Archive for the ‘evolution’ Category
This was a really exciting book that I enjoyed immensely. It was well written by two exceptionally intelligent individuals. It is accessible, but not condescending. It is intelligent, but not stuff. It is a science book written for lay-folk like myself who find the mysteries of the universe to be both a source of wonder and a picture of sanity. It all makes sense; it makes no sense.
That's pretty much my takeaway from this book: In truth, we pretty much no nothing about the world in which we live even if we happen to know enough to fill millions of pages with ink and letters and words and sentences. There is a lot we know and perhaps even more that we do not know. At the end of the day, science is an endless journey of discovery which takes us from the gargantuan complexities of galaxies to the uber-minutia of quantum mechanics and biology. Who knows how these things even hold together are what keeps them from imploding or exploding? The book is filled with rampant speculation about such things as the authors note, "…we cannot yet be sure that all of the features we have just described are quantum mechanical." (325).
But isn't it fun to explore, predict, test, and retest?
It kind of makes me wonder every now and then what would become of science and scientists if we ran out of things to investigate? What if there is a world even smaller than the quantum world? What if there is a world larger than the universe? Truth is, we won't know unless we continue to explore–an arduous task that boggles the mind. As I read through this book I often wondered 'how on earth can they do that?' I mean, seriously, the levels of smallness that are being dealt with in this book are quite extraordinary.
I remain unconvinced by their arguments put forth in chapter 7 where the authors dealt with 'quantum genes.' They throw large numbers at the readers like, "The rate of copying errors in DNA replication, what we call mutation, is usually less than one in a billion." (202) But they want us to believe that over the course of 'generations' enough of these mutations collect in an organism to produce something useful in the organism. What I can never figure out is how the organisms survive long enough without the useful something to arrive at the place where the useful something is, well, useful. What I mean is something like this. If all of the sudden the climate on earth changed so dramatically that I needed to grow a horn on my head to survive, but replication errors only occur 1/1,000,000,000, and I need billions of years to complete this replication error in order to survive, then how did I survive long enough without the horn on my head in order for the horn to grow on my head in order for me to survive?
Or, if a robin didn't originally have a 'sense that detects the earth's magnetic field' that helped it 'navigate'–that is, if it needed millions of years to evolve this skill (173), what did it do for all those millions of years when it didn't have this sense? How did it determine it needed this sense? And how did it navigate before it evolved this sense? I confess that these questions perplex me.
Now, if you tell me that organisms change because of their environment then we can have a conversation. But it makes no sense to me for anyone to suggest that there are so few replication errors and yet there are enough that produce what we see. I admire the authors of the book very much for their steadfast hold to something that makes no logical sense whatsoever. I enjoyed the book very much right up to the point where they started flopping around like fish out of water to explain Darwinism in light of quantum mechanics. Maybe sometimes the phenomena we see do not require us to work backwards to a point of origin or necessity. Maybe what we see requires us only to stand slack-jawed in amazement at what is or can be.
At times the authors fall into the error of tautology. For example, in the same chapter 7 on Quantum Genes, the authors are discussing Hugo de Vries and his observations concerning the evening primrose and how one version of this plant was 'taller' and had 'oval-shaped petals rather than the familiar heart-shaped petals.' To this earth shattering observation, the authors write, "He recognized this flower as a 'mutant'; and, more important, he showed that the mutant traits were passed on to the plant's progeny, so they were inherited." (212). Well, of course the 'mutant' plant passed on 'mutated genes'; what else could it pass on to its progeny? And let's be honest, this really doesn't demonstrate anything other than that it was a mutated plant and that it passed on mutated genes. There's no explanation of why it was mutated, what factors led to the mutation, what purpose the mutation might have served, and so on. Maybe a bee just got it wrong when it was pollinating the plant.
This is an exciting book except where it dips into the absurd world of Darwinian evolution–which was inevitable. I find the book to be somewhat whimsical and joyful. They weren't cracking back on people who happen to have philosophical, theological, or logical disagreements with their conclusions. They admit that much of what they are suggesting is speculation and that a lot more research is necessary to prove their ideas. The authors seemed to genuinely amazed by what they were writing about and that made the book a lot of fun to read–that is, I often marked in the margins that something they wrote or discovered was simply 'magnificent.' Like when they talk about robins or clown fish or just life: "Life is remarkable" (25). Yes. It is.
The book is filled with wonderful illustrations and a few pictures. The style of writing is engaging. I really enjoyed this book a lot and I am hopeful that more books concerning quantum biology will be written in the future–books for people like me who enjoy reading and learning about the discoveries scientists and everyday people make about this great planet where we live.
Finally, the book was well researched. Part of what I enjoyed most was how each chapter slowly uncovered a discovery by tracing its history from this scientist to that scientist and all the way to our current day. This was excellent and a lot of the names mentioned are familiar even if a few of them are somewhat obscure. Notes are appended at the end and there is a helpful, lengthy index for readers who wish to do follow-up on the author's sources.
This is an excellent book. I recommend it for those interested in quantum mechanics/biology and for those who simply enjoy delighting in the wonders of this earth. In some ways, this book will cause the reader never to look at life the same way again. Maybe this is a good thing.
May your wonder never cease.
