Science & Evolution
Posted 9/18/14 at 9:20 PM | Mike Keas
About forty years ago biologists discovered that some bacteria swim by means of a rotating flagellum, which is a long whip-like propellor connected to a rotary engine that is situated within the cell membrane. About twenty years after this discovery biochemist Michael Behe began to argue that the bacterial flagellum and many other molcular machines within living cells exhibit the property of "irreducible complexity," which implied that the likelihood of their origin by means of an unguided material process is beyond reasonable belief. What has become of this argument in the last twenty years? Has the overall trajectory of research supported or eroded Behe's case for the "irreducible complexity" of molecular machines like the bacterial flagellum?
In his book Darwin's Black Box (1996) Behe explained that irreducibly complex systems could not have arisen by a gradual step-by-step neo-Darwinian evolutionary process.
The flagellum is a long, hairlike filament embedded in the cell membrane. The external filament consists of a single type of protein, called "flagellin." The flagellin filament is the paddle surface that contacts the the liquid during swimming. At the end of the flagellin filament near the surface of the cell, there is a bulge in the thickness of the flagellum. It is here that the filament attaches to the rotor drive. The attachment material is comprised of something called "hook protein." The filament of a bacterial flagellum, unlike a cilium, contains no motor protein; if it is broken off, the filament just floats stiffly in the water. Therefore the motor that rotates the filament-propellor must be located somewhere else. Experiments have demonstrated that it is located at the base of the flagellum, where electron microscopy shows several ring structures occur. (p. 70-72) FULL POST
Posted 9/16/14 at 7:58 AM | Michael Bresciani
After the great Scopes Monkey trial circa 1925 the world eased back and decided that scientists and forensics would continue to carry the ball about origins, while those who thought the Bible was true would be sent to the back of the room where the dummies sit.
Real Christianity never fosters stupidity and soon those who believed the Bible started to use the empirical methods of the scientists to uncover amazing truths about origins that early forensics either overlooked or were not willing to see.
The result of years of ‘creation science’ has accumulated since 1925, but it has run head on directly into what is today called – political correctness.
PC is the equivalent of something better known as - ‘don’t confuse me with the facts.’
There are a lot of factors that fuel the present world view of evolution. Beyond peer acceptance is money. Typical schools like Harvard which has about 1.5 $billion in endowments and an average annual outlay of $68,000 for tuition and other costs, would hardly be expected to allow a view that might block the flow of cash - overnight. FULL POST
Posted 8/20/14 at 9:54 PM | Mike Keas
This summer marks the hundredth anniversary of the start of the First World War. By August 1914 many nations had joined the horrible conflict that would take 16 million lives. Although many factors contributed to the beginning of the Great War, a new documentary from Discovery Institute explores the Darwinian ideological connection.
The documentary relies heavily on the work of historian Richard Weikart who is one of the worlds leading experts on German Darwinism up through the Second World War. He has published many essays in refereed journals about the history of German Darwinism as well as several books on this fascinating topic.
The Biology of the Second Reich: Social Darwinism and the Origins of World War I debuted a few days ago. This 14-minute documentary introduces how Darwinian racial theory helped drive German intellectual and military leaders in the years leading up to 1914.
One of the key sources for the argument advanced in this documentary is Headquarters Nights by Darwinian biologist Vernon Kellogg. This book chronicles some of Kellogg's conversations with German officers and intellectuals during the early part of World War I. Here is one excerpt from that book (some of this is in the documentary): FULL POST
Posted 8/6/14 at 12:41 PM | Larry Dozier
Has modern science proven that the Bible is scientifically unreliable or inaccurate? Has the widely touted evolutionary concept of the origin of man been scientifically proven? What evidence do the evolutionists use in support of this proposed scientific definition of the origin of man? As a Bible believing Christian, can I successfully defend the biblical account of creation, scientifically? These and other questions will be answered in this student manual.
First, we must understand that we live in an environment that continually preaches the ideology of the religion of Secular Humanism as defined by the US Supreme Court and The Humanist Manifestos I & II. For over 40 years, many American public schools have been dogmatically teaching evolution as scientific fact, rather than scientific theory. They have frequently pointed to certain dating methods as proof of an earth that is millions and billions of years old; however, after being questioned about their scientific methods, they have also admitted that the same scientific data could be interpreted as thousands of years old, but they do not mention that in the public school textbooks. In addition, it has been found that these same scientists have dated certain artifacts as millions of years old only to find out later they were scientifically proven to be completely wrong. Also, the print and broadcast media are persistently indoctrinating Americans with evolutionary ideology by saying that the world is “millions and billions of years old”, while the Bible clearly says that God created everything in six literal days according to the literal meaning of the Old Testament Hebrew word used in the book of Genesis. Further, Time, Nature and National Geographic magazines along with the Discovery Channel, the movie Jurassic Park, The Learning Channel and Animal Planet regularly affirm evolutionary ideology without questioning its accuracy or authority. As a result, pollster George Barna found that in the US “a minority of ‘born again’ adults (44%) and an even smaller proportion of born again teenagers (9%) are certain of the existence of absolute moral truth.” Adolph Hitler, a self avowed Secular Humanist, once said, “You don’t have to tell the people the truth. Just keep repeating a lie long enough and they’ll start believing it”. It appears that many public schools have allowed their teachers to use the same cynical, humanistic ideology as Adolph Hitler. FULL POST
Posted 7/16/14 at 11:08 AM | Mike Keas
Let's review recent significant discussion of Stephen Meyer's book Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design. Darwin's Doubt passed the 500-reviews milestone on Amazon just before the book's one year anniversary on June 18. Reviews, both popular and professional, indicate that even many critics of intelligent design have found it difficult to simply ignore Meyer's bestseller (although many of the critical reviews display ignorance of the book's precise evidential arguments).
ENV put it this way:
What's the biggest failure of the critics who tried to knock down the argument Steve Meyer makes in Darwin's Doubt -- Matzke, Prothero, Cook in The New Yorker, Farrell in National Review, etc., with the important exception of Marshall in Science? As Meyer says above [use link above to see video], it's the failure to wrestle with or really even to properly acknowledge the book's main argument. That is, the problem of where all the new genetic and epigenetic information needed to build the Cambrian animals came from. FULL POST
Posted 7/9/14 at 11:53 PM | CP Blogs
Interesting fact from the Can Manufacturers Institute:
"In 1972, one pound of aluminum yielded only 21.75 cans. Today, by using less material to make each can, one pound of aluminum makes approximately 33 cans—a 52 percent improvement."
Energy savings from more efficient manufacturing processes have contributed to a drop in energy use. According to the World Bank, carbon dioxide emssions per person have decreased in Germany, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States.
The Cato Institute credits free enterprise as one of the reasons for the decline "because a concern for public opinion coupled with a desire to limit inputs (both of which affect profits) incentivize businesses to reduce emissions."
But the good news doesn't end there. The Environmental Protection Agency reports, "In the United States, since 1990, the management of forests and non-agricultural land has acted as a net sink of CO2, which means that more CO2 is removed from the atmosphere, and stored in plants and trees, than is emitted."
Posted 6/12/14 at 9:31 AM | Brian Wallace
Posted 6/4/14 at 5:51 PM | Barry Bowen
Sometimes I share stories about intelligent design or evolution on my Facebook wall in hopes that my friends will re-evaluate their beliefs on this topic. Instead small arguments usually pop up.
Yesterday I posted the following:
A group of scientists opposed to Darwin's theory have set up a website to support their views. These scientists are not creationists or supporters of intelligent design. Instead they believe in evolution in which natural selection is not the primary driver of biological innovation. (Why am I pointing this out? Many people falsely assume the consensus view is proven beyond doubt. No it isn't. Also, there are atheists opposed to Darwin's theory. This debate goes beyond religion.)
The response was predictable. Several friends were critical of my post. In response to one of their questions, I answered: FULL POST
Posted 6/4/14 at 8:40 AM | Mike Keas
Nobel laureate Francis Crick once warned: "Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved." What Mad Pursuit (1990), page 138. Why is the constant reminder needed? Repeat the mantra often enough, and it might ward off the doubts one naturally has about materialistic theories like neo-Darwinism, when seeing the jolting appearance of design at all levels of nature, from the fine-tuning of the universe for life, to life itself.
A year ago Stephen Meyer published Darwin's Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design. This was a game changer for the evolution debate. Yesterday, Darwin's Doubt just got bigger in its expanded edition, which sports a new 35-page epilogue in which Meyer answers the more substantive challenges to his argument -- from scientists including Charles Marshall, Donald Prothero and Nick Matzke. The epilogue digs deeper into the origin of biological information, the time frame of the Cambrian explosion, cladistic classification methods, and the mystery of the missing ancestors.
Having considered the arguments in Darwin's Doubt, readers will recognize the challenge it offers to traditional evolutionary thinking and perhaps wonder how stalwart defenders of evolutionary theory have responded. FULL POST