Facing Reality – an open reply to Tildeb

Facing Reality An Open Letter to Tildeb

This letter is my response to the comment you posted here

https://yourphariseefriend.wordpress.com/2015/12/27/tug-of-war-an-open-letter-to-tildeb/#comment-25320

I thank you for your comments but I would appreciate if you check out your facts before you write. I am not a scientist and it took me time to research the extravagant assertions that you make. I do however appreciate that your questions prodded me to study this subject.

In previous comments you praised and lauded evolution above and beyond any and every other scientific thought that ever crossed the mind of man. In light of your enthusiastic exaltation of evolution I challenged you to tell us about one technology or therapy that we have today as a result of mankind “discovering” the theory of evolution.

The gist of your response seems to be that since evolution is so broad in its scope, my question is almost belittling the glorious majesty of evolution. According to your assessment, science makes no sense without evolution.

It seems that you did not understand my question.

There are scientists that study the present, the real world that you and I live in and there are scientists who study the past and the abstract. Those scientists who study the real world give us technologies and applications that work for us every day. These scientists do not need to ridicule those who disagree with them, they don’t need to demonize them and they do not need to ratchet up their rhetoric. Reality speaks for itself.

When we are dealing with the abstract, with the mysteries of the past, or with realms way beyond our reach, reality is invoked, but its invocation doesn’t sound too real.

In my previous letter to you I wrote about the limitations of science. It seems that you did not get my point. I will provide some illustration.

Let me introduce you to a concept of which most people are unaware. It is called geosynclinals theory. A 1960 textbook described this theory as “one of the great unifying principles in geology. In many ways its role in geology is similar to that of the theory of evolution, which serves to integrate the many biological sciences… the geosynclinals origin of the major mountain systems is an established principle in geology.” (The Geological Evolution of North America, Ronald Press 1960, pg. 43)

Ether is a bit more popular than geosynclinals theory. In the famous Scopes trial of the 1920’s the judge’s final decision included the following quotation; “To deny the teacher of biology the use of this most fundamental generalization of his science (evolution) would make his teaching as chaotic as an attempt to teach … physics without assuming the existence of ether.”

Perhaps you have heard of the book “Ecoscience” written by Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren. This book, which was published in 1977, predicted major famine and ecological catastrophes which never came to pass. These people proposed radical measures for the government to utilize in order to protect the universe. These measures included forced abortions, involuntary sterilization, and taking away children from people who somehow circumvent these laws. This was after these same two authors had incorrectly predicted an oncoming age of global cooling (“Overpopulation and the Potential for Ecocide” 1971).

Did the scientific community act upon the reality which demonstrated that these people’s understanding of reality was completely off the mark? Did the community of scientists ostracize these people for their fascist ideology?

No! not at all! Dr. Holdren was appointed in 2009 by President Obama as Director of the White House office of Science and Technology. Paul Ehrlich is a respected figure in the scientific community and is the recipient of numerous prestigious prizes.

For many decades in the latter half of the 19th century various scientists were absolutely convinced that the earth was about 100 million years old. This was confirmed by scientists who studied physics, astronomy, geology, biology and geophysics. In other words this theory, extolled by scientists as true “without the slightest possibility of error,” was confirmed by many scientists from a variety of disciplines using a variety of methodologies and aligned “perfectly” with all of these fields of study. But today, scientists realize that the 19th century scientists were all working under wrong assumptions and that they were influenced by each other without consciously realizing it.

I am sure you heard of the planet Vulcan. It was supposed to be between Mercury and the sun and its presence was confirmed by mathematical calculations and even by actual “sightings.” For decades, many scientists were convinced of the existence of this planet which does not exist in the world of reality.

So you see tildeb, I am not overawed by a “consensus of scientists from various fields etc.” and if you are the follower of reality that you claim to be, neither should you.

My request for one practical application of evolution should be read in context of the limitations of science when it comes to matters that are not so readily discernible.

