Evolution – Conservapedia

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The theory of evolution is a naturalistic theory of the history of life on earth (this refers to the theory of evolution which employs methodological naturalism and is taught in schools and universities). Merriam-Webster's dictionary gives the following definition of evolution: "a theory that the various types of animals and plants have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in successive generations..."[2] Currently, there are several theories of evolution.

Since World War II a majority of the most prominent and vocal defenders of the evolutionary position which employs methodological naturalism have been atheists and agnostics.[3] In 2007, "Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture...announced that over 700 scientists from around the world have now signed a statement expressing their skepticism about the contemporary theory of Darwinian evolution."[4]

In 2011, the results of a study was published indicating that most United States high school biology teachers are reluctant to endorse the theory of evolution in class. [5] In addition, in 2011, eight anti-evolution bills were introduced into state legislatures within the United States encouraging students to employ critical thinking skills when examining the evolutionary paradigm. In 2009, there were seven states which required critical analysis skills be employed when examining evolutionary material within schools.[6]

A 2005 poll by the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Social and Religious Research found that 60% of American medical doctors reject Darwinism, stating that they do not believe man evolved through natural processes alone.[7] Thirty-eight percent of the American medical doctors polled agreed with the statement that "Humans evolved naturally with no supernatural involvement." [8] The study also reported that 1/3 of all medical doctors favor the theory of intelligent design over evolution.[9] In 2010, the Gallup organization reported that 40% of Americans believe in young earth creationism.[10] In January 2006, the BBC reported concerning Britain:

Furthermore, more than 40% of those questioned believe that creationism or intelligent design (ID) should be taught in school science lessons.[11]

Picture above was taken at Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University Press reported in 2014: "Over the past forty years, creationism has spread swiftly among European Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Hindus, and Muslims, even as anti-creationists sought to smother its flames."[13] In addition, China has the world's largest atheist population and the rapid growth of biblical creationism/Evangelical Christianity in China may have a significant impact on the number of individuals in the world who believe in evolution and also on global atheism (see: China and biblical creationism and Asian atheism).

The theory of evolution posits a process of transformation from simple life forms to more complex life forms, which has never been observed or duplicated in a laboratory.[14] Although not a creation scientist, Swedish geneticist Dr. Nils Heribert-Nilsson, Professor of Botany at the University of Lund in Sweden and a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, stated: "My attempts to demonstrate Evolution by an experiment carried on for more than 40 years have completely failed. At least, I should hardly be accused of having started from a preconceived antievolutionary standpoint."[15]

The fossil record is often used as evidence in the creation versus evolution controversy. The fossil record does not support the theory of evolution and is one of the flaws in the theory of evolution.[16] In 1981, there were at least a hundred million fossils that were catalogued and identified in the world's museums.[17] Despite the large number of fossils available to scientists in 1981, evolutionist Mark Ridley, who currently serves as a professor of zoology at Oxford University, was forced to confess: "In any case, no real evolutionist, whether gradualist or punctuationist, uses the fossil record as evidence in favour of the theory of evolution as opposed to special creation."[18]

In addition to the evolutionary position lacking evidential support and being counterevidential, the great intellectuals in history such as Archimedes, Aristotle, St. Augustine, Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, and Lord Kelvin did not propose an evolutionary process for a species to transform into a more complex version. Even after the theory of evolution was proposed and promoted heavily in England and Germany, most leading scientists were against the theory of evolution.[19]

The theory of evolution was published by naturalist Charles Darwin in his book On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, in 1859. In a letter to Asa Gray, Darwin confided: "...I am quite conscious that my speculations run quite beyond the bounds of true science."[20]Prior to publishing the book, Darwin wrote in his private notebooks that he was a materialist, which is a type of atheist.[21] Darwin was a weak atheist/agnostic (see: religious views of Charles Darwin) .[22] Charles Darwins casual mentioning of a creator in earlier editions of The Origin of Species appears to have been a merely a ploy to downplay the implications of his materialistic theory.[23] The amount of credit Darwin actually deserves for the theory is disputed. [24] Darwin's theory attempted to explain the origin of the various kinds of plants and animals via the process of natural selection or "survival of the fittest".

