Discovery Institute Exposed

That’s not too surprising since many people are telling their fellow Christians that if evolution is true then the Bible is false. When faced with the mountains of evidence for evolution, what are they to do?

9 Likes

The name is a little quirky, but no big deal … the site is mostly about critiquing ToE, after all.
Maybe they should have called it Evolution Bad News.

“salutations”

What about it?

Can you provide a disinterested critique of the poor description by biological
(sic) evolution? By biological (sic) evolutionists themselves of course? Or - better yet - a disinterested philosopher? Even even betterer a disinterested informetrician?

1 Like

They didn’t lose faith because of evolution but because of religious communities trying their best to convince them against science. They thought that’s what religion is, a way to manipulate people to abandon logic and follow some guys that profit from this.

Science doesn’t send this message itself. It’s up to us how we will interpret things science observes, that’s why there are christians who believe in evolution, they simply interpreted science differently than creationists.

4 Likes

Perhaps you could explain the positioning of the fossil record within the superimposed geological layers? What determines where the species ended up being fossilized at? It can’t be size because we find small and large animals throughout all the layers. It can’t be mass because we find heavy and light animals throughout the layers.

Perhaps you can also explain are humans also mammals? If we are mammals what makes us mammals? If not what makes us not mammals? Are dogs and bears also mammals?

Are humans primates?
Are domesticated cats and lions more closely related than domesticated cats are to foxes? How do you know? Is it because they have similar appearances? If so then what about dolphins and whales?

1 Like

Which brings this up:

And this:

1 Like

It is quite telling that the Discovery Institute and its website are not about producing positive evidence for intelligent design. They seem to base their approach on a Designer of the Gaps argument.

5 Likes

The clip on youtube advertising a “Big Conversation” this summer was interesting. I particularly liked where Ian McGilchrist who says, “The argument is not between atheists and believers, it is between the atheists and the fundamentalists on one side and rational people on the other who mostly say they don’t know.” (note below) For me, I am reminded of the pact of non-aggression between Hitler and Stalin which shows how those superficially opposed can often have more common in their efforts to promote conflict and opposition than they would like you to believe. Both the creationists and atheists like to demand that you choose between science and religion – one seeking to replace science with pseudoscientific rhetoric and the other seeking to cast religion into the role of primitive science.

But the reality is religion and science are not on the same playing field. Science seeks to understand the universe for which objective observation is most suitable, and the other seeks to help with the living of our lives which requires subjective participation. Trying to force everything into one or other is certainly myopic if not downright insane.

Note: I would modify the “who say they don’t know” to “who say there is no objective evidence either way.” There are plenty of people who have made their own choices with regards to belief in the things of religion, but who acknowledge that this is a matter of personal choice according to personal experiences and there is no evidence objective by scientific standards to prove things either way.

3 Likes

I’m not a spokesman for ID. And I don’t deny that there’s evidence for “evolution” … but I don’t offer explanations for the fossil record and the appearance of novel organs and body plans. I accept them inexplicable, divine mysteries.

I don’t consider ID to be science - rather, ID uses science to argue for the existence of God.

The theory of evolution sends the message to many (not all) people that a Creator God is unnecessary, irrelevant and superfluous. Many scientists no doubt believe (and sometimes publicly preach) this message:

“Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear — and these are basically Darwin’s views. There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either.”

“Evolution is the greatest engine of atheism ever invented.”
William B. Provine, former Charles A. Alexander Professor of Biological Sciences at Cornell University

“Although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”
Richard Dawkins

Some evolutionary theorists - like Gerd Muller - think the Modern Synthesis is inadequate whens it comes to explaining macroevolutions:

"As can be noted from the listed principles, current evolutionary theory is predominantly oriented towards a genetic explanation of variation, and, except for some minor semantic modifications, this has not changed over the past seven or eight decades.

Whatever lip service is paid to taking into account other factors than those traditionally accepted, we find that the theory, as presented in extant writings, concentrates on a limited set of evolutionary explananda, excluding the majority of those mentioned among the explanatory goals above.

The theory performs well with regard to the issues it concentrates on, providing testable and abundantly confirmed predictions on the dynamics of genetic variation in evolving populations, on the gradual variation and adaptation of phenotypic traits, and on certain genetic features of speciation. If the explanation would stop here, no controversy would exist.

But it has become habitual in evolutionary biology to take population genetics as the privileged type of explanation of all evolutionary phenomena, thereby negating the fact that, on the one hand, not all of its predictions can be confirmed under all circumstances, and, on the other hand, a wealth of evolutionary phenomena remains excluded.

For instance, the theory largely avoids the question of how the complex organizations of organismal structure, physiology, development or behavior — whose variation it describes — actually arise in evolution, and it also provides no adequate means for including factors that are not part of the population genetic framework, such as developmental, systems theoretical ecological or cultural influences …

A rising number of publications argue for a major revision or even a replacement of the standard theory of evolution, indicating that this cannot be dismissed as a minority view but rather is a widespread feeling among scientists and philosophers alike …

Usually, a cursory acknowledgement of the problem of the origin of phenotypic characters quickly becomes a discussion of population genetic arguments about speciation, often linked to the maligned punctuated equilibria concept, in order to finally dismiss any necessity for theory change. The problem of phenotypic complexity thus becomes elegantly bypassed.

