Was Darwin Wrong?

Yes, I do think that Darwin was wrong. However looking at the piece of skilfully and carefully worded work by the National Geographic society, you would think that this can be conclusively ruled out as fallacy. Note however, that there are never any views of criticism allowed or at least quotes from the prominent opponents pointing to the inconsistencies. You know, if you are talking about disagreements should you not hear both sides of the argument if you try to portray yourself as impartial? It’s called the “people who have an opposing view point”. Why is it then that the National Geographic insist on trying to appear objective and level headed when only one side of the argument is presented? This is a very skillful piece of journalism and Francis Schaffer warned us against such things. We should really learn to test and examine things before they are presented as factual scientific laws even if they are sometimes trying to persuade us that these theories are “the best explanation” which I don’t object to but to then dismiss Intelligent Design as not scientific is just as ridiculous.

Taken from National geographic : http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0411/feature1/Was darwin wrong

Evolution by natural selection, the central concept of the life’s work of Charles Darwin, is a theory. It’s a theory about the origin of adaptation, complexity, and diversity among Earth’s living creatures. If you are skeptical by nature, unfamiliar with the terminology of science, and unaware of the overwhelming evidence, you might even be tempted to say that it’s “just” a theory. In the same sense, relativity as described by Albert Einstein is “just” a theory. The notion that Earth orbits around the sun rather than vice versa, offered by Copernicus in 1543, is a theory. Continental drift is a theory. The existence, structure, and dynamics of atoms? Atomic theory. Even electricity is a theoretical construct, involving electrons, which are tiny units of charged mass that no one has ever seen. Each of these theories is an explanation that has been confirmed to such a degree, by observation and experiment, that knowledgeable experts accept it as fact. That’s what scientists mean when they talk about a theory: not a dreamy and unreliable speculation, but an explanatory statement that fits the evidence. They embrace such an explanation confidently but provisionally—taking it as their best available view of reality, at least until some severely conflicting data or some better explanation might come along.

The rest of us generally agree. We plug our televisions into little wall sockets, measure a year by the length of Earth’s orbit, and in many other ways live our lives based on the trusted reality of those theories.

Evolutionary theory, though, is a bit different. It’s such a dangerously wonderful and far-reaching view of life that some people find it unacceptable, despite the vast body of supporting evidence. As applied to our own species, Homo sapiens, it can seem more threatening still. Many fundamentalist Christians and ultra-orthodox Jews take alarm at the thought that human descent from earlier primates contradicts a strict reading of the Book of Genesis. Their discomfort is paralleled by Islamic creationists such as Harun Yahya, author of a recent volume titled The Evolution Deceit, who points to the six-day creation story in the Koran as literal truth and calls the theory of evolution “nothing but a deception imposed on us by the dominators of the world system.” The late Srila Prabhupada, of the Hare Krishna movement, explained that God created “the 8,400,000 species of life from the very beginning,” in order to establish multiple tiers of reincarnation for rising souls. Although souls ascend, the species themselves don’t change, he insisted, dismissing “Darwin’s nonsensical theory.”

Other people too, not just scriptural literalists, remain unpersuaded about evolution. According to a Gallup poll drawn from more than a thousand telephone interviews conducted in February 2001, no less than 45 percent of responding U.S. adults agreed that “God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so.” Evolution, by their lights, played no role in shaping us.

Only 37 percent of the polled Americans were satisfied with allowing room for both God and Darwin—that is, divine initiative to get things started, evolution as the creative means. (This view, according to more than one papal pronouncement, is compatible with Roman Catholic dogma.) Still fewer Americans, only 12 percent, believed that humans evolved from other life-forms without any involvement of a god.

The most startling thing about these poll numbers is not that so many Americans reject evolution, but that the statistical breakdown hasn’t changed much in two decades. Gallup interviewers posed exactly the same choices in 1982, 1993, 1997, and 1999. The creationist conviction—that God alone, and not evolution, produced humans—has never drawn less than 44 percent. In other words, nearly half the American populace prefers to believe that Charles Darwin was wrong where it mattered most.

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11 Responses to Was Darwin Wrong?

  1. harry says:

    1: Gallups polling on the ignorance (of evolution) of the American public has no bearing on evolutions validity.

    2.

    ‘Note however, that there are never any views of criticism allowed or at least quotes from the prominent opponents pointing to the inconsistencies.’…’Why is it then that the National Geographic insist on trying to appear objective and level headed when only one side of the argument is presented’

    You mis-interpret scientific impartiality. A scientific magasine has no obligation to write about all the non-scientific counter arguments to a theory (if they did, every time they published an article on satalites they would have to say, however some people say the world is flat).

    A scientific magasine will publish criticism of evolution when there is a scientific reason for doing so. They are retaining their impartiality because there is no reason to give creationists etc voice in these debates. WOULD YOU retain your impartiality if you didnt listen to the argments of someone who said the earth was flat? Ofcourse you would.

    Scientific magasines actually frequently publish criticism of different schools of evolutionary thought. I am a very gene centred evolutionist, yet that has come under increasing attack from prominent biologists in the last 10 years. Why? Because there is increasing scientific evidence against the gene being the only central factor in an animals quest to survive (although I will say, I am not yet convinced, and niether are many highly qualified biologists).

  2. From Harry: [“You mis-interpret scientific impartiality. A scientific magasine has no obligation to write about all the non-scientific counter arguments to a theory (if they did, every time they published an article on satalites they would have to say, however some people say the world is flat).

    A scientific magasine will publish criticism of evolution when there is a scientific reason for doing so. They are retaining their impartiality because there is no reason to give creationists etc voice in these debates. WOULD YOU retain your impartiality if you didnt listen to the argments of someone who said the earth was flat? Ofcourse you would.

    Scientific magazines actually frequently publish criticism of different schools of evolutionary thought. I am a very gene centred evolutionist, yet that has come under increasing attack from prominent biologists in the last 10 years. Why? Because there is increasing scientific evidence against the gene being the only central factor in an animals quest to survive (although I will say, I am not yet convinced, and neither are many highly qualified biologists).”]

    Answer by Defend the Word: No, Harry, you misinterpret the issue here. By definition, if you are going to criticise anything you need to listen to their argument. Otherwise one becomes a hypocritical liar who does not dare confront that which he/she opposes.

    You should learn what debates are and when programmes venture into disputing one particular theory they should show the decency to understand what they are saying and not put their own interpretation on it and then simply close the chapter.

    That is how you teach small children when you lose interest in their education so when they ask you “why something is like it is” you just tell them “because I say so”. That is neither scientific nor fair. It’s called manipulating the “truth”. Giving some correct data then drawing your own conclusions without considering any other option is just plain wrong.

    And on your appeal to scientific authority, I can say this

    1. Either they are rubbish at communicating their theory as they get constant rebuttals on their assessments.
    2. Or they are combining science with their philosophy, in which case they are making a leap of faith judgement.
    3. Since when is it a requirement for someone to be a scientist in order to understand science?

    Regards

    Defend the Word

  3. harry says:

    ‘You should learn what debates are and when programs venture into disputing one particular theory they should show decency to understand what they are saying not put your own interpretation on it and then close the chapter. ‘

    If you were making a programme about the planet and its composition, would you waste quarter of an hour explaining why it wasnt flat? No ofcourse not.

    ‘That is how you teach small children when you louse interest in their education and when they ask you “why something is like it is” you just tell them “because I say so” that is neither scientific nor fair.’

    Teaching is very different from debate (i would know, i am a teacher). Teaching is explanation, not a debate.

    Simply answer this. If you were talking about the earth to 30 kids, would you give ‘another side’ of the argument, about how the earth might be flat according to these people? I would contest you would not, as it would only serve to confuse small children, who might notunderstand what makes it unscientific. You do not teach unscientific ideas in the science classroom. I answer students on creationism, and tell them why its unscientific.

    It is something very different to bring creationism, that has no scientific grounding, to a scientific publication. Fidn evidence for creationism, then take it to a science publication, if they then turn you down, then your point is valid.

    Otherwise you could come up with a million unsubstantiated counters to evolution and have them publish that to.

    You have an issue in differentiating public opinion from what is scientific. IT DOES NOT MATTER if 99% of people believe in creationism, it still doesnt mean its scientific, and it still does not belong in a scientific publication,

    Just like the world was considering flat by 99% of people, it doesnt mean it was right. Popular opinion means NOTHING in science.

    You need to start at the beginning and go take a GCSE/ A level in biology or the sciences, so you can understand what a SCIENTIFIC debate is. With this gorunding you can then go on to talk more on these topics and know these things. Because while I respect our conversations and your innate intelligence and passion, you are missing fundamental scientific principles in discussing these issues. You must learn to walk scientifically before you can run.

  4. Harry: [“Teaching is very different from debate (i would know, i am a teacher). Teaching is explanation, not a debate. “]

    Defend the Word: Yes Harry that is right but National Geographic’s was making remarks about ID and refuting it that is different to teaching is it not? Note this is not a real question.

