Tag Archives: evolution
Book Review: Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds
Phillip E. Johnson lays out a crystal-clear presentation for understanding the case against Darwinism. Not quite as comprehensive as Darwin on Trial or Reason in the Balance, this book was written as somewhat of a primer for those interested in learning about the scientific case against naturalism without being overwhelmed with scientific jargon.
The book was easy to get through and thoroughly compelling. Knowing that atheists would be resistant to arguments involving the Bible, he does not use it as an one of his arguments. The book’s main focus is on showing that naturalism as a foundation for Darwinism is the main problem. He quotes a letter that he received to show some very common mistakes from those that try to engage in this debate.
- Wrong definition of evolution – In the letter, the student tried to say that it was possible that God could have used evolution to do his creating. As I have shown here, here and here, this is not possible. But Johnson continues to explain why evolution as understood in the classroom is not a part of God’s creative plan when he shares the definition of evolution from the American National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT), “The diversity of life on earth is the outcome of evolution: an
unsupervised, impersonal,unpredictable and natural process of temporal descent with genetic modification that is affected by natural selection, chance, historical contingencies and changing environments.” <in 1997 the NABT removed the words unsupervised and impersonal>
- God started everything and then retired – The student tries to redefine the God of the Bible for a first cause (remote god) of deism.
- Faith vs. Reason – This is a very common intellectual error. Many people mistakenly think that naturalism is a result of reason, and anything that is not naturalism is faith. Firstly, naturalism cannot account for reason, and secondly, assuming naturalism is a faith position.
Johnson does a great job at correctly framing the debate. It is not a debate of science vs. faith, but it is one in which those in power of the “microphone” have overstated their case and suppressed any dissent. He has clear insight into the irony of the Darwinian position with regards to the media. Johnson correctly shows the hypocritical position of the Darwinists by describing the 1960 movie release, Inherit the Wind. The movie is based on the historical 1925 Scopes Trial in which a Kentucky high school PE teacher is convicted of teaching evolution in the classroom, which at the time was against the law in Tennessee. The movie stereotypes the Christians as evil monsters bent on suppressing knowledge, and it stereotypes the evolutionists as heroes of reason and humanity. What Johnson is able to do is show that this movie is actually a representation of what is happening in today’s science classrooms…just the reverse of the heroes and villains. In the movie, Mr. Cates is the persecuted hero, who “righteously” stood for reason by teaching evolution. During the scene described below, the prosecuting attorney takes the stand as a witness for creation while the defense attorney grills him:
“Suppose Mr. Cates had enough influence and lung power to railroad through the State Legislature a law that only Darwin should be taught in the schools!”
That possibility may have seemed remote in Hillsboro, but of course it is exactly what happened later. The real story of the Scopes trial is that the stereotype it promoted helped the Darwinists capture the power of the law, and they have since used the law to prevent other people from thinking independently. By labeling any fundamental dissent from Darwinism as “religion,” they are able to ban criticism of the official evolution story from public education far more than the teaching of evolution was banned from Tennessee schools in the 1920s.
But how was this reversal accomplished in a voting democracy? Given that a majority of Americans still believe that God is our Creator, how have the Darwinists been able to obtain so much influence and lung power?
The play answers that question too. In the final scene of Inherit the Wind, when the jury returns to the courtroom to deliver its verdict, a character identified as “Radio Man” appears in the courtroom carrying a large microphone…
The microphone (that is, the news media) can nullify <Darwin Dissenters> power by (in effect) outshouting him..There is only one microphone in the courtroom, and whoever decides when to turn it on or off controls what the world will learn about the trial…When the creation-evolution conflict is replayed in our own media-dominated times, the microphone-owners of the media get tot decide who plays the heroes and who plays the villains. What this has meant for decades is that Darwinists – who are now the legal and political power holders-nonetheless appear before the microphone as <heroes>.
