Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Thou Shalt Not Lie

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While a small airplane flew overhead, towing a banner that read, “Thou shalt not lie,” Ken Ham and his cronies opened their $27 million “museum” near Cincinnati today, and were met with condemnation from the country’s scientists. This so-called “museum” portrays God as creating the heavens and the Earth in six days approximately 6,000 years ago. Ham responded to the criticism by claiming that his incorrect and unorthodox views were finally being represented publically.

“What we’ve done here is to give people an opportunity to hear information that is not readily available … to challenge them that really you can believe the Bible’s history,” said Ken Ham, president of the group Answers in Genesis that founded the museum.

Unfortunately, Ham has forgotten that most people in this country get an earful of wacky religious beliefs every Sunday from the time they are born, whereas many children in this country are not taught the fundamentals of evolution even by the time they reach high school.

In this so-called “museum”, exhibits reveal that the Grand Canyon took just days to form during Noah’s flood, that dinosaurs coexisted with humans and had a place on Noah’s Ark, and Cain married his sister to fill the earth with people, among other Biblical wonders.

However, contrary to Christian beliefs, the scientific evidence shows that the universe is 14 billion years old rather than 6,000, and that life evolved over time, rather than being created suddenly by a supreme being. I think that Ham and his gang should heed their own advice; “Thou shalt not lie.”

Cited story.

Comments

  1. #1 Chris X
    May 26, 2007

    After Kent Hovind’s “Dino Land,” this is just foolish. A lot of these museums and parks have sprung up all over the place. It’s important to have opinions and beliefs, and to have the freedom to express them, but I cannot say that all beliefs are safe for sharing with others. Some you should just keep to yourself. Conservative Christians re-write science, history, and faith any way they please, simply to support a version of their religion that not even God Himself upholds. Well, Kent Hovind is in prison now for tax evasion, and his excuse is that the Devil did it OR God wanted him to preach to prisoners. Creationists need better leaders. No more Christian degree mills or honorary Doctorates. No more fake scientists like Michael Behem, either!

  2. #2 Chris X
    May 26, 2007

    One last comment. Kent Hovind has a running blog while in prison …

    http://www.cseblogs.com/?p=72

    That link is particularly relevant. Knock everything off from the backslash to the 72 to view the index of blog entries (of course). Feel free to sign their e-petition as well, to get Kent out of prison. (Seriously now? Get real.)

  3. #3 DaveLoneRanger
    May 26, 2007

    Lies are generally considered about matters of undisputable facts. You believe in evolution, just as Ken Ham believes in creation. Since both views are operating on assumptions that cannot conclusively be proven (because the actual events in question took place a long time ago, whether you believe that’s 6,000 or 60 million years ago), these are essentially philosophical views. Granted, science is incorporated into these views, often quite heavily. But the underlying assumptions are still of a philosophical nature.

    Due to your references to “wacky religious beliefs” you display your own bias against religion (philosophical framework, if you will) in this respect.

    Also, you may want to check your claim that evolution is “contrary to Christian beliefs” — Eugenie Scott is spending a lot of time trying to persuade churches otherwise.

    One final note: can someone please provide me with a solid basis for why anyone (Ken Ham OR Richard Dawkins) should not lie?

  4. #4 Marta
    May 26, 2007

    Can’t have it both ways like the “intelligent design” crowd tries to do; either you embrace creation or evolution and live by it. New light and updates to religion & science are the norm, so somehow, the tradition of accommodating new data is familiar to both the creationists and evolutionists. Actually, respectfully co-existing beside one another with no agreement is a civilized option. Nobody owns the corner on explaining origins for the same reason that subjective consciousness remains a mystery. Enjoy studying the mystery of life from a scientific viewpoint and/or religious view point and if you don’t come away with a sense of awe, YOU missed the point.

  5. #5 Corkscrew
    May 26, 2007

    You believe in evolution, just as Ken Ham believes in creation.

    That would be an example of equivocation. We don’t believe; we merely note that the evolutionary model fits the evidence and generates accurate predictions.

    I can only assume that Ken Ham, by contrast, truly believes in creationism. He certainly isn’t deriving his confidence from any sort of evidence.

    Since both views are operating on assumptions that cannot conclusively be proven (because the actual events in question took place a long time ago, whether you believe that’s 6,000 or 60 million years ago), these are essentially philosophical views.

    1) The predictions derived from these models can be tested now. Saying that evolution can’t be proven because the events happened too long ago is like saying that theories of atomic structure can’t be proven because electrons are too small to be seen.

    2) Evolution is an ongoing process. For example, there’s a species of mosquito that only lives in the London Underground. Or consider the recent development of a complex pentachlorophenol degradation pathway in some bacteria. Other examples abound.

    One final note: can someone please provide me with a solid basis for why anyone (Ken Ham OR Richard Dawkins) should not lie?

