Hi everyone, Below I am posting a summary of the notes I took at a +quot;Seminar on Scienc
Below I am posting a summary of the notes I took at a "Seminar on Science
and Creation" held this weekend, here in McMinnville, Oregon USA. The
seminar was conducted by Harold Coffin (the guy Mr. Allen Roy seems to get
most of his ideas from). I have two reasons for posting this material here
(even though it is somewhat lengthy).
1. Dr. Coffin does extensive travelling around the USA conducting
similar seminars. I appears that most of his seminars are identical
in content and material as this one. If he comes to your area, you can
be well prepared, having in advance a good outline of what he is going to
present. This is the primary reason for posting it.
2. While the vast majority of the points raised are standard creationist
misconceptions, etc. There are one or two issues that I could use a little
clearification from some of you biologists and geologists on the net. So
if you see an issue that you believe you can contribute to clearing up,
please either post a response or email directly to me. I am currently
preparing a careful point by point response, which when I'm done I will
post to the net. If you have anything to contribute please send it to me
so that I can include it.
Notice that in this post I have simply tried to express the arguments
and [mis]information as given by Harold Coffin. There are several points
that he makes that I believe are deliberate attempts to manipulate an
unskeptical and ignorant audience. I do not editorialize in this post
(even though I had to exert extreme self control to avoid doing so) :-),
so if you are looking for a good creationist bashing post, you can stop
reading now. Also, if you disagree violently with something don't bother
flaming me, this post is meant to be constructive. Let's not let it
degenerate into a flame war.
One last thing. In order to avoid any confusion about motives, axes to
grind, etc., I will state my personal position on this issue. I used to
be a staunch creationist, but over the last 8 years or so, through much
investigation I have changed my views. I now hold that Evolution is an
observed fact that explains the relationships between all living things,
and that the mechanisms for evolution (such as Natural Selection, Genetic
Drift, etc) are the best theories we have that explain this fact.
Summary of Harold Coffin's Seminar on Science and Creation
by Dan Ford
Time: Friday, April 4, 1992, 7:00pm
Location: McMinnville SDA Church
1. He claimed that the purpose for the seminar was to present the case for
creation from the standpoint of science. Claimed that scripture would
agree with science. He claimed that we would see that there was ample
evidence from science to support a creationist interpretation.
2. Claimed that there are two viable views on origins:
a) God created the earth, plants and animals. Stated that there has
been some change but that the changes are limited to within
b) "Spontaneous Generation", where a basic "spark of life" arose by
random chance, replicating itself to produce all forms of life
3. Evolution and Creation are based on faith--but faith is based on
evidence. There is evidence for both. The purpose of this seminar is
to look at the evidence for creation. Since we can't bring the past back
and since we can't experiment on the past, this is a historical science--
therefore it cannot be proved.
4. Claimed there are 4 types of evidence supporting creation, they are:
a) The uniqueness of life. He did not elaborate, saying that there
would not be enough time in the seminar to cover this topic. So I
don't know what this means.
b) The inability of man to force any major change either by breeding or
experimentation. Dogs are still dogs despite centuries of careful
and selective breeding.
c) The fossil record. Claimed that it is the ONLY record of living
things. If evolution occured, we should be able to see it.
d) He never got to this one (he got sidetracked talking about the fossil
record and launched directly into his material). I have no idea what
the 4th type is.
5. At this point he began showing slides. Excellent slides of many
fossils and mineral deposits and other interesting geological formations.
He also gave some basic background information, including a definition for
fossil as: "any evidence of prehistoric life". He described the various
geological periods (Precambrian, Cambrian, etc...). However, he stressed
that he was not legitimizing the actual dates and time spans assigned to
these sections of the geological column by geologists, rather that they
are just names for the different sections without regard for duration.
He claimed the rocks below the Cambrian contain NO fossils of multicellular
life--only single celled organisms (and rare at that). He stated that if
evolution occured, by examining the Cambrian and Precambrian layers we
should be going back to the beginning of the evolving processes.
