From Bob Bales I've been absent from this group for much longer than I intended. Some may

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From Bob Bales I've been absent from this group for much longer than I intended. Some may say, or may have said, that I've been hiding. What I've actually been doing is preparing a number of articles on the major issues that I've had discussions on in the past. I'd hoped to get my responses done while the articles to which I'm responding were still in people's memory. I obviously did not do so. I'll give credit to the authors I quote, but I don't expect people to remember the exact discussions. However, I think that the quotes and my responses provide enough context that subjects being discussed should be clear. Before I get into that, let me introduce myself and my basic position to anyone new on the net. My name is Bob Bales. I am a creationist. I believe that the evidence we have of life's history points in the direction that different varieities of life were individually created and did not evolve from one original form. The origins of the life and the universe have a religious, or for the non-religious, a philosophical, dimension. However, whatever the theory, the objects whose origins are being explained are physical objects -- objects which are subject to scientific study. Thus, to the extent which it makes statements about objects, any theory of origins can be studied and compared to observations. The religious and/or philosophical parts of the theories are outside the realm ofscience. These should have no influence, either for or against, on what science says. Neither creation nor evolution can be definitely shown to be true. However, I believe that creation accords at least as well, and usually better, with observations (the only means of deciding on scientific theories) than does evolution. And I don't mean, as has sometimes been charged, the wierd observations of a few who would rewrite science. Rather, if you look at the observations of the experts in the fields involved -- experts who in most cases believe in evolution -- you'll find that those observations show that it is unlikely that evolution is the cause of the variety of life we see. I've been criticized in the past for attacking evolution more than defending creationism. While I'd prefer that creation be given equal status in discussion of origins, the way that evolution is presented prevents this. Evolution is said to be a scientific fact. You cannot have two disagreeing scientific facts, two different histories. Say that evolution happened and you say that creation didn't. To show that anything other than evolution might have happened of necesity involves showing that evolution might not have. To determine whether evolution is or is not likely to have happened, you must compare the predictions of evolution to scientific observations. So that's where I start. Another reason I focus on evolution is that, irrespective of what you say about creation (or even if you don't mention creation at all), what you say about evolution should be correct. Evolution is typically presented as being in the same category as gravity and electricity. It obviously is not, as is easily shown by the fact that data as to values of gravity and electricity are quantitatively and objectively measured while data as to evolutionary histories are determined by consensus. This diffeference doesn't mean that evolution is incorrect, but evolutionary statements are different and should be treated differentluy than other statements in science. I'll conclude this introduction by answering an important question that I previously had not answered. Chris Colby wrote: >I've also asked questions he [Bob Bales]'s never answered. Specifically, >I once asked him, "if creationism is taught in schools, what exactly should >be taught?" He ignored the question completely. . . . .Bales, in contrast, >insisted that creationism is scientific. So how about it, Bob? WHAT IS THE >THEORY OF CREATIONISM? -- the 'scientific' one you claim deserves equal time >with evolution. I'll make my answer a little broader: what I think should be taught on origins in general, not just creationism. How much of, and to what depth, the following should be taught would of course depend on the level of the class. I. Perspectives on origns A. Since the development of the varieties of life is not expected to be repeated, according to virtually any currently-propounded theory, this development cannot be observed in the same manner as are most processes of concern to science. What happened can only be inferred from existing traces of past history. These inferences will never establish any theory of origins to the same degree as theories in other areas which *are* based on direct observations. B. Many theories of origins include a non-scientific component as well as a scientific component. Science does not attempt to judge the validity of the non-scientific component. Thus, whatever any theory says outside of the realm of science is not considered in evaluating what the theory says within the realm of science. C. The area of origins involves history as well as science. History is concerned with what actually happened. Science may be concerned with other things. These should not be mixed. For instance, if a given theory is chosen because it makes the best predictions, then the claim should not be made that the theory represents what actually happened. D. There is a difference between possibility and actuality. Because something could happen, or could have happened, does not mean that it does or did. II. The major theories A. Evolution -- The theory that life developed from an orignal simple organism to all of its other forms over a period of hundreds of millions of years through a process of variation and selection. "Variation" is the process wherby each organism differs from its parents and its sibling organisms. "Selection" is the processor whereby some variations give the organisms which possess them a survival advantage over organisms which do not. When the survival advantage helps more of the organisms which have a particular variation to reproduce (compared to organisms which do not have it) and when the variation is passed on genetically, the incidence of the variarion increases in the population. B. Creation -- The theory that different organisms were each created by a Creator [sic] with their individual characteristics. Thus, each organism's characteristics were deliberately given. III. The evidence A. The fossil record -- The evidence of past organisms which lived on the earth. B. Biological processes -- This covers a lot: reproductive habits, the degree of variation seen between generations, genetic laws, cell biochemistry, energy conversion, instintive behavior, prey-predator relationships, etc. IV. Differences between the theories A. Processes -- Evolution says that development was produced by processes the same as or at least similiar to those observed now. Creation says that a Creator [sic] may well have used unobserved processes. B. Utility -- Evolution says that at least the major features of organisms are the result of a great many seperate variations which were individually selected for. Therefore, each state in development must have given the organisms (the group of organisms in the same developmental state; not necessarily each individual) a survival/ reproductive advantage. Creation says that only the known features (in present and past organisms) need be useful; intermediate states which would have to be advantageous did not exist. C. Continuity -- Evolution says that continuous paths of development (including branches and dead ends) led from the original organism to all others. Creation says there are no developmental paths between organisms. These differences between what the theories say are in areas which cannot be quantified exactly, but they provide a way to evaluate the theories against the evidence and to determine how well what they predivct/require matches what we see. My position is that creation matches better than evolution in all areas: Processes -- It's undeniable that we have observed variation and selection. A well-known example is variation in fruit flies. We can easily measure the variation over several generations. But how much variation would result in 10 million years? *There is no scientific data on the subject.* Evolution places requirements on biological processes which creation does not. As in the fruit-fly example, *there is NO scientific data to say whether or not the real world variation and selection processes can produce the magnitude of changes evolution requires.