The rest of the book builds the real scientific case for intelligent design and the wedge strategy. Johnson refers to the wedge strategy as the idea of not accepting the presupposition of naturalism. People should be allowed to question this unprovable axiom without having to face Darwinist persecution.
I highly recommend the book for those who would like a start in understanding the creation-evolution conflict at an introductory level. It is a quick read at only 119 pages.
The Best Evidence
The best evidence for evolution has been shown to be incorrect…or at best outdated.
Citing the lack of support among students for embracing the Grand Theory of Evolution, two political science professors from Penn State, Michael Berkman and Eric Plutzer, have decided to help remedy the situation. They gathered science teachers from across the country into focus groups in an effort to find possible solutions. In the article that reported on their progress, the title photograph was Kenneth R. Miller and Joseph Levine’s textbook, Biology.
Evolution News reports that this Biology textbook is filled with information that could best be described as misleading.
I have a copy of the 2000 “elephant cover” textbook, which features (1) a drawing of the 1953 apparatus used by Stanley Miller and Harold Urey, accompanied by a caption stating that their experiment “first demonstrated how organic matter may have formed in Earth’s primitive atmosphere” (p. 344); (2) drawings of vertebrate embryos that look most similar in their early stages, showing that they evolved from common ancestors (p. 283); and (3) photographs of light- and dark-colored peppered moths resting on light- and dark-colored tree trunks, illustrating a story about natural selection in action (p. 297).
But these icons of evolution misrepresent the evidence. Among other things, the “atmosphere” used in the 1953 Miller-Urey experiment was almost certainly unlike that of the early Earth; vertebrate embryos actually look very different from each other in their early stages; and peppered moths rarely rest on tree trunks in the wild. The moth photographs were staged.
If the best evidence for evolution has to be fabricated, perpetuated, or assumed, then it’s time to try a different foundation for one’s worldview.
Asking Tough Questions
This article appeared as a headline on The Drudge Report this morning. It intends to mock Republican presidential nominees who do not worship at the feet of atheist patron saint, Charles Darwin.
While 99.85% of American earth and life scientists believe the theory of evolution to be bedrock fact, 42% of the general public surveyed in a 2014 Gallup poll said they believed that human beings arrived on the earth in their present form.
While the belief in evolution, or lack thereof, may not directly impact whether a given candidate is qualified to become president, the question is regularly put to those who seek the White House. Why? Because some liberals believe it helps demonstrate whether a politician will be guided by evidence in making decisions
The article goes on to show some video clips of republican presidential candidates squirming in their seats when having to answer direct questions on whether they believe that the earth is 6000 years old or whether or not people come from monkeys.
Here’s what I’d like to see. I’d like a reporter to ask those candidates, who support evolution wholeheartedly, these questions about the effects of evolution in their decision-making:
- Since you strongly believe that biological evolution is true, what intrinsic value would you place on human life? If humans are simply here because of a collection of accidents, why not kill your political enemies and take from the populace whatever you want? Only the strong survive…right?
- As a strong believer in the success of natural selection, why do you think that the government should provide handouts, entitlements, and assistance to the downtrodden, the weak, and the victims? Are you not abandoning your strong stance of evolution for more of a Christian worldview by helping the weak?
- There have been national leaders in the past, who were strong advocates of evolution, and because their value of human life was consistent with this belief, they made decisions that lead to the death of tens of millions of their own citizens. Should you be elected, what assurances do we have that you will not make decisions that are consistent with your belief that evolution is true?
- Should apes and higher simian mammals receive more protections under the law since you believe that people are closer relatives to these evolved “cousins”? Where should we draw the line? Why not include the entire order of primates? Or the family of mammals? Why do you not advocate protecting the rights of bacteria…after all, they’ve been here longer and propagated more successfully? Is it because they do not pay taxes?
