Thursday, August 11, 2005

How can we accept this absurd evolution theory?

Here are further letters to the editor (including my letter) in The West Australian on the teaching of intelligent design in Australian schools. I must say I found amazing the headline, "How can we accept this absurd evolution theory?" Perhaps the newspaper is trying to stimulate a response from the science establishment?

Articles and letters in the last few days in that newspaper on this issue that I have posted were (more recent first): "Creation theory for classroom," "Intelligent design does not exclude evolution," "Creationists monkey with public education," and "Creationist DVD faces school fight."

Again there are more pro-ID (3) than anti-ID letters (1). And again the anti-ID letter sounds arrogant, and will tend to alienate the public, i.e. "students should [not] be allowed to `make up their own minds' about science"! So who made up that student's mind about science? And if "There is no place in science classes for unprovable claims," then that eliminates Darwinian evolution, which is based on the "unprovable claim" that all mutations in the history of life have been random (in the sense of undirected)! However, I must agree with the clever heading above the last letter.

If there are any further articles and letters on this topic I will post them, unless they degenerate into a public slanging match. I have no intention to send any more letters to the editor unless this issue flares up again in the future (as it probably will). It will be interesting to see if anyone contacts me (since my name, suburb and number is in the phone book). Already a Christian former workmate I had not heard from for several years rang me and congratulated me on my letter.

Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol)
"Problems of Evolution"



How can we accept this absurd evolution theory?
I was interested in your report (8/8) about creation versus evolution. Pat Byrne of The Australian Education Union is quoted as saying that teachers have "an absolute commitment to scientific principle and evidence".

I understand that science studies, evaluates and tests information and events to determine the validity of whatever it is that is in question. Religion, on the other hand, wants us to accept things that can't always be tested with a faith that accepts what we cannot quantify.

Science wants us to accept that the origin of our existence was the result of an explosion out of a black hole and that the gravity of this black hole is so strong that light cannot escape from it. We are also told that the human species evolved from a single-cell life form, with everything else that exists. I can only explain this possibility as being the result of chaotic happenings.

The science of mathematics tells me that the probability of such chaotic happenings coming together to form such a world of order is nigh on impossible and absolutely improbable. Biology shows me that it is impossible to evolve life forms from single cells that are able to sustain themselves and grow. Genetics and DNA tell me that these cells could not possibly then mutate to form all the ensuing life forms that we now know exist. Palaeontologists have not been able to show any evidence whatsoever of an evolutionary train of fossils that support evolution. Science's own laws of thermodynamics show that evolution by its very nature goes against the laws of nature and reality.

What we are being asked to accept is akin to an explosion in a junk yard and, once the dust has settled, we find that all the junk has been miraculously turned into a brand new Boeing 747 fuelled and in flight.

The question to be answered is this. Can we prove, scientifically or otherwise, the claims of some scientists concerning the origins of the universe or of man? Unequivocally the answer is no. This leaves me to draw the conclusion that what we have is a state-sanctioned religion that is being taught in our school science classes as fact and reality, when neither exists.

Chris Boland, Esperance.

Too simple
As a member of the Intelligent Design (ID) movement since 1995, and a recently graduated biologist, I wish to point out that it is simplistic for Andre Malan to equate ID with creationism (Creationists monkey with public education, 9/8). Creationism is based an the Bible but ID is based on the evidence of nature.

ID is a scientific theory that there is empirical evidence of design in nature. ID makes no claim about who or what the designer was, leaving that question to philosophy and theology. The argument that there is design in nature goes back at least as far as the Greek philosopher Aristotle, who is widely regarded as the father of the science of biology.

If the proposition that there is no design in nature (as Darwinism maintains) is scientific; then the counter-proposition that there is design in nature must also be scientific. It is fallacious for Darwinists to claim that the "no" answer to the question-is there empirical evidence for design in nature-is science, but the "yes" answer to the same question is religion.

The ID movement's rapid growth in recent years is based on two main lines of scientific evidence. The first is the many problems with the evidence that the Darwinian theory of evolution has increasingly experienced over the last 140 years, and the second is the fantastic complexity that biology itself has unexpectedly revealed of the molecular machinery of the cell.

So strong is this latter evidence for design that one of the world's leading atheists, British philosopher Antony Flew, has recently abandoned atheism, citing evidence presented by ID theorists, and claiming that God must have created the first living organism.

The ID movement is not asking for ID to be taught in science classes. All it asks at this stage is for the controversy to be taught in schools. That is, students should be exposed to the problems of the theory of evolution, as well as the scientific evidence for design in nature.

As your editorial (9/8) put it: "It stands to reason that students should be told about both views of life to help them to make up their own minds."

Stephen E. Jones, Warwick.

Out of place
I was appalled to see that the editor of The West Australian (Let's be intelligent about design theory, 9/8) believes that there is little difference between science and religion classes and that it "doesn't really matter" in which class intelligent design theory is taught.

It matters a great deal. High-quality education is essential if we are to have an informed citizenry that can make good decisions. This newspaper has been expressing concern recently about falling standards in our schools. It is troubling to see it now making the absurd and dangerous statement that religion may be taught in science classes.

The existence of an intelligent designer may not be a new idea, but it is one that is completely beyond the realm of human knowledge. As a matter of faith, each of us is free to decide whether we believe or not, and it is up to our families to pass on their beliefs, not our science teachers.

It does not "stand to reason" that students should be allowed to "make up their own minds" about science. There is no democracy in science -a theory is either backed up by observable evidence or it is not. There is no place in science classes for unprovable claims - regardless of how many people believe them to be true.

Amanda Rainey, Yokine.

Talking garbage
I find it mind-boggling that in 2005 debate still continues about creation versus evolution. It is an accepted fact in medical circles that it is a physical impossibility that human vocal chords could have evolved. The theory of evolution is garbage and the aforementioned constitutes the be-all and end-all of the argument.

James Black, Redcliffe.


John A. Davison said...

The notion that Intelligent design should be taught in school is absurd. Those who do not see it all around them are obviously legally blind and as Einstein pointed out also cannot hear what he called "the music of the spheres." Those so impaired could never compete in a public school system anyway.

Anonymous said...

Davison: The notion that Intelligent design should be taught in school is absurd. Those who do not see it all around them are obviously legally blind and as Einstein pointed out also cannot hear what he called "the music of the spheres." Those so impaired could never compete in a public school system anyway.

PK: I agree that those who cannot detect design all around them are blind although the blindness is of the intellect.

John A. Davison said...

There also is as yet no theory of evolution. There are only failed and untested hypotheses. Darwinism, Lamarckism and spontaneous generation are among the former, the Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis and Semi-meiotic Hypothesis among the latter. These latter are intimately related and evidence for one will be evidence for both.