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The following are unclassified quotes posted in my email messages of March 2004.
These quotes will be
progressively removed as they are added to my quotes pages proper. The date format is dd/mm/yy.
1/3/04 "Theological Implications of Possible Ancient Life on Mars. Among the many interesting reactions to the news from ALH 84001, none stood out more than those of theologians of various denominations. The possibility of life on Mars-even ancient life one-millionth of an inch across raises once again the question of humanity's place and purpose in the universe. Astronomers, who had once dethroned the Earth as the core of creation by showing that the sun, not the Earth, forms the center of the solar system, now seemed to be at it again, this time with life from another planet. To be sure, tiny fossils hardly posed the question as strikingly as the discovery of alien intelligence would have. ... In its organized theology, the Judeo- Christian tradition has more difficulty accepting the notion of extraterrestrial life than most other major religions. ... Though we risk oversimplification, we may divide the Judeo-Christian response to extraterrestrial life into two basic categories, the Earth-centered and the greater-glory camps. The latter group sees life elsewhere in the universe as just another jewel in the crown of creation. For theologians in this category, the story of Genesis simply omits what may have happened on other worlds. ... This brings us to the second category, the Earth-centered system of belief. At an intuitive level, everyone on Earth belongs to this group. Many of us, however, have learned, and have accepted at some level in our inner selves, that the sun is one star among several hundred billion in the Milky Way galaxy, and that our galaxy is one among hundreds of billions, or even more, in the visible universe. ... For some Catholics and Jews, and for larger numbers of fundamentalist and evangelical Protestants, this includes a so-called literal interpretation of the Bible .... For many fundamentalist Christians, the words in this book deserve no respect, since they contradict the word of God. Evolution is a hoax, they say, and Earth is the only planet with intelligent life. ... In that theology, God created the world in six days, and each of those days contained twenty-four hours." (Goldsmith D.A., "The Hunt for Life on Mars," Dutton: New York NY, 1997, pp.233-236)# 29/2/04 "Conservatives are very `touchy' about the historicity of the fall of Adam, because of its importance to their soteriology and theodicy, and, therefore, about the status of the Genesis narratives on that event (Genesis 2-3). They are reluctant to admit that the literary genre in that case is figurative rather than strictly literal even though the hints are very strong that it is symbolic: Adam (which means `Mankind') marries Eve (which means `Life), and their son Cain (which means `Forger') becomes a wanderer in the land of Nod (which means `Wandering')!" (Pinnock C.H., "The Scripture Principle," Hodder & Staughton: London, 1985, pp.116-117) 1/3/04 "From the outset, we note that at least some of the acrimony over the interpretation of the Genesis days arises from language differences. Turning biblical Hebrew into English prose and poetry presents some enormous difficulties. Whereas biblical Hebrew has a vocabulary of under 3,100 words (not including proper nouns), English words number over 4,000,000. The disparity is even greater for nouns. Therefore, we should not be surprised that Hebrew nouns have multiple literal definitions. The English word day most often refers either to the daylight hours or to a period of 24 hours. As in `the day of the Romans,' it is also used for a longer time period. English speakers and writers, however, have many words for an extended period-age, era, epoch, and eon, just to name a few. The Hebrew word yom similarly refers to daylight hours, 24 hours, and a long (but finite) time period. Unlike English, however, biblical Hebrew has no word other than yom to denote a long timespan. The word yom appears repeatedly in the Hebrew Scriptures with reference to a period longer than 12 or 24 hours. The Hebrew terms yom (singular) and yamin (plural) often refer to an extended time frame. Perhaps the most familiar passages are those referring to God's `day of wrath.' Before English translations were available, animosity over the length of the Genesis days did not exist, at least not as far as anyone can tell from the extant theological literature. Prior to the Nicene Council, the early Church fathers wrote two thousand pages of commentary on the Genesis creation days, yet did not devote a word to disparaging each other's viewpoints on the creation time scale. All these early scholars accepted that yom could mean `a long time period.' The majority explicitly taught that the Genesis creation days were extended time periods (something like a thousand years per yom). Not one Ante-Nicene Father explicitly endorsed the 24-hour interpretation. Ambrose, who came the closest to doing so, apparently vacillated on the issue. We certainly cannot charge the Church fathers with `scientific bias' in their interpretations. They wrote long before astronomical, geological, and paleontological evidences for the antiquity of the universe, the earth, and life became available. Nor had biological evolution yet been proposed. Lamarck, Darwin, and Huxley came along some 1,400 years later." (Ross H.N.* & Archer G.L.*, "The Day-Age View," in Hagopian D.G., ed., "The Genesis Debate: Three Views on the Days of Creation," Crux Press: Mission Viejo CA, 2001, pp.125-126) 1/3/04 "Knowing the complexity of the processes involved, when we see a diagram showing how simple evolution is, how one organ can change into another merely by adding a feature here and there, we must realize that those demonstrations are a farce. As long as the intricate workings of the cell are disregarded, there's no problem for a Steven Pinker, or Stephen Jay Gould, or Richard Dawkins to talk of random reactions producing the goods of life. It is hard not to be fooled by the foolish arguments when they originate from intelligent foolers. Abraham Lincoln is quoted as having said that while you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. The more knowledge one has, the harder it becomes to be fooled. Those diagrams that in ten steps evolve from a random spread of lines into people-like outlines, and in a few hundred steps simulate a light-sensitive patch on skin evolving into an eye, once had me fooled. They are so impressively convincing. Then I studied molecular biology." (Schroeder G.L.*, "The Hidden Face of God: How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth," The Free Press: New York NY, 2001, pp.103-104) 2/3/04 "On October 22, John Paul II sent greetings to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, `the Church's scientific senate.' His message was reported in the general press as `Pope accepts evolution' as if it were `Church finally accepts heliocentrism.' Phew. What a relief. The pope's message was no such thing. Papal teaching had previously accepted the idea of the descent of all life forms from common ancestry. John Paul II was largely reiterating in a much less formal manner Pius XII's understanding and reminding the scientists that if they were to be faithful Christians there were limits beyond which their science could not take them. Those limits were theological: no theory of evolution was acceptable that was purely materialistic and that did not recognize the direct divine origin of the human soul." (Neff D., "The Pope, the Press, and Evolution," Christianity Today, Vol. 41, No. 1, January 6, 1997, p.18. http://www.christianity.net/ct/7T1/7T1018.html) 2/3/04 "Gould's term `magisteria' was inspired by two popes who have issued dictates about evolution. In Humani Generis (1950), Pius XII ruled physical evolution to be compatible with orthodox faith but still unproven, and he warned against any supposition that the soul had emerged from natural processes. And in 1996 John Paul II took note of the convergent findings that by then had rendered evolution `more than a hypothesis'-a conclusion that Gould hails as his `favorite example of NOMA' emanating from an unexpected religious source. If this is really the Pope's considered view, says Gould, `we may rejoice in a pervasive and welcome consensus' between scientists and