When I was little I learned about evolution – the idea that as humans we evolved from lizards and microbes through a process of competition and violence, with the strong surviving while the weaker members of the species die off in the struggle for life.
As a child I initially found this theory depressing but then I accepted it and made it my own – I identified with it on a very deep level.
In high school I won the award for best science student in my graduating class, and later on, I found myself doing research in a genetics laboratory at a major university as an undergrad. I was hopeful that the answers to life’s most important questions would be discovered by science someday.
After graduation, when I met people who didn’t believe in evolution, I felt uncomfortable, like I was meeting someone from another planet. Did they use a fork and spoon to eat their food? Did they sleep upside down?
To reduce my anxiety, I developed the attitude that ridicule, contempt and avoidance were probably the best ways to relate to non-evolution believers.
More recently I stopped running away from people who didn’t believe in evolution, and started getting curious – what would happen if I didn’t dislike or fear them? Finally when I came across professors of biology (!) who didn’t believe in evolution, that was the last straw.
What I learned from those professors surprised me.
This article is written in an attempt to answer some lingering questions I still had about Darwin’s theory of evolution – what science has to say about it, what the theory’s effects are upon people like you and me, and then what kinds of politics surround the theory.
1. Please don’t freak out
For those of you who identify strongly with the theory of evolution, as I did, please keep in mind that disproving Darwin’s theory of evolution does not mean that a religious doctrine you once heard about on television must now become your own belief system. It doesn’t mean there’s an old man up in the sky, oiling his tools and cleaning his workshop. Nor does it signify that “ancient aliens” created human beings. It has nothing to do with any of those things. Those are separate theories which must be proved on their own merits.
I feel I have to say this because I find that when I try to talk about Darwinism with some people, their eyes glaze over and they start panicking and saying things like:
Evolution HAS to be true because the only alternative is an old man up in the sky, with a white beard.
How do you know that is the only alternative? Who told you this?
Instead of rushing to find a new “authoritative” dogma to swallow, we could also just:
Feel the Mystery.1
Can words and concepts fully encompass the mystery of life? Or the mystery of Spirit? Or of Consciousness?
I like what the poet Dylan Thomas said:
The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.
Okay, so I recommend that you sit back and relax while we look at some evidence and meet some scientists.
2. Meet some scientists
It’s interesting to notice that the more we know about life and the more we know about biology, the more problems Darwinism has…2
Dr. Michael Behe, Professor of Biochemistry
Dr. Colin Patterson (1933-1998), senior paleontologist at the British Museum, was a strong public supporter of evolutionary theory – he even wrote a book on the topic.
However in 1981 he gave a talk at the American Museum of Natural History – which was tape-recorded without his knowledge – in which he said:
Most of us think that we are working in evolutionary research. But is its explanatory power any more than verbal?…
“Evolution” not only conveys no knowledge, but seems somehow to convey anti-knowledge…3
3. Darwin’s theory of evolution – why it was revolutionary
I found it helpful to learn that Darwin’s theory of evolution is not the same thing as “natural selection” – Darwin’s theory goes way beyond natural selection.
Natural selection is simply an outgrowth of the ancient theory and practice of selective breeding.
Selective breeding is the breeding of domesticated critters such as pigeons or hunting dogs for desired traits. Such breeding of animals and plants – also human slaves,4 I’m sorry to say – is an enterprise that goes back to early prehistory.5
Natural selection is the idea that the same thing happens in the wild. By itself, this does not have dramatic philosophical import, and so Charles Darwin may have been one of the first authors to bother to write about it.
Let’s look at one example of natural selection. If you have several species of birds living on some remote islands, each with different beak sizes, during a drought some of the birds with a certain kind of beak might survive better than the others. This will shift the bird population on those islands, based on which species survived the drought better. As one scientist put it:
Natural selection is a real process, and it works well for explaining certain limited kinds of variation – small-scale change…
Where it doesn’t work well is where Darwin thought it could, namely, the real complexity of life. We have the finch beak, and then you have the finch itself. Minor change in the structure of the beak versus the origin of the organism itself.
