Since Sep 17, 2001

view home page, enter name:
The Mysteriously Missing Homepage of PatrickHenry

I'm PatrickHenry
I'm Sparticus.
I'm Brian. And so's my wife.
I broke the dam.

Since Oct 28, 1999

view home page, enter name:

Clickable Table of Contents:
Ping List Explanation
The List-O-Links
How to argue against a scientific theory
Evo-Troll's Toolkit
Darwin Central
Micro-evolution, Macro-evolution, and Speciation

[Yes, I wrote it. Yes, you can use it, with proper attribution to me.]

The science-literate conservatives on this website strongly believe that the science threads complement the purpose of FreeRepublic. By posting science-oriented threads, and current news stories about the controversy over teaching creationism in government schools, we've attracted a group of hundreds of highly-educated conservatives, many of them scientists, university professors, engineers, etc., who join in such discussions. Why is that beneficial to this website?

One of the great un-exploded myths of the 20th century is that the left is the natural home of intellectuals. The democrats -- notwithstanding their socialism, the Kyoto treaty, and countless other idiocies -- love to pose as intellectually superior. It's standard policy for them to claim that Republicans are morons, dunces, rednecks, etc. The "Republicans are anti-science" issue is one that the liberal media are eager to exploit. The presence of science threads on this website -- a very popular and highly visible website -- is beneficial in breaking down this absurd stereotype. We demonstrate that many conservatives are educated, literate, and deeply committed to the advance of science -- a rational enterprise which is a core value of Western Civilization.

Science appeals to the conservative mind for the same reasons that free enterprise does. It's reality-based, it focuses on what works, it rejects failed concepts, and it produces results. Both science and free enterprise flourish where there is a minimum of governmental interference. Science is one of the precious few examples of rationality in human experience. Another is the American Revolution.

There's nothing socialistic, communistic, fascistic, or atheistic about science; and there's nothing American about theocracy.

American conservatism, which seeks to preserve and build on the wisdom of the Founders, is inherently rational at its intellectual base. No one can read the writings of Jefferson, Franklin, and the other Founders without immediately coming to that conclusion. This is also true of the Framers of the US Constitution. The conservative movement in America is and always has been rational. Any assault on rationality is not only anti-conservative, it is also anti-American.

Rationality is the foundation of America and the essence of Western Civilization -- as vital as life and liberty . We want to keep it that way. That's what the science threads are all about.


My ping list began as a list for the evolution side of the evolution-creationism threads. (Creationists do their own pinging.) Days may go by when the list isn't used; on other days I may use the list a few times. It depends on what I regard as newsworthy. I try not to abuse the list members by pinging every time another fossil is dug up. Also, to avoid needless acrimony, I usually don't ping for purely creationist threads -- those with no scientific or political (e.g. school board battles) significance.

Then I started using the list for science threads in addition to evolution -- like cosmology, astronomy, physics, SETI, and very little else (but I've pinged for crop circle threads because they're soooooo stupid). There are science ping lists maintained by other freepers; but this one is limited to my peculiar tastes. I usually don't ping for cloning, stem cell research, engineering developments, etc.

Some evolution thread regulars don't care for (and didn't sign on for) the non-evo science topics, so to spare them unwanted pings I've been using only the first half of the list for non-evo science pings; however, this remains primarily an evolution list, so the whole list gets pinged for evo threads. List members have a choice: (1) If you want non-evo and my usual evo pings, tell me and I'll place your name in the [elite] first half of the list; (2) if you want to be "evo-only," tell me that and I'll keep your name out of the first half. If you don't specify, I'll decide for you, based on the type of thread you're in at the time you contact me. Either way, please be aware that most pings are for evolution threads.

For those who don't like the bickering in the evolution threads, and who want to be pinged only for non-evo science threads, that's a problem. It would require keeping two separate but overlapping lists, and that's too much work. The best I can do is put you in the first half of my list for non-evo pings; and then -- although you'll get evo pings too -- you can ignore the evo threads.

To find all creation/evolution threads, click on the keyword "crevolist" under the lead article of any such thread; or use the website's search function and do a search by keyword on crevolist. You may find other threads using keywords like Darwin, Evolution, etc., but crevolist is the main term to use.

Finally, if you're a disruptive creationist, please don't try to sneak onto my list. I check the names of those who want to be added. If you have no freeper history, I'll probably tell you that I can't add you until I see a history of your posts.

Posted as a public service, so that each new evolution thread doesn't have to start at ground zero
This list has been evolving since November 1999.
First full-blown appearance: 17 Jan 2000. An earlier version: 30 Nov 99. Original ancestor: 16 Nov 99.
NEW Recent additions to each section are marked like this.
Last update: 24 February 2006

Clickable Index (Links to the List-O-Links)


An Introduction to Science: Scientific Thinking and the Scientific Method. By a geologist.
The scientific method. Wikipedia article. Exhaustive discussion.
But it's "JUST a THEORY" . You really must read this.
The scientific method. Definitions of "theory," "hypothesis," etc.
Ichneumon on the Scientific Method. It's post 401 and it's excellent.
NEW Ichneumon's post 704 on the nature of science.
What's a Scientific Theory? Encyclopedia article.
History of Science. Ignore the website's background color scheme.