    Because every time you lie there’s a chance that people will catch you lying. If you’re caught, people may:
    a) not trust your future claims
    b) have less incentive to be truthful with you
    c) punish you for breaking societal norms.

  6. #6 "GrrlScientist"
    May 26, 2007

    DaveLoneRanger asked;

    One final note: can someone please provide me with a solid basis for why anyone (Ken Ham OR Richard Dawkins) should not lie?

    are you serious? Even atheists know the answer to this question: THOU SHALT NOT LIE — because god told us not to! if you are a good christian, the least you can do is to obey the lord, your god.

  7. #7 Tom
    May 26, 2007

    “1) The predictions derived from these models can be tested now. Saying that evolution can’t be proven because the events happened too long ago is like saying that theories of atomic structure can’t be proven because electrons are too small to be seen.”
    - NICE TRY. But electrons can be measured and exist NOW. the bogus underlying assumptions in carbon 14 dating try to date things that died awhile ago.

    “2) Evolution is an ongoing process. For example, there’s a species of mosquito that only lives in the London Underground. Or consider the recent development of a complex pentachlorophenol degradation pathway in some bacteria. Other examples abound.”
    - GUESS WHAT? Creation PhDs also understand that micro-evolution and natural selection exists. that’s all you’re talking about. And why is it in over 100 years and billions of dollars of digging…not one honest transitional fossil has be found?

  8. #8 Richard Simons
    May 27, 2007

    the bogus underlying assumptions in carbon 14 dating try to date things that died awhile ago.

    This is a giveaway that you know almost nothing about evolution. Carbon 14 is virtually never used for dating objects in the study of evolution – it is only useful for things up to a few tens of thousands of years old.

    not one honest transitional fossil has be found?

    Are you completely unaware of the last 140 years? Perhaps the problem is that you have an odd conception of what a transitional fossil would be. What would you expect a transitional fossil between, say, apes and humans or between ancient fish and tetrapods to look like?

  9. #9 Cj
    May 27, 2007

    I gather from his comments that Tom has never opened a biology book.

  10. #10 Marta
    May 27, 2007

    Actually, I am a creationist, studied evolution in college and never felt my beliefs needed scientific validation, only went through the motions to pass and secure a masters in a health care professional degree. Evolution requires way more evidence to knock down Creation simply because the faith-based mind claims anything is truly possible while evolution is striving to be evidence-based. I can appreciate the frustration of scientists who spent a life-time detailing changes and building hypothesis listen to creationists dismiss the entire notion as false while not offering anything remotely comparable in their rebuttal. Hence, this debate erupts when there is really no purpose behind the debate; faith is not driven by evidence while science hinges on the best evidence around. I think both camps have plenty of mysteries to enjoy without getting bogged down with fruitless mundane debates.

  11. #11 Bob O'H
    May 27, 2007

    I did enjoy the NYT article, particularly when they start a paragraph with “The heart of the museum is a series of catastrophes.” I hope they knew what they were writing.

    Bob

  12. #12 Chris' Wills
    May 27, 2007

    < ...One final note: can someone please provide me with a solid basis for why anyone (Ken Ham OR Richard Dawkins) should not lie?
    Posted by: DaveLoneRanger

    Simple answer is that lying makes your life more complicated. You have to remember what lies you have told and to whom, especially hard to keep track of if you’ve told different lies to different people.
    Far easier to tell the truth.

    This doesn’t imply that you can’t lie by ommission but that can come back and bite you on the arse as well :o)

  13. #13 Chris' Wills
    May 27, 2007

    Sorry, for some reason (yes, mea culpa) the copy from DaveLone Ranger’s post didn’t get posted with my comment.

    …One final note: can someone please provide me with a solid basis for why anyone (Ken Ham OR Richard Dawkins) should not lie?
    Posted by: DaveLoneRanger | May 26

    Simple answer is that lying makes your life more complicated. You have to remember what lies you have told and to whom, especially hard to keep track of if you’ve told different lies to different people.
    Far easier to tell the truth.

    This doesn’t imply that you can’t lie by ommission but that can come back and bite you on the arse as well :o)

    If you are caught lying in little things you won’t be trusted in anything and this could blight your future career prospects.

  14. #14 Blunderov
    May 27, 2007

    “Not one honest transitional fossil has be found”. Oh bullshit.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional.html

    “Why deny the obvious, child?”

  15. #15 blf
    May 27, 2007

    In addition to having an understanding of biology from a cartoon viewed with a fun-house mirror, “Tom” also seems to have to knowledge of physics one gets from reading cereal boxes in a foreign language. WTF does 14C dating have to do with fossils? How would 14C dating possibly be used with a fossil (or the surrounding rocks)? It’s only valid out to c.60000 years, and only works with carbonaceous materials (not mineralised (fossil)) material. Geesh!…

  16. #16 Science Avenger
    May 27, 2007

    DaveLoneRanger said: Since both views are operating on assumptions that cannot conclusively be proven (because the actual events in question took place a long time ago, whether you believe that’s 6,000 or 60 million years ago), these are essentially philosophical views.

