Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Darwinism: There Are No Limits and I Can Do Anything I Want

One of the hallmarks of modern society is our belief in the scientific method. Central to the success of science is the idea of repeatability. If two people do the same things they should get the same results.

An example of this is the way to make whole wheat bread. If we take the same amounts of water, yeast, honey, whole wheat flour, butter, and salt, combine them in the same way, and then go through the same process of letting the resulting dough rise, forming it into loaves, and baking it, we will always get the same delicious result. It doesn't matter who does this, or when they do it, or where they do it (variation in air pressure with altitude notwithstanding), or why they do it. All that matters is what and how they do it.

At the end of the Book of Mormon is a promise that sounds very similar to a scientific experiment. Moroni 10:4 says, "And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost."

Notice that this recipe is more than just a list of ingredients and a process. This recipe also requires sincerity, real intent, and faith. A totally insincere person can make a great loaf of bread. He could hope to get pancakes, but he'd still get loaves of bread. He could believe that the recipe wouldn't work, but as long as he followed it exactly, he'd still get bread. On the other hand, not everyone who reads the Book of Mormon and then prays about it will receive a testimony.

Why are spiritual recipes different from scientific recipes? Joseph Smith asked God about the plural wives of some of the ancient prophets. The answer is found in D&C 132 . Verses 2 & 3 say "Behold, and lo, I am the Lord thy God, and will answer thee as touching this matter. Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same." This explanation was given as a preface to the revelation about plural marriage, but it probably applies to revelation in general. God doesn't cast his pearls before swine.

It seems like more than just an interesting coincidence that the Restoration of the Gospel took place at the same time as the development of Darwin's ideas about Evolution. Charles Darwin was born in 1809. Joseph Smith was born in 1805. Darwin's first voyage aboard the Beagle began in December 1831. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized in April 1830.

Adam and Eve were monotheists. Many of their descendants would not hearken unto the voice of God – the still small voice – and were deceived and blinded by Satan, who led them captive at his will (Moses 4:4). They began worshipping the sun and the moon, the trees and the rocks, the wind and the rain, even their domestic animals: anything but God. As Daniel said to Belshazzar, "thou ... hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this; But hast ... praised the gods of silver, and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which see not, nor hear, nor know: and the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified" (Daniel 5:22-23). A stern indictment.

The problem back then was that people believed in, and served, many gods. The problem today is that people claim to believe in, and serve, no god. Let me elaborate...

In 1831, when Darwin began his ministry as the prophet of Evolution, the number of members of the Restored Church was probably only a few hundred, or less. The world in which Charles Darwin and Joseph Smith lived was the world of apostate Christianity. Joseph Smith sums up the situation in his description of "an unusual excitement on the subject of religion" which took place when he was fourteen.

"... notwithstanding the great love which the converts to these different faiths expressed at the time of their conversion, and the great zeal manifested by the respective clergy, who were active in getting up and promoting this extraordinary scene of religious feeling, in order to have everybody converted, as they were pleased to call it, let them join what sect they pleased; yet when the converts began to file off, some to one party and some to another, it was seen that the seemingly good feelings of both the priests and the converts were more pretended than real; for a scene of great confusion and bad feeling ensued—priest contending against priest, and convert against convert; so that all their good feelings one for another, if they ever had any, were entirely lost in a strife of words and a contest about opinions" (JS-H 1:6).

It is easy to understand how the ugliness of apostate Christianity would have perplexed and disgusted any sincere seeker after truth, for, as D&C 93:24-25 puts it, "... truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come; And whatsoever is more or less than this is the spirit of that wicked one who was a liar from the beginning." It must have been readily apparent, even to casual thinkers, that there was not much truth in the religious creeds of that day.

God himself told Isaiah "... this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men" (Isaiah 29:13). When Joseph Smith saw the Father and the Son in the spring of 1820, they told him the apostate churches were all wrong; that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: "they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof" (JS-H 1:19).

We are amazed to read that Joseph Smith translated the unsealed portion of the gold plates and published the first edition of the Book of Mormon in only a few months. Darwin worked and reworked his ideas for more than twenty years before finally publishing On the Origin of Species in 1859. Darwin might have delayed publication for many more years, but in 1858 he received a paper from Alfred Russel Wallace, a naturalist working in the Malay Archipelago, that perfectly summarized what he had been working on for so many years. The Theory of Evolution might be known today as Wallacism. Then as now, the hallmark of academia was Publish or Perish. Thirty years later, Wallace published Darwinism. You can download a PDF file from Google Books.

