Skeptic Friends Network

Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?
Home | Forums | Active Topics | Active Polls | Register | FAQ | Contact Us  
  Connect: Chat | SFN Messenger | Buddy List | Members
Personalize: Profile | My Page | Forum Bookmarks  
Home Fan Mail Evolution is a Lie, and you Skeptics KNOW it! Part 4
Menu
Skeptic Forums
Skeptic Summary
The Kil Report
Skeptillaneous
Creation/Evolution
About Skepticism
Fan Mail
Skepticality
Rationally Speaking
Claims List
Skeptic Links
Book Reviews
Gift Shop
Staff


Server Time: 13:54:31
Your Local Time:



Fan Mail
skeptic,fan mail,letters to editor,correspondence
Printer Friendly Printer Friendly Version of this Article... Bookmark Bookmark This Article...

Evolution is a Lie, and you Skeptics KNOW it! Part 4

By Dr. Mark Purchase, Ph.D.
Posted on: 8/20/2003

All correspondence received by Skeptic Friends Network or its staff becomes the property of Skeptic Friends Network, and may be printed without the consent of the author.


Several weeks passed, and I never got a reply from Dr. Purchase to my last letter. Out of curiosity, I went to his Web site and discovered that he had, in fact, posted a response to my e-mail on his Web site, yet he never e-mailed it to me.

He also posted a "reply" to my sister Dawn on his Web site, and, as usual, he didn't post the letters we sent him, just his replies to us.

Dr. Purchase is the oddest creationist I've ever corresponded with. While he brags about his own moral integrity and truthfulness, he only posts one-way "conversations" on his site where he does all the talking. And then he complains that we "mistreat" him.

I only responded to this last letter because Dr. Purchase repeats outright falsehoods while simultaneously bragging about fighting on the side of righteousness. If there's one thing I can't stand, it's a self-righteous hypocrite who lies to promote his own Gospel.




Mark,

I never got your reply to my last e-mail, but discovered that you "posted" a reply to me on your Web site without informing me. What, did you hope to sneak in the last word?

In response to your comments:

> My "boast" is only that God created the world
> and didn't struggle with millions of years of
> trial and error to get it right.

Who died and made you God? Who are you to make value judgments on natural processes? Didn't God say, "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts?" (Isaiah 55:9)

> Some of your letters have been fill of abuse,
> is that fair?

Don't forget that you wrote to us, first, with several e-mails that hurled gratuitous insults. So don't pretend that you're an innocent, put-upon victim. You also accuse us of being Nazi sympathizers. Is that an example of Christ-like behavior?

Please... Let's bring a sense of proportion to this debate.

> But what really concerns me is the way you
> misrepresent the Bible on SFN website -- selecting
> verses to make the Bible sound foolish or say
> something it doesn't.

If you're talking about the Bible's Bad Fruits page, it's amazing how people like you overlook the obvious. Do you really believe that "evolution" introduced bestiality, child abuse, pornography and homosexuality?

The ICR doesn't provide a single, solitary justification for any of their outrageous claims, and we only point out how easy it is to give creationists a taste of their own dumb medicine.

I can't believe that I have to defend that page. If you READ the list of human depravities the ICR attributes to a branch of the natural sciences, that organization spoofs itself.

> Distorting the Bible is exactly what "ignoramuses,
> and brainwashed members of a "religious" cults" do.
> Twisting those verses of the Bible will ever do justice
> to the truth the Bible teaches. Or does the truth really
> matter to you?

Yes, the truth most certainly does matter to me, and that's exactly why I'm responding to you.

> Is calling me a "coward" because I hadn't answered
> your letters, fair?

Again, I called you a coward for refusing to open an enclosure that I carbon copied to five other people on SFN. I thought you were just looking for an excuse not to read dissenting opinions.

> Since highly qualified scientists today reject
> evolution you should take them more seriously.
> There must be a reason. Read them, instead of
> rejecting their studies. I'm convinced you haven't
> [after reading your mail].

I have read most of those books, but not all of them. Furthermore, you told me that you wouldn't accept any books written by Christian scientists that criticize young-earth flood geology. So you might as well quit taunting me with the "prejudice" label.

You also feign incredulity because I reject opinions from "highly qualified scientists" that you quote from the 1930s through the 1960s, but at the same time, you reject all modern principles of radiometric dating by citing a single paper from 1966. Why can't you stay abreast of the current literature?

> That's why it hasn't happened. There is no plan to
> start with and no blue print for anything to change.
> Evolution needs to be "goal-oriented" to succeed.
> Because evolution has no goal-orientation it won't
> go up the steps required for the theory.

The above is a garbled, nonsensical statement. I'm at a complete loss to understand what you're talking about.

> Organic evolution' as theorized is a naturally occurring,
> beneficial change that produces increasing and inheritable
> complexity. It should show that the off spring of one form
> of life had a different and improved set of vital organs.

Evolution is NOT a ladder of increasing complexity. Large populations, as a rule, remain in stasis. Large-scale biological changes usually follow mass extinctions, arrivals of non-native plants and animals into unsteady ecosystems, or catastrophic interventions. Yet these rarely, if ever, trigger "increases in complexity."

If you're going to criticize evolution, it would be helpful if you actually read the relevant literature so you could understand the genuine scientific consensus instead of tearing down straw men of your own invention.

> Have you seen some the giant fossils creatures, four-five
> times bigger than todays? Another reason why I believe
> in 'progressive degeneration' rather than progressive creation.

The average dinosaur fossil is no bigger than a stout horse. Huge dinosaurs are exceptional finds. Many adult specimens are no taller than chickens.

> In the natural history museums of the world are
> to be found more than 250,000 different fossil
> species, represented by tens of millions of
> catalogued fossils. Any appeal to the 'poverty
> of the fossil record' is no longer legitimate.

The actual scientific consensus is that the fossil record represents less than one percent of all the species that ever lived on earth. For example, paleontologists have discovered gigantic sauropods that dwarf Brachiosaurus, yet are only represented by a single species that's less than 50 percent complete. If we possess a poverty of large species, whose thighbones alone weigh a ton, why act surprised at the paucity of bats, rodents and birds?

As I said in my first letter, the predominant fate of all dead animals is disintegration, not fossilization, even among large terrestrial animals. You don't find many buffalo "fossils" in the American West, despite the fact that they blanketed the prairies for thousands of years.

> If evolution were true, then at least many tens of
> thousands of the millions of fossils in our museums
> today would unquestionably be transitional forms.
> But there are none!
>
> If there was one "transitional fossil" it would be the
> biggest story on earth today and you wouldn't stop talking
> about it. It would hard to deny evolution could happen. But
> the facts are they will never find them because they are not
> there. Even most evolutionists know that, but not you. That's
> amazing, you think they are out there somewhere and so you
> believe in evolution. Tom it's the big whole in the theory the
> missing engine in the car. I'm still waiting for you to answer
> this question. Where are TRANSITIONAL FORMS? If you
> had ever read creationist literature you would know what
> they say. There are countless millions of well-preserved
> fossils but no TRANSITIONAL FORMS.

Mark, the actual scientific consensus is that we possess hundreds of fossils that share transitional features across different genera, and in my first letter to you, I gave you the URL to Kathleen Hunt's transitional vertebrate fossil FAQ.

Yet, again, you tell me that there are no transitional fossils.

You claim None. Zero. Therefore, you are lying.

It's obvious that your brain filters out undesirable data that threatens your theological comfort zone.

> Where are the missing links in the evolutionary chain
> from primitive to modern plants? From single cells to
> invertebrates? Invertebrates to fish? Fish to amphibians?
> Amphibians to reptiles? Reptiles to birds? Reptiles to
> mammals? Land mammals to sea mammals? Non-flying
> mammals to bats? Apes to humans? Please write and
> tell me won't you.

AGAIN, I answered those questions in MY VERY FIRST E-MAIL to you.

> On the bases of creation there would be an abrupt
> appearance and fully formed fossils. And this is the
> case. Each of the basic types of plants and animals,
> are created kinds without transitional forms and
> suggest a common ancestor. The fossil record comes
> down so heavily on the creationist side there is simply
> no contest! Creation wins hands down. This was
> apparent to Darwin, and to palaeontologist's, [which
> I quoted] non-creationists, and to anti-Darwinists
> today, but it is not even seriously considered to
> those [like you] who believe in evolution with
> blind faith.

Your mind-boggling sense of absolutism is a wonder. Unlike you, I'm very familiar with the day-to-day scientific literature, and if you actually read it, you'd realize that evolution is scientifically more robust and healthier now than at any other time in history.

