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Feb 12

Darwin Day sees evolution in primary schools

Rt Hon Michael Gove MP laying down the law.

Rt Hon Michael Gove MP laying down the law.

The Government has handed atheists a Darwin Day present by promising to indoctrinate primary school children with evolutionism.

Education Secretary of State Rt Hon Michael Gove MP has decided to force primary schools in England to teach evolutionary theory.  The announcement was made as part of last week’s English Baccalaureate climb-down statement.

It will be another triumph for the overwhelmingly-secularist arts world to chink the champagne glasses over as they celebrate the quite proper increase of status of humanities subjects such as music and art in secondary school examinations.

However, the decision raises questions about issues of conscience for primary school teachers, who cover more subjects than their secondary colleagues and cannot simply keep out of the biology department.

Richard Dawkins - not as nice as he looks.

Richard Dawkins – not as nice as he looks.

Shortly after being appointed two-and-a-half years ago Michael Gove bowed to pressure from evolutionary biologists including Richard Dawkins and banned from Secondary School biology classes any talk of a possibility that organisms show signs of having been designed.  If last week’s statement is followed through, it will be the first time evolution has been taught as a subject in primary schools.

The decision can be seen as an act of desperation by secularists, who are worried that the holes in Darwin’s theory of evolution are becoming increasingly visible and talked-about, not least in the scientific community.

Charles Darwin, 1809 - 1882. Published 'On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life' on 24th November 1859.

Charles Darwin, 1809 – 1882. Published ‘On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life’ on 24th November 1859.

Today, 12th February 2013, is the 204th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, and is promoted as ‘Darwin Day’ by atheist bodies such as the British Humanist Association.  The BHA website boasts a ‘campaign against the teaching of Creationism in British schools’, which has been successful beyond their wildest dreams, and a ludicrous ‘international campaign’ to turn ‘Darwin Day’ into a public holiday.  These pages are worth clicking on to for intelligence as to what the enemies of Jesus Christ are up to.

Sadly, a link on the BHA website to ‘answers to 21 anti-evolutionary questions and arguments’ sends the visitor to the schools campaigning page instead and a google search reveals no such document.

Interestingly, there are webpages elsewhere claiming to answer creationist’s questions, but they fail to do so.  Here is one attempt; I love the admission that evolution needs time – lots and lots of time.

Yeast reproduces every 15 minutes.  Over the course of a day that is almost 100 generations, 35,000 generations in a year.  In human terms that amounts to 876,000 years, taking 25 years for a generation, or over a million years if you ascribe 30 years for a generation.

The Carlsberg Brewery have been using the same yeast for 130 years, during which time it has gone through over 4-and-a-half million generations.

The Carlsberg Brewery have been using the same yeast for 130 years, during which time it has gone through over 4-and-a-half million generations.

The yeast Saccharomyces carlsbergensis is named after the Carlsberg Brewery in Copenhagen, where it was first isolated in 1883, 130 years ago.  Carlsbergensis has gone through 4,550,000 generations and it is still the exact same strain of yeast as in 1883.  It hasn’t mutated into anything else for 4-and-a-half million generations.  One might say it hasn’t needed to, but where is the evidence that it could even try?  In human terms those generations amount to 130 million (130,000,000) years.

New Scientist, a bastion of evolutionism, claims our ‘evolution from apes’ began ‘6 million years’ ago.  But the evidence from the yeast is that 130 million years would not be enough time even to start the process.  6 million years of human ancestry is like expecting yeast after 6 years of brewing to jump out of the vat and become a mushroom.  No doubt it shares just as much of its DNA with something else as we do with monkeys.  But that genetic information relentlessly reproduces it as yeast.

Here is an attempt to answer a whole bunch of questions posed by the American creationist Kent Hovind.  Astonishingly,  barely one question is actually answered.

I don’t have a lot of questions for evolutionists, I just have one.  Well, actually, I do have a lot, but one will do, and it is this:

Who put the tuft on the head of the Tufted Duck?

Who put the tuft on the head of the Tufted Duck?

What is the evolutionary purpose, or what advantage is conveyed to the species, as a species, by the tuft on the head of the tufted duck?  And if I am allowed a supplementary or two: If there is no advantage to the species, what is the tuft on the head of the tufted duck actually for and how and why did it evolve?