    The assumptions used in evolutionary theory are based on actual research in the related areas of science: astronomers agree with the large ages, geologists agree with the general placements in the column, chemists agree with the chemical reactions posited, etc. By contrast, the assumptions in the creation model are plucked out of thin air, and virtually no one outside that particular theological circle agrees with any of it.

    And no, the age of the earth, and the universe, or anything else for that matter, is a scientific question, not a philosophical one. It is factual – the earth is either 6,000 years old or it is not. It may have pphilosophical implications, but then so can any other fact.

    Finally, scientists do not “conclusively prove” things. Gravity is not “conclusively proven”. Science froms hypotheses/models and tests those models against experimental data, all that “pathetic level of detail” with which the IDer/creationists can never be bothered.

  17. #17 N=1
    May 27, 2007

    Though you cover the woo so well, I haven’t run across these questions being asked of the “creationistas”:

    How do you know that the days as written in the Bible are twenty-four hour days? Did God define the length of time in a day? Do you deny that God can change time and space and do anything?

    By denying science and evolution, are you not stating that God “couldn’t” have created an older Earth and launched evolution? If so, then that limits God, which you also do not believe. How do you reconcile this contradiction?

  18. #18 Science Avenger
    May 27, 2007

    Tom said: Creation PhDs also understand that micro-evolution and natural selection exists. that’s all you’re talking about.

    Yes, but the only difference between microevolution and macroevolution (which contrary to creo lies has been observed) is time. The mechanisms are exactly the same. Creationists imply there is some sort of genetic limit or barrier that keeps the genotype of a species fixed within some range, but have never offerred even a speck of evidence for such a thing, or how it would work. It’s just something they made up because macroevolution disturbs their religious sensibilities with regard to the biblical concept of “kinds”.

    Tom again: And why is it in over 100 years and billions of dollars of digging…not one honest transitional fossil has be found?

    Thousands have been found, it’s hardly a secret. How did you miss all the hubbub about Tiktaalik? Not only is it a good transitional form between fish and tetrapods (4-legged critters), but the scientists found it EXACTLY where they expected to, you know, based on all those goofy dating methods creos love to whine about.

  19. #19 Science Avenger
    May 27, 2007

    Tom said: Creation PhDs also understand that micro-evolution and natural selection exists. that’s all you’re talking about.

    Yes, but the only difference between microevolution and macroevolution (which contrary to creo lies has been observed) is time. The mechanisms are exactly the same. Creationists imply there is some sort of genetic limit or barrier that keeps the genotype of a species fixed within some range, but have never offerred even a speck of evidence for such a thing, or how it would work. It’s just something they made up because macroevolution disturbs their religious sensibilities with regard to the biblical concept of “kinds”.

    Tom again: And why is it in over 100 years and billions of dollars of digging…not one honest transitional fossil has be found?

    Thousands have been found, it’s hardly a secret. How did you miss all the hubbub about Tiktaalik? Not only is it a good transitional form between fish and tetrapods (4-legged critters), but the scientists found it EXACTLY where they expected to, you know, based on all those goofy dating methods creos love to whine about.

  20. #20 Crudely Wrott
    May 27, 2007

    I do not believe in evolution. Nope.
    I accept evolution as the most plausible answer to the Big Question.

    In order to accept evolution I need to be shown; to have the hypotheses and the evidence to support them presented to me clearly. The generations of scientists who have already teased out the evidence have done a sufficiently credible job of demonstrating that their hypotheses are worthy of being unified under a theory. I construct a model based on their research and my own existing model of the world. And I say, well, OK. I can see how it works, it makes sense in terms of what I know of chemistry, physics, biology and the history of science and human endeavor in general. I am persuaded to accepted evolution from not one single authority but from myriad, mutually reinforcing sources. I am intellectually “won over”.

    In order to believe in Any Claim At All I need to be persuaded emotionally. I need to have a single hypothesis presented in a way that appeals to my “feelings”. If I don’t already have a predisposition to any of the common worries of humans, like death and pain and disappointment, one will be provided for me. It will come with sworn, second-hand testimony, lurid tales of miracles, declarations of universal applicability and lastly, but not least, veiled implications of more nebulous benefits. I construct a model based on their claims and my own model. And I say, well, OK. Sounds lovely but I am not finding connections to my understanding of reality where I am used to finding them. There does not appear to be any correlation except in the realms of psychology. And I also must factor in what I know of the foolishness of projecting one’s desires on top of reality.