    [“Simply answer this. If you were talking about the earth to 30 kids, would you give ‘another side’ of the argument, about how the earth might be flat according to these people? I would contest you would not, as it would only serve to confuse small children, who might notunderstand what makes it unscientific. You do not teach unscientific ideas in the science classroom. I answer students on creationism, and tell them why its unscientific. “]

    Defend the Word: You have deliberately skipped to a completely irrelevant subject, against showing selective hearing. I used the example of children and I did not say that the subject is about children.

    [“It is something very different to bring creationism, that has no scientific grounding, to a scientific publication. Find evidence for creationism, then take it to a science publication, if they then turn you down, then your point is valid. Otherwise you could come up with a million unsubstantiated counters to evolution and have them publish that to.”]

    Defend the word: This is not due to lack of trying. It is the religion of Evolution that holds scientific community and prevents serious books on the subject from reaching wider audience. But note that there are number of them and I can direct you to them if you are interested.

    Harry: [“You have an issue in differentiating public opinion from what is scientific. IT DOES NOT MATTER if 99% of people believe in creationism, it still doesn’t mean its scientific, and it still does not belong in a scientific publication, Just like the world was considering flat by 99% of people, it doesn’t mean it was right. Popular opinion means NOTHING in science.”]

    Defend the Word: How convenient to use that example I think it is safe to assume that both you and I agree on this. So using such example is just not appropriate is it?

    Harry: [“You need to start at the beginning and go take a GCSE/ A level in biology or the sciences, so you can understand what a SCIENTIFIC debate is. With this gorunding you can then go on to talk more on these topics and know these things. Because while I respect our conversations and your innate intelligence and passion, you are missing fundamental scientific principles in discussing these issues. You must learn to walk scientifically before you can run.”]

    Defend the word: Harry, Harry, Harry I could be just as rude about you, but I choose not to, instead I choose to point to your inconsistencies in your logic. I have read enough about the subject and have good number of books written by people that have PhD’s in relevant subjects so please don’t lecture me I’m 40 year old and know thing or two about what it takes to complete your research, my good friend.
    Regards

    Defend the word

  5. harry says:

    Ok

    Lets play a game shall we, I am bored of going through all this ‘bla bla bla’ back and forth.

    Pretend evolution hasnt been thought of. You tell me what should be taught in its place, with scientific evidence to back it up. You can’t talk about the fallacies of evolution and how it is a ‘religion’. Just talk about the merits of your theory and why it explains life on earth. Number each piece of evidence as you go.

    Lets nail down your beliefs and what you think should be taught and why before we further the discussion shall we.

    If you want to teacha hybrid of different things, explain what should be taught alongside evolution and the evidence you have for that. then i will have my turn and so forth

  6. harry says:

    may i add, scientific evidence that you feel should put this up against evolution in a national geographic magasine as well.

  7. Harry: [“Lets play a game shall we, I am bored of going through all this ‘bla bla bla’ back and forth.”]

    Defend the word: Are you trying my patience here? If you’re so smart how come you didn’t click that I don’t have to publish your comments?

    Harry: [“Pretend evolution hasnt been thought of. You tell me what should be taught in its place, with scientific evidence to back it up. You can’t talk about the fallacies of evolution and how it is a ‘religion’. Just talk about the merits of your theory and why it explains life on earth. Number each piece of evidence as you go.”]

    Defend the word: No let’s not pretend that. First of all, your hypothetical proposition is not real. Second of all, there is already plenty of information here, just filter it under “evolution” then you can pick and choose what you like. Just for your benefit so you can see how it’s done I have added an 8 part debate between leading Evolutionists and Opponents with some ID people. Both sides had plenty to say.

    Harry: [“Lets nail down your beliefs and what you think should be taught and why before we further the discussion shall we. If you want to teacha hybrid of different things, explain what should be taught alongside evolution and the evidence you have for that. then i will have my turn and so forth.”]

    Defend the Word: As I keep on saying to other people, include both Evolution and Intelligent Design, confirm that two sides don’t agree on the origins and then look at the strengths and weaknesses of both. And one thing is for sure, I would not like to see your kind of intolerance in the classroom. But on the other hand let’s move away from your favourite subject “the Classroom” and look at the wider brainwashing that goes on in our society. Let’s look at the uncompromising and aggressive and arrogant dogma of “evolution is proven science” that gets preached every day.

    Don’t be so self assured as that kind of behaviour can lead you only to breaking your own pride. Flexibility is a great quality – you should consider it. Anyone who claims this argument to be settled is blind to all the issues that currently exist in this scientific research work.

