At least read the book…

…before you attempt to discredit Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Darwin’s theory is an excellent example of conroversy created out of nothing but gossip, speculation and misinformation.

Oleg Volk reintroduced me to Fred on Everything recently. Fred has some very good and provocative essays. This one however seems to have been written in a vacuum.

I think nearly every question or concern in the essay is addressed carefully and in detail in “On the Origin of Species”.

Also, Darwin was a religious man. I don’t understand the conflict between religion and science. It seems to me that they have the common goal (ostensibly at least) of furthering the cause of general understanding. The only way that conflict makes sense is if those individuals fomenting the conflict are more concerned with power and control than with the process of enlightenment (one cancels the other).


9 thoughts on “At least read the book…

  1. I have always been confused by evangelicals complaints about Evolution and the Scientific method in general. First as a disclaimer I am a traditional Catholic, but from my standpoint evolution doesn’t really tell us anything about the existence of God. It neither proves nor disproves him, it only lays out a process that we observe all the time in nature. (Hence a new flu strain evolves to get around everyone’s previous immunity from the previous year). I think what it comes down to is they are bible literalists instead of looking at it as some parts of the bible are allegory and when looked at that way it isn’t a problem. I mean consider the Hebrews at the time of the old testament when the creation story was given. Even after all they had witnessed in getting out of Egypt as soon as Moses goes up on the mountain for 40 days to receive the 10 commandments they freak out and start making a golden calf to worship after having witnessed miracles directly. Does one really think those people were sophisticated enough for God to tell them the whole natural process of what occurs and that the universe was billions of years old. They couldn’t have grasped it anyway. Science does a wonderful job of explaining what we see in the natural world and giving us a better understanding of our universe. It can’t speak to us about the supernatural world by definition.

  2. Darwin didn’t understand the difference between a genotype and a phenotype. Modern evolutionists intentionally blur the line when they talk to keep the lie alive. Darwin saw natural selection causing the same type of animal to look slightly different. Thats phenotypic change. But at the genotypic level all thats happening is normal variability within a species. When a population inbreeds and becomes distinctive, it’s because of a loss of genetic information, not because new information is magically or by any other means being added to the animal’s DNA. When a finch has a long beak it’s because its parents transmitted DNA for long beaks, not because it’s evolving into an eagle. When all the finches have long beaks in one area it’s because the ones with short beak DNA died out of that population. To anyone who looks at what actually happens in the genotypes of living creatures when they breed, it’s blindingly obvious that molecules to man evolution is not supported by what we observe in nature. Just like anthropogenic global warming is not supported by the actual data. But the lies are so big, so brazen, and repeated so often to a population that is so stupid thanks to the public school system that they’re well entrenched.

  3. The oddest part is that he was positing a theory for a source, a cause per se, of Evolution. Natural selection is his theory for what causes evolution. He thought Evolution so obvious he didn’t make an argument for Evolution. This book and his later writings assume Evolution occurs and he just wanted to explain why. He came back and edited Origin many many times when new data became available, because as a scientist he knew he didn’t know everything and that he had to have an open mind to interpret data and understand other viewpoints. If genetic information had been available to him, im sure he would hae incorporated ita mechanisms into his understanding. Even with limited understanding f the underlyig processes of genetics, his overall mechanisms for natural selection still hold up to scrutiny today. His father was a physician who studied the human eye using the scientific method, something he passed on to his son, along with his deep religious beliefs.

  4. And I just head-desked at grendel’s comment there. Exact same argument as one contained in a fairly frothing-at-the-mouth, derisive, and contemptuous “look” at a straw-man named “evolution” contained in my seventh-grade science textbook from Abeka-Book, a normally otherwise-quality Christian curricula provider. Even as a seventh-grader, I was able to sift through that chapter and identify numerous cases of straw men, red herrings, circular reasoning, and even a few blatant out-and-out lies, all while accusing unspecified bogeymen called “evolutionists” of exactly the same things they were doing (and don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen this from the atheistic side too, in public school). Worst of all was when this supposedly Christian textbook started misquoting Scripture deliberately in order to “prove” a “point.”

