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Feedback from April-May 1998
© 2005-2007 T. Wallace. All Rights Reserved.


From: Ryan E. Vachon

I've been reading your essay rebutting evolution, and I couldn't help but notice that you said there has never been an example of a beneficial mutation. Now, I haven't read all of the essay, but this comment immediately makes me think of the Peppered moth of England. A mutation that caused some moths to be dark, while others remained white, GREATLY benefitted the mutant-gene carriers during the industrial revolution, when soot covered and killed the lichens that the moths used to camoflage themselves on trees. The result was that the dark colored moths blended in better and were not eaten by birds, while the white ones were not blending. Within a matter of years, the population has gone from being about 2-3% dark moths, to being about 95% dark moths. That would clearly be beneficial to the dark moths. Let us not forget that some mutations, while detrimental in one environment, may be beneficial in another.

I would love to hear back from you your thoughts on this. Hope to hear from you.

Sincerely,
Ryan E. Vachon


Response from Timothy Wallace:

Dear Mr. Vachon,

Thank you very much for your thoughtful response to my “Five Misconceptions” essay.

You wrote:
>>...you said there has never been an example of a beneficial mutation. ...this comment immediately makes me think of the Peppered moth of England. A mutation that caused some moths to be dark, while others remained white...<<

You bring up an excellent point. However, the color variations that take place within the Peppered Moth population (or most any population, for that matter) are typically not caused by mutations, but by genetic variation.

It might help if we define these two terms:

“Mutation” refers to a “copying error” in which the genetic code of an organism becomes corrupted. The error may—or may not—then be perpetuated during the formation of new sets of DNA for new cells. This is most serious when it takes place in the production of a reproductive cell (since these will potentially send the parent's DNA, along with the error, on to offspring).

[Since writing the essay to which you refer, I have actually learned of an example of a “beneficial” mutation: A certain population of flightless beetle living in a windy island environment has apparently been determined to be a mutated version of an otherwise identical species that flies. The flightless mutants have a distinct advantage, in that they do not risk being blown off the island and into the sea. Their non-mutant counterparts are at a disadvantage in this case.]

“Genetic Variation” differs from mutation, in that the observed differences (or variations) are not the results of errors, but are normal variables, the coding for which remains resident within the organism population's genetic “pool.” A good example is the genetic coding for brown or blue eyes in humans—a variation which is not caused by genetic “errors” but by shifts in dominant and recessive gene traits, the potential of which depends on the genetic make-up of the parents.

In the case of the Peppered Moth, the population contained both varieties of coloring (light and dark) both before and after the industrial revolution. Within the “before” population, those members with light coloring had an advantage, and survived—yet darker variants were known to make up a portion of the population, so the moths were already expressing both varieties of their genetically-coded color potential.

In the “after” population, the advantage went to the darker-colored variants, yet—again—their lighter counterparts consistently remained a part of the population.

To my knowledge, it hasn't been suggested that the color varieties within the Peppered Moth species is necessarily the result of a “mutation” rather than simple “genetic variation.” The fascinating (and highly popularized) change that was observed within the organism's population, would therefore simply be the result of natural selection acting on the exisiting genetic potential of the population.

I hope my response has adequately addressed your question. Again, thank you for taking the time to write—and please feel free to do so again, if you like.

Kind Regards,
TW


Reply from Ryan Vachon:

The response was indeed adequate to my questioning. I am aware that mutations are not necessarily what caused the variation, but where exactly did this variation come from? And how about the number of mutations that occur in nature. For example, let's assume that there is an insect species with 10 to the power of 8 gametes in the population (a conservative number for insects)and a mutation rate of 10 to the -5. Each generation, through the combination of the two parental gametes, will have 2000 new mutations per generation. This is just a sample population, but I'm sure you get the idea. What are the chances that of these 2000 mutations, not even ONE in several to several thousand generations is beneficial?

But let's get off mutation for a bit. What about the fossil record? I agree with what was written in your paper about whale fossils showing transition from land to sea, but how do you explain the fossil evidence that shows the evolution of Equus from the original ancestor Hyracotherium? This fossil record is surprisingly complete, and the fossils found are intact.

