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Bryan Bissell

INDEX

EVOLUTION REQUIRES MORE FAITH THAN CREATION

QUOTES ON EVOLUTION

INTELLIGENT DESIGN REQUIRES DESIGNER

CREATIONISM IS SCIENTIFIC

AGE OF THE EARTH

EVOLUTION CENSORS AND SUPPRESSES ALTERNATE VIEWS

EVOLUTION IS FAITH NOT SCIENCE

EVOLUTION IS RACIST

”AGE OF THE EARTH” DATING GAMES

TO ORGANIZE


EVOLUTION REQUIRES MORE FAITH THAN CREATION

"With the failure of these many efforts [to explain the origin of life] science was left in the some what embarrassing position of having to postulate theories of living origins which it could not demonstrate. After having chided the theologian for his reliance on myth and miracle, science found itself in the unenviable position of having to create a mythology of its own: namely, the assumption that what, after long effort, could not be proved to take place today had, in truth, taken place in the primeval past."

(Eiseley, Loren C., [late Professor of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania], "The Immense Journey," [1946],

Vintage: New York NY, 1957, reprint, p.199)

Renowned Evolutionist Richard Lewontin once candidly wrote:

"We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment to materialism. We cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door." - 'Billions and billions of demons', The New York Review, January 9, 1997, p. 31.
Prominent evolutionist Richard Lewontin (Alexander Agassiz Research Professor at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University) wrote:

Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.

{"Billions and Billions of Demons" New York Review of Books, January 9, 1997, p. 28; quoted at: http://id-www.ucsb.edu/fscf/FAQ/evolution.html. Additional sentence at the beginning included}

Now suppose I were to say, in public,

Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between Christianity and atheism. We take the side of Christianity IN SPITE of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, IN SPITE of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of peace and life, IN SPITE of the tolerance of the Christian community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, BECAUSE we have a PRIOR commitment, a commitment to belief in God. It is NOT that the methods and institutions of Christianity somehow compel us to accept a divine explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to supernatural causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce immaterial explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, Christianity is ABSOLUTE, for we CANNOT ALLOW materialism to stick its foot in the door.

This would not be accepted for a second by Lewontin and other scientific materialists. Clearly they have a rationalistic double standard: one epistemological standard for Christianity; another for naturalistic, materialistic science.

To summarize, for life to exist, we need an orderly (and by implication, intelligible) universe. Order at many different levels is required. For instance, to have planets that circle their stars, we need Newtonian mechanics operating in a three-dimensional universe. For there to be multiple stable elements of the periodic table to provide a sufficient variety of atomic "building blocks" for life, we need atomic structure to be constrained by the laws of quantum mechanics. We further need the orderliness in chemical reactions that is the consequence of Boltzmann's equation for the second law of thermodynamics. And for an energy source like the sun to transfer its life-giving energy to a habitat like Earth, we require the laws of electromagnetic radiation that Maxwell described.

Our universe is indeed orderly, and in precisely the way necessary for it to serve as a suitable habitat for life. The wonderful internal ordering of the cosmos is matched only by its extraordinary economy. Each one of the fundamental laws of nature is essential to life itself. A universe lacking any of the laws shown in Table 1 would almost certainly be a universe without life. Many modern scientists, like the mathematicians centuries before them, have been awestruck by the evidence for intelligent design implicit in nature's mathematical harmony and the internal consistency of the laws of nature. Australian astrophysicist Paul Davies declares:

All the evidence so far indicates that many complex structures depend most delicately on the existing form of these laws. It is tempting to believe, therefore, that a complex universe will emerge only if the laws of physics are very close to what they are....The laws, which enable the universe to come into being spontaneously, seem themselves to be the product of exceedingly ingenious design. If physics is the product of design, the universe must have a purpose, and the evidence of modern physics suggests strongly to me that the purpose includes us.{9} Paul Davies, Superforce (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1984), 243.

British astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle likewise comments,

I do not believe that any scientist who examines the evidence would fail to draw the inference that the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the consequences they produce inside stars. If this is so, then my apparently random quirks have become part of a deep-laid scheme. If not then we are back again at a monstrous sequence of accidents.{10} Fred Hoyle, Religion and the Scientists, quoted in John Barrow and Frank Tipler, The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988), 22.