ecclesiastics. Regrettably, however, Gould barely hints at a crucial point that ought to have muted his hosanna. John Paul II's position on the supernatural origin of the soul is identical to that of every predecessor pope. `The Church's Magisterium,' he wrote in the very statement that Gould hails, is directly concerned with the question of evolution, for it involves the conception of man: Revelation teaches that he was created in the image and likeness of God (cf. Gn 1:27-29). The conciliar Constitution Gaudium et spes has magnificently explained this doctrine, which...recalled that man is `the only creature on earth that God has wanted for its own sake.' ...Pius XII stressed this essential point: if the human body takes its origin from pre-existent living matter, the spiritual soul is immediately created by God.... Consequently, theories of evolution which, in accordance with the philosophies inspiring them, consider the mind as emerging from the forces of living matter, or as a mere epiphenomenon of this matter, are incompatible with the truth about man. This passage shows that the Church, while conceding that evolutionary science can no longer be snubbed, remains intransigently creationist where its own interests are concerned. Nor has Gould been unmindful of that fact. When he broached the NOMA rule in his Natural History column of March 1997, he voiced a suspicion that John Paul II's `insistence on divine infusion of the soul' was `a device for maintaining a belief in human superiority within an evolutionary world offering no privileged position to any creature.' But he backed down at once, pleading in his next sentence that `souls represent a subject outside the magisterium of science.' And now in Rocks of Ages, borrowing heavily from his Natural History piece, he has chosen to omit any mention of his misgivings." (Crews F.C., Saving Us from Darwin, Part II," The New York Review of Books, October 18, 2001. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/14622) 2/3/04 "atheism ... (Gr. a- (privative prefix) + theos god) n. the view that there is no divine being, no God. Sometimes a distinction is made between theoretical and practical atheism. A theoretical atheist believes that there is no divine being, no God. Practical atheism has been used in two entirely different senses. In one sense that occurs in Cudworth, it is the (Epicurean) view that the gods exist but do not do anything that has a bearing on human affairs. In the other, more usual sense, a practical atheist is one whose actions are not influenced by any belief in God and whose actions are accordingly presumed to be under no moral constraint. An early opponent of this presumption was Bayle." (Mautner T., "The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy," , Penguin: London, Revised, 2000, p.48) 2/3/04 "What kind of God can one infer from the sort of phenomena epitomized by the species on Darwin's Galapagos Islands? The evolutionary process is rife with happenstance, contingency, incredible waste. death, pain and horror. Millions of sperm and ova are produced that never unite to form a zygote. Of the millions of zygotes that are produced, only a few ever reach maturity. On current estimates, 95 per cent of the DNA that an organism contains has no function. Certain organic systems are marvels of engineering; others are little more than contraptions. When the eggs that cuckoos lay in the nests of other birds hatch, the cuckoo chick proceeds to push the eggs of its foster parents out of the nest. The queens of a particular species of parasitic ant have only one remarkable adaptation, a serrated appendage which they use to saw off the head of the host queen. To quote Darwin, "I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the Ichneumonidae with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars." Whatever the God implied by evolutionary theory and the data of natural history may be like, He is not the Protestant God of waste not, want not. He is also not a loving God who cares about His productions. He is not even the awful God portrayed in the book of Job. The God of the Galapagos is careless, wasteful, indifferent, almost diabolical. He is certainly not the sort of God to whom anyone would be inclined to pray." (Hull D.L., "The God of the Galapagos." Review of "Darwin on Trial," by Phillip E. Johnson, Regnery Gateway: Washington DC, 1991. Nature Vol. 352, 8 August 1991, p.486) 4/3/04 "This book is intended for the reflective, open-minded reader who would appreciate a simplified discussion of recent evolutionary-genetic findings. Human beings, like all other species on earth, are biological products of evolutionary processes, and as such are physical expressions of genes, the "genetic gods." Genes and the mechanistic evolutionary forces that have sculpted them thus assume many of the roles in human affairs traditionally reserved for supernatural deities. Some may find this argument blasphemous or sacrilegious; others may find it prosaic. Such contradictory responses reflect the paradoxical state of philosophical affairs, in which religious revelation and scientific rationalism uncomfortably coexist as powerful but opposing means of knowing." (Avise J.C., "The Genetic Gods: Evolution and Belief in Human Affairs," , Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA, Second printing, 2001, p.vi) 5/3/04 "DR. EDEN: I would like here to come to the defense of Dr. Popper. I think we should make a clear distinction between falsifiability and use. I am not denying and I don't know that anybody else is denying the use fulness of evolutionary concepts as means for looking at problems; but it is a theory of a different kind. We may contrast it with theories of physics. Certainly Newtonian physics is falsifiable. Even in biology, I recall one occasion on which I helped develop a very ingenious and very plausible theory regarding the countercurrent mechanism in the kidney. It was not only falsifiable, it was false. My point is that for such a theory one could propose a crucial experiment and check as to whether or not the theory was false or not. This cannot be done in evolution, taking it in its broad sense, and this is really all I meant when I called it tautologous in the first place. It can, indeed, explain anything. You may be ingenious or not in proposing a mechanism which looks plausible to human beings and mechanisms which are consistent with other mechanisms which you have discovered, but it is still an unfalsifiable theory." (Eden M., "Discussion: Paper by Dr. Wald," in Moorhead P.S. & Kaplan M.M., ed., "Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution: A Symposium Held at the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, April 25 and 26, 1966," The Wistar Institute Symposium Monograph Number 5, The Wistar Institute Press: Philadelphia PA, 1967, p.71) 5/3/04 "MARCEL SCHUTZENBERGER: our thesis is that neo-Darwinism cannot explain the phenomena of evolution on the basis standard physico- chemistry. ... I intend to restrict my argument to show the existence of a serious gap in the current theory of evolution. The next question (which I will not discuss here) would be to ask how much random mutation and selection would be needed once this gap is filled ... nowadays computers are operating within a range which is not entirely incommensurate with that dealt with in actual evolution theories. If a species breeds once a year, the number of cycles in a million years is about the same as that which one would obtain in a ten day computation which iterates a program whose duration is a hundredth of a second. Our ability to play with iteration of this magnitude is quite a new thing, and we can begin to develop some concrete experience with this type of process. ... According to the `dogma' of molecular biology the first level we start with is, ideally, something like a big book written in an alphabet of 20 odd letters. This is the blueprint of an individual, a genotype. Further we have a genic pool, i.e., a collection of such books which are variants of each other. ...I shall take those books as the elements of the first space ... According to molecular biology, we have a space of objects (genotypes) endowed with nothing more than typographic topology. These objects correspond (by individual development) with the members of a second space having another topology (that of concrete physico-chemical systems in the real world). Neo-Darwinism asserts that it is conceivable that without anything further, selection based upon the structure of the second space brings a statistically adapted drift when random changes are performed in the first space in accordance with its own structure. We believe that it is not conceivable. In fact if we try to simulate such a situation by making changes randomly at the typographic level (by letters or by blocks, the size of the unit does not really matter), on computer programs we find that we have no chance (i.e. less than 1/10^1000) even to see what the modified program would compute: it just jams. ... Thus, to conclude, we believe that there is a considerable gap in the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution, and we believe this gap to be of such a nature that it cannot be bridged within the current conception of biology." (Schutzenberger M.