You see, I know the answer, from a creationist point of view, at least.

 

 

 

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  1. Rox

    Perhaps you should be asking what the disadvantage is of the tuft. If it happened by a chance mutation, but is hereditary, it would continue to appear unless the tufted duck had a disadvantage compared to other ducks. What’s more, if tufted ducks liked the look of big ones, big ones might have the advantage of attracting mates.

    One needs to be careful with this kind of argument. Because if the tuft has no advantage to the tufted duck, why did God design them with tufts ?

    1. Stephen

      ‘happened by a chance mutation’? A two-inch tuft happens by a chance mutation? In both a male and female at exactly the same time? And all their friends without tufts just stop breeding? Give us a break.

      ‘if tufted ducks liked the look of big ones, big ones might have the advantage of attracting mates’. No, I asked what was the advantage to the species, not to the individual duck – or drake. And plenty of other species of birds manage to reproduce without tufts on their little heads.

      ‘if the tuft has no advantage to the tufted duck, why did God design them with tufts’?

      Same reason as the tail of the peacock, or the wing bars on the mallard, or the red breast of the robin, or the weird yellow bill of the cock blackbird.

      To show his glory.

      1. Felix

        Can I ask an inverse question: why do human beings have an appendix? It serves no decorative purpose, nor does it serve any practical purpose. The evolutionary answer satisfies: it is a remnant from a previous iteration of species, gradually shrinking and becoming increasingly redundant as our diet changes. The answer you would give me is that it’s part of God’s glory, but all that would mean is God has given us is appendicitis. Glorious.

        The larger point I’m making here is that either side can pick individual and miniscule examples without it proving anything about the wider argument.

        1. Stephen

          You need to keep up to speed with scientific developments, old thing. Scientists were suggesting a function for the appendix six years ago.

          1. Michael

            Then why do Whales have legs?

          2. Stephen

            They don’t.

          3. Robin Jones

            Whales have vestigial legs from earlier in their evolutionary history, seriously look it up.

          4. Stephen

            No, they have odd bits of bone which evolutionists have asserted are vestigial legs.

        2. Steve

          I’m sure Ray Comfort will not mind me reposting the following taken from his Facebook page.

          I was speaking recently to a group of university students. When I said that I didn’t believe in evolution–that it was unscientific and unobservable, an atheist called out, “But what about the tail bone?” The human tailbone is said to be vestigial—that is, it’s an evolutionary left-over proving that we are related to primates. I said that it’s not a “tailbone,” but that it’s the coccyx vertebrae, and that it’s the anchor for 12 muscles that make it possible for us go to the bathroom: “The tailbone derived its name because some people believe it is a ‘leftover’ part from human evolution, though the notion that the tailbone serves no purpose is wrong. The coccyx is an extremely important source of attachment for tendons, ligaments, and muscles, though it is structured quite differently than other parts of the spine.” Of course this believer in evolution didn’t concede for a moment, and called out, “What about the appendix?” I then explained that the appendix, like the “tail bone,” isn’t vestigial in the slightest, and that it’s tied in with the human immune system. When he mocked that thought, I told him to Google it. Duke University said: “Appendix Isn’t Useless at All: It’s a Safe House for Bacteria, By Duke Medicine News and Communications. Long denigrated as vestigial or useless, the appendix now appears to have a reason to be — as a ‘safe house’ for the beneficial bacteria living in the human gut.” And so it is with each of the “evidences” that are held up as proof for the bogus science that is believed by so many.

        3. Leslie Wood

          The appendix does have a use especially in infants; most supposed vestigial organs have now been found to have a use. A lot of the arguments for evolution used today have been shot out of the water by evolutionists themselves. The honest one say there is no evidence for evolution and they see the chances of it happening are mathematically impossible; and the only reason they cling onto it against hope is that they do not want to believe in or be accountable to God.

      2. Sam

        Couldn’t a smaller tuft come first, then grow over time? Why would it have to occur at the same time in males and females? And why would their “friends” need to stop breeding? Surely the ducks could diverge at that point?

        I am no Biologist, but I am a scientist. And these measures to teach evolution please me. Intelligent design has no place in the science classroom — it is not science!