    In the latter case I am not won over. This is the basis of my atheism. Any alternative fails to be supported by more than a single authority employing emotional appeals. In the arena of real life, this approach devolves into the decrepit, moldy, amateurish power games that bring light only to the dim, crowded warrens that so many, sadly, call their own. Those who haven’t the resources to respond to or otherwise judge the claims that are made in the name of Woo.

    Baahhhh. Grumble, grumble . . .

  21. #21 Tom
    May 27, 2007

    “Not one honest transitional fossil has be found”. Oh bullshit.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional.html

    “Why deny the obvious, child?”

    Posted by: Blunderov | May 27, 2007 07:08 AM”

    NICE TRY AGAIN – the only truthful part of this link is that of microevolution – and things like Archeopteryx was a hoax! yeah – so was Lucy, so was Nebraska Man…hoaxs – that even the elitist profs who’s living depends on continuing these lies acknowledge.

    All these posts attacking me are long on venom and short, very short, on any substance. Typical.

    For those trying to squeeze millions of years into Genesis 1, death didn’t come about until after Adam sinned. God called His creation “very good”.

    Glad to see acknowledgement that Carbon 14 isn’t very accurate. tell that to 95% of HS science teachers.

  22. #22 Corkscrew
    May 27, 2007

    NICE TRY. But electrons can be measured and exist NOW. the bogus underlying assumptions in carbon 14 dating try to date things that died awhile ago.

    Do you have any idea how hard it is to measure an electron? It’s practically impossible. We’ve probably got the technology to do it now, but mostly we just demonstrate that the predictions of atomic theory are accurate. The pinpoint accuracy of these predictions adequately demonstrates that atomic theory is solid.

    This is exactly the situation we’re in with the various forms of radioisotope dating. For example, we can predict that, where two different radioisotope dating methods overlap, they will give the same result. This works every single time. We can predict that all material from any particular stratum (as identified by, for example, its fossil species) will give the same date. This works every single time. We can compare carbon-14 dating with tree ring dating to check that it gives the same results. This works – you guessed it – every single time.

    If any of these predictions had been wrong, radioisotope dating would have been completely falsified. The fact that this dating technique has survived every test we can throw at it makes it virtually impossible that the underlying model is invalid.

    GUESS WHAT? Creation PhDs also understand that micro-evolution and natural selection exists. that’s all you’re talking about.

    Awhatnow? One of the examples I provided was of speciation. This is generally agreed to be on the macroevolution side of the macro/micro dividing line. And now you’re saying that’s not good enough?

    Tell you what. How about you accurately describe where you think the dividing line falls. You’re claiming it’s above species level. Is it at genus level? Family level? Order level? Class level? Once you’ve decided, I’ll go look up a good solid example of evolution at that level. In deciding, you may wish to keep in mind that humans and chimpanzees are members of the same order.

    And why is it in over 100 years and billions of dollars of digging…not one honest transitional fossil has be found?

    Tell Tiktaalik that. That’s the fossil species that even AiG described as a “mosaic” of fish and tetrapod characteristics. It’s intermediate in time, in location and in form – it’s a transitional.

    And, incidentally, its location and stratum were predicted using evolutionary “assumptions”. If that model is so wrong, how come it can accurately tell us where the bones are buried?

  23. #23 Old Rocky
    May 27, 2007

    Tom, here is some advice. If you wish to establish young-earth creationism as an established “science,” then you would be more successful in your arguments if you back it with actual science. The problem with your comments on this post, you are demonstrating your age and complete ignorance of the subject at hand. Claims on “transitional forms,” “radiocarbon dating,” and whether this or that fossil were actually “fakes,” are so old, the tires have worn down to the hub and I really do not wish to waste my time with them.

    I have always said, the burdon of proof falls on YECers to establish their claims of a young-earth and not on scientists to find a convincing argument that would allow you to reconsider the folly of your ways. Cliams of alleged flaws in the scientific process, are not only wrong – in and by themselves – but does not establish a foundation to prove creationsim. If you wish to garner any respect at all, then present the evidence to support your cause.

    In the meantime Tom, do us a favor, go back to school and actually learn something before you grace us with your wit and insights again.

  24. #24 P
    May 27, 2007

    “All these posts attacking me are long on venom and short, very short, on any substance. Typical.”

    It’s funny, I’ve seen plenty of places where Creationists are told curtly where to get off. In this thread each of your arguments has been addressed, and quite politely as well.

    On the other hand, I notice that you are stating quite plainly, and without evidence, that evolutionists are hoaxers and liars, and at the same time not even bothering to properly read the comments about Carbon 14 (basically that Carbon 14 dating is never used to date fossils).

