Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Case against Evolution (Part 2)

The Case against Evolution (Part 2)

I hardly know where to start. The subject is huge, the distortions are legion, and many times the arguments are suspect. Evolution has been postulated at least primitively from the time of Aristotle, who noticed the progression of the simple to the complex organisms. Indeed the Bible seems to give some attention to differentiation of species and seems to delineate it in the story of the creation.
      But first let me start where I left off in the first part. There is a fundamental difference that cannot be explained away between creation and evolution. Particularly this contradiction becomes more severe to those who choose to interpret the Bible literally. The Bible clearly gives creation happening approximately 6 thousand years ago; neo-Darwinists postulate an earth five billion years old.
      In my first part we learned how the creationists have gotten the 6 thousand year figure. In this paper, I do not want to bog down in trying to understand the dating systems of evolution; rather let me say as an outside observer, that the dating systems used by evolutionists have seemed to expand as they realized their need for more time. I might further observe that the dating systems, as I primitively understand them, frequently have to do with things like molecular decay rates. For instance, scientists drill down in polar regions into the ice, measure the carbon dioxide, and then calculate the rate of decay, or the rate of loss, and attempt to measure age in that fashion. Carbon 14 dating works in a similar fashion, though I think it no longer is the darling of dating that it once was.
      I speak in the fashion of a layman, and since my arguments reflect my considerable ignorance, I only wish to point out the obvious. The evolutionist assumes uniform decay of ages past, and assumes like conditions to present. His assumptions are as big as the intelligent design arguments. No one can see or speak of what it was like from about 3,000 BC, as the earliest written records of man date from about that time. No one can be sure of origins of man or of the uniformity of dating assumptions, but to hear the evolutionist speak, one would never know that.
      It has always seemed to me to be a strange thing for man to take so long to figure it out. I am speaking of the current view that neo-Darwinists have of modern man being around for a million years or so. What did modern man do—sit and twiddle their fingers (when not making cave paintings of dinosaurs and men fighting) around their campfire at night? I am being facetious here. It does seem strange to me that men would take so long to write, speak and build. We ought to see ancient civilization ruins going back hundreds of thousands of years, but where are they? The ancient Greeks glorious civilizations should be repeated a score of times if modern man has been around so long.
      It seems to me also obvious that creationists believe in a God who creates things with the appearance of age. When He created the stars, did man have to wait the light years necessary for the light to reach the earth? Or did he create the stars, light on the earth and all? Did God create Adam as a baby or a man? It seems evident that God created frequently things with the appearance of age, and should not be something difficult for the believer to appreciate.
      Which brings us to the point of which I am on firmer ground. Evolution in Darwin’s time thought the earth was about one million years old; today the same theory recognizes the need for five billion years. Why the change? The fundamental assumption of evolution is that natural selection and beneficial mutations work together to produce variation and new species. As scientists have seen the rarity of the beneficial mutation, and the lack of species changing from one to another in the fossil record, they have realized that they need much more time for the impossible to happen.
      Am I the only one who recognizes the unlikelihood of this happening? No, indeed, many mathematicians in the 60s said the same thing. Let me quote just a couple from the fine work of Pamela Winnick in her A Jealous God. “We have. . . wondered how it appeared extremely unlikely a priori that in the short span of one billion years, due to successive random mutations, all the wonderful things we see now could have appeared,” observed Stanislaw M. Ulsam of Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.” (p. 122 Winnick)““We believe that there is a considerable gap in the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution, and we believe this gap to be of such a nature that it cannot be bridged with the current conception of biology,” said Marcel-Paul Schutzenberger, and internationally renowned mathematician from the University of Paris and a member of the French Academy of Sciences.” (p. 122, Winnick) Evolutionists historically did not have the same acceptance as scientists and there was a time when this “soft” science was not accepted among the hard sciences such as mathematics and chemistry.
      At any rate, evolutionists quickly found out that they did not have enough time for variation to happen and they have been expanding the evolutionary time span ever since then. Stephen Jay Gould, an avowed believer in evolution, and a famous one at that, believed that he saw something the neo-Darwinists did not. His group was “. . . postulating their own theory of “punctuated equilibrium” which holds that evolution progresses in leaps and bounds, often responding to natural calamities that wipe out all those who can’t adapt.” (p. 166 Winnick) Gould went on to announce that neo-Darwinism was “effectively dead”. Gould saw little bursts of evolution happening very rapidly, perhaps because of changes in environment, or for other unspecified reasons. In other words, little miracles made evolution happen. Gould was very angry during his lifetime when creationists seized on his words, but his words do cause huge gaps to open in evolutionary argument. The creationist may reasonably ask whether it is better to believe in lots of little miracles or in one big one.
      Darwin cannot be right if he cannot show billions of years to the earth; moreover he cannot be right if he cannot demonstrate one species changing to another. Survival of the strong has been easily demonstrated by Darwinists. What is not demonstratable is the movement of one species to another. The variety of species, with their wonderful differentiation, speaks of a necessary sharp intercession of a creator; I believe that we find that explanation clearly enunciated in the Bible. For 150 years men have speculated about this myth. It is time to collapse the myth and move on. I close with a poignant quote from one good book (if you are looking for a simple treatise on the history and the subject). “Accepting Darwin’s explanation is a little like believing that a piston rod will make a car run a little bit, and then, if you connect it to a crank shaft, it will run a little bit better. Finally, when all the parts are in place, it will get thirty miles to the gallon.” (p. 213, Bethell)

Bibliography

Bethell, Tom, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science, Regnery Publishing, Inc. 2005

Winnick, Pamela R., A Jealous God, Nelson Current, 2005

4 comments:

David Porta said...