But let me pause to help you understand the point I was making in my previous post. Most of these mistakes were honest mistakes (I would suspect that Holdren and Ehrlich’s mistakes don’t fall into this category). The scientists were simply using the information that they had at the time and this was the best they came up with.

We cannot fault the scientists for making mistakes, but there is something that we could fault them for. Each and every one of these mistakes was predicated on the same false premise. In every generation there is some information that scientists know and there is some information that they don’t know. Amazingly, in every generation the scientists assume that what they do know is about 99.9999 percent of what there is to know and what they don’t know is a mere speck of dust that can be ignored. If the scientists would have been humble enough to acknowledge reality and accept that they know very little about nature, then these mistakes would not have been made with such arrogant confidence. They would not have ridiculed those who opposed their pet theories the way they did and they would have more quickly opened their ears to hear their error.

One more point before I get to evolution. The general public does not know about the fiascos of science. The blunders are relegated to the back pages of arcane history texts and the holy doctrine of the infallibility of science is trumpeted from every textbook and media outlet.

This, tildeb, is a mockery of reality.

Let us go back to evolution, the theory which has your heart. I had asked you for one application or technology given to us by the knowledge learned through acceptance of evolutionary theory.

Now perhaps you could have answered that the progress that has been made in the study of antibiotics and the resistance that is developed by living organisms towards them is a study rooted in the theory of evolution. This would also be true in relation to progress that has been achieved in the fields of breeding plants and animals.

But these examples would not prove your point. Please allow me to remind you what I have already written on this subject. In my post entitled “Random Reality” I clarified that I believe that evolution happens. It is happening today and no one can deny it. What is open to question is the aspect of the theory that asserts that it is random mutations that fuel the evolutionary process. There is very little in the way of evidence that can support this aspect of evolutionary theory and there is much that can disprove it.

Furthermore, the assertion that all life emerged from one original life-form is not as clearly established as you claim. Let me note that there are scientists that share my religious world-view who believe that common descent took place – http://www.aish.com/ci/sam/48951136.htmlso the theory of common descent does not “threaten” my religious worldview, but I don’t see any compelling reason to accept it.

Neither of these examples (resistance to antibiotics or the breeding of plants and animals) requires a belief in random mutations fueling the evolutionary process or a belief in common descent. Both of these evolutions are extremely limited in their scope and have no application to the broad theory of common descent.

I would hazard a guess that at this point you are bristling with indignation. All of the sciences that you mentioned align perfectly with the theory of common descent, or so you say, so how could anyone cast doubt on this theory that has been validated again and again? A staggering amount of new knowledge was discovered as a result of science accepting evolutionary theory and an avalanche of applications, therapies and technologies were given to man through evolution.

The problem is that reality is not what you want it to be. Genetics does not align “perfectly” with the theory of common descent. Paleontology does not align “perfectly” with common descent. And neither does geology or medicine. There are serious problems with the theory of common descent that each of these sciences presents.

You must be exasperated by now. Didn’t the holy “talkorigins” website answer each and every challenge to the glorious theory of evolution posed by those evil creationists? And if I were to tell you that the creationist websites answer every challenge posed by the evolutionists you would wring your hands in despair. Didn’t you tell me again and again that creationists are not scientists? Creationists arrive at their knowledge through the evil method known as “faith” while the immaculate atheists (almost) never misrepresent reality. The fact that some creationists claim that they oppose the theory of common descent based on science and not on faith can be ignored because we “know” that creationists always operate from faith. Furthermore, the creationists have an obvious agenda but the atheists are as altruistic as the driven snow. How could I compare the arguments of these primitive fools to the sophisticated reasoning of the sanctified atheists?

Do you realize tildeb that hundreds of scientists do not believe in evolution? Many of these scientists are atheists. Many of these scientists are accomplished scientists in many fields and they don’t see things your way. There are more scientists that oppose the theory of evolution than there were scientists that opposed every mistake that science made from geosynclinals to ether to Vulcan and to global cooling. Oh, you can dismiss those scientists who disagree with you from your world by labeling them with the appropriate dehumanizing appellations so generously supplied by the Church of Darwin, but these scientists do exist in the world of reality.