-P., "Algorithms and the Neo-Darwinian Theory of Evolution," in Moorhead P.S. & Kaplan M.M., ed., "Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution: A Symposium Held at the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, April 25 and 26, 1966," The Wistar Institute Symposium Monograph Number 5, The Wistar Institute Press: Philadelphia PA, 1967, pp.73-75) 5/3/04 "The fossil record provides little information about the evolution of the human lineage during the late Miocene, from 10 to 5 mya, Around 10 mya, several species of large-bodied hominoids that bore some resemblance to modern orangutans lived in Africa and Asia. About this time, the world began to cool, grassland and savanna habitats spread, and forests began to shrink in much of the tropics. The creatures that occupied tropical forests declined in variety and abundance, while those that lived in the open grasslands thrived. Apes were among the forest species that suffered drastic declines, particularly in Asia. We know that at least one ape species survived the environmental changes that occurred during the late Miocene because molecular genetics tells us that humans, gorillas, bonobos, and chimpanzees are all descended from a common ancestor that lived sometime between 5 and 7 mya. Unfortunately, the fossil record for the late Miocene tells us little about the creature that linked the forest apes to modern hominids. Beginning about 5 mya, hominids begin to appear in the fossil record. These early hominids were different from any of the Miocene apes in one important way-they walked upright as we do." (Boyd R. & Silk J.B., "How Humans Evolved," , W.W. Norton & Co: New York NY, Second Edition, 2000, pp.326-327) 5/3/04 "But because there has never yet been hailed a new find that was not a human ancestor, and because there has never yet been announced a new find that was not bipedal, we may prefer to be extremely circumspect until the fossils are widely available for study by the entire range of methods and investigators of the present day." (Oxnard C.E., Homo, Vol. 30, 1981, p.243, in Gish D.T.*, "Evolution: The Challenge of the Fossil Record," Master Book Publishers: El Cajon CA, 1986, p.163)] 7/3/04 "Although Darwin did not invent the idea of evolution, he certainly was responsible for its widespread acceptance. On the Origin of Species not only precipitated the intense popular debate on evolution, but was in itself a convincing argument. Its persuasiveness arose only partly from the assemblage of evidence from natural history and paleontology that evolution had occurred, but largely from the construction of a plausible theory of how it occurred. When we speak of the "theory of evolution," a constant confusion arises between the fact of the historical transformation of organisms over the last three billion years and a detailed and coherent theory of the dynamics of that historical process. There is no disagreement in science about whether evolution has occurred. There is bloody warfare on the question of how it has occurred." (Lewontin R.C., "It Ain't Necessarily So: The Dream of the Human Genome and Other Illusions," , Granta Books: London, 2001, reprint, pp.47-48) 7/3/04 "Since evolution is a change in the genetic composition of populations, the mechanisms of evolution constitute problems of population genetics." (Dobzhansky T.G., "Genetics and the Origin of Species," , Columbia University Press: New York NY, 1982, reprint, pp.11-12) 8/3/04 "Where do our genes come from? Mostly from the distant evolutionary past. In fact, only 94 of 1,278 protein families in our genome appear to be specific to vertebrates. The most elementary of cellular functions basic metabolism, transcription of DNA into RNA, translation of RNA into protein, DNA replication and the like - evolved just once and have stayed pretty well fixed since the evolution of single-celled yeast and bacteria. The biggest difference between humans and worms or flies is the complexity of our proteins: more domains (modules) per protein and novel combinations of domains. ... In vertebrates, not surprisingly, we see elaboration and the de novo appearance of two types of genes: those for specific vertebrate abilities (such as neuronal complexity, bloodclotting and the acquired immune response), and those that provide increased general capabilities (such as genes for intra- and intercellular signalling, development, programmed cell death, and control of gene transcription)." (Baltimore D., "Our genome unveiled," Nature, Vol. 409, 15 February 2001, pp.814-816. http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/nature/journal/v409/n6822/full/409814a0_fs.html) 9/3/04 "Evolution as a process that has always gone on in the history of the earth can be doubted only by those who are ignorant of the evidence or are resistant to evidence, owing to emotional blocks or to plain bigotry." (Dobzhansky T.G., "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution," The American Biology Teacher, March 1973, Vol. 35, pp.125-129. http://www.2think.org/dobzhansky.shtml) 10/3/04 "Many scientists have argued that life must be a ubiquitous phenomenon that pervades the universe, but they can offer precious little empirical evidence to support that assertion. After decades of searching, astronomers have found no signs of life elsewhere in the cosmos; a 1996 report of fossilized microbes in a meteorite from Mars turned out to be erroneous. Researchers still cannot make matter animate in the laboratory, even with all the tools of biotechnology. In fact, the more scientists ponder life's origin, the harder it is to imagine how it occurred. Francis Crick once stated that "the origin of life appears to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have to be satisfied to get it going." (Horgan J., "Between Science and Spirituality," The Chronicle of Higher Education, Vol. 49, No. 14, Page B7, November 29, 2002. http://chronicle.com/free/v49/i14/14b00701.htm)# 10/3/04 "It is easy enough to set up a straw man, to point to the whale's vestigial pelvic bones, for example, and to say that if God had created the whale, directly and from nothing, he wouldn't have included these useless parts. Typically, neo-Darwinists then argue that it simply does not make sense to attribute the whale to divine creation-as if there were nothing in heaven and earth except an omnipotent deity acting as his own agent or natural selection of chance variations." (Fix W.R., "The Bone Peddlers: Selling Evolution," Macmillan: New York NY, 1984, p.195) 11/3/04 "In any case, what creationism is *not* is a valid intellectual argument between opposing points of view. That battle was fought-with evolution emerging triumphant-in the latter half of the nineteenth century. ... Intellectually, the debate has been dead since 1859-and evolution was triumphant!" (Eldredge N., "The Triumph of Evolution: And the Failure of Creationism," , Henry Holt & Co: New York, 2001, reprint, pp.11- 12. Emphasis in original) 12/3/04 "Q: Dr. Ruse, do you have an opinion to a reasonable degree of professional certainty about whether creation science is science? A: Yes. Q: What is your opinion? A: In my opinion creation science is not science. Q: What do you think it is? A: As someone also trained in the philosophy of religion, in my opinion creation science is religion." (Ruse M.. "Witness Testimony Sheet," in Ruse M., ed., "But is it Science?: The Philosophical Question in the Creation/Evolution Controversy," Prometheus Books: Amherst NY, 1996, p.306) 12/3/04 "Certainly, historically, that if you look at, say, evolutionary theory ... it's certainly been the case that evolution has functioned, if not as a religion