6. Began showing slides of fossils removed from the Burgess Shale in Canada,
although he didn't identify it as such until much later, and then just in
passing. (As a side note, he gives extremely few references throughout
his presentation. Even at the end when I asked him a direct question, about
whether and where he had published his research, he answered by saying he
had published 3 papers on this topic recently in professional journals,
but he did not say which journals or what the titles of the papers were,
and I did not have any additional opportunities for questions.)
He showed many slides of drawing of fossils from the Burgess shale,
primarily of very strange and bizarre creatures (if you have read
Wonderful Life by Stephen J. Gould you would have recognized most of them).
He repeatedly pointed out that many of these creatures represent totally
different body plans than anything alive today. After several minutes of
discussion and slides about Marrella, Wiwaxia, Anomalocaris (spelling?),
and other including Hallucinogenia, he came to his main point, which is:
When you look in early Cambrian rock for evidence of the transitions from
simple unicellular life to complex multicellular life, you don't find it.
Rather, you find suddenly a dizzying array of wildly diverse and complex
life forms. In fact he goes on to claim that there was more diversity in
the Cambrian than today. The world today is meager in different body
forms, and there is no evidence of increasing complexity. He claims that
the Cambrian life forms were just as complex, and in some cases even more
so, than today's life forms.
7. He continued by talking for quite some time about the Trilobite (which
he said is closely related to the common Salbug). He did say that there
are no Trilobites alive today, to his knowledge they are all extinct.
His point about the Trilobite is that they exhibit great complexity; he
specifically listed: they grow by molting; their musculature, blood
circulation, and nervous systems are quite complex; complex mouth parts
able to recognize certain types of food and reject others; he claimed
that its physiology is very similar and just as complex to many creatures
alive today. In particular he talked about the Trilobite eye (which is a
calcite crystal lens). He claimed that most creatures alive today that
have calcite crystal eyes have less efficient eyes than the Trilobite
(that is, the Trilobite had better and sharper focus than similar
creatures today that have calcite eyes). He then reiterated his main
First: There is no evidence for increasing complexity in the geological
Second: There is no evidence of the transitions leading up to the multitude
of diverse life forms found in the Cambrian layer.
He then produced a quote from Darwin referring to the "enigma" of the
Cambrian explosion. The quote is something like (my paraphrasing):
"I can give no satisfactory answer to the problem of missing fossils in
the early Cambrian, and this can be advanced as a valid argument against
my theory" (Origin of Species, no page reference given). He also quoted
George Gaylord Simpson (again paraphrased since the quote was on a slide
that was flashed on the screen for only a few seconds, and I couldn't
write it down verbatim): "The sudden appearance of life forms in the
Cambrian is not only the most puzzling feature of the geological record...
but also the greatest apparent inadequacy of evolutionary theory." (No
reference was given). Coffin concluded this section by saying that
evolutionists must take it on faith that these evidences will someday
The next section was entitled the "Problem of the Missing Links"
1. He claimed that the problem of the missing link is not only the fact
that no "missing link" in human evolution has been found, but that
there are entire sections of the chain missing.
2. Showed a slide of an ant preserved in pitch. Called it the "oldest
known ant". Stressed that it is very similar to modern ants. Virtually
no evolution has occured over a very long time. He brought up many
examples of this idea, that is, creatures that are alive today (mostly in
our oceans) which are identical or virtually identical to creatures from
very far back in the fossil record. It wasn't perfectly clear what he was
trying to demonstrate with this idea that there are creatures that exhibit
very little or no evolutionary change. I presume that this is supposed
to cast doubt on larger evolutionary changes, but he did not make that
3. Showed slides of fossils that supposedly are found in the fossil record
with no obvious ancestors species in lower strata, and no descendant
species above it. "They just appear abruptly and go extinct abruptly".
4. Showed slides of drawings of the cross section of turtles. Showing how
the shoulders attach inside the shell (which he claims is the analog of
the rib cage in mammals). He claimed we should be able to find fossils
leading up to this unusual and unique design, but of course (according to
him) none are found.
