Home | Feedback | Links | Books

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


From: nalfeshnee@usa.net

Tim,

Hi. Just a couple of very short questions.

1) If entropy needs to decrease in order for life on Earth to happen, and I’m not directly addressing evolution here, just the question of this entropy reduction, then surely even regarding the Universe as a closed system, it’s easily big enough to accommodate what in effect is a microsopic decrease in entropy at one tiny locale within it? To draw the question a modicum closer to your own beliefs (which the second question addresses), surely it is the fact that the Creatonist believes in the importance of the planet Earth and the humans on it that causes him or her to regard a decrease in entropy a this particular minute locale within the system of ‘the Universe’ to be so unlikely?

2) My problem with Creationism is that it is Christian Creationism. (One might also add that my problem with evolution is people like Dawkins . . .) Now I guess it is a foregone conclusion that a member of one religious group believes their own religion to be the ‘only’ answer, but would you mind responding *just* to this facet of it? What would be your response to my pointing out that the Bible is a hotchpotch of documents, and since the OT, which is needed by Creationism for the purposes of Genesis, is not actually part of the Christian religion at all but the Jewish, your standpoint as a Christian on this point is somewhat shaky? To make my point more clearly, since Jesus was actually openly antagonistic to the Jews of his time (from moneylenders to Pharisees), what mileage is there in attempting to reconcile Jewish traditional writing with Christian theology? And, if you are interested in using Genesis as the basis for fact (i.e. a scientific/historic work) then I presume your read it in Hebrew? Or are aware of the differences in the versions translated therefrom?

I must admit I found the website very interesting, and have read a fair bit of the Feedback for the last few months. I’ll get round to the rest soon.

Hope you find the time to reply anon, bye for now.

(name withheld)

P.S. Re your masthead for the website: isn’t terming the theory of evolution a ‘myth’ semantically unjustifiable? A myth is a *religious* story attempting to explain an observable fact—e.g. Isis’ tears for Osiris causing the Nile floods (if I remember Egyptian mythology correctly)? Evolution—for all its faults—is a scientific theory, even if the theory behind the science is wrong-headed on occasion. Moreover, many (all?) pagan myths were very neatly explained by science (cf. the Nile flooding), so I’d use the word cautiously if I were you. Why not ‘Theory’ in commas, emphasising the fact that it might not be thought of as a scientific theory (i.e. something which works) but as a more common definition for theory—something which has yet to be proven to work???.


Response from Timothy Wallace:

>>1) If entropy needs to decrease in order for life on Earth to happen, and I’m not directly addressing evolution here, just the question of this entropy reduction, then surely even regarding the Universe as a closed system, it’s easily big enough to accommodate what in effect is a microsopic decrease in entropy at one tiny locale within it?<<

First, at the risk of sounding nit picky, I think it’s worth mentioning here that the size of the universe is by no means “known,” and the huge estimations so popularly bantered about as “science” are highly speculative, being themselves based on speculative assumptions:

“Cosmology is unique in science in that it is a very large intellectual edifice based on a very few facts.” —Arp, H.C., et al., ...Nature, vol. 346, p. 812.

Second, perhaps for the purpose of this discussion, it would help to draw a distinction between the entropy reduction required for 1) the assumed initial abiogenesis, and 2) the assumed continued “increase” in information-intense organized complexity in biological organisms. In a strictly theoretical sense, one couldn’t be refused the liberty to speculate that the “vast universe” could “accommodate” a localized case of entropy-reduction such that process 1 (above) could take place. However, I would want to ask (and have asked, along with many others) how this event might be hypothesized. The answer is exceedingly evasive when one is confronted with the nuts-and-bolts real world of applied science, for there emerges a mountain of logistical, chemical, and biological challenges when one transcends the shelter of speculative theory.

Thaxton, Bradley & Olsen (1984) have done a nice job of laying out the details and history of the situation. Chapters 7, 8 & 9 of their book may be found on-line beginning at:

http://www.best.com/~dolphin/mystery/chapt7.html

Others have conceded that, while it is convenient to theorize the thermodynamic “possibility” of abiogenesis, we have no hard evidence for such a possibility—though we really should, if the alleged product (life) and process (evolution) set in motion by the alleged event have both been carried forward to the present time.

