Creationists object to evolution exhibit

Nov 09, 2007

An unprecedented exhibit of early human fossils at a Kenyan museum has pitted religious creationists against scientists.

The centerpiece of the exhibit at the Nairobi National Museum is Turkana Boy, the remains of a boy who died 1.5 million years ago in Kenya. The fossil, the most complete specimen of homo erectus found so far, has been kept in a bomb-proof vault.

Bishop Boniface Adoyo, who heads the Kenyan evangelical churches, hasn't been mollified by an invitation to tour the Human Origins exhibit before it opens to the public, The Times of London reported.

"I do not dispute that as humans we have a history but my family most certainly did not descend from the apes," he said.

Adoyo said that members of his churches will picket the museum if evolution is presented as a fact rather than a theory.

Richard Leakey, who led the expedition that discovered Turkana Boy, is more concerned that putting the fossil on public display may cause difficulties for scientists.

"Science is at the very foundation of our ability to deal with the new century, so if we bring it down to the idea that science may be un-Christian -- well, how stupid can you get?" he said of the bishop's comments.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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fredrick
3 / 5 (6) Nov 10, 2007
members of his churches will picket the museum if evolution is presented as a fact rather than a theory


well, it is a theory. So let them present it as such - with a nice big notice describing *exactly* what that means in science.

"I do not dispute that as humans we have a history but my family most certainly did not descend from the apes,"


meh.
kon
4.3 / 5 (7) Nov 10, 2007
I'd rather be descended from an ape who doesn't idolize a book, than a human who refuses to read nature.
Slamshift
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 11, 2007
Evangelical pulpit-pounders founded a Creation "museum" in the south about 4 months ago. Odd that they didn't promote their displays as "theory"...

Preaching to the choir here, I know...however it stuns me that those who claim to be promoting scientific endeavor by attempting to discredit the findings stemming from evolutionary science use bastardised science to help their claims.

In essence, the Creation Science folks use elements of science (developed from evolution study) then attempt to reverse-engineer a non-testable story to fit observation... all the while completely discounting the myriad leaps of understanding and insight that evolution study has brought to the fore. Strange that they benefit directly and indirectly from developements stemming form evolutionary study as much as anyone else and yet are hell-bent on proving the entire realm of study as false.

Of course, if I get into discussions about Darwinian theory with an evangelical, I remind them that they might not want to allow themselves or friends and family to get a flu shot. The current strain of flu (or colds, or resistant staph, for that matter) is a fast positive-feedback evolution of earlier parental strains. Taking a shot to guard against it goes a long way to validating evolutionary science. If the strain didn't evolve to counter the defenses your body developed last year, you wouldn't need a shot this year to combat it.

Conversations usually stall at this point, which is a pity because my hardcore christian friends are so much fun to debate with.

Rule of Parsimony, Self-consistancy, Blah Blah Blah...I'll get off my pulpit now.

Thank you for allowing me to vent my spleen.

BTW- Frederick and Kon...you guys are dead-on with your comments..couldn't agree more
DGBEACH
1.5 / 5 (8) Nov 12, 2007
There's evolution, and EVOLUTION! Darwin himself was quick to point out this his were only theories...which could not explain the platypus (for example).
Indeed, the Bible is just a book, but one which is proven almost daily to be one of history, not fiction. I do not aspire to the notion that the universe was created by God in 7 days, or at least not "our" days, but to explain our existance by pointing to a monkey is just so unscientific. Why, then, are there still monkeys alive today? Or platypuses for that matter.
fredrick
1.7 / 5 (6) Nov 12, 2007
There's evolution, and EVOLUTION! Darwin himself was quick to point out this his were only theories...which could not explain the platypus (for example).


he said that, about the platypus? Where?

Indeed, the Bible is just a book, but one which is proven almost daily to be one of history, not fiction. I do not aspire to the notion that the universe was created by God in 7 days, or at least not "our" days, but to explain our existance by pointing to a monkey is just so unscientific. Why, then, are there still monkeys alive today? Or platypuses for that matter.


meh
DGBEACH
1.7 / 5 (6) Nov 12, 2007
The platypus was put forward as an example, and was noted as such, as to the weaknesses inherent to Darwinian theorum. Many links would have to be found before one could say "scientifically" that one species can evolve into another...it is mere speculation.
fredrick
3 / 5 (4) Nov 12, 2007
wow, I did a google on 'evolution platypus'... I'm suprised at how much misinformation there is, even on this relatively specific topic. I suppose its like that for all evolution topics though.

