Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

14660Re: 1. closing remarks; 2. Unposted quotes #11

Expand Messages
  • Stephen E. Jones
    Jul 21, 2005

      On Fri, 22 Jul 2005 07:40:21 +0800, Stephen E. Jones wrote:

      SJ>Last day. It is now T minus ~6.5 hours and counting!

      Sorry, that should have been (at ~7:30AM) "~10.5 hours and counting!".

      On Thu, 21 Jul 2005 16:34:37 -0700 (PDT), Paul wrote:


      PK>Most of all I want to thank Stephen Jones. You put
      >together a successful discussion group and have
      >endured no shortage of crticism in doing so.

      Thanks to Paul.

      PK>Unmoderated lists either bocome the preserve of one
      >viewpoint or are the scene of exchanges marked by
      >continuous ad homs and insults.

      This is in my experience only true of evolutionist-run/dominated C/E lists.
      It is the very reason I started CED. In the main it has been successful.
      There probably are not that many lists where both creationists and
      evolutionists can debate without abuse and ridicule (from mainly the
      evolutionist side). With CED's closing there will be one less.

      However, personally I think the days of lists are numbered. Not many
      people have the stomach or patience for debate where one side denies the
      other even *has* any evidence.

      I think more and more people will turn to blogs to get their C/E/D
      information. My blog CED
      <http://creationevolutiondesign.blogspot.com/> has had 22 visits already
      today (and my visits are not now counted) and 7 in the last hour. I have
      heard that some leading creationist/IDist blogs get over a thousand visits a
      day! In the end that is what has always mattered to me. Not convincing the
      few active opponents whose minds are already made up anyway, but the
      lurkers, both members and non-members. I never knew how many people
      were actually reading CEDlist. Now I will know on CEDblog.

      And I won't have the aggro' and all the whining about how terrible a
      Moderator I am, etc, etc!

      PK>I anticipate that your blog and book will do well.

      Thanks to Paul for your encouragement, and your support, which has
      been much appreciated. I look forward to seeing you on my blog CED


      PS: Last 2 or 3 Unposted Quotes ~30K blocks!

      "Today the theory of evolution is about as much open to doubt as the
      theory-that the earth goes round the sun, but the full implications of
      Darwin's revolution have yet to be widely realized. Zoology is still a
      minority subject in universities, and even those who choose to study it
      often make their decision without appreciating its profound philosophical
      significance. Philosophy and the subjects known as 'humanities' are still
      taught almost as if Darwin had never lived. No doubt this will change in
      time." (Dawkins R., "The Selfish Gene," [1976], Oxford University Press:
      Oxford UK, 1989, New edition, p.1)

      "The origin of eyes in 40 branches of the evolutionary tree was always
      considered to be an independent convergent development. Molecular
      biology has now shown that this is not entirely correct. A regulatory
      master gene (called Pax 6) has recently been discovered that seems to
      control the development of eyes in the most diverse branches of the tree
      (see Chapter 5). However, this gene occurs also in taxa whose species
      have no eyes. Pax 6 is apparently a basic regulatory gene, presumably
      involving some other functions in the nervous system. Molecular biology
      has discovered a number of other such basic regulatory genes whose
      existence in some cases goes back to a time before the major animal phyla
      had branched. When survival is favored by the acquisition of a new
      structure or other attribute, selection makes use of all available molecules
      already present in the genotype." (Mayr E., "What Evolution Is," Basic
      Books: New York, 2001, pp.204-205)

      But the objections to the theory of evolution by natural selection had not
      really been answered, and by 1870 Wallace had come to realize that
      something in addition was needed. Thus to Wallace, as or Lyell and to
      Blyth long ago, there was something right about evolution by natural
      selection and there was something wrong. This balanced position, which
      was the correct one, never had a fair hearing from 1870 onward however,
      because the developing system of popular education provided an ideal
      opportunity for zealots who were sure of themselves to overcome those
      who were not, for awkward arguments not to be discussed, and for
      discrepant facts to be suppressed. This was because popular education
      created a body of students who, like Wallace himself, had of necessity to
      make their ways in life, and because it is only students from privileged
      backgrounds who can afford to adopt views contrary to what they are
      told." (Hoyle F., "Mathematics of Evolution," [1987], Acorn Enterprises:
      Memphis TN, 1999, p.106)

