Icons of Evolution

IconsOfEvolutionSuggested by Brad Nelson • Many of the famous “Icons of Evolution” — including Darwin’s “Tree of Life” and finches from the Galapagos Islands — are based on outdated research or are fabricated (as with the embryo chart). We also see Darwinists playing the villain in a 180 degree turnabout of the Scope’s trial.
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11 Responses to Icons of Evolution

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Here’s another video I rented that is well worth the two bucks, if only to catch a glimpse of the creepy school administrator in the role of (I guess) Pope Urban VIII. Does she realize that she comes off as an anti-intellectual sort of Nazi? I doubt it.

    Jonathan Wells (who appears in this video with Stephen Meyer and others) also has a book by this same name. The book apparently goes into detail on ten of these fraudulent and/or out-of-date icons of evolution (which one can understand as the mere “propaganda of evolution”). The video deals with just a few of these icons, but does so in sufficient detail.

    It also spends a great deal of time showing the travails of a high school science teacher in my home state of Washington who runs afoul of the Darwinist fundamentalists. To even question Darwinism (even using the hard evidence produced by other scientists and published in peer-reviewed journals) is verboten.

    One must remember, as John Lennox and others have pointed out in their books and lectures, that there are basically zero published scientific articles explaining, in even rudimentary detail, how natural selection produced the complex structures seen in life. That is useful to keep in mind. We’re not talking about the theory of gravity or the speed of light, things which are quite reasonably demonstrated to be true. Darwinism, on the other hand, has not produced one scientific paper showing how any of the complex structures in life were produced. And yet it’s treated by many as a theory that is so completely true that to question it makes you a nut (or, worse, a religious nut).

    This is a fun video to watch, especially because chiming in with his rapier logic is David Berlinsky, hardly the stereotypical Bible-thumping Jesus freak. And his commentary is devastating and paints these Darwinian ideologues for who they are.

  2. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Regarding the story of the Galapagos finches which supposedly showed natural selection in action, it was later shown that the change in the finch’s beak was seasonal. It was not permanent.

    And as expertly presented in Behe’s book “The Edge of Evolution,” the video addressed the idea of bacteria’s development of chemical immunity as proof of the power of natural selection to shape and create life (another “icon of evolution”). But as Behe and this video note, such changes that have been seen are destructive of existing cell machinery. And when you take the pathogen out of the environment, the mutated bacteria soon are swamped by the non-mutated ones. That is, it’s proof that no new and useful function was built by natural selection. As Behe characterized it, such mutations are merely the equivalent of a “scorched earth tactic” where you burn down some structure to keep an invader at bay.

    Perhaps natural selection and mutation really can create some new and complex structure. But so far that has never been demonstrated.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      The micro-evolution of bacteria to develop immunity to antibiotics isn’t proof that there can be no macro-evolution of bacteria. But it also isn’t proof that there can be macro-evolution, which is necessary for Darwinian evolution. This is no doubt why Darwinists refuse to be aware that advocates of both intelligent design and creationism accept micro-evolution.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        One of the things that neo-Darwinism is lacking is a credible and logical mechanism. Behe puts the limit on the power of mutation to do anything useful at two mutations happening at one time (as was observed happening in malaria developing resistance to chloroquine). Above that, the odds swamp the possibility of three or more mutations happening at one time. One mutation can tinker with existing structures (destructively). And if you have a population as large and as quickly-reproducing as malaria, you can defy the odds and indeed find instances where two chance mutations do something useful. But beyond that, you’re swamped by the improbability of it. Behe writes:

        Consider a species that is dear to our hearts— Homo sapiens. The number of human players in the world is much fewer than 1020. For most of the past ten million years the population of the line of primates leading to humans is thought at best to have been roughly about a million or so. 18 Only in the past few thousand years did that number accelerate up to today’s population of 6 billion.

        What is the total number of creatures in the line leading to humans since it split from the line leading to modern chimps less than ten million years ago? If the average generation span of humanoids is rounded down, conservatively, to about ten years, then a generous estimate is that perhaps a trillion creatures have preceded us in the past ten million years. 19 Although that’s a lot, it’s still much, much less than the number of malarial parasites it takes to develop chloroquine resistance. The ratio of humanoid creatures in the past ten million years to the number of parasites needed for chloroquine resistance is one to a hundred million.

        If all of these huge numbers make your head spin, think of it this way. The likelihood that Homo sapiens achieved any single mutation of the kind required for malaria to become resistant to chloroquine— not the easiest mutation, to be sure, but still only a shift of two amino acids— the likelihood that such a mutation could arise just once in the entire course of the human lineage in the past ten million years, is minuscule— of the same order as, say, the likelihood of you personally winning the Powerball lottery by buying a single ticket.

        There could be a million angels dancing on the head of this pin right now (who suddenly hide themselves when they see me reaching for a microscope). You can’t prove a negative. But the point is, neo-Darwinian theory offers no plausible mechanism for creating the complex structures we see in the real world. As scientists say, a theory has to be able to have the power to explain what actually happens in the real world.

        Certainly complex life was formed and has likely undergone change since the initial formation (some how, and by some means, still unknown). But shooting stray bullets of genetic mutations isn’t going to get you there, in principle. One can make up stories such as “climbing mount improbable” but a story explaining the god-like ability of gradualism to create anything is not the same thing as having to overcome not a slight rise in the hill but extremely large chasms such as the complex sequence that comprises just one protein.