As for the 2nd process (the assumed continued “increase” in information-intense organized complexity in biological organisms), in a much more direct and observable (and therefore truly scientific) way, such a proposed process is not possible without a specific, identifiable, and fully-functional mechanism in place to do the work of increasing the quantity and quality of genetic information. Such a mechanism has evaded detection and remains unknown and scientifically unobserved. Again the question has to be asked: Even granting the assumption that such a decrease in entropy might be “possible” (though logistically it is so extremely unlikely as to be essentially impossible), why do we find no indication that such has taken place (or is taking place) through plain, scientific, empirical observation?

>>To draw the question a modicum closer to your own beliefs (which the second question addresses), surely it is the fact that the Creatonist believes in the importance of the planet Earth and the humans on it that causes him or her to regard a decrease in entropy a this particular minute locale within the system of ‘the Universe’ to be so unlikely?<<

I think the first part of my answer (to the first part of your question) may have addressed this aspect somewhat. The importance of the Earth itself to one’s belief system is not quite so relevant when the facts of science are being weighed against one theory or another, no matter what may be the philosophical/religious basis of either framework.

On the other hand, yes, the Bible does indeed indicate that God’s focus is (and has been) very much on mankind in general and individuals in particular, making the Earth the apparent primary focal point in His unfolding history through time from the very beginning. This could justifiably be seen as an awfully arrogant point of view, but only if it were wrong (and it has been my experience that those who hasten to insist that it is wrong, or that it has been proven wrong, are invariably the least qualified to make such a claim, and therefore remarkably arrogant in their own special way).

>>2) My problem with Creationism is that it is Christian Creationism...<<

You are obviously not alone in this... :->

>>Now I guess it is a foregone conclusion that a member of one religious group believes their own religion to be the ‘only’ answer, but would you mind responding *just* to this facet of it?<<

First, I hope you can appreciate the fact that there was a time when I asked precisely the question that you are asking here; that I have not always been a “narrow-minded, dogmatic, fundamentalist...” ...Christian.

Second, it stands to reason that, upon careful examination of their doctrines, all the different religious groups can’t be right. And, contrary to what I once chose to believe, they can’t even “each be right for their own respective adherents,” for they all teach certain different and conflicting things as absolute truth, even though they may generally (and in some cases unwittingly) agree with each other on a few points (e.g., by discouraging—if not condemning—theft as morally unacceptable). And what kind of “God” would He be who would manifest so many contradictory versions of the “truth”?

So before one can hope to find a solution to this puzzle (still assuming a solution may exist), I have become fully convinced that one must reach a place where one is willing to accept that: 1) there may indeed really be a God who transcends all the “religion” of men; that 2) this God purposefully makes the truth known to those who are really willing to accept it; and that 3) one’s personal willingness to embrace and obey that truth is a reasonable condition of His revealing it to one.

From personal experience I can tell you that I sampled a variety of religious perspectives, and became pretty excited about some of them. In no case did I wind up with a sense that I was any better off, except in that I thought I “knew” the “truth.” It was a genuine disappointment to gain mere head-knowledge, only to discover that I was invariably still saddled with the task of handling my own self-improvement, for there was no spiritual “power” in the “knowledge” to really effect any lasting, worthwhile change (i.e., improvement or enduring happiness) in me.

After some years of this, and with a sense of uncertainty concerning the direction of my life (and whether having a direction or plan really mattered anyway), I ended up in pretty bad shape, alone and lonely (though not without “friends”), and addicted to alcohol, tobacco, and (even if “only mentally”) marijuana. I remember very distinctly one day calling out to “God” (still wondering if He were there), telling Him there just had to be a better way, that this couldn’t be the “deliverance” offered by the “knowledge” of “religious truth.”

>>What would be your response to my pointing out that the Bible is a hotchpotch of documents...<<

My response would begin with the fact that this is exactly what I believed throughout the time described immediately above, having been assured by my spiritual mentors that scholars had settled the truth of this matter long ago: Sure, there were some nice “nuggets of truth” in the Bible, but who would believe that stuff about the whole Bible somehow being the “Word of God”?

This view was changed dramatically when I began to examine the possibility that what I had been believing may not have been the truth. Not only did I find that the Bible (and the records, testimonies, and doctrines it contains) is remarkably cohesive for such a “hotchpotch of documents,” but upon close examination, one becomes confronted with a choice: 1) either the whole book is pure rubbish, and one need not trouble one’s self to honor, fear and obey the God of Whom it testifies, or 2) the whole book is indeed very likely the Word of God, as it has been called ever since compilation of the New Testament was complete. Why? In short, because of WHO Jesus Christ claims to be (God Himself, manifest in human form), and WHAT He says about His message to mankind (that it will not pass away).