5. Showed a slide of a bat that appears to demonstrate that bats have
changed very little in the last 10 million years or so. He then quotes
George Gaylord Simpson as saying that evolution of the human lineage would
take 10 billion years at that rate of change (no reference was given).
Coffin's conclusion was that there is clearly insufficient time for
evolution to occur, since 10 billion years is more than twice the
estimated age of the earth (you should have heard the gasps around the
audience; unfortunately, the gasps were not out of incredulity, rather of
wonder at the stubborn "evolutionists" who insist on believing in
evolution in the face of such "contradictory" evidence). [Ok, so I did
editorialize maybe a little :-) ]
6. Discussed Archeopteryx. Showed a slide of an Archeopteryx fossil.
Said this topic was too complex to discuss in this context, but that he
should mention that:
a) More "modern" birds have been found in the fossil record below
Archeopteryx, and that you "can't find ancestors of a fossil after
it (or in higher strata)".
b) His conclusion is that it is simply a type of bird that doesn't
c) He spent a minute or two discussion the fact that there have been
claims that it was a forgery, and that it could possibly be a hoax.
Then after saying that he concluded with "but much detailed study
has gone into the Archeopteryx, and my feeling now is that it is
most likely a genuine fossil" (my paraphrasing).
d) A great deal of evolution is required between scales and feathers,
and no intermediate forms have been found in the fossil record to
show even an example of how this transition could occur.
7. Discussed the Horse (of course). His statements were plain and simple
assertions that eohippus was not a horse. The first discoverer called it
a hyrachotherum. All the other fossils in the horse "lineage" are really
horses, he said that some have 3 toes while modern horses usually do not,
but they are all distinctly horses. As he said it: "a horse is a horse is
a horse." Here he quoted some Garret Hardin from a article entitled
"Nature and Man's Fate", Mentor, 1961 p. 225-226. The quote was not up
long enough for me to even get a gist of it (he didn't even read the entire
quote on the slide to the audience, simply flashed it up, made a reference
to it and removed it; all I could get was the reference). It was something
about the horse lineage being bogus. Coffin's conclusion is that all the
horse fossils represent changes in a "basic created horse kind".
8. Here he quoted Darwin again. Again the slide was up for such a short
time I could not get much down (again, he did not read the entire quote,
but selected a few sentences to read). The reference was simply the
Origin of Species (no page number). It referred to an admission by
Darwin that there were no finely graduated organic chain leading to all
current life forms. Darwin's explanation (according to Coffin, that is,
this part was not in the quote), was that we haven't looked long enough,
but that the evidence would be found. Coffin says we have been looking
for over a hundred years with no success. It's time to admit it's not
Question and Answer Session
I wasn't able to write down most of the questions. But below
are some of the statements he made in response to various questions.
1. The flood caused the deposition of virtually the entire geological
record. He discussed the basic "hydrological sorting" argument.
The order he claimed is reasonable by hydrological sorting is:
1) Sea bottom creatures
2) Swimming fish
3) Sea shore creatures and plants
He claimed that the order above matches the order in the geological column.
2. He did not think that Noah took the sea creatures in the ark. They
could fend for themselves. He didn't think Noah took the dinosaurs
either (however he admitted that there might have been a few "dinosaur
like" animals aboard. He said that the answer to the space problem was
that Noah would not have to take a pair of every species, rather he
would just take a pair of each "basic kind".
3. He said that because it is clear that the dinosaurs disappear
suddenly in the fossil record, that it seems likely that they all died
in the flood.
4. The question I asked was: "Could you give us your estimate of the total
number of species of animals that have ever existed, both extinct and
extant; and secondly what percentage of those species are extinct and
what percent are alive today, and how do you arrive at your estimates".
He answered that that was a difficult issue, but that he believed
that there were more species in existence today than in the fossil record!
He did not give an estimate (as I had asked), and gave no details
whatsoever as to how he arrived at his conclusion.
5. A friend of mine asked: "Do you believe that the mammals coexisted in
time with the dinosaurs? And if so, why are they not found together in
the fossil record?" Answer: Yes, and although mammals are rarely found
in dinosaur strata, occasionally some of the small mammals are found in
with the dinosaurs. He reiterated his hydrological model, claiming that
this would be expected by the flood model.