Darwin did think that the platypus was particularly hard to explain, and he noted if it had of been covered in feathers it would have been easier to deduce the creature's heritage. For the life of me, though, I can't find a single place where he says it *cannot* be explained by natural selection... perhaps you could point out where he says that?

And, on the off chance you do actually find it, I'd like to remind you of a thing called the 'Genetic Fallacy' (look it up if you have to). Scientists today do *not* consider the platypus incapable of natural explanation, and have not considered them as such for at least a good century. Gould has written an excellent essay on the topic called 'To be a Platypus', if you ever want to read it...

We've come a long way since back then, when evolutionary theorists believed the platypus' bill was descended from a duck-like creature and the eggs and poison from a snake-like creature (or did you still think that?... I still find that kind of bs in creationist web-sites). That's what science does - it progresses. Try it.

... found before one could say "scientifically" that one species can evolve into another...it is mere speculation.


meh
nlight
5 / 5 (1) Nov 17, 2007
I'd recommend that DGBeach and other creationists read The Bible Unearthed (Finkelstein/Silberman), which is based on the findings of recent archeology in Israel.

Short version : the main myths of the bible were fabricated in the tiny kingdom of Judah as political propaganda. Patriachs, Exodus, conquest of Canaan and even the origin of the people who wrote the book are pure fiction.
DGBEACH
2.6 / 5 (5) Nov 19, 2007
If you can give me one proven example of a species which became another, then you will have a case.
No creationist will dispute micro-evolution within a species, as it was God's plan.
Finally, it is most saddening to see obviously intelligent people who want nothing more for themselves than to be on the same level as animals...we are so much bigger than that! No other living creature on our planet has the complexity of humans, which have only been around for a short time in comparison to others.
This is a fact.
Yes, there are some animals which resemble humans physically, but that's where it ends.

If you wish to believe that your ancestors were monkeys, then it is your God given right! :)
fredrick
2 / 5 (4) Nov 19, 2007
If you can give me one proven example of a species which became another, then you will have a case.


A *proven* example... no, I can't give you one. No one can, I'm pretty sure (at least I'm unaware of any direct observations of speciation taking place). It happens over a long period of time, and we've only been looking (not even that thoroughly) for it for a hundred years or so.

So because it happened in the past, and as such our evidence is necessarily incomplete, does this mean we don't "have a case"? - of course not; and it's nothing but rhetorical bs to suggest we need *proven* examples of evolution in order to make either (a) an argument, or (b) a scientifically successful theory. By the same card that you are playing, give me one *proven* case of God, or one *proven* case of supernatural intelligent design. You can't. I know you can't.

So, unless you are going to be hypocritical here, then you must admit that *you* don't have a case either, according to what you've said.


As you should recognise yourself now, needing *proven* cases (especially in science where final proofs are all but impossible) is an absurd way to judge an argument.

An evolutionary account of the evolution from Archaeopteryx (or a closely-related species) to the first birds is well supported by the fossil record that we have (which is *expected* to be incomplete, but nevertheless sufficient to show the transitional characteristics from certain species to others). I'm not going to detail it for you, if you ever want to learn something I'm sure you can find plenty of essays on the evidence yourself. Similarly for the transition from land-dwelling ungulates to whales; or just look up the evolution of us hominids - which is *extraordinarily well supported by the fossil record - if you really think the fossil record is too incomplete to tell us anything or to count as sufficient evidence, then I'm willing to bet my first-born child that you actually haven't SEEN the fossil evidence yourself... (you haven't, have you?)

Finally, it is most saddening to see obviously intelligent people who want nothing more for themselves than to be on the same level as animals...we are so much bigger than that! No other living creature on our planet has the complexity of humans


what makes you think evolutionists don't hold themselves higher than other animals? We aren't necessarily more complex, but we are more intelligent by far, with the most developed culture. Even for an evolutionist, there are plenty of things which we can take which make us stand out from other animals - just because we might not believe we have some special, made especially for us by a kind loving creator, soul, doesn't mean we think of ourselves as nothing more than a bug.

