biological world is far from closed. Life itself is fuelled by energy from the sun. If there were no sun the world wold die. But there is, so it doesn't and life processes take place.

    Mutation in DNA happens. This cannot be refuted and this process has been shown to produce new DNA. Sometimes godd mutations, sometimes bad. Nature selects the more suitable genes. Darwin guessed at this before genes and DNA were even known about. Sheesh if he figured it out back then……….???

    These days creationists having no decent arguments just tend to shout a lot in attempts to sound convincing so that people who either do not understand evolution or do not want to understand it just jump on the creationist bandwagon anyway. Safety in numbers right? If enough of us think something it must be true. Thank God (yes that is irony) even that trend is starting to turn.

    • fortheloveofscience

      @James…you start off with a good rebuttal- I incorrectly assumed to "know" the mind of an evolutionist…I am basing that off of my personal experience and interaction with other evolutionists and did not mean to apply that to everybody. Also, you stated a valid point about the prospect of aliens and such as a possible intelligent source…that could be a possibility.
      From that point on your argument carries less and less weight. The "alternative hypothesis" vs the "realm of possibility" comment I find easy to understand based on your uniformed comments on "creationism" from the previous post. You do not seem to hesitate to mention aliens as within the realm of possibility but infer God to not be in that realm (= impossibility)? What sound and scientific reasoning leads you to this conclusion…to even know the realm of possibility? I believe you are demonstrating a point asserted by Richard Lewontin, in which he honestly and candidly demands the start of rational thought to be grounded in materialistic logic as the a priori starting point (pre-exclusion of the divine) regardless and before evidence is examined. (an perhaps most importantly, to never even entertain the possibility of God…but anything else, aliens, etc., whatever is just fine). You see, that is how science works nowadays, and it guarantees a victory for evolution…there are no competitors based on the "rules of the game."
      I absolutely agree with you that the "further away" from rational an idea is, the less likely it would be to occur.
      So, you don't find the possibility of unintelligent forces acting on unintelligent, lifeless matter to produce extreme nano-technology, yet alone minds like yours or mine, to be a stretch of logic even in the least bit? I'm sure you are aware there is no empirical science that remotely backs that claim, right? What makes this within the "realm of possibility?"
      Your comments on the second law and mutations are strawman and simplistic…neither of which are convincing. So application of energy will "somehow" create information, design features, and many other aspects seen in the most basic cells? Unless there is a system ALREADY in place (such as complex photosynthetic apparati ), energy applied in open system demonstrates the exact opposite of what is needed for life. I don't even know how to respond to your mutation and Darwin comments…you actually think Darwin figured out genes back then…as if he any understanding beyond basic reproduction phenotype principles? Darwin understood breeding…wow…I guess that is pretty convincing stuff and the case is closed.
      Your assertion that evolution has 99% of "it" figured out is beyond laughable, but you correctly demonstrate that there is indeed safety in numbers. If we can just say evolution is true beyond a shadow of a doubt, over and over again convincing more and more people, eventually it might become true and unapproachable, except for a growing number of scientists and logical thinkers (yes, even ones who are agnostic), that are coming the realization that evolution doesn't explain it all. Not even most of it. Some, no doubt in microevolutionary / variation sense, however it is anything but a closed case…unless you want to just believe it is. Maybe that's what makes it so easy. Or maybe the emperor indeed has no clothes?

      • Thanks for your reply. Firstly, my post above was not a detailed argument and was not meant to carry significant weight. Had it been I would have provided fully detailed references to any work, writings and quotes that I may have used. It was a late night post consisting largely of questions and admittedly simplistic comments and a self confessed brief summary of a rather complex theory that I had neither the time nor the energy to enter into in detail.

        So any way. Aliens, I did mention them, I asked a question at the time in the role of devil's advocate, "Why not aliens? I state it again because I consider intelligent life (more and less complex than ours) on far away planets probable. Some calculations on how many inhabitable planets there are go up to 2.5 billion. Informed guesses I know but I still think there are enough for it to be likely. We are here on Earth so I consider the possibility of life elsewhere possible. Thus I find it far more likely that intelligent life from another planet started off life on this one than I do a mystical and as yet unproven and unexplained power with zero evidence and no known current exitence did. So actually I can guess at a realm of possibility based on what I know to exist and have seen and evidenced vs. what I do not know and have not seen evidence for. It is fine to entertain the possibility of aliens as it is fine to entertain the idea there are undiscovered species in the rainforests. It is perfectly logical to say that something similar to what we know and can prove exists, also exists. This is a straight forward concept. For the record, I don't believe Aliens seeded our planet, just that this idea is far more plausible and possible than the god one. I believe in evolution because it is most probable and has the most evidence. Lots of it. I am atheist not agnostic. I do not believe in gods, I find the idea absurd. If bundles of energy came along tomorrow to prove gods existed I would have to change my view but I won't hold my breath. Until then gods and spaghetti monster and fairies all get put in the same box for me, the "impossible" box.

        As for your reference to Lewontin I do not understand your point. Our rational thought is grounded in materialistic logic. If I step on a rake and it hits me in the face, after the tears have gone and I spot the rake on the floor I will accept I stood on a rake and it hit me in the face. I will not say, "hmmm, what else could have smashed me in the face were it not the rake?" Neither would I then start to look for evidence of the mysterious face smasher. Also, where is the evidence for gods that you mention has yet to be examined? You are quick to call my views "straw man" but you seem to be stuck in an intellectual black hole where it suffices, albeit quite transparently, to try and undo someone else's argument as a means of proving your own. Might I point you in the direction of philosopher Stephen Law and his recent book as it seems to explain your paradigm perfectly? Link:

        You sound almost resentful that this is the way science works? Bitter that this sensible, logical application of hypothesize, test, observe, analyze, conclude support my beliefs not yours. Do these verbs seem ridiculous to you? Am I missing something you have clearly grasped?

        • I do not find the possibility of unintelligent forces working on unintelligent lifeless matter impossible. In fact, quite the reverse. I am not so arrogant or self righteous to think that I had to made by something or someone intelligent. Just look to the stars and how new elements are formed from hydrogen and helium during nuclear fusion. Here are new materials being formed from physical and chemical reactions. They were not there before now they are. Yes I know this doesn't empirically prove how DNA was formed; I am just making a point. I also happen to live on a planet with an amazing fossil record showing life getting simpler and simpler as the fossils get older and older right back to the very first single celled organisms. Empirical data for how DNA came about? Actually there have been very interesting studies going on for years into how DNA might have formed from the primordial chemicals that proceeded it with some very plausible and possible (see explanations of these words above) results. Link:… (an example only)

          Again, in our logical materialistic world we try to fill spaces in the puzzle with pieces that at least look like they will fit. Thus the chemistry of materials on earth prior to the existence of DNA is studied in order to reveal the answer. Because the answer is not there we don't start supposing the impossible.

          Granted my comments on the 2nd law of thermodynamics were simplistic due to the complexity of the theory and my need for sleep however if you think I was suggesting that a energy creates information and design features then apologies, that was not my intention. To clarify, what I was trying to say was that the 2nd law of thermodynamics is used by creationists in the context that shows a system gets simpler. They go crazy for this, a scientific theory that describes how the world should be getting simpler! Science contradicting evolution! I meant only to say that creationists are wrong for using this law in this way because they apply it to biological system namely that of our planet, which is not closed. This law is for closed systems. I did not mean to draw a link between heat energy alone and the creation of DNA. That would be very improbable indeed.

          You do not need to respond to my Darwin comments. They don't require one. I said that Darwin "guessed" that nature selects more suitable genes. As I am sure you are aware Charles Darwin came up with the theory of natural selection. He proposed a mechanism whereby useful traits were passed more successfully from one generation of a species to the next. Of course he did not know about genes. My point was that all that time before genes were discovered, Darwin had suggested a mechanism that used them. I am surprised I had to point this out to be honest.

          Finally, I did not "assert" that evolution has 99% of anything figured out. This was used in a supposed quotation in an imagined argument. The theory is being added to and in some cases changed as scientific investigations are carried out. Do Darwin's key ideas still hold true today though? Yes they do. They were revolutionary and beautiful which is why they have merited further work. You don't do away with a workable idea because it is imperfect and come up with something completely different instead.

          Still waiting for God evidence.


          • fortheloveofscience

            For Willborg and/or James…Here are some discussion points laying out some of my argument against your response. I had to split it up into 2 posts, as you probably had to as well. I think they are fairly easy to understand:
            1. The fine-tuned physics of the universe is amazing…the math behind it is beautiful (fact) and in the same breath crushing to the idea of chance as its creator (opinion). The universe is agreed upon to come into existence ex nihilo, “out of nothing”.
            If interested, read more:
            It is not a super website, but gives indication of certain aspects of fine-tuning which is universally accepted by physicists…the big question, how did it become and why is it so fine-tuned? A “Fine -Tuner” or the default god of chance?

            2. Life is very complicated- down to the “simplest” life form, the “technology” exhibited in cells surpasses anything we have been able to create. The deeper we dig, the more we find and the more we are puzzled in explaining it away in a naturalistic sense (not saying it can’t eventually be explained, nor should we quit trying to explain it naturalistically, we just are not anywhere close yet, and I think there are better, more logical explanations out there) I’m sure you are aware there are over 60 different functional proteins needing just the right shape and needed at just the right time in order to get any message out of DNA whatsoever, and those 60 + proteins are themselves coded for by DNA. Sounds like a likely chance scenario to me…maybe the flying protein monster did it?

            3. Much of what Darwin stated is true…to that which he knew. Natural selection happens…it is actually observable, predictable, and testable (see, those are not foreign nor naughty words to a creationist:) However, natural selection has no creative power…it can only select from what is already present. Way too often evolutionists attribute natural selection as this silver bullet to end all arguments, all the while misconstruing its capabilities. In a Neo-darwinian sense, the sole provider for natural selection to act upon is unguided, undirected mutation…which is a chance event. Honestly, I am not surprised that I have to point this out.

            4. Mutational events happen. In most cases these events are either harmful or non-functional, however on rare occasion there are positive mutations that happen. From everything I have read, there has been limited to no documented cases where a natural mutation occurred that added NOVEL and FUNCTIONAL coded information as the end result of the central dogma pathway incorporated to cellular process. (not simply acting on retrogenes or gene duplication) That point is empty on evidence and also poses a major theoretical problem for bottom-up evolutionary scenarios…where/how did all of this massive information come from? Maybe the flying Information monster to the rescue?
            What we actually observe in science is cellular mutation reducing genetic information and function, the exact opposite of what is needed for the macroevolutionary claim. You see, the actual evidence starts to mount very heavily against an exclusively materialistic explanation of life origins (and yes I read the article from sciencedaily…which only confirmed to me they are very far off a valid proposition yet alone actual evidence as to the origin of life; not that they haven’t been desperately trying to prove it for the last 75 years).

            • fortheloveofscience

              Now, you seem to be very interested in philosophy…but it is clear that at this point your stance in sole-materialistic rationale is grounded more in faith than in empirical science. Now, you respond with “because the answer is not there we don’t start supposing the impossible”…I have no problem stating I don’t know everything that is possible (although you already seem to know what is possible and impossible, regardless of lack of evidence – maybe you are speaking from that silly black hole you stated I may be in)…but I am willing to examine the evidence and try to deduce the most logical stance. There is no empirical evidence for a purely materialistic start to life on this earth just as there is no evidence for God starting life on earth…both are deduced and rooted in faith. So lets address the logic issue.
              Let me ask you a simple question: when you look at Stonehenge, the pyramids, an Ipod or Shakespeare, what do you attribute as their logical source? All of these structures have obviously had a mind that has worked on them…you would never attribute them to the sole forces of materialistic evolution: Time and Chance. (Or maybe you would, after reading some of your rebuttal claims). And keep in mind that life is extraordinarily more complicated than any of the aforementioned objects. In forensic science, we use design detection everyday…in fact, it would be difficult to operate in many aspects of life without design detection. Then why would life be excluded? Even the most ardent evolutionists would freely admit that all of life has design characteristics plastered all over them. The reason, I believe, is that the design inference leads to the conclusion of a designer, and that is a PHILOSOPHICAL “no-no” for today’s scientist, not a scientific one (that is why I referenced Lewontin).
              I am well aware of how science works, but I also think that given the data, every logical option deserves a look…we should not exclude ONE particular option because it doesn’t fit with your philosophy. Maybe, just maybe, philosophical materialism is not the most logical explanation. Perhaps great science can be accomplished with the belief in a creator (as evidenced by the overwhelming number of scientists of the past who have made great discoveries…they knew how science works, did they not?)
              Here is Meyer briefly discussing, with skill much better than myself (see, I’m not so arrogant as previously charged), some things I tried to address:
              1. origin of life problem-
              2. How science works/logic:
              Brief illustration of molecular central dogma: (obviously MUCH, MUCH more complicated than shown)

              Now, I go further an attribute that intelligent causation to be God (which is where the atheist gets “foaming at the mouth” because he/she cannot even fathom the possibility of such an existence, yet alone accept it even if there were strong indications that God may in fact exist). By the way, why would I be “so arrogant and self righteous” because I simply follow the logic that life exhibits design characteristics and come to the conclusion that a designer made life? I am so very sorry that I am not “humble” enough to attribute everything in this amazing universe to the unproven god of time and random chance, as you have. Your venom for God is all too evident…
              By the way, if you think about your materialistic philosophy and apply what we freely observe with the physics of the universe, you are left in the position of stating that everything that exists in the universe came from a state of absolute nothingness by means of absolutely nothing. You have no other choice….and, quite frankly, that seems a tad more of a stretch than saying perhaps a creator actually created the universe and life, because, ummm, it looks like it was created and exhibits design characteristics. That's a real stretch of logic, I know.

              You really don’t have to wait for the God evidence.