The basic principle behind natural selection is that in the struggle for life some organisms in a given population will be better suited to their particular environment and thus have a reproductive advantage which increases the representation of their particular traits over time. Many years before Charles Darwin, there were several other individuals who published articles on the topic of natural selection.[25]

Darwin did not first propose in his book Origin of Species that man had descended from non-human ancestors. Darwin's theory of evolution incorporated that later in Darwin's book entitled Descent of Man.

As far as the history of the theory of evolution, although Darwin is well known when it comes to the early advocacy of the evolutionary position in the Western world, evolutionary ideas were taught by the ancient Greeks as early as the 7th century B.C.[26] The concept of naturalistic evolution differs from the concept of theistic evolution in that it states God does not guide the posited process of macroevolution.[27]

In 2012, the science news website Livescience.com published a news article entitled Belief in Evolution Boils Down to a Gut Feeling which indicated that research suggests that gut feelings trumped facts when it comes to evolutionists believing in evolution.[28] In January of 2012, the Journal of Research in Science Teaching published a study indicating that evolutionary belief is significantly based on gut feelings.[29][30] The January 20, 2012 article entitled Belief in Evolution Boils Down to a Gut Feeling published by the website Live Science wrote of the research: "They found that intuition had a significant impact on what the students accepted, no matter how much they knew and regardless of their religious beliefs."[31]

In response to evolutionary indoctrination and the uncritical acceptance of evolution by many evolutionists, the scientists at the organization Creation Ministries International created a Question evolution! campaign which poses 15 questions for evolutionists. In addition, leading creationist organizations have created lists of poor arguments that evolutionists should not use.[32] See also: Causes of evolutionary belief

See also: Theories of evolution

Evolutionist Theodosius Dobzhansky wrote concerning the theory of evolution: "The process of mutation is the only known source of the new materials of genetic variability, and hence of evolution."[33] Concerning various theories of evolution, most evolutionists believe that the processes of mutation, genetic drift and natural selection created every species of life that we see on earth today after life first came about on earth although there is little consensus on how this process is allegedly to have occurred.[34]

Pierre-Paul Grass, who served as Chair of evolutionary biology at Sorbonne University for thirty years and was ex-president of the French Academy of Sciences, stated: "Some contemporary biologists, as soon as they observe a mutation, talk about evolution. They are implicitly supporting the following syllogism: mutations are the only evolutionary variations, all living beings undergo mutations, therefore all living beings evolve....No matter how numerous they may be, mutations do not produce any kind of evolution." Grass pointed out that bacteria which are the subject of study of many geneticists and molecular biologists are organisms which produce the most mutants.[35] Grasse then points that bacteria are considered to have "stabilized".[36] Grass regards the "unceasing mutations" to be "merely hereditary fluctuations around a median position; a swing to the right, a swing to the left, but no final evolutionary effect."[37]

In addition, Harvard biologist Ernst Mayr wrote: "It must be admitted, however, that it is a considerable strain on ones credulity to assume that finely balanced systems such as certain sense organs (the eye of vertebrates, or the birds feather) could be improved by random mutations."[38]

Creation scientists believe that mutations, natural selection, and genetic drift would not cause macroevolution.[39] Furthermore, creation scientists assert that the life sciences as a whole support the creation model and do not support the theory of evolution.[40] Homology involves the theory that macroevolutionary relationships can be demonstrated by the similarity in the anatomy and physiology of different organisms.[41] An example of a homology argument is that DNA similarities between human and other living organisms is evidence for the theory of evolution.[42] Creation scientists provide sound reasons why the homology argument is not a valid argument. Both evolutionary scientists and young earth creation scientists believe that speciation occurs, however, young earth creation scientists state that speciation generally occurs at a much faster rate than evolutionist believe is the case.[43]

