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Friday, May 9, 2008

Part I - Commandment 1: Thou Shall Have No Other gods before Me

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Evolution - Part 1.mp3


To the left is a picture of the new Holy Scriptures. The textbook for the Atheist; it has become quite a monument in today's society and quite a formidable foe, but is it...

What makes the theory of evolution so formidable is the claim that it is scientific and, like it or not, we live in a time when the scientists of our day speak ex-cathedra; infallibly like the Roman Catholic Pope. Indeed it is true that scientists do important work and have contributed a great deal to our understanding of our surroundings. And so yes, I do place a lot of value on what scientist have to say. Let’s not forget however, that scientists just like the rest of us are susceptible to their own prejudice. All of us, without exception, wear glasses. So then, do the evolutionists wield a big stick? Is the theory of evolution scientific? To answer this question we have to look at what constitutes a study that is scientific. To be sure there are many approaches to science but let me offer five guidelines that are typically employed by scientists when studying a phenomena.

1. The scientist must not go beyond the natural order. Supernatural explanations are strictly prohibited.
2. The scientist must view all facts as a “brute fact.” Not personal or oriented to a goal. In other words, don’t have an ultimate goal when you engage in scientific inquiry. FYI the fancy word for this is teleological: not oriented to a specific goal. Christians believe in a teleological world in that everything in it is oriented to serve God’s glory.
3. Science ought not to be religious in nature. People expect scientists to be open minded and without prejudice.
4. Scientific theories are tested in an observational way; no speculations.
5. Scientific theories are not propounded dogmatically. They are always open to being tested by our observations.
[Taken from Greg Bahnsen’s speech on Evolution.]

I am sure you can probably add a few more guidelines to this list but I think you would all agree that this is a pretty good starting point. Notice how the list restrains the scientist because remember, in this first presentation, we are looking at the history and proponents of the theory of evolution.

The publishing of Charles Darwin’s book, “On the Origin of Species” in 1859, represents a significant turning point in the history of mankind. I think it is right up there with the protestant reformation quite frankly. And it was significant because if man can be understood in a completely naturalistic way, then what need is there for theistic explanations. You see the ramifications here; we get to do away with those pesky Christians once and for all. Charles Hodge, the well known Princeton theologian wrote a book titled “What is Darwinism” and he answered: simply put Darwinism is Atheism. In 1857 Darwin ended a trip he took to the Galapagos Islands then in the two years leading up to his formulation of the theory of evolution, he came to declare in his personal life his rejection of everlasting punishment. Darwin said, “It is a damnable doctrine” to believe that God would damn people for all eternity. He also rejected the Gospels, you know, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and by implication the whole of the New Testament because of the story of miracles they contain [The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, 5th ed. (London, 1869), p. 571.]. Why is all this important? It is important because you should know that Darwin himself was not neutral and objective, he had an axe to grind. He was not indifferent or neutral on religious claims. This same Darwin also said of special creation, and I quote, that it is, “a curious illustration of the blindness of preconceived opinions.” He also said that, “No shadow of reason can be assigned to the belief that variations in the natural order were intentionally and specifically guided.” [The Variations of Animals and Plants Under Domestication (New York: 1868), II, 515-516].I ask you, does this sound like an objective scientist to you? Remarkably we hear this sort of sentiment today. Alfred Wallace, the man who co-formulated the theory of evolution with Darwin, broke with Darwin and declared that natural selection does not apply to man. Wallace said, “A superior intelligence has guided the development of man for a special purpose and for a special reason.” Now pay attention here: When Darwin got wind of this, he called it, “a disdainful anchoring for miracles” and a lack of nerves on Wallace’s part [Morton O. Beckner, "Darwinism," EP, II, 300-301; cf. T.A. Goudge, "Wallace, Alfred Russell," EP, VIII, 276.]. You see from the very beginning evolutionists have made it very clear that evolution is anti religious in its nature. In 1873 President Bernard of Columbia University explained that if evolution were true, the existence of God would be impossible [Cited in Loren Eisley, Darwin's Century (New York: Doubleday & Co., 1958), p. 193.]. The German Materialist Dr. L Buckner went on to say, that is what the theory does, it proves there is no god.

