Richard Dawkins Exposed: Part I

I have wanted to write in depth about Richard Dawkins for quite a while, so I’m going to try in small chunks as work is busy at the moment.

His website contains the strap line, “a clear-thinking oasis,” which cannot be allowed to go uncontested.

Professor Dawkins is someone I follow on Twitter and I just received notification of this video on how cults rewire the brain.

People like Dawkins love crazy cults and try to score points by creating a muddle in the minds of their adherents when they lump all religions together and say, look at these crazy people believing in the ‘flying spaghetti monster’ and blowing people up.

If Dawkins ever did manage to create a clear-thinking oasis, I’m sure he would be seen by most people to be the muddle-headed gentleman he is.

In the video, Diane Benscoter mentions Moonies straight off, which is received with a fair amount of laughter.

Twenty years after she left the cult she asked herself: “how did this happen to me and in fact what did happen to my brain?”

This is a sentiment I fully appreciate because I was in a cult for about thirty months: the Mormons.

Benscoter talks about the Jonestown massacre in Guyana in 1978 where a cult led by a clearly insane ‘preacher’ Jim Jones lost hundreds of people in an apparent mass suicide. There are conspiracy theories suggestive of a CIA mind-control experiment, but let’s stick to the facts.

The video switches from the pictures of dead bodies at Jonestown to pictures suggesting that a mass Moonie wedding is equivalent to a meeting of Hitler youth.

We then see the severed leg of a suicide bomber.

She is presenting mixed images of what she wants her audience to think ‘religion’ means: cruelty, death and Nazi-style organisation.

She is using techniques she accuses her adversaries of employing in the mind control of their ‘believers’. Well she should know the tricks as she was a) in the Moonies and b) a deprogrammer.

She thinks she has found the answer in a “viral memetic infection”. You’ve never heard of it? Hardly surprising as a Google search for the exact phrase produces only fourteen results.

Like so many that fall into the clutches of anti-Christian cults, I was recovering from a long painful period when the missionaries called and I was smitten with their message of the ‘true’ church. There was probably an element of chemical imbalance in my brain because I wonder now: how could I possibly have been fooled, but the Lord’s ways are sometimes mysterious and wonderful and maybe I was introduced to Mormonism for a short time in order to expose the cult as being based on the imaginations of conmen and Freemasons.

I think this lady may be part of a very influencial, multi-faceted ‘cult’ in todays world. She is convinced that a brainscan of somebody with her “viral memetic infection” would look ‘very, very different’ from someone with a normal brain, whatever that might be.

Humanist/atheist/evolutionists accuse us Creationists of not being scientific (which is false) and here we have a wild and unfounded scientific speculation based on a made-up mental condition.

It would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious.

Then we get a big sign flashed up: “WE HAVE A PROBLEM” but it’s in our brain, ‘there’s no evil force out there to get us’ and it can be solved through research and education.

In other words, she wants her invented viral infection to be taught is the cause of religious belief and that there is no good or evil, no Heaven or Hell. In other words, her deprogramming was unsuccessful as she has become part a humanist cult where she feels the need to ‘educate’ the masses that there is something wrong with us.

She finishes by reassuring us that there is ‘no us and them’ except that the humanists who wish to ban anything religious are the new ‘them’.

So what attracted Professor Dawkins to this video in which, in a very dishonest fashion, an ex-Moonie tries to convince us, with absolutely no scientific evidence, that the brain of a ‘believer’ is very different to that of someone normal?

Why does he imagine that he offers a ‘clear-thinking oasis’ when promoting someone who confuses the issues with mixed messages and uses mind-control techniques of her own?

I will be delighted to expose Mr Dawkins some more soon.

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70 Responses to Richard Dawkins Exposed: Part I

  1. Godfree Gordon says:

    Stewart, Stewart, Stewart

    Where do I begin?

    You obviously are oblivious to the satire of the “Flying Spaghetti Monster” (FSM) religion. Richard cites this “religion” to show how man made religions are. The FSM is entirely fictional (sorry for giving the game away folks) created around the time of the Dover trial.

    You have proven the point of religions as cults in your first few breaths by saying you were once a member of a cult too – the Mormons. Well, mainstream belief is that the Mormons are a religion. It seems that only other Christian believers and non-believers call it a cult…

    As far as putting the boot into Richard, your piece shows you’ve still got your slippers on.

  2. Ron Chmara says:

    The “infection” problem is one of circular thinking, where a mind becomes convinced that something is universally “True”. Missionaries and Evangelical types then (regardless of the “Truth” they champion, be it LDS, Athieism, Trinitarianism, Islam, whatever) try to share the “Truth” with others.

    And yes, it actually shows up on brain scans, when people are asked if they doubt their “Truth”. Their minds are much less active.

  3. Stewart Cowan says:

    Gordon. Thanks for your input. The Mormons have been desperate to change their image which is why they paint their cult as a smiley-happy-family band of Christians.

    They have fooled you if you believe they are anything but a cult, albeit quite a large one now.

    The truth is that their ‘prophets’ can be demonstrated to be wrong, but their get out clause is that the living ‘prophet’ can amend or overrule previous prophesies.

    How convenient, eh?

    “As far as putting the boot into Richard, your piece shows you’ve still got your slippers on.”

    That was funny. Don’t worry, the slippers will be reinforced with steel toecaps in future pieces. It’s the cat I feel sorry for!

  4. Stewart Cowan says:

    Ron, yes, Diane Benscoter talked about circular thinking and it can be a powerful weapon against the truth.

    I’m sure my mind was less active as a Mormon because you do relax your critical thinking. If you have a doubt you are persuaded that the problem lies with you.

    It is the same in the world generally with the humanist/atheist/evolution cult, if I may generalise.

    It’s why Richard Dawkins must be challenged. He uses circular reasoning. All evolutionists do. One simple example is dating rocks and fossils: a fossil appears in a certain stratum, therefore it is X-million years old; a stratum contains a certain fossil that died out X-million years ago, so that rock layer is the same age.

    At the end of the day, Creationism and Darwinism are belief systems, but Dawkins in his mud-infested-swamp-thinking oasis won’t admit it.