        1. Stephen

          Why does the tuft need to arise in the first place and then why does it need to grow? What advantage does it give the species? It has to occur in both male and female to be absolutely certain of being reproduced. If the ducks have diverged, where is the non-tufted tufted duck?
          What is it about the suggestion that organisms might be designed that scares you? A true scientist would be thrilled to find evidence of design in nature.

          1. Sam

            Evidence is what a scientist thrives on. For design, there is none.

            Likewise, I’d happily believe in a God which has evidence for it.

          2. Sam

            PS. Why did it have to be certain of being reproduced? If you think that just because it exists now is an argument that at any point it *had* to be reproduced, you sorely misunderstand statistics.

          3. Stephen

            No, if it exists now, it is because it has been reproduced and reproduced down the ages. That’s not statistics, it’s biology.

          4. Craig

            “Why does the tuft need to arise in the first place”

            It doesn’t “need” to arise. There is no guidance, no reason, no method at work here, apart from random mutations that happen over extended periods of time.

          5. Stephen

            That is just an assertion. Provide some evidence for it.

          6. Janet

            Yes Stephen, I found this….

            “Researchers at Duke University Medical Center say that the function of the frequently discarded appendix is to produce and protects good germs for your gut. This theory is explained in an online edition of the Journal of Theoretical Biology. According to the study, there are massive amounts of bacteria in the human digestive system. Most of it is good and helps digest food. But sometimes this bacteria dies off or is purged from the intestines.

            When the diseases such as cholera or dysentery cause bacterial purging, the bacteria in the appendix are safely harbored. According to the researchers, the appendix’s job is to “reboot” the digestive system when that happens.

            It’s a common notion that vermiform appendix is a vestigial organ and many doctors believed it had no function. It is a blind ended tube connected to the cecum, from which it develops embryologically.

            The term “vermiform” comes from Latin and means “wormlike in appearance”. The cecum is a pouch-like structure of the colon. The appendix is near the junction of the small intestine and the large intestine.

            Medical literature shows that the appendix is not generally credited with significant function. The appendix is rich in infection-fighting lymphoid cells, suggesting that it might play a role in the immune system.

            The most common diseases of the appendix (in humans) are appendicitis and carcinoid tumors. Appendix cancer accounts for about 1 in 200 of all gastrointestinal malignancies.

            Appendicitis (or epityphlitis) is a condition characterized by inflammation of the appendix. Virtually all cases of Appendicitis require removal of the inflamed appendix, either by laparotomy or laparoscopy. Untreated, the appendix will rupture, leading to peritonitis, then shock, and, if continued untreated, death.

            Whether or not the appendix has a function, it is routinely removed without any notable ill effects or side effects. Hyperallergenic responses to the appendix’s contents may be a common cause of appendicitis in developed countries.

            But the scientists also stress that even though the appendix seems to have a function, people should still have them removed when they are inflamed because since leaving it untreated could be fatal.”

      3. Jinxo

        Let me address these issues as you have, one by one.

        1. No-one claims that a two-inch tuft happens necessarily by a chance mutation. It might possibly be a matter of special selection of a small change over time (trends develop very quickly; and yes, there are “fashions” amongst species other than humans)

        2. This is continues from the above. Perhaps (somehow naturally) green-haired people are no more successful reproducers than purple-haired. But supposing the cultural element of a society of people/ducks who valued one colour over the other were introduced; the dominant choice would be the societally approved colour. We see this all the time with all kinds of “allegiances”. There’s absolutely no mystery about this.

        3. There is glory in watching these wonderful animals, as there is in being honest, as there is in striving for a just society, as there is in living a life without BS. And if you really cannot grasp intellectually why a peacock, one amongst most of the male birds, has to display to gain a mate, then sir, don’t you think you’re missing something?

        Respectfully

        1. Stephen

          1 ‘special selection of a small change’ assumes a change, and that assumes a mutation which has either produced the tuft in one go, or just as improbably, thousands of incremental increases in the tuft. How can anyone believe this stuff?
          2 It’s the same problem. The tuft has to evolve before the tufted duck version of Vogue decides that tufts are in fashion.
          3 If the peacock has to display a great big tail to gain a mate, then why are there so many starlings about?

