Faith and Evolution: New Website

William Dembski posted on a new website launched by the Discovery Institute (faithandevolution.org).  The design is sleek, and there is some useful information there.  I was reading some of the information on theistic evolution and came across this astounding passage:

And biologist Kenneth Miller of Brown University, author of the popular book Finding Darwin’s God (which is used in many Christian colleges), insists that evolution is an undirected process, flatly denying that God guided the evolutionary process to achieve any particular result—including the development of human beings. Indeed, Miller insists that “mankind’s appearance on this planet was not preordained, that we are here… as an afterthought, a minor detail, a happenstance in a history that might just as well have left us out.” [Finding Darwin’s God (1999), p. 272]

Miller does say that God knew that the undirected process of evolution was so wonderful it would create some sort of rational creature capable of praising Him eventually. But what that something would be was radically undetermined. How undetermined? At a 2007 conference, Miller admitted that evolution could have produced “a big-brained dinosaur” or a “mollusk with exceptional mental capabilities” rather than human beings. [Quoted in Darwin Day, p. 226]

The Outsider, DB, would call this type of thinking, making it up as we go.  Essentially, that appears to be the approach of most theistic evolutionists. Unfortunately, they seem to apply a similar process to theology that many Darwinists apply to history. In other words, they imagine God to be whatever they want (e.g., a powerless cosmic puppy dog who loves you perhaps). Basically, they often seem to be worshiping science first and God second. But the God they worship (second to science) appears to be one of their own making.

Reference:
According to theistic evolution, did God direct evolution and know its outcome?

Does referencing the Creator inhibit science?

Many materialists (atheists and theistic evolutionists most often) argue that materialistic philosophy is key to scientific advancement. If any ideas of Creationists are allowed to even be referenced, then scientific progress will halt and people will die. There will be mass and widespread calamitous events, and we will return to the Dark Ages.

Mphuthumi Ntabeni at The Southern Cross writes:

Newton, Faraday, Maxwell and Copernicus referred to the Creator in their scientific writings. No one accused them of being unscientific because of that. There’s no rule that compels science to have a materialist outlook, it’s just an incident of history. (1)

I have yet to see any evidence that convinces me that scientific progress will be inhibited in any way by referencing notions of a designer or even God. Nor have I seen any evidence that is not just as easily explained from an ID or even a Creationist perspective as compared to a naturalistic evolution perspective. So far, I see Creationism as having the most explanatory power and ID as focusing on narrow range of observations and scientific phenomena. Both ID and Creation Science are scientific disciplines.

I must also say that I have yet to see how the theory of naturalistic evolution, on a macro scale, has ever contributed to applied science. The concept of abiogenesis has not contributed to applied science. The Big Bang Theory has not contributed to applied science. In short, the notion that Godless science leads to progress has no legs to stand on. Perhaps it will evolve those legs in the next several billions of years, but I won’t be holding my breath.

(1). My case for intelligent design, The Southern Cross, Mphuthumi Ntabeni, Nov. 9, 2008

The Lies and Fraud of Science-Part I

A common claim of atheists and theistic evolutionists against Creation Scientists and the ID movement is that they lie and are fraudulent in their research findings and interpretation of research. So let’s take a look for the moment at the lies and fraud perpetuated by naturalistic science.

Let’s start with the evolution of man.

in 1912, a jawbone was discovered. Sir Arthur Smith Woodward of the British Museum verified that the skull had human features and the jaw was ape-like. The fossils became known as Piltdown Man and were called Eoanthropus dawsoni which means ‘Dawson’s Dawn Man’. In 1915, another Dawn Man was found a couple of miles away from the site of the first find. Fossil remains of animals that lived with Piltdown Man, together with the tools that he used, were also found at the two sites. At last, here was ‘proof’ that apes had evolved into humans in England.1

So, what was discovered about this ‘proof’?

