Thursday, January 5, 2012

15 Questions for Evolutionists, Answered

Just for fun, here's my take on this.

1. How did life originate? Evolutionist Professor Paul Davies admitted, "Nobody knows how a mixture of lifeless chemicals spontaneously organized themselves into the first living cell." Andrew Knoll, professor of biology, Harvard, said, "we don’t really know how life originated on this planet."

I don't know either. Some tests indicate that subjecting the right sorts of more-complicated molecules to an energy source might create a self-replicating molecule, which would be sufficient to get the party started. But that's just incredibly vague conjecture at this point. Obviously much more scrutiny and experimentation is required to gain more insight on that question.

But just because I admit that I don't know and you claim to be certain that you know, doesn't mean that your explanation wins.

There's plenty that's not known about the religious world-view either; those usually get labeled as "mysteries" and one just shrugs and moves on. But even if we were going to use the number of things not known as evidence against a given paradigm, then the many, many mysterious ways of the Lord must certainly count against the religious world view.

More significantly, there are hundreds of creation myths worldwide that differ from the one provided in Genesis, all of which provide the same kind of faith-based certainty that it does. And there's no objective way whatsoever to determine which of them is more true than any of the others.

A minimal cell needs several hundred proteins. Even if every atom in the universe were an experiment with all the correct amino acids present for every possible molecular vibration in the supposed evolutionary age of the universe, not even one average-sized functional protein would form. So how did life with hundreds of proteins originate just by chemistry without intelligent design?

Can I see the numbers on that claim? What do you estimate the odds to be, what do you estimate the number of atoms to be, and the number of recombinations over time to be? This is clearly an assertion that can be dismissed as having been invented whole-cloth.

2. How did the DNA code originate? The code is a sophisticated language system with letters and words where the meaning of the words is unrelated to the chemical properties of the letters—just as the information on this page is not a product of the chemical properties of the ink (or pixels on a screen). What other coding system has existed without intelligent design? How did the DNA coding system arise without it being created?

The DNA "code" originated when scientists assigned letters to stand in for the proteins in the chain. Actual DNA has no letters, and is not actually a code. It is a functional machine designed to recombinate with RNA chains to produce proteins and enzymes.

Although the information on this page is not related to the pixels on the screen, if they spelled out a workable computer program and it was run on the computer, what the computer then did would produce the actual "meaning" of the program. This relationship is easier to see with compiled machine code rather than with a higher-level programming language, but it's the same case either way. Its function is not to provide information or communication to a person interpreting "meaning" by reading it, but rather to instruct the machine to perform a detailed set of specific routines.

We speak of DNA as a "code" that contains "information" only as an analogy related to our attempts to determine what it does and how it does it. That doesn't make it either of those things.

3. How could mutations—accidental copying mistakes (DNA ‘letters’ exchanged, deleted or added, genes duplicated, chromosome inversions, etc.)—create the huge volumes of information in the DNA of living things? How could such errors create 3 billion letters of DNA information to change a microbe into a microbiologist?

Natural selection removes harmful mutations and promotes beneficial ones, where "harmful" and "beneficial" refer to chances of survival relative to a given organism's environment.

What you call "information" would be better termed as "complexity." Complexity is more versatile than simplicity, and therefore survives or thrives in more environments, or environmental changes. Thus, over a longer-term period of chance survival, more complex life forms will gradually win out over simpler competitors.

There is information for how to make proteins but also for controlling their use—much like a cookbook contains the ingredients as well as the instructions for how and when to use them. One without the other is useless.

A tiny bit of production of a single protein might be useful by itself in a simpler organism. And then a tiny bit of control for it might become useful. And then a bit more production, then a bit more control, and so forth. It's doubtful that an organism would develop a complete set of protein production genes and only then being developing any protein control genes.

Mutations are known for their destructive effects, including over 1,000 human diseases such as hemophilia. Rarely are they even helpful. But how can scrambling existing DNA information create a new biochemical pathway or nano-machines with many components, to make ‘goo-to-you’ evolution possible?

The slim odds of helpful mutations as opposed to harmful mutations becomes a multiplicative factor against the likelihood of any single evolutionary advancement within a given generation of a given lineage of a given species. But then we're back to calculating odds-of and comparing them to numbers-of-cases again.