* The evolutionists' insistance that they can and did is only speculation. Utility -- Mammels are said to have developed from reptiles. But consider the milk system in the female mammel for feeding the young. One part of this is the storage and delivery system. This is undoubtedly complex enough to have required successive mutations building upon each other. So what advantage did the partially-formed system give that ensured its selection? For that matter, a complete milk delivery system would not give its posseor an advantage without milk to deliver. And without a way for it to be delivered, there would be no advantage for the mother's milk to develop first. And even having both would not be an advantage unless both mother and the young mammal took advantage of them -- two different instincts that surely were not brought about by the mutations setting up the supply. There are a number of aspects to this one feature that make it improbable that it could have been produced by variation and selection. And such features are everywhere you look in the living world. Evolutionists have explanation for at least some of them. But when you look at these explanations in the evolutionists own words, you find "perhaps," "could have," "might have developed," and similar phrases. There is no certainty anywhere. Continuity -- If you look at the examples of purported evolutionary development which evolutionists regard as most certain, you do not see anything even resembling a complete path. The links just aren't there. As I have pointed out in previous discussions -- using the evolutionist's own numbers -- proposed evolutionary sequences involving known organisms involve only about 0.1 - 0.3% of the organisms which are said to have lived. Again, evolutionists have explanations as to why this is true. But that is not the problem. When you only have 0.3 % of the evidence -- regardless of the reason -- it is scientifically *impossible* to draw firm conclusions. I have no objection to teaching concerning evolution: what the theory is, that many people believe it, and why they believe it. What I object to -- on the grounds that it's factually wrong -- is teaching that evolution is a "scientific fact." Scientific facts come, by definition, from observation and experiment. Reading any evolution text will tell you that the great majority of evolutionary theory does not. Bob Bales Tektronix, Inc. I help Tektronix make their instruments. They don't help me make my opinions. From: Bob Bales Subject: Examining the evidence for evolution (part 1) A key question in examining evolution is whether biological processes exist which can produce evolutionary change. The following is the first part of my response to an article Trygve Lode wrote as part of an ongoing discussion on the evidence for evolutionary processes. In it, I discuss the requirements which must be met in order for particular processes to produce evolution. >> me >>Whether or not it has been demonstrated depends on how you define evolution. >>Usually, however, "the theory of evolution" is taken to be the theory that >>life developed from an original form into all the variety of the past and of >>today through spontaneous natural processes without ouside direction. This >>has NOT been demonstrated. The existance of processes which would make such >>development possible has not been demonstrated. The evidence of this >>happening in the past has not been produced. >Now this is a bold and interesting statement. It would seem to me that the >processes needed for an original form to evolve into the variety of life that >we see today is a mechanism to introduce variations and modifications This is clearly NOT enough. Consider a hypothetical example -- which I am NOT claiming to be the actual situation. If all variations to a form are lethal, then that form can never evolve, despitte the presence of a mechanism to introduce variations. In reality, not all mutations are lethel (although many are), but the limiting case shows that the presence of variations is NOT sufficient to produce change. Even a source of non-lethel change is not sufficient. It is necessary that the changes produced be large enough and of the correct nature to encompass the new which is to be evolved. As an analogy, consider the binary number 0110 (6). If we have a source of mutations that can change a 0 to a 1, we can get 7, E (14), or F (15). But, no matter how long the process continues nor how strong the selection might be, we will never get a 3, if we have only this source of variation. Evolutionists counter the above objection by saying that evolution did not "have to" produce any particular organisms. They say that the organisms which did result were those which COULD be produced by the changes, so it doesn't matter what organisms COULDN'T be produced. If evolution occured, the statement is true, but it begs the question. An effect (the evolution of all life from a single organism) is being claimed. It is true that looking forward from the original organism, we couldn't see what the results would be. However, we are looking backward (assuming that evolution did occur). We know the characteristics of present-day life. We may not know the first form of life, but we do know the characteristics of early (or at least earlier) life. We can say scientifically what the differences between "earlier" and "later" organisms are. Thus we can say scientifically what effects the cause of evolutionary change would have to produce. >(for which random mutation and the exchange of genetic material inherent in >sexual reproduction would seem to be quite sufficient) The first test which any proposed cause or causes should have to pass is that given above. In the past, we have had discussions in this group on the limits of known sources of variation. I don't believe that Trygve participated in those discussions. I don't know if he sharea the views expressed in them. But I was told that unless I could show there are limits, I could not assume there are. However, the other side assummed (and evolutionary texts assume) there are no limits without showing that there are not. This is one example of th double standard often appled to evolution. If you say that "these are the standards of evidence which a particular position on the existence of limits must meet in order to be accepted," then *every* position must meet those same standards to be accepted. We thus have a scientific test which any proposed cause must meet in order to be considered a scientifically valid cause of evolution. The proposed cause can be considered a scientifically valid cause if and only if there is positive evidence that the test is met. Since, at least in this group, no such evidence has been presented (to my knowledge), mutation and genetic exchange should be considered as only possible causes. Furthermore, since there are no known causes for which positive evidence exists, the proposition that all varieties of life (by "varieties," I am not trying to classify, only to make it clear that I am talking about the spread of life, not the origin of life) evolved from an original ancestor should be treated as a possibility and not as a scientific fact. >and another mechanism to preferentially select some variations over others in >a non-random manner (for which predators and limited food supplies would seem >to do quite nicely). The selection action of predators could preferentially select variations which enable escape from predators. Limited food supply could favor organisms which can use another food supply hitherto unused. What of variations which do not fall into these categories? Even within these catagories, however, there are problems for evolution. To begin with, it seems that the correct level of selection pressure is required. For example, in _The Blind Watchmaker_, Richard Dawkins gives an example of a slight advantage leading to selection: In fact, it doesn't matter *how* remote, how poor is the resemblence of an insect to a stick, there must be *some* level of twilight, or some degree of distance away from the eye, or some degree of distractraction of the predator's attention, such that even a very good eye will be fooled by the remote resembelence. (page 83, Norton & Company paperback edition, emphesis his.) The resemblence to a stick is only an advantage when the insect is attacked by a predetor. If selection pressure were very light, such that most insects were never attacked by a predatorin their lives, the selection would not lead to a reproductive advantage. On the other hand, if each and every insect was attacked by a predator every 30 seconds, the deception might help the insect live another 30 seconds until a closer or less distrated predator came along, but probably would not help it live until reproductive age. The range of effect selection pressures is likely broad, but it does place a constraint on selection. Many advantageous characteristics require multiple variations to be effective. For instance, it is theorized that the giraffe's long neck gave it access to more food supplies. But this neck reqires that the neck itself grow longer, that the blood pressure rise. and that a system of check valves develop. Each of these changes would be caused by *different* variations. Similarly, other changes of food supply require simultaneous changes in dentation, digestive system chemistry, and feeding behavior. What selected the likely *non-advantageous* variations and preserved them until the others occured? For selection pressure to effect radical change, it would have to be continued within the correct intensity range and in the same direction for thousands to millions of years. Although it is believed that there were some long term trends (such as climate changes), most variations in predators and food supplies are cyclical, with periods on the order of tens of years. Bob Bales Tektronix, Inc. I help Tektronix make their instruments. They don't help me make my opinions. From: Bob Bales Subject: Examining the evidence for evolution (part 4) I'm still discussiog an article by Trygve Lode. The main point of this posting is the discussion of an analogy offered in support of evolution. >and the fact that evolution can be observed going on even while I'm typing >this (for specific examples, I think I shall defer to James W. Merrit who has >been kind enough to cull many examples of this from the literature and would >probably be more than happy to supply you with as many as your system disk >can hold) As I mentioned above, the evolution which is observed today is trivial in magnitude compared to that which it is claimed occurred in the past. If you want to claim that the same degree of evolution occurred in the past as does today, that is fine. But today, we do not see all varities of life coming from a single organmism. So if you claim that it happened in the past, you are claiming something which is not derived from present observations. >would seem to create a pattern of evidence When we look at the present, we see no indication of processes which can cause changes of the magnitude required by evolution. When we look at the past, we see little evidence that organisms which evolution says existed actually did so. This is a pattern of evidence -- but one which makes it quite unlikely that the diversity of life resulted from evolution. >not unlike a hypothetical situation where you were watching a station wagon >driving past your house and were then presented with a series of snapshots >(complete with times) showing various sequential moments of the station >wagon approaching your house. The situation with respect to evolution is completely unlike this hypothetical example. A sequential series of evidence leading from one state to another is specifically what would be needed to conclude that evolution has occurred -- but it is also *specifically what does not exist.* For example, consider the supposed evolution from reptile to bird, which I discussed in my last posting. I'll not repeat the discussion, but no sequence was presented. Instead, one organism, _Archaeopteryx_, is presented as an intermediate. All the evidence indicates that _A_ was a complete bird. There is no evidence of a sequence leading toward or away from it. Saying that _A_ was part of a transitional sequence is the *result* of of a belief in evolution, not a *cause* for it. >You could, from this evidence, infer that it it reasonable to suppose (until >a better theory is proposed that takes into account the station wagon driving >past your house and the snapshots) that the station wagon did, in fact, >drive towards your house. Yes, it is reasonable in this case. But, again, this is not a realistic example of the evidence for evolution. The exact things that make this example reasonable are absent in the latter example. Let's change the "station wagon" example until it corresponds to evolution: Someone says that they are going to present me a series of snapshots of a car passing my house. I ask to see it, and am told that -- with the number of cameras that exist -- different people *must* have taken a number of pictures of the car. But all of these people haven't been found yet, some say the pictures were lost in processing, some won't show their pictures. . . . . There are two photos, however: one taken 5 miles south of my house, the other taken 20 miles north. Unfortunately, the first had bad focus and the second poor lighting. It is impossible to tell for sure whether the pictures are of the same car. And there is one more, taken at an unknown place, that shows a well-lit, in-focus right rear fender, These conditions are a better analogy for evolution (when only about 0.1% of the transitional forms required by evolution are in the fossil record, there can hardly be said to be a sequence). Under these conditions, would it be reasonable to assume that there was one car in the photos and that it drove past my house? >It should also be noted that there are many, many items of evidence in >addition to the current occurance of evolution and the fossil record, all of >which would seem to make the case lean even more heavilly towards evolution. >So, if you'll forgive my curiousity, how do you justify your statement that >evidence for evolution having occured has not been produced? When you get look at details behind the general statement that "many, many items of evidence. . . all of which would seem to make the case lean even more heavily towards evolution." you see that those details lean *against* evolution. So far in my postings, I've examined a number of evolutionary claims and found: _Nautilus_, cited by Richard Dawkins in support of the theory that the eye could evolve, actually provides negative rather than positive evidence; the theory that _Archaeopteryx_ evolved has more problems with observations than does the theory that it was created. The situation is similar in other areas: at best (from the viewpoint of evolution), the evidence is neutral. Bob Bales Tektronix, Inc. From: Bob Bales Subject: Examining the evidence for evolution (part 2) In the first part of my response to a pro-evolution article by Trygve Lode, I discussed the requirements for evolutionary processes. Here, I discuss how well the processes said to have produced evolution meet the requirements. >What other processes do you deem necessary for evolution to occur? As I have indicated, it's more a matter of scale. Just "variation" and "selection" are not enough. Without considering the alternate paths that evolution supposedly could have taken, we can look back at the overall path that evolution did take (if indeed evolution is the cause of the diversity of life). That path involved (many) *specific* changes and types of changes. Evolutionists claim that observation shows that the causes of evolution probably were variation and selection, since we have observed changes caused by these mechanisms. Since we know, from observation, both the types of changes produced by the proposed mechanisms and the types of changes required to produce the diversity of life as we know it, we can apply a scientific test: if the proposition that variation and selection mechanisms caused the diversity of life is to be scientifically valid, the changes produced by those mechanisms will have to "match" the changes required. Observations show that they don't. The observed changes are orders of magnitude smaller than the required changes. Evolutionists say that this is because the observations cover time spans orders of magnitude smaller than the time required for evolutionary changes. But what do observations show? Since we do not have observations for the long time periods, observations do not show anything. I cover this point more fully in another group of postings. But without observations, what we have is speculation. And while it is proper to speculate that the magnitude of change may increase with time and that these mechanisms may have resulted in evolution, it is not proper to refer to these as scientific facts. The evolutionary assumption is that given enough time, if a change can occur, it will occur. In _The Blind Watchmaker_, Dawkins describes the proposed development of the eyeby asking and answering a series of questions: 3. Is there a continuous series of Xs connecting the modern human eye to a state with no eye at all? It seems to me clear that the answer has to be yes. . . . - - - - 4. Considering each member of the series of hypothetical Xs connecting the human eye to no eye at all, is it plausible that every one of them was made available by random mutation of its predecesor? - - - - My feeling is that, provided the difference between neighboiring intermediates in our series leading to the eye is *sufficiently small*, the necessary mutations are almost bound to be forthcom- ing. (pages 78-79, author's emphesis) He then discusses the supposed evolutionary path, pointing out that steps along the way would have advantages in their own right. One such claimed step is an eye, such as that possessed by the mollusc _Nautilus_, corresponding to a "pinhole" camera. After discussing this, Dawkins states: Actually, _Nautilus_ is a bit of a puzzle in its own right. Why, in all the hundreds of millions of years since its ancestors first evolved a pinhole eye, did it never discover the principle of a lens? . . .The system is crying out for a particularly simple change. In genetic hyperspace Nautilus_ appears to be sitting right next door to an obvious and immediate improvement, yet it doesn't take the small step necessary. Why not? Michel Land of Sussex University, our foremost athority on invertabrate eyes is worried, and so am I. Is it that the necessary mutations cannot arise, given the way _Nautilus_ embryos develop? I don't want to believe it, but I don't have a better explanation." (page 85-86) Here is a small change that, even if all the evolutionary assumptions are true, did not, and apparently could not, happen. An organism having an eye without a lens did not develop one. Yet the author remains convinced that another orgaism with a similar eye did. Dispite being "worried," he still holds to the theory that it was "bound" to happen. Why? There is no objective observational evidence. At best, it is based on what theory says *should* be, rather than what *is*. In science, the former must always be subject to the latter. happen in this case could and did in others. This is true to an extent, but it is This case illustrates a weakness of evolution: when what can be called a failed prediction occurs, it's impact is rarely admitted. Rather, statements [Here, I'm referring to general instances of this kind, not to specific statements Dawkins made here.] are made to the effect that "another organism could have developed it," "it only had to happen once," or "we don't know everything and science must live eith uncertainty. This is unequal treatment of evidence: anything favoring evolution is taken as positive evidence, but anything opposing evolution is taken as something unknown, not negative evidence. From: Bob Bales Subject: Examining the evidence for evolution (part 3) I'm continuing my response to an old article by Trygve Lode. Although it is old, the topic of discussion is pertainent to this group, and is understanable from the context. To set the context more: the 1st part of my response dealt with the rewuirements for an evolutionary process. The 2nd part discussed why we can't say that the processes commonally proposed for evolution meet the requirements. This posting discusses one of the exaples often used as an evolutionary intermediate. >As for evidence of this process (evolution) having occured in the past, this >would appear to be readilly available in pretty much any direction you might >look. This is the claim -- that there is "overwhelming evidence" for evolution. But when you look for *specific* evidence (as opposed to general claims) in any area, you generally find one of two things: 1. The evidence that would be expected if evolution occurred is basically the same as the evidence that would be expected (or if not "expected," at least "reasonable" [*]) if the variety of life is the result of every organism's being individually created. Hence, the presence of that evidence can not be used to select evolution over creation. 2. If creation and evolution could be expected to lead to different results, the evidence tends to be overwhelmingly what would be expected based on creation. An example is the mechanisms sufficient to cause the changes beween all forms of life,which I discussed in my previous postings. Evolution requires that such mechanisms exist. Creation gives no particular reason that they should exist (although it doesn't prohibit them from doing so.) When we look at known biological processes, we see some that produce small changes, but NONE that has effects even remotely approching what evolution from one organism to all life would require. *Observations are inconsistent with evolution, but consistent with creation.* As I said before, evolutionists "solve" this problem by saying we haven't been observing long enough and that large changes can and do occur. However, assuming the problem away doesn't really solve anything. A proposition which is based on an assumption which is made only because the theory requires it can never be legitimately called a scientific fact. I want to make very clear what I mean. It is legitimate (according to scientific principles) to say, for example, "Since our obsevations are limited, we don't know what can happen over millions of years. Variations could accumulate over time to produce large changes. Therfore, it is possible that one organism could have led to all of life." What is not legitimate is to call evolution a scientific fact, since that implies a degree of certainty regarding the effects of variation (as well as many other things) which we do not possess. Someone is almost sure to say, "But creationists make assumptions, so Bob shouldn't object to evolutionists' assumptions." The difference is that I am stating my assumtions and the associated theory to be possibilities. I do not claim them to be the only alternatives to be discussed nor do I claim them to be scientific facts. [*] It is often said that if evolution *predicts* something which creation merely *allows*, then evolution is a better theory. Even leaving aside the failed predictions of evolution (which I discuss in this posting and elsewhere), the question is: better in what sense? If the goal is to pick the theory which makes the most specific predictions, go ahead. But in that case, your claims must be limited to "Evolution makes the most specific predictions." If you hope to be able to say "Evolution actually happened," your criteria must be based on liklihood of occurrance. And a theory which predicts something is not necessarily more likely to have happened than one which is merely consistent with it. >The fossil record This is another area in which the details of the evidence are the opposite of what evolutionists in general claim them to be. Evolution says, of course, that life progressed through transitions from one organism to another. If this had happened, you would expect the history of life captured in the fossil recordto show these transitions. What you find is a collection of individual organisms with, even according to the evolutionists who are looking, very few organisms which can be called transitions -- just what you would expect if different organisms had been individually created. I am well aware that evolutionists say that certain fossils represent the transitions I say are not in the record. I discuss this below, so I'll defer most details for a few lines. But it you look at the details of the fossils in question and what would be required for them to be transitions, unless you first assume that transitions exist, there is (at least in the well-known examples) no reason to conclude that the fossils are transitions. A good example is _Archaeopteryx_. This is widely considered to be, if not a direct ancestor of "modern" birds, at least a transitional form between reptiles and birds. And if you assume that birds came from a non-bird organism, it makes sense to pick the type with which an example of a bird shares some similarities. But if you look at the characteristics of _Archaeopteryx_ without making assumptions, here's what you find: _Archaeopteryx_ (hereafter called _A_ to save typing) is called reptilian partly because it has a bony tail. However, some bird embryos have more vertebrae than _A_. The vertabrae themselves were different than those of most birds -- but similar to those of coromorants, darters and gulls. _A_ also had unfused foot and wrist bones -- like penguins. Also, _A_ did not have hollow bones -- as swallows, martins, and canaries don't. And there were the supposedly reptilian wing claws -- exactly as those of the young of the ostrich, the touraco, the rhea, and the hoatzen. Thus, most of the characteristics which are called "reptilian" are possesed by organisms which are classed 100% as birds. It makes just as much sense to call them "birdlike." And having birdlike characteristics is not a reason to call _A_ transitional. But _A_ had teeth. No existing bird does. But with both toothed and toothless mammels, amphibians, reptiles, and fishes, where is the evidence that a bird could not have had teeth? In _In the Beginning. . .A Scientist Shows Why the Creationists Are Wrong_ (Prometheus Books, 1984), Chris McGowan, citing the presence of fossil birds with teeth, says, "this [the presence of teeth] is not such a useful feature in distinguishing reptiles from birds." (page 115) All the above indicates that the idea that _A_ was not a transition is a credible theory. It doesn't prove it, but it makes it credible. It agrees with the evidence discussed so far as well as the evolutionists' theory. When checking further evidence, however, the theory that there *was* a transition between reptiles and mammels runs into problems. For example, where did feathers come from. The evolutionists' answer is "scales." This theory can be evaluated scientifically. Is there any evidence for it? Chris McGowan, in the book mentioned above, cites the penguin: the front wing feathers resemble scales more than do the back feathers. Dr. McGowan does not claim to know that the front feathers evoled from scales: "What is important is that they illustrate that feathers and scales are essentially variations on a theme." (page 120) The author is trying to show that the theory that feathers evolved from scales is better than the theory that feathers were individually created. What is important in such an effort is something which provides positive evidence for the theory. "Variations on a theme" does not do this. The evolution theory explains variations no better than does