So you dedicated an entire website to discrediting the discovery institute? If you need a website dedicated to discrediting the discovery institute in order to discredit them, then they must have some sort of evidence for their points and theories. The guys aren’t stupid, and if evolution is “the way” then why do you need a website to discredit anyone else? Evolution teaches that we have no freewill, if this is true, then this website is completely pointless. If everything is random, then you must agree that your body is random, and if your body is random, then your mind is random, and if your mind is random, then how do you know if what you are thinking is real and true? What about the theory of probability? “1 in 1050 events will never happen” – Herendials law of probability. There are MILLIONS of events that need to happen for evolution to take place. If evolution is right, then why even bother arguing about it?? If you are right, then we will all eventually figure it out.
I created this blog to battle the misinformation that is spread by the Discovery Institute and similar groups. They don’t have evidence to support them, but they do have a combination of appealing to people’s religion and to taking advantage of people’s ignorance. This approach is effective as most people do not have the education or desire to be able to sort through all the noise to find reality. Groups like the Discovery Institute are spreading a pseudoscience, and this pseudoscience is having a negative effect on scientific literacy. This in turn has a negative effect on human progress.
Evolution does not teach us that we don’t have free will. Evolution describes how the amount of diversity of life on this planet arose. The question of free will is a philosophical question and not addressed by evolution at all. I will be happy to discuss the question of free will, but there is no overlap with evolution.
Your next point about the law of probabilities is somewhat misdirected. MILLIONS of events did have to happen for life to turn out the way that it did, but that assumes the way life is today is the only way that it could be. Let me take a parallel example: If I went by your reason, then I never should have met and married my wife. We met in college and started dating there. For this to have happened, the odds are astronomical. First, we both had to have been born and raised at the same time in history (for simplicity, say 1 in 10000). We both had to grow up in the united states (~ 1 in 20) Next, there are thousands of colleges that we both could have chosen from, but we both chose to go to the same one (lets say 1 in 5000). Finally, we both had to choose to go to the same party on the night we first really met (~1 in 20). So 10000*20*5000*20 = 2E10. Those are pretty low odds, yet we are still here and married.
I do not know why we are arguing about the validity of evolution. There is just so much evidence from so many fields that it seems obvious to me. I personally believe people have other motives that cloud their view of reality, but I really just don’t know.
I have recently become interested in the Evolution/ID debate. Taking from your response to Nathan I have an education and the desire to sort through the noise to find reality, truth, for myself. The problem is that unless we are there when an event happens or are doing the research ourselves we all end up believing someone else.
I am curious as to why you believe the DI and/or ID is pseudoscince and even if it is why it can’t be true or valid?
Also, any resources you recommend that would help me reach the same “obvious” conclusion that you have about evolution?
P.S. I like your example regarding the odds of meeting your wife.
Intelligent is pseudoscience for a couple reasons. In order for something to be science, it has to be tested. Intelligent design is untestable. No matter the result, an ID proponent could say the designer designed it that way. Intelligent design also has no constraints. The designer could have been as powerful as one imagines. The designer also need not leave any trace of its presence or work. Casey Luskin even wrote once that ID proponents do not care anything about the designer. Without this most underlying aspect of the theory, it is meaningless and can never be proven wrong. Finally, one of the most striking reasons that ID is a pseudoscience is in the way that it is presented. There is very little if any real research done on the subject. Nearly everything I read is just attacking evolution. If it was a real science, it should be able to stand on its own by now.
It is really hard for me to point to a single or a couple sources for you to study up on evolution. You should check out my “Evolution resources” page. It is not much, but it is a start. My advice is to first decide what aspect of evolution would be more interesting to you. If you are more interested in DNA and cell biology, you should study how evolution has been shown in these circumstances. If paleontology is more to your liking, then you should focus more in that area.
For me, learning how different organism’s DNA was more similar between evolutionarily close organisms really made me understand. I am still amazed at how so many different disciplines can come to the same conclusions. Molecular biology, paleontology, developmental biology, geology, etc all point to evolution being true.
As far as specific places to learn
Do you listen to podcasts? Evolution 101 is a great beginning.
The 29 evidences for evolution is also a great document.
I think everyone has motives that cloud their reality. That is just being human. Most of the general public doesn’t want to debate creation/evolution because it seems the validity of creation is so strong that there is a general fatigue about the whole thing. But it is easy to believe in design when everything looks designed. The other day I was watching a you tube video about the spliceosome. I was astonished by the ingenuity and invention of the multiple parts of that device. I was also blown away by the reality of introns and exons. I come away thinking….no……that did not come about by any natural selection process. A lot of people get enough of those kind of experiences in their life and sort of figure evolution advocates have some kind of “motive” that don’t want to say that is really behind what they are proposing. (Whether they do or not in actuality) Thus, the general public continues to be skeptical. I think advocates for evolution have to work pretty hard to sell their point of view considering the “obvious” nature of design in biological processes. thanks for your website to keep the discussion going.