Critics of the theory of evolution state that many of today's proponents of the evolutionary position have diluted the meaning of the term "evolution" to the point where it defined as or the definition includes change over time in the gene pool of a population over time through such processes as mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift.[44] Dr. Jonathan Sarfati of Creation Ministries International declares concerning the diluted definition of the word "evolution":

See also: Atheism and equivocation

Dr. Jonathan Sarfati wrote:

All (sexually reproducing) organisms contain their genetic information in paired form. Each offspring inherits half its genetic information from its mother, and half from its father. So there are two genes at a given position (locus, plural loci) coding for a particular characteristic. An organism can be heterozygous at a given locus, meaning it carries different forms (alleles) of this gene... So there is no problem for creationists explaining that the original created kinds could each give rise to many different varieties. In fact, the original created kinds would have had much more heterozygosity than their modern, more specialized descendants. No wonder Ayala pointed out that most of the variation in populations arises from reshuffling of previously existing genes, not from mutations. Many varieties can arise simply by two previously hidden recessive alleles coming together. However, Ayala believes the genetic information came ultimately from mutations, not creation. His belief is contrary to information theory, as shown in chapter 9 on Design.[47]

Dr. Don Batten of Creation Ministries International has pointed out that prominent evolutionists, such as PZ Myers and Nick Matzke, have indicated that a naturalistic postulation of the origin of life (often called abiogenesis), is part of the evolutionary model.[48] This poses a very serious problem for the evolutionary position as the evidence clearly points life being a product of design and not through naturalistic processes.[49]

The genetic entropy theory by Cornell University Professor Dr. John Sanford on eroding genomes of all living organisms due to mutations inherited from one generation to the next is declared to be one of the major challenges to evolutionary theory. The central part of Sanfords argument is that mutations, represented by spelling mistakes in DNA, are accumulating so quickly in some creatures (and particularly in people) that natural selection cannot stop the functional degradation of the genome, let alone drive an evolutionary process that could lead for example, from apes into people.[50]

Sanford's book Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome explains why human DNA is inexorably deteriorating at an alarming rate, thus cannot be millions of years old.[51]

The evolutionist Michael Lynch wrote in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America in a December 3, 2009 article entitled: Rate, molecular spectrum, and consequences of human mutation (taken from the abstract):

Creation scientists and intelligent design advocates point out that the genetic code (DNA code), genetic programs, and biological information argue for an intelligent cause in regards the origins question and assert it is one of the many problems of the theory of evolution.[54][55]

Dr. Walt Brown states the genetic material that controls the biological processes of life is coded information and that human experience tells us that codes are created only by the result of intelligence and not merely by processes of nature.[54] Dr. Brown also asserts that the "information stored in the genetic material of all life is a complex program. Therefore, it appears that an unfathomable intelligence created these genetic programs."[54]

To support his view regarding the divine origin of genetic programs Dr. Walt Brown cites the work of David Abel and Professor Jack Trevors who wrote the following:

In the peer reviewed biology journal Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington Dr. Stephen Meyer argues that no current materialistic theory of evolution can account for the origin of the information necessary to build novel animal forms and proposed an intelligent cause as the best explanation for the origin of biological information and the higher taxa.[57] The editor of the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, Dr. Richard Sternberg, came under intense scrutiny and persecution for the aforementioned article published by Dr. Meyer.

See also: Theory of evolution and little consensus and Theories of evolution

There is little scientific consensus on how macroevolution is said to have happened and the claimed mechanisms of evolutionary change, as can be seen in the following quotes:

Pierre-Paul Grass, who served as Chair of Evolution at Sorbonne University for thirty years and was ex-president of the French Academy of Sciences, stated the following:

Today, our duty is to destroy the myth of evolution, considered as a simple, understood, and explained phenomenon which keeps rapidly unfolding before us. Biologists must be encouraged to think about the weaknesses of the interpretations and extrapolations that theoreticians put forward or lay down as established truths. The deceit is sometimes unconscious, but not always, since some people, owing to their sectarianism, purposely overlook reality and refuse to acknowledge the inadequacies and the falsity of their beliefs. - Pierre-Paul Grass - Evolution of Living Organisms (1977), pages 6 and 8[61]

