Sunday, November 20, 2005

Evolution vs. Intelligent Design Battle in Benton County



Area dentist writes rebuttal to Daily Record columnist Tony Red's attack on those who question macroevolution.

11 Comments:

Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

“Just the Facts. Sir, Just the Facts”

How often have we heard the erroneous assumption that science and religion are mutually exclusive—or that you’re an anti-intellectual, ignorant Bible-thumper if you don’t believe in the “fact” of evolution? Daily Record columnist, Tony Red, recently jumped on this flawed soapbox, with misguided presuppositions and inaccurate conclusions.

Mr. Red uses the typical bait-and-switch tactic in defining science. He incorrectly uses one type of science, operational science, in defending his views about the past. Operational science is empirical, e.g., it describes how things work in the present.

But Mr. Red fails to distinguish operational science from origins (historical) science, which attempts to describe how things came about in the past. The alleged conflicts between “science” and “religion” occur in origins science—not in operational science. The controversy is over the interpretations about the past. Evolution and creation science are a part of origins science, and each has a different starting point based on philosophical presuppositions about the past and, therefore, different interpretations.

Evolution is not “backed up by overwhelming empirical evidence.” The theories of relativity and gravity are grounded in operational science—not so with the hypothesis of evolution. Let’s look at a few examples. The question of origins is a fundamental issue, although evolutionists sometimes try to evade it. Evolutionists are baffled how life arose from non-life and choose to ignore the Law of Biogenesis, i.e., life can only arise from life. Evolutionists like Harvard’s Dr. George Wald readily admit this and know that hydrothermal vents and other creative hypotheses beg the question. All scientific observations indicate DNA codes come from existing intelligence—information comes from a mind, not matter, and life comes from life.

While Darwin predicted we’d find innumerable transitional fossils, all we have today are a handful of highly disputable examples. There is lots of “paleobabble,” but Stephen Gould (a leading evolutionist before his recent death) stated: “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology.”

Then there is the wrong assumptions about evolution’s supposed mechanisms: natural selection and mutations. Natural selection is a fact, but it preserves changes and adaptations within a kind of animal—it doesn’t create major changes necessary for a totally different kind of animal. Finches have slightly different beaks—but they’re still finches. We see horizontal variations within kinds of animals—not vertical “jumps” from one kind to a different kind.

What about mutations? It’s been shown that all point mutations studied on the molecular level turn out to reduce or at best reshuffle existing genetic information—not increase information. Genetically, it’s a downward process—just the opposite of what evolution would need. Randomly changing parts of your laptop will not change it into a super computer. And more time for change doesn’t help them; it’s the direction of change (downhill, not uphill) that is the problem.

With enough space, other problems for evolutionists and Mr. Red could be discussed. Notably, one is Mr. Red’s comment about natural selection being able to account for the complexity of the eye. If you believe that fallacy, listen to anatomist Dr. David Menton’s analysis in his DVD, “The Hearing Ear and the Seeing Eye” at AnswersInGenesis.org.

But the most important question is: Why is this important? Evolution and belief in the God of the Bible are indeed incompatible. One cannot logically believe in both, as Mr. Red asserts. Evolution is the pseudo-scientific foundation for humanism (man’s changeable, fallible “truth” as the measure of all things). It denies God and moral absolutes. Evolutionists are often the most discerning about this issue. Noted atheist Richard Bozarth states: “Evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus’ earthly life was supposedly made necessary.” By undermining the history of Genesis and original sin, evolution destroys the foundation of the Gospel. Evolutionist Julian Huxley wrote: “Evolution is directly antagonistic to Creation and the Bible.”

Evolution is not operational science and should not be taught as such in the classroom. Evolutionists are pounding their hollow academic pulpits harder and louder in an effort to drown out the convincing, opposing evidence. We’ve been brainwashed into believing the “fact of evolution” when it’s simply philosophical naturalism imposed on the evidence. Dragnet’s Joe Friday would respond to Mr. Red…”Just the facts, sir, just the facts.”

Donald J. Eckard, BS, DDS

11:20 AM, November 20, 2005  
Blogger AR1836 said...

Actually, humanism dates back to a Catholic philosopher whose ideas led to the worldview that the singular human life is worthy of being viewed AS a singular human life and not a cog in the wheel of the whole to be squashed at the whim of a more powerful entity or the needs of the many. Rabelais has been considered the first humanist. Without a humanist worldview, I believe our nation's democratic "evolution"(couldn't resist) which accounts for the singular human life qua singular human life view that renders the callous English utilitarianian view repugnant to most Americans.

