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October 25, 2005


cwv warrior

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew...THAT's not very nice!

Mr. Bonobo

Years of brainwashing? Come on. When I went to HS the section on evolution lasted all of 10 minutes? There was no discussion of evidence or different explanations of the evidence. I suspect most HS science teachers play hot potato with this one.

Regarding the survey...so what if most Americans still believe that God created man from mud and woman from man's rib! Most Americans believe all sorts of patently false things.

Surveys of scientists show a much different picture...and presumably this is because they've actually spent the time learning what the evidence is for evolution.

But hey, you're a blogger...why would you care about evidence?

Blog on...

Wayne M

Mr Bonobo,
If you were not so emotional about the subject you would probably do your research and find out the number of career scientists (biologist, chemists etc) that reject evolution is quite large. In science you use the scientific method to attempt to prove a theory. In this method you use experiments and observation to prove or disprove a theory. Macro evolution as "NEVER" been observed, it has not been tested. So how can it even be considered as true????

So but the weakness in the theory of evolution is astounding yet we continue to teach it in out schools and yes teaching falsehoods is brainwashing.

Mr. Bonobo

Actually, I have done my homework. And scientists -- especially biologists -- are MUCH more likely to believe in evolution than the general public. Moreover, these same scientists are MUCH more likely to have weak religious beliefs, be agnostics, or atheists than the general public. But don't believe me...go look at the surveys.

On the question of evidence, you're wrong. Organisms are evolving every day, but it's easier to see it in a small window of time if the organism has a short life cycle (e.g., bacteria). What do you think antibiotic resistance is? On a more 'macro' level, as you call it, the fossil record, for instance, provides great evidence for evolution. Using the fossil record can be perfectly in accordance with the scientific method. One of the biggest predictions of evolutionary theory is that organisms evolve in small stages, and what do you think scientists found when they began searching for the fossils of the ancestors of today's species. If they had found nothing, this would have disproved evolutionary theory. But on the contrary, they have found the fossils of many intervening organisms.

Blog on...

Wayne M

While you are of course correct that much of the elite world of academia is filled with secular humanists, you would we wrong to conclude that those that study this topic support evolution. In fact amongst those who study this stuff, evolution as a theory is dead. It has been replaced by a theory called punctuated equilibrium, and they didn’t even tell you about it. Sure among secular humanist biologists that don’t study this stuff they agree with evolution but that is totally meaningless.

Then you did the typical slight of hand that most “evolutionists” do. In my previous statement I said there is no example of macro evolution. That would be one species changing to another or an eye becoming a heart or sex organ. Then you said that we see evolution all the time. What we see is micro evolution, or small changes within species. The example we always her about this is the finches beak getting bigger and smaller. Big deal, everyone in there right mind would agree with micro evolution but that is very different from macro evolution. Let’s be clear in our conversations. No slight of hand techniques.

I assume you won’t take this as evidence but I will show you a link of biologists that support intelligent design.

Mr. Bonobo

You truly are in denial if you think that evolutionary biologists don't believe in evolution. The debate about the evolution of organisms happening gradually versus in short bursts (i.e., punctuated equilibrium) does nothing to undermine the theory of evolution. It is a debate about HOW organisms evolved. It's not a debate about punctuated equilibrium replacing evolutionary theory.

I have studied intelligent design and creationism...and it is obvious that it's not science, but intellectual acrobatics to protect religious belief.

I wouldn't consider myself a secular humanist either. I'm not religious, but that doesnt' mean I toss tradition out the door. I value many religious traditions (e.g., love of family and community responsibility). Anyway, just because I believe that modern scientific evidence challenges many ancient religious beliefs does NOT make me into so spooky secular humanist.

Wayne M

Give me one example of a verified transitional species (Macro evolution)?

Not one of that whacky ones that have been disproven.

Mr. Bonobo

Archaeopteryx is one textbook example.

Wayne M

Archaeopteryx is fraud at worst and at best still a very open case and certainly not fact.

Here is one good well balanced analysis http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/Environment/NHR/archaeopteryx.html

And I am sure there are a million more. Do a quick google or yahoo search on Archaeopteryx fraud and you may be suprised.


Some good dialog going on there with Mr Bonobo... At least we have a forum for disagreement. I saw this article about the March of the Penguins where the director was upset that the movie was being used as a discussion platform for creation/design. Here's my take on it...


Mr. Bonobo

Wayne M--

Good dialogue indeed. It's refreshing to be able to vigorously disagree without the conversation degenerating into a screaming match, as I've seen happen on many blogs.

I'll look at your link on Archaeopteryx as fraud, but I continue to be surprised at your characterization of evolution as a fringe belief among scientists. Go to any respected university, and they teach evolution, not intelligent design.

So anyway...I'd be much more inclined to take your perspective seriously IF your side didn't have a religious agenda motivating it. I can't imagine ANY circumstances that would persuade a devoutly religious person like yourself to believe in non-divine origins of species.

Blog on...

Wayne M

I would agree that many scientists agree with evolution but I would say that many of them are swayed by a secular humanist agenda and frankly they may not be analyzing the information clearly. They come at the problem with an assumption that evolution is true as opposed to looking at evolution as a theory and then try to prove of disprove it.

I would also say that many highly qualified scientists disagree with evolution.

Another point to be made is that many non-Christians are supporting intelligent design. They are doing this purely on evidence and statistics.

