Friday, February 07, 2014

Does an understanding of evolution help scientists understand the secrets of biology?

You're probably wondering why I would ask a question like, "Does an understanding of evolution help scientists understand the secrets of biology?" It's not my question. It's a paraphrase of a question asked by someone who goes by the pseudonym "PaV" on Uncommon Descent. Here's the full context from her post: Does Evolutionary Theory Really Help Scientists?
For a number of years, many of us at UD have made the argument that evolutionary theory, in practice, is of almost no help whatsoever in getting at the secrets of biology. I’ve taken the position personally that it actually hurts, and that it is not a matter of indifference to the study of biology whether evolution is employed or not. ID is the way to go.
Now, besides the fact that she is an IDiot, you may be asking why anyone would write such a thing.

Here's the scoop. Someone was looking at unknown RNAs in zebra fish and discovered that one of them encoded a protein that hadn't previously been characterized. This sort of thing happens all the time in various species so why is PaV so excited?

Here's the answer ...
They’ve studied this embryonic stage for 20 years, and couldn’t figure out the decisive signals for initiation of the gastrula. They had to look to “non-coding” RNA, i.e., “junk DNA,” in order to solve their new found secret.

And why didn’t they study “junk DNA” before? Well, evolutionary theory posits that it is “junk” (their word, not ours), so why investigate.
See? Evolutionary theory actually impedes scientific progress. And you wonder why we call them ....


  1. Hey, wait. Aren't the IDiots always saying that ID doesn't predict that the entire genome is functional? So how does ID help you here?

    By the way, what is that gastrulation signal she's talking about? Is it conserved across species? (Or is comparative biology, being based on evolution, just plain useless?)

  2. Another IDiot who doesn't get the difference between non-coding and junk. It does get tiresome.

  3. 1) In the history of scientific research, living organisms have NEVER formed from non-living matter
    2) NOTHING has ever given birth to something more genetically complex than itself
    3) NO single-celled organism has ever morphed into a multi-cell organism
    4) NO creature has ever given birth to something that was a different kind of organism than itself. Evolutionists believe that over time, lizards change into birds and fish turn into mammals. Yet, of all the billions of lizards on Earth, not a single one is in turning into a bird. Of all the billions of fish on Earth, not a single one is in the process of becoming a mammal.
    5) NEVER in the history of science has any mutation benefitted an animal's species long term, or made it more genetically complex.
    6) Transitional species required for the theory of evolution to be true are called “missing links,” instead of “links,” because they DO NOT EXIST despite the claims of evolutionists
    7) It is IMPOSSIBLE for a cold blooded animal to give birth to a warm blooded animal.
    8) Plants have been around since the beginning of life, and despite all the supposed evolution that should've taken place NONE have evolved intelligence.
    9) There are NO INSTANCES of plants morphing into animals.
    10) Eyes are far more complex than anything man can create, and yet they’ve been around since the first animals of an evolutionist timescale. Evolutionists explanations of how they came about are no more than just-so-stories.
    11) Virtually every species of animal has two genders required for reproduction. How this system could have randomly changed from cell division, when it started, and how it manages to be so consistent is INEXPLICABLE by evolutionists.
    12) Nature is full of "irreducible complexities”. Let evolutionists explain how the knee joint evolved – THEY CAN’T.
    13) NO PROOF HAS EVER BEEN GIVEN to show how a creature can evolve a new body-part to suit its environment.
    14) Spiders have been found perfectly preserved in amber that supposedly date back "hundreds of millions of years,". These spiders spin webs, and are no different from today's modern spiders. If evolution were true, spiders should have changed significantly over millions and millions of years. To the contrary, spiders remain the same spiders throughout the fossil record. How would the first spider gain the ability to spin a web? By accident? EVOLUTIONISTS MUST EXPLAIN.
    15) DNA has to already be present in order to create protein, and protein has to be present in order to create DNA. Both are required as building blocks of a living organism. WHICH FORMED FIRST, randomly, from the primordial soup that may or may not have existed, and how is that possible? EVOLUTIONISTS HAVEN’T A CLUE and if they have then, of course, it is simply SPECULATION LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE THEY CLAIM.
    The "science" of evolution is devoted to proving Darwin was right. It is not in any way an objective science looking for answers. Information is bent to prove the theory. The theory cannot be modified, even though supporters say it can be and is. There is simply nowhere to go from random mutations and natural selection. Biological systems are built from information contained in the gnome. No useful information can come from a source which has an IQ of zero! (random mutations).so natural selection has nothing to work on other than information that is already there - ie producing adaptation - which is all evolution is, the biggest euphemism in science, which should have no euphemisms.