          1. Adam

            1 ‘special selection of a small change’ assumes a change, and that assumes a mutation which has either produced the tuft in one go, or just as improbably, thousands of incremental increases in the tuft. How can anyone believe this stuff?”

            You are right, a super natural being far more wonderful than anything on this planet that just happens to have existed without any creator and with the ability to create an entire universe is a far more plausible explanation than a simple process small changes of thousands of generations.

            “2 It’s the same problem. The tuft has to evolve before the tufted duck version of Vogue decides that tufts are in fashion.”

            Are you saying that you don’t find particular physical traits attractive?

            “3 If the peacock has to display a great big tail to gain a mate, then why are there so many starlings about?”

            Um.. the starling is a different animal to the peacock and therefore has it’s own instincts about what makes an appealing and strong mate?

          2. Stephen

            1 Agreed.

            2 Everyone has sex appeal for somebody, or some of us wouldn’t be here.

            3 Evolutionists claim the reason for any dramatic plumage in a bird is to attract a mate. The evidence fails to support the claim. If other birds can attract a mate without a pretty tail or a red breast or whatever then the dramatic plumage is unnecessary for reproduction in any bird. So there must be another explanation for the peacock’s tail, the robin’s breast, the tufted duck’s tuft, and so on. I am brash enough to suggest what it is. It is to show the glory of God.

        2. Jack Lewis

          The one thing that you, and all the others evolution supporting people on this forum, are forgetting is that for a random genetic mutation to be a basis for increased complexity, it must add information to the genome. For an abbacus (very simple) to become a calculator (very complex) any random non-intelligently driven changes must add complexity. History has shown that a great deal of intelligence was necessary to gradually develop the abbacus into a calculator. A living organism’s complexity is in orders of magnitude greater than a calculators.
          What evolutionists are suggesting is that you can increase the amount of information in an encyclopaedia by randomly tearing out small bits of the pages as time goes by. Its just not rational.

          1. Paul

            Variations within a population, arising from mutations, are acted upon by natural selection resulting in the increase in information to which you refer. Mutations don’t necessarily delete information, they can simply alter it or even (in the case of gene duplication) add to it.

          2. Stephen

            Evidence?

          3. Paul

            I was thinking particularly of polyploidy – here’s a reference, not so much for the detailed content but for the opinion of people much more qualified than I am that gene duplication occurs and also (which I was not aware of) that it is associated with speciation:

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2728988/

        3. Mike

          If the peacock needs its splendid tail to attract a mate, then how come it didn’t become extinct for want of interested partners before the tail had evolved?

          There are very many examples like this of features of species essential for their survival, which always beg the question of how the species survived before the features had evolved.

          1. Tom

            Seriously?

            So you would only ever have sex with a woman with the *exact* characteristics that you like – i.e. you don’t think that people/animals pick the best mate available to them at that time?

            When I read comments like yours and Stephen’s, all I can think is that neither of you have ever actually read a book supportive of evolution. If you just hang around “Christian” websites, read “Christian” books etc, are you ever going to learn anything new? That is called ‘Confirmation bias’ – and just re-enforces your existing ideas. As a former Christian, I would advise you to open your mind, and think things through by yourself. You will be surprised what rubbish can accumulate over the years in religious organisations – just look at the Catholic church, and the beliefs they stand by that have no basis in the bible!

            Comments like yours above show a lack of critical thinking.

          2. Stephen

            Mike isn’t saying that at all.

            The accusations you level at us can equally be levelled at evolutionists. They hang around evolution websites and read pro-evolution books and never question the assumptions or anything behind it. We urge them to open their minds and think things through. You will be surprised by how much rubbish can accumulate in evolutionary bastions.

      4. Greg

        You display an common misunderstanding of evolution here Stephen.

        “A two-inch tuft happens by a chance mutation? In both a male and female at exactly the same time? And all their friends without tufts just stop breeding? Give us a break.”

        A random mutation does not need to have caused a two inch tuft at once. Maybe a mutation caused a smaller tuft at first. If this mutation was hereditary then it would be passed on to that duck’s offspring. It is not necessary for this to happen with both the male and female for this to happen. If ducks find other ducks with tufts on their heads more attractive, then these offspring will be more likely to find a mate and reproduce thereby producing more offspring with tufts on their heads. As these tufts are attractive to other ducks, then the ones with the slightly longer tufts will be more likely to mate. Eventually over a very long time the tufts become more and more common in the population of ducks and the average length of the tufts will grow until ducks with tufts are in the majority.

        “No, I asked what was the advantage to the species, not to the individual duck”

        For a trait to evolve it does not need to benefit the entire population of a species at once. The mutation which caused the trait simply needs to have made animals carrying the mutation more likely to produce offspring than those who do not possess it. This can be as simple as making them more attractive to the opposite sex. Which is for the “Same reason as the tail of the peacock, or the wing bars on the mallard, or the red breast of the robin, or the weird yellow bill of the cock blackbird.”

        I hope this answers your questions to your satisfaction.

        1. Stephen

          No, not at all.
          Firstly, too many lame guesses and suppositions, “if’s”, “will be’s”, “maybe’s” “needs to have’s” and “Eventually over a very long time” and not any evidence for any of it. Very typical of evolutionary argument, all that.
          Lastly, you misunderstand my question. I am not talking about the alleged courting benefit to a particular cock bird of having better plumage than the other lads.
          I am asking: How does the tuft on the head of the tufted duck, the tail of the peacock, the wing bars on the mallard, the red breast of the robin, or the weird yellow bill of the cock blackbird benefit their species?

          1. Greg

            “Very typical of the evolutionary argument, all that”
            You mean offering a perfectly logical sequence of events? What is it specifically in that explanation that you find it so impossible to believe?

            Also, I did not misunderstand your question, I pointed out that is a flawed question which displays your misunderstanding of evolution. A new trait is caused by a random mutation in an individual animals genetic code. For a trait to evolve it does not need to benefit a species, it simply needs to make those individuals who process the trait more likely to produce offspring than those who do not process the trait. Then those offspring will also possess the trait making them more likely to mate than their rivals. As this continues the proportion of animals possessing the trait grows relative to those who do not until many generations down the line, the majority now possess the trait.

            The examples you give are all traits that make the individual possessing the most impressive version of that trait more likely to mate and pass on it’s genes to the next generation.

          2. Stephen

            Exactly. Evolution is a belief. It’s a belief in a string of ‘ifs’ and ‘must-haves’ and ‘extended periods of time’ doing all the work.
            Just give us one example of an observed new trait in an animal which has been caused by ‘a random mutation’.
            How does the tuft on the head of the tufted duck ‘make those individuals who process the trait more likely to produce offspring than those who do not process the trait’? And how does that answer explain the origin of the tuft on the head of the tufted duck?
            You say ‘For a trait to evolve it does not need to benefit a species’ and yet according to evolutionary theory, ‘a more advantageous trait becomes more common in the population
            So what is the advantage of the tuft on the head of the tufted duck?

          3. Greg

            “Just give us one example of an observed new trait in an animal which has been caused by ‘a random mutation’”
            Antibiotic resistance by all sorts of bacteria. If you don’t believe in evolution only use antibiotics from the 1950’s and see how you get on.

            I have already answered the rest of your questions but again…

            “How does the tuft on the head of the tufted duck ‘make those individuals who process the trait more likely to produce offspring than those who do not process the trait’?”
            By making them more attractive to the opposite sex.

            “And how does that answer explain the origin of the tuft on the head of the tufted duck?”
            Originally caused by random mutation in genetic code.

            “You say ‘For a trait to evolve it does not need to benefit a species’ and yet according to evolutionary theory, ‘a more advantageous trait becomes more common in the population‘”
            What I meant was that it does not need to benefit a species as a whole, all at once, which is what you seem to be implying. It needs to benefit those individuals who possess the trait. The link you provided actually backs up my point. In that case the brown colouration makes the beetles less attractive to predators, thereby helping them survive long enough to mate and produce offspring. In other cases, a trait simply makes the individual more attractive to the opposite sex again making them more likely to mate.

            All new traits are caused by a random mutation in the genetic code. Many will be negative, some will be positive. If a mutation makes the possessor of that mutation more likely to produce offspring than those who do not possess it, then it will gradually become more common in the population.
            There are many different types of mutations that may be beneficial, such as making the animal more attractive to potential mates (e.g. colourful plumage), making it easier to catch prey (e.g. better eyesight), making it easier to avoid predators (e.g. colouration similar to surrounding environment), giving an animal the ability to digest a different food source, better resistance to disease, etc.