as such, certainly with elements akin to a secular religion. Those of us who teach philosophy of religion always say there's no way of defining religion by a neat, necessary and sufficient condition. The best that you can do is list a number of characteristics, some of which all religions have, and none of which any religion, whatever or however you sort of put it. And certainly, there's no doubt about it, that in the past, and I think also in the present, for many evolutionists, evolution has functioned as something with elements which are, let us say, akin to being a secular religion. ... I think of Thomas Henry Huxley, the grandfather, and of Julian Huxley, the grandson. Certainly, if you read Thomas Henry Huxley, when he's in full flight, there's no question but that for Huxley at some very important level, evolution and science generally, but certainly evolution in particular, is functioning ... as a kind of secular religion. And there's no question whatsoever ... that for Julian Huxley evolution was functioning as a kind of secular religion." (Ruse M., "Transcript: Speech by Professor Michael Ruse," Symposium, "The New Antievolutionism," 1993 Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, February 13, 1993. http://www.arn.org/docs/orpages/or151/mr93tran.htm) 12/3/04 "I allow - I insist - that, from its very birth, evolutionism has been used for more than mere science. In this wise, it is often appropriate to speak of evolution as a form of religion, meaning a faith system with a moral message that makes sense of life's ultimate meaning. You have only to look at the writings of a nineteenth-century figure like Herbert Spencer to see that this is true. Or a twentieth-century figure like Julian Huxley (brother of Aldous Huxley the novelist). This second evolutionist even went so far as to write a book entitle Religion without Revelation! There is all sorts of stuff about evolution being the key to the mysteries of existence and that kind of thing. Moreover, this brand of secular proselytizing is going on into the twenty-first century. Look at Harvard entomologist and sociobiologist Edward O. Wilson's recent best-seller Consilience." (Ruse M., "Letter: Evolution and religion," Pratt Tribune, September 6, 2000. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CreationEvolutionDesign/message/8517) 12/3/04 "The following science-fiction plot is feasible, given a technology that differs from today's only in being a little speeded up. Professor Jim Crickson has been kidnapped by an evil foreign power and forced to work in its biological-warfare labs. To save civilization it is vitally important that he should communicate some top-secret information to the outside world, but all normal channels of communication are denied him. Except one. The DNA code consists of sixty-four triplet `codons,' enough for a complete upper-and lower-case English alphabet plus ten numerals, a space character and a full stop. Professor Crickson takes a virulent influenza virus off the laboratory shelf and engineers into its genome the complete text of his message to the outside world, in perfectly formed English sentences. He repeats his message over and over again in the engineered genome, adding an easily recognizable `flag' sequence say, the first ten prime numbers. He then infects himself with the virus and sneezes in a room full of people. A wave of flu sweeps the world, and medical labs in distant lands set to work to sequence its genome in an attempt to design a vaccine. It soon becomes apparent that there is a strange repeated pattern in the genome. Alerted by the prime numbers-which cannot have arisen spontaneously-somebody tumbles to the idea of deploying code-breaking techniques. From there it would be short work to read the full English text of Professor Crickson's message, sneezed around the world." (Dawkins R., "River out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life," Phoenix: London, 1996, pp.20-21) 13/3/04 "Religion is one of the latest fields to which the method of science has been extended. The resultant sciences of comparative religion and religious psychology are already yielding deeply interesting results, which will certainly be of value in leading humanity out of the religious impasse in which it now finds itself. One of the major results has been the realisation that God is one among several hypotheses to account for the phenomena of human destiny, and that it is now proving to be an inadequate hypothesis. To a great many people, including myself, this realisation is a great relief, both intellectually and morally. ... What the world needs is an essentially religious idea-system ... scientific and spiritual. This is not merely desirable but urgent-urgent for individual men and women, urgent for the separate nations of the world, urgent for mankind as a whole." (Huxley J.S., "Religion Without Revelation," , Mentor: New York NY, Revised, 1958, p.9) 14/3/04 "The Law of Conservation of Information. Since natural causes are precisely those characterized by chance, law or a combination of the two, the broad conclusion of the last section may be restated as follows: *Natural causes are incapable of generating CSI* [Complex Specified Information]. I call this result the Law of Conservation of Information, or LCI for short. The phrase Law of Conservation of Information" is not new. ... LCI has profound implications for science. Among its immediate corollaries are the following: (1) The CSI in a closed system of natural causes remains constant or decreases. (2) CSI cannot be generated spontaneously, originate endogenously or organize itself (as these terms are used in origins-of-life research). (3) The CSI in a closed system of natural causes either has been in the system eternally or was at some point added exogenously (implying that the system, though now closed, was not always closed). (4) in particular any closed system of natural causes that is also of finite duration received whatever CSI it contains before it became a closed system." (Dembski W.A.*, "Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science and Theology", InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, 1999, p.170. Emphasis in original) 14/3/04 "Extinguished theologians lie about the cradle of every science as the strangled snakes beside that of Hercules; and history records that whenever science and orthodoxy have been fairly opposed, the latter has been forced to retire from the lists, bleeding and crushed if not annihilated; scotched, if not slain." (Huxley T.H., "The Origin of Species," in "Darwiniana: Essays by Thomas H. Huxley," , AMS Press: New York NY, 1970, reprint, p.52) 14/3/04 "Let it be borne in mind what the [Darwinian] theory is. It is not that all the species of any extant genus of plants or animals have been derived from a common stock; that all genera and classes of organized beings now living have been thus derived; but that all organisms from the earliest geological periods have, by a process requiring some five hundred million years, been derived from one primordial germ. Nor is this all. It is not only that material organisms have thus been derived by a process of gradation, but also that instincts, mental and moral powers, have been derived and attained by the same process. Nor is even this all. We are called upon to believe that all this has been brought about by the action of unintelligent physical causes. To our apprehension, there is nothing in the Hindu mythology and cosmology more incredible than this." (Hodge C., "Systematic Theology," , James Clark & Co: London, 1960, reprint, Vol. II, p.20) 14/3/04 "Skepticism, to be true to its principles, must be willing to turn the light of scrutiny on anything. And yet that is precisely what it cannot afford to do in the controversy over evolution and intelligent design. The problem with skepticism is that it is not a pure skepticism. Rather, it is a selective skepticism that desires a neat and sanitized world which science can in principle fully characterize in terms of unbroken natural laws. ... No other conception of science will do for skepticism. The normal is what is describable by a materialistic science. The paranormal is what's not. ... And since intelligent design claims that an intelligence not ultimately reducible to material mechanisms might be responsible for the world and various things we find in the world (not least ourselves), it too is guilty of transgressing the normal and must be