    1. Are you a Jehovah's Witness, mate? This list has been circulated on your sectarian forums for at least seven years. So you can only copy and paste, eh?

    2. So 7 years has passed and you still have no answers. just answer the questions - that's all!

    3. Ooh, fun. Let me start.

      1. Are you talking about spontaneous generation here? Well, of course not.

      2. Define "genetically more complex" so I can tell if there are examples.

      3. Pretty sure I did that myself. And so did you, if you began as a zygote.

      4. That is perhaps the most ignorant thing a creationist has ever said. We must look for that morphing in the past, not the present. Archaeopteryx. Probainognathus.

      5. Well, of course if you're talking about selection, that has nothing to do with benefitting the species, just individuals. "Long term" seems to be there solely as a weasel-phrase to let you dismiss anything I bring up. As for "more complex", isn't that #2 again? There are of course countless examples of beneficial mutations.

      6. Proof by newspaper phrase? There are plenty of non-missing links, you know. Australopithecus afarensis, for example.

      7. This is a silly caricature of evolution. In fact all your questions involve silly caricatures, mostly saltational in nature. But even given that, why should we believe this claim?

      8. No they haven't. Life is around 3.5 billion years old, and the oldest plants are less than 1/8 that old. But I would agree that it's hard to evolve intelligence without a nervous system. How is this an objection to evolution, exactly?

      9. Indeed you are correct. Plants and animals are only distantly related and there is no reason to expect one to turn into the other. How is this an objection to evolution exactly?

      10. Some eyes are complex. Others are fairly simple. There is in fact a nice gradation from simple to complex eyes even in living species. Darwin actually too care of this one pretty well.

      11. Not true, you know. Many animals reproduce asexually. And sex is much older than animals.

      12. "The knee joint" actually has a fairly decent fossil record. I have no idea why you picked it as an example of irreducible complexity, since it's quite a simple thing as body parts go.

      13. Pretty sure we have a good idea how that works. Mutation, selection, and maybe a bit of drift for Larry. And we have plenty of examples.

      14. You have been misinformed. The oldest preserved spider web is about 110 million years old. We don't know what preceded it, as spider web fossils are, as you might imagine, extremely rare. Ancient spiders are not the same as modern ones. That's like claiming that dogs and chickens are the same because they're both tetrapods. Do you know, by the way, that many modern spiders don't spin webs?

      15. That's origin of life research. The answer is that we don't know how life originated, but there are ideas with evidence for them. You could look that up if you liked. Yes, ideas about the origin of life are at present highly speculative, but no, that isn't the case for most of evolutionary biology.

      The science of evolution is devoted to figuring out how evolution works and what its past course has been. I really love your spelling "gnome"; adds a fine note of fantasy. Thanks for the rant.