            Also how do you explain other evidence for evolution such as the fossil record and the genetic family tree of all living things. Every single fossil ever found and every genetic code sequenced has been what would be expected if evolution was true. Why has a fossil that disputes evolution never been found?

            Finally, science is producing the answers to many questions about the world around us but obviously not every single question has been answered yet. If there is a question that has not yet been answered by science (and evolution is not one of those questions), the response is “we don’t know, but let’s try to find out”. The response which you and other creationists give to everything you don’t understand is “God did it”. This “God of the gaps” argument eventually falls down as science answers questions and the gaps to attribute to God get smaller and smaller.
            Evolution doesn’t actually say anything about the existence of God so if you want to say that God started it all or created the conditions for evolution to be possible that’s fine but stop denying evolution. There is overwhelming evidence for it.

          4. Stephen

            So bacteria develop resistance to drugs, and they remain bacteria.
            As to the rest of your essay, it is just a list of assertions. Provide the evidence for it!

          5. Paul

            Stephen, you often decry the language of science – “if’s”, “will be’s”, “maybe’s” “needs to have’s” and “Eventually over a very long time” – as if it’s a cause for criticism, and this isn’t justified. But we have to use this kind of language to make deductions from the evidence.

            This language also reflects the caution and humility of the scientific approach (although perhaps not that of individual scientists, I’ll grant you), where every conclusion is provisional and subject to revision in the light of new evidence. The contrast with creationism, based as it is on one of the creation myths and for which the evidence is an annoying inconvenience, could hardly be greater.

          6. Stephen

            No, it’s not humility, you have to use that language because you just don’t know and you have to force everything unwillingly into the evolution grid.

            And it is evolution which is struggling for evidence, as this entire post with its comments have shown. The evidence of design is all over creation for anyone open-minded enough to see it.

            But that would start you on the same journey I went on thirty-five years ago, from recognising design in the ducks on the pond, to acknowledging a designer, to seeing a personal creator, to believing in a forgiving, life-giving Saviour.

      5. Che

        All mutations happen by chance, that’s how it works. If a particular mutation increases an individuals chance of surviving or breeding, that mutation will carry on to it’s offspring, and so on. Just like how the tail on a peacock helps the individual animal find a mate. It doesn’t protect it against predators, it just makes it more appealing to other peacocks, and whichever peacocks breed more will predict what future peacocks look like.

        1. Stephen

          Is there any evidence of a single beneficial chance mutation having occurred?
          The evidence about which females prefer which males is not as categorical as that. From wikipedia (I know, but it is referenced): ‘Mariko Takahashi found no evidence that peahens expressed any preference for peacocks with more elaborate trains, such as trains having more ocelli, a more symmetrical arrangement or a greater length’. [Takahashi M et al. (2008). Anim . Behav., 75: 1209-1219.]
          And of course I asked what advantage the tuft or the tail gave the species as a whole, not individual males.

        2. Jack Lewis

          What you are forgetting is that a mutation is nearly always harmful to the organism but always removes information. It is possible that in a very rare case a mutation may help the organism to survive in its environment but it won’t make it more complex. As an example fish that get trapped in a dark cave may over time and through genetic mutation lose their eyes as they are unnecessary. Fish that kept their eyes may in time die through eye infection. Therefore the less complex blind fish have survived over their more complex sighted fish. This is true evolution at work. It is in fact devolution.

        3. Paul

          I think that generally these would be very hard to find in the wild, as new mutations would most likely be masked by imperfectly documented variation already present in the population. Nevertheless, here are a couple of links that give examples:

          http://www.gate.net/~rwms/EvoMutations.html

          http://bigthink.com/daylight-atheism/evolution-is-still-happening-beneficial-mutations-in-humans

          1. Stephen

            Again, all the organisms in the first link stay as the same species, even after 800, 2,000 and even 10,000 generations. Put that into mammal years to see the complete improbability of evolution.

            The second link is fascinating but don’t rely on evolution as the sole possible explanation. My favourite quote from that atheist page was this: Our ability to see in three colours is apparently ‘the legacy of a past where good color vision for finding ripe, brightly colored fruit was a survival advantage’.