the creation theory. Dr. McGowan further says, "I consider this to be further evidence that birds evolved from reptiles." (page 121) Logic says, again, that "evidence that birds evolved from reptiles" would be features which birds have that they would not have if they had not evolved from reptiles. Applied to this case, the statement is that the front feathers on the wings of penguins would not somewhat resemble scales if birds had not evolved from reptiles. So on the basis of what evidence does Dr. McGowan reach this conclusion? Just on the basis of what he considers. He is perfectly free to consider whatever he wishes, but is not free to claim, as he does in his book's title, that those who consider differently are wrong. Science requires looking at both sides of an issue. So is there any negative evidence on the theory that feathers evolved from scales. Yes. It is possible, of course, that scales could mutate. But the result would be a variation on scales and would resemble a modified scale. Furthermore, feathers are not just covering. They have up to 1.000,00+ hooks and eyes to join them with other feathers to for a sheet catch the wind. This would not develop all at once. Now, check the evidence. Feathers grow from a different layer of skin than scales. This is not as a modified scale would be expected to appear. All organisms we find -- past or present -- either have no feathers or a completely developed system. There is no trace of gradual devlopment. As another example, birds have air tubes in their lungs while reptiles have air sacs. In order for a transition from reptiles to birds to be even theoretically possible, there must be a biological viable intermediate. Evolutionists seem to be content with saying that we don't know what the transition was, but there must have been one. But if we don't know the former, we do not know the latter. And when we don't know whether or not one of the necessary conditions for the transition holds, it is obviously inaccurate to label the transition a "scientific fact." (Unless otherwise attributed, the facts I discuss with respect to _A_ comes from _Adam and Evolution_, by Michael Pitman, pages 222-224 in the paperback edition.) Bob Bales Tektronix, Inc. I help Tektronix make their instruments. They don't help me make my opinions. From James W. Meritt, a reply: ----------------------------------------------------- Please note that these are OLD unresolved items. He hasn't covered a LOT of recent items (like "how do 5 isochrons give the same date", "how does argon get INTO an object in vacuum", "what is the evidence for an old universe that you keep mentioning" and more. I didn't want to mess up my count. Besides which, why should he answer recent questions asked once when he will not answer these which have been asked dozens of times over a much longer period? ============================================================================= 1. >From: sarima@gryphon.COM (Stan Friesen) Date: 15 Jul 89 15:49:15 GMT In article <3215@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM> bobb@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM (Robert Bales) writes: >In article <14391@dartvax.Dartmouth.EDU> oracle@eleazar.dartmouth.edu (Brian >T. Coughlin) writes: >> Creationism is valid as a BELIEF... *NOT* as a science. A science MUST >> have the ability to question and doubt itself, and Creationism falls sadly >> short in that area. >Untrue. Creationism (and creationists) are subject to question and doubt. >Creationists stand by the theory not because they have not questioned it, but >because they *have.* ... >Is it "question and doubt" only if the outcome is rejection? Some things >that >I hold to undoubtedly are not true. I would certainly like to see evidence that you have seriously considered alternatives to a hyper-literal interpretation of Genesis. I have never seen any, from you or from any other Creationist. >> Another thing. Please don't fall into the trap of calling Creationism a >> THEORY. It is not. A theory, by definition, MUST be capable of enduring >> the scientific method: Hypothesize, Experiment, Observe, Conclude. > >Creationism is capable of enduring the scientific method, as defined here. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ --------------------------------------------------------------------------- IAW Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary (didn't want to get esoteric!): scientific method - principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypothesis. So, does creationism use the scientific method? If no, never mind because I don't think so. (Bales says "yes") If yes: What data has been collected in support of creationism. What observations support creationism? What experiments have been conducted (especially, what experiments have been done, or are possible, that can _FALSIFY_ creationism? What hypothesis has been formulated and how can it/they be tested? >Alternatives are refused for lack of evidence that they are correct. > OK, show me these observations and deductions. I have yet to see any that actually mean anything, and I have been watching this news group for nearly four years. The *closest* I ever saw to a valid observation suggesting a young universe was the Polonium halo stuff. I was sufficiently intrigued by it that I did a literature search on it in the technical journals. As a result I found out it was really almost as weak as the other so-called evidence for Creationism. But at least I was willing to *consider* the possibility that I was wrong. In fact I change my opinions all the time. >> You'll also note that the same theory has been revised countless times to >>accomodate new data. Creationism is incapable of doing the same. > >Yes, it is. > OK, show me. In what *substantive* way has the theory of creationism been modified in the last ten years? And I do *not* accept waffling and shifting the basis of arguments as evidence of modification in a theory. What statements in the basic manifesto are now considered to be incomplete or incorrect by the leading practicing creationists? If you really want I will give you a list of statements in "The Origin of the Species" that are now considered wrong. Can you do the equivalent: say, using the original statement of position from the Institute for Creation Research? I doubt it, I suspect that that document has never been revised or updated other than to make it sound more scientific. ============================================================================= 2. >From: jwm@stdc.jhuapl.edu (Jim Meritt) Date: 31 May 89 15:15:31 GMT In article <3083@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM> bobb@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM (Robert Bales) writes: }In article <16097@gryphon.COM> keithd@gryphon.COM (Keith Doyle) writes: }>>In order to get natural process to explain the origin and/or development of }>>life, they must be extrapolated far beyond any observations. There is no }>>indication the extrapolation is valid. } }>No, the fact that there is no indication that natural processes are invalid }>in explaining the origin and/or development of life, is an indication that }>it is valid: } }I could just as well say, "the fact that there is no indication that }creationism is invalid in explaining the origin and/or development of life, }is an indication that it is valid." Yes, you could. Now, what indication would you take that is was invalid? Name a SINGLE process that "life" has that does not have a possible physical explaination. ONE barrier to natural forces. Currently, his "answer" has been "Anything that could stop it." A circular reply and NOT an answer. }The indication that the "natural process" explanation is likely invalid is }the fact that natural processes known to be capable of producing the origin }and development of life have not been found. This is not true. Now, show ONE process for which natural processes CANNOT provide an explaination. You may want to consult the reading list I posted that contains natural explainations for a great deal before you start your magic search. }My thesis is that known natural processes cannot lead to the origin and }diversity of life we see. I'm still waiting for the experiment to prove me }wrong. Please tell us ONE thing that could show this thesis wrong. ONE testable, demonstratable thing. You name the experiment, and we'll do it. Come on - ONE objective, operational, reproducable experiment. Or something that could appear in nature. Something verifiable by human beings. Like you said above, there is NO indication that natural processes are invalid. There is NO indication that unnatural processes are required. PRODUCE THAT INDICATION!!!! Heck, what IS an "unnatural process"!?!?!? ============================================================================= 3. >From: jwm@stdc.jhuapl.edu (Jim Meritt) Date: 31 May 89 15:21:45 GMT In article <3082@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM> bobb@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM (Robert Bales) writes: }In article <3399@fv.sei.cmu.edu> erik@sei.cmu.edu (Erik Hardy) writes: }>>My position is that it