– Paul Nelson, PhD.6
Do you see the distinction? Darwinism – right or wrong – proposes to explain the origin of life itself, as well as the origin of entire classes of plants and animals.
Selective breeding, by contrast, merely selects traits that are already in the gene pool – it doesn’t create new genes or turn one species into another. Nobody has selectively bred birds and been able to get a dog as a result.
4. Science: a quick refresher
As human beings, we devise theories to help us explain what we observe. But can a theory ever be proven 100% true? Technically, no, because tomorrow’s evidence may disprove today’s theory. So strictly speaking a theory can never be “proven” – only disproven, or tentatively accepted so long as it fits the facts.
It’s like the cute man or the cute woman you had your eye on when you were single. “Does she (or he) like me?” Once you get your hands on actual evidence, you no longer have to rely on guesses or speculations, let alone your friends’ random theories.
Likewise, the history of science is filled with one theory after another either being refined or scrapped as new evidence comes in. Theories themselves are not considered “sacred” – they are merely one part of the scientific method.
5. Common DNA sequences – do they prove Darwinism?
What about common DNA – does having genetic sequences in common between humans and apes indicate a common ancestor?
I don’t know, does it?
I used to think it did, because that was the popular belief I was exposed to.
When I was a child I also thought birds, bats, and flying squirrels might be closely related, because they all had wings. But then I found out that they weren’t.
At best, the existence of common DNA sequences could be put forward as “circumstantial evidence” for Darwinism. However, correlation does not equal causation.
So no, common DNA sequences do not prove evolution or common ancestry – despite my lingering assumption that they do! They merely show a commonality between different species.
6. Lack of historical evidence for Darwinism
If my theory be true, numberless intermediate varieties… must assuredly have existed.7
– Charles Darwin
One of the most significant findings put forward to support the theory of evolution – and the notion of a common ancestry between humans and apes – was “Piltdown Man”8, a discovery announced to the world in 1912. Piltdown Man was alleged to be the remains of an intermediate organism, halfway between ape and man.
This news made front-page headlines across the globe. “Darwin Theory Is Proved True” proclaimed the New York Times. In spite of obvious indications that it was a fake, and scientific papers questioning its authenticity from day one, Piltdown Man was added to school textbooks as proof of Darwinism.9
However four decades later this discovery was publicly shown to be a forgery.
What happened with Piltdown Man was an orangutan jaw and a human skull had been allegedly discovered in a pit of gravel, stained to look old, with their teeth filed down. This was displayed in the prestigious British Museum – with similar exhibits in museums around the world – for four decades!
The British Museum scientists who originally validated Piltdown Man’s authenticity were considered to be either complicit in the fraud or were so incompetent as to deserve public censure.
A member of the British Parliament proposed a vote of “no confidence” in the scientific leadership of the British Museum. The motion failed to carry when another M.P. reminded his colleagues that politicians had “enough skeletons in their own closets.”10
I just did a search to see if there are any other evolutionary links between apes and humans that have been put forward in the last century or two – because I remember hearing about this stuff all the time when I was a teenager. No – nothing credible has ever been put forward, that I could find. What I did find was this:
Something called “Taung Child” was put forward in 1925, and given the fancy name Australopithecus africanus, but it was strongly criticized by prominent anatomists as being simply a young monkey.11 Then the Rockefeller Foundation funded the study of something called “Peking Man”12, which was announced to the world in the late 1920’s as further evidence for Darwinism, and given the name Homo erectus, but it appears that all evidence for Peking Man mysteriously “vanished” in 1941. Then something called “Lucy” was found in 1974 and given the fancy name Australopithecus afarensis. This looks like a chimpanzee skeleton, except for the knee bone. When asked where the knee bone was found in relation to the other bones, Dr. Donald Johanson said it was 2-3 kilometers away and 200 feet lower in the earth. He was then asked: “Then why are you sure it belonged to Lucy?” Dr. Johanson: “Anatomical similarity.”13
Maybe it’s just me, but vanishing evidence, circular logic, jumping to conclusions, misleading people, and outright fraud just do not impress me favorably so far..?
