Saturday, July 19, 2008

SWAMPOODLE REPORT: WHEN SCIENCE, POLITICS, RELIGION & JOURNALISM MEET

3 Comments:

At July 21, 2008 11:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the big problems in this debate is a failure to distinguish between "evolution" and "Darwin's theory of natural selection". The fact that the latter can be questioned does not mean that there is any doubt about the former. Evolution is factual. It happens. There is no doubt about it. Scientists observe the evolution of microorganisms in the lab every day.

Poorly educated religious extremists who don't understand this difference hear scientists criticize Darwin and assume that means evolution is in question, but what these scientists are criticizing is Darwin's description of how he thought evolution worked.

On a related note, "Intelligent Design" is easy to debunk in a couple of ways. Just challenge someone who professes it to provide a list of falsifiable hypotheses and describe the experiments that can be performed to test those hypotheses. They will be completely unable to do so, because their "theory" has no science in it.

Alternately, just turn their own ridiculous argument back on them. Suggest that any creator so intelligent and powerful as to be able to create this universe from scratch, couldn't have just popped up out of nowhere. There must have been something even more intelligent first to create the creator, and so on ad infinitum.

 
At July 21, 2008 2:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

See the URL below to an interview with Lund University cytogeneticist, Antonio Lima-de-Faria, who says we're in the fourth phase of evolution -- biological. Three phases preceded the biological leaving footprints: the atomic, chemical and mineral. All had their own evolutions.

A. Lima-de-Faria: Autoevolution, Atoms to Humans

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0806/S00237.htm

Steve Benner, a pioneer of snthetic biology agreed with Lima-de-Faria this summer at NYU's World Science Festival saying: "But certainly our view of how life originated on Earth is very much dependent on minerals being involved in the process to control the chemistry. . . So in that sense I agree with my distinguished colleague from Lund.

Astrobiologist Paul Davies, chimed in at that same panel discussion that, "There has to be a pathway from chemistry to biology -- powerful levels before Darwinian evolution even kicks in. There has to be some self-organization taking place."

What the message is is that you can't have a proper discourse about evolution in mid stream. You've got go back to the atomic level.

Lima-de-Faria does not consider Charles Darwin's 1859 idea of natural selection -- survival of the fittest -- a theory. He writes in his classic book, Evolution without Selection, that Darwinism and the neo-Darwinian synthesis actually hinder discovery of the mechanism of evolution.

Lima-de-Faria says life "has no beginning; it is a process inherent to the structure of the universe."

 
At July 22, 2008 9:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, but where did the structure of the universe come from?

If everthing started as pure chaos, what gave it structure?

Are Greg Egan's anthrocosmologists correct that our universe will be retroactively created by the first physicist to develop and understand a perfect TOE (Theory of Everything)?

The Question Man

 

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