An engineer asks: Who understands evolution?


Then why ask a question that implies that you DON’T know who they are?

They may sound like ID advocates to you but they make it clear that they are not. Do you think they are trying to slip ID in the back door? Scientists may disagree on exactly how the theory of evolution should be framed but so what? They are not proposing to throw it out.

(Martin R) #23

you did not get my question or my bad English…

(Martin R) #24

only to me? so why they put that disclaimer on their website?


If you don’t understand what the theory of evolution says how can you say that there are contradictions?

You should think that there is healthy dialog and ongoing debate within the science of biology, just as there should be.


What they are proposing is already covered by the modern theory of evolution. The “Third Way” is much ado about nothing. For the most part, they are trying to rename mechanisms that are already a part of settled science.

(A.M. Wolfe) #27

I mean, I suppose we can’t blame Martin for not understanding science. He’s an engineer. I imagine most day-to-day engineering (especially, say, construction-related engineering) works just fine with formulas that have been around essentially without changing since the days of Newton and Leibnitz. It’s all practical applications of settled science. So he’s not used to thinking about how cutting-edge science works…


There is also a hint of projection at times. Creationists accept a religious dogma, so they may tend to think that evolution is also a dogma. It must throw them off a bit to find that theories are not dogmatically accepted or defended. More than once I have seen creationists say that they can’t accept evolution because it is changing all of the time. At the same time, they want scientists to change their mind about creationism, so there is a bit of a contradiction there.


Because ID people keep making the mistake of thinking they are advocating for ID. So it appears you are not the only one to make that mistake.

Perhaps I should have said, “They may sound like ID advocates to ID advocates.”

So did you get an answer to your question? If not perhaps you need to rephrase the question.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #30

This is a very interesting observation. Humans seem predisposed to seek and value that which is permanent and can be relied upon indefinitely - for understandable reasons. Even in science, the whole point of holding a conjecture tentatively is because one hopes that any needed corrections will be applied in the future to bring it closer to a the truth. But that hope is only founded in the faith that such an unchanging, objective truth does exist out there for us to be striving towards it. So even within science and all its celebrated change, the celebration isn’t about the change for its own sake, but because the change is ostensibly to bring one closer to some final truthful understanding.

[Some] Christians imagine that, using scriptures, God already delivered us all the way to just such a point. Hence the reticence to acknowledge or allow for any change. But as believers, many of us have also realized that we aren’t suddenly given infallible insight into all reality, and even our understandings of scriptures themselves are quite fallible. That is an imposed humility that has, so far, eluded so many of our YEC brothers and sisters (and probably ourselves too on many other fronts if we are honest with ourselves); but it is a humility that is not lacking for biblical exhortation.

As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:26

Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

We are misled if we think we automatically become all those admired things the moment we accept Christ. As Tim Keller put it in one of his talks (paraphrased): “The scriptures don’t give me any warrant for believing I am any better than my Muslim, or Hindu, or atheist neighbors. In fact I have every reason to believe they could be better husbands, better fathers, better people than I am.”

And I would add to that: They could be better scientists, and understand more truths about the universe than I do. I agree with Keller that nothing in scriptures gives me leave, much less encouragement, to presume otherwise.

(Mitchell W McKain) #31

This is because the theory of evolution is a scientific theory NOT a set of philosophical propositions or a revelation from God. Science has always been a matter of successive approximations. It is taken for granted that theories can be improved upon.

It is called educating the public in science. I take a look at this website and it makes no alteration of my understanding of evolution in any way whatsoever because I keep up with the developments and am already aware of these advances in theoretical biology. And I am not a biologist. I am a physicist. But it is hardly unusual for scientists to keep up with the developments in other fields, and frankly theoretical biology is nowhere near as complicated as theoretical physics, where it is much harder to keep up with all the developments.

But if you are claiming these developments disprove the original theory then you are reaching for straws. They are all fairly obvious extensions of the basic principles. Enhancing variation to optimize both the viability of offspring and the likelihood of advantageous variations is just what you would expect according to the basic principles of natural selection. And like in other areas of science, rare exceptions to the general rule do not disprove the main theory about what is going on.

