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DMS Watson EO Wilson Kurt Wise
Kurt Wise (b. 1959) Director of Center for Origins Research and Education Web Amazon GBS LoC AV
The buried forests at Yellowstone National Park have long been considered to be powerful evidence of tens to hundreds of thousands of years of buried forests. The long list of similarities between the “buried forests” at Mt. Saint Helens and Yellowstone suggests that perhaps the latter forests were formed in decades not millennia. Increasing Acceptance of Global Catastrophe
What we have learned about geologic catastrophes combined with evidence in the rocks for those catastrophes have forced rather significant changes in geologic interpretation in this century. In the first half of the century a vast percentage of the rock record was interpreted to have been formed very slowly. Due in large part to valiant struggles by individual geologists -- such as the half-century struggle of J Harlan Bretz from the 1920’s on -- neocatastrophism has become popular. Neocatastrophists interpret individual rock layers as due to distinct local catastrophes. Beginning in 1980 with the dinosaur/asteroid controversy, it has more recently become popular for geologists to consider not just local, but global catastrophes to account for the geologic evidence they see. One can be assured that for a community to have made such an incredible shift -- in spite of the strong association which exists between catastrophism and creationism -- there must be profound evidence for catastrophe throughout the geologic column. Increasing Acceptance of Global Catastrophe
We are far from understanding the complexity of individual organisms, let alone the entire ecosystem in which that organism lives. What appears to be less than optimal design to us with our limited knowledge may actually be an optimal design when the entire system is considered. Consider the thickness of armor plating on the side of a warship. Since the purpose of such plating is to protect the ship from the puncture of an incoming warhead, it is advantageous to make the plating as thick as possible. Yet the plating on actual warships is much thinner than it could be made. The reason is, of course, that an increase in plating thickness makes the ship heavier, and thus slower. A less movable ship is more likely to get hit more often and less likely to get to where it is needed when it is needed. The actual thickness of the armor on a warship is a tradeoff -- not so thin as to make the ship too easily sinkable, and not so thick as to make the ship too slow. We know too little about the complexity of organisms and the environment in which they live to conclude that any one particular feature is actually less than optimal. The Creation Hypothesis (1994) p.221-2
The stratomorphic intermediate groups and species seems to be a good evidence for evolution. However, the stratomorhpic intermediate evidences are not without difficulty for evolutionary theory. First, none of the stratomorphic intermediates have intermediate structures. Although the entire organism is intermediate in structure, it's the combination of structures that is intermediate, not the naure of the structures themselves. Each of these organisms appears to be a fully functional organism full of fully functional structures. Archaeopteryx, for example, is thought to be an intermediate between reptiles and birds because it has bird structures (e.g., feathers) and reptile structures (e.g., teeth, forelimb claws). Yet the teeth, the claws, the feathers and all other known structures of Archaeopteryx appear to be fully functional. The teeth seem fully functional as teeth, the claw as claws, and the feathers as any flight feathers of modern birds. It is merely the combination of structures that is intermediate, not the structures themselves. Stephen Jay Gould calls the resultant organisms "mosaic forms" or "chimeras." As such they are really no more intermediate than any other member of their group. In fact, there are many such "chimeras" that live today (e.g. the platypus, which lays eggs like a reptile and has hair and produces milk like a mammal). Yet these are not considered transitional forms by evolutionists because they are not found as intermediates in stratigraphic position. The Creation Hypothesis (1994) p.227
In young-age creation theory, God optimally designed all organisms, taking into consideration the entire universe through all of time. Subsequent to the creation, however, mutation has introduced deviation from optimality, and intrabaraminic variation has produced change not optimally designed for the environment organisms find themselves in. Given that most of the biological forms were predesigned, very few if any of these suboptimal forms would be expected to be true suboptimal improvisations. Young-age theory would expect more optimality than evolutionary theory and very little, if any, suboptimal improvisations.