Important Book & Author Things
- Where to purchase Life on the Edge (Amazon: Hardcover, $17.94)
- Authors Johnjoe McFadden and Jim Al-Khalili
- On Twitter: Johnjoe McFadden and Jim Al-Khalili
- Academic Webpage:
- Publisher:Crown Publishers
- Pages: 353
- Year: 2015
- Audience: Science buffs, Scientists, Science Enthusiasts, Wonderers
- Reading Level: Advanced High School, College
- Disclaimer: I was provided an advance reader's copy courtesy of Blogging for Books blog program in exchange for my fair and unbiased review.
- Denis O. Lamoureux
- John H. Walton | BioLogos Forum
- C. John Collins | Did Adam and Eve Really Exist?
- William D. Barrick | The Masters Seminary
- Greg A. Boyd | ReKnew
- Philip G. Ryken | Sermon Audio
Pages: 289 (e-book)
[I was provided with a free e-copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased and fair review. On another note, the government spends too much time worrying about what books I read and get for free. Thank you.]
I have provided plenty of links for you, the reader, to do your own research into this book because I have a particular point of view on this sort of work that may or may not be particularly helpful. To be sure, I read an 'uncorrected proof for review purposes' which is a bit frustrating because page numbers in references appear as (ooo) which is kind of annoying.
The book is laid out in a fairly manageable format. There is a lengthy introduction by the series editors (Barrett and Caneday) which explains the format and lays out some preliminary observations such as historical background, history of debates, and the various points of view that the authors will subsequently take up in the bulk of the text. Next comes the presentation of the four authors' points of view. Each author presents his view which is followed by responses from the other three authors and, finally, a rejoinder from the original author. I'm not sure if there was a reason for the order in which the various views are presented but they seem to follow from the most 'liberal' (Lamoureux) to the most 'conservative' (Barrick) with the two 'fence straddlers' (Walton & Collins; it's probably unfair to call them 'straddlers'; their positions are as robust as the others) resting in the middle of the sandwich. Finally, pastoral reflections are offered (Boyd & Ryken) representing a broad spectrum of opinion of how these various points of view might affect the church. Surprisingly, this is a debate left entire to the male point of view–that is, no women have left their mark on these pages. Not surprisingly, Boyd takes the more 'liberal' post and Ryken the more 'conservative.'
I should start off right away by noting that Lamoureux's point of view holds no sway with me whatsoever. When an author has to continually defend himself against the charge, imagined or otherwise, that he is saying 'God lied' or that 'Scripture cannot be trusted' then there is a serious problem. On the other hand, Lamoureux, out of all the authors, probably holds to the most literal reading of the book of Genesis even though he doesn't believe a word of Genesis 1-11 to represent anything close to a historical record. This is strange. I never cease to be amazed at those who hold to evolution as a means antithetical to pure ex nihilo creation. They always remind us that they find the evidence 'for evolution is overwhelming' (40). What is amazing is that so many equally trained theologians and scientists find the evidence underwhelming. Frankly, I decided a while ago that I will no longer live in fear of evolution or those who teach it. In my opinion God is a big God and doesn't need me to get all worked up about defending him or what he has done. I'm fairly certain Lamoureux is the only author who felt the need to talk about his academic credentials and, to be sure, much of his article is autobiographical–another defense mechanism.
I think the problem, for me, is that Lamoureux believes that Genesis 1-11 is merely indicative of the way God talks to humans. His evidence is that this is how Jesus talked to his disciples: "The Lord himself accommodated in His teaching ministry by using parables" (54). Honestly I think this is a rather poor understanding of why Jesus spoke using parables; furthermore, the parables were not merely "earthly stories [meant] to deliver inerrant heavenly messages" (54). This is a shallow and rather naive way of understanding parables and, to be sure, has nothing to do with the way God talked to people through Genesis. What I find amazing is the utter lack of faith Lamoureux has in Scripture. This is evident in that he really doesn't seem to get that the Holy Spirit had quite a lot to do with the actual final composition of the original autographs and, I would venture to assume, their translation and transmission to future generations. I'm not sure he gets this or if he does if he just rejects it as more unreliable biblical rhetoric. It is hard to tell at times.
At the end of each author's presentation there is a hefty response from the other writers of the book. It's all fairly typical, as one might expect, with this type of book. Of course every author has a point of view, of course he defends it, of course others tear apart his arguments, and of course there's all sorts of moving 'what-a-great-guy-he-is' kind of comments. There is much mutual respect, in other words, except that there is some obvious tension between Lamoureux and Barrick. This is how it goes page after page. Honestly, the four points of view are not terribly difficult to understand and the responses are largely predictable. And even though the book is about four views of the historical Adam when it's all said and done there's really only two: you either believe he was a real, historical figure; or you don't. The book really revolves around the points of view concerning creation mechanisms (and various theories about the 'days' in Genesis) and how these points of view impact readings of later Scripture.
I enjoyed reading the responses from the pastors at the end of the book the most and I enjoyed Greg Boyd's best of the two if for nothing else because I think it captured the spirit of his assignment ('pastoral reflections') the best. Ryken wrote a fine reflection, but I thought he focused less on the pastoral implications and more on the theological implications of whatever view one chooses to adopt.