  25. #25 Tom
    May 27, 2007

    You’re right – i’m in a little over my head…so i’ll let a PhD speak about the silliness you’re talking about re: Tiktaalik (sorry – gotta dig another 100 years and maybe find something else :):
    “In their review article on Tiktaalik, Ahlberg and Clack (Nature 440(7085):747-749) tell us that “the concept of ‘missing links’ has a powerful grasp on the imagination: the rare transitional fossils that apparently capture the origins of major groups of organisms are uniquely evocative.” The authors concede that the whole concept of “missing links” has been loaded with “unfounded notions of evolutionary ‘progress’ and with a mistaken emphasis on the single intermediate fossil as the key to understanding evolutionary transition.”

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2007/0307tiktaalik.asp

    And another PhD talk about this phony notion of transitional fossils in general:
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/re1/chapter3.asp
    (by the way, guess what happens to those biology books and their profits when evolution is exposed as a hoax…oh, and all those acedemicians who’s livelyhood depends on it, too!)

  26. #26 Tom
    May 27, 2007

    And regarding the supposed “perfect dating” of carbon 14 mentioned above, I’ll let an article with 44 primarily scientific references speak to it, starting with:
    “When a ‘date’ differs from that expected, researchers readily invent excuses for rejecting the result. The common application of such posterior reasoning shows that radiometric dating has serious problems. Woodmorappe cites hundreds of examples of excuses used to explain ‘bad’ dates.9
    For example, researchers applied posterior reasoning to the dating of Australopithecus ramidus fossils.10 Most samples of basalt closest to the fossil-bearing strata give dates of about 23 Ma (Mega annum, million years) by the argon-argon method. The authors decided that was ‘too old,’ according to their beliefs about the place of the fossils in the evolutionary grand scheme of things. So they looked at some basalt further removed from the fossils and selected 17 of 26 samples to get an acceptable maximum age of 4.4 Ma. The other nine samples again gave much older dates but the authors decided they must be contaminated and discarded them. That is how radiometric dating works. It is very much driven by the existing long-age world view that pervades academia today.”
    http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2002/carbon_dating.asp

  27. #27 Old Rocky
    May 27, 2007

    Tom, you failed to take mine and many others advice. One does need to wonder why you offer some friendly advice to someone ignorant on the ways of the world, they start pretending they actually know something – like refer us to debunked articles written by Answers in Genesis – as if they hold some degree of creditability here. That is part of your problem, AiG has no creditablity.

    Again, I not going to waste my time to point out the specific errors of your latest post. Instead, for a really good discusion on the errors of David Melton’s “review” of the Tiktaalik Fossils, I recommend that you actually read and reflect on this post here: http://lancelet.blogspot.com/2006_04_01_archive.html. You also will find a few additional articles on Tiktaalik at the University of Chicago website, http://tiktaalik.uchicago.edu/.

    It is my hope that as you proceed in your educational journey, you actually follow a science program and actually gain some experience in actual field research. Only then, you will actually know what you are talking about.

  28. #28 Azkyroth
    May 28, 2007

    Tom: The difference between “microevolution” and “macroevolution” is a fabrication that creationists have made up out of whole cloth. Claiming to believe in “micro” but not “macro” evolution is like claiming to believe in inches, but not miles. Meanwhile, you might do well to remember the words of your own holy book: “pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Your tone and statements are the most arrogant that I have seen in weeks, even from creationists.

  29. #29 Azkyroth
    May 28, 2007

    By the way, talking about PhD’s as if those actually mean something reveals the sheer depth of your ignorance. No matter how many letters a scientist or “scientist” has after his or her name, he or shee must still support their arguments with data. No one automatically becomes credible simply by acquiring a doctorate, particularly from an unnacredited diploma mill where anyone, regardless of species, can buy a college degree (this is where Kent Hovind, among others, got his “doctorate”), and a PhD does not grant a person any credibility whatsoever with regards to subjects outside of their area of expertise–PhD engineers and philosophers, for example, do not know more about biology than actual biologists, even if you [little kid voice] really, really, really, really want them to be right[/little kid voice].

    I can’t imagine where you got the idea that science works like religion, in that a person with certain “qualifications” is an unquestioned doctrinal authority. I guess when you’re obsessed with hammers, everything looks like a nail.

  30. #30 Tom
    May 28, 2007

    “Tom, you failed to take mine and many others advice. One does need to wonder why you offer some friendly advice to someone ignorant on the ways of the world, they start pretending they actually know something – like refer us to debunked articles written by Answers in Genesis – as if they hold some degree of creditability here. That is part of your problem, AiG has no creditablity.”
    - Oh, and your supposed science that brings us “facts” like Lucy and Nebraska Man, that then get debunked is real science, huh? Why can’t secular scientist admit that they have “faith” in extrapolations and relationships of current facts that “allow” them to think they can stand in a certain spot “millions of years” earlier. Give me a break. And then there’s the “trust us, something came from nothing” big-bang silliness…oh, an infinite regress…please. How many times I’ve called into talk shows when a scientist is talking big bang and all i have to ask is, “where did the matter from the big bang come from” and then the “scientist” resorts to name-calling.