Whenever you tell me that every scientist on the globe (except for a teensy, tiny, stubborn minority) rejects evolution, I have to get up from my chair, drink a glass of cold water and shake my head of your surreal hallucinations.

> My list of quotations did not come from Henry
> Morris' book "That Their Words May Be Used
> Against Them". I don't have any Morris books.
> The quotes come from evolutionists.

Oh, I certainly believe that you possess an enormous library of evolutionist materials disputing evolution that were published in 1938, 1966, 1970, 1973, 1977 and 1981.

> It was dishonest to misrepresent Morris and Taylor
> and Gish as if they taught evolution. That's not been
> truthful with the facts.

It was also dishonest to claim that the Geological Society of America reported unfossilized dinosaur bones, when the article said exactly the opposite, or that Science magazine claimed it found "dinosaur skin" when it was actually fossilized impressions of dinosaur skin.

> What? "pompous XXXXX" That's not very nice
> language Tom. Do I speak to you like that just
> because we disagree?

According to Strong's Concordance of the Bible (Thomas Nelson: 1985), the word ass and its plural are uttered 150 times in the King James Bible, so don't patronize me with feigned affronts regarding profanity. Furthermore, your very first letters to SFN called us ignorant fools, which I consider equally offensive.

> You want me to answer your letter, am I supposed
> to put-up with personal abuse?

<Sniff> Here's a tissue.

> No one would take you for a fool if you HAD read the
> books [as you claimed]. You have not even opened the
> covers, but reject them because the authors reject
> Darwinian evolution.

I didn't "claim" anything in my last letter regarding which books I had read, but as I just told you in this letter, I did read most of them.

> "Evolution: A Theory In Crisis" Dr Michael Denton. [NOT a Creationist]
> "Darwin's Black Box". Pro M.J. Behe. [NOT a Creationist]
> "Not A Change" Dr Lee Spetner. [NOT a Creationist]
> "Darwin on Trial" P.E. Johnson. [NOT a Creationist]
> "Reason in the Balance" P.E. Johnson. [NOT a Creationist]

All the above books were written by Intelligent Design Christian creationists who are members of the Discovery Institute's Center for Renewal of Science and Culture (except for Lee Spetner, a Jewish creationist who promotes Torah Science). Michael Denton is the only British member of the CRSC, but the rest are Americans. (I'm surprised that New Zealanders like you are so caught up in American fundamentalism, anyway.)

You claimed that Phillip Johnson is not a creationist. On the contrary, Phillip Johnson openly embraces the "creationist" label. In Chapter One of his book Darwin on Trial, Johnson clearly states that he is a "creationist" but not a young-earth Biblical literalist. He also calls himself a "creationist" on all his guest appearances on Christian radio.

> Wouldn't call them "Bible believing scientists". In
> fact they don't believe the Bible as it's written [just
> like you]. They believe the theories of men first and
> foremost. The "obviously painful inconsistency" is
> theirs, not the Bibles or creationists.

I'm perplexed with the above allegation. Are you questioning their salvation?

> It concerns me you willfully overlook "disagreements
> among evolutionary biologists" and 'progressive scientists'.
> And blame 'inconsistencies' of 'progressive scientists'
> on creationists. Sounds like you are bias.

The track record of your "quoted" sources is notoriously unreliable and woefully outdated. Why don't you ask those same authors what they think now?

> The quote doesn't come from "Evolution: Second Edition".
> I saved space and gave just the facts. Want the details? Here
> - "Its easy to construct stories of how one form gave rise to
> another, and to find reasons why the stages should be favoured
> by natural selection. But such stories are not part of science, for
> there is no way of putting them to the test". (Dr Colin Patterson
> Paleontologist Museum London Personal letter [written 10 April
> 1979] from Dr Colin Patterson, Senior Paleontologist Natural
> History Museum in London, to Luther D. Sunderland; as quoted
> in 'Darwin's Enigma' by Luther D. Sunderland Master Books
> San Diego, USA 1984 pg.89).
>
> That's what he said. That's not been dishonest but quoting him
> for what he said. And I agree with him. Why don't you? Want to
> read some more? Patterson, writes, "....I fully agree with your
> comments on the lack of direct illustrated of evolutionary
> transitions in my book. If I knew of any, fossil or living, I would
> certainly have included them." I won't quote it all, the point is made.

I have Colin Patterson's last book Evolution: Second Edition published in 1999 by Cornell University Press, and Patterson's book is pro-evolution without exception.

On pages 122-123, Patterson also notes the following:

When I published the first edition of this book, I was hardly aware of creationism but, during the 1980s, like many other biologists I learned that one should think carefully about candour in argument (in publications, lectures or correspondence) in case one was furnishing creationist campaigners with ammunition in the form of 'quotable quotes', often taken out of context. Biologists, particularly in North America, took creationism seriously enough in the 1980s to produce a string of books promoting evolution and showing the errors of creationist anti-science.
There is, I believe, no necessary conflict between evolution and religion, a topic I leave to Chapter 16. I will close by summing up my own opinion on the truth of evolution.
In terms of mechanism, or causes of evolutionary change, the neutral theory of molecular evolution is a scientific theory; it can be put in law-like form: changes in DNA that are less likely to be subject to natural selection occur more rapidly. This law is tested every time homologous DNA sequences are compared, and explains observations (summarized in Chapters 9 and 10) that are otherwise inexplicable. But neutral theory assumes (or includes) truth of the general theory -- common ancestry or Darwin's 'descent with modification' -- and 'misprints' shared between species, like the pseudogenes or reversed Alu sequences (Fig. 10.6), are (to me) incontrovertible evidence of common descent. I see the general historical theory, common descent, as being firmly established as just about anything else in history.
Yet you're trying to assert from your 1984 "quote" that Colin Patterson was an anti-evolutionist. He was not. Too bad he died right after the publication of his last book, because creationists like you will attribute all sorts of fabrications to a dead zoologist that can't defend himself.

And when I quoted Stephen Jay Gould when he said that creationists, either through design or stupidity, misquote him when they claim that he says there are no transitional fossils, you still insist that Gould is an anti-evolutionist who claims just the opposite! Therefore, all your "quotes" are bogus.

> Note this evolutionist writes the same, "All present
> approaches to a solution of the problem of the origin
> of life are either irrelevant or lead into a blind alley.
> Therein lies the crisis...The various approaches to a
> solution of the origin of life are examined and found
> wanting" [John Keosian Origin of Life 1978 pg.569-574].
> Why ignore what they write?

Because, as I explained to you in a previous letter, evolution and the origin of life are not one and the same topic. Even if every scientist on earth reached the same consensus that the first DNA molecule originated through an ad hoc supernatural miracle, that would not, in any way, change the evidence for its subsequent development through the course of natural history.

In other words, "proof" of a miraculous origin wouldn't alter the clear-cut evidence for its subsequent evolution.

> On April 25 1977 a Japanese fishing ship off New Zealand
> caught a huge 4,000-pound monster, dead for about a month.
> The neck was too long to be a whale The Japanese government
> commemorated the discovery of an apparent plesiosaur with a
> postage stamp celebrating 100 years of scientific discoveries.
> What extinct for 66 million years?

I can't believe that you're bringing up the Japanese "plesiosaur." The photographed "plesiosaur" was actually the rotted carcass of a basking shark.

Furthermore, plesiosaurs were air-breathing marine reptiles, so they're not likely to remain "hidden" from human observers in the open sea.

> I want to make these facts clear. [1] What's even more
> damaging than "unfossilized bones' today is the living
> fossils. Creatures that were from the so-called era of
> 'millions of years ago' that haven't changed at all. The
> older they are claimed to be, the more evident those
> living today haven't changed.

Wrong! The scientific consensus is that living fossils are, indeed, completely different species from those that went extinct, especially in the case of the coelacanths.

> Note the trilobites [which are claimed] evolved into
> fish, yet they are just the same today as those in the
> fossils but alive, of course. Further they haven't continued
> to evolve and become better and better at anything.
> If evolution were true, the older a species, the greater
> evolved a species should be. Why haven't Trilobites
> visited the moon millions of years before man?

Trilobites never evolved into fish. Trilobites were arthropods. Their closest living relatives are horseshoe crabs that, ironically, aren't true crabs at all. Trilobites belonged to the arachnid family, represented by today's spiders and scorpions.

Furthermore, trilobites aren't living fossils. ALL the trilobites died out at the end of the Permian, 245 million years ago. Obviously, they went extinct before they could launch any spacecraft!

> DNA has now been reported in magnolia, leaves that
> evolutionists claimed to be 17 million years old [E.M.
> Golenberg 'Chloroplast DNA Sequence from a Miocene
> Magnolia Species' Nature vol.344 12April 1990 pg.656-658.]