NEW What is Evolution? Resolves confusion about precise definitions of biological evolution.
Welcome to Evolution 101! What is evolution and how does it work?
The Theory of Evolution. Excellent introductory encyclopedia article.
Science and Creationism: from the National Academy of Sciences, 2nd Ed..
Evolution Resources From the National Academies. Online books, position statements, and additional resources.
Introduction to Evolutionary Biology. Another good introduction.
The Pocket Darwin. Very good, easily readable summary.
Is Evolution Science? It certainly is. Here's why.
Evolution and the Nature of Science. Excellent discussion.
Evolution as Fact and Theory by Stephen Jay Gould.
Five Major Misconceptions about Evolution. On point and well-written.
Understanding Evolution. Univ. of California.
DARWIN, Full Text of his Books. The original ee-voe-lou-shunist.
Complete collection of Darwin's work . Books, letters, journals, etc.
The Darwin Digital Library of Evolution. It's got everything!
The Tree of Life Web Project. All life is related by common descent.
Timeline of Evolutionary Thought. It didn't start with Darwin.

29+ Evidences for Macroevolution. Yes, macro-evolution.
Ichneumon's legendary post 52. More evidence than you can handle.
Post 661: Ichneumon's stunning post on transitionals.
Plagiarized Errors and Molecular Genetics. Anatomic similarities confirmed by DNA similarities & copying errors.
Evidence of Evolutionary Transitions. There really is evidence out there.
Macroevolution: Evidence. Great info & links from the U. of Illinois website.
Transitional Vertebrate Fossils FAQ. Yes, transitional fossils exist.
8,000+ papers on vertabrate evolution. National Academy of Sciences.
One gene produces major changes in stickleback fish. Stunning example of evolution.
Evidence for Evolution . Compilation of links.
Fossil whale with legs. Land animal to whale fossil.
[Dead link?] Feathered Dinosaurs.
Archaeopteryx. Reptile-to-bird fossil.
Archaeopteryx: FAQS . A Transitional Fossil
All About Archaeopteryx.
Human Ancestors.
The Evidence for Human Evolution. For the "You have no evidence" crowd.
Comparison of all Hominid skulls.
Early Human Phylogeny. Relationships among early human species.
NEW Man-chimp evolution. Ichneumon's post 29.

Observed Instances of Speciation. That's right ... observed!
Ring Species. We can observe two species and the intermediate forms connecting them.
Ensatina eschscholtzi: Speciation in Progress. A Classic Example of Darwinian Evolution.

All present and fossilized animals found should conform to the standard evolutionary tree. And they do.
Fossilized intermediates should appear in the "correct" chronological order on the standard tree.
Many organisms should retain vestigial structures as structural remnants of lost functions.
Species that are more closely related should share a greater portion of their DNA.. Excerpt:
[A]n hypothesis of evolutionary relationships is provided by the fossil record, which indicates when particular types of organisms evolved. In addition, by examining the anatomical structures of fossils and of modern species, we can infer how closely species are related to each other. When degree of genetic similarity is compared with our ideas of evolutionary relationships based on fossils, a close match is evident.

Genetic Algorithms and Evolutionary Computation. Long, but very interesting.
Specific examples of Genetic Algorithms. Practical applications galore!
The origins of food biotechnology.

Peer review. This distinguishes science from quackery.
NEW The Richard von Sternberg saga. The myth of the martyr who published Stephen Meyer's paper.
The Mirage (of creationism). The relative lack of creationist literature.

IS EVOLUTION THEORY IN CRISIS? (Only in your dreams.)
The Evolution of Man Scientifically Disproved. From 1928, with the same arguments still heard today.
Phillip Johnson's DARWIN ON TRIAL: A Review. Devastating critique.
Review of "Nature's Destiny". Michael Denton has become an 'Evolutionist'.

SETI and Intelligent Design . SETI research offers no support for Intelligent Design.
Of Pandas and People: A Brief Critique. By Kenneth R. Miller, Professor of Biology.
Behe's "irreducible complexity" argument is fatally flawed. Ichneumon's post 35.
Inferior Design. Revealing info on ID and the Discovery Institute.
Neither intelligent nor designed. No evidence of wise, omniscient design.
Irreducible Complexity Demystified. Major debunking of ID.
The Flagellum Unspun: The Collapse of "Irreducible Complexity," Kenneth R. Miller. Critique of Behe.
AAAS Board Resolution on Intelligent Design Theory. ID isn't science.
Why It's Unconstitutional to Teach "Intelligent Design" in the Public Schools. Legal argument.
The Raelian Theory. Intelligent Design finds support among the Raelians.
NEW Does the John Templeton Foundation support intelligent design? Excerpt from the Foundation's website:
The John Templeton Foundation does not support research or programs that deny large areas of well-documented scientific knowledge. In addition, we do not support political agendas such as movements to determine (one way or the other) what qualified educators should or should not teach in public schools. ... [T]he Foundation does not support the movement known as Intelligent Design as such, as an intellectual position or as a movement.

NEW The Left’s Intelligent Design Problem. Evolution is like Adam Smith's economics; ID is like socialism.
Is It Science Yet? Intelligent Design Creationism & the Constitution, Washington Univ. Law Quarterly.
One Nation, Under the Designer. The true goals of the ID movement.
Discovery Institute's "Wedge Project". Replacing science with theism.
The Wedge at Work. The Discovery Institute's war against reason.
The "Wedge Document": "So What?" The Discovery Institute defends the Wedge document.

Darwinism: Why I Went for a Second Ph.D. By Jonathan Wells (Moonie).
Father's words, my studies, and my prayers convinced me that I should devote my life to destroying Darwinism, just as many of my fellow Unificationists had already devoted their lives to destroying Marxism. When Father [Rev. Sun Myung Moon] chose me (along with about a dozen other seminary graduates) to enter a Ph.D. program in 1978, I welcomed the opportunity to prepare myself for battle.
Icons of Evolution, by Jonathan Wells. Wells is a Senior fellow at the Discovery Institute.
Creationism by Stealth. Critique of Icons of Evolution.

Science Research Foundation. Inspired by the books and writings of Harun Yahya (see next link).
Harun Yahya International. Islamic creationism
Islamic Scientific Creationism: A New Challenge in Turkey. Links between Harun Yahya and ICR's Gish and Morris.
SRF (Science Research Foundation) Conferences US and Islamic creationists working together.
Mustafa Akyol (Turkish creationist) testifies in Kansas "Monkey Trial". See the next link.
Why Muslims Should Support Intelligent Design, By Mustafa Akyol. He supports Harun Yahya. Exerpts:
Muslims should also note the great similarity between the arguments of the Intelligent Design Movement and Islamic sources. Hundreds of verses in the Qur’an call people to examine the natural world and see in it the evidence of God. Great Islamic scholars like Ghazali wrote large volumes about design in animals, plants, and the human body. What Intelligent Design theorists like Behe or Dembski do today is to refine the same argument with the findings of modern science.

In short, Intelligent Design is not alien to Islam. It is very much our cause, and we should do everything we can to support it.

Doubting Darwinism Through Creative License. Debunks a bogus list of "doubters."
Quotations and Misquotations.What Anti-evolutionists Quote is Not Valid Evidence Against Evolution
Online resources documenting anti-evolutionist misquotations. Dishonest, bogus, and out-of-context quotes.
The Quote Mine Project. Or, Lies, Damned Lies and Quote Mines.
The Revised Quote Book. Looking at how Creationists Quote Evolutionists.

Darwin and Punctuated Equilibrium. "PE" was actually predicted by Darwin.

The Lady Hope Story: A Widespread Falsehood.

NEW Nobel Laureates in defense of evolution.. Thirty-eight Nobel Prize winners write to Kansas Bd. Of Education.
Statements from Scientific and Scholarly Organizations. Sixty statements, all supporting evolution.
Statement on the Teaching of Evolution. By the American Astronomical Society.
Letter from Bruce Alberts on March 4, 2005. President of the National Academy of Sciences.
Botanical Society of America's Statement on Evolution. Excellent statement.
Project Steve. Nat'l Center for Science Education: the overwhelming number of genuine scientists supporting evolution.
NEW Project Steve update. Now over 600 Steves.
The National Association of Biology Teachers' Statement on Teaching Evolution. Over 9,000 members.
Supporting Material for the Foregoing Statement.

The Cambrian Period. The "explosion" was over 50 million years long.
The Earliest Life. There are numerous ancestral Precambrian fossils.
The Precambrian Fossil Record. A Precambrian Time Line.

HOW ABOUT ALL THOSE EVOLUTIONIST FRAUDS? (None of them amounts to anything.)
Piltdown Man. Science (not creationism) uncovered the fraud.
Nebraska Man. Also: NEW Nebraska Man in Textbooks? It wasn't much of a fraud.
Peppered Moths. Another non-issue.
NEW Ichneumon's Discussion of Peppered Moths. FreeRepublic post (#438).
Haeckel's Embryos. Yet another.
Ichneumon's Discussion of Haeckel's embryo drawings. A FreeRepublic post (#62).
Archaeopteryx. Despite howls from creationists, it's not a fake.
Archaeoraptor. A crude fake, publicised by Nat'l Geographic, then quickly exposed.
Lucy. The "fraud" claim is actually a creationist fraud.

HOW ABOUT THESE CREATIONIST FAILURES? ("Failure" is a diplomatic word choice.)
Creationist Lies and Blunders. A tiny sample of what's out there.
The Imminent Demise of Evolution. Failed predictions of the end of evolution.
NEW The Imminent Demise of Evolution: The Longest Running Falsehood in Creationism. Updated version.
The Five Failed Predictions of Creationism. A FreeRepublic thread.

Creationists, Hitler and Evolution. Hitler was most likely a creationist.
Adolf Hitler's Religion. Text at note 32 is pure creationism.
Trofim Denisovich Lysenko. Stalin's biologist, definitely an anti-Darwinian.
Darwin's Influence on Ruthless Laissez Faire Capitalism. ICR links Darwin to good ol' capitalism.

Greek warrior Spartan civilization. Weakling infants were left in the mountains to die.
The Republic, Book 5, Section 1. Plato recommended state-supervised selective breeding of children.
History of Australia. Before Darwin, England exiled criminals to purify the race.

How major changes in body shapes occurred during early animal evolution.
Zeno's Paradox. The micro/macro issue is a sad revival of an ancient fallacy.

Examples of Beneficial Mutations and Natural Selection.
Examples of Beneficial Mutations in Humans.

Taxonomy, Transitional Forms, and the Fossil Record. What the fossil record is all about.
The Fossil Record: Evolution or "Scientific Creation" by Cuffey. Great collection of information.
Cladograms: what they are, how to read them. Ichneumon's post 230.
NEW The history of life as revealed by the fossil record. Combines the fossil record with continental drift.
What about gaps in the fossil record? Ichneumon's post 167.

The Origin of Species, by Darwin: Chapter 9 - On the Imperfection of the Geological Record.
Smooth Change in the Fossil Record. Smooth transitions are sometimes found, usually in the sea floor.

What Would We Expect to Find if the World had Flooded?
Problems with a Global Flood.
The Geologic Column and its Implications for the Flood. By a former creationist.

NEW Evidence for the Big Bang. From Talk.Origins.
How Old is the Earth. A Response to “Scientific” Creationism.
Galaxy observations show no change in fundamental fine structure constant. Unchanged for 7 billion years.
The Age of the Universe and SN1987A. The universe isn't young and light speed has been constant.
Errors in "Tired Light" Cosmology. Light hasn't been slowing down.
The Decay of c-decay. Article debunking Setterfield, with some good links.

Antievolutionism and Creationism in the United States. Great summary of the issues.
Political Challenges to the Teaching of Evolution. American Geological Institute. Interactive map.
American Ass'n for the Advancement of Science. Evolution in the classroom.

NEW Kitzmiller et al. v Dover Area School District et al..
Eight Significant Court Decisions.
The Evolution Controversy. Scopes trial and some Supreme Court cases.
Clarence Darrow’s Examination of William Jennings Bryan. From the Scopes trial transcript.
Freiler v Tangipahoa Parish Board of Education. Louisiana school's evolution disclaimer decision.
Tangipahoa Parish Board of Education v. Freiler. US Sup Ct denied certiorari, Scalia & Thomas dissenting.
Selman v. Cobb County School District. The Georgia textbook sticker case.
NEW McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education (1982). Arkansas statute for "balanced treatment" of "creation-science" & "evolution-science" is unConstitutional. In that decision (found at 529 F. Supp. 1255), the court distinguished between science and creationism, noting:

[T]he essential characteristics of science are:

(1) It is guided by natural law;
(2) It has to be explanatory by reference to nature law;
(3) It is testable against the empirical world;
(4) Its conclusions are tentative, i.e. are not necessarily the final word; and
(5) Its is falsifiable.

NEW Saint Augustine. "Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian ... talking nonsense ..."
Augustine's Commentary on the Biblical Book of Genesis. A larger context of the above work.
The "Clergy Letter Project". 10,000 clergymen endorse evolution.
Faith and the Human Genome. By the director of the Human Genome Project, a Christian. Excerpt:
I think scientist-believers are the most fortunate. We have the opportunity to explore the natural world at a time in history where mysteries are being revealed almost on a daily basis. We have the opportunity to perceive the unraveling of those mysteries in a special perspective that is an uncovering of God’s grandeur. This is a particularly wonderful form of worship.

Darwin, Design, and the Catholic Faith. By Kenneth R. Miller.
Statements from Religious Organizations. In favor of evolution.
Faith can never conflict with reason. The Pope's statement on Galileo and science/scripture conflicts.
Another link to the Pope's message.. An excerpt:

In fact, the Bible does not concern itself with the details of the physical world, the understanding of which is the competence of human experience and reasoning. There exist two realms of knowledge, one which has its source in Revelation and one which reason can discover by its own power. To the latter belong especially the experimental sciences and philosophy. The distinction between the two realms of knowledge ought not to be understood as opposition.
The Pope's 1996 statement on evolution. Physical evolution is not in conflict with Christianity. Excerpts:
It is necessary to determine the proper sense of Scripture, while avoiding any unwarranted interpretations that make it say what it does not intend to say. In order to delineate the field of their own study, the exegete and the theologian must keep informed about the results achieved by the natural sciences.

Today, almost half a century after the publication of the Encyclical [see link & excerpt below], fresh knowledge has led to the recognition that evolution is more than a hypothesis. It is indeed remarkable that this theory has been progressively accepted by researchers, following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge. The convergence, neither sought nor fabricated, of the results of work that was conducted independently is in itself a significant argument in favour of this theory.

Pope Pius XII's 1950 Encyclical, Humani Generis. Referred to in the 1996 statement. Excerpt:
... the Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter - for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God.

WHAT'S WRONG WITH CREATIONISM? (Nothing, but it's not science)
Who Are the Creation "Scientists"? They're not impressive.
Facts, Faith, and Fairness. Why creationism isn't science.
15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense. From Scientific American
Creation "Science" Debunked. Why creationism is NOT science.
Frequently Asked But Never Answered Questions. A creationist nightmare!

An Index to Creationist Claims. From Talk.Origins. Exhaustive list.
Arguments we think creationists should NOT use From Answers in Genesis.
The Predicament of Evolution. Published 1925, the same year as the Scopes trial.
How Could An Eye Evolve? A frequently raised issue.
NEW Ichneumon's post 72 on eye evolution.
The 2nd law of thermodynamics, so beloved (and poorly understood) by creationists.
Entropy and the second law of thermodynamics. Please note the Evolution link.
Radiometric Dating: A Christian Perspective. A Bible-believing Christian's viewpoint
Radiocarbon Web Info. The radiocarbon dating method.

GALILEO LINKS (Not evolution, but an earlier science v. scripture conflict.)
NEW Ichneumon's excellent presentation of the issues. FreeRepublic post #31.
Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina of Tuscany. Galileo's opinion about science & scripture.
The Crime of Galileo: Indictment and Abjuration of 1633. The heresy confession.
Trial of Galileo Galilei in 1633.

ORIGIN OF LIFE (Not part of evolution theory)
NEW Cold Sugar in Space Provides Clue to the Molecular Origin of Life.
Self-organization. Bonus link to "emergent properties."
Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics, and Probability of Abiogenesis Calculations.
Spontaneous Generation and the Origin of Life. Debunking the lie that Pasteur's work "disproves" evolution.
The Slow Death of Spontaneous Generation. Louis Pasteur's work is irrelevant to this question.
The Probability of Abiogenesis. Not evolution, but a good discussion of life's origins.
Are the Odds Against the Origin of Life Too Great to Accept? Answer: no. Huge site.

NEW Science does not deal in "proof". Ichneumon's post #52.
Why Are Scientists Confident that Complex Biological Systems Evolved Gradually?
The Forest of Rhetoric. Nowhere else to classify this one.
Morton's Demon. Why so many have trouble with evolution.
Do You Believe in Evolution? Knowledge versus belief.
The omphalos hypothesis. The formal name for "Last-Thursdayism."

NEW The Geocentric Bible web site. The Association for Biblical Astronomy.
TimeCube. Perhaps this will help.
The Crackpot Index, by John Baez. See how high you can score.
The SKEPTIC annotated bibliography. Great pseudo-science meta-site!
Kooks and Quacks of the Roman Empire. Interesting perspective.
Weird Science: A comprehensive resource on Anomalies And Alternative Science.

NEW post 124 by TheBrotherhood on 13 Feb 2006. Evolutionists are the anti-Christ intent on the subversion, perversion and ultimate destruction of Christianity and Western Culture.
post 101 by mlc9852 on 09 Jan 2006. What did the ape-like creature that no longer exists do with the human baby she gave birth to?
post 493 by hosepipe on 04 Jan 2006. Dialectic materialism and scientific materialism are sister whores in the same brothel.
post 285 by RaceBannon on 01 Jan 2006. You guys just dont see the religion required to believe what you espouse.
gore3000's infamous #1360, copied at 133. You execrable piece of lying garbage ....
post 510 by sirchtruth on 17 Dec 2005. Show me a fish evolving to a man right now, and I might believe your stupid ass theory....
DELETED post 70 (see 97) by Baraonda on 17 Dec 2005. The anti-Christs can hide, but can't run away from the stake.
post 428 by Fester Chugabrew on 05 Dec 2005. I maintain that science is in and of itself a supernatural occurence.
post 64 by Rightwing Conspiratr1 on 02 Nov 2005. I'm sick and tired of athiest monkey-worshipping communist swine ...
post 768 by taxesareforever on 13 Oct 2005. I do not think that I am capable of making rational decisions on my own.
post 48 by newsgatherer on 11 Oct 2005. When you say millions and millions of years, you are calling God a liar!
Post 144 by bondserv on 07 Oct 2005. [Evolutionists] have made science the laughing stock of intellectual endeavors.
Post 315 by Nathan Zachary on 29 Sep 05 . There is no REAL PHYSICAL FOSSIL RECORD.
post 48 by JudgemAll (19Sep05). Darwinist castration anxiety & impotency.
post 69 by Just mythoughts (19Sep05). Evolution causes the need for entitlement programs.
Post 23 by gobucks on 08 Jun 05. I read the bible to 2 people shacking up.
Post 290 by woodb01 on 20 August 2005. We should revise the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
Post 43 by gobucks on 18 January 2005. Evolution is about sexual freedom.
Post 556 by Agamemnon on 20 March 2005. [PH,] you sit on that larded list-o-broken-links like Jabba the Hut ...
Post 41 by DannyTN on 21 Feb 2005. T]he convergence of information is against evolution.
Post 4 by rhtwngwarrior on 04 Feb 2005. "Strength in my ignorance."

EvoWiki Great resource.
Evolution and Creationism: A Guide for Museum Docents. PDF file.
NEW Life's Big Instruction Book, or, Molecular Genetics by Analogy. Great tutorial.
Evolution Resources From the National Academies. Resources on evolution education and research.
Evolution on the Front Line. American Association for the Advancement of Science.
How speciation occurs. Ichneumon's post 217.
Defender's Guide to Science and Creationism. Mark Vuletic's website.
Creation and/or Evolution Oriented Links What it says. Lots of links.
Samurai Crabs, by Carl Sagan. A tale of artificial selection.
Colin Purrington's website. Swathmore biologist's excellent resources.
Creationism and ID Resources. National Center for Science Education. Great source.
Resources (Teaching Evolution). National Center for Science Education. More links.
Humour. The laughable side of creationism.
THE ANTI-EVOLUTION GAME. See how good you are at refuting evolution.
Prerequisites to be a Creationist. Doesn't apply to faith-based creationists, only to creation "scientists."
The reDiscovery Institute. Superb spoof of creationist tactics.
Frequently Encountered Criticisms in Evolution vs. Creationism.

So that everyone will have access to the accumulated Creationism vs. Evolution threads which have previously appeared on FreeRepublic, plus links to hundreds of sites with a vast amount of information on this topic, here's Junior's massive work, available for all to review: The Ultimate Creation vs. Evolution Resource [ver 22].

[Yes, I wrote it. Yes, you can use it, with proper attribution to me.]

How to argue against a scientific theory:

Method One: If you want to present a rational argument against a theory -- instead of a meaningless rant -- probably the best method is to point out a verifiable fact that clearly contradicts the theory. But ... to do this, you must understand the theory, so that you understand what might contradict it.

You will accomplish nothing if you argue against an incorrect comic-book version of the theory, one which no scientist accepts or teaches. Building up and tearing down straw-men is a useless exercise.

The evidence you present can be something newly discovered, or the discrediting of something discovered earlier, which turns out to have been wrongly understood -- or even bogus. However, even if you've really got something, you must be careful, because this is the stage where kooks and cranks and Einstein wannabes so often go astray.

For your discovery to completely overturn a theory, the new evidence (or newly-discredited old evidence) must be essential to the theory, so that without it, the theory collapses. Merely pointing out that some unneeded datapoint is wrong -- even a famous one like Piltdown Man -- doesn't bring a well-established theory crashing down in ruins -- if (as with Piltdown Man) the theory never depended on such evidence in the first place. At best, such discredited evidence might require a footnote, or perhaps a minor correction in the next edition of a textbook. This goes on all the time as our observations improve. It's no big deal.

Method Two: Another method of arguing against a theory is to present a testable theory of your own, one which explains all of the available evidence better than the existing theory. It's a difficult task, but not impossible. Contrary to the frequent complaint of cranks, scientists are not closed-minded to new theories. In the last century, general relativity, quantum mechanics, the big bang, and plate tectonics prevailed over initial skepticism. But to devise a new theory, you need to know two things.

First, you must know what a scientific theory is, and what it isn't. This will help: What's a Scientific Theory? Asserting as a competing "theory" something that isn't testable is a waste of everyone's time in a scientific discussion.

Second, you must be aware, at least generally, of the evidence which supports the existing theory. That is what your competing theory must explain. The more evidence an existing theory explains, the more difficult it becomes to devise a credible alternative. Your new theory has to thread a lot of needles.

A competing theory which offers an explanation of only one thing (an ad hoc explanation) isn't of much use. Science is not a collection of numerous mini-explanations, each of which operates by its own unique rules, in grand isolation from all the others. One thing, considered as if it were unrelated to anything else, may have many possible explanations, and your explanation may seem as plausible as any other. But but does your theory explain all the evidence that the existing theory explains? Can it survive the same tests that the existing theory has survived? Is it consistent, or inconsistent, with other branches of science? If the answer to any of these questions is "no," then you're unlikely to be successful.

How not to argue against a theory:

1. Neither ignorance of, astonishment at, dislike of, nor refusal to accept an existing theory will serve as scientific objections. All such arguments are really about you, not the theory.

2. No scientist claims that he knows everything, or that he has solved all problems; and no theory has been subjected to all possible tests. Therefore, pointing out that that there are things not yet known, or problems not yet solved, isn't much of an argument. Theories are based on that which is known. A newly-discovered fact may upset an existing theory. But a list of unknowns is inevitable; and does not refute a theory.

3. It should be obvious that denial of verifiable facts doesn't score any points; it just costs you credibility. And blindly copying material found at frequently discredited websites -- especially their often bogus quotes from alleged experts -- is both foolhardy and ridiculous.

4. A theory is not disproven by pointing out occasional acts of academic misconduct, or even outright fraud. There are tens of thousands of scientists, and a few have disgraced themselves. (Similarly, a religion is not discredited because of the personal flaws of a few clergymen.) A demonstration of fraud could be a successful attack on a theory, but only if the theory can't survive without the fraudulent material. This would amount to a demonstration of evidence that contradicts the theory, which is Method One described above.

5. Other worthless arguments are attempts to discredit the character of individual scientists, or to quote them on unrelated topics, because such matters are irrelevant to the scientific merits of a theory. Isaac Newton probably was an unpleasant man, and Einstein was a socialist; but the value of their scientific work is not affected by such irrelevancies.

6. Likewise, quoting opinions of people who aren't practicing in the field is probably of little value, because a scientific theory isn't about opinion -- it's about testable explanations of verifiable data.

7. Claiming that the theory somehow causes undesirable consequences -- even if such claims were true -- is irrelevant to the validity of the theory. Atomic theory, for example, is not discredited because of the bomb, nor is gravity discredited because someone gets tossed out of a window.

8. Claiming that your opponent's religious views aren't the same as yours is irrelevant in a debate about a scientific theory. Also irrelevant is claiming that you can't harmonize your religious views with the theory. The subject under discussion is the theory, not your religion, and not your opponent's.

Announcing The All-New, Improved Evolution Troll's Toolkit!

Are you inadequate online? Are you feeling inferior because you have no education? Are you so stupid that no one will respond to you? When they do respond, is it only point out your errors in spelling, grammar and logic? Would you like to become the life of the thread? Then be a troll! Yes, now you too can be a real internet troll!

Trolls always have a good time, and their posts get lots of responses. As a troll, you're sure to be the center of attention. Other trolls will praise your posts. Never again will your comments be ignored, merely because you don't know what you're talking about. And as a troll, you'll enjoy the power you have to ruin any thread just by showing up and trolling. Oh, the fun!

Trolling is easy. It's simple. And the beauty of it is ... you don't have to know anything! Here's a complete catalog of an evolution troll's intellectual inventory. Just print out this toolkit, and use one or two items at random every time you post. Don't worry if someone refutes you. Just repeat your earlier post. Then keep on trolling! They'll go crazy! Guaranteed!

Evolution Troll's Toolkit
Ignorance & Lies
Stupidity & Lunacy
Tedious Nonsense
Cluelessness & Misc.
1 You have no evidence Hitler, Stalin, etc. Darwinism is a religion [Quote any creationist website]
2 That's a "just so" story! homosexual You're Christian-bashing You're no Christian!
3 All mutations are harmful God-hater government grants What are you afraid of?
4 The theory keeps changing You have no proof communist tactics Take your meds
5 Gaps in fossil record Science is liberalism Evolution causes immorality Public opinion polls say [...]
6 I never said that! Piltdown Man Darwin worship arrogant jerk
7 It's only a theory! It's all speculation! Prove the origin of life! You're foaming at the mouth
8 I'm not [.....], you are! Were you there? Global flood & Noah's Ark [Quote any scripture passage]
9 2nd Law of Thermodynamics Macro-evolution is impossible Darwin leads to Marxism My granddaddy was no ape
10 Speciation not observed Hillary Darwin was a racist The odds are against evolution
11 Cambrian explosion I pity you Pascal's wager Stop the censorship!
12 No transitional fossils [Quote a Jack Chick comic] What made the Big Bang? It can't be repeated in the lab
13 Complexity proves design [Use a bogus quote] atheist, materialist, etc. All lab work proves ID
14 Regularity proves design Evolution's proved wrong But it's still a mammal! Why are there still monkeys?


Darwin Central is a global conspiracy which allegedly rules the academic world to maintain the pre-eminence of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, to the consternation of devotees of Creationism. In addition to the academic conspiracy, Darwin Central is rumored to have subsidiaries involved in other conspiratorial activities, including black helicopters, Area 51, the Illuminati, and water fluoridation.

Finances: Besides being the most secretive of all secret societies, Darwin Central is also believed to be the richest, with substantial holdings in oil, gold, diamonds, and tobacco. Its vast revenues are used, not only to reward its worldwide network of operatives who advance its interests in academia, but also for political purposes, in order to preserve evolution's iron grip on the world.

Rumors: There are persistent tales that Darwin Central's ascendancy was made possible through the secret assistance of Queen Victoria. It should be noted, however, that royal sponsorship has never been acknowledged. Similarly unacknowledged are incessant rumors of strong links to the Church of England. Such rumors are supported by the undeniable fact that Darwin was buried in Westminster Abbey. It is also rumored that Ian Fleming, who had been a Naval Intelligence officer, drew on his knowledge of Darwin Central as the inspiration for S.P.E.C.T.R.E. in his James Bond novels.

The Grand Master: This far-flung enterprise is presided over by the mysterious and all-powerful Grand Master, successor to a long line of earlier Grand Masters who have guided the affairs of Darwin Central since its founding in 1859 -- the year that Darwin's The Origin of Species was published.

The organizational structure of Darwin Central is virtually unknown. The Grand Master and his various spokesmen are the only figures whose existence seems certain. However, as a result of publicly declared disciplinary measures, it appears that operatives can be, and frequently are, relegated to what is referred to as the janitorial pool. It is not known whether this is actually what the name implies, or a coded expression to conceal a more menacing function. It appears, however, that all operatives of Darwin Central, even those in the mysterious janitorial pool, are fiercely loyal to the Grand Master.

Board of Overseers: The Board acts in a supervisory role. Its membership has never been disclosed, and rumors about its membership are never confirmed or denied. All that is known is that in the event of a tragedy befalling the Grand Master, the Board of Overseers would immediately convene to appoint his successor, a practice which has been followed since the founding of Darwin Central in 1859. Rumors constantly swirl around this most secretive group. The usual claims are that the Board consists of representatives of the Royal Family, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bank of England, the Congregation of Oxford University, the Royal Society Of London, and the Royal Observatory. The few Americans mentioned are usually representatives of banks, Morgan being always included in such tales, although the American Philosophical Society is frequently cited. Queries to such institutions about the Board are never answered.

Location: Although Darwin Central's offices are everywhere, its World Headquarters are located in the Galapagos Islands, which Darwin visited in 1835, as described in The Voyage of the Beagle.

Disclosure: The existence of Darwin Central was first publicly revealed on Free Republic, a conservative news forum, where highly spirited online debates about the creation-evolution controversy frequently appear. The Grand Master never personally participates in such debates, but makes his wishes known through spokesmen who participate on his behalf. The earliest known mention of Darwin Central was in 2002, in what was assumed to be a jocular remark. But as such references continued and details leaked out, it gradually became apparent that Darwin Central is a sinister force that rules the world by means of the theory of evolution.

Operations: Little is known about the actual operations at Darwin Central's headquarters. There are reports of formal affairs held in the Piltdown Room, a great hall presumably named after Piltdown Man, on one wall of which hangs the Shroud of Liverpool, a relic of unknown but presumably great significance.

The formal uniforms worn by the organization's officials have never been photographed, but partial descriptions have come to light. They are said to resemble 18th century military uniforms, having cutaway coats with contrasting lapels running from collar to tails, enormous buttoned cuffs, tri-cornered hats, breeches and riding boots, being somewhat reminiscent of George Washington's uniform in a portrait by John Trumbull. The uniforms also display a bevy of embellishments denoting rank and accomplishments, including variously-colored chest sashes (one described as the slime green of primordial ooze), embroidered borders, a bewildering number of medals in a profusion of orders, classes, etc., shoulder epaulettes with abundant gold fringe, a variety of lapel pins, ribbons, and even condor feathers for the hats, the meaning of which remains obscure.

Motto: In its official pronouncements, the organization describes itself as "The Conspiracy that Cares."

Micro-evolution, Macro-evolution, and Speciation
[Yes, I wrote it. Yes, you can use it, with proper attribution to me.]

This topic is far more complicated than can be explained here, so this will describe only the general idea, which is very easy to understand.

Consider a herd of animals that forms a single-species breeding population. By that I mean they are close enough genetically that any male can produce offspring with any female. Mutations -- changes to the genetic material that occur during reproduction -- are known to be common occurrences. For example, it is estimated that perhaps 100 mutations occur with each human conception. There are many types of mutations and they arise from many causes, but we shall ignore such details and simply classify mutations harmful, neutral, or beneficial.

Harmful mutations often result in a non-viable embryo. If there is a birth with a harmful mutation, the resulting individual may not survive to breed. Its offspring, if any, will be at a disadvantage, and over time they will be an ever-dwindling component of the herd.

Neutral mutations have no positive or negative effect, so we can ignore them. In a benevolent environment where the herd can survive without difficulty, a mutation that would be advantageous in harsher times (for example, the ability to digest different foods) may confer no significant advantage, and it will therefore be neutral -- unless an environmental change renders it advantageous -- at which time it may seem to suddenly appear as if in rapid response to the environment.

Occasionally, an individual is born with some small, but favorable mutation (for speed, endurance, disease resistance, etc.). This individual isn't a different species from its parents, nor is it incapable of finding a mate within the herd. Because it's slightly faster, stronger, or healthier than the others, it probably survives to pass its genes on to its offspring. This frequently-observed phenomenon is what creationists call "micro-evolution."

At first, a favorable mutation involves a tiny variation in only one individual and then its offspring. Eventually -- if the mutation is truly advantageous -- the entire herd will posses it. Why? Because those individuals who lack it will gradually diminish in number, generation after generation, as they fare poorly compared to the survival rate and reproductive success of more capable individuals. Over time, the gene pool of the herd will be modified from what it had been, as this favorable mutation becomes the standard genetic inheritance of the entire herd. The reverse of this natural process (that is, unfavorable survival rate and reproductive failure) removes harmful mutations from the herd. Thus we have the principal mechanisms of evolution -- mutation and natural selection. Creationists usually accept this as "micro-evolution."

But -- and this is where the creationists get left behind -- there is no limit on the number of times this process can occur. Present-day species are not frozen in their current forms. Other than reproductive failure, there is no "mutation barrier." Each presently-living individual is the cumulative result of all past mutations in its lineage, and is therefore the contemporary "end point" of everything that has gone before; but that doesn't mean the process of evolution ends with him. He may seem to be perfectly suited for his environment -- indeed, he is -- and thus evolution may seem to have run its course; but that is an illusion.

The identical assumption could have been made for each of his ancestors, going back through a great range of environments to which his ancestors were perfectly suited and in which they thrived -- but for which our contemporary individual would not be well suited. Although his ancestors seemed ideally evolved for their own environment in their own time (and like our present-day individual, they actually were), it was a temporary, fragile accommodation to a constantly changing world; and therefore evolution didn't stop with them.

As it was then, so it is now -- the world is still changing, and mutations are still occurring. There is no more reason for evolution to stop now than there was in the past.

The appearance of contemporary perfection can give the impression of "purposeful design," but it is the consequence of a long series of gradual genetic changes which favors beneficial mutations -- and a great number of early deaths along the way, a process which relentlessly eliminates those individuals who are not so perfectly adapted. We see only the survivors of this process, which can be misleading. Nature very kindly sweeps the failures under the rug.
Similarly, to an uninformed observer, the economy appears to consist only of prosperous corporations selling successful products. Everything seems wonderful, as if it were the result of some grandiose plan. But this casual observation overlooks the fact that most businesses fail, and those which survive offer numerous products that are dismal failures. We see only success because success is what survives to be seen; but the full history leading up to what we see is littered with mostly failure. So it is with life on Earth.
Our well-adapted contemporary individual is not only the end point of everything that has gone before in his ancestry, he is also the "starting point" for all of his progeny -- as was each of his ancestors before him. Each individual exists at that transitional moment in time between the past (its inherited genetic characteristics) and the future (the genetic characteristics of its progeny). Like each of its ancestors, our contemporary individual can also produce offspring with a mutation. In this way, unless the herd goes extinct, the gene pool is always in transition.

The herd is the ever-changing result of numerous mutations accumulated over thousands of generations. Harmful mutations are always being discarded (through early death and reproductive failure), while advantageous mutations are preserved and spread through the population, changing the gene pool again and again. But although the gene pool is forever in transition (that is, "micro-evolution" is continually occurring), specific instances of variation are small, and each generation is virtually indistinguishable from the one immediately before it and the one that follows after it.

This process is observable in speeded-up time when a rancher acquires a prize bull to improve the quality of his animals. His herd changes faster than a typical herd in the wild, because the rancher will provide the prize bull with numerous opportunities to pass his superior qualities on to the next generation. This can happen quickly in the wild too, if environmental stress swiftly removes less-capable individuals from the breeding population. Therefore, the pace at which evolution occurs depends on the environment, as it changes and affects the herd's ability to survive.

Speeding up the process can also occur if the herd is divided into two separate populations, kept apart, perhaps, by a river or mountain range. Each group would then evolve in isolation from the other. If the old herd remained in an environment where food was abundant and the climate congenial, there would be little pressure for evolution. But the splinter group might now be in a more challenging environment, where it would rapidly diverge from its parent stock. Many generations later, an observer would find two different species of herd animals living in the same general area, with no apparent "transitional link" between them. The same process can occur numerous times, resulting in many related, but increasingly different branches that descended from the original herd.

The individuals of each generation -- and if they live long enough, of several sequential generations -- always comprise a single-species breeding population. If you had a time machine and could transport a contemporary individual back to the herd as it was a dozen generations ago, he'd be virtually indistinguishable from the others, notwithstanding a few favorable mutations the herd has passed on to him in the interval. Indeed, he'd probably fit right in if you took him back 100 generations, or maybe even 1,000. Contrary to creationists' misconceptions, there is never a moment when one generation is so strikingly different from the next that they are distinctly different species.
Creationists -- at least those who venture into the domain of science -- steadfastly claim that evolution relies on never-occurring, single-generation, large-scale transitions from one species to another -- an imaginary phenomenon they call "macro-evolution" -- a fiction of their own devising which they correctly reject for lack of evidence. From this wobbly foundation, they go on to claim that because ducks never give birth to dogs, or monkeys to humans, that all of evolution is false.

It is not known why creationists consistently fail to comprehend that the gradual process of evolution requires only "micro-evolution" -- a well-observed, easily understood, undirected natural phenomenon which they claim to accept. Perhaps it's because gradual change via mutation and natural selection is too easy to understand, too natural, too obvious! Or perhaps it's because because they realize that a long series of small changes implies that the Earth is far older than they would prefer. They don't want to understand such an explanation. They prefer that the origin of species be an inexplicable mystery -- one which must have a supernatural cause. But in rejecting the fantasy of "macro-evolution" -- events that never happen and which are actually contrary to the process of evolution, creationists are saying nothing about the theory of evolution, only their own, self-imposed misunderstanding.

Through the long chain of generations, individuals never change; it's the whole population -- or rather, the gene pool -- that changes. After a sufficiently long period of time, perhaps thousands of generations, as a result of innumerable small mutations, the herd will be noticeably different from its distant ancestors -- it has become a new species. But there was no sudden occurrence of "macro-evolution" -- no identifiably unique breeding pair, no transitional generation -- that marked the commencement of the new species. Yet speciation has occurred.

It is possible that the two species could encounter one another, because a little-changed, isolated remnant of the original herd might have survived in some happy valley where the environment remained favorable to genetic stasis. But the two herds couldn't mate successfully. They have become too genetically dissimilar. What is more likely -- as with most species that have lived on Earth -- the ancestral herd exists only in the fossil record.