      "And history includes too much contingency, or shaping of present results
      by long chains of unpredictable antecedent states, rather than immediate
      determination by timeless laws of nature. Homo sapiens did not appear on
      the earth, just a geologic second ago, because evolutionary theory predicts
      such an outcome based on themes of progress and increasing neural
      complexity. Humans arose, rather, as a fortuitous and contingent outcome
      of thousands of linked events, any one of which could have occurred
      differently and sent history on an alternative pathway that would not have
      led to consciousness. To cite just four among a multitude: (1) If our
      inconspicuous and fragile lineage had not been among the few survivors of
      the initial radiation of multicellular animal life in the Cambrian explosion
      530 million years ago, then no vertebrates would have inhabited the earth
      at all. (Only one member of our chordate phylum, the genus Pikaia, has
      been found among these earliest fossils. This small and simple swimming
      creature, showing its allegiance to us by possessing a notochord, or dorsal
      stiffening rod, is among the rarest fossils of the Burgess Shale, our best
      preserved Cambrian fauna.) (2) If a small and unpromising group of
      lobeinned fishes had not evolved fin bones with a strong central axis
      capable of bearing weight on land, then vertebrates might never have
      become terrestrial. (3) If a large extraterrestrial body had not struck the
      earth 65 million years ago, then dinosaurs would still be dominant and
      mammals insignificant (the situation that had prevailed for 100 million
      years previously). (4) If a small lineage of primates had not evolved
      upright posture on the drying African savannas just two to four million
      years ago, then our ancestry might have ended in a line of apes that, like
      the chimpanzee and gorilla today, would have become ecologically
      marginal and probably doomed to extinction despite their remarkable
      behavioral complexity. Therefore, to understand the events and
      generalities of life's pathway, we must go beyond principles of
      evolutionary theory to a paleontological examination of the contingent
      pattern of life's history on our planet-the single actualized version among
      millions of plausible alternatives that happened not to occur. ... Life's
      pathway certainly includes many features predictable from laws of nature,
      but these aspects are too broad and general to provide the "rightness" that
      we seek for validating evolution's particular results-roses, mushrooms,
      people and so forth." (Gould S.J., "The Evolution of Life on the Earth,"
      Scientific American, Vol. 271, No. 4, October 1994, pp.63-69, p.64)

      "In the late 1950s, astronomers introduced the concept of the Circumstellar
      Habitable Zone (CHZ). While its definition has varied somewhat since
      then, they've generally defined it as that region around a star where liquid
      water can exist continually on the surface of a terrestrial planet for at least
      a few billion years. This definition is based on the assumption that life will
      flourish if this minimum requirement is met." (Gonzalez G. & Richards
      J.W., "The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed
      For Discovery," Regnery: Washington DC, 2004, p..127)

      "The last thing is the most important of all. Darwinism has been a bad
      thing for social peace, and a good thing for several material endeavors, but
      for science itself it has played a key role in binding biology to the physical
      sciences. Without Darwinism, biological science would need one or more
      deities to explain the marvelous contrivances of life. Physics and
      chemistry alone are not enough. And so without Darwinism science would
      necessarily remain theistic, in whole or in part." (Rose M.R., "Darwin's
      Spectre: Evolutionary Biology in the Modern World," [1998], Princeton
      University Press: Princeton NJ, 2000, Third printing, p.211)

      "The question is not concerning evolution, but as to the main cause which
      has led to evolution in such and such shapes. To me it seems that the
      `Origin of Variation,' whatever it is, is the only true `Origin of Species' ...
      Unless we can explain the origin of variations, we are met by the
      unexplained at every step in the progress of a creature from its original
      homogeneous condition to its differentiation, we will say, as an elephant;
      so that to say that an elephant has become an elephant through the
      accumulation of a vast number of small, fortuitous, but unexplained,
      variations in some lower creatures, is really to say that it has become an
      elephant owing to a series of causes about which we know nothing,
      whatever, or, in other words, that one does not know how it came to be an
      elephant." (Butler S., "Life and Habit," [1910], Wildwood House: London,
      1981, pp.263-264)

      "Most single stars cannot support life either. Some 80 percent of all stars-
      those with less than 65 percent of the Sun's mass-are just too wimpy to
      support life because they radiate so little energy. A planet close enough to
      receive enough heat to keep water in a liquid state will orbit so close that
      tidal forces from the star will slow the planet's rotation to a crawl, as
      happens between Mercury and the Sun. One hemisphere faces the star for
      extended periods of time, becoming too hot, and the other faces away,
      becoming too cold. Many of these dwarf stars also spew huge flares into
      space that periodically toast any nearby planets. On the other end of the
      scale, stars 40 percent more massive than the Sun or larger don't live long
      enough to produce technological civilizations. These celestial behemoths,
      which make up about one percent of the Galaxy's total, consume their
      hydrogen fuel like hungry sharks at a feeding frenzy. On the cosmic time
      scale, they live out their lives in a blink of an eye. The Sun belongs to a
      precious minority of stars that have no stellar companions and that have
      the right mass. Nobody knows exactly how many stars can support
      intelligent life, but it's clear these criteria have put a dent in the most
      optimistic ET claims by whittling 200 billion stars down to perhaps 10 to
      20 billion." (Naeye R., "OK, Where Are They?," Astronomy, July 1996,
      Vol. 24, No. 7, pp.36-43, p.39)

      "The principal difference in the surface conditions on Earth and Venus
      appears to be related to the presence of abundant water on the Earth's
      surface. The operation of plate tectonics, continental drift and the
      formation of the continents themselves is mostly due to the presence of
      water. The Earth is thus a very dynamic planet. On the dry surface of
      Venus, as on Mars, Mercury and the Moon, plate tectonics does not occur,
      and barren basaltic plains, pocked with craters like a Great War battlefield,
      are the common landscape. So the surfaces of the other planets constitute a
      NoMan's-Land of planetary proportions, which is as equally unfriendly to
      life as was the Western Front. The Earth is about the right distance from
      the Sun to make this an agreeable and habitable planet. This question is
      often referred as the Goldilocks problem after the girl in the fable who
      tasted the porridge of the three bears. Venus is too hot, Mars is too cold,
      but the Earth, like Baby Bear's porridge, is just right. This, however, is a
      bit simplistic, since much more than distance is involved. The surface
      temperature of the Earth that we find so agreeable, is maintained by a
      'greenhouse' effect, which traps heat. Without water and carbon dioxide in
      the atmosphere, the surface temperature would average 18 degrees below
      zero Centigrade, and the world would resemble Siberia in the depths of
      winter. Venus is too hot mainly because of the 'greenhouse' effect of its
      thick atmosphere of carbon dioxide, not because it is so much closer to the
      Sun. Were it not for the greenhouse effect that traps the heat, the surface of
      that roasted planet would be below freezing. Its clouds reflect so much of
      the energy coming from the Sun that Venus absorbs only a little more solar
      radiation than Mars. Even the thin atmosphere of Mars adds a few degrees
      to the surface temperature of that frozen desert. The width of the zone
      around the Sun in which a habitable planet can reside in our solar system
      is quite narrow. Various estimates range from about a tenth of an AU to
      about half an AU around the orbit of the Earth. But making a habitable
      planet depends on a complex set of factors, of which distance from the
      Sun is only one. The amount and composition of the atmosphere and the
      nature of the cloud cover are critical. So it's not just a matter of getting an
      earth-sized planet at the right distance from a star. A host of other factors
      are involved." (Taylor S.R., "Destiny or Chance: Our Solar System and its
      Place in the Cosmos," [1998], Cambridge University Press: Cambridge
      UK, 2000, reprint, p.185)