              • I read the 2001principle website in full. I agree with you that the extent of so called fine tuning is both awesome and beautiful. Where you and I seem to differ however is in the questions we ask. I suspect the following example of such a question goes a long way to explaining what makes an evolutionist and evolutionist and a creationist a creationist.
                You ask the question in your first point, "how did the universe become and why is it so fine tuned?". I would ask "how did it become so and, how so fine tuned?". I don't think this is merely a case of semantics either. Why does there have to be a reason for this level of fine tuning? Every creationist I have ever spoken to has always sort a reason beyond physical and chemical processes (known and as yet unknown) and chance. It never seems enough for them to suppose that we were not designed and created by a higher power. You can spin as much supposed logical hokum as you wish around the designer idea. The world we live in suggests that whenever we haven't understood something about our world and have assigned its presence to a god we have been wrong. Wrong on so many fronts you would think we would have got the message by now.
                Even in today’s world of knowledge, brilliant scientific thinking and mind-blowing (in our era) technology why can't we all accept that there is still a lot we do not know and will not figure out for some time? History has shown us that as our learning and technology advances we come to understand more. You say (not a quote) ,"we can't explain how the universe came into being". I say, "we can't explain how the universe came into being YET". The creationist no matter how scientific they claim to be is often, (although in fairness you do not seem rooted in religious dogma) unable to accept this on the grounds of "what if I don't believe and there is a god" so they create an answer to the big question. I maintain that the idea we were created is incredulous compared to the possibility of an as yet understood chance formation. I am content and unafraid of knowing that I may die before these questions get answered.

                Point 2: Life is very complicated and it is great that we have a lovely detailed fossil record showing the stages of that complexity taking place. The idea of a creator raises so many questions. Why did the designer make so many imperfect versions of organisms? Why does the designer continue to keep tweaking them because last time I checked they do still appear to be changing? Let’s be clear, in your argument that mutation cannot create new species you suggest the creator is still operating today by creating every new species let alone every new change in every characteristic of every species? The questions this opens up could really prove for an amusing stand up sketch on the stupidity of afore mentioned creator.

                Point 3: Quote from you, “natural selection has no creative power”. Quote from you from previous post, “What sound and scientific reasoning leads you to this conclusion…to even know the realm of possibility?” You seem convinced that an evolutionary based mechanism for DNA is impossible even if natural selection isn’t a perfect answer. You later state in your post that mutations can on occasion lead to positive changes in characteristics. You seem confused. Again, which is more likely, there is a creator or an imperfect theory?

                Point 4: I agree that many evolutionists do use natural selection as a silver bullet. They shouldn't because the theory is not complete. There are unexplained areas and you gave a good example with the functional proteins. Again I suggest that we simply haven' yet figured out a rational scientific explanation. Maybe we are not far away though. There have been many studies recently that have observed evolution and changes in organisms to be much faster than previously expected. To be a man of my word I have to know that there is more than meets the eye to this theory. Perhaps evolution makes steps or jumps every so often that we do not yet properly understand.
                And note the last paragraph in response to the pre-existing multi-cellular state argument. It is going to be a very very long time before all relatively likely avenues of investigation have been pursued in this argument and I roll over and say, "ok fair one, god did it".

                • You haven't found an answer in all you have read. Do you think there should be an answer by now. We live in an age where, as a society we allow war, rape, species loss and habitat destruction and you expect all the knowledge in the universe to be written down?
                  Next point. My sole-materialistic rationale is grounded in faith. Faith that every god based idea there has ever been has no evidence at all in its favour. My faith (and I don't shy away from using that word) in evolution is that it seems like the backbone (no pun intended) of an excellent theory and us humans appear to have acquired the knack of developing theories, testing them and finding out rational explanations.
                  I am almost pleased; actually this is a lie, I am delighted you denounced your intellectual black hole as "silly" as this is precisely what the whole thinking behind it says you or any creationist would do. You have convinced yourself that you are "examining evidence" and "being logical" yet you still put a materialistic start to the earth and universe on the same pedestal as a god. Your argument that I cannot know what is possible at the dawn of time is quite true but that doesn't give any merit to a creator theory. Creationists always make this mistake or in your case convince themselves it is rational to do so. This is your black hole. The design inference only leads to the possibility of a designer if you think things designed. I think them evolved with gaps in our learning about how that happened. Otherwise who designed the designer? Who designed that designer's designer ad infinitum.

                  Almost there. Stephen Meyer is another advocate of ID theory who has yet to put forward an experiment or theory regarding his beliefs. He sums up his interview with , "what we know about the past is that information always comes from an intelligent source". Seems not so in this case as he is speaking in terms so general as to be laughable. He is another product (an intelligent one with a PhD from Cambridge which is more than I have) of a religious upbringing who cannot rationally reason what he has been taught.
                  I do not have a venom for god. I don't believe god exists so cannot direct any venom in his/her/it's direction. I have a venom for blind stupidity from people living in a modern world where we have learned that VERY VERY far more rational explanations to scientific problems are found every day.
                  On your recommendation I have thought about my position once more and you are quite right to suggest that I must buy into the idea that things came from a state of nothingness. You are wrong to suggest this state is absolute. Now you are proclaiming (again) to know what is possible and not possible as you assume there is no way for matter to form from the infinitely small or next-to-nothingness? A bold statement when we look at all we have learned of black holes.

                  So I really do have to wait for the god evidence because (and read this bit really carefully) there……..none. All any god theory is, is a very very distant stab in the dark to explain things that certain people feel uncomfortable with not knowing or not content enough to trust a rational explanation will eventually be figured deduced.

                  • fortheloveofscience

                    I will address your outlined points…
                    Point #1…the creation of the universe/fine tuning…
                    -Your quote “ Why does there have to be a reason for this level of fine tuning? Every creationist I have ever spoken to has always sort a reason beyond physical and chemical processes (known and as yet unknown) and chance.” …

                    The reason some (those who actually think- I know there are some really irrational creationists) would deduce a designer for this fine tuning is because of experiments, mathematics and logic. Notice I said a designer, not a jump to God (which requires more faith and deduction). When chemistry experiments can show (even with non-natural resourcing) that life is reducible to chemistry, even in the least bit, I will have to follow that evidence where it leads. When physicists can demonstrate how 10^80 atomic particles can come from absolutely nothing, by means of nothing (not even your quirky black holes…gosh you are obsessed with these and rather confused), and how all extreme balance principles came into existence with order and assembly of the universe, then I will follow that data and logic where it leads. However, it’s more of an argument of what we do know than what we don’t know. Don’t you find it the least bit odd that some of the greatest minds ever have taken lifetimes to just figure out the some of the mathematics of the universe? I absolutely accept there is very much we do not know, and I understand that one day I may have to “re-accept” my evolutionary/atheist stance if new, valid, and real information sheds credible light on the unknown- in a positive direction. But until that happens, I will follow the most likely explanation from experience of the physical world. By the way, you never answered my question: would you attribute an Ipod or Stonehenge to a natural chance occurrence or to a designer, and if the latter, why would life play by any different rules? Should we continue to try and find the physical and chemical processes that created Stonehenge and Easter Island? Maybe so, but if they have “design” written all over them, why not focus attention and follow the data where it goes no matter what the implications may be. This same thought process plays into why I would follow the logic of a designer of the universe due to the universe exhibiting miraculous design qualities. It's rather simple logic. Oh, I forgot, it;s a black hole, right?
                    Yes people have been wrong attributing certain things to God that they later find out to be something else, much like the history of science has demonstrated to be wrong with many of its predictions (the list is incredibly long, but for a few there are vestigial organs, geocentrism, junk DNA, spontaneous generation/abiogensis, no wait… that’s the foundation of materialistic evolution…my mistake! )….does that make science hokum also? Should they have the message by now? Is the nonsense attributed to being incorrect or because of God? If you read my post with precision I clearly stated that we should NOT give up on exploring naturalistic explanations for the emergence of the incredible features of life, but more importantly, we should follow the evidence whever it may lead and a designer shouldn’t be excluded a priori.

                    • fortheloveofscience

                      Your point #2 (fossils record and the Creator)…You have bits of truths and more bits of misinformation here(again). Yes the idea of a Creator indeed raises thousands of questions. We do have a lovely detailed fossil record that shows 1 major thing more than anything else- STASIS…the fact that once creatures appear in the fossil record, they stay that way basically unchanged throughout time. I won't even mention the Cambrian explosion. This shouldn’t be too shocking, it bothered Darwin as well—he was hoping for the completion of that “finely graduated chain of life” but we still do not have it. Then comes along Gould with punctuated equilibrium…at least he acknowledges stasis rather than ignoring it. Why would once-in-a-decade fossils like Tiktaalik garner SO MUCH media attention if there were so many “transitional” fossils? Why do that? Because there just aren’t many (or any) valid examples, yet alone truths to these fossils as macroevolutionary changes (which many now debate even for Tiktaalik). I’m assuming you know the difference between macroevolution and micro, but maybe not because all of your examples are micro (that’s ok, that’s all anybody gives because that’s all there is). And please no typical responses of “every fossil is transitional” or “all the micro examples stretched together equate to a macro change”…fool someone else with that imaginary talk. Unless you have bought into the dogma of evolution that the fossil record is great evidence, you should know better than to use this as strong supportive claim. Just don’t candidly ask a paleontologist what the fossil record really looks like.
                      Now to your old argument, “why would God do that?”…maybe He didn’t, ever think of that? I love how evolutionists who don’t even believe in God turn around and pretend to know what God did/did not design and then cast doubt with the “bad design” strawman. Maybe we are interpreting the fossils incorrectly and drawing erroneous conclusions, like we have done so many times in the past. Maybe paleontology is hokum as well? A creationist viewpoint has absolutely no problem accepting/understanding why there are malformations, disease, and imperfect organisms…it is one you won’t buy because it requires faith and a good understanding of biblical text…the answer is sin.

                      Point 3… To clarify, I am not confused, but thanks for the concern. Let’s try this again…natural selection is the outcome of what would be a selected advantage/disadvantage in nature. What provides (i.e. CREATION POWER) the choices for natural selection is chance MUTATION. You see, it’s rather simple… Natural selection can only act on what is ALREADY PRESENT, therefore something else has to create/provide for natural selection to take effect. I’m not saying that we won’t find something someday that has this abiogenesis-type creative power, but by definition, natural selection can’t be it. It really isn’t that hard…your argument here was poorly done.

                      Point 4… The yeast article…yes I had read that before, but thanks for posting. Interesting article with much artificial selection, but the outcome is very underwhelming…it showed nothing close to novel function/structure but it makes for an article at least, right? And I did read the last paragraph….even more underwhelmed.

                      Last point of your response….WOW. This was entertaining, nonsensical, and a tad frightening to tell you the truth. Where to start? Here is what I have gathered….
                      1. You have little to no knowledge of biblical archaeological evidence to say that a God theory has NO evidence. You may not believe all that the bible says about God and that’s fine, but it is the most reliable ancient text that we have and it isn’t even close. Remember, I believe in God but my scientific argument doesn’t go that far. It only needs be a designer…and to that, I think circumstantial evidence abounds.
                      2. You are absurdly obsessed with black holes. Here’s some advice: learn more about black holes read some other atheistic philosopher, find out what his “code word” is for anyone who believes in something he doesn’t, and use it. Please. At least it will be new, even if it still is a gadget to try and discredit any good argument. But hey, I guess it doesn’t take much to delight you…glad I could accommodate.
                      3. I guess some people (Meyer) with a religious upbringing “cannot rationally reason” what they have been taught. That’s profound Willborg! Are you being serious or just insanely naive? Laughing aside, let’s address your previous point: can you give an example of information that does/has not come from an intelligent source? Please Willborg, thrill me with your acumen (and you are not allowed to use “black holes” when all else fails)!

                    • fortheloveofscience

                      Read this bit very carefully…attributing design characteristics of life and the universe to a designer is no less of a stab in the dark than attributing it to the god of chance. I use to think evolution was this great theory that gave me comfort in my materialistic philosophy…until I realized it was all about the philosophy of what I wanted the explanation to be rather that allowing the data to speak for itself. So, no matter what data really exists, you will construct it to fit around your philosophy, and counter anyone else who finds your reasoning obsolete by labeling them a…you guessed it, black hole. I want to leave you (wife having 4th baby anytime now) with a few quotes that sums up well what I think many evolutionists will come to find (AGNOSTIC Robert Jastrow)

                      "For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries."

                      "Now we see how the astronomical evidence supports the biblical view of the origin of the world….the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same. Consider the enormousness of the problem : Science has proved that the universe exploded into being at a certain moment. It asks: 'What cause produced this effect? Who or what put the matter or energy into the universe?' And science cannot answer these questions."

                    • Congratulations on the baby, hope all is well in that department. I hope you'll pardon my absence in our discussion, been very busy.

                      I suppose I should do you the honour of answering your ipod/Stonehenge question. I think neither of them chance formations. I know that they were both created by humans, as do you. I fail to see the significance of the question though. Are you suggesting anything with form and function designed? I can think of lots of examples of intricate or repetitive patterns formed in nature be they rocks, crystals, snowflakes. Perhaps I am being facetious here but then again I understand that living organisms have mechanisms available to them that stones and bits of metal don’t.
                      On the point of black holes, I think it a rather poor discussion tactic (but not surprised given the amount of quote mining creationists usually do) to try and degrade a perfectly suitable analogy simply because it frustrates you. Whilst not an astrophysicist I am neither confused nor obsessed. Just to clear things up (then I will not upset you with them again), I have mentioned them twice: once as a metaphor for creationists ability to overlook common sense (and in this case I say if the shoe fits…), and once at the end of my last post as a very simple model to point out something we once thought impossible does actually exist, namely that ridiculous masses of matter can be compacted down to very tiny sizes. I only mentioned this as you seem to think physicists should have everything figured out by now. It was an example of a physical discovery and a suggestion that there may be a few more to come. If you thought I was suggesting black holes formed the universe then you were mistaken and may consider yourself pardoned.
                      A few questions just came to me (or should I say I created them)
                      1. Why do you believe in God but only argue the possibility that a creator caused abiogenesis?
                      2.Given that you believe in a god do you believe in the comment you made about sin being the explanation for malformation and disease?
                      3. You still haven’t answered my question about whether you think the creator is acting today and has been acting every time an evolutionary change takes place because, and I quote you,” From everything I have read, there has been limited to no documented cases where a natural mutation occurred that added NOVEL and FUNCTIONAL coded information as the end result of the central dogma pathway incorporated to cellular process”. On this point, I understand your point that natural selection can only act on what is already present, so, if life is becoming increasingly more complex does this mean the creator is still tinkering away creating? Or do you mean to say that every gene present on our planet today has been around since the dawn of time?
                      4. Do you think that the creator you are arguing is possible is the same as the God you believe in?