  4. 1. Of course I am, unless, of course, you accept a creator. Perhaps you do.
    2. Trying to duck and dodge are we? Progressively introducing more useful information into DNA which aids the development of complex life on this planet (ie via evolutionary process). Or perhaps you can explain convincingly how half million base pairs from the simplest life form could have progressed to the three billion base pairs that we possess, through random processes producing our genetically complex body plan. Mathematically this is impossible even on an evolutionary timescale.
    3. This is a ridiculous answer. As you well know we are talking about reproduction of the first single cell. You are allowed to speculate, again.
    4. Why must we look for morphing in the past?– give me one valid reason why evolution has stopped. In fact, your side frequently states that evolution is happening before our very eyes! This is fraudulently taught at secondary school when all that is happening is adaptation.
    5. There may well be countless “beneficial” mutations but that is completely different from having a mutation that moves the organism upwards and onwards! The joke is that sickle cell anaemia, which is taught as an example of beneficial mutation, is not at all, to the species (us) as a whole. It’s no different than cutting off someone’s legs and claiming a benefit because they don’t now have athletes foot!
    6. A Bulletin of Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History has stated: “Species appear in the sequence very suddenly, show little or no change during their existence in the record, then abruptly go out of the record. And it is not always clear, in fact it’s rarely clear, that the descendants were actually better adapted than their predecessors. In other words, biological improvement is hard to find.” So where does this lead evolution by natural selection and the significance of so-called transitional fossils? You don’t seem to have grasped the fact that nowhere in the fossil record are found partially formed bones or organs that could be taken for the beginning of a new feature. For instance, there are fossils of various types of flying creatures—birds, bats, extinct pterodactyls which, according to evolutionary theory must have evolved from transitional ancestors. But none of those transitional forms have been found! Are there any fossils of giraffes with necks two thirds or three quarters as long as at present? Are there any fossils of birds evolving a beak from a reptile jaw? Is there any fossil evidence of fish developing an amphibian pelvis, or of fish fins turning into amphibian legs, feet and toes? The fact is, looking for such developing features in the fossil record has proved to be a fruitless quest.

    This agrees with the extensive study made by the Geological Society of London and the Palaeontological Association of England. Professor of natural science John N. Moore reported on the results: “Some 120 scientists, all specialists, prepared 30 chapters in a monumental work of over 800 pages to present the fossil record for plants and animals divided into about 2,500 groups. . . . Each major form or kind of plant and animal is shown to have a separate and distinct history from all the other forms or kinds! Groups of both plants and animals appear suddenly in the fossil record. . . . Whales, bats, horses, primates, elephants, hares, squirrels, etc., all are as distinct at their first appearance as they are now. There is not a trace of a common ancestor, much less a link with any reptile, the supposed progenitor.” Moore added: “No transitional forms have been found in the fossil record very probably because no transitional forms exist in fossil stage at all. Very likely, transitions between animal kinds and/or transitions between plant kinds have never occurred.”
    So, you can quote “examples” of so-called “transitional forms “ till you’re blue in the face. They are what they are, separate, distinct and going nowhere!

  5. 7. This just goes to show how indoctrinated you are.
    8. Your claim of how long life has been around, of course, is based on a number of completely ill-supported assumptions. However, point taken. But the evolution of plants have many inconsistencies with no agreement. Evolution is a random and haphazard process – there is no “intelligence” associated with it. We should be seeing a gradation of species throughout the natural world including animals to plants. We don’t. There is no natural reason for this. It is inexplicable.
    9. As 8.
    10. This is an extremely simple answer to a question that cannot be answered. It would be too long to give you the changes that would have to be gone through in developing the human eye. An impossible number of coincident processes would have to occur and this would be mathematically impossible. The onus is on you to explain. You haven’t done so.
    11. I don’t know what sort of answer that is. Let me help you. In his 2001 book, The Cooperative Gene, evolutionist Mark Ridley wrote “Sex is a puzzle that has not yet been solved; no one knows why it exists”. Evolutionists, including yourself, should freely admit that the origin of gender and sexual reproduction still remains one of the most difficult problems in biology.
    12. I chose it because it is one of the simpler ones so you had a better chance of explaining it. The knee joint has 16 characteristics (a conservative estimate) that are critical to its working. If any one of these is missing – no knee function. It is completely unsatisfactory to say that because other species (eg some apes) contain a similar joint then that shows we have evolved from them. Where did they appear first?
    13. No. You have SPECULATION. We can all speculate. Why don’t you speculate that gnomes (the spelling was deliberate and you fell for it!) come alive at full moon - I’m sure you could come up with something plausible and if it supported an ideology I’m sure many scientists would take it on board – the new paradigm.
    14. Thanks for the information about spiders – I’ll look into it, they’re interesting. However, fossils of spiders similar to those of today are supposedly very old. They are certainly not dogs vs chickens. So no answer to that question either.
    15. And you have no idea on the origin of life but you believe it happened naturally. Well it’s that gnome again!