And let us not forget about the other mechanisms for evolution beyond mutations. How exactly to you compensate for natural selction (an event made perfectly clear by the Peppered moth), gene flow, and random genetic drift?

I'd also like to address the idea of the age of the Earth. I understand that your paper's purpose was to point out weaknesses in evolution, and because of this, I am going on the assumption that you are in favor of Creationism. If this is not true, I do apologize, but it seams a safe assumption. So let me ask a couple of questions. If Creation is true, how do you explain the age of the Earth? Furthermore, how can you account for the Flood (assuming, as we must, a literal interpretation of the Bible)? Where did all of that water come from, and where did it go? These are two questions that simply seem to make the idea of Creation.

As far as evolution only being a theory, that is very true. But, to get right to the point, so is the atomic theory. The main difference between the two seems to be that atomic theory is a relatively “safe” theory, while evolution threatens to shake the foundations of many people's faith and beliefs.

Again, thank you for your time and for listening to the ramblings of a college student. And especially thank you for responding to my email. I have sent similar messages as the one I sent you to several proponents of Creation, and your response has been the only one I have received to date.

Respectfully yours,
Ryan E. Vachon


Response from Timothy Wallace:

Dear Mr. vachon,

Here are some thoughts in response to your additional comments and questions:

>>I am aware that mutations are not necessarily what caused the variation, but where exactly did this variation come from?<<

Good question. Many Neo-Darwinists still insist that variation potential is a product of mutation, but modern genetics casts serious doubt on such a simplistic notion. I don't mean this in a dismissive or condescending way. I would encourage you to search the record yourself, and see how much documented, empirical evidence there is, which effectively and uniquivocally points to mutation as a likely cause of genetic variation as a rule—or even as a likely exception—particularly as a means of achieving something like macro-evolution.

On the other hand, to my knowledge there also is no unequivocal empirical evidence denying that—as a rule—variable traits are inherent in the nature of each organism. In other words, when examined without the handicap of the Neo-Darwinist framework, they give every indication that they were designed and made that way.

>>And how about the number of mutations that occur in nature. For example, let's assume that there is an insect species with 10 to the power of 8 gametes in the population (a conservative number for insects)and a mutation rate of 10 to the -5. Each generation, through the combination of the two parental gametes, will have 2000 new mutations per generation. This is just a sample population, but I'm sure you get the idea. What are the chances that of these 2000 mutations, not even ONE in several to several thousand generations is beneficial?<<

Again, good question. First, if we take your numbers as correct, I assume you mean a mutation rate of 10 to the -5 _per_generation_, and I assume you don't mean that all 2000 hypothetical mutations per generation are somehow found _only_ in the DNA of the gametes of the hypothetical population; that the mutations are not concentrated on the population's DNA—nor particularly on the DNA of the population's gametes, but are spread randomly through the organisms.

This would leave it a very rare likelihood (though by no means an impossibility) that one of those 2000 mutations might occur specifically within the DNA of the population's gametes. Even if one of those 2000 mutations could be said to be “beneficial” it would be meaningless in the long run, unless the “beneficial” mutation occured specifically within the DNA of the gametes, and could therefore become part of the genetic code to be passed along to future generations. And even if this were to occur, the genetic apparatus has a remarkable ability to weed out such errors (even if you and I might wish to call them “beneficial” ones) through a correction process that takes place when the code from both parents is paired.

Much has been written, by both creationists and non-creationists alike (including evolutionists), who are far more knowledgeable than I am on this topic. The consensus I have observed is that the empirical evidence for genetic mutation as a means of beneficial change in general, and macro-evolutionary change in particular, is slim-to-none—in spite of the many words written to the contrary by those philosophical “defenders of the (evolutionist) faith” who tend to downplay the empirical science that contradicts their beliefs and (often obsolete) arguments.

See Michael Denton (1986), Phillip E. Johnson (1991), Lee Spetner (1996), and Michael J. Behe (1996) for some more in-depth, well-documented popular-level treatments of this topic.