Every author has something to contribute to the discussion (even though Lamoureux's view, in my opinion, lacks teeth). No one has it perfectly right and no one is absolutely wrong–which is evident by the responses. Frankly, there is a lot of agreement among the authors and this is healthy. It shows that the debate isn't as scary as one might think. It demonstrates that there can be a variety of orthodoxy amongst Christians and that satisfying and healthy debates are indeed possible. It seems to me that any of these men would stand up for one of the others if the debate were to include a die-hard, dyed in the wool atheistic evolutionist. Of this I have no doubt.
The evolution/creation debate is interesting and, sadly, ongoing. There will never be resolution to this discussion this side of the new heavens and new earth. The main question of this book is: does there need to be a real historical Adam in order for the Bible (Lamoureux believes 'real' biblical history starts in Genesis 12) to be true with respect to redemptive history? According to the book, yes and no. Whatever side of the debate the reader happens to side with, this much is true: all of the authors point us to Jesus. We may not necessarily agree with the path they take through Scripture to arrive at Jesus, but they all get there. For this I am glad. At times, however, I do wonder if perhaps we have carried on this debate long enough. It could be that it is time to move on to weightier matters and perhaps see how it is that we can take care of the earth we have been given whether by a Creator or through evolution. That is a different paper altogether.
This is a helpful volume. I don't think it adds anything new to the debate (as far as evidence, one way or the other, is concerned) and those who are well versed in the history and literature of the creation/evolution debate will find the book rather redundant and tired at points. Newcomers to the debate will find this a worthy volume that will help them sort through some of their early questions (about the debate) and develop some clear thinking on certain issues (such as the theological implications of there not being a historical person named Adam). They might even be persuaded to change their minds at certain points. Seasoned readers probably won't find much challenging and will probably only find their a priori arguments bolstered by fresh looks at Scripture (esp. Genesis; I think all four authors contributed some stunning ideas about Genesis even if, again, I didn't happen to agree with all the conclusions they arrived at from the evidence) and repetition of old arguments.
I give this book 3.5/5 Stars and recommend it for readers who are newer to the conversation.
*My page numbers may not align exactly. I read an draft version (.pdf) on my Nook and sometimes the pages and numbering are adjusted later.
Friends, Here is #3 in my series “Being Dad”. This one reflects on the love that God has for his children. My conclusion is that God’s love for his children cannot be anything less than my love for my children. jery
Little Boys’ Socks
God loves His children even more than they can possibly imagine.
1 John 3:1
I was at my very first church when Jerry was born. I was a weekend youth minister in Kalamazoo, Michigan. I was at my first full-time pulpit ministry when Samuel was born in Petersburg, West Virginia. I was in Chester, West Virginia when Jacob was born.
Jerry was born in a hospital that had all of the latest electronic amenities and medical technology and since Renee was a high-risk pregnancy, we had all the best doctors that Medicaid could buy. Sparrow Hospital, Michigan State University Doctors, and a relatively easy first birth. Well, it was easy for me…there was a ball game on at the time and when it hurt I simply told Renee, being the good coach that I was, to just sleep. Surely that would make the pain subside.
Samuel was a little more difficult, but definitely quicker. (I will have more to say about this later in another post.) He was born in a small rinky-dink hospital that reminded Renee and I both of the stable where Jesus was born. There was no doctor on duty that could give Renee an epidural. In fact, her doctor was out of town. Samuel was delivered naturally. And since I got Renee to the hospital rather late, I felt every single one of her pains…twice.
Jacob was probably the most fun. With Jacob, like Jerry, Renee drove herself to the hospital (again, more on why this is important in another post). The hospital was your everyday run of the mill hospital that boasted of the lowest C-section rate in the state of Ohio. Being close to home was important because my mom and my mother-in-law were both present. It was a special occasion for all of us.
All three of those days are magical days in the limited expanse of gray matter that clutters up my mind. I hold very few precious memories, but of the ones that I do hold, these three rank first, first, and first. Now my little baby boys are 9, 6, and 4 (and as I update this, 15, 12, and 10!) and I sit around at times wondering where in heaven those years went. Did I miss them? Did I do enough? Was I a beneficial example? Did I in anyway inhibit their growth? Did I do everything in my power to make certain my sons were loved, safe, warm, fed and protected? Have I shown them Jesus each day?
My mom is probably about 45, which is odd because I am nearing 32. But that is what she keeps on saying, and I was always taught never to call my mamma a liar. Nevertheless, she is, and I am. She made me a book a year ago for Christmas. In the book are all sorts of things about her life and mine. I was her firstborn. She talks about how I was her ‘experiment’ and things like that. (I still wonder what project I was and what experiment I was in.) I wonder what sort of emotions and feelings ran through my mother’s eyes and heart when she was assembling the various pages in the book? Did she laugh at this picture? Did she cry at that one? Did she remember life with fond affection when she saw another one? Recall how the Bible records that when Jesus was young Mary “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart?” I think that is what parents do in every generation. These little things that aggravate or perplex us now are the things that later on are so tender, so precious that we cannot possibly let them go. These treasures literally become our lifeblood, our sanity. They are the reason why we keep living: we are afraid the memories might die if we do. (Yes, someday I will laugh that Jerry thought he was an electrician when he was 2. And yes, I will laugh someday that Samuel ‘ran away’ from home when he was 2. And yes, I will laugh someday that Jacob was riding a two-wheeler when he was barely 3.)