See: Modern evolutionary synthesis and Theories of evolution

A notable case of a scientists using fraudulent material to promote the theory of evolution was the work of German scientist and atheist Ernst Haeckel. Noted evolutionist and Stephen Gould, who held a agnostic worldview[62] and promoted the notion of non-overlapping magesteria, wrote the following regarding Ernst Haeckel's work in a March 2000 issue of Natural History:

An irony of history is that the March 9, 1907 edition of the NY Times refers to Ernst Haeckel as the "celebrated Darwinian and founder of the Association for the Propagation of Ethical Atheism."[64]

Stephen Gould continues by quoting Michael Richardson of the St. Georges Hospital Medical School in London, who stated: "I know of at least fifty recent biology texts which use the drawings uncritically".[63]

See also: Evolution and the fossil record

As alluded to earlier, today there are over one hundred million identified and cataloged fossils in the world's museums.[65] If the evolutionary position was valid, then there should be "transitional forms" in the fossil record reflecting the intermediate life forms. Another term for these "transitional forms" is "missing links".

Charles Darwin admitted that his theory required the existence of "transitional forms." Darwin wrote: "So that the number of intermediate and transitional links, between all living and extinct species, must have been inconceivably great. But assuredly, if this theory be true, such have lived upon the earth."[67] However, Darwin wrote: "Why then is not every geological formation and every strata full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely-graduated organic chain; and this perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against my theory."[68] Darwin thought the lack of transitional links in his time was because "only a small portion of the surface of the earth has been geologically explored and no part with sufficient care...".[69] As Charles Darwin grew older he became increasingly concerned about the lack of evidence for the theory of evolution in terms of the existence of transitional forms. Darwin wrote, "When we descend to details, we cannot prove that a single species has changed; nor can we prove that the supposed changes are beneficial, which is the groundwork of the theory.[70]

Scientist Dr. Michael Denton wrote regarding the fossil record:

Creationists assert that evolutionists have had over 140 years to find a transitional fossil and nothing approaching a conclusive transitional form has ever been found and that only a handful of highly doubtful examples of transitional fossils exist.[72] Distinguished anthropologist Sir Edmund R. Leach declared, "Missing links in the sequence of fossil evidence were a worry to Darwin. He felt sure they would eventually turn up, but they are still missing and seem likely to remain so."[73]

David B. Kitts of the School of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Oklahoma wrote that "Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them".[74]

David Raup, who was the curator of geology at the museum holding the world's largest fossil collection, the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, observed:

One of the most famous proponents of the theory of evolution was the late Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould. But Gould admitted:

For more information please see:

Creationists can cite quotations which assert that no solid fossil evidence for the theory of evolution position exists:

For more fossil record quotes please see: Fossil record quotes and Additional fossil record quotes

For more information please see: Paleoanthropology and Human evolution

Paleoanthropology is an interdisciplinary branch of anthropology that concerns itself with the origins of early humans and it examines and evaluates items such as fossils and artifacts.[81] Dr. David Pilbeam is a paleoanthropologist who received his Ph.D. at Yale University and Dr. Pilbeam is presently Professor of Social Sciences at Harvard University and Curator of Paleontology at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. In addition, Dr. Pilbeam served as an advisor for the Kenya government regarding the creation of an international institute for the study of human origins.[82]

Dr. Pilbeam wrote a review of Richard Leakey's book Origins in the journal American Scientist:

Dr. Pilbeam wrote the following regarding the theory of evolution and paleoanthropology:

Evolutionist and Harvard professor Richard Lewontin wrote in 1995 that "Despite the excited and optimistic claims that have been made by some paleontologists, no fossil hominid species can be established as our direct ancestor...."[84] In the September 2005 issue of National Geographic, Joel Achenbach asserted that human evolution is a "fact" but he also candidly admitted that the field of paleoanthropology "has again become a rather glorious mess."[85][86] In the same National Geographic article Harvard paleoanthropologist Dan Lieberman states, "We're not doing a very good job of being honest about what we don't know...".[86]