>>...What about the fossil record? I agree with what was written in your paper about whale fossils showing transition from land to sea, but how do you explain the fossil evidence that shows the evolution of Equus from the original ancestor Hyracotherium? This fossil record is surprisingly complete, and the fossils found are intact.<<

I haven't studied this series in great detail, and so can't give you all the accurate names and dates, but I do offer the following as a general response to this excellent question:

Let's go back a few decades, first. The orginal sequence presented to us was Eohippus (Hyracotherium) -> Miohippus -> Merychippus -> Pliohippus -> Equus, supposedly smoothly spanning some 60 million years. The sequence has been published in numerous books as “fact” and has been incorporated into innumerable museum exhibits as “fact.” Yet as long ago as the early 1970s it was already clear that this smooth sequence was more fabrication than fact. Evolutionists like J.B. Birdsell (1975), G.G. Simpson (1953), Macfadden (1992), and S.J. Gould (1996), among others, have conceded that the “surprisingly complete” sequence to which we are STILL subjected in the popular “science” media, was long ago found to be plain wrong.

Why? 1) at least three different members of this so-called ancestor/descendant sequence were found to have coexisted, 2) “advanced” foot structures were found on specimens assumed to be “older” than their “primitive” counterparts, 3) the members of the sequence are not found in the same regions or on the same continent (i.e., the “sequence” was assembled from samples without regard to the members' geographical or chronological relationships), 4) serious and legitimate doubts have been raised as to whether some of the sequence members really belong in the ancestry of Equus at all [H. Nilsson (1954), G.A. Kerkut (1960)], and 5) there remain rather large and embarrassing gaps between ALL of the specimens (i.e., each one appears in the fossil record (usually not in the popularly depicted sequence) wholly in its own form, continues without indicating any transitional change between itself and either its alleged ancestor or its alleged descendant, then “vanishes.” The record is scarcely one of “surprising completeness”—but, frankly, reveals more of a “surprise” that editors and curators are taking so long to undo the lie perpetuated by their silence and inaction on this matter.

>>...And let us not forget about the other mechanisms for evolution beyond mutations. How exactly to you compensate for natural selction (an event made perfectly clear by the Peppered moth), gene flow, and random genetic drift?<<

Again, mutation is highly questionable as a valid and empirically verifiable “mechanism” for evolution. You'll have to explain to me why there should be a need to “compensate” for natural selection, gene flow or random genetic drift. These terms describe observable natural phenomena, which have yet to be demonstrated empirically to even _suggest_ macro-evolution as a possibility, notwithstanding the popular habit of evolutionism proponents of invoking them as “mechanisms” as needed.

>>...I'd also like to address the idea of the age of the Earth... If Creation is true, how do you explain the age of the Earth?<<

What “age” might you be refering to? I don't at all mean to be facetious. I know of no popularly touted “billion-year” dating method, for example, that is not based at least in part on non-verifiable assumptions, and there is tremendous discontinuity among them all. I therefore see no reason to treat any of them with anything less than a great deal of skepticism.

If you would like to discuss dating methods in greater detail, I would not be opposed to the idea, though I would ask that you save us both some time by first reading David Plaisted's article “The Dating Game” at:

http://www.trueorigin.org/dating.asp

>>...how can you account for the Flood (assuming, as we must, a literal interpretation of the Bible)? Where did all of that water come from, and where did it go? These are two questions that simply seem to make the idea of Creation.<<

[You don't seem to have finished your sentence, but I assume you meant to end it with something like “...seem to make the idea of Creation look like pure hogwash.”]

A great deal of scientific thought and empirical data have been applied to this subject, with results that have favored the Creationist/Diluvialist position. Very briefly:

1) The Flood is the best explanation for most of the sedimentary, fossiliferous rock found in the earth's crust. For example, fossils are formed only by rapid burial, not by slow immersion, and most fossils evidence not only rapid burial, but also (often) violent and catastrophic conditions. Also, throughout the globe there are places were sedimentary rock sections (often spanning alleged “millions” of years on the uniformitarian timescale) are bent, folded and buckled; this could only have happened to still-wet (i.e., soft) sedimentary layers, since rock that has dried and hardened is far too brittle to create such formations—even if it becomes infused with water again later.