  5. Joseph Kelly says:

    Freemasons? CIA mind-control experiment? I think you spend too much time on the wrong websites… And what’s an anti-Christian cult? What’s an evolutionist? Is that someone who practices evolutionism?

    Are there people who worship electromagnetism too? Of course, you have to “believe” in electromagnetism otherwise your TV wouldn’t work. But evolution? No, you don’t have to “believe” that part of science because none of my appliances depend on it! Your brain is addled, Stewart. Take a few deep breaths, clear out the cob webs, and start to think for yourself. It will be a refreshing change.

  6. s.k.graham says:

    Stewart, I’m bored, so I’ll bite.

    The video appears on Dawkin’s site because a site admin thought it would be of interest to people who are generally interested in the subjects explored on the site. Period. It is mainly of interest because of the description of her personal experience of involvement with a cult. The video is not endorsed or promoted, it is merely presented as something to be considered and discussed.

    Her juxtaposition of Nazis and Moonies, and other photos, are there to make a point. I cannot say whether she thinks that these photos prove anything, but I do not get the impression that she does. In any event, clear thinking fans of Dawkin’s site are not going to take those photos as evidence of anything (other than the actual events that they depict, of course).

    The woman is not a scientist and does not present herself as such. She simply expresses her personal conviction about the “wiring” of cultist brains. Although she feels highly confident of her conclusion, she clearly does not present this idea as confirmed fact. Rather, she presents an interesting question to be researched.

  7. Was Early Christianity a “cult”? The Church of Jesus Christ (LDS) more nearly approximates the Early Christian Church than any other denomination:

    http://MormonsAreChristian.blogspot

    Isn’t a First Century church more “Christian” than a Fourth Century (Creedal) Church?

  8. Oli says:

    Stewart, exactly how is evolution a cult? That just makes no sense! Biological change over time is a fact and evolution is the theory that explains it. A cult is a non-mainstream religion that is generally damaging to it’s members. I don’t see how the two compare!

    Also, your claim that Darwinism is a belief system similar to Creationism is simply laughable. One is backed up by mountains of evidence and therefore does not require belief, the other is not. I’ll let you decide which is which.

  9. Stewart Cowan says:

    Joseph – thanks for passing this way. The first 4 or 5 Mormon presidents were Freemasons as were many of the leaders, so my saying so is not the product of an ‘addled’ brain.

    I have been through the Mormon Endowment process at one of the ‘temples’ several times and it is clearly based on the Masonic one – Joseph Smith became a Mason and straightaway produced ‘his’ ceremony. They try and tell you that it’s similar because the Masons were holding onto the ‘truth’ from Solomon’s Temple until the time came to return this ‘truth’ to the ‘true’ church.

    What this lady Diane Benscoter was rightly wanting to know is why do we believe such things wholeheartedly.

    As for CIA mind-control, why not do some research? And anyway, you may have noticed that it was a suggestion and I said “but let’s stick to the facts.”

    Don’t try to make gain from a non-issue, you’re not Dawkins (are you?).

    “And what’s an anti-Christian cult?”

    Obviously things like Islam – a desert cult-turned humungous beast, but I was thinking more specifically of the likes of the Mormons whose members think they are in a Christian religion – in fact THE Christian church. They are living a lie as I was. There is only one Christian church, they’re right about that, but it is made up of the body of believers in Christ.

    “start to think for yourself. It will be a refreshing change.”

    I started doing that a while back, now it’s your turn…

  10. Stewart Cowan says:

    S.K. Graham – thanks for your comments. I am sure that Mr Dawkins allows website content to be decided by others, but this video is a very poor defence of anything any self-respecting atheist/humanist (are there any?) would want, surely?

    “Her juxtaposition of Nazis and Moonies, and other photos, are there to make a point.”

    What is that point? It seems to me she uses the same old propaganda techniques specifically to bracket all religions together – make them all sound evil – and make the case for atheism. Of course the Nazi ideology was based on evolution and the resulting godless eugenics.

    I wonder if the ‘clear-thinking’ Dawkins-follower considers this.

    “In any event, clear thinking fans of Dawkin’s site are not going to take those photos as evidence of anything (other than the actual events that they depict, of course).”

    So they don’t think at all really. Thanks for the confirmation (I already knew, though) ;-)

  11. Stewart Cowan says:

    ‘Mormons Are Christian’ – As I replied to Joseph (not Smith!) There is only one Christian church but it is made up of the body of believers in Christ.

    For any church or person to claim sole authenticity is a scandal and against what the Bible says.

    Read the Acts and you’ll see that thousands believed and were baptized the same day.

    They didn’t need six ‘lessons’ first or promise to obey the ‘Word of Wisdom’ or do this or think that. They repented and had faith and that is what is required to be a follower of Christ.

    I once believed as you. I went out knocking doors trying to swell our numbers. I considered myself to be a Christian and I thought the church was Christian, but it’s not.

    As I have already said, the church is largely founded upon Freemasonry – an unChristian organisation – that allegedly kept the secrets of Solomon’s Temple alive until Joseph Smith Jr could access them.

    Do you believe this?

  12. Stewart Cowan

    While it is true there are elements of Solomon’s temple in both the LDS and Masonic ceremonies, you will have to admit that there is no Christian religion in the Masonic ceremony.

    To understand how Jesus Christ initiated Christian aspects to Solomon’s temple go to:

    http://NewTestamentTempleCeremony.blogspot.com

    These Christian ceremonies were given to His Apostles during the 40 days between his Resurrection and Ascension.

    It is obvious from your comments you did not read why Mormons are Christian:

    http://MormonsAreChristian.blogspot.com

  13. Stewart Cowan says:

    Oli – welcome.

    “Biological change over time is a fact and evolution is the theory that explains it.”

    Biological change over time is indeed a fact and the Theory of Evolution is one way of explaining the variety of life on earth, however, the type of change we witness in living organisms is almost always due to a LOSS of information in the genome. This type of change is contrary to what is required for the Theory of Evolution to work.

    “A cult is a non-mainstream religion that is generally damaging to it’s members.”