      "Does g have to be 6.67 * 10-^11? What if g were a little larger or a little
      smaller? It turns but that the consequences of even very small changes in
      the gravitational constant would be profound. If the constant were even
      slightly larger, it would have increased the force of gravity just enough to
      slow expansion after the big bang. And, according to Hawking, `If the rate
      of expansion one second after the big bang had been smaller by even one
      part in a hundred thousand million million it would have recollapsed
      before it reached its present size.' (Hawking S.W., "A Brief History of
      Time," Bantam: New York, 1988, p.121) Conversely, if g were smaller,
      the dust from the big bang would just have continued to expand, never
      coalescing into galaxies, stars, planets, or us. The value of the gravitational
      constant is *just right* for the existence of life. A little bigger, and the
      universe would have collapsed before we could evolve; a little smaller,
      and the planet upon which we stand would never have formed. The
      gravitational constant has just the right value to permit the evolution of
      life" (Miller K.R., "Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for
      Common Ground Between God and Evolution," [1999], HarperCollins:
      New York NY, 2000, reprint, pp.227-28. Emphasis in original)

      "But astronomers have unsuccessfully searched several dozen nearby
      Sunlike stars for Jupiter-mass planets in Jupiter-like orbits, suggesting that
      gas giant planets might be relatively uncommon. Computer models
      indicate that a planet needs at least 10 million years to gobble up enough
      gas from a protoplanetary disk to attain the mass of Jupiter. Radio
      observations of nearby stars only a few million years old show that most
      are not surrounded by enough gas to form heavy- weight planets like
      Jupiter. Sa for a solar system to be habitable, it needs to form from a disk
      that lives long enough to enable a Jupiter to reign in sufficient gas, but not
      so long that the terrestrial planets spiral al] the way into the star. Our solar
      system might be one of the few where everything happened just right to
      give life a fighting chance. Many astronomers bemoan the Moon as a
      worthless hunk of rock that washes out the night sky for about two weeks
      every month. But without the Moon, there might not be anyone on Earth
      capable of enjoying the wonders of the universe. Compared to the other
      terrestrial planets, the Earth-Moon system stands out. Mercury and Venus
      have no satellites at all, and Mars has two insignificant, Manhattan- sized
      boulders that are probably captured asteroids. Earth can brag about its
      massive Moon, however, which is about the same size as the largest
      satellites of Jupiter and Saturn. It's no wonder that many astronomers refer
      to the Earth VOLCANISM and shifting crustal plates regulate atmospheric
      gases and the climate. (Naeye R., "OK, Where Are They?," Astronomy,
      July 1996, Vol. 24, No. 7, p.40)

      "This more prolific ATP manufacturing process occurs in a machine
      within the cell called the mitochondria. The mitochondria's method for,
      constructing ATP is quite clever, and it took many years of research to
      uncover its inner workings. In mitochondria the oxygen delivered by the
      blood is not used directly to construct ATP. Instead, the oxygen is used
      with an elegant series of reactions to set up a proton gradient across a
      mitochondrion's inner membrane. As a battery forces electricity to flow
      through a wire, so the proton gradient forces the protons to flow back
      across the membrane. There is a membrane protein called ATP synthase
      that has a channel for the protons to flow through. Like a waterfall turning
      a generator, the protons turn a crank in the ATP synthase. It appears that
      the crank is not straight but has a curve in it. As it rotates, it apparently
      pushes on other parts of the ATP synthase protein, causing the structure to
      change shape. As the protons continue to flow, the ATP synthase goes
      back and forth between different conformations. The ATP synthase
      structure and its conformational changes are just what is needed to capture
      spent ATP molecules and recharge them. Just as a hydroelectric dam
      converts water pressure to electricity, the ATP synthase converts proton
      pressure to chemical energy, in the form of the ATP molecule. ... Biology
      is full of incredibly elaborate, complex machines. If you are beginning to
      suspect that Darwinism has no compelling explanation for them, you're
      right. Aside from vague hypotheses that have more speculation than hard
      fact, evolutionists have no idea how such machines could have come about
      by the unguided forces of nature." (Hunter C.G., "Darwin's Proof: The
      Triumph of Religion Over Science," Brazos Press: Grand Rapids MI,
      2003, pp.33-34)