Everything I've found that relates to this Nature article says that it supports evolution.

See this American Scientific Affiliation article that claims it supports theistic evolution.
See this Talk.Origins article by Chris Colby that cites the same Nature article as supporting evidence for evolution.
Here's an article that claims it supports Molecular Phylogeny.
The American Journal of Botany explains how its molecular and morphological data supports evolution.
> How about this? Fragments of DNA are also claimed to
> be in alleged 80 million-year-old dinosaur bones buried
> in a coal bed [S.R. Woodward 'DNA Sequence from
> Cretaceous Period Bone Fragments' Science vol.266 18
> Nov.1994 pg.1229-1232].

Mark! We ALREADY discussed that article! The dinosaur bone was contaminated with human DNA.

> But you overlook the other claims of 'ancient' DNA (such
> as that of a 120 million-year-old weevil' which most
> evolutionists do accept as real DNA from that creature,
> not contamination.
>
> Its also been reported in amber encased insects and plants
> that are supposedly 25-120 million years old [H.N. Poinar
> 'DNA from an Extinct Plant' Nature vol.363 24June 1993
> pg.677].

You're right. Both of these specimens were preserved in amber. Amber provides a rock-solid, airtight seal against air, water, bacteria and sunlight, so I'm not surprised that the organisms trapped inside retain fragments of recoverable DNA. But at the same time, these fragments were anything but pristine.

> Any comments about the mud-springs at Swindon Wiltshire?
> Like a fossil conveyor belt with pristine fossils supposedly
> "165 million years old". Surprise! Many still have shimmering
> mother-of-pearl shells, and retain their iridescence, and bivalves
> still have their original organic ligaments. Even more amazing
> is the millions of years mindset that blinds hard-nosed rational
> scientists from seeing what should be so obvious [Evidence
> for a young earth].

I'd never heard of Swindon Wiltshire until I read your e-mails. And since you mentioned it twice, I thought I'd do some research on the geology of that site in England.

The nearest thing I found resembling your quote was a brief article on the Answers in Genesis Web site. But when I read about Swindon Wiltshire on geology Web sites, I couldn't find anything unusual about the fossil specimens except for their fine preservation.

You said that the "bivalves still have their original organic ligaments." But this article in the New Scientist says, "Neville Hollingworth of the Natural Environment Research Council in Swindon has found a fossil of Sigaloceras calloviense whose outer shell has dissolved away to reveal the outline of adductor muscles and tentacles in the honey-coloured calcite inside." That doesn't describe unfossilized organic ligaments!

If you want to read more about Swindon Wiltshire's geology, here's a picture of the fossil ammonites Neville Hollingworth found; here's an article about the Upper Jurassic Kimmeridge Clay where he found them; here's an abstract from the 43rd annual meeting of the Paleontological Association's Ghosts of Ammonites Past; its 44th annual meeting on Ammonite Soft Body Preservation and Functional Morphology; Neville Hollingworth's personal Web page; and his fellow collector Mark O'Dell's Web page.

It astonishes me how much your creationist summaries wildly disagree with their supposed sources.

> You have a spirit of hatred for Christians and
> those who believe the Bible.

Again, as I've already told you, every member of my immediate family and almost every member of my extended family are Christians. I don't hate any of them. And some of my most helpful e-mail contacts on evolution come from Christian scientists. Surprise!

Furthermore, few creationists I've corresponded with are as rude as you are. Usually, they only disagree with me on specific technical issues. None of them have ever told me that evolution was the source of Nazism.

And none of these creationists would ask me a question, listen to me answer it at length and then send me another e-mail asking me the EXACT SAME QUESTION while claiming that I never answered them the first time, when indeed I had!

> My response to your quote from Dr Otto.
> Please forward this to him.

I did, and his comments follow yours, below. Dr. Otto also requested that I not forward any e-mail from you again, because his time was too valuable to waste explaining freshman-level biology to novices.

Dr. Otto's response:

>> Regarding mutations: The vast majorities of mutations
>> are point mutations and are neutral -- meaning that
>> they neither improve nor detract from an organism's survival.
>
> Not true. Mutations are never neutral, they detract from
> the organism's nature.

Wrong! Most mutations are neutral. That is, they do not affect any part of the biological process. In order for a mutation to be non-neutral, it has to affect the individual. That restricts mutations to those that either result in a physical change in a protein (amino acid changes, extended reading frame, early termination, etc.) or alter the amount, timing or distribution of a protein.

If you don't agree with this, I suggest that you not read any further, but instead return to Biology 101.

>>Now, I don't know (and don't know where I could quickly
>> find) what the actual ratio of negative to positive mutations
>> happens to be. But let's assume for the sake of argument that
>> it is 10,000:1.
>
> This theory is based on "I don't know....but lets assume for
> argument". Even the radio is a guess. And even the simplest-
> known one-celled creatures are mind-bogglingly complex but
> they never accidentally have an increase of information,
> [positive mutation]. That is, a coding for new structures, functions,
> greater complexity. "Mutations, in time, occur incoherently.
> They are not complementary to one another, nor are they
> cumulative in successive generations towards a given direction.
> They modify what preexists, but they do so in disorder...."
> [Grasse Evolution of Living Organisms Acad. Press NY 1977
> pg.97,98].

I have no argument with the complexity of simple organisms. They are mind-boggling in their complexity.

However, as I am not an information theorist, but rather a geneticist, I am not sure how information content is related to neutral, deleterious, or advantageous mutations. Regardless of what you think you know, positive mutations do occur. See: "Extended life span conferred by co-transporter gene mutations in Drosophila," Science 290 (5499):2137-40, 2000 Dec 15.

Still, I fail to see how any of the gibberish above deals in any way with my comments.

P.S.: You really ought to try to use some fairly current citations. A lot has happened in the scientific community in the past twenty-four years. That was the best you could come up with?

>>So what? The ratio of neutral to non-neutral mutations is something
>> like a 1000:1 (consider the size of the genome and divide it by the
>> amount of coding sequence -- this is a rough estimate because it
>> doesn't take into account silent mutations, or non-silent but neutral
>> mutations). So only 1 individual out of thousand is likely to develop
>> a non-silent mutation.<<
>
> What? "The ratio of neutral to non-neutral mutations" what double
> Dutch is this? This is nonsense - "silent, non-neutral, non-silent
> neutral". The ratio's are as silly as the language.

If you don't understand the language of science, then you really should either educate yourself or refrain from engaging in its discussion. I am not going to waste my time educating you. Again, that Biology 101 class is still available.

> To go from a simple amoebae to horse requires many steps,
> each involving an INCREASE in information. Information
> coding for NEW structures, new functions - new complexity.
> If we saw information-increasing changes happening, even
> if only a few, this could reasonably be used to help support
> the argument that fishes may, indeed, turn into agnostics,
> given enough time.

Here, I thought we were discussing neutral, negative, and positive mutations. Now I find out that we are trying to turn an amoeba into a horse. Last time I checked, no scientist ever claimed that. Again, your comments (other than being quite amusing to read; thanks for the laugh) have no bearing on anything that I have mentioned.

> Natural selection is NOT the same as evolution. Living things
> Are programmed to PASS ON information, to make copies of
> themselves. The DNA of man is copied and passed on via the
> parents. That information is stable unless someone with a huge
> amount of information knows how to add new information to
> DNA.

Hmmm, so you are saying that all 2,000,000,000 (two billion) base pairs of DNA are perfectly copied from generation to generation without error? Are you claiming that no changes occur in the genome of any living creature?

You really need to return to school since there are mountains of scientific data that contradict you. If you don't believe me, do a little research on something called SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms).

>>It's important that most individuals remain neutral or unaffected
>> because if the mutation rate gets too high, we do end up with
>> deleterious results. But in a very large population, lets say
>> 1,000,000,000,000 individuals (which isn't all that large of a
>> population for single-celled organisms), we can expect that there
>> will only be 333 mutations (based on the rate of mutation at
>> 1bp/10^9bp -- which actually is on a per/year basis for higher
>> organisms. Thus, the rate would be higher for rapidly dividing
>> single celled critters -- but lets run with it).
>
> "Lets run with" the facts, evidence and not make up stories
> which don't describe reality. No amount ratios or breeding or
> selection will produce a variety of species where there has been
> a total loss of the information required. Natural selection can
> favour some information above others, and can cause some
> of the information to be lost, but it can't create any new
> information. In evolutionary theory, the role of creating new
> information is given to mutation - random, accidental mistakes
> that happen as this information is copied. We know that such
> mistakes happen, and are inherited (because the next
> generation is making a copy from a defective copy). So
> the defect is passed on, and somewhere down the line another
> mistake happens, and so mutational defects tend to accumulate.