Concerning pictures of the supposed ancestors of man featured in science journals and the news media Boyce Rensberger wrote in the journal Science the following regarding their highly speculative nature:

Creation scientists concur with Dr. Pilbeam regarding the speculative nature of the field of paleoanthropology and assert there is no compelling evidence in the field of paleoanthropology for the various theories of human evolution.[89]

In 2011, Dr. Grady S. McMurtry declared:

It is acknowledged that the Laws of Genetics are conservative, they are not creative. Genetics only copies or rearranges the previously existing information and passes it on to the next generation. When copying information, you have only two choices; you can only copy it perfectly or imperfectly, you cannot copy something more perfectly. Mutations do not build one upon another beneficially. Mutations do not create new organs; they only modify existing organs and structures. Mutations overwhelmingly lose information; they do not gain it; therefore, mutations cause changes which are contrary of evolutionary philosophy.

As a follow on, the addition of excess undirected energy will destroy the previously existing system. Indeed, you will never get an increase in the specifications on the DNA to create new organs without the input from a greater intelligence.

Mutations affect and are affected by many genes and other intergenic information acting in combination with one another. The addition of the accidental duplication of previously existing information is detrimental to any organism.

Mutations do produce microevolution, however, this term is far better understood as merely lateral adaptation, which is only variation within a kind, a mathematical shifting of gene frequency within a gene pool. The shifting of gene frequencies and a loss of information cannot produce macroevolution.

As Dr. Roger Lewin commented after the 1980 University of Chicago conference entitled Macroevolution:

The central question of the Chicago conference was whether the mechanisms underlying microevolution can be extrapolated to explain the phenomena of macroevolution. At the risk of doing violence to the positions of some of the people at the meeting, the answer can be given as a clear, No. [Emphasis added]

Dr. Roger Lewin, Evolution Theory under Fire, Science. Vol. 210, 21 November 1980. p. 883-887.[90]

In 1988, the prominent Harvard University biologist Ernst Mayr wrote in his essay Does Microevolution Explain Macroevolution?:

...In this respect, indeed, macroevolution as a field of study is completely decoupled from microevolution.[91]

See also: Creation Ministries International on the second law of thermodynamics and evolution

Creation Ministries International has a great wealth of information on why the second law of thermodynamics is incompatible with the evolutionary paradigm.

Some of their key resources on this matter are:

See also: Theories of evolution

Because the fossil record is characterized by the abrupt appearance of species and stasis in the fossil record the theory of punctuated equilibrium was developed and its chief proponents were Stephen Gould, Niles Eldridge, and Steven Stanley. According to the American Museum of Natural History the theory of Punctuated Equilibrium "asserts that evolution occurs in dramatic spurts interspersed with long periods of stasis".[92] Because Stephen Gould was the leading proponent of the theory of punctuated equilibrium much of the criticism of the theory has been directed towards Gould.[93][94] The development of a new evolutionary school of thought occurring due to the fossil record not supporting the evolutionary position was not unprecedented. In 1930, Austin H. Clark, an American evolutionary zoologist who wrote 630 articles and books in six languages, came up with an evolutionary hypothesis called zoogenesis which postulated that each of the major types of life forms evolved separately and independently from all the others.[95] Prior to publishing his work entitled The New Evolution: Zoogenesis, Clark wrote in a journal article published in the Quarterly Review of Biology that "so far as concerns the major groups of animals, the creationists seem to have the better of the argument. There is not the slightest evidence that any one of the major groups arose from any other."[96]

In 1995, there was an essay in the New York Review of Books by the late John Maynard Smith, a noted evolutionary biologist who was considered the dean of British neo-Darwinists, and Smith wrote the following regarding Gould's work in respect to the theory of evolution:

Noted journalist and author Robert Wright , wrote in 1996 that, among top-flight evolutionary biologists, Gould is considered a pestnot just a lightweight, but an actively muddled man who has warped the public's understanding of Darwinism.[99][100]

Creation scientist Dr. Jonathan Sarfati wrote regarding the implausibility of the theory of punctuated equilibrium and the implausibility of the idea of gradual evolution the following:

Individuals who are against the evolutionary position assert that evolutionary scientists employ extremely implausible "just so stories" to support their position and have done this since at least the time of Charles Darwin.[103][104]

A well known example of a "just so story" is when Darwin, in his Origin of the Species, wrote a chapter entitled "Difficulties on Theory" in which he stated:

Even the prominent evolutionist and geneticist Professor Richard Lewontin admitted the following:

Dr. Sarfati wrote regarding the theory of evolution the following:

Opponents to the theory of evolution commonly point to the following in nature as being implausibly created through evolutionary processes:

Lastly, biochemist Michael Behe wrote the following:

Phillip E. Johnson cites Francis Crick in order to illustrate the fact that the biological world has the strong appearance of being designed:

Stephen C. Meyer offers the following statement regarding the design of the biological world:

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy states regarding a candid admission of Charles Darwin:

In the course of that conversation I said to Mr. Darwin, with reference to some of his own remarkable works on the Fertilisation of Orchids, and upon The Earthworms, and various other observations he made of the wonderful contrivances for certain purposes in natureI said it was impossible to look at these without seeing that they were the effect and the expression of Mind. I shall never forget Mr. Darwin's answer. He looked at me very hard and said, Well, that often comes over me with overwhelming force; but at other times, and he shook his head vaguely, adding, it seems to go away.(Argyll 1885, 244][126]

Research and historical data indicate that a significant portion of atheists/agnostics often see the their lives and the world as being the product of purposeful design (see: Atheism and purpose).[127]

See: Argument from beauty

Advocates of the theory of evolution have often claimed that those who oppose the theory of evolution don't publish their opposition to the theory of evolution in the appropriate scientific literature (creationist scientists have peer reviewed journals which favor the creationist position).[128][129][130] Recently, there has been articles which were favorable to the intelligent design position in scientific journals which traditionally have favored the theory of evolution.[131]

Karl Popper, a leading philosopher of science and originator of the falsifiability as a criterion of demarcation of science from nonscience,[132] stated that Darwinism is "not a testable scientific theory, but a metaphysical research programme."[133] Leading Darwinist and philosopher of science, Michael Ruse declared the concerning Popper's statement and the actions he took after making that statement: "Since making this claim, Popper himself has modified his position somewhat; but, disclaimers aside, I suspect that even now he does not really believe that Darwinism in its modern form is genuinely falsifiable."[134]

The issue of the falsifiability of the evolutionary position is very important issue and although offering a poor cure to the problem that Karl Popper described, committed evolutionists Louis Charles Birch & Paul R. Ehrlich stated in the journal Nature:

The Swedish cytogeneticist, Antonio Lima-De-Faria, who has been knightedby the king of Sweden for his scientific achievements, noted that "there has never been a theory of evolution".[136][137]

See also: Suppression of alternatives to evolution and Atheism and the suppression of science

Many of the leaders of the atheist movement, such as the evolutionist and the new atheist Richard Dawkins, argue for atheism and evolution with a religious fervor (See also: Atheism and evolution).

Daniel Smartt has identified seven dimensions which make up religion: narrative, experiential, social, ethical, doctrinal, ritual and material. It is not necessary in Smartt's model for every one of these to be present in order for something to be a religion.[138]. However, it can be argued that all seven are present in the case of atheism.[139][140] Please see: Atheism: A religionand Atheism and Atheism is a religion.

See also: Atheism is a religion and Atheism and evolution

Atheism is a religion and naturalistic notions concerning origins are religious in nature and both have legal implications as far as evolution being taught in public schools.[142][143][144]

John Calvert, a lawyer and intelligent design proponent wrote:

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June 29th, 2018 at 5:48 pm