Sunday, January 23, 2011

Evolution Just the facts Pt. 7

Hey all,

Before I get started on my next installment of my critique of conservapedia's page of evolution I need to make a correction to my last one. The last point there I had said that gender is explained by evolutionary means when that is incorrect because gender is a social construct and the term I should have used was sex. Sorry for the slip, and now on to the critique:

Creation Scientists tend to win Creation-Evolution Debates:

- First I'm going to say that this is lousy proof that creation is true, and second I haven't witnessed a creationist win one of these debates, all I have seen is mis-definitions and shifting of the goal post... but let's look at what conservapedia has to say.

Creation scientists tend to win the Creation-Evolution debates and many have been held since the 1970's particularly in the United States. Robert Sloan, Director of Paleontology at the University of Minnesota, reluctantly admitted to a Wall Street Journal reporter that the "creationists tend to win" the public debates which focused on the creation vs. evolution controversy.

- only because they are not willing to accept the evidence as it is provided.

In August of 1979, Dr. Henry Morris reported in an Institute for Creation Research letter the following: “By now, practically every leading evolutionary scientist in this country has declined one or more invitations to a scientific debate on creation/evolution.”

- yep, only because having such debates gives the false impression that there is actually a debate to be had.

Morris also said regarding the creation scientist Duane Gish (who had over 300 formal debates): “At least in our judgment and that of most in the audiences, he always wins.” Generally speaking, leading evolutionists no longer debate creation scientists because creation scientists tend to win the creation vs. evolution debates.

- of course you think you win, and if a protestant were to debate a catholic both sides would think that they won. Aside from the fact that to have a debate gives the false impression that there is a actually a debate within the scientific community since the theory of evolution encompasses so many disciplines such as taxonomy, biology, paleontology, anthropology, geology, DNA, microbiology, biochemistry and so much more it is impossible for one person to be an expert in all of those fields and accurately represent all of the information, so when they are honest and say "I don't know" the creationists hail it as a victory. Just because that person doesn't know doesn't mean that no-one does and even if it isn't known doesn't mean that it is unknowable. Honestly if anyone ever claims to know everything be suspicious because they are lying to you.

Also, the atheist and evolutionist Richard Dawkins has shown inconsistent and deceptive behavior concerning his refusal creation scientists. Evolutionists and atheists inconsistency concerning debating creationists was commented on by the Christian apologetic website True Free Thinker which declared: "Interestingly enough, having noted that since some atheists refuse to debate “creationists” but then go on to debate some of those people but not others, it is clear that they are, in reality, being selective and making excuses for absconding from difficulties..."

- Dawkins has not been inconsistent, he used to debate with them when he was younger, and has done some documentaries where discussions come up, but recently he has decided no longer to give these people a platform because it gives the impression that they are on the same level as he is. Let's face it people who hold a Ph.D in theology cannot claim to understand biology or evolution.
- As for atheists in general, I cannot speak to their motavations, but I do know that some have an open request for debates with creationists, I watched a live blogtv event today where AronRa, Thunderf00t and DonExodus2 debated with QQOQQ and Nephlim Free, so the debates happen, and these people are not hand picked, they called into the show themselves, and the biggest problem during the debate is that both QQOQQ and Nephlim Free did not understand the science as it was explained to them, made up their own definitions for things like "species" and kept shifting the goal post, and when that is a trend that you see with EVERY creationist it gets old and frustrating so it is no wonder people don't want to debate because nothing is accomplished.

In an article entitled Are Kansas Evolutionists Afraid of a Fair Debate? the Discovery Institute states the following:
Defenders of Darwin's theory of evolution typically proclaim that evidence for their theory is simply overwhelming. If they really believe that, you would think they would jump at a chance to publicly explain some of that overwhelming evidence to the public. Apparently not.

- Well during the Dover Trial the prosecution did their work for them and kicked you out of the school science class because what you were proposing was religion, which is a breech of the first amendment. You would think that you would have learned after the Scopes Monkey Trial, but apparently not.