    I suppose the word ‘cult’ means different things to different people. I use it to describe humanists/atheists because they follow a belief system and expect others to do the same. Their beliefs are based on false deductions from the available evidence.

    For example, they believe in the Theory of Evolution, despite nearly all observed mutations resulting in a loss of genetic information, which doesn’t make the TofE work no matter what age you give to the Earth.

  14. Darren says:

    Hi Stewart
    Interesting piece, but unfortunately so many bus sized holes that it is of little use for you stated aim. Rather than focusing on these holes I just wanted to mention some of my thoughts.

    A few years ago I attended a lecture at my place of employment that dealt with the imaging of pain in the human brain. One of the most interesting parts of this lecture was the response of subjects when they watched someone they cared about being subjected to low levels of pain (I don’t remember the details but it was probably electric shocks), the same part of the subjects brains were fired even though they weren’t receiving the shock. This led me to think that it would be interesting to see which parts of the brain are fired when people are having a religious experience, if pain can be triggered without being subjected to pain could god be triggered without being subjected to god and therefore could religious ardour just be the miss-firing of some latent survival mechanism?

    I noted recently that there is now a study into the areas of the brain that are triggered by religion so hopefully this study will lead to more understanding of what causes the ‘religious experience’.

    Why is this relevant, you pooh poohed the idea of the brains of the religious and the non-religious being different but if it could soon be shown that brains of the religious do indeed trigger in some way that is different or more noticeable than the non-religious brains would you change your view point and issue an apology to Diane?

    It could even be possible at some point to track down the reaction to a specific combination of DNA.

    Now that would be interesting, you could select in or out religiosity from your offspring via IVF, obviously if you selected religiosity in there would not be any guarantee that your offspring grew up to believe in the same god as you but ‘them’s the breaks’ when there are so many ‘right’ religions to choose from…

  15. GBile says:

    Stewart,
    Better rename your articles ‘Stewart Cowan exposed’. You are capable of being fooled into becoming a Mormon for 2.5 years. But instead of coming to your senses (was it the underwear that did it ?), you lapsed into even greater ignorance. Doubting the dating-techniques that science has developed? Evolution is a belief?
    I am sorry, but you are wrong (read ‘A little sympathy for the snookered • PZ Myers – Pharyngula’ , PZ characterizes your mindset very well).
    But you are welcome into our ‘cult’. You might have a life after all.

    GBile

  16. Hao Wooi Lim says:

    “Evolution is not a cult because it’s not damaging to the people who believes it.” – Probably. However, if the believe in evolution also causes them to somehow believes in survival of the fittest, and if that’s the reason that some of us fight for land, power, conformity, belief (religion) through war and violence, then, it could very well be call a cult. Maybe even worse than a cult, because not only is it damaging to the believer, it’s also damaging to the non-believer, trapped in a war they didn’t start, and die for a cause they didn’t believe in.

  17. Oli says:

    Stewart, the old LOSS of information argument! Are you reading this stuff out of “Tired Creationist Arguments 101″ or something? The information content of a length of DNA is not reduced by mutation. Information is encoded in DNA as combinations of genes that interact with each other, via their products – proteins – over developmental time. The interaction between genes is what’s important, and it’s that that produces organisms. Mutating a gene produces a different developmental profile which creates a slightly different organism (in fact in most cases mutations have no effect) but that DOESN’T mean that information has been lost (unless you define information in an odd way) it just means that the genes interact differently! How do *you* define information by the way?

    Now, a lot of mutations are detrimental for an organism living in a typical environment (i.e. the environment that it has evolved in) but that’s not when evolution occurs!! Organisms living in a typical environment have already converged on an evolutionary peak for that environment, that’s WHY it’s a typical environment for them, therefore lots of mutations make them less fit. But Evolution occurs when the environment *****CHANGES*****, when organisms are exposed to ATYPICAL environments and therefore DIFFERENT selective pressure. For example, Polar Bears are under considerable selective pressure as their typical environment is slowly eroded by global warming. This is precisely when mutations that would have been detrimental in a typical environment start to become advantageous, simply because the evolutionary landscape has changed!!

    As for Atheism being a belief, that’s just silly! What is an atheist? An atheist is someone who has listened to the claims of a Theist (be it a Christian, Muslim or whatever) and has been unconvinced by their reasons for belief. You must be doing mental acrobatics to turn disbelief into belief!!

  18. Stewart Cowan says:

    Darren – “Interesting piece”

    Thank you. I’m glad someone appreciates me. I hope to fill those bus-sized holes as time goes by.

    I’m actually agreeing with Diane that there is something going on that made her and myself believe the lies of a cult. She actually said that somebody with her “viral memetic infection” would look ‘very, very different’. I think she may have exaggerated.

    Here’s my interesting deduction from your comment about the response of subjects when they watched someone they cared about being subjected to low levels of pain.

    The pain was real!

    If part of the brain lights up during a ‘religious experience’ how can anyone use that as an excuse to say that it is all in the mind?

    What does this type of experiment prove other than various areas of the brain are activated during certain experiences or thought processes?

  19. Stewart Cowan says:

    G Bile – The compliments were short-lived. Oh, well.

    I admit to having been fooled into becoming a Mormon (fool me once shame on you…).

    Have you never been taken in? Have you never been at a low ebb? have you any sympathy for those who have been fooled?

    “Doubting the dating-techniques that science has developed?”

    It is cyclical reasoning, like Diane was talking about.

    How can soft tissue still be found in dinosaur bones if they truly died out millions of years ago?

    That’s real science with evidence.

    “Evolution is a belief?”

    The Theory of Evolution is a belief. The idea that we evolved gradually from pond slime is not fact, therefore it is a belief.

    “But you are welcome into our ‘cult’.”

    Thanks, but no thanks.

    “You might have a life after all.”

    You mean I could be a really nasty person with a huge chip on his shoulder about religious people.

    I’ll stick with the life I have!

  20. Stewart Cowan says:

    Hao Wooi Lim – hello,

    You are correct. If I mention the war, Godwin’s Law will be mentioned, but surely the great murderous regimes of the 20th Century had their beliefs in Darwinist thinking?

    This has continued in modern ‘eugenics’ where abortion is not murder but ‘a woman’s choice’ and euthanasia and ‘assisted suicide’ are becoming more acceptable to some.

    Here’s a little Bob Dylan:

    How many times must a man look up
    Before he can see the sky?
    Yes, ‘n’ how many ears must one man have
    Before he can hear people cry?
    Yes, ‘n’ how many deaths will it take till he knows
    That too many people have died?
    The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,
    The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

  21. Stewart Cowan says:

    Oli- hello again,

    “How do *you* define information by the way?”

    Instructions in the genome and how these are manifested in the organism.

    “But Evolution occurs when the environment *****CHANGES*****”

    Indeed, but what we actually witness – the actual evidence – is that the changes are due to a loss of information.

    For example, I have just read about a species of flying beetle that ended up on a new island – a very windy one – and now the beetles there have no wings and so they are not blown out to sea.

    So it’s natural selection, but what we have is no wings, which is a loss of information.

    “As for Atheism being a belief, that’s just silly!”

    Even Prof Dawkins concedes that there may be a ‘god’. His bus adverts say “There is probably no God”.

    He believes that there is no Creator – it is a belief – against the evidence, I have to say.

  22. John says:

    Dear Stewart Cowan

    Which God do you believe in?

    Why is your God the one true God as opposed to the whole bunch of other gods that other religions believe in?

    Do you believe your God created the world several thousand years ago along with Adam and Eve and ALL the animals and plants etc?

    I grew up in church and even when I was ten years ago I was very unconvinced that the whole religious thing is real.

    If you answer yes to the last question especially, youre denying the proof of evidence of a heck of lot smarter scientists that us.

    Evolution isnt a theory, its fact. Do some reading.

    The evidence shows this planet is millions of years old.

    Show me tangible proof of your one true unique God and I’ll instantly convert.

    BTW re that bus ad, you got your wires crossed. (conveniently)

    For a goodness sake please open your eyes buddy and start clear thinking.

  23. Stewart Cowan says:

    John – thanks for your comments.

    I believe in the one true God.

    “Why is your God the one true God as opposed to the whole bunch of other gods that other religions believe in?”

    Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

    “Do you believe your God created the world several thousand years ago along with Adam and Eve and ALL the animals and plants etc?”

    Do you believe you are descended from pond slime in a universe which formed out of nothing? Which is more likely?

    “I grew up in church and even when I was ten years ago I was very unconvinced that the whole religious thing is real.”

    Which church? Regretfully, many churches have lost the plot. The people are embarrassed and won’t stand up for what they believe. Many Christians believe in the TofE even though it is at odds with scripture.

    “Evolution isnt a theory, its fact. Do some reading.”

    Evolutionists give me a slapped wrist for saying they consider the TofE to be a fact and they insist it is a theory.

    “The evidence shows this planet is millions of years old.”

    Actually, you’re wrong. The evidence (which is all in the present, remember) has been misunderstood.

    When you add the Great Flood into the equation then you get a lot of your questions answered.

    “Show me tangible proof of your one true unique God and I’ll instantly convert.”

    This life is for each of us to find that out for ourselves, with His grace, of course.

    “BTW re that bus ad, you got your wires crossed. (conveniently)”

    How? I have heard Dawkins admit that he isn’t 100% sure.

    “For a goodness sake please open your eyes buddy and start clear thinking.”

    I did that when I started investigating the claims of evolutionists. Don’t believe everything just because it is popular. That’s not ‘clear thinking’.

  24. Oli says:

    Stewart
    “Instructions in the genome and how these are manifested in the organism.”

    OK, but this is a very strange definition of information. Why not use Shannon information theory to define information? At least then your working in the bounds of actual science and can debate people on this topic. Your not actually talking about information at all, your talking about phenotypic traits.

    “Indeed, but what we actually witness – the actual evidence – is that the changes are due to a loss of information.
    For example, I have just read about a species of flying beetle that ended up on a new island – a very windy one – and now the beetles there have no wings and so they are not blown out to sea. So it’s natural selection, but what we have is no wings, which is a loss of information.”

    Wow your making a HUGE assumption here. What makes you think that because a species of beetle lost it’s wings, that it lost information in it’s genome?? This is where your going to come unstuck by confusing information with the presence or absence of phenotypic traits. Just because a trait is not present doesn’t mean that the genome has lost information or even lost a gene, it doesn’t even mean that the genome has become less complex! It just means that the gene interactions which control development have changed. It’s entirely possible that the genome has become MORE complex (i.e. more complex gene interactions) and the new gene interactions have interfered with the development of a previously common trait (i.e. wings). You must have an appreciation of developmental biology and the mathematics underpinning it before making assumptions like this.

    As a side note, there are many examples of genetic adaptations which have caused modifications to existing traits (for example, look at any domestication study). There are also good examples of mutations which have lead to entirely *new* traits (for example cecal valves in Podarcis Sicula, a.k.a. Italian Wall Lizards).

    “Even Prof Dawkins concedes that there may be a ‘god’. His bus adverts say “There is probably no God”.
    He believes that there is no Creator – it is a belief – against the evidence, I have to say.”

    First things first, it wasn’t Dawkin’s Bus adverts, they were down to the comedian Ariane Sherine. Of course Dawkin’s concedes that there may be a God, any self respecting Atheist *must* concede to this. It’s impossible to be 100% certain about anything, including the (non)existence of god. It would be totally arrogant to say differently hence the “probably” in the bus advert. The difference between Dawkins (any Atheist actually) and Theists is that Dawkin’s has never made a claim! Theists have made a MONUMENTAL claim, it is up to them to provide evidence (and it better be amazing evidence given the size of the claim) because they are the ones with the irrational belief! Your making Atheism out to be a positive stance, it’s not, it never can be, because it make NO CLAIM. Presumably you don’t believe in Scientology, that doesn’t make your disbelief in Scientology a belief!

  25. Oli says:

    Sorry for the bad formatting on the last post, everything in “” is what you (Stewart) said to a previous comment of mine and everything below the “” is my reply.

  26. Stewart Cowan says:

    Hello Oli, thanks for your reply.

    I’m off to church soon (boo, hiss) so I’ll reply later.

    Just want to say that Dawkins was involved in the bus campaign. He gave money to it as far as I recall.

  27. Oli says:

    Hi Stewart,

    Yes, he donated £5000, but that doesn’t make them “His bus adverts”. Look forward to your reply.

  28. Stewart Cowan says:

    I think you’re being somewhat pedantic, Oli. Here’s the professor getting quite involved.

  29. Oli says:

    No, I’m really not. You made out that the bus adverts were Dawkins’ adverts. They were not. It was not his idea, and they were in no way done in his name, his foundation simply supported the cause as did many many *many* other organisations and individuals.

    Anyway this is hardly the point of discussion. You challenged the TofE and I, as someone who has studied it in depth and use it’s principles on a daily basis, have defended it. I haven’t defended it because it’s my religion or faith, I’ve defended it because it’s the best explanation of the diversity of life on Earth, supported by MOUNTAINS of evidence that you are clearly unaware of.

  30. Stewart Cowan says:

    Oli, okay, let’s just get on with the main issue.

    I was presuming the beetles’ loss of wings was due to genetic mutation, yes.

    “It’s entirely possible that the genome has become MORE complex (i.e. more complex gene interactions) and the new gene interactions have interfered with the development of a previously common trait (i.e. wings).”

    That’s a possibility, but either way – yours or mine – the result is a less complex creature (i.e. wingless).

    I have used these Italian Wall Lizards as examples myself.

    I have thoughts about your statement that these are “entirely *new* traits (for example cecal valves)”.

    Some other species of Lizard have these valves. My thought is that these wall lizards were already programmed to produce these (long redundant in this species) parts if necessary and the change in diet and environment necessitated their reappearance.

  31. Oli says:

    > “That’s a possibility, but either way – yours or mine – the result is a less complex creature (i.e. wingless).”

    First of all, I disagree that it’s necessarily a less complex creature just because it lost it’s wings. If you want to argue that complexity is measured by how many appendages something has then millipedes win hands down! Basically it seems that your suggesting evolution mostly goes backwards, which is of course absolute rubbish. Just the notion that evolution has a direction is absolute rubbish. Sometimes co-evolution between competing species, or even competing population of the same species, increases complexity (if you want to call it complexity), for example read about the red queen effect. But that doesn’t mean evolution is trying to get somewhere, there’s no goal in mind, things aren’t “trying” to get more complex. Why does a Beetle that looses it’s wings evidence against evolution? And if, for some very bizzare reason, you think that the loss of a trait is evidence against evolution I’ve already given an example of a new trait evolving.

    > “My thought is that these wall lizards were already programmed to produce these (long redundant in this species) parts if necessary and the change in diet and environment necessitated their reappearance.”

    Two things: First, it sounds like your suggesting neutral evolution. Neutral evolution – where genetic mutations that have no selectively important effect on the organism in their typical environment, but in a different environment start to have positive or negative effects – is already well understood as an important process in evolution. It’s one mechanism by which diversity (genetic diversity, not organismic diversity) is maintained in populations. Because natural selection is “blind” to neutral genetic mutations, these genes are free to “drift” randomly until an environmental change occurs bringing them back under the control of natural selection. Secondly, less than 1% of all lizard species have cecal valves, they are very rare in lizards. Prior to the experiment on the evolution of Italian Wall Lizards these valves had never been reported in this species. These valves are a *new* trait.

  32. Stewart Cowan says:

    It makes you think though – how did the first wings form by natural processes. No designer, yet amazing precision flying machines were created (or appeared) – everything perfectly made, connected to the body and the brain. Hard to believe it could just occur, isn’t it?

    “Why does a Beetle that looses it’s wings evidence against evolution?”

    Changes that result in a (debatably) less complex creature are contrary to what the Theory of Evolution requires to work. the TofE needs lots of new information for new creatures to develop. It needs wings appearing, not disappearing.

    The cecal valves actually fit into Creationism. The actual ‘created kind’ lizards would have had all sorts of attributes in the beginning and as they filled the earth (after the Flood), they evolved to adapt to their new, varied habitats.

    I understand that the cecal valves in Podarcis sicula were required due to the lizards’ increased intake of plant material in their new home.

    The interesting thing is that, according to the Bible, all creatures were vegetarian before the Flood, so they may all have had the valves.

    It’s like the human appendix. A theory by evolutionists is that it was necessary for our primate ancestors whose diet was mainly leaves.

    My Creationist view, same as with the lizards, is that we were all vegetarian before the Flood and these body parts became redundant when we began eating flesh. Of course, the appendix still appears in everyone (as far as I know). With people turning veggie once more, perhaps it’s just as well.

  33. Al says:

    ONE: You’re a creationist. That either makes you…

    A – a liar
    B – crazy
    C – delusional
    D – all of the above

    TWO: The Great Flood. Please provide credible, scientifically verifiable evidence that supports your proposition. Don’t bother looking for it, you won’t find it. And don’t refer to the Bible, there’s no truth contained in any of its pages.

    THREE: Creationism does not answer any serious question regarding the origins of life on this planet, how old the planet is, etc. Have you ever read about an obscure realm of Science known as Geography?

    FOUR: Paleontology. Again, I’m guessing that you’ve either never heard of this realm of Science, or you’re choosing to ignore it to suit your rather silly blog.

    FIVE: Bigotry. What makes your belief special, important and not a cult when compared to Mormonism et al? Essentially, you all have the same delusion that the world was created by a lovely sky fairy, you believe in imaginary friends, and put inflammatory and baseless flyers through letter boxes preaching your delusion.

    Seems very similar, don’t you think?

  34. Al says:

    THREE: Creationism does not answer any serious question regarding the origins of life on this planet, how old the planet is, etc. Have you ever read about an obscure realm of Science known as Geography? – Oops, that should be Geology.

  35. Stewart Cowan says:

    Well, Al, you’re upset for some reason.

    “ONE: You’re a creationist. That either makes you…”

    You missed an option: “correct”.

    “TWO: The Great Flood.”

