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Our moral and intellectual superiors ask, Can creationists be (allowed to be) scientists?

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In the wake of the Nye-Ham debate.

No, says policy analyst Sean McElwee at Salon:

Consider the story of Kurt Wise, a brilliant student of geology (he studied under the eminent Stephen Jay Gould). Wise writes that in high school he dreamed of a Ph.D from Harvard. He studied evolution intently but struggled to reconcile it with his literal reading of the Bible. Eventually he went through the entire Bible and cut out every verse that he felt could not be true if evolution were true. He concluded,

With the cover of the Bible taken off, I attempted to physically lift the Bible from the bed between two fingers. Yet, try as I might, and even with the benefit of intact margins throughout the pages of Scripture, I found it impossible to pick up the Bible without it being rent in two. I had to make a decision between evolution and Scripture… With that, in great sorrow, I tossed into the fire all my dreams and hopes in science.

That is not someone who has compartmentalized his creationism. It is someone for whom creationism is the overarching lens through which he sees the world. Given how much one must give up to be a creationist (legitimacy, honors, awards, respect), could holding onto these beliefs really be a small detail for scientists? I suspect very much the opposite. Saletan concludes that while “Nye portrayed creationism as a cancer” which threatens scientific institutions, in fact, “It doesn’t. You can be a perfectly good satellite engineer while believing total nonsense about the origins of life… Just don’t let it mess with your day job.” Given that creationists like Wise have agonizingly determined that this is not true, I think we should take them at their word. At the end of “Questioning Darwin,” the narrator says, “Darwin himself never stopped asking questions about his science and about God.” Creationists have, and that is why they cannot be scientists.

William SaletanYes, says science writer William Saletan:

Ultimately, McElwee rejects my suggestion that “you can be a perfectly good satellite engineer while believing total nonsense about the origins of life.” He cites Kurt Wise, a former geology student who supposedly abandoned science because he couldn’t square it with biblical literalism. (Wise said he renounced evolution because he was unable to hold a Bible together after cutting out all the verses that didn’t square with Darwin. That sounds to me like just another creationist myth, but I’ll play along.) From this story, McElwee concludes that “creationists like Wise have agonizingly determined” that my claim “is not true,” and “we should take them at their word.”

Sorry, but no. I don’t take them at their word. Even if Wise and thousands of others did claim to have abandoned science (actually, they don’t—you can read Wise’s account for yourself), I’d want verification. Does Wise agree not to use antibiotics when his doctor explains the evolutionary reason to avoid them? And what about the engineers in Ken Ham’s videos—the guys who made demonstrable contributions to science and technology while declaring themselves young-Earth creationists? Those men are what a good social scientist would call “evidence.” They back up the hypothesis that you can be a perfectly good engineer while believing nonsense about the origins of life. We can’t wave that evidence away, any more than we can wave away fossils.

Neither of the above has much use for young Earth creationism.

But now read this, exclusive to Uncommon Descent: From “David DeWitt at Liberty U: Contemplating Bill Nye’s 51 skulls slide“: DeWitt knows his bones, and says, after listing all the problems, “ I can only conclude that the sole purpose of showing such a slide was to confuse and obfuscate, not educate.”

That may well be a fair assessment. So who would be helped if DeWitt wasn’t allowed to teach or research because of his views? Who really benefits if the young Earth creationists get shut up?

Ironically, McElwee writes, “Darwin himself never stopped asking questions about his science and about God.” Creationists have, and that is why they cannot be scientists.”

Should the world believe that people who wanted Nye to shine or just didn’t care much would go to all the trouble of studying each skull shown on the slide, as a YEC expert did? If McElwee has his way, it won’t just be DeWitt who isn’t (allowed to be) asking any questions. No one will be.

Is that, in the end, what we do want? Only pre-approved questions may be asked, and authorities’ pronouncements must be accepted?

All three pieces repay reading.

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18 Replies to “Our moral and intellectual superiors ask, Can creationists be (allowed to be) scientists?

  1. 1
    scordova says:

    Sean McElwee is wrong.

    YEC John Hartnett accumulates 5.7 million dollars in science grants

    Hartnett understands Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity and trains PhD students in those disciplines!

    Politically promoted Darwinism is harming science by driving away about half of the prospective pool of potential scientists with their hostility toward creationists.