Oh, I see your point. All mutations are, by your definition, negative. We all started out perfect, and are now slowly mutating into oblivion.

Since we can't agree how mutations are defined, there is little point in taking this discussion further. Here's a hint, though -- take that Biology 101 course. You might actually learn something and discover how erroneous your "facts" are.

>>Let's assume that the critter divides every day and there is no
>> death in the system, except by negative mutation. Generation
>> 1 1*10^12 individuals, 333.. [snip]... heterozygous state that
>> when homozygous state are deleterious -- consider sickle cell
>> anemia where its survival advantages in heterozygous states
>> in countries where malaria is endemic. I hope this helps.
>
> No it doesn't "help" Tom. There was nothing in that which
> proven anything. Or that evolution has happened or could or
> will happen. In fact it wasn't even about evolution and upward
> mutations but all ratios that say nothing for your case Tom.
> So Otto has a "Ph.D. Section of Biochemistry and Molecular
> Biology". What a joke! What about this very clear statement
> from Dr Bob Hosken? He's Senior Lecturer in Food Technology
> at the University Newcastle, Australia. He holds a BSc in
> Biochemistry from the University of Western Australia, a
> MSc in Biochemistry from Monash University, a Ph.D. in
> Biochemistry from the University of Newcastle and a MBA
> University of Newcastle. Dr Hosken has published more
> than 50 research papers in the areas of protein structure and
> function, food technology and food product development.
> He has a message for you Tom.

Thanks for slandering my educational background. Coming from someone like you, I take that as a compliment. My above statements certainly do not negate the existence of a god. She may or may not exist.

I, too, have looked upon the Krebs cycle and been in awe of its complexity. So what does that have to do with the existence of positive, neutral, or negative mutations?

What does the existence of mutations have to do with the existence of God, Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny? The existence of any of these has nothing to do with the existence of the other.

Mutations exist. They may be positive, neutral, or negative. This is well-established territory and is founded on mountains of publications and research that have documented such events.

These facts aren't even debatable. They have been established and documented. I'm sorry that you don't like it, but that's just too bad.

God may or may not exist. There are plenty of scientists that believe, some who aren't sure, and others that don't believe. So what? They understand that science and religion don't refute one another.

Jeffrey M. Otto, Ph.D.
Section of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Home page: http://www.geocities.com/BourbonStreet/Delta/7986/

> Huge movements of water will bury anything under
> the debris, and more so fish carried by the water. The
> fact so many fish were buried indicates the flood was
> massive. It buried forests - hence we have goal and oil
> deposits. Normally when a fish dies it floats to the top,
> it's eaten and very soon gone, even the bones. Only rapid
> burial could produce the fossils we have today.

God instructed Noah to coat the inside of his ark with pitch (Genesis 6:14).

Pitch is an oil product. Where did it originate before the flood?

In addition to blanketing the entire surface of the earth beneath miles of seawater, you claim that this flood additionally buried the earth beneath massive mudflows. Yet when the animals disembarked, they had access to flowering plants and trees. How was that possible?

> I mentioned about the massive fossil graveyards around
> the world. And also that "the fossil graveyards have all the
> signs of rapid burial and bones are mixed together" in my
> last mail.

So the world is covered with fossil graveyards. For some reason, that doesn't qualify as evidence of a single, global flood.

Calamitous flash floods have killed millions of people and animals throughout recorded history, including now. For example, five thousand people perished in flash floods in Bangladesh in 1988. Ten years later, Bangladesh lost another three thousand people in flash floods.

In addition to floods, volcanic eruptions have killed hundreds of thousands of people and animals (and buried fossils in volcanic ash). And don't forget extraterrestrial meteor impacts that pounded 170 impact craters around the globe throughout earth's history. And don't forget all the ice ages that blanketed whole continents beneath massive glaciers, rendering entire generations of plants and animals extinct.

> You wrote, "eugenics was based upon a wacky,
> pseudoscientific premise far removed from evolutionary
> biology". NOT true! Darwinism and his chief
> apostle Haeckel had a strong following in Germany.

But Darwin was not a follower of Haeckel. Darwin rejected all of Haeckel's pseudoscientific theories, which proved prophetic when Haeckel's theories of embryonic development collapsed in the 1920s.

> And then, Social Darwinism, racism, militarism and
> imperialism finally reached their zenith in Nazi Germany
> under Hitler the supreme evolutionist. Nazism was the
> ultimate fruit of the evolutionary tree.

Mark, your rewriting of history is so absurd, it eerily resembles that of a Nazi propagandist.

Germany's anti-Semitism had a long, long, history that preceded Charles Darwin by centuries. It never occurs to you that evil people will justify their racism by any means possible, including subverting science and scripture. Germany's virulent anti-Semitism was the cart leading the horse, and its racism influenced its science and religion, not the other way around.

Remember when I brought up the subject of Martin Luther's anti-Semitism in my last letter? The magazine Christian History Issue 39, 1993 (published by Christianity Today) devoted a whole issue to Martin Luther's life and legacy. Pages 38-39 also discussed the ugliest period of Luther's life:

"Set fire to their synagogues and schools," Margin Luther recommended in On the Jews and Their Lies. Jewish houses should be "razed and destroyed," and "Jewish prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, curing, and blasphemy are taught, [should] be taken from them." In addition, "their rabbis [should] be forbidden to teach on pain of loss of life and limb." Still, this wasn't enough.
Luther also urged that "safe conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews," and that "all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them." What Jews could do was to have "a flail, an ax, a hole, a spade" put into their hands so "young, strong Jews and Jewesses" could "earn their bread in the sweat of their brow."
These fierce comments have puzzled and embarrassed Christians who otherwise admire the Reformer. And they have led to charges that Luther was "one of the 'church fathers' of anti-Semitism." More seriously, Luther's attacks have been seen as paving the way for Hitler....
Luther proposed seven measures of "sharp mercy" that German princes could take against Jews: (1) burn their schools and synagogues; (2) transfer Jews to community settlements; (3) confiscate all Jewish literature, which was blasphemous; (4) prohibit rabbis to teach, on pain of death; (5) deny Jews safe conduct, so as to prevent the spread of Judaism; (6) appropriate their wealth and use it to support converts and to prevent the Jews' practice of usury; (7) assign Jews to manual labor as a form of penance.
Luther advised clergy, their congregations, and all government officials to help carry out these measures. Since most Jews had been expelled from Germany before 1536, Luther's counsel was implemented by few officials. Yet a harsh anti-Jewish measure in 1543 mentioned Luther's On the Jews and Their Lies.
Both Luther's friends and his foes criticized him for proposing these measures. His best friends begged him to stop his anti-Jewish raving, but Luther continued his attacks in other treatises. He repeated as true the worst anti-Semitic charges from medieval literature: that Jews killed Christian babies; they murdered Christ over and over again by stabbing eucharistic hosts; they poised wells.
Luther now thought what he had accused Catholics of thinking in 1523: Jews were dogs. "We are at fault for not slaying them!" he fumed shortly before his death.
>> As a matter of fact, yes, Adolf Hitler WAS a creationist.
>
> And pigs fly. I wanted this subject again because there
> are some important things to say. IF as you say, he was a
> "creationist" [Christian] he was certainly NOT one who
> behaved like one. It didn't matter what he said, it was what
> he did that indicates what he really believed. I doubt Hitler
> was the 'creationist' and the fine outstanding Christian person
> you claim him to be. He was so unlike a Bible believing
> Christian because he was a Darwinian.

Mark, if you're going to sit there and insist, with a straight face, that Adolf Hitler was an "atheistic evolutionist" whose sole motivation to eradicate the Jews was based entirely on "Darwinism," then yes, in your world, pigs do fly!

