Page coming soon
I have tremendous fascination with liquefaction and its effects. Specifically I will be researching the role liquefaction may have played in the flood of Noah in sorting/scattering fossils, creating / affecting stratification, redistribution of radiometric minerals, etc…
A large vibration tank is being constructed to carry out this research.
TurkishPress.com had a hilarious article out this week, citing a bunch of scientists peddling their doomsday predictions for the US.
It was too good to pass up making comments, as the “scientists” (who are clearly no scientists at all if they honestly believe that frogs can, and in fact did turn into princes) claimed that the US would be “Doomed” (yes, that’s the word they used) if a creationist president were elected.
Logic and Science
Their arguments were too funny – get a load of what Gilbert Omenn had to say:
“The logic that convinces us that evolution is a fact is the same logic we use to say smoking is hazardous to your health or we have serious energy policy issues because of global warming,”
Well, they struck out on the last one – seeing as how one good volcano emits more greenhouse gases than all of the industrial world does, combined, in a year. Sure – we may be facing global warming, but it has absolutely nothing to do with us!
But they also claim that evolution is logical! Really? How logical is it to suggest that a rock turned into a frog, which turned into a prince? In fact, evolution requires a second frog to evolve into a princess at precisely the same time and place in history! Evolution is anti-logic, and anti-science. If you don’t believe me, just publically question evolution, and watch what happens (*See legal disclaimer below).
This bad Omenn contains the common mistake and false claim that is typical of anti-creationist arguments: “Evolution is science.” My response is short: NO IT IS NOT. In fact, this is Myth #93 on our “Wall of fame” at CORE Ottawa. Science is based on observation, repeatability, and predictability. Evolution is none of these things.
If these are examples of “logical conclusions,” then I dare say the US would be doomed listening to such “scientists!”
The Fear Factor:
They don’t stop there – no, no. They then take up anti-creationist tactic #2, and call upon the fear mongering. Another bad Omenn:
“I would worry that a president who didn’t believe in the evolution arguments wouldn’t believe in those other arguments either. This is a way of leading our country to ruin,”
Let me get this straight: If a president questions the validity of the claim that a frog turned into a prince, he is leading the country to ruin? (See section 1 on the illogical logic of evolution).
But wait for the punchline! He’s not finished! Like any good comedian, he revisits his previous jokes throughout his routine, and later on, says “If our country starts to behave irrationally…we are doomed.”
This guy is great material for Montreal’s comedy festival. Who on earth is the irrational one here?
Science versus fairy tale
In another bad Omenn, he says “Scientific inquiry is not about accepting on faith a statement or scriptural passage. It’s about exploring nature, so there really is not any place in the science classroom for creationism or intelligent design creationism,”
I see. So let’s not take anything in blind faith then, right? Let’s see how y’all do in this test of evolution: Which is the correct answer?
We know that a frog turned into a prince because:
A) Omenn said so.
B) It was observed to happen
C) A frog looks like a prince
D) Frogs and Princes are very similar genetically
There is no fossil evidence connecting frogs and princes. The more we learn from genetics, the more we find out how impossible it is for a frog to turn into a prince (even if you do have an ape-like creature in the middle somewhere). A frog doesn’t look anything like a prince, and evolution has never been observed. So the correct answer is A) Omenn said so, and thus we are required to simply take his claims in blind faith – or the US will be “doomed” if it doesn’t.
But the closing jokes made in conjunction with the bad Omenns were what really put a smile on my face. Francisco Ayala ended with
“We must understand the difference between what is and is not science.”
I say a hearty “Amen.” I agree that religion and fairy tales have no place in the science classroom. How about we start cleaning up the education system by removing the fairy tale of evolution from the science classroom? But I’m not questioning evolution of course (*See legal disclaimer below).
*Legal disclaimer: The authors of this article cannot be held responsible for the consequences of such actions. This information and “how to” is provided simply for convenience and education, and is provided “as is” with no warrantees, guarantees or promises, expressed or implied. Should you in fact, publically deny evolution’s validity, we cannot be held responsible for your friends, families, and complete strangers treating you as if you have the intelligence of a tree. Nor can we be held responsible for your loss of job, tenure, status, etc… These public declarations have been made by trained professionals, and should not be tried at home. As it is, the trained professionals take a beatin’ for their actions – and they know what they’re doing!
An excellent question. I was getting there in my presentation, but alas, I ran out of time. TDG was very gracious and even acknowledged that I did only have so much time to present my case. This is a question Creationists sometimes get razzed for.
A couple of comments are pertinent first.
Creation and Evolution exhaust all other possibilities:
As I stated in my opening introduction, the theories of Creation and Evolution really do exhaust all other possibilities. Even the idea that perhaps aliens transplanted life here on earth, or guided the evolutionary process here does not answer the question “Where did life come from?” It merely brings up the question “Where did the aliens come from?”
Either we were created by a being who is not only outside of our natural laws, but created those natural laws – OR – we evolved through extranatural processes which defied known natural laws.