Evolution = no free will? That make absolutely no sense.
Evolution does not equate to randomness in everything.
Mutation is random, natural selection is not random.
Actually you are really off the mark about millions of events required to cause a change (you could be more specific than your classification of stuff). Normally it only requires one very simple thing, like a change in the color of tree bark or a change in water level or temprature, to cause change. Frankly, you can believe whatever you want but that does not make it true.
I can get really specific about the events required for evolution to be true. We don’t need millions of events. All we need is one and that is that without a clear scientifically credentialed explanation of biogenesis, evolution has nothing but stories. You too, can believe whatever you want, but that doesn’t make Darwinism true. The fact of the matter is that evolution from common descent pretends to be scientific, but it is entirely philosophical. The roots of Evolution are ancient. They began long before Huxley, Darwin and his grandfather. Evolution is a Pagan religion that has always been, and will always be at war with the Christian God.
1. Are you saying the theories of evolution science can be tested (with positive results)?
2. Of course most scientific disciplines point to evolution being true- what do you expect when that “fact” is the first, most basic assumption of all scientists? It is THEORY that is taught as fact all through grade school. It’s not surprising that most never question a “truth” they’ve been hearing since they were ten.
3. There is no use trying to disprove ID. After all, an all-powerful being could have made a big bang that sparked life and lead to the evolution of man. With a few small changes to the current scientific theories, he/she could even do all that without contradicting anything in the Bible (it does say we came from dust!). So you might want to put your energy into something else.
1) Yes, evolution has been tested with positive results. It is not something you can do in normal time periods, so you have to be creative. For example, it was predicted that there would be a fossil that had anatomy like a fish and like a tetrapod that would be located in northern Canada and be found around 375 million years ago. Tiktaalik was found. Another way to test evolutions ideas is to have a population of bacteria natural select to use a new nutrient source. After growing E. coli in a lab for over 20 years, Richard Lenski did just that.
2. I don’t really understand what you are saying, but it sounds like circular logic. Let’s take your statement and replace evolution with gravity. Of course scientific principles point to gravity being true since everybody has been taught that since they were 10. It is an assumption of all physicists and most never question this truth.
3. You are right, there is no disproving ID. You can not disprove pseudoscience by its very nature. The designer could do anything or be anything the ID proponents want. I am putting my energy into fighting against people who are distorting and lying about science and reality. I want people to have an accurate view of how science works and be able to think critically.
1. A fish with almost-legs once existed, but that doesn’t prove anything except bio-diversity. Carbon-dating is very flawed and Northern Canada is a very large chunk of the globe, so I wouldn’t tout it as conclusive evidence.
2. Yes, I’m pointing out some circular logic in the scientific community. Evolution is an unproved theory (unlike gravity) taught as fact and used as the basis for all other theories, so some findings will appear to support evolution, but it’s not valid. In math terms:
Find x. x+2=z b-2=z
“Um, let’s say ‘z’ is 4- it’s quite possible. It’s just a theory, but once they teach it in math classes everywhere, it will be accepted as general knowledge and fact. So, ‘x’ is 2, ‘b’ is 6… and that proves that ‘z’ is 4.”
3. Just so you know, it really seems like you want to disprove ID since you often say things like “More evidence ignored by ID”. But it’s nice to know we have the same goal in mind- making people think critically. I’m not anti-evolution, but I see too many flaws and conjectures for it to be taught as fact.
1. I really think that you are underestimating that significance of the Tiktaalik find. It wasn’t just “northern Canada” that the fossils were predicted, it was at on Ellesmere Island, in the range of ~380 million years ago, and in freshwater deposits. This was a fairly precise prediction that came true. We only find lobe-finned fish before this period of history and tetrapods after it. I don’t know where you get the idea that radiometric (not carbon) dating is flawed.
2. Gravity is not a fact. Gravity has problems explaining a lot of motions going on in cosmic scales. Things fall to the ground is a fact, but that is not the theory of gravity. Things change over time, but that is not the theory of evolution. Both have very strong evidence and predict things.
3. I know that I can’t disprove ID, because you can’t disprove psuedoscience. I am trying to show how the ID proponents idea’s are flawed or their motives are not honest. As far as there not being enough evidence for evolution , I would like to ask you how much evidence is enough for you? What are all these flaws and conjectures? For me, knowing how well the DNA evidence fits together with the paleogeographic evidence is enough. Actually, the DNA evidence alone is striking enough for those without a personal agenda. I know it might be hard to believe or understand, but that shouldn’t preclude you from really looking at the evidence.