Saturday, April 26, 2008

More On Evolution's Logical Conclusion

A couple of months ago I posted this article entitled "Evolution's Logical Conclusion," pointing out the difficulty evolutionists face in explaining, in evolutionary terms, how human beings can be of equal intelligence and worth.

Earlier this week, Joe Carter over at Evangelical Outpost had three posts on ways evolutionists help the cause of intelligent design (triggered by the response to Ben Stein's new film "Expelled"). These are a bit lengthy, but they're not difficult to read, and if you're interested in this topic (regardless of whether you are a creationist, a believer in intelligent design, or an evolutionist), you really ought to read what he has to say.

Here are the links:

10 Ways Darwinists Help Intelligent Design (Part I)
10 Ways Darwinists Help Intelligent Design (Part II)
10 Ways Darwinists Help Intelligent Design (Part III)

I believe Joe's tenth "way," "By not being able to believe their own theory," is a slightly different way of saying what I said in my original post, "Evolution's Logical Conclusion." He illustrates this with a quote from philosopher of science David Stove, who "notes that ultra-Darwinists assert that while man was once trapped in the struggle to survive and pass on our genes, we no longer are trapped in the spiral of natural selection. " In this way Darwinists attempt to justify what I referred to in a comment on my earlier post:

I recently ran across a quote from a prominent evolutionist (I believe it was Stephen Jay Gould, but I could be wrong), to the effect that he would fight strongly for survival of the fittest as our origin, but he would fight strongly against it as a moral basis. I think that illustrates the problem an evolutionist faces; he thinks it has been positive to this point in our evolution, but he is in a quandary when he considers what would happen if we tried to behave as if evolution would result in further progress now, especially in terms of human development.

Evolutionists are caught in a trap when they face the values of our modern society. If you believe in evolution, you simply have no grounds for believing that humans have not developed in such a way that some are inherently better than others. Even the invention of technology, which is sometimes cited by evolutionists as more significant to human development than evolution, would make the inventors "smarter" (and therefore, by evolutionary standards, better - more likely to survive) than those who didn't invent such technology.

The struggle for all evolutionists, as far as I can see, is to believe their own theory. They want to believe that all people are valuable and worthy (thus discrimination on the basis of race is wrong, for example), but they have no real basis for coming to that conclusion. They have no foundation from which to argue, because they've rejected the one foundation that establishes definitively that we are all equal.

4 comments:

BobC said...

Some people are very smart, and some people are incredibly stupid. But this has nothing to do with a person's race or skin color. Skin color is the result of natural selection. A person's skin color is the best skin color for that person's ancestors to survive in the environment they lived in.

So how to identify the dummies? That's easy. They call themselves "creationists". These people are so dumb they try to disguise their childish belief in magic to look like science by calling it intelligent design, as if calling magic "design" is going to fool anyone.

C. David Parsons said...

THE HISTORY OF EVOLUTION.

The following text was taken from Volume 1 of The Quest for Right, a 7-book series on origins based on physical science verses Darwinism.

"....There were now three distinct groups of reptiles of gigantic proportions: Mosasaurus, a great monitor lizard; Iguanodon, an herbivorous animal with flattened teeth; and Megalosaurus, a large carnivore with sharp teeth. From these three discoveries, the concept of a new group of animals began to emerge, that of a giant race of reptiles that once ruled the earth. Although the term dinosaur, meaning "terrible lizard," was not to be coined until 16 years later, it may be stated that the study of dinosaurs had begun.

The science of paleontology was to be the center of this study. Paleontology is the study of past life and is derived from three Greek words: paleo—"old"; onto—"being"; and logo—"discourse." Paleontology means "discourse on ancient beings." Men like Cuvier, Mantell, and Buckland spent much of their lives seeking to reveal the history of the earth as told by the rocks beneath their feet, rocks that contained an unusual assortment of fossils.

Note to Layout: Insert Caption 18
Of more than passing interest, the fossil record not only contained the remains of giant reptilian creatures but also a carnival of colossal mammals. While some were of the same familiar type as existing species, others represented hitherto unknown species. Of the familiar type were: Elephas Antiquus, a straight-tusked elephant that stood as tall as the eve of a two-story house; Dinohyus, an European pig nearly 3.3 meters (11 feet) in length and standing 2.1 meters (7 feet) high at the shoulders; Dinomys, a rodent that grew as large as a calf; Castoroides, a giant beaver 2.3 meters (7.5 feet) in length; Sthenurus, a 3 meters (10 feet) tall kangaroo; and Patriofelis, a variety of the common house cat the size of a bear.

Complementing the giant mammals, there were oversized birds, insects, fish, and plants. The giant proportions of birds were exemplified by Dinornus, an ostrich-like bird similar to the New Zealand moas that stood 4 m (13 ft) high and could peer over the back of a grown elephant. Aepyornis, a 2.1 m (7 ft) tall elephant bird, was another giant; he may have perched on the back of Elephas Antiquus in hope that the giant would turn up Arthropleura, a man-sized millipede. There was also Argentavis magnificens, a vulture with an enormous wing spread of 9 m (30 ft), which was one of the largest of known flying birds. In the sea there was Pterygotus, a 2.3 m (7.5 ft) long sea scorpion, which may have been the prey of Myliobatis, a 4.6 m (15 ft) giant ray. There also was Archelon, a giant sea turtle that was as large as a compact car.
Note to Layout: Insert Photo 19 (Grizzly Sequoia)

On land, there were plants of colossal proportions. The lowly club mosses, similar to the ends of a pine branch, grew 30 m (100 ft) skyward in competition with trees; their bases were as large as colonial pillars. There were ferns that grew as tall as a house and giant flowering horsetails that were pollinated by giant flying insects. One of the few species of giant plants to survive is the sequoia, commonly referred to as the California redwood: the sequoia reaches a height of 90 m (300 ft).