For more on this, see J. Woodmorappe (1993 [Flood Geology], 1996 [Noah's Ark—A Feasability Study])

2) Where the water came from is answered in the same source that indicates that it came: Genesis 7:11 tells us that water came from “fountains of the deep” and “floodgates of the sky.” Still today, there are “fountains of the deep,” as huge reservoirs of subterranean water are known to exist, under varying levels of pressure. The oceans are dotted with places where “springs” of hot, pressurized water flow into them, and volcanic eruptions contain more water than any other element. Genesis 1:6-7 tells us that there apparently was once a body of water (very possibly in the form of water vapor) suspended above the atmosphere. Genesis 2:5-6 indicates that the earth was not watered by rain during antediluvial times, but that the apparent superabundance of subterranean water of that time generated a mist from below instead. It is interesting that there is no water vapor “canopy” covering the atmosphere now, and it has been suggested that the “floodgates of the sky” amounted to the precipitation of that vapor “canopy,” bringing it all down to the surface of the earth during the 40-day rain.

3) Where the water “went” is not hard to imagine: It's probably right here with us. If the Flood is a real, historical event, it is highly likely that the face of the earth was transformed dramatically from its original appearance by the event. There is no reason to assume the present continents, their positions, or (particularly) their mountains to be anything like the antediluvian configuration, or that the volume of water exposed on the earth's surface was always (or previously) the same as it is now. The ocean basins are considered even by uniformitarianists to have likely been formed and transformed through massive crustal (if not catastrophic) changes. In fact geological catastrophism has gained more support in recent years—ironically even among firm non-creationist scientists.

>>As far as evolution only being a theory, that is very true. But, to get right to the point, so is the atomic theory. The main difference between the two seems to be that atomic theory is a relatively “safe” theory, while evolution threatens to shake the foundations of many people's faith and beliefs.<<

Atomic theory attempts to organize and explain known phenomena which are both repeatable, observable and measurable; it thus begins with empirical science. Evolutionism, on the other hand, starts with a belief that (essentially) everything just ... “happened” and tries to postulate certain unrepeatable, unobservable and unmeasurable phenomena as the “way” it all just ... “happened.” Having done this, evolutionism further seeks to invoke a compatible explanation for any and all repeatable, observable, and measurable phenomena, no matter how such explanations complicate or contradict all or part of the original, fundamental belief. This is not quite a scientific approach.

In fairness, creationism also begins with a belief. So the _real_ question we should be asking ourselves is: Which framework fits the empirical data best (i.e., without the need to explain much in the way of numerous (sometimes embarrassing) anomalies). To answer this question objectively, one needs to study the data and then listen fairly to the arguments of both sides, asking exactly the kinds of questions you have asked here. It makes no difference to the objective student what the implications of each framework would be if it were correct. If it's truth, logic, and a genuine scientific approach that one is after, the consequential implications are secondary, though not unimportant, and not always as unattractive as they may seem at first.

All of your questions are top notch, thoughtfully presented, and well-deserving of answers. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to address them with you. I would encourage you to keep asking questions—not only to challenge the anti-evolutionist element, but also to put evolutionism to a fair test.

>>Again, thank you for your time and for listening to the ramblings of a college student...<<

It has been a pleasure. I'm sorry to learn that others have not bothered to reply to your inquiries, and again I apologize for the delay in my own response this time. (I usually try to reply within a day or two, but I have been “swamped” lately with other matters, and have had to turn my attention away from all but the most pressing e-mail communications for the most part.)

Kind Regards,
TW


Reply from Ryan Vachon:

I thought that in this message, I would sort of move away from the technical aspects of the evolution/Creation debate, and focus a little more on some personal questions that I have about Creation. Specifically, I am confused about the Flood.

You said that the water may have come from sub-terranean chambers. I suppose I can accept this. Right now, I'm not too concerned with where the water came from, or where it went. What I would like to know, is, if Noah's Ark is true, how could two of each animal fit onto one ship (without fighting to boot...), and even more importantly, how could a species recover from being decimated to two members? I mean, the complications (likely lethal) that would arise from such continuous inbreeding would cause some very extreme problems for future generations (to say the least). As well, one disease could cause immediate extinction for numerous species. It just seems like an improbability that such events could happen without drastically reducing the variation of life on the planet.

Respectfully yours,

Ryan Vachon


Response from Timothy Wallace:

Dear Mr. Vachon,

>>I thought that in this message, I would sort of move away from the technical aspects of the evolution/Creation debate, and focus a little more on some personal questions that I have about Creation...<<

Fair enough.

