How Not to Argue Against Evolution

(Allen Shepherd) #185

The issue here is not whether God blinked it into existence, or did it by the Big Bang (he could have done it either way, and if he chose to make it look mature, as the trees in the garden did, you would not know). If you believe a God did it, you are a theist. If you think something else, like the steady state theory, you are not.

Fred Hoyle said: * A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature.


  • We are, by astronomical standards, a pampered, cosseted, cherished group of creatures. … If the Universe had not been made with the most exacting precision we could never have come into existence. It is my view that these circumstances indicate the universe was created for man to live in.


Why wasn’t it created for ants to live in?


Those comments are typical of “fine tuning arguments”. I think the jury is still out on those. The history of science has mostly consisted of debunking our special status, a trend I don’t see an end to anytime soon.

(Allen Shepherd) #188

Hoyle was not a theist. (He figured out the pathways of carbon synthesis in stars) And I think the fine tuning arguments are getting stronger, not weaker. Note, several 1000 exoplanets, not one with the conditions for life as we know it, and the solar systems are very different than ours, making ours look very special (Jupiter like planet to sweep away the asteroids, no giant planet next to sun etc.) Again, the evidence is, dare I say, overwhelming? i believe there are some 200 necessary conditions for life on earth.

If I came across a table having 500 pennies, all heads, i would not think random tosses, but an arrangement by someone: ID.

(Allen Shepherd) #189

It was, along with even other earthly creature.


It wasn’t that many years ago that there was debate as to whether planets were unique to our solar system. I’d say things have definitely gone in the other direction. You are confusing yourself if you think the results so far say much about other earthlike planets. The vast bulk of planets found so far have short orbital periods, an artifact of the methods used to search for them. The vast bulk of stars are red dwarfs, so not a solar twin, so you aren’t going to find an earth twin around a red dwarf, no surprise there.

Stay tuned…

(Thomas J Zwemer) #191

evolutionary science has abandon Ontology recapitulates —in favor of Watson and Cricks discovery of DNA which it seems shares a segment with oak trees. Which may explain the amount of dead wood around the White House.


We are not talking about mere “something”. We are talking about trying to figure out one set of unknowns in a conditional setting of the other set of unknowns. Both would be largely a story driven by assumptions and “supported” by loose application of present-day data.

I’m not sure you are talking about apples to apples in the scenario above. Hence, let’s spare some straw and remember that whatever we “know” about approximate date of “inception of life” is assumed, hence whatever guess we will have about the conditions would likewise be assumed. So, if you don’t know where and when… how do you get about solving “how”? What technology would you use to help you get there?

It makes no difference in this conversation. If a deity created everything 10 seconds ago exactly as it exists right now… makes no ontological difference from perspective of our experience and perception of reality. We would go on existing as though we existed for a long time, and whatever past there was would be a simulation of that past baked into the present outcomes that would materialize as memories and framework relationships baked into reality itself. Wouldn’t make a lick of difference when it comes to how we experience reality.

So, I really don’t see why you think knowing the answer to the above question makes a difference? Perhaps you can explain?

No telescope will give you access to pinpointing the timeline for “chemical evolution” or inception of life. You can assume some conditions and timeline by digging around the rocks and painting stories about chemicals you find on these… but that’s all you can do.

(Allen Shepherd) #193

Nevertheless, no earth like planets so far. We are unique.

This is a good example of what I am speaking about when I speak of the evidence so far. Presently, there is NO evidence of life elsewhere in the universe, and there are multiple requirements for life to exist. So…the evidence at the moment favors my view.

Now I agree with you, there are biases and there is little data. But, so far I am correct.


NASA is funding space telescopes to do exactly what you claim cannot be done. You should encourage them not to waste their money…


So, you need to provide exact explanation for electromagnetism before you can conclude that magnets can pick up metal? Observation precedes explanation in science. We observe gravity and magnetism as a force, even though we don’t have exact explanation as to how it works. We have some guesses, which are less than satisfying IMO, but the fact that it occurs is derived from observing facts.

Evolution is similar. We can observe facts and data to say that we observe morphological changes which appear to transition between species. The details are blurry and complex. There’s plentiful work to do yet.

So, what would you propose as an alternative explanation, given that 6-10k timeline doesn’t play
well with the data we have?

Well, not really. One is derived from observable data, that you’ve already admitted fits a pattern that “looks like” life evolved. The other simply tells a story and asks you to believe it.

I’m not sure that dishonest equivocation helps our case here. Evolution is not religion. It doesn’t even make sens in context of what religion is - a system that helps one to reconnect with divine, or at least claims to do so.

Yes, and it invalidates evolutionary hypothesis how? Evolution doesn’t negate the possibility of stasis. In fact, stasis is known to be the default state of any-given species.

On the other hand, some examples of evolutionary development can be shown to happen rather rapidly.