This is a fact.


... and a fascinating fact it was. Thank you for sharing it.

Yes, there are some animals which resemble humans physically, but that's where it ends.


quote: "we are so much bigger than that".
If only you could see the beauty in that physical resemblence - and the biological resemblences in all verterbrates skeletal structures; or the genetic resemblences between basically everything.

What was once an embarrasment for an "intelligent designer", like having the wind pipe and the food pipe link up causing thousands of needless choking deaths per year, suddenly becomes yet more, rather striking evidence for a natural explanation. Why did God design us with scotomas in our eyes and the unneccessary inversion of vision? Why did he give us an appendix? OH, I get it now - he didn't, they are relics of non-teleological evolution.

If you wish to believe that your ancestors were monkeys, then it is your God given right! :)


meh
fredrick
1 / 5 (4) Nov 19, 2007
ignore post - edited out, couldn't be bothered
DGBEACH
2 / 5 (4) Nov 19, 2007
The proof is "in the pudding" as they say...we exist ergo so does God...unless you can explain how "something" can materialize from "nothing"...and of course you cannot.
But why get sooo upset over something we inevitably will debunk 100 yrs from now? Life is too short.
Take a pill, geeze!
fredrick
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 19, 2007
uhhuh... what an excellent proof that God exists. You have completely managed to persuade me.

(BTW, there are hundreds of published essays on how the universe could have "materialised from nothing", Paul Davies has written a book on the topic if you'd like to read it; and besides, the atheistic viewpoint doesn't require a beginning to the universe - we could be in an infinitely oscillating universe, and thus *never* materialised from nothing at all)

But why get sooo upset over something we inevitably will debunk 100 yrs from now?


you think I'm upset? odd.




anyway, you are about 100 years behind in your understanding of evolutionary theory, you have made some profoundly poor statements regarding how to judge the argumentative force of a theory, and your 'proof' of God is extremely lacking in any form of philosophical sophistication... So you are correct in one thing: if the creationists ever do debunk today's science, it will be 100 years from now - that's how long it will take for them to catch up.
DGBEACH
2.6 / 5 (5) Nov 20, 2007
The Second Law of Thermodynamics (law of increasing entropy) says that things which start out concentrated together spread out over time. If you heat one room in a house, then open the door to that room, eventually the temperature in the whole house evens out (reaches equilibrium). Knowing how far this evening-out has progressed at any point in time tells you the entropy. Entropy can measure the loss of a system's ability to do work. Entropy is also a measure of disorder, and that is where evolution theory hits an impenetrable wall. Natural processes proceed in only one direction, toward equilibrium and disorder. Things fall apart over time, they do not get more organized. We can overcome this by making a machine and adding energy, but the Second Law prevents such a machine from assembling spontaneously from raw materials.
The Law of Biogenesis was established by Louis Pasteur three years after Darwin's book was published, and simply says that life only comes from life. Living cells divide to make new cells, and fertilized eggs and seeds develop into animals and plants, but chemicals never fall together and life appears. Evolutionists often call certain chemicals "the building blocks of life", giving people the false impression that you just stack the building blocks together and you get life. No one has ever done that, including the famous 1953 Miller/Urey experiment where all they got were clumps of amino acids.
Your theory of Evolution violates both of these laws of science.(not my words, but those of your confreres)
Darwin is liked by evolutionists like yourself because he liberated science from the straitjacket of observation and opened the door to storytellers. This gave professional evolutionists job security so they can wander through biology labs as if they belong there.
Your science is pure fantasy,though quite amusing, and should be exposed as such.
fredrick
3.7 / 5 (6) Nov 20, 2007
The Second Law of Thermodynamics (law of increasing entropy) says that things which start out concentrated together spread out over time.


wow, thats probably the most colloquial definition of the 2nd Law I've ever read - it's even less precise than the standard 'order --> disorder' or 'entropy always increases' definitions.


We can overcome this by making a machine and adding energy, but the Second Law prevents such a machine from assembling spontaneously from raw materials.