Coinciding with the discovery of familiar, but oversized, species were animals that have no living counterpart. There was Glyptodon, a giant species of the armadillo family whose solid armor plate and retractable head made it almost impregnable to attack. Another strange animal was Baluchitherium, an extinct hornless rhino that stood 5.5 m (18 ft) high at the shoulders; the beast is currently designated to be the largest of all land mammals (dinosaurs excluded).

The discovery of these giants demanded a scientific explanation, but only theories developed. The most popular suggestion (interjected in the introduction, and still believed by many today) is that, for some unknown reason many animals were unable to board the Ark and were drowned in the great flood. The theory has little credibility; again, the Bible clearly states that Noah was instructed to take pairs "of every living thing of all flesh" into the safety of the Ark. The commandment would have included Iguanodon, Glyptodon, and Baluchitherium, animals that would no doubt still be alive today. Thus, one scripture defeats the theory and strips it of any scientific merit. The statement of fact will be confirmed to the complete satisfaction of the reader as the investigation progresses.

Prior to the discovery of colossal reptiles and the encroachment of earth sciences, the Bible was considered by many to be the infallible Word of God. It was an accurate history of the world, containing clues to the innermost secrets of the universe. The unearthing of oversized animals did not shake this belief, but the discovery of giant reptiles, and the developing theory of evolution, presented a challenge to the cleric scholarship as no other event had previously: the discovery was debilitating, to say the least.

The unearthing of fossilized giants prompted fanciful dreams of the imagination. Man began to visualize giant reptiles roaming an ancient earth. The visualization prompted interesting speculations, the most intriguing of which, was man included in the food chain? While the bones of a 5.5 m (18 ft) high extinct rhino aroused interest, it did not satisfy man's quest for adventure as did the Mosasaurus and Megalosaurus, two flesh eating monsters. Needless to say, the discovery of dinosaur fossils demanded a more plausible explanation than that of being drowned in the great flood.
The seeming vulnerability in the historical record sparked a revival of the then heretical theory promoted by Frenchman Jean Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829). Lamarck suggested that different species developed from lower to more highly complex forms over a great period of time. The idea was not new; evolution has been around since the ancient Greeks. Lamarck made his mark in history by depicting the theoretical ascent by means of an evolutionary tree, illustrating the evolution of a simple unicellular organism to modern man. The naturalist's views served to strengthen Darwin's deepening conviction that evolution had occurred."

Text was taken from Volume 1 of The Quest for Right.

Marcy Muser said...

Bob,

Sorry, but name-calling gets you nowhere in a discussion of logical issues. In fact, calling creationists dummies rather than engaging their arguments reveals only your own lack of understanding of the real issues. Joe's posts provide very strong arguments about ways Darwinists help the cause of intelligent design advocates (only some of whom, by the way, believe in God - some are atheists but try to look at the science objectively, and find evidence for design). You have apparently followed none of the links provided in this post, nor have you engaged the issues raised in them, preferring instead to call names.

You have entirely undermined your own credibility.

Marcy Muser said...

David,

I have no idea what the point of your rather lengthy post was. I entirely agree with the author you quote - the Bible makes it clear that two of every kind of animal was on Noah's ark. Which leads clearly to the conclusion that either a) some or all of these enormous animals were extinct by the time Noah got on the ark; or b) more likely, they were on the ark.

After all, the ark was not the tiny, cute boat depicted in many children's books - it was enormous. It was 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. That's as big as a four-story apartment building one block long. It had the carrying capacity of 522 railroad stock cars!

A boat that big could hold 125,280 sheep-sized animals. If there needed to be a representative of every type of land animal (for example, not just a "horse kind" of animal, but a separate pair of donkeys, zebras, and horses), Noah might have needed to carry 50,000 animals (and most of those are much smaller than a sheep). The ark was plenty big enough for that number of animals.

As for the huge animals, keep in mind that they all started out small. Doubtless Noah would not have carried the largest specimen he could find of any species - rather, especially in the case of the giant animals, he would have carried younger, smaller animals.

If the giant animals in fact WERE carried on Noah's ark, then the obvious answer to what happened to them is that they became extinct after the great flood. Given the type of global changes the Bible says happened, it would seem likely that the environment on the earth before the flood was significantly different from what it was after the flood - that in itself may have led to the extinction of the giant animals. Or perhaps they became extinct for the same kinds of reasons animals become extinct today.

You see, the giant animals provide no reason to doubt Biblical history. If the clergy of the 18th and 19th centuries did not know enough science to explain what happened, that doesn't necessarily mean the Bible was wrong - only that the people charged with interpreting didn't understand it or the science well enough.