    I certainly would use things like, probability study, design in nature, and rate of evolution we record today, how species develop and if that means does the Biblical definition of Kinds be understood as being the same or different from the definition of species. Does Macro evolution exist or do we only see Micro evolution? What does that mean for evolution? As I said to you before, I can give you a large list of good material if you want. Please don’t look down on me or I will not tolerate that kind of behaviour here. To all the bullies I say learn to reason; please don’t pretend that your confidence equates to knowledge and understanding.

    And Harry remember I don’t have to publish your comments if you decide to behave like a little child. This blog is for reasonable adults only. You are welcome to comment but don’t patronise me or anyone else, that is so pre-school.

    Regards

    Defend the word

  8. harry says:

    The whole point of ‘my game’ was for you to simply state what the strengths of ID are. You want them in the classroom, you want them discussed in wider society. It was not meant to patronise

    Therefore, you can not just continue sniping at evolution, you have to build up ID has a reasonable theory, which you have declined to do.

    You seem to have got a lot more angry and confrontational in the time since I last posted on these boards, despite me using the same writing style as before.

    Remind me that you can censore me all you like. I feel not remotely threatended. Although I see no reason for it, my posts have been no more or less adversarial as to when you engaged me in civil discourse.

    I apologise if you feel patronised by ‘my little game’. But it was not meant so, perhaps you should reflect on why you read it so negatively before you reply. Afterall, my posts lack personal insults, yours do not.

    I advise you it may be wise to take an additional scientific qualification before you tell me that ‘ I Don’t know what a debate is’, (I assure you, as far as science is concerned, I do). Not only because of your obvious passion for this subject but because, like it or not, you do slip up on scientific terminology and understanding why some things are done and not others.

    Are you offended I think lesser of your SCIENTIFIC viewpoint? Is this tied in with your gallup data? in that you think everyones scientific opinion is equally valid?

    Is ‘harry, harry harry’ not a patronising statement?…Is the above statement on debates not patronising?

    I suggest you re-read through our dialogue and evaluate who was the more hostile. It maybe that we have been equally so, but I do not believe I have been MORE hostile to you then you have to me.

  9. Harry: [“The whole point of ‘my game’ was for you to simply state what the strengths of ID are. You want them in the classroom, you want them discussed in wider society. It was not meant to patronise. Therefore, you can not just continue sniping at evolution, you have to build up ID has a reasonable theory, which you have declined to do.”]

    Defend the word: As I keep on saying to you, filter under Evolution and you will find plenty of staff to consider.

    Harry: [“You seem to have got a lot more angry and confrontational in the time since I last posted on these boards, despite me using the same writing style as before. Remind me that you can censore me all you like. I feel not remotely threatended. Although I see no reason for it, my posts have been no more or less adversarial as to when you engaged me in civil discourse.”]

    Defend the word: I don’t get angry I get frustrated by the lack of willingness of others to try and understand where the opposite views are coming from. You did make comments that I need to improve on my understanding on since and have used , bla, bla, bla in your reply. Neither of which shows me your willingness to listen. Instead I find lack of motivation and lack of patience for the ignorant Christian Creationist. You tell me how should I react to that? If you get offended by me calling you Harry, Harry how come I should stay cool when I’m told I need to go back to my GCSE, presumably I should sit in your class?

    Harry: [“I apologise if you feel patronised by ‘my little game’. But it was not meant so, perhaps you should reflect on why you read it so negatively before you reply. Afterall, my posts lack personal insults, yours do not. I advise you it may be wise to take an additional scientific qualification before you tell me that ‘ I Don’t know what a debate is’, (I assure you, as far as science is concerned, I do). Not only because of your obvious passion for this subject but because, like it or not, you do slip up on scientific terminology and understanding why some things are done and not others.”]

    Defend the word: Could you please point those out to me I would like to stop making same mistake, I promise not to make any fuss over it.

    Harry: [“Are you offended I think lesser of your SCIENTIFIC viewpoint? Is this tied in with your gallup data? in that you think everyones scientific opinion is equally valid?”]

    Defend the word: Sorry I don’t think I understand where you are going with this. Yes I do have a great difficulty that we take Evolution as science without questioning it, but no I don’t object that people have different point of view from me. By all means people are welcomed to believe anything they choose to. I just happen to believe I have a right and to point out to the errors if I happen to spot any. On the issue of knowledge, you continue to paint the picture of your superiority which is not conducive to constructive debate.