Even people who write pro-evolution books have had the same problem finding evidence, apparently. One author was asked why he included no evidence of “evolutionary links” in his book on evolution.
If I knew of any fossil (showing an evolutionary link between human and ape) I would certainly have included them in my book. I will lay it on the line – there is not one such fossil.14
– Colin Patterson, senior palentologist at British Museum
7. Evidence that disproves evolution: irreducible complexity
If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.15
– Charles Darwin
In addition to what some would say is a total lack of historical evidence for Darwinism, it seems that modern science has also been hard on the theory of evolution.
What I’m about to say is deceptively simple but for me is overwhelmingly convincing:
There are complex molecular machines found in living cells that would not work, nor serve any known useful purpose, if you changed one tiny piece16 of the molecular machine.
That’s it. That by itself disproves Darwin’s theory of evolution as far as I’m concerned.
At the very basis of life, where molecules and cells run the show, we’ve discovered machines – literally, molecular machines. There are little molecular trucks that carry supplies from one end of the cell to the other. There are machines that capture the energy from sunlight and turn it into usable energy…
When we looked at these machines, we asked ourselves ‘where did they come from?’ And the standard answer – Darwinian evolution – is very inadequate, in my view.17
– Dr. Michael Behe, Professor of Biochemistry
I’ll try to explain further. (Though really you should seek out a book or documentary on this topic if you want a more in-depth explanation.)
The modern theory of evolution says that living organisms happened by chance, through a series of random mutations which, over time, somehow created life in the first place, and then led to better and better organisms.
(Please note that proponents of evolution do not explain how this happens, nor can they reproduce this theory in a laboratory.)
One type of molecular machine is the bacterial flagellum (a whip-like thing that helps the bacterium move around). Let’s say you have a more primitive bacterium with no flagellum. Then let’s say you have a mutation – a defect – in one of the bacterium’s genes.
Has its survival ability increased?
What if you have two mutations?
Oops. Hold up. You can’t have two mutations. The theory of evolution says that if you have a single mutation, that by itself has to improve the organism’s ability to survive18 such that all other organisms of its type – in this case its type of bacteria – get wiped out because of the mutant’s superior ability to eat and reproduce.
Say you have a little bacterium guy. The little guy is doing great, living and thriving and reproducing, and then something happens – a mutation. The theory of evolution says that this one mutation, this single error – like a single bug in a piece of computer software – causes the little guy to suddenly have next-order abilities and survival powers that it never had before.
It’s like if you drop your laptop and damage a sector on the hard drive. But you find that, instead of causing problems, your laptop now has 10 brand-new fully-functional and extremely elegant apps on it that never existed before.
This seems irrational to me. And statistically unlikely.
Apparently Francis Crick – the Nobel-winning scientist – would have agreed.19
Here’s the thing about mutations: they make you worse off, they don’t improve your genetics. This is why we don’t move to Chernobyl to raise our families.
All point mutations that have been studied on the molecular level turn out to reduce the genetic information and not increase it.20
– Lee Spetner, PhD in Physics (MIT), taught information theory at Johns Hopkins University
Going back to our example, I can imagine hiring a billion people to drop a billion laptops a million times each, but I don’t think anything miraculous would happen, in the sense of 10 new software applications appearing on the laptop that weren’t there before. (I say “10 new apps” because a molecular machine contains multiple complex specialized components, all working together.)
This is the kind of curious logic that the theory of evolution seems to depend on: what we might call “miracles” + skipping over the scientific method + unfounded assumptions + disregarding evidence. If I may put it bluntly.
“How can this be?” you ask. “How can this be true if we were told Darwinism was a proven scientific fact?”
