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Dec 05

BBC will need a miracle to change

BBC Broadcasting House

The Daily Mail has run a story about the BBC employing more atheists and non-believers than Christians after submitting a Freedom of Information request.

An internal BBC survey indeed found that just 22.5 per cent of all staff professed to be Christians, but 43% of staff did not respond to the survey.  The Daily Mail said the Christians were outnumbered by atheists and those of no faith, at 23.5 per cent, but that figure was arrived at by adding the professing atheists (8.9%) to those of no faith (14.6%).  Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Muslims and Sikhs totalled 3.2% while ‘others’ were 2.6%, and 5.2% preferred not to say.

The Daily Mail’s Jonathan Petrie said ‘the new research has been seized on by critics who accuse the Corporation of bias against Christianity and marginalising the faith in its output’.  He quoted BBC veteran Roger Bolton, who until recently presented BBC Radio 4’s religious current affairs programme, ‘Sunday’, as saying: ‘There is an inbuilt but unconscious bias against religion, fuelled by the fact staff are not representative of the public. It is not a conspiracy but it needs a correction.’

Amanda Rice, BBC Head of Diversity, protested that the figures had been ‘wilfully misunderstood by the paper’ and that ‘Of those who were asked about their religion, Christianity was by far the largest category, with 4,619 people.’

To put it all into context, the BBC employs 20,536 staff and they have so far researched 57% of them.  Sheryl Holland in the BBC’s Press Office told us: “Nearly 60% of BBC staff have been asked about their religion or belief and, of those, Christianity was by far the largest faith. That said when it comes to recruitment the BBC hires staff based on skills and experience alone. To recruit based on faith or religious belief would be unlawful.   As the majority faith of the UK, Christian programming is, and will remain, the cornerstone of the BBC’s religious output.”

The BBC is also frequently acccused of being staffed by 20-somethings but while the age-range is younger than the popualtion it may be argued not to be ridiculously so.  15% of staff are 20-29, 35.8% are 30 – 39, 31.4% are in the 40-49 bracket, 15.2% are aged 50-59 and 60+ accounts for 2.4%.

The Mail has certainly sensationalised the story, but it remains that BBC staff as a whole are unrepresentative of the population at large, where, according to the last census, around 72% claimed to be Christian, with just 15.5% saying they had no religion.  At the BBC, out of those who have volunteered information, 39.5% claim to be Christian, 15.6% atheist and 25.6% of no religion.  Other religions are similar to the proportions in the population.

Before the Conservatives won the election, their spokesman for culture said the BBC should actively seek to redress its “innate liberal bias”, quoting the phrase applied to the BBC by its former political editor Andrew Marr in 2007.

Mr Marr also described the BBC as “a publicly funded urban organisation with an abnormally large proportion of younger people, of people in ethnic minorities and almost certainly of gay people compared with the population at large”.

Now that he has been HM Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport for over a year, the Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP has done very little to sort out the ‘innate liberal bias’ at the BBC.

It is not only Andrew Marr who has raised his head above the parapet.  In October 2008, the conductor of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra spoke of an ‘ignorant’ secular liberal minority in the media seeking to drive religion from the public sphere.

In January 2009, the Christian BBC presenter Jeremy Vine told Reform Magazine that it has become “almost socially unacceptable to say you believe in God” on the BBC.  He did not think he would be allowed to say that Christ is who he said he was on air.

In July 2006, a veteran BBC executive told a meeting called to address the problem of anti-Christian bias: ‘There was widespread acknowledgement that we may have gone too far in the direction of political correctness.  ‘Unfortunately, much of it is so deeply embedded in the BBC’s culture, that it is very hard to change it.’

Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice, responded:

‘It would be good to know the religious break-down of people in BBC top jobs, because it rather seems as if the Christians at the BBC have either a secularist world-view or little vision of how to turn the place upside down, as the early Apostles were accused of doing.  Putting the comments from Andrew Marr and Jeremy Vine together, it just seems far easier to be atheistic and gay than to be normal and Christian at the BBC.

‘The BBC’s atheistic staff bias becomes amplified in its programming.  For example, the Radio 4 programme ‘The Moral Maze’ regularly has atheists as 3 out of 4 of its panel. Only Melanie Phillips is allowed to articulate the views of the majority of the audience, who of course, are almost exactly as Judeo-Christian as the Moral Maze panel is atheist.

‘It is good that there is some religious programming on the BBC, and that Christianity is the cornerstone of it, but it is kept safely in its God-slot ghetto, from where a flagship religious programme like Songs of Praise is kept as bland as possible and is allowed to irritate but not seriously challenge the atheist status quo.

‘The real problem is not the lack of Christian programming, but the fact that no world-view other than a tedious atheist outlook informs normal programming content.  The BBC really should have the decency to acknowledge there are valid points of view other than the grindingly politically-correct anti-Christ atheism held by the majority of its staff.

‘Christians in soaps are always portrayed as weak, or stupid, or bigoted. Meanwhile, story-lines are concocted to introduce homosexuals whenever possible and to show favoured religious minorities in a good light.  We have had pro-lifers as terrorists.

‘While the BBC’s natural history programming is often inspiring, it is impossible for a wildlife programme to look objectively at the wonder of nature. The audience are treated like small children in a school-room, always having to be reminded that the animals ‘developed’, ‘evolved’, or ‘appeared’.

‘When the BBC decided to make a programme about language, they had to get the anti-Christian atheist homosexual Stephen Fry to present it.

‘When they wanted to look at anthropology, it was only natural to them to seek out the fanatical evolutionist Dr Alice Roberts. In ‘The Origins of Us‘ we had vacuous subjective claims that our ape-like ancestors apparently miraculously (something in which perhaps only a minority at the BBC would believe) decided to walk upright in search of food as they surveyed the African savannah, and that our tools moulded the shape of our hands, rather than the other way around. The lack of objectivity and the amount of unfounded speculation makes such programmes rather silly but the BBC’s atheist oligarchy press on regardless.

‘The vision of Lord Reith was of a BBC which would elevate viewers with whatever things were pure, lovely and of good report and to promote virtue. He set this vision in stone.

‘As they shuffle past the declaration in the entrance to Broadcasting House, the atheists in charge at the BBC seem intent on promoting the very opposite. An opportunity to sneer at Christianity or Christians is rarely allowed to pass.

‘Obviously the BBC will have no overt recruiting policy that puts Christians at a disadvantage.  It is more subtle than that.  The BBC simply appears to be a self-perpetuating atheist oligarchy, and it will take a miracle akin to that of those fabled ancestors walking upright before there is any change.’

PRAY: For the BBC’s Christians to be given faith in the conquering King of kings and courage to stand up for all they believe.  Pray for a miracle in the management, that God would be honoured once again so that the words inscribed in the Broadcasting House entrance hall would become an inspiration.

The Broadcasting House Inscription, set in Latin for all to see, above a statue of ‘The Sower’:

DEI OMNIPOTENTI TEMPLUM HOC ARTIUM ET MUSARUM ANNO DOMINI MCMXXXI RECTORE JOHANNI REITH PRIMI DEDICANT GUBERNATORES PRECANTES UT MESSEM BONAM BONA PROFERAT SEMENTIS UT IMMUNDA OMNIA ET INIMICA PACI EXPELLANTUR UT QUAECUNQUE PULCHRA SUNT ET SINCERA QUACUNQUE BONAE FAMAE AD HAEC AVREM INCLINANS POPULUS VIRTUTIS ET SAPIENTIAE SEMITAM INSISTAT.

Translation:

‘To Almighty God this shrine of the arts, music and literature is dedicated by the first Governors in the year of our Lord 1931, John Reith being Director General. It is their prayer that good seed sown will produce a good harvest, that everything offensive to decency and hostile to peace will be expelled, and that the nation will incline its ear to those things which are lovely, pure and of good report and thus pursue the path of wisdom and virtue’.

Photos of the entrance hall to Broadcasting House: As originally built, showing the Inscription / As it is today

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  1. Mike S.

    The BBC Trust has recently appointed rabid anti-God scientist Steve Jones as its adviser on science matters. Before the appointment I asked the Trust to reconsider their choice pointing out that Jones was utterly opposed to the tolerance of creation science. (He is not even willing to debate the subject publicly with those who disagree with him.) But the Trust fobbed me off with a brusque response indicating that they, too, are opposed to truth and openness,

  2. Sharon Cottingham

    Thank you Stephen for bringing this to our attention. Yes, the BBC began with very noble, high and pure intent and I hope it will be allowed to continue to do so.

  3. Dave

    As a scientist, isn’t Professor Jones emminently qualified as a science advisor? Perhaps the reason he’s unwilling to debate creationism is because it’s a waste of his (and everybody’s) time. Look on the global interweb – you’ll find many a scientist prepared to shoot holes in creationism.

    P.S. Please don’t confuse creationism with science.

    1. Ian H.Thain

      PPS: Please don’t confuse science with truth.

    2. Peter Greensmith

      Dave.. You will also find many a scientist willing to support biblical creation. Your point?

      1. Jane Glover

        Peter – you’ll also find Christians who support the Theory of Evolution.

      2. Rachel Plain

        ” You will also find many a scientist willing to support biblical creation”

        About 0.01% of all geologists, according to one survey. Hardly many.

        Literal biblical creation was invalidated over 200 years ago. But it appears that some people haven’t got the memo yet.

        1. Stephen

          Which survey was that?

    3. Jerry

      Dave, if you are willing to take time to think about the evolutionists’ claims, you might conclude that evolution is really a form of ‘scientifism,’ a pseudo-science.

      1. tom donald

        Jerry I think you know little about science! Biology is a really well developed discipline, which has achieved much in the reduction of human suffering, particularly in the areas of food production and health, and biology is completely dependent on the theoretical and practical understanding of evolution. If your religious faith is dependent on evolution being false, your are building your house on sand old boy! Is your God so small that he cannot tolerate science being true? He is too small a God for this world then!
        Best wishes
        tom

        1. Stephen

          I think you will find that Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin without depending on the theory of evolution.

          1. Havok

            I think you’ll find that to explain antibiotic resistance in bacteria, and how to combat it, you might need to know a thing or two about biological evolution.

          2. Stephen

            I think you’ll find that all you need to know is that bacteria are capable of mutating within their own limits.

          3. Havok

            What exactly are those “limits”, and how do you know about them?

          4. Stephen

            They stay as bacteria. I’ve read the research.

          5. Havok

            That’s not a *limit* of bacteria, since what is *bacteria* is due to DNA, and DNA can change such that it is no longer bacteria (there are no limits on that).

            The “staying as bacteria” is due to our limits rather than the bacteria themselves.

          6. Stephen

            Where has such a change in bacterial DNA to make it a higher-evolved organism been observed?

    4. Malcolm Grice

      True ,genuine science is the study of Gods creation and how it works.Arrogant refusal to acknowledge our creator is a waste of time,pseudo-science,causing confusion.Many scientists are willing to support biblical creation,Steve Jones refusal to debate reveals that he knows he is wrong but is too proud to admit it.

    5. JACK

      You cannot shoot holes in creationism because it is an unprovable explanation of origins just like evolution is. However because evolutionists say that evolution is a fact then enormous holes can be shot in their theory. If they would do the honest thing, like creationists, and admit that their explanation is also a statement of faith then we would have no problem with them. Its no good saying that one day they will have the answer because until that happens it is just faith.

