Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Ed Humes article in the LA Times

Humes makes it exceptionally clear in this article that he is anything but unbiased about Darwinism. I’ve ordered his book, Monkey Girl, and I’m almost afraid of what I’ll find in it. Thank goodness Casey Luskin is addressing various misconceptions in the book.

In the LA Times article, Humes mentions the following:
“The talk-radio version had a packed town hall up in arms at the "Why Evolution Is Stupid" lecture. In this version of the theory, scientists supposedly believe that all life is accidental, a random crash of molecules that magically produced flowers, horses and humans — a scenario as unlikely as a tornado in a junkyard assembling a 747. Humans come from monkeys in this theory, just popping into existence one day. The evidence against Darwin is overwhelming, the purveyors of talk-radio evolution rail, yet scientists embrace his ideas because they want to promote atheism.”
This is far, far, from what educated individuals who reject Darwinism believe to be true. We do not believe that evolution purports that “molecules magically produced flower, horses, and human...”, nor do we believe that evolutionists claim humans evolved from monkeys and just “popped“ into existence one day. We are quite aware that Darwinists claim that humans branch off from the same ape-like ancestors as modern ape species, though are not direct descendents of what we call a “monkey” today.

Humes writes that ID supporters claim that “scientists believe that all life is accidental”. He feels this is a misunderstanding of the theory of evolution. Well, that certainly depends on what aspect of evolution you are discussing. If you are starting midstream with the theory, obviously there are factors which allow for one to generalize that the process is guided to some extent. And, while ~some~ scientists support the notion of design in general but oppose discussions regarding the evidence, ~most~ scientists (75% according to an article in Nature) express disbelief in a personal god which obviously supports the fact that they believe that design in nature is non-existent, and that there is merely an “illusion of design”. So, the only other option other than design is chance! Hence, we are correct in stating that most scientists believe that life is the result of a random accidental chance event.

If you consider the evolutionary paradigm in which mainstream scientists base many theories upon, you’ll find that due to the process of methodological naturalism, we are only allowed to consider causes that ~apparently~ exclude this “illusion” of design (here I had thought science was based on observation). If we exclude design, scientific theories in respect to origins must be based on the assumption that life is the product of random events. So, ~if~ we are wrong in that assumption, we may never discover the true cause of our existence.

Darwin, himself, posited the notion that evolution does not require a designer, and therefore when you consider the first cause of the theory, you are looking square in the face of pure chance and random occurrences. Darwinists, of course, tell us that evolution doesn’t speak of a first cause to our existence, yet obviously there had to be something that started these evolutionary events which led to human life. If design is out of the question we’re left with random, unguided, chance occurrences.

Even in this letter from The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity: Nobel Laureates Initiative, the terms “unguided“, “unplanned“, and “random” are used when speaking about evolution:
[E]volution is understood to be the result of an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection.[my emphasis]
Olson goes on to say:
But then there is the real theory of evolution, the one that was on display in that Harrisburg courtroom, for which there is overwhelming evidence in labs, fossils, computer simulations and DNA studies. Most Americans have not heard of it. Teachers give it short shrift in schools because the subject upsets too many parents who only know the talk-radio version. But real evolution isn't random; it doesn't say man came from monkeys. Those claims are made up by critics to get people riled up — paving the way for pleasing alternatives like intelligent design.
Oh, for the love of God...do tell, what is this overwhelming evidence that most Americans have never heard of?

Evolution is NOT rocket science, and anyone who takes a bit of time to study the subject can clearly conclude that the term “evolution” covers a wide range of theoretical claims. Granted, there should not be a person on the face of the earth who rejects evolution in the sense that Olson is referring to. Obviously, we share commonalities with the animal kingdom, and evolutionary mechanisms are certainly aspects of the theory that are empirically sound beyond any doubt.

But, when we broach the subject of macroevolution, we are considering historical science that is based on ~inference~ and speculation from what we observe in microevolutionary changes.

Real evolutionary theory explains how life forms change across generations by passing on helpful traits to their offspring; a process that, after millions of years, gradually transforms one species into another. This does not happen randomly but through nature's tendency to reward the most successful organisms and to kill the rest. This is why germs grow resistant to antibiotics and why some turtles are sea animals and others survive quite nicely in the desert, and why dinosaurs — and more than 99% of all other species that have ever lived on Earth — are extinct.

