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Path led from science to faith: The design is apparent to many
Minneapolis Star Tribune ^ | 12/27/03 | Bob DeWaay

Posted on 12/26/2003 9:43:24 PM PST by rhema

I read with interest Gregory Korgeski's Dec. 13 counterpoint decrying creationism and fundamentalism. After learning that no "reputable" scientists endorse creationism, I learned that fundamentalists who take their sacred texts literally are dangerous to the well-being of society.

These arguments are self-serving in that they admit no evidence to the contrary. In Korgeski's thought, being a creationist makes you disreputable and being a fundamentalist makes you a likely menace to society.

I was raised in a church that taught that the Bible was mostly mythology, that there were no miracles, and that evolution was true. Seeing no need for religion, I left the church and took up the study of science.

As a chemical engineering student at Iowa State University I was required to study organic chemistry. I studied the complexity of molecules in the body that made life possible. That study convinced me that evolution was impossible and that life had to come from an intelligent designer.

The church led me away from belief in God and science led me to it. I became a Christian and began to study the Bible for myself. Now I am a "fundamentalist" preacher.

My fundamentalism means that as a Christian I am committed to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. These teachings are so rigorous that they show me my sins and failings. However, they offer forgiveness as a free gift of God's grace through what Christ did for me on the cross. But what about these "dangerous" fundamental teachings? Let me explain just a few of them to those who find us "fundamentalists" to be dangerous.

Jesus and his apostles taught us to not take revenge, but turn the other cheek when attacked (Matthew 5:39). Jesus taught his followers to pay their taxes (Matthew 22:17-21).

The apostle Paul taught all Christians to pray for their civil leaders, whoever they may be (1Timothy 2:1, 2). . . .

< snip >

Back to Korgeski's article -- I wonder, given the lack of any authoritative text, the lack of a supreme "law giver," and the lack of any rational explanation of how moral guidance "evolved" from random processes, how Korgeski can take it upon himself to give his readers moral guidance. At least we fundamentalists have a source of moral guidance outside of the fickle "self."

Bob DeWaay is pastor of Twin City Fellowship in Minneapolis.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; US: Minnesota
KEYWORDS: crevo; evolution; faith; religion; science; spiritualjourney
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To: Ichneumon
Thanks. Fascinating research.
81 posted on 12/28/2003 5:22:45 PM PST by Virginia-American
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To: Ichneumon
Since most of what you post is beyond my pay grade, there are a couple things I'm curious about:

For about the 500th time, evolution does *not* deal with the formation of the cosmos.

Well, maybe not yet. Given time the evos will attempt to have the universe spring from slime and lightning also. Do you have a theory regarding the universe's formation, or is the big bang pretty much it?

Evolution is a biological science.

I'll accept that to a point. What I have difficulty with is what, for lack of a better term, I'd call macro-evolution, ie, frogs to homo sapiens for example. I don't believe my ancestors were monkees, or frogs, or anything else. I could be wrong, but I don't believe science has been able to make that connection either ;^)

You're probably familiar with Albert Einstein's perceptions of God. It seems he was able on some level to accept the notion there may have been a God capable of creating the universe, amongst other things. He was bedazzled by the sheer beauty and symmetry of it all. He couldn't get his ample mind around it. His problem of course is he couldn't make the transition from God, who being fully capable of creating the universe, could also be fully capable as a personal God to us undeserving mortals....if He were sought. After all, if He were able to create all things, how much of a challenge would dealing with us one-on-one be?

Objectivity still exists even without a big guy in the sky with a gray beard to hand down stone tablets.

Forgive me if you've stated it, if so I've missed it, but I gather you don't believe God exists?

Creationists are also famous for fixating on fossils exclusively and failing to address the many *other* lines of evidence that very clearly show common ancestry.

ie, similar functions in similar species would share similar genes(parts)? To a layman, all that says is that there's no need to reinvent the wheel. IOW, if I were going to create a zoo here on this planet, why would I not use parts(genes) off the shelf? With a little tweaking here and there, I get a whole different animal(species). That's probably too simple, but...

Early life originated in deep hydrothermal vents.



82 posted on 12/28/2003 8:21:52 PM PST by ForGod'sSake (ABCNNBCBS: An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly.)
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To: ForGod'sSake
See this thread, starting around post 15 for some arguments for common ancestry of chimps and people, whales and cows, etc.
83 posted on 12/28/2003 11:44:15 PM PST by Virginia-American
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To: RaceBannon; ForGod'sSake; DallasMike; M Kehoe
Okay, let's see, now where were we? Ah yes...

Mutations are now the only possible explanation for evolution,

Not the "only" source of new variation, but one of the main ones anyway.

yet rarely has any mutation been Proven to be beneficial to any organism in its natural environment.

Nice waffle-word, that "rarely". So you admit that some mutations *have* been proven to be beneficial?

In any case, you're wrong about it being "rarely" found to be the case. Check out any journal of biochemical evolution or genetic research for several new examples every issue.

Almost all observed mutations are harmful and many are fatal.

Actually, thanks to the redundancy in the genetic code, most mutations are neutral. And while it's true that most non-neutral mutations are harmful and a lesser number are beneficial, natural selection ensures that the harmful mutations get weeded out of the population pretty quickly, while beneficial mutations spread and accumulate in the population. It's thus easy to see that over time beneficial mutations will accumulate without limit, whereas harmful mutations drop out, regardless of their relative frequencies.

There is no known mutation that has ever produced a form of life having both greater complexity and greater viability than any of its ancestors.

Again, I have to wonder exactly what poorly-informed source you're drawing these amazing claims from. It certainly isn't the scientific literature. Let me guess: creationist books and websites?

Yes, there *are* numerous "known mutations" which do what you ask. See for example Phagotrophy by a flagellate selects for colonial prey: A possible origin of multicellularity , or Emergence of Nylon Oligomer Degradation Enzymes in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO through Experimental Evolution

Even the DNA of a small bacterium is composed of 3 million units all aligned in a very precise meaningful sequence. It is a mathematical impossibility for a random chance arrangement of molecules to arrange itself in the form of a DNA helix.

But since no biologist suggests that the building of DNA is done by "random chance", that's yet another misrepresentation/straw man on your part.

According to Dr. John Grebe, "The 15000 or more atoms of the individual sub-assemblies of a single DNA molecule, if left to chance as required by the evolutionary theory, would go together in any of the 10^87, (10 followed by 87 zeroes), different ways. It is like throwing 15000 pairs of dice at one time to determine what specific molecule to make; and to test each one for the survival of the fittest until the one out of 10^87 different possibilities is proven by survival of the fittest is proven to be the right one."

Grebe, an activist creationist, doesn't know the first thing about how evolution builds DNA. His "analysis" is based on the ludicrous notion that evolution must somehow "roll" a brand new totally random DNA string each new generation, from scratch. Yes, by this "method" evolution would fail miserably. No, that's not how it actually works. Evolution instead works via stepwise progression building upon previous successes. As such, it's vastly more efficient than Grebe's ludicrous model. Furthermore Grebe reveals yet more ignorance of biology when he uses the phrase "the right one", as if there is only a single workable DNA strand out of all the possible DNA strands of a given length. Utter nonsense. His analysis is ridiculous.

Evolutionists claim the universe is 10 to 20 Billion years old.

Because it is.

"Mathematically speaking, based on probability concepts, there is no possibility that evolution was the mechanism that created the approximately 6,000,000 species of plants and animals we recognize today."

Ten yard penalty for babbling about "probability concepts" without actually presenting any mathematical argument or stating any premises.

Michael Denton: "The complexity of the simplest known type of cell is so great that it is impossible to accept that such an object could have been thrown together by some kind of freakish, vastly improbable event."

Denton's an idiot, since no one's proposing that any "known type of cell" was representative of the first spark(s) of life. The earliest life was far, far simpler than that.

Evolutionist Sir Fred Hoyle agrees with creationists on this point.

Astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle is a nutjob who thinks that life on Earth was put here by aliens and that insects may well be as intelligent as humans. Are you really sure you want to hold him up as an authority?

He said the odds that a cell is formed by chance is equal to the odds that a tornado going through a junkyard would create a working 747 with all instruments working.

Yes he did, and the gross inappropriateness of that analogy to actual evolutionary processes has been explained again and again now. Not that creationists ever learn the lesson...

Science has discovered no proof that animals or plants can evolve.

I'm hard put to think of a phrase that adequately describes what a giant load of garbage that declaration is.

The best established facts of genetics, biology, and botany studies indicate evolution is physically impossible.

So you say, but you have yet to actually provide any of these "facts". So far all you have are creationist urban legends which attack a straw man version of evolution that no evolutionist actually holds. Try again.

Australopithecine: not a missing link, but an extinct ape. Dr. Charles Oxnard, U. of Chicago says, " These fossils clearly differ more from both humans and African apes, than these two living groups from each other. "The Australopithecines are unique."

What you "forget" to mention is that Oxnard's opinion is a fringe one, based on a few simplistic measurements, and ignores significant features of the specimens which clearly tie them to humans -- which is the reason that scientific opinion is almost unanimous on that point, and creationists have to go grasping for just about the only dissenter, whether he knows what he's talking about or not. But then, that's par for the course for creationists -- they "expert shop" to find an opinion they like, instead of relying on the consensus opinion of the field as a whole, or the opinion of the acknowledged experts on the topic.

Lucy has been compared to modem pygmy chimpanzees. Paleontologist Adrienne Zihlman, Univ. of Cal at Santa Cruz:( Lucy's fossil remains match up remarkably well with the bones of a pygmy chimp,(although there are some differences)). Adrienne Zihlman, "Pygmy chimps and pundits", New Scientist Vol 104 #1430 Nov 15, 1984 P.39-40

This is a remarkably misleading statement. Yes, Lucy has been "compared" to pygmy chimpanzees. But that's hardly the same thing as the attempted implication that she *was* basically a chimpanzee. She most certainly was not. Zihlman has been repeatedly dishonestly "quote-mined" by creationists eager to give the wrong impression about the "Lucy" specimens. In fact, Zihlman's "comparison" of Lucy to pygmy chimpanzees was merely the observation that she was about the size of one and had a similar brain size. What creationists like to leave out is her observation that Lucy's pelvis, hip joints, femur (upper leg) orientation, knee structure, and toe configuration are strikingly human and unlike any ape's. She would have been able to walk upright in a human fashion and "lock" her knees to stand vertically stable, something no chimp can do. You sort of "forgot" to mention that, eh?

Homo habilis was once called a missing link between Australopithecus and homo erectus, and a missing link between ape and man. Current conclusions are a chimpanzee, orangutan, or an Australopithecine. (Albert W. Mehlert, "Homo Habilis Dethroned", Contrast: The creation evolution controversy Vol 6 #6)

Complete twaddle. See Creationist Arguments: Homo habilis and associated links. Habilis is still a solidly established transitional form between man and our ape ancestors.

It is claimed that the finder, Eugene Dubois, admitted the skull cap was from a gibbon like ape.

Yes, it "is claimed" by dishonest creationists. But it has been debunked so thoroughly that even AnswersInGenesis lists it among their Arguments we think creationists should NOT use. So why are you using it?

Nebraska Man was a local fossil, the entire evidence consisting of a single tooth. Nebraska Man was pictured on the front page of Life magazine in a hunter-gatherer mode. During the famous Scopes Monkey Trial, Nebraska Man was labeled a genuine missing link. The tooth turned out to be a tooth of a pig.

There are many inaccuracies and misrepresentations in your account. For a more accurate summary, see Creationist Arguments: Nebraska Man.

Neanderthal man has been proven to be human, very similar to Europeans today, yet with proven diseases such as rickets, syphilis, and arthritis.

As usual, horse manure. See Creationist Arguments: Neandertals.

The following chart seems appropriate here:

There is no proof that man evolved from an ape like creature.

Don't be ridiculous. Even aside from the unmistakable fossil evidence, which you have gone out of your way to misrepresent (and focus only on the unusual cases while ignoring the many more inarguable ones), there is a *vast* amount of DNA evidence along several independent lines of investigation which document a "paper trail" of human evolution from our primate ancestors and our shared ancestry with modern apes. For example, Constructing primate phylogenies from ancient retrovirus sequences. Sort of "forgot" to address that, didn't you?

Also, there are some findings that contradict all known science: Human skeleton found 1. 6 million years old, by Richard Leaky( Wash. Post Oct 19, 1984)

That was a homo erectus skeleton, you goof.

The Dissidents No less an authority than the world-renowned paleontologist (with Dr. Colin Patterson) for the British Museum of Natural History, Dr. N. Etheridge, has remarked: "Nine tenths of the talk of evolutionists is sheer nonsense, not founded on observation and wholly unsupported by facts. This museum is full of proofs of the utter falsity of their views. In all this great museum, their is not a particle of evidence of the transmutation of species."

Ah yes, bogus quote-mining, the favorite hobby of creationists... "No less an authority" than the "world-renowned" Dr. Etheridge, eh? Odd, then, that when this quote started making the rounds among creationists in the 1920's (not a typo), no one could recall just who the "world-renowned" Dr. Etheridge was in order to check the veracity of the quote. They finally went to the source and asked the British Museum, who discovered that the guy had been an obscure assistant thirty years earlier...

The widely touted “Dr. Etheridge, of the British Museum,” who always appeared in creationist literature without a given name, was quoted by Townsend as saying, “In all this great museum there is not a particle of evidence transmutation of species. Nine-tenths of the talk of evolution is sheer nonsense, not founded on observation and wholly unsupported by fact. This museum is full of proofs of the utter falsity of their views.” The content of Etheridge’s statement varied from work to work, and its source remained unidentified, except for Alexander Patterson’s comment that Etheridge was answering a question put to him by a Dr. George E. Post. When curious parties in the 1920s inquired about the identity of Etheridge, the director of the British Museum surmised that the man in question was “Robert Etheridge, Junr., who was Assistant Keeper of Geology in this Museum from 1881 to 1891,” at which time he left for Australia, where he died in 1920. The director hastened to add that “Mr. Etheridge’s opinion on this subject should not be considered as in any way representing scientific opinion in this Museum.”
-- Ronald L. Numbers. The Creationists: The Evolution of Scientific Creationism. Berkeley: The University of California Press. 1992. P. 52.
In any case, the creationist habit of dumping long lists of quotes (often way out of context, presented as opposition to the author's actual belief, or simply fabricated) is an exercise in useless rhetoric. For the reasons why, and for many examples of creationist dishonest misuse of quotations, see Quotations and Misquotations: Why What Antievolutionists Quote is Not Valid Evidence Against Evolution .

Have there been any strange findings that disagree with evolutionary thought about how old mankind is? Gold Chains found in coal.(Morrisonville Times, Morrisonville M Jun 11 1891)

A woman found a chain stuck to the coal in her coal bin, as reported in a newspaper 114 years ago. Ooh, baby baby. How can I possibly continue to believe in evolution after such devastating "proof" against it? Excuse me while I swoon.

Another important topic is the age of the earth. Is the earth billions of years old?

Yes it is, as indicated by multiple lines of independent evidence involving countless tests, measurements, and observations.

The earth's magnetic field was measured accurately since 1835. Since 1835 the earth's magnetic field has decreased by 6%. Physicist Dr. Thomas Bames concluded that the half life for the magnetic field was 830 to 1400 years. That means that 830 to 1400 years ago, the magnetic field was twice as strong as it is today. Another 831 to 1400 years before that, it was 4 times as strong. According to Dr. Bames," If we went back about 10,000 years, the earth's magnetic field would have been as strong as the field in a magnetic star. A magnetic star is like our sun: it has a nuclear power source. Surely our Earth never had a nuclear power source like the sun. Surely our earth never had a magnetic field stronger than a star. That would limit the age of the earth to 10,000 years. Science could definitely say, from the greatest physical evidence,(the kind of evidence and physics that we design radar sets with, and communication sets with), that the earth's magnetic field cannot be more than about 6 to 15 thousand years old."


Can you *really* fall for such stuff? Here's what I wrote a few weeks ago the last time this nonsense came up:

[If we extrapolate back as far as 10,000 years, we find that the earth would have had a magnetic field as strong as that of a magnetic star! This is, of course, highly improbable, if not impossible.]

Yes, it is indeed "highly improbably, if not impossible" -- and the reason is that Barnes' hypothesis is trash. It completely ignores everything that is actually known about the Earth's geomagnetism, and uses an inappropriate gradeschool-level "curve fit" to get the (wrong) answer that Barnes wanted. Not only is the Earth's magnetic field not "decaying exponentially", it actually fluctuates up *and* down. Actual measurements show that 6500 years ago the Earth's magnetic field was actually 20% *less* than it is now (see: McElhinny, M. W., and W. E. Senanayake. 1982. "Variations in the Geomagnetic Dipole I: The Past 50,000 Years" Journal of Geomagnetism and Geoelectricity 34: 39-51). For a few websites which devastatingly demonstrate that Barnes' model is not only wrong, but probably willfully dishonest, see On Creation Science and the Alleged Decay of the Earth's Magnetic Field, or Young-earth "proof" #11, or Claim CD701: Earth's magnetic field is decaying at a rate indicating that the earth must be young.

I mean really, this is high-school level stuff. How do creationists keep repeating the same silly stuff without ever going, "wait a minute, just about everyone who has been to school knows that the Earth's magnetic field actually cycles..."

Another topic would be population growth. There have been estimates of population growth as high as 2% per year. Assuming that population grows at only .5% per year,

"Assume" anything you want, but that doesn't make it so. Debunked here.

Another topic is space dust, or debris left over from creation or impacts of meteors or comets. If the Earth or the Moon were as old as evolutionists say, there should be plentiful amounts of dust on the Moon that could have been, measured when we landed there.

Debunked here.

To assume that a belief in a creator God would disqualify someone from being a real scientist a straw man. No one makes such a claim.


Try "Johannes Kepler".


"Robert Boyle".


Does not follow from your presentation. Even if your points had been on target (and as I've shown, most are *way* off the mark), the *most* you would have established is that evolution had some difficulties. This would *not* be the same as demonstrating that "the Bible is true". The bottom four paragraphs on this page explains that issue in good detail.

Needs work. Much work.

84 posted on 12/29/2003 5:18:16 AM PST by Ichneumon
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To: Ichneumon
Nice try, awfully long winded though.

Too bad it wasnt right. Contained too many obscure references to nothing.
85 posted on 12/29/2003 2:47:47 PM PST by RaceBannon
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To: Ichneumon
Truly a yeoman's effort on your part at presenting your argument. Without a good deal of background study, I'm afraid most of your effort is lost on me. I'm a salesman....mostly ;^)

That said, I can appreciate the time and thought you obviously put into your effort to persuade the unwashed. However, your apparent knowledge of the field leads me to ask you another question(some of my feeble attempts at others went unanswered); that is, if you were to unequivocally determine that all living matter is related by ancestry to all earlier living matter, would that somehow, assuming for the sake of argument there is a God, eliminate God from your equation?

I'm afraid I'm limited on time so I'll leave it at this for now.


86 posted on 12/29/2003 9:19:50 PM PST by ForGod'sSake (ABCNNBCBS: An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly.)
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To: Ichneumon
I found no articles there "supporting creationism", per se,

Is this what you mean?

87 posted on 02/03/2004 4:34:54 PM PST by aquawrench (
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To: Ichneumon
How did we ever get to the point where grown adults actually take this creationist junk seriously? I must have missed that buildup along the way.
88 posted on 04/17/2004 3:32:27 PM PDT by Kerberos
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