Anyway, again, you are (far) behind on the science; and you are also behind your own 'creation science' - most creationists don't try to use the 2nd Law argument anymore ever since it was shown false, and they have since realised that it was just an absurdly oversimplified strawman - congratulation on demolishing it, BTW.

So, a very simple rebuttal, is that you have forgotten that life is not an isolated system. The 2nd Law applies strongly only for isolated (and I'll add, macroscopic) or 'closed' systems, which is why a self-perpetuating engine is impossible. Life is *not* a perpetual motion machine, however, *we* get our energy from the sun...
Sun's energy --> photosynthesis by plants --> herbivores eat plants --> carnivores eat herbivores --> yay, everyone receives chemical energy.
Just as we can add chemical energy (petrol) to an engine to keep it running, the sun adds chemical energy to life on Earth to keep it running.


Natural processes proceed in only one direction, toward equilibrium and disorder.


I love this definition, by the way. I would ask how you think the planets came to be, or why we have layers of gasses in the atmosphere, or how the moon orbits the Earth - these are all examples of things in order, not disorder. But of course, your answer would surely be: "God did it". He, uh, he keeps the moon revolving because he pushes it constantly with his left foot - He's omnipotent, you know.

I'm not sure how literalist you are with regards to the bible, but in case you believe the 'creation' story of cosmology, the Big Bang, you might have read once that the universe began with minimal entropy. This is a mistake - the maximum possible entropy of any system is equal to the entropy of a black hole the same size as that system; thus, as we go back in time to a singularity, the universe tends towards maximum entropy.

The reason why we see so much 'order' in the universe, even though it began with maximal entropy and can only increase (presuming the universe is an isolated system), is because the universe is expanding. The gross entropy of the universe *does* increase over time, but as the universe expands, the maximum possible entropy of the universe also increases - and as it turns out, that potential maximum increases faster than the gross entropy increases. Thus, although entropy is always increasing in the universe as a whole, there is more *space* for pockets of 'order' (or low-entropy) to form. Life is one such pocket, just as the self-ordering of proteins is another, which is the result ultimately of our sun, which became ordered as a result of the simple law of gravity and the abundance of certain chemical elements.

You'll find the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is a little more complex than just 'disorder increases'. Arguments against evolution which use the 2nd Law as their basis ***always*** show a very basic misunderstanding of what that law actually is. In fact, considering you quite plainly forgot the fact that life is not an isolated system--which is kind of important--it's somewhat obvious that, again, you have not studied this topic in any thorough way... (you haven't, have you?)

If you really have studied this topic, then you might like to answer exactly why...
the Second Law prevents such a machine from assembling spontaneously from raw materials
. We have inputted energy from the sun (and from the heat of the Earth itself, which might have been important in itself if life formed at something like a hydrothermal vent). So we have the 'fuel' which drives 'order'. We also have natural processes which allow inorganic matter to become organic matter (I'll get to it a little later, but this 'Law of Biogenesis' you've put forth is not a law at all).

So give me one good reason why the 2nd Law prevents the self-assembly of proteins, for example. Hint: your strawman definition of the 2nd Law won't cut it. Before you try, though, I suggest you try doing something we call 'research'. Go to JStore and search the literature on the topic, read Michael Ruse's rebuttal, the summary of which is as follows:
Fifth, Creationists argue that physics disproves evolution. The second law of thermodynamics claims that things always run down %u2014 entropy increases, to use the technical language. Energy gets used and converted eventually into heat, and cannot be of further service. But organisms clearly keep going and seem to defy the law. This would be impossible simply given evolution. The second law rules out the blind evolution of organisms from the initial simple blobs up to the complex higher organisms like humans. There must therefore have been a non-natural, miraculous intervention to produce functioning life. To which argument the response of evolutionists is that the second law does indeed say that things are running down, but it does not deny that isolated pockets of the universe might reverse the trend for a short while by using energy from elsewhere. And this is what happens on planet Earth. We use the energy from the sun to keep evolving for a while. Eventually the sun will go out and life will become extinct. The second law will win eventually, but not just yet.

Read a bloody book on the topic - I can suggest Neil Shanks' 'God, the devil and Darwin', which handles this topic in a fantastically easy to read manner.