  2. 2
    Barb says:

    Should I just copy and paste the list of scientists who were also religious/Christians from Wikipedia? There are plenty of working scientists today who have no problem with doing their work and believing in God simultaneously. The atheists should get used to that fact, and learn to deal with it.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    I find it interesting that materialistic atheists always insist that you must be a materialistic atheist to do science when the fact of the matter is that materialistic atheists ‘borrow’ the Theistic presupposition of the world being rational, and approachable, by the human mind (a ‘mind’ that they don’t even believe they have even though they experience consciousness first hand!). The reason why Theists hold that the world is rational and approachable by the human mind is that we believe that since the world was created by the infinite Mind of God, and we are made in His image, then we are able to comprehend the universe.

    Epistemology – Why Should The Human Mind Even Be Able To Comprehend Reality? – Stephen Meyer – video – (Notes in description)

    Indeed the founders of science all held to this Theistic ‘theory of knowledge’ (epistemological basis):

    Founders of Modern Science Who Believe in GOD – Tihomir Dimitrov – (pg. 222)

    Science and Theism: Concord, not Conflict* – Robert C. Koons
    IV. The Dependency of Science Upon Theism (Page 21)
    Excerpt: Far from undermining the credibility of theism, the remarkable success of science in modern times is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of theism. It was from the perspective of Judeo-Christian theism—and from the perspective alone—that it was predictable that science would have succeeded as it has. Without the faith in the rational intelligibility of the world and the divine vocation of human beings to master it, modern science would never have been possible, and, even today, the continued rationality of the enterprise of science depends on convictions that can be reasonably grounded only in theistic metaphysics.

    Indeed, as Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism shows, and as the self-defeating ‘anything goes’ multiverse shows (O’Leary), Naturalism sows its own seeds of destruction from within as to providing a coherent foundation for us to rationally practice science:

    “Modern science was conceived, and born, and flourished in the matrix of Christian theism. Only liberal doses of self-deception and double-think, I believe, will permit it to flourish in the context of Darwinian naturalism.”
    ~ Alvin Plantinga

    Moreover, besides the fact that Darwinism is in reality a pseudo-science instead of a proper science,,,

    Darwinism is a Pseudo-Science – Part II

    ,,,is the fact that this Theistic belief that the universe is discoverable by man since we are made in the image of God is now being born our empirically:

    First off, Gonzalez and Richards noticed the correlation between Habitability Discoverability

    Privileged Planet – Habitability/Discoverability Correlation – Gonzalez and Richards – video

    The very conditions that make Earth hospitable to intelligent life also make it well suited to viewing and analyzing the universe as a whole.
    – Jay Richards

    The Privileged Planet – The Correlation Of Habitability and Observability – book
    “The same narrow circumstances that allow us to exist also provide us with the best over all conditions for making scientific discoveries.”
    – Guillermo Gonzalez – Astronomer;f=false

    At the 38:10 minute mark of the following video, Dr. Huterer speaks of the “why right now? ‘coincidence problem'” for dark matter and visible matter:

    Dragan Huterer – ‘coincidence problem’ – video

    In the following video, Dr. Hugh Ross points out that we live at the right time in Cosmic history to view the Cosmic Background Radiation (a discovery which has rightly been called ‘the greatest scientific discovery of the 20th century’):

    We Live At The Right Time In Cosmic History (To see the Cosmic Background Radiation) – Hugh Ross – video

    Moreover, Dr Robin Collins delivered a paper yesterday, at the Craig-Carrol debate, showing that the intensity of the Cosmic Background radiation is maximized for observers like us to discover:

    The Fine-Tuning for Discoverability – Robin Collins – March 22, 2014
    Excerpt: Predictive and Explanatory Power of Discoverability – Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation
    Prediction: The most dramatic confirmation of the discoverability/livability optimality thesis (DLO) is the dependence of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMB) on the baryon to photon ratio.,,,
    …the intensity of CMB depends on the photon to baryon ratio, (??b), which is the ratio of the average number of photons per unit volume of space to the average number of baryons (protons plus neutrons) per unit volume. At present this ratio is approximately a billion to one (10^9) , but it could be anywhere from one to infinity; it traces back to the degree of asymmetry in matter and anti – matter right after the beginning of the universe – for approximately every billion particles of antimatter, there was a billion and one particles of matter.,,,
    The only livability effect this ratio has is on whether or not galaxies can form that have near – optimally livability zones. As long as this condition is met, the value of this ratio has no further effects on livability. Hence, the DLO predicts that within this range, the value of this ratio will be such as to maximize the intensity of the CMB as observed by typical observers.
    According to my calculations – which have been verified by three other physicists — to within the margin of error of the experimentally determined parameters (~20%), the value of the photon to baryon ratio is such that it maximizes the CMB. This is shown in Figure 1 below. (pg. 13)
    It is easy to see that this prediction could have been disconfirmed. In fact, when I first made the calculations in the fall of 2011, I made a mistake and thought I had refuted this thesis since those calculations showed the intensity of the CMB maximizes at a value different than the photon – baryon ratio in our universe. So, not only does the DLO lead us to expect this ratio, but it provides an ultimate explanation for why it has this value,,, This is a case of a teleological thesis serving both a predictive and an ultimate explanatory role.,,,

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Along that line, Light is also found to be extremely fine tuned for life and ‘discoverability’:

    Extreme Fine Tuning of Light for Life and Scientific Discovery – video

    Fine Tuning Of Universal Constants, Particularly Light – Walter Bradley – video

    Fine Tuning Of Light to the Atmosphere, to Biological Life, and to Water – graphs

    As well, Michael Denton has also recently added to this line of evidence by showing multiple lines of evidence from chemistry that show that chemistry is ‘set up’ to be of maximal benefit for ‘air-breathing organisms such as ourselves’:

    The Place of Life and Man in Nature: Defending the Anthropocentric Thesis – Michael J. Denton – February 25, 2013
    Summary (page 11)
    Many of the properties of the key members of Henderson’s vital ensemble —water, oxygen, CO2, HCO3 —are in several instances fit specifically for warm-blooded, air-breathing organisms such as ourselves. These include the thermal properties of water, its low viscosity, the gaseous nature of oxygen and CO2 at ambient temperatures, the inertness of oxygen at ambient temperatures, and the bicarbonate buffer, with its anomalous pKa value and the elegant means of acid-base regulation it provides for air-breathing organisms. Some of their properties are irrelevant to other classes of organisms or even maladaptive.
    It is very hard to believe there could be a similar suite of fitness for advanced carbon-based life forms. If carbon-based life is all there is, as seems likely, then the design of any active complex terrestrial being would have to closely resemble our own. Indeed the suite of properties of water, oxygen, and CO2 together impose such severe constraints on the design and functioning of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems that their design, even down to the details of capillary and alveolar structure can be inferred from first principles. For complex beings of high metabolic rate, the designs actualized in complex Terran forms are all that can be. There are no alternative physiological designs in the domain of carbon-based life that can achieve the high metabolic activity manifest in man and other higher organisms.

    “Dr. Michael Denton on Evidence of Fine-Tuning in the Universe” (Remarkable balance of various key elements for life) – podcast

    Of note, I believe, via rumor mill, that a documentary on ‘The Privileged Species’ theses, based in large part on Dr. Denton’s work, is coming out later this year (2014)

    Here is another fact that Dr. Robin Collins highlighted yesterday:

    The Fine-Tuning for Discoverability – Robin Collins – March 22, 2014
    Excerpt: Examples of fine – tuning for discoverability.
    ,,A small increase in ? (fine structure constant) would have resulted in all open wood fires going out; yet harnessing fire was essential to the development of civilization, technology, and science – e.g., the forging of metals.,,,
    Going in the other direction, if ? (fine structure constant) were decreased, light microscopes would have proportionality less resolving power without the size of living cells or other microscopic objects changing.,,,
    Thus, it is quite amazing that the resolving power of light microscopes goes down to that of the smallest cell (0.2 microns), but no further. If it had less resolving power, some cells could not be observed alive. The fine – structure constant, therefore, is just small enough to allow for open wood fires and just large enough for the light microscope to be able to see all living cells.

    Supplemental notes:

    The Concentration of Metals for Humanity’s Benefit:
    Excerpt: They demonstrated that hydrothermal fluid flow could enrich the concentration of metals like zinc, lead, and copper by at least a factor of a thousand. They also showed that ore deposits formed by hydrothermal fluid flows at or above these concentration levels exist throughout Earth’s crust. The necessary just-right precipitation conditions needed to yield such high concentrations demand extraordinary fine-tuning. That such ore deposits are common in Earth’s crust strongly suggests supernatural design.