doesn't look like life has evolved by natural }>>processes? } }>ok, so what does it look like? } }It has the characteristics that we commonally associate with intelligent }design. Very interesting. And your descriptions of what it should look like has so far included snowflakes and clouds as designed and nails as not. Would you mind trying again? }>how do you determine this? } }By looking at things which are known to be the results of spontaneous natural }processes -- a building after a tornado has hit it, the change in the condition }of a piece of anything that has been left outside for a few years, radio }static. } }And also by looking at things which are known to be the result of intelligent }design -- a new building, a new computer, a radio program. Come on. HOW do you tell which is which? I bet we could come up with quite a few things that if you looked at them without foreknowledge you couldn't tell which was which. }Also, someone is almost sure to say, "But if life was designed, why does it }have this kludge?" (Often the "kludge" is the Panda's thumb.) Demonstrate that }the designated feature is indeed a kludge, and then we'll talk. (For instance, }how would the Panda be better off with a different thumb?) What would it take to display something as a "kludge"? Your term, and you asked for a display. So tell us EXACTLY what you are looking for. Partial credit: Bales gave three tests for a specific example. He did NOT answer the question "what is a kludge" but did give "this would be a kludge if". Unfortunately for him, the example he picked was the "panda's thumb", and his "tests" were trivial to pass. (disadvantages, better off). I have watched a panda use that thumb, myself, in person. I would like to see an answer to the question I asked which was a direct question from his posting. ========================================================================= 4. Newsgroups: talk.origins Date: 31 May 89 13:14:57 GMT In article <3078@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM> Robert Bales writes: >It may be consistent, but the important question is, "is it correct?" When ever we test it it comes out o.k. Can you please name one test of creationism that comes out o.k.? ============================================================================= 5. >From: pan@well.UUCP (Philip Nicholls) Date: 1 Jun 89 06:25:02 GMT In article <3078@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM> bobb@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM (Robert Bales) writes: >No, but they appeal to assumptions that many things happened that we have no >evidence either can or did happen: postulating common ancestors based on >similarities that may or may not mean common ancestry; assuming that life >developed spontaneously from non-life (the term was "earth history," not >"evolution."); declaring that the genetics of an organism changed to give >rise to a new type of organism when the genetics and possible changes therin >are not even known; and, in general, extrapolating operservations far, *far* >beyond the region of known validity. What criteria do you use to judge the validity of extrapolation? Please explain what the "region of known validity" is. Is it, perhaps, somewhere near Clevland? I would find this VERY interesting. My masters degree is in Operations Research / general systems analysis specializing in advanced modelling. I am slightly competent to discuss model limits, and always interested to find them. ============================================================================= 6. >From: jwm@aplvax.jhuapl.edu (Jim Meritt) Date: 1 Jun 89 12:45:48 GMT In article <3086@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM> bobb@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM (Robert Bales) writes: }In article <16228@gryphon.COM> sarima@gryphon.COM (Stan Friesen) writes: }>. . .show me some aspect of life that is unique to it and provides an }>unambiguous seperation of the universe into life and non-life and you will }>have gone a long way to disproving abiogenesis. } }The problem is not disproving abiogenesis, but proving it. You are incorrect. That is not science. Unless, of course, you mean proving it TO YOU, which again is not science. SPECIFICALLY, what would it take to "prove" it? His "answer" on this one is "show it happened" - a reply, not an answer. ============================================================================= 7. >From: jwm@stdc.jhuapl.edu (Jim Meritt) Date: 1 Jun 89 14:37:04 GMT In article <16330@gryphon.COM> keithd@gryphon.COM (Keith Doyle) writes: }In article <3083@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM> bobb@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM (Robert Bales) writes: }What evidence that would be predicted by evolution, would prove it }true to your satisfaction? Note I add "would be predicted by evolution" }because statements that distill down to "I want to see a lizard give }birth to a bird" do not describe events that are predicted by evolution, }nor are statements such as "I want to see something macro evolve" as }evolution does NOT claim these things happen in numbers of generations you }can count on your fingers. } }What evidence would prove creationism false to your satisfaction? } }If you have no answers to these two questions, then statements to the }effect of evolutions "invalidity" carry no weight, as you are unable }to come up with any criteria that would demonstrate either evolution }*or* creation to be true to your satisfaction. ============================================================================= 8. >From: stubbs@astroatc.UUCP (Dennis J. Kosterman) Date: 1 Jun 89 13:16:41 GMT In article <3086@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM> bobb@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM (Robert Bales) writes: |In article <16228@gryphon.COM> sarima@gryphon.COM (Stan Friesen) writes: |>The sequence from "simple" clays to simple, unquestioned life consists of |>such small, innocuous steps that it is very plausible. | |It is *philosphically* plausible to some people. Something that has never been |shown to be possible cannot be said to be *scientifically* plausible. Right. And you still haven't told me how the sudden appearance of complex lifeforms is scientifically plausible. If you think that the standard scientific model of the origin of life is "implausible", please propose a more plausible model. Hint: "creation" doesn't cut it -- not scientifically. Look -- either life has always existed, or it "spontaneously" origi- nated at some point. If the spontaneous origin of simple single-celled lifeforms is "implausible" to you, how can you possibly support the spon- taneous origin of *complex* lifeforms? It is orders of magnitude *more* implausible! I believe the current summary is that 1+1+1+1=4 cannot happen, but somehow 0+0+0+0=4 can. Very, very odd... ============================================================================= 9. >From: gsh7w@astsun5.astro.Virginia.EDU (Greg Hennessy) Date: 1 Jun 89 15:45:41 GMT In article <3086@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM> Robert Bales writes: >It is *philosphically* plausible to some people. Something that has >never been shown to be possible cannot be said to be *scientifically* >plausible. Have weakly interacting massive particles been shown possible? Have photinos been shown possible? Have virtual particles been shown possible? Have quark stars been shown possible? ============================================================================= 10. >From: jwm@stdb.jhuapl.edu (Jim Meritt) Date: 2 Jun 89 14:31:32 GMT In article <3082@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM> bobb@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM (Robert Bales) writes: >It has the characteristics that we commonally associate with intelligent >design. >>how do you determine this? >By looking at things which are known to be the results of spontaneous natural >processes--a building after a tornado has hit it, the change in the condition >of a piece of anything that has been left outside for a few years, radio >static. >And also by looking at things which are known to be the result of intelligent >design -- a new building, a new computer, a radio program. I have been looking at RB's idea of "intelligent design" and realize his circularity here again. To him, as far as I can tell, EVERYTHING is the result of intelligent design (when pinned down). He came up with "spontaneous natural process" by means of a few examples of things that I HAVE seen declared the results of intelligent action on the part of some "god". So: 1. Precisely what is a "spontaneous natural process"? 