This argument is so out-dated and obviously flawed, like I said, not even Dembski and Behe try using it any more... and that's saying a lot.


The Law of Biogenesis was established by Louis Pasteur three years after Darwin's book was published, and simply says that life only comes from life.


It doesn't "simply" say that at all. Pasteur empirically confirmed that today's complex life never appears fully formed, nor does an egg of, say, a mouse ever spontaneously self-generate. It says nothing about whether life could or could not originate from inorganic material.

I'm sorry, but I really have to laugh (lol) at you taking this as though it were a Law of science, as though it were on the same level as the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics or the Law of Conservation of Energy (hey, there's another one which creationists mistakingly use to try and prove God). Why don't you go ask an actual trained biologist at your nearest university whether Pasteur's 'Law' proves that life can only ever come from life.

Living cells divide to make new cells, and fertilized eggs and seeds develop into animals and plants, but chemicals never fall together and life appears.


certainly not complex life. Evolutionists have never, at least as far as I'm aware, that complex life--even as complex as today's bacteria--would spontaneously form by some chemicals randomly "falling together". It is not necessary for evolution.

Evolutionists often call certain chemicals "the building blocks of life", giving people the false impression that you just stack the building blocks together and you get life


What impression people get from it is irrelevant. Again, no trained scientist is ever going to suggest that we just pile up a bunch of amino acids and life will form. If that's the "impression" you get from it, I'm afraid you just haven't *studied* the science enough.

No one has ever done that, including the famous 1953 Miller/Urey experiment where all they got were clumps of amino acids.


yeah, but by creating amino acids - organic matter from inorganic matter in an environment plausibly similar to early Earth (not to mention many others since then who have done similar experiments to create organic matter), they did manage to put forth an extremely strong empirical challenge to Pasteur's 'Law'. Do you think that evolution only applies to what we today call 'life' (whatever it is that we call life, it isn't exactly a set definition).

Dawkin's, in the Selfish Gene (was it the first chapter?), put forth an example of how non-living organic matter like amino acids might give rise to life through evolutionary processes - that's the first thing I can think of off the top of my head if you would like to read it, but there are many others. Again, try doing a search through the scientific literature... if you want for my next comment I can give you a dozen or so more places to start researching the topic, but at the moment I've been typing for ages and I'd prefer not to type much more.

So in summary of this part, Pasteur's 'Law' is not actually a Law of science (as that term is properly applied), its absurd that you are treating it as though it were. There is reasonably strong empirical evidence, from a large number of different chemical reactions in different environments, that organic matter can arise from non-organic matter. And finally, there is no in-principle reason why organic but non living matter cannot give rise to life through either chance or evolutionary processes, or both. Once again, you are even further behind on your science, and all you've done is manage to prop up a strawman - which in this case you didn't even manage to knock down.


Your science is pure fantasy,though quite amusing, and should be exposed as such.


This coming from the guy who hasn't actually studied the science. (And reading creationist web sites doesn't count as 'research').


Your theory of Evolution violates both of these laws of science.(not my words, but those of your confreres)


Oh? Perhaps you could give me a few examples to prove that the current scientific consensus is that evolution violates the 2nd Law, and the ever-so fundamental 'Law' of biogenesis...

Otherwise: meh
DGBEACH
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 21, 2007
It has been a hoot being insulted by you...Merry Christmas :)

fredrick
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 21, 2007
I don't see anywhere where I've insulted you more than what you've insulted yourself by posting out-of-date arguments based on an incomplete scientific understanding.
bmcghie
3 / 5 (4) Nov 21, 2007
DGBEACH. Please, go find a high school biology text and do yourself a favor by reading it. It makes me stupider reading your posts, and I need all the brains I can get. Kindly attempt to understand what you are disparaging before you attack it. That way, you'll stop forcing people like fredrick to stoop to your level.
fredrick
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 21, 2007
I "stooped" to his level?
bmcghie
5 / 5 (1) Dec 02, 2007
Well, you took time out of your day, and it didn't seem to help much. I'm sorry for your loss.
fredrick
2.3 / 5 (6) Dec 03, 2007
yes well, it's not like I'm short of time at the moment - what with holidays and all.