I give full permission for any journalist to take these questions and ask…no, press hard for answers to these questions from the presidential candidates. I also give full permission for any candidates who speak boldly to supporting biblical authority to link their campaign website to my creation manifesto, which goes into much detail about the truth of God’s Word and the emptiness of evolution.
UPDATE: Steven Meyer, who is a scientist and writer for the intelligent design movement recently posted this article that is supposed to help conservative politicians answer the question of whether they believe in evolution. The succinct answer he gives is appropriate for the campaign trail:
Reporter: “Do you believe in evolution?”
Candidate: “I believe that organisms change over time, but I am skeptical about unguided evolution.”
I’d really like to see more push-back from candidates, who are asked this question, to expose the equivocation fallacy that many evolution-believers espouse. Does evolution mean change over time? Does it mean universal common ancestry? Does it mean naturalism’s mechanism for forming all of life?
There has most certainly been evolution…change over time, but as the Bible tells us, there is no change between kinds of animals. The coyote, fox, dog, and wolf probably all came from a common ancestor, which was a kind of dog. Canines have always borne canine pups, and this is verifiable by experimentation. To claim that sometime in the past, an animal had offspring that were of a different kind is perpetuating their naturalistic religion.
Life is tough for Astrobiologists
It’s got to be tough dealing with failure after abject failure to conjure up evidence for life beyond our planet. Some of the most expensive tax-payer funded equipment and space missions have yielded abundant scientific information but nothing regarding extra-terrestrial life. So, life is tough for astrobiologists. But at least they are an optimistic lot.
They even have their own government-funded website. In their article on Jan 15th, they describe all of the reasons they have for hope in someday having their first success.
In a response to this article, the scientists at the Discovery Institute review the rules for astrobiologists, so that they don’t get caught up in too much optimism as to fabricate evidence for life having evolved somewhere in the universe.
- “Nature” to a materialist has no spirit, imagination, or goal.
- Inanimate matter has no “desire” to become animate; vitalism is out.
- “Building blocks of life” have no obligation or desire to assemble into a living thing.
- A lucky accident in one part of the origin-of-life scenario has no obligation or desire to join forces with another lucky accident somewhere else.
- A random chain of building blocks is not “information” in a biological sense, nor is a “pattern” of building blocks, nor are copies of a random chain or a pattern.
- Investigators are not allowed to interfere with natural processes in origin-of-life scenarios, because this sneaks information into the system.
- Wishful thinking is not science. One needs evidence. Putting the evidence into the future, “i.e., further research is needed,” is a cop-out.
- The complex functions of living cells cannot be used to infer origins in inanimate matter without begging the question raised by Rules 2 and 3.
Unfortunately, the writers of the astrobiology article break the rules over and over. Fortunately, the writers at Discovery Institute are there to referee the persistent fouls by the evolutionists:
- “Life’s origins are a mystery, but every year scientists get a little bit closer to understanding what made life possible on Earth, and possibly on other planets or moons.” [Violates Rules 1, 4 and 7]
- “We only have one known case study of life so far, on our own planet, but microbial life is considered possible in many other areas around the Solar System, such as on Mars, Jupiter’s icy Europa, and on Enceladus, a moon of Saturn that erupts water as geysers.” [Violates Rule 7]
- “One large wish of scientists these days is to create artificial cells that closely mimic what biological ones do so that it would be easy to create laboratory conditions to test out how they evolve.” [Violates Rules 2, 6, 7, and 8]
- “Researchers would be happy to create an artificial protocell, but that’s far from easy. Figuring out how inheritance work [sic] — how traits of a parent protocell are passed on to the next generation — is one of the largest problems facing scientists today.” [Violates Rules 6, 7, and 8]
- “The researchers brought in a hypothesis from three decades ago that assumed that any sequence of polymers (chain of small molecules) can encode information, and can becopied from one polymer strand to another using a process called template directed replication.” [Violates Rules 5 and 7]
- “When simulating information strings in the computer simulation, the researchers came up with a surprising discovery. Replication occurred as expected, with information strings duplicating themselves, but the scientists were surprised to see shorter and longer strings being created in strikingly regular patterns.” [Violates Rules 3, 4, 5 and 6]
- “Over time, the simulation showed the information strings were occurring in equal proportions of long and short lengths in predictable patterns. While the scientists can’t say for sure that this was a step along the road to life, they said it bears further investigation as they work to create artificial protocells.” [Violates Rules 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8]
When evolutionists get too excited in their hopes for finding meaning and purpose in evolution or life on other planets, it’s beneficial to reel them back into reality.