It is easy to understand how the ideas in On The Origin of Species were welcomed by so many people. Charles Darwin freed mankind from personal responsibility for its actions. There was no longer any God to obey, there was only blind chance! This is from God versus Darwin, an article written by Chuck Colson.

Christians need to understand that the two central elements of Darwin's theory--random changes and the blind sifting of natural selection--were both proposed expressly to get rid of design and purpose in biology. In the words of historian Jacques Barzun, "The sum total of accidents of life acting upon the sum total of the accidents of variation provided a completely mechanistic and material system" to account for adaptations in living things.

What this means is that Darwinism is not merely a biological theory. Instead, it smuggles in a philosophy of naturalism that is implacably opposed to any idea of purpose or design.

In The Soul of Science, Nancy Pearcey and Charles Thaxton show that science is always driven by philosophical and religious motivations. Throughout history many biologists, from Ray to Linnaeus to Cuvier, were Christians. They studied the finely engineered structures in living things--eyes and ears, fins and feathers--in order to reveal the wisdom of the Creator.

But Darwin's motivations were equally religious: He wanted to get rid of the Creator. He took direct aim at the idea of design and purpose, hoping to replace it with a completely naturalistic mechanism.

At the same time that Darwin wanted to take away our accountability, Joseph Smith's revelations made us even more accountable for our actions. Acts 17:30 says, "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent." That is just as true in the Dispensation of the Fulness of times as it was in the Dispensation of the Meridian of Times. Or at any other time there has been a Dispensation of the Gospel, for that matter. Moroni, quoted previously, talks about faith, hope, and charity later in the same chapter of his book. "And except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God; neither can ye be saved in the kingdom of God if ye have not faith; neither can ye if ye have no hope. And if ye have no hope ye must needs be in despair; and despair cometh because of iniquity" (Moroni 10:21-22). Wow! No wonder there was so much opposition to Mormonism!

If you aren't convinced, listen to these words of Phillip E. Johnson quoted in Chuck Colson's article Science and Sex.

I have found that any discussion with modernists or liberals about the weaknesses of the theory of evolution quickly turns into a discussion of politics, particularly sexual politics. (Liberals) typically fear that any discrediting of naturalistic evolution will end in women being sent to the kitchen, gays to the closet, and abortionists to jail.

In other words, in the debate over creation and evolution, people intuitively sense that much more is at stake than a scientific theory. What you accept as scientific truth shapes your view on a host of moral issues.

This insidious agenda becomes even more frightening when you consider the campaign to indoctrinate our children. This is from Beware of Brainwashing Bears by Chuck Colson.

One would expect nature books to teach about the natural sciences, which involve the observation and classification of the physical world. That's fine. But instead, many of these books teach naturalism: the denial that the universe contains a supernatural dimension.

An example of this is the popular nature book for young children entitled The Berenstein Bears' Nature Guide. This introductory science book teaches about scientific classification by picturing the journey of a bear family through the rich variety of the natural world.

The Nature Guide is a good introduction to natural science--that is, until you get beyond the introduction. On the third page Pa Bear makes an astounding statement. He informs his small audience that "Nature is all that is, or was, or ever will be."

Thus at the very outset the Nature Guide has Pa Bear spouting the classic definition of naturalism--a definition that leaves no room for the existence of God.

In Chuck Colson's A "Liberal" Education, we read that

... the liberal approach to moral education is closely linked to increasing crime and disorder. As Phillip Johnson explains in his new book Reason in the Balance, liberal education is based on the philosophy of naturalism: that there is no God. The implication is that morality is based not on God's commandments but on individual choices. Every person's goals in life are intrinsically as good as every other person's, and no one has a right to "impose" morality on anyone else—not even on his or her own children.

What does this philosophy mean for education? It means schools should not train children in particular character traits, like courage or honesty. Instead, schools should maximize a child's ability to choose for himself, after critical consideration of competing alternatives.

This explains modern sex education, for example, where students are not taught to restrain their sexual impulses until marriage. Instead they're taught a wide range of sexual practices, with the message that "Only you can judge what's right for you."

Yet, ironically, if you walk down the hall to the science classroom, you'll find educators employing exactly the opposite method. There they have no qualms about teaching that there is one and only one right way to think— namely, to embrace Darwinism. Evolution is not open to question, nor are students invited to judge for themselves whether it is true or not.

Why such a sharp discrepancy in teaching styles?

The answer is that science is taught in absolute terms because it is regarded as giving the truth about what "really exists." And what "really exists" is nature alone; there is no God. Naturalism in science then becomes the basis for liberalism in morality: If there is no God, then kids should be taught to make up their own minds about moral questions.