6. He was asked how old he thought the earth was: He talked a little about
Usher's chronology, citing some difficulties with it. He then claimed that
the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) was probably
more reliable, and that it gave an age of about 7500 years for the earth.
He believes that is the correct age for the earth, but not for the rest
of the universe (which he believes is much older).
7. When asked about Carbon-14 dating: He said that it depended on the
principle of Uniformitarianism--that is, the present is the key to the
past. He believe that the past was different from the present in many
ways--therefore invalidating uniformitarian assumptions. For example,
he believes that prior to the flood there was no Carbon-14 produced.
This would give incorrect results on items from before the flood. He
made no mention of other radiometric dating methods (such as isochron
A Few General Comments About the Seminar
1. He never volunteered information critical of his position (for
example no mention of isochron dating methods in his discussion of
radiometric dating). In this sense he seemed to capitalize on the
ignorance of the audience. People seem to think that Carbon-14 dating is
the only type of radiometric dating, and he made no attempt to clear up
2. He had an extremely uncritical audience. With the exception of one
or two, there were no skeptical questions. He was preaching to the
choir. It was interesting to note the audiences reaction to various
non-issues, such as the statement about the evolution of the bat being
so slow that humans would take 10 billion years to evolve. He never
made any attempt to clear up simple misconceptions, rather, many of
his statements encouraged misconceptions.
3. Despite the agreeable nature of his audience, at the end he glowingly
complemented the audience, claiming this had been an extremely competent
audience. He claimed that it is very rare that he finds an audience
that asks such technically advanced and challenging questions.
Good grief, if this is a demanding audience, I wonder what an average
audience is like?
P.S. The seminar actually consisted of two sessions. These notes are
from the first session. I will post my notes from the second session
as soon as I'm done compiling them. The second session was much lower
in content however, and should be somewhat shorter. Again, my apologies
for such a long post.
Well, here is the summary of the second (and last) session of Harold
Coffin's "Seminar on Science and Creation". I hope you find it useful.
Harold Coffin's Seminar on Science and Creation, Part II
by Dan Ford
Time: Saturday, April 5, 1992, 3:00pm
Location: McMinnville SDA Church
1. For several hundred years before Darwin, geologists believed in a
worldwide flood. These geologists were called Deluge Geologists.
These geologists rested their conclusions on the basis of large coal
deposits around the world. Later geologists questioned this evidence
because one can see upright trees (petrified) in coal beds. It seemed
like impressive evidence. Because of this, gradually, the ideas about
production of coal changed, and with it, the ideas about geochronology.
The distinct impression was given, by Dr. Coffin, that the
cornerstone of modern geology somehow rests on the fact that
upright trees have been found in coal beds, and that these trees
appeared to be in their original place of growth.
Furthermore, if these claims are true, says Dr. Coffin, a global deluge
could not be used to explain these formations.
2. He made the strong statement that if you discount the flood, you
remove the only means of explaining the geological column. Remove
the flood, he said, and you must be left with a non-literal creation
week, possibly representing millions of years.
At this point he returned to the upright trees problem. Talking for
several minutes about their importance to conventional geology. He
showed slides of several upright trees, some in coal beds some not.
[I distinctly got the impression that he was deliberately setting up the
problem; so that the impression that would be left with an
unsophisticated audience would be that if he could successfully
demonstrate that catastrophes could be reasonably be invoked to
explain the upright petrified trees, then most of conventional geology
would be refuted!]
3. He then launched into his main body of evidence, which briefly
consisted of the following arguments:
a) Many if not all of the upright trees appear to be missing root
b) Many of the trees are hollow, and filled with sediment (which
does not match the sediments in which the trees are buried.
c) Many of the hollow trees have marine organism in them. It was
not clear what that was supposed to demonstrate (possibly to support
a global deluge).
d) Often the rings of trees at the same level do not match. Instead,
they found trees with the same ring sequences (called ring
signatures) at different levels! This argues that the trees did not grow
where they are currently standing.
e) Some vertical trees are actually upside down.