Let me further drive this point home: T.H. Huxley, the man who was called “Darwin’s bulldog,” said (and you are going to love this), “Yet I found that, whatever route I took, before long I came to a tall formidable-looking fence. Confident as I might be in the existence of an ancient and indefeasible right of way, before me stood the thorny barrier with its comminatory notice board - "No thoroughfare - By order, Moses."... The only alternatives were to give up my journey which I was not minded to do - or to break the fence down and go”[Science and Christian Tradition, cited in Jones, loc. Cit.]. When you hear defenders of the theory speak in this way with the linguistic flair that he employs, it should be obvious that when people say the theory of evolution is just a neutral attempt to explain things, that they are not telling you the whole story. Let me quote Huxley one more time: On the Origin of the Species Huxley said, “it is a flash of light which to a man who has lost himself in a dark night suddenly reveals a road that whether it takes him home or not, certainly goes his way” [Life and Letters of T.H. Huxley, ed. Leonard Husley, 2nd ed. (London: 1903), I, 245-246.]. Well, need I say more; Darwinism was going his way. Let me tell you a true story, In 1981 the British Natural History Museum created an exhibit on Darwin's theory. The museum stated that evolution was "one possible explanation" as to "why there are so many different kinds of living things"; it also noted that "the concept of evolution by natural selection is not strictly speaking scientific" because it had not been empirically demonstrated. This honest skepticism caused such anger, there was such an uproar both politically and otherwise that the museum had to eliminate any mention of the problems with Darwinism. This theory is now a god, laying down laws; you shall not have any other gods before me. This is not science and its proponents are more analogous to clergy than they are to scientist. Today this law is still in effect: There is a movie out right now called, “Expelled – No Intelligence Allowed” and in this movie one of the proponents of Darwin’s theory said this, I’m paraphrasing here, “If we allow intelligent design to be taught in schools then the church will seize upon the opportunity to reintroduce religion into our most sacred place for learning. I can’t predict the future, maybe this guy is right but when have scientists ever been concerned about the repercussions of seeking the truth? How is this in any way scientific?

So then, what shall we say to all this? Are the historic and present proponents of Darwin’s theory interested in true science? I think I have pretty much shown, and you might want to debate me on this, that what you smell right now is proof that indeed something is rotten in Denmark. Charles Darwin and followers of his theory aren’t in the least bit concerned about the truth. They have a commitment to the annihilation of all things theistic. In part II of this presentation I will show that a pre-commitment to the theory of evolution is the least of the evolutionist problems (the very thing that is forbidden when doing science) and that the system itself leaves much to be desired, logically speaking. I look forward to your comments and until part II of this presentation, goodbye.

COPYRIGHT 2008 POLITICAL AGENDA

10 Comments:

Blogger The Terror said...

Danian,

I commend you for doing your homework, as is evident by the references in the written version. I would ask you however, is it any surprise that a scientist have convictions on religious matters? Would not a Christian scientist be faced with the same problems; separating his faith from his science?

Good topic Danian

May 13, 2008 at 12:04 PM  
Blogger Danian Michael said...

Thanks for the compliment Terror,

And a great question. As I have stated, we all wear glasses, their are no exceptions. Christians have never had a problem with that and we are very open about our presuppositions. What I don't accept is the scientist's claim that we are objective and are just neutrally seeking the truth. From Darwin to Wallace to Huxley and on it goes, none of the proponents of evolution are what they claim to be; neutral. They need to be honest with themselves and all of us that from their point of view, it would be great if God didn't exist and that is what I'm trying to prove.

What do you think?

May 13, 2008 at 1:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great point. I saw Ben Stein's movie "Expelled". I think we can say that the evolutionists have somehow claimed the high ground of being unquestionable. With such flaws in the theory, we have to ask why. Ben Stein did a great job of showing that anyone who even questions any part of evolution (speaking of macro evolution here--that all species evolved from some unknown mush, crystal, big bang, whatever)is ridiculed. When it's in fact that which seems riduclous and is not based in anything that has been proven. Looking forward to the rest of the presentation, Danian...and I definitely recommed the movie to anyone who did not see it.

May 13, 2008 at 4:53 PM  
Blogger Reality Check said...

Yes, this is a very interesting topic!

I have the following issues with your argument, however.

1. Your limited selection of evolution defenders and the corresponding negation of the entire scientific approach because of the few examples you provide.
2. Your emotion evoking declaration that evolution is an attack on Christianity.