Every now and again Renee and I will get ambitious and sort through some old boxes. Usually we end up throwing stuff away that no longer charges the batteries of these memories. This sort of stuff has become useless clutter that no longer begs our attention. Anyhow…every now and again Renee and I get ambitious. When we do, we usually find something that will remind us of those days when our boys were tiny. A lock of hair. A toy. A blanket. Things of that nature. You know what I mean because you probably have your own little box of stuff that serves the same purpose. It serves no real purpose except to cause us to remember days gone by when life was simpler.
Laundry is always exciting, but it is also sad. I notice that the socks are getting bigger and bigger with each passing month.
Being Dad has taught me how much God really loves his children. Especially me.
I have another precious memory. It is the memory of going through one of Jerry’s boxes of stuff and coming across a tiny, itty-bitty, baby sock, a sock so small they could be a glove for my thumb. So tiny they barely would cover my big toes. Every time I see one of those tiny, baby-boy socks I am carried back to Sparrow, back to Petersburg, back to East Liverpool. I am carried back to those times when my boys were so small I could carry them in one hand. Renee and I typically just look at one another and say something corny like, “Awww.”
God feels the same exact way when He looks at us because just as Jerry, Samuel and Jacob will always be my baby boys, so too are we always God’s children. I want to believe that when God looks down upon His Children He has every reason to look down with the same tenderness, affection and love with which I look upon my own Children. And I am certain He does because how can a father feel any other way about his children?
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure” (1 John 3:1-3).
I imagine that when my children are my age and I am my mother’s age the roles will be reversed a little. I will be sharing my memories of their lives in books, and they will be tending to their own children and laughing or crying with their wives over tiny little socks that they have saved.
Being a dad has taught me just exactly how much God really loves me. If I love my three sons as much as I do, and if I protect them as much as I possibly can, and if I cherish them as much as I do, can I expect or even think that God does anything less? No. I hope you cherish precious memories, but even if you cannot, I hope you know that you are cherished as God’s own Child. He has a whole host of memories from the time you took your first step in a tiny pair of socks.
I found this somewhat amusing. Enjoy. I have no idea who produced it or anything. It is just well done and amusing.
HT: Copache (Although, only go here if you have a strong stomach and are interested in the same tired regurgitated Darwinist propaganda and nostalgia.)
What is strange about this post is NOT the content per se, but the seriousness of the quotations attributed to certain people, the seriousness with which people are approaching this issue, the pride people are taking in the decision of the Spanish parliament.
I can only hope that this is a joke, but it appears not so. Evidently, there really is a Great Apes Project! This is from their home page:
The idea is founded upon undeniable scientific proof that non-human great apes share more than genetically similar DNA with their human counterparts. They enjoy a rich emotional and cultural existence in which they experience emotions such as fear, anxiety and happiness. They share the intellectual capacity to create and use tools, learn and teach other languages. They remember their past and plan for their future. It is in recognition of these and other morally significant qualities that the Great Ape Project was founded. The Great Ape Project seeks to end the unconscionable treatment of our nearest living relatives by obtaining for non-human great apes the fundamental moral and legal protections of the right to life, the freedom from arbitrary deprivation of liberty, and protection from torture.
Also, there’s this:
The organization is an international group founded to work for the global removal of non-human great apes from the category of mere property, and for their immediate protection through the implementation of basic legal principles designed to provide these amazing creatures with the right to life, the freedom of liberty and protection from torture.
Well, this is all fine and good. It is important that apes are afforded rights that many, many humans on the face of the earth are not afforded. But they are apes; so, why not? Evidently, their motto is ‘Equality Beyond Humanity.’
So, this article by Reuters. Here’s the first bit:
MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s parliament voiced its support on Wednesday for the rights of great apes to life and freedom in what will apparently be the first time any national legislature has called for such rights for non-humans.
Parliament’s environmental committee approved resolutions urging Spain to comply with the Great Apes Project, devised by scientists and philosophers who say our closest genetic relatives deserve rights hitherto limited to humans.
“This is a historic day in the struggle for animal rights and in defense of our evolutionary comrades, which will doubtless go down in the history of humanity,” said Pedro Pozas, Spanish director of the Great Apes Project.
Here’s the last bit:
Philosophers Peter Singer and Paola Cavalieri founded the Great Ape Project in 1993, arguing that “non-human hominids” like chimpanzees, gorillas, orang-utans and bonobos should enjoy the right to life, freedom and not to be tortured.
The irony is that animals should enjoy ‘the right to life.’ Animals will not argue with such a sentiment. Animals do not ask to be put in the zoo, or the circus, or in films; animals do not even ask to be studied by humans. In fact, animals ask for nothing but to be left quite alone to hunt, eat, sleep, and reproduce at their leisure. Humans should be stewards, not tyrants. But that fact (animal ‘rights’) has nothing to do whatsoever with evolution; nothing to do whatsoever with genetic stuff; nothing to do whatsoever with science; nothing to do whatsoever with ‘scientific proof’ (since there is none whatsoever). But because a scientist says it, a philosopher ‘confirms’ it, and a politician makes it happen, it is something that should be done.