>>You said that the water may have come from sub-terranean chambers. I suppose I can accept this. Right now, I'm not too concerned with where the water came from, or where it went. What I would like to know, is, if Noah's Ark is true, how could two of each animal fit onto one ship (without fighting to boot...)...<<

Keep in mind that antediluvial conditions were vastly different than they are today. You and I were both raised in an education system steeped in uniformitarianist assumptions (billions of years, everything has been pretty much the way it is for many thousands of years, etc...). It sometimes takes substantial effort to free one's thinking from such presuppositions, in order to appreciate the historical account preserved in the biblical record.

Note that the animals were _brought_ to Noah, apparently by an act of God Himself (Genesis 6:20). Note also that both man and animal were vegetarian up until that point (Genesis 1:29-30). And note that animals did not have an inherent fear of man until after the Flood (Genesis 9:2). When one takes into account all of these conditions, the behavior of the animals becomes much less of an apparent problem, in terms of getting along with one another and submitting to human oversight.

Woodmorappe's feasability study (to which I referred you in an earlier post) goes into far greater detail than is possible here, and in fact I do not yet have my own copy of this book. However, suffice it to say that (based on the biblical specifications) the ark afforded a volume equivalent to 522 standard railroad livestock cars, spread over three decks, which were divided into rooms (literally “nests”).

This volume would accommodate some 125,000 sheep, and since the average size of a land animal is less than that of a sheep, much less than its full capacity would have to be devoted to animals. It has been estimated that today there are roughly some 18,000 species of land mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Doubling or tripling this to account for extinct species still wouldn't likely over crowd the ark. Add to this the fact that many of what are called “species” by modern standards would very likely fall into the same biblical “kind” category, both very likely having descended from ark-borne ancestors, whose potential for genetic variation included the vast variety we see today.

>>...and even more importantly, how could a species recover from being decimated to two members?<<

Again, the two members were selected and led by their Creator to the ark for their preservation. Note also that not all kinds were represented by only two members—some boarded by sevens (Genesis 7:2). Furthermore, it seems apparent that some kinds actually were either “decimated” or perhaps better described as ill-equipped to survive well in the very different post-diluvial environment and so became extinct soon after the Flood.

>>...As well, one disease could cause immediate extinction for numerous species. It just seems like an improbability that such events could happen without drastically reducing the variation of life on the planet.<<

Yes, disease could have done great damage, and may even have appeared and had some effect during that year's voyage. Nevertheless, there's little point in pondering the event at all without acknowledging the Creator's deliberate role in initiating, overseeing and concluding the event, as well as His immutable ability to act with sovereignty in preserving that which He is pleased to preserve under any circumstances.

And indeed, you have hit the nail on the head: The variation of life on the planet _has_been_ drastically reduced. The fossil record contains an incredible variety of creatures we do not see today, the dinosaurs being only one (very popular) class. This has surely been a further consequence of man's fall, rather than a reflection of the Creator's desire or the excellence of His handiwork in its original condition.

I hope my responses have been sufficient. If you are interested in more details, you would likely benefit from Woodmorappe's book, which gets rather technical in places (it's a bonafide, serious feasibility study). Otherwise, I might be able to direct you to a few URLs if there are other specific questions or details (assuming I am unable to provide an adequate general answer in the first place).

Kind Regards,
TW

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From Oran Richman:

Dear Tim Wallace

I read your article about the “five major evolutionist misconception about evolution”. And first I want to say that I don't think that you “don't know enough about the real theory of evolution the make informed opinion about it”. I think that you know a lot about evolution but you are not objective.

In your article you wrote:

“The facts of science, when examined without the prejudice of a naturalistic, mechanistic philosophy do not support evolutionary theory” you are right , the belief in god or soul make the evolution theory ridiculous. But you need to consider the fact that science is naturalistic and mechanistic. A major part from the scientific belief is that the world can be explained in a natural scientific way. Saying that the naturalistic and mechanistic philosophy isn't true is like saying that science isn't true or at least useless. In your article you bring up a lot of important points, some of then are wrong and the rest don't imply that evolution is wrong only that a few problems still need solutions.

