SCIENTIST THREATENS TO MAKE DARWIN EXTINCT by Neville Hodgkinson, Science Correspondent It

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SCIENTIST THREATENS TO MAKE DARWIN EXTINCT ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- by Neville Hodgkinson, Science Correspondent ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- It is like asking Christians to abandon the Bible. The world of science this week faces the biggest challenge yet to one of its most basic beliefs: Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. An authoritative compilation of scientific findings suggests that the theory - taught as gospel throughout the world - is so discredited it should be abandoned as an "elegant" but unsupported myth. The challenge comes from Richard Milton, a science writer, engineer, and amateur geologist, in a book entitled The Facts of Life: Shattering the Myth of Darwinism. Its publication on Thursday coincides with the annual meeting in Southampton of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, whose gathering in June 1860 heard Thomas Huxley, Darwin's champion, expound the revolutionary theory that mankind is descended from the apes. More than 130 years later, it is science itself which, according to Milton, has destroyed the "beautiful idea" of evolution with ugly facts. Milton, who says he has no Creationist or other religious convictions, has spent 20 years collecting evidence that challenges the Darwinist theory about "the survival of the fittest". His book marshals discoveries indicating that the earth is far younger than the hundreds of millions of years needed for species to have evolved through chance mutations followed by natural selection. It also claims that Darwinism and subsequent modifications have failed to present conclusive evidence that one species can evolve into another. This weekend his assault on evolutionists was supported by Bishop Hugh Montefiore, former chairman of the Church of England's board for social responsibity, who said it "knocked for six the dogma taught in all our schools". However, he doubted it would force a change of heart in the scientific establishment: "There is a vested interest in upholding it and I don't imagine this book will bring the end to it." Dr Melvin Cook, a former professor of metallurgy at the University of Utah, whose radiocarbon dating methods have put the age of the earth's atmosphere between 10,000 and 15,000 years said: "The facts do not support the theory of evolution." Milton's book highlights significant discrepancies between the received wisdom and recent scientific discoveries: o Repeated experiments by scientists at the Hawaiian Institute of Geophysics, using radioactive decay of potassium to argon to date volcanic lavas, found ages ranging from 160m years to three billion years; in fact the rocks are known to be 190 years old. o Experiments at Harvard University by the British biologist Dr John Cairns, subsequently confirmed and extended by Dr Barry Hall of Rochester University, show that when bacteria are deprived of certain essential nutrients, they can give rise to descendents capacble of maufacturing their own. "This strongly suggests it is possible for organisms to evolve in a directed, purposeful way. We don't understand how it happens but it is not chance, so it is not a Darwinian mechanism," Milton says. o Darwinists believe the principal rocks of the earth's crust were created by layers of sediments formed on the beds of ancient oceans, and that the creatures whose fossils are found in them lived millions of years ago; but fossilised trees up to 40 feet tall are found standing in coal seams and other sediments, showing that these rocks form rapidly, not over milliobns of years. o Darwinists have claimed that the fossilised skeleton of archaeopteryx, a feathered bird-like creature, was an example of a transitional form of life, from reptiles to birds; but last year, in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Sankar Chatterjee, professor of Palaeontology at Texas Tech University, described a newly discovered fossil of a pheasant sized bird said to predate archaeopteryx by 75m years. "What this really shows is that the dataing is faulty, and birds and reptiles were contemporaries in a more recent past," Milton says. o Carbon dating, considered one of the most reliable methods for dating plant and animal remains of relatively recent origin, when applied to the earth's atmosphere points to an age of only 10,000 to 15,000 years. o In spite of repeated Darwinist claims, more than a century of excavation has failed to produce evidence of the "missing link" - a creature with part ape, part human characteristics need to support the theory of evolution.

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