Perhaps you are up on every challenge to evolution ever presented but for the benefit of the readers allow me to record some details of the controversy. (I realize that the word “controversy” in the context of evolution is blasphemous to you, but I have no other way to word this truth.)

It is a “well known fact” that humans and chimpanzees share 98% of their DNA, or is it? When the scientists threw out those numbers to the general public they were under the Darwinist induced stupor that the vast majority of DNA is a useless vestigial remnant from the ancient past. They called this “junk DNA.” According to their “knowledge” there was no reason to include junk DNA in the calculation of similarities between the two “twins” on the “tree of life.”

Since those numbers were produced, the ENCODE study recognized that the junk DNA is quite important and is actually functional. You would expect someone to go and revise the numbers. (When junk DNA is included in the calculation then the similarity drops to 75%) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3246854/

Tildeb, how long do you think that it will take for the scientific community to make this correction known to the general public?

I mentioned the tree of life. You seem to be under the impression that this concept is aligned perfectly well with the sciences of anatomy, genetics and molecular biology. But sadly for your “reality” this is not the case. – http://science.sciencemag.org/content/284/5423/2124.full

http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2014/origins-of-eukaryotes-who-are-our-closest-relatives/

You quoted Dobzhansky’s exaggerated statement to the effect that belief in evolution is the backbone of biology and you add to all related fields of knowledge.

Perhaps it may surprise you to know that Dobzhansky was a theist and his essay was an argument for theistic evolution – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nothing_in_Biology_Makes_Sense_Except_in_the_Light_of_Evolution

Furthermore, Dobzhansky was making a point. He wanted to say that you need to recognize that the same natural laws apply to all living creatures in order to understand biology. But it does not follow that in order to understand biology you need to believe in one theory over another as to why the same natural laws apply to all living creatures.

To apply Dobzhansky’s statement to all of the sciences that you associate it with is simply ridiculous. Atomic theory is completely unrelated to evolution. Medicine does not need to believe in evolution in order to work. Your statements concerning the overarching scope of evolution are rooted in dogmatic fundamentalism and not in reality.

But why would anyone doubt evolution in light of the “evidence”? And again, the question is not if evolution happens, but is it random? And the answer to this question is that there is almost no reason to believe that the process is random while there are many reasons to believe that the process is not random at all. The rapid evolution of various species tells us that this is not a random process

http://discovermagazine.com/2015/march/19-life-in-the-fast-lane

The phenomena of convergent evolution also tells us that this is not a random process

http://genome.cshlp.org/content/14/8/1555.long

https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22510-ultrasonic-insect-evolved-tiny-mammal-like-ears/

You extravagant claim about evolution’s role in the sciences is demonstrably false. It is because of a dogmatic belief in evolution that the majority of any given organism’s DNA was dismissed as vestigial “junk DNA.” Subsequently it was discovered that this DNA is not junk at all. Believing the theory of evolution impeded scientific research and progress in this case. Certain vestigial organs were also dismissed as useless monuments from the past on the basis of evolutionary theory but in fact some of these organs are quite functional. Here too, adherence to the theory of evolution impeded scientific progress.

Let us address the subject of common descent.

As I stated, I am not a scientist but a student of human conversation. I have seen arguments for and against the theory of common descent. I have not only read the arguments but also the techniques of persuasion used by the proponents of both sides of this debate.

I can say this. The technique used by many in the camp of those favoring common descent is the same technique used by the liberal media in the realm of politics and by the Church in its debate with Judaism. They demonize those who disagree with them. I am not saying that you cannot find this technique used by creationists. After all, many of them are educated in the rhetoric of the Christian Scriptures which elevates this technique to the level of virtue. But to deny that it is being used by the proponents of evolution is to deny reality.