Evolution has never been observed

You bring up an interesting point—There is a difference between genetic variation and a change in the gene pool. In those examples no genetic study had been done to prove the appearance of new genetic material but the fact that new genetic material can appear has been proven in the field of molecular biology. And the fact of evolution after the appearance of a new genetic material has been proven by those examples. But there are experiments that show evolution and appearance of new genetic material.

For example you can see the sol spiegelman did in the sixties, Spiegelman used the virus Q? to produce an evolutionary process in lab conditions. In his experiment the virus developed new genetic material the helped him, for example the virus improved his resistance to the environment and lost the genetic code that he needed in order to replicate in nature.( the virus replicated himself in a different way in lab conditions. What isaak means when he says “evidence isn't limited to seeing something happen before your eyes” is that evolution has been proven in a lot of different ways and direct seeing is only one of them.

Evolution violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

I don't think that there is an evolutionist that claim that living systems are in thermodynamic equilibrium. But evolutionists claim that from the moment a living system as appeared the second law doesn't get in the way of evolution.

The ability of an organism to reproduce is all what the theory of evolution require. The question of how the thermodynamic equilibrium has been broken in the first place is in the question of the origin of life. There are many answers to this question and I will elaborate in the subject later.

For now I just want to say that there are non-living systems that “live” out of thermodynamic equilibrium. an example of such a system is the belousov-zhabotinsky reaction. You can read more on the subject in “what is life?” by Lynn Margulis and Dorion Sagan, published in 1995.page 62. There are several suggested mechanisms for the theory of evolution, but there is no doubt about the fact that all of the species on earth are the descendants of one organism. You remarked that the “punctuated equilibria” scenario say that large changes take place over one generation that isn't true the scenario say that large changes take place over a short period of time. That “short period” is short in the geology sense and that means a few hundreds or maybe even a few thousandths generations.

There are no transitional fossils.

There are gaps in the fossil record, you can even say that most of the transitional fossils are nowhere to be found. But there are some transitional fossils, enough to show that evolution had happened. You can see a gradual increase in complexity of various organs trough out the main groups of animals. For example you can see the increase in hart complexity from a plain pump in reptiles to the complex human hurt. The fossil record show that new species arose and old species annihilated. I will not come into the creationist claim that the dating method isn't correct. I will just say that if the dating method we use made a mistake, why is the mistake fit evolution so well. Why aren't we gating for example that reptiles had appeared 50,000 years ago and humans 300 millions years ago.

The theory of evolution says that life originated, and evolution proceeds by random chance.

In the concern of the problem of the origin of life, there are several theories, Some of the evolutionists say that it is a chance but in the long period of time it can happen, others like for example christian de duve believe that life originated in a long process that is very likely to happen. There is no evolutionist that believe that evolution is driven by pure chance, all of the quotes that you brought are from evolutionists. That means that they don't say that evolution had never happened. They only say that there are things that cannot be explained by the natural selection process and they suggest other mechanisms. You can't bring only half of what a person said and count this as his opinion.

Evolution hasn't been proved

When you say evolution hasn't been proved you must firs define evolution. Evolution has a full theory that contain a mechanism hasn't been proved.

But the fact that species change and evolve has been proved. I advice you to look at the paper “evolution a fact and a theory” in the talk origin archive. the evolution theory have one important use, it can explain all of the “why” in biology and sometimes the “why” is more important then the “how”.

I hope that you will open up your eyes and truely look at the facts, you will see that the evolution theory is right.

Thank you for listening.
Oran richman


Response from Timothy Wallace:

Dear Mr. Richman,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write with your thoughts regarding the “Five Misconceptions” rebuttal. I offer the following in response:

>>...you need to consider the fact that science is naturalistic and mechanistic.<<

This is not true. Science, by definition, involves the observation and measurement of repeatable phenomena. Naturalism is a philosophy that the natural world is all there is. Mechanism is a philosophy that everything can be explained in physiochemical terms. There is no law, rule, or mandate that science must be practiced under the guidance of either philosophy, or that empirical data gathered through the scientific method must be interpreted through the framework of beliefs of either philosophy. It is often assumed that “science is naturalistic and mechanistic” simply because this is the popular spin given most of the data today. But this does not ispo facto force us to define science as “naturalistic and mechanstic.”