      The two largest holes in evolution is that one they cannot propose any kind of mechanism to explain abiogenesis and two they cannot explain how information in the genome can increase through genetic mutations.
      Until they can do that evolution is dead in its own prebiotic soup so to speak.

      1. Havok

        Abiogenesis is distinct from biological evolution. Abiogenesis could be completely disproven and evolutionary theory would still be the only real explanation for the origin and diversity of modern life from some simpler ancestor.
        Mutations cause an increase in information by any sane definition of the term “information”. Evolutionary mechanisms have been documented to increase the amount of information in population.

        So your “two largest holes in evolution” are nothing of the sort.

        1. Stephen

          We all know why you want to distance evolution from abiogenesis. It’s because you think you can get away with trillions of small mutations over millions of years, but any life arising from non-life is logically impossible and has never been observed, as proper science would require.

          However, small mutations cannot account for life as we see it either. How did bats evolve using small mutations? For how many thousands or millions of years were they hobbling around on increasingly non-mobile legs waiting for their vestigial winglets to fully develop and get them airborne and out of the reach of their predators?

          ‘Evolutionary mechanisms have been documented to increase the amount of information in population.’ Where? And don’t give a google link and tell us to look it up! Explain in your own words with references.

          1. Havok

            It’s because you think you can get away with trillions of small mutations over millions of years,

            False. The only reason I’m distinguishing between biological evolution and abiogenesis, is because they are distinct scientific theories/hypothesis, and do not rise or fall on each other.

            but any life arising from non-life is logically impossible and has never been observed, as proper science would require.

            Your claim of logical impossibility is nothing more than an empty claim – it hasn’t been demonstrated.
            That we don’t have a fully worked out theory of abiogenesis doesn’t mean it’s impossible, it just means it’s not settled science. It also doesn’t mean we don’t have good ideas as to how certain parts of abiogenesis could have worked (see the work of Stozak for example).
            And just because abiogensis is not settled doesn’t mean the Christian origin story is correct – you’d need to provide a fully worked out and supported theory for that, which is something you don’t have.

            However, small mutations cannot account for life as we see it either.

            Because…

            For how many thousands or millions of years were they hobbling around on increasingly non-mobile legs waiting for their vestigial winglets to fully develop and get them airborne and out of the reach of their predators?

            Just because you can’t imagine a reasonable evolutionary history for a species doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Your understanding of evolution isn’t particularly good, so that’s not surprising.
            Also, just because there doesn’t happen to be a fully worked out evolutionary history of a species doesn’t mean creationism wins – you would need to provide a fully worked out creationist history for that species, which is again something you don’t have.

            Where? And don’t give a google link and tell us to look it up! Explain in your own words with references.

            Simple really.
            If you have a population of 10 identical organisms, then the amount of information present is not 10x the information in a single organisms DNA, but rather the information contained in the DNA of a single organism (plus a little more to encode the number of copies of this information).
            A single mutation means that we would now have a population of 9 identical organisms, the information of which would be roughly the same as in the previous population of 10 organisms, plus additional information encoding the unique DNA of the mutated organism.
            This can be applied to any sort of mutation – a duplication event increases the information because, while there is no “new” information there, we have 2 copies of the old information (which is information in itself).

            And since evolutionary mechanisms can “create” information, the repeated application of evolutionary mechanisms can “create” arbitrary amounts of information. As long as there is a viable path between an ancestral and more modern species by way of mutations and selection, then it is rather possible that such a path was taken. To claim otherwise is shere ignorance, especially in the absence of ANY viable alternative.

          2. Stephen

            I think the man’s name is Jack Szostak, and in an interview HERE the interviewer starts by saying:

            ‘Somehow in the primordial soup of the early earth simple cell membranes and primitive genetic material arose and coalesced into the first cells. From little more than a hollow shell with little bits of DNA or RNA inside, these so-called protocells evolved into the incredilble biological machines of today.’

            That’s just conjecture. And he then admits that in early life ‘there weren’t any proteins.’

            Szostak is ‘stumped over how the DNA got into the cells’. He says there are ‘Two main aspects: One is the cell membrane and one is the genetic material.’ he goes on: ‘The cell wants … to have control over what gets in and out, which it does by having proteins which control everything. But if you are thinking about the origin of life then obviously those complicated protein pumps and channels … weren’t around.’

            The interviewer says near the end: ‘You guys haven’t yet figured out how to create that original strand of DNA, and you also don’t have a model for the entire replication process.’ And Szostak doesn’t disagree. At the end, the interviewer says that if Szostak manages to achieve the impossible, it will be ‘evolution in action, right’? and isn’t contradicted by Szostak. So abiogenesis is the foundation of evolution.

            You argue that my charge of logical impossibility hasn’t been demonstrated, but you can’t demonstrate a negative. You can only demonstrate a positive and no-one has. Nor, from what Szostak seems to be saying, for all his ‘fatty acids’ experiments is there any chance of it actually happening.

            If I have it wrong, you describe how bats evolved.

            And you can also tell us all when ‘additional information’ which has crept into DNA has ever been observed.

          3. Havok

            If I have it wrong, you describe how bats evolved.

            How and why were bats “poofed” into existence? What were your God’s motivations for doing so? Why did God choose bats as they are and not something different?

          4. Stephen

            Science is better at answering ‘how’ than ‘why’. I’m not sure quite how discussion of poofs has crept in. One day scientists may discover the exact place of bats in the diversity of nature, and what they do that birds, for example, either do not or cannot.

            What we are finding now, I think, is that those who insist on scientific explanations before they accept something as true, and say therefore that evolution has all the answers and God has none, paradoxically bend that necessity all the time.

            They have no scientific explanation for the supposed evolution of the bat, for how swallows came to stick bits of mud on a wall in an established pattern strong enough to support a clutch of eggs, for how life arose from non-life, for how a giraffe can drink, what insects ate before flowers ‘evolved’ or for countless other questions.

  4. Neil Evans

    6 December 2011
    Dear BBC since being a fan of yours since the 1930’s, sadly today BBC = British Bias Corporation. Truth, biblical truth remains truth even in today’s society. Queen Victoria, at the height of the rule of the British Empire, stated the greatest thing Britain had was the BIBLE. This statement is still true today, as sadly our nation is going in the ways of Sodom and Gomorrah. Please wake up BBC it soon will be too late.

  5. ann farmer

    The almost paranoid rejection by such militant Atheists to alternative explanations for Man’s origins is perhaps the best indication of their intellectual insecurity. A truly scientific mind is an open mind, not a closed one, which, incidentally, is a sure sign of a bigot – even (pace Richard Dawkins) a religious bigot. Steve Jones recently railed against evolutionism being linked to Nazism, and yet the history of Darwinism is marked by a racial supremacy that inspired Hitler and many other believers in the new ‘science’, like the Fabian Left from which the modern BBC Atheist evolved. This belief continues to be demonstrated in their favoured pictorial progression of Man from shambling, black and ape-like, to upright, white and human. Jones’s anger is a hopeful sign, however, that critics have touched a tender nerve, which Christian Voice should continue to prod with its customary courage and eloquence.

    1. Dave

      Blaming Darwin for the Third Reich (a predominantly Christian organisation) is like blaming the Wright Brothers for 9/11. Or The Beatles for Westlife.

      On the subject of ‘intellectual insecurity’, if you don’t understand evolution (or associated subjects), just admit it. Many people don’t, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

      1. Stephen

        Third Reich as Christian has been debunked. It was more pagan and Volkist. And I have yet to hear any evolutionist explain how birds evolved nest-building, what is the evolutionary purpose of the tuft on the head of the tufted duck, or whether gills evolved into lungs while the creatures were still in the sea or after they popped up on land. And much else!

        1. Dave

          “Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”

          “My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison. To-day, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed His blood upon the Cross. As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice… And if there is anything which could demonstrate that we are acting rightly it is the distress that daily grows. For as a Christian I have also a duty to my own people.”

          Both quotes are from a Mr A. Hitler, Germany.

          1. Peter Littleton

            Dave, Anyone can claim to be a Christian, some 60+ % of people in the UK claim to be Christians. However how may of these could be identified as Christians by their lifestyle and Christlikeness, probably a very small percentage. People do tell lies you know. Surely you do not believe that A, H. was a truthful man? That is almost as ridiculous as believing in evolution.

          2. Alan

            Hitler was prepared to say or do anything to rally support for his psychopathic campaign against Jews. But read his Table Talk and you will find out how much he also hated Christians. Many of their clergy and ministers perished in the concentration camps, and the Church was the next target once the Jews had been erased from history.

            If he had any kind of religion, it was as a man possessed by the notion that he was the one chosen by dark forces to establish an Aryan empire which would evolve in due course into a renewed Atlantis. (Can you hear the sound of flapping white coats arriving?)

        2. Daniel Earwicker

          “And I have yet to hear any evolutionist explain how birds evolved nest-building…”

          Allow me to be of assistance: link to many thousands of articles on the subject

          Did you know that dinosaurs (including non-flying ones) built nests? Some of them (e.g. velociraptors) also had wishbones. Think about that when you’re tucking into your roast dinosau… turkey, I mean.

          1. Stephen

            The first article on your google list didn’t do it, so who can be bothered to trawl through the rest for something that isn’t there.

            Try this instead: Describe how birds evolved nest-building in your own words. Include a paragraph on how so many different kinds of nests evolved. In your own words, again.

            That might help a logically-minded engineer like me, who has concluded that if the swallow did not get it right from the word go, all its eggs would fall to the ground and there would be no more swallows. Or blackbirds. Or weaver birds. Or any other species of bird.

          2. Havok

            That might help a logically-minded engineer like me, who has concluded that if the swallow did not get it right from the word go, all its eggs would fall to the ground and there would be no more swallows. Or blackbirds. Or weaver birds. Or any other species of bird.

            The swallows (and blackbirds, and weaver birds) evolved from ancestors who were not swallows, blackbirds or weavers, and which got nesting right.
            Go back far enough and you’ll likely find some ancestor which didn’t nest. In between you’ll find some ancestors who nested to varying degrees, with less downsides to getting it wrong (eg. if you build your nest on the ground, eggs falling to the ground aren’t a problem – you just nudge them back into the nest).

            Stephen, you seem to require evolution explain the sudden appearance of something which evolutionary biology doesn’t actually predict – a single mutation leading to a new kind of animal, the nesting of swallows from non-nesting swallows, getting it right the first time without any intermediate steps).

            You don’t seem to care enough about this to actually find out wht the empirical claims of evolutionary biology actually are. Rather, you seem quite happy to impose your own beliefs upon evolutionary biology. Something like “How does evolutionary biology explain the appearance of nesting swallows without any nesting ancestors?” The question is nonsense.

          3. Stephen

            ‘you’ll likely find’

            In other words, no-one has actually found them. The swallow sticks bits of mud on a wall, 10′ or 20′ off the ground. It forms an intricate engineering structure. It had to work first time or no more swallows. The weaver bird hangs its nest off a tree, again, building it to an involved pattern. There are plenty of ground-nesting birds, for whom your argument might just work, if one accepts the premise of evolution.

            But how can the swallow’s nest or that of the weaver bird possibly evolve by degrees? Please tell us.

          4. Havok

            The swallow sticks bits of mud on a wall, 10′ or 20′ off the ground. It forms an intricate engineering structure. It had to work first time or no more swallows.

            Unless of course the swallow’s ancestors built their nests in places where failure wasn’t so disaterous, which is the case (the ancestors of modern birds built their nests on the ground).

            But how can the swallow’s nest or that of the weaver bird possibly evolve by degrees? Please tell us.

            As I said, their ancestors built their nests in places where failure wasn’t disaterous, and where success conferred an advantage, such as on the ground. It is only later that the intricate nest building high up came about, by degrees (as we get closer to modern swallows, the nests being made will become closer to the nests of modern swallows).

            You seem to assume special creation applies to evolutionary biology – that swallows started building their nests without any ancestor building nests. You’re importing your own beliefs into evolutionary biology, and then asking why the 2 don’t mesh.

          5. Stephen

            Where is the scientific evidence to back up those preposterous claims?

          6. Havok

            The evidence of dinosaurs displaying nesting behaviour, these same dinosaurs being members of the lineage(s) which led to modern birds.

            In fact, here’s a paper which provides an explanation for you: “Evolution of nest construction in swallows (Hirundinidae): A molecular phylogenetic perspective”
            I’m sure you’ll have some reason to dismiss the paper (for instance, it doesn’t attempt to trace nest building in swallows to their non-nest building ancestors). it is, however, evidence for increased nesting complexity from more basic nest building ancestors, through the use of valid methods of inference.

          7. Stephen

            More circular reasoning.

            ‘Likewise, mud-nesting apparently arose only once, and virtually all members of the mud-nesting clade build their nests in similar ways. Both members of the pair bring mouthfuls of mud and add them to the nest, which always begins at its base with a small attachment to a vertical substrate and grows upward and outward from there (1, 32, 33). The use of mud by swallows appears to be independently derived from its use in nest building by other birds; swallows are apparently the only birds that build an elevated attached nest composed entirely of mud (33)’

            Mud nesting ‘arose’! How? No answer.

        3. Gary

          Let’s say, just for the sake of the argument, that I provided you hard evidence to answer all your questions.

          I think you’d be forced to admit that, even if you accepted this as an answer to all your questions, you wouldn’t then accept evolution as true – you’d have another stack of ‘gotcha’ questions.

          1. Stephen

            Frankly, the big ones are how often has a beneficial mutation leading to a new kind of animal been observed and how did life arise from non-life in the first place. I have never known an evolutionist answer either of those in their own words.

      2. corylus

        Blaming Darwin for the Third Reich (a predominantly Christian organisation) is like blaming the Wright Brothers for 9/11. Or The Beatles for Westlife.

        Yes, quite unfair, I do however blame them for Oasis.

    2. Scott

      “the history of Darwinism is marked by a racial supremacy” Replace the word ‘Darwinism’ with ‘Christianity’ and your statement is a reasonable one.

      1. Stephen

        Let’s have the full title of Darwin’s work (which famously Richard Dawkins could not remember) It is:
        ‘On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life’.

  6. John Sherwell

    It is tragically indicative of the times in which we live. The Bible (Word of The Living GOD) is clear that in the latter days there will be scoffers who have no morals and no real understanding. of truth.
    The real, and for them, sad fact is that unless they change from their wicked ways, they are doomed.
    They live ain a country which, is at the present time undergoing change for the worse.

    My prayer is that they will realise the truth before it is too late for them.

    God bless Jeremy Vine and all other christians in the BBC.

  7. Dave

    What we can learn today from the BBC website:

    1. Science

    Astronomers confirm ‘Earth twin’
    Cores reveal when Dead Sea ‘died’
    Vaccine developed against Ebola
    Team sees biggest black holes yet
    Antarctic’s hidden world revealed
    Silicon-free ‘superior’ microchip
    New elements’ names are unveiled
    Toads ‘smell pending earthquakes’

    2. Religion

    58 dead in Afghan ‘sectarian’ blasts

    Just saying.

    1. niskatt

      Dave, try not to confuse false religions and false gods with the God of the Bible.

      Also i’d like to point out a few facts on ”earths twin” for you, firstly we can only see its mass orbiting a star, dont be sucked in and fooled by the ”artists impression” of what this ”earth” looks like, we cant see it close up so therefore we have no idea what it looks like.

      Dave where are all the ”evolving” animals around us today?, i’d like to see one. And you say you can tell the difference between real life and nonsense, but im guessing that you believe in the big bang theory that nothing exploded into something! lol.

      And while we’re on the subject of science and creation perhaps you could explain to me how lifeless chemicals cause life to happen, without help from a supernatural force? and if that’s too hard for you maybe you could explain how the first trees and plantlife started growing from nothing if they weren’t created, you see if i want to grow a tree i need to plant a seed, so how did the first trees grow from nothing?

      I eagerly await your answers, Dave

      1. David

        Yet the false gods you so easily dismiss and their believers would do exactly the same to you and your faith. Why are people so locked into one mindset and blinkered from even considering that another faith, or science could be right when you aren’t?

        We can use the spectrum of light that we receive with the very expensive and large telescopes we currently possess to gather data on what the planet’s surface is reflecting. Different wavelengths and frequencies will mean different things such as water and land, perhaps even foliage and elevation.

        Animals are constantly evolving. It is not as simple as saying, “well we’ve been around 2000 years recording history and accounts of animals, why haven’t they changed? Well, evolution must be wrong.” It is a very long and slow process with even single small changes taking place over thousands of years. I will point you to an article showing evidence of Alligators starting to show signs of tool use, (not sure if its just me but im pretty sure that they haven’t exactly been showing that off in known history) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2517518/Crocodiles-alligators-use-twigs-TOOLS-lure-birds-death.html
        Also, the big bang theory is one of a multitude of theories of how the universe came to be, it is simply the one that current scientific understanding supports the strongest.

        Chemicals react, they react differently under different environmental situations and the chemicals and elements around them. These then form bonds, these bonds over time also react, creating a more complex chain. This chain then grows and changes eventually forming a cell, that due to its chemical compound can strip Carbon Dioxide (CO2) down into Carbon (C) and Oxygen (O2), over time, this cell collects more and more ‘building material’ until it splits. Now there are 2. Given millions of years the chains and cells and microorganisms adapt to what is available to them and through natural selection, aka, which chain/cell/microorganism/animal is best at its job gets the food and procreates, passing on its successful genetic map (chain of elements, etc) to its children and so forth. Hence why it takes so long for evolutionary changes to show.
        Trees would have come from the more basic of the cellular life that first evolved on earth (goodness, i used that dirty e word again) and steadily evolved to become more specialised and successful at gathering its ‘food’. Light, Oxygen, Water, Carbon Dioxide, Carbon, etc.

        I await your hopefully open minded response, David.

        1. Stephen

          I think the alligators are still alligators, are they not?

          Anyway, from all those chemicals and forces you have mentioned, how did the first life arise from non-life? In your own words, please …

          1. David

            I think you will find that if you actually read or re-read the last paragraph I already explained to you a summation of theories into the origins of life. I shall copy and paste it here for convenience.

            “Chemicals react, they react differently under different environmental situations and the chemicals and elements around them. These then form bonds, these bonds over time also react, creating a more complex chain. This chain then grows and changes eventually forming a cell, that due to its chemical compound can strip Carbon Dioxide (CO2) down into Carbon (C) and Oxygen (O2), over time, this cell collects more and more ‘building material’ until it splits. Now there are 2. Given millions of years the chains and cells and microorganisms adapt to what is available to them and through natural selection, aka, which chain/cell/microorganism/animal is best at its job gets the food and procreates, passing on its successful genetic map (chain of elements, etc) to its children and so forth. Hence why it takes so long for evolutionary changes to show.”

          2. Stephen

            Sorry David, You are just quoting someone’s unsubstantiated conjecture.

            You need more than chemical reactions to make life. to get to the cell stage you need DNA, that is, information, to tell the various compounds and proteins in what order they are to assemble. Where did that come from? Where have the processes you describe, together with the addition of information, been observed in a lab or in real life, as true science demands?

      2. Jon

        Evolving animals today!!! Do you have the long life of Methuselah? No species evolve over tens of thousands of years and so we cannot witness it in real time. But we can look at the evidence of specialisation and animals and plants which have evolved and changed from their predecessors.

        1. Stephen

          It would be nice to have evidence of just one beneficial mutation which has led to a new kind of animal. Just one. But full marks for believing the Biblical account of the age of Methuselah. And I’ll wager he didn’t see any animals evolving into other animals either. Because they don’t.

          1. Earthling

            Your confidence has betrayed you as you’ve clearly demonstrated your lack of understanding of evolution. Animals (organism) do not evolve, populations of organisms evolve. This is a crucial fact and its understanding will lead you down the path to scientific enlightenment. For examples of speciation that have occurred in our lifetimes, I point you to Richard Dawkin’s book the Greatest Show on Earth. I dare you to read it.

          2. Stephen

            As no beneficial mutation leading to a new kind of organism has been observed at all (only bacteria becoming bacteria, fruit flies becoming fruit flies and so on), you will struggle to find evidence of such a beneficial mutation duplicated across a population.

            Elsewhere on this page, someone has suggested that if squirrels jump from tree to tree enough, they will ‘evolve’ flaps of skin which will turn into wings and eventually they will become bats. So you are saying that not only could this happen in one squirrel, but in a whole bunch of them all at once. It gets more preposterous by the minute.

          3. Havok

            So Stephen, am I take you to be suggesting that a series of simple mutations which build upon previous mutations, leading to different traits and eventually a different species is preposterous, but the proposition that it all was *poofed* into existence much as we find it today, by magic, with absolutely no mechanism, on the basis of nothing more than an ancient text written by people who were ignorant of things we take for granted today (like the germ theory of disease, or how sperm and egg unite to form a new animal, etc), is eminently believable?

          4. Stephen

            I am saying that the Biblical account is intellectually coherent, which evolution is not, and that it accounts better for the interdependence of life and the distinct breeding categories we see.

            Would you kindly do the maths for us and state, working from the number (which I am sure you know) of simple mutations necessary to build a shark, say, the mathematical probability of that sequence happening?

          5. Havok

            Please explain how the biblical accounts are intellectually coherent, relying as they do upon unevidenced agents, avoiding any talk of mechanism, and predicting things we don’t see?
            Please explain how evolutionry theory is not intellectually coherent, relying as it does upon mechanisms we can see, upon no unevidenced agency, and predicting things we do see?

          6. Stephen

            When I say the Biblical account of creation is intellectually coherent, I mean it makes sense in its own terms. Coherence comes from a Latin word meaning ‘to stick together’. You might not agree with the Biblical account, but you cannot deny that from its starting point of a creator God, it makes sense.

            As a bonus, reproduction according to kinds as stated in the Bible agrees with what we see and the quick creation time-span provides a more plausible explanation for the symbiosis we observe than evolution, where flowers and birds, or bats and the snakes that prey on them, etc etc, are argued to have evolved together, thus doubling already impossible odds against.

            Now we come to evolution, which claims to be scientific, but is not scientifically repeatable and relies on conjecture and supposition, circular reasoning and when evolution (for example from bacteria to nucleoid cell life) is discovered to be impossible, on the miraculous.

    2. Alan

      And who invents and designs the weapons which people use against each other? Explosives? Nerve gas? Guns? Tanks? atom bombs? biological weapons? That’s right – not the world’s religions – but SCIENTISTS.

  8. Peter Littleton

    Dave, you and many other have been brainwashed into believing that the theory of evolution is a fact. You should check out how many professors and scientists believe in Creation and this is based on scientific facts. You actually need more faith to believe in evolution that you do to believe in creation. The theory of evolution has been promoted by those who do not want to believe in God.

    P.S. Creationism is not science but scientific facts do support Creation. Open your eyes and come out of your little bubble.

    1. Dave

      The difference between science and religion.

      Science – Assume nothing. Question everything. Search for answers.

      Religion – God did it. It’s all in this very old book. We’re telling you it’s true.

      Which sounds more like brainwashing?

      1. Lewis

        Actually, Dave, science starts off by assuming that a God/creator can not exist – then seeks to explain everything on that basis.

        1. Steve

          Science most certainly did not start off with the assumption that God doesn’t exist. Indeed it was quite the opposite. Much early science was based on faith that God did exist, and that empirical investigations into natural phenomena would illustrate the working of the deity. For example, the 13th century Franciscan friar, Roger Bacon was of this mindset. The history of early science is full of various monks and priests engaged in such research.

          Of course, this was before various philosophers of science formalised what we currently think of as the scientific process. What we do know is that there are many examples where empirical evidence has been in direct contradiction with the teachings of established churches. This includes such diverse items as theological teaching as the geocentric nature of the universe, the creation myth, the Exodus, the great flood, the origins of life, the age of the Universe (and the Earth).

          These days it would be better stated that science is agnostic on the subject of the existence of a deity and, by definition, cannot deal with the metaphysical. However, what can be said with some certainty is that where there is a direct contradiction between empirical evidence, and the teachings of established religions, that it favours the former. Of course many followers and thinkers, when faced with such evidence, have reinterpreted their religious texts in allegorical terms. There is, for instance, very little support in the Church of England that evolution is not accurate. However, there are those who just blindly mislead by claiming there is scientific controversy over the fundamentals, rather than the details of (for example) evolution when there simply isn’t in any credible way.

          The endless repetition of there being substantial support for such views within the scientific community are simply a denial of reality.

      2. JACK

        As far as evolution is concerned it is outside science and corroborates your description of science – well done!
        So that makes it equal as an explanation for origins as Christianity.

    2. Jane Glover

      Peter – theory of evolution is just that – a theory. There’s good scientific evidence to back up up, but until it can be proven 100%, then it’s still a theory. Not fact.

      If people have problems with the BBC there’s a very simple solution, it’s called the off button.

      1. John Lillywhite

        So we push the off button! How do we get the Licence fee, aka extortion)returned??

        1. Jane Glover

          John, since the love of money is the root of all evil, I’m surprised you’ve even asked.

      2. Jude Brown

        Jane, a basic high-school education will teach the meaning of the word ‘theory’ in science. No one in the scientific field EVER talks about a theory being ‘proven’ because scientists are always open to the fact that further evidence may appear.
        “Theory’ when used in general conversation means something that is speculative or unproven. In science it’s meaning is quite different. A theory is a model that is based on extensive observation, rigorous testing, and where no evidence has been found to contradict it.
        So gravity is considered a ‘theory’ because it has been empirically tested over many years, every observation has confirmed the theory and no evidence found to contradict it. Likewise evolution.
        That people can still use the term ‘just a theory’ shows the abysmal state of science education in this country.

        1. Stephen

          Except, of course, with evolution, where the new evidence has to be made to fit the existing theory.

          1. Havok

            You have examples of this?

          2. Stephen

            Look for example at ‘Skull of Homo erectus throws story of human evolution into disarray’ in the Guardian

          3. Havok

            That looks more like an example of hypothesis changing due to evidence, not the other way around as you suggested.

            Perhaps you could point to the primary literature instead of a news report?

          4. Stephen

            I should have thought the evolution-loving secularist Guardian would have been good enough for you!

  9. Robert Williams

    Surely we have to get the truth from the Handbook of Life (the Bible), since many Creationists have their own interpreted doctrine, which usually limits life on Planet Earth as 6000 years, which cannot be Scriptural.
    The wisdom of the ‘wise’ scientist is inevitably limited to evolution (and you will find any true Bible believer able to shoot holes in that theory also), but of course those scientists and Bible believers, are all mere mortals who are limited to thinking “in the flesh” by their high, or low intellect.
    GOD’S Plan for Humanity can only be understood by the Bible through the Spirit of GOD, which faith can bring about.
    1 Corinthians 1:26-31 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”

  10. Peter Littleton

    Dave, A scientist on the radio this morning talked about the earth twin, I lost count of the number of times he said we don’t know, we can’t answer that, maybe, possibly, could be, etc. Yet more scientific guesswork and no concrete facts. It is allegedly only 60million light years away so maybe when you get back you can give us some real facts.

    Religion causes lots of problems, Jesus was also critical of the religious leaders of his day who were only concerned about rules and rituals. A follower of Christ is not called to be religious but Christlike and holy. If you think Christianity is religion then try reading the book, “How to be a Christian without being religious” by Fritz Ridenour.

    1. Dave

      Peter – I’ll leave it to you to tell me what the bible says about exoplanets.

      1. lewis

        It says that God made the heavens – I assume that includes exoplanets though the term is not used.

        1. Havok

          Why would you assume that?
          When those passages were written, other “planets” were not known – they were thought to be wandering “stars”.
          There’s no indication that the ancient authors of Genesis knew anything different. Since they describe a flat earth covered by a solid dome, there’s no reason to think this passage applies to exoplanets.

          1. Stephen

            They do not describe a flat earth, that’s your biased interpretation.

          2. Havok

            That you think a round earth is described is you reading what we now know to be the case into the text. It doesn’t exist in the text itself.

          3. Stephen

            Nor does your flat one.

          4. joseph

            ‘…a round earth .. doesn’t exist in the text itself.’

            The scripture says, and “the scripture cannot be broken”(words of christ),John 10:35,
            in Isaiah 40:22,” he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth and the inhabitants thereof as
            grasshoppers.”
            … written/revealed about two thousand six hundred tears ago.

  11. Jean

    I watched Dr Alice Roberts and couldn’t help but laugh out loud, bless her! She is so enthusiastic and so convinced (as am I with my faith) but it is her job, her work and she probably has a fine lifestyle from it!
    People think believing the bible and Christianity is ‘feeble’ or even stupid but really is believing that we gradually became ‘more human’ as Dr Roberts suggested ..no…stated quite categorically….any more reasonable?
    No Sorry, I’ll stick to my faith in an Almighty God who is so amazing that anything is possible whether seen or unseen. Makes much more sense to me. This planet, the universe and all the diversity of creation including humankind….fantastic…..evolution yes it has it’s place but humans from primates….no I don’t think so.
    I did write to the BBC pov programme but I think perhaps my pov was too radical or Christian biased….funnily enough!

    1. Ryan

      Evolution is a fact. Humans are primates, and I know this is hard for you, being a Christian.. I’m a former Sabbath school teacher and I know how hard it is to get away from religion,. But with a little courage and free-thinking, you can do it. The Bible is a book full of lies, errors and contradictions. we humans know this now. Dr. Alice Roberts has it right and she’s an atheist by the way.

      All I can do is hope that you’ll be able to break free from that book, it poisons the mind… I take serious offense to what you said about Alice Roberts.. She is an amazing woman and a credit to our species.

      Don’t let religion and the Bible run your life, break free and live free..

      I wish you well and good knowledge on your journey here.. Take care.

      1. Stephen

        If evolution is for you a fact, and not just a theory as the scientists tell us, would you kindly tell me where a beneficial mutation leading to a new form of life has been observed?

        ‘We humans’ might include you and the laughable Dr Alice but leave the rest of us out of your assessment of the Bible. I should love to know what traumatic event turned you against the faith you espoused, BTW.

        And again BTW, can you name one person who was a Christian and was involved in a lifestyle of crime or drugs and was delivered from that lifestyle by becoming an atheist?

        For a few who found deliverance from that sort of lifestyle by turning from atheism to Christ, see here:
        http://www.transformed.org.uk/

        1. Geoff Robbins

          Drosophila fruit flies, bacteria, virii and many others. It’s easier in animals with short lifespans because we don’t need to wait decades to see them evolve (several generations are needed), which is why the obvious examples are fairly basic life-forms, but it has also been observed in fish, reptiles and mammals, including humans.

          Many commentators here seem to believe that evolution means one animal changing IN IT’S LIFETIME. This is not the case (outside some of the more fringe evolutionary theories) – a monkey won’t change into a human, but give monkeys a few thousand years with some sort of evolutionary pressure (eg weather getting cooler) and they will change into a “new and improved” monkey better able to withstand the cold. Humans are just the new version of what humans were (eg apelike) a few million years ago.

          1. Stephen

            But they are still fruit flies, still bacteria and still monkeys. Evolution needs, not an animal changing in it’s lifetime, but a beneficial mutation leading to a new kind of animal in the next generation. And that is what has never been observed.

          2. Havok

            Stephen, you seem to have a very *odd* view of what evolution entails.
            It’s little wonder that you see biological evolution as being false when what you think of as being evolution is actually false.

            Evolution doesn’t *need* a new kind of animal in the next generation. All it *needs* is a slightly different animal, which is exactly what we see.

            I also wonder what you mean by the term “kind”? I hope you’re not trying to apply evolutionary biology to the ill defined notion of biblical kinds.

          3. Stephen

            To account for the diversity of life, you need radically different ‘animals’ (or life-forms, if we bring in all the flora and fauna) to arise, not slightly different ones. You need the appearance of flowers and seeds, you need gills to turn into lungs, you need a whale to swivel its spine around and ‘develop’ a blow-hole and fins.

            And even for a slightly different one, you need beneficial mutations. Where is the evidence of them?

            By kind, I mean not just a different coloured moth, but a distinct new creature which cannot produce viable reproducing offspring with its ‘predecessor’. Where is the evidence of this?

          4. Havok

            We have lungfish, as examples of intermediaries between gills and lungs. We have a fairly detailed fossil record of the evolution of whales from land mammals.

            Your ignorance of the existence of these things is not evidence against the theory of biological evolution, but merely evidence of the inadequacy of your understanding of the natural world.

          5. Stephen

            Lungfish have a very complicated breathing system which cannot logically have evolved. They also have no stomach worthy of the name. They are highly specialised and perfectly designed for what they do.

            ‘We have a fairly detailed fossil record of the evolution of whales from land mammals.’ Are you serious? There is a big jump from dog-like creatures to ambulocetus in the supposed ‘evolution of the whale’ and evolutionists cannot even agree what the latter looked like. The few fossils there are show distinct creatures, some extinct, and any assertion that they evolved the one from the other is just conjecture.

            Oh, and by the way, hurling insults always means you have lost the argument.

        2. David

          Evolution is not necessarily about one giant leap that leads to a new life form. It is more of a steady list of changes over generation after generation that leads to an observable change. For instance, the recently observed use of twigs by alligators and crocodiles to attempt to attract birds so they can catch and eat them (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2517518/Crocodiles-alligators-use-twigs-TOOLS-lure-birds-death.html). A small behavioral change such as this may seem insignificant, yet over millenia, perhaps they too will evolve to have prehensile limbs such as our own arms, hands and thumbs so as to have better control over the tools they rely on to catch their food. Perhaps the birds they try to catch will evolve to have a higher intelligence to process their surroundings and judge situations better. These changes will never happen in our lifetimes, they will take place over thousands and thousands of years, if not millions.