Almost forty years later, in 1953, Piltdown Man was exposed as a forgery, mainly through the work of Dr Kenneth Oakley. He showed that the skull was from a modern human and that the jawbone and teeth were from an orangutan. The teeth had been filed down to make them look human. The bones and teeth had been chemically treated (and sometimes even painted) to give them the appearance of being ancient. In addition, it was also shown that none of the finds associated with Piltdown Man had been originally buried in the gravel that had been deposited at Piltdown. The Piltdown Man fraud was a great embarrassment to the UK scientific community and questions about it were even asked in the House of Parliament.

So, that went on for 40 years. How many lost their faith because evolution had been proven? What was the effect on society and worldviews? The issue wasn’t resolved until after the end of the second World War.

I also have to say, that AiG makes a very balanced statement on this issue:

The Piltdown story is a great tool for the Christian in witnessing; not to try to denigrate evolutionists as foolish (Christians get taken in by all manner of hoaxes, too), but to use as a great illustration of what AiG has long taught, namely that facts have to be interpreted. The worldview ‘glasses’ one is wearing will to a large extent determine what one ‘sees’. Exposing the myth that evolutionary scientists are any more objective than others can help to break down the evolutionary/long-age barriers when seeking to introduce people to the God of the Bible. Through His Word, God has given us a truthful outline of the big picture of history—and thus, the right worldview through which to interpret the facts about the past.

I think the writers at AiG have a better understanding of the biases involved in science than a majority of scientists–particularly evolutionists.

So that’s #1, here’s another:

Most people have heard of or been taught the idea that the human embryo goes through (or recapitulates) various evolutionary stages, such as having gills like a fish, a tail like a monkey, etc., during the first few months that it develops in the womb.

The idea has not only been presented to generations of biology/medical students as fact, but has also been used for many years to persuasively justify abortion. Abortionists claimed that the unborn child being killed was still in the fish stage or the monkey stage, and had not yet become a human being.2

The formerly favorite phrase of Darwinists on this point is, “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.” In other words, the development of the individual repeats the development of the species. Another way of putting it is that the embryonic development of the individual passes through all of the prior stages of evolution for the species.

This theory, in the highly elaborate and deterministic form advanced by Haeckel, has, since the early twentieth century, been refuted on many fronts.

…..

For example, Haeckel believed that the human embryo with gill slits (pharyngeal arches) in the neck not only signified a fishlike ancestor, but represented an adult “fishlike” developmental stage. Embryonic pharyngeal arches are not gills and do not carry out the same function. They are the invaginations between the gill pouches or pharyngeal pouches, and they open the pharynx to the outside. Gill pouches appear in all tetrapod animal embryos. In mammals, the first gill bar (in the first gill pouch) develops into the lower jaw (Meckel’s cartilage), the malleus and the stapes. In a later stage, all gill slits close, with only the ear opening remaining open.3

AiG also goes on to say:

Most informed evolutionists in the past 70 years have realised that the recapitulation theory is false.

Nevertheless, the recapitulation idea is still advanced as evidence for the theory of evolution in many books and particularly encyclopedias and by evolutionary popularizers like the late Carl Sagan.

See the picture below comparing Haekel’s drawings to actual photos.

Haekels Drawings vs. Actual Photographs

Haekel's Drawings vs. Actual Photographs

To be continued with Peppered Moths, Archeoraptor, Scopes Monkey Trial, Australopithecines, Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Neandertal man, and other frauds of modern science.

Evolutionists would do well to interpret “facts,” knowing that their worldview is an active component of the interpretive process. “Fraud” and “lies” are a common part of science. A skeptical eye must be turned against all science, whether “Creationist,” “IDist,” or “Naturalist.” The naturalistic evolutionists and theistic evolutionists have accepted their interpretations of “facts” as “absolute truths,” but history is not on their side.

1 http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2003/1124piltdown.asp
2 http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v20/i2/fraud.asp
3 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontogeny_recapitulates_phylogeny