There are no other plausible arguments for the origin of life. Therefore, an argument against evolution is, in a general sense, an argument for creation.
We need to look at the evidences to see which theory has more credence. You cannot “prove” it either way, really. TDG’s question is a pertinent one.
Proof of a Creator:
Take a look at this chair.
Let’s ask some questions:
-Did this chair have a designer?
-Did this chair have a creator?
I pointed out the irreducible complexity of both living cells and the bacterial flagellum. Those who have stumbled onto this webpage and haven’t got a clue what I’m talking about, are welcome to read the flagellum argument here.
Creationists frequently get ridiculed for not having enough blind faith. The “argument of incredulity” is definitely a valid argument.
Judge for yourself: Is it more scientific to conclude that this chair was formed by random, natural processes without any guidance, or that it was deliberately fashioned?
Let’s test the hypothetical answers with the Hogwash-O-Meter®:
“This chair was formed by natural processes without any intelligent influence.”
Oh, MAN! Another
Hogwash-O-Meter bites the dust.
One look at this chair, and one immediately recognizes the evidence of intelligent design! It is a perfectly logical, scientific conclusion to assume it had a creator, though we’ve never seen that person, nor did we see them make it.
This is not circular arguing. Saying “it exists, therefore it must have been created” is circular reasoning, just as saying “It’s here, therefore it must have evolved” is too.
We are looking at an object and deducing that it was fashioned with design and intelligence, and not randomness. In fact, we are using intelligence to deduce intelligence! It has to be the highest of irony (and hypocrisy?) that the strongest antagonists towards the Intelligent Design movement are also some of the biggest proponents of the SETI project: Searching outer space for signs of intelligence in radio waves potentially from alien lifeforms who must have evolved in our huge universe! They deny that intelligent design points to an intelligent creator (of life), then go looking for an intelligent creator (of radio transmission equipment) by looking for intelligent design in radio waves!
It is an infinitely simpler task to form this chair by natural, random processes than it is to form even the simplest of lifeforms – so if it is so impossible for this chair to form by natural processes, why on earth would a perfectly intelligent person conclude that life was formed by natural processes?
Not knowing the creator of the chair does not mean it did not have one. Not seeing him does not mean he does not exist. Perhaps that creator wants you to chase him down? Perhaps that creator wants to give people the freedom to ignore him and reject him… or chase after him? The creator is not going to force himself on you, but the evidence of him is all around you.
The argument of Homologies:
Incidentally, a common argument in favour of evolution is homology. Basically, when one looks at different animals, you can see similarities in the skeletal structure between them. This is considered evidence that they evolved from a common ancestor. I agree that this could be interpreted that way, however this is (at best) a weak argument. For example, there are plenty of chairs around, and they frequently look the same! This is just as much an evidence of common design, (i.e., it works well, use it in other designs!) just as much as it could be argued they evolved from the same ancient chair.
Homologies are left in the dust however, when one brings the duckbilled platypus into the picture. These arguments of homologies are pertinent to the “Suspected references” response.
Radiohalos: Evidence of an instantaneous formation of earth
The next part of my opening talk would have included the evidence in geology for a young earth, and an instantly created one. Rather than re-invent the wheel, I will merely point readers to my already published webpage on the radio halos in granites. This is irrefutable evidence of an instantaneous formation of earth’s granite crust, and presumably, earth itself.
In brief, the granite crust of the earth has no natural origin. Anyone who would beg to differ is quite welcome to answer this challenge by merely producing synthetic granite in the lab. It IS physically impossible. Furthermore, the granite we do find shows evidence of instantaneous formation.
This happens to be a subject I am very knowledgeable in and about which I am quite willing to field questions and detractions.
In Michael Denton’s book “Evolution: A theory in crisis”, he pointed out the codependancy of the systems in a functioning cell. He was not the first, nor the last, to point out this paradox. Like the question “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”, the answer is just as obvious as “The rooster and the chicken came first!”
The DNA provides the construction instructions for the Protein Synthesis Aparatus (PSA), yet the PSA provides the proteins necessary for the construction of the DNA. The PSA provides the phosphate compounds for the energy system, but the energy system provides the energy for the PSA to function. The PSA provides the proteins needed to assemble the cell membrane, but it’s the cell membrane that holds the entire cell together!
These systems were clearly created, together, in unison. Not one of them can exist without the others.
Graphics courtesy of Steve Miller: http://www.stevemiller3d.com/
This question really took me off guard; I had never been asked it before and the first thought that ran through my mind was “What do you mean ‘What is life?’ Everybody knows what life is.”
In retrospect, there are two reasons: The most obvious one is that I had just finished demolishing abiogenesis and showed how impossible it was, scientifically. There is no answer to these arguments, so this is a ploy to distract from the facts and discredit the arguments some other way – calling to question the definition of life for instance.
This is a perfectly fair debate tactic, but it is a tactic, not an argument. Nevertheless, it is also a valid and pertinent question: Here I was, arguing against a natural origin of life, but someone not familiar with Creationary thinking would question our definition of life.