    Ancient Minerals: Which Gave Rise to Life? – Nov. 25, 2013
    Excerpt: Carnegie’s Robert Hazen compiled a list of every plausible mineral species on the Hadean Earth and concludes that no more than 420 different minerals — about 8 percent of the nearly 5,000 species found on Earth today — would have been present at or near Earth’s surface.
    By contrast, thousands of mineral species known today are the direct result of growth by living organisms, such as shells and bones, as well as life’s chemical byproducts, such as oxygen from photosynthesis. In addition, hundreds of other minerals that incorporate relatively rare elements such as lithium, beryllium, and molybdenum appear to have taken a billion years or more to first appear because it is difficult to concentrate these elements sufficiently to form new minerals. So those slow-forming minerals are also excluded from the time of life’s origins.

    Verse, Quote, and Music:

    Isaiah 45:18-19
    For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited: “I am the Lord, and there is no other. I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth; I did not say to the seed of Jacob, ‘seek me in vain’; I, the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.”

    “When I was young, I said to God, ‘God, tell me the mystery of the universe.’ But God answered, ‘That knowledge is for me alone.’ So I said, ‘God, tell me the mystery of the peanut.’ Then God said, ‘Well George, that’s more nearly your size.’ And he told me.”
    George Washington Carver

    Mercyme – All Of Creation –

  5. 5
    tjguy says:

    Well, the foolishness of McElwee’s ideas are clearly revealed by history. Where would we be today if it were not for the many Creationist scientists who were the early pioneers of science in the Western world?

    Their contribution cannot be denied and even modern day creationists have been shown to be able to do science right along with the best atheist!

    It is only when we come to the area of historical science that the methods and interpretations employed begin to vary.

    But as far as real science goes, creationists may even have an advantage because they look for design, purpose, and order in the natural world. Could that have something to do with why we are in debt to so many creationists in the past?

  6. 6
    selvaRajan says:

    There are many creationists scientists doing great research in their chosen field. As long as a scientist doesn’t let his religious belief interfere with his research, there should be no problem in the inferences drawn from his research.

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    Misconceptions of science and religion found in new study – David Ruth – February 16, 2014
    Excerpt: The public’s view that science and religion can’t work in collaboration is a misconception that stunts progress, according to a new survey of more than 10,000 Americans, scientists and evangelical Protestants. The study by Rice University also found that scientists and the general public are surprisingly similar in their religious practices.,,
    The study also found that 18 percent of scientists attended weekly religious services, compared with 20 percent of the general U.S. population; 15 percent consider themselves very religious (versus 19 percent of the general U.S. population); 13.5 percent read religious texts weekly (compared with 17 percent of the U.S. population); and 19 percent pray several times a day (versus 26 percent of the U.S. population). ,,,
    ,,,Nearly 36 percent of scientists have no doubt about God’s existence.

    The root of the myth that 95% of scientists don’t believe in God is exposed here

    More Scientists Believe In God Than Atheists Want (You) to Think

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    as to “As long as a scientist doesn’t let his religious belief interfere with his research, there should be no problem in the inferences drawn from his research.”

    I wonder if the atheistic Darwinists will listen to you?

    Atheism is not simply a lack of belief in God, but is actually, in regards to the law and the first amendment, a full fledged religion in its own right. No less than the Supreme court has found as such:

    Atheism and the Law – Matt Dillahunty
    Excerpt: “… whether atheism is a ‘religion’ for First Amendment purposes is a somewhat different question than whether its adherents believe in a supreme being, or attend regular devotional services, or have a sacred Scripture.” “Without venturing too far into the realm of the philosophical, we have suggested in the past that when a person sincerely holds beliefs dealing with issues of ‘ultimate concern’ that for her occupy a ‘place parallel to that filled by . . . God in traditionally religious persons,’ those beliefs represent her religion.”
    “We have already indicated that atheism may be considered, in this specialized sense, a religion. See Reed v. Great Lakes Cos., 330 F.3d 931, 934 (7th Cir. 2003) (‘If we think of religion as taking a position on divinity, then atheism is indeed a form of religion.’)”
    “The Supreme Court has recognized atheism as equivalent to a ‘religion’ for purposes of the First Amendment on numerous occasions”

    Evolution Is Religion–Not Science
    “Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality,,, Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.”
    Darwinian atheist Michael Ruse – Prominent Atheistic Philosopher

    Darwin’s Frog Defies Evolution – July 5, 2013
    Excerpt: Lynn Margulis in an interview with Mazur pronounced,
    “neo-Darwinists are a… religious sect within the sprawling religious persuasion of Anglo-Saxon Biology.”