          Unfortunately, Ryan used the word fact. All science is theory. Even the things we take for granted such as gravity or light. They are just so well supported that the chance that they are wrong is astronomically low. Yet as we observe the universe around us, there is always a chance that new information will be discovered that will lead us to a better theory, or perhaps prove a discounted one such as creationism correct. We have not yet scratched the surface of our universe at all and with so much to discover still, can you really say with 100% truth that any theory for our creation is wrong without first having concrete evidence for your own?

          Yours faithfully,
          David
          An open minded agnostic simply trying to get people to actually look at both sides, rather than jump to conclusions.
          Apologies if this comes across as aggressive at all, this was meant as apathetically as possible. Simply playing ‘devil’s advocate’ as my mother would say.

        3. Tim

          Stephen,

          If you are looking for an example of where evolution – or, if you find that word too insinuating, beneficial mutation – has been directly observed by scientists, might I direct you to the E. coli long term evolution experiment. Please draw your own conclusions.

          Regards, Tim.

          1. Stephen

            Which are that the bacteria stayed as bacteria. They did not evolve into anything else.

          2. Tim

            Stephen, I rather think you’re missing the point. Just because they didn’t suddenly transform into frogs, or chameleons, or perhaps butterflies, doesn’t mean they didn’t evolve. Evolution isn’t always a grand, instantaneous change.

            One of the OED definitions of evolution: “the gradual development of something”

            What happened was that, in some of the bacteria, there occurred a mutation which proved to be beneficial – the bacteria was able to digest citrate. And even that mutation took many years to occur. So it can be stated, quite reasonably, that these bacteria evolved from the original culture into a form better suited to their environment.

            Regards, Tim.

          3. Stephen

            So, let me get this straight. After many years, bacteria had evolved into, er, bacteria?

          4. Tim

            In the sense that the bacteria started the experiment as E. coli and finished the experiment as E. coli, you are correct. The scale of evolution was not sufficient to class them as a different species.

            Every human being is part of the species homo sapiens, but you wouldn’t deny that there are genetic variations between cultures (native American, African, European, east Asian etc) that have been dictated by where they originate and that these variations confer varying advantages.

            It’s all evolution, but evolution doesn’t have to be big steps and it doesn’t plan for the future – it’s a case of “what will work now?”

            Regards, Tim

          5. Stephen

            And we can all have children with each other as we all the same species. Evolution needs beneficial mutations leading to completely new kinds of animals before natural selection can kick in to weed out the bad ones. And no-one has told me of anywhere such a mutation has ever been observed.

          6. Tim

            The beneficial mutation, in this case of this experiment, allowed a sample of E. coli to digest citrate, a chemical present in their growth medium, which cannot be done by ‘wild’ E. coli. Natural selection is clearly at play – those bacteria that were able to digest the citrate could reproduce faster, which led to a larger population. Granted, those samples that didn’t mutate didn’t get weeded out; they simply weren’t as ‘successful’ as those that DID exhibit the mutation.

            At NO point is evolution required to produce, in your words, a ‘completely different kind of animal’, it just has to produce one that is, in some manner, superior to what went before in that environment. NOR does the preceding animal have to completely die out just because it didn’t make that evolutionary step – it just has less chance of surviving in the aforementioned environment.

            Regards, Tim

          7. Stephen

            Of course evolution is required, if it is to be believed, to produce a ‘completely different kind of animal’. In fact, it needs to produce several million of them if it is going to account for the diversity of life we see.

          8. Scott

            Horses and donkeys are different species, yet can make a mule. Lions and tigers are different species yet can make a liger. Only discovered in the last couple of years – due to environmental changes affecting the range of the animals – is the Pizzly bear. It is the offspring of the polar bear and the grizzly bear, occurring naturally in the wild between two different species. It is an entirely new animal that has evolved within the last 50 years.

            On the flip side of that are members of the same species who cannot produce offspring. Go ahead. Try and get a male bull mastiff to mate with a chihuahua. Their size difference is so great it would kill the chihuahua.

            The idea that only a single species can create offspring and that all members within a species can create offspring is a dubious, and untrue concept.

          9. Stephen

            Your Pizzly Bear has not evolved. No new genetic material has been introduced. It’s been begotten.

          10. Havok

            Your Pizzly Bear has not evolved.

            Yes it has. And if a breeding population of them form, they will diverge from their ancestral species (much as polar bears and grizly bears did from their shared ancestral species).

            No new genetic material has been introduced. It’s been begotten.

            Basically every single offspring has mutations – meaning genetic material which is not present in it’s parents. If this isn’t “new genetic material” being introduced, then I don’t understand what you mean.
            Just because organism A is the offspring of organisms B & C doesn’t mean there is no different genetic material.

            Stephen, what would new genetic material being introduced even look like within evolutionary biology as actually understood by scientists?

          11. Stephen

            You won’t get anywhere here by gainsaying other people, as in ‘Yes it has’. Posts like that get trashed, as they get no-one anywhere. I am letting this one though just to make that point, and to explain that way to go about it is, that if you want to argue a contrary position in this case, specify which piece of genetic material in the ‘Pizzly Bear’ was not present in either parent.

          12. Havok

            Stephen, your own post was just as bad as my own – you merely asserted that the Pizly bear didn’t evolve.

            Then there’s the fact that I pointed out that each child has genetic material not present in the direct ancestors, due to mutations, which invalidates your claim of “no new genetic material”.

            Your requirement for some completely novel genetic structure which didn’t arise through evolutionary mechanisms (point mutations, duplication events etc) in order to demonstrate evolution is evidence that your own understanding of evolutionary biology is grossly in error.

          13. Stephen

            Where is your evidence that any child had new genetic material?

          14. Havok

            Mutations. Offspring have mutations not present in their parents (this includes humans).

          15. Stephen

            But not of course, Tim, beneficial mutations leading to a new kind of animal. That has never been observed. yet they still cling to it as a possibility. And they say evolution is ‘scientific’!

  12. Dave Stanley

    Dr William Lane Craig makes very good arguments for the universe having a cause, and that cause being God.
    He offered Richard Dawkins the opportunity to debate, but Dawkins ducked out and bottled it, because he would have been exposed.

    Humanist Polly Toynbee jumped at the chance to debale Craig, but then seeing his background, bottled it too! She chickened out when faced with stronger arguments.

    Philosopher atheist AC Grayling also avoided the opportunity to debate with Craig, because he too cannot face a good argument.

  13. pippa

    Mark Thompson Director General of the BBC professes to be a Christian. Is he a wolf in sheep’s clothing? After all it was he who sanctioned the showing of the blasphemous Jerry Springer the Opera on BBC television, which drove a horse and cart through our blasphemy laws and it is he who presides over the anti-Christian lib/left-dominated BBC today.
    The buck stops with him.

    1. joseph

      ‘Mark Thompson,DG of the BBc professes to be a christian, is he a wolf…?’

      Mark Thompson is a roman catholic. said by an RC newspaper afew years ago to be the most influential rc in Britain. He halted the radio 4 ,” Rule Britannia”, sign on tune in the mornings.

  14. Ralph

    It’s not what % of the BBC as a whole professes to be Christian, but the % of those in key positions/in top management that really matters, and this is what should be revealed.
    Regarding the creation evolution debate, this doesn’t really matter, but what DOES, is what happens to a person after they die. If all religions were the same, Christ (coming down to earth) would NOT have been necessary, therefore why did He do so? This fact separates Christianity from all (at least major) religions, where the others involve man trying to reach up to God rather than God – as in Christ – reaching down to man.
    Insofar as evolution is concerned, it is quite possible and plausible that God set up creation in such a way, that those who don’t want to believe through faith are simply deceived by evolution. For instance, God could have created everything to appear to be evolution in much the same way as film producers create film sets to give the appearance of something real/substantial, when it is only part real, like the frontage of a saloon in a Western, when it is only propped up from behind.

    1. Jane Glover

      > It’s not what % of the BBC as a whole professes to be Christian, but the % of those
      > in key positions/in top management that really matters, and this is what should be
      > revealed.

      Why ? Somebody’s belief has no bearing on their ability to do their job. What I’d find more interesting, is the percentage of each religion that the BBC broadcast to. Bearing in mind they broadcast to most countries in the world – not all their listeners are going to be Christian, are they ?

      1. Ralph

        Jane, somebody’s belief can have a very large influence on WHAT is broadcast, I thought this would be axiomatic. Also, what part of ‘British’ as in the BBC did you not understand?

        1. Jane Glover

          > Also, what part of ‘British’ as in the BBC did you not understand?

          Not sure what point you’re trying to make.

  15. keith jefferson

    Could one of the pro evolutionists explain how ” being born gay” is a benificial adaptation and also how this “gay” gene is passed to future generations .Thankyou

    1. Matt

      There is no gay gene. There seem to be several genetic factors that have an influence over sexuality (exactly what or how, we don’t yet know). It has been suggested that factors tending to produce male homosexuality come from material that improves *female* fertility. A bit like male nipples.

      But given that most homosexuals throughout history have reproduced, as an ironic side effect of homophobia/compulsory heterosexuality, the whole ‘genetic disadvantage’ idea seems bizarre. As Oprah said – gay men have sperm.

      1. Stephen

        Yes, but unless there are environmental factors influencing the child growing up (as in a homosexual household) the children of homosexuals usually turn out heterosexual. Human sexual development is too complicated a subject to force into a genetics-based grid.

  16. Michael Whitehead

    I wonder what percentage said they were christian were actually ‘born again’ or just say they were or nominal church goers? The presenter, Chris in ‘Autumn Watch’ known as the Professor or ‘The Geek’ , keeps saying ‘we were evolved….’or an animal, so he should not give his biased view, as lots of children watch the programme. With a Moslim in charge of BBC religious programmes i wonder how much the glorious gospel is watered down? i would like to see their faces and reactions when the Creator of the earth and universe returns to judge us all.

    1. Alex

      How much of our childhoods are influenced by religion or similar arguments/ideas/opinions? How much does this affect us for the rest of our lives? If we were not affected by anything through our lives what would we choose? Do you perhaps feel that somehow your specific religion is better than any alternatives, does it answer everything satisfactorily to you are you feel it should for others also?
      You appear think that someone who you disagree with should not be allowed to voice their opinions in a way that affects young people yet Christianity also does this a lot. Many schools include religious teachings for no more reason than they used to and with your argument this will affect what children decide is ‘the truth’.
      Perhaps an alternative would be to give suggestions to children and let them decide for themselves what is best while still continuously questioning them throughout their decisions? That is just my opinion as I would like to specifically flag. I doubt you will agree with me and that I will make any difference at all but I feel that I have the right to voice my opinion on this.

  17. Dave H

    My bible says that the Lord chose me and I am happy with that. If He had not chosen me then I would be lost. It is as simple as that. He knew who would follow him before the foundation of the world. No human being can choose his destination it has always been known by him who made us. I am just pleased that I was one of the chosen, not because of good works, a fantastic brain or by keeping various rituals.
    In my world arguements and countless debates avail nothing. By faith are we saved and that faith is given by He who made us. Amen

    1. Mike S

      Fully agreed, Dave H.
      Romans 8:28-31 and many other scriptures establish the truth of what you wrote. When God the Holy Spirit confirms this to our souls, what joy and certainty it brings; what comforting assurance! Makes one feel sorry for the other Dave (atheist) who, as the scriptures say, is blinded to the truth. (John 12:40 – Romans 11:7 – 2Cor 3:14 – 2Cor 4:4 etc.) Only Christ can open the (spiritual) eyes of those who are thus blinded.
      All glory to Him.

