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Darwin’s Legacy

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It would not be easy to overestimate the impact of evolution. It is probably the most influential idea in the history of modern science. In addition to science, Darwin’s legacy persists in medicine, education, media, law, public policy and of course religion. All of this highlights the enormous responsibility shouldered by life scientists. Their scientific opinion makes a difference far outside their daily circles. They can shed light or allow ignorance to fester in a wide range of fields. Unfortunately too many misrepresent science, or more often simply look the other way while the science is twisted. The result is increasing levels of ignorance. Consider this message I received:  Read more
Nak seems like your clinging to "speculative and outdated" science whereas I cited recent, and compelling, hard evidence once again, The rise of oxygen over the past 205 million years and the evolution of large placental mammals. Paul G. Falkowski, - 2005 Excerpt: On the basis of a carbon isotopic record of both marine carbonates and organic matter from the Triassic-Jurassic boundary to the present, we modeled oxygen concentrations over the past 205 million years. Our analysis indicates that atmospheric oxygen approximately doubled over this period, with relatively rapid increases in the early Jurassic and the Eocene. We suggest that the overall increase in oxygen, mediated by the formation of passive continental margins along the Atlantic Ocean during the opening phase of the current Wilson cycle, was a critical factor in the evolution, radiation, and subsequent increase in average size of placental mammals. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/short/309/5744/2202 Nak I can guarantee you that Paul G. Falkowski is no slouch in his particular field of work. I would dare say he is at the top of his field. If you want to, dig through some of his papers and see the the level of biogeochemical stabilizing inter-complexity he has uncovered that allows higher life forms to be introduced on earth at the proper time (though he falsely thinks the Cambrian explosion evolved once the oxygen level was sufficient ): Paul G. Falkowski, http://lifesci.rutgers.edu/~molbiosci/faculty/falkowski.html particularly this one: Falkowski PG, Isozaki Y. (2008) Geology. The story of O2. Science. 322(5901):540-2. As a side note Nak: don't you EVER get tired of being wrong? bornagain77
Mr BA^77, If the oxygen level was only a few percentage lower, large mammals would become severely hampered in their ability to metabolize energy; if only a few percentage higher, there would be uncontrollable outbreaks of fire across the land (Denton; Nature’s Destiny). Considering that estimates of oxygen levels in the Permian top 30%, that isn't convincing. From Atmospheric oxygen over Phanerozoic time: Oxygen and Paleofires. The level of atmospheric oxygen cannot rise indefinitely unless the frequency of forest fires becomes so excessive that plant life cannot persist. This has been pointed out by Watson et al. (27), who emphasize that fires serve as strong negative feedback against excessive O2 variation. Conversely, O2 cannot have dropped to such low values over Phanerozoic time that fires became impossible. Fossil charcoal, as evidence of paleofires, has been found for all times that trees have populated the land, and the lower limit for the production of charcoal has been estimated to be at about 13% O2 (28). By contrast, the upper limit for O2 is in dispute. On the basis of experiments on the ignition of paper strips at different oxygen levels and fuel moisture contents, Watson et al. (27) concluded that past levels of atmospheric O2 could never have risen above 25%. However, consideration of actual forest fires and the response of ecological disturbance to fires led Robinson (29) to conclude that greater O2 variation might occur and that, at any rate, paper is not a good surrogate for the biosphere. In fact, Robinson states paleobotanical evidence for a higher frequency of fire-resistant plants during the Permo-Carboniferous, supporting the idea of distinctly higher O2 levels at that time. Nakashima
I suggest that what we are seeing is the Saul Alinsky method
It probably has at least as much to do with Martin Gardner, alas. anonym
Because of this prevalent dismissive attitude towards anything other than physicalism, I can't help but think of the wasted time and flagrant misdirection in the field of neuroscience alone. U.C.L.A. Neuroscientist Jeffrey Schwartz in his book The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force (p.31) discusses the professional pressure to conform to physicalism and naturalism:
[the materialist worldview] has emerged so triumphant that to suggest humbly that there might be more to mental life than action potentials zipping along axons is to risk being branded a scientific naif. Even worse, it is to be branded nonscientific. When, in 1997, I made just this suggestion over dinner to a former president of the Society for Neuroscience, he exclaimed, 'Well, then you are not a scientist.' Questioning whether consciousness, emotions, thoughts, the subjective feeling of pain, and the spark of creativity arise from nothing but the electromechanical activity of large collections of neuronal circuits is a good way to get dismissed as a hopeless dualist. Ah, that dreaded label.