I don’t know. We will explore some of the politics of Darwinism later in this article.
8. Evidence that disproves evolution, part 2: the origin of DNANatural selection does not explain the origin of life or the origin of DNA, so this is another problem with the theory of evolution – a problem which Charles Darwin did not address.
Without DNA, there is no self-replication. But without self-replication, there is no natural selection. So you can’t use natural selection to explain the origin of DNA…22
– Stephen C. Meyer
Or to put it another way, can chemicals undergoing random change create life? I don’t know. Here’s the opinion of one man – one of the leading chemical evolutionary theorists – who spent decades trying to prove that this was possible, but finally gave up and decided it wasn’t:
We have not the slightest chance for the chemical origin of even the simplest of cells.23
– Dean Kenyon, Professor of Biology, San Francisco State University
9. “Intelligent design”
To replace the theory of evolution, some scientists have coined the term “intelligent design”. It’s not a theory or an explanation, as I understand it, nor is it a theological dogma. In fact it doesn’t answer or explain anything!
All it says is life on earth seems to show evidence of intelligence in how things are put together and how they interact. If I look at human creations – say, computer software – I notice that, well, there does seem to be less intelligence and elegance in their design compared with living things. One famous estimate says that computer software that we use everyday contains between 15 and 50 errors per 1000 lines of code!24 (This is part of the reason there are always new security holes being discovered, like the recent “Heartbleed” vulnerability that made headlines – the idea is that software almost always has unknown flaws.)
So the concept of “intelligent design” doesn’t propose anything more than that. It doesn’t describe classes of angels or constructor devas working to help trees grow in the springtime. As I understand it, it’s basically a phrase that a few scientists used in some papers and books when they found that evolutionary theory didn’t match reality and yet they still were expected to use words to summarize their findings.
10. Politics of Darwinism, part 1 – “priesthood” and belief
Critics of Darwinism say it acts like a kind of “religion”, or cult. Membership is based not on a relaxed inspection of evidence or logic, but on belief, herd-mentality, propaganda, and enormous social pressure. And the failure to exhibit signs of belief, they say, is met with ridicule, slander, intimidation, censorship, even loss of employment and career.
What explains the fact that Darwinism is still so popular in some scientific circles?…
The reason is this: the theory is more an expression of a certain mentality and belief than a scientific formulation. It is a mentality that does not view evolution as a mere theory whose validity can be investigated by scientific method, but sees it as a belief that must be vindicated at all costs.25
One example is the displeasure that Dr. Colin Patterson, paleontologist at the British Museum, expressed when his private views about Darwinism (that evolution was “anti-knowledge”) were made public in 1981 and he thereupon came under attack. He retreated from this position and tried to save his career.
Professor Michael Behe openly questions Darwinism, but he is required to put a disclaimer on his home page saying his university does not not approve of his views. He said he would never be able to openly question Darwinism if he did not have the job security of a tenured professor.
If you ask yourself – as I did – why you were not taught in school that there are problems with evolutionary theory, some people say the reason is simply censorship and blacklisting – if you do not uphold the dominant belief system, you will never work in this industry again.
On a different note there’s the bumper stickers which portray Darwinism as a sort of attack on Christianity. In one such sticker, the Jesus fish26 is shown being raped by another creature that says “evolution” on it. If I was a Christian this would make me uncomfortable. Also, this to me is an example of how evolution is frequently defined as something that exists in aggressive relationship to religion, rather than as something that exists in and of itself.
11. Politics of Darwinism, part 2 – does Darwinism preclude religion and spirituality?
I know some say “I believe in evolution and God.”
Nonetheless, countless people have become atheists from being taught the theory (of evolution) as “fact” – I was once one of them.27
Wow – I never thought of it this way. And yet I know so many people who lost faith in God or spiritual discipline (I even know Buddhists who lost all interest in Buddhist discipline) seemingly as a result of their exposure to “scientific materialism” and popular media.