Is it any real surprise that some of them make up their minds to cheat and fight? No wonder schools are becoming battlegrounds. You and I need to help people see the underlying philosophies at war in public education. The Darwinism taught in science courses is regarded as the factual basis for the philosophy of naturalism. And naturalism in turn means that morality is taught as nothing more than individual choice.

At the beginning of this article I mentioned the scientific method. We've seen that Darwinists are more philosophers than scientists. Let's take this up a notch. What is truly amazing about Darwinism is that the fossil record simply does not support Darwinism at all. As a lawyer would put it, there is no "evidentiary support" that evolution has occurred. No gradual development of species is seen. No intermediate forms or "missing links" have been discovered. Stephen J. Gould called this the "trade secret of Paleontology". Here are two quotes from Gould's The Structure of Evolutionary Theory.

The common knowledge of a profession often goes unrecorded in technical literature for two reasons: one need not preach commonplaces to the initiated; and one should not attempt to inform the uninitiated in publications they do not read. The long-term stasis, following a geologically abrupt origin, of most fossil species, has always been recognized by professional paleontologists ... (pp.749-750)

But another reason, beyond tacitly shared knowledge, soon arose to drive stasis more actively into textual silence. Darwinian evolution became the great intellectual novelty of the later 19th century, and paleontology held the archives of life's history. Darwin proclaimed insensibly gradual transition as the canonical expectation for evolution's expression in the fossil record. He knew, of course, that the detailed histories of species rarely show such a pattern, so he explained the literal appearance of stasis and abrupt replacement as an artifact of a woefully imperfect fossil record. Thus, paleontologists could be good Darwinians and still acknowledge the primary fact of their profession - but only at the price of sheepishness or embarrassment. No one can take great comfort when the primary observation of their discipline becomes an artifact of limited evidence rather than an expression of nature's ways. Thus, once gradualism emerged as the expected pattern for documenting evolution - with an evident implication that the fossil record's dominant signal of stasis and abrupt replacement can only be a sign of evidentiary poverty - paleontologists became cowed or puzzled, and even less likely to showcase their primary datum. (p.750)

Instead of gradualism, species appear full-blown in the fossil record, remain in "stasis" for a few million years or longer, essentially unchanged, and then simply disappear. Evolutionists call this punctuated equilibrium, because if you can't explain something, giving it a fancy name makes some of the mystery go away. Darwin wrote, "several of the main divisions of the animal kingdom suddenly appear in the lowest known fossiliferous rocks." He was referring to what today is called the Cambrian Explosion. He called this a "serious" problem which "at present must remain inexplicable; and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained" (On The Origin of Species, Sixth Edition, 1890, Chapter X). Darwin may have been one of the last proponents of the Theory of Evolution to express any honest doubts about it.

It is said that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. But could there be an evidence of absence? Charles Darwin's greatest detractors were not professors of religion, they were paleontologists! Darwin said the lack of evidence to support his ideas was because of imperfections in the fossil record: there were either pages missing from the book, or else we just hadn't read all the pages yet. In the 150 years since Darwin published the first edition of his book, a huge amount of evidence has been gathered, and it supports Darwinism even less now than it did in 1859. Yes, there is evidence of absence, Virginia. And it is overwhelming.

Another feature of the agenda of Evolution "science" is obfuscation, and sometimes, downright dishonesty. Darwinists tend to be as slippery as tongues. Eels are slippery, but think about what tongues do when they slip. In Bait and Switch Science Chuck Colson talks about this Darwinian Dishonesty.

If finch beak variation or birds stealing caps from bottles is what biologists mean by evolution, then call me an evolutionist. But of course, that's not the only meaning. There's another meaning for the term, one that's much more controversial. Macroevolution is a process that supposedly creates innovations, such as new complex organs or new body parts. Darwinists typically "claim that macroevolution is just microevolution continued over a very long time through a mechanism called natural selection," Johnson says. The claim is highly controversial, because the "mechanism of macroevolution has to be able to design and build very complex structures like wings and eyes and brains"—and "it has to have done this reliably again and again."

The trouble is, plenty of experiments have been done that show small changes do not accumulate to make large changes. So what Darwinists need is a new mechanism—yet there is no new mechanism on the horizon.

This, Johnson says, is why Darwinists are reluctant to make a clear distinction between microevolution and macroevolution. They have evidence for a mechanism for minor variation, as with finches' beaks, but he adds, they have no distinct mechanism for the really creative kind of evolution—the kind that builds new body plans and new complex organisms.

As a result, macroevolution is nothing more than a mysterious process with no known mechanism. "A process like that isn't all that different from a God-guided process," Johnson notes, "and it certainly would not support those expansive philosophical statements about evolution being purposeless and undirected."