The following is a long excerpt from Daniel Jonah Goldhagen's book Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust (Vintage Books: Random House, New York 1996). According to Goldhagen, the Christian churches in Germany enthusiastically embraced anti-Semitism long before Hitler rose to power, and supported his racist campaign afterward. And Darwinism never played a role in their cooperation:

The moral bankruptcy of the German churches, Protestant and Catholic alike, regarding Jews was so extensive and abject that it warrants far more attention than can be devoted to it here. Already during Weimar, the anti-semitism of the churches as institutions, of their national and local clergy as well as their acolytes, was widespread and ominous. During Weimar, 70 to 80 percent of Protestant pastors had allied themselves with the antisemitic German National People's Party, and their anti-semitism had permeated the Protestant press even before the Nazis were voted into power. The Protestant press, with its millions of readers, was extremely influential, and provides us insight into both the mind and temper of the religious officials and the fare on which their flock was nourished.
In the twenties, the amount and intensity of the antisemitic agitation issuing from Protestant sources increased enormously. This increase paralleled the general proliferation and heightening of antisemitism in the politically turbulent atmosphere of Weimar. The most prominent and most influential religious vehicles for the diffusion of anti-Jewish sentiments in the Protestant world were the Sonntägsbliitter, the weekly Sunday newspapers, whose combined circulation numbered over 1.8 million copies and whose readership has been conservatively estimated at three times that number.
By reason of their great volume, they had a considerable share in shaping the collective opinions of the Protestant laity that composed almost 63 percent of the German population in 1933. A survey of sixty-eight Sonntägsbliitter printed between 1918 and 1933 revealed that Jews and Jewry were themes "of great topicality" in them. The press' treatment of these themes was almost invariably hostile. These religious weeklies, which were devoted to the edification of their readers and to the cultivation of Christian piety, preached that the Jews were "the natural enemies of the Christian-national tradition," that they had caused "the collapse of the Christian and monarchical order," and that they were the authors of a variety of other evils.
Ino Arndt, the author of this study, concludes that the ceaseless defamation of the Jews in the Protestant Sunday papers must have blunted in millions of their readers "the human and finally also the Christian feelings" for the Jews. Small wonder that these Christian readers would look with unpitying eyes upon the Jews as they were being attacked, tormented, degraded, and reduced to social lepers during the Nazi period. From the end of 1930 until the Nazi assumption of power and beyond, the anti-Jewish "diction" of "nearly all the Sonntägsbliitter " grew "by far sharper" than it had been hitherto. Emboldened and influenced by the intensifying antisemitic atmosphere, the papers emulated the vituperative force and strident tone of the antisemitic rhetoric of the Nazi Party, whose victory was in prospect.
Upon coming to power, the Nazis would work to synchronize the beliefs and conduct of all Germans with the edicts of the new dispensation." The Christian churches and bodies would not execute this Nazi demand with soldier-like obedience. On the contrary, they resisted "synchronization" in all "weighty matters in which their values clashed with those of the Nazis. But when it came to fundamental beliefs and attitudes regarding the Jews, the Nazis and the Protestant Sunday papers were not far apart. They were qualitatively kindred. "Synchronization" in this realm therefore proceeded smoothly. Even before Hitler came to power, as his ascendancy became increasingly probable, the editors of these pious Christian papers brought their already virulently antisemitic rhetoric into closer concord with that of the Nazis. They did so unbidden, entirely voluntarily, and with unmistakable passion and alacrity.
The Protestant press, of course, could not have offered such vituperative Nazi-like antisemitic fare to the people of Germany so relentlessly had the Church's religious leadership not approved. Indeed, the Protestant leadership conceived of the Jews as Christianity and Germany's bitter enemies before Hitler came to power. One of the moral pastors of the nation, for example, the General Superintendent of the Kurmark Diocese of the Evangelical (Lutheran) Church in Prussia, Bishop Otto Dibelius, declared in a letter shortly after the April 1933 Boycott that he has been "always an antisemite."
"One cannot fail to appreciate," he continued, "that in all of the corrosive manifestations of modern civilization Jewry plays a leading role." In 1928, five years before Hitler came to power, Dibelius had even expressed the logic of the reigning eliminationist antisemitism when he offered the following "solution" to the "Jewish Problem": All Jewish immigration from eastern Europe should be prohibited. As soon as this prohibition takes effect, the decline of Jewry would set in. "The number of children of the Jewish families is small. The process of dying out occurs surprisingly rapidly." Unlike Hitler, who wanted to kill the Jews, the Lutheran bishop wished them to die out peaceably, bloodlessly. Wolfgang Gerlach, a German Evangelical pastor and historian of the Christian churches during the Nazi period, observes that Bishop Dibelius' antisemitic sentiments were "well nigh representative of German Christendom [deutsche Christenheit] in the beginning of 1933."
This retrospective judgment is confirmed by the contemporaneous judgment of the eminent Protestant theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who despaired at the flood tide of anti-semitism that even his colleagues were then expressing. Shortly after Hitler came to power, Bonhoeffer wrote to a theologian friend that, regarding the Jews, "the most sensible people have lost their heads and their entire Bible." (Pages 107-109)
As you can see for yourself, "Darwinism" was not the source of anti-Jewish feeling in Nazi Germany. I'm not blaming Christianity, either. Pervasive anti-Semitism tainted Hitler's science and theology. Do you comprehend?

> The plants survived in the flood not "because the
> ancient Hebrews didn't consider plants to be alive
> in any real sense" but because they were made to
> live on the ground. Their seeds remain in the soil
> for a long time waiting the right conditions.

I was right. Creationists like you haven't learned any botany since Sunday school. Plants are vulnerable living organisms in every sense that people and animals are. They possess a circulatory, digestive, respiratory and even a nervous system (called tropism) where the plant's movements are triggered by stimuli.

Flowering plants even possess a reproductive system where the male stamen fertilizes the female ovules within the pistil through cross-pollination that exchanges genetic material, just like sexual reproduction in animals. And there are 450 different species of carnivorous plants across 12 genera.

Plants succumb to virulent diseases and parasites, too. AND they perish if you over-water them. (In other words, they drown.)

A global flood that lasted a whole year (and "buried forests" under mudflows, as you suggest), would've wiped out all plant life on earth. Even if some "seeds survived in the ground," as you propose, it would take decades, perhaps centuries, for enough plants and trees to grow sufficiently to offer food and shelter for herbivorous animals.

> Is everything God does too hard for you to believe?
> Life is a miracle, it's God's making. He sends forth
> the creatures "be fruitful and increase in number;
> multiply on the earth and increase upon it." If God
> made the earth in the first place by the power of His
> Word, He can replenish again. He "up holds all things
> by the word of His power" [Jn.1:3 Heb.1:3].

So if God magically replenished the earth with "full-grown, mature" plants and trees immediately after the flood, why build an ark in the first place? Why did Noah have to rescue all the animals if God planned to "replenish" the earth afterward? (He apparently did this after Noah sacrificed all the clean animals.)

> Huge movements of water will bury anything under the
> debris, and more so fish carried by the water. The fact so
> many fish were buried indicates the flood was massive. It
> buried forests - hence we have goal and oil deposits.
> Normally when a fish dies it floats to the top, it's eaten and
> very soon gone, even the bones. Only rapid burial could
> produce the fossils we have today.
>
> Why notice SOME of the words of Noah's flood and
> overlook others? Is that deliberate? The words you failed
> to notice "Everything that had the breath of life in its nostrils
> died." Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped
> out". But of course, you don't really believe that, do you?
> No, you only believe what you want to.

Did you pay attention to what you just said? You claimed that Noah's Flood wiped out ALL living creatures except for those aboard the ark. So, according to you, this flood destroyed ALL the fish, ALL the sharks, ALL the whales and ALL the marine life.

Are you saying that Noah had to carry two of each fish, porpoise, manta ray and octopus aboard the ark? Did Noah equip his craft with thousands of fresh and salt-water aquariums? Did you even consider that before you typed it?

>> The myth of the shrinking sun was also dealt with at length
>> by three Christian scientists -- Howard J. Van Till, Davis A.
>> Young, and Clarence Menninga, in their book Science Held
>> Hostage: What's Wrong With Creation Science and Evolutionism
>> (InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove, IL. 1989)<<
>
> I can't go by "Christian" data from "20 years ago". Long
> Agers have been wrong in the past and will be wrong
> again as they try to fit evolution into the Bible.

I can't go by "Christian" data from "22 years ago." Short Agers have been wrong in the past and will be wrong again as they try to fit young-earth apologetics into the Bible.

> Since 1836 more than one hundred different observers
> at the Royal Greenwich Observatory and in the US Navel
> Observatory have made direct, visual measurements that
> suggest that the suns diameter is shrinking at a rate of about
> 0.1% each century or about 5 feet per hour! [J.Eddy A.
> Boornazian 'Secular Decreases in the Solar Diameter
> 1863-1953 Bullen of American Astronomical Society,
> vol.11(2) 1979 pg.437].
>
> Furthermore, records of solar eclipses indicate that this
> rapid shrinking has been going on for at least the past 400
> years [G.B Lubkin Analyses of Historical Data Suggest Sun
> is Shrinking' Physics Today Sept.1979 pf.17-19] Several
> indirect techniques also confirm that the sun is shrinking,
> although these inferred collapse rates are only about 1/7th
> as much [D.Dunham Observations of a Probable Change in
> the Solar Radius between 1715 and 1979 Science vol.210
> 12Dec.1980 pg.1243-1245].