                    • To address previous points about abiogenesis, I think we already know enough about evolutionary biochemistry to point us in the right direction of how abiogenesis happened. I don’t buy your functional protein and DNA chicken and egg argument. Why do think that something as complicated as DNA would have been the first complex protein on the scene?
                      Did DNA randomly form by chance? I certainly don’t think so. I think it evolved. The reason I think Natural Selection such a great idea is that it is more than likely applicable to the evolution of DNA. Do you not think there were any precursors to DNA or do you just think it too unlikely that such a sequence of events happened? You have referred to my “God of chance” in your posts but I don’t have one. I don’t think it was chance alone acting.
                      Creationists often throw the number 10390 around as only once in this many has even a simple protein been calculated to form by chance in the chemicals which made the “primordial soup” of the time. Given there are an estimated 1080 atoms in the universe this does seem an unlikely event. So what then the chances of complex proteins and single celled organisms?
                      This idea as with many creationist arguments overlooks the timescale and the fact that such events would be governed by natural selection (non-randomness). The very beginnings of abiogenesis must have been (by reducible complexity) very simple self replicating molecules.
                      It is actually fairly probable that simple self replicating proteins formed way back when. Such proteins would hae been maybe only 32 amino acid sequences and the probability of one of these forming has been shown in trials to be 1040. Other studies have estimated that amino acid concentration in the oceans at the time was 10-6M (very dilute indeed) but enough to mean that in these amounts in that volume of ocean, 1031 self replicating proteins could form in little under a year. Even the random chance odds of 1 in 1040 for the first stages of abiogenesis don’t seem very big now.

                      On a different note I have to concede that my knowledge of biblical archaeology is very limited indeed. The thing that has always confused me about the bible (I had a giggle at the words “most reliable ancient text”) is that so many people believe it to different extents. Some take it literally, others choose moral lessons. , you said it ,”isn’t even close”. Close to what exactly? I am not being sarcastic or challenging you here, I would just really would like you to tell me a bit about biblical archaeology and the evidence it provides for god. Not wanting to do any quote mining of my own, can you be clear about whether or not biblical archaeology provides evidence that god is the creator?
                      To end this post, yes my point on Meyer was exceptionally profound and with some intent and irony. I don’t see why I should proffer grounded argument about a guy who himself makes wildly profound statements such as “information generally always comes from an intelligent source” and “by using Darwin’s rule of reasoning, I concluded that the best explanation for the origin of information necessary to build the first life, is actually intelligence”. Really?…. Maybe it is ok to twist ideas like this in his world.
                      This is the real scary stuff as here is a person in the public eye whom to many is speaking with some authority. These are dangerous ideas when you stop and think how many creationists will use these ideas to support their religious beliefs. I stand by that my suggestion that he offers no evidence, no alternative mechanism and no answers to the questions he poses.

                    • The superscipt function has not worked on the numbers used in the protein snthesis argument. Should be 10 to the power of 390, 10 to the power of 40 and 10 to the power of 31. One day I will learn to use a computer properly. :D

                    • fortheloveofscience

                      Thanks for the good wishes…things are going well but incredibly busy as you can understand.
                      I will start off by answering your questions.
                      I believe that God created everything…not via abiogenesis and the slow process of evolution, but as a supernatural creative event. I mentioned that science and data should really only get you to the point of a designer (finding that designer requires much more study and faith). In the case of nature, overwhelming design evidence certainly justifies at least an inquiry into the possibility of a designer- if not common sense dictating it (and the shoe certainly fits here). The only reason not to examine design is a philosophical rejection (not a scientific one) which is clearly demonstrated by most every atheist.
                      Yes. (and I think I know why you ask…no, God did not create sin, but free will)
                      I think the Creator is alive and well today, but He has not actively created after the sixth day of creation…it was completed at that point. And yes, we certainly have a foundational difference in interpreting the fossil record and time issue so I guess we’ll leave it at that. As far as the “evolutionary change that takes place”, that is easy…no rational Christian would reject variation principles exhibited in various species including ours because, get this, we can actually OBSERVE this unlike imaginative speculation about macroevolutionary events. Call it microevolution if you will, but this poses no problem whatsoever. And I don’t think life is becoming “increasingly more complex”…your worldview interpretation of fossils, evolutionary theory and time record require this to be true but mine does not. As for the actual data, well, our interpretation is vastly different as I stated before.

                      Now, to the rest of your post…
                      As far as your example of rocks, crystals, and snowflakes being a counterargument for design, well, it just doesn’t flush. No doubt they are intricate and repetitive patterns, but they differ from ipods and cells in a profound way in that they lack specified complexity (read up on Dembski or your favorite Meyer to have it explained more clearly than I would do). The snowflake argument melts (pun intended) under the microscope of science, but it is an expected evolutionary regurgitation easily dismantled.
                      As far as your next point, the black hole argument frustrates me not, sorry to disappoint. I just find it silly to classify someone else’s argument as a “black hole” because some atheist philosopher states that whenever the competition argues a certain point they are in a black hole, regardless of the merit of the argument. It is rather elementary. As far as the comment on quote mining…yes, that is annoying when done by evolutionists or creationists. However, just because quotes are used doesn’t automatically qualify as a quote mine…my quotes were not mined…that was Jastrow’s main dilemma whether you want to accept that or not. (it is also not good tactic to downplay a valid quote/opinion…although I understand due to the frequency of evolutionists claiming “quote mining” or “strawman” when they have no valid argument left).

                    • fortheloveofscience

                      Your second attachment – it gets more interesting here…
                      I think our science has shown us we are in a great quandary in terms of biochemistry and the minuscule possibility of evolutionary abiogenesis. In fact, the data and expectations are trending in the wrong direction. Then you state “I don’t buy your functional protein and DNA chicken and egg argument. Why do think that something as complicated as DNA would have been the first complex protein on the scene?”…Well, I never said DNA would be the first complex protein on the scene. That is ludicrous, they are biochemically non-related (deoxyribose and amino acids). However, they are functionally completely dependent upon one another. You don’t get proteins without a detailed DNA code, and you absolutely need proteins (many exquisite ones) to extract ANYTHING out of DNA to make it functional. You don’t have to buy the argument, it is not one I made up…it just is there plain as day. Are you proposing protein first worlds? Those ideas only have credibility only in imaginative and nonscientific scenarios(which happen to be the specialty of OOL evolutionary biologists)
                      Then you go on to say “Did DNA randomly form by chance? I certainly don’t think so. I think it evolved. The reason I think Natural Selection such a great idea is that it is more than likely applicable to the evolution of DNA.”…”You have referred to my “God of chance” in your posts but I don’t have one. I don’t think it was chance alone acting”.
                      Let’s address these comments. I am sure DNA did not form by chance probably because of the same reason you suspect – it is specified complex information that doesn’t happen by chance…it doesn’t now and it hasn’t in the past as far as our science and logic can distinguish. Would a exquisite computer code generate and implement itself without a intelligent programmer? Of course not, and DNA is much more complicated than computer code language. Must we still try and fit a ridiculously large square into an incredibly small circle to satisfy philosophical demands? Why fight against the obvious?
                      Now here we go again…you then say “natural selection” (i.e. silver bullet) more likely makes DNA. Are you serious here? How could natural selection make DNA, highly specified coded information? Our best scientists can’t even do it aside from copying or modifying. And the chance aspect….I’m sorry, but your entire philosophical stance not only rests on chance, but demands it. It was either a chance event or it wasn’t, it’s not very complicated. If it wasn’t chance acting alone, what was guiding the amazing accomplishment of DNA? Remember, evolution is exclusively naturalistic and unguided, a chance event in time. So you do rely on the “god of chance” as I mentioned earlier…you cannot escape that foundational principle of evolution. Everything we observe in this amazing universe, galaxies, the earth, millions of organisms, and logic-defying cells must have been a total chance event if materialistic philosophy/evolution holds true.
                      I find it very ironic that you then try to use mathematics to attempt to defy what would be needed for life. Most evolutionists are wise enough (I’m not saying you are not intelligent…quite the contrary, I’m sure you are) not to bring math into the argument because it is so stacked against them, it makes it nothing short of a miracle if chance was the sole causative agent. Also, the numbers worked with in your response for a single protein (which are not accurate) even if it did happen, are a monumental distance from actually creating anything remotely resembling an ancient cell (yes, even assuming the simplest workings of life as we know it, not a “modern” cell as evolutionists uniformly shout back). The ocean size and time argument doesn’t flush…the basics of chemistry destroy this notion. And you still haven’t even addressed what really makes life so special…information, which chemistry is not. Linked are 2 articles dealing with abiogenesis topics we have discussed (more detail than our discussion of course) and a 10 minute video featuring Dean Kenyon (warning-Meyer himself appears and speaks…try not to cringe, but the video should help out understanding the problems and limits)

                    • fortheloveofscience

                      Next the biblical questions. I have stated in previous posts that neither science or the bible can prove God exists…that is a leap of faith based on information we can perceive about nature and some good archeological evidence. The reason I stated the bible is the most reliable of all ancient texts is simply because it is…that doesn’t make it true based solely on the reliability of the text we have today, but when comparing modern texts with ancient copies, the bible has no challengers in terms of knowing what we read today is almost exactly what was written back then. I apologize that it makes you giggle…my response is more of a joyful smile. Of course different people believe different aspects about the bible, just as different scientists believe different aspects of evolution…does that make you giggle also? Do different interpretations/degrees of acceptance make any work less reliable? I think it rather expected, especially when dealing with as many issues as the bible does, no? An excellent book detailing biblical accuracy and authenticity is “How We Got the Bible” by Neil Lightfoot. However, the following link provides some basic comparisons of biblical text vs. other ancients.… Here is a quick-linked page of some archaeological discoveries (of course there are many more, like the recent-found “bells” from the old testament priests’ garments) The reliability aspect of the bible (modern to ancient copies) is the part that “isn’t close,” not necessarily the “truth” of the bible (sorry if I confused you there), however, there is strong archaeological support for cities, people, kings, wars, and many events.
                      The Meyer debate…I am almost left speechless. I would love to know what is so “scary” with Meyer stating (and I quote you) “information generally always comes from and intelligent source”? I have heard of some outrageous claims by creationists, but this is anything but outrageous and “scary stuff.” If it is such a “twisted idea,” you should easily be able to offer many examples where information comes from chance, unintelligent sources, no? Is it “dangerous” because it threatens your worldview? Meyer does offer answers and has a clearly defined stance, it is just one you refuse to even acknowledge as possible, but that fault lays not in Meyer’s thinking, but yours (again I offer you fit extremely well in Lewontin’s stance as quoted before…but not “quote-mined” :). In my opinion, your whole problem is less with the actual evidence for design (cause it clearly exists), but more with your philosophical stance which is obviously threatened by the implications of design. I was there for a long time also. Self-analyzation can help out tremendously… I am willing to admit that God may not exist, and when I die it may be the end of anything I know, and the universe may suffer from eventual heat-death, and all of what I have learned is just a big cosmic accident…but I don’t think it’s likely. Not out of fear, but out of science, evidence, and plain-as-day logic. Can you even fathom the possibility that God exists and loves you? The first step is to follow the evidence where it really may lead and let go of all the notions saying God is just some ancient fairy-tale to make people feel better about themselves and death. In my comparison between the 2 opposing worldviews, I have found the naturalistic/evolution stance a thousand times more of a stretch and fairy tale than a creation stance…logic is now back in play for me. If it looks like a cow, smells like a cow, milks like a cow, tastes like a cow, it is most likely a cow, eh? And until actual evidence starts to swing the pendulum the other way, I will continue to live in acceptance that we are created beings, with my opinion being we are created in the image of our living God. I hope all stays well with you…

  29. In the first of these posts it should read "bundles of evidence" not "bundles of energy". Doh.

  30. Willborg you got your hat handed to you in those reply exchanges above

    • Ahh the conversational onlooker. Care to offer an opinion or are we happy letting someone who sounds like they might know what they are talking about to do the leg work? Come on in, the water is lovely.

  31. fortheloveofscience

    the"yes" and "absolutely" were answers for questions #2 and #4, actually no numbers were typed for your 4 questions…sorry.

  32. I am starting a new comment as our replies were getting thinner and thinner. Same discussion though.

    Firstly thank you for sharing your personal beliefs. I have been re-reading this whole conversation and wondering why you hadn’t raised them earlier. I think the answer is that you believe in something which is improvable by any known method and something which requires a “leap of faith”. This belief though, is beyond science and therefore untouchable by it. I don’t share this belief but do not refuse to examine it. Philosophical rejection is I am sure a reason for many to avoid examining design but I don’t avoid it. It’s just I have yet to find evidence to suggest I should examine it in detail and, even if that evidence arose I don’t know of an appropriate experiment I could do to prove it.

    I am happy to continue this discussion but I feel it is coming to a close. Throughout this discussion you have not offered a single piece of evidence that actively suggests a designer. Every point raised by you has been an attempt to show that current scientific thinking is not yet complete or has gaps in it but you have been unable to prove any current scientific theory (that we have discussed) to be wrong. This is not evidence for God. It is simply saying scientific theory is not yet complete. I will number/sub head my points to make any reply easier.

    1.My philosophical stance
    Earlier in the discussion you said that you would not believe in a big bang until, “physicists can demonstrate how 10^80 atomic particles can come from absolutely nothing, by means of nothing”. But you believe there was/is a god outside of the nothing that created everything? Isn’t this contradictory? This link is to a talk by cosmologist Lawrence Krauss that is an hour long but I urge you and anyone else reading this discussion to watch it. This is what I have faith in. We can learn and understand and explain. I don’t think this talk is concrete proof of anything (yet) but it is an example of how our understanding continues to develop based on research and experiment. I have faith we will come to understand what we today consider unexplainable. I do not have faith and will not leap to any conclusion that conveniently explains all my unknowns in a nice neat illogical and untestable way and say that these ideas must be right until other evidence turns up.