2. Precisely how do you show that something is NOT the result of intelligent design (i.e. falsify the theory that some specific item is the result of intelligent design)? It has been noted recently that this is worthless, anyway. If Bobby can produce ANY "uncreated thing" his premise goes away, but if he cannot his "life" point goes away. ============================================================================= 11. >From: livesey@Apple.COM (John Livesey) Date: 5 Jun 89 21:46:10 GMT In article <3082@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM> bobb@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM (Robert Bales) writes: >In article <3399@fv.sei.cmu.edu> erik@sei.cmu.edu (Erik Hardy) writes: >>>My position is that it doesn't look like life has evolved by natural >>>processes? >>ok, so what does it look like? >It has the characteristics that we commonally associate with intelligent >design. >>how do you determine this? >By looking at things which are known to be the results of spontaneous natural >processes -- a building after a tornado has hit it, the change in the >condition >of a piece of anything that has been left outside for a few years, radio >static. >And also by looking at things which are known to be the result of intelligent >design -- a new building, a new computer, a radio program. >Since life resembles things in the second category much more than things in the >first, I judge it much more likely to be the result of design than >spontaneous >processes. Truly fascinating, Bob. There are just two little points here that need a little clarification. 1. Are you now saying you can tell that something was 'designed' just by looking at it, while at the same time demanding that evolutionists prove what they say rigorously? 2. What about the Creator? Does he/it display the characteristics you think prove indicate design, and if so, who or what designed the Creator? ============================================================================= 12. >From: terman@portia.Stanford.EDU (Mutant for Hire) Date: 15 Jul 89 07:48:20 GMT In article <3215@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM> bobb@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM (Robert Bales) writes: >Untrue. Creationism (and creationists) are subject to question and doubt. >Creationists stand by the theory not because they have not questioned it, but >because they *have.* Could you give me an example of this questioning. Most Creationists start with the *assumption* that God created the earth a few thousand years ago and then look for all data that fits into this pattern. ============================================================================= 13. >From: salem@coco3.uucp (Bruce Salem) Date: 17 Jul 89 20:50:35 GMT In article <3215@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM> bobb@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM (Robert Bales) writes: >In article <14391@dartvax.Dartmouth.EDU> oracle@eleazar.dartmouth.edu (Brian >T. Coughlin) writes: >> Another thing. Please don't fall into the trap of calling Creationism a >> THEORY. It is not. A theory, by definition, MUST be capable of enduring >> the scientific method: Hypothesize, Experiment, Observe, Conclude. > >Creationism is capable of enduring the scientific method, as defined here. Please define the method. I've been asking you to do that for a long time, Bob, and YOU do nothing. If you would give us a systematic development of your assumptions, then we could discuss a method, not until you do, Bob. ============================================================================= 14. >From: sarima@gryphon.COM (Stan Friesen) Date: 29 May 89 23:22:45 GMT In article <3054@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM> bobb@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM (Robert Bales) writes: >In article <20983@joyce.istc.sri.com> salem@distekfs.UUCP (Bruce Salem) >writes: >>Bob asks us to not use similarity arguments because he claims we cant prove >>there are transitions. >Exactly! The evolutionary interpretation of the fossil record relies on the >principle that similarities indicate transitions. The statement "evolution is >a fact" says that this principle is a fact. And if it is a fact, it should be >demonstrable. And it can only be demonstrated by demonstrating transitions, not >just similarities. Help for the cognitatively impaired: saying that something can't be found because you choose to define it in such a way that there are no identifying characteristics is no answer. Thought problem: What is a transition? (note: no credit for restating the unsupported assertion. Unless you care to specify exactly how to tell what a transition IS that disagrees with what everyone else seems to think it is. HOW is a transition demonstrated? WHAT is a "transition"? By saying that transitions are missing you have to say what one is so that it could be tested. No show. This "define the problem away" is one of Bob's favorite "I did that" lines...) Now, if the question was "prove that transitions occur" then the restriction is reasonable, and even necessary. Now the problem becomes, just what evidence would you accept for the existence of transitions? We have cited many levels and types of evidence, but you have reject each one. Just what is it you are after? Transitions from what to what? Since we have seen in historical (i.e. recorded) instances of speciation, this at the species level seems to be demonstrated by purely natural operators. Does this help? I got it from Chris: ......................... }For those interested in evaluating "intermediate forms", I'd recommend }Chris McGowan's _In The Beginning_ (Prometheus). It's a "good place to }start" for the layman (but by no means sufficient all by itself). He }devotes two chapters (pp. 110-141) on detailed study of Archaeopteryx }and the Cynodonts, comparing their features to those of the two groups }which they fall between. } }While Archaeopteryx appears too late to itself be the transitional form }between reptiles and birds, it does fall between the two categories. The }Creationists contend that it is a bird - but a detailed study of features }shows that it has less in common with birds (feathers, wishbone) than it }does with Theropod dinosaurs (pubic peduncle, bony tail, no pygostyle, no }bony sternum, three well-developed fingers, three well-developed metacarpal }bones, metacarpal bones unfused, metatarsal bones separate, no hypotarsus, }abdominal ribs). The first specimen found was accidentally classified as }a reptile because the feather impressions were too faint to discern (until }the fossil was specifically examined for them). } }I'll deal with Cynodonts more briefly, but when evaluated in 14 main areas }where reptiles and mammals differ skeletally, they are clearly intermediates. }They share five of the features with reptiles, five with mammals, and are }somewhere in between on the other four. Since they appear in the fossil }record at the proper time, and are connected by many other "transitional" }fossils in a very detailed sequence, they represent one of the most }well-documented transitional forms. (It should be no surprise that more }recent transitions are better documented. More fossils are available, }and more complex creatures probably change more slowly.) ============================================================================= 15. >From: scott@anasaz.UUCP (Scott Gibson) Date: 17 Jul 89 20:08:26 GMT In article <3215@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM> bobb@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM (Robert Bales) writes: >In article <14391@dartvax.Dartmouth.EDU> oracle@eleazar.dartmouth.edu (Brian >T. Coughlin) writes: >> Another thing. Please don't fall into the trap of calling Creationism a >> THEORY. It is not. A theory, by definition, MUST be capable of enduring >> the scientific method: Hypothesize, Experiment, Observe, Conclude. > >Creationism is capable of enduring the scientific method, as defined here. In what way? This is not a flame - if you feel this to be true, what evidence can you provide to support your claim? How does one experiment with or observe the operation of Creation? Even you must admit that Creationism violates the scientific method in at least one way: it begins, not with an hypothesis, but with a conclusion. ============================================================================= 16. >From: neubauer@bsu-cs.bsu.edu (Paul Neubauer) Date: 18 Jul 89 15:06:47 GMT In article <3226@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM> bobb@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM (Robert Bales) writes: >In article <3647@portia.Stanford.EDU> terman@Portia.Stanford.EDU (Mutant for >Hire) writes: >>To prove creationism you must find positive evidence that things happened >>exactly as they are described in the bible. So far there has been a dearth of >>such data. > >Depends if you want to "prove" the Bible or creationism. I don't mind which you want to prove, Bob. Cite some evidence for either. >>No biologist will question the fact of evolution. > >Non-evolutionary biologists do. Would you care to name a few? That is, people working in biology, doing real science, publishing in peer-reviewed journals, etc. Not just people whose only claim to the name is that they work for the Institute for 'Scientific Creationism'. (I don't insist on omitting someone merely because of that particular institutional affiliation, I just want to see some evidence that the person is a biologist rather than a polemicist.) ============================================================================= 17. >From: gsh7w@astsun.astro.Virginia.EDU (Greg S. Hennessy) Date: 22 Jul 89 20:45:42 GMT In article <3245@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM> bobb@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM (Robert Bales) writes: #Now with regard to creationism, although I believe it, I cannot prove that it #is *the* correct theory. I contend that the characteristics of life agree #with the observed characteristics of created objects, and hence creationism is #consistent with observed facts, and hence creationism is a viable theory. # The last time you posted something along these lines I pointed out that salt crystals fufilled your criteria. I again point out salt crystals fufill the criteria you posted last time. I would object to salt crystals being called alive. You seem to deny that radioactive decay rates can be used to date rocks because they "might" be wrong, and then you contend that this vague statement, "characteristics of created objects" is science! I am personally and professionally offended that you call that statement a scientific statement. A theory must make predictions or it is not a theory. Name one prediction that creationism makes. This is about the eighth time I have asked in the past year. The only reason I am asking now for something is so new readers will realize you NEVER post answers to our questions, but just pop every now and then to take pot shots at evolution and then duck back into silence when asked to back up your statements. ============================================================================= 18. >From: gsh7w@astsun.astro.Virginia.EDU (Greg S. Hennessy) Date: 22 Jul 89 21:58:17 GMT #>So Greg asked: #>When ever we test it it comes out o.k. Can you please name one test of #>creationism that comes out o.k.? In article <3245@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM> bobb@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM (Robert Bales) writes: # #Let me explain. Two different claims can be made for a theory: that it is #a viable theory or that it is to be taken as the correct (as far as we know) #theory. The second claim requires stronger evidence. Since it is this claim #I hear being made for evolution, I look for the stronger evidence. I contend #that the actual evidence is only consistent with the first claim. # That is interesting. Do you mind answering my question? ============================================================================= 19. >From: keithd@gryphon.COM (Keith Doyle) Date: 23 Jul 89 07:05:36 GMT In article <3245@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM> bobb@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM (Robert Bales) writes: .Now with regard to creationism, although I believe it, I cannot prove that it .is *the* correct theory. I contend that the characteristics of life agree .with the observed characteristics of created objects, and hence creationism is .consistent with observed facts, and hence creationism is a viable theory. But Bob, I asked you the following question before, and you failed to respond: 1. What then, is a characteristic of a NON-created object, so we may know how it can be determined whether or not such characteristics agree. If you are unable to come up with a definition of an object that was NOT created, your arguments that the characteristics of life "agree with the observed characteristics of created objects" are meaningless, because by such a definition, ALL characteristics of ANY objects can be said to be "in agreement with the observed characteristics of created objects". }I don't want to speak for Bob, but I think this one has been answered, }at least partially. In <4741@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM> he wrote that there }was no way to distinguish created life forms from evolved ones. But he claims that it is consistent with observed facts, and then that those facts cannot be observed?!?!?!? Sounds like a non-answer. Evasive at best. ============================================================================= 20. >From: scott@anasaz.UUCP (Scott Gibson) Date: 24 Jul 89 17:15:59 GMT In article <3243@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM> bobb@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM (Robert Bales) writes: >I don't think I've said this. Quite a while ago, I did post an article posing >the "light-in-transit" theory as an explanation of a young universe. I got >response(s) mentioning that light from super novas would have had to have >been >created "in the stream" before the event. This was something I had >neglected, >and now I'm not sure if I believe the theory or not. (Does this qualify as >re-evaluation in the face of new evidence? :-) :-)) > >Most of my postings have been related to the age of the earth, which is a >different question -- one more susceptible to direct measurement. Have you now, in this posting, seperated the issue of the age of the Earth from the issue of the age of the rest of the universe?? { I have re-asked this, especially since Bobby has said he will debate the age of the earth question. Unfortunately, in the post in which he said that he neglected to give his position. -jwm} >Again, I don't know. I discuss mainly evolution and the origin of life, >secondarily with the age of the earth, least of all with the age of the >universe. Dang, you did it again!! So, are you opening up the possibility that you consider these to be seperate issues? That the various cosmological phenomenon that are at odds with your view of a "young" Earth occur because it is only the Earth that is young? Can these be seperated? Since you are treating them as seperate issues, can we assume that YOU seperate them? I am curious; when the Earth was [as you say] created, what existed prior to that creation? Was the sun here? Doesn't that refute the biblical account of creation? Were other stars [including, of course, those which were actually PLANETS] present? Again, doesn't this refute the bible? How about the moon? Was it in orbit about the sun [provided the sun was there]?? If the solar system existed sans the Earth, how was it stable, with respect to planetary orbits? Wouldn't the introduction of the Earth into such a stable system de-stabilize it? More importantly, why is a "created, young Earth" mandatory in creationism, when a far older universe is hinted at by you?? I noted a short time ago that I was waiting for you to answer these and other questions with views and evidence. I am still waiting, Bob. { So am I, but a LOT later than this post. -jwm} ============================================================================= 21. >From: throopw@dg-rtp.dg.com (Wayne A. Throop) Date: 2 Oct 89 13:14:35 GMT > bobb@tekfdi.FDI.TEK.COM (Robert Bales) > [.. more about the panda, symmetryic treatment of evidence, etc ..] Bob has not responded to my previously raised points. I'll append those articles to the end of this one. But some new points are brought up, in particlar some assertions about the nature of created objects. > 1. Created objects tend to have differnt parts, of different > compositions, which must all work together to accomplish a > purpose. Many created objects are all of a peice, of one composition, which works to accomplish a purpose which only the creator (and perhaps some cronies) can understand. And since standard creationism makes it impossible to understand the creator, this simply doesn't apply in any useful sense to distinguish created from non-created objects. Or do you claim to know the purpose of living things? ============================================================================= 22. >From: sbishop@desire.wright.edu Date: 27 Mar 90 16:09:36 GMT (please note date. I am including this later post as a recurring, but unanswered, theme - jwm) In article <42.260954ab@desire.wright.edu>, sbishop@desire.wright.edu writes: > > AHAH! Bob Bales is back again. Please, Bob, could you answer the question > that has been posed to you several times....? What would you consider > convincing (to you) evidence that the Bible view of creation is not viable? > I am reposting this since I do not yet have an answer from Bob Bales. > Yet another question... > What would you consider convincing evidence that evolution is the best > explanation of life on earth? Mr. Bales, why no answer? I have posed my questions as simply as possible. Are they too explicit for you? (as an aside, Bobby claims he once answered a question. "What would it take to show creationism is not viable?" His two non- answers were 1. imposible to do (his evaluation) and 2. a restatement of the question (show it is impossible). No credit.)) ========================================================================= I would love to discuss rationally these issues with any creationists. I am not interested in evasiveness, curcularity or other displays. (Like "How do things diffuse INTO a rock FROM a vacuum?") ========================================================================= Newbies please note: This is an old-timer and evasive as hell. Don't get fooled.

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