  31. #31 Tom
    May 28, 2007

    Old Rocky, re: Tiktaalik, I reviewed the posts you sent me to…no impressed, “As we often state on this website http://www.AnswersInGenesis.org, keep in mind that evolutionists and creationists have the same facts (e.g., fossils), but interpret the facts uncovered today differently in regard to the past. Because evolutionists want to discover transitional forms, when they find a very old fish with leg-bone-like bones in its fins, they want to interpret this as evidence that it is some sort of transitional creature. However, other fish seem to have the same sort of structure as stated above, and these bones are not constructed as one would expect for weight-bearing legs. It may be just another example of the wonderful design of our Creator God.”

  32. #32 Azkyroth
    May 28, 2007

    Tom:

    Lucy has not been debunked, half-assed creationist arguments to the contrary. Nebraska man was never thought to conclusively be a hominid, was never used as a major example of human evolution, and was in fact almost entirely a creation of media sensationalism. Meanwhile, any commentary on the rest of the australopithecines, homo habilis, homo erectus, etc? Didn’t think so.

    It is entirely unsurprising that leg-bone-like fins are not yet functional legs. This is part of what is meant by “transitional fossil.” The alternative would be to have a fish literally give birth to a salamander, which evolution does NOT predict, and if it were to be demonstrated would in fact be a major stroke AGAINST the theory. I suggest you actually research what the theory says before you attempt to criticize it.

  33. #33 Richard Simons
    May 28, 2007

    Tom,

    You quote Ahlberg and Clack as criticizing the concept of ‘missing links’ and the mistaken emphasis on single intermediate fossils, implying that they are thereby criticizing the concept of ‘transitional forms’.

    In fact, most biologists agree with them. The term ‘missing link’ is used almost entirely by creationists and others who have a poor understanding of evolution and is detested by biologists. As I understand it, it is a hangover from the concept of the ‘Great Chain of Being’, an idea that has not been seriously considered by biologists for 200 years. ‘Missing links’ are not the same as ‘transitional forms’.

    Tom: If you look at a web site that defends the theory of evolution, such as talkorigins, you will see that it gives numerous links to creationist sites. However, if you go to a creationist site, e.g. Answers in Genesis, you will very rarely find any links to any sites that put the evolutionary point of view. Why do you suppose that is? Which sites do not object to you reading the opposing view? Which do you feel has the most confidence in their position?

  34. #34 Old Rocky
    May 29, 2007

    Sorry Tom, but I missed your post earlier today. I had a busy day at Mount St Helens in Washington (for those who are interested, MSH is still erupting lava at a rate of 0.5 cubic meters per second, or approximately one filing cabinet per second, or one small pick up truck load every 15 seconds). Sorry for my digression, but my background is geology.

    Tom, you latest comments – despite many attempts to provide you with helpful advice – demonstrates your incapablity to assumulate information. I blame your parents for this. Perhaps you had spent too much time sitting in front of the television, perhaps it was too many video games. It is hard to tell which.

    However, I did enjoy the laughs you have provided at your infintile attempt at pretending to be useful at something.

  35. #35 Azkyroth
    May 29, 2007

    Old Rocky:

    I grew up playing video games (PC, mainly, but that’s beside the point) and they’ve certainly had no adverse effect on my ability to learn or assimilate information (if anything, the roleplaying games I favor have been helpful in this regard, since they require the player to make decisions, predict and understand their likely consequences, and develop a coherent in-game worldview in order to get the most out of it). I think the advice not to blithely criticize things one doesn’t understand is equally applicable here. :/

  36. #36 Diane in Ohio
    May 29, 2007

    Check out this video: “Creation Science 101″ by Roy Zimmerman

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIwiPsgRrOs&mode=related&search=

  37. #37 Old Rocky
    May 29, 2007

    Tom: Thank you for making my point for me.

    Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

    Question: What do role playing games have to do with anything in REAL life? What level dungeon master are you ?

  38. #38 Tom
    May 30, 2007

    I didn’t think any of you could answer “where did the matter come from for the big bang?”….you guys never can (without sounding rediculous)
    As for evolution….you’ll find out your wrong — soon enough (Psalms reminds us that “life is but a vapor”).
    And “The wisdom of this world is foolish in God’s sight.”

  39. #39 Chris' Wills
    May 31, 2007

    I didn’t think any of you could answer “where did the matter come from for the big bang?”….you guys never can (without sounding rediculous)

    “A fool can ask more questions in an hour than a wise man can answer in a lifetime”.

    That’s my way of saying that you should actually go and do some book learning in Physics, at a real university, if you want to know the present hypothesis’ about how our universe started.