The problem for astrobiologists is not their enthusiasm for finding life in the universe. The problem is their starting point…their foundation in naturalism. Naturalism does not have any possibility of being true, but they’ve built an entire belief system on the shaky foundation.
Thermodynamics vs. Evolution
The basic concept of the second law of thermodynamics is that things tend towards disorder. The laws of thermodynamics deal specifically with the movement of heat/energy, and the second law makes it clear that usable energy is transforming to unusable energy in a process that is described as entropy. Entropy is a universal process, and the grand theory of evolution claims to run in exactly the opposite direction…from simple order to more complex order.
The standard response from evolutionists for saying that evolution does not violate the second law of thermodynamics goes something like this:
Considering the earth as a system, any change that is accompanied by an entropy decrease (and hence going back from higher probability to lower probability) is possible as long as sufficient energy is available. The ultimate source of most of that energy, is of course, the sun.
In other words, they will say that the earth is not a closed system, so the energy from the sun is sufficient to overcome entropy in the sub-system that is earth. The problem with this explanation is that the energy from the sun is destructive not constructive.
Simply adding energy to something does not reverse entropy, nor does it increase its complexity. All of the following scenarios add energy to something, but it is not constructive or a reversal of entropy:
… there are no known violations of the second law of thermodynamics. Ordinarily the second law is stated for isolated systems, but the second law applies equally well to open systems. … There is somehow associated with the field of far-from-equilibrium thermodynamics the notion that the second law of thermodynamics fails for such systems. It is important to make sure that this error does not perpetuate itself. – Dr. John Ross
But adding energy can be constructive or reverse entropy if there is a mechanism for converting the energy. For converting the energy from the sun into something useful, there is only one known mechanism that can do this without itself being destroyed: Chlorophyll. Chlorophyll (and carbon dioxide) allows plants to convert sunlight into energy for the plant.
The energy released in an internal combustion engine is not usable until you add the transmission, axle, and wheels to the car.
Scientists have even shown that entropy can be reversed as noted in this link. Evolutionists are burning the midnight oil to find ways to overcome the second law of thermodynamics.
Scientists from Berkley were able to reverse the process of entropy,
By introducing a feedback mechanism, they were able to break the natural symmetry of building blocks in solution, and build their “desired structure,” colloidal gold nanorods. The method involved a laser
So, to overcome entropy, you need a laser?
It’s not difficult to lower entropy — not difficult, that is, for an intelligent agent. An intelligent cause can direct its energy to push a ball uphill, when its natural thermodynamic tendency would be to roll downhill. None of this is a violation of thermodynamics; it’s just “outsmarting” it through purposive action. Even though the team spoke of evolution, they recognize that design was the key to getting “the desired” result.
Of course naturalistic means are unable to overcome entropy. It requires an intelligent agent. Thanks God!
UPDATE: This article from the scientists at Creation.com further explains the problems (for evolutionists) with claiming that the sun overcomes the second law of thermodynamics with relation to the earth’s ability to produce and evolve life.
It’s like trying to run a car by pouring petrol on it and setting it alight. No, a car will run only if the energy in petrol is harnessed via the pistons, crankshaft, etc. A bull in a china shop is also raw energy. But if the bull were harnessed to a generator, and the electricity directed a pottery-producing machine, then its energy could be used to make things.