It is not as you say, that there are mountains of evidence for the position of common descent and some flimsy shreds of data that are used to cast doubt on this theory. It is also not as you say that every question asked by those who do not accept common descent has been answered by those who do accept the theory. There are serious questions that have not been answered and the opponents of common descent have presented arguments to counter most of the arguments presented by the proponents of common descent.

Perhaps some questions are better than others and perhaps some answers are better than others but there are serious questions on both sides. The argument that you brought from endogenous retroviruses sounds like a good argument in favor of common descent but things are not as clear-cut as you make them sound. The phenomenon of convergent evolution is a very strong argument against common descent and the answers provided by the proponents of the theory are not very satisfying.

You claim adherence to reality. Reality demonstrates that in every generation scientists tend to overestimate the value and weight of the knowledge that they possess. To ignore the past and to assume that the present is different is to ignore reality.

 

I would like to credit Yoram Bogacz’s book, Genesis and Genes, for triggering the thought for this article and for sending me in the direction of most of the scientific information.  

 

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Thank You

Yisroel C. Blumenthal

 

 

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39 Responses to Facing Reality – an open reply to Tildeb

  1. I did not want to include the following link in the body of my article because the atheist faith does not allow its adherents to accept information from creationists but for the benefit of the non-believers – here it is – http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/05/darwin-doubting059241.html

    • Concerned Reader says:

      Rabbi, a problem that I have with articles like the one you posted above from this creationist website is its biased method. On the one hand the article DOES AND MUST ACCEPT and CANNOT DOUBT the existence and relevance of ARTIFICIAL SELECTION, (because humans use artificial selection all the time when breeding various animals,) but on the other hand the article attempts to obfuscate and shoot holes of doubt into NATURAL selection (because of its broader implications, and due to some as yet unknown scientific details.)

      THE ARTICLE SHOWS ITS BIAS RIGHT OFF AS IT ACCEPTS THE PHENOMENON THAT DARWIN NOTICED IN THE FINCHES, BUT ONLY IN THE CASE OF ARTIFICIAL SELECTION.

      Creationist sources say “you Darwinists cannot yet explain all the details of A to B to C, (such as adequately explaining the cambrian explosion,) with NATURAL selection, so we reject your theory.”

      Do you know that there is another very well established theory that we also cannot explain the detailed A, B, and C, operations of completely? its called Gravity. Science still does not “know” in absolute creationist terms the ins and outs of the source of gravity. What we do have is a dependable fairly certain descriptive model of the effects of gravity that have allowed for untold advances. Evolution is no different than gravity. we know it exists, (after all, we create Vaccines using the knowledge continually gleaned from evolutionary biology and genetics.) Would you throw out gravity just because we don’t yet have a unified field theory or understand every last detail of its operation? No? Likewise you should not dismiss natural selection, (the knowledge of which has produced measurable medical breakthroughs.)

      • Concerened Reader You obviously do not understand teh creationist position – it is alot more sophisticated than you think. the original article entitled “dissecting Darwinism” was written by a surgeon – Joseph Kuhn – read it – it is purely scientific and not faith based at all – its not just a matter of not being able to construct the path – there are serious problems with the theory

        One more thing – Before tildeb got me studyingthese things I would have leaned in the direction of Gerald Scrhoeder – who believes in a theistic common descent – but after reading up on the subject its very hard for me to accept it. The thing that tilted the scales for me (I am not a biologist) is the way the proponents of common descent critique the critics of common descent – if truth would be on their side they wouldn’t need to do it that way. I am not talking about the shrill tone or teh mockery. i am talking about when they take a serious scientific book such as Lee Spetner’s “The Evolution Revolution” and the only way they could review it is by misrepresenting what he wrote

        1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

        • larryB says:

          yourphariseefriend
          your articles never disappoint. Now, In your response to CR, what is the problem with theistic common descent?
          I see that as god created the universe and everything in it. The details were looking into since he didn’t include that in the Torah.

