An Embarrassing Week For The Priests of Darwinian Scientism

It’s been a bad few days for the Priests of the Church of Darwin.

First, consider the pivotal example of resistance to malaria that Michael Behe used in his book, The Edge of Evolution, to show that genetic cell mutations could not account for significant, species-protecting evolutionary improvements in a species and therefore undermined the supposed power of natural selection to create more “fit” variations in an organism’s genome. At the time, the likes of Richard Dawkins, Jerry Coyne, Kenneth Miller, Sean Carroll, and PZ Meyers — the high priest’s of scientism and Darwinian evolution — mocked Behe’s stupidity, his ignorance of how evolution works and the statistics they claimed he was misunderstanding.

Well, this week a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, confirm that Behe was, in fact, correct. Who wants to hold their breath waiting for an apology from these priests? My guess is that they will either pretend the study doesn’t matter, or create alternate “just-so stories” for how they were right all along and the neo-Darwinian myth still stands on solid ground.

Second, Fuz Rana reports that the hominid species, australopithecus sediba, which has been sold as a “key transitional species” in the evolution of modern humans, has been found (by actual fossil evidence) to be a fiction. Considering the historical precedent of the priests of Evolution to create and perpetuate mythology, this comes as just the latest in a list of “surprises” that actually only surprise the priesthood — who then go on to explain them away or pretend they’re still true and publish pictures of them in the text books our children use in school.

Finally, the journal Nature reports that research using well-preserved Cambrian fossils of sea creatures show that their neural architecture is no substantially different from the ancestors that exist today (velvet worms). They haven’t changed after more than a billion years of “evolution.” In other words, when comparing the Darwinian model of gradual, new-species-producing change with the theistic model of the sudden appearance of species, followed by stasis (no change), and extinction … guess which one matches the actual evidence?  (Thanks to Wintery Knight for this one)

If you’re interested in keeping up with stories like this, check out Reasons To Believe’s DAILY update: Today’s New Reason To Believe (TNRTB). But, in the meantime, please notice that in each of these stories, the actual evidence undermines the pronouncements of the priests of Darwinian scientism and supports the model proposed by intelligent design proponents. The priests of Darwin make up stories that prove to be false, then taunt theists for operating on “blind faith.”

Ironic don’t you think?

6 Reasons Why Jerry Coyne’s Claims Are Not Persuasive

Recently, I’ve been challenged by a new acquaintance to discuss some of the details and implications of Darwinian Evolution. This is a friendly discussion and I commend my skeptical, truth-seeking friend for his willingness to tackle these issues in a serious, respectful manner. We also agreed to read a couple of books that supported our respective points of view. I recommended Jay Richards’, God and Evolution and Fazale Rana’s, Origins of Life. To his credit, he ordered both books the next day. In turn, I agreed to read a book he thinks is compelling in support of evolution, Jerry Coyne’s, Why Evolution Is True.

Coyne is a very convincing writer and makes a compelling case for his view. Ultimately, I don’t find it persuasive but that’s why we’re having the discussion! In an attempt to engage Coyne’s arguments, I am linking to a series of blog posts by Jonathan McLatchie, a fellow CrossExamined instructor and frequent contributor not only to the CrossExamined Blog, but to the Discovery Institute’s Evolution News and Views.

This link gives a summary of Jonathan’s multi-post review of Coyne’s book and links to each of the posts in the series: Jonathan McLatchie’s Review of: Evolution is True.

Jonathan has a undergraduate degree in Forensic Biology and a Master’s Degree in Evolutionary Biology from the University of Glasgow, Scotland. He is currently serving as an intern with the Discovery Institute in Seattle. In other words, Jonathan is the kind of guy who can speak intelligently to this subject and I am happy to let him. As the discussion progresses, I will try to offer my own thoughts at a more practical, Marine-friendly level if I can.

Here are some quick takes on each post in the series with specific links to each one.

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Evolution As Myth (Part 5 of 5)

The final Evolution as Mythology post is up (here). Please take the time to read it. This has been a fantastic series of articles by some serious experts and each is definitely worth taking the time to read. I will offer a quick summary here but that alone does not do this series of articles justice. This is the kind of information every serious Christian should have stored in the immediate access area of their brain. If you can remember nothing else, remember these three points:

Evolution is no different from any other myth

A myth may be true or false, but its principle characteristic is that it validates the thinking, practices, and ideals of a culture. Evolution explains our existence within the framework of our modern culture of naturalism, which has no need for a god. A myth cannot be proved, or disproved, with the technology of the culture; a myth requires faith.