    Atheist Churches, Nonbeliever Gathering Places, Increase in US – 12 Nov 2013

    Talking Evolution With Evolutionists – Cornelius Hunter – December 2011
    Excerpt: “Like the cultist I spoke with, evolutionists are certain even though the facts do not support such certainty.,,,” “You can present the facts, you can walk through the logic, you can review the experiments, and you can tally up the findings. It doesn’t matter. It never did matter because, ultimately, evolution never was about the science.”

    Here are several examples of atheists themselves violating the establishment clause of the first amendment by openly proselytizing their own atheistic religion in the classroom:

    “Proselytizing for Darwin’s God in the Classroom” (from 2008): John G. West – video

    Intelligent Design’s Implications Don’t Discredit Its Scientific Merit: Opposing Views, Part 3 – (Several Quotes from secular humanists (atheists) who support Darwinism) – podcast

    Dr. Will Provine – EXPELLED – video

    Zeal for Darwin’s House Consumes Them – podcast
    On this episode of ID the Future, Casey Luskin examines how, contrary to the stereotype, it’s actually the atheistic supporters of evolution who encourage violations of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. This podcast is excerpted from a law review article published in Liberty University Law Review. (Linked at site)

    And this ‘religious’ belief of atheists certainly does negatively impact scientific research:

    Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen.

    Nobel laureate physicist that you sure won’t read on a Darwin pressure group Web site
    Excerpt: Evolution by natural selection, for instance, which Charles Darwin originally conceived as a great theory, has lately come to function more as an antitheory, called upon to cover up embarrassing experimental shortcomings and legitimize findings that are at best questionable and at worst not even wrong. Your protein defies the laws of mass action? Evolution did it! Your complicated mess of chemical reactions turns into a chicken? Evolution! The human brain works on logical principles no computer can emulate? Evolution is the cause! –
    Robert B. Laughlin, A Different Universe: Reinventing Physics from the Bottom Down (New York: Basic Books, 2005), 168-69)

    The Pew Forum Poll Reveals More Ignorance – December 31, 2013
    Excerpt: The evidence simply does not support evolution,,, unless it is turned upside down and forced to support the theory.

    “We are told dogmatically that Evolution is an established fact; but we are never told who has established it, and by what means. We are told, often enough, that the doctrine is founded upon evidence, and that indeed this evidence ‘is henceforward above all verification, as well as being immune from any subsequent contradiction by experience;’ but we are left entirely in the dark on the crucial question wherein, precisely, this evidence consists.”
    Smith, Wolfgang (1988)
    Teilhardism and the New Religion: A Thorough Analysis of The Teachings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

    vestigial organs, junk DNA, etc.. etc..

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    Another good example where Darwinian thought has negatively impacted research (to the tune of billions of wasted dollars) is in the medical research conducted on mice and other animals:

    Animal Testing Is Bad Science: Point/Counterpoint
    Excerpt: The only reason people are under the misconception that animal experiments help humans is because the media, experimenters, universities and lobbying groups exaggerate the potential of animal experiments to lead to new cures and the role they have played in past medical advances.,,,
    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has noted that 92 percent of all drugs that are shown to be safe and effective in animal tests fail in human trials because they don’t work or are dangerous.,,,
    Physiological reactions to drugs vary enormously from species to species. Penicillin kills guinea pigs but is inactive in rabbits; aspirin kills cats and causes birth defects in rats, mice, guinea pigs, dogs, and monkeys; and morphine, a depressant in humans, stimulates goats, cats, and horses.