It’s not a problem for evolution:


They are building a telescope that will take high-resolutions of Earth several billions of years ago? :slight_smile:

Are you really going to tell me that the mysteries of the origin of life on Earth will be solved by building a telescope? How?


So, why do these exist if Earth is where life meant to be? What is the purpose for those lifeless planets and distant stars other than tremendous waste of space?

(Jeffrey Kent) #198

This is NOT the view of the large majority of evolutionary and population geneticists–those who understand the mechanisms of genetic change best. You’re parroting the claims of less-well-informed creationists, which should not be treated as fact.

I assume you are referring to the effort by John Sanford and his colleagues to address the issue of deleterious versus beneficial mutations with Mendel’s Accountant and similar software packages. I applaud the work and would very much like to think they are right; however, their notions are pretty much entirely ignored by mainstream scientists, who do not see merit in the work.

Of course, we are all free to choose whom we believe, but I think it’s unwise to treat opinion as fact. We have much yet to learn.

(Allen Shepherd) #199

There is contradictory evidence. The “facts” you note are the fossil record and the series of species you believe are progeny of the primary species over time. Then, population genetics and mutation fixation rates that we know today show that that could not have happened that way. So which is the “fact”, the long age series or the DNA and mutation rates? Only one can be correct.

First, the data do not fit your proposal either. I do not hold to a 6-10K time line necessarily. I don’t know what the time line was.

As I noted above, the data conflict. So, there is not a uniform way to interpret it consistent with both sets of data.

Wait a minute. Are you saying I am dishonest here? I am being straight forward, actually, even admitting where I cannot answer certain questions. Evolutionists have to ignore some things and accept others. Then say it is all A-OK. Is that honest?

It invalidates it in this manner. 1. The mutations are either insignificant or harmful. There is no movement to greater complexity, which is necessary for evolution to work. 2. It shows that even with many generations, there is little evolution. The mutation rates are not high enough to account for all the change necessary to evolve new body plans in the time allotted.

Your video shows what I would call adaptation, not evolution. The finches, particularly.

Here is the issue. You seem to accept scientism. That is, that science contains the only real truths. if it conflicts with any other way of knowing, then science takes precedence. That is a way to view the world.

I do not hold to that opinion, thinking that the Bible is the ultimate truth. So, if science conflicts with it, I go there. If the Bible is silent or unclear, like the actual age of the earth, then I will hold that in abeyance. But evolution is not such a thing, and clearly contradicts Scripture.

It magnifies and exalts death as the creator of all diversity. Jesus said, I came to give life, and evolution only offers death, and makes God an amazing ogre.

(Allen Shepherd) #200

Here is my source, although I am just copying and pasting. But these are not creationists.

Such a transition is a fete of genetic rewiring and it is astonishing that it is presumed to have occurred by Darwinian processes in such a short span of time. This problem is accentuated when one considers that the majority of anatomical novelties unique to aquatic cetaceans (Pelagiceti) appeared during just a few million years – probably within 1-3 million years. The equations of population genetics predict that – assuming an effective population size of 100,000 individuals per generation, and a generation turnover time of 5 years (according to Richard Sternberg’s calculations and based on equations of population genetics applied in the Durrett and Schmidt paper), that one may reasonably expect two specific co-ordinated mutations to achieve fixation in the timeframe of around 43.3 million years. When one considers the magnitude of the engineering fete, such a scenario is found to be devoid of credibility.

I might add that Lenski’s bacteria after 60-70K generations show little evolution. That would be equivalent to a million years of human evolution, and i suspect close to that in the whales. N/S on R/M just does not give the punch necessary.


They are building telescopes to look for biomarkers in planetary atmospheres. Assuming they find a bunch of such things, then one would end up with a distribution of ages of such systems. That is how one can learn something that at first blush might appear impossible.


I wouldn’t really classify such evidence as a look into OUR past. As such it’s a bit of a bate and switch in terms of what I was asking and referring to, and what you are suggesting .

It would be a great piece of evidence to add to the pool, but I don’t see it as being conclusive-enough when it comes to Abiogenesis concept, since you are still in the same philosophical “chicken or the egg” issue, and you are examining a spectrum of light upon which you have to make a very broad range of assumptions, which I really don’t see being very solid in this particular case… even if we did find something.


The question being examined is whether life on earth is special or not. Those telescopes are (partially, not fully) being built to try and answer that question.

If we find that its likely that life exists elsewhere, and is in fact common, then they will have answered that question. Sure, they won’t provide all the details, but that is not relevant.

Do you agree that the traditional SDA, and for that matter pretty much all Christian flavors, have a single species of life on planet Earth, elevated to a remarkable position of importance in the Universe?

(Patrick Travis) #204

Tom, there is a lot of Obama’s staff yet…and leakers at the WH. You may be on to something! :grinning: