July 19, 2007

Science Redefined!

The last PSSI post (see The Real Agenda below) indicated that science/academia has redefined the term “science” to exclude alternatives to Darwinian macroevolution (DME). This was done to exclude the growing body of scientific evidence against the prevailing theory. It thereby avoids the embarrassment of admitting what has been taught as fact for years is not supported by the scientific evidence but is actually under girded by a worldview (see the Dennett quote in the last posting). We see the results of this slight of hand in the well-know statement by Francis Crick in the November 1988 issue of Natural History: “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.”

Why the artificial constraint by Crick and others? Because the science community artificially attempts to constrain the researcher to consider only natural causes for phenomena. This is particularly interesting in the United States, where through the year 2005 such a constraining (naturalism only) definition was contrary to the science standards set forth by each of the 50 states. The genesis (no pun intended) of this constraining definition of science occurred in 1982 at the McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education trial, where Darwinist philosopher of science Michael Ruse testified, among other things, that science had to be explanatory by reference to natural law. His definition was incorporated into the judge’s decision, to the consternation of many scientists, including Darwinists. In Ruse’s own edited volume, But Is It Science (Prometheus Books, 1988, pg. 355), philosopher of science Larry Ludan stated: “The victory in the Arkansas case was hollow, for it was achieved only at the expense at perpetuating and canonizing false stereotypes of what science is and how it works.” Even Ruse himself indicated in 1993 in a speech at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that he had gone too far: “I as a philosopher of science am worried about what I think were fairly crude neo-positivistic attitudes that I had about science, even as much as ten years ago, when I was fighting in Arkansas.” But the damage was already done and those with an agenda driven by a secularist humanist worldview are certainly not anxious to right the wrong definition now codified in the legal system.

This constrained definition has been gleefully used in academia to shut down the valid debate about the veracity of Darwinian macroevolution. While that may seem like a strong statement, you certainly haven’t seen any protest from the major science organizations or academia of this bogus definition of science. In fact, you see the opposite, with those in academia daring to question DME often becoming the victims of persecution, including the denial of warranted tenure and/or the termination of employment. This was manifested in the Dover, PA trial in 2005, where this definition was used once again to rule that non-naturalistic explanations for phenomena are not scientific. It acceptance in academia was evident in PSSI’s inaugural event in September 2006 at the University of South Florida, where in the Q&A session one of the questioners stated that the information being presented by the PhD scientists on the podium was interesting, but was outside the definition of science!

Fortunately, artificial constraints on science, while certainly making it difficult to perform pertinent research, will not stop true science from moving forward. Issac Newton faced such constraints on science in the mid-17th century and the same can be said for the “Big Bang” cosmological model in the early 20th century. The unfortunate monolith of the “consensus of scientists” has frequently been a barrier to following the scientific evidence wherever it leads. Fortunately, the facts after a time invariably overcome the intransigence of science and academia. So DME will eventually collapse as its metaphysical supports and “just so stories” are one by one demonstrated to not comport with the evidence.

June 27, 2007

The Real Agenda

The initial post on the PSSI blog (Science So Called - see below) ended with the following question: Why, with no hard evidence in biology to confirm it, has the hypothesis of Darwinian macroevolution (DME) been retained as the dominant creation story in science and academia? Many other hypotheses have been postulated and discarded in the nearly 150 years since Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859. Yet the DME hypothesis, which should have long ago been discarded as untenable, has taken on a life of its own. In fact, it has so pervaded the scientific and academic communities in many countries that those who openly question it pay dearly within their profession. Since DME is not supported by current scientific research, there must be another reason that sustains it. Examining the statements of a few noted DME proponents will make that reason clear.

Professor Richard Dawkins (the Charles Simonyi for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University) stated: “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” Professor Daniel Dennett, Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University states: “Darwinian evolution is a ‘universal acid;’ it eats through just about every traditional concept and leaves in its wake a revolutionized world-view.” Professor Douglas Futuyma, in his biology textbook Evolutionary Biology, states: "By coupling undirected, purposeless variation to the blind, uncaring process of natural selection, Darwin made theological or spiritual explanations of life processes superfluous." We could quote many other Darwinists, but these should make the point. Their focus in these statements is clearly on religion (atheism). That is an odd approach for scientists who you would think would focus on science, not faith or religion. Dawkins has provided absolute clarity as to what their agenda is, and it is not about science: “Faith is one of the world’s great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus but harder to eradicate.”

So the agenda appears to be to use science (so-called) to eradicate faith of some type. Faith has three components; knowledge, assent and trust and all three of these are required for someone to exercise true faith. Now the above scientists certainly have knowledge of various disciplines of science, they assent to that knowledge as being factual (however imperfect it may be), and they trust in it, so they can’t be trying to eradicate faith in science! Obviously the faith that they are trying to eradicate is a religious faith. Professor William Provine, the Charles A. Alexander Professor of Biological Sciences at Cornell University makes the type of religious faith crystal clear: “One can have a religious view that is compatible with evolution only if the religious view is indistinguishable from atheism.”

As noted, the various quotes above are certainly not scientific, rather they are religious in nature (no pun intended). One of the definitions of religion is man’s belief about his relationship to the powers and principles that govern the universe. It is clear that these gentlemen place their faith in the religion of Darwinism (see Futuyma above), which they believe is confirmed by their science. So their desire is to eradicate faith in all non-atheistic religions, utilizing their disciplines of science as a bully pulpit for that purpose, rather than simply advancing and/or teaching the particular area of science in which they are trained.

Their religion of Darwinism, also known as naturalism (nature is all there is), undergirds secular humanism (Dennett’s revolutionized worldview), which is based on atheism, naturalism, evolution, and ethical relativism. This amazingly unscientific position is underscored by a scientist actually involved in key research in the lab. Let’s go back to 1954, a time when the scientific evidence against DME wasn’t so overwhelming. At that time the late Nobel laureate (Medicine) and Harvard professor George Wald stated: “When it comes to the origin of life on this earth, there are only two possibilities: creation or spontaneous generation (DME). There is no third way. Spontaneous generation was disproved 100 years ago, but that leads us only to one other conclusion: that of supernatural creation. We cannot accept that on philosophical grounds; therefore, we choose to believe the impossible: that life arose spontaneously by chance.”

Wow! So the impossible is embraced by many scientists because the alternative, which fits the evidence much better, has uncomfortable philosophical implications! They find themselves in the conundrum that, after more than 100 years of trumpeting DME as fact, scientists and academia certainly cannot admit to the public that the alternative better fits the evidence. So how can they continue to keep the lack of scientific support for DME from the public? Aha, redefine science so that the distasteful alternative to DME is effectively removed from the discussion! How the public has been misled through this sleight of hand will be demonstrated in the next post.

June 18, 2007

Science So Called

The discussion on the integrity in science and its adoption of a failed hypothesis can only be effective if a foundation is established – a definitional foundation. PSSI defines science as utilizing the five senses to apply the principles of the scientific method, which includes making empirical observations, proposing hypotheses to explain those observations, and testing those hypotheses in valid and reliable ways. That is an unconstrained approach to phenomena, an approach that was utilized in the founding of the major disciplines of science. It requires a hypothesis about phenomena to be tested and either revised or discarded should the application of the scientific method fail to confirm the hypothesis.

Another very important definition is for the term evolution. This word has numerous meanings, many of which do not comport with current scientific research. Unfortunately this word, unclarified, is used by many to mislead the public as to what scientific research supports. For clarity we will, against the protest of some, refine it with two prefixes, micro and macro. Microevolution refers to the process by which all forms of plant and animal life change slowly over time because of slight variations in the genes that one generation passes down to the next. A simple example of microevolution would be the number of different types of dogs. They have transitioned from an initial form of dog, but are all nevertheless still dogs. It is important to note that PSSI is aware of no one that disputes that microevolution is a fact. Macroevolution refers to the origin of groups of organisms, involving common ancestry, descent with modification, and large scale functional and structural changes, through random mutations and natural selection, resulting in the transformation of one species into another. An example of macroevolution would be simple organisms morphing over billions of years into homo sapiens.

The issue that PSSI is confronting is whether macroevolution is supported by scientific research. Let us be perfectly clear in that regard. There is no bona fide scientific research or evidence that demonstrates the ability of one animal species to generate a completely different species. Beyond that, at the simplest form of independent life, bacteria, macroevolution is not seen. Generations of bacteria are measured in minutes (20-30), yet in the over 150 years of the science of bacteriology, no evidence exists of one species of bacteria changing into another. With no evidence at the basic levels of life of such transitions, it should not be surprising that there is also no evidence for species transitions in more complex, multicellular organisms. You will find much in the scientific literature surmising how a particular organism arose in a macroevolutionary sense, but you will not find scientific research confirming those “just so” stories. Then why is macroevolution touted as a scientifically confirmed fact when the evidence doesn’t support such an opinion? Why hasn't the macroevolution hypothesis been discarded upon applying the scientific method discussed above? That will be the subject of our next article.


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