            Such narrow thinking. How do other creatures find which fruit is ripe?

          2. Paul

            I don’t think you can equate the evolution of the primitive organisms mentioned in the first link (in terms of numbers of generations) to the evolution of higher organisms. It’d be easier (it seems to me) to generate obvious changes in morphology by altering the genes responsible for development of the basic arthropod or vertebrate body plan than it would be for a micro-organism to arise that is radically different. Even so, one of the examples given in the link is of a unicellular alga that developed multicellularity under selection pressure, and the new organism was held to be different enough to merit re-classification.

            How do other creatures find fruit that is ripe? – well, that depends on how good their colour vision is, if they are active during the day. If they don’t have three-colour vision, the answer is “Not as effectively as those that do”.

      6. Lincoln

        You should consider becoming a scholar of evolutionary biology before attempting to debunk it. Otherwise you risk appearing the fool.

        “God did it” is an inadequate hypothesis. If you are going to claim all things beautiful are to show his glory, then what do the ugly parts of nature show us of your god?

        1. Stephen

          The fool says in his heart ‘There is no God’.
          What you call ‘the ugly parts of nature’ others might find beautiful or fascinating or a cause for study. Or even a challenge to mankind to help the afflicted, search for an answer or find a cure.

          1. Ron

            Onchocerciasis is facinating. Did God create that creature?

          2. Stephen

            That’s David Attenborough’s favourite. Christians see river blindness as a challenge to us to heal the sick. Atheists see it as a useful bit of point-scoring.

          3. Greg

            “What you call ‘the ugly parts of nature’ others might find beautiful or fascinating or a cause for study.”

            I’ll use a quote from Sir David Attenborough to respond here;

            “I think of a little child in East Africa with a worm burrowing through his eyeball. The worm cannot live in any other way, except by burrowing through eyeballs. I find that hard to reconcile with the notion of a divine and benevolent creator.”

            What could be beautiful or fascinating about that?

          4. Stephen

            That’s David Attenborough’s favourite. Christians see river blindness as a challenge to us to heal the sick. Atheists see it as an opportunity for a useful bit of point-scoring.

          5. Lincoln

            If you’re going to quote scripture at me I’ll have to assume you support the ownership of other human beings. In for a penny, in for a pound.

          6. Stephen

            Click here: http://www.repentuk.com/laura.html

          7. Paul

            I was fascinated by the link you posted (http://www.repentuk.com/laura.html) as it says that some earlier parts of the Bible have been superseded by later ones. I wonder if it is clearly documented somewhere which bits theologians now consider to be obsolete? Apologies, I know this is off-topic.

          8. Stephen

            No, that’s fine. The book of Hebrews explains how the sacrificial laws are superseded by the sacrifice of Christ. The early church also decided (this is Acts 15 & 22 – the Council of Jerusalem) that the ceremonial laws, revolving around circumcision, were not necessary for the Gentile church. That leaves the moral and civil laws, or at least their ‘general equity’, and the physical laws of the universe, as continuing to exist for the benefit of creation, individuals and society at large. I hope that helps.

        2. Victor Meyer

          Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, but the ugly parts are due to man’s falling into sin, e.g. Genesis 3:19-23; 5:29; 6:7. Everything was created very good in the beginning (Gen. 1:31), i.e. before the Fall. For more information go to creation.com/the-fall-into-sin

      7. Gareth

        Stephen

        1) Single mutations can produce quite large effects, e.g the loss or gain of an entrie limb. An ear tuft is not at all implausible as the effect of a single mutation, but it could have happened in a number of steps.
        2) There would not need to be separate mutations in male and female because there are not separate genomes for male and female, just a few switches for the bits that develop differently. So almost all mutations will appear in both sexes.
        3) Evolution works through the advantage to the individual (so far helping it reproduce is concerned) not to the species.

        I could go on, but I think if you wanted to understand this you would read The Selfish Gene. (Dawkins is cluless about religion and philosphy but very good on evolution, where he should have stayed).

        The point I want to make is that I recieve your newsletter, despite the fact that I am an atheist, because I support your stance on pro-life issues, supporting marriage, freedom of religion and most moral issues. Denying evolution just makes you look silly and undermines the other valid points you have to make. The CofE and the RCs and most other Christians came to terms with evolution long ago. Neither my mother (CofE) nor wife (RC) have the slightest problem with it. The earth is not 6000 years old. The biblical story of creation is not literally true. It is not just bad science but bad religion to ignore the overwhelming evidence for these truths.

        1. Stephen

          Sorry, Gareth, on your last paragraph, and the opinions you express, we can’t help saying it as we see it (and by the grace of God how God sees it, whether that is politically incorrect or not!

          Your three first points have now been done to death here, so I won’t duplicate.

          Thanks for your support on abortion and religious freedom.

      8. Mex

        “‘if the tuft has no advantage to the tufted duck, why did God design them with tufts’?

        Same reason as the tail of the peacock, or the wing bars on the mallard, or the red breast of the robin, or the weird yellow bill of the cock blackbird.

        To show his glory.”

        So you are saying he specifically designed every other type of dick to hide his glory?

        1. Stephen

          Excuse me?

          1. Paul

            I think he meant duck!

          2. Stephen

            Ah, the two letters are side-by-side on the keyboard. We could have had a popular singer of yesteryear if he had gone the other way.

      9. Terry Collmann

        It is perfectly possible for a mutation to happen by chance, to confer no evolutionary advantage, and still to spread throughout a population. The duck’s tuft may be completely meaningless.

        1. Stephen

          It that is possible, let us have an example of it actually having happened, please.

    2. Rox

      Sometimes human beings are born with complex and horrific extra growths or defects, which nowadays are removed or remedied if possible. It is not so very unusual for a farm animal or a pet to have a whole extra appendage, which has no advantage except to get them into a fair, or so it was in the not so distant past. None of this shows the glory of God. Cats often have extra toes, which is merely quaint, and does them no harm.

      The tuft is (as far as I know) simple in comparison, just a few feathers. It would, of course, have appeared in only one individual at first, and then been passed on to at least some of its children of both sexes. It is possible that a preference for the tuft by potential mates led to bigger and bigger tufts being selected, or it may have stayed the same size ever since its first appearance. Those individuals completely without a tuft would simply not be tufted ducks. I don’t see why you find this so difficult to believe when you believe so much.

      1. Stephen

        You make the point that chance mutations are always detrimental.
        Too many blind evidence-free assertions in the second paragraph.
        Forgive me for placing my trust in God rather than what you come out with, Roger.

    3. Jack Lewis

      The problem you have with evolution is that your starting argument is based on a huge assumption as are all the arguments put forward on this forum. Before you can consider anything to do with evolution you have to have a mechanism that allows inanimate chemicals to organize themselves into a very complex, self replicating organism. Until you are able to answer that evolution is dead in the water.

      1. Terry Collmann

        Well, 1) no you don’t, abiogenesis and evolution are completely unconnected. And anyway, 2) there are perfectly plausible explanations for how complexity can be built up from simple parts, quite naturally. Complexity from simplicity happens all the time. Go and look at a snowflake. Once you start getting stable self-replicating molecules, over billions of years complexity is inevitable. Try imagining how long billions of years is, Jack.

        1. Stephen

          Nonsense. Nitpicking. The two are very closely related. Without abiogenesis there could be no evolution. Evolution needs something to evolve. It has to start right at the bottom.

          Here is a quote from National Geographic: ‘What scientists have so far lacked is a convincing explanation for how an organic cell wall could have developed before there was the biological apparatus to build it’.

          I think you will find a snowflake is made pretty well entirely of water. It is not a self-replicating molecule.

          Billions of years? According to evolutionary theory, reptiles only appeared 250 million years ago and transitional primates 65 million years ago. Consider how fast flies reproduce, and how after generation upon generation they stay as flies, and then try imagining how short 65 million years is.

      2. Lincoln

        That’s abiogenesis and is entirely unrelated to the theory of evolution.

        1. Stephen

          Nonsense. Nitpicking. The two are very closely related. Without abiogenesis there could be no evolution. Evolution needs something to evolve. It has to start right at the bottom.

          Here is a quote from National Geographic: ‘What scientists have so far lacked is a convincing explanation for how an organic cell wall could have developed before there was the biological apparatus to build it’.

          1. Paul

            Not so. The nature of the starting point for evolution can be separated conceptually from evolution itself. So we can see that t