    Harry: Is ‘harry, harry harry’ not a patronising statement?…Is the above statement on debates not patronising? I suggest you re-read through our dialogue and evaluate who was the more hostile. It maybe that we have been equally so, but I do not believe I have been MORE hostile to you then you have to me.

    Defend the word: Well maybe we both have to apologise, and I have no problem with that. However they do say that every action causes reaction. I do apologise if I hurt your feelings that was not meant to be the case. However you have to remember that I get loads of comments on this blog. I get on average around 100 plus hits a day on this blog, and I do get people questioning me on different issues. Sometimes written communication is not the best way to reply as people can be unnecessarily defensive. But if you ask me for an opinion and I have limited time and space to give it in, then frank answer is often what I have to give. I limit my answers to simply pointing out fallacious arguments where we move away from logic to the established teaching. I strongly believe in questioning everything, and that includes my own faith in God. Fact is all my posts are open for people to comment on. I do this so that I can see if I’m correct on the issues that I raise. And finally, contrary you may think I can be quite instructive / prescriptive in my views so I don’t simply tear Evolution down. But most importantly if you push me into answering, “what should we use to replace evolution or what should we teach instead?”. Well how about this for an opinion, do we have to teach evolution? Biology is a science, Chemistry, Physics do we need to deal with the possibly philosophical implications that are only driven by our own personal world views which are in all likelihood not connected with science in the first place?

    Let me finish by saying, its OK to say Defend the word you are wrong on x, y or z but it is not OK to say things like “go back to school”. Point out my errors by all means, I will gladly learn from my mistakes. But there is no point in pretending that we can win arguments by simply belittling the opposition.

    If I offended you trough my self defence I’m sorry, but if my arguments got you angry then I would suggest you examine why did that make you angry. There may be issues you haven’t considered before. As for defending my beliefs, as long as they don’t violate your right or my right to free speech I think we can continue to agree to disagree.

    I have no problem in you coming back and challenging anything that you find on this blog.

    Kind regards

    Defend the word

  10. harry says:

    1: I do not get angry over internet postings like 99% of morons who post on youtube, you could go off on an utter tirade against me and I wouldn’t flinch…so you need not worry about that

    2: ‘bla bla bla’ was used in the context of endless back and forth which would not reach any conclusion, which is why i introduced the concept of the game in order to bring it more focus…forget that

    Going back to school is not a belittling statement. As I have mentioned, I am not only back at school as a teacher, but I have also gone back to school in that I am taking an A-level in chemistry to make up for a glaring defiency in this subject (and i didnt have to because i am a teacher)…

    If you have a degree in chemistry or whatever I would not even bother debating you on chemistry, because I have no basis for it.

    You mentioned you were 40. That would mean you left university (if you went) in 1989, or if you finished education before then, in the mid 80’s. There is plenty to be learnt from going back to school at any point. Your blog is filled with scientific data, and you obviously have an innate intelligence and even more importantly, the common sense to give evolutionists a fair hearing (hence the recently added debate between evo and creationists which went highly in the evolutionists favour).

    If you want me to point out your scientific conceptual problem in the last posts I will, I have already done it however.

    If I understool your comments about national geographic correctly…

    A scientific journal has no obligation towards impartiality.

    A scientific journal has an obligation to scientific impartiality.

    From wikipedia:

    ‘Why won’t you add criticisms or objections to evolution in the Evolution article?’

    ‘This is essentially mandated by Wikipedia’s official neutral point of view policy. This policy requires that articles treat views on various subjects proportionally to those views’ mainstream acceptance in the appropriate academic field. For example, if two contradictory views in physics are held by roughly an equal number of physicists, then Wikipedia should give those views “equal time”. On the other hand, if one view is held by 99% of physicists and the other by 1%, then Wikipedia should favor the former view throughout its physics articles; the latter view should receive little, if any, coverage.’

    No doubt national geographic has a similair policy. Public opinion is not scientific opinion.

    I am very tired, and I know this flared up earlier so I might be off bat. But what I have essentially just written is what is learnt throughout GCSE science, that the subject with the most evidence and support will be promoted to the top of science, until something better comes along (just like what happened to creationism).

    Yes you may say Intelligent Design has lots of evidence for it as well, its just scientists wont look at it. If that is your opinion, and since you have offered to send me material earlier, feel free, and I will review it.

    Best regards
    harry

  11. harry says:

    You mentioned you were 40. That would mean you left university (if you went) in 1989, or if you finished education before then, in the mid 80’s. There is plenty to be learnt from going back to school at any point*

    *since it is already changing, since starting in schools, I have noticed what is learnt has radically changed, and i was only away five years. You need not approve this post, its just an additional note.

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