In 1994, the arch-evolutionist Dr. Eugenie Scott made this confession concerning creation vs. evolution debates:

- arch-evolutionist? What the hell does that mean?

During the last six or eight months, I have received more calls about debates between creationists and evolutionists than I have encountered for a couple of years, it seems. I do not know what has inspired this latest outbreak, but I am not sure it is doing much to improve science education. Why do I say this? Sure, there are examples of "good" debates where a well-prepared evolution supporter got the best of a creationist, but I can tell you after many years in this business that they are few and far between. Most of the time a well-meaning evolutionist accepts a debate challenge (usually "to defend good science" or for some other worthy goal), reads a bunch of creationist literature, makes up a lecture explaining Darwinian gradualism, and can't figure out why at the end of the debate so many individuals are clustered around his opponent, congratulating him on having done such a good job of routing evolution -- and why his friends are too busy to go out for a beer after the debate.

- Quote mined... here is where she was going with this:
What usually happens in these debates? Usually they take place at
the invitation of the other side, and usually they take place in a
religious setting or minimally under religious sponsorship.
That's the first problem. The audience that is most anxious to
come, and that will be recruited the most heavily, is the one that
supports the creationist. In the comparatively rare situation
where the debate is held on a college campus, the supporters of
good science and evolution are invariably in the minority in the
audience, whereas the creationist supporters seem to exercize every
effort to turn out their crowd. Don't be surprised to see church
busses from many local communities lined up outside the debate
hall. In some cases, the sponsors advertised only among the
faithful, posting up only a handful of flyers on campus. Guess who
- read the full article here.

In 2010, the worldwide atheist community was challenged to a debate by Creation Ministries International as prominent atheists were speaking at a 2010 global atheist convention in Australia. Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers and other prominent atheists refused to debate Creation Ministries International.

Instead of speaking for these people, how about I let them speak for themselves. See this video.

Theory of Evolution, Liberalism, Atheism and Irrationality:

As alluded to earlier, in the United States, CBS News reported in October of 2005 that the Americans most likely to believe only in the theory of evolution are liberals.

- and that's bad because... Given your last Republican President I would say that liberals are more educated... and I've heard Sarah Palin speak... ok that was low, but if we were to do a poll about educated beyond high school, high school, high school drop outs and no high school I'll bet that the people with the least education accept creation and that trend can be seen changing as the people polled have more education, but that's only a theory.

The CBS News reported the following:
Americans most likely to believe in only evolution are liberals (36 percent), those who rarely or never attend religious services (25 percent), and those with a college degree or higher (24 percent).
White evangelicals (77 percent), weekly churchgoers (74 percent) and conservatives (64 percent), are mostly likely to say God created humans in their present form.

- See, people who are indoctrinated in religion and told by people they believe to be an authority that all of these scientists are atheists and just want to prove away god don't accept the theory of evolution... are we surprised? Does this do anything about the validity of the theory? No.

Given that liberalism is so prevalent in academia, it is not entirely surprising that college graduates are indoctrinated into the evolutionary paradigm via evolutionary propaganda.

-  By propaganda do you mean evidence? You know the things that students can see and test? Unlike the story of creation which has none of those thing? Then yes, there is evidence and if what you call propaganda is evidence then there is plenty of that.

Despite the aforementioned lack of evidence for the evolutionary position and the aforementioned counter evidential nature of the evolutionary paradigm, atheists and liberals persist in advocating the evolutionary paradigm. The continued support of the atheist and liberal community for the evolutionary paradigm is not surprising given the that the Wall Street Journal reported:
"...a comprehensive new study released by Baylor University yesterday, shows that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology. It also shows that the irreligious and the members of more liberal Protestant denominations, far from being resistant to superstition, tend to be much more likely to believe in the paranormal and in pseudoscience than evangelical Christians.... This is not a new finding. In his 1983 book "The Whys of a Philosophical Scrivener," skeptic and science writer Martin Gardner cited the decline of traditional religious belief among the better educated as one of the causes for an increase in pseudoscience, cults and superstition. He referenced a 1980 study published in the magazine Skeptical Inquirer that showed irreligious college students to be by far the most likely to embrace paranormal beliefs, while born-again Christian college students were the least likely.