In this case, it requires faith to buy into the unrepeatable requirement for abiogenesis, the elusive wishfulness that goes with panspermia (of any variety), or the baseless assertion of macro-Evolution is a “fact.” Like any other myth, Evolution requires the true believer to suspend disbelief in order to accept it.

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Evolution as Myth (Part 4 of 5)

In this installment of the Myth of Evolution, the authors delve into the differences between micro-evolution (adaptation) and macro-Evolution. Here are the definitions they offer of each:

Microevolution (n): Evolution resulting from a succession of relatively small genetic variations that often cause the formation of new subspecies.

Macroevolution (n): Large-scale evolution occurring over geologic time that results in the formation of new taxonomic groups.

As I have discussed before, the former is not controversial while the latter has no evidential support. But in the Evolutionary Mythology, the former must lead to the latter. That is the crux of the theory. Intermediary fossils should offer us a historical picture of just how this occurred.

If this tree of life grew as claimed, we should find literally billions upon billions of “intermediate” forms of life fossilized all over the Earth. The patterns we would expect to uncover should show barely detectable differences in body forms as plants and animals made the minute transformation between their original and current forms. Not only so, but the pattern formed by those billions of fossils should also reveal the equally minute transformation of life from the simplest form (originating in the “warm little pond”) to the most complex advanced life we are surrounded by today (you).
So what do we find? In the 150 years since Darwin proposed this idea, the lack of transitional fossil evidence is the most glaring deficiency in Evolutionary Theory. There simply isn’t any. Though Darwinian devotees are quick to run some of their “missing links” up the media flagpole, the examples they use are lame to insufficient.

Or, as Phillip Johnson puts it, “…if Evolution means the gradual change of one kind of organism into another kind, the outstanding characteristic of the fossil record is the absence of evidence for [Macro]-evolution.” (Darwin on Trial, 50)

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Evolution as Myth (Part 3 of 5)

As discussed in the first installment of this series, all myths contain a creation narrative meant to explain how life got going. Evolution is no different. In the case of Evolution, the creation myth is entitled: “Abiogenesis.” In this post, Henry, Dyke and Cruze summarize not only the ridiculous improbabilities associated with abiogenesis, but the utter lack of evidence that it did, or ever could, occur at all — regardless of the probability.

This is a crucial issue, even to those sympathetic to the theistic worldview. Many Christians despise the idea of an old Earth in general, or the Big Bang in particular, because they believe that to accept either of these is to capitulate to an anti-Biblical science simply to allow Evolution enough time to “get going.” Nothing could be further from the truth. The problem with Evolution, as this post points out, is not that it needs enough time to get going, but that it lacks a mechanism to ever get going at all. I have mentioned this before (here), but the authors put specific numbers on the problem of the origin of life from non-life.

cytochrome c, a small protein found throughout the biological realm, had to appear early in the evolutionary process. Yet information theorist Hubert Yockey calculated a probability of ~10-75 to generate it spontaneously from an amino acid-rich environment. To put this into perspective: a 10-75 chance is less likely than winning the Powerball lottery nine weeks in a row, buying only one ticket per week!

For reference, mathematicians define an impossibility as something with a probability of less than 1 in 10 to the 50th power. But cytochrome c is a simple structure. The simplest self-sustaining life form must consist of 1500 to 2000 gene products, each of them more complex than a simple cytochrome c. The authors provide even more mind blowing confirmation about the ridiculous improbability of abiogenesis in their article but, as is always the case, hard core naturalists cannot back down from their appeal to abiogenesis because, for pure Darwinian Evolution to get started, abiogenesis must be true. Just because it’s unlikely (no matter how unimaginably unlikely), that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. To which the authors refer us to the work of Trevors and Abel with respect to the incredible complexity of the genetic code:

Could the genetic code have been spontaneously generated? Biologists J. T. Trevors and D. L. Abel conclude: ‘The argument has been repeatedly made that given sufficient time, a genetic instruction set and language system could have arisen. But extended time does not provide an explanatory mechanism for spontaneously generated genetic instruction. No amount of time proposed thus far, can explain this type of conceptual communication system. It is not just complex. It is conceptually complex.’

