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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Atheism, Dawkins, and Intelligent Design

The Atheist Community has launched an all out attack on Intelligent Design by equating it to “Creationism” which it is not and categorizing “Religion” as superstition, which – at least to some – it is not. It is also worth noting that when attacking religion and religious people the examples seem to always be Old Testament examples and not Jesus and the New Testament, but this is really beside the point. The point seems to be that the Atheists take the position that those who believe in God must demonstrate through the scientific method that God exists while they feel they have no responsibility to prove through that same method that He does not. However, that argument is really moot because the issue really pivots on the accuracy of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.

Any challenge to Evolution is seen as an attack on the theory per se and an effort by religious zealots to introduce religion into the study of science, but this really isn’t the case. The reality is that evolution as stated by Darwin has some issues and nagging questions, questions that science has not been able to explain. Of course the Darwinians take the position that just because science doesn’t have an answer that doesn’t mean they won’t have one in the future and therefore, Evolution is factual as stated by Darwin and no questioning of it is permitted. Those who have the temerity to challenge the Darwinians are subjected to intimidation, humiliation, and risk losing their careers. Those non-academics who question Darwin are simply dismissed as a bunch of religious zealots or ignoramuses. But it seems that the Darwinians are really not defending Evolution as much as they are denying God, these are actually atheists who see Evolution as a method to substantiate their belief so Intelligent Design must be denied at all costs, but it is the Origin of Life that is the rub.

The origin of life is a fundamental problem with the Theory of Evolution, because Darwin’s theory only addresses how life changes not how it began. Therefore the challenge for scientists is to demonstrate how life evolved from inorganic matter. This study has been named “Abiogenesis”

Experiments using inorganic components have been conducted for many years and these have been successful in creating organic molecules from inorganic materials but unfortunately these experiments have either started with components toxic to life or yielded results toxic to life. Much of the controversy rests on the primordial atmosphere of the Earth, which is unknown and must be assumed for the experiments. The mathematical probability of DNA being randomly generated is so great as to be impossible. Because of the failure for Abiogenesis to succeed in demonstrating the origin of life the Darwinists have postulated “Panspermia”, a theory which Dawkins supports or rejects as an explanation depending on his audience. Essentially Panspermia states that life originated elsewhere in the universe and landed on the Earth either via comets, meteorites, or even Aliens – Aliens whose technology is far superior to ours and so superior that they would have solved the question of life itself. Of course THAT solution would not be Intelligent Design because no advanced society could possibly arrive at such an unscientific explanation.

Bypassing the very serious question regarding the origin of life, Darwin himself stated that for his theory to be demonstrated three tests would have to be met. The first of these was that the fossil record would have to yield transitional fossils. To date the fossil record has been unyielding and while it shows various animals adapting to their environment it hasn’t shown any of these transitional forms. The second test is Natural Selection: The belief here is that nature will weed out those least able to survive in their environment and through time new species would evolve, through mutation or gradual improvements through genetic inheritance. This would be demonstrated in the fossil record. New and improved forms would exist in the newest strata with the original and more primitive forms being found in the older strata. This has not been the case and there are examples of the older forms coexisting with the newer and these all remain the same species and not new species.
The third requirement for Evolution is Random Mutation: This postulates that new species appear through a series of mutations that gradually change into new species. How this happens is never explained or demonstrated but mutations do occur but how they result is new species has not been demonstrated either in the lab or in the fossil record. To overcome this problem Stephan Gould postulated “punctuated equilibria”, as a means to explain how one species morphs into another taking place over thousands of years and not millions. This theory neatly eliminates the need for the fossil record to show any transitional fossils.

The fossil record also shows that life in the Pre-Cambrian to be very simple –akin to pond scum but with the Cambrian the oceans teem with life. These Cambrian creatures are complex organisms with eyes, mouths, and bodies –some of which are shelled. This is a fact and an inconvenient one that the theory of Evolution has not been able to explain other than to resort to punctuated equilibria, except that no new species have evolved in the recent period and if more than a few thousand years are involved then the fossil record should show the fossils, which it has not. It is important to understand that no one questions evolution in the form of adaptation, what is being question is the failure of the Darwinians to address speciation and the origin of life itself.

Dawkins and other atheists like him would have you believe that they speak for all of the scientific community but they do not – they may speak for the atheistic community which is undoubtedly composed of some scientists but not all scientists are atheists. They cling to Darwin with the same blind faith that others cling to God. They are convinced that science will ultimately answer how life began and that answer will not be Intelligent Design, even though their fall back position is Panspermia, which either avoids the issue altogether or is an example of Intelligent Design because the aliens from space are presumably intelligent and had some objective in mind when they seeded life on Earth. In any case, the complete failure of these academics to explore Intelligent Design is an example of their religious commitment to Darwin and closed mindedness to any explanation that might have metaphysical implications.

5 comments:

Blog O' Beth said...

You need to check out the new Ben Stein documentary that opened this past weekend about this very subject. I hear it is getting rave reviews.

Amber said...

What would you expect transitional fossils to look like? I'm looking for specifics here. What would you consider a transitional fossil between fish and amphibians? Land animals and whales? Apes and humans?

Also some interesting articles about speciation:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/05/2/l_052_05.html
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/04/still_just_a_lizard.php

Royce said...

Actually I have no idea what a transitional fossil should like, but Stephen Gould said that after years of searching none has ever been found and he doubted any would ever be found so he postulated the theory of “Punctuated Equilibria” which conveniently allows the Darwinists to simply skip over the first test of Evolution established by Darwin. The problem of speciation remains but the reality is that all of these “scientific” papers are laced with qualifiers like “believed”, “could” “might” and “thought” but the fact is that none of them actually succeed in offering any real answers, of course this is excused because that is the way science works and the Darwinians have faith in science. But the real issue isn’t Evolution or even science the real issue is God. Darwin and Evolution are nothing more than a way for the atheists to advance their cause. They advance theories like Panspermia which really begs the question and punctuated Equilibria which avoids the fundamental test of Evolution but are never willing to even consider that Darwin’s Theory is even a theory much less might have holes. Academia is closed minded and is no longer a forum for critical thinking it is dominated by an Intellectual Inquisition they preaches rather than teaches.

Amber said...

First, that quote from Gould was taken out of context. In his own words: "Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists—whether though design or stupidity, I do not know—as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. Transitional forms are generally lacking at the species level, but they are abundant between larger groups."

There are plenty of transitional fossils.
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional.html

More recently there has been Tiktaalik as a transition between fish and amphibeans (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiktaalik). And just reported yesterday is a fossil (Gerobatrachus hottoni) that has a mix of characteristics between salamanders and frogs (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080521/sc_nm/fossil_frog_dc).

Also, more speciation studies: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html#part5

Royce said...

Checked the references but careful reading doesn't actually provide any real proof in the form of speciation. there are gaps and leaps of logic. There is a description of fish to amphibian but that rests on one fossil and a claim that it is the transition. This is relatively thin evidence since there is no before and after evidence. Plus the references are filled with qualifiers and rest on the theory of 'Punctuated equilibria' which really is simply an effort to avoid the hard questions of speciation.