Howard J. Van Till, a Christian physicist with Calvin College, wrote a long critique of the creationist interpretation of the data in his book Science Held Hostage: What's Wrong with Creation Science and Evolutionism (InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove, Illinois, 1988). What Eddy and Boornazian actually discovered (and what both later confirmed) was the fact that the sun periodically pulsates or "oscillates" in size. Van Till writes:

In 1984, Claus Frolich and John Eddy reported the results of recent measurements of solar diameter. Particularly relevant is their finding that, during the period from 1967 through 1980, the sun exhibited an increase in diameter at the mean rate of 0.03 arc seconds per year, equivalent to a linear rate of eight feet per hour. Since 1980 the solar diameter has remained nearly constant, with a weak suggestion of decreasing. This behavior is remarkably consistent with the 76-year periodic behavior found by Parkinson and Gilliland, for which a broad maximum would be expected in the mid-1980s. (p. 51)
Creationists had assumed that the so-called "shrinkage" had occurred at a steady, invariable rate throughout the history of the earth and extrapolated accordingly. One critic said that was like measuring the low tide mark at dusk, and then extrapolating the decrease in the ocean's depth back in time by ignoring its rise and fall. After Van Till published his findings in the 1986 issue of the Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation, he notes:

Thomas G. Barnes published a rebuttal to this material [in the March 1987 issue of the Creation Research Society Quarterly]. In the rebuttal Barnes clings to the idea of solar shrinkage for the duration of the sun's history. Our references to published criticisms of Eddy and Boornazian's 1979 report were characterized by Barnes as "nit-picking" and as providing "nothing of quantitative value." Eddy's 1984 report on the recent increase in solar diameter was ignored entirely. And, very interestingly, our criticism of the unrestrained (and therefore meaningless) extrapolation employed in the creation science literature to reach a recent-creation conclusion was uncontested, in fact, not even acknowledged. (p. 65)
The legend of the shrinking sun is yet another example of a creationist "Piltdown" hoax.

> At most places on the continents, over half the
> 'geological periods' are missing. Only 15-20% of
> the earth's land surface has even one-third of these
> periods in the correct consecutive order. Even with
> the Grand Canyon, more than 150 million years of
> this imaginary column is missing.

In the same book I just cited above, Christian geologist Davis A. Young explains that most of the so-called "missing rocks" had eroded away, and that creationists have deliberately ignored the extensive geological literature on the topic that provides abundant supporting evidence.

The same kinds of claims are found repeated in articles published in the Bible-Science Newsletter. For example, "The formation below the Mississippian, on both sides of the canyon, is the Muav. This poses a big problem for the evolutionist geologist. Here there are three layers missing: the Ordovician, the Silurian and most of the Devonian."
Such a claim calls for a careful scrutiny of both the data and their interpretation. Is there physical evidence, for example, to suggest there are "missing rocks"? Specifically, is there physical evidence for the Cambrian-Mississippian paraconformity? Or have geologists simply invented the concept of "missing layers" in order to explain away a serious difficulty for the evolutionary theory to which they have a prior commitment?
In fact, there is an abundance of physical evidence to indicate that layers of rock have been eroded away and are therefore now missing. This is so even in the specific case of the Mississippian-Cambrian paraconformity that [creationist Gary] Parker cites. Furthermore, the physical evidence exists independent of any paleontological evidence that might be adduced in support of biological evolution. Regardless of whether or not the concept of biological evolution has any validity, the geological data clearly point to the former presence of "missing rock." (p. 99, emphasis in original)
To paraphrase you, "Why ignore Christian studies and qualifications," Mark? "You are ignoring important evidence!"

>> Evolutionists did NOT develop the geologic column.
>> It was developed by Christian geologists in the 19th
>> century, decades before the publication of Darwin's
>> On the Origin of Species. You're getting careless,
>> Mark.
>
> Nonsense. Practically nowhere on the earth can one
> find the so-called "geological column".

Again, you're wrong! Christian geologist Glenn Morton wrote an article about the Geologic Column and its Implications for the Flood and noted that a complete geologic column can be found in twenty six locations around the world, such as:

Golden Valley Formation of Western North Dakota
Ghadames Basin in Libya
Beni Mellal Basin in Morrocco
Tunisian Basin in Tunisia
Oman Interior Basin in Oman
Western Desert Basin in Egypt
Adana Basin in Turkey
Iskenderun Basin in Turkey
Moesian Platform in Bulgaria
Carpathian Basin in Poland
Baltic Basin in the USSR
Yeniseiy-Khatanga Basin in the USSR
Farah Basin in Afghanistan
Helmand Basin in Afghanistan
Yazd-Kerman-Tabas Basin in Iran
Manhai-Subei Basin in China
Jiuxi Basin China
Tung t'in - Yuan Shui Basin China
Tarim Basin China
Szechwan Basin China
Yukon-Porcupine Province Alaska
Williston Basin in North Dakota
Tampico Embayment Mexico
Bogata Basin Colombia
Bonaparte Basin, Australia
Beaufort Sea Basin/McKenzie River Delta
> I have no books by Morris or Whitcomb but can check --
> page number and book please.

The Genesis Flood, pages 275-276.

>> Funny, but the Bible absolutely does not say ANYTHING
>> about God redesigning the anatomy and physiology of
>> vegetarian animals to require a carnivorous diet.<<
>
> Interesting prophecy in Isa.11:7 65:25 "The lion will eat
> straw like an ox".

Yes, that's right, it's a prophecy of a future event, not a past event. And the verse doesn't say, "The lion will eat straw like an ox as it once did."

If it had said that, you might've had a legitimate line of reasoning. Instead, you invent your own Biblical hermeneutics where it's convenient.

> Hmmm. So now Satan didn''t tempt anyone, there
> was no fall into sin, death and suffering was God''s
> fault.

God says that He''s responsible for death and suffering because He created the world, not Satan. For example:

When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. (Ecclesiastes 7:14)

I form the light and create darkness. I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things. (Isaiah 45:7)

Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come? (Lamentations 3:38)

The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD?" (Exodus 4:11)

Interestingly, the King James Version reads:

I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. (Isaiah 45:6-7)
God is responsible for evil, death and suffering. He said so himself. Of course, you''ll attempt to circumvent the above verses through mental gymnastics.

> The serpent was the instrument or tool of a higher agent.
> Satan who is called ''the serpent'' the old dragon'' [Jn.8:44 2
> Cor.11:3 1 Jn.3:8 1 Tim.2:14 Rev.20:2]

Yes, but Satan isn''t really a reptile, is he? My church taught us that he was an angel of light.

Jesus also called the Pharisees "vipers" (Matthew 12:34). Does that mean they were talking serpents, too?

>> I don''t consider the members of the Institute for
>> Creation Research to be highly qualified, because
> >they all have to sign a "Statement of Faith" pledging
>> that their data will coincide with the historical
>> inerrancy of the book of Genesis.
>
> That will not do. Why ignore their studies and their
> qualifications? You are ignoring important evidence.

Oh good grief! How would you react if a group of prominent archaeologists signed a "Statement of Faith" pledging that their findings would exactly coincide with the historical accuracy of the Book of Mormon? You''d go nuclear.

> There is evidence from Bible verses that these large creatures
> lived at the same time as men [Job 40:15 41:1-34]. Just as every
> culture has flood stories, many also have dragon legends. There
> have been reported sightings of dinosaurs even up to the present
> day. ''Dragon'' legends appear in China, Japan, Australia, South
> America, India Europe, England and in the Americas [''Update''
> Omega Oct.1981 pg.32] And more than 40 people claimed to
> have seen plesiosaurs off the Victorian coast [Australia] over
> recent years Melb. Sun Feb.6 1980. In Science Digest June 1981
> and as late as 1983 (Science Frontiers, no.33) explorers and
> natives in Africa have reported sightings of dinosaur-like
> creatures.

And 20,000 Americans swear that UFOs abduct them annually. That doesn''t mean I believe it.

If there are so many plesiosaurs swimming around the world, why can''t we find a single dead carcass? Are sneaky "evolutionists" spiriting them away to Roswell''s Area 51 or Hangar 18?

> I mentioned about the massive fossil graveyards around
> the world. And also that "the fossil graveyards have all
> the signs of rapid burial and bones are mixed together"
> in my last mail. You replied by quoting "Bob Schadewald"
> a virulent anti-creationist [like you]. He plays the same
> game trying to find fault with creationists.

Bob Schadewald was a journalist who died last year, and he merely repeated to Gish what other geologists and paleontologists already told him -- that the Karroo formation in Africa has too many fossils deposited in a single site to suggest that they all lived together contemporaneously. Instead, they were all buried at different times.

Check out the La Brae tar pits in Los Angeles. Paleontologists insist that all the saber-toothed cats, wooly rhinos and giant ground sloths buried on top of one another in these pits weren''t simultaneously interred, either.