    2.Using language
    I think your approach in this argument is quite clever to begin with in that you look to ground it in science in order to undo scientific arguments which conflict with creationism. Why then abandoned this principle at the last hurdle and adopt this leap of faith? If your thinking is purely based on evidence or a lack of it, how do you allow yourself to make this leap? Do you believe in other improvable beings? As convincing as it may at first appear, I don’t think using phrases like, “evidence starts to mount heavily against evolution” or, “why fight against the obvious” and “plain as day logic” add to your argument in any way. They are in my opinion underhand tactics which bear false witness to evolutionary science attempting to misrepresent it.

    Allow me to go deeper here because this is a really important point which at best makes your arguments to be misunderstandings and at worst makes them complete parasitism of valid scientific research. Much of your argument is based on a creationist understanding of certain words. I believe it is this (mis)understanding which is the foundation of most creationist (certainly Meyer’s) arguments.

    2.1 “Complexity”
    Let’s consider what you and I understand by “complexity”. I would like to do this for “information” and “life” also because I believe our interpretation of these words is fundamental to our beliefs. But first “complexity” or “irreducible complexity” or “specified complexity”. Creationists are so hung up on this. I agree with PZ Meyers (not to be confused with Stephen C. Meyer) who in this video ( shows how easily undoable most creationist arguments are. Complexity does not infer design, which is what I understand most creationists, including yourself to be saying.

    • 2.2 “Information”
      Your ipod and Stonehenge idea is an over extended metaphor which I don’t think fits the purpose of discussion. PZ Meyers addresses this too in the video above. We can extend this metaphor to anything but first let’s consider the second word mentioned above, “information”. DNA is “information” right because it codes for something? The instructions for how to build an ipod, this is information also? Words, letters? What of shapes then? Sound? Light? Patterns? Can’t we say anything is information? (example borrowed from
      [What of a photograph of the other side of the moon that was never seen by humans until they were able to send spacecraft to photograph it. Notice how the larger craters have smaller craters inside them. That is "coded information" from which we can deduce that meteorite bombardment took place and that the smaller impacts happened later in time than the larger ones. It is just nonsense to claim that such coded information requires intelligence. Once again, creationists seriously misrepresent a science. In this case the science of information theory.] end quote.

      To me DNA is a chemical, we are made of chemicals and complex biochemical processes typically known as “life”. This life is unique to living things but I know I am made of the same atoms as non living things such as snowflakes and crystals and rocks. I am just lucky to be at a different end point of interactions, reactions and evolution that ended with a living being. So I don’t really understand your use of the word “information”. Does it mean something which leads to level of complexity we understand as “life”. If so does this mean non living things contain no information? I think this is strange and pointed out that there is complexity, lots of it outside of living things. (PZ Meyers uses driftwood walls on a beach as his example in the video). These things do not lack complexity yet they were formed through natural processes.

      It is not ok to just harp on about complexity and build it up into awe inspiring incomprehensible wonder that can only have come from a creator. So what if I am more complex than a rock and have more functions? I don’t draw a line between so called “specified complexity” in living processes and “complexity” in atoms bonded to form a rock. I see the latter as a less complex yes but I do not use the extent of complexity as evidence for creation. Complexity = design? This is nonsense. By what mechanism? Just watch the first 5mins of Meyers’ talk.

      3. Abiogenesis
      We are trying to understand a process that took place 4 billion years ago so the first thing to say is that it is understandable that the exact way early life molecules were formed has not been completely mapped out yet. You refer to the “miniscule possibility of evolutionary abiogenesis” but can you be clearer about what you are referring to? Do you mean the chance formation of a cell? Of DNA? Of a simple and distant DNA precursor? Isn’t your phrase misleading as it suggests we are talking about life being formed in the blink of an eye?

      In fairness to you, you didn’t say DNA would have been the first complex protein on the scene so then why base your argument on DNA needing proteins and proteins needing DNA in the first place? Also, contrary to your statement, you most certainly can get simple self replicating proteins to form without DNA. Here is another good example of parasitism by creationists of scientific research. In this case it doesn’t matter what the research actually proves, or leads towards only that a pro-creationist idea can be interpreted by any means. You know as well as I do that DNA (and the complex proteins associated with them) were not the first life molecule to form yet you use the argument, “you don’t get proteins without a detailed DNA code and you need exquisite proteins to extract anything out of DNA”. And? You have pointed out the obvious, how does this support creation? Seems like a smoke screen to me to draw attention form the next logical deduction.

      Doesn’t it stand to reason that even simpler molecules and simpler ones before them formed as precursors? Am I proposing protein first worlds? (You said this like it was the only other viable alternative) I am not proposing complex protein first worlds. I am proposing a series of steps from very simple to gradually more complex life molecules and that is all I feel qualified to say on it. This book is quite interesting… It says itself in the epilogue that it is primarily a work of imagination but here are testable ideas as opposed to leaps of faith.

      • 4. Smoke and mirrors
        You appear to be stuck on your “silver bullet” idea as I apparently was with black holes. What part of how I am using the term “selection” is false or misrepresentative? You refer to DNA as an “accomplishment”. Obviously an "accomplishment" would involve intelligence because only intelligences "accomplish" to a purpose. In the non living world we just say “things happen”. So “accomplishing” is not the point. The issue is whether a self-replicating molecular complex can arise naturally? If it can then, evolution by cumulative natural selection can take it from there. If you claim that self-replicating molecular complexes can’t occur naturally then let’s see your proof.

        It feels like a smoke screen on your part again shortly afterwards with your God of Chance idea and yet again with the computer code metaphor. All I have ever maintained is that it isn’t chance alone that acts to give rise to complexity. Not on a cosmic level, not on an organism level and not at a molecular level. You seem to be trying to stress the unlikelihood of molecular complexity being created in a single occurrence but I am not suggesting this was ever the case. I’ll be the first to admit that events happen by chance but when an event happens be it bonding of atoms in a way that makes that molecule more likely to bond to something else, or mutation in a gene that makes it less likely to be functional, if that event in turn makes a further event more or less likely then you have selection acting as well and “god of chance” calculations go out the window.

        How is your computer code analogy at all linked to DNA? A computer code is an entirely different sort of system with different mechanisms.

        How can you possibly use a phrase like, “why fight against the obvious?” Is this an attempt to brainwash? If it is so obvious then why are you not a world renowned speaker on this issue if you have the problem all sewn up. I hope you don’t reply along the lines that it is me who is brainwashed because as I am clearly trying to demonstrate, I am open to all sorts of logical possibilities.

        5. Using maths
        My use of mathematics (actually it was based on this page which shows how creationists misuse maths… was simple and served the purpose of demonstrating that it is not that unlikely that lots of different simple life precursor molecules could have formed. Plenty of creationists use reruns of Hoyle’s “Whirlwind in a Junkyard” misconception to highlight unlikliness of modern protein synthesis. I am not arguing that though . The website above uses some simple maths to support an evolution based idea. I welcome an explanation of how my maths or that on the website is flawed. “Basics of chemistry” only destroy the notion of modern complex proteins forming spontaneously by chance. I hope I have made it clear that is not the argument here.

        6. The Bible
        I am glad you began talking about the bible by saying it cannot prove God exists. I am confused about the perceptions from nature that allow the leap of faith to believe in a God. What are these? I am not ignorant of all that we have discussed so far but I am struggling to find anything in our discussion that says such a leap of faith makes sense. I looked in detail at the “good archaeological evidence” you provided links to. Here is some more evidence from well before biblical times…. (Cave of forgotten Dreams is an excellent film by the way and well worth watching in 3D). How does any old rock carving, scroll, or burial ground provide evidence for God? It provides lots of evidence that people used to believe in Gods and didn’t understand the world around them.

        So what if places and names and dates in the bible may be partly accurate. Does this mean that everything else written down is? Does this mean we should take the book of genesis literally? We need to draw a line between simple facts like where a battle took place or when someone was born and died and amazing miracle acts like someone walking on water and 2 of every living creature on the planet being corralled onto a boat (how did Noah deal with the 2 woodworm by the way?). Maybe those who observed Jesus’ miracles were high on cannabis and hallucinated the whole thing. Am I being serious here? Ok maybe not completely but then again…… If what the bible says is true……

  33. 7. Bloody Meyer
    As for the Meyer debate. What is so scary is his misuse of the word “information”. I have already given my understanding of this above but his use is a gross generalisation. I can’t offer loads of examples of where “information” (in his and your context) comes from because I don’t use your and Meyer’s idea of what “information” is. You are asking to me to say where intelligently created “information” is produced without intelligence. This is a loaded question and a daft thing to ask. Of course I cannot do it. Yes, Meyer has a “stance” but lots of people have “stances”. Being able to suggest ways for these “stances” to have happened is a totally different kettle of fish.

    8. My world view on religion
    I am going to try not to offend here because plenty of religious people/people who believe in god are kind, giving and compassionate people as I am sure you and plenty of atheists are. However, the reason Meyer’s statement is so dangerous is because of how other people can and will use it for wrong doing. Like it or not religion has an ugly and painful history. How dare you suggest, “self analyzation” as if it would be some kind of magic wake up call. How dare you patronize me and the billions who have suffered at the hands of religious beliefs, systems and institutions. In fact shame on you for suggesting that to refuse religion is merely a “problem with one’s philosophical stance”. Suggest that to a woman being stoned to death in Iran or to someone old dear being swindled out of savings by a TV evangelist. We only need look at events in Norway recently to see how dangerous fundamentalist religious ideas can be. See past the unquestionable good that does stem from some religious practice and more often than not have a pretty horrible underbelly.

    You want to know “what is so scary”? (Maybe not for you or I at home on our computers with our partners and children in the background). You want to know what threatens my world view? It is creationist bullshit that serves only to prolong this planet’s agony of religious belief. I acknowledge there are a few peaceful religions but these unfortunately are a minority. “Agony” is a suitable word to use and here is why. Religion is often cruel, often prejudice and often inhumane and unkind and I personally would sooner have a planet that was free of it.
    You don’t need to be religious to do good, to love someone and to care about the world. So get off your “god loves you” soap box. I don’t need the love of a God. I am capable of loving myself and those around me and that doesn’t require a leap of faith or ill will to anyone. I hope all stays well with you too.

  34. fortheloveofscience

    I can agree with you on at least 1 point, I think our discussion is coming to a close. The “points” I have brought to the discussion were not merely attempts to show current scientific thinking is not yet complete and end it at that. That is how you view evolutionary scientific thinking. Of course they are incomplete just as in every field of science, but my points were to show that in light of the data we now have regarding physics to cellular biology, current evolutionary molecules-to-man thinking is not any where close to painting an accurate, feasible picture. Moreover, the “other” alternative that is currently ignored from investigation should in fact be investigated with as much precision as possible, not excluded a priori, realizing that some predictions of this “branch” may be beyond the scope of science just as some aspects of the current one are. Of course, this will never “prove” God, but if design is so very evident all throughout biology (which it certainly is), why not investigate the mere possibility of a designer if current experiments and theory of chance and “selective” agents significantly fail at explaining our dilemma of design? And please don’t follow suit with the simplistic rebuttal of not having any testable way to determine design (design inference certainly works with forensic science). You have no more of a chance of “proving” abiogenesis events in a lab (event if we were remotely close, which we are not) than “proving” a designer, both are grounded in inference , as is most all of evolutionary biology excluding present events. And it goes without saying that identifying that designer is well beyond the scope of science. On to the response…
    I have never rejected the possibility of a big bang…in fact, I think there is obvious evidence for the universe expanding. What I did reject to was that 10^80 atoms and all elegant physical fine-tuning properties could come from absolutely nothing by means of absolutely nothing, and I adhere to those beliefs as strong as ever (especially after watching Krauss and reading Hawking:) The fact that I believe that God is outside of these actions is by no means contradictory…He is eternal (unlike the universe), outside of “time”, and the most obvious is that He is supernatural…not bound by natural laws. Of course there is no “proof” of this, hence the wording “belief.” And getting to the leap of faith comment…sorry, but you are in the same boat as I am in. It is impossible to prove experimentally what happened at the beginning of the universe either (or even OOL for that matter). You will always have to take that leap of faith just as any other scientist will. It would do you well to identify the difference between your description of ”conveniently explaining all unknowns in an illogical way” and realizing what is truly being argued…I never said science should stop examining the evolutionary route…in fact, I rather like it because the more they try, the better the case for design becomes. However, I think it best for ALL possibilities to be examined, even if you consider one “illogical” because it doesn’t fit your own/atheistic/evolutionary agenda (more on this later). I think everything coming from nothing by means of absolutely nothing is certainly “illogical”, but I think it fair that scientists at least pursue and try to explore and explain it naturalistically, as opposed to refusing to even look into it from the start. My biggest gripe is this: science today is worldview/philosophy first, then evidence second leaving them with only one possibility to fit that evidence into. Therefore it is comforting to evolutionary science, in sort of a false-feedback scenario, that no matter what evidence comes up, it is already decided how everything has happened so the evidence MUST have to fit into the theory somehow and be true, no matter how counter-intuitive it may be. Evolutionary theory is the most elastic theory ever…it is so fluid, it explains everything…go ahead, give any data you want, and somehow it will fit into the theory. It has become unfalsifiable in evolutionary circles at least.