Let me briefly expand on my concerns.

1. You have provided a few examples of the defenders of evolution that could be considered 'bad seeds', not being entirely objective and perhaps having issues with religion. Is it fair to cast the entire scientific community or proponents of evolution into doubt because of these individuals? What about all of the anthropologists and genetic researchers who are studying evolution objectively by collecing field data and performing laboratory research to provide the empirical proof required to declare this hypothesis a theory? The scientific method is not in error, but it can be misused, just as religion can be misused.

2. Is evolution really an attack on Christianity? I think that the majority of people believe in something that 'makes sense' to them without really caring too much about what beliefs others hold. I believe in evolution and I also believe in god, albeit not your image of God. I certainly don't care what Christians think and hold to be true. Sure, there are some believers of evolution that may detest religion, such as your examples, but I could just as easily find religous believers who equally detest believers of evolution. Who's right? Evolution can't be fully proven yet and religion requires faith that the written word is actually devine. Who can be proven factually? No one!

Additionally, you state that Darwinism is atheism. I haven't read the "Origin of Species" so I won't argue that point, but you seem to imply that then evolution is atheism. Is that a logical deduction? Is it true that evolution = Darwinism? I think you have to take out the Darwin subjective influence from modern day evolution theory. Can't evolution be part of a divine plan? You stated, "In 1873 President Bernard of Columbia University explained that if evolution were true, the existence of God would be impossible [Cited in Loren Eisley, Darwin's Century (New York: Doubleday & Co., 1958), p. 193.]. The German Materialist Dr. L Buckner went on to say, that is what the theory does, it proves there is no god." I disagree wholeheartedly. Believing in evolution and even the big bang does not mandate atheism even if some believers of evolution and the big bang do gravitate towards atheism. Many astrophysicists and other scientists have converted from atheism to a religion because, while still believing in the evolution of species and the unfolding of our universe, they have come to the conclusion that the awesome nature of it can only be divinely influenced!

I think that the spectrum of creation story beliefs is very broad if not infinite. You can debate the bookends that represent a fraction of the population, but you can't lump everyone else into those bookends in the process.

Looking forward to next week's blog! :)

May 13, 2008 at 5:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Danian,

As a person well educated in engineering studies, you know that the goal of science is to aim at the discoveries for the mysteries of nature. The publication of "On the Origin of Species" was indeed a turning point for mankind, but it is wrong to assume that just because the theory of evolution does not harmonize well with religious doctrine, that it is the goal of evolutionists to generate "annihilation of all things theistic" or to "do away with those pesky Christians." Why is it hard to believe that evolutionists have the goals of science as motivation? Perhaps the Theory of Evolution was such a great turning point because it offered something that made sense to skeptics, who otherwise had no real scientific leg to stand on?

You have to understand, there is frustration seen by the evolutionists caused by the resistence to even partially accept the theory. They believe that evolution is (likely) the most important scientific discovery of all time. Ignoring its validity is as bad as ignoring any other discovery ever made in the history of the world.

For fun, imagine stumbling upon a fountain of youth; one that can by tested and studied, and even reproduced in a laboratory. Would you be "evil" for having made a possible discovery? And I say "possible" discovery because the true proponents of evolution do not say that it is a fact, they say that it is a theory. The problem with creationism is that it is not even a theory, it is somewhat of a hypothesis at best. A theory can provide evidence that can be tested, modeled, and reproduced. Creationism has yet to provide a single piece of such evidence. It is by nature, not testable, since it is founded on faith alone.

Dare I suggest that anyone begin to investigate the actual motivation behind the folks who originally suggested creation according to Genesis as a source of life. Was it their intention to do away with those pesky Greek Mythologists?

I realize that this discussion is not aimed at creationism, but to understand the benefits of evolution it is important to understand the shortcomings of creationism.

May 14, 2008 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger Danian Michael said...

I have to ask, what is with all the fake names? Is no one willing to stand behind their convictions? You guys are debating me like insurgents in Iraq; without uniform.

That said, “Reality check,” Thank you for your very thoughtful response.

You know in a way, the 3-part nature of the presentation although necessary, can also be a drawback; because in many ways the whole presentation is needed for a full appreciation of my point-of-view. Well I am not going to give away the ending; suffice it to say that a religious pre-commitment to evolution is only one of the reasons followers of the theory can NOT be said to be doing science.