Yeah, it is not just religious people who employ rhetoric that science supports their beliefs. Ideologues of every flavor do this too, and a few of them are even scientists publishing works which are more propaganda for their own personal beliefs and worldview than is proper for what should be legitimately called popular science. For example, some of Richards Dawkins books are really good and some not so good, and the same goes for Stephen Hawking.

(Martin R) #36

“Springer confirms that 64 articles are being retracted from 10 Springer subscription journals, after editorial checks spotted fake email addresses, and subsequent internal investigations uncovered fabricated peer review reports. After a thorough investigation we have strong reason to believe that the peer review process on these 64 articles was compromised.”


"Most scientists ‘can’t replicate studies by their peers’
“Science is facing a “reproducibility crisis” where more than two-thirds of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist’s experiments, research suggests.”


“When a journal retracts 107 papers for fake reviews, it pays a price”

and so on…

(Martin R) #37

i said, i don’t understand evolution because of the contradictions and some very absurd just-so stories which make no sense e.g. convergent evolution, lots of loss gain loss gain loss gain examples, or the evolutionary stasis…and it gets worse and worse every day…


Those aren’t contradictions. On top of that, calling something absurd does not make it false. That’s called an argument from incredulity which is a logical fallacy.

(A.M. Wolfe) #39

Is this when I post photos of all the failed bridges in the news recently and then shout about how engineers are all frauds and we need a new kind of engineering to replace this failed practice called engineering?


it’s just absurd that an electrical current in a coil would produce a magnetic field, so that is obviously a fraud that is being perpetrated on the public by engineers.

(A.M. Wolfe) #41

That is, actually, absurd. For the record.


To make it even worse, they contradict themselves when they use magnets which don’t even have an electrical current running through them.

(Martin R) #43

Mervin, brother, i am not arrogant… it is the other way around… it is unbelievable what these guys theorize in 21st century… in 21st century, we engineers have a lot of knowledge… Biologists can’t come and say, that autonomous self-navigating flying drones have somehow self-designed … with no help from engineers… it is 21st century, it is no longer so easy to say such things without a real evidence… we engineers know what it takes…

Mervin, you said you are a layman. I am a layman too, but i read a lot… so when i said, “they have nothing” i know what i am talking about… the more i read the more i see that they are story-tellers… when i think of some problem, and when i try to have a closer look, it always starts like " this is poor understood, … this is unknown… this is enigmatic… this is a mystery …this is a puzzle…" These guys use these words all the time … in peer reviewed articles…

Mervin, i told you, i am an engineer… i started my biology study, because i was curious how some very complex things can evolve… what is the theory of it… i was very curious… i heard all the time that evolution is a fact, so i wanted to see how unguided natural processes solve very complex engineering problems… moreover, i learned that the nature solves it again and again, multiple times, independently…

i was expecting to find answers to some very specific questions from an engineering point of view… Mervin, you know what? I never found these answers… never… yes, i found a lot of just-so stories, some of the stories are so absurd you would not believe… but there is never a real evidence… they just can’t show you how these complex things evolve … and i would like to see… with my own eyes … a cardiac surgeon can show you his skills and knowledge…in real… … but a biologist can’t show you a thing… Look, 150 years gone, and they have no idea how life started… no idea … the same for viruses… they have no idea where viruse comes from … moreover, viruses do not fit their evolutionary theory … it is a totally different and UNIQUE system, differs from all the cellular life …

(Christy Hemphill) #44

(Christy Hemphill) #45

The specific question about third way has been addressed and no new questions or productive lines of discussion have been raised and this thread has deteriorated into insults. @martin_r I think you are confused about the purpose of these forums. If you have a question, knowledgeable people can direct you to good information. We sleep just fine at night if you remain convinced that evolution is a hoax. But we have better things to do than read endless repetitions of your incredulity and dissatisfaction with what you have heard about evolutionary theory from ID proponents. This isn’t a forum for venting your evolution inspired emotions; it’s a forum for discussing science and theology. If anyone has a substantive comment or legitimate follow-up question, he or she can start a new thread by clicking on the time stamp in the upper right corner of the post they would like to interact with and clicking on ‘new’.