      "Whales once had legs of some kind; Basilosaurus had delicately turned
      legs that rose and fell as it swam through the Tethys; and now except for
      the rare stub, whales have no hind legs at all. To Darwin, such shrinking
      vestiges were some of the best evidence for evolution. He was struck by
      how fish and other animals that lived in caves were so much like their
      relatives that lived in the light except for their pale, unpigmented skins and
      their sightless eyes; how birds and beetles that could not fly nevertheless
      had crude baby wings. If God had created all the species on earth as they
      are now, why should He leave these sloppy mistakes?" (Zimmer C., "At
      The Waters Edge: Fish With Fingers, Whales With Legs, and How Life
      Came Ashore but Then Went Back to Sea," [1998], Touchstone: New
      York NY, 1999, reprint, p.170)

      "In 1871 Charles Darwin published The Descent of Man, proposing that
      man and apes are descended from a common ancestor. No anthropologist
      today questions his basic premise. There is total agreement about how to
      explain the similarities between men and apes. The impression is
      sometimes given that there is an equal consensus on how to explain the
      differences between them. This impression is misleading. Considering the
      very close genetic relationship that has been established by comparison of
      biochemical properties of blood proteins, protein structure and DNA and
      immunological responses, the differences between a man and a
      chimpanzee are more astonishing than the resemblances. They include
      structural differences in the skeleton, the muscles, the skin, and the brain;
      differences in posture associated with a unique method of locomotion;
      differences in social organization; and finally the acquisition of speech and
      tool-using, together with the dramatic increase in intellectual ability which
      has led scientists to name their own species Homo sapiens sapiens - wise
      wise man. During the period when these remarkable evolutionary changes
      were taking place, other closely related ape-like species changed only very
      slowly, and with far less remarkable results. It is hard to resist the
      conclusion that something must have happened to the ancestors of Homo
      sapiens which did not happen to the ancestors of gorillas and
      chimpanzees." (Morgan E., "The Aquatic Ape: A Theory of Human
      Evolution," [1982], Souvenir Press: London, 1989, reprint, pp.17-18)

      "No one disputes the fact that modern humans and the living great apes
      had a common ancestor. We have enough characteristics in common for it
      to be clear that our lives diverged comparatively recently. We still share
      something like 98 percent of our genetic material with chimpanzees. The
      similarities between us and the apes are evident and easily understood. It is
      the differences that are perplexing. Why should our backs be straight, our
      skins bare, and our lives laced together with webs of words? Somewhere
      in the genetic 2 percent that makes us uniquely human lie reasons to
      account for the fact that our posture, our locomotion, and our intellect
      should be so different from theirs. We seem to have spent a large part of
      the last 10 million years rushing through a series of evolutionary
      adaptations while the apes changed relatively little. Why? What was it that
      made such changes necessary? Something must have happened to us that
      didn't happen to the chimps and gorillas. But what? Theories abound and
      range, according to your taste, from environmental factors that drove our
      ancestors out of the forest, to banishment from the Garden of Eden by
      divine decree. In other words, we became erect, naked, and intelligent
      either because of a change of climate or due to an act of God. Both
      theories are tenable. Scientists, of course, tend to favor the former, but it is
      important to understand that, in the absence of appropriate fossil evidence,
      it is actually no more susceptible to proof than any of the more traditional
      accounts of creation." (Watson L., "The Dreams of Dragons: Riddles of
      Natural History," William Morrow & Co: New York NY, 1987, p.127)