Let me respond to you point for point:

Point 1. I thought it was quite interesting your statement, “You have provided a few examples of the defenders of evolution that could be considered bad seeds.” Do you realize these bad seeds are Darwin himself, Alfred Wallace and T.H. Huxley; The creator, co-creator and staunchest defender of the theory? Call my examination of history what you will but do not call it selective. I have looked at the three most important figures in the theory and faced them straight on.

Point 2. I can rebut your proposal with one question: Why is it forbidden to teach an alternative to Evolution in our schools? If the evolutionists are so objective, only looking for the truth, why will a teacher be fired for teaching Intelligent Design (I.D.) in California public schools? Why are research grants so hard to come by for I.D. scientists? Ok several questions but you get the point. What about the account of the British Historical Museum and my paraphrasing of the evolution scientist from the movie? How do you surmount all these rejections of the theistic proofs? Furthermore, if a completely naturalistic view of the world isn’t atheistic, I don’t know what is. I also don’t accept your description and quite frankly what you are insinuating is the Christian position. No we don’t have faith in an irrational worldview as I have stated, my own belief is that the Christian worldview is completely rational (the topic for a whole other debate). And finally what you are attempting to do is redefine evolution and then all your arguments will be true by definition. Evolution has historically meant all that you see has evolved from nothing through the process of natural selection, unguided by a creator’s hands. To be sure evolutionists today have tried to cope with the problems in the theory with modifications; the idea that all the species that exist today came about through natural selection have been quietly abandoned for example. Lack of taxonomic evidence in the fossil record as spurred other modifications. The point is they are trying to tinker with the cake mix so that it will be able to write a constitution but they are still clinging to the cake mix; the cake mix of course being Darwinian Evolution.

What say you reality check?

May 14, 2008 at 9:11 PM  
Blogger Danian Michael said...

Hello Anonymous,

Thank you for your time not only in listening but also in responding.

You wrote a pretty thoughtful response but I am still trying to figure out who you were responding to. At least 70% of the things you accused me of I never said and the other 30% are assumptions based on what; your idea of who Christians are (but not this Christian)?

First of all, go back through my presentation, I never said or even alluded to the idea or assumption that evolution does not harmonize well with religious doctrine and I certainly did not draw any conclusions from statements I didn’t make; that because of the lack of harmony evolutionist want to annihilate all things theistic. Quite frankly, I don’t care if the theory of evolution meshes well with the Christian worldview; does it harmonize well with its self, now that is where my interest is. And it should have been clear from my presentation that this was my goal and attitude given that part II will be an ‘internal’ critique of the theory. Indeed I think that you have only proven my point that the theory boils down to atheism. Do you understand the difference; I am saying that, proponents, of the theory are anti-religious in their outlook on life and I gave quote after quote to show this. When you make statements like this, “I realize that this discussion is not aimed at creationism, but to understand the benefits of evolution it is important to understand the shortcomings of creationism” you only prove my point. Why does a study of the theory have to naturally start with or involve showing the problems in creationism? If it is scientific then it should start and finish with observing the evidence.

You also said, “Why is it hard to believe that evolutionists have the goals of science as a motivation?” Again did you listen to or read my presentation? Go back and look at the account of the British Natural History Museum; the exhibit itself said that the theory was not strictly speaking, scientific because it had not been proven empirically. You should know that the world is still waiting for that evidence. Darwin, when he developed the theory, had not observed the evolution of the species nor did he have anything close to fossil records supporting his assumption. It is hard to accept the goal of science as the motivation for the evolutionist because there is no scientific evidence for the theory and I defy anyone to show me any. But I’m getting ahead of myself this I will deal with in part II and III. Now I hate to burst your bubble Anonymous, but it is simply not true that the, “theory can provide evidence that can be tested, modeled, and reproduced.” Where has the evolution of different species ever been proven? Please give me some sources for this very outlandish claim.

Finally, perhaps your most outrageous claim is this, “Creationism has yet to provide a single piece of such evidence. It is by nature, not testable, since it is founded on faith alone.” Statements like these just show your very deep bias and that you have not done your homework. Saying that Christians have not presented any proof is just factually incorrect. The question is actually a philosophical in nature and depends greatly on what our presuppositions are, but that’s a topic for a whole other presentation. This topic is not about Christianity but about the theory of evolution.