E.g., How did a 32-component rotary motor like ATP synthase (which produces the energy currency, ATP, for all life), or robots like kinesin (a ‘postman’ delivering parcels inside cells) originate?

Wikipedia says:

The evolution of ATP synthase is thought to be an example of modular evolution, where two subunits with their own functions have become associated and gained new functionality. This coupling must have occurred early in the evolution of life as evidenced by essentially the same structure and processes of ATP synthase enzymes conserved in all kingdoms of life.

Citation: Rotary DNA motors. C. Doering, B. Ermentrout and G. Oster. Center for Nonlinear Studies, Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico 87545, USA.

The thing about these sorts of questions, is that they aren't stumpers. They are quite easily answered with the Google search that you declined to perform.

Regarding kinesin, there's this:

Our analysis indicates that the KCBPs, SpKinC, and a subset of the kinesin-like proteins are all more closely related to one another than they are to any other kinesins, but that either KCBP gained the MyTH4 and talin-like domains or SpKinC lost them.

Yeah, I know. But that's science for ya. Just because you don't understand the answer doesn't mean it's not the answer. I can't be held responsible for your level of ignorance.

4. Why is natural selection, a principle recognized by creationists, taught as ‘evolution’, as if it explains the origin of the diversity of life?

It isn't "taught as evolution." However, it is a necessary part of the processes involved in evolution.

By definition it is a selective process (selecting from already existing information), so is not a creative process. It might explain the survival of the fittest (why certain genes benefit creatures more in certain environments), but not the arrival of the fittest (where the genes and creatures came from in the first place). The death of individuals not adapted to an environment and the survival of those that are suited does not explain the origin of the traits that make an organism adapted to an environment.

The variation comes from genetic mutation. I thought we already covered that.

E.g., how do minor back-and-forth variations in finch beaks explain the origin of beaks or finches? How does natural selection explain goo-to-you evolution?

By and large, where a trait begins and ends, and how creatures should be classified in zoology based on shared traits has always been a very "grey-area" endeavor. What we think of as clear delineations between the existence or absence of a trait, or between traits that differ, when examined more closely typically belie the notion that there's a clear point at which we can say the trait is there or not. It's through the intervening generations that the gradual development of any trait reveals itself. The fossil record is chock full of such examples.

One might discuss the impossibility of a wolf being the genetic forebear of a chihuaua, even though this has been done by humans during recorded human history. If instead we had found a wolf and a chihauaua in nature, creationists would likely use that as another example of one thing that they believe couldn't have evolved from the other.

The real question becomes, since you admit that variations do exist, where do you draw the partitions between what variations are allowed to nature for any species? How much can a finch's beak change before it must stop lest it become something else, or risk even creating a new species? And what mechanism would prevent further deviation from the original?

5. How did new biochemical pathways, which involve multiple enzymes working together in sequence, originate? Every pathway and nano-machine requires multiple protein/enzyme components to work. How did lucky accidents create even one of the components, let alone 10 or 20 or 30 at the same time, often in a necessary programmed sequence.

The same way "lucky accidents" created everything else. By having lots and lots of cases, each one with a low chance of producing an improvement. If you bought a billion lottery tickets, it would be unsurprising if you then won the lottery.

Evolutionary biochemist Franklin Harold wrote, "we must concede that there are presently no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations."

The preceding sentence fragment to that quote was as follows: "We should reject as a matter of principle the substitution of Intelligent Design for the dialog of chance and necessity, but..." How can you not have noticed the first portion of that sentence while quoting only its second half? Why quote only the portion of the sentence that agrees with you? And how does doing so not completely misrepresent Prof. Harold's position?

I'm seriously interested in the answer to that. In researching your question, you must have read the quote in its entirety. And yet you only picked the portion of the sentence that when taken out of context implies a complete lack of understanding under the Darwinian model; when taken in context, it describes the (then) current limitations of understanding under the Darwinian model. What exactly was your thought process when you did that? I just don't understand how one can read fragments of sentences independent of their context. Maybe it's because I wasn't exposed to protestant Christian bible study groups as a kid?

But this question (with full context of the quote) goes back to my answer to question 1: there's still a lot that we don't know. Which is precisely what Prof. Harold was saying, as he has said quite often elsewhere. That still doesn't mean that your explanation is more likely to be correct than mine, based solely on the reasoning that you choose to be more personally certain that it is.

6. Living things look like they were designed, so how do evolutionists know that they were not designed?

Scientists look like people who know what they're talking about. So how do you know they don't know what they're talking about? "Judge books by their covers" is not a persuasive basis for any argument.

Richard Dawkins wrote, "biology is the study of complicated things that have the appearance of having been designed with a purpose." Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of the double helix structure of DNA, wrote, "Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved." The problem for evolutionists is that living things show too much design. Who objects when an archaeologist says that pottery points to human design? Yet if someone attributes the design in living things to a designer, that is not acceptable.

The limitations of human imagination and/or aesthetic judgements are considerably less than the limitations of the universe. Just because it's hard for you (or I) to imagine something doesn't mean it isn't the case. As with beauty, design is in the eye of the beholder.

Why should science be restricted to naturalistic causes rather than logical causes?

Because naturalistic causation is the most logical causal explanation. There is no either/or there.

7. How did multi-cellular life originate? How did cells adapted to individual survival ‘learn’ to cooperate and specialize (including undergoing programmed cell death) to create complex plants and animals?

Here's a slide that states it in simple terms.

Again, asking me to Google things for you does not constitute critique.

8. How did sex originate? Asexual reproduction gives up to twice as much reproductive success (‘fitness’) for the same resources as sexual reproduction, so how could the latter ever gain enough advantage to be selected? And how could mere physics and chemistry invent the complementary apparatuses needed at the same time (non-intelligent processes cannot plan for future coordination of male and female organs).

At this point, it's well beyond "mere physics and chemistry," as simpler life forms (ameobas, viruses, bacteria, etc) do reproduce asexually. So it only appears above a certain baseline of complexity. We're well into biology before we start talking about the introduction of gender. The building blocks themselves are much more complex at this point than those involved in chemistry of physics.

Sexual differentiation does have some costs, but it also has many advantages involving the division and recombination of genes between organisms. Thus, a successful mutation can be tried out in combination with differnent other genes. Furthermore, a less successful mutation can be prevented from being a total "deal breaker" for the organism, by being split out from more successful ones, or covered up by a more dominant gene paired with it, aka. being recessive. So it both maximizes the potential advantage of mutations and minimizes the potential disadvantage. In short, sexual differentiation maximizes the potential benefits of mutation by dividing it down to the chromosomal level rather than testing it against selection at the organism level. The combinatory survival potential for any given beneficial mutation is increased by an order of magnitude.

The main "cost" involved is that a given organism might fail to find a mate and reproduce; that can cut the progeny for any given generation by up to half. But some organisms failing to reproduce is exactly what's required for natural selection to most effectively occur, so that counts as a benefit to the chance of positive evolution as well.

9. Why are the (expected) countless millions of transitional fossils missing? Darwin noted the problem and it still remains. The evolutionary family trees in textbooks are based on imagination, not fossil evidence.

They're missing because they are very old, and thus very few have lasted this long. And only very few of those have been located and dug up to date.

Let's say I show you some pair of purportedly related fossils, A and Z, and claim that one is the evolutionary ancestor of the other. You ask "where's the missing link?" So later on, I find missing link M, which appears to fit exactly halfway between the generations of A and Z based on traits and/or genetics. Now you can say "where are the two missing links? The one between A and M, and then the one between M and Z?" If I then produce both of those, now there are four missing links, then eight, and so on... I would have to produce every single generation of every single species that does now or has ever existed, in order for this line of argumentation to be satisfied. This is obviously not It's obviously a claim requiring nigh-infinite regression, and can therefore be discarded out of hand, with proper Hitchensian contempt.

Famous Harvard paleontologist (and evolutionist), Stephen Jay Gould, wrote, “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology”. Other evolutionist fossil experts also acknowledge the problem.

Yes, paleontologists do often wish that there were more discovered fossils. They're paleontologists. They like having more fossils.

Scientists enjoy gathering new evidence. Believers, not so much.

9. How do 'living fossils' remain unchanged over supposed hundreds of millions of years, if evolution has changed worms into humans in the same time frame? Professor Gould wrote, "the maintenance of stability within species must be considered as a major evolutionary problem."

Some species appear to be more stable than others, but that doesn't mean that the others haven't changed. In fact, it means exactly the opposite. The fact that species A hasn't changed in a long time doesn't mean that species B didn't change, any more than the fact that person A smokes means that person B smokes. They're two different things.

It is a "problem" only in the scientific "we should look more closely into this" sense, not in the "uh oh, we have a problem" sense. Scientists view a "problem" as a prime opportunity to find more interesting information; that's what they mean when they use that word.

Perhaps some of these "living fossil" species have some sort of a mechanism specific to that species that prevents or punishes mutation; it would certainly be interesting to find out. Furthermore, if such a mechanism were to be found, that would be even more evidence for evolution in other species because it would imply that such evolution had to be explicitly prevented in order to not take place.

10. How did blind chemistry create mind/ intelligence, meaning, altruism and morality?

Again, at this stage we are far beyond "blind chemistry" and well into full-blown biology in higher life forms. The very building blocks we have to work with are vastly more complex than those of mere chemistry.

But this question is more for ethical philosophy than for science per se. So you're quite correct in saying that "evolutionists" can't explain it (if by that term you're referring to biologists speaking within their field of professional expertise). Nevertheless, there are still answers.

Game theory interchanges show that in the long run, and particularly in social groups with some degree of memory (as most higher life forms are), it's more beneficial to be at least somewhat altruistic than not, at least a majority of the time. Here's. further. reading.

Just off the top of my head: groups of North American prairie dogs have some who will stand watch for predators while the others are above ground foraging. These sentries will call out when they sense danger, and will even remain above-ground while their fellows evacuate the area. In doing so, they put themselves at risk in order to make sure that the others get to safety. This is altruism, by any functional definition in natural language. Such behavior also ensures that the same genes expressed via sexual/genetic variation in their siblings, cousins, nieces, nephews and children will get passed on even if it means the risk of the sentry's own set of the same genome. This demonstrates an example of how the recombination of sexual differentiation discussed in my response to Question 8 can lead to even greater levels of complexity. In fact, "selfish gene" theory leads to all sorts of ethically-related behaviors that wouldn't come up otherwise, and demonstrates that altruism can be genetically (and therefore evolutionarily) favored even in non-sentient life forms. More here.

If everything evolved, and we invented God, as per evolutionary teaching, what purpose or meaning is there to human life? Should students be learning nihilism (life is meaningless) in science classes?

First of all, us inventing God is not "evolutionary teaching." Evolution says nothing whatsoever about the existence or nonexistence of God. There is in fact considerably less disagreement between the bible and evolution than there is between the bible and the heliocentric model of the solar system - an argument which has apparently been abandoned by religious critics of science (speaking of which, shouldn't you actually win that debate before moving on to Darwin?). You just as well may ask what a Galilean (e.g. a believer in Galileo's heliocentric model of the solar system) thinks the meaning of life is.

The majority of those who believe in the existence of God and accept Him as their source for moral guidance and meaning in life also accept evolution as the most reasonable explanation for the presence of current species diversity.

Fortunately I'm not one of those, so I can answer this part. Disclaimer: for the remainder of this answer I'm speaking strictly for myself, and not on behalf of evolution, as this question has nothing whatsoever to do with evolution (see above).

We bring meaning to our own lives. We are in a sense meaning-creating engines, in that we have a strong tendency to see and produce meaning and purpose wherever we can. We don't need a supernatural entity to hand it to us. Jean-Paul Sartre discusses this more thoroughly and eloquently than I in his work "Being and Nothingness." This also contains one of his most famous quotes, "Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does." Sartre's gloomy use of "condemned" regarding the infinity of personal responsibility isn't shared by most current atheists; by and large, we joyfully accept full responsibity for creating our own purpose in life.

I'd also recommend Victor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning" for a rather thoughtful and touching discussion of the wide variety of sources from which people find personal meaning in order to sustain themselves in trying times - religion being one of many possibilities. It also doubles as one of the best Holocaust memoirs this side of Elie Weisel (if you're into that sort of thing).

11. Why is evolutionary 'just-so' story-telling tolerated? Evolutionists often use flexible story-telling to 'explain' observations contrary to evolutionary theory. NAS(USA) member Dr Philip Skell wrote, "Darwinian explanations for such things are often too supple: Natural selection makes humans self-centered and aggressive—except when it makes them altruistic and peaceable. Or natural selection produces virile men who eagerly spread their seed—except when it prefers men who are faithful protectors and providers. When an explanation is so supple that it can explain any behavior, it is difficult to test it experimentally, much less use it as a catalyst for scientific discovery."

Well, it's difficult to test evolution experimentally in the way he seems to suggest anyways, if only since it requires selection to take place "in the wild" rather than in controlled circumstances. Breeding one species gradually into another in a controlled environment is a trivial task, as the entire history of animal husbandry and agriculture demonstrates.

The observations being explained aren't contrary to evolution at all. However, certain behaviors in species might have one hypothesis floated or another, over time. Just because someone opines one way or the other without ultimately producing a strong theory doesn't mean that the paradigm they're working in is less valid.

I'd toss it back to religion: do you maintain that every person whose theories are claimed to be "biblically sourced" were themselves accurate in their interpretation? David Koresh? Jim Jones? David Duke? If none of them discredit the paradigm of Christianity, then no individual failed theories within the paradigm of evolution discredit that concept as a whole either.

In the example given, both a "seed spreading" and a "good husband/father" strategy have advantages for producing successful offspring, and it may depend on individual circumstance. I think we can both agree that we certainly see both kinds of behaviors taking place among many males even today. There's no reason to think that previous evolutionary generations were all that much less diverse in their own behavior regarding statistical reproductive strategies.

But aside from evolution, just regarding human history, there's been a lot of back-and-forth even in popular consciousness regarding whether prehistoric cavemen were more often barbaric and brutal among one another, or gentle and cooperative. That's that's more of an issue for anthropology than for evolutionary biology, though.

12. Where are the scientific breakthroughs due to evolution? Dr Marc Kirschner, chair of the Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School, stated: "In fact, over the last 100 years, almost all of biology has proceeded independent of evolution, except evolutionary biology itself. Molecular biology, biochemistry, physiology, have not taken evolution into account at all." Dr Skell wrote, "It is our knowledge of how these organisms actually operate, not speculations about how they may have arisen millions of years ago, that is essential to doctors, veterinarians, farmers …"

Just because something isn't useful doesn't mean it isn't true.

Also, your quotes seem to be a bit out of date. It's starting to be the case that recognition of evolution is helping medicine in a lot of areas. Yearly flu shots are one example - influenza is highly variable, and tends to avoid destruction from last year's shot, so the shot has to be updated annually in order to remain effective. We didn't used to know that. An understanding of evolution in disease progression has helped medicine to better understand diseases in many cases, prominently HIV and ebola. Here's a journal that provides many more examples. A quote from one such article:
Key developments in evolutionary biology and its insights for medicine include the recognition that contemporary evolutionary change is ubiquitous; the accumulation of data on genomic variation within and between human populations; a growing understanding of coevolutionary relationships between host and pathogen; the emergence of major research programmes into symbioses, particularly in relationship to the gastrointestinal microbiome; and an understanding of how evolutionary principles explain the implications of rapidly changing environments for disease susceptibility and human behaviour. A broader understanding of symptoms of illness such as pain and fever can be developed from an evolutionary perspective and this has clinical implications, such as when to use antipyretics.
Sounds like useful stuff. I'd rather go to a doctor who knew about all that stuff rather than one who just thought I got sick because God dislikes me.

Evolution actually hinders medical discovery.

No, no it doesn't.

As for the citation you provided, its main point seems to be that it's safer to lift a heavy object using your back muscles rather than your legs. I don't know whether that really disagrees with evolution as a concept or not (they claim it does), but I'm dubious enough of their conclusion to be doubly dubious of their claimed means of arriving at it. It's certainly not authoritative in any sense, lacking observed data to back up that theory (and no, the opinion of one person working for a railroad company does not constitute "observed data").

Then why do schools and universities teach evolution so dogmatically, stealing time from experimental biology that so benefits humankind?

Typically if one is working in experimental biology in a university, they've specialized to the point that they aren't doing paleontology. And I think should be fairly obvious that we can't expect much useful experimental biological research to be produced by grade schools or high schools.

But it certainly isn't harmful to learn about how the world works. In fact, learning about the elegance of evolution has led many students into those fields, which is much of the point of pre-university education. Where you see a sterile empty theory, many others see an amazingly simple process that can lead to potentially infinite variation as life adapts again and again to meet a variety of circumstantial challenges.

In fact, many of those who now believe in God do so primarily because of the elegance and beauty of the theory of evolution. Who but God could have designed such a magnificent scheme, a simple process that gives rise to so much? It's far more "God-like" (in the sense of being beyond human wisdom) for a single process to continually recreate itself into the immense special variation that we now see, than for some ancient wizard to walk around zapping a limited menu of creatures into existence and then calling it a day. (giving props to the deists here)

Regarding the "dogmatic" characterization, it's hardly fair on the one hand to accuse the theory of changing over time, to accuse it of producing a variety of differing opinions, and then to finally label it as "dogmatic." In fact, it smacks of using definable words as mere epithets or cheers instead of going by their rational definitions.

14. Science involves experimenting to figure out how things work; how they operate. Why is evolution, a theory about history, taught as if it is the same as this operational science? You cannot do experiments, or even observe what happened, in the past.

You can gather evidence, though. The fossil record and carbon dating both count as evidence. It's very much like astronomy in that regard. We can't create quasars or black holes or any other astronomical phenomena in a controlled laboratory testing environment. We can only look at (the past of) those that already exist "in the wild" and develop the most likely theories we can based on the information that we discover. Meanwhile, biologists as well as astronomers continue gathering more information in order to revise their own theories.

As mentioned in my response to point 11, "performing" evolution in laboratory-controlled circumstances is merely doing animal husbandry and/or agriculture. It's quite easy to do, and it happens all the time. Since you demand controlled human-experimental examples of evolution, I hereby submit as evidence modern breeds of cows, chickens, pigs, cats, dogs, horses, donkeys, wheat, corn, rice, bananas and everything else that mankind has bred to be drastically different from what we started with.

Asked if evolution has been observed, Richard Dawkins said, "Evolution has been observed. It’s just that it hasn’t been observed while it’s happening."

Dawkins was either incorrect, or was talking about a particular instance of evolution, such as that in hominids. Evolved differentiation of species in nature has in fact been observed in a number of cases. Here's a list of four clear examples. Here's a contemporary case. Here's another.

15. Why is a fundamentally religious idea, a dogmatic belief system that fails to explain the evidence, taught in science classes?

So far we've managed to prevent religionistas from forcing that sort of thing on any science classes. But y'all keep trying.

Karl Popper, famous philosopher of science, said “Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory, but a metaphysical [religious] research programme...”

First of all, the word "religious" was added by you to Popper's quote. He didn't say it. "Metaphysical" is not a synonym for "religious," particularly when discussing the philosophy of science. Secondly, Popper then continues...

...and yet, the theory is invaluable. I do not see how, without it, our knowledge could have grown as it has done since Darwin. In trying to explain experiments with bacteria which become adapted to, say, penicillin, it is quite clear that we are greatly helped by the theory of natural selection. Although it is metaphysical, it sheds much light upon very concrete and very practical researches. It allows us to study adaptation to a new environment (such as a penicillin-infested environment) in a rational way: it suggests the existence of a mechanism of adaptation, and it allows us even to study in detail the mechanism at work.

He's actually answering your own question 12! But again, we see you using half a quote to misrepresentative someone's position. I might as well pick and choose words from your list to say "I... believe... in... evolution." If that's how we're going to play this game, then I might as well come out and say that based on the above quote, you believe in evolution. So why are you lying about it?

Michael Ruse, evolutionist science philosopher admitted, “Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.” If “you can’t teach religion in science classes”, why is evolution taught?

Ruse certainly does view evolution as a religion, even in context. Nevertheless, he's presenting nothing more than his own personal view of it. It may be the equivalent of a religion for him (as he puts it, "a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality"), but that doesn't mean that's what it is to anyone else, or what it's presented as in schools or by the scientific community at large.

In any case, this sort of thing amounts to an "appeal to authority" fallacy. Just because famous person X said Y doesn't mean I have to agree with them - unless they also marshal actual evidence and logic to convince me. As has been done with evolution itself.

Such a requirement in rational debate is equally demanded of the most famous ivory-tower Nobel prize winner as it is of the under-educated religulous blogger.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nicely answered. I didn't think much of these questions when I saw them on but you answered them very nicely, well done!

January 10, 2012 at 12:15:00 PM PST  

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