In 1953, Sir Fred Hoyle et al. predicted the existence of the unknown resonance energy level for carbon, and it was subsequently confirmed through experimentation.{28} In 1982, Hoyle offered a very insightful summary of the significance he attached to his remarkable predictions.

From 1953 onward, Willy Fowler and I have always been intrigued by the remarkable relation of the 7.65 MeV energy level in the nucleus of 12 C to the 7.12 MeV level in 16 O. If you wanted to produce carbon and oxygen in roughly equal quantities by stellar nucleosynthesis, these are the two levels you would have to fix, and your fixing would have to be just where these levels are actually found to be. Another put-up job? Following the above argument, I am inclined to think so. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has "monkeyed" with the physics as well as the chemistry and biology, and there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature.{29} F. Hoyle, Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 20 (1982): 16

John Wheeler, formerly Professor of Physics at Princeton, in discussing these observations asks:

Is man an unimportant bit of dust on an unimportant planet in an unimportant galaxy somewhere in the vastness of space? No! The necessity to produce life lies at the center of the universe's whole machinery and design.....Slight variations in physical laws such as gravity or electromagnetism would make life impossible.{33}  John Wheeler, Reader's Digest, September 1986, 107.

The "Big Bang" follows the physics of any explosion, though on an inconceivably large scale. The critical boundary condition for the Big Bang is its initial velocity. If this velocity is too fast, the matter in the universe expands too quickly and never coalesces into planets, stars, and galaxies. If the initial velocity is too slow, the universe expands only for a short time and then quickly collapses under the influence of gravity. Well-accepted cosmological models{34} tell us that the initial velocity must be specified to a precision of 1/1060. This requirement seems to overwhelm chance and has been the impetus for creative alternatives, most recently the new inflationary model of the Big Bang.

Ward and Brownlee state it well:

If some god-like being could be given the opportunity to plan a sequence of events with the expressed goal of duplicating our 'Garden of Eden', that power would face a formidable task. With the best of intentions but limited by natural laws and materials it is unlikely that Earth could ever be truly replicated. Too many processes in its formation involve sheer luck. Earth-like planets could certainly be made, but each would differ in critical ways. This is well illustrated by the fantastic variety of planets and satellites (moons) that formed in our solar system. They all started with similar building materials, but the final products are vastly different from each other . . . . The physical events that led to the formation and evolution of the physical Earth required an intricate set of nearly irreproducible circumstances.{40} Peter B. Ward and Donald Brownlee, Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe (New York: Copernicus, 2000), p. 37

Nicholas Wade writing in the New York Times (6/13/2000){49} about the origin of life notes:

The chemistry of the first life is a nightmare to explain. No one has yet developed a plausible explanation to show how the earliest chemicals of life - thought to be RNA, or ribonucleic acid, a close relative of DNA, might have constructed themselves from the inorganic chemicals likely to have been around on the early earth. The spontaneous assembly of a small RNA molecule on the primitive earth "would have been a near miracle" two experts in the subject helpfully declared last year.     Nocholas Wade, "Genetic Analysis Yields Intimations of a Primordial Commune" (New York: New York Times, June 14th, 2000), from website.

A universe that contains a special place of habitation for complex, conscious life is so truly remarkable that it is, realistically speaking, impossible to believe it is the result of a series of cosmic accidents. To choose to believe that there is a naturalistic explanation for (a) the mathematical forms encoded in the laws of nature, (b) the precise specification of the nineteen universal constants and (c) the remarkable initial conditions required for star formation and the simplest living systems is to believe in a miracle by another name. Physicist Freeman J. Dyson of Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study seems to implicitly affirm theism when he say,

"As we look out into the universe and identify the many accidents of physics and astronomy that have worked to our benefit, it almost seems as if the universe must in some sense have known that we were coming."{51} Freeman J. Dyson, cited in Barrow and Tipler, Anthropic Cosmological Principle, 318.

Physicist and Nobel laureate Arno Penzias, contemplating our enigmatic universe, observes:

Astronomy leads us to a unique event, a universe that was created out of nothing and delicately balanced to provide exactly the conditions required to support life. In the absence of an absurdly improbable accident, the observations of modern science seem to suggest an underlying, one might say, supernatural plan.{52} Arno Penzias, Our Universe: Accident or Design (Wits 2050, S. Africa :Starwatch, 1992), 42.

Astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle argued in The Nature of the Universe{53} in 1950 for the role of sheer coincidence to explain the many unique but necessary properties of the universe and of planet Earth. But the discoveries of the next thirty years dramatically changed his mind, as described in his book The Intelligent Universe in 1983; to quote,

"Such properties seem to run through the fabric of the natural world like a thread of happy coincidences. But there are so many odd coincidences essential to life that some explanation seems required to account for them."{54} Fred Hoyle, The Intelligent Universe (London: Michael Joseph, 1983), 220

It is easy to understand why many scientists like Sir Fred Hoyle changed their minds in the past thirty years. They now agree that the universe, as we know it, cannot reasonably be explained as a cosmic accident. Frederic B. Burnham, a well-known historian of science appearing on ABC's Nightline with Ted Koppel, confirmed the current openness to the intelligent design model with his comment,

"The scientific community is prepared to consider the idea that God created the universe a more respectable hypothesis today than at any time in the last 100 years."{55} ABC's Nightline with Ted Koppel, April 24, 1992.

Professor Kitts{29} has commented with reference to this problem:

Despite the bright promise that paleontology provides a means of seeing evolution, it has presented some nasty difficulties for the evolutionists the most notorious of which is the presence of ‘gaps’ in the fossil record. Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them. The gaps must therefore be a contingent feature of the record. Darwin was concerned enough about this problem to devote a chapter of the ‘Origin’ to it. He accounts for the ‘imperfections of the geological record’ largely on the basis of the lack of continuous deposition of sediments and by erosion. Darwin also holds out the hope that some of the gaps would be filled as the result of subsequent collecting. But most of the gaps were still there a century later and some paleontologists were no longer willing to explain them away geologically. David B. Kitts, Evolution (Sept, 1974), p. 458. 

Dr. Gould{30} of Harvard has recently commented on the same problem as follows:

The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. we fancy ourselves as the only true students of life’s history; yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection, we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study. S. J. Gould, Natural History (May, 1977), p, 14. 

Dr. Pierre-Paul Grasse, past president of the French Academy of Science and editor of the thirty-five volume "Traite de Zoologie" makes the following statements in his recent book Review of Evolution of Living Organisms:{31}
There is almost total absence of fossil evidence relative to the origin of the phyla.... The lack of direct evidence leads to the formation of pure conjectures as to the genesis of the phyla. We do not even have a basis to determine the extent to which these opinions are correct. Pierre-Paul Grasse, Evolution of Living Organisms (New York: Academic Press, 1977), p. 31.

Distinguished French zoologist Dr. Grasse{38} has commented on the role of mutations in evolution as follows:

Some contemporary biologists, as soon as they observe a mutation talk about evolution. They are implicitly supporting the following syllogism: mutations are the only evolutionary variations, all living beings undergo mutations, therefore all living beings evolve. This logical scheme is however unacceptable: first, because its major premise is neither obvious nor general; second, because its conclusion does not agree with the facts. No matter how numerous they may be, mutations do not produce any kind of evolution. 

He goes on to use the illustration of bacteria that have the highest frequency of mutations, yet stabilized a billion years ago. He says once one has noticed micro-variations on the one hand and specific stability on the other, it seems very difficult to conclude that the former comes into play in the evolutionary process.

Imagine the delight of Johannas Kepler (1571-1630) some eighteen centuries later when he discovered that the orbits of planets around the sun conformed to these same beautiful but abstract mathematical forms. Kepler noted,

"The chief aim of all investigations of the external world should be to discover the rational order and harmony which has been imposed on it by God and which He revealed to us in the language of mathematics."

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) observed that "the laws of nature are written by the hand of God in the language of mathematics". Morris Kline in his book Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty (1980) notes that the religious mathematicians of the 16th and 17th century including Newton, Galileo, Kepler and Copernicus believed that the universe was orderly and thus described by mathematics because a rational God fashioned it that way. Kline says that these scientist/mathematicians believed that

"God had designed the universe, and it was to be expected that all phenomena of nature would follow one master plan. One mind designing a universe would almost surely have employed one set of basic principles to govern all related phenomena."

The distinguished Russian physicist Alexander Polykov notes that,

"We know that nature is described by the best of all possible mathematics because God created it."

Australian astrophysicist Paul Davies says,

"The equations of physics have in them incredible simplicity, elegance and beauty. That in itself is sufficient to prove to me that there must be a God who is responsible for these laws and responsible for the universe."