In other words, either He is a clown, Whose person and message may be disregarded, or He is Who He says He is, and is therefore quite capable of seeing to it that His message is adequately contained and preserved in written form and made available to those who are willing to receive it.

I could go on a great deal more with this, but I must suppose you will get the general idea from what I have written thus far. You are welcome to frame questions in response.

>>...since the OT, which is needed by Creationism for the purposes of Genesis, is not actually part of the Christian religion at all but the Jewish, your standpoint as a Christian on this point is somewhat shaky?...<<

The Hebrew Scriptures document the Living God’s involvement in the history of mankind from the very beginning of creation. Man, created as a free agent, was persuaded to rebel against the Creator (“The Fall”), and has carried with him an inherent tendency to do the same ever since. The Scriptures track God’s dealings with a series of men and women and their descendants, as He has unfolded His purposeful movement in history towards an undoing of “The Fall” and its effects.

Part of this history includes men to whom God revealed Himself with particular clarity, and who served as His prophets, speaking to their contemporaries on many things given to them from God to say, including a variety of matters that were foretold (and then came to pass as described). Among these foretelling prophecies are many which were fulfilled only in the person of Jesus Christ, Whom some among His countrymen (the Jews) embraced as the Messiah, and others rejected.

The teachings of Jesus are an extension, and illumination—and by no means a contradiction—of what is contained in the Hebrew Scriptures. He was a Jew, and the Church He established was initially comprised of Jews, but He declared His New Covenant with men (based on the undoing of The Fall and its effects by His own substitutionary death—and resurrection) to be open to all men, not Jews only, which is how Christianity emerged from within the nation of Israel and spread across the world among the gentiles, the Church quickly becoming predominantly of gentile origin (in terms of national stock).

To say that “the OT...is not actually part of the Christian religion at all but the Jewish,” is to miss the flow of biblical history, as well as the contents and context of the doctrines contained in both the Hebrew and New Covenant Scriptures. It is furthermore noteworthy that Jesus and the apostles (whose combined words comprise the text of the New Testament) frequently quote the OT—including Genesis (and a quite literal context)—so it can scarcely be argued that these men saw their “Christianity” as separate and unconnected from the record contained in the Hebrew Scriptures.

>>...since Jesus was actually openly antagonistic to the Jews of his time (from moneylenders to Pharisees), what mileage is there in attempting to reconcile Jewish traditional writing with Christian theology?<<

Jesus was indeed openly antagonistic to those Jews who believed that outward appearance was all that was required for “righteousness” in God’s eyes. He was not antagonistic to ALL Jews by any means (His disciples were Jews, most of whom wanted to learn from Him, and He didn’t treat them as He did the moneylenders or the Pharisees). The focus of Christ’s antagonism was that these people were completely missing the heart of God, having contorted His commands into a “religion” of rules, the following of which they presumed to earn them a higher place in His scheme of things.

I believe I have already addressed to some extent the error of presuming a need to “reconcile” the Hebrew Scriptures with Christian theology. If I need to explain this further in general, or you would care to discuss some specific detail(s), please feel free to initiate on this.

>>And, if you are interested in using Genesis as the basis for fact (i.e. a scientific/historic work) then I presume your read it in Hebrew? Or are aware of the differences in the versions translated therefrom?<<

I do not read Hebrew, but I do have the aid of a concordance, lexicons and other language aids for studying the original language of both Testaments. And yes, I am aware of the many and varied “differences in the versions translated” which, of course, depend largely on the purposes and views of the translators.

>>Re your masthead for the website: isn’t terming the theory of evolution a ‘myth’ semantically unjustifiable?...<<

My dictionary includes “a story or belief that attempts to explain a basic truth” and “a belief or subject of belief whose truth or reality is accepted uncritically.” I find that these definitions apply to evolutionism satisfactorily, and I would further stress that the *religious* implications of evolutionism (often hotly denied by its adherents) have not been lost on me.

>>Evolution—for all its faults—is a scientific theory, even if the theory behind the science is wrong-headed on occasion.<<

Technically, to qualify as a scientific theory, it is conventional that the theory find some at least marginally unequivocal substantiation from empirical science. While there are those who still maintain that such support exists, I for one am hard-pressed to find someone who will publish or present any such support, and even the amount of equivocal support has been greatly eroded in recent decades, as new knowledge has been gained in the actual applied sciences (genetics, biochemistry...). With due respect, I am thus hard-pressed to concede the status of “scientific theory” to evolution.