> Have you read his chapter ''The Evolution of Bible Science''
> in Science Confront Evolutionist? [NY 1983].

Yes, I''ve read it, but the name of the book is actually Scientists Confront Creationism. I suggest you read Steven D. Schafersman''s chapter on fossil stratigraphy on pages 219-244.

And since you believe the decay of the Earth''s magnetic field offers evidence for a "young earth," you should read Stephen G. Brush''s chapter that thoroughly debunks this argument on pages 72-77. Brush''s chapter is titled "Ghosts from the Nineteenth Century."

After you read Brush''s chapter, read Duane Gish''s response to Stephen Brush in his book Creation Scientists Answer Their Critics. Amazingly, Gish concedes everything to Brush, which topples your Argument from Authority on its head.

> One of his special interests has been the flat-earth movement,
> which has a miniscule following, no scientist supporters.

The President of the Flat Earth Society, Charles K. Johnson, died only four weeks ago. He was a professional engineer who defended the flat-earth doctrine on the basis of Scripture. And he regularly accused scientists of being liars and "demented dope fiends," called the American space program a "charade" and a "carnie game" and labeled the space shuttle flights "a ludicrous joke."

Johnson also said, "Moses was a flat-earther. The Flat Earth Society was founded in 1492 B.C., when Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt and gave them the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai." In addition, "The whole point of the Copernican theory is to get rid of Jesus by saying there is no up and no down. The spinning ball thing just makes the whole Bible a big joke."

Johnson''s rhetoric sounds eerily like yours, especially if I substitute the word "Copernican" with "Darwinian."

> In his chapter he begins by saying ''Bible-scientists have
> waged war on conventional science, sometimes defending
> their beliefs with such potent arguments as the rack, rope,
> or stake." He doesn''t describe what took place, or when
> and who these "Bible-scientists" were. One must just
> accept his word for all of this.

Haven''t you heard of the Inquisition, an organization whose sole mission was to torture heretics from 1478 until 1820 to force them to renounce heretical doctrines? In 1600, the Inquisition convicted Giordano Bruno, a Dominican monk, of heresy because he had the audacity to claim that the earth orbited the sun. Since Bruno failed to recant, the Inquisition burned him at the stake. Fortunately, Galileo did recant to save his hide.

> It is the creationists who would be tortured with
> rope, rack, and stake if evolutionists had their way.

Blurting this erroneous comparison probably makes you feel better, but the fact is, they didn''t. The Inquisition tortured heretics under the authority of the Christian Church. Had Charles Darwin published his manuscript one century earlier, he could''ve met the same fate.

> He maintains that the Bible does teach a flat earth
> (270, 293). This is clearly false. The Bible refers to
> circle of the earth (Isaiah 40:22). From every point in
> the earth appears as a circle, which it must, of course,
> if it, a sphere. The Bible is thus scientifically accurate
> on that and Schadewald simply reveals his ignorance
> of the Bible. Why quote this guy Tom?

The Skeptic Friends Network now has a Biblical Flat Earth and Geocentricism page in your honor. Thank you for your inspiration.

> The history of life in the evolutionary view must be a
> continuum, yet right at the start we have one of the most
> immense breaks in the history of life that one could imagine
> - the monstrous gap between microscopic organisms and
> the Cambrian invertebrates.

The first multicellular animals fossilized almost 700 million years ago were found in the Ediacaran Hills of Australia in 1946. Since then, Precambrian fossils have been found at more than thirty locations around the world, on every continent except Antarctica.

And the so-called Cambrian "explosion" was an extremely SLOW explosion that happened over tens of millions of years. Some "explosion."

> Could you provide a web page explaining where the
> cosmic egg came from? Perhaps cosmic chicken? It''s
> simply assumed it was there, no one knows how long
> it sat there. Why should it have been there at all? But,
> as the story goes, the egg exploded (nobody knows why),
> and as the expanding primeval fireball expanded, it cooled
> so that hydrogen and helium gas could form.

Let''s see... I was discussing the scientific evidence for biological descent with modification, but now you claim that you''ve refuted evolutionary biology by way of cosmology. Since the notion of the universe originating from a singularity sounds like so much gobbledygook to you, I suppose that none of us developed from single-celled zygotes because, after all, that represents an increase in order and complexity, thus violating the second law of thermodynamics. And God knows He put a stop to that after Adam and Eve ate that magical fruit of forbidden knowledge.

If you''re really interested in cosmological theories of origins, you might start here, but it''s irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

> But, as the story goes, the egg exploded (nobody knows why),
> and as the expanding primeval fireball expanded, it cooled so
> that hydrogen and helium gas could form.

The universe didn''t originate from a "fireball" because terrestrial fires burn through a chemical process that doesn''t exist in a vacuum. Perhaps your creationist sources need lessons in Beginner''s Astrophysics?

> Thus, so the story says, we have gone
> from hydrogen gas to people.

People are composed of carbon. As I reminded you in my last e-mail, the actual scientific consensus is that our sun and solar system originated from elements heavier than hydrogen and helium. Also, you can observe the birth of infant solar systems in protoplanetary disks orbiting newborn stars in the Orion Nebulae, courtesy of the Hubble Space Telescope.

> The initial cosmic egg was in a homogeneous of mass/
> energy in thermal equilibrium which somehow vertex
> itself into a heterogeneous state of mass/energy thermal
> equilibrium, a very unlikely event. As Gregory and
> Thompson wrote, "Can the path from homogeneity to
> the rich assortment of present day structures be traced?...
> The more conventional model assumes that individual
> galaxies arose out of homogeneous primordial soup.
> The main trouble with this model is explaining how
> the universe proceeded from it''s smooth state to the
> state in which was gathered into galaxies"
> [Scientific American 1982 246 (3) pg.113].

You''re quoting Scientific American from 1982? That magazine has published dozens of articles about galactic evolution since then. You should check out the January 2001 edition that devotes a whole issue to cosmology. Some of the articles even include URLs where you can download technical articles about the Big Bang from Physical Review Letters in PDF format.

Come on, Mark, join the 21st Century!

> You go on about Twenty-nine Nobel Prize-winning physicists
> who are supposed to have a contrary view to those ''creationists''.
> And the subject changes to creationism in schools.

I did not change the subject to creationism in schools. In all your e-mails, you "quote" scientists that "purportedly" criticize evolution because you think you''re making a convincing impression through Arguments from Authority.

Yet when I bring up the fact that 72 Nobel Prize winning scientists signed their names to a petition that disputes creationism, including 29 physicists that cited a paper in their footnotes by another physicist named Stanley Freske titled "Creationist Misunderstanding, Misrepresentation, and Misuse of the Second Law of Thermodynamics," you suddenly dissemble on the topic of authority. What happened?

> And the others I quoted? "No experimental evidence disproves
> it", say physicists G.N. Hatspoulous and F.F. Cyftopoulos:
> "There is no recorded experiment in the history of science that
> contradicts the second law or its corollaries..." [EB. Stuart, B.
> Cal-Or, and A.J. Brainard eds; Deductive Quantum Thermodynamics
> in a Critical Review of Thermodynamics (Baltimore: Mono Book
> Corporation, 1970), pg.8]. Did you catch that? Are they more
> people you won''t listen to? They [and many others] are on the
> record saying the same thing. Would you like more quotes?

No, I don''t need more quotes, because the quotes you did provide do not claim that biological evolution "contradicts the second law or its corollaries." Reread the quotations you sent me.

Again, if evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics, you must express your arguments as mathematical formulas, not metaphors. Creationists have not offered any mathematical calculations to explain how genetic variation or descent with modification violates the second law of thermodynamics.

The second law is applicable to biological organisms, but creationists don''t apply it correctly. It restricts possible changes in entropy when a system makes the transition from one state to another. It requires that the initial state, as well as the end state, be in equilibrium, and that throughout this transition, the system must remain thermodynamically isolated.

In turn, this leads to non-equilibrium thermodynamics. This is the proper tool for analyzing the thermodynamic behavior of the earth and its inhabitants, but creationists never address that. They must apply the second law to describe the overall non-equilibrium system as a collection of sub systems, each of which is in thermodynamic equilibrium, but not isolated. Your analysis must then identify the sub systems that are sources of entropy, and the entropy and energy flow between sub systems.

But again, creationists haven''t done any of this, have they?

Answer: No.

> You overlook them but target Gish, Why? What is it
> about "Duane Gish" you hate? Oh, I know. Is it because
> he''s a creationist?

No, it''s not because he''s a creationist. What I hate about Gish is the fact that he''s been caught, in public, telling flat-out lies. If you think I''m exaggerating, here are four examples.