BTW I am not some wild-eyed religious zealot although I am a God fearing man. In college I studied electrical engineering, physics, chemistry, biology getting a major in Mathematics and military studies with a concentration in computer science and music. After that the Air Force sent me off to Creighton University to study Meteorology. I am steeped in the scientific method. I take "almost" nothing in life on faith. Ask my pastor and my wife...lol

Yes I must say I also love a challenging tough discussion that is seeking the truth not just yelling. Although a little yelling once in awhile is a little bit of fun.

Keep seeking truth not just rhetoric...

Mr. Bonobo

The article on the Archaeopteryx as fraud is underwhelming and misleading. I get the impression that you just found a website that agreed with your point of view and directed me to it. The same authors who claim that Archaeopteryx is a fraud also argue that the mechanism of evolution is "genetic storms of viruses carried to the earth from outer space." Is that part of ID? Something like God sneezes and the universe is sprayed with divine viruses???

The point of the article questioning Archaeopteryx's evolutionary relationship to other organisms is more interesting, but hey, scientists bicker about phylogenetic classifications all the time.

The strength of evolution does not hinge on one piece of evidence, but on a confluence of overwhelming evidence.

Anyway...you too keep seeking truth. And I would recommend along these lines that you will NEVER think about this issue clearly until you admit the part that your faith plays in shaping your opinions.


I'll take the bull by the horns and say absolutely my faith plays a part in shaping my opinions. A huge part. And so does yours. We all come from a partisan point of view. Most committed evolutionists have, a priori, a naturalistic starting point. Most committed creationists (for a general word) have a theistic starting point. So much of the debate centers on our assumptions. And this is not all bad. It just needs to be understood. More later, lgp

Wayne M

That is an easy admission, My faith in God and acknoledgement that God is active in the world today effects everything I think and do.

At the same time Secular Humanists need to make the same admission. And I believe that they also need to make the admission that they assume evolution to be true and argue everything from there.

I also have to go back and catch you on a point you maid about punctuated eqalibruim being the same thing as Darwinian evolution. That can not be farther from the truth. Darwinian evolution states that there are small changes in systems over billions of years to make these changes in species. Puncuated equalibrium states that things say the same for a very long time and then every thing changed with some unknown cause and actor. Heck, this sounds alot like there must be an outside intelligent designer....lol Hum...


Thiests starting point is their ending point, and there are no points in between. End of conversation.

Wayne M

Tell that to G. K. Chesterton, T. S. Eliot, C.S. Lewis, Dorothy Sayers, Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, Anselm of Canterbury, William of Ockham, John Adams, George Washington, William Gladstone, William Wilberforce, Rembrandt, van Rijn, Albrect Durer, Bach, Handel, Isaac Newton, Johann Kepler, Robert Boyle, Lord Kelvin, Louis Pasteur, Michael Faraday, Clerk Maxwell and many others.

Please bring wisdom to the conversation.

Mr. Bonobo

Wayne M--

You misunderstood me. I wasn't equating Darwinian evolution to punctuated equilibrium. In fact, I never used the phrase "Darwinian evolution." The point is that organisms might evolve gradually (i.e., Darwinian evolution) or suddenly (punctuated equilibrium), and there's no reason to rule out the possibility that both patterns might have occurred through history, depending on circumstances.

You seem to hope that punctuated equilibrium is proof of an intelligent designer. There is a simpler and testable explanation. Intense selective pressure could speed up the rate of evolutionary change, as one might expect to during drastic changes in the environment (e.g., ice age).

Also, the most obvious objection to ID is that many species are poorly designed and go extinct. So maybe you should change the name to a Not-So-Intelligent Design.

Finally, it seems that you're over-interpreting the implications of evolution. Evolution is about explaining the variations between species. It has nothing at all to say about the ULTIMATE origins of life. I see no intellectual contradiction between believing in evolution and being religious, though you can't be a biblical literalist, which I hope that you are not.

Blog on...

Wayne M

You said "There is a simpler and testable explanation" making a statement like I can easily prove all this to you and then you said "... could" and "...may", which are speculative terms not scientific terms.

From a Biblical worldview the design was perfect and then sin came into the world and wrecked everything. Death and disease are the curse of the fall. But intelligent design does not argue from a Biblical view at all. Frankly is mostly uses statistics.
And from a statistical probability perspective, it is much more probable to have a tornado go thru a junk yard and create a 747 then dumb chance to create any living being, even an ameba.

Darwin does see intellectual contratictions between evolution and religion. The basis of evolution is purposeless naturalistic processes at work with no intervention. Scientifically, Mathematically, intellectually is just can't happen.

Wayne M

You seem to have such high esteem for those scientists that hold to the theory of evolution. Let me ask you a question. Has there ever been a really smart group of people in history that have been totally wrong?

Let me give you a clue, Nazi Germany.

cwv warrior

EW, ew, ew, Biblical literalist, that's me! I have heard of the God-directed evolution thing. Christian scientists have debated it on my space. I've never figured out what to do with it...I asked Nancy Pearcey, actually, which is when she shared her idea of a broader umbrella for Christian worldview to include Christian Darwinists! The main debate is among ID proponents, not based in faith necessarily, and Darwinists. And it is clear from this string of comments, it is raging!

Michael Balter

For an interesting perspective on the "teaching the controversy" issue, see this news item in the 25 November Science:


If this link is too long, go to


then to News and then to Hominid Highlights to see the article.

Wayne M

Thank you Michael.

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