>>...so I’d use the word cautiously if I were you.<<

Please understand that I did not select the word “myth” flippantly, but with much thought and deliberation. I presently find that the word more suitable than I did when I first chose to employ it.

>>Why not ‘Theory’ in commas, emphasising the fact that it might not be thought of as a scientific theory (i.e. something which works) but as a more common definition for theory—something which has yet to be proven to work???.<<

Your comments are truly appreciated. I will keep your suggestion in mind, and may eventually decide to change the text. I am aware that there are those who react with near-violence upon seeing evolution termed a myth, and it is not my primary aim to enrage my evolutionist counterparts. On the other hand, I was reluctant to settle for less than the word “myth” since it really embodies the reality of the situation from where I sit, and it seems a suitable response to the “Talk.Origins” masthead, which less-than-honestly suggests a body of material “exploring” the origins debate, when the contents of that site is predominately and strongly biased both in favor of evolutionism and against creationism.

I thank you for your thoughtful questions and comments, please feel free to write again.

Kind Regards,
TW

Back to Top


From John Gunn:

Dear Mr. Wallace,

I firmly believe that open communication is the best way to bring people together and to overcome prejudice and bigotry. On your web site, you express a great deal of resentment and hatred towards science and scientists in general. As a scientist, I naturally find this somewhat hurtful, but I feel that it is important to "turn the other cheek". You seem to think that science is some sort of faceless bureaucracy, but I think your attitude would be different if you saw scientists as thinking, feeling individuals. It is much easier to hate an institution than a real person. Have you ever met a scientist, or talked to one? I think you’d find that deep down we are really not so evil.

This is important to me because I also used to be blinded by my own prejudices. I went through a phase where I thought that all Christians were narrow-minded ignorant morons, and I smugly regarded web pages like yours as proof that I was right. Since then, however, I have had the chance to talk with some thoughtful, intelligent Christians, and I realize that my attitude was really no better that the one I was trying to ridicule. Now I feel cheated. I don’t know how many interesting conversations, or even friendships, I missed out on because of these silly stereotypes. Now I simply try to do what I can to keep people (on both sides) from making the same mistake. If you are sincere in your faith, I really hope you will respond.

Whenever I stumble onto a new creationist web site, I always go straight for the thermodynamics section. This is because it is my own area of expertise, but also because it usually offers some of the most spectacular examples of misrepresentation and dishonesty. In fact, the harder they try the funnier it gets, and your site is no exception. Since you probably now consider this to be a flame, rather than discuss any of the thermodynamics per se (although if you wish to raise any specific points I would be happy to respond) I just want to explain to you why I feel the way I do and then bring up the questions I’m really interested in.

What makes the 2nd law of thermodynamics argument so interesting is that it does not deal with any particular piece of evidence (like arguing about whether a certain fossil does or does not look like a bird), instead it deals with scientific theories themselves. The claim is made that accepted views of evolution and thermodynamics are somehow in conflict, however if one takes current theories as defined by the scientists who use them this is simply not true, regardless of whether or not either theory actually turns out to be correct.

In order to make this appear to be the case, the creationist has to redefine one or both of the theories to make it imply something it doesn’t. The usual victim is the 2nd law, because most people don’t understand it. The typical argument starts with a claim that the 2nd law is one of the most trusted laws of physics that is accepted by all scientists. In what follows though, the law for which this is true is replaced by the creationist’s own version, which typically adds something about "information content" or "energy conversion mechanisms" which is completely absent from classical thermodynamics. Don’t get me wrong, creationists have every right to criticize the 2nd law, and if they feel it is somehow incomplete or inadequate they are more than welcome to propose an improved version and to supply evidence in support of their claim. However, when they try to imply that their new version is the same 2nd law already described as a proven law of physics they are simply being dishonest. (And the selective use of quotes simply drives that home.)