An ethic merely based in God is subject to rendering nutjobs like Koresh as correct in their theological thinking based on a revelationary vindication. If the inherent value of the singular human life is the basis of an ethic, then nutjobs like Koresh can never be vindicated by claiming to hear from God, like Abraham who would certainly have killed his son--assuming the Biblical literalist perspective, which can be problematic for a universal ethic--Kierkegaard tried to write a Protestant apologia for Abraham's action thru a fancy philosophical sleight-of-hand(Fear and Trembling, Knight of Faith).

You seem to have convictions about the legality of abortion which would lead me to believe that you personally accept the view of the inherent value of the singular human life. A contemporary author/philosopher/playwright Albert Camus offers the view as a reason to ban the death penalty. His view was that assigning value to a human life leads to the cynicism of the Fascist/Communist century when history would vindicate their notorious crimes against humanity. His worldview can lend secular credence to the pro-life view of the problems of the legality of abortion. A strictly religious argument ultimately won't succeed without destroying the fabric of our governmental traditions.

1:15 PM, December 01, 2005  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Welcome Ar1836, always nice to have your perspective, even as a foil.

It is Humanism (the philosphy that man is the measure of all things) that is destroying the fabric of our governmental traditions, not religion. The idea that "men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights" is a religious idea, not a humanist one.

Without God there is no fixed basis for morality and thus no fixed basis for law. We see this now in the courts, where in the Lawrence vs. Texas sodomy case the Supremes reversed their own decision from only 17 years before.

Expect the law to become chaos as various groups petition and then repetition in the hopes that the mood of the court on that particular day will favor their cause.

Without God there is no reason to value a particular human life. Yes, a Catholic scholar may advance that proposition as a basis for an ethic, but that is just a man's opinion, no more or less valid than Hitler's claim that the "master race" had a right to eliminate other races and take their land for the "good" of "more advanced" races.

Your attempts to equate Bibical Christianity, whose tenents have stood the test of time, with Koresh are a non-sequiter. It does not follow that if Bibical Christianity is true then every idea that claims to be a revelation from God must be considered equally valid. A society based on Islam will be a very different society than one based on catholic christianity, and one based on protestant Christianity will differ from both.

Clearly, one cannot lump all absolutist belief systems together. Some are closer to reality than others.


The handful of nations who organized their societies around protestant Christianity wound up ruling almost all of the world, and introducing a grossly disproportionate share of the world's scientific, sociological, and technological progress. This is unlikely to have been entirely coincidental, instead, such progress is the result of having a view of the world that more cloesely corresponds to reality than competing views.

11:01 PM, December 05, 2005  
Blogger AR1836 said...

That's right Mark. Without the liberalization of society and government, protestant Christian nations would not be so dominant. Not to forget the bloody wars fought to preserve the Reformation and the dumb luck of Turkish attempts at conquest in SE Europe at the time of Luther which diverted Catholic Christian forces away from slaughtering Protestants in Germany. That's right. No Renaissance in Islam since their Golden Age(500-1500) equals an illiberal tradition of governance. You've missed the point entirely, but I like you nonetheless. HUMANISM is a HUGE component of Protestant Christianity's liberalization of governments loyal to the split from the Church. From Plutarch to now, humanism is a positive force in Western society. Yes, the inherent, unassigned value of the SINGULAR human life is a universal basis of an ethic which could be applied globally to combat the Islamic impression that we are proselytizing them for Christian conversion. In the 14th century, one could have been executed for hundreds of offenses. Do you think the humanist approach to governance had anything to do with changing such Draconian punishments for the simplest of crimes? You were an educator and I have to trust that you agree with that assessment at least to a degree.

11:19 AM, December 09, 2005  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Without the liberalization of society and government, protestant Christian nations would not be so dominant.

Agreed, but my point is that the Protestant Christian Worldview is itself the catalyst for that liberalization. In other words, it was not CHANCE that the most liberalized societies were the ones with a Reformed Christian worldview, rather it was because of their Theology that the social progress followed.


HUMANISM is a HUGE component of Protestant Christianity's liberalization of governments loyal to the split from the Church

Perhaps we should define our terms so as to not talk past one another. I define Humanism as a philosphy based on the proposition that Man is the measure of all things.

That is a very different basis for human dignity than the basis advanced in the Reformation, which is: Human life is sacred because Man is created in the image of God. And each man has a God-given right to relate to his Creator as he sees fit by deciding for himself how God's revelations (the scriptures) are to be applied.