- So you are trusting a study from a Christian University to report on Christians? Um alright... I used to be in the christian faith and you know the only reason I didn't buy in to those things when I was? Because I was told that it was evil! However a lack of belief in God does not automatically lead to skepticism and many of these pseudosciences are so general that they could apply to anyone. However, may I point out that belief in something which has no evidence is superstitious, and a belief in God is exactly that? Just saying...

Liberalism, Charles Darwin, and Denial of Creation:
Many liberals when faced with the compelling data for creation science and against the evolutionary paradigm irrationally attempt to suppress the evidence and engage in denial like the atheist Charles Darwin who late in life is reported to often have overwhelming thoughts that the world was designed.

- What evidence? You still haven't presented anything, all you are doing is trying to poke holes in evolution which aren't there. If you could provide evidence for creation and test it and prove it accurate then we would be given something to consider, but it still wouldn't by default prove that your specific god did it.
- 2 Darwin's doubts? That is a myth which has been circulating for a while, as was his deathbed conversion, and it still would have nothing to do with the theory itself!

Creation Ministries International describes such irrational thinking in the following manner:
Underpinning this abandonment of faith in God is the widespread acceptance of evolutionary thinking — that everything made itself by natural processes; that God is not necessary. There is ‘design’, such people will admit, but no Designer is necessary. The designed thing designed itself! This thinking, where the plain-as-day evidence for God’s existence (Rom. 1:19–20) is explained away, leads naturally to atheism (belief in no God) and secular humanism (man can chart his own course without God). Such thinking abounds in universities and governments today).

- Many evolutionists are Christians, and there are even some atheists who deny evolution, weird I know. But what about the Christian universities that teach geology and biology? Evolution is the theory that holds those disciplines together? How do the students deal with this? This documentary displays this struggle better than I could explain it.

The evolutionist and immunologist Dr. Scott Todd, an immunologist at Kansas State University, perfectly epitomized the irrational evolutionary denial of the evidence for creation in his correspondence to the science journal Nature. Dr. Scott wrote: "Even if all the data point to an intelligent designer, such an hypothesis is excluded from science because it is not naturalistic".

- exactly, it cannot be tested therefore it is not science. Science is defined as everything within the natural world and by definition God is outside of the natural world. Therefore it cannot be tested. It is really that simple, we still have a lot to learn about the processes here on Earth and through the universe before we can even consider looking for God.

Ben Stein Interview with Evolutionist Richard Dawkins

In the movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, Ben Stein demonstrated the folly of evolutionism in his interview with the prominent evolutionist and atheist Richard Dawkins (A clip of the interview has been uploaded to YouTube ).

- link to video left so you can watch for yourself.

The Discovery Institute provides an transcript of part of the interview along with some commentary:
BEN STEIN: "What do you think is the possibility that Intelligent Design might turn out to be the answer to some issues in genetics or in evolution?"
DAWKINS: "Well, it could come about in the following way. It could be that at some earlier time, somewhere in the universe, a civilization evolved, probably by some kind of Darwinian means, probably to a very high level of technology, and designed a form of life that they seeded onto perhaps this planet. Now, um, now that is a possibility, and an intriguing possibility. And I suppose it's possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the details of biochemistry, molecular biology, you might find a signature of some sort of designer."

- Dawkins is talking theoretically, and as a scientist he can't immediately exclude everything. However the details of biochemistry, molecular biology etc show the evidence of evolution, which is where Dawkins was going when the clip cut away from him.