    1. Before responding point by point, let me bring up a few of the basic misunderstandings of evolution on which your claims are based.

      A. The idea that evolution works by saltation, i.e. a dog giving birth to a cat or a plant magically transforming into an animal. Nope. Evolution is a slow and gradual process in human terms. (And please don't bring up punk eek here; that too is slow and gradual in human terms, just rapid in geological terms.) Evolution hasn't stopped. It's just slow.

      B. The idea that we should see smooth intermediates between modern groups, either in the present or in the fossil record. Nope. The common ancestors of two groups commonly look nothing like either of the groups or any imagined intermediate. The common ancestor of plants and animals, for example, was a single-celled, non-green protist, nothing like either a plant or an animal.

      1. Nobody has ever tried to produce life, as far as I know. Anyway, if we did, wouldn't that just tell you that an intelligent designer was involved? If you want it done naturally, duplicating the natural process, even if we knew the conditions, would take much longer than any human time scale.

      2. I'm not dodging. You have introduced a term whose meaning you have no idea of, and now you have tried to define it by introducing still more terms you also have no idea of. Every insertion mutation, quite a common thing, adds information to the genome. By the way, around 90% of your 3 billion base pairs are useless junk.

      3. Your question had nothing to do with the first single cell. Read it again. As for the origin of multicellularity in animals (one of 5 independent such events), sponges make a good halfway point, don't you think?

      4. Morphing, as you call it, is a fairly slow process. Do you have an analog watch? Can you see the hour hand move? Does that tell you it isn't moving? Looking at the past lets us see a much longer period of time.

      5. "Upwards and onwards" is another term you don't know the meaning of and can't define. See C and D above.

      6. Mined quotes from some creationist web site do not make an argument. I doubt you have ever seen the original article or have any understanding of what it means. If you gave me a real citation I could try to find it and explain it to you. As for transitional forms, I actually mentioned a couple in the reply I gave you. Archaeopteryx, for example, has a very nice partially formed wing, essentially a typical theropod arm with feathers on it, lacking all the fancy anatomical specializations of modern birds.

      7. You have claimed that something is impossible. What is your basis for that claim? See also A above.

    2. And more...

      Whoops. My points C-E somehow got snipped. Here they are:

      C. The idea that natural selection operate to the benefit of the species. Nope. It acts on the reproductive success of individuals. Sickle trait is advantageous where there is malaria, even though homozygotes are lethal.

      D. The idea that evolution is progressive, moving toward some special goal, usually humans. Nope. Much evolution is entirely random. Even adaptive evolution moves only toward immediate, local optima.

      E. The idea that everything is either intelligently guided or chaotic. Nope. There are many completely unguided, natural processes that produce complex order. Snowflakes are a fine example of the result of such a process. Natural selection is one such process. The existence of order and/or complexity does not imply intelligence.
      OK. Now to the numbered points.

      8 & 9. Your expectations are simply wrong. See B and E above. The simple, straight-line intermediates you expect never existed, and the actual intermediates, which resemble neither end point, are generally extinct, and many of them can be found i the fossil record.

      10. Ah, so now it's the human eye specifically. You understand that most vertebrates have similar eyes, right? Again, there's a nice series of intermediate conditions found in living organisms. Darwin pointed this out in the Origin. Or if you want something more recent, try Nilsson, D., and S. Pelger. 1994. A pessimistic estimate of the time required for an eye to evolve. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B 256:53-58.