  18. barry jones

    Anyone who ‘believes’ evolution,is a silly child. If they would like to know why that is start looking at the facts.

    Anyone who believes that Christ is an antisemite is an idiot Dave

    Anyone who rejects the salvation of Christ hates his own soul.

    Anyone who is suprised at the British Bias Corporation should study Genesis 3:1
    and John 3:3

  19. Gordon McNeill

    Dave, since the Bible says that , without Christ, ( which your opinions reveal you evidently are) you are “dead in trespasses and sins” , perhaps, all of those who are evidently true believers, who have engaged in this correspondence ,would join me in praying , that God , by His Spirit, would open your eyes, and , more importantly, your heart, to believe the truth ,”as it is in Christ Jesus”. Why do I say this ? Because ” the prince of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not, lest the glorious light of the gospel should shine in “. You need a new guide through the moral morass of this world, before you enter the next.

  20. Dave

    Having read some of the comments here, I fully appreciate why Prof Jones refuses to debate with creationists. It is virtually impossible to get something fruitful when the other side refuses to accept anything that does not conform to their ancient book.

  21. Dave

    Following on my my last post, can I just quote another (no doubt atheist-inspired) BBC programme.

    “For that reason, I’m out.”

    1. Stephen

      Understandable that Dave feels out of his depth. Evolutionists have no answers to the questions that normal people raise (like ‘how?’ ‘why?’), and they nearly always go off in a huff.

      1. Jane Glover

        But then, you’ve failed to give me answers to questions that I’ve asked, Stephen – so you’re not really one to cast aspersion on others are you?!

        1. Stephen

          No, I have not. You have been directed to all the evidence on matters like STD’s and homosexuality, it’s just that it did not agree with your prejudices.

          1. Jane Glover

            You’ve refused to explain why my comments are being deleted.
            You’ve refused to explain why god has created so many gay people if homosexuality is such a sin.

            And to be fair, the ‘evidence’ that you’ve pointed me to is either 20 years old, of questionable source or is unsourced. Like I’ve said before, only a fool would take any evidence at face value, whatever viewpoint it’s trying to support.

          2. Stephen

            If your comments are abusive or repetitive or plain boring they will be deleted, same as anyone else’s. To repeat my reply to you elsewhere on this site, it’s God with a capital ‘G’ and God has created mankind with freedom of action. Since the Fall, man has an inate propensity to sin. That is why it appears to the ignorant that God has ‘created’ so many homosexuals, thieves, perjurers, adulterers, blasphemers, sinners in general. The good news is that Christ died so our sins might be forgiven and he releases those who believe in him not just from the stain of sin but from the power of sin. Evidence that is 20 years old is still valid. You presumably believe that the BBC was founded on 1st January 1927 despite the evidence for that being almost 85 years old. Anything that does not agree with your prejudices you style as ‘questionable.’ You need to understand that an answer which you do not find agreeable is still an answer!

      2. Scott

        Scientists who study evolution have answered many “how” questions repeatedly and redundantly, over and over again. The entire science, and in fact the entire basis of the study of biology – and therefore medicine – is based on this. To say they do not try to answer the “how” questions just shows your complete lack of ability to listen to the answers, and the stubborn, unwavering mindset you have that clouds your ability to think logically.

        You are correct, however, on them not answering the “why” questions. This is because there is no “why”. To try to fabricate a reason for “why” is ludicrous. It is this innate desire for an answer to “why” that created religion. I understand that people feel the need to believe in an afterlife and a purpose for existence, but it is truly irrelevant. There is no answer to “why” evolution occurs other than to propagate and continue life. Any search for a further, deeper meaning is absurd.

        1. Stephen

          How did the first life arise from non-life? In your own words…

          1. Pete

            So, if an inability to explain something means it must have been god-created, can you explain how other man-made things work – such as a digital watch, computer chip, flat-screen TV? … in your own words?

          2. Stephen

            Nice try, but I only asked how life came into being. Not how a cell works. I know how a flat-screen TV came into being. Someone designed it.

          3. Scott

            You were discussing the “how” of evolution. Now you jump to a wholly different topic, the “how” of abiogenesis. Nice move, completely changing the subject. Even you know that abiogenesis and evolution are NOT the same thing. Evolution has never made any claims on the origin of life. It isn’t in any way, a part of that scientific theory.

            The great thing about thinking logically, is that you have the ability to understand that “I don’t know” is a perfectly acceptable answer. The origin of life is unknown. It does not require you to make up some omnipotent being to explain it. Simply admit you don’t know.

            There are theories out there in the study of abiogenesis, but few with any real data to back them up. Evolution, on the other hand is a theory with a multitude of data supporting it. It is the single-most supported scientific theory we have – including gravitational theory. You see, we have the evidence of evolution all around us. It exists. It is tangible. We are inundated with the evidence that supports it. Abiogenesis is so long ago, and so far away, that there is no significant evidence to support any claims. There is also no evidence to support the god-did-it theory.

          4. Stephen

            I understand why you want to separate the two, but without life arising in the first place, there is nothing for ‘evolution’ to start from. But you will find it just as hard to explain how fish grew the legs and lungs they needed to walk on the land. Remember, when you try to explain how this happened in your own words, that the lungs and legs have to work first time or the animal dies. And as I was always taught that science should rely on repeatable experiments, please tell me where such a beneficial mutation – leading to a completely new kind of animal – has ever been observed.

          5. Scott

            In 2006 a new bear emerged. It is called a pizzly or grolar bear. It is a hybrid of two distinct species, the polar bear and the grizzly bear. It is a new species, since it is able to reproduce on its own. It has different attributes borrowed from both bears. It is mostly carnivorous, like the polar bear, but has a much extended range like the grizzly. This allows it to range much further than the endangered polar bear.

            That is a hybrid, one of the ways that evolution occurs. Another is mutation. Over the last 50 years, elephants are starting to become tusk-less. Their tusks are much shorter than previously, and some are born without tusks at all. This mutation has allowed them to survive in an environment where nice long tusks make them targets for poachers.

            There is the peppered moth, who has recently become black instead of its previous peppered gray look. It has done this as a result of pollution creating a darker environment.

            Really, how can you look at the artificial evolution (selective breeding) in dogs and not see that the same factors that have been accelerated by humans in dogs could not happen in the wild. Thousands of years ago, there was no daschund, bull mastiff, or poodle. They have all evolved (with human assistance) from the wolf. Yet they are NOTHING like a wolf. If you didn’t know that people had a hand in this, and didn’t know anything about genetics or selective breeding, or that all dogs are related, you would not think in a second that the chihuahua is related to the Irish wolfhound. And selective breeding doesn’t account for the other “dogs” in this world that occurred through natural evolution, like the hyena and the fox.

            To deny these simple and readily apparent observations of the world around you is to bury your head in the sand.

          6. Stephen

            Oh, dear.

            They are still bears, they are still elephants, they are still peppered moths, they are still dogs, which can mate with each other (for the dogs, given rough equivalence in size, of course). The dogs have not evolved, they have been selectively bred. The expression which demolishes your whole argument is when you admit that what you wrongly claim to be ‘evolution’ in dogs ‘could not happen in the wild.’ Precisely. Even to achieve that selective breeding has needed the input of intelligence. And without the addition of intelligence in the form of the appropriate DNA you will be at a loss to explain how the fox and hyena came to be so distinctive.

            So when will you come up with some evidence of ‘macro-evolution’? Just the observation of one beneficial mutation leading to a new distinct kind of animal, please?

          7. Scott

            I gave you examples of evolution that iare in action right now and readily observable. Those animals ARE different animals than they were before. Your distinction that “it is still a bear” or “it is still an elephant” is highly misguided. Yes they are, but their genetic makeup has fundamentally changed. That it how evolution works. No one can give you an example of a current animal who spontaneously turned into something completely and radically different, because that isn’t how evolution works – and no one ever said it DID work that way. It does that over long periods of time.

            Evolution is achieved in baby steps. Some of those baby steps are quite substantial genetic changes, but they aren’t going to spontaneously make pigs fly. Your assertion that it should is patently absurd, and is not what anyone would ever expect to see in evolution.

            What you are asking for is not an example of evolution, but an example of a miracle.

          8. Stephen

            No genetic information has been added in any of the examples you gave.

            For evolution to work, genetic information must be added.

            Please tell me how bats, for example, evolved using ‘baby steps’. You are right that genetic changes will not make pigs fly. So how did they make bats fly? And what happened to the bats while their wings developed and their legs shrunk ‘in baby steps’, making them sitting ducks for every predator going?

            Can evolution ever surmount mathematical improbability, logical impossibility and sheer common sense?

          9. Scott

            As I have stated previously, I am not an evolutionary biologist. I don’t know the exact lineage, process, and different animal stages of the bat. There are others who are more qualified to give you that type of information.

            But I can easily see a possible scenario (made up example for arguments sake) where a squirrel who jumps from limb to limb on a tree learns to spread his legs out to glide. Gradually, he grows flaps of skin between his legs that assist in that gliding. He moves into some caves due to an extremely harsh series of winters, and doesn’t leave. He starts to utilize the same gliding, flying squirrel skin flaps to fly around the cave. Successive generations increase those skin flaps. They lose hair. Their eyes grow useless. Their ears grow more sensitive. They glide more and more, and walk less and less. Their legs shrink. They start to flap their skin flaps and not just glide. After a time they are a bat. They were never a “sitting duck” in an intermediate stage. At any given point in the metamorphosis from squirrel to bat, they would still be the same animal as the other “squirrel/bats” around them. You would see this as “still being a bear”. But those small changes add up over time, and ultimately that animal has changed. Out in the forest, other squirrels changed in different ways. Some remained squirrels.

            As I said, that isn’t a true scientific example, because I am not a scientist. You seem to harp on wanting people to use “their own words”, so I have, as I always do. If you want scientific studies, you’ll have to go find someone else’s words. But the concept behind my example is sound science, and is how something like the bat could come into being.

          10. Stephen

            Scott, that isn’t sound science, it’s a just-so story. Real science relies on repeatable, verifiable experiments.

            The reason bats were never sitting ducks was that they never had useless flaps of skin they were vainly flapping around in the hope that one day they might take off. They were created with fully-functioning wings from the start.

            No animal has ever been observed growing flaps of skin because he jumped from tree to tree. Our UK domestic squirrels jump from tree to tree like crazy and they are just as the same as they have always been. Monkeys jump from tree to tree and never grow flaps of skin! You could try it yourself and I’ll guarantee no flap of skin will ever grow. Or you can try swimming and see how long it takes you and your offspring to grow fins.

            I’m sorry, but your fanciful scenario is a figment of the imagination. It simply defies common sense. I am amazed that adults cling to such crazy ideas just so they don’t have to believe in a creator. I am incensed they teach it to children as if it were true.

          11. Scott

            As I am incensed that they would ever even consider teaching creationism in a science class.

            You call an analogy that is conceptually valid not good science because it isn’t repeatable and verifiable. It was a hypothetical example. Of course it isn’t repeatable science. Please show me, in your own words, how creationism is scientifically accurate, repeatable, and verifiably. You base your theory of our existence on a fable, while dismissing any and all observations in the natural world.