If this story were not so laughable I might actually think that apes were on the verge of constructing a great city or developing a microchip or planting crops instead of hunting and gathering. I was almost persuaded that the great apes were on the verge of writing novels to share with one another.
You know, there is a great irony in all this. Here’s what I think. I don’t recall reading anywhere, in the vast annals of scientific literature, that the Great Ape ‘societies’ and ‘cultures’ have developed medical facilities where female apes can go to get clean, sometimes free, discreet, safe abortions on demand, up to and including partial-birth abortions as late as 5 months into the pregnancy. I have read nowhere in any of these books about the Great Apes debating before a supreme court over whether or not it should be legal to kill another ape just because it is unborn. I haven’t read anywhere, in any scientific journal, that the great apes had developed a systematic, legal, mechanized manner by which they might efficiently and effectively destroy the lives of other apes just because they were unborn. And yet the same humans who have developed and done such things are now going to extend the courtesy of the ‘right to life’ to apes?!? Forgive me if I don’t put too much stock in the survival of the great apes.
If the great apes populations are in decline and need saving it is because humans have killed them too. Now we must protect them via legislation. I suppose before long the great apes will be asking us for freaking welfare too! Then they will want food-stamps. Then they will want tax-breaks. Then they will want free medical care. Then they will want social security. Damn, what has Spain gotten themselves into? If these apes ever figure out the way government really works, then we are up the proverbial creek without a paddle!
I know another endangered species that needs protection: Unborn human beings. Yes, that’s right. I believe that human beings, especially helpless, defenseless, voiceless, unborn human beings should have a Right to Life. This right to life should be as protected as that of the Great Apes–after all, we are much more closely related to unborn humans than we are to great apes.
You can learn more about the plight of humans by clicking the National Right to Life link I am providing. If you really, truly care about species survival, then write to your congressman and let him or her know that you think the United States should follow Spain’s lead and give unborn humans the same right to life as the Great Apes. I think this would be a good thing for evolution’s progress.
God have mercy on us! Lord we are so far from reality it is beyond imagination. Lord God, save us from ourselves and our own stupidity. Lord, don’t wait. And yet, give us the moral courage, fortitude, strength of conviction, and devotion to prayer to see an end to abortion and the destruction of unborn, innocent human life. And, have mercy on the great apes. Seriously. Because if the government is getting involved in their lives, the apes would be better off in zoos, circuses, and films.
PS–Good Job Spain!!
I haven’t done an evolution post for a while, but some of my older posts are still generating responses. For example, here’s a recent reply made by one person who is clearly a product of the non-thinking version evolution. Note the overall genius of this person’s response, the eloquence, the mastery of the language:
It is frightening to intelligent people to see this swell of middle ages style ignorance starting to take hold. Do you drive a car? Ride in airplanes? Use electricity? All of these things, like evolution, came to our understanding through actual science. The various illiterate claims that “God created everything” are not equal to research and study. I know that my words will have no impact on the religious zealots who want to kill all the non-believers and then end the world for Jesus, but I hope if there are people out there who might think this trash is worth teaching, they will think twice about what the mind of man has created. God was created by ancient sheep herders who feared everything because they knew nothing. Apparently, Ben Stein prefers their fear to the light of knowledge. It is pitiful. [Emphasis added.]
I have to say, if Tommy Ray (the author of this clearly intelligent rant) is what evolution has to offer then this world is in worse shape than any of us thought. Actually, the ancients believed in God because they knew God and feared God. After reading the above paragraph, who do you think is a zealot? Responses like the above paragraph are certain to aid the religion of Darwinism.
Thanks Tommy for stopping by. You made the front page of my blog, now you are living the dream!
Here’s what evolution has us looking forward to: Domo Arigato: Hooker Roboto:
If you’re younger than 35, you’ll probably live long enough to put David Levy’s prediction to the test. Levy says that by 2050 we’ll be creating robots so lifelike, so imbued with human-seeming intelligence and emotions, as to be nearly indistinguishable from real people. And we’ll have sex with these robots. Some of us will even marry them. And it will all be good.
Levy lays out his vision of a Brave New Carnal World in Love and Sex With Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships, which, despite its extended riffs on sex toys through the ages, is a snigger-free book. Levy’s no Al Goldstein. Rather he’s a 62-year-old British chess master turned artificial-intelligence expert persuaded that robot sex can brighten the lives of many, many unhappy people. “Great sex on tap for everyone, 24/7,” he writes on the final page of the book. What’s not to like?
Even though I found it on Amazon, I still think this might be a joke. I guess the upside to it is that probably only Darwinists will be curious enough to try it, and if they do, the theory will prove true as their line of the human species will soon become extinct. (Oh, I’m just joking fellas. Don’t go and get your DNA in an uproar. PS–the comments at the article are priceless!)
PS-here’s what Amazon.com says about the author David Levy:
“David Levy is an internationally recognized expert on artificial intelligence. He is president of the International Com-puter Games Association and in 1997 led the team that won the Loebner Prize—the world championship for conversational computer software. In 2006 he became the first person ever to present papers on intimate relationships with robotic partners at an international conference. He is also the author of Robots Unlimited. Levy lives in London with his wife, Christine, and their cat.”