          • larryb read this article – > – ^http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3246854/

            also I read Lee Spetner’s books – Not by Chance and The Evolution Revolution – and I’ve seen the proponents of the theory responses to this angle of argumentation Another book that I found helpful was Yoram Bogacz’s “Genesis and Genes” printed by Feldheim publishers

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • LarryB says:

            yourphariseefriend
            I was trying to find out what You meant by theistic common descent or what Gerald schroeder meant.

          • Larryb Gerald Schroeder wrote a book called genesis and the Big Bang in which he explains how the theory of common descent can be understood in Torah terms – he is a prolific writer and a great scholar you can find his articles on teh Aish website

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

  2. Concerned Reader says:

    “They point out that animal breeders hit limits all the time. Breeders have tried for decades to produce a chicken that will lay more than one egg per day. They have failed. Horse breeders have not significantly increased the running speed of thoroughbreds, despite more than 70 years of trying. Darwin’s theory requires that species have an immense capacity to change, but the evidence from breeding experiments shows that there are definite limits to how much a species can change, even when intelligent agents”

    The article says “we can’t even do it in a lab with artificial selection, so how could it happen in nature?” The article fails to take into account population drift, environmental factors, and the simple fact that A LAB WITH AGENTS IS NOT NATURE WITHOUT AGENTS. Breeders hit limits because they are working in controlled conditions that are not nature.

  3. Concerned Reader says:


    The second video notes that these california lizards have unique differences in their DNA. It is selection occurring (just like we do with animal breeding,) naturally.

    • Concerened reader My filtering system does not let me see the youtube videos but I suspect that these lizards are the ones that speciated within a few generations that I speak about in my post – this was clearly NOT a random process – these lizards came to the island with a program inside their system that enabled them to speciate and to speciate quickly – this not only does not prove the theory of neo-darwinism it is one of the strongest refutations – this is not RANDOM mutation

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • Concerned Reader says:

        rabbi when you say this example isn’t truly “random” I think you are definitely oversimplifying the theory of evolution, even misunderstanding it. There are countless environmental factors, geographical, genetic, inter population dynamics (DNA replication itself has a self correcting mechanism,) etc. driving the process. When we say “random” it properly means natural (selection of traits without human agency being involved) as opposed to artificial (selection of traits with human agency.) We understand that selection is driven by many many different factors.

        • Dina says:

          “We”?

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Yes, “We” Dina. I accept the reality of natural selection. It is a scientific theory that has proved its rectitude as much as gravity has as a theory, and it doesn’t impact theism.

          • Dina says:

            So do “we,” Con. That’s not what the argument is about.

        • Concerned Reader I am not a scientist but I gathered this much – there is a factor of random mutations of the DNA which is what neo-Darwinistic evolutionists propose as the supplier of material for natural selection to act upon. If it can be demonstrated that the environment induces specific changes in the DNA and that is the cause of speciation then you have a new theory and it is not neo-darwinism

          I encourage you to read Joseph Kuhn’s article “Dissecting Darwinism” you’ll find the link in my article when I speak of the revised numbers of common DNA between chimps and men – he is writing from a purely scientific angle – and I want you to pay specific attention to his points toward the end about how biology textbooks produced in 2011continued to repeat arguments for evolution which have been debunked including the Haeckel drawings