      "The apparent contradiction between molecules and morphology was
      addressed by Mary-Clair King and Allan Wilson, at Berkeley. They asked
      how it was that humans could look so different from chimpanzees and
      gorillas when all showed the same degree of difference from one another
      at the molecular level, and that was a difference of only 1 per cent. They
      proposed that not all mutations are equal: there are some genes, called
      regulatory genes that control other genes. Thus a few mutations in
      regulatory genes could result in large anatomical changes." (Lowenstein J.
      & Zihlman A., "The Invisible ape," New Scientist, Vol 120, No 1641, 3
      December 1988, pp.56-59, p.57)

      "The idea of comparing chimp and human DNA first appeared in print in a
      1975 paper by geneticist Mary-Claire King and biochemist Allan Wilson
      at the University of California, Berkeley. Using the relatively rough and
      ready techniques of the day, based on how similar strands of DNA stick to
      one another, the researchers estimated that human DNA is between 98 and
      99 per cent identical to that from chimps. This was confirmed when the
      original researchers and others went on to sequence a small number of
      genes. The immediate question raised by the finding was what was the
      significance of that 1.5 per cent? Did it mean that chimps were nearly
      human? Not really. Nearly 75 per cent of human genes have some
      counterpart in nematodes-millimetre-long soil-dwelling worms-but that
      doesn't mean that a worm is three-quarters of the way to being a person."
      (White A., "The greatest apes", New Scientist, 15 May 1999.

      "If I am to speak to this issue, I want to make my focus very clear. This
      paper concerns the appearance of biological structure, not the tie of such
      appearance to biotic descent. Evidence for structural difference/descent
      does not constitute evidence for the mechanism by which structural
      transformation took place. Therefore, the sorts of evidence that simply
      indicate relationship and/or descent from a common ancestor (e.g.,
      molecular clock data, fossil sequences, chromosomal banding, and other
      measures of similarity) are not relevant to this question unless they
      indicate the nature of the creative mechanism that produced novelty during
      that descent. Evidence of ancestry does not imply knowledge of the
      morphogenetic mechanisms that are able to produce novelty." (Wilcox
      D.L., "A Blindfolded Watchmaker: The Arrival of the Fittest", in Buell J.
      & Hearn V., eds., "Darwinism: Science or Philosophy?", Foundation for
      Thought and Ethics: Richardson TX, 1994, p195.