This is someone who really knows how to put his intelligence to good use. Does it say he was the first to ‘present papers on intimate relationships with robotic partners at an international conference’?? What a distinction! Let’s hope to God he is the LAST to do so! That is a scholars convention that must have been a real doozy! How lonely must a person be to even desire sex with a robot? How degenerate is a culture where such ideas are even considered, let alone published? Seriously, this must be some sort of joke. We might have to change Scripture a bit from ‘lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life’ to something like the ‘lust of circuit boards, the lust of metal, and the pride of life’ (some things will never change.) This has to be a joke.
I have posted many thoughts about evolution and its impact on the general population of the world. I’d like to share someone else’s thoughts tonight. These thoughts concern how replacing the Creator with evolution has destroyed our understanding of sin. Consider:
The basic reason why our modern Western culture has lost the concept of sin is that the reality of the true Creator-God has been abandoned. The basic reason why all nonbiblical philosophies and religions lack a true concept of sin is that none includes the concept of a Creator-God whose will is law. The doctrine of ex nihilo creation and the doctrine of sin are thus inseparable; sin is a meaningful concept only in the light of the fact of creation. (Jack Cottrell, The Faith Once For All, 168)
. . .
Why is the denial of personal guilt such a widespread phenomenon today? As we have noted, the very idea of sin presupposes the existence of law, which presupposes the existence of a transcendent Creator-God; it also presupposes the reality of human free will. But these are among the very things that are most frequently attacked and denied in our modern world. The Creator-God is replaced by chance evolution, and various forms of secular determinism are constantly used to cancel man’s responsibility for his antisocial behavior. For example, son say that such behavior is due to childhood trauma and other forms of negative environmental conditioning. People are not sinners; they are victims. Others attribute it all to quirks in one’s genes or chromosomes or brain structure; thus we have ‘natural-born’ killers, alcoholics, homosexuals, and adulterers. (Jack Cottrell, The Faith Once for All, 193)
What’s worse is that this is how we train children from day one. Then we act shocked when they live out the realities of a life of no accountability to anyone other than themselves. But we should probably continue teaching children that they are nothing more than the chance configuration of randomly mutated selfish genes (uh, sarcasm alert.)
What I wonder is, how can children be taught accountability (to something higher than the pathetic standards of mere humanity) when they are deliberately not taught about God and are deliberately taught atheism (either by omission or commission.)
One wonders. Or not.
Evidently, the Discovery Institute is fighting back. According to the Christian Post:
The Discovery Institute plans to post a slide show presentation critiquing the online materials from PBS-NOVA’s “Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial” documentary on www.judgingpbs.com.
According to the site:
PBS asserts that the evidence “unequivocally supports [Darwin’s] theory of evolution by natural selection.” Do all scientists who approach biology with an open mind believe that the data “unequivocally” supports Darwin’s view? The following slides show that scientists are increasingly skeptical that natural selection is the primary agent of evolutionary change. Moreover, key postulates of Darwin’s theory – universal common descent, the continuity of life, and transitions in the fossil record – have come under intense scientific scrutiny from a diverse array of fields, including molecular biology, developmental biology, genetics, biochemistry, and paleontology. Some of Darwin’s failed predictions include:
- The failure of evolutionary biology to provide detailed evolutionary explanations for the origin of complex biochemical features;
- The failure of the fossil record to provide support for Darwinian evolution;
- The failure of molecular biology to provide evidence for universal common descent;
- The failure of genetics and chemistry to explain the origin of the genetic code;
- The failure of developmental biology to explain why vertebrate embryos diverge from the beginning of development.
Well, have fun. What is sad is that in this age of enlightenment and erudition and scientific progress there are people still clinging to such antiquated ideas as Darwinian Evolution. I guess we can only hope and pray for those tired souls who grasp at the illogical straw that is Darwinism. Here’s hoping…
Those of you who are interested might trying visiting the new blog Design of Life. Lead blogger is Denyse O’Leary who also blogs at PostDarwinist and Uncommon Descent. I have added this blog to my blogroll as well. Here’s a sampling from one of her first posts. It concerns several myths that are currently propagated by the materialist culture:
– Humans and chimps are 99% genetically identical?
– Christian Europe believed and promoted the idea that the Earth is flat? Debunked here. In reality, the old cosmology pictured Earth as a sphere.
– The US government denies the age of the Grand Canyon? Believe it or not, someone at TIME Magazine was promoting that one. Remember that when you get the subscription renewal notice.
– Oh, and here’s a good one: Religious folk opposed anesthesia in childbirth?
– Isaac Newton was the soul of materialism? Wait till you hear what he had to say about the end of the world …
– And lastly, Charles Darwin invented the idea of evolution? What he invented was unguided materialist evolution. We explain that clearly in The Design of Life. (Prediction: You will soon be awash in nonsense because of the bicentenary of Darwin’s birth.)