            I feel sorry for you. Our world is full of beauty and wonder. And none of that beauty requires magic. You are truly missing out on a wondrous world.

          12. Stephen

            Scott, I dismiss no observations in the natural world. But the beneficial mutations upon which evolution builds its case have never been observed in the natural world. Can you accept that, or are you dismissing the observations of the natural world?

            How on earth is gazing at the beauty and wonder of God’s creation ‘missing out on a wondrous world’?

            And why should biology teachers not own up to the difficultiues with evolution theory? Why are children kept in the dark?

          13. Havok

            But the beneficial mutations upon which evolution builds its case have never been observed in the natural world. Can you accept that, or are you dismissing the observations of the natural world?

            Not only have they been observed in the lab (Lenski’s work is a clear example of this) but it has been seen in the wild as well (look at the mutations which made some populations of humans lactose tolerant for example).

            You don’t seem to have a good grasp of what a “beneficial mutation” might actually be.

            And why should biology teachers not own up to the difficultiues with evolution theory? Why are children kept in the dark?

            For a start, there is not enough time to teach the intricacies of scientific theories in high school. We don’t teach in depth quantum mechanics or relativity. We still teach the Bohr model of atoms.
            Since the “difficulties” don’t tend to exist if evolutionary theory is taught from a high level (contrary to the generally factually incorrect claims of “difficulties” your fellow creationists claim), there’s no real reason to dwell on them – to actually teach the difficulties properly would take up more time than is available in the curriculum, for no real reason.

          14. Stephen

            Lenski started his experiment with bacteria. He ended with bacteria. No-one knows what switched the lactase gene on, but it still doesn’t alter the fact that humans stayed human. When you come up with a beneficial mutation which has led to a new kind of animal, then we’ll listen. Until then, evolution is all Just So stories.

  22. Peter

    1. Darwin recanted of his evolutionist views when he was dying. He stated that in his younger days of inexperience he had put together a THEORY – a personal view only, which had been taken by his followers and interpreted as FACT. He had used the theory as a crutch to be an atheist, but he repented of this and acknowledged there was a God. Why do evolutionists not follow this statement? Presumably because they want to remain atheists and believing in the existence of God makes them accountable to Him.
    2. True science believes in the theory of cause and effect, design and designer. Evolution believes in an effect which has no cause and a design which has no designer. This is illogical rubbish!
    3. Evolution is based on out of date information. Hundreds of American scientists, through studying CONTEMPORARY science are becoming born again Christians, not by being “brainwashed” by Christians but by being true to themselves by accepting UP TO DATE SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION which definitely points to intelligent design.
    4. To summarise, evolution is an excuse to live a Godless life which breaks the ten commandments. It is based on out of date information. According to agreed scientific principles it is illogical.

  23. Gordon McNeill

    Dave, just getting back to you on your 08.25 response. Richard Dawkins, Alice Roberts et al will never sit down and debate with a christian who believes in creation simply because evolution is a “theory” and creation is an undeniably provable fact. Dawkins only speaks to children ; why ? , because they can’t refute his claims. He has avoided all requests to debate with christian creationists. Oh I wonder why ! This “old book” as you call it, declared the facts of creation several thousand years before Darwin dreamed up his “theory” of evolution.Creation has never changed whereas evolution is , well , it is continually evolving , it changes frequently, so no one really knows what they believe.

  24. Dave

    I’m giving up because banging my head against immovable objects is giving me a headache. Not because I accept your pathetic arguments. No doubt Richard Dawkins, Alice Roberts et al feel the same.

    Anyhow, a few parting shots.

    Peter

    1. That Darwin recanted on his deathbed has been refuted by no less a source than the arch-creationist group Answers in Genesis.

    2. Are you a scientist? If you have no formal scientific training, please refrain from making bold and baseless statements about what science is. If you are a scientist, surely you should know better.

    3. Evolution is based on more and more information. No doubt you have up to the minute statistical facts about how many American scientists are deluding themselves that evolution is not a verifiable fact, but I could only find information that contradicted this entirely.

    4. Evolution is an excuse to lead a godless life? Of the ten commandments, only one could possibly have any relevance to evolution. I’ll leave you to decide which that might be.

    Gordon – Yes, evolution itself is evolving. That’s really my point. Evolution and all other sciences are about learning and discovery. Science continues to open up an entire universe of wonder and fascination. Creationism has never changed – it is old, stale and putrid and takes us nowhere.

    Stephen – There are many Christians who find your ministry as abhorent as I do. Sure, you have a few followers, but doesn’t the bible somewhere warn against false kings? I might be wrong on this, but frankly I don’t care. Just remember, while you fail to convert even one sinner, your god might consider you a failure. That sinner is me, and trust me, you’ve failed miserably. In which case, maybe I’ll see you downstairs.

    From now on, instead of trying to knit cats (or possibly that should be herd fog) I’ll stick to debating with people who can tell the difference between real life and nonsense.

    1. Peter Henderson

      Prove to me that my statement is baseless and pathetic. Previously you didn’t even try to disprove my statement, because you didn’t have an answer. Your only response was to hurl personal insults. To state that this universe, which is PLANNED to operate according to split second timing was not designed by an intelligent creator is obviously irrational. It is like saying that the Houses of Parliament suddenly appeared – no designer – as the result of a big bang (which normally destroys, rather than creates). It evolved over many years as a result of random chance. Do you really believe that? Evolution begins with a wrong foundation ie that God does not exist and then seeks to twist the theory to fit in with a wrong premise. This is deceitful. It is based on the kind of false scientific dogma which, prior to Christopher Columbus said that the earth was flat, when the Bible tells us that “God sits on the circle of the earth.” Isaiah 40, 22. Prior to that, atheistic scientist were dogmatically opposed to the Bible. But they didn’t win!

      Richard Dawkins stated in January 2005 on a website, “I believe, but I cannot prove,that all life, all intelligence, all creativity .. is the product … of natural selection.” This man has spent his career attacking Christians for their “blind faith” yet he confesses that he believes in evolution even though the evidence doesn’t prove it.”
      (What we believe, but cannot prove” John Brackman, editor, Free Press 2005).

      He told his daughter, Juliet (in his book, “The Devil’s Chaplain”) only to accept belief supported by evidence .. think to yourself, “is this the kind of thing that people probably know because of evidence? Or is it the kind of thing that people only believe because of tradition, authority or revelation?.”

      Yet his beliefs in evolution show that there isn’t enough evidence to prove it, he just believe it! Because of tradition. He spent his career attacking Christians for their “blind faith” yet he confesses he believes in evolution even though the evidence doesn’t prove it. He then has the nerve to write, “it is abolutely safe to say that, if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).”

      David, according to your big hero, it is safe to say that i am ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked. Oh, and my beliefs are baseless and pathetic! Could you please enlighten me into which category I fall? Also,, into which category does he fall?

      Please be honest, do you really accept the hypocritical teachings of a man who accepts by faith a theory he cannot prove and believes that if you dare to question it you are ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked? Please, please be honest. Is he bigotted, or what? No waffle or excuses, please. Just pure logic! All true science approaches the subject with an open mind. Only a person who is unsure of their beliefs, or who doubts the validity of them, will use such expressions. Or perhaps being an atheist forces him to the belief that God does not exist, therefore he can disobey all the ten commandments and not be accountable – because God doesn’t exist. and will not be there to judge him.

      Also, evolution is based on out of date information which in so many cases has been disproved over and over again! I suggest you are living in the past! Please accept what Richard Dawkins admitted that it is a personal theory and opinion which he – nor you – nor anyone else can prove!

    2. Peter Henderson

      Quotations from “The Delusion of Evolution.”
      ANDREW HALLOWAY, EDITOR -“Tthere is a war brewing in academic circles… It’s a battle for control of the minds of everyone in the world. And the fact is – all of us are being lied to … time after time evolutionists answer questions about their evidence with outdated, highly improbable, intellectually insulting school textbook examples … evolution from my geology teacher was synonymous with science itself. No alternative theory was ever put to us and any other suggestion was met with scorn … this is commonplace. too often evolution on TV is fantasy dressed up as fact. School textbooks contain a series of proofs for evolution that have all been debunked – yet the continue to be published as fact.”
      PROF. RICHARD LEWONTIN (Leading geneticist). “We take the side of science (naturalistic) in spite of the absurdity of some of its constructs in spite of the tolerance of the scientific for unsubstantiated “just so” stories, because we have an a priori commitment to materialism .. and that materialism is an absolute for we cannot allow a divine foot in the door.”
      DR. C CUSTANCE, FRAI, NYAS, “Virtually all the fundamentals of the orthodox evolutionary faith have shown themselves to be either of extremely doubtful validity or simply contrary to facts .. the whole theory is now largely maintained, in spite of, rather than because of evidence.”
      DR WILLIAM DEMBSKI. “I think it’s only a matter of time. I think there wil be a Berlin Wall collapse (of evolution). It could happen fast. A new theory of “Intelligent Design” pulls the rug from under evolution. Research proves organisms are a product of design – not blind chance.”
      DR. STEPHEN MEYER (Biologist) – “Complex information in DNA and cellular mechanics can only be explained by intelligence.”
      CHRIS STRINGER (Head of Human Origins at London Natural History Museum)
      “What was considered a major piece of evidence showing that the Neanderthas once lived in norther Europe has fallen by the wayside. We are having to rewrite prehistory.”
      PROF PHILLIP JOHNSON (Law Professor) – “Evolution is just a myth.” He is a leading light in the Intelligent Design movement and explains why Darwinism has survived so long despite a complete lack of proof. It’s highly speculative idea, yet the “blind faith” of the academic establishment has raised evolution to the level of unqestionable fact.
      UK PUBLIC OPINION. ” According to surveys, a Mori Poll carried out in January 2006, only 48% – despite centuries of indoctrination – accepted that evolution could happen without God.”
      NILES ELDREDGE (Evolutionary palaeontologist). “Palaeontologists Faced with a recalcitran record obstinately refusing to yield Darwin’s predicted pattern, simply looked the other way.”
      PROF. ANY MCINTOSH (Professor of thermodynamics at Leeds Univiersity) – “The principles of thermodynamics even in open systems do not allow a new functional biological strtucture to “be achieved without new machinery already being in place.”
      PROF. MICHAEL BEHE – “Observatgional evidenced from scientific results from the past ten years show that Darwinian processes don’t do much of anything.”
      PROF PAUL DAVIES (Theoretical physicist) – When the universe was created it had to be incredibly precisely “fine tuned” if life on earth was ever to exist. If the forces in the universe had been set up just a tiny bit wrong, then there would be no life as we know it.”
      DR HUGH ROSS – “The probability of a life-friendly planet existing by chance is one in one hundred thousand quintrilion quintrilion quintrilion quintrilion quintrilion quintrilion quintrilion. In other words, we can’t be here by chance – it has to be by design.”
      PROFESSOR ANTHONY FLEW as a leading atheist for 50 years, teaching at Oxford, Aberdeen, Keele and Reading universities. Flew turned his back on five decades of arguments against God because of overwhelming scientific evidence for an intelligence behind the universe. He still didn’t believe in an after-life, so it wasn’t an attempt to hedge his bets when death was approaching. Flew said he simply “had to go where the evidence leads.” The case for a God …”who has the characteristics of power and intelligence is now much stronger than it ever was before.”