>>A major part from the scientific belief is that the world can be explained in a natural scientific way.<<

Again, you are confusing “scientific belief” with naturalistic belief. There is no such thing as “scientific belief.” To claim that there is, is simply to project one's personal beliefs onto empirical science, and it is a fallacious practice.

>>In your article you bring up a lot of important points, some of then are wrong...<<

I invite you to point them out for purposes of discussion.

>>...the fact that new genetic material can appear has been proven in the field of molecular biology...<<

Please cite the documented “proof” to which you refer. Your statement goes against the molecular biologists I've read, so I'm very interested in the details which lead you to make the above claim. By the way, neither viral nor bacterial resistance qualify as such “proof” any longer (except among second-rate “scientists”), since no new biological structure or species has emerged from such a process, and the genetic potential for such resistance has invariably evaded verification as “new” genetic code (rather than the manifestation of exisiting genetic variation), and it is apparently always accompanied by a “trade-off” involving detrimental limitations and/or weaknesses on the part of the subject organism.

>>What isaak means when he says “evidence isn't limited to seeing something happen before your eyes” is that evolution has been proven in a lot of different ways and direct seeing is only one of them.<<

Then you should have no problem explaining the “lot of different ways” that evolution has “been proven.” Merely saying it is so does not in any way make it so, and in fact this is a common practice among advocates of evolution. I suggest you begin providing the unequivocal empirical data that substantiates your claim for “lots of proof” or kindly refrain from airing the same tired claim.

>>I don't think that there is an evolutionist that claim that living systems are in thermodynamic equilibrium. But evolutionists claim that from the moment a living system as appeared the second law doesn't get in the way of evolution.<<

It's all well and fine that you wish to repeat what evolutionists claim. You have done nothing to substantiate the claims, however, and your repeating them makes them no more true than they were before your voice was added to the chorus.

>>The ability of an organism to reproduce is all what the theory of evolution require.<<

If that were all that is meant by “evolution,” I would certainly have no problem with the idea. However, your definition is sadly simplistic and plainly erroneous, for evolution requires not only that an organism have the ability to reproduce, but that NEW genetic code assemble itself to create NEW organs, NEW traits, and NEW organisms—in other words, evolution requires “something that is” to come from “something that is not.”

>>The question of how the thermodynamic equilibrium has been broken in the first place is in the question of the origin of life. There are many answers to this question and I will elaborate in the subject later.<<

Answers? No. Theories, perhaps, but there are no definitive answers, and every theory has its detractors.

>>There are several suggested mechanisms for the theory of evolution, but there is no doubt about the fact that all of the species on earth are the descendants of one organism.<<

There may be “no doubt” in your mind (and in the minds of many others), but there is plenty of doubt in my mind (and in the minds of many others). Your repeated allusions to “facts” without substantiation serves no purpose other than perhaps to further convince yourself through repetition.

>>You remarked that the “punctuated equilibria” scenario say that large changes take place over one generation that isn't true the scenario say that large changes take place over a short period of time. That “short period” is short in the geology sense and that means a few hundreds or maybe even a few thousandths generations.<<

I find no such specified numbers in Gould's treatment of this topic. Can you site doscumentation specifying these figures? Gould furthermore deliberately defended Goldschmidt, who I understand to have postulated major changes in a single generation.

>>...there are some transitional fossils, enough to show that evolution had happened...<<

Your interpretation of the fossil record disagrees with many honest, first-class assessments by respected paleontologists on both sides of this issue. I suggest you back up the above claim with something.

>>...You can see a gradual increase in complexity of various organs trough out the main groups of animals.<<

Sure you can—as long as you arrange them in a nice line, from “simple” to “complex.” But such a handy and anomaly-free progression is not what is found in the fossil record, though it appears in many text books as if it were.

>>For example you can see the increase in hart complexity from a plain pump in reptiles to the complex human hurt.<<

Perhaps you would care to do the evolutionists a favor by postulating the progression by which a “plain pump” could “evolve” into a “complex” human heart by means of a series of genetic copying errors—all the while remaining a fully-functional blood-pumping organ. Otherwise your story is nothing more than exactly that: a nice story.