      "Modern creationism arose, by contrast, from the efforts of earnest
      Seventh-day Adventists who wanted to show that the sacred writings of
      Adventist- founder Ellen G. White (who made much of a recently created
      earth and the Noachian deluge) could provide a framework for studying
      the history of the earth. Especially important for this purpose was the
      Adventist theorist, George McCready Price (1870-1963), who published a
      string of creationist works, most notably The New Geology (1923). That
      book argued that a "simple" or "literal" reading of early Genesis showed
      that God had created the world six to eight thousand years ago and had
      used the Flood to construct the planet's geological past. Price, an armchair
      geologist with little formal training and almost no field experience,
      demonstrated how a person with such a belief could reconstruct natural
      history in order to question traditional understandings of the geological
      column and apparent indications that the earth was ancient. Price's ideas
      were never taken seriously by practicing geologists, and they had little
      impact outside of Adventist circles. One exception was the Lutheran
      Church-Missouri Synod, where a few energized critics of the modern
      world found Price's biblical literalism convincing, despite the fact that on
      almost every other religious question the Missouri Synod was about as far
      removed from Seventh-day Adventism as it was possible to be. Although
      Price and various associates founded several creationist organizations (like
      the Deluge Geological Society), these groups were short-lived. Similarly,
      early creationist literature seemed to have little visible effect beyond a
      narrow circle. A few fundamentalists, like the Presbyterian minister Henry
      Rimmer (1890-1952), proposed somewhat similar views concerning the
      Flood, but Rimmer's influence had much diminished by the time of his
      death. ... Nothing daunted, creationists continued to prosecute their case.
      At last, in the late 1950s, a breakthrough occurred. John C. Whitcomb, Jr.
      (b. 1924), a theologian at Grace Theological Seminary (Winona Lake,
      Indiana) of the Grace Brethren denomination, and Henry M. Morris (b.
      1918), a hydraulic engineer of Southern Baptist background, had each
      been moving in a creationist direction for quite a while before finding
      confirmation in Price's work. .... Soon after Whitcomb and Morris met
      each other they published The Genesis Flood (1961), an updating of
      Price's work, but one that, because of Whitcomb's theological contribution
      and Morris' scientific expertise, made Price's points more persuasively.
      The rest is history-massive demand for The Genesis Flood (twenty-nine
      printings and sales in excess of 200,000 by the mid-1980s); the
      popularization (by Whitcomb, Morris, and others) of the creationist
      viewpoint in tens of millions of other books, articles, pamphlets, and
      Sunday School lessons ..." (Noll M.A., "Ignorant Armies." Review of
      Numbers R.L., "The Creationists: The Evolution of Scientific
      Creationism," Knopf, in First Things, No. 32, April 1993, pp.45-48.

      "Young earth creationism honors the Scriptures and gives specific content
      to the biblical doctrine that death and suffering entered the world through
      human sin. If it turned out to be true, some tough theological problems
      would become a lot easier. But, as Robert Newman shows us, the young
      earth scenario seems to face insurmountable scientific problems. Paul
      Nelson and fohn Mark Reynolds can respond that the young earth camp
      includes a few distinguished scientists who are working on those
      problems. That is true, but nothing I have read so far leads me to be
      optimistic. I state these personal opinions with some diffidence, largely
      because I am nowhere near as familiar with the crucial geological evidence
      and radiometric dating techniques as I am with the main issues of
      biological evolution. Because of these opinions, most people think of me
      as an old earth creationist; however, I agree with critics of that position
      that something is awkward about the idea that God stepped in at various
      undetermined points in an earthly history of billions of years to do some
      more creating or to inject new genetic information into the biosphere.
      Show me a better scientific position than old earth creationism and I'm
      open to persuasion. Is it discouraging to have to admit at the end that "I
      just don't know"? I don't find it discouraging in the least, because I look
      forward to the exciting work we have to do to get to a position where we
      can hope to get the answers. The problem is that we want to consider the
      scientific evidence fairly and without prejudice, but it is hard to do that
      when so many scientists insist on looking at the evidence only through the
      distorting lenses of naturalistic philosophy. Until we can separate the
      philosophy from the science and get an unbiased appraisal of what the
      evidence does and does not show, it is premature to try to come to any
      firm conclusions. When we do get an unbiased scientific picture, neo-
      Darwinism will collapse and we will be in the midst of a scientific
      revolution so profound that everything will look, different. That's where
      you come in. What the world needs now is not more people who can argue
      for one of the existing positions, but people who can advance the ball.
      Take it from here and run with it!" (Johnson P.E., "Reflection 2", in
      Moreland J.P. & Reynolds J.M., eds., "Three Views on Creation and
      Evolution," Zondervan: Grand Rapids MI, 1999, pp.277-278)