If you enjoy The Design of Life, we are sure you will enjoy the blog too. And, if you enjoy the blog, the book will help you get up to speed on the reasons we have started this blog. Here you will read the news about evolution that does NOT support the propaganda that is – increasingly – legislated as the only information you or your kids or grandkids are allowed to learn in tax-supported schools. Why do we call it propaganda? Well, let’s start with the fact that the history of life has – so far – proceeded entirely differently from what Darwin’s theory of evolution would reasonably suggest.
Now, to be sure, I don’t buy the notion that the earth or universe is as old as O’Leary believes (millions upon millions) because I believe in a literal reading of Genesis (without the constraints of misinterpreted genealogies to set dates), but I do think there is something to be said about her careful observations concerning the logical inconsistencies and materialist underpinnings of Darwinian evolution. I think this new blog deserves a chance to get going assuming it will be something substantially different from the (at least) two other blogs she contributes to.
On another note, I read this short article about 10 days ago and forgot about it. Turns out that evolution in humans has been advancing rather more rapidly than scientists had previously thought:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Human evolution has been moving at breakneck speed in the past several thousand years, far from plodding along as some scientists had thought, researchers said on Monday.
Then there is this:
For example, Africans have new genes providing resistance to malaria. In Europeans, there is a gene that makes them better able to digest milk as adults. In Asians, there is a gene that makes ear wax more dry.
The changes have been driven by the colossal growth in the human population — from a few million to 6.5 billion in the past 10,000 years — with people moving into new environments to which they needed to adapt, added Henry Harpending, a University of Utah anthropologist.
“The central finding is that human evolution is happening very fast — faster than any of us thought,” Harpending said in a telephone interview.
“Most of the acceleration is in the last 10,000 years, basically corresponding to population growth after agriculture is invented,” Hawks said in a telephone interview.
Kind of makes you wonder what else scientists have been wrong about, doesn’t it? Oh, yes, I know. All this shows is that science is self-correcting. And I am glad they are. It is amazing to me that science, as it continues to improve and correct, keeps coming closer and closer to the Scriptural revelation. I wonder how many years it will take for science to evolve out of the silly idea of Materialist Darwinian evolution?
Isn’t it amazing how much we have changed in the past 10,000 years since God created us?
PS–BTW, I accidentally watched this last night. I thought you might like to see one of the proponents of Darwinism:
Perhaps we can all learn a little wisdom from Phoebe in these scenes. But it is funny how she puts Ross in his place. (I can’t believe I’m putting a Friends video on my blog.)
I have blogged here a bit concerning the stupidity and inanity of Darwinism (not to mention its utter unbelievability and un-provability and, well, you get the point). Well, I came across an interesting post at Uncommon Descent this evening by Denyse O’Leary that poses the question: What would happen to science if Darwin ceased to be God? If you have visited here before and debated with me about Darwinism or agreed with me that Darwinism is bunk, no matter which side of the proverbial aisle you are on, you should visit this link and follow this blog post. Here’s a taste:
2. If the hold of the materialist atheists is broken, we will see evidence restored to its rightful place as the hallmark of science. Instead of hearing empty rhetoric like “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”, we will hear “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evidence.” How will this affect research? Well, for one thing, people will be able to follow the evidence without fear of losing their positions. That will – necessarily – lead to the discovery that many materialist truisms are poorly supported. Honest discussions will be possible again. I reasonably believe that advances in knowledge will result.
If you wish to follow at O’Leary’s blog you can link here. I’m very interested to see how all this pans out in the course of the post and replies. I hope she has more to say on this question. What if the ends and the means of scientists were no longer Darwinian evolution, but rather something useful and hopeful? What if Darwinists escaped from the circular reasoning they so often accuse Christians of? What if there was truly room in this world for dialogue on the issues of what the ‘evidence’ really means? I dare say it might actually be a fun place to live.
You may not visit there often, so I’ll provide a link back. You really should read this post at Uncommon Descent: The Science Rule the Christian Darwinist Forgot by Denyse O’Leary. She concludes:
Here is one project he doesn’t want: We just look at the accumulated evidence for the history of life on this planet and ask a simple question: If Darwin’s theory did not exist and was not now the subject of a huge academic industry, would anyone suppose that it explained the Cambrian explosion? The subsequent punctuated history of life? The rise of consciousness?
Darwin’s theory is supported in order to prop up materialism, and otherwise has very little use.
She is writing to Scientists who happen to be Christians and try to shuffle God and Science into separate corners and allow them to have no contact with one another. I’m not sure I get all that she is saying, but I agree with the conclusion. Darwinism exists to serve the purposes of those who serve it and not because it is absolutely, empirically demonstrable or viable. It is a belief of convenience.
I don’t say it enough, but I really appreciate the work being done at Uncommon Descent. I’m not always in-step with the whole ID theory because I am what some would call, sometimes pejoratively, a Creationist. But, the work they do to show the logical inconsistencies and the historical absurdities and the biological impossibilities of Darwinism is greatly needed in this world. Give them a visit if you get an extra minute or two or three. The site is updated frequently by many different contributors.
PS–If Darwinism didn’t exist, would we have to invent it?
I think you will appreciate this: Is Belief in Divine Creation Rational? This is a lecture by David Anderson. I’m piggybacking on a post by William Dembski at Uncommon Descent. I listened to about the first 15 minutes online then downloaded it to my mp3. So far, I’m impressed. I think you will be too.