    What scientific idea is ready for retirement? – Mouse Models
    Excerpt: A recent scientific paper showed that all 150 drugs tested at the cost of billions of dollars in human trials of sepsis failed because the drugs had been developed using mice. Unfortunately, what looks like sepsis in mice turned out to be very different than what sepsis is in humans. Coverage of this study by Gina Kolata in the New York Times incited a heated response from within the biomedical research community.
    AZRA RAZA – Professor of medicine and director of the MDS Centre, Columbia University, New York

    The reason why these experiments for new medicines fail is because the underlying Darwinian presupposition that we are closely related to rats evolutionarily, and thus physiologically, speaking is completely wrong:

    The mouse is not enough – February 2011
    Excerpt: Richard Behringer, who studies mammalian embryogenesis at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas said, “There is no ‘correct’ system. Each species is unique and uses its own tailored mechanisms to achieve development. By only studying one species (eg, the mouse), naive scientists believe that it represents all mammals.”

    A Listener’s Guide to the Meyer-Marshall Debate: Focus on the Origin of Information Question -Casey Luskin – December 4, 2013
    Excerpt: “There is always an observable consequence if a dGRN (developmental gene regulatory network) subcircuit is interrupted. Since these consequences are always catastrophically bad, flexibility is minimal, and since the subcircuits are all interconnected, the whole network partakes of the quality that there is only one way for things to work. And indeed the embryos of each species develop in only one way.” –
    Eric Davidson

    Gene Regulation Differences Between Humans, Chimpanzees Very Complex – Oct. 17, 2013
    Excerpt: Although humans and chimpanzees share,, similar genomes (conservatively 70% per Tomkins), previous studies have shown that the species evolved major differences in mRNA expression levels.,,,

    Evolution by Splicing – Comparing gene transcripts from different species reveals surprising splicing diversity. – Ruth Williams – December 20, 2012
    Excerpt: A major question in vertebrate evolutionary biology is “how do physical and behavioral differences arise if we have a very similar set of genes to that of the mouse, chicken, or frog?”,,,
    A commonly discussed mechanism was variable levels of gene expression, but both Blencowe and Chris Burge,,, found that gene expression is relatively conserved among species.
    On the other hand, the papers show that most alternative splicing events differ widely between even closely related species. “The alternative splicing patterns are very different even between humans and chimpanzees,” said Blencowe.,,,

    Quotes of note:

    “Certainly, my own research with antibiotics during World War II received no guidance from insights provided by Darwinian evolution. Nor did Alexander Fleming’s discovery of bacterial inhibition by penicillin. I recently asked more than 70 eminent researchers if they would have done their work differently if they had thought Darwin’s theory was wrong. The responses were all the same: No.,,, In the peer-reviewed literature, the word “evolution” often occurs as a sort of coda to academic papers in experimental biology. Is the term integral or superfluous to the substance of these papers? To find out, I substituted for “evolution” some other word – “Buddhism,” “Aztec cosmology,” or even “creationism.” I found that the substitution never touched the paper’s core. This did not surprise me. From my conversations with leading researchers it had became clear that modern experimental biology gains its strength from the availability of new instruments and methodologies, not from an immersion in historical biology.”
    Philip S. Skell – (the late) Emeritus Evan Pugh Professor at Pennsylvania State University, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

    “In fact, over the last 100 years, almost all of biology has proceeded independent of evolution, except evolutionary biology itself. Molecular biology, biochemistry, and physiology, have not taken evolution into account at all.”
    Marc Kirschner, Boston Globe, Oct. 23, 2005

    “While the great majority of biologists would probably agree with Theodosius Dobzhansky’s dictum that “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”, most can conduct their work quite happily without particular reference to evolutionary ideas. Evolution would appear to be the indispensable unifying idea and, at the same time, a highly superflous one.”
    A.S. Wilkins, editor of the journal BioEssays, Introduction to “Evolutionary Processes” – (2000).

    “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved. It might be thought, therefore, that evolutionary arguments would play a large part in guiding biological research, but this is far from the case. It is difficult enough to study what is happening now. To figure out exactly what happened in evolution is even more difficult. Thus evolutionary achievements can be used as hints to suggest possible lines of research, but it is highly dangerous to trust them too much. It is all too easy to make mistaken inferences unless the process involved is already very well understood.”
    Francis Crick – What Mad Pursuit (1988)

  10. 10
    Blue_Savannah says:

    Typical darwinist strategy – if you can’t refute your opponents, silence and/or try to discredit them with ad hominem remarks. It’s interesting to note how obsessed darwinists are with creationists – two religions clashing perhaps?