    I suspect that the reason you cannot understand the explanations is not because the explanations are ridiculous.

    As for evolution….you’ll find out your wrong — soon enough (Psalms reminds us that “life is but a vapor”).
    And “The wisdom of this world is foolish in God’s sight.”
    Posted by: Tom | May 30

    So, according to you, God created the universe as a deception to trick us and test our faith?

    He gave us a brain to think with, but doesn’t want us to use it?

    He gave us a lawful universe that we can understand, but we really can’t ’cause God is a trickster?

    He created everything and is omni-omni but then has to sneak in and tweak bits ’cause he wasn’t smart enough to get it right first time?

    Are you sure that you haven’t confused God with the Great Deceiver/Adversary?

  40. #40 Tom
    May 31, 2007

    I didn’t think any of you could answer “where did the matter come from for the big bang?”….you guys never can (without sounding rediculous)
    “A fool can ask more questions in an hour than a wise man can answer in a lifetime”.

    That’s my way of saying that you should actually go and do some book learning in Physics, at a real university, if you want to know the present hypothesis’ about how our universe started.

    I suspect that the reason you cannot understand the explanations is not because the explanations are ridiculous.

    - Guess you nor anyone else will actually try to explain it…in writing — you know it sounds foolish. “something from nothing”….the great ground, ultimately, of evolution – your wisdom is already proving foolish.

  41. #41 Dave
    June 1, 2007


    That would be an example of equivocation. We don’t believe; we merely note that the evolutionary model fits the evidence and generates accurate predictions.

    Both evolution and creation use scientific evidence (and interpretation of said evidence) to support their claims, but each, at the core, makes philosophical assumptions about the nature of the universe, thus forcing the classification of ‘belief.’ Naturally, you think your belief is better, much like any Bengals fan will insist that the Bengals are the best team, even if their record is poor.

    I can only assume that Ken Ham, by contrast, truly believes in creationism. He certainly isn’t deriving his confidence from any sort of evidence.

    Of course he believes it. And yes, actually, the evidence fits creationism much more neatly, believe it or not. You speak as if the evidence is all pointing one direction, which is incorrect. The evidence doesn’t speak for itself at all. Professionals interpret the evidence. And when the majority of these professionals hold to evolution, and risk being fired or losing funding or getting bad press — or all of the above! — if they doubt it, then what do you think they’re going to do but interpret it according to an old earth evolutionary perspective.

    Why on earth do you think anyone would contrive a belief completely contradicted by all evidence?

    The predictions derived from these models can be tested now.

    You mean, predictions like the extinction of a dozen species that have since been discovered alive? Predictions of vast numbers of transitional forms that still haven’t been found? Predictions of radiocarbon decay which still contains helium? Predictions that most of the human genome is junk? Predictions that there would be no plant matter at the bottom of an “ancient” ice core?

    Saying that evolution can’t be proven because the events happened too long ago is like saying that theories of atomic structure can’t be proven because electrons are too small to be seen.

    Bad analogy; small or large, atomic particles exist in the present. The beginning posited by evolutionists supposedly took place in the past, eons ago. Not observeable, not testable, not repeatable, not documentable. Come on; I admit as much for creation. The least you can do is be a good sport and concede as much about evolution.

    Evolution is an ongoing process. For example, there’s a species of mosquito that only lives in the London Underground. Or consider the recent development of a complex pentachlorophenol degradation pathway in some bacteria. Other examples abound.

    If you’re referring to Culex pipiens, you’re doing creationists a favor. The rapid “evolution” (they’re still mosquitos, mate!) flies in the face of old-earth evolution, just like the rapid reverting of Galapogos Finch beaks. None of these examples furthers the actual idea that entirely new organs evolved inside an organism to form an entirely different creature. In fact, no matter how long we play connect-the-dots and grasp at straws with fossils, evolution is not conclusively proven by them. (And it doesn’t help when crucial ‘dots’ jump ship, such as the recent Sinosauropteryx report indicated.)

    Because every time you lie there’s a chance that people will catch you lying. If you’re caught, people may:
    a) not trust your future claims
    b) have less incentive to be truthful with you
    c) punish you for breaking societal norms.

    The reasons you give me are only incentive for not harming myself later. If I lie and benefit at others’ expense and don’t get caught, is there anything wrong with that? Why or why not?

  42. #42 Dave
    June 1, 2007

    (To #12)

    Simple answer is that lying makes your life more complicated. You have to remember what lies you have told and to whom, especially hard to keep track of if you’ve told different lies to different people.
    Far easier to tell the truth.

    So again, the only reason to tell the truth is for personal benefit. There is no moral incentive to tell the truth. That’s what I’m getting from you. This is kind of the same argument as with altruism, which no evolutionist has yet been capable of explaining to me.