  25. George

    Hi Dave

    Could you explain to me from a scientific/evolutionist perspective why rape is wrong/ immoral if these terms apply to your vision of humanity?

    1. Jay

      Could YOU explain why/if rape is immoral from your theistic point of view? Thou shalt not rape isn’t a commandment and I’m pretty sure someone in the bible offered up his virgin daughters to be raped.

      1. Stephen

        Deut 22:25 But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die:

        What penalty would you advise for rape?

        1. David

          Supposedly if she isnt married, she has to marry the monster that raped her and can never divorce him.
          Deuteronomy 22:28-29 ‘If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.’

          what kind of benevolent god would force someone to marry the man who raped her?

          1. Stephen

            Your comment betrays a complete ignorance of the society of that time and of the Hebrew text. Young people did not go out mixed-sex clubbing, young women were expected to be chaperoned and to be virgins when they married. Daughters were looked after and guarded to an extent that is unheard of in our decadent society today. Marriages were the concern of the whole community and were nearly always arranged, although it is clear that a young man could petition a girl’s father for her hand. The word ‘rape’ is not present in the Hebrew, which just says ‘lie with’ in a sexual context. Rape in its modern meaning of a woman being violently taken against her will by a predatory male was almost unheard of. Her family would have killed him.

            Genesis 34 records what happened when Jacob irresponsibly allowed his daughter Dinah to go off ‘to see the daughters of the land.’ She got romantically entangled with a local prince, slept with him, and her brothers promptly accused the young man of treating their sister ‘like a harlot’, even though he tried to put matters right by offering to marry her in the terms of the text you quote (given that the word ‘raping’ is a modern textual addition and that the text says he cannot divorce her not the other way around).

            I am still waiting to hear what penalty you advise for rape.

        2. David

          I would set a higher punishment than the UK courts currently give (8 years on average). 10 years average, maybe more. Death penalties are not the answer, however more could be set depending on the circumstances.

          I am intrigued as to why, when asked why you think rape might be wrong you posted a quote from the bible, rather than perhaps the decent human thought of “well I’m pretty sure that forcing someone to have sex against their will inflicting physical and mental pain upon them”. Personally the latter would have been my first response.

          One last thing, why is it that you (most Christians I have talked to, not just yourself) can use parts of the bible whenever it suits yet when another part is thrown back it is immediately “out of date” or “taken out of context”.

          1. Stephen

            That’s normally because the people quoting those Biblical verses at us have no idea of context and care even less.

  26. Graham

    It is a leap of faith to think that nothing could give rise to something……..without a Creator

    It is a leap of faith to think that a wonderfully ordered Universe could be the product of purely chance happenings.

    It is a leap of faith to ascribe any ‘purpose’ to evolutionary processes.

    As I understand it some of the greatest scientists of past centuries thought it worthwhile seeking pattern in the Universe precisely because there was a wise and powerful Creator behind it. They were ‘thinking God’s thoughts after Him’. Why should there be any order in the Universe to seek if the Universe has developed from random events?

    True science seeks to establish ‘facts’ by observation and experimentation, knowing all along that the facts may be provisional (eg recent evidence concerning validity of E=MCsquared).

    We imagine science to be objective. But how often do the prejudices of the scientist influence the lines of enquiry and the outcomes?

  27. Dr Tony Fleming

    Wondered if it would help if I was or wasn’t an atheist wanting to join the staff? Seems like all your reporters do have a bias I’ll let you guess which way.

  28. George

    Don’t take offence anyone, but it looks to me as though most of the comments here are based on misunderstandings. We will never change eachothers opinions, nor should we want to, but I think it is worth taking the trouble to try to understand both sides of the Creationist/Evolutionist argument by educating ourselves. Here are two books which I have found helpful:-
    Why Evolution is True by Jerry A. Coyne
    Why Evolution is Not True by Dale Nierode.
    Regardless of your beliefs, you will learn a lot from both of these books. I did. Please read them both.
    Thanks
    George

  29. Dr Tony Fleming

    According to Dawkins an evolutionary biologist “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” Dawkins used a computer simulation of a chimpanzee at a typewriter trying to producing Shakespeare to show natural selection quickly producing biological complexity from random mutations. In this research a program called WEASEL generated the Hamlet phrase “Methinks it is like a weasel” (23 characters) starting from a randomly typed parent. Using a 50 key typewriter the odds against finding a 23 character string are (1/50)23 or around 8.3 x 10-40). In the real world chimps have not evolved sufficient intelligence to use let alone design computers; the only primates to do so to date are humans; chimps are not even dexterous enough not to garble keystroke. Using an optimistically fast and dexterous estimate of 1 chimpanzee-keystroke per second it would take 1.5 x 1022 billion years, far longer than the estimated age of the Universe. Producing a page of 250 characters, a play of 10,000 characters, or a volume of 50,000 characters of Shakespeare would be overwhelming even for a legion of tribes of chimps set the task. If there did exist an alpha male with enough intelligence to recognize Shakespeare, and who could organize the tribes, check and filter the intermediate results, the chimps or their offspring (40 ‘generations’ are needed for 23 characters according to Dawkins), would surely overcome their aging leader, destroying their typewriters in a riotous rebellion. They would start cracking nuts for food long before producing a handful of words. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_monkey_theorem)

  30. Alice Roberts

    I wanted to register my disquiet at the paragraph in which I am described as a “fanatical evolutionist”. Like most biologists, I think that evolution through natural selection best explains the diversity of life on this planet; this is not a minority view and not necessarily incompatible with religious belief: many Christians accept evolution.

    However, I felt moved to respond to the criticisms of the series Origins of Us, and set the record straight. Firstly, the criticisms do BBC Science an injustice. Even if I wanted to present my own opinions and speculation (in any other way than clearly flagging them as such) the BBC would not allow me to do this in a science programme. Secondly, the criticism levelled at me brings my own academic integrity into question. Every hypothesis and fact discussed or presented in the programme is already “out there”, in peer reviewed scientific publications. BBC Science (and I myself) are very careful about the factual basis of such programmes, and extremely careful to differentiate between fact and opinion.

    The “vacuous subjective claims” to which Mr Stephen Green alludes are facts based on peer-reviewed scientific research. I am also surprised that Mr Green suggests I presented the extremely outdated “savannah hypothesis” as current science – this is something that was critically appraised and research suggesting, instead, an arboreal origin for bipedalism was put forward. The idea that tool-using and tool-making may have influenced the shape of our hands is, again, not idle speculation but based on published research. Any change in anatomy which leads to a survival advantage (whether that’s an adaptation helping survival in a particular natural environment or an adaptation which makes you better at making technology which helps you to survive) is likely to be selected for.

    I realise that few readers of this website will read my response objectively, but I object strongly to the criticism that my programmes with the BBC have lacked objectivity and include “idle speculation”. That can only be true if you believe that the numerous academic papers which form the backbone of such a series are also “idle speculation”.

    Regards, Professor Alice Roberts
    [I will post a copy of this comment on my Facebook page]

    1. Stephen

      Thank you Dr Roberts for your response. It was not at all clear in the programme you presented that you were rehashing other people’s work. I don’t recall the names of the authors of all those papers being mentioned.

      I should love to read this ‘research’ that has concluded that our hands were shaped by the tools we made. It takes a matter of hours to make a tool, and you would say some hundreds of thousands of years to adapt our hands. So the proposal that our tools shaped our hands seems most illogical.

      I did take the trouble to do a web search on ‘research tool-using evolution of hand’ and this article popped up:

      http://io9.com/5778808/stone-tools-shaped-the-evolution-of-our-hands

      It says: ‘Charles Darwin once speculated that the use of stone tools by our ancient ancestors had profoundly influenced the evolution of our hands. Now, 140 years later, we’ve discovered that, once again, Darwin knew exactly what he was talking about.

      ‘Our hands are fundamentally different from those of our primate relatives. The bones and muscles in our hands feature numerous adaptations that heighten our gripping and manipulatory abilities, none of which the other great apes possess.’

      Do you see the sleight of hand (sic) there? The Stone Age was a few thousand years ago. They were people like us. They had hands like ours. But in the second paragraph the writer jumps to the difference between our hands and those of ‘our primate relatives.’ That is not remotely to do with what the first paragraph contended.

      It’s this kind of dodging and weaving by the advocates of evolution that enables the logically-minded to heap ridicule upon it. I was about to ask for a bit more intellectual rigour, but on reflection you might consider that it would bring the whole shaky edifice crashing down. Better keep to the dodging and weaving.

      1. Alice Roberts

        Dear Mr Green,

        You have eluded my criticism. I complained that facts you claimed to be “vacuous subjective claims” and “speculation” were in fact based on published research.

        I prefer “referencing” to “rehashing” in relation to my presentation of this research. I am surprised that you found it difficult to recall the names of researchers – in particular in relation to tool use – as the researcher was interviewed. I am delighted to provide a link to a publication which contains the material discussed in the programme:
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22446065

        Humans and their ancestors have been making tools for millions of years, so I am not sure why you find the suggestion that adaptations may have arisen in the context of tool use “illogical”.

        There seem to be several examples where you have misunderstood or jumped to conclusions about the material being presented. Perhaps you may wish to watch the series again.

        Regards,

        Professor Roberts

        1. Stephen

          Dear Professor Roberts,

          Thanks you for your reply. I’ll certainly take another look if you can provide a link.

          The link you gave to the publication does not seem to me to support the extravagant claims you made in the programme. It appears to be all about our thumbs, and a comparison of our hands with those of apes. You were declaring with some enthusiasm that our hands evolved as homo sapiens as a result of our using tools, which is quite a different matter. The Abstract concludes by calling into question the idea that tools shaped our hands.

          The Abstract says:
          ‘Modern humans possess a highly derived thumb that is robust and long relative to the other digits, with enhanced pollical musculature compared with extant apes. Researchers have hypothesized that this anatomy was initially selected for in early Homo in part to withstand high forces acting on the thumb during hard hammer percussion when producing stone tools. However, data are lacking on loads experienced during stone tool production and the distribution of these loads across the hand. Here we report the first quantitative data on manual normal forces (N) and pressures (kPa) acting on the hand during Oldowan stone tool production, captured at 200 Hz. Data were collected from six experienced subjects replicating Oldowan bifacial choppers. Our data do not support hypotheses asserting that the thumb experiences relatively high loads when making Oldowan stone tools. Peak normal force, pressure, impulse, and the pressure/time integral are significantly lower on the thumb than on digits 2 and/or digit 3 in every subject. Our findings call into question hypotheses linking modern human thumb robusticity specifically to load resistance during stone tool production.’

          I do not recall you calling into question those hypotheses during the programme. You did quite the opposite. And I am afraid that is typical of evolutionists. The research on which you rely is hedged about with ifs and buts, but when the front men and women rehash it for the masses, all the equivocation is stripped out and conjecture is presented as fact. I call that dishonest.

      2. Anna

        You speak of sleigh of hand and yet you use that very same quick fingered trickery in reply since the io9 article makes no mention of the stone age. Just because humans were mentioned using or trying to use stone tools does not mean it must have been in the stone age and does not imply it either. Everything has a beginning. You see only what your preexisting beliefs allow you to see and nothing more.

        1. Stephen

          Anna, please! The Stone Age is called that because people used stone tