Intelligent Design

Darwinism, intelligent design, and popular culture: The 10,000 year talking point

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Yeah, the show’s back in town. And with most of the original cast, too.

I mean the poll, recently reported by USA Today, that shows that 66% of Americans think that the statement, “Creationism, that is, the idea that God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years” is definitely or probably true.

This is wonderful poll question for people who believe that Uncle Sam’s alter ego is Santa Claus. I wonder how much public money Darwin lobbies in high science will screw out of US taxpayers in order to try to change their minds – with about as much success as they have had in the past – zilch.

As I pointed out in By Design or by Chance?, the human history that most people would recognize is certainly less than 10,000 years old. Ur of the Chaldees, the city Abraham left in order to wander in the desert, is about 6500 years old. The Great Pyramid is only about 4500 years old. Apart from wordless outliers like the Willendorf Venus and the Cave of Lascaux, we have only the empty speculations of “evolutionary psychology” for the vast stretches of time before then. So real history is relatively recent.

And that is a significant fact. Something happened to human beings relatively recently (less than ten thousand years ago) that did not happen to lemurs, toads, or ants. And it is a mark of the enormously heavy investment that the American materialist elite has made in materialism that it is at such pains to try to convince everyone else of its peculiar delusion that nothing really happened.

To see what is at stake here, consider the following three propositions:

1. Five million years ago, your ancestors were lemur-like creatures screaming in the trees.

2. You are about 60% water.

3. Your DNA is 98% identical to that of a chimpanzee.

All sensible humans who are not materialists will respond to any one of these propositions, “So?”

Now, any one of them may happen not to be true. For example, because I am a woman, I am more likely to be about 50% water (because fat binds less water than muscle does, and women store proportionately more fat).

But either way, half of me is the same stuff as Lake Ontario. But what does that mean? It means you can replicate that half by pouring yourself a glass of water. So that’s the half you don’t need to bother about.

Similarly, the fact that our ancestors may have screamed in the trees millions of years ago is actually of vastly less significance than the events of the last ten thousand years. Just as the similarities of our DNA with that of chimpanzees mainly tells you that most of what you need to know about a human being is not in the DNA.

The real reason that most Americans simply don’t go along with elite opinion about the origin of human beings is that they are relatively freer than other peoples to dissent from their elite, and they know – as any sensible person who thinks about the matter must know – that the materialist view of human beings is nonsense. And they rightly reject everything connected with it.

Something did happen less than ten thousand years ago that forever separated us from Lake Ontario and from whatever screams in the trees. And I think the solid 66% on the poll question are trying to say that, even though they are forced to fund the propagandists of the elite through their taxes.

63 Replies to “Darwinism, intelligent design, and popular culture: The 10,000 year talking point

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks Denyse,
    You woke me up to the fact that all the weight of historical evidence points to the fact that something profound happened within the last 10,000 years to the Human species. I was giving more weight to the mtDNA studies which showed “Eve” originated, I believe the estimate was/is, 100,000 years ago. Thus I was giving more weight to the highly speculative molecular clock presumptions of DNA analysis than I was giving to actual history of humans as revealed by archeology. I wonder what was this profound event? Could it actually be true that humans were only created within the last 10,000 years as the historical evidence or Did humans wander around in caves for a hundred thousand years before coming together in societies?

  2. 2
    O'Leary says:

    The thing is, it doesn’t really matter, does it?

    For practical purposes, what we mean by humans WAS created in the last ten thousand years (except for some early outliers).

    The materialist/Darwiist needs – and certainly tries hard – to minimize the yawning gulf between ourselves and creatures to whom no similar event has happened.

    I think the people who opt for 10 000 years are simply tryingt o make clear that they know something that can’t be explained away, and they are right.

  3. 3
    markf says:

    Is the ability to produce figurative art one of the things that was created? If so, you might want to check out your dates.

    “The Aphrodite of Laussel, one of the earliest reliefs, measures 44 cm in height and can be seen now at the museum of Bordeaux in France. The Aphrodite of Willendorf, now in Vienna, has been dated between 28,000 and 25,000 BC is made of limestone and measures about 11 cm in height.”

    Ref: http://users.hol.gr/~dilos/prehis/prerm4.htm

  4. 4
    O'Leary says:

    Markf, I pointed out that these are outliers and, moreover, wordless. While they can certainly be accepted as civilization, we may be forever in doubt as to their meaning.

    I did not use the word “created”.

    I said that “Something did happen less than ten thousand years ago that forever separated us from Lake Ontario and from whatever screams in the trees.” It happened to some outliers earlier, but it certainly happened.

    It is one big fat horseshoe in the middle of the current project to create a seamless unity between humans and other species.

  5. 5
    great_ape says:

    “You woke me up to the fact that all the weight of historical evidence points to the fact that something profound happened within the last 10,000 years…”

    I echo markf above, I think there are well-documented and significant milestones of human intellectual achievement–at least hallmarks that show profound advancement from apes–that stretch back at least 100,000 years (art, jewelry, etc). Much longer if you consider the mastery of fire. Agriculture and writing, which admittedly are huge advancements, date back to roughly the timeframe you suggest (10-12k yrs), but human cultural milestones stretch back much further. Material culture is culture. So while you try to make the best possible interpretation of the ignorance of the general American populace about these matters, I find it profoundly troubling that so many people remain this misinformed. Whichever way you slice it, these folks have a warped view of reality that needs to be remedied. Even if mankind received a boost from on-high, it happened far earlier than 10,000 years.

  6. 6
    magnan says:

    I agree generally, except I think the extraordinary transformation event happened about 35,000 years ago. According to research so far most of the uniquely human (as opposed to prehominid) technological and other characteristics appeared at about that time, after Homo Sapiens had already existed for at least 60,000 years. For a long time human artifacts show little advance over Homo Erectus technology. Then, during the upper paleolithic period (35,000 to 12,000 years ago) stone technology took a big leap to specialized, fine cutting edge tools and weapons. The anthropologists see the first signs of symbolic thought, art, religious practices. The famous Cro-Magnon cave art. This indicates more progress in a few thousand years than in the previous million. The leading hypothesis to attempt to explain this is the development of language. I think this is very plausible.

  7. 7
    bFast says:

    great_ape, “Whichever way you slice it, these folks have a warped view of reality that needs to be remedied.”

    Ape, when is it going to dawn on you that you also, and I, have a warped view of reality. (If you don’t realize that yet, then this lack of realization is your greatest single warp in your view of reality.) As all of those who wish to correct the ignorant about the age of mankind want to replace this knowledge with an increasingly warped view of reality, why must it be corrected?

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    The debate over the timing of Humans aquisition of profound knowledge is really besides the point. The main point that matters is “Was Man created or did he evolve?” I think an unbiased examination of the fossil record shows, as Richard Leaky has stated “An abrupt arrival of Man in the fossil record rather than the gradual process of evolving.” As well the principle of genetic entropy has sealed the fate of the RM/NS scenario. So in answer to the question of Man’s origins we can say, with a high level of scientific integrity that the fossil record and primary principles of molecular biology, that all empirical evidence not weighted with suggestive presumptions point to the sudden creation of Man as predicted by the Theistic philosophy.

  9. 9
    great_ape says:

    “Ape, when is it going to dawn on you that you also, and I, have a warped view of reality.” –bFast

    I have no doubt my view of reality is warped. I am, however, comfortable saying that it is decidely less warped than that of someone who claims humanity, as we understand it, began circa 10k yrs ago.

    According to you’re reasoning, if I’m following you, it’s okay to let people believe patently false things about human ancestry as long as doing so keeps them that much further from embracing evolution. I don’t think one should ever sanction ignorance.

  10. 10
    great_ape says:

    “The anthropologists see the first signs of symbolic thought, art, religious practices…” –magnan

    This does appears to be true of Europe 35,000-40k years ago. But art and symbolism have been dated on the African continent to circa 100,000 years. Also recall that the aboriginal Australians made it to australia approximately 50-60 thousand years ago. In doing so, it is believed that had to build boats and navigate several miles of open ocean. Pretty incredible achievement given the time period. I don’t think anyone, since the 19th century at least, has questioned whether these peoples are fully human.

  11. 11
    GilDodgen says:

    Denyse,

    Back in my atheist days, shortly after my first daughter was born, I attended a Catholic church service at the behest of a family who lived near us. I was completely lost in the Catholic ritual, but I remember to this day the theme of the sermon.

    The theme was a question, Are you an epiphany person? I’m embarrassed to say that I had to go home and look up the word “epiphany.” But I got the basic message.

    The fossil record does not support Darwinian gradualism, but saltation — biological epiphany. The nature of biochemical information-processing does not support Darwinian gradualism, but biochemical/information-processing epiphany. And the origin of humanity does not support Darwinian gradualism, but the most profound saltation of all, the ultimate epiphany, which I believe has an analog in our personal lives, once we recognize the absurdity, on so many levels, of materialistic philosophy.

  12. 12
    Apollos says:

    great_ape said:

    Whichever way you slice it, these folks have a warped view of reality that needs to be remedied.

    GA, I’d be interested to hear your “remedy,” and the reason for the urgency of that remedy as suggested.

    And I would ask you to consider, what would your reaction be to the statement above if it was made by a Biblical fundamentalist in regard to those of an atheist persuasion?

    …they deny the obvious implication of a creator. Forsaking all common sense, and the clues provided by a universe right in front of their nose, they bond their psyche to a modern mythology: that the universe and life are the result of mindless, blind, and undirected processes. They even deny the concept of absolute right and wrong, lending every thought and action to subtle justification. Whichever way you slice it, these folks have a warped view of reality that needs to be remedied.

    Sounds rather sinister, and dare I say, intolerant.

    What would you suggest that could accomplish that which 50 years of indoctrination in the public school system has failed to bring about?

    Here’s my short list of suggestions:

    1) ban the Bible

    2) demonize parents to their children in the public education system, so that kids are less likely to assimilate views given by their parents that run contrary to “science.”

    3) deny tenure to any scientists who do not genuflect to Darwin.

    4) mock and ridicule any who do not subscribe to the popular scientific reasoning.

    5) outlaw home schooling

    I’ll now graciously depart from my soap box.

  13. 13
    Karen says:

    Apart from wordless outliers like the Willendorf Venus and the Cave of Lascaux, we have only the empty speculations of “evolutionary psychology” for the vast stretches of time before then. So real history is relatively recent. Apart from wordless outliers like the Willendorf Venus and the Cave of Lascaux, we have only the empty speculations of “evolutionary psychology” for the vast stretches of time before then. So real history is relatively recent.

    Denyse, why would ancient cave paintings be considered wordless outliers? Does the lack of a written language make a people group somehow less than human? As others here have clearly pointed out, the beautiful, ancient cave paintings, some going back 35,000 years, clearly show that humans back then were capable of symbolic, abstract thought. And is this not real history? I don’t think it matters that we don’t understand what it all means.

    Something happened to human beings relatively recently (less than ten thousand years ago) that did not happen to lemurs, toads, or ants. And it is a mark of the enormously heavy investment that the American materialist elite has made in materialism that it is at such pains to try to convince everyone else of its peculiar delusion that nothing really happened.

    From what I’ve seen, it is actually the mainstream scientists who have communicated to the public the fact that something profound happened to the human mind– only it was 50,000 years ago, not 10,000.

    Some examples:

    1) About 20 years ago, at the American Museum of Natural History in NYC, there was a special exhibit called Dark Caves, Bright Visions: Life in Ice-Age Europe. It was about that important period of time when humans first produced art– jewelry, paintings, carvings on implements of ivory and wood, etc. They had many wonderful artifacts in the exhibit, and it was fascinating.

    2) In the PBS series on evolution, there was an entire segment called “The Mind’s Big Bang.” It was pretty much about the profound changes in our brains that gave us the modern human mind, capable of abstract thought, language, and all those other good things. A very good episode!

    3) In the AMNH’s new Hall of Human Origins (which I enjoyed very much) I will simply quote them:


    All species on Earth, including humans, are unique. Yet our intelligence and creativity go well beyond those of any other animal. Humans have long communicated through language, created and appreciated art and music, and invented complex tools that have enabled our species to survive and thrive, though often at the expense of other species.

    We owe our creative success to the human brain and its capacity to think symbolically. While some other species can solve problems and communicate with each other, only humans use symbols to re-create the world mentally and dream up endless new realities.

    Although humans have not lost their selfish motivations, symbolic thought has opened our minds to spirituality and a shared sense of empathy and morality.

  14. 14
    bFast says:

    Ape:

    According to you’re reasoning, if I’m following you, it’s okay to let people believe patently false things about human ancestry as long as doing so keeps them that much further from embracing evolution. I don’t think one should ever sanction ignorance.

    That which is not worth embracing is materialism/naturalism/nilism/athiesim. The scientific community has some information, some facts. However the scientific community is now claiming that it has sufficient facts to suggest that society abandon its moral compas.

    I fully believe that the earth, and humanity, is way old. However, I also believe that if current scientific teaching is accepted this small truth is going to be consumed along with a whole lot of sh** — not just any sh**, but society destrying sh**. I believe that ignorance on this issue is far better than the error that is currently bonded to this tidbit of truth.

  15. 15
    Jack Krebs says:

    Skipping over all the commnents, let me say that I’m really puzzled by the point here O’Leary is trying to get at hear. She certainly isn’t arguing that the earth is 10,000 years old – she’s not a YEC.

    The story of what happened in the last 12,000 years or so is laid out in many history books: the domestication of crops led to people setlling down rather than being nomadic, this led to a division or labor, specialization and commerce, writing was invented, etc. It’s fascinating history, but no more “materialistic” than subsequent histories of other time periods.

    Now many people believe that God entered into a special spiritual relationship with a certain subset of human beings in the Middle East during this time: these people are obviously not materialists nor are they YEC’s. Maybe O’Leary is saying that God specially gave them these new ideas or embued them with new thoughts, but civilizations arose at different all over the world at multiple places, so I don’t think such a religious explanation is necessary. As always, the view that God guides all histories through pervasive presence in the world makes explanations of special acts such as O’Leary might be hinting at here unnecessary.

  16. 16
    Patrick Caldon says:

    great_ape,
    I live in Australia. Unfortunately I’ve heard people questioning whether the Aborigines were fully human myself. I once had someone (despicably) argue to me that “the Abbos” had an impoverished material culture and no real history, unlike “us whites”, and so were less human in whatever sense.

  17. 17
    O'Leary says:

    Karen, I call the great art works of the ice age “wordless outliers” because that is what they are. In the absence of written language (wordless), we have only clashing interpretations as to what they are intended to portray.

    (Is the figure in the animal suit a shaman or a stalker? Is the Willendorf Venus a portrait of a portly chief’s wife or a goddess? The only sensible answer is, who knows? These were the works of intelligent beings, to be sure, but they do not interpret themselves. Within the 10 000 year window, we increasingly come across material that can be interpreted. If there were many more examples of Ice Age art, we might have a better chance.)

    I think you are right, that the great divide certainly began earlier than 10,000 years ago, but no reasonable person should fail to notice it within that window. Hence the suspicion of so many people that the 10 000 year figure is right for the purposes represented by the poll.

    (Remember, respondents were not given a range of figures to pick – it was either 10 000 years or a gradualist “apes ‘r’ us” notion that obviously doesn’t really work. Put that way, I would go with 10 000 years myself, and I am in no sense whatever a special creationist.)

    Thanks for providing evidence of responsible commentary from some mainstream sources. I hope the fad catches on.

  18. 18
    great_ape says:

    “GA, I’d be interested to hear your “remedy,” and the reason for the urgency of that remedy as suggested.” –Apollos

    The remedy? Show people the truth. These basic facts about human ancestry are not fanciful abstractions, but based on decades of documented research, both anthropological and genetic. Our educational system is failing on several levels. In case you didn’t know, we (the US) are now shipping over half of scientific/technological brainpower in from overseas, where they have received more adequate training during their primary education. Very sad. Meanwhile our populace remains ignorant of basic scientific knowledge. And some seem to delight in this. So yes, I think urgency is warranted.

  19. 19
    Apollos says:

    great_ape said:

    Meanwhile our populace remains ignorant of basic scientific knowledge. And some seem to delight in this.

    I’m not sure who the “some” are in your reference here. Maybe you could elucidate.

    I think we can agree about the failing education system in this country, but I want to be sure that I understand your reasoning. Is it poor education that produces the old earth and evolution deniers?

    Perhaps better eduction would change the minds of Paul Nelson, Salvador Cordova, and Marcus Ross?

    I am certainly not of their caliber, not even close (I’m the guy who thought horizontal gene transfer was a euphemism) but since some of the “smart folk” aren’t 100% convinced about the earth’s multi-billion-year history, I think we can look at reasons besides the cliche, “lack of education” for this to be the case.

    Please forgive my impulsive and intrepid venture into the world of science, but doesn’t current DNA evidence suggest a most recent common ancestor from only 3,000 to 5,000 years?

    As for importing brain power, let’s get ’em where we can get ’em. This country has a knack for importing talent. To all those from abroad with the brain power: welcome to America.

    As to school science curriculum, I personally favor better evolution education: teach the controversy.

  20. 20
    gleaner63 says:

    O’Leary,

    The recent book “Supernatural”, by Graham Hancock, takes an in-depth look at the possible meanings of the cave art. Very interesting is how the interpretation of that data has changed over the years.

  21. 21
    gleaner63 says:

    Apollos writes:
    “As to the school science curriculum, I personally favor better evolution education: teach the controversy.”

    I agree. My wife and I, both Christians, will soon begin home schooling our children, and we have agreed to teach evolution and creationism side by side, and now I guess ID also! Christian apologist Norman Geisler, in his book “Origin Science” holds a similar view.

  22. 22
    Janice says:

    great_ape wrote,

    These basic facts about human ancestry are not fanciful abstractions, but based on decades of documented research, both anthropological and genetic.

    Sure. But the research was conducted within the NDE paradigm and therefore it has to fit the paradigm.

    Your earlier remark about Australian aborigines being in the country for 50-60 thousand years reminded me of research that made front page news back in 96. Some rock art in the Northern Territory was dated (using optical luminescence) at between 58 and 75 thousand years and that was big news because, prior to that, Aborigines were only believed to have been in the country for ~ 40,000 years.

    Eventually (see here) the research date was accepted as being incorrect. The art was consigned to the Holocene (less than 12,000 years). But that news wasn’t as sensational so didn’t get as much publicity. And then there are people who have a political stake in maintaining a popular belief that Aborigines have occupied the country for a very, very long time indeed. Not all of them are Aborigines.

    On the same page linked to above you will find some discussion of the Bradshaw rock art and its postulated age according to optical luminescence (> 17,000 years). In the 2nd last paragraph the author writes, “It is to be hoped that these exciting claims from the Kimberley in Australia will withstand falsification attempts successfully…”. Ask yourself, why would the author hope that?

    Now consider that the optical luminescence tests were done on sand grains found within a “fossilised” wasps’ nest that was covering a portion of one of the paintings. At this site (which seems to have its own odd agenda – but ignore that for now) you will see that radiocarbon dating of the wasps’ nest gave an age of a mere 1,450 to 3,900 years. Because that age is so young various reasons are offered for why it is incorrect. (I ask myself why I never heard any such reasons put forward for why the radiocarbon date of the Shroud of Turin might have been incorrect. In case you’re wondering, I’m not a Catholic.)

    Now, in relation to the age of the earth, ask yourself why old is good but young is bad. Here’s a hint. It’s the same reason why Granville Sewell is unlikely ever to get his latest article published in any mainstream publication. You will find it expressed very clearly in the last line of this post.

    You appear to think that everyone who thinks the earth could be less than 10,000 years old must be uneducated. I feel like I should tell you what my qualifications are so that you will not regard me as uneducated but, at the same time, I don’t think that would be convincing, especially if you don’t want to be convinced. There are plenty of educated fools and I could be one of them.

    Nevertheless I will say that I think that people who appeal to authority to support the idea that the earth is very, very old are merely appealing to authority. Maybe that’s because they haven’t had enough spare time to read around on the matter for themselves. Or maybe it’s because, for whatever reason, they prefer to believe that the earth is very old. I can understand that, but I don’t agree with it.

  23. 23
    tribune7 says:

    Meanwhile our populace remains ignorant of basic scientific knowledge.

    Hardcore secularists have been running this country’s education system for the last 40-plus years. Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

  24. 24
    tribune7 says:

    OK, the earlies writing systems are about 4,0000 BC, with proto-writing systems being about 3,000 years older.

    It’s not unfair to ask why that would be the case if man were 150,000 years old.

    Now we have the Aprhodite (28,000-25,000 BC) and Cave of Lascaux (13,000-15,000 BC) being cited as counter-examples that whatever profund thing happened to man happened more than 10,000 years ago.

    First it should be noted that both are much closer to the 10,000 year mark than the 150,000 year mark. Second, why only two counter-examples? One would expect much, much more.

  25. 25
    jmcd says:

    Yes something did happen around ten thousand years ago. The recession of the last ice age that allowed for agriculture in the areas of the planet where the most nutritious grains could be found. Agriculture began independently in Mesopotamia, China and in the Americas and is more than 10,000 years old by every estimation that I have ever come across. With surplus food comes the ability to divide labor. Eventually societies become more complex and are developed to the point where they develop systems of writing. The earliest uses of proto writing are around 9,000 years old and again emerge independently in the same areas that agriculture first emerged.

    There is honestly an astounding amount of evidence available to us for the birth and development of early civilization and the theories about the development of early civilization are sound. To ignore all that and write it off as some sort of elitist hand waving to make atheists out of us all would be either intellectually lazy or intellectually dishonest. There is no good reason to insist or even imply there was something magical that happened less than ten thousand years ago. It really is not much of a mystery why recorded history started and did not exist throughout human existence. Now it would be magical if we did not have a start date for recorded history.

    If Denyse or anyone else can make a better argument for the development of civilization than what is already out there I would be very impressed. Many, many very bright people have been studying that question for their entire professional lives. As more and more evidence has been found over the generations the major arguments have largely been settled. There are many interesting questions and mysteries that remain to be sure, but to say that “something” happened and pretend that we do not have a very good idea about what that something is is a bit beyond the pale as far as I am concerned.

  26. 26
    markf says:

    “Something happened to human beings relatively recently (less than ten thousand years ago) that did not happen to lemurs, toads, or ants.”

    Setting aside the issue of timescales, this statement fascinates me. I am trying to think a bit about the thing that happened. (This is not intended to be flippant or aggressive – just food for thought)

    Things happened to lemurs, toads and ants that did not happen to humans in the same period e.g. some species went extinct, others moved, there almost certainly some small evolutionary changes, probably some species changed their behaviour.

    And things keep on happening to human beings. In the last 1000 years what most of us are able to do has expanded in a fashion no one could have predicted. This is partly through technology, but also through education and training. We have learned to use the number zero, use perspective and write sonatas.

    So what were the special attributes of the thing that happened?

    I guess it was something that altered the nature of humanity. Did it happen to all humans or just some? Is it hereditable or does it have to be inserted in each person (at conception?)i.e. it keeps on happening. If hereditable, is it a function of our genes? If not, how does it get passed down? Did it happen to all humans simultaneously? Suddenly or gradually? Are there some humans still around for which it hasn’t happened? How would we know? Perhaps I am one and that’s why I can’t understand the claim!

  27. 27
    jaredl says:

    I don’t know about anyone else, but when I hear the phrases “either intellectually lazy or intellectually dishonest,” “magical,” “major arguments have been settled,” “interesting questions remain,” and “beyond the pale,” I wish I had the power to ban. Indignation and moral outrage are NOT cogent arguments.

  28. 28
    jmcd says:

    jared

    They certainly are not, but my point was that there are many cogent arguments and supporting evidence that fill volumes concerning. To ignore or dismiss all the scholarly work that has been done without offering cogent arguments that counters existing arguments is, in my view, irresponsible for a journalist.

    I know the word magic was never used, but all the non magical avenues have been explored for some time now and a general consensus given existing data has been reached. If one does not effectively argue against this consensus and does not offer a supportable argument with novel interpretations of the existing or new data then what options are we left with?

    Saying that “something” happened in the last ten thousand years in support of beliefs that human beings were created in the last 10,000 years does imply something outside the bounds of what we are capable oif percieving as reality happenned. I would consider such a thing magic.

  29. 29
    jmcd says:

    ,,,concerning the birth of human civilization

  30. 30

    great_ape wrote:

    In case you didn’t know, we (the US) are now shipping over half of scientific/technological brainpower in from overseas, where they have received more adequate training during their primary education. Very sad.

    Incorrect. If science literacy was strictly a function of being atheistic (as you seem to imply), then the U.S. public would be more ignorant than its overseas counterparts, which I’m happy to say it’s not.

    Education is no foil to goofy beliefs.

  31. 31
    bornagain77 says:

    A straight-forward interpretation of the anthropic hypothesis is simple in its proposition. It proposes the entire universe, in all its grandeur, was purposely created by an infinitely powerful Creator, specifically, with human beings in mind as the end result.

    Genesis 1:26-27
    Then God said, “Let us make man in Our image, according to Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion …” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

    Therefore a strict interpretation of the anthropic hypothesis would propose that each level of the universe’s development towards man may reflect the handiwork of a infinitely powerful Creator. The investigative tool for the hypothesis is this: all the universe’s “links of chain” to the appearance of man may be deduced as “intelligently designed” with what is termed “irreducible complexity”.
    The following are some basic questions that need to be answered, to find if either the anthropic hypothesis or some other naturalistic hypothesis is correct.

    I. What evidence is found for the universe’s ability to support life?

    Extreme Fine tuning of numerous universal constants that have an unchanging nature since the universes inception

    II. What evidence is found for the earths ability to support life?

    Privileged Planet by Gonzalez and Rare Earth by Brownlee both point to a earth that is extremely unique in its ability to support life.

    III. What evidence is found for the appearance of the first life on earth?

    Photosynthetic Life appeared in oldest sedimentary rocks on earth (Sarah Simpson :Scientific American 2003) First life shown to mysteriously start preparing for future life by producing oxygen.

    IV. What evidence is found for the appearance of all species of life on earth, and is man the last species to appear on earth?

    Fossil record is characterized by suddeness and stability. Cambrian explosion has more phyla present than currently present

    V. What evidence is found for God’s personal involvement with man?

    The Bible is the only book in the world to have the supernatural watermark of hundreds of precisely fulfilled prophecies in it that can be verified by a variety of sources.
    Shroud of Turin defies natural explanation and testifies to Bible’s validity and also powerfully testifies to Transcendant Creator’s personal commitment and relationship to man.

  32. 32
    great_ape says:

    “Incorrect.” –angryoldfatman

    Thanks for the relevant info, but please note that the article you referenced does not contradict my statement about the fraction of scientists that are home-trained vs. those that have been “imported.” When asked why so many foreign nationals are being brought in, the universal reply is: “we can’t find enough qualified Americans for graduate school and postdoctoral studies.”

  33. 33
    jmcd says:

    angryoldfatman

    I think what great_ape was referring to was the fact that we could not keep many of our university science programs going without the influx of foreign students filling those programs. This is not simply a result of inadequate science programs in our schools. The problem is also a cultural one where a career in science for many reasons does not appeal to the youth of America.

  34. 34
    jerry says:

    great_ape,

    I do not know how this applies to biology but my son in law has a Ph.D. in physics, speciality acoustics, and essentially could not find a job using this degree except for some interesting (help designing a concert hall) that paid only $20k a year. He eventually went to work in the design of toys that talked and doubled his salary and now works primarily as a computer coder for radio systems and makes a very good salary.

    My point is that he did not need his doctorate degree to do what he is doing now and many smart people know the salaries paid scientists don’t match what can be made in other fields and why bother going through the process of getting the degree and training in something that does not pay well.

    I know another Ph.D in science who went into marketing and makes almost twice the salaries of the scientists who develop the products he works on.

    Science doesn’t pay that well in this country nor does it have the prestige on its own that would lead people to it, but it is attractive to smart people in other countries that do not have access to the higher paying jobs in the US and in their cultures, doctorates in science are at the high end of the spectrum in terms of respect.

    Most smart people in the US would rather be Bill Gates than a nobel prize winner.

  35. 35

    great_ape,

    Your original position was that our populace was ignorant of basic science knowledge, presumably due to obstruction by religious teachings.

    To support your position, you stated that U.S. colleges and universities need to recruit brainpower from overseas because of the supposed deficit in brainpower here.

    I linked to an article stating that our populace is less ignorant of science than the other industrial nations from which we are recruiting.

    How can a populace that is more ignorant of science than we are provide students with “more adequate training” in science than we do? That is a contadiction, which is why we’ve swerved away from the “religionists are killing science” meme in this thread.

    This meme being debunked means of course that no drastic measures of the type usually associated with the meme need to be taken.

  36. 36
    DaveScot says:

    jmcd

    Intelligence and magic seem to be the same thing in your thinking. You seem to be intelligent. Do you pull rabbits out of your hat and things of that nature?

  37. 37
    mmadigan says:

    I am a highly intelligent, well read
    math/scientist who finds the concept of a billion year system running with no mishaps,
    and no designer, incredible.

  38. 38
    scordova says:

    Apollos wrote:

    Perhaps better eduction would change the minds of Paul Nelson, Salvador Cordova, and Marcus Ross?

    I was a Darwinist until I leanred more of the facts (senior year high school). More education in science, math, etc. only made it more evident Darwinism was false.

    An anti-IDist (but IDist at heart), Harold Morowitz (of McLean vs. Arkansas fame) wrote:

    The rate of change has sped up from the earliest hominids onto the cultural domain. Throughout the Holocene, the changes have been anthropogenic, caused by Homo Sapiens. Something very major emereged about 10,000 years ago.

    Emergence of Everything p. 166

  39. 39
    tribune7 says:

    There is no good reason to insist or even imply there was something magical that happened less than ten thousand years ago.

    There is every reason to think that something very unprecedentedly significant happened less than 10,000 years ago.

  40. 40
    great_ape says:

    “I am a highly intelligent, well read math/scientist who finds the concept of a billion year system running with no mishaps, and no designer, incredible.” –mmadigan

    I’d like to know in what sense you think that it’s all run a billion years (more like 3 billion) without mishaps? There have untold numbers of extinctions, horribly debilitating mutations, etc. And please, don’t tell me these things aren’t really mishaps because they are all ultimately toward some grand yet undetermined purpose. That may well be the case. But such a line of argument would indicate that you somehow find it “incredible” that all this has occurred without mishap even though, when the fine print is read, you believe that nothing that happens could constitute a mishap.

  41. 41
    great_ape says:

    “I linked to an article stating that our populace is less ignorant of science than the other industrial nations from which we are recruiting.”
    –angryoldfatman

    Actually, you linked to an article saying our populace is generally less ignorant that the populace of Europe and Japan. Most of the scientists we import, if I’m not mistaken, are from India, China, and Korea. I do however concede the point, mentioned by others above, that economic forces play just as much a role ore more in the low numbers of scientists we produce.

  42. 42
    Apollos says:

    great_ape said:

    There have untold numbers of extinctions, horribly debilitating mutations, etc. And please, don’t tell me these things aren’t really mishaps because they are all ultimately toward some grand yet undetermined purpose.

    But isn’t this exactly what Darwinian evolution claims? Reproduction, random mutations, death, all necessary to refine and perfect a species, all working toward a grand, yet undetermined goal.

    Even if we consider our current “form” ideal, the trial and error that evolution has had to take would presumably wreak untold havoc on species and their offspring, requiring the weaker and inferior ones to give up the ghost to make room for the more fit. And if we’re not the ideal product of evolution, we are only a step along the way, and all that matters is that we reproduce and clear out, so that RM+NS can perform its craft.

    Whether a mutation were horribly debilitating would not be subject to our moral judgment, a mere equal product of the process, but only subject to the judgment of natural selection. Beneficial mutation: you win. Harmful mutation: you lose, out of the way with you. And we’ll let reproductive success be the true moral judge. The same would apply with extinction.

    Only from the standpoint of objective good and evil can we place any value on the individual, and so label the product of our so-called evolutionary development as horrible. Otherwise we’re all just a rung on the ladder to a grand evolutionary goal.

    It takes a lot of trials to produce beneficial mutations among the harmful ones, as far as I can tell, so get busy mutating, all of you, and get to reproducing. Your mutated offspring are lottery winners or losers, each fulfilling their special purpose: to either win and pass along the genes, or to lose and absorb the statistical difference in service to the winner.

    Perhaps I’m missing the bigger picture? Is there more to evolution’s purpose, and are its methods morally questionable, or beyond reproach?

  43. 43
    jerry says:

    Steven Goldman, who lectures for the Teaching Company on science, made the point in his lecture on human evolution that something mysterious happened to mankind about 10,000 years ago.

    Homo sapiens appeared about 175,000 years ago and about 65,000 years ago replaced homo erectus in Asia and about 40,000 years ago replaced Neanderthals in Europe. How or why is only speculation.

    For the first 150,000 years or more not much happened with homo sapiens. There were some tools, art, elaborate rituals and while there was some progress in each, not much really changed. Then about 10,000 years ago human culture exploded. Within a short time (9,000 years ago) there was civilization with walled cities and trading. It was like it came out of nowhere.

    It was about the end of an ice age when this started but there were previous ice ages that ended and nothing like this happened. So the big mystery is what triggered it at this time. What happened 10,000 years ago that sent human culture skyrocketing after 150,000 plus years of little or no change.

    By this time homo sapiens was widely dispersed with the two major migrations to the Western Hemisphere already finished. I have read Jared Diamond’s book and his thesis about grains and domesticated animals in the Fertile Crescent is appealing but why not before.

    Goldman is no friend of ID but his statement was rather startling when I first heard it. He is a massive font of knowledge on the history of science and has three separate courses on science with the Teaching Company. If you want to learn what science has discovered in the last 500 years, he is a good place to start.

  44. 44
    UrbanMysticDee says:

    The Incas were a highly advanced ancient civilization, achieving great feats of building in areas where modern construction equipment cannot reach and in altitudes far above which crops can be grown by any known means in order to feed the huge populations of labourers needed to build these monuments and cities. The Inca empire was the largest pre-Colombian empire in the new world (close to two million square kilometers at its greatest extent, larger than Alaska), and lasted for close to five centuries. They managed all this despite not having a written language. By all means I wouldn’t consider them to be “worldless outliers,” but instead an advanced, cosmopolitan society. Absence of a written language is not an indication of primitiveness or lack of a shared cultural identity (a “world”). All it indicates is that a people has managed to discover a means of survival without the utilization of writing. It is a profoundly anthropocentric and ethnocentric view to associate writing with advanced cultural identity.

    It is even possible to suggest that at some time in the future our own society will do away with writing in favour of a better means of communication, whatever that may be (this is not the appropriate place to discuss alternatives to writing).

    I happen to agree that something happened to set humans apart from other animals in antiquity (and have maintained an estimate of 72,000 years as that date, coinciding with the Toba eruption, though the eruption itself is not the cause nor does it have effect on the cause and the date is merely an opinion and has no bearing in fact; the actual event could have happened at any later, though not earlier, time I maintain the earliest likely candidate for sake of convenience, not because I’m in to catastrophism or anything; I have my theories as to what that event was, after reviewing the “forbidden” archaeology that is still pretty much being ignored or laughed at by mainstream society, but this is not the place to be going on at any great length on topics such as this for the convenience of readers who don’t want to read comments that are more like whole books than entries on a message board), though I would point to events other than writing as the most important indication that this change occurred. More likely I would choose the usage of art or burial of the dead as indication of this change as it signifies the capacity for abstract thought and acceptance of modes of existence other than physical matter. Human beings are unique in these two practices; written language is just a different flavour of our unique position.

    -Dee

  45. 45
    scordova says:

    “forbidden” archaeology

    I have been pondering posting on Forbidden Archeology, especially since two of the major participants in the Mere Creation Confrence:

    1. Phil Johnson
    2. Sigrid Sherer

    like Cremo’s work. Even though it deals with Vedic ID (versus the westernized form of ID which you read about all the time in the US), I think it’s a worthy topic to bring up in discussion. We’ll see if I get around to posting on Vedic ID and Forbidden Archaeology.

    Sal

  46. 46
    markf says:

    Sal

    “Something very major emereged about
    10,000 years ago.”

    Was this change just cultural or was it some extension of the intrinsic abilities of homo sapiens? (If it is just cultural then I don’t think it has any significance for our view of the evolution of man). If it was an increase in our intrinsic abilities then:

    It happened to pretty much everyone at roughly the same time all over the globe.

    It appears to be hereditary (or maybe it gets added each time someone is conceived/born?)

  47. 47
    DaveScot says:

    Dee

    It struck me as highly improbable that a large empire like the Inca could be built and adminsitered without some form of record keeping. As an engineer it seems especially unlikely that their complex structures could be built without architectural drawings, arithmetic, and measuring systems. On googling I found a wealth of information about Inca methods of recording. They probably did have a written language and used knotted strings called khipu to impliment it. We just don’t know how to read it and have very few artifacts to use in cracking it – only some 300 of these knotted strings are intact today.

  48. 48
    jmcd says:

    Dave

    An intelligent source that we are not aware of impacting our world would indeed seem like magic. I would never say that such an “artificial” (if you will) infusion of intelligent agency on Earth is or was impossible. I just do not see any problem of humanity getting from there to here given what we know and can reasonably surmise. I also do not have any problem with the “why then” question that jerry raised. The last ice age lasted for over 100,000 years with a middling period where glaciation swung back and forth but never receded completely that lasted for 30,000 years. The environmental prime time for the development of civilization for the past 100,000 years was approximately 10,000 years ago.

    Civilizations also did not spring up spontaneously. Monumental architecture took centuries to develop. Large scale ecological management such as wide ranging irrigation systems also developed in starts and fits sometimes involving catastrophes capable of bringing a civilization to its knees. What we know about pre historic and early historical civilizations meshes well with how we have seen civilization develop during more recent periods with better preserved histories.

  49. 49
    tribune7 says:

    The last ice age lasted for over 100,000 years with a middling period where glaciation swung back and forth but never receded completely that lasted for 30,000 years.

    The ice did not cover the whole world. Africa — as in out of — actually had very little glacial activity.

  50. 50
    jmcd says:

    Africa also had very few nutritious grains and no useful domesticable animals (teo precursors of every early civilizations). The climate of Africa during the last glaciation was also much drier than it is today.

  51. 51
  52. 52
    tribune7 says:

    Africa also had very few nutritious grains

    Well there were rice and millet and sorghum

    Anyway, ice never reached the Indus Valley or the Tigris/Euphrates or the Yangtze area or the Mekong either.

    no useful domesticable animals

    Well, there were elephants, horses, dogs, pigs and cattle.

    The climate of Africa during the last glaciation was also much drier than it is today.

    In other words, there was more grassland and fewer forest.

  53. 53
    jerry says:

    Jared Diamond and Thomas Sowell have both explained why Africa faced more hurdles for developing civilization than the other continents. Lack of domesticated grains, animals, navigable rivers, natural harbors, mountain ranges all suppressed development of this area compared to other areas of the world.

    The only real navigable river is the Nile and this is associated with early civilization but in north Africa. Most of the best harbors are also on the Mediterranean as well as access to the trade from the fertile crescent.

    Diamond’s book is interesting but forget anything he tries to say about the world after 3,000 BC. That part is ideological nonsense.

  54. 54
    vjtorley says:

    There has been an interesting discussion on the discovery of agriculture, on the last few postings on this thread. I thought readers might be interested in having a look at the following online articles by Rochelle Forrester:

    “The Discovery of Agriculture” at http://homepages.paradise.net......lture.html;

    “A Theory of History” at http://homepages.paradise.net......story.html;

    and “A Problem with Some Philosophies of History” at http://homepages.paradise.net......story.html.

    I think the articles may clear up some readers’ queries.

    Hope this helps,

    Vincent Torley

  55. 55
    jerry says:

    The links for the previous post have a semi colon in them at the end. Delete it and the links will work.

    Looks like interesting reading.

  56. 56
    fbrideau says:

    I would like to throw my perspective into the evolution/creation debate. I have recently published a book called Intelligent Design of Personality. In Intelligent Design of Personality I make, I believe, a strong and definitive case that personality development is more a science then an art form.

    In particular, as referenced against the characteristics of science accepted in U.S. law from the 1982 court decision, McLean vs Arkansas Board of Education, my theory of personality development justifies itself on all accounts.

    The essential characteristics of science are:

    1) It is guided by [physical or biological] law;

    2) It has to be explanatory by reference to natural law;

    3) It is testable against the empirical world;

    4) Its conclusions are tentative, are not necessarily the final word; and

    5) It is falsifiable[or, more accurately, makes predictions that can be tested by observation],

    My new personality development theory, Intelligent Design of Personality, first of all, uses Natural Law, those “unchanging moral principles common to all human beings” Oxford Dictionary, 1998, as it’s foundation. In the second instance, I use many natural biological processes such as homeostasis, reflexes, imprinting and the Pleasure Selection Principle; that an organism has the tendency to repeat any activity firm which it derives pleasure, all governed by Natural Law, to explain how organized, orderly and explicit the biological processes are at arriving at their universal objective, the production of a moral human being. Thirdly, I reveal, with many examples, how testable, predictable and definitive the theory is against the real or empirical world. In the final analysis, it is readily accepted that the theory is tentative, i.e., that it will be improved upon in the future and that it is falsifiable not only by observation but would stand the scrutiny of the laboratory on all accounts. In essence, the proof of man’s native morality is the real and present existence of Natural Law.

    I believe the proponents of both evolution and creation will find the text very informative, uplifting and restorative of faith in human nature and human dignity. The two sides, I submit are one continuous string, evolution does its thing slowly or quickly depending on the circumstances. In the meantime, the intelligent design of the natural personality,compliments of Mother Nature, force morality on every individual that has the opportunity to develop a naturalized personality. Naturalized personalities all speak the same language, i.e. the same realistic thoughts, integrated with the same realistic feelings, producing similar moral behaviour driven by Natural Law. In other words, an atheist has the same natural ability to be as moral as a religious person if raised in a natural family environment where basic human nature is allowed to thrive. In effect, the best traditions of positive religions, cultures and philosophies come from the warm embers of a naturalized human heart.
    You will be able to read more about my book at my website [www.intelligentdesignofpersonality.com] or soon on Google Book Partners.

    Frank Brideau

  57. 57
    Karen says:

    Africa also had very few nutritious grains and no useful domesticable animals

    jmcd: I don’t know about grains, but you are correct about the animals– African animals simply do not make good candidates for domestication.

    Some of the factors that determine whether an animal can be domesticated include the ability to reproduce in captivity, and the general nature and sociability of the animal.

    When an animal is domesticated it changes genetically, as there is strong artificial selection for tameness. The horse will readily accept a human as its leader. The zebra, on the other hand, is vicious and is right behind the wild felines in killing zoo-keepers.

    Indian elephants are not domesticated, but are captured, tamed, and trained for work. It’s not cost-efficient to breed and raise them. (The African elephant has a much more unruly temperament so it’s just not worth it to try to tame them.)

    I also want to mention in passing that the human diseases that evolved from our domestic animal diseases were bad enough for us, but they were disastrous to people groups who had no previous exposure to them. For instance small pox devastated native American populations in this country.

    If you want to learn about the domestication of the dog, NOVA had a good show about this called “Dogs and More Dogs.”

  58. 58
    Karen says:

    "Was this change just cultural or was it some extension of the intrinsic abilities of homo sapiens?"

    Markf,

    The change was genetic– it involved not only changes in brain size, but also some significant “re-wiring.”

    Once we were about to think symbolically, that opened the door to developing language, art, and unlimited culture. It allowed us to ponder the past, the future, and it enriched our social relationships. For instance, instead of just attacking a trouble maker or threatening him (as apes do), we could make, communicate, and enforce rules.

    How do we know there is a genetic base for this? Here’s a link from the American Museum of Natural History.

    You might also enjoy the fascination episode called “The Mind’s Big Bang” from the PBS series on Evolution.

  59. 59
    tribune7 says:

    African animals simply do not make good candidates for domestication.

    As opposed to Asian or European animals? The first domesticated animals were wild animals — at least if you assume evolution. The first pet dog was a wolf. What’s more ornery a warthog or a wild boar?

  60. 60
    DaveScot says:

    karen

    Correlation is not the same as causation. People who have abnormally small brains can still be of above average intelligence and people with above average brain size can be imbeciles. The correlation between increasing brain size and increasing intellectual capacity thus appears to be not directly related. Neuronal organization is a different story but as far as I know no one has discovered a wiring diagram for the human brain in human DNA. If I had to speculate I’d say a serendipitous combination of other physical attributes had more to do with it – standing upright with opposable thumbs and a voicebox along with comparatively poor senses (sight, smell, hearing) and comparative lack of defenses such as fangs, claws, venom, flight, speed, strength, and concealment led to the reliance on intellect for competitive advantage. Humans, and primates in general, were not particularly successful species in prehistoric times with very limited ranges and small populations. Wolves and deer, for example, were much more successful until we employed intellect to make increasingly effective artificial weapons.

  61. 61
    kairosfocus says:

    Hi fbrideau

    I see your “The essential characteristics of science are . . .” followed by Judge Overton’s definition, more or less. [NB: Judges are not usually experts in the History and Philosophy of science. Even Michael Ruse has backed away from the Overton attempted definition.]

    Perhaps you may find it interesting to empirically test them against the history of the origin of science as we know it,and the actual worldviews of a great many expert practitioners across time and today.

    GEK of TKI

  62. 62
    jerry says:

    Here is a list of domesticated animals and none of them are indigenous to Africa according to the article

    http://www.uh.edu/engines/epi1499.htm

  63. 63

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