Darwinism says life is a meaningless accident that exists for its own sake and the purpose of life is to struggle for personal survival. Well how can you buy that doctrine – even at a subconscious level – and still have room to be a Christian or a Buddhist or anything else?
If being a Christian means believing that life has a purpose, means embracing the seven cardinal virtues like charity and kindness and so forth – how can you possibly do those things fully and happily if you also believe that there IS no purpose to life, that the only purpose is to try to survive through greed and selfishness and so on?
Plus it’s hopeless. You cannot struggle for personal survival and succeed.
Well to be honest, with my scientific background I wanted to know what science had to say about Darwinism first. Once I became convinced about Darwinism from a scientific point of view, then I was open to finding out what its other implications were.
Here’s one perspective:
In the 20th century, the doctrine that is constantly being imparted to people is that there is no spiritual world. It’s a myth. It’s unreal. It’s superstition. And this is the real world. And that being the case, what you have to do is… idealize this world, work toward a great “utopia”. And so forth.
You see, what’s being reinforced is conventional, social inclinations. People are being politicized. Or being moved toward political activities, social activities. Or moved to function within a social domain without causing trouble – being “benign”, productive, and so forth…
So in fact, spiritual life, and true religion then, is anathema. It’s become anathematized. By the new, what we might call “religion” – even though really it’s not a religion – the new doctrine of materialism. Expressed through… this profound influence on everbody’s lives which is television, or media…
Many [people] feel unfulfilled or unsatisfied by the materialistic offerings of scientific civilization… so they go looking for something greater… And try to practice these (religious or spiritual) things… But they can’t really demonstrate a profound process that realizes anything much, that really changes anything significantly, because they are bound to the doctrines that they get through various relations, common society, TV and all the rest of it.
A point of view is constantly being reinforced in you, has been reinforced in you since you were a child, an infant even, that makes it impossible for you to presume that there is an invisible spiritual domain, that there is God, that there are spirits or invisible entities that affect life and so forth. You are almost totally incapacitated relative to this presumption. And you cannot (grow significantly) in the spiritual process as long as that is your limit. It’s absolutely impossible.28
12. Politics of Darwinism, part 3: Darwinism’s social effects
And Raymond looked around – and up!
The long-expected Flash! and Gunning! of the democratic Neighbor-Wars began!29
The original title of Charles Darwin’s famous book was “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life”.30
Wait – what’s this about “favoured races”?
I wasn’t sure what “race” meant so I looked it up:
Definition of RACE
a : a family, tribe, people, or nation belonging to the same stock
b : a class or kind of people unified by shared interests, habits, or characteristics
Nothing about animals anywhere, in any dictionary I checked, nor in the etymology of the word.31 Hmm. Also the word “favor” seems fishy as well – to me in this context it suggests receiving benefits from a ruler or a ruling class in exchange for fealty.
In any case, critics of Darwinism are concerned that if one portion of society wanted to subjugate another class of human beings to benefit their own interests, or if one neighbor wanted to attack another neighbor, Darwin’s book not only appears to condone this – right on the title page! – but Darwinism as a whole seems to imply that this is why we are alive, this is our very reason for being. You could say such behavior is bestowed on us by our “Creator”. (The “creator” in this case being violence, competition, and randomness.)
Okay, let’s say this bit about “preserving favoured races” was an accident, and Darwin and his publisher did not mean to put that in the title of the book.32 It wouldn’t change the overall message of the book, which is that human beings are nothing more than animals, and we exist today thanks to a violent and competitive past – and nothing else. Whatever brutal things you do to other human beings to enhance your own survival or increase your wealth is not only justified, but it is right and natural, according to the implications of this theory as I understand them.As one writer put it:
The highest authority in an indifferent Universe is the creature with highest kill ratio.