Ho,ho! That is precisely what the Raelians say:
Years ago, everybody knew that the earth was flat. Everybody knew that the sun revolved around the earth. Today, everybody knows that life on earth is either the result of random evolution or the work of a supernatural God. Or is it? In "Message from the Designers", Rael presents us with a third option: that all life on earth was created by advanced scientists from another world.
Richard Dawkins and Rael; "clear thinking" kindred spirits!

- Wow... really? One of the theories of how life emerged on earth is known as pangeospera where a simple form of life from another world ended up on a primitive Earth. But again Dawkins was speaking theoretically. So I'm going to say to hell with you Discovery Institute. Not to mention that Stein and his producers were accused of real dishonesty about misrepresenting themselves and what they were doing... they were also sued by Yoko Ono for the use of the song Imagine which they used without permission.

In the Ben Stein/Richard Dawkins interview, Richard Dawkins was also asked what the probability is of God's existence is and a rationale for that estimation. Dawkins gave a very inept reply to Ben Stein concerning this issue.

- Dawkins states in the interview that he is uncomfortable putting a number on the likely hood of God's existence making him an honest man, he states that it is unlikely. See For Yourself.

Creationist Video of Richard Dawkins Being Stumped by a Creationist:
A video clip featuring Richard Dawkins became widely available to the public, showing Dawkins being stumped by a question from the creationist interviewer. A shortened version has been translated into 10 languages. The clip was part of an interview included in the video and DVD From a Frog to Prince, produced by Creation Ministries International about the genetic information required by evolution, and the interviewer is asking Dawkins for an example of genetic information arising from a mutation.
In later interviews, Dawkins claims that he was not stumped, but instead shocked when he realized that the interviewer was a creationist, and the video was edited in a way to make him look like he was unable to answer the question. However, the question came after he had that realization, and after the creationists negotiated with Dawkins and he agreed to continue. Richard Dawkins still hasn't provide any examples of genetic information being created by evolution.

- Read Dawkins own explanation of that video here.

Methodological Naturalism Ideology in Evolutionary Thought:
As mentioned earlier, evolutionary thought (which employs methodological naturalism) has had an influence on origin of life research as well (for example, a 2004 article in the International Journal of Astrobiology is titled On the applicability of Darwinian principles to chemical evolution that led to life).

- No! Evolution explains how life diversifies once it gets here, not how life originates. Stop trying to push this, this is not what they say, stop creating straw men!

The Nobel Prize winning biologist Francis Crick described himself as an agnostic with "a strong inclination towards atheism." In 1992, the science magazine Scientific American published an interview which explored Sir Francis Crick's belief in the hypothesis Directed Panspermia as a proposed hypthesis for the origin of life on earth.

- This is irrelevant, and not related to the theory of evolution.

Directed panspermia posits concerning the question of origin of life on earth that "organisms were deliberately transmitted to the earth by intelligent beings on another planet." Michael Behe wrote regarding the Scientific American interview the following:

- It doesn't mean intelligently seeded all the time, it could be by accidental means such as an asteroid. But this has nothing to do with the theory of evolution.

The primary reason Crick subscribes to this unorthodox view is that he judges the undirected origin of life to be a virtually insurmountable obstacle, but he wants a naturalistic explanation.

- I don't know why Crick believes this, if he does, and it doesn't matter because evolution has nothing to do with the origin of life.

When commenting on the hypothesis of Directed Panspermia Creation Ministries International wrote that Francis "Crick’s atheistic faith leads to absurd pseudoscience"

- Irrelevant and this is a straw man.

Suppression of Scientific Inquiry Concerning Alternate Theories of Origins:

There exists widespread suppression of creation science and intelligent design, ideas which offer alternative explanations of origins than do the various theories of evolution.

- Again evolution has nothing to do with the origin of life. However, "creation science" and intelligent design are not science. Science is not about saying "god did it" if that were the case we would have never made it out of the dark ages.

I think that is enough for tonight, there is only one section left in the article and I will get to it tomorrow,

Until next time,

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