  11. 11
    Robert Byers says:

    Oh brother.
    no scientists know anything about evolution, unless the few who get paid to study it, and what they believe about evolution is based on trust in the experts they trust.
    99% of evolutionists would fail a grade 10 /40 question test on evolution.
    Evolutionism is irrelevant to science and if a scientist believes in it its just from trust in his sense of experts .
    i say if science is to progress then evolution should be banned IF it makes difference in scientists thinking on their subjects.!
    Cage match, cage match, cage match.
    What is the top three scientific biological evidences for evolutionary biology being a scientific theory as opposed to a untested hypothesis???
    lets do science once and for all.

  12. 12
    Ho-De-Ho says:

    Robert Byers you make an excellent suggestion regarding the 3 top evidences.

    For my part I think the strongest line of evidence for evolution, which has the broadest appeal to people’s common sense, is that of Homologies. The pentadactyl limb being the poster child. The gross similarities between chimp and human. An ostrich can conceivably be imagined to look similar to the shape of many dinosaurs.

    The argument that this could imply a common designer is of course valid, but doesn’t seem too convincing as a refutation. What the common Joe wants is a reason why homology CANNOT be the result of evolution.

    Gavin de Beer of course recognized a problem, but the main issue is that it has not been elucidated well enough, as far as I can make out by my listening to umpteen discussions.

    Homology is, I feel, the central pillar. If anybody wishes to see the demise of the ToE then this is the trunk at which the axe must be successfully swung. It has so much visual appeal and is jolly convincing too.

    If I may input a suggestion for UD, then it is that a lengthy critique of this subject should be compiled. It is the rock-bed of the materialistic view of evolution. It is either it’s greatest strength, or if clearly explained as false, it’s fatal weakness.

    I hope nobody minds my suggestion as a bystander.

  13. 13
    Joe says:


    For my part I think the strongest line of evidence for evolution, which has the broadest appeal to people’s common sense, is that of Homologies.

    Homologies are assumed and can be explained by a common design.

    The pentadactyl limb being the poster child.

    Poster child for a common design.

    The gross similarities between chimp and human.

    Common design.

    The argument that this could imply a common designer is of course valid, but doesn’t seem too convincing as a refutation.

    Umm, we have experience with common designs- buildings, houses, cars, PCs, all have similarities due to standards.

    What the common Joe wants is a reason why homology CANNOT be the result of evolution.

    Science doen’t prove negatives. It is up to the people making the claim of homology to demonstrate it.

    And homology cannot be scientifically distinguished from homoplasy.

    And to top it off homology does NOT speak to any mechanism. So perhaps Ho-De-Ho should learn what is being debated.

  14. 14
    Joe says:

    The atheistic materialists don’t want Creationists doing science because the evidence points to a designer and they don’t want anyone to see it.

  15. 15
    Barry Arrington says:

    The real question is should close minded bigoted hacks be allowed to be journalists?

    The answer to that question is “yes” BTW.

  16. 16
    drc466 says:

    You have to laugh and cringe at journalists who write this sort of stuff. What are they suggesting as a method of preventing creationists from being scientists? Licensing bureaus? University accreditation revocation? Evolution Gestapo hauling creationist scientists, engineers, doctors, etc. off to gulags and concentration camps for re-education?

    If you removed every scientist who didn’t believe in Evolution from history, we’d still be driving horse carts and plowing our fields behind oxen. And writing it all down one letter at a time using ink and quill. Just ask all of non-western civilization.

  17. 17
    Robert Byers says:

    AMEN. UD should do a thread or ten on addressing and dealing once and for all with the top claims for evidence for evolution.
    can’t get into your point here but it is a point that is made to persuade the common man.
    Is it indeed biological scientific evidence or even a good hunch?
    surely intelligent people carefully looking at this evidence should come to the same conclusion or there is no such thing as scientific investigastion!

  18. 18
    Moose Dr says:

    BornAgain77 (comment 8), “Atheism is not simply a lack of belief in God, but is actually, in regards to the law and the first amendment, a full fledged religion in its own right.”

    Yes! Yes! Religion 1. “a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe …”

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