      11. You understand that Ridley was talking about the origin of sex in single-celled eukaryotes, right? Because that's where it started. Nothing to do with animals; they came later. And originally it involved neither separate sexes nor reproduction. Also, it isn't the origin that's the puzzle; it's the reasons why it's advantageous.

      12. Again, you don't understand that we have a good fossil record for vertebrates and can see knee joints as they evolved all the way back to fish that don't exactly have knees at all. Where they appeared first depends on which primitive joint you want to call the first knee.

      13. How would you know whether it's speculation? You clearly no only as much about biology as is needed to parrot creationist web sites. I am fairly confident that you have never read anything about real biology. Also note the different between knowing that something happened and knowing why it happened. We have much more knowledge about the former than about the latter.

      14. My point about the dogs and chickens is that you are a biased observer. You only see dogs and chickens as radically different because you are more closely related to them than to spiders and notice their differences more easily. Spiders differ among themselves just about as much as dogs and chickens do, if only you would look more closely.

      15. I didn't say I had no idea. In fact I said there were several ideas with suggestive evidence for them. Do you have any evidence for your idea, whatever it is? I bet you don't.

    3. 11. You understand that Ridley was talking about the origin of sex in single-celled eukaryotes, right? Because that's where it started. Nothing to do with animals; they came later. And originally it involved neither separate sexes nor reproduction. Also, it isn't the origin that's the puzzle; it's the reasons why it's advantageous.

      By the way, if God did it, what did he need sexual reproduction for? I can't recall ever seeing any creationist (or IDological) explanation of sex.

    4. Easy. He needed a few more occasions of sin as well as something extra to smite people for.

  6. Thanks John for your comprehensive replies! You have tried to convince me but without success. I realise that your belief is as strong as mine so it wouldn't benefit either of us to continue with this debate, as much as I'd like to. You see, when you say things like 90% of the genome (correct spelling!) is junk - you cannot be serious! Your apparent knowledge of evolution takes a little knock there. Cheers and good luck!

    1. My goal wasn't to convince you of anything. I know you can't be. It was to make you slightly less smug and arrogant in your ignorance. DId I succeed? Your comment on junk DNA suggests I didn't. Please stop telling evolutionary biologists that you know more about evolution than they do and you might get a little more respect.

    2. John – I wasn’t trying to be smug and if it appeared that way then I apologise. Also, I accept that you know considerably more about evolutionary biology than I do – but then those who have made a point of studying Greek mythology have a similar advantage – but that doesn’t mean that it real, does it? Also, has it not crossed your mind that individuals who look at matters in a much more broader way can get a better perspective. You’re perhaps too close to the trees!
      However, my final, final point - I will give you an extract of a letter I compiled recently – I think it describes yours, and other like minded individuals, position exactly.
      Most evolutionists’ evidence supporting their position is unfounded, since none of it is based on direct observation and much of the indirect evidence is disputable. Indeed, evolution as a hypothesis has no basis in experience or in scientific fact. The tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so-stories is because they have this prior commitment: a commitment to naturalism/materialism. The subversive teaching of this philosophy to our children is a tragedy since I have seen not one advantage or benefit documented for a society that is built around materialism and a non-belief in a divine Creator.
      We are all aware that Darwin’s evolutionary principles pervade every aspect of society, not least the scientific community where it has taken on an almost sacred status. It has, indeed, become an ideology. Anyone who dares question it is labelled “stupid, ignorant or insane!” The “theory” is even stated as “fact” even though there is hardly a shred of convincing experimental evidence that supports it, contrary to the incessant submissions of evolutionists.
      Everyone agrees that natural selection can turn long finch beaks into short ones; not everyone agrees that it can turn fish into frogs (the fossil record, for example, shows only when frogs appeared, not where they came from).
      Has any scientist observed the appearance of the first self-reproducing cell, observed the flight of the first bird or the march of the first reptile on land? Has any of this been documented? Scientists have a lot of speculations to offer on these subjects, but real science demands observation, (this is how we get antibiotics, more efficient engines and satellites into space).