  43. #43 Chris' Wills
    June 1, 2007

    So again, the only reason to tell the truth is for personal benefit. There is no moral incentive to tell the truth. That’s what I’m getting from you. This is kind of the same argument as with altruism, which no evolutionist has yet been capable of explaining to me.
    Posted by: Dave

    Is personal benefit a bad thing?
    You asked for a reason not to lie, I gave you one which is valid. Sorry if it doesn’t console you.

    Seek morality within yourself; to accept my morality or anyone elses without reflection and thought is to abrogate your responsibilities.

  44. #44 Chris' Wills
    June 1, 2007

    - Guess you nor anyone else will actually try to explain it…in writing — you know it sounds foolish. “something from nothing”….the great ground, ultimately, of evolution – your wisdom is already proving foolish.
    Posted by: Tom

    Because the proposed solutions are very complicated and require an understanding of very advanced mathematics and physics. I am not a physicist, there isn’t one agreed answer.

    That is why I suggested that if you are really honest in your desire to know it’ll require a lot of studying on your part, said studying being in physics at not theology.

    If the universe was simple why did God make us smart?

  45. #45 Dave
    June 1, 2007

    (To #41)

    Is personal benefit a bad thing?

    Of course not. It just indicates that the ONLY reason for telling the truth is so that you can gain something (or not lose something). And we all know that telling the truth is not always the way to gain or lose something. In fact, there are always occasions to profit by lying with minimal chance of getting caught.

    The argument you and others here are making is essentially, “it’s only wrong if you get caught.”

    What you’re telling me is that you do not have any moral motivation for telling the truth, and are only out for personal gain. That’s okay with me, but don’t bristle when creationists say that evolutionists don’t have a moral basis for behaving morally.

  46. #46 Chris' Wills
    June 1, 2007

    …What you’re telling me is that you do not have any moral motivation for telling the truth, and are only out for personal gain. That’s okay with me, but don’t bristle when creationists say that evolutionists don’t have a moral basis for behaving morally.
    Posted by: Dave

    I didn’t actually say that, but my reasoning doesn’t fit into a single line and converting you to my belief set isn’t my aim in life.

    I would like it if you would argue cogently, rather than just quote others. Learning is not a sin. But that is a personal preference not mandatory.

    I simply gave you an answer to your question.

    One can, of course, throw the whole thing back at you. Is the only reason you have for not lying fear of punishment by God?

    Is something good because God says so or is it good in and of itself and God just points this out?

    Some people are fond of other people and don’t want to hurt them. There you go another reason for not lying.

  47. #47 Dave
    June 9, 2007

    I would like it if you would argue cogently, rather than just quote others. Learning is not a sin. But that is a personal preference not mandatory.

    Ignoring the veiled personal attack, I do not understand your complaint. I am making arguments, and then refuting the responses. By “quoting others” do you mean quoting what you say? That is merely a utility for referencing what specific point I am responding to.

    One can, of course, throw the whole thing back at you. Is the only reason you have for not lying fear of punishment by God?

    Not necessarily, but that’s part of it. There is also the fact that lying destroys the lives of others. (IE, rumors, malicious gossip and so forth.) By and large, concern for others does not fit into evolutionary thinking. Self-preservation is the highest goal, is it not? Preservation of one’s self and one’s offspring? Why do people tell the truth when it can hurt them, or others? The answer is rarely anything other than “because it’s the right thing to do.” That kind of action is irrational, if you believe evolution, is it not?

    Is something good because God says so or is it good in and of itself and God just points this out?

    Was that a theological question? By jove, we ARE getting somewhere!

    Some people are fond of other people and don’t want to hurt them. There you go another reason for not lying.

    As usual, creating an exception instead of dealing with the rule. (I say “as usual” not in reference to you, but a general reference to other evolutionists I have argued with.)

  48. #48 Eddie J
    June 14, 2007

    Unfortunately, the people commenting against the creationism side do not represent the average American. A few people think rationally (they look at reality, facts and use reason to think) are no match for irrationality. A person who thinks irrationally does not have to believe evidence, since they can believe without it. They do not have to think about what exists in reality, since they believe in things that don’t. We may think they’re being ignorant and just don’t want to see the facts; the truth may be that they can’t. Some people escape reality for a reason. Imagine if they learned that some of their supernatural beliefs–learned through indoctrination–aren’t real. The potential emotional pain is enough reason to remain ignorant of blatant fact.

  49. #49 Chris' Wills
    June 14, 2007

    Dave – Sorry I missed your reply.

    I must apolgise, I was reading some of another posters comments and mixed you up with him.

    If you are still popping in and wish to continue the discussion please say so.

    The question, re what is good, is formed as a theological question but is actually a general philosophical question about good & bad.

    Just for starters; self preservation needn’t be the highest goal (just a quick note, evolution by natural selection doesn’t have goals, no teleology allowed) of evolution.

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