Morality becomes what you can get away with.34
Whatever the cause is, this attitude can certainly be seen in the world today, whether it’s Enron scandals that evaporate workers’ pension funds, Bernie Madoff ponzi schemes, young men and women sent off to wars based on false premises, and on and on. And Darwinism – the “survival of the fittest”, the survival of the strongest and most competitive – appears to justify this behavior, almost as if contempt toward other human beings in our struggle for personal survival were demanded by Life Itself.
Then we teach this philosophy to our children in school. According to critics of Darwinism, our children are essentially taught: “you are either going to survive by dominating other human beings when they get in your way, or you yourself will be dominated. If you get dominated it will be because you deserve it. Eat or be eaten. There is no other purpose to life.”
13. Politics of Darwinism, part 4 – equating humans & animals
Are there any problems with saying that human beings are basically just animals?
Many religious people say “yes, there are”.
Here’s one perspective I found interesting:
In the Old Testament it is suggested that Man exercise dominion over beasts and growing things. This is an acknowledgement that Man, in the form of every human individual, is not only functionally or structurally more and greater than anything else in the natural or elemental world, but that his happiness and even his survival depend on his acceptance of responsibility for everything in himself that is common to the rest of the natural world.
Thus, it is not merely that he is naturally superior to cattle, snakes, vegetables and the elements, and therefore should force all such things into degraded submission to his own aggressive and stupid will to eat and use and do everything, and wait for understanding to come in the future, while the Cosmic Parent meanwhile keeps everything in order. Rather, the superiority of Man is in his responsibility to acknowledge that he is not merely a natural or vital creature, like the rest of the natural world…35
If he is not responsible for these (vital-physical and emotional-sexual) functions in his own case, he will inevitably deal irresponsibly and destructively with all vital creatures and the natural domain itself.
Our science, technology, politics, and social experience bear this out.36
14. Politics of Darwinism, part 5 – the origins of Darwinism
I also learned that Charles Darwin did not come up with his theory of evolution as a result of visiting the Galapagos Islands, or through any other observations.
He got the theory of evolution from his grandfather Erasmus Darwin, who had already formulated the theory of evolution, in detail, decades earlier.
Almost every topic discussed, and example given, in (Erasmus’s own book about evolution) reappears in Charles’s On the Origin Of Species.37
There is less known about Erasmus than Charles, but it appears that Erasmus was one of the masters of a secret society in Scotland,38 he was said to be strongly anti-Christian, and he was once offered a job as personal physician to the king of England, which I guess he had the power to turn down. He also weighed over 336 pounds and fathered at least 14 children, though the exact number is uncertain.39
A powerful man, Erasmus hired a massively overweight servant to walk in front of him wherever he went, so if the floor could not hold his weight, the servant would be the one to crash through!40
Erasmus Darwin founded the Derby Philosophical Society in 1783,41 which, decades later, used its powerful influence to promote the theory of evolution under his grandson’s name. When Charles wrote to a publisher about “his” groundbreaking book, he was told the publisher would publish the book without even seeing the manuscript.42
In his early life, Charles Darwin expressed the opinion that his granddad’s ideas about evolution were not so good:
I was much disappointed; the proportion of speculation being so large to the facts given.43
Later, when he became willing to put his own name to these ideas as if they were his own, he became overwhelmed with depression, insomnia, “cyclic vomiting”, bouts of crying, fainting, and suffered from ill health for the rest of his life.44 Many scholars suggest that Charles Darwin’s health issues were at least partly of psychosomatic origin, such as repressed emotions or conflicts with his family.
In any case, the viewpoint we are left with today is that of granddad Erasmus Darwin, who expressed the opinion that our three most important desires in life are “lust, hunger and security”. He also expressed the opinion that “the strongest… should propagate the species.”45
One could almost conclude that Charles Darwin was a kind of actor rather than a scientist and that the “role” he played was written, financed and produced by his extremely powerful grandfather.
Because this topic is so controversial I was hesitant to offer any conclusions at the end – I wanted to allow brave and curious readers to form their own conclusions and leave it at that.
However, after having people review this article prior to publication, I realized this is a disservice and that I need to spell out my own conclusions.