relegated to the paranormal. ... To allow an unevolved intelligence a place in the world is, according to skepticism, to send the world into a tailspin. It is to exchange unbroken natural law for caprice and thereby destroy science. And yet it is only by means of our intelligence that science is possible and that we understand the world. Thus, for the skeptic, the world is intelligible only if it starts off without intelligence and then evolves intelligence. If it starts out with intelligence and evolves intelligence because of a prior intelligence, then the world becomes unintelligible. The logic here is flawed, but once in its grip, there is no way to escape its momentum. That is why evolution is a nonnegotiable for skepticism. For instance, on two occasions I offered to join the editorial advisory board of Michael Shermer's Skeptic Magazine to be its resident skeptic regarding evolution. Though Michael and I are quite friendly, he never took me up on my offer. Indeed, he can't afford to. To do so is to allow that an intelligence outside the world might have influence in the world. That would destroy the world's autonomy and render effectively impossible the global rejection of the paranormal that skepticism requires. Skepticism therefore faces a curious tension. On the one hand, to maintain credibility it must be willing to shine the light of scrutiny everywhere, and thus in principle even on evolution. On the other hand, to be the scourge with which to destroy superstition and whip a gullible public into line, it must commit itself to a materialistic conception of science and thus cannot afford to question evolution. Intelligent design exploits this tension and thereby turns the tables on skepticism." (Dembski W.A.*, "Skepticism’s Prospects for Unseating Intelligent Design," Fourth World Skeptics Conference of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), Burbank, California, 21 June 2002. Breakpoint. http://makeashorterlink.com/?X275317B7) 16/3/04 "In parentheses I should say that I do not mean only our present knowledge in the field of natural science, but also our knowledge in the fields of history, prehistory, and cultural anthropology, of human psychology and of comparative religion. This general statement on the nature of gods can be profitably reformulated and spelled out somewhat as follows. History shows an increasingly successful extension of the naturalistic approach to more and more fields of experience, coupled with a progressive failure and restriction of supernaturalist interpretation. The time has now come for a naturalistic approach to theology. In the light of this approach, gods appear as interpretative concepts or hypotheses. They are hypotheses aiming at fuller comprehension of the facts of human destiny, in the same way that scientific hypotheses aim at fuller comprehension of the facts of nature.' They are theoretical constructions of the human mind, in the same way as are scientific theories and concepts: and, like scientific theories and laws, they are based on experience and observable facts." (Huxley J.S., "Religion Without Revelation," , Mentor: New York NY, Revised, 1958, pp.51-52) 16/3/04 "The way nature acts right now does not agree with Darwin's premises, but does the history of life, perhaps? Darwin himself recognized that the fossil record does not support gradualism. But instead of changing his theory, he argued that the geological record was incomplete and unrepresentative Paleontologist Eldredge puts it bluntly: Darwin's discussion of the `imperfections of the geological record is one long ad hoc, special-pleading argument designed to rationalize, to flat-out explain away, the differences between what he saw as logical predictions derived from his theory and the facts of the fossil record.' [Eldredge N., `Time Frames: The Rethinking of Darwinian Evolution and the Theory of Punctuated Equilibria,' Simon & Schuster: New York, 1985, p.28] Darwin had no reason independent of his theory for claiming the fossil evidence to be unrepresentative. Today, more than one hundred years later, the fossil record, much more complete and much better understood, still contradicts gradualism. It shows virtually none of the intermediary species between major groups required by natural selection. Paleontologist David Raup: `Different species usually appear and disappear from the [fossil] record without showing the transitions that Darwin postulated.' [Raup D.M., `Conflicts between Darwin and Paleontology,' Bulletin Field Museum of Natural History 50, January 1979, p.24] Paleontologist Steven Stanley agrees: `The known fossil record is not, and never has been in accord with gradualism." [Stanley S.M., "The New Evolutionary Timetable: Fossils, Genes, and the Origin of Species," Basic Books: New York, 1981, p.71]" (Augros R.M.* & Stanciu G.N.*, "The New Biology: Discovering the Wisdom in Nature", New Science Library, Shambhala: Boston, MA, 1987, pp.160-161)# 17/3/04 "In the popular idea of evolution, which has little to do with scientific theory, the primal man of mythological thought is reborn as the creature who rises against tremendous odds from the primeval swamps and progresses steadily upwards towards a day in which he will rule the cosmos by his technological prowess. As with all myths it is produced mostly by imaginative selection of data and is designed to satisfy the emotional needs of man rather than his intellect. It constitutes an impressive unity and has sufficient connection with the facts to be confused with them. It can, therefore, be taught as fact to children and constitute their initiation into modern society. But it speaks with an authority which is independent of research, for in essence it is a recovery of an ancient mythological idea." (Fawcett T., "The Symbolic Language of Religion: An Introductory Study," SCM: London, 1970, p.276) 18/3/04 "Darwin could not point to impressive examples of natural selection in action, and so he had to rely heavily on an argument by analogy. In the words of Douglas Futuyma: `When Darwin wrote The Origin of Species, he could offer no good cases of natural selection because no one had looked for them- He drew instead an analogy with the artificial selection that animal and plant breeders use to improve domesticated varieties of animals and plants. By breeding only from the woolliest sheep, the most fertile chickens, and so on, breeders have been spectacularly successful in altering almost every imaginable characteristic of our domesticated animals and plants to the point where most of them differ from their wild ancestors far more than related species differ from them.' [Futuyma D.J., "Science on Trial: The Case for Evolution," Pantheon: New York, 1982, p.117] The analogy to artificial selection is misleading. Plant and animal breeders employ intelligence and specialized knowledge to select breeding stock and to protect their charges from natural dangers The point of Darwin's theory, however, was to establish that purposeless natural processes can substitute for intelligent design. Darwinists ... point with pride to experiments with laboratory fruitflies. These have not produced anything but fruitflies, but they have produced changes in a multitude of characteristics. Plant hybrids have been developed which can breed with each other, but not with the parent species, and which therefore meet the accepted standard for new species. With respect to animals, Darwinists attribute the inability to produce new species to a lack of sufficient time. Humans have been breeding dogs for only a few thousand years, but nature has millions and even hundreds of millions of years at her disposal. ... The time available unquestionably has to be taken into account in evaluating the results of breeding experiments, but it is also possible that the greater time available to nature may be more than counterbalanced by the power of intelligent purpose which is brought to bear in artificial selection. ... Lack of time would be a reasonable excuse if there were no other known factor limiting the change that can be produced by selection, but in fact selective change is limited by the inherent variability in the gene pool. After a number of generations the capacity for variation runs out. It might conceivably be renewed by mutation, but whether (and how often) this happens is not known." (Johnson P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial," , InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second Edition, 1993, pp.17-20) 19/3/04 "These most primitive of bacteria are known by the most wondrous jargon, mastery of which is guaranteed to cause jaws to drop at social functions, for the correct designation of many of them is 'chemolithoautotrophic hyperthermophiles'. ... But the second part of the name reveals the most astonishing fact about these most primitive of living entities: they are heat lovers. This does not mean that they bask in the kind of temperatures that we might just tolerate on a warm day in the Sahara Desert. These organisms are *hyper*thermophiles - they need extreme heat, and die if they are deprived of it. Many species cannot reproduce if the temperature drops below 80 degrees Centigrade - and many of them thrive under virtually boiling conditions. They are found today around volcanic vents, mud holes and hot seeps on the ocean floor, and at depth in the very body of the Earth. Their names - Thermoproteus, Thermofilium, Pyrobaculum - accurately reveal their tastes. Pyrodictyum grows best at 105 degrees Centigrade. These are the creatures of Hades itself, happy in hot vats that are torture for all other life. By the mud holes in Yellowstone Nationa Park, or the geysers in New Zealand, or the fuming vents at Mount Etna, where acid, volcanic waters break through from plutonic depths, they thrive in their billions. But they reveal themselves only as coloured smears - red, orange; even blue - on the surface of the rocks, or as a subtle mistiness in a smoking pool. ... The next, but probably not the final twist in this tale of microbes is that the heat-loving species, among them the sulphur-eating and methane-brewing bacteria, proved to be near the root of all life. Their place in the story was revealed by the branching pattern of the tree of descent, a tree drawn out from gauging the relative similarities of ribosomal RNA molecules, and the genes which provide a code for certain enzymes common to all life. The basic truth of genealogy is that all life as we know it descended from living things that could only be content in extremely hot environments. Furthermore, most of them are anaerobes - which means that their biochemistry works only in the absence of oxygen. In fact, oxygen the very element which has become known as one of the essentials of life and nourishment - is lethally poisonous to many of these bacteria. Now it is time to reflect on an extraordinary picture which has been sketched for the origin of life. Far from Darwin's benign, almost cosy, 'small pond', we have a torrid cauldron, acidic, emitting the sharp whiff of sulphur; and we have an atmosphere almost lacking oxygen. Almost everything in this biological Eden would have been damaging to most of the animals and plants alive today. In the beginning, there was dust and chaos and the relentless bombardment of meteorites. These also brought the seeds of life, no doubt, but then the important stuff of enzymes and energetics and nucleic acids and proteins and cell membranes was most likely cooked terrestrially; and all this between about 4,500 and 3,800 million years ago. ... Where the memory of this distant world lingers on it is in the most inhospitable places on Earth, in hot springs and volcanic vents - in emanations from the Underworld, a sulphurous surrogate for Hades - and there, too, the descendants of the most primitive organisms still cook with hydrogen sulphide and methane, and many an arcane recipe besides. ... Some of Darwin's ingredients were correct, but how different the cookery!" (Fortey R.A., "Life, An Unauthorised Biography: A Natural History of the First Four Thousand Million Years of Life on Earth," HarperCollinsPublishers: London, 1997, pp.45-48. Emphasis in original) 23/3/04 "Scott refers to me as an intelligent design `creationist,' even though I clearly write in my book `Darwin's Black Box' (which Scott cites) that I am not a creationist and have no reason to doubt common descent. In fact, my own views fit quite comfortably with the 40% of scientists that Scott acknowledges think `evolution occurred, but was guided by God.' Where I and others run afoul of Scott and the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) is simply in arguing that intelligent design in biology is not invisible, it is empirically detectable. The biological literature is replete with statements like David DeRosier's in the journal `Cell': `More so than other motors, the flagellum resembles a machine designed by a human' (1). Exactly why is it a thought-crime to make the case that such observations may be on to something objectively correct?" (Behe M.J.*, "Intelligent Design Is Not Creationism," Science, dEbate, 7 July 2000. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/eletters/288/5467/813?ck=nck#165) 23/3/04 "This post ... represents a shift in my position to a more consistent Progressive Creationist position. I discuss important evidence supporting the reptilian jawbones-mammalian earbones transition from Gould's "Eight Little Piggies". I now accept this transition as fact, although I do not accept it happened by a 100% natural process. ... I still think evolution is weak when proposing a purely naturalistic *mechanism* for the development of new features. For example, how did the feather *really* develop? How did the eye *really* develop? The whale may have developed from a mesonychid, but what 100% naturalistic mechanism made it do so, especially considering the specialised features of whales and the relatively short time-frame. I now think it is a wrong approach to deny transitional forms and features. This however does not mean that every claimed transitional form should be uncritically accepted.... all primates (including man) have the same switched-off gene that prevents them from synthesing vitamin C. This is good evidence of common ancestry and I provisionally accept it, pending more information. ... From a YEC viewpoint, even one proven major transitional fossil would be fatal to their view. But it is not fatal to a PC, indeed transitional fossils should be expected (albeit rare). It is the claimed 100% naturalistic mechanism that PC should focus on and challenge. ... As a progressive creationist, I believe the ultimate explanation to Gould's "why" is that God designed the mammalian ear, and brought it into actuality by a process that involved much natural process, but the decisive factor was God's direct and supernatural intervention at strategic points. ... I believe that it is a sub-theory which fits all the known facts within a wider Progressive Creation model which endeavours to integrate the scientific facts within a fully Biblical model of reality. My future posts will endeavour to build this Progressive Creation model of reality. I will accept the *proven* facts that evolutionists unearth, including transitional fossils, but I will challenge their 100% naturalistic explanations." (Jones S.E.*, "Clarification of my Progressive Creationist position," Calvin Evolution Reflector, 28 June 1995. http://www.asa3.org/archive/evolution/199505-10/0391.html) 24/3/04 "In 1864, Pasteur announced his results before the French Academy with the words, 'Never will the doctrine of spontaneous generation arise from this mortal blow.' It is, perhaps, ironic that we tell beginning students in biology about Pasteur's experiments as the triumph of reason over mysticism yet we are coming back to spontaneous generation, albeit in a more refined and scientific sense, namely, to chemical evolution." (Ponnamperuma C.A., "The Origins of Life," Thames and Hudson: London, 1972, pp.20-21) 24/3/04 "WHEN THE SUPREME COURT struck down the Louisiana law requiring balanced treatment for creation-science, Justice Antonin Scalia dissented from the decision because he thought that `The people of Louisiana, including those who are Christian fundamentalists, are quite entitled ... to have whatever scientific evidence there may be against evolution presented in their schools.' Stephen Jay Gould was baffled that a jurist of Scalia's erudition (he had held professorships at several major universities) would entertain the absurd notion that fundamentalists could have scientific evidence against evolution. Gould went looking in Scalia's opinion for an explanation, and found it in various sentences implying that evolution is a theory about the origin of life. In an article correcting `Justice Scalia's Misunderstanding,' Gould tried to set the matter straight. Evolution, he wrote, `is not the study of life's ultimate origin, as a path toward discerning its deepest meaning.' Even the purely scientific aspects of life's first appearance on earth belong to other divisions of science, because 'evolution' is merely the study of how life changes once it is already in existence. In fact, Justice Scalia used the general term `evolution' exactly as scientists use it-to include not only biological evolution but also prebiological or chemical evolution, which seeks to explain how life first evolved from nonliving chemicals. Biological evolution is just one major part of a grand naturalistic project, which seeks to explain the origin of everything from the Big Bang to the present without allowing any role to a Creator. If Darwinists are to keep the Creator out of the picture, they have to provide a naturalistic explanation for the origin of life.' (Johnson P.E.