      Since none of hypothesised evolutionary phenomena have been observed, there is no objective way to determine if these speculations on the origin and development of life have any relation at all to the real world. So what is evolution? – an ideology. It is therefore not scientific, but a matter of faith, and this despite the fact that it is formulated with "scientific" vocabulary and that many scientists believe it. Few would argue with the notion that ‘things change’, but to take the step from ‘things change’ to ‘and therefore, that’s how it all got here’ is a leap of blind, irrational faith.

      All scientists know this, including L. Harrison Matthews. In his forward to Darwin's 1971 edition of "Origin of the Species", Matthews says, ". . .Belief in the theory of evolution is thus exactly parallel to belief in special creation--both are concepts which believers know to be true but neither, up to the present, has been capable of proof." That situation hasn’t changed.

    3. Yes, you do indeed come across as smug and arrogant. If that isn't by choice, perhaps you should examine your writings a bit more closely. You have just accused evolutionary biologists of being biased and stupid, and you have indeed claimed you know more about the science than we do, since you feel able to assess the state of our field. How could that possibly not sound arrogant?

      I see you have adopted Ken Ham's false and naive distinction between observational and historical science. Completely wrong. Very little that we know is due to what you call "direct observation". Take atomic theory for example (which of course is "just a theory"). How do we know atoms and smaller particles exist? We can't see them; we can only observe their effects. It's the same with evolution. Reject evolution, reject atoms. Your choice.

      I doubt you have ever read anyone's introduction to the Origin of Species. Once again you are taking quotes from creationist web sites. But if L. Harrison Matthews, whoever he was, actually said any such thing, he was egregiously wrong. Now, if you would like to discuss some of the evidence, I would be happy to. But you have to lose that pride in your own ignorance.

    4. Well let’s not be silly - direct observation of the orbital structure of an excited hydrogen atom has been seen using a quantum microscope (also the mapping of surfaces can be done at the atomic level using atomic force microscopy and scanning tunneling microscopy).
      Apart from that fact – we know there are small particles (atoms if you like) through the, yes, atomic theory and the results that have been obtained from predictive experiments (the scientific method). One can actually measure the effects.
      For you to equate atomic theory to the theory of evolution in the same breath would not please many chemists/physicists, I suspect! Evolution is NOT a theory – it’s speculation.
      There are also plenty of experimental techniques that can be used to demonstrate the atomic nature of matter.
      You have absolutely no technique to demonstrate or prove that evolution occurs in its broadest sense – so get real, give up this pseudo-science.
      And it doesn't do your cause any good to have abusive, foul mouthed cannon fodder following your footsteps.

    5. I thought you might bring that up. For a sufficiently indirect meaning of "direct", yes, we have directly observed an atom or two. But is it your claim that we didn't know atoms existed before that point?

      The point is that all these tiny things are inferred from what we can observe, not (with a very few exceptions) observed themselves. And this is exactly how evolutionary biology works too. Nothing at all different. Consider, for example, the detailed similarity between the human and chimpanzee genomes, and further among the genomes of all primates. And if we try to build a tree of relationships using various pieces of genetic data, we always get the same result: humans and chimps closest, then gorillas, then orangutans, then gibbons, then old world monkeys, then new world monkeys, etc. This result can be explained only by a common descent of all those species, with a particular branching pattern. Hey, we actually do that work in a lab, with white coats and everything. Just like you think science has to be. So in what way is that observation of history different from your observation of orbitals? More important, how does it differ from your knowledge that, say, p orbitals existed before the techniques of visualizing them were developed?

      Sorry about the abuse, but your arrogance does invite it. Try to have some respect yourself, and perhaps you will earn more from others.