That being said, I’m interested in this because I happen to have a PhD in chemical physics and I teach several university classes on chemical thermodynamics at various levels. That is not of course a reason why you should believe me, and a fancy degree doesn’t necessarily make me right. I’m just mentioning it so you will understand why I’m a little surprised by the ease with which you can casually dismiss the opinions of people such as myself who study this field professionally. Do you think that I am incompetent, or just plain stupid? Do you think that I’m deliberately lying to you as part of some sort of global scientific conspiracy? Do you think I have been brainwashed, or that I’m so religiously biased that I just willingly repeat the lies of others? How do you explain the fact that you can so easily "refute" a whole field of science that people have spent over a hundred years studying? On what basis are you sure that your understanding of the mathematical equations of thermodynamics is adequate to make the claims that you do? Did you write this web site yourself, or did you collect the material from other sources? How do you know those sources are reliable and not misleading? Does it bother you that you may be misleading others in the name of Christ? If your web site helped to lead people to Christ, would you leave it the way it is even if you knew some of the information was false?

I realize that is a lot of questions, some of which are personal, so please respond as you see fit. I’m simply curious to understand the creationist mindset and get beyond the simple stereotypes of bible-thumping rednecks usually associated with this type of material. I took the time to write this because you seem like a thoughtful person who responds to feedback (judging by your web site) so I hope you will post this and continue the discussion.

Sincerely, John Gunn


Response from Timothy Wallace:

Dear Mr. Gunn,

>>...On your web site, you express a great deal of resentment and hatred towards science and scientists in general...<<

I would ask you to explain this, as the perception you describe seems far from reality: I harbor no personal resentment—and particularly no hatred—towards science or scientists, and so your statement surprises me very much. Could you perhaps cite the specific passages which have given you an impression of resentment and hatred on my part towards science and scientists?

>>You seem to think that science is some sort of faceless bureaucracy...<<

Again, I am puzzled as to how you have arrived at this conclusion. I carefully define science and the scientific method multiple times in my pages, and since I do not personally perceive science to be “some sort of faceless bureaucracy,” and have not deliberately endeavored to describe science as such, I can only wonder how you can make the above assertion. And again, it might be of help if you were to cite the specific passages which have given you this impression.

>>Have you ever met a scientist, or talked to one? I think you’d find that deep down we are really not so evil.<<

Yes, I have met and spoken with scientists, and no, I have not found them to be any more or less evil than any other human beings—for that is exactly what they are. (Nor have I anywhere deliberately accused scientists of being any more or less evil than other human beings, for that matter.)

>>This is important to me because I also used to be blinded by my own prejudices...<<

Is this meant to say that you are now devoid of prejudices? Or simply that your prejudices no longer blind you?

>>...The claim is made that accepted views of evolution and thermodynamics are somehow in conflict... ...In order to make this appear to be the case, the creationist has to redefine one or both of the theories to make it imply something it doesn’t. The usual victim is the 2nd law, because most people don’t understand it... [it] is replaced by the creationist’s own version, which typically adds something about “information content” or “energy conversion mechanisms” which is completely absent from classical thermodynamics...<<

A few months ago, another individual’s feedback led me to initiate a rather protracted and detailed discussion among an on-line network of creationists (many of whom are practitioners of science, not unlike yourself). The results of the discussion included the following:

1) The problem (i.e., misunderstanding) that seems most prevalent involves people (including professionals like yourself) who are very familiar with classical thermodynamics—particularly the Second Law of Thermodynamics (henceforth 2LOT)—and its application, yet who may know much less about (or tend to ignore) that which has been published concerning the Generalized Second Law (henceforth G2L) and its relevance in areas unconnected with experimental or applied chemistry.

2) The 2LOT, as found in classical thermodynamics, indeed does not by its very definition prohibit abiogenesis (the beginning of evolution) or macro-evolution itself. For the mathematical calculations can be made by which the necessary energy and entropy relationships can be shown to change, allowing for ANYTHING to happen—even if only on paper. While this fact may appear as a ray of hope to evolutionists, its real value is significantly reduced by the fact that such calculations indeed ARE found only on paper, and, being strictly a means of calculating or predicting hypothetical levels of entropy at the hypothetical start and end states of a hypothetical process. They have nothing to do with the mechanics of any such process, and therefore need not, do not, and CAN not define the hypothetical process (nor the mechanics thereof), however well they may suggest the entropy states of said hypothetical process.

3) The ramifications of the 2LOT are extrapolated and applied to processes not driven by energy- or thermodynamic-entropy via the G2L. Information theory can be connected to experimental entropy (see below), and because of this connection it can further be shown that entropy is not just the experimental thermodynamic quantity based on a distribution of energy states under a volume constraint, but it is also a property of any probability distribution. Contrary to what seems to be a popular claim among evolutionists (including yourself), this is not a case of the 2LOT being “replaced by the creationist’s own version” of the same law.