You may also want to read this: Evolutionary Hymn by CS Lewis.
And I know you will find this intriguing: If Neo-Darwinism Fails, then What? I too hope they put this online as mp3 or transcript. Good Luck!
For some evolutionary humor, check out this Playground Slide Recall.
How about an interview with Anthony Flew?
Finally, Can Public Schools Be “Neutral”?
Have fun with all this. Hmm. Perhaps the atheist and the Darwinist do not have a monopoly on knowledge after all.
A while back I made quick reference at this blog to an essay published by Scientific American written by Michael Shermer: Darwin on the Right. It’s an older essay (published September 18, 2006), but I think the points he made then still need to addressed by thinking people who refuse to just give up. The overall tone of the essay, brief as it is, is just that: Christians ought to just give up the fight because, according to Darwinists, there is such a preponderance of evidence for Darwinian evolution that it seems silly for anyone to argue against it. Shermer writes:
According to a 2005 Pew Research Center poll, 70 percent of evangelical Christians believe that living beings have always existed in their present form, compared with 32 percent of Protestants and 31 percent of Catholics. Politically, 60 percent of Republicans are creationists, whereas only 11 percent accept evolution, compared with 29 percent of Democrats who are creationists and 44 percent who accept evolution. A 2005 Harris Poll found that 63 percent of liberals but only 37 percent of conservatives believe that humans and apes have a common ancestry. What these figures confirm for us is that there are religious and political reasons for rejecting evolution. Can one be a conservative Christian and a Darwinian? Yes. Here’s how.
Now, I realize these figures are severely outdated, and that Shermer’s essay is over a year old, but I doubt the figures have changed much. Shermer’s approach is kind of a ‘Awe, com’on you silly Christians (and Conservatives!) get with the program!’ He also seems to think that believing in evolution (or at least making it compatible with biblical Christianity) is a rather simple thing to do: “Just follow these six easy steps and, Presto! as if by magic the synthesis will be complete.” But is it really as easy as Shermer would suggest? I think not. I’d like to take his points one at a time which means that these posts may run a little longer and may, in fact, be broken up as I address each of his six points.
First, Shermer writes that ‘Evolution fits well with good theology.’ He writes:
Christians believe in an omniscient and omnipotent God. What difference does it make when God created the universe–10,000 years ago or 10,000,000,000 years ago? The glory of the creation commands reverence regardless of how many zeroes in the date. And what difference does it make how God created life–spoken word or natural forces? The grandeur of life’s complexity elicits awe regardless of what creative processes were employed. Christians (indeed, all faiths) should embrace modern science for what it has done to reveal the magnificence of the divine in a depth and detail unmatched by ancient texts.
Well, in fact it does matter a great deal–theologically speaking, and for a few reasons at least. First, because, as I have stated elsewhere, the premise of Darwinian evolution is that it does not require any god to be involved. (I sometimes think Richard Dawkins carries more dislike for theistic evolutionists than he does for Creationists.) The whole idea then that Christians should accept a system of belief that does not require God, even the God of Scripture, is absurd. Second, because the Scripture says that God Created the world by his Spoken Word! The Scripture does not say that God used ‘natural forces’ (whatever that means). Genesis 1 is ample testimony that God spoke the world and the universe into existence. Colossians 1 is further evidence. But there is also Hebrews 11:3: “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” (And, please, spare me the drivel about creationism being only a matter of faith because evolution is no less a matter of faith!)
Third, ‘modern science’ is not rejected! This is the straw-man that Darwinists continue to lob out at Christians. Christians do not reject science; we reject materialistic Darwinian evolution and those ideas and beliefs that reject the Word of God as true.
Fourth, it (evolution) is not good or even bad theology or even compatible with good theology because Darwinian evolution is not any sort of Continue Reading »
I can only imagine this is a joke, but an evolutionary theorist (aren’t they all?) named Oliver Curry from the London School of Economics has predicted that the human race is going to split…again. Human Race Will ‘Split Into Two Different Species’.
Says the article:
“Physical features will be driven by indicators of health, youth and fertility that men and women have evolved to look for in potential mates,” says the report, which suggests that advances in cosmetic surgery and other body modifying techniques will effectively homogenise our appearance.
Men will have symmetrical facial features, deeper voices and bigger penises, according to Curry in a report commissioned for men’s satellite TV channel Bravo.
Women will all have glossy hair, smooth hairless skin, large eyes and pert breasts, according to Curry.
Racial differences will be a thing of the past as interbreeding produces a single coffee-coloured skin tone.
Sadly, none of us will be around to prove such a theory–just like none of us were around to prove the first ‘split’. Around the year 3,000 or so we will have reached our peak and 100,000 years into the future sexual selection ‘could mean’ two distinct species of humans. His theory is that, basically, there will be pretty people and ugly people (there are already are!). This is nothing new.
This is really funny and what is even funnier is that someone is paying this idiot. Someone replying to the article wrote, “This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.” I agree. This has to be some sort of Halloween joke, but I suppose it makes for good tabloid print. This is a perfect way to end the evening. What a riot!
PS–did you notice those distinctive new features these new species will have? It’s almost as if he’s writing the script for a new p*** film!