I started to state my own, personal assumptions on what would define life: “Life… would be… a … lifeform that can..”….
That was as far as I got. I was immediately called on my circular reasoning: “You can’t define life with life!”
So I took a second stab at it: “Well, I would define it as a living organism which can…” at which point the skeptics pointed out my tautology.
I had responded that I would come back to this question, but at this point, The Distinguished Gentleman (TDG) toward the back pointedly asked me for a definition “Now.” Was I not able to give one? I attempted to think for a while (No, really! I attempted to think!) but I was so exhausted by this point that ye olde cranium just wasn’t working…. at all…. I passed on the question, partly because the badgering just completely blanked out my mind and I wanted to sit down and think about this before I commented.
Now that I have had some sleep (everything’s 20/20 in hindsight) this was a silly sequence of events! The anwsers are quite evident.
First off, it was simply a miscommunication on my part. If I had simply referred to “things” instead of “living things”, I would’ve gotten the silly definition out of my mouth. Furthermore, I should’ve simply put the ball back into the court of the skeptics: “What is the naturalist’s definition of life?” I’m quite sure we would’ve both reached an agreement in a hurry, and I am quite confident that the agreed upon definition would’ve cemented my arguments against abiogensis!
Basically the Creationist definition of life would be essentially the same as a naturalist’s version:
Life can be described as something (now let’s not argue about the definition of “thing”, okay? ) which has ALL of the following, essential functions:
Nutrition, circulation, respiration, excretion, secretion, reproduction, movement and locomotion, and metabolism.
I would include self-repair in metabolism.
For myself, I would probably be satisfied to define a living organism as something that has the functions of nutrition, reproduction, and metabolism.
This less-strict defnition gives far more room for abiogenesis.
From a scriptural standpoint, there is also something different about the human race, as Genesis records that God did something very unique to them: He breathed a soul into them. (Gen 2:7) The bible also seems to dictate a clear difference between plant life and animal life, but this is not pertinent to this particular question.
The arguments were then brought up: Many evolutionists consider viruses to have been the first life forms on planet earth.
Indeed, if you visit the Museum of Nature in Ottawa, in the upper halls you will hear this claim mentioned in the dialogue broadcast over the speakers. However, even if somehow a virus was miraculously produced by natural processes (and indeed that alone would have been a metaphysical event, a miracle), Viruses cannot reproduce! Viruses must hijack the reproductive systems of living cells in order to make copies of themselves, so evolution is dead in the water! As with the codependency within even the simplest of cells, the reproductive system of the first living organism had to have been formed at the same time as the organism, in full functionality! This does not even begin to address the problems associated with the evolution of sexual reproductive systems: two incredibly complicated systems, entirely separate, specifically engineered to interact with each other, and they both had to have evolved at exactly the same time.
A comment was made by a fine young man in black (MIB) about how a computer program could quickly fall into the definition of life.
Let’s extrapolate on that a little: A computer program could be written to reproduce. But obviously it’s lacking in some of the other requirements for the definition of life. Fine; let’s give it a robotic body which can fulfill all the requirements for the definition of life: It seeks out an electrical outlet and has on-board energy storage systems. It charges itself from the sun when there is no electrical outlet. We can build it to produce other robots, just like it, etc… Even if it’s artificial intelligence is really artificial and not very intelligent, at least it does have some semblence of intelligence.
I agree emphatically: We can build something that could fall into the definition of “life”…. thank you for bringing home my point so clearly!
Abiogenesis is impossible without outside, intelligent intervention and design!
A computer program needs a programmer! The program needs a computer to run on, which also requires incredible intelligence and design! The robot itself (remember, I’m a robotics engineer by trade; I know how much intelligence is involved in designing even a simple robot!) requires incredible and precise engineering, design, and intelligence.
While you can feel free to believe that somewhere out there, there is an entire planet of robots which have been formed by natural processes (i.e., landslides and volcanoes spewing out metal into just the right shape, millions and millions of times over, all the parts just happened to fit and fall together in the right order, at the right place, at the right time… copper melted onto some fiberglass to make a circuit board… etc…etc…) you believe this in blind faith. (It’s always some far away place – one should ask why it doesn’t happen here)
Yet this scenario is far, far easier to obtain than even the simplest of biopolymers joining together into even the simplest of cells.
This brings us to the points I made next in my original talk:
Irreducible complexity and intelligent design.
As I pointed out in my opening talk, evolution and a natural origin of life require incredible leaps of blind faith. I freely admitted my own blind faith in what I believe: I was not there, I have no idea how God did it, but I believe that He did.
However, throughout the course of the evening, it appeared that the skeptics did not even realize their own leaps of blind faith. I will be careful not to falsely accuse them, as they may be very quick to acknowledge their own blind faith. I will let them judge themselves and give them the freedom to believe what they want – but no matter what you believe, you believe it in blind faith.
I will address this further in the question on Proof of Creation.