>>The fossil record show that new species arose and old species annihilated.<<

The fossil record shows organisms of ALL kinds violently and suddenly buried in the sediment of an aquatic catastrophe. Some apparently did not survive to the present. The notions of “new” and “old” species are based entirely on evolutionist presuppositions.

>>I will not come into the creationist claim that the dating method isn't correct. I will just say that if the dating method we use made a mistake, why is the mistake fit evolution so well.<<

Please save yourself from further embarrassment by reading David Plaisted's article on this topic before posting further comments:

http://www.trueorigin.org/dating.asp

>>Why aren't we gating for example that reptiles had appeared 50,000 years ago and humans 300 millions years ago.<<

The failure of radiometric dating lies not in where it places humans and reptiles, but in that the various methods used often fail to agree with the expected dates—often being off by many hundreds of millions of years. The various methods furthermore frequently fail to agree with each other, or with other (non-radiometric) uniformitarianist dating methods, and are all based on a set of uniformitarianist assumptions which are neither known nor knowable. Their reliability, from a scientific standpoint, is entirely suspect.

>>Some of the evolutionists say that it is a chance but in the long period of time it can happen, others like for example christian de duve believe that life originated in a long process that is very likely to happen.<<

These people very likely have not objectively looked at the numbers. Those who have done the math don't buy this belief. Vast amounts of time simply do NOT solve the problem of probability; the impossible doesn't become probable through the assumption of incomprehensible eons. Mathematicians were the “wet blankets” at the Wistar Institute symposium in 1966, and their branch of (genuine) science has continued to cast nothing but doubt on the credibility of evolutionist speculation. I challenge you to search the record for compelling mathematical evidence to the contrary.

>>There is no evolutionist that believe that evolution is driven by pure chance...<<

The only thing left is purpose. You seem to be saying that there is no evolutionist who doubts that evolution is driven by a purposeful force. I think you would have a very hard time winning the role of spokesman for evolutionism with claims like these.

>>...all of the quotes that you brought are from evolutionists. That means that they don't say that evolution had never happened. They only say that there are things that cannot be explained by the natural selection process and they suggest other mechanisms.<<

It means that they are honest enough to admit that there is no known explanation for Neo-Darwinism using the mechanisms it supplies. They do NOT suggest other mechanisms.

>>You can't bring only half of what a person said and count this as his opinion.<<

If this is meant as an accusation, I suggest you substantiate it with documentation as to how I quoted “half of what a person said” and then “counted it as his opinion.” Otherwise, kindly withdraw your accusation.

>>When you say evolution hasn't been proved you must firs define evolution. Evolution has a full theory that contain a mechanism hasn't been proved.<<

Are you suggesting that a theory that hinges on an unproven mechanism can somehow nevertheless be proven? You seem to be doing exactly that, since earlier in your post, you state that “evolution has been proven in a lot of different ways.” What ever it is you are practicing here, it does not qualify as science.

>>But the fact that species change and evolve has been proved.<<

If you mean anything other than “micro”-evolution, I must insist—again—that you document this claim ... or withdraw it.

>>I advice you to look at the paper “evolution a fact and a theory” in the talk origin archive.<<

I've done this, and it hasn't changed anything (as far as the facts are concerned).

>>[T]he evolution theory have one important use, it can explain all of the “why” in biology and sometimes the “why” is more important then the “how”.<<

Would you care to gives some examples of “why” that are “explained” by evolution theory that cannot also be “explained” by another theory? Without such unequivocal examples the most you can hope to do is “prove” the obvious: that ANYTHING can be made to fit evolution theory with enough ad hoc supplemental speculation.

>>I hope that you will open up your eyes and truely look at the facts, you will see that the evolution theory is right.<<

I have been looking—with open eyes—at many facts for quite some time now, and I have yet to see that “the evolution theory is right.” You have added to the mix nothing new in the way of compelling empirical data (i.e., facts). You have merely repeated the popular claims of evolutionists without supplying a single shred of unequivocal support for such claims.

You should not be denied the liberty to believe in evolution, but you do a disservice to the name of science and to the cause of truth by asking me to believe with you that something has been “proven” to be true when in fact the empirical data and the limits of the scientific method lead rather strongly to the opposite conclusion.

Again, thank you for writing.

Kind Regards,
TW


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