What say you Anonymous?

May 17, 2008 at 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Danian,

I apologize for jumping ahead in my last comment. I think we can agree that this topic promotes a sense of emotion which causes us to want to quickly draw our guns.

I do understand your argument; it sometimes appears as though evolution is its own religion. This is not unlike the accusation that atheism is actually a belief system. This is false logic. Disbelief is not a belief. (For example, if you do not believe in Islam, you are not a member of The Church of Non-Islam Believers)

Is evolution atheism? I am not aware of an official statement by the scientific community saying so, but I think ultimately it would be best for us to make this connection.

What I am not sure of is your argument that evolution proponents are not honest with themselves. I argue that they are true to what they believe, and to what evidence has shown them. In the same way, creationists are absolutely sure of what they believe. The problem comes with communicating the evidence supporting the belief. It seems to me that if we could intelligently examine the actual evidence in open discourse, we could maybe see the right path. The real problem is that this discourse does not currently have a forum, because of religious tolerance and political correctness. We need to let REASON take the microphone and give its two cents.

It seems to me that the best way to understand the issue at hand is to consider the following division:

a) The theory of evolution itself.
b) The proponents of the theory of evolution.

Your argument suggests that the proponents of evolution themselves should only, at all times, be objective, but 'science' is not really making this case. The goals for science would state the experiments should be objective, non-teleological, and without prejudice. If, in fact, some proponents of evolution are (were) acting as if by political motivation, this does nothing to weaken (the evidence for) the theory itself. If we are talking science here, which should be the case for both evolution and creation, should we care how the proponents of either side act? Should not the ‘evidence’ and tests just follow the scientific method and speak for themselves? If Einstein was instead a Nazi, would his theory of relativity be discounted?

The example of the British Natural History Museum seems to support your thesis, but I am not sure it really displays your intention until we further examine the 'evidence' of both sides, which appears to be your goal in part II of the discussion. (I look forward to your analysis, by the way.) If there is, as I believe, overwhelming evidence supporting evolution, then the outrage would be warranted. If a giant disclaimer was placed on every Holy Bible stating something like, "No evidence exists whatsoever for the matters suggested within," there would of course be outrage by the folks who truly believe the hypothesis for creationism. It is simply human nature to argue the opposition.

I am sorry, but saying that evidence does not exist for evolution, but does for creationism is just a cyclical argument. Furthermore, your claim is no less ‘outlandish’.

--D

May 20, 2008 at 10:34 AM  
Blogger Danian Michael said...

Anonymous,

You said, “This is not unlike the accusation that atheism is actually a belief system. This is false logic. Disbelief is not a belief. (For example, if you do not believe in Islam, you are not a member of The Church of Non-Islam Believers).” Actually atheists belief there is no god and also in a completely naturalistic world. What you have described is something closer to agnosticism where someone is unconvinced by the arguments for God. Darwin developed a theory that did not argue disbelief, indeed he argued for a belief in the fact that everything we see around us has a naturalistic explanation, again that is by definition atheism. Now I have given you quote after quote of what the most important evolutionists have said against a belief in God. What more can I do.

You also said, “If, in fact, some proponents of evolution are (were) acting as if by political motivation, this does nothing to weaken (the evidence for) the theory itself. If we are talking science here, which should be the case for both evolution and creation, should we care how the proponents of either side act?” On this point you and I are in complete agreement. If Atheism or Christianity is true or false it will have nothing to do with the behavior of its followers. Both atheists and Christians can be equally emotional. That being said, I defy you to show me in any part of my presentation where I made that connection; just copy and paste it into an e-mail and send it to me. I have not said that atheism is debunked because its followers have a religious pre-commitment to the theory; in fact I have stayed away from any meaningful critique of the theory thus far. My first presentation was about the history and proponents of the theory. And this study was important because we should all know what kind of glasses the scientist wear when they do science.

In part II I will look at the theory itself to figure out if it holds water… stay tuned.

May 24, 2008 at 4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Author blog.politicalagenda.net !
I am sorry, that has interfered... At me a similar situation. I invite to discussion.

December 19, 2009 at 7:17 AM  

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