My conclusion is that, from a scientific perspective evolution is completely untrue. It appears that as human beings we absolutely did not evolve from apes, and apes did not evolve from lizards or microbes or dirt. This absolutely did not happen.
You cannot have two lizards mate and have a baby monkey be born to them with brand new genes that come out of thin air. Natural selection and random mutations do not create brand new genes – not all at once and not through a gradual process over generations. This has been shown to be scientifically impossible by the scientists quoted in this article, and many others besides.
Also there has never been any fossil evidence for “evolutionary links” between species – which seems to be an impossible situation if evolution were true and took place over vast periods of time.
So evolution never happened. This is so foreign to how I have thought all my life that the implications are still sinking in – I have to keep rereading this article and discussing it with people to help me digest the implications.
What I am left with is that there IS no materialistic explanation for life. Life is simply a Mystery. Whether you say “God created everything” or you say life is a living, conscious opportunity to learn how to love or to work out our past karmas – no matter what, it is much harder for me to presume now that life is just a random, meaningless, accident. Or that life resulted from chemicals unconsciously colliding.
One reviewer asked me what is the emotional core of this article. The emotional core of this article is the section about “Does Darwinism preclude spirituality?”
My personal experience in writing this article is that I feel freed up from something that is hard to put into words. It’s like a level of despair and hopelessness has been lifted out of me and life feels more alive and mysterious. The desperate obsession with my own personal survival and my fear of death feels like it has relaxed somewhat because I no longer feel that life exists for its own sake, as a random meaningless accident that must be clung to and made into a desperate search on its own terms.
Does that make sense?
Anyway I encourage readers to reread the article more than once if you are like me, and allow time to form your own conclusions and let those conclusions sink in.
Also if this topic interests you I think it can be extremely beneficial to verbalize a response – for instance by posting a comment here below the article. By expressing ourselves in words they say it helps our brain digest and process new information. When we verbalize a response I think it both helps useful information sink in deeper and it helps prevent false ideas from getting inside us unconsciously.
By the way, folks have told me they find the comment section one of the most interesting and useful parts of this blog because of the intelligent and thought-provoking responses people have left recently. So on behalf of many readers: thank you to those who post comments.
- What was your conclusion about Darwinism growing up, and what is your conclusion now?
- While writing this article I got in touch with a memory from childhood. When we were told in school that life on earth exists because of violence and competition and random accidents, that that is why we are here, I remember feeling deeply depressed. Do you recall how and when you were first introduced to Darwinism, and what effect it had on you?
- A question about “religious tolerance” and “points of view: When someone has a point of view that differs from your own p.o.v., do you tend to look down on them, ridicule them, or try to destroy their point of view? Or do you try to find out why they believe as they do?
- Imagine if all your neighbors up and down your block believed that the purpose of life was their own personal survival at the expense of other human beings. What if they literally believed this and acted it out. How would you feel living and sleeping in such an environment?
- Writing this article brought up a number of strong emotions for me. Did it bring up any emotions for you?