The charge that the 2LOT becomes a “victim,” being “replaced by the creationist’s own version, which typically adds something,” seems to be based in part on some confusion (perhaps on the part of both creationists AND evolutionists) concerning the 2LOT, the G2L, and the differing entropies involved in thermodynamic processes and information theory.

Where my pages touch on this topic, I aim to revise them to accurately reflect the above, as well as the balance of the material generated by the above-mentioned group discussion. Exactly how soon I will have the time to make the necessary changes depends on my schedule during the next few months.

>>I happen to have a PhD in chemical physics and I teach several university classes on chemical thermodynamics at various levels...<<

I do not profess to be an expert on this topic, and I have no reason to doubt your credentials, or that you understand very well the facts of classical thermodynamics, and are capable of teaching the subject. I would like to ask, however, how familiar you are with the observations of Yockey, Jaynes and others concerning genetic and information entropy, since it seems that a thorough knowledge of these topics is neither required for, nor suggested by, your (very respectable) qualifications.

>>Do you think that I am incompetent, or just plain stupid? Do you think that I’m deliberately lying to you as part of some sort of global scientific conspiracy? Do you think I have been brainwashed, or that I’m so religiously biased that I just willingly repeat the lies of others?<<

I have no reason to believe that any of the above are true, and nor do I aim to level such accusations at you.

>>How do you explain the fact that you can so easily “refute” a whole field of science that people have spent over a hundred years studying?<<

It is not, and has not been, my purpose to “refute” a “whole field of science.” I am frequently so accused of generally “attacking” “science” by persons who presume this to be my aim, but who will not discuss the details of what I have written. If there are specific errors in my work, I appreciate their being brought to my attention. When they are, I correct my work as soon as I have had time to re-examine the issue and make the necessary changes. If you would like to being explaining to me in detail how my essays attempt to “refute” a “whole field of science,” I will gladly listen.

>>On what basis are you sure that your understanding of the mathematical equations of thermodynamics is adequate to make the claims that you do?<<

I BARELY understand the most fundamental equations connected with thermodynamics (and I don’t believe I make any claims to the contrary). The position I express is therefore not based on any professed expertise of my own, but on the facts as interpreted by people (both evolutionists and creationists) who ARE experts, and whose accurate knowledge of their respective fields of study I have no more reason to doubt than I do your own.

>>Did you write this web site yourself, or did you collect the material from other sources?<<

All essays with my name were written by me. Their contents are based on my personal study of the facts as interpreted by people (both evolutionists and creationists), whose qualifications and accurate knowledge of their respective fields of study I have no more reason to doubt than I do your own.

>>How do you know those sources are reliable and not misleading?<<

Thus far, I have no more reason to doubt their reliability and accuracy than I do to doubt the reliability or accuracy of your words.

>>Does it bother you that you may be misleading others in the name of Christ?<<

It would indeed bother me to learn that I were misleading others in the name of Christ. Should it become evident to me that this has happened, I would take every necessary measure to remedy the situation as quickly as possible. It has in fact happened that the questionable (or outright erroneous) nature of certain details in my essays have been brought to my attention, and these have been corrected or removed, as necessary.

>>If your web site helped to lead people to Christ, would you leave it the way it is even if you knew some of the information was false?<<

No.

Again, thank you for taking the time to write and express your thoughts and concerns about my essays, and I trust that you have found my reply helpful. I look forward to hearing from you again.

Kind Regards,
TW

[This dialogue continues in the next month’s feedback (July 1998).]

Back to Top


From “Sandra”:

Upon reading your comments concerning Mr. Isaak’s essay, and I do mean that literally, you only prove his point.

It’s obvious that you personally cannot debate the issue by presenting your own opinions of the evidence. Instead, you choose only to make light of his arguments rather than debunking his statements with your own facts. People like yourself are the reason Mr. Isaak made his essays available. You make no arguments regarding comparative anatomy; and you obviously need a lesson in genetics, for you certainly cannot even define variability or natural selection properly, not to metion evolution. You’ve done the very thing that you claim evolutionists have done, you were not objective in your review of the facts. Anyone can compose an essay such as yours, you offer no proof of your claims that Mr. Isaak or any of his statements are wrong. Perhaps if you had offered your own information, instead of quotes that you chose preferentially, your argument might hold more water. In addition, you continually contradict the very things you are saying, and in the process, your statements sound convincing because you are simply trying to confuse the reader. I can’t give you any points for debate or knowledge of evolution, genetics, molecular biology, population genetics, or comparative anatomy, but you’d make a great journalist.