  35. fortheloveofscience

    Maybe using phrases like “why fight against the obvious” is going overboard…I apologize. But there was no purposeful “underhanded tactic” in play with my discussion. I do believe that growing evidence, especially with cellular biology and nanotechnology, mounts a big problem for naturalistic evolution (as do a growing number of scientists). Exactly what scientific research did I “parasitize?” I’d really love to know that one.
    I find it incredibly odd your accusation of “language usage” as this is one of the most important tactics of evolutionary talk. You give a great example of this later with your conflation of “information” to disregard an evolutionary enigma. No, we both know that “anything” is not information as you asked. And you really linked me to the Dawkins site trying to discredit information? Did you even read the page you linked? This is a classic example of adding context, misrepresentation, and clever redirection in order to escape what they have no naturalistic answer for (and a very poor academic attempt at that). You’d really do yourself well not to link to Dawkins…he does your argument no favors. Remember, I have played the game from your side…language contortion is any evolutionary specialty. (And yes I have read/seen much of the infamous PZ Meyers of Pharyngula, Dawkins, Miller, Dennett, and the ever-popular “Talk origins”). The information I speak of is detailed, digital-style source instruction code found in all living things. Is there information in non-living things…yes. Is driftwood an example-no. Are meaningful words information…yes, but of course letters are not. Complexity does not equate to information. You and I both know what information is and how it pertains to life…ask OOL biologists about information and they damn well know the problem I have discussed and you have side-stepped. Your (or anyone else’s) conflation to won’t work here.

    I am having a very hard time here…let me quote twice from your single paragraph: “why base your argument on DNA needing proteins and proteins needing DNA in the first place? Also, contrary to your statement, you most certainly can get simple self replicating proteins to form without DNA.” followed later by “You know as well as I do that DNA (and the complex proteins associated with them) were not the first life molecule to form yet you use the argument, “you don’t get proteins without a detailed DNA code and you need exquisite proteins to extract anything out of DNA”. And? You have pointed out the obvious…”
    First, I never said self replicators needed DNA to form…hence the name self-replicators. This is also very misleading and invalid in that you start with the end product in question, the self-replicating protein. Can you tell me that proteins self assemble themselves from random amino acids and other chemical elements in a variable solution into a life-stable chirality (i.e. left handed)? They don’t (so my statement, but more importantly the science is correct), but for arguments sake let’s say they could…what would that have to do with DNA you ask? Well, what would be the purpose of DNA if proteins could do it themselves and how/why would DNA become so exclusively dependent on proteins and proteins exclusively dependent on DNA for reading into eventual translation? Also, what about the information coded within DNA? The argument here is plain biology, not some fantasy world. And by the way, stop trying to mislead by arguing the the “first molecule on the scene” bit…I have clearly been talking about first molecules that could possibly lead to the simplest life, not the ridiculously complex eukaryotic cells or even proteins that we have today. However, and this is fault in evolutionary thinking, there should be a “base point” to at which we could consider “life,” and any suggestions or links you have provided fail to even approach what would be needed to constitute this simple life beginning…unless of course you just skip science and use imagination instead, you know, as you accuse creationists of doing. And my dear Lord, the DNA book website you linked to…please. It’s a nice materialistic story (and glad they chose to start it as “Once upon a time.”.-at least that was fitting. And sorry to burst your bubble, but the few “testable” options that could be derived from that story fail miserably in the face of science. You should have left it at it is “primarily a work of imagination” and it would be a more accurate assessment. I’m not trying sound to rude, but I think you have a difficult time arguing this DNA/protein/abiogenesis issue. If you cannot see the dilemma of DNA and proteins in the light of abiogenesis, I either suggest you do more research (or maybe not after reading your links) or not argue this point altogether. You certainly argue other points much better. Here is a good link to discussion on the topic: This site allows both IDers and materialists to participate…feel free, but I am a novice compared to most who post there, so you may welcome the challenge.

    • fortheloveofscience

      4. Smoke and mirrors…First off, I am anything but an expert, therefore completely unqualified to be a world-renowned speaker and I’m sure you can tell that. I certainly have very little figured out. And I apologize AGAIN (the second time you mentioned it) to have stated “why fight against the obvious”…over the top on my part. Certainly not an attempt at brainwashing, I will leave that to the evolution camp…I could never compete against them.
      I will state your last sentence: “If you claim that self-replicating molecular complexes can’t occur naturally then let’s see your proof.” That’s not how it works and it’s a poor and underhanded question (wasn’t your accusation “smoke and mirrors”?) You (naturalistic evolutionary theory) claim that these proteins CAN be made by nature alone, therefore it is your burden to prove that they can (especially when experimental evidence is uniformly absent for this proposition). I am simply following the science and experiments that we have. If I told you watermelons are blue inside until they are cut open and you disagree because the science and logic seem to indicate otherwise, it would be ridiculous for me to shift the burden of proof to you and say “well, prove that they aren’t blue.”
      I will call a spade a spade, and in your second paragraph you do a much better job explaining what you believe in terms of chance and selection…and it is mostly accurate until the very last part. Also, I never suggested molecular complexes being created in a single occurrence. You do a nice job by saying events happen by chance (modus operandi of evolutionary theory in terms of supposedly creating new material, like mutational events) and then having selection work as the filter. That is correct. My point and my harping on the chance aspect is that it is the real key to evolution…it is what is needed to make anything new, or anything for that matter. ( I have never argued against natural selection…very observable, testable, and fits perfectly well in either evolutionary or creation accounts). I have continued to promote the chance aspect because evolutionists routinely either ignore/discredit the role of chance in evolutionary change while over-emphasizing and mis-crediting the real capabilities of natural selection. Selection is a working filtering process, not a creative one and most people cannot/refuse to grasp this important aspect. I see chance as the least probable of choices, you see it as inevitable and the only one (that I can decipher from your argument).
      The computer code analogy doesn’t fit directly with biology, of course, it was meant to be a simple scenario illustrating how to use design detection. And yes it is entirely different system with different mechanisms…features many times less complicated than we see with DNA and biological systems. If we can reasonably infer design/designer from much simpler computer codes (and many other things), why is it such an “illogical” view to infer design/designer in far more elegant and complex biological systems? In the end, design may not end up being correct , but my point is it is not a bit less logical than inferring random chance/mutation and natural selection as a possible causative agent. And this , I believe, illustrates perhaps the biggest difference between the two of us. You say you are open to “all sorts of logical possibilities” but refuse to entertain design as logical, leaving you with naturalistic evolution by default, no matter how strong or weak the evidence, how probable or improbable the mathematics. It is indeed a philosophical necessity. I at least entertain the possibility that naturalistic evolution may turn out to be true, while maintaining my personal stance that intelligent design being a much better fit with the actual science. I think what you meant to say is that you are open to any and all logical possibilities that you deem logical:)

  36. fortheloveofscience

    5. Math…I agree some creationists misuse maths to make a point (even though they often cite atheist Hoyle), just as some evolutionists misrepresent what would be needed for life to make their numbers more believable. I believe talkorigins does this masterfully. The misrepresent what knowledgable creationists would argue ( simple chemicals–> bacteria = strawman) and fill their series of steps in with “must haves” and “assumes” and “ the early earth and oceans surely”…certainly a far cry from hard science and none of which offered detailed processes connected to the point. After reading the entire page, my impression (as serves quite naturally with this website) is that they were using some technical terms, many non-relevant statistics, and a whole bunch of assumptions to try and make the case sound solid. A lot of fluff, not much substance. See linked article above for challenges conveniently skipped.

    6. Bible…Again, there is no proof for God. And I would never think that anything offered in the Bible (which you probably are entirely misinformed…that’s not a knock on you, as an atheist, why would you be?) would cause you to take a leap of faith and believe. By the way, the Bible never says Noah took 2 of every living creature…very common misinformation (2 of every KIND -not specie- that “has the breath of life” only). Oh, I’m glad you mentioned Jesus and weed….it was only a matter of time…thought that would have come out much earlier. There are many aspects about Christianity and the scriptures that I find to be undoubtedly persuasive but none of which are worth posting on a site like this. All I can say is that I once held your belief and (without ever trying cannabis:) I have come to know and believe in the Creator God. Miracles wouldn’t be exactly difficult for a supernatural, almighty God…if He exists, correct? I know this means absolutely nothing to you, so you need not respond with the predictable.
    Meyer Lemons….dang they taste great! Seriously, It is well documented that you loathe Meyer (much like certain evolutionists for me) so this topic isn’t very fruitful. I already discussed the terminology issue above so I won’t drag it out any further here. The one question I will ask is this: what “kind” of “information” do you feel is in living systems? Enough information to build a cell…or a baby? Isn’t it weird that our amazingly intelligent scientists can’t seem to put together this “non-intelligent” information and build a cell after years and years of trying? I know you have the faith that one day our super-intelligent scientists will intelligently build what was supposed to happen by random, unguided accidents, and this will ultimately prove that no intelligence was involved!
    7. Religion…I actually hate religion too. So did Jesus (he hammered the Pharisees and Sadducees for their religion)…it’s not about religion or works, it’s always been about belief and trusting in God’s promise, period. I am sorry if you/family or for anyone else that has suffered from the hands of religions. You have not offended me…I think more often than not Christians are their own worst enemies…they (I ) are no better than anyone else. I feel as though you pretty upset with the “how dare you patronize” me response…again very sorry you felt I was patronizing, it was nowhere close to my motive.
    I will not rebut with a bunch of “how dare you’s” as you I feel you have attempted to make believing in God the reason for agony on Earth. While there are numerous examples of religions causing tremendous harm (did you really just link Meyer to death, money swindling, etc because of his definition of “information”????), so there are numerous examples of naturalistic “religion” (i.e. evolution and some of it’s tenets ) causing harm as well. Hitler and the nazi camps? The readings of mein kampf have a glorious evolutionary flare to them. How about the Eugenics movement in America?…absolutely disgusting implementation of “fundamentalist” naturalistic ideas. “We need only to look at the events” at Columbine high school shootings in 1999 where the shooters wore “natural selection” tshirts and wrote intensively about evolution and getting rid of the weak. Am I suggesting evolutionary theory wrong or bad because people chose to misuse it? Well wrong, yes, but that reasoning has already been discussed, but bad in and of itself, no. Why make that mistake with religions that worship God instead of worshiping chance and time? At least people who believe in good have some reasoning beyond themselves for moral values…not to conflate with altruistic behaviors.

    I find Earth to be in agony, I totally agree. I won’t cop out and pinpoint it solely on religion (which you are part of like it or not), I think it’s due to all man’s sinful nature period. There are perfectly awesome atheists, intelligent, loving, and kind. I never even implied that you have to be religious to be good…not sure where you assumed that from anything I said, but if you think it helps your argument…

  37. Maybe the end isn’t as close as I suspected. I have to address a few things although I feel as tired as you of repeating some key ideas. I am enjoying the conversation though and you are certainly more informed and well written than other creationists I have spoken to but no more convincing, to me at least, that there is a God or designer. I might be banging my head against a wall here but I am passionate about this subject so will try and talk with more clarity and fact this time around. I am still getting at the fact that because ID proponents can say, with some degree of truth, that certain biochemical processes that we know of today couldn’t have happened under conditions billions of years ago is not evidence for design. Most important thing first today…

    1. Abiogenesis (a separate theory to evolution)
    Starting with this because of your Uncommon Decent blog link. We know early Earth had very different chemical and environmental conditions to now. It is also true to say there were lots of organic molecules with quite possibly even more being added from space. A little aside if I may, given that you bought up chirality… (Marcellus et al, 2011) have recently shown in The Astrophysical Journal how meteorites have an enantiometric (more of one chirality amino acid) excess. Their work was done using certain conditions and is not conclusive but it is a possible mechanism for an imbalance in chirality that led to concentrations of certain left handed amino acids. By the way, glycine is life stable and it is right handed. Aside over.

    To begin explaining abiogenesis you are correct, we have to know where these amino acids came from. They must have biochemically evolved in the conditions of the time or come from space, or have been created supernaturally (oh that hurt but let’s entertain the notion). I don’t like the word “life-stable” because it implies we know what the first life was. I totally disagree we need to come to a base point when talking of life. Why do we? If life evolved it would (going backwards) get simpler and simpler, going back before DNA there would have been simpler biochemical processes that didn’t use today’s “complex machinery”. Insisting on a base point for life is a pretty much a self fulfilling prophecy for the creationist because it allows them to ignore the idea that life used to be very simple indeed, right down to the point before the first simple primitive interaction between molecules that started the whole thing off.

    Let’s look at how things might have proceeded. Early life processes and whatever forms began to harbour these processes could not have contained the complex protein machinery that we have today. So let’s do away with the “complex proteins and DNA didn’t just happen argument”. What were early forms of “life” then? Has it or has it not been proven that simple fatty acids (what modern cell walls are made from) which were around at the time, can spontaneously form stable vesicles (primitive ring structures) in a whole range of conditions? Has it also not been proven that organic molecules could have passed freely into and out of these vesicles? I mention this because creationists often point to the complicated plasma membrane of cells with their impressive transport proteins as the means of entry for external substances into a cell like structure.

    A life process as we know it i.e. growth would have been very different and you guessed it, more simple back then. A vesicle wouldn’t have “eaten” but would have simply incorporated nearby free fatty acid molecules which there would have been plenty of. This would have been driven by the hydrophyllic and hydrophobic nature of the molecules and by thermodynamics. Fatty acid vesicles have been shown to grow and they grow into branch shaped structures. Not particularly strong structures mind you, even mild forces could have broken them up and there were plenty of those on early Earth. So here we have a spontaneously growing and dividing form. Life processes without life. Using the term at this stage is entirely subjective hence it makes no sense to insist on a start point. You choose when it started.

    • The next problem for scientists is the genetic material. Where the hell did that come from? Again let’s not look for where today’s complex stable nucleotides came from because as you rightly point out, they need proteins to replicate and we don’t have any yet. Early Earth is known to have contained many different types of nucleotides and all it would have taken is for one of these to spontaneously polymerize. (This is where you sigh and assume I didn’t read or understand the Uncommon Decent blog on peptide bond formation but you’d be wrong). The article is quite predictable in that it talks about the unlikelihood and difficulties surrounding modern nucleotide formation although it does well to consider other arguments like the RNA world. Yes I am aware of the (until recently) constraints of this theory also. Where would something as simple as RNA get the energy to do its job? It is too simple a thing to metabolize and where were the base materials for polypeptides anyway? RNA can’t make proteins that big and certainly not proteins which are even more complex than RNA? Etc etc. I am not making light of these very sensible and important questions, just saying we have some pretty good ideas about them and are finding new evidence all the time (because people are stupid enough to keep studying this). So we have a vessel and we have self replicating polymers. From here let me refer you to Prof Jack Jack Szostak of Harvard University because I am very interested in his work also. (warning, unnecessary music).