All of that assumes some things that Humanism does not assume. It assumes there is a God. It assumes He desires a relationship with men, and that an inspired record of His dealings with men can be found in the Scriptures and used for guidance.

You have the order reversed. It is not Humanism that makes Reformed Christianity a liberating force, it is Reformed Christianity that makes Humanism cabable of any good at all.

I will give you an example from your own head. the inherent, unassigned value of the SINGULAR human life is a universal basis of an ethic . Why no, no it isn't. Without a Christian-effected view of the world there would be no reason at all for a humanist such as yourself to pre-suppose that a singular human life has any value whatsoever. It is an artifact of your being raised in a Christian-effected culture.

Communism is based on a humanist view of the world unaffected by Christianity. It did not hold the individual life to be of value. Quite the opposite, it viewed individuals as expendable for the "greater good" of advancing the whole of mankind. Nazism was simply a truncated form of Humanism. Not only was man the measure of all things, free from and Divine constraints or obligations, but only "our kind" of human mattered.

You think that respect for human life is a fundamental part of Humanism, but that is only because you have been raised in a Christian-affected culture who assumes such things as a given. There is no intrinsic reason why this must be so.

If man is the measure of all things then what happens when one group of men want the same thing as another? The law of the jungle and only that. In humanism, there is no Higher Order to restrain them from the utmost brutallty to attain their desires. As shocking as it may seem, helping a little old lady across the street and running her over for kicks are morally equivilent in pure humanism.

It is only natural for someone who feels that "man is the measure of all things" to justify whatever desire they have- for they are men and if there is none above man then who can say it is wrong? There IS NO wrong. Their is only self-will, only groups of humans with competing desires.

Normally, none of us who hold this view get enough power over our neighbors to cause any fuss. Rational self-interest makes us cooperate. But on those occasions where one of us humans with a pure humanist world view gets a pile of power, the results are not pretty. Oppressive strongmen the world over are practicing humanists.

Yes, the inherent, unassigned value of the SINGULAR human life is a universal basis of an ethic which could be applied globally to combat the Islamic impression that we are proselytizing them for Christian conversion I repeat that it is NOT universal. Both human history and today's headlines prove this. Most of the world throughout history does not value human life the way you do. They don't value it above their strongest desires. It is only "universal" among cultures who have an ingrained foundation of Mere Christianity.

I don't mean to say that only Christain Cultures value life. There is a God-given conscience and sense of right and wrong that Christianity affirms. Yet it is not strong enough to endure the assaults of human passions absent a transcedent philosophy to nourish it. By itself, a Humanism that says "life has great value" (why? who says? other humans? Well, they are not better than me, so if I decide that X or Y should die then who are they to say it is 'wrong'?) is not capable of such re-inforcement of conscience in most individuals.

Islam was founded in conquest and violence and violence and conquest must sustain it. They would view such a Humanism as you suggest a threat just as sure as they view Christiandom. You would be prosletyzing them, and they would declare Jihad for it.

Do you think the humanist approach to governance had anything to do with changing such Draconian punishments for the simplest of crimes

"An eye for an eye" was originally a changing of draconian punishments in cultures where they would kill someone for putting out thier eye. The New Testament continued this tradition. But the pendulum can swing too far the other way too. God is Just.

Humanism can lead to a situation where there is no justice for crime because ultimately, there is no right or wrong anyway. It is just competing desires. Such a philosophy abandons "punishment" for "treatment". Punishment is actually more respectful of the individual than "treatment". But I go on too long....

3:02 PM, December 13, 2005  
Blogger AR1836 said...

The humanist ideal you're attacking is full of straw. Reducing humanism to "man is the measure of all things" is framing an "enemy" of your choosing, not the true characterization of the concept. Without a humanist inclusion, Christians were glad to kill other Christians. Humanism is a concept dating back to the Greeks with their ideas of democracy and their formation of republics long before the Christ's message resonated. The Renaissance was a "reawakening" of the knowledge of the Greeks and their humanism had a tremendous impact on bettering the lives of humans. Unfortunately, fundamentalist Christians are unable to weigh ideas without their, at times ludicrous, preconceptions. You have mistaken dogma for philsophy. Dogma is the problem humanists have had to combat since the beginning of Christianity. Fundamentalists are unable to tell themselves the truth. Believe me, I know how it is among fundamentalist circles having only recently shaken the dogma from my feet(like the dust of your feet for an unwelcoming village).

7:47 PM, December 14, 2005  
Anonymous markm said...

Well then, give your definition of Humanism. Let's agree on terms so as to facilitate discussion.

10:05 PM, December 15, 2005  
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