    6. Has any scientist observed the appearance of the first self-reproducing cell, observed the flight of the first bird or the march of the first reptile on land? Has any of this been documented?

      Since no human could have possibly observed these events, we will just have to make up a story about some invisible god poofing these things into existence. Sounds reasonable.

      And in other news, it has recently been decreed that no person can be convicted of murder based on evidence at the crime scene, unless a police officer directly witnessed the murder (and perhaps took a video of the murder for good measure).

      The accused defense: "Were you there?"

    7. And if forensic scientists tell one story about what happened at the scene of crime (based on the evidence they have gathered), and an itinerant clairvoyant tells another story (based on what spirits revealed to her in a psychic daydream) -- who deserves more confidence?

    8. "And if forensic scientists tell one story about what happened at the scene of crime (based on the evidence they have gathered), and an itinerant clairvoyant tells another story (based on what spirits revealed to her in a psychic daydream) -- who deserves more confidence?"

      This analogy is perfect. I think I will steal it for extensive future use.

      The only problem being I'm sure there's a depressingly large section of the population who wouldn't see much practical difference between calling in a CSI forensic team and calling in a psychic, or wouldn't see the harm in calling in both.

    9. ...or wouldn't see the harm in calling in both.

      All helped along in part by the plethora of bullshit on tv these days. I'm thinking of the channels I once naively thought were committed to educational documentaries: The History Channel, The (from its inception ill-named) Learning Channel and, for shame, The National Geographic Channel.

    10. In 2000, the Polish police carried out a study of the effectiveness of "psychic detectives". Their services are occasionally enlisted, usually at the request of the family of a missing person or a murder victim -- in other words, to give an illusion of hope to people in despair (for which, however, they pay with real money). In the period 1994-1999 there were 440 cases on which psychics were consulted. 432 of their predictions turned out to be mostly or completely wrong, 8 were partly correct (but in 5 cases the solution was obvious, like what may have happened to a mountain climber gone missing for a week in the middle of the winter season). Not a single one was completely correct. The number of cases in which missing people have been found thanks to "psychic evidence" is zero. Which od course does not prevent psychics from boasting about their detective skills, or tabloid journalists from selling this bullshit to their readers; or numerous websites from echoing it.

      It's the same worldwide, I suppose. The case of the clairvoyant who "located" one of the victims of the Long Island serial killer is typical as well as instructive:

    11. @Piotr Gąsiorowski

      "In 2000, the Polish police carried out a study of the effectiveness of "psychic detectives". ..."

      Is this study available online?

    12. I know of it from secondary sources such as these:,126568,10569070,Prokuratura_uwierzyla_w_jasnowidza___.html,114871,14000927,Prokuratura_powoluje_jasnowidza_Jackowskiego_jako.html

      I have tried to find the report itself, but with no success so far.

      Correction: of the 8 "partly correct" predictions 3 were obvious and the remaining 5 less so. Not too impressive anyway.

    13. Thanks, Piotr. That is sufficient.

      I also tried to find it with no success.

  7. George Wald, winner of the 1967 Nobel Peace Prize, in “Science” ("The Origin of Life," Scientific American, 191:48. May 1954) stated,
    “When it comes to the origin of life on this earth, there are only two possibilities: creation or spontaneous generation. There is no third way. Spontaneous generation was disproved (by Louis Pasteur) 100 years ago, but that leads us only to one other conclusion: that of supernatural creation. We cannot accept that on philosophical grounds; therefore, we choose to believe the impossible: that life arose spontaneously by chance”.
    This quotation indicates the reason why opinions are sometimes used as facts. The only alternative, special creation, is totally unacceptable to many people. Evolution is upheld because creation is an unacceptable (unbelievable) alternative. This dogma is promoted ardently by atheists. What is their ultimate goal? To remove God from ANY possible thought derived from public and private education. It has been a long, purposeful, and deliberate attack on Christianity.

    Evolution has become a scientific religion.