Very few suboptimal improvisations have been proposed (Stephen Jay Gould's panda thumb is the most famous example), and the fact that they are truly suboptimal is dubious (e.g., according to conventional theory, the panda's thumb has been adequate for millions of years). The biological world seems to be more optimal than evolutionary theory expects. Faith, Form, and Time 2002 p.131
It's interesting to note that biologists do, in fact, study organisms as if they were designed for efficiency and perfection. When an organism is studied and found to have a bunch of parts, the biologist tends to want to know what the parts do. Therefore, the biologist is assuming that the parts are actually arranged in an integrated system, and that each part of the system fits into that systems' function, as if it were designed perfectly. This approach is generally used not because the systems are believed to be designed (most biologists insist that organisms are not designed), but simply because the approach works so well. Invariably, the parts of organisms are found to have function and to fulfill that function well -- as if they were designed perfectly for the large system. Much of the active research going on in the science of biology involves the deduction of biological function and thus biological perfection. Faith, Form, and Time 2002 p.133
If God did speak a creation into being which was fully functional and provided with provisionary cycles it would not only appear to be very old (already showing evidence of deep time which had never elapsed), but it would also appear to record a long series of historical events (i.e., already showing evidence of deep history that had never occurred). In similar fashion, the same Creator, when He created wine from water in the midst of the Cana marriage feast, formed wine looking older than it really was (the emcee of the feast inferred that it had been there for at least the full duration of the feast) and, presumably, with apparent history that never occurred (bottling following pressing, following harvesting of grapes, following the development of grapes from flowers, following pruning, following years of grape vine growth, etc.)... In short, the modern scientist -- either in the present or even in the garden soon after the Creation -- cannot infer the truth about the creation. In fact, the methods of modern science might be totally blind to the creation because of the problem of created history...
To make sure that we would correctly infer the events at the Cana feast, we have been given divine revelation of the event. This is not only because we would incorrectly infer these events because they happened so long ago, this is also because we would incorrectly infer the events even if we had been there! In fact, because the official of the feast would most certainly incorrectly infer the event, Jesus performed the miracle immediately before the servants of the feast and sent them to the very feet of the official. Jesus asked the servants to fill the water purification jugs with water. The servants knew that the jugs were full of water because they labored to fill the jugs with water with their own hands. Then, Jesus told those same servants to draw from those jugs and bring what they drew directly to the official. As the text specifically clarifies, the servants knew that what they gave to the official had been water. Jesus sent eye-witnesses of the truth to the feet of the official. Although the servants were silent, the official could have consulted with the servants, but did not. Jesus sent eye-witness testimony of the truth about the wine that the official failed to consult. Without that testimony, the official deduced a reasonable, but incorrect, history of the wine.
In a similar way, the same Jesus -- creator of all things -- also provided us with eye-witness testimony of the creation -- and, in fact, eyewitness testimony of the Fall, the flood and Babel as well. The Triune God was not only the best possible eye-witness (being the most honest, the most correct, the most capable of communicating, and having the most understanding and the best perspective), but was also the only eyewitness before any other observer had yet been created... Not only was every single word of Genesis 1-11 correct (as we believe when we accept the inerrancy of Scripture), and not only was every single word of Genesis 1-11 profitable for spiritual purposes (as we deduce from 2 Tim 3:16), but every word was necessary for man to infer correctly the actual history of the creation. Without it (or by ignoring it) humans not only cannot infer the correct history of the world, they will certainly deduce an incorrect history of the world. What Science Tells Us about the Age of the Creation p.6, 9-10
If a person desires to know the truth about the origin of things, it is mandatory that they first consult with the Bible and adopt the claims Scripture makes. We must start with the Bible or we will certainly err about earth history. We must not change the meaning of the biblical text to fit the conclusions of modern science, for science cannot be correct whenever it studies a situation where God uses (or used) processes other than those observed by scientists in the present. What Science Tells Us about the Age of the Creation p.10
Carl Woese (b. 1928) Professor of Microbiology Web Amazon GBS
By now the lesson is obvious: hold classical evolutionary concepts up to the light of reason and modern evidence before weaving an evolutionary tapestry around them. Most of them will turn out to be fluid conjectures that 19th century biologists used to stimulate their thinking, but conjectures that have now, with repetition over time, become chiseled in stone: modern concepts of cellular evolution are effectively petrified versions of 19th century speculations. Evolutionary study today is on a fresh, new molecular footing. This is no time to be shackling our thinking with a collection of refurbished antiques, ideas that automatically make us think in a 19th century mind-set about problems that above all require open minds. I don't feel it helps us to debate these antiquated notions (in modern dress) in the present context. A New Biology for a New Century June 2004
DMS Watson EO Wilson Kurt Wise
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