    There is global evidence. The Flood best explains much of the world’s geographical features.

    “Don’t bother looking for it, you won’t find it.”

    I have and I did.

    “THREE: Creationism does not answer any serious question regarding the origins of life on this planet, how old the planet is, etc.”

    It answers these things.

    “Have you ever read about an obscure realm of Science known as Geology (corr.)”

    The evidence is all in the present. It’s how you read that evidence that’s important.

    “FOUR: Paleontology. Again, I’m guessing that you’ve either never heard of this realm of Science, or you’re choosing to ignore it to suit your rather silly blog.”

    Again, the evidence is all in the present, including dinosaur bones with soft, stretchy tissue still inside.

    70 million years old? You think?

    “FIVE: Bigotry. What makes your belief special, important and not a cult when compared to Mormonism et al?”

    Mormonism is demonstrably fraudulent as are many other cults. Some are dangerous. Some just want your cash. Genuine faith in Christ sets you free; it doesn’t bind you down.

    “Essentially, you all have the same delusion that the world was created by a lovely sky fairy”

    Essentially, those who call themselves atheists love to bracket all religions together to try and make their argument seem believable.

    “you believe in imaginary friends, and put inflammatory and baseless flyers through letter boxes preaching your delusion.”

    What do you mean by “inflammatory?”

    If you are upset about being reminded that unrepentant sinners will burn for eternity then don’t blame the messengers; they are doing it for your benefit. If these are ‘imaginary’ friends then why are you so upset?

  36. Al says:

    “ONE: You’re a creationist. That either makes you…”
    You missed an option: “correct”.

    Correct how? In what way is your position correct? Can you provide any credible, peer reviewed EVIDENCE to back up your position? You didn’t the first time you answered and I’m not holding out for an intelligent response this time round.

    “TWO: The Great Flood.”
    There is global evidence. The Flood best explains much of the world’s geographical features.
    “Don’t bother looking for it, you won’t find it.”
    I have and I did.

    Oh dear, you really need to stop, take a deep breath and get out more. Seriously, you’ll find it refreshing.

    “THREE: Creationism does not answer any serious question regarding the origins of life on this planet, how old the planet is, etc.”
    It answers these things.

    Again, not once have you provided credible EVIDENCE to back up your position. I’m going to quote Hitchens here…”what can be asserted without proof, can be dismissed without proof”. Your baseless statements fit this perfectly.

    “FOUR: Paleontology. Again, I’m guessing that you’ve either never heard of this realm of Science, or you’re choosing to ignore it to suit your rather silly blog.”

    Again, the evidence is all in the present, including dinosaur bones with soft, stretchy tissue still inside.
    70 million years old? You think?

    Please, you’re reaching. And failing, miserably.

    “FIVE: Bigotry. What makes your belief special, important and not a cult when compared to Mormonism et al?”
    Mormonism is demonstrably fraudulent as are many other cults. Some are dangerous. Some just want your cash. Genuine faith in Christ sets you free; it doesn’t bind you down.
    “Essentially, you all have the same delusion that the world was created by a lovely sky fairy”
    Essentially, those who call themselves atheists love to bracket all religions together to try and make their argument seem believable.

    LOL, funniest thing I’ve read in ages. There are quite a few sky fairies that humans believe in, all share similar traits – the biggest being that they are man-made fantasies. I’m guessing you’ve never heard of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the Invisible Pink Unicorn, and Russell’s Celestial Teapot – which has, btw, evaded Hubble’s preying eye for at least 10 years now whilst orbiting Mars…

    “you believe in imaginary friends, and put inflammatory and baseless flyers through letter boxes preaching your delusion.”
    What do you mean by “inflammatory?”

    As a fan of the truth, a pamphlet trumpeting the crazy ideals behind religious delusion are inflammatory – they are filled with hatred, bile and above all, lies about humans and our home planet. What you regard as truth, I regard as an affront to humanity.

  37. Stewart Cowan says:

    Al – I’m not sure you want answers. I think it would be a blow to you. You say you are “a fan of the truth,” but I’ve seldom come across someone who seems further from it than yourself.

    Your attitude is not a convivial one, but that’s par for the course. I feel like ignoring your comments because you are so filled with self-importance, but I’ll try and reach you anyway.

    Here’s a tiny starter: Evidence for a Global Flood Part One

    The chances of unfossilized dinosaur bone complete with stretchy soft tissue surviving for 65-plus million years is, I would say, impossible.

    In Wooton Bassett there are “165 million year old” ammonites that the mysterious mud springs throw out that still have shimmering mother-of-pearl shells.

    See also:

    Unfossilized dinosaur bones

    Al – please can you explain how this evidence can be used to support the theory that all these creatures died out millions of years ago?

  38. Oli says:

    Sorry for the late reply Stewart,

    > “It makes you think though – how did the first wings form by natural processes. No designer, yet amazing precision flying machines were created (or appeared) – everything perfectly made, connected to the body and the brain. Hard to believe it could just occur, isn’t it?”

    It didn’t “just occur”, neither is it “perfectly made”. First, evolution has very little to do with chance, in-fact natural selection – the central process behind evolution – is the *opposite* of chance. You make it sound like evolution is random when you say “Hard to believe it could just occur”. Secondly, some very strong evidence in support of evolution comes from many examples of *bad* “designs” in nature, nature is far from perfect. Evolution does not have the ability to start from scratch, it can only modify what already exists, hence the quirky “designs”. God, on the other hand, can’t use that as an excuse, why didn’t he just design everything perfectly from the start?

    > “the TofE needs lots of new information for new creatures to develop.”

    That’s just wrong! TofE needs *different* information to develop new creatures, not more information. I get the feeling you don’t fully appreciate how information is stored in the genome. A common analogy is that the genome is like an instruction book, or blueprint, for life. That analogy is great for conveying the basic concept of genetics, but falls flat on it’s face when you look more closely at genes and development. In a book, information is stored in symbols (letters). Combined symbols create words, and words have a predefined meaning in the language used to interpret them. Genes are not static symbols, they produce proteins that interact with other genes. Genes regulate each others activities, in some cases genes literally switch off other genes in the genome and stop them working all together. There is no equivalent to these interaction in written languages, it would be like letters adding and removing other letters in a word in real-time! It would be impossible for us to interpret the information because the words would be changing all the time! Now, I agree that in a book, the information content can only be changed by either adding or removing letters/words. However, in a genome the information content can be changed by simply changing one of the genes so that it’s interaction with other genes changes. A vastly more “complex” creature can be made by simply changing an already existing gene, even the removal of a gene could produce a more “complex” creature. The idea that evolution cannot add new information is simply absurd! It can, and it does!!