Mr D writes...

>>
The Case against Evolution

For 150 years men have speculated about this myth. It is time to collapse the myth and move on.
<<

from wikipedia:

>>
History of evolutionary thought

The idea of biological evolution has existed since ancient times, notably among Hellenists such as Epicurus and Anaximander, but the modern theory was not established until the 18th and 19th centuries, by scientists such as Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and Charles Darwin. While transmutation of species was accepted by a sizeable number of scientists before 1859, it was the publication of Charles Darwin's On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection which provided the first cogent mechanism by which evolutionary change could occur: his theory of natural selection.
<<

So, Darwin did not invent the myth. He merely refined it. It has been with us for much longer that 150 years. Yes, it is "time to move on," but the historical trend is in the opposite direction: from the idea of evolution in ancient Greek philosophy, to Darwin, and so forth.

Mr. D said...

Great comment David! I would only add that there is a definite trend among scientific thinkers who are not religious as to the immposibility of random chance producing the diversity of species. It does seem odd as mathmaticians deny the probability of evolution, as "punctuated equilibrium" is invented, as doubts grow-- that the societal belief becomes stronger.
Pat

Jeffrey said...

I was under the impression that Christianity taught that humility was a virtue. If you don't understand the science behind dating methods, humility would seem to dictate that you don't comment on it.

Of course, there's really no excuse for ignorance. It is simple enough to get a book such as Dalrymple's The Age of the Earth out of your local university library. Why not do a little research before commenting. You'd look less foolish.

Your posting is wrong in so many ways, it's difficult to know where to start. First of all, the uniformity of decay rates is not merely an "assumption"; it is the result of observations. Go visit http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-age-of-earth.html
to see just a few of the ways uniformity has been tested.

Your claim that carbon-14 dating is "no longer is the darling of dating that it once was" is not supported by any evidence, and is in any case irrelevant, since the age of the earth is not based on carbon-14 dating (which is only accurate out to about 50,000 years).

It is not just "neo-Darwinists" who believe the Earth is about 4.6 billion years old, but rather every educated person who has chosen to examine the evidence. In particular, geology is the field that is most concerned with the age of the Earth, and geologists are, for all practical purposes, united in their acceptance of this age -- whether they are Christians or not. It is the evidence that convinced them.

Your question about what was modern man doing for hundreds of thousands of years before civilization started has an obvious answer: Man was a hunter-gatherer, living in small bands and eking out a subsistence living. Why is this so difficult to accept?

Statements such as "Evolution in Darwin’s time thought the earth was about one million years old" betray an incoherence of thought. Evolution is a process; it can't think anything. The age of the Earth has been revised since Darwin's time because of the multiple lines of evidence we have now to support an older age. The age of the Earth in Darwin's day was believed to be about 100,000,000 years old, based on Lord Kelvin's calculation. But Kelvin's calculation was flawed, because he did not know how radioactive elements in the Earth contributed to its heating. Our current estimate for the age of the earth has absolutely nothing to do with "they need much more time for the impossible to happen".

It is also a lie to claim that "many mathematicians in the 60s said the same thing". The number of mathematicians who have published doubts on evolution can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Stanislaw Ulam (not "Ulsam" as you quoted) had no biological training, and in the Wistar symposium from which your quote is taken, his lack of understanding was signalled by the biologists present, one of which said, "It always seems to me that there is such an air of gorgeous unreality when mathematicians come to deal with biological subjects and I think that this is the case here."

Sch├╝tzenberger is an interesting case. Like Ulam, he had no formal training in evolutionary theory (unless you count that he was a medical doctor), and his objections (on page 121 of the Wistar symposium) are vague and unsubstantiated.

Your claim "What is not demonstratable is the movement of one species to another" is also wrong, as speciation has been observed, both in the laboratory and in the wild, many times. See, for example, http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html

There's really no excuse for these lies and this ignorance. Instead of reading ignorant cranks like Bethell, why not open up an evolutionary biology textbook and learn something? Even if you don't accept what 99% of biologists believe, you wouldn't look so ignorant.

Mr. D said...

How about The Origin of Species? Read it some twenty years ago. I am sorry you disagree, and evidently you do have much to offer in terms of discussion. May I ask if you read Bethell? Or Darwin's Black Box? Or Darwin on Trial?
I do think it requires incredible faith to believe in a 5 billion year old earth. And a change from species to species does not seem plausible to me, even if you add the magic ingredient of more time. It simply requires more faith than I have.
Thanks for the link and your very well reasoned response. I will investigate it