- This is a saying from the late teacher Adi Da (1939-2008). ↩
- As stated in the film “Unlocking the Mystery of Life”, which is part of The Basket of Tolerance, along with some pro-Darwin material. ↩
- This is quoted on many websites, including here. ↩
- Slavery can be traced back to the earliest records, such as the Code of Hammurabi, c. 1760 BC, according to wikipedia. Also, modern-day child-trafficking is said to be a $32 billion a year industry, according to the United Nations. I mention this because later on the topic of “favoured races” comes into play in our story about Darwin. ↩
- according to wikipedia ↩
- As spoken by Dr. Nelson (b.1958) in the documentary film “Unlocking the Mystery Of Life”, which is included in The Basket of Tolerance, along with some pro-Darwinism material. ↩
- On the Origin of Species, chapter 6. Available online. ↩
- See wikipedia entry for more info on this. ↩
- See here for more details, or look at one of the books published on this topic. The obvious evidence of fakery included file marks on the teeth, and the teeth were pointing in the wrong directions. Also, most of the bones were not discovered by archaologists or excavators at all, but by famous proponents of evolution who “happened” to be walking by a gravel pit when they saw bones sticking out of it. ↩
- R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution, 1990, p. 364., as quoted here. ↩
- See wikipedia. One critic was Arthur Keith, a Scottish anatomist and anthropologist. Another critic was Dean Falk, a specialist in neuroanatomy. Another critic was Solly Zuckerman. ↩
- See wikipedia ↩
- Cited here. ↩
- In correspondence to Luther Sunderland, as quoted in “Darwin’s Enigma”, 1988, p.89. ↩
- On the Origin of Species, chapter 6. See online publication. ↩
- Amino acids – the building blocks of proteins, are determined by the base-pairs of DNA. So the amino acids are the “tiny pieces” that all have to work together. ↩
- Quoted from the documentary “Unlocking the Mystery of Life”. ↩
- “Natural selection acts only by taking advantage of slight, successive variations. She can never take a great and sudden leap, but must advance by short and sure, though slow steps.” – Charles Darwin (On the Origin Of Species, chapter 6). ↩
- Francis Crick, who won a Nobel Prize in 1962 for taking credit for discovering DNA, estimated that the chance of a small protein – a specific sequence of 200 amino acids – happening by random chance was about 10 to the power of 260. By comparison he said there were approximately 10 to the power of 80 atoms in the known universe. (Francis Crick, “Life Itself; Its Origin and Nature” New York, Simon and Schuster, 1981). So he expressed doubts that life on earth happened by random chance. ↩
- Quote from his book, “Not by Chance, Shattering the Modern Theory of Evolution”, as quoted here. ↩
- Stephen C. Meyer ↩
- As spoken in “Unlocking the Mystery of Life”. ↩
- As spoken in “Unlocking the Mystery of Life”. ↩
- source. ↩
- Quote found here. ↩
- For what it’s worth, I’ve heard some Christians say this is not a true symbol of Christ but is actually the “eye of Ra” – an Egyptian symbol that no Christian should be using. Please form your own conclusions, of course. :) ↩
- James Perloff, as quoted here. ↩
- Adi Da, talk from 1988. ↩
- From the opening lines of chapter 12 of The Mummery Book. ↩
- According to wikipedia. ↩
- Even the etymology, or origins of the word “race”, come from terms that have nothing to do with animals but only with humans, according to the online etymology dictionary. The Oxford English Dictionary does have one small exception – horse breeds were, prior to Darwin’s time occasionally refered to as “races”, but not animals or plants in general. So it’s a tricky use of wording there, it seems. Interesting mixed messages. ↩
- This was the title of the book for the first five editions, from 1859 to 1872, according to wikipedia. ↩
- Per a 2005 United Nations estimate. ↩
- Quoted from “Dan”, commenter on another Darwin article. ↩
- However Adi Da did have a high appreciation for all of nature, including especially redwood trees and certain large aquatic creatures. Later in this passage, he says many of us humans living today are truly “sub-human” rather than human. ↩
- Excerpt from “Love of the Two-Armed Form”, by Adi Da. ↩
- King-Hele, D., Erasmus Darwin, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1963. p.88. – according to citation here. I did not confirm the book citation. ↩
- The Canongate Kilwinning Masonic lodge in Edinburgh, Scotland, according to here and here. ↩
- According to wikipedia. ↩
- See wikipedia article. ↩
- According to wikipedia. ↩
- According to wikipedia’s entry on the famous book. ↩
- As quoted in Charles Darwin’s Autobiography (edited by Sir Francis Darwin), Henry Schuman, New York, p. 21, 1950. ↩
- Wikipedia says his health issues may have been psychosomatic, and began just as he set sail for the Galapagos in 1831 – the expedition which would be used to justify saying that he himself had come up with the theory of evolution. ↩
- According to wikipedia. ↩