      "Origin of tetrapods.-The "why" of tetrapod origin has been often debated.
      Many of the earliest amphibians appear to have been fairly large forms of
      carnivorous habits, still spending a large portion of their time in fresh-
      water pools. Alongside them lived their close relatives, the
      crossopterygians, similar in food habits and in many structural features and
      differing markedly only in the lesser development of the paired limbs.
      Why did the amphibians leave the water? Not to breathe air, for that could
      be done by merely coming to the surface of the pool. Not because they
      were driven out in search of food-they were carnivores for whom there
      was little food on land. Not to escape enemies, for they were among the
      largest of vertebrates found in the fresh waters from which they came.
      Their appearance on land seems to have resulted as an adaptation for
      remaining in the water. The earliest-known amphibians lived much the
      same sort of life as the related contemporary crossopterygians. Both lived
      normally in the same streams and pools and both fed on the same fish
      food. As long as there was plenty of water, the crossopterygian probably
      was the better off of the two, for he was obviously the better swimmer-legs
      were in the way. The Devonian, during which land adaptations originated,
      was seemingly a time of seasonal droughts when life in fresh waters must
      have been difficult. Even then, if the water merely became stagnant and
      foul, the crossopterygian could come to the surface and breathe air as well
      as the amphibian. But if the water dried up altogether, the amphibian had
      the better of it. The fish, in capable of land locomotion, must stay in the
      mud and, if the water did not soon return, must die. But the amphibian,
      with his short and clumsy but effective limbs, could crawl out of the pool
      and walk overland (probably very slowly and painfully at first) and reach
      the next pool where water still remained. Once this process had begun, it is
      easy to see how a land fauna might eventually have been built up. Instead
      of seeking water immediately, the amphibian might linger on the banks
      and devour stranded fish. Some types might gradually take to eating
      insects (primitive ones resembling cockroaches and dragon flies were
      already abundant) and, finally, plant food. The larger carnivores might take
      to eating their smaller amphibian relatives. Thus a true terrestrial fauna
      might be established." (Romer A.S., "Vertebrate Paleontology," [1933],
      University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, Second Edition, 1945, Fifth
      Impression, 1953, pp.140-141)

      "Similarly, any `theory' that explains phenomena by recourse to the actions
      of an omnipotent, omniscient supreme being, or any other supernatural
      omnipotent entity, is a nonscientific theory. ... It isn't necessarily wrong. It
      is just not amenable to scientific investigation." (Futuyma D.J., "Science
      on Trial: The Case for Evolution," Pantheon: New York NY, 1982, p.169)

      "The origin of the sexual process remains one of the most difficult
      problems in biology. I cannot attempt to answer it here, but I can explain
      the difficulty. The major consequence of sex was to make genetic
      recombination possible, once the 'old-fashioned' prokaryote methods of
      plasmid transfer and conjugation had become ineffective. Genetic
      recombination, in turn, enormously expands the possibilities of evolutional
      change .... But this is a long-term, prospective advantage, not an
      immediate one. Natural selection lacks foresight. A trait will not be
      selected merely because it will have, at some time in the future, beneficial
      effects. It is only present benefits that count." (Maynard Smith J., "The
      Problems of Biology," Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, 1986, pp.35-

      "So, the question is: if greenflies and elm trees don't do it, why do the rest
      of us go to such lengths to mix our genes up with somebody else's before
      we make a baby? It does seem an odd way to proceed. Why did sex, that
      bizarre perversion of straightforward replication, ever arise in the first
      place? What is the good of sex? This is an extremely difficult question for
      the evolutionist to answer." (Dawkins R., "The Selfish Gene," [1976]
      Oxford University Press: Oxford UK, 1989, New edition, p.43)

      Darwin ended his chapter by saying that the argument from classification
      was so decisive that on that basis alone he would adopt his theory even if
      it were unsupported by other arguments. That confidence explains why
      Darwin was undiscouraged by the manifold difficulties of the fossil
      record: his logic told him that descent with modification had to be the
      explanation for the "difficulties in classification," regardless of any gaps in
      the evidence."(Johnson P.E., "Darwin on Trial," [1991], InterVarsity
      Press: Downers Grove IL, Second Edition, 1993, pp.63-65. Emphasis

      Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol). http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones
      Blog: http://creationevolutiondesign.blogspot.com/ Book, "Problems of
      Evolution" http://members.iinet.net.au/~sejones/PoE/PoE00ToC.html