All this has led one researcher to conclude:

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 be satisfied to get it going.

A Creationist conclusion you ask? Oh no. That quote is from no one other than Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of the DNA molecule and one of the most ardent proponents of Darwinian Evolution and abiogenesis you will ever find.

A miracle? I think in this case I would be glad to agree with Dr. Crick.

Evolution as Myth (Part 2 of 5)

Though you may not have known it, and though you will be chastised for saying it, feel free to go here to find out that Evolution is not a scientific theory. As Henry, Dyke and Cruze point out …

Science is usually defined by a process called the scientific method. Typically, this includes an observation about a natural phenomenon, a hypothesis formulated to explain it, and a test performed via a controlled experiment. If the test results are not as expected, the hypothesis may be revised and retested (feedback).

The problem(s) with Evolution as a scientific theory is that it is not predictive or falsifiable, at least in the sense that other scientific theories are. Science is the study of natural causes and effects. In other words, the only reason science works is because we observe phenomena, decipher how they occurred, and then, based on those observations, make predictions about how phenomena we observed should operate in the future. If we are correct, the phenomenon we are considering should be repeatable. If not, the theory can be falsified. But, as …

Information theorist Mark Ludwig elaborates, ‘Darwin’s hypothesis … has the character of unfalsifiable philosophy: it can explain anything and predicts practically nothing… . Darwinism … requires belief… . It has become the scientist’s paradigm, and he is rarely able to admit that it is fragile and charged with philosophy.’

This is because Darwinism, by definition, is built on unpredictable randomness (as opposed to the predictable randomness of something like radioactive decay). In short, Unhindered by the predictability that defines other scientific endeavors, Evolutionists can explain everything they see after the fact, but not before.

If an animal evolves one way, biologists have a perfectly good explanation; but if it evolves some other way, they have an equally good explanation… . The theory is not … a predictive theory as to what must happen.

Evolution is a form of mythology based on a level of unwarranted belief that must be in place before the data is analyzed. It is only after the fact that the theory is seen to be at work. The data is fit to the theory instead of the other way around — and that is not the way real science is done.

Evolution as Myth (Part 1 of 5)

It is a common criticism of creationist and intelligent design advocates that they have bought into an unprovable myth and are therefore guilty of “wish thinking.” This is the mantra from the “new atheist” crowd or anyone else who believes Evolution is a Fact and that we all just need to deal with it. In light of that, I am offering links here to a series of 5 articles by some very qualified guys who argue that evolution is also a myth. To summarize the first post, their argument begins by establishing a few facts and characteristics concerning mythology:

  • All cultures utilize myth as an important part of their sociology in that it “validates the thinking, practices, and ideals of a culture.”
  • Mythology ” … is hard to prove (or disprove) with the technology of the culture; a myth requires faith.”
  • All cultures have some kind of creation myth that explains the cultural foundation and most “… involve a powerful, supernatural “god” who creates the world and causes life-forms to be brought forth.”

Evolution is no different. It involves an explanation for our existence that assumes our naturalistic origins, contains an agent capable of creating all life forms (natural selection), a prophet who informs us of the myth (Darwin), and it gives rise to fundamentalist defenders of the myth who will not tolerate any departure from its tenets (the Darwinist scientific establishment).

Please go here: Evolution As Mythology (Part 1 of 5): The Theory of Evolution is a Myth and check out installment one. I am biased of course (these guys are fellow members of my local Reasons To Believe affiliate) but they are obviously qualified to discuss the subject.

  • Dr. Hugh Henry received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Virginia in 1971, retired after 26 years at Varian Medical Systems, and currently serves as Lecturer in Physics at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, KY.
  • Mr. Daniel J. Dyke received his Master of Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary 1981 and currently serves as Professor of Old Testament at Cincinnati Christian University in Cincinnati, OH.
  • Dr. Charles Cruze received his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from University of Tennessee Center for Health Sciences in 1977, and currently works in research at Procter & Gamble Pharmaceuticals.

Their work is a fascinating read. More to follow in the coming days, I hope you enjoy …