      Ideas and experiments on the fine details of how RNA was able to do this are even more impressive. If only there was an article that neatly documented the progress of this issue and provided some extra weight to the argument…… I like the bit at the bottom of page two where a scientist concedes that may have well been going about it the wrong way and doesn’t simply force an idea into an elastic theory. What say you to Sutherland’s work?

      So there are plenty of theories around all the problems you have bought up, they are being added to all the time. You are good at telling me what I would do well to do and not do so here’s a taste of your own. Do look up some of Szostak's videos on YouTube. They are simplifications of his articles which I also advise you read but at least have a think about his work on RNA and clay before you decide with such conviction that your spade actually is a spade.…. I maintain that you and every other creationist is way too stuck on present day complex cell machinery and should look more closely at alternative pathways for its evolution before saying it couldn’t have happened. I feel frustrated by the, “all the worlds scientists and greatest minds haven’t been able to” argument that you have used in one form or another on a few occasions. Again I just put it to you that it is irrational to expect us to know everything at this time and irrational further still to then say we should take leaps of faith into the supernatural because of our uncertainties. What authority do you have to say that we can’t continue to learn? You might as well say let’s quit looking for a cure for cancer or that no further progress will be made in any other field of science.

      2. Investigating God
      I think you make the world of believers sound a little too hard done by. You talk of evolutionists excluding God a priori and of failing to investigate a creator. I just want to check but there are scientists, well funded ones at that at the Discovery Institute who have faith right? Very clever, able scientists? The door is wide open for them to step up and prove design happened. You gave me a good roasting and unfairly so with your blue water melon metaphor but that is exactly what every creationist does. “Prove us wrong” they cry, “you can’t because god is outside of the realm of science”. I am as optimistic as the next person but isn’t this a pretty impossible challenge for science? What you are really saying is “buy into our leap of faith or shut the hell up because you can’t disprove it”. Maybe this is why many evolutionists don’t bother trying to seriously investigate God. If they did investigate and found God to be false they would be told their work was invalid because God is supernatural and cannot be investigated.

      • It is fine for me to say “prove they can’t” because plenty of scientists are currently seeking (amongst all the chastising for not investigating design) the proof demanded. It is not like they are hanging around assuming their work complete. You want an immediate answer then damn well prove this situation otherwise be patient and see what research brings up. Don’t like simplistic rebuttals? Sorry, but it is that simple. You might think it “fair” to investigate the possibility of God but you really, really don’t want it to ever be possible do you? You have bought into being loved by God and God being able to do miracles and as much as you say “I go where the evidence leads me” you seem to be really good at needing no evidence in order to accept the supernatural.

        2. Krauss’ Video
        I find it hard to believe that you did watch or understand the ideas Krauss spoke of. Did you watch the part where he spoke of most matter in the universe being dark matter and previously unknown to us? Or where he explained that “nothing” is not what we thought it was and showed a simulation of the activity in the “empty” space inside a proton (simulation based on quantitative data). Or where he said that you pretty much need a state of nothing in order to get something and how empty space does in fact have mass? Where he made it pretty clear that “nothing” is indeed something and pre-requisite for matter as we know it? Where he spoke about dark matter being a newly discovered type of elementary particle? I could go one but it seems like you have chosen to turn a convenient blind eye so probably not worth it. You asked for evidence or ideas as to where matter could spontaneously come from your understanding of “nothing”. I believe this is such an idea with evidence to back it up. Over to you on this one and I hope you’ll say why your beliefs are as strong as ever after watching this. I love people like Krauss who are stretching what we know and understand and not just stretching their imagination. I don’t automatically believe every scientist I hear or read but Krauss I find pretty interesting, same for Dawkins even if you advise me not to quote or link to him. This advice incidentally seems silly coming from a self confessed non-expert with “very little figured out”. Would you do me and Dawkins the honour of justifying your advice?

        3. AAAAAARGH, faith.
        Please stop telling me I have and need faith and that we are in the same boat. I have already admitted my faith and discussed it in an earlier post. Our faiths are just different. Yours is illogical (and there is no need to put that word in “”s) because it depends on accepting something supernatural, mine is based on understanding the real world so we most certainly are NOT “in the same boat”. How do you know God is eternal, outside of time and supernatural? How do you know? (My face reddens with frustration). Something pretty amazing must have happened to you to make you switch your views. It is not good enough to say you just have faith because this allows anyone else to believe in any other supernatural being they choose to make up. This goes way beyond your argument for a designer or something intelligent that started life on earth, which you at least look to science to substantiate.

        3.On a designer
        I still maintain though that all of these links are “this couldn’t have happened” style writings and fair enough, this is how science should work but this is a far cry from “this is how we think it happened”. I disagree that science is worldview/philosophy first and evidence second. Do you think scientists went into their professions to conform and agree with theories postulated prior to them? Doesn’t the very success of scientists depend on them finding out something new? Dead ends and wrong ideas are bound to be encountered. If I was stuck in a pitch black cave with no obvious way out I would not sit down and hope to magically materialize outside the cave. I would keep trying to get out. I would feel my way down different passages because passages would be what I had to work with. Sorry for any innuendo there.

        • Evolutionary science is not a false-feedback scenario but I agree that it is elastic. It has to be. To say it cannot change is to say we have found all the answers and we know we have not, yet. Of course, the parts we know and can observe should be added to until we have something complete. It is not a case of being able to add any data one wants, just look at the admissions over how the RNA world has lead to dead ends (until very recently). If you have a theory about how life has started and you investigate how life started then it stands to reason that you will gradually find out about how life started or indeed didn’t start. You shouldn’t attempt to make it sound like evolutionary theory is wrong or in some way cheating because it is being added to. It demands being added to. Anyway, talking about elastic theory is a bit pot and kettle on your part. How old and elastic is the theory of God? So elastic in fact that it stretches as far as to say it outside the realm of time and space. By crikey that’s amazing! It has stretched to accommodate every counter argument that has ever headed its way in the last…… very long time. I am just thankful we have reached a point where those with counter arguments no longer get locked up for their work.

          5. Information
          I knew you would have fun with the Dawkins link. I also knew you would still fail to see the context in which it was used. You prove as much by suggesting I am trying to misdirect and by saying “we both know anything is not information”. This is precisely my point. I think anything IS information, even a lone atom, even the empty space within a lone atom. To me DNA is just more complex stuff. It is made of atoms and so is everything else and all the Meyers video was meant to show was that if complex structures like driftwood walls can form through natural processes then so might even more complicated stuff. Who is anyone to step in and say, “Hey this is too complex to have formed naturally”. What did you call it? “Detailed, digital-style source instruction code”? Nice name but I think it evolved from “non detailed, digital-style source instruction code” as discussed above. I don’t see this as side stepping. I just refused to use your meaning of information. “Evolutionary enigma”? What? Only if you treat is such and choose not to try and understand it.

          You might not be deliberately parasitizing a scientific idea which is why I put you somewhere on a scale between misunderstanding and parasitism but here is a good example of you taking things out of context. You said, “Is there information in non-living things…yes. Is driftwood an example-no”. With this statement you clearly suggest that I am trying to say a wall of drift wood contains complexity along the lines of DNA. I believe your innocence when it comes to my accusation. Your remark, “Are meaningful words information…yes, but of course letters are not” shows your inground view on this matter, a view I think that is rather narrow.

          6. Bible/Religion
          I am more familiar with it than you might expect given my “breath of life” slip up when mentioning the ark. Was it really necessary to point that out? It hasn’t really changed the incredulity of the story, in fact it makes it even more amazing. That only “kinds” of animals were taken onto the ark makes evolution even faster than I thought and suggests a bafflingly impressive understanding of phylogeny on Noah’s part. Slap my wrist, I forgot it was a miracle. But anyway, that’s a by-the-by. I am interested in your “on a site like this” comment. What is this meant to mean? Do you think I can’t see the valuable and important messages in the bible? I can. Or is this just a put-down for us miracle deniers? It turns out I know quite a few hymns, psalms and parables and have a bible (it was forced upon me by the Gideons when I was in school) which I have picked through and pondered most of. What sort of atheist would I be if I hadn’t tried to understand that which I didn’t believe in? I find a lot of the messages persuasive and worth adhering to although a lot of them I figured out on my own with no religious upbringing.

  38. Sincere apologies for my rant in the previous post, I don’t think it helped my cause. It was me who was on a high horse and I could have made the same points with more grace and been less reactionary but I do think your suggestion of self analysis was naïve. You have been polite and not offending in your remarks except in suggesting I am unable to carry out research. I wouldn’t have a Masters degree if this was the case.
    You are completely right to say I am part of a religious world and I accept. You may also hate religion but believing in God and following religious practice seems inextricably linked in the public eye. I understand how you personally can lead a life believing on your own peaceful terms, you’ll have a hard time trying to distance your beliefs and practice from it.
    The “how dare you” was also unnecessary and a little self righteous so sorry again. But if I may explain my rage, it makes me livid how religious practice which has your improvable and unlikely supernatural God at the heart of it causes so much harm. It would be great if all religious practitioners shared your beliefs but they don’t.
    I think your points on Eugenics, Hitler and Columbine poorly done and a little, if not intentionally distasteful. You really don’t have a leg to stand on in this argument. Hitler and even more so the Eugenics movement may have used ideas pertaining to evolution but what can you do if fundamentalist a-holes pick up your ideas and undertake some seriously nasty business based on them? Of course I don’t condone that movement but the difference between them and religious movements is that the core of scientists and researchers working on expounding evolution are not responsible for fuelling the Eugenics movement and did not tell Hitler and the Eugenics movement to do what they did. The central authority, the leaders of the largest religious movement in the world though, the Pope and the Vatican, have held and still hold very dubious beliefs, practices and teachings which they unfairly enforce upon those in their religion. In case you didn’t watch it first time round

    Hitler was not an evolutionist he was a fundamentalist. Mein Kampf does have evolutionary undertones but Hitler’s hating of the Jews had a lot more to do with his upbringing, having a bastard of a father who beat him a lot and being rejected (at times by Jews) in most things he turned his hand to in early life. You are really clutching at straws if you suggest Darwin’s theory is even partly responsible for the holocaust. The kids in Columbine? I do think you are being underhand here intentionally or not, to try and link this to evolutionary belief. The answer to that one lies in a degradation of the family unit and teenage subcultures in modern America (and elsewhere) and not the evolutionary movement. Listen to the song “Jeremy” by Pearl Jam. This sadly and simply explains more about Columbine than evolution does. The song is actually about a suicide in an English lesson by a boy in Texas in ’91, 8 years prior to Columbine. It is also about another incident in the school of band vocalist Eddie Vedder, where someone he knew went a bit crazy with a gun. The lyrics are easy enough to understand. They talk of rejection, self doubt, self loathing and a cry for help, not evolution. The Columbine shooters sadly also killed themselves before they were caught, not something they would do if trying to spread the word of evolution.

    • If evolutionists told those boys to kill their school mates and told the Eugenics movement to commit social cleansing you might have a point but they didn’t. If evolutionists told women in Africa that condoms were more evil than AIDS, or told homosexuals that they were ill and refused them entry into their churches; forcibly converted people from their beliefs to evolutionary beliefs; told grieving parents their baby wouldn’t go to heaven if not baptized; if evolutionists thought that mutilating the genitals of baby girls was acceptable (not a Christian practice fortunately); if evolution did these things you would have a point that it isn’t fair to label religion wrong. Don’t even get me started on fundamentalist Islamic practice (even if core Islamic beliefs are peaceful). We will never have religion without conflict. People who “worship chance and time” on the other hand generally tend to just want to find out how we got here (sorry if that is too profound).
      I didn’t and I don’t blame all the world’s woes on religion, I am not that blinkered. I appreciate that you may have managed to separate yourself from religion but most haven’t. Unacceptable religious practice doesn’t add weight to the science behind the evolutionary movement either. The evidence and a lack of evidence for God does (and we are going to have to agree to disagree on the evidence point). This is why I got angry. That all these bad things happen based on what I believe are false beliefs. That is my view and I have seen firsthand what wars largely fuelled by religious belief have done to innocent people. I have seen a child be born, get orphaned and then itself die from AIDS while those around her prayed to their God. Yet you have told me your God is alive and well today and loves me. That he has the power to do anything we can imagine but refuses to get involved? I cannot make sense of this and the fact “He” allows each year around 8 million of his creations to suffer and die before they have reached 5years old.

      A final apology (I do have a big mouth sometimes but meant no ill will), you didn’t imply one has to be religious to do good. This is done all too often though. I can give plenty of examples if you wish but I don’t think they will make my view any clearer than what’s already been said.

  39. fortheloveofscience

    I will try to make this quick as I will soon not have much time (job shift) and I see us as just banging our heads against the wall as well… I can tell you are very passionate about the topic as am I. I enjoyed reading your posts…you have become clearer with most points in what you believe (although I , like you, remain astoundingly unconvinced from your argument). Here goes…
    1. Abiogenesis…your argument here was much clearer (at least to me), but we will have to agree to disagree on some points. First, the chirality issue…I can only base off of what we actually know about life not about what we can imagine (this is where your thinking says “life” was drastically different…but we have no proof of that, and if we just “imagine” we can assume any old casual step by step process which may or may not have happened….but make no mistake, it is assumption and a leap of faith not based on what we currently understand about any aspect of life, yes even simple life). Naturally occurring amino acids pose a problem (maybe not insurmountable in theory, but definitely a big issue in the real world— the one you supposedly base your ideas in,, that is, when helps your argument) in terms of the capabilities of unguided protein formation that could lead to life, or even “life processes” for that matter. I disagree with your statement that life gets simpler and simpler..(to the point of subatomic particles too?) At what point is something “alive?” This is simply escaping the problem by saying anything is possible—and the reason I posted that this theory has become unfalsifiable. We have gotten to the point where any information or even wild ideas can be manufactured to “fit” the theory and any/all problems raised about it. If we have all components of life present, why doesn’t life naturally form(heck, even using guiding lab practices and yes, yes, I read the linked article and watched the entire video)? A big difference between our thinking is how we view life…I see a profound, amazing, “grand canyon” style gap between life and non-life…and no, not talking about “present day” life either. And more importantly, I see no accidental method that could that could produce “life” (quotes for our differences) and propagate it (even over ions, including selection) into what we know life as today and there certainly is no hard evidence to back that claim up. Hey, we just see things differently– extremely differently. I think my stance makes more sense with the science we currently have, and I’m glad you feel yours makes more sense (with the science you are betting on for the future). I think there probably will never be any legitimate ”science” to take abiogenesis / creation out of the realm of assumption (at least that’s my opinion)…even though Sutherland disagrees. If “that experiment” (talked about by Sutherland at the end of the article) were ever done, I would rethink my position if it “were done” correctly. But right now, the articles/videos linked only demonstrate very limited progress with the intervention of highly skilled biochemists to get the results that they want (the video was what I come to expect from evolutionists-a joke ,no offense, but the article a better read). If it was a “true” natural occurrence, scientists would not have to “put” things together and “reorder” events using biochemical techniques…it defeats the entire purpose of naturalistic, unguided abiogenesis and conversely becomes “intelligently” intervened/designed experiments.
    Lastly, I have no authority and have never implied that “we can’t continue to learn” …and then the quitting on cancer comment…please read my posts before making yourself sound silly…I have stated numerous times otherwise that science should keep trying…never once mentioned it should quit. That was shoddy and makes your argument sound desperate.

    • fortheloveofscience

      2.Investigating God…try to be quick here…Your argument can easily be turned right around against you –> If a scientist found unguided chance and chemistry unable to produce life, they would be told their work was invalid because “life” was different back then or it was protolife or ”it had to happen because hey, we are here” type argument (which, by the way, are some of the exact answers most give when questioned). Also, for the last time, the Discovery institute (from my experience) and certainly My argument is not science saying God did it…it simply saying life was designed, so stop purposefully misrepresenting the two to try and make it sound more invalid. Of course nobody/no science can prove anything about God if He is beyond nature…how many times do I need to say that to stop the strawmen? And I’m sorry some creationists may have used the “prove He doesn’t exists” card with you, but it was not me (and it is a poor tactic, I totally agree). My blue watermelon comment was directly replying to you stating “If you claim that self-replicating molecular complexes can’t occur naturally then let’s see your proof”…don’t you see the irony here? And your final accusation of me not wanting the possibility to really investigate God…of course I would love that…if there were a way to scientifically investigate beyond nature. You are persistent at taking bits of one argument and conflating them into another to try and make a point. My “following where the evidence leads” refers to the data that we have most clearly indicates a design/designer…not a direct jump to the supernatural God …this is getting tiresome, is it your only tactic? Anyone reading this knows you have a MEGA issue with the idea of God… but let’s try to keep to the points of the argument.
      krauss..I did watch, and I think I relatively understood (admittedly not well-versed in physics) what krauss was “preaching”. Yes to the dark matter. Yes, I watched him speak of “nothing” in terms of “virtual” particles acted on by quantum mechanics. I did watch the video, you need not regurgitate all of his main points as your sole argument…so I didn’t turn a blind eye. From the little I have read on quantum mechanics, and I’m glad krauss mentioned this, they often use math to correct themselves…and I was waiting for him to downgrade the discussion to the infamous “zero” argument…it, after all, can attempt to explain away (at least mathematically) the beginning of the universe. The “stardust” different in my left hand than in my right?…where in the world is the science for that? The reason I said my beliefs are still solid is because they are. Impressive math, much theory, but most all of which I watched in that video I have seen before, so it wasn’t anything new…even the predictable yet childish and arrogant “potshots” of anyone who believes in God (must be a gene or something). As far as Dawkins, I found his arguments embarrassing when I was an atheist, and just plain funny now. But, let’s move on..

  40. fortheloveofscience

    4. Faith…you help with my point. Please tell me, and I asked this before, how my faith is illogical and yours is so logical (as you say of yourself)? Just because you say that something is logical and another is illogical doesn’t mean it’s true, sorry to burst your bubble. How do you know atoms organized themselves into eventual life? How do you know? See how easy that was? Even a cave man can do it. It’s beyond the realm of science to prove it happened this way, since it supposedly happened 3.8 bya, not to mention the monumental lack of evidence for that extraordinary claim. I am sorry it reddens your face, but we are in the same boat, most assuredly paddling in opposite directions, but the same boat nonetheless…but continue convincing yourself otherwise.
    Designer…yes scientists’ funding resides in finding “new” information, but scientists careers depend on agreeing with the dogma of almighty naturalistic evolution. Funny you mentioned us reaching a point where those with counter arguments don’t get locked up. Thanks for the setup…In any other area of science, radical (and often unprovable) ideas are proposed and entertained without a shred of evidence (i.e. multi-universe), without any fear of rejection or loss of their jobs by the scientific community EXCEPT evolutionary theory…it is unchallengeable today. Yeah, that’s a good way to do science….stifle any questioning that goes against the accepted view. Remember, Darwin himself challenged the prevalent view at the time. A little ironic and defensive, but not surprising considering the status of this theory.

    5. Information…don’t flatter yourself, I understood the context that was used on the dawkins site, but go ahead, put your head in the sand, and keep thinking that anything is information. Another perfect example in coming up with any meaning whatsoever to circumvent any challenges and fit anything into this unfalsifiable theory. If you choose to think this way, our discussion on this topic is fruitless. Please tell me how “aoehdhgduydtdfyfuyfuyruf” is informative as compared “Stephen Meyer converted to atheism”? Just less ordered? Less complex? Where /how is my view so “narrow?” You have absolutely no reasonable argument here.

  41. fortheloveofscience

    6. Bible/religion…thanks for the personal info about your biblical experience. And I assumed incorrectly, kudos for you for attempting to “read behind enemy lines” so to speak…most atheists in my experience have zero idea what the bible says…they just throw out the standard misinformed questions- much like many creationists. A quick correction (one that is usually misunderstood with christians by the way), Noah had no idea of “phylogenies” of course, but he did not bring any animals to/on the arc…God did, and that makes a big difference. And the “breathe of life” I thought important to point out(not trying to jest at you), but it’s a common misinterpretation that 2 of “every animal” was on the arc…what the bible describes of “breath of life” and “kinds” actually significantly lowers the number of animals that would have been on the arc, for what it’s worth. Onto the “sites like this”…sorry if you took offense to that (again nothing personal was meant by it)…but I find it typically most productive to stick to scientific issues, and this is easily shown why by your comment on “miracle deniers”…of course you deny non-naturalistic miracles, so what would be the benefit of laying out a case describing my belief in the supernatural justified by the word of God? I wish I could (would take incredibly too long) but most people reading/visiting this site loathe the supernatural/God idea as much as yourself. I apologize again if I offended you…I’m glad you know information about the bible.

    I am happy for you that you have worked hard to earn your masters…I do not recall ever saying you cannot “carry out research”…but if I somehow implied that my apologies. First, I very much agree with you that religion has a very bad, ugly side (as I mentioned before). You partially made my point for me with your first comments on how “fundamentalist a-holes” can pick up ideas and undertake some very nasty business. The main aspect you have a valid point with this is that some religions (Islam, possibly others) actively profess violence towards infidels and some other issues. I will never argue that it is ok for that to happen…no excuse and those that use religion in that manner are pitiful. I very much agree we will never have religion without conflict…too many different views, too much at stake. And I personally would not classify catholics as Christian (yes, I grew up catholic)…there are no doubt many catholics who are christian, but as a whole, this is certainly a “religion” which has many aspects with it that I find absolutely not supported in the bible (purgatory, the pope and his “role”/powers, etc.) …although I think Hitchens went a bit overboard in his video rant….but I have to agree some of it was to the point. I will also agree with you that there is a greater percentage of “religious” people that misuse their religion than scientists, but does that make the idea of God essentially wrong? Many scientists have misused their power for personal advancement and very bad effects that have been connected tho evolutionary thinking…I ask again does it make evolutionary theory evil? My whole point is you can’t pigeonhole entire realms of thought because some opt to use certain elements for ill effects.
    I am sorry, but your assessment of the lack of connections of evolutionary ideas to Hitler, Eugenics, and Columbine are just simply incorrect. Trying to separate it from the “religious” side by saying that evolutionists didn’t “tell them” to do anything is a lame argument. Just because evolutionary fundamentalists do different “evils” from different sources than religious fundamentalists doesn’t make your point valid. You would do better (as I have done with religion) to just accept that when used incorrectly, evolution can be just as “evil” as any other aspect of our world, and leave it at that because your attempted justification is a work in denial. The book “From Darwin to Hitler” by Richard Weikart is an interesting read if you so chose to learn more about the connection. If no time to read, here is a very good video link:
    Also, here’s a quick article referencing Columbine and others (sorry, the connection is obvious unless you just want to be disingenuous…remember, you easily “make the connection” with the Norway shooter) … By the way, I was a Pearl Jam fan back in the day so yes I understood Jeremy :)

    On a final note, you talk about evolutionists and religious people that can be good and live a moral life to which I certainly agree. You also have very passionate accusations of the evils of this world, many of which I totally agree with. I’m curious as to how do you personally classify something as “evil?” As a strict naturalistic evolutionist, how do you justify morals, and what determines them to be wright/wrong or good/bad? Is it simply the alignment of atoms?

    • Good luck with the new job. My summer hols finish next week so I won’t have the time for lengthy responses either. I have posted a few disagreements below but not necessarily to elicit any further argument. I guess the aim is more to try and understand our differences which I think it is fair to say we are going to maintain. If I repeat anything you’ve already said then apologies, I am just trying to get my head around it. A lot of what we have discussed is subjective and I guess depends a lot on the people we are and the experience we have.

      Abiogenesis: I am glad you found my argument on abiogenesis clearer this time. I agree entirely that the work done to date on this topic makes a lot of assumptions and is as yet inconclusive. I don’t think it a secret that certain parts of Sutherland’s work have been, put together, re-ordered or indeed intelligently designed. I think it is a massive assumption on your part and maybe hints at a lack of understanding of experimental process to think that, “true natural occurrences” do not require any manipulation in laboratory conditions. Don’t forget this occurrence happened under vastly different circumstances to natural conditions today. Far from being an incorrect way to conduct an experiment this is quite often the way scientific work proceeds. Often the first goal is to find out whether or not something can happen, under any conditions (even forced, controlled ones) and then see if that same something can be made to happen in different conditions. So this work to me at least seems positive and promising. I doubt the experiment was set up to prove anything once and for all but was instead exploring the possibility of such an event being tangible before investigating it further.

      You can disagree all you like about life getting simpler and simpler as we go back in time but as discussed in my last post, it is possible for life processes to happen without DNA present and we already have a clear documented history of life getting smaller and smaller and less and less complex. I follow PZ Meyers and just take it a step further. We can show that organic chemicals can increase in complexity and that simple vessels can grow and divide and become more complex. To me it seems like we know the big picture already, we just need to find out the fine details. That we don’t already know them is not (to me at least) reason to say they didn’t happen.

      This whole conversation boils down to this. You think there is evidence (usually along the lines of, “we can’t show how something this complex came about”) that first life was designed and then make a leap of faith to a supernatural event (yes I know, let’s not try and apply science to that and mislead, we just have to prove design and believe the rest). I think life evolved from non living organic compounds that were already present and have faith in us bridging the gap from there to the DNA/protein world we have today.

      • You correctly and repeatedly say that we have not yet come up with a method of doing this, that we cannot prove it. I simply cannot get my head around this being enough of a reason to assume design. And I am sorry but my comment on a cure for cancer was not shoddy. The idea is shoddy because we have repeatedly shown how we come to understand the nature of things by studying them and you are betting against this happening. I can count at least 5 times in this discussion where you have said that today’s scientists haven’t done this… or there is no current method for that… or the science we currently have cant… etc. I don’t think we are investigating the impossible here. I believe we will fill in those aforementioned gaps and that we partially have already because we are studying the materials and conditions and reactions that might have happened at that time. You talk of this work and these ideas as imaginings or wild ideas as if scientists were studying cosmic pink disco bunnies from the planet Dog. You may have word for word never implied that we cannot continue to learn but you sure as hell base your core beliefs on us not knowing more than we currently do? I think this the desperate act even if you do encourage further work and are prepared to change your views.

        But I don’t make light of your beliefs and I understand their importance. I wouldn’t expect anything other than strong resistance from you or any other creationist on this point though. Why, when you have battled so hard to produce an argument about DNA and proteins and come to a design conclusion would you want to explore a theory (life from simpler non-life) that suggests there is nothing that needed to be designed or created because it evolved?

        I don’t think abiogenesis or evolution theory is unfalsifiable. To say this is to say it has lost sight of what it is setting out to achieve and I don’t think it has. I think work on abiogenesis will continue until we have repeatable experiments that can show how living things evolved from non living things given the materials and conditions that prevailed at the time (and variations on them). This might involve exploring a lot of new or “strange” ideas but that is precisely what makes it investigative. Going to the moon was once considered impossible. There is only one unfalsifiable idea and that is God because we are unable to investigate him in the first place.

        I never said I thought life was reducible to atoms. I know that today we understand life to mean, “Of living organisms”. What I showed was that things which do not possess life can show life processes and that this is good reason to think that the complexity we know of today as “life” could have started out in this way. You seem to think I am making a massive assumption to think things started out so simply even though life is essentially lots and lots of chemical reactions between atoms.

        • You and I have different ideas on what “life” means. It is subjective. Having a starting point for, “life” and “complexity” though is a must for the creationist as it helps to embed the idea that there was this event, this creation where all this brilliant stuff just happened in a miracle. I see a spectrum of complexity from simple molecular structures to complex organisms with a LOT of evolution in between. I don’t deny a “grand canyon size gap” between the ends of this spectrum; I just see ,”life” as a point on the spectrum that is passed when things become sufficiently complex.

          Information: Flattery gets nobody anywhere and my head isn’t in the sand. I can’t make you stop thinking I should use your meaning of the word. If you mean DNA say DNA and to that I say it evolved. It is your issue thinking that this instruction code is so amazing it had to be created. It is your opinion that you think it less likely to have evolved than been created and my opinion to disagree with you. I am not circumventing any notion, I am disagreeing with it and there is a difference.

          Incidentally, the letters, "aoehdhgduydtdfyfuyfuyruf”. Genuinely not sure I understand what you are trying to say. The letters don’t mean anything (at this time) in English. I can arrange some of them into an informative sentence though like “Hear the fury of God?”. I would also point out that new words are made up all the time and language evolves. Informative words come from non-informative letters all the time; complexity and meaning from non-complex non-meaning. “OMG” would have meant nothing a few years ago.

          Investigating God: To be quite blunt but not intending to offend, I think creationists are deluded. I do apologize for linking design theory to the powers of God but it seems a natural progression to me. I understand you view them as separate. One is based in science and one outside of it. I get there is no data or proof for God so design theory aside; thinking only about the possibility of God is what confounds me. Am I missing something? Am I the narrow minded one to think Gods just can’t exist? Am I silly for thinking about where they exist, how they exist and by what rules? For me to believe in something I need to know there is a possibility of it happening, however small. I know we have discussed knowing what is and is not possible but we do not live in a supernatural world. Things do not magically appear or happen without reason or explanation. If they did and I had seen them I would happily accept that but they don’t.

          What is it that makes believers in God have this faith? For me it would be it would be an event or happening that I had witnessed. The reason I don’t believe in God is that I think believers’ faith is based on a need to believe it for whatever reason. How many people might only ever turn to God when things go horribly wrong or because they have been taught to? Belief is not based on any witnessed event. Don’t get upset with me for demanding scientific witness. This is the world I live in and no other part of it says I can do away with this form of knowing. Let’s leave this argument by saying that I won’t ask for

          • any scientific proof of God because he is apparently beyond that but don’t ask me to believe in him until some is provided.

            I don’t get why you complain about the dastardly job-snatching scientific community. I see the world of science as a level playing field and rules are such that if a creationist scientist came up with a way to prove design (not disprove evolution or abiogenesis) within what is accepted as good scientific practice then it would have to be accepted. Show me the experiment and like you, I will happily change my beliefs. The issue is that this doesn’t happen. (See Does the intelligent design movement need to be demolished and rebuilt? on the front page of this blog). Perhaps what you mean to say is it is unchallengeable by creationists because they have nothing significant to challenge with. You think it is unfair that the scientific community will not accept an idea who sole existence is based on poorly thought out ( undermining of evolutionary research and serves only to allow a leap to something outside of science? (I think I fairly separated the two there) Go figure.

            Logic: Agreed, it is not just my saying something is logical that means it is true so my reality bubble has not burst. What makes things logical is that you can witness and observe them and go about understanding them even if they appear illogical at first. I don’t know what you were attempting by flipping my argument around and asking “How do you know atoms organized themselves?” A caveman could substitute the words yes but the point is that we know atoms exist and we can observe reactions so this at least makes it a tangible idea worth investigating. We do not know this of God, we have absolutely no inkling of his existence so that is what makes him (and all other supernatural beings) illogical to me. If anyone else is reading this conversation and wants to try and explain this to me feel free. Am I being an idiot for having this definition of, “logical”, or “likely” or “possible” or call it what you will. Is it logical to live in a material, physical, non-supernatural world but believe in precisely the opposite? I have a MEGA issue with supernatural beings of any description (even though I would desperately love to meet a cosmic pink disco bunny from the planet Dog) not a MEGA issue with the Christian God who I do not recognise to have an issue with in the first place.

            Bible: You didn’t offend me on this and I really am not seeking apologies from you. As I’ve said before, you sound like a decent chap and this discussion doesn’t feel like an attempt on either part to insult the other. It is actually good to find someone willing to discuss things on a similar level. All too often on Pharyngula or Uncommon Decent etc, posters dismiss each other without explanation and expect the other person to just go away and find out why they are being disagreed with, maybe they can afford to given their qualifications or experience. Mine must be simpler so I welcome the argument.

            • I concede it was a bit disingenuous to try and separate between idiot using different ideas for harm; it does come down to the act of the individual not the idea however, I stand by the fact that evolution, whilst connected to, was not the initiating force in each of the examples mentioned. I would argue there were deep seated psychological issues present prior to evolution being picked up. We cannot say this of the harmful practices I listed that are linked to religion because they are actively taught as part of the religion by religious leaders and are imposed on the followers.

              I meant to draw a link between many religious leaders (Islamic, most definitely Catholic and branches of Christianity) and wrong-doings that arise from their teachings purely because I don’t think this gets discussed enough. I think it is too widely accepted and should be examined, questioned and exposed. We are agreed such wrong-doings are substantial and more wide spread than in other walks of life. They describe a very sad dominant paradigm of the world. If harmful religious practices are based on false beliefs as I believe they are, it makes them unnecessary as well. No, it doesn’t make believing in God intrinsically wrong but it does provide a good case for shouting loudly and with good reason, “God does not exist”, peaceful practitioners or not.

              I am as equally passionate and vocal about other practices, scientific and non-scientific which do harm to people and our environment and I am active against as many of those as I can be. In fact I explore and support a lot more of these in my line of work than any negative aspects of religion.

              On a final note, strict naturalistic evolutionists are (believe it or not) human and I don’t have to justify morals. I am guessing I have a different theory to you on how we acquired them and I appreciate the wit in asking if I think them simply alignments of atoms. Conversations on consciousness and awareness though will have to wait until another time.

              • PS: I meant "argue" not "support" in that penultimate paragraph.

                • fortheloveofscience

                  A very quick response (not to prolong the obvious difference in views, but to clarify and simplify a few main points)… I think design permeates every aspect of nature. Any biologist worth his/her salt would agree (although I understand you and others would say nature “only appears” to be designed). In my opinion, the biggest point I think you have trouble understanding from my side (not saying who is correct or incorrect here) is that my stance is not primarily an argument from “the science we currently have can’t do what is needed”, but rather that I see in nature what appears to be strong design characteristics (brilliant design beyond anything we have ever come close to achieving), therefore I think that as a mere possibility, it may have been actually designed (for the life of me I can’t see how that thinking is so implausible by virtue of the data). To you that idea is unfathomable/illogical, to me it is at least apparent, if not obvious… but make no mistake, it is an argument from what we actually see in nature, not what science has failed as of yet to accomplish in abiogenesis experimentation. It is an argument from what we observe, not from ignorance.
                  From your last rebuttal you say “what makes things logical is that you can witness and observe them.” If that be your criteria for logic, evolution fails miserably (minus variation/microevolution of course!) because it is most proportionally an inferred science…events which we can NOT be observed in the distant past, but we can only infer about. Is not abiogenesis illogical by your own accord because we certainly cannot observe what happened 3.8 bya nor have we remotely come close to experimentally observing these “postulated” events today? Will it become logical when/if the science can finally catches up and observes these events? You simply can’t have it both ways…both design theory and methodological naturalism are theories mostly rooted in inference, not direct observation.
                  We see life differently. We certainly view what “information” is differently. Your “OMG” reference (I think) fails to meet what I was questioning in that “OMG” only has meaning because of our understanding of an emotional reaction in which we say “oh my god”…it has what evolution (by definition) does not, which is an end goal. It’s not like OMG “came about” on its own and then “created” the linked emotional response, the end goal (meaning) was already in place. I simply offered the “crazy letter combo” to question what I viewed as your irrational statement in which you said “ I think anything IS information, even a lone atom, even the empty space within a lone atom" from your previous post. I think what we are typing is information, but if my 2 year old got a hold of the keyboard anybody would recognize it as non-informative. But I think I understand why you have no other choice to look at life and the information within it as you do… because it is required by what you believe to be true.
                  Lastly, I think evolutionary is beyond elastic (not arguing some God theories haven’t been but that helps not the point) and I completely understand how science works and is to “be added to”. However, to me it seems all to obvious that this theory has become dogmatic. Legitimate questioning is simply not tolerated. Good questions get filibustered by strawman arguments. The theory’s own massive shortcomings are uniformly ignored rather than being acknowledged as they should be (to be fair, you have acknowledged more problems than most). Basically, the public is led “down the primrose path” to think evolution is as certain as the sun in the sky and only minor details have yet to be figured out. And that, in my opinion, is simply the furthest thing from the truth about the current state of this theory. Funny thing is that ID proponents and their arguments (and sometimes rightly so) get automatically labelled and dismissed as “silly creationists” and “non-scientific” and “religiously motivated” before evolution ever has to answer the science behind their questions…it’s a great tactic, they control the media very well, but it makes for a shallow, defensive and fearful science. If it is truly as evident and proven as they (dawkins) say, let it welcome all challenges. Unfortunately, at least in education and the media, this is simply not the case.

                  • My logic definition suits me. Yes evolution is based on events in the past and abiogenesis we can only hope to recreate but my point is that any evidence of evolution and the molecules and materials we think were involved in abiogenesis are real. They are material things known to this universe thus we can investigate and hope to understand.

                    I didn't mean that a theory or process had to be observable to be logical, sorry if I gave that impression.

                    I don't think evolution theory is shallow and defensive. I don't think it needs to be defensive because there is never any positive ID theory case put forward to challenge it. But we'll see.

                    Anyway, many thanks for the discussion. Makes it easier to post smaller comments now we have all that sort of out of the way :)


  42. You know what would be awesome? If, instead of filling our need to feel "right" about an issue we feel is obvious that has no current affect on a single person's life and hasn't for anywhere from 6,000 to a few billion years, we put that mental energy and time into discussing who's "right" about the best way to, for example, find healthy homes for orphaned kids, or how to get water to people without any, etc… Know what I'm saying? :)

  43. So Jargon, are there any claims you would like to specifically make, with evidence? I’d be glad to open a dialogue.

  44. Hi, lightforce. Thanks for taking the time to post a comment and open a dialogue.

    How could new traits (added complexity) develop in a species (according to the Theory of Evolution)?

    Evolutionists say “new traits are possible through vestigial organs”, but vestigial organs aren’t the keys to the development of new traits. In fact, they go against Evolution itself. Vestigial organs do not serve a function and would not help the species survive. Therefore, vestigial organs should appear only when a species loses a physical feature or ability and should eventually disappear from the species.

    Firstly, in order to answer your question, I must point out that evolution does not have to progress by the modification of vestigial organs. New traits can come about through many ways.

    A vestigial organ is defined as any organ that has lost its original function in the organism. For example, the appendix is a vestigial part of the digestive system, because it has lost the ability to extract water and nutrients from food in the gut. However, that does not mean that it has no function: there are plenty of lymph nodes around the appendix, as well as around the whole large intestine, so it still serves a function as part of the lymphatic system.

    Thus, vestigial organs do not have to be functionless, they just have to have lost their original function.

    New traits can develop in many ways, but I’m going to focus on how additional traits can develop, because I have had enough experience with creationists to know that any mention of a new trait through the modification of an old one will not be accepted.

    The main way that a completely new trait (ie. gene) can evolve in a population of organisms is through gene duplication: the process by which a gene is faultily copied during cell division, and one daughter cell gets two copies of a gene and the other gets no copies. If such a gene duplication happens in a gamete (ie. sperm or ova), the duplicated gene can be passed onto the next generation.

    Once a gene duplication has manifested itself in a population, the copy off the original gene can then be mutated and changed through natural selection, even if the original gene was a vital gene, needed in its unmutated state for the organism to survive (as the original can still function normally). New proteins can therefore be expressed, and new traits developed.

    One outcome of a gene duplication is a gene family: a collection of genes that all share a distinct common ancestry and work together to perform some greater function or biochemical system. Well known examples of gene families are: the Homeobox gene family, which controls the development of the body in animals; the Aquaporin gene family, which code for the Aquaporin proteins that involved in the transportation of water molecules through cell membranes; and the Beta-globin gene family, which codes for the various “globin” proteins that transport oxygen in the blood.

    Answer this: How could the Human Eye have developed? (I surely hope you do not say ‘by chance’, for that would be an absurd notion)

    Don’t worry, I’m not going to say “by chance”. ;p Chance is not what evolution is, contrary to popular belief. To be honest, there is some element of chance to evolutionary processes (ie. mutations), but natural selection is completely non-random (hence, ‘selection’) because it follows a benefit to the organism. Thus, the overall progress of evolution is not random, and traits are usually evolved for a reason (usually being that it helps the organism survive longer, reproduce better etc.).

    The human eye is fairly easy to explain in evolutionary terms. By looking at modern-day organisms with primitive eyes, we can build up a picture of how the human eye could have evolved in the past. Contrary to what some people think, the eye is not irreducibly complex: it doesn’t need all of its parts for it to work. For example, if you don’t have a lens, the image is not in focus, but you can still use the visual information you receive to navigate. Of course, if you didn’t have a retina, you would be able to detect any light, but by studying modern primitive eyes, we can clearly see that the retina (a patch of light-sensitive cells) would have evolved first, and would have been an advantage to organisms that had it. An example of a modern-day “primitive” eye is the eye of a snail. It is so primitive, in fact, that it can only detect the difference between light and dark, and is useful only for detecting the direction of light sources. However, it is beneficial to the snail, and that’s all it needs.

    A possible pathway for the evolution of the human eye would be something like this (following something like this image here):

    – a type of cell that can detect the presence of light evolves (keep in mind that their light-detecting efficiency can improve over time as the overall eye does)

    – this cell migrates to the surface of the organism, where it is concentrated in patches for greater effect

    – the surface where the light-detecting cells are collected becomes concave, allowing for primitive detection of light directionality

    – the surface becomes even more concave (down to a “pinhole camera” shape), allowing for greater directionality detection

    – the inside of the eye “cup” filled with a transparent fluid (a humor), which offered many benefits, including greater oxygen availability to the inside of the eye and various immune functions

    – the lens develops to increase the focusing power of the eye and allows for greater image resolution

    And, basically, now you have an eye that is very much like the human eye. The evolution of the eye would have been going on at the same time as other changes were taking place (as well as speciations), so we would expect to see similar, yet slightly different, eyes in our close evolutionary relatives. And we do.

    I hope all that answered your questions. Again, thank you for commenting.

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