*, "Darwin on Trial," , InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL, Second Edition, 1993, pp.102-103) 25/3/04 "The search for extraterrestrial life has been defined as the prime goal of space biology. Such a discovery may influence human thinking far more profoundly than the Darwinian or Copernican revolutions. If our sallies into space establish that Martian life is a reality and its origin independent of life on earth, we cannot then escape the conclusion that there is nothing unique about the origin of life on earth and that the interplay of cosmic forces would have given rise to a similar sequence of events in the countless number of planetary systems in the universe. ... The information that we can obtain from the study of Martian organisms, if they exist, will be of momentous consequence. On earth, living organisms, while exhibiting a vast variety and diversity in size and form, are fundamentally alike. Their chemical composition is very similar. It is a basic premise of the hypothesis of chemical evolution that all terrestrial types may have been derived from a single ancestor. However, the question that is completely obscure and that may never be solved by our earthbound studies, is whether this similarity is a result of some fortuitous biological accident occurring early in the course of evolution, or whether it is dictated by the intrinsic properties of the elements and molecules of living matter. If organisms are found on some other planet, and if they have properties uniquely different from those we know on earth, the horizons of biology would be immeasurably broadened. ... If, on the other hand, the life we discover on Mars is very similar to life on the earth, we will be faced once again with the question of whether life arose on the earth or whether it was brought to earth from another source. ... The planet Mars has physical characteristics which do not exclude life. However, if life, even in its most rudimentary form, is not detected there, we might be compelled to modify some of our concepts of chemical evolution." (Ponnamperuma C.A., "The Origins of Life," Thames and Hudson: London, 1972, pp.169, 185) 25/3/04 "What a book a Devil's Chaplain might write on the clumsy, wasteful, blundering low and horridly cruel works of nature" (Charles Darwin, 1856). A process of trial and error, completely unplanned and on the massive scale of natural selection, can be expected to be clumsy, wasteful and blundering. The racing elegance of cheetahs and gazelles is bought at huge cost in blood and the suffering of countless antecedents on both sides. Clumsy and blundering though the process undoubtedly is, its results are opposite. There is nothing clumsy about a swallow; nothing blundering about a shark. What is clumsy and blundering is the Darwinian algorithm that led to their evolution. As an academic scientist I am a passionate Darwinian. But I am a passionate anti-Darwinian when it comes to politics and how we should conduct our human affairs. It is as though the Chaplain matured and offered a second half to the sermon. Yes, says the matured Chaplain, the historic process that caused you to exist is wasteful, cruel and low. But exult in your existence, because that very process has blundered unwittingly on its own negation. Only a small, local negation, to be sure: only one species, and only a minority of that species; but there lies hope. So, the Devil's Chaplain might conclude, Stand tall, Bipedal Ape. The shark may outswim you, the cheetah outrun you, the swift outfly you, the capuchin outclimb you, the elephant outpower you, the redwood outlast you. But you have the biggest gifts of all: the gift of understanding the ruthlessly cruel process that gave us all existence; the gift of revulsion against its implications; the gift of foresight-something utterly foreign to the blundering short-term ways of natural selection-and the gift of internalising the very cosmos." (Dawkins R., "A Devil's Chaplain." New Edge Books Page, May 28, 2003. http://www.edge.org/books/books_index.html) 26/3/04 "We are now in a position to answer the question with which this lecture began. What is Darwinism? Darwinism is a theory of empirical science only at the level of microevolution, where it provides a framework for explaining such things as the diversity that arises when small populations become reproductively isolated from the main body of the species. As a general theory of biological creation Darwinism is not empirical at all. Rather, it is a necessary implication of a philosophical doctrine called scientific naturalism, which is based on the a priori assumption that God was always absent from the realm of nature. As such evolution in the Darwinian sense is inherently antithetical to theism, although evolution in some entirely different and non-naturalistic sense could conceivably have been God's chosen method of creation." (Johnson P.E.*, "What is Darwinism?" Lecture at Hillsdale College, Michigan, November 1992. Leadership U, 19 April 2003. http://www.origins.org/pjohnson/whatis.html) 27/3/04 "The question of the origin of life is not simple. It is not possible to go back in time and watch how life originated; nor are there any witnesses. There is testimony, in the rocks of the earth, but it is not easily read, and often this record is silent on issues crying out for answers. Perhaps the most fundamental of these issues is the nature of the agency or force that led to the appearance of the first living organisms on earth-the creation of life. There are, in principle, at least three possibilities: 1. Extraterrestrial origin. Life may not have originated on earth at all but instead may have been carried to it, perhaps as an extraterrestrial infection of spores originating on a planet of a distant star. How life came to exist on that planet is a question we cannot hope to answer soon. 2. Special creation. Life-forms may have been put on earth by supernatural or divine forces. This viewpoint, common to most Western religions, is the oldest hypothesis and is widely accepted by non-scientists. It forms the basis of the very unscientific "scientific creationism" viewpoint ... 3. Evolution. Life may have evolved from inanimate matter, with associations among molecules becoming more and more complex. In this view, the force leading to life was selection; changes in molecules that increased their stability caused the molecules to persist longer. In this book we deal only with the third possibility, attempting to understand whether the forces of evolution could have led to the origin of life and, if so, how the process might have occurred. This is not to say that the third possibility is definitely the correct one. Any one of the three possibilities might be true. Nor does the third possibility preclude religion: a divine agency might have acted via evolution. Rather, we are limiting the scope of our inquiry to scientific matters. Of the three possibilities, only the third permits testable hypotheses to be constructed and so provides the only scientific explanation, that is, one that could potentially be disproven by experiment, by obtaining and analyzing actual information." (Raven P.H. & Johnson G.B., "Biology," , Wm. C. Brown: Dubuque IA, Third Edition, 1995, p.62) 27/3/04 "The attempts to escape from Darwinism's dilemma all fall into one or ether of three types. These can be usefully labelled 'the Cave Man way out', 'the Hard Man', and 'the Soft Man'. All three types are hardy perennials, and have been with us, in one version or another, ever since Darwin published the Origin of Species in 1859. What I call the Cave Man way out