    Here’s the deal. As Classical Liberal has pointed out, the Bible does not say HOW God created the earth. It says that He created it. The argument over how long a “day” in Genesis was will not be finished in my lifetime, or my kids’, or my grandkids’. As my firstborn is still a few months away, that’s quite a while. The rest, the science, the Bible is mostly mute about; it isn’t a scientific textbook, explaining the minutia of biochemistry and nuclear physics, but a religious textbook, explaining the “why” instead of the “how.” Believe the message or not; the exact mechanism of how things got to be what they are is extraneous to the Bible’s message completely.

    I have witnessed miracles. I’ve been the recipient of a couple, including a terrible car wreck a month ago that we all walked away from, where things happened that were flat-out impossible. I have also seen evidences of evolution, not always in the development tree promulgated by anti-Christian atheists, but I’ve still seen evidences of its existence. And I see no divide between the two.

    This whole “Creation vs Evolution” spat is just that – a spat. It is a battle of egos between differing pseudo-scientists, each trying to force material reality and/or Scriptural reality into line with their particular ideas, for a goal no more noble than “I’m right and you’re wrong, neener-neener-neener.” Creation and Evolution do not disprove each other any more than they provide proof for each other. But this “debate” is getting in the way of actual study, and has been, for decades now, belittling theological opponents at the expense both of science and faith.

    Grow up, get over yourselves, atheists and Christians alike, and study natural history honestly, instead of through the tainted stained glass windows of your personal churches to your own pride and stubbornness.

    • With regard to your last paragraph, you seem to argue that there is some “Neutral” position we should study natural history from. But either we believe what the Bible plainly teaches and use it as our ultimate source od authority and truth, or we put some human philosophy over it to judge which parts of it are true. There is no neutrality, either our ultimate authority is God’s Word or man’s word. And since man’s judgement is fallible while God’s is not, it’s obvious to me who I should put my trust in.

      You assert that the Bible provides meaning, that it explains the why, but not the how. Nevertheless if there were millions of years of death and suffering before Adam sinned, then Adam’s sin didn’t cause suffering and death. And if Adam’s sin didn’t cause suffering and death to enter the world, what hope do we have that the second Adam’s (Christ) sacrifice can redeem us from sin? And if the earth, animals, and man were not made “Very good” at the beginning, but instead arose through natural processes through millions of years of death and suffering, then what hope do we have in the Bible’s promises that Christ will return and that there will be a new heaven and a new earth, free from sin and suffering?

      • It’s more that I try fairly hard not to allow someone else’s interpretation of the Bible to color my own without evidence. When someone tells me the earth is X number of years old, I flat-out disbelieve them, regardless of which “camp” they sit in. Science cannot prove the age of the earth with any reliable accuracy – we weren’t there. Neither can painstaking geneologies, for they have been known to skip generations at once; they merely provide a list of heredity, with names that would have been recognizable for their prominence. Even where it says “X was the father of Y,” well, Abraham was the father of Israel. Jacob, also called Israel, was his grandson.

        To top it off (make matters worse?) I personally don’t believe the 7 days of Creation are over, but that we’re still in the sixth day.

        It all sums up to “we don’t know, but we’re trying to find out.” Picking set positions and refusing to admit the possibility of being wrong gets in the way of finding out whether or not we’re right.

        I really don’t think this conversation will do either of us much good if it continues, however. It’s an “angels dancing on pinheads” situation to me, whichever direction it goes, and an excellent illustration of how we can get sidetracked on minutia. For, whether or not either one of us is right (or both wrong), what ultimately matters is “God created,” and “God saved.”

      • And I’ve argued for many, many hours with folks in person and online about how it’s impossible to know how many angels can dance on a pin, or how old the earth is, yet I’m no richer or wiser for it.

        We agree on the important stuff. The rest is just details.

  5. Edited to add: This was not a slam at you, Grendel; you merely set off and helped direct a rant I have delivered many times since my elementary / high school days, because you reminded me of the many bogus arguments I saw from both “sides” during that time.

  6. Emotion should be kept out of any argument. More and more I’m defining emotion as a departure from objectivity.

    Someone said that I was advocating neutrality in this post. I’d say that I’m advocating curiosity.

    Do you read something directly before discussing it, or read someone else’s review on it and then talk about it?

    Do you read things wanting to reach a particular conclusion (looking to support an agenda) or do you read things simply out of curiosity? There’s a big difference.

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