Pages 141-142 also offer insights in the existing academic pressure. Jeffrey M. Schwartz, M.D., is a research professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine. Franck Barfety
off topic: This is interesting Dr. Hunter: Engineering and Science Magazine - Caltech - March 2010 Excerpt: “Without these microbes, the planet would run out of biologically available nitrogen in less than a month,” Realizations like this are stimulating a flourishing field of “geobiology” – the study of relationships between life and the earth. One member of the Caltech team commented, “If all bacteria and archaea just stopped functioning, life on Earth would come to an abrupt halt.” Microbes are key players in earth’s nutrient cycles. Dr. Orphan added, “...every fifth breath you take, thank a microbe.” http://www.creationsafaris.com/crev201003.htm#20100316a One month is a fairly tight constraint on atmospheric variability. Since materialism/Darwinism requires variability how in the world did this lower life forms know what percentages to balance the atmosphere to that would be of maximum benefit to higher life forms. God's Creation - Symbiotic (Cooperative) Relationships - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4023110/gods_creation_symbiotic_cooperative_relationships/ The geologic record shows a 10% oxygen level at the time of the Cambrian explosion of higher life-forms in the fossil record some 540 million years ago. The geologic record also shows a strange and very quick rise from the 17% oxygen level, of 50 million years ago, to a 23% oxygen level 40 million years ago (Falkowski 2005). This strange rise in oxygen levels corresponds exactly to the abrupt appearance of large mammals in the fossil record who depend on those high oxygen levels. Interestingly, for the last 10 million years the oxygen percentage has been holding steady around 21%. 21% happens to be a "very comfortable" percentage for humans to exist. If the oxygen level was only a few percentage lower, large mammals would become severely hampered in their ability to metabolize energy; if only a few percentage higher, there would be uncontrollable outbreaks of fire across the land (Denton; Nature's Destiny). Composition Of Atmosphere - Pie Chart and Percentages: http://www.ux1.eiu.edu/~cfjps/1400/FIG01_010.JPG http://www.ux1.eiu.edu/~cfjps/1400/TBL01_0T2.JPG This following article and video clearly indicate that the life sustaining balanced symbiosis of the atmosphere is far more robust, as to maintaining the finely tuned balance of the atmosphere for "expendable" higher life, than Global Warming alarmist would have us believe: Earth's Capacity To Absorb CO2 Much Greater Than Expected: Nov. 2009 Excerpt: New data show that the balance between the airborne and the absorbed fraction of carbon dioxide has stayed approximately constant since 1850, despite emissions of carbon dioxide having risen from about 2 billion tons a year in 1850 to 35 billion tons a year now. This suggests that terrestrial ecosystems and the oceans have a much greater capacity to absorb CO2 than had been previously expected. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091110141842.htm A Really Inconvenient Truth! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAd1b1s9ulg bornagain77
I suggest that what we are seeing is the Saul Alinsky method, which has been used effectively in academia, politics and media to post-modernize meaning. Nothing means anything other than in how one can achieve their end; truth, knowledge, morals and ethics are all abandoned for the communist-atheist end-game of control and power. Dismissals with prejudice, using convenient language to frame the debate and marginalize anyone that disagrees; destroy reputations, ridicule, manipulate data, destroy data, claim your position is fact, is settled; these are all well-known Alinsky-isms that go back to Trotsky. Many learned this kind of tactic in higher education; it sounds as if they are just ignorant boobs spouting nonsense, but the fact is that such tactics are extremely effective both in motivating those who agree and in disheartening the opposition. Such constant attacks that seem immune to reason or civil debate are a deliberate tactic of the postmodern, atheist-communist assault on every aspect of our society. They seek to tire us out, dehumanize us, ridicule us, and project such an air of authority and knowledge that makes it almost impossible to overcome in any respectful, civil, or political way. IOW, by being entirely unreasonable, they disqualify reasonable means of advancement through debate, leaving no alternative other than simple force, in one way or another, by law, popular vote, or by simply taking over the very systems of power they have infiltrated and excising them from their positions. Those who believe that they are engaged in meaningful debate are often disheartened and discouraged by the seemling unreasonable, intractable, angry, condescending oppostion must realize that in many cases such opposition is not "unreasoned", but is in fact a deilberate tactic that is part of the post-modern, communist-atheists, radical methodology, and has been for many years in other arenas of social power. We're just now seeing it blatantly for the first time in science because we have the media tools, uncontrolled by the radical left-wing bias, to expose it. William J. Murray
I find it hard to believe that people actually can honestly hold to opinions like that any more. Consider that the origin of life is a problem which has no credible answers nor are any forthcoming any time soon. In fact, the more we learn, the problem gets more difficult. It must be kind of depressing to be an OoL researcher because as time moves on, instead of your research bringing you closer to the answer, it takes you further from it. Without a viable naturalistic answer to this huge problem, evolution for the materialist could not have ever happened. Yet, we're told it did and that we are lunatics if we don't bow the knee and pay proper homage to Pope Charlie along with all the rest of the materialists. Yes, yes, I know. Biological evolution is different than chemical evolution, but still, from a materialist perspective, you can't have one without the other. So the statement that evolution is a fact or that it has been proven is the evolutionist’s statement of faith – their doctrinal statement. It is a faith that depends on trillions and trillions of timely miracle mutations that produce meaningful information and new genes. So, all the evidence for evolution that this fanatic mentioned only count for evidence if we accept evolution as true – if we have a naturalistic origin of life. And that is a big IF! The truth is that we simply don't know! And, without a naturalistic origin of life, the same evidence he gives, could be legitimately interpreted differently. For example, like Intelligent Design interprets it. A case could be made for creationism as well. If you don't interpret all the observations through the lens of naturalistic evolution, the same observations can be seen to provide evidence for another paradigm. So this guy's bold claims are nothing more than faith claims based on his hope/desire/belief/faith that life evolved without any help from an outside intelligence. That remains unproven. It also remains unproven that an outside intelligence was involved, but I think the evidence is piling up to show that this is a very rational claim - contrary to his radical assertions. tjm
Cornelius, A lot of people think that exaggerated and strong language like this will impress or intimidate listeners, but it really doesn't, most people are more impressed by a calm, reasoned approach. I know, because I've tried both! :-) I think one reason Michael Behe is so effective is he treats all critics with respect, no matter how undeserving, and offers a polite and reasoned response to all questions, no matter how ill-intentioned. That type of approach will always be more effective than the type of rhetoric used by this person. I'm glad you don't let people like this intimidate you. Granville Sewell

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