In conclusion, mixing together gradual descent, natural selection and survival of the fittest and baking them for an hour at 350° won't ever result in anything you'd want to put in your mouth. Darwinism is not at all scientific and never has been. Darwinian evolution is NOT a fact. People find Darwinism appealing because it frees them from responsibility for their actions. Darwinism means there are no limits and I can do anything I want.


At 9/4/09, 4:55 PM, Blogger dc258 said...

Sir, you have no understanding of biology. This article is full of dishonest arguements with no basis in reality.
For example Gould's quotes are concerning speciation and the cambrian expplosion, an important fact which changes the meaning of the quotes.
Have you actually looked at the fossil record? There is thousands of transitional fossils. Even the most basic research would show you that.
Given the circumstances needed for a body to fossilise, and the difficulty in finding them,the number we have is impressive. If it wasnt for predictions of good dig sites evolution theory allows for, such as Whale trasitions in india/pakistan region, the numbers we have would be even lower.
Punctuated equilibrium is a working mathematical function and is therefore proven! If you dont understand it it doesnt make it wrong.
The Cambrain explosion is explained, it's when the oxygen concentration reached the critical concentration that allows aerobic respiration to develope. This created much more ATP and allowed multicellular life to takeoff.
The "macroevolution" nonesense is again just wrong. Again do some research, developement of larger stuctures has been well documented. Look some up.Even a singal mutation can cause large changes, look at Hox gene mutations which cause huge phenotype changes.
The emergense of new species is observed in the lab and in vitro. There is more then enough material in real science sources, try journals or even just a good text books, to know this stuff. There is a reason those of us in the scientific community dont argue about the theory. Just untrained religious retards using nothing but dishonest arguements.

At 5/2/11, 11:47 PM, Blogger thewordofme said...

I would have to agree with this dc258. The fact of evolution has been proven over and over again. you have a very strange grasp of the reality of science...kind of a pick and choose what you "want" to believe.

The Bible (I don't know about the book of Mormon) the bible is not even close to the's mythical folklore written by goat-herders. The whole Christian thing is a lie hanging on by a thread.

At 5/3/11, 2:15 PM, Blogger Grant said...

I love getting rebuttals, especially ones as kindly and thoughtfully written as this one by dc258, who, by the way, can't be indentified by clicking the link to his profile. The best thing about comments like dc258's is that readers can compare then with what I actually said and come to their own conclusions. Of course, the Evolution wackos' minds are like concrete: thoroughly mixed up and permanently set. So an appeal to reason is lost on that lot.

At 5/3/11, 2:20 PM, Blogger Grant said...

To WordOfMe and others of a similar persuasion, I would say that Evolution is NOT a fact. WordOfMe's comment about my "strange grasp of the reality of science" applies to those who "believe" in Evolution. Evolution is a religion (of sorts) that doesn't even have a thread to hang on.

At 6/25/13, 8:07 AM, Blogger Pukrufus said...

DC258 Do you have an understanding of biology? Any of us can read a series of journal articles and call ourselves scientists. Did you perform any of these experiments or are you just relying on Opinion Leaders like Grant is. I don't agree with everything Grant says, and I am very fond of many Evolutionary ideas, but I sense you have just whole-heartedly accepted several theories because they were published somewhere by someone. Richard Dawkins (someone I disagree with on many points, but see at the forefront of your persuasion) would take your last statement about observing evolution in a lab and laugh you to high heaven. The entire point of most of his works is that Evolution happens on too grand a time scale to be easily comprehended by humans. What you are referring to is mutation and natural selection which are completely different animals (no pun intended).
My point is, let us be open to one another's ideas before we try to shut one another down. There is value to be taken from both your position and that of Grant's and we need not be pseudo experts to have an educated opinion.

At 6/25/13, 8:09 AM, Blogger Pukrufus said...

DC258 Do you have an understanding of biology? Any of us can read a series of journal articles and call ourselves scientists. Did you perform any of these experiments or are you just relying on Opinion Leaders like Grant is. I don't agree with everything Grant says, and I am very fond of many Evolutionary ideas, but I sense you have just whole-heartedly accepted several theories because they were published somewhere by someone. Richard Dawkins (someone I disagree with on many points, but see at the forefront of your persuasion) would take your last statement about observing evolution in a lab and laugh you to high heaven. The entire point of most of his works is that Evolution happens on too grand a time scale to be easily comprehended by humans. What you are referring to is mutation and natural selection which are completely different animals (no pun intended).
My point is, let us be open to one another's ideas before we try to shut one another down. There is value to be taken from both your position and that of Grant's and we need not be pseudo experts to have an educated opinion.


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