          1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

  4. Concerned Reader says:

    On the 1st page and further throughout the paper (a quote below) the author jumps from discussing natural selection (change over time within living systems) to discussing abiogenesis, (the origin of life,) as if natural selection sought to explain abiogenesis. That is a common error. Evolution does not claim that explanatory power. He constantly conflates the two.
    “On the basis of natural selection and time, it has been theorized that single cellular
    organisms may have arisen from a primordial mixture of ancient
    elements and energy.” (Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings Volume 25, Number 1
    42)
    For the record rabbi, I was raised with old earth creationist beliefs, so please try not to assume that I “don’t understand” creationism or intelligent design. I was fed this bunk by Christian Churches for years!
    As I mentioned in my last post, the criticisms on offer occur only after these people already accept Darwin’s central premises of the presence of selection and its observed effects. Nobody doubts, (not even Ken Ham head of the creationist museum doubts) that selection occurs. They just raise doubts about the full scope of the phenomenon in nature, and laud the present inability of science to understand every last detail. They do nothing however to deny the clear fruits and benefits the evolutionary theory has produced for human beings. They simply can’t, because they would look foolish to do so. Again, would you throw out gravity because science cant explain every detail? Observe
    “Two specific strengths of Darwinian evolution are generally agreed upon: 1. Species adapt to a change in environment (bird beak changes, bacterial resistance, fruit fly experiments). This is called microevolution. 2. There is similarity in the DNA across species (called homology).”
    99% of scientists accept evolution because WE SEE IT OCCURING. The creationist always has to start the argument with “granted, yeah but I disagree.” That is a telling piece of information about the method being used.
    This article mentions similarity in DNA acrosss species as if it is a fluke, and does not imply any form of common ancestry, but The same “doctor” that is casting doubt on Darwin and treating the DNA evidence as a fluke (because of his rhetoric) would have no problem testifying in a court case involving DNA used as evidence. DNA shows the connections between various creatures. It gives us a time lapsed evolutionary roadmap, hence the 99% support from scientists.
    “aspects of Darwinian evolution in the human body are readily agreed
    upon—for example, mutation and natural selection acting to
    influence malarial resistance, skin characteristics, and many
    other minor changes within the species. However, the ORIGIN of
    and explanation for the formation of complex organs remains
    unclear.”
    Above is a clear example of conflating and misrepresenting evolution’s explanatory power confusing it with origin.

    • Dina says:

      Con, natural selection explains how finches got their beaks but does not account for the change to an entirely different life form. This is a fair question and I don’t hear you or Tilly ever address it.

      You wrote: The same “doctor” that is casting doubt on Darwin…

      Why did you put “doctor” in scare quotes? Usually scare quotes imply sarcasm or irony; in this case the scare quotes imply that Dr. Kuhn is not really a doctor, he’s a quack, he can’t be taken seriously. (I’m assuming you’re referring to Dr. Kuhn, the author of the article under discussion.)

      This doctor has impressive credentials:

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2190552/

      So you need to do some serious introspection on why you were so quick to dismiss him (the same kind of introspection you need to do about your fears of Orthodox Jews).

      You wrote “casting doubt on Darwin”; what do you mean by that? Is Darwin infallible? Can doubt not be cast on any part of any of his theories?

      Creationists do not deny natural selection. That is not the part of evolution they have a problem with. I think you know that, and I think you are not being intellectually honest.

      • Dina I don’t believe that Concerned reader is being intellectually dishonest and I don’t believe that tildeb is being intellectually dishonest – I see plenty of misunderstandings and missed communication aside from the fact that the ideas that are being espoused are foreign to the participants in the conversation – both tildeb and concerned reader demonstrated the rare ability to self-correct – lets try to stay away from personal accusations

        1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Dina, again you have not heard me, you have heard what you want. I am not afraid of orthodox Jews, any more than I fear Christians or Muslims. I fear the potential for abuse that exists in all of these communities. There is a marked difference.

        • Fred says:

          And there is no potential for abuse from the secular/atheistic community? I think the antitheists on this blog, and in history, have shown plenty of it. So that point becomes irrelevant, unless you are going to equally consider the atheistic potential for the same. Potential for abuse is universal, therefore is a “sauce for the goose” point and does nothing to further the dialogue, especially if you are only applying it to one side of the debate.

          If you somehow believe that secularists/atheists are immune to using their point of view in an abusive way, then you are quite naive and are playing favorites.

        • Dina says:

          Yes, and I responded to you on that but it seems you do not hear me either. At any rate, Fred made a good point.