    The “science” of evolution is devoted to proving Darwin was right. It is not in any way an objective science looking for answers. Information and testing is bent to prove the theory.

    As a (retired) research and development chemist I know the beauty of science, when it is describing and rationalising how nature works - when objects and events in nature can be isolated, studied in the laboratory by experiments that are repeatable. However, historical science is a completely different matter and becomes much more subjective. The models developed depend critically on the assumptions that go into them and these are often highly influenced by ideology. Science has no automatic right to be dogmatic in these situations. This means that academic freedom is necessary if science is to progress. However, scientists frequently are not characterized by this objectivity. Biologists often emphatically state that there is no evidence for design; evolution is as well established as gravity! So, if evolutionists insist upon closing their minds to all alternative theories, they will have no way to determine whether theirs is truly the best. As Darwin realized, scientists must “fully stat[e] and balanc[e] all the facts and arguments on both sides of each question.”

    The strength of the scientific method is found not so much in its ability to detect truth, but in its ability to detect error.

    Free open discussion of theories is necessary in the search for scientific truth, and we cannot have openness of theories without academic freedom but there is none. It’s evolution or evolution. Knowing or believing our origins, the meaning of life, these are of fundamental importance and can shape our lives. To know why we are here, we must know where we came from. Quite apart from any religious teaching, individuals should be given full and balanced information, honestly, without prejudice, otherwise how can they make an informed choice. [I refer you to Romans 10:14 NLT].

    If science is about questioning things, about teaching people to say 'I don't believe it until we have very strong evidence", why do most proponents seek to defend current evolutionary theory theory by refusing to consider alternatives?

    Your career is no doubt wrapped up in evolution – you have a vested interest in this. Why would you not defend it to the hilt? It’s unfortunate that your valuable time is not spent on far more worthwhile ventures.

    1. @jsprsns,
      Have you ever considered that George Wald (writing six decades ago) might have been wrong? Remind me: what was his area of expertise, principally?
      I also would be interested in hearing your definitin of 'spontaneous' please. Is the migration of a monarch butterfly from Mexico to Canada a spontaneous occurrence? Does a child living in, say, Liverpool simply wake up one morning talking spontaneously in a 'scouse' accent?

    2. The alleged George Wald quote is a fabrication by some lying creationist arsehole.

      I wouldn't feed this quote-mining troll.

    3. You have a point Piotr. I was hoping to discover whether he/she has any knowledge at all - if all you do is parrot stuff you've been fed by others then you create the impression that you really haven't that much. Worse still if (as you have demonstrated) they dishonestly assign views to someone who cannot answer back themselves, but I'm glad to see you are so vigilant on Wald's behalf. Jsprsns will probably ignore and switch. He also is stuck with the idea (probably watched too many adaptations of the Frankenstein story?) that a glob of unliving matter received a 'jolt' around 3 billion years ago causing it to be alive where 10 seconds earlier the glob was completely lifeless. To convince him it wasn't like that, and that the properties we now associate with 'life' arose in very many steps (over millions of years) would be difficult (to say the very least). I wonder if he thinks viruses are non-living or living? From what Jsprsns has come up with so far, it could be more profitable to explore with him the idea of common descent. Jsprsns, can we ever (in your view) make any statements at all about common descent by comparing organisms? Can we do it for just prokaryotes or is it possible acoss all of life? If we can't do it even for bacteria why do Scientists bother to study changes pertaining to antibiotic resistance? If it's not valid to compare multicellular oganisms - then what is the critical difference that makes this the case? Let's expore this further.

    4. jsprsns, I have a few questions for you:

      If whales didn't evolve from previous animals, where did they come from?

      Is a person or animal with two heads more complex than a person or animal with one head?

      Will you explain the occurrence of intersex humans and animals from your apparently religious point of view?

    5. I doubt he'll be coming back, probably dicovered suddenly that he has got rather a lot to be getting on with in the garden.

    6. The least we ought to hear is a straight apology for the quote mining.