Monthly Archives: October 2007

It’s Halloween

Today is Halloween, one of my favorite holidays.  I remember being a kid and trying so hard to find that perfect costume idea, only to go out and get candy no matter what I dressed up as.  This year, of course, I get to hand out candy.  I don’t skimp on the cheap stuff, no I go for the Reese’s cups and the Hershey bars.  I remember as a kid getting the sweet-tarts that were way too sweet, even for someone with a sweet tooth like me.  Then, there was the gum that was always way too hard to chew.  There were the lollipops that I usually didn’t get around to eating.  And, who can forget the jawbreakers that turned your tongue all different colors?  But, my favorites and always the first to be eaten were the candy bars, and I always thought that I could have done without the other stuff so long as everyone gave out chocolate.  So, I always said that I would give out chocolate when I had my own house and my own trick-or-treaters, and this is the year.  Yes, this is actually the first time in my young life that I’ve had a chance to give out candy, so tonight I’m going to enjoy it.  Happy Halloween everybody.

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Is Evolution of Vital Importance?

Evolutionists love to claim that evolution is vital to our lives.  Why, if not for evolution, we wouldn’t have any medical knowledge at all they say.  Evolution allows us to create anti-viral drugs they continue.  If you don’t believe in evolution, then you may as well go to a witch doctor or simply pray to be healed, they conclude.

Well, color me surprised, considering that as recently as two years ago, we learned that nearly two thirds of doctors are skeptical of Darwinism.  Are we really supposed to believe that we would not be able to heal anyone without Darwin’s ideas?  Was there no medicine before Darwin hit the scene?  Would we not be able to reverse engineer viruses and figure out how to fight them if we didn’t believe that we all came from the same blob of protoplasm?  Heck, even Sam Harris talks about the therapeutic affects of meditation which in no way needs evolution.  I think we can safely say this particular Darwinist argument is a dead end.

Evolution as Fact?

Evolution is fact.  That much should be beyond dispute, so long as we can all come to agreement on what the word “evolution” means.  Unfortunately, therein lies the rub.  In a 2001 paper, Stephen Meyer and Michael Keas ably lay out the 6 different definitions of evolution and step through them point by point.

Principal Meanings of Evolution in Biology Textbooks
1. Change over time; history of nature; any sequence of events in nature.
2. Changes in the frequencies of alleles in the gene pool of a population.
3. Limited common descent: the idea that particular groups of organisms have descended from a common ancestor.
4. The mechanisms responsible for the change required to produce limited descent with modification, chiefly natural selection acting on random variations or mutations.
5. Universal common descent: the idea that all organisms have descended from a single common ancestor.
6. “Blind watchmaker” thesis: the idea that all organisms have descended from common ancestors solely through an unguided, unintelligent, purposeless, material processes such as natural selection acting on random variations or mutations; that the mechanisms of natural selection, random variation and mutation, and perhaps other similarly naturalistic mechanisms, are completely sufficient to account for the appearance of design in living organisms.

If, by “evolution” we mean definition number 1, 2, 3, or 4, I think we can all conclude that evolution is fact, in that it has been demonstrated.  The problem, however, is when materialists conflate the definitions and start to claim that numbers 5 and 6 have similarly been shown to be fact.  Although there is some evidence that suggests 5 may be correct, it is far from proven fact.  Worse than that, definition 6 veers out of the bounds of science and directly into metaphysical worldviews.  I think it is important to keep these things in mind when debating with Darwinists, and to hold them to defining their terms properly.

Dog Day Sunday

I found some pictures from earlier this summer that I had wanted to post.  Mendel, Aquinas, and I found a nice lake in the woods where Mendel took a dip.

Lake in the woods

Through the modern marvels of technology, I was able to capture Mendel shaking off through this sequence of action shots.

Mendel shake 1Mendel shake 2
Mendel shake 4Mendel shake 5

The reason I posted these now though is due to the view from the top of a rock outcropping that we found.  I really should go back there to see what the trees look like in the fall when they’ve changed color.  It’s probably gorgeous.

Tree view

Due to technical problems, I’ve had to thumbnail the last picture.  Clicking it will link to a full sized version.  Apologies for the extra click.

Is SETI science?

Clearly, there are many comparisons one can make between ID science and the search for extra-terrestrials.  That both are examples of design detection is obviously the first that comes to mind.  Both, however, are also detecting design without knowing the identity of the designer.  This is supremely important.

One of the claims of Darwinists is that ID is not science, because one can not detect design while knowing nothing of the designer.  Yet, those same Darwinists will tell you that SETI is science.  How can this be?  Do we really know the identity of the designer that sends us signals from the distant reaches of space?  Yet, we still think we can detect those signals, and we still call it science.  These intelligent designers of signals that reach Earth could be totally different forms of life, with different means of thinking, communicating, reacting, feeling, etc.  We really don’t know anything about what might be out there in terms of lifeforms, so we clearly can’t identify the designer, or even know anything about the designer.  Sounds a lot like ID science, doesn’t it?  The only difference is that the materialists have an a priori bias based on their worldview that they feel is threatened by ID science, but not by SETI.  Therefore, they must oppose ID, hence they claim it is not science.  This is just more evidence of the weak position of the materialists and their knee-jerk reactions to defending their worldview in emotional ways.

Growing Pains

With the increase of traffic on this blog, I’ve had a few hiccups with finding comments caught in the spam filter.  I ask for your (dear reader) patience while I work things out on this end.  I have fished out all the comments that were waiting, however, especially those of Kairosfocus who seems to have been hit the hardest by the filter.  Thank you all for reading and commenting on my blog.  Although some of the conversations get a little tense, I do feel that there are some good debates here with both sides getting a chance to have their say.

More Evidence of Intelligent Design

Science Daily is reporting today on a study about the human-directed “evolution” of St. Bernards.  This is an area close to my heart since I am such a dog lover, and it’s a great example of ID science in action.  We can trace what the human-directed selective pressures accomplished in this breed of dog.  This is ID science; not evolution, except in the general sense of change over time.  Of course, at the end of the article, the author has to throw in the disclaimer against Creationism and ID:

“Creationism is the belief that all living organisms were created according to Genesis in six days by ‘intelligent design’ and rejects the scientific theories of natural selection and evolution.

“But this research once again demonstrates how selection — whether natural or, in this case, artificially influenced by man — is the fundamental driving force behind the evolution of life on the planet.”

These two paragraphs don’t flow at all with the rest of the article and are clearly put there to assuage the Darwinista.  They are very wrong too.  The author first tries to link ID with Creationism, which is incorrect.  Then, the author tries to conflate selection with Darwinism, when we all know that Darwinism also relies on random mutation to supply the material for selection to use.  That was not what happened here, however.  This was selective breeding, which is part of ID science.