    • Concerned Reader If you read what I wrote you would know that I also accept that evolution occurs. The reason the doctor conflates the two is because he is discussing what is being presented in biology textbooks and those books conflate the two and I believe that there is an ideological agenda driving people to conflate the two

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Rabbi, you have made my point. You accept “some” evolution, but then shoot holes and layer doubt on other aspects of it, even though the usefulness of the information provided by the theory has been clearly demonstrated case after case in countless different disciplines. So, why do you accept gravity? There are many things we still don’t know scientifically about gravity.

        Dina, we have examples of speciation where the animals in question (after their common ancestor populations diverged) can no longer breed since the populations were isolated for a long time. They effectively become new species of animal.

        “Con, natural selection explains how finches got their beaks but does not account for the change to an entirely different life form.”

        DNA combined with the fossil record, combined with embryology, and evidence of micro evolution, does explain it at least adequately enough that we learn new practical and applicable information all the time Dina. That’s the point. Doubting something is a part of scientific method, but when the usefulness of a theory in practical application has held true for so long, and even the creationists accept core premises, it makes zero sense to doubt it any longer.

        http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA215.html

        • Concerned Reader says:

          What make y’all of the Platypus? Its a mammal with reptilian and Avian Genes and features thrown in, both functional and vestigial.

        • Concerned Reader In short – there is an ideological issue here as I explained in Random Reality – There is a motivation to reduce the complexity that we see into something random. This motivation has biology textbooks conflate evolution with the origin of life – not only geology textbooks but respected scientists when speaking to the public make this conflation. The facts are not as you say – DNA, Embryology and the fossil record supply evidence both for and AGAINST the theory of common descent. Tis is not to say that there is no ideological agenda against common descent but to deny that there is an ideological agenda for it is a denial of reality. The reason the comparison to gravity doesn’t stand is that I don’t see and ideological agenda pushing gravity.

          1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

          • Concerned Reader says:

            Rabbi, you are the one primarily bringing up ideology. I am saying “here is physical information that we can see that is consistent with the theory of natural selection, and consequently, it doesn’t impact your theism. please provide an explanation that accomplishes as much in terms of knowledge gained in as many different fields (applicable for every human being regardless of ideology) as Darwin’s theory has been able to produce.”

            I have given you examples from living organisms of natural selection in progress, as well as I have pointed out that even creationists cannot doubt the mechanism of selection. So, it is your ideology that is coloring your view more than mine. One can be a theist and still accept natural selection however, so the issue of conflating it with the origin of life is a moot point. Science as yet has not learned the facts of abiogenesis, just as we have not yet discovered an adequate unified field theory to explain all of physics. It is not a failing of natural selection that it has not explained everything, as many theories do not explain everything.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            This is not to say that science doesn’t try to explain the things like abiogenesis that it cannot yet adequately explain, it theorizes, that’s how science moves forward.

            Rabbi, you are using the word “random” like a scare word that means (totally a shot in the dark.) Randomness as it pertains to the subject of natural selection is a mechanism, (so, it is decidedly not random as far a natural process goes,) but is random in the sense that an agent is not required to guide it. As an example, We have factories that operate under fully automated mechanisms and do not require intervening agency. Natural selection is like a mechanism, just as gravity is, its not a shot in the dark. One might call it a self improving (on the aggregate), self correcting, replicating mechanism. The driver is natural reproductive processes of various life forms as opposed to agents, though agents also can artificially select.

          • Concerned Reader says:

            The reason the comparison to gravity doesn’t stand is that I don’t see and ideological agenda pushing gravity.

            Actually rabbi, the charge of a superstitious ideology driving gravity as a theory was leveled against Newton by Leibniz when his theory first came to light. Newton could not adequately explain the mechanical properties constituting gravity, so he was accused of teaching mysticism. The opposition that natural selection faces is similar. Because it can’t explain everything, it is dismissed.