    > “The actual ‘created kind’ lizards would have had all sorts of attributes in the beginning and as they filled the earth (after the Flood), they evolved to adapt to their new, varied habitats.”

    This completely confused me! I thought you were against evolution? Now your saying that the lizards evolved!!!!! Your using evolutionary theory to attack the theory of evolution LOL. I think you need to reconsider your position carefully because your making no sense at all!

    Oli.

  39. Stewart Cowan says:

    Hello Oli – don’t know where you are, but it’s 1.30am here and I’m off to bed in a mo.

    Let me just take your last point first before I go. Of course, I’m not against evolution per se – it is a very, very clear fact that animals evolve – but only up to a point.

    It’s the Theory of Evolution which is objectionable and is without scientific proof – the ‘molecules to man’ theory; the ‘microbes to microbiologists’ story.

    I hope my clarification has been successful.

    Guten nacht!

  40. Oli says:

    “I hope my clarification has been successful.”

    No it hasn’t, why do animals only evolve up to a point, there isn’t a shred of evidence that supports this. Where is this imaginary line beyond which animals stop evolving? And why would god build in such a line? It makes no sense! Evolution, as you point out, is a clear fact, there’s absolutely *no* reason to believe that it would suddenly stop at some point.

    “It’s the Theory of Evolution which is objectionable and is without scientific proof”

    What?!?! Why do you say evolution is without proof? The genetic evidence alone is *more* than enough proof for the theory of evolution, that’s without including evidence from studies of ring species, fossil records, mathematical models, homology studies in developmental biology and molecular biology, studies of vestigial organs, domestication studies etc, etc. How much more proof do you want?
    Oli.

  41. Al says:

    Let me just take your last point first before I go. Of course, I’m not against evolution per se – it is a very, very clear fact that animals evolve – but only up to a point. It’s the Theory of Evolution which is objectionable and is without scientific proof – the ‘molecules to man’ theory; the ‘microbes to microbiologists’ story. I hope my clarification has been successful.

    What is very clear that you do not understand Darwin’s Theory of Evolution at all. Evolution is a proven fact that has effected, and affects every animal on this planet; which btw, we are one of. You are entitled to your opinion of course. But that is all it is an, opinion – and a wrong one at that, because it ignores the facts. To quote D. P Moynahan – – “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.” You know that they grow and use Fruit Fly’s at Kings College London in research into debilitating brain diseases. Why? Because we share 70% of our genes with the humble fruit fly…that, sir, is a fact.

    Regarding the “fact’s” part of the above quote, those you’ve presented in response to my second post are frankly laughable. Conjecture and heresay are not forms of evidence. Why have you used a biased Creationist website instead of finding a peer reviewed scientifically sound source? Here’s one I found after searching Google for all of three seconds…http://anthro.palomar.edu/evolve/evolve_3.htm – Look, a Nobel Prize winner! Peer reviewed, and on the ball. Her first few sentences are key to understanding Science, and why using biased subjective data as the basis for your argument is the wrong way to go…

    “Science does this by continuously comparing its theories objectively with evidence in the natural world. When theories no longer conform to the evidence, they are modified or rejected in favor of new theories that do conform. In other words, science constantly tries to prove its assumptions to be false and rejects implausible explanations. In this way, scientific knowledge and understanding grow over time. Religious explanations for the order of things are not science because they are based primarily on faith and do not subject themselves to be objectively falsified.”

    Again, I’m not holding out much hope for a reasoned, intelligent response – convival or not, the truth cannot be ignored and the disgraceful lies spread by religion cannot be allowed to be passed onto future generations of human beings – that will only spell doom for our species.

    The sooner you wake up and smell the coffee, the better.

  42. Stewart Cowan says:

    Hello Oli – “Where is this imaginary line beyond which animals stop evolving?”

    Once you understand Creationism then lots of things fit into place. Let me try you on this:

    From the 1st chapter of Genesis:

    1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth….

    …11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.

    12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

    13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

    14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

    15And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

    16And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

    17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

    18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

    19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

    20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

    21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

    22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

    23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

    24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.

    25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

    26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

    27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

    28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

    29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

    30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

    31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

    —–

    Now then, in the beginning, the created ‘kinds’ were ready-made. Everything was ‘very good’. There was no death because sin had not entered the world. DNA was perfect and disease was unknown. Paradise! Genesis 2:20 tells us that Adam named all the animals, so presumably the number of ‘kinds’ was very small compared to the number of species today that have been caused by mutations.

    But once sin entered the world – Genesis ch 3

    16 Unto the woman he (God) said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

    17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

    18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

    19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

    ——-

    People might laugh at the idea that they lived to over 900 in those days, but DNA would probably have been much purer. See this Longevity of the Patriarchs graph to get an idea of how lifespans have reduced over time.

    So the DNA began to mutate (for the worse) after the Fall and got significantly worse after the Flood and after the confusion of tongues and the dispersion of peoples in the days of Peleg.

    The words of Josephus are very interesting, confirming that the ancient historians agree with him that people used to live for a thousand years.

    ———-

    You also argued:

    “The genetic evidence alone is *more* than enough proof for the theory of evolution”

    But it’s nearly always due to loss of information, which leads to the conclusion that the creatures must have been created in the first place, as you can’t possibly have a Theory of Evolution that doesn’t rely on masses of NEW information to be added to the genome.

    “that’s without including evidence from studies of ring species, fossil records, mathematical models, homology studies in developmental biology and molecular biology, studies of vestigial organs, domestication studies etc, etc. How much more proof do you want?”

    The evidence is the same for everyone. It’s how you read that evidence that matters.