        Darwinians have become very good at telling themselves stories and very poor at evaluating the actual data.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          They have no interest in arithmetic, especially where it involves calculating odds. Gee, I wonder why.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Here’s a debate between Stephen Meyer/Richard Sternberg and Donald Prothero/Michael Shermer. I’m listening to the opening argument now. The Darwinian side could be summed up thusly:

            + Intelligent design is about religion. Religion isn’t science. End of argument. (Not a word about the various problems with neo-Darwinism — in fact, as Meyer later points out, the debate that night is supposed to be about the shortcomings of Darwinism, not intelligent design.)

            Sprinkled on this is the kind of condescension that is typical from liberals. It’s all about characterizing your opponents as kooks. And it’s about using dishonest logical constructs such as defining science in such a way as to exclude your opponent.

            You’ll also hear the true faith that scientists have in evolution. If someone shows how evolution can create the various complex structure of life, I’m fine with that. It doesn’t upset my world view. And even if it did, facts would still be facts. But all evolutionists have is the overall story at “things evolved” without any concrete explanation in hand of how this happened. Because they have nothing tangible they simply hit the various bullet points of pre-canned statements that seem meant to remove their own doubt (or to just bamboozle) rather than establish anything logically.

            I found a link to this debate from the comments beneath a rather condescending a caustic review by Donald Prothero of Meyer’s “Darwin’s Doubt.” One thing to note is that, generally speaking, the public face and voice of the Darwinists is scarily toxic and caustic. While the reverse is true of people such as Meyer, Berlinski, Behe, and Lennox. No, being a nice guy is not proof of one’s theory. But it does perhaps give a glimpse of who is blinded by zealotry.

            Prothero, in particular, is a disagreeable character.

            • Timothy Lane says:

              I used to respect Shermer. Interestingly, it was from one of his books that I learned that Alfred Russell Wallace (co-discoverer of the Darwinian theory) believed that the human brain couldn’t be explained by purely natural means, thus making him the first IDer — something that Shermer didn’t notice because, like most (or all) Darwinists, he refuses to understand intelligent design. This makes it so much easier to “refute” it by falsely calling it a fig leaf covering young-Earth creationism.

              • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

                Timothy, if you listen to that debate (and I really don’t recommend it for entertainment or educational purposes) you’ll notice the creepy, condescending, passive-aggressive attitude of the two Darwinian debaters. It’s such a better-than-thou dismissive attitude. And you wonder why Meyer doesn’t cross over to the other side and give one of those guys a knuckle sandwich.

                But I also think this is part and parcel of the stage play of these debates…the end result, lest we forget, is more than likely to get appearance fees and to sell books. I don’t mean disrespect to either side, but it’s also important that we don’t get rope-a-doped by the process itself. I gladly buy Meyer’s books because I think I might learn something, and he certainly doesn’t scrimp on content. Unlike so many authors who pad their books, what I’ve read by him so far has not assumed that the reader is a fool to be milked for all he is worth — an impression I am left with by many authors, including more than a few conservatives ones. (Dennis Prager also gives you his money’s worth in “Still the Best Hope.” Again, another man of integrity….but it’s all still a bit of a show, an industry.)

                I was a debater in high school and a pretty good one. In fact, I literally debated above my weight (sort of punched above my weight) and was paired into a division in advance of my years. That’s not a brag because I readily admit I’m horrible at a thousand other things. But I’m just giving you some background that it is very difficult to not be provoked by the kind of slimy behavior you see from these Darwinists, no matter how much practice you have.

                I would have thought debating the strengths and weaknesses of Darwinism would have been a fun and intellectually fulfilling opportunity for both sides. But the Darwinists are just gutter fighters. They fulfill the standard stereotypes of their kind as inherent religious bigots. And that’s too bad. There is much in favor of Darwinian processes, at least at the micro level. And there is a strong inherent argument to be made if only because it’s the only show in town for the moment.

                Perhaps that is what creates such bitterness among the Darwinists. They know their theory can’t answer the question of how life evolved. All they can say is “It must have. How else could it have happened?” and then slap the other side round as a bunch of supposed religious kooks. That is the gist of their arguments.

                Meyer presents a challenging, controversial, and somewhat surprising explanation of how life could have been formed. That proposal is worth talking about instead of dismissing as being beneath one’s consideration.

  3. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Here’s a presentation by Paul Nelson that I do highly recommend. It’s about 40 minutes.

  4. David Ray says:

    Ann Coulter’s stellar book “Godless” addresses the fraud of the Scopes Monkey Trial – staged from the very beginning. Does this video also address that? Please lemme know.

    Sometimes I watch opposition material to learn. It’s no surprise that Hollywood took their darling Monkey Trial to cinema, called “Inherit the Wind”. The movie portrays two Hollywood fantasizes: a violent Neanderthal Christian mob, and an animated prude prosecutor who embarrassingly works himself into a lethal heart attack.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      The index of the book does not list “Scopes.” And I don’t remember if the video had much to say about it.

      But certainly the narrative was set starting around the 17th century: If you are “scientific” you are smart. If you are “religious” you are dumb. And what “scientific” was reduced down to was a completely naturalistic view of the universe. What these assholes couldn’t achieve via evidence and logic they tried to achieve (as it typical of the left) by re-defining words.

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