          • Concerned reader Newton did not need to use propaganda to promote his ideas – it is also wrong to say that natural selection is “dismissed” no one is dismissing natural selection. There are serious questions – not simply lack of understanding – against the mechanism of random mutation plus natural selection for explaining common descent and these questions are being muzzled by an ideologically driven group of people.

            1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

    • larryB says:

      CR
      “That is a common error. Evolution does not claim that explanatory power. He constantly conflates the two.
      “On the basis of natural selection and time, it has been theorized that single cellular
      organisms may have arisen from a primordial mixture of ancient
      elements and energy.” (Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings Volume 25, Number 1
      42)”
      Wasn’t he just talking about “prokaryocytes”? that would be where evolution began?

    • Concerned reader Here is an example of academics throwing “origin of life” into the mix of subjectsthat “science has moved beyond controversy” in what appears to be a deliberate attempt to mislead the public – http://news.vanderbilt.edu/2012/03/anti-science-legislation/ 1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

  5. Concerned Reader says:

    have arisen from a primordial mixture of ancient
    elements and energy.” This statement is trying to conflate an issue of abiogenesis with natural selection.

    Evolution deals with organisms like prokaryocytes, not at the point where the non living chemicals became living cells. That doesn’t mean scientists don’t hypothesize, but hypothesizing and searching is how science moves further in its knowledge.

    Not only does the man conflate abiogenesis and evolution, but he thinks that being a doctor somehow makes him a qualified biologist! That’s just absurd. Does being a doctor for humans make him a veterinarian too? He buys into irreducible complexity for crying out loud.


    • Concerned Reader Why do you need to discredit this doctor’s credentials? If you think his arguments are invalid say so. As I said in the past – i cannot see these videos that you posted can you please give a link to an article? Also why do you use the term “buy into”? That would imply that he didn’t think this thing through himself. The argument for irreducible complexity makes a lot of sense – perhaps you have an argument against it – but people don’t need to “buy into” irreducible complexity – it is logical and self evident – that is what you would think unless you came to an understanding that is different.

      1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

      • Concerned Reader says:

        Rabbi, irreducible complexity posits that a given system (such as an eye) must have been the product of a mind because (it is argued) that if any part of this system were missing or deficient, an eye simply would not function. The error of irreducible complexity is that the premise itself is simply false, as can be gleaned from studying reality.

        For an eye to be considered an irreducibly complex system, it cannot have intermediate forms, because according to this belief, if the eye were anything less than complete and the product of intellect, it would simply not function. This belief neglects that many organisms have far less complex visual systems than we do lacking even in mechanisms that our eyes poses. Some eyes lack lenses and only have basic photo receptor cells, some eyes do not have the ability to differentiate color, some eyes are monocular and cannot sense true depth, (equivalent to a pinhole camera,) and other eyes are more complex than human eyes (in terms of visual acuity.) So, the argument for irreducible complexity in that case is simply inaccurate. An answer to the bacterial flagellum can be easily found by a simple youtube or google search.

        I question this person’s credentials because he makes blatant errors, and he is not a biologist or a chemist, he is a medical doctor. He simply has no credentials in the relevant fields of study. I took lots of undergrad science and astronomy classes, that doesn’t make me an expert in biology.

        • Concerned Reader Your argument against irreducible complexity is logically wanting – seriously so. The doctor actually addresses your argument in his article. And I find it interesting that whenever someone who is not a biologist criticizes darwinism he is “discredited” but when it is good for the propaganda campaign the darwinists falsely claim that darwinism aligns perfectly with every science.

          1000 Verses – a project of Judaism Resources wrote: >

  6. larryb says:

    CR
    Chill. You say “Evolution deals with organisms like prokaryocytes” He says,”This process of mutation and natural selection has been proposed to explain the descent from a common ancestor, even from the original prokaryocytes billions of years ago”. Mutation then natural selection. What’s wrong with that? I do not see the conflation. and he had more going for himself than Darwin, “Darwin was not even a biologist, rather, he was a naturalist, moreover, he held no scientific degree of any kind.”

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