4. He then showed quite a few slides of Mt. St. Helens in Washington,
USA. Some interesting shots taken (not by him) actually during the
eruption. He goes on the show that the surface of Spirit Lake (which
at first had been thought to have been obliterated by the volcano) was
covered by thousands of floating logs, carried down by the blast and
mud slides of the eruption. He showed many photographs of logs
and stumps floating vertically in Spirit lake. Many were standing
vertically on the bottom of the lake (sticking up towards the surface).
Using SCUBA divers and sidescan sonar to explore the lake, they
estimated between 19 and 20 thousand upright stumps on the bottom
of the lake. He claimed that what they had there was a transported,
submerged forest. In effect, he made what appeared to be a good
case that there were many upright trees in Spirit Lake as a result of
the eruption, and that therefore catastrophes could possibly explain
the existence of other similar occurrences in the geologic record.
[I'm tempted to editorialize here about the significance of all this, but
I will restrain myself. :-) ]
5. He closed this section by making his main case: That if another
eruption were to occur, these trees would be buried, and they would
be indistinguishable from other similar formations, which geologists
attribute to long periods of deposition.
He claimed that what is present in Spirit Lake is a small scale model
for the worldwide deluge.
6. Along the way he interspersed comments about other features of the
Mt. St. Helens eruptions that is "changing the way geologists think",
a) Rapid erosion occurred, sometimes major canyons were produced
in a matter of hours or days.
b) Claimed that there were other geological processes that occurred
so quickly, that they would "fool current geologists" if they did not
know their catastrophic and rapid creation.
The Question and Answer Session
Again, I was not able to write down the questions, but I have the
salient points from his responses. Very few of the questions had anything
to do with the upright logs.
Some of these comments were made by him after the session, and a small
group gathered around him to ask questions.
1. I asked if he had published his research in any professional, referred
journals, and if so which ones? His answer was that he had written 3
technical papers and that they had been published in professional
journals, but he did not give the names of the journals or the
professional associations, or even the title of the papers. I did not
have an opportunity to follow the question up.
2. When asked what he thought of continental drift he said a number of
a) It is a revolutionary idea and still somewhat immature.
b) However he did say "we think something dynamic has happened".
c) Claimed that there was a great deal of controversy currently in the
field. He mentioned theories of "microplates"; where supposedly
single mountains have moved long distances independently of the
continents that they are currently embedded in.
d) Claimed that there was currently much contradictory data in that
field of study (but he did not volunteer any hints as to what that data
might have been).
e) Despite that however, he claimed that the "major concept is still
probably correct". He stated that the similarity of geological
formations in South America and Africa and in particular their good
fit could not be satisfactorily explained any other way than to say
that they were connected at one time. However, he asserted that he
believed that all of the major plate motion occurred during or shortly
after the flood.
f) Also mentioned a small but influential group of geologists that are
proposing the theory of the expanding earth, which supposedly
would explain much of the same data.
On this same topic he expressed his skepticism about the
"uniformitarian assumptions" that conventional geologists make.
Reiterated his idea that Uniformitarianism is using the present as the
key to the past, an since he believes that the past was different, the
basic assumptions are invalid.
He had an argument that he claimed could easily disprove the steady
slow continental drift rates; it goes like this:
It is possible to measure the width and length of the rift that is
opening up between the continents down the center of the Atlantic.
Using these measurements one can calculate the volume necessary to
refill the rift. He claimed that the yearly amount of material carried
into the Atlantic ocean by erosion was more than double the yearly
volume opened up by continental drift. Therefore, he claimed that if
these processes have been going on for a very long time, there would
be no ocean, it would be completely filled up by erosion from the
continents. He made no mention of subduction!
3. He discussed ocean sediments, claiming that if evolution is true, we
should find deep sediments in the middle of the oceans, but none are
4. When asked about other SDA scholars who accept evolutionary
biology, he said that he believed that these were errors introduced by
Satan. Very simple.