The environment changes. The recipe for survival changes with it. And life changes to keep up — or it dies. Darwin's signature insight is both brilliant and elegantly, brutally simple.
These are all examples of microevolutionary changes and no one is rejecting these empirically sound facts. NOBODY!

The real theory of evolution does not try to explain how life originated — that remains a mystery. The truth is that many scientists accept evolution and believe in God — and in a natural world so complete that it strives toward perfection all on its own, without need of a supernatural designer to keep it going.
True, evolution does not explain how life originated, but it assumes that all of life evolved from that first common ancestor (whatever that might has been). The evidence does not support this aspect of evolution with empirically sound data, and it should not be taught dogmatically as fact. Though this aspect of the theory should ~most certainly~ be taught in science classes, students should be allowed to consider both the strengths and weaknesses surrounding this facet of evolution.

BTW, In the science journal, Nature, a study showed that 7% of scientists believe in a "personal god," 72.2% expressed "personal disbelief," and 20.8% expressed "doubt or agnosticism." So the "many" scientists Humes refers to above is about 7% of them.

The judge in Pennsylvania eventually found that real evolution was not stupid; that intelligent design was religion, not science, and that the school board in Dover, Pa., whose actions had precipitated this replay of Scopes, was out of line. Judge John E. Jones III was rewarded for his sensible and well-documented ruling with death threats. Such is the power of talk-radio evolution.
Jones’ “sensible and well-documented” ruling included a 6,004 word section regarding whether intelligent design is science, and he copied that section almost verbatim from the ACLU's proposed 'Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law' submitted to him nearly a month before his ruling. Yeah, he’s brilliant! Get a copy of the book, Traipsing into Evolution, for more information about Jones and his biased decision.

BTW, I’d love to hear more about this “death threat”. It appears to me that Jones was put up on a pedestal. He was featured in Time magazine as one of the most influential people of the year. He was voted by Wired magazine as one of the “10 sexiest geeks”, and was also asked to speak at graduation commencements. I don't think life has been all that difficult for him since the trial.

Meanwhile, a creationist history of the Grand Canyon is on sale in national park shops. A major American museum expressed interest in having me speak about my new book but decided the subject of evolution was too "political" right now to risk it. And teachers across the nation tell me they feel compelled to downplay or skip evolution lessons to avoid controversy; one L.A.-area high school instructor said she is the only one of five science teachers on her faculty to even mention evolution in class, notwithstanding a clear state mandate to teach it.
Sadly, this has resulted due to the way in which the “scientific community” is handling this controversy. They blatantly refuse to consider anything other than what supports their philosophical leanings. Thus, many parents across the nation are upset about the way in which the theory is being taught. It’s not ~what~ is being taught that is so upsetting, but ~how~ it is being taught.

Scientists refuse to debate, but rather mandate what will be taught in the science class regardless of the opposition (which includes the majority of US citizens). If science has the proof to back their macroevolutionary claims, then they need to get their best advocates of the theory up on that debate platform and let the public hear their arguments when ~posed against their opposition~.

Judge Jones has since told me that his only regret in the case is that he did not bend the rules to allow live TV coverage so more people could see the powerful evidence supporting his decision. Because the one thing the prophets of talk-radio evolution have, it seems, is the loudest megaphone.
That’s absurd. Darwinists have complete control of mainstream media. I’ve read the most unbelievably inaccurate accounts about this debate from major media outlets. To get to the truth, one has to really do some digging.

Olson seems to draw the conclusion that if the general public were not so dimwitted, they would accept the theory of evolution with open arms. The problem is that his definition of evolution is ambiguous and by no means provides his readers with the aspect of evolution that ID supporters reject.

Granted, there are people who reject evolution who don’t fully understand the theory. On the other hand, there are many individuals who do not understand Intelligent Design because they have been misled by individuals like Humes. This will change with time, and the public will become more aware of the various aspects of this debate and what is occurring at the roots of it as well. Time heals all wounds as they say, and in the end science will eventually recover from being held hostage by neo-Darwinism.

Those of us who are pro-science rather than pro-naturalism will slowly but surely forge ahead and try the best we can to correct the blatant disregard from evolutionists to be forthright in relaying information to the public about the issues in this debate.