Response from Timothy Wallace:

Hello Sandra,

Thank you for taking the time to send me you thoughts in response to the “Five Misconceptions” rebuttal. What follows is my reply:

>>Upon reading your comments concerning Mr. Isaak’s essay, and I do mean that literally, you only prove his point.<<

Perhaps you can clarify that statement, and specify what “point” of Mr. Isaak’s I have the pleasure of “proving.”

>>It’s obvious that you personally cannot debate the issue by presenting your own opinions of the evidence.<<

Do you mean to imply that either Mr. Isaak or yourself has done anything more than precisely “presenting your own opinions of the evidence”? I don’t recall seeing any data presented in Mr. Isaak’s essay, nor was there any included in your message. The purpose of my essay, as stated in the introduction, was to rebut each of the five “misconceptions” cited in Isaak’s essay, and presuppositions (i.e., “opinions”) are an inevitable part of taking either side of this issue.

>>...you choose only to make light of his arguments rather than debunking his statements with your own facts...<<

The aim of my essay was not to “make light” of Isaak’s arguments, but to rebut them, and it contained no fewer “facts” than did Mr. Isaak’s.

>>You make no arguments regarding comparative anatomy...<<

Nor did Mr. Isaak. On what basis do you think my rebuttal of Mr. Isaak’s essay should treat a topic not found in his essay?

>>...you obviously need a lesson in genetics, for you certainly cannot even define variability or natural selection properly, not to metion evolution...<<

Perhaps you would like to document and explain my specific errors in treating the subject of genetics, referencing the authorities which indicate me to be in error.

>>You’ve done the very thing that you claim evolutionists have done, you were not objective in your review of the facts...<<

No one can be completely objective. At issue is not just approaching the data with as much objectivity as possible, but also being willing to admit that one’s presuppositions have played a role in one’s conclusions. I do not pretend that my perspective is devoid of presuppositions. The typical evolutionist practice is to claim to be bias-free; to pretend that the empirical data naturally lead to the evolutionist’s conclusions.

>>...you offer no proof of your claims that Mr. Isaak or any of his statements are wrong. Perhaps if you had offered your own information, instead of quotes...<<

The vast majority of people I quote in my rebuttal to Isaak are not only evolutionists, but many of them are also first-class scientists—people who are honest enough to acknowledge that there are indeed serious challenges to evolutionary theory vis--vis the empirical data of their respective disciplines. Their statements directly contradict the dogma of evolutionist propagandists (e.g., Isaak), who claim again and again that only their beliefs are validated by the data of science. The people I quote may not themselves be willing to examine the data within a framework other than that of evolution, but they are at least willing to admit that the framework which they are using isn’t nearly as perfect as the propagandists portray it to be.

The leading hands-on practitioners in any given discipline of science should be heard more than the “public relations” amateurs (yet among evolutionists, the tendency is sadly the reverse). I chose to balance one example of the latter (Isaak) with the honesty of several first-class examples of the former. That you find this disturbing is perhaps an indication of which of the two you spend more time listening to.

>>...you continually contradict the very things you are saying...<<

Perhaps you could cite a few examples of this phenomenon—or else withdraw your accusation.

>>...your statements sound convincing because you are simply trying to confuse the reader...<<

You are awarding yourself the right to judge my motive. I suggest that you either cite the evidence that I am “simply trying to confuse the reader” or retract your unwarranted accusation.

>>I can’t give you any points for debate or knowledge of evolution, genetics, molecular biology, population genetics, or comparative anatomy, but you’d make a great journalist.<<

I invite you to introduce some empirical data in connection with any of these subjects (except journalism ), and explain to me: 1) exactly how you are persuaded that the specific data unequivocally support your evolutionistic beliefs; and/or 2) exactly how the specific data fail to support the creationist paradigm. This would give you an opportunity to put your knowledge in these areas to good work, and perhaps teach me a thing or two!

Again I thank you for writing, and I look forward to hearing from you again.

Kind Regards,
TW


[To date, nothing more has been heard from this individual.]


   Google     
 
Web TrueOrigin Archive  
Home | Feedback | Links | Back to Top

© TrueOrigin Archive.  All Rights Reserved.
  powered by Lone Star Web Works