To make proteins, a cell uses the information coded in the DNA and a very complex decoding machine. In the lab, chemists must use sophisticated machinery to make the building blocks combine in the right way. Raw energy would result in wrong combinations and even destruction of the building blocks.
I suggest that thermodynamic arguments are excellent when done properly, and the ‘open systems’ canard is anticipated. Otherwise I suggest concentrating on information content. The information in even the simplest organism would take about a thousand pages to write out. Human beings have 500 times as much information as this. It is a flight of fantasy to think that undirected processes could generate this huge amount of information, just as it would be to think that a cat walking on a keyboard could write a book.
Quotes About Evolution
- “Why do we even squabble over creation vs. evolution? Does it really matter what we believe about where we came from? Absolutely. Our views on morality, justice, purpose, self-worth, humanity, obligation, and destination are all closely tied to our views on human origins.” -www.allaboutphilosophy.com
- “More cases of loss of religious faith are to be traced to the theory of evolution. . .than to anything else.” –Martin Lings
- “Belief in modern evolution makes atheists of people. One can have a religious view that is compatible with evolution only if the religious view is indistinguishable from atheism.” – William Provine
- “Although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” – Richard Dawkins
For the Love of Darwin
Is the modern understanding of the grand theory of evolution compatible with the Bible? The pope, in all of his wisdom, recently approved the atheist’s origin story as being okay for Christians to embrace. But is this true? Can the Biblical account of creation be manipulated in such a way as to unquestionably accept Darwin’s theory?
Biologist, William Provine doesn’t think so.
Belief in modern evolution makes atheists of people. One can have a religious view that is compatible with evolution only if the religious view is indistinguishable from atheism.
Either God created the world like He said, or He did not. Either option has profound implications about where you put your trust.
Genetics is no friend to evolution
You might have heard the mantra, “Creationists are stupid or wicked because they hate science or don’t understand that genetics proves evolution.” If not, a quick web search will confirm that this mantra is prevalent.
Rather than believing the mantra, the scientists at the Institute for Creation Research have been doing actual scientific work that proves quite the opposite. In this article, you can see that scientific predictions by creationists are confirmed by the actual data, and the predictions that evolutionists expect are incorrect by several orders of magnitude.
Pay special attention to the charts below that come from the article, as they tell the story.
At the end of the article, the author also answers the anticipated objections from the evolutionists. So, instead of the mantra holding weight, the evidence actually points towards biblical creation being the most reliable model.
The Bible is ultimately trustworthy and is the standard for authority. If we start with the pre-supposition that the Bible is the revealed Word of Almighty God, then we can expect his creation to coincide with the facts of his revelation. As scientific study progresses we continue to find this to be true.
For the Children!
Should Christians worry about the incursion of atheism into the nursery? Finding adults and reasoning too challenging, atheists are now targeting children with their message of the non-existence of the Creator. As shown here, evolution by random mutation and natural selection is a philosophy designed to exclude God from his rightful place as the author of life.
According to the Wall Street Journal, children have a natural tendency to attribute their surroundings to intelligent design.
By elementary-school age, children start to invoke an ultimate God-like designer to explain the complexity of the world around them—even children brought up as atheists.
This is alarming to the atheists, so they have planned a strategy to indoctrinate the children with evolution early on in order to counter the children’s intuitions of a creative designer.
Dr. Kelemen and her colleagues thought that they might be able to get young children to understand the mechanism of natural selection before the alternative intentional-design theory had become too entrenched.
The secret may be to reach children with the right theory before the wrong one is too firmly in place.
It is an intentional strategy by atheists, and it is important for us as Christians to recognize the battlefield. If evolution is accepted within the walls of Christendom, then before long, the children will have no need for the Creator. Besides the obvious negative side of children embracing evolution in place of biblical creationism, there’s really no reason for anyone to be deceived since the global flood explains the evidence much better.