is this: you admit that human life is not now what it would be if Darwin's theory were true, but also insist that *it used to be* like that. In the olden days, (this story goes), human populations always did press relentlessly on their supply of food, and thereby brought about constant competition for survival among the too-numerous competitors, and hence natural selection of those organisms which were best fitted to succeed in the struggle for life. That is, human life was exactly as Darwin's book had said that all life is. But our species, (the story goes on), escaped long ago from the brutal regime of natural selection. We developed a thousand forms of attachment, loyalty, cooperation and unforced subordination, every one of them quite incompatible with a constant and merciless competition to survive. We have now had for a very long time, at least locally, religions, moralities, laws or customs, respect for life and property, rules of inheritance, specialised social orders, distinctions of rank, and standing provisions for external defence, internal police, education and health. Even at our lowest ebb we still have ties of blood, and ties of marriage: two things which are quite as incompatible with a universal competition to survive as are, for example, a medical profession, a priesthood, or a state. This Cave Man story, however implausible, is at any rate not inconsistent with itself. But the combination of it with Darwin's theory of evolution *is* inconsistent. That theory is a universal generalisation about all terrestrial species at any time. Hence if the theory says something which is not true *now* of our species (or another), then it is not true of our species (or that other); and if it is not true of our species (or another), then it is not true finish. In short, the Cave Man way out of Darwinism's dilemma is in reality no way out at all: it is self-contradictory." (Stove D.C., "Darwinian Fairytales," Avebury: Aldershot UK, 1995, pp.1-2. Emphasis in original) 28/3/04 "The cost of sequencing the human genome is estimated optimistically at 300 million dollars (ten cents a nucleotide for the three billion nucleotides of the entire genome), but if development costs are included it surely cannot be less than a half-billion in current dollars. ... Yet more hundreds of millions must be spent on chasing down the elusive differences in DNA for each specific genetic disease, of which some 3,000 are now known, and some considerable fraction of that money will stick to entrepreneurial molecular geneticists. None of our authors has the bad taste to mention that many molecular geneticists of repute, including several of the essayists in The Code of Codes, are founders, directors, officers, and stockholders in commercial biotechnology firms, including the manufacturers of the supplies and equipment used in sequencing research. Not all authors have Norman Mailer's openness when they write advertisements for themselves. It has been clear since the first discoveries in molecular biology that "genetic engineering," the creation to order of genetically altered organisms, has an immense possibility for producing private profit. ... Some have become very rich when a successful public offering of their stock has made them suddenly the holders of a lot of valuable paper. Others find themselves with large blocks of stock in international pharmaceutical companies who have bought out the biologist's mom-and-pop enterprise and acquired their expertise in the bargain. No prominent molecular biologist of my acquaintance is without a financial stake in the biotechnology business. As a result, serious conflicts of interest have emerged in universities and in government service. In some cases graduate students working under entrepreneurial professors are restricted in their scientific interchanges, in case they may give away potential trade secrets. Research biologists have attempted, sometimes with success, to get special dispensations of space and other resources from their universities in exchange for a piece of the action. Biotechnology joins basketball as an important source of educational cash." (Lewontin R.C., "It Ain't Necessarily So: The Dream of the Human Genome and Other Illusions," , Granta Books: London, 2001, reprint, pp.161-163) 28/3/04 "If Darwin's theory of evolution is true, no species can *ever* escape from the process of natural selection. His theory is that two universal and permanent tendencies of all species of organisms - the tendency to increase in numbers up to the limit that die food supply allows, and the tendency to vary in a heritable way are together sufficient to bring about in any species universal and permanent competition for survival, and therefore universal and permanent natural selection among the competitors. So the 'modern' part of this way out of Darwin's dilemma is inconsistent with Darwinism. But the Cave Man part of it is also utterly incredible in itself. It may be possible, for all I know, that a population of pines or cod should exist with no cooperative as distinct from competitive relations among its members. But no tribe of humans could possibly exist on those terms. Such a tribe could not even raise a second generation: the helplessness of the human young is too extreme and prolonged. So if you ever read a report, (as one sometimes does), of the existence of an ongoing tribe of just this kind, you should confidently conclude that the reporter is mistaken or lying or both. Even if such a tribe *could* somehow continue in existence, it is extremely difficult to imagine how our species, as we now know it to be, could ever have graduated from so very hard a school. We need to remember how severe the rule of natural selection is, and what it means to say that a species is subject to it. It means, among other things, that of all the rabbits, flies, cod, pines, etc., that are born, the enormous majority *must* suffer early death; and it means no less of our species. How *could* we have escaped from this set up, supposing we once were in it?" (Stove D.C., "Darwinian Fairytales," Avebury: Aldershot UK, 1995, p.2. Emphasis in original) 30/3/04 "Theists who accommodate with scientific naturalism therefore may never affirm that their God is real in the same sense that evolution is real. This rule is essential to the entire mindset that produced Darwinism in the first place. If God exists He could certainly work through mutation and selection if that is what He wanted to do, but He could also create by some means totally outside the ken of our science. Once we put God into the picture, however, there is no good reason to attribute the creation of biological complexity to random mutation and natural selection. Direct evidence that these mechanisms have substantial creative power is not to be found in nature, the laboratory, or the fossil record. An essential step in the reasoning that establishes that Darwinian selection created the wonders of biology, therefore, is that nothing else was available. Theism is by definition the doctrine that something else was available." (Johnson P.E., "What is Darwinism?" Lecture at a symposium at Hillsdale College, November 1992. http://www.arn.org/docs/johnson/wid.htm) 30/3/04 "The other and more general departments of natural history will rise greatly in interest. The terms used by naturalists, of affinity, relationship, community of type, paternity, morphology, adaptive characters, rudimentary and aborted organs, etc., will cease to be metaphorical, and will have a plain signification. When we no longer look at an organic being as a savage looks at a ship, as something wholly beyond his comprehension; when we regard every production of nature as one which has had a long history; when we contemplate every complex structure and instinct as the summing up of many contrivances, each useful to the possessor, in the same way as any great mechanical invention is the summing up of the labour, the experience, the reason, and even the blunders of numerous workmen; when we thus view each organic being, how far more interesting,-I speak from experience,-does the study of natural history become!" (Darwin C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," , Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th Edition, 1928, reprint, p.460)* Authors with an asterisk against their name are believed not to be evolutionists.
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Created: 29 February, 2004. Updated: 31 March, 2004.