    I have already suggested a use for the appendix, but I see that Wikipedia says that vestigial structures “are typically in a degenerate, atrophied, or rudimentary condition”.

    “Degenerate” and “atrophied” organs and other structures would be natural results of DNA under continual attack from destructive mutations.

  43. Al says:

    Yet again you’ve posted complete and utter rubbish to justify your position – I might quote the “Book of Dave” to justify mine, but seeing as just like the bible its a work of fiction, it won’t really tell us anything about who we are wand how we got here, so is worthless in the grand scheme of things.

    Thank you for confirming what I thought when I first read this blog, in that you have the mental capacity of a three year old.

  44. Al says:

    Oh, and please stop talking about the Theory of Evolution as if you understand it and are in a position to criticise it objectively – you can’t, because its been through quite a few peer reviewed objective studies, and is PROVEN to be FACT. Which can’t be said of the nonsense you quote to back up your ridiculous position.

  45. Oli says:

    From reading your comment, I think what you meant to say was “as soon as you understand creationism lot’s of things *in Genesis* fit into place”. I completely agree with you, you absolutely need creationism to take that book literally, Genesis simply makes no sense whatsoever when put into the framework of modern science. But that’s not surprising really, seeing that it was written by unknown people thousands of years ago! The funny thing (well tragic in your case) is, if you understand evolution correctly then lots of things *in reality* fit into place.

    Why do you think evolution is such an important part of science? Do you really think that there’s some conspiracy keeping people from the “creationist truth” and maintaining evolutions position as the corner stone of biology? There’s no conspiracy, evolution is the corner stone of biology because it explains so much of life. It’s that simple!

    > “But it’s nearly always due to loss of information”
    *sigh* I feel like I’m hitting my head against a brick wall! We’ve already been over this Stewart, please read my previous post.

  46. Stewart Cowan says:

    Al – I think I do understand the Theory of Evolution which is why I can dispute it. I seriously wonder how much study you have devoted to it.

    “Evolution is a proven fact”

    Yes it is, but the *Theory* of Evolution isn’t as evolutionists themselves often remind me.

    “You are entitled to your opinion of course.”

    Not that you’d know!

    “Because we share 70% of our genes with the humble fruit fly…that, sir, is a fact.”

    I never doubt any scientific *fact*.

    “I’m not holding out much hope for a reasoned, intelligent response – convival or not”

    Great minds think alike!

    “The truth cannot be ignored and the disgraceful lies spread by religion cannot be allowed to be passed onto future generations of human beings – that will only spell doom for our species.”

    But, you see, you have fallen for what we might call a Dawkinsian Great Lie – that all ‘religions’ are equally dopey. Of course there are lies spread by religions. I only speak for one faith and it is the one that gave us a highly civilised society. Dawkins speaks against them all as if they were one. That’s another of his dishonest facets and one he may not even understand himself, or is he just playing dumb?

    “that will only spell doom for our species.”

    You don’t understand, or want to admit to, human beings’ capacity for being evil without hiding behind a religious facade.

    This is another serious failing on your part.

  47. Al says:

    Its clear that conversing on an adult and intelligent level with you is impossible – not once have you presented any credible evidence or a reasoned argument to back up your case. In one breath you contradict yourself (“I never doubt scientific fact”, “Of course there are lies spread by religion”), in another, leap so far outside the realm of reality (“That’s another of his dishonest facets and one he may not even understand himself, or is he just playing dumb?” – no, he’s recognizing that all religion’s make claims they can NEVER prove) its a wonder you’re not writing this blog from a playground with your school mates watching alongside.

  48. Stewart Cowan says:

    Oli – no, as soon as you understand creationism lot’s of things fit into place – period.

    “I completely agree with you, you absolutely need creationism to take that book literally, Genesis simply makes no sense whatsoever when put into the framework of modern science.”

    Correct-ish but by “modern science” you mean the Theory.

    “But that’s not surprising really, seeing that it was written by unknown people thousands of years ago!”

    The Almighty gave the info to Moses. That’s why it all fits.

    “Why do you think evolution is such an important part of science?”

    Are you talking about evolution or the Theory of?

  49. InvalidUsername says:

    I realise that I’m seriously late to this particular party, but Stewart, I really think you need to take a step back for a moment. You seem to have the, all too common, misunderstanding of the word ‘theory’. For you, I give some definitions.

    1. a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena: Einstein’s theory of relativity.
    2. a proposed explanation whose status is still conjectural, in contrast to well-established propositions that are regarded as reporting matters of actual fact.
    3. Mathematics. a body of principles, theorems, or the like, belonging to one subject: number theory.
    4. the branch of a science or art that deals with its principles or methods, as distinguished from its practice: music theory.
    5. a particular conception or view of something to be done or of the method of doing it; a system of rules or principles.
    6. contemplation or speculation.
    7. guess or conjecture.

    Now, you and many other followers of faith, and in particular, so-called creationists, assert that with, say the ‘theory of evolution’, definition 7 applies. This is not the case.

    I sincerely hope that you will have a revelation, an epiphany if you will, and take a hard look at how you understand rather than what you think you understand.

    Scientific/mathematical terminology isn’t very clear to the layman, (how many times have you actually looked up the word theory in a dictionary? I doubt many do or ever would; it’s presumed that it means the same every time), and that’s regrettable.
    One other point, you say assert that

    I only speak for one faith and it is the one that gave us a highly civilised society.

    I’m afraid that is completely and utterly false. Even a cursory glance at something as rudimentary as Wikipedia will show how incorrect that is.

    I don’t really expect you to respond to this, as it’s obviously painfully out of date, but I thought it worth noting nonetheless.

  50. Stewart Cowan says:

    InvalidUsername,

    You’re so late, you should have brought a note from a parent!

    Evolution is a fact; the *theory* that natural selection can provide massively complex organs is, to my mind, naivety. It is like saying that because snow can fall and be formed into drifts by natural processes (wind) that if you see a snowman, it must have been made by natural processes too.

    It seems, with what we know now about most mutations being neutral or downhill, that the ‘Theory’ really is very unrealistic.

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