5. Later (in a small group), I was able to ask him about the Marsupial
problem, to which he responded: That is a question that we don't
have an answer for yet. But there is significant research from fossils
in the Sahara indicating that species that today have a very limited
ecosystem might have had broader ranges in the past. His conclusion
was that the Marsupials once inhabited very large ranges of the
He then made a curious statement: "But of course it is also just as
big a problem for the evolutionists too, since they can't find any
fossils of the Marsupials anywhere else either."
6. I asked him if he was aware of any research where someone had
calculated the amount of energy required to move the continents
around wildly during and shortly after the flood, and what would
prevent the heat generated from vaporizing the oceans. He said that
he was unaware of any research, or anyone ever making those
calculations. He did say, however that he had evidence that the
oceans were much warmer back then.
7. He concluded by saying that all of the cruel and "bad" things in
nature, such as carnivorous creatures, parasites, viruses, pests, thorns,
etc. were the product of Satan. He claimed that Satan would be an
excellent molecular biologist and genetic engineer, who could have
easily produced the necessary changes in nature. He also described
what Seventh-Day Adventists refer to as the Great Controversy
between Christ and Satan. Using this kind of apocalyptic
terminology he characterized all evolutionary views, and all views
dissenting with the Bible as of Satanic origin.
comments by Karl Kluge:
First, the Cambrian explosion occured "suddenly" only in geological terms.
Second, new species normally arise in peripheral isolates (like escaped
wallabies on Hawaii), so the first appearance of something in the fossil
record often reflects only the radiation of the species into that area. It
is precisely that fact the we do find exceptions to this rule that validates
punctuated equilibrium and makes hay of Creationist claims that punc. eq. is
an admission that there are no transitional forms.
> 4. Showed slides of drawings of the cross section of turtles. Showing how
> the shoulders attach inside the shell (which he claims is the analog of
> the rib cage in mammals). He claimed we should be able to find fossils
> leading up to this unusual and unique design, but of course (according to
> him) none are found.
Read Derek Brigg's AMERICAN SCIENTIST article on "Extraordinary Fossils"
(v79, n2, 1991) for a good idea of how sparse the fossil record is. The
amazing thing isn't the lack of transitional forms -- it's that we have as
many as we do.
> 7. Discussed the Horse (of course). His statements were plain and simple
> assertions that eohippus was not a horse. The first discoverer called it
> a hyrachotherum.
Taxonomic quibbles have nothing to do with the nature of the beast.
> All the other fossils in the horse "lineage" are really
> horses, he said that some have 3 toes while modern horses usually do not,
> but they are all distinctly horses. As he said it: "a horse is a horse is
> a horse." Here he quoted some Garret Hardin from a article entitled
> "Nature and Man's Fate", Mentor, 1961 p. 225-226. The quote was not up
> long enough for me to even get a gist of it (he didn't even read the entire
> quote on the slide to the audience, simply flashed it up, made a reference
> to it and removed it; all I could get was the reference). It was something
> about the horse lineage being bogus. Coffin's conclusion is that all the
> horse fossils represent changes in a "basic created horse kind".
Sounds like our recent "but it was still a wallaby" poster. How convenient
to dismiss Eohippus as not being related to horses. When Eohippus appeared,
it was just another cony-like animal. Why not say that horses and rabbits
are just changes within the same "basic created cony kind"? But then you
have the fossil transition connecting the mammals with the reptiles and
showing very nicely the transformation of the jaw structure. So maybe
horses, rabbits, humans, and snakes are all just changes in the "basic
created vertebrate kind".
> Question and Answer Session
> 1. The flood caused the deposition of virtually the entire geological
> record. He discussed the basic "hydrological sorting" argument.
> The order he claimed is reasonable by hydrological sorting is:
> 1) Sea bottom creatures
> 2) Swimming fish
> 3) Sea shore creatures and plants
> 4) Amphibians
> 5) Reptiles
> 6) Mammals
> 7) Birds
> He claimed that the order above matches the order in the geological column.