About it not helping... I didn't expect that I could change his mind, but that doesn't mean it can't help others. I hate the misinformation spread by creation scientists and the like, and I know plenty of people--atheists--who have fallen for their tricks into anti-evolutionism... primarily because they have only been presented with the arguments against evolution - creationists have a habit of neglecting counter-arguments, even when (or perhaps especially when) they know that the argument they are making is flawed.

Maybe, someone might stumble upon this page, and rather than being convinced by DGBEACH's arguments, will see them for the falsities they are. If no-one responded, it might seem like there was no answer to his arguments... worse, someone might actually take note of the arguments, and spread them around further like a bad myth.
HeRoze
4.3 / 5 (3) Dec 19, 2007
I'm quite a bit behind in this discussion, but must admit it is fun to read! I understand basic biology and basic Biblical doctrine. To read both sides argue that each is 'possible' is indeed entertaining. I think each is a diservice to science and God when one is presented without the allowance for the other. In other words, the personal biases appear to completely rule out the possibility of other theories.
hibiscus
2 / 5 (4) Jan 01, 2008
I just came across this subject and it's pretty old, but anyway...

Evolutionists or creationists. They both fight each other on their beliefs. I couldn't care less about who calls himself a scientist or a believer. It's always a set of beliefs that steers action. So maybe both are missing the point?

Did they check out this 1.5mln year old guys "Mitochondrial DNA". That seems to have become a pretty dangerous subject for creationist and evolutionists alike.

Anyone knows?

http://www.action...man.html
hibiscus
1 / 5 (4) Jan 02, 2008
dear fredrick,

could you be so kind to explain to me,
why you rate my message at '1' ?

I "stooped" to his level?

Yes!
fredrick
2.3 / 5 (6) Jan 02, 2008
mostly because I noticed you'd gone through all my comments and rated them at 1. That, and the fact that I didn't find your post helpful/valuable. There's not much more to it than that.
hibiscus
1 / 5 (3) Jan 02, 2008
mostly because I noticed you'd gone through all my comments and rated them at 1.


well, I read a lot (including most of your crap) and most of your stuff was not even worth a 1 really but it was the lowest I could give to you.

I have done some ratings to other peoples messages too and most of them deserved more than 1 in my eyes so I gave everyone what I think they should get (that's why there is a rating system yes?)

A lesser god exposed is probably the most revengeful one. I think it is a very reactionary paranoid type of behavior to rate my comments to 1 just because you do not get more from me. To make it clear... that is not what this rating system is meant for.

So the main reason for underrating my comments was really that most of your own comments were honestly rated low by me?

You are pathetic!
fredrick
2 / 5 (4) Jan 02, 2008
meh
hibiscus
1 / 5 (5) Jan 03, 2008
meh


nice green grass huh?

fredricks magic...

WHAT A BORE!

waahhhaaaaa!
Bazz
not rated yet Sep 29, 2008
meh
CWFlink
not rated yet Oct 09, 2008
This is sad... the very GREATEST creation of God is, in my religion, a universe that evolves from a singularity and grants us freedom by perfectly hiding from us the almighty nature of God.

There is no place for fearing "descending from apes" if you believe that God is timeless, i.e. is not subject to "tirany of time". How many religious leaders throughout history have said that "God knew us before we were born." Indeed, God also knew that he could not visibly tamper with nature and preserve our freedom of choice. If God wanted us to "choose" to love God and all that implies, by definition God could not put us in a world where it would be possible to prove or disprove the existence of God. "Faith" is key to true love; love cannot coexist with extortion.

Thus logic tells us that the world would have to be precisely as it is... one that quite plausibly and most probably evolved to what we observe today... and I expect (hope?) will continue to observe for some time to come.

It is sad that so many people who want to be true to their religious beliefs lack the logic to understand that their "faith" can only exist in a world that allows for plausable deniability.

Likewise, scientists who wish to dispute the existence of an almighty creator seem to lack an understanding of logic also; if indeed the almighty is almighty and wants us to freely CHOOSE life, love, justice and rightousness (however you define it) then certainly we would not be able to prove the almighty's existence by observation, but rather have to come to believe only through "faith" in something unknown and by definition unknowable.