Gish insists that the ICR does not sponsor searches for Noah''s Ark when, in fact, it does.
Gish says that human DNA more closely matches bullfrog DNA.
Gish misrepresents what his evolutionary sources said in writing.
Gish claims the scientific literature ignores the origin of fishes and Cambrian metazoans.
Three of the above articles are lengthy exposés.

> But may I say first, take a Bible study course. You
> have a real problem understanding the Bible. Nothing
> makes sense; it''s all confusing.

On the contrary, you''re the one who inserts fictitious "doctrines" into scripture that don''t exist. For instance, do you believe in the prediluvian vapor canopy?

Look at the creation story in Genesis chapter one. God says that he created the sun, moon and stars on the fourth creation day to be "visible for signs and for seasons." (Genesis 1:14)

Since God clearly states that he intended stars to be visible on earth before the flood, then a vapor canopy that''s a dozen or so miles thick couldn''t have existed unless it was invisible. In their book The Genesis Flood, John Whitcomb and Henry Morris claimed that 30 percent of the present liquid ocean mass was once held aloft in this canopy! But the Bible itself refutes the existence of any "vapor canopy."

Remember, "Don''t add to God''s words, or he''ll rebuke you and prove you a liar" (Proverbs 30:6).

> You over look the fact that two types of animals were
> taken into Noah''s Ark -- clean and unclean. The clean is
> ''positive''! These creatures were still doing what God created
> them to do, ie eat plants. They were gentle and harmless.
> The unclean is ''negative''. Such creatures had become
> scavengers on the dead bodies of others, as death began
> to pass to the whole Creation.

And you accuse me of misrepresenting the Bible? Clean and unclean animals were not designated by carnivorous or vegetarian diets. Leviticus chapter 11 and Deuteronomy chapter 14 list what animals were clean and unclean.

Unclean animals included cud-chewing livestock without a split hoof (like pigs), predatory birds, clams, crabs, rabbits, horses, camels and rodents. As you can see, many of these animals were herbivorous. Clean animals chewed their cud and had a split hoof, and included insects, birds and fish "with fins and scales" that swam in streams. Again, many of these clean animals ate meat.

God also said that four-legged winged creatures were clean. Funny thing is, there are no four-legged winged animals in nature or in the fossil record. (Leviticus 11:21)

> It''s not until the days of Joseph that we read
> of creatures attacking and killing people.

Isn''t that an argument from silence? We also don''t read about people vomiting until Leviticus. Does that mean people never threw-up until the time of Moses?

> Only someone who wants to blur the distinction will argue,
> "Good is vague and ambiguous". It wouldn''t matter what
> language is used you only accept verses you want to.
> When God said "Behold it was very good" [Gen.1:31]
> I asked was that a lie? ''You dodged a legitimately
> reasonable question''. Nine times in Genesis it says
> creation was good and you say it''s "vague and
> ambiguous" yet it''s clear and emphasized.

The Bible called Lot a "righteous man" even after he got drunk, copulated with both of his daughters and impregnated them (2 Peter 2:7). Does that sound like a "righteous" man?

Again, the word "good" is ambiguous. Is your wife good? Are your children good? Are your parents good? Is your church good? Do you see my point?

> Don''t blame God for sickness, death and
> destruction.

The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD?" (Exodus 4:11)

Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come? (Lamentations 3:38)

I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. (Isaiah 45:6-7)

> After this you then quote many verses that imply that ''all
> the earth'' could not mean ''all the earth''. You don''t like the
> idea of a worldwide flood [not surprising]. However, that
> aside, was there any flood at all? Do you believe there was?
> I will wait your answer before I explain where you are
> wrong and why.

You completely ignored a direct question. Whether or not there was "a flood at all," did Caesar Augustus take a census of "all the inhabited earth?" Did "all the kings of the earth" visit Solomon? Was there a "famine all over the earth" during the reign of Claudius? Did "all the countries of the world" come to Egypt to buy corn? Was "the gospel proclaimed to every creature under heaven" at the end of Paul''s missionary journeys? Yes or no?

> Many animals are buried in mass graves and in
> twisted and contorted positions, suggesting violent
> and rapid buried over large areas [P.Grayloise
> ''Very Like a Whale'' The Illustrated Lon. News 1956
> pg.116].

The "twisted, contorted position" of fossilized skeletons isn''t evidence of a violent death. They could''ve been dismembered by scavengers, bent out of shape through water flows or knotted through post-mortem drying of ligaments.

The next time one of your pets die, gently place him in your backyard and let him rot outside. Trust me when I warn you that after four weeks of exposure to summer rains, heat and crows, he''ll adopt a "twisted, contorted appearance" as well.

> For example fossilized jellyfish show by the details
> of their soft fleshy portions that they were buried
> rapidly before they could decay.

Again, rapid burial by a flood isn''t evidence for a global flood. People and animals perish in violent flash floods every year.

> It''s amazing you have such details on the Thirty Year
> War and nothing on the missing links - DNA problems
> with evolution - fossil record - and the frauds of evolution.
> Why? You have a huge number of books but never the
> right books. You can find anything, but never the truth.
> Can you tell me anything, you know about evolution that is true?

Everything I''ve told you regarding evolution is the actual scientific consensus. Even Christian scientists corroborate every fact I presented you.

Everything you''ve told me regarding creation science is false. Many of the individuals you "quote" argue the exact opposite of what you asserted.

> Interesting the particular spin you give to history.

On the contrary, everything you''ve told me about "Nazism originating from Darwinism" perverts history out of all sense of proportion.

> Right from the very fall into sin you rewrite it with your
> anti-creationist worldview.

Really? Why don''t you read the book Is God a Creationist? The Religious Case against Creation Science, edited by Roland M. Frye, with essays by a number of Protestant scientists and theologians. If you accepted e-mail enclosures, I could send you four chapters from that book that criticize creation science for its distortions of science and scripture.

> The real villains of your story are those terrible Bible believing
> Christians who believe God didn''t use evolution. And now all
> wars become "creationists against Christian creationists".
> Nothing like bending the facts to fool people with the story.

Regarding my discussion of the Thirty Years War, the only fact I misrepresented was the number of people who died during World War II. I said 15-17 million people died, when that was actually the number of soldiers killed in combat. The civilian casualty rate was about four times higher.

Nevertheless, more Europeans died during the Thirty Years War, fought on that continent alone, than died in World War II.

> You DISTORT the meaning of what the Bible
> teaches and mislead people. Your ''friends'' might
> think its funny, but it appears dishonest. This
> kind of practice questions your creditability

Mark, I agree with you that a literal reading of Scripture doesn''t support evolution. Yet ironically, the Bible has even less support for young-earth flood geology.

The Bible doesn''t say that Satan spoke to Eve through a serpent, that animal death is collateral damage from Original Sin (except for the Flood), that God turned herbivorous animals into carnivorous ones to punish mankind, that the second law of thermodynamics resulted from The Fall or that death, decay and decomposition didn''t exist in the Garden of Eden.

The Bible doesn''t describe anything approximating a vapor canopy. There''s no mention of dinosaurs being "flash-frozen" in a post-flood Ice Age, sauropods bathing in the River Jordan, plate tectonics spreading faster than Carl Lewis can run, the speed of light slowing down after The Fall, starlight taking a "shortcut" through interstellar space, evolution being concocted by Lucifer and Nimrod at the Tower of Babel or Satan punching impact craters into the moon''s surface during his War in Heaven.

The Bible does not say that "angels" guided the geographic distribution of animals after the flood (which would suggest that incompetent angels led the dinosaurs), or that God wrote the Gospel for Adam in the stars using eighty-eight constellations or that God wrote the Gospel for Noah in stone.

In short, stop accusing others of spreading heresies when creationists like you perfect that sacrilege to an art form.

"Why do you see the speck that is in your brother''s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?" (Matthew 7:3)

"Have I now become your enemy, by telling you the truth?" (Galatians 4:16)

"Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses." (2 Corinthians 13:1)
Best,


Back to Fan Mail



The mission of the Skeptic Friends Network is to promote skepticism, critical thinking, science and logic as the best methods for evaluating all claims of fact, and we invite active participation by our members to create a skeptical community with a wide variety of viewpoints and expertise.


Home | Skeptic Forums | Skeptic Summary | The Kil Report | Creation/Evolution | Rationally Speaking | Skeptillaneous | About Skepticism | Fan Mail | Claims List | Calendar & Events | Skeptic Links | Book Reviews | Gift Shop | SFN on Facebook | Staff | Contact Us

Skeptic Friends Network
© 2008 Skeptic Friends Network Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 2.14 seconds.
Powered by @tomic Studio
Snitz Forums 2000