Inevitably, the conclusion is reached that microevolutionary mechanisms are consistent with macroevolutionary phenomena, even though this has very little to do with the structure and predictions of the EES.
The real issue is that genetic evolution alone has been found insufficient for an adequate causal explanation of all forms of phenotypic complexity, not only of something vaguely termed ‘macroevolution’. Hence, the micro–macro distinction only serves to obscure the important issues that emerge from the current challenges to the standard theory.
(“Why an extended evolutionary synthesis is necessary")

Also see …
https://doi.org/10.1038/514161a

As quoted in Creation Ministries International article That quote!—about the missing transitional fossils

Anyone reading creationist literature for a few years soon becomes aware that we often use quotes by evolutionists which discredit their own belief system.

Verses work for systematic theology. If you are used to it why not for science as well? Question - have you ever read or even handled a copy of Henry Gee’s book? If you have, forgive me, because most such quotes are submitted by YEC’s who just are parroting these second hand.

If rhetorical quote mining gives you validation, mine away. They mean nothing. Science deals in evidence, measurement, and data. Quotes from notable scientists might be interesting, but are useless for advancing knowledge.

4 Likes

Hadn’t heard that before but I agree. I think I’ll have to catch that one. Any idea how to find out when these will air and how to access them?

Did you ever read that quote I shared a while back from his The Master and His Emissary? There, talking about belief as a disposition toward the world, he argues that everyone must have one whether that is thinking the world is nothing but a mechanical, materialist wasteland entirely indifferent toward us or one in which God belongs or something else. And that disposition will have profound effects on how we experience the world and ourselves.

It’s in the 80th post I made to the Pithy Quotes thread. Pithy quotes from our current reading which give us pause to reflect - #82 by Klax While I don’t believe in God in any form I’ve heard described I do have a high regard for the sacred and respect for any belief system which promotes the same.

3 Likes

By way of thinking, we know there are only a handful of possible statements to begin with.

And I do wonder what fundamental bias keeps a person from appreciating that as a form of a priori understanding.

… spoken like a true Darwinist.

“In February 1999, I had arranged for a talk at the University of Washington for Jun-Yuan Chen, a Chinese paleontologist who was an acknowledged expert on the Cambrian explosion …
In his February lecture at the Burke Museum of the University of Washington, Chen described many of the Chengjiang fossils and argued that their abrupt appearance in the early Cambrian was a problem for Darwinian evolution. Darwin’s theory predicts that minor taxonomic differences (such as species and genera) gradually evolve into larger differences (such as classes and phyla), whereas the fossils show that the phyla and many classes appeared first and then diversified into a variety of genera and species. Chen called this “top-down” evolution, to contrast it with the “bottom-up” evolution required by Darwin’s theory.
Afterwards, scientists in the audience asked him a lot of questions about specific fossils, but they completely avoided the topic of Darwinian evolution. When Chen later asked me why, I told him that perhaps they were just being polite, because most American scientists disapprove of criticizing Darwinism. At that he laughed, and said: “In China we can criticize Darwin, but not the government; in America, you can criticize the government, but not Darwin.””

As I understand it, the first organism with eyes was the trilobite. Where are the eye-transitionals leading up to the trilobite?

I take it that’s a ‘No’ then. As in it’s absolutely impossible to find any such critique by an educated person who puts evidence and rationality before ‘faith’. But of course we all knew that. Your deafeningly silent hand waving is most eloquent. Thank you.

It’s true that many people (read: YECs) are telling their fellow Christians that if evolution is true then the Bible is false. I’m not one of them, although I think the Achilles’-heel of theistic evolution is the lack of a sensible explanation for what happened to the race of “souless humans” that Adam was supposedly taken from.

I’m accept the evidence that suggests life on earth “evolved” over a very long period of time, but I don’t accept that it was the result of a natural process that can be understood by science.

Wait, are you telling me you’ve never heard of salutations in the fossil record … as opposed to saltations in the fossil record?

I’m afraid not. I haven’t seen “Greetings from the Ediacaran” penned by my local Charnia, is it in very small print? Or does it more appropriately say “G’day…”?

Any kin to Sir Anthony?

I take your point, but the scientific claim that life on earth is the result of an understood, mechanical process is no doubt interpreted by some people as “In that case, there is no need for a divine Creator.”
From there it’s only a short step to atheism, or reinforces an atheist position already held.

The science of cosmology also has the potential to erase God from the equation when it attempts to reduce the formation of the universe and celestial bodies to understood, mechanical processes.

You’ve never seen a “G’day” fossil?

They’re a-dime-a-dozen down here in Australia. :sweat_smile:

2 Likes

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

This is a place for gracious dialogue about science and faith. Please read our FAQ/Guidelines before posting.