January 17, 2010
There is considerable discussion in many places regarding the Creationism – Evolution controversy; however, relatively little discussion about the Intelligent Design (ID) – Evolution controversy. On the other hand, it must be remembered that several Gallup Polls showed that while approximately 40% of Americans believe in Creationism an equal number believe in ID. Moreover, I think the Ev-ID controversy is more serious.
Creationism, of course, denies the existence of the process of evolution; on the other hand, ID accepts the fact of evolution but, because of the argument that life is too complex to have evolved unaided, insists that a supernatural designer/God controlled the Ev process. In my book, I provide biographical sketches of two individuals who were raised as Creationists. Eventually as they matured and began to understand themselves and the world around them, the realized that creationism is a fraud and became rather angry at being duped while growing up. However, both gravitated to ID, not being willing to renounce their belief in God.
It must be emphasized that ID is not just warmed over creationism as many seem to think. ID is quite different. To begin with, the God of ID is not the same as the God of creationism, a simple fact I have never seen articulated. Furthermore, ID accepts the fact of evolution but still requires a belief in supernatural causation which is the nub of the problem. It should be noted that the famous Darby PA trial involved the attempt to insert ID into the education system, not creationism.
Philosophy, Religion, and Science are three of the more important relevant intellectual disciplines that provide answers to complex questions raised by Evolution’s Fatal Flaw such as “Where did we come from?” “Where are we going?” etc. which leads to the question, “which is the more appropriate discipline to use for complex questions.” Of particular interest, I occasionally hear/read that [some topic] is outside the purview of science, which leads to the question what is the appropriate purview of Science, what are it’s limits.
To address this issue, I believe each discipline should be examined and it’s capabilities assessed. To this I have listed definitions provided by one of the better online dictionaries. Each discipline has multiple sub-definitions, and I have selected those that seem most general and appropriate:
Philosophy is the:
“investigation of the nature, causes, or principles of reality, knowledge, or values based on logical reasoning rather than empirical methods.”
“critical analysis of fundamental assumptions or beliefs.”
Religion is the:
“belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.”
Science is the:
“observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.”
As shown by their definitions, there are obviously some critical differences between these disciplines. First, the word “belief” appears in both philosophy and religion definitions but not science. On the other hand, the word “explanation” appears only in the science definition.
Examining definition of these key words we have:
An Explanation is:
a statement that makes something comprehensible by describing the relevant structure or operation or circumstances etc
A belief” is:
Something believed or accepted as true, especially a particular tenet or a body of tenets accepted by a group of persons”;
A principle, etc., accepted as true, often without proof
In addition to an examination of the definition of belief, since philosophy eschews empirical methods and science embraces them, a review of empirical methods will also aid clarity: Referring again to the dictionary,
An Empirical method”
Relies or based solely on experiment and observation rather than theory.
As discussed in Evolution’s Fatal Flaw, development of an empirical explanation is only the first, albeit important, step toward gaining a complete explanation of a phenomenon. While empirical methods provide a useful beginning, they usually do not explain how or why a phenomenon occurs. The how or why explanation is generally provided by theoretical methods e.g., Kepler’s empirically derived equations of planetary as opposed to Newton’s and Einstein’s theoretically derived equations as discussed in chapter 2 of EFF
Besides the presence or absence of belief or explanation, other critical differences are:
Philosophy investigates causes but does not appear to offer any explanation of them.
Philosophy employs logical reasoning rather than empirical methods.
Religion relies almost exclusively upon belief in the supernatural power or powers.
Philosophy also shares a characteristic with psychology. There are many “schools” of psychology (e.g., structuralism, behaviorism, psychoanalysis and humanism) all of which explain human behavior from different viewpoints. Likewise, there are many philosophical systems, each investigating principles of reality based on logical reasoning without offering objective proof of their versions.
Accordingly, at the risk of offending philosophers, Scientific answers are often superior to philosophical answers
Regarding religious “answers,” I believe that Evolution’s Fatal Flaw satisfactorily demonstrates that religious “answers” based upon supernatural causation are really not answers; they are merely beliefs which, as explained above, are “accepted as true, often without proof” and thus are not valid explanations.
In view of the above, I submit that the only reliable answers to the questions that face the world today are found via the use of the scientific method. Moreover, I submit that nothing of value worth knowing is outside the purview of science, in particular the branch of science known as evolution.
December 29, 2009
Book is unique (all authors say this) because of unique approach to evolution controversy and findings related to Ev Fatal Flaw
Ev is of course controversial and I don’t want to offend anyone, but as one reviewer commented on the book:
some of the arguments are probably going to make die-hard proponents of [alternatives to Evolution] squirm a bit
However, the threat posed by Ev Fatal Flaw will ultimately do far more than make people squirm.
But first, the book. Book not what I originally expected, turned out to be something of an historical mystery story with the main mystery, 2 critical questions
Where did we come from?
Where are we going? – latter probably most important but need other to fully understand
Re first question – 3 answers – delineated best by 8 Gallup Polls which posed this question:
“Which of the following statements comes closest to your views on the origin and development of human beings? 1) God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so, 2) Human beings have developed over millions of years from other forms of life, but God guided this process, 3) Human beings have evolved over millions of years from other forms of life, but God had no part in this process”[
Answers were surprisingly uniform in all 8 surveys: 40% agreed with option 1, Creationism, 40% with 2, Intelligent Design, 20% with 3, Evolution – pretty wide divergence of views.
Gallup results, raise two other questions
Why are there three?
Which one is correct? – note, Ev can answer both where from and where going, other two can’t
Answer to first, I’ve been working on for many years – comes from how our understanding developed. Dev of understanding frustrated by illusions – all caused by limitations of human eye and short human lifespan
Apparently Solid earth , eye can’t seen atoms
Astronomical – sun around earth, sun moon same size, close, stars around earth, close
Apparently unchanging Earth, eye can’t see glacially slow geological or biological changes
First explanation of these illusions – we live at center of small universe that revolves around us and is not very old. This universe is created and controlled by unseen but all powerful spirits or gods. Belief system termed Animism by 19th century anthropologist, Tylor who claimed that animism was First religion.
Creationism is a lineal descendent of animism
My book describes how the illusions were unraveled – beginning about 500 years ago – is essential for resolving the controversy. But with short time, cannot say much more – it’s all in the book.
Want to say few words about Where going, as actually more important
Answer begins with issue of species survival. Problem here is finite lifespan; hence, must replace before die, i.e. Need reproduction.
But, only single cell can reproduce, hence all repro begins with single cell. Note – most cells have 2 sets of Chromosomes aka DNA.
In multi-celled animals, beginning cell of repro is provided by male sperm and female egg. These “sex” cells are special, each has only 1 set of DNA; hence, each contributes ½ of DNA. Thus, fertilized egg has a complete, but unique set of genes, never existed before.
Much variability in reproduction process, which passing thru natural selections filter, which tends to select only the most fit to survive, has led over millions of years from fish to humans – each with greater survival capability.
Reproduction potentially solves species survival, but there is another problem, individuals do not need sex to survive, hence, there is a conflict between species survival and individual survival. Evolution’s natural selection filter solved this problem; however, the solution led to one more problem, the tendency for species to increase until they exceed available resources. Consider the following excerpt from a news article:
“New studies predict record land grab as demand soars for new sources of food, energy and wood fiber. Escalating global demand for fuel, food and wood fibre [missing phrase] will destroy the world’s forests,
missing phrase is due to the rapidly expanding world population
But, evolution cannot solve the population explosion problem, without upsetting the species survival solution this is Ev Fatal Flaw – and leads to serious consequences – our population cannot increase forever.
Now, I am not going to reveal evolution’s solution to the species-individual conflict as this would spoil mystery– have to read my book.
Are there any questions?
December 21, 2009
The Creationism, Intelligent Design, Evolution controversy is a significant part of the Science-Religion Conflict which is nicely summarized by this review of scientific and religious activities in 1927:
• Edwin Hubble and associates were discovering and mapping the enormous size and age of the universe.
• Werner Heisenberg and Ernst Schrödinger were developing the correct formulation of quantum mechanics, the explanation of matter, which was known to be comprised of infinitesimally small atoms. •
Phoebus Levene, Fredrick Griffith, William Astbury, and Oswald Avery, among others, were unraveling the mystery of heredity which led to the solution of the mechanism of natural selection.
• John Scopes was found guilty of violating the religiously motivated Butler Law that forbade the teaching of evolution. There was thus, a yawning gap between science and religion, which continues today.