And here is where the Burgess Shale zaps him. The Burgess fauna were buried
in a mudslide. No opportunity for hydrological sorting or differential
mobility to work. Examples of 20 groups of now extinct arthropods (there are
currently 3 groups of arthropods, which account for 80% of all animal
species) -- more diversity in this one quarry than in all the modern oceans
-- and one lousy little worm-like chordate. No "modern" fish. Zero. None.
This is even worse for Flood Geology than the problem of the missing
> 3. He said that because it is clear that the dinosaurs disappear
> suddenly in the fossil record, that it seems likely that they all died
> in the flood.
Suddenly is right. Very suddenly. The old conventional wisdom was that most
dinosaurs had bit the dust before the C-T boundary, and any impact that
occured didn't make much difference -- the extinction had already mostly
occured. People went back and looked harder at previously examined
formations. They found dinosaurs that were supposedly already extinct closer
and closer to the C-T boundary layer. See Gould's essay in one of the last
couple issues of NATURAL HISTORY -- they're found right up to the C-T
boundary, then zap. Interesting how the hydrological sorting deposited the
same iridium enriched clay, fractured quartz, etc. (in a very thin layer, I
might add) just above the dinosaurs at multiple sites.
>7. He concluded by saying that all of the cruel and "bad" things in
>nature, such as carnivorous creatures, parasites, viruses, pests, thorns,
>etc. were the product of Satan.
I doubt he's a vegetarian, himself.
Leaving aside the fact that thorns are self-defence ... carnivores
are in fact wonderful things. In a certain sense, predators create
their prey: it is the existence of predators that made gazelles so
fast and graceful. Nor is death by tooth and claw unmerciful,
compared to disease and starvation.
Changing the subject slightly: civilized people underestimate
disease. If you have to spend a few days in bed, your house stays
warm, and food delivery is a phone call away. Contrast this to the
reason why so many Amerinds died from the white man's imported
diseases. It's not because the diseases were horrible plagues.
Imagine, instead, everyone in the tribe sick at once. Hauling water,
lugging firewood, starting fires, and hunting - all hard labor, and
all not being done. Everyone in the tribe could easily die, not from
the Real Bad Sniffles, but from a few days of freezing/starvation.
In short, tribe/pack cooperation is one of the Great Secrets of
Success, a much bigger secret than penicillin.
Don D.C.Lindsay Carnegie Mellon Computer Science
> Don D.C.Lindsay Carnegie Mellon Computer Science
I don't want to argue with most of what you said, but I should mention,
that Dr. Coffin most likely *IS* a vegetarian. This is because of his
Seventh-Day Adventist heritage. I wouldn't know his personal reasons
for vegetarianism, but most SDA's are vegetarian for health reasons rather
than for moral or ethical reasons (that is, the reasons I hear are not
that it is morally wrong to kill cows, but that it is bad for your health
to eat cows, and your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, etc...).
>> I doubt he's a vegetarian, himself.
>> Don D.C.Lindsay Carnegie Mellon Computer Science
This is most amusing. If God made us he made us with canine
teeth and all the other differentiated teeth of mammals who eat
everything, including meat, and even allowed us to digest meat, how
could it have been the work of satan for us to eat meat, and what
about all the plant beings we do kill in order to eat when we
don't eat meat? Up with Plant Liberation! Kill the people who cut
down trees to build houses! :-)
Now, I have no quarrel with vegitarians, as such. I don't
eat alot of meat myself, just some. The assertion that eating meat
is the work of Satan is just stupid.
> I don't want to argue with most of what you said, but I should mention,
>that Dr. Coffin most likely *IS* a vegetarian. This is because of his
>Seventh-Day Adventist heritage. I wouldn't know his personal reasons
>for vegetarianism, but most SDA's are vegetarian for health reasons rather
>than for moral or ethical reasons (that is, the reasons I hear are not
>that it is morally wrong to kill cows, but that it is bad for your health
>to eat cows, and your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, etc...).
Vegitarianism was big with Hindus long before there were
any SDAs. Oh, by the way the SDAs are big on Creationism. I have
one of their tracts. Aren't they behind some of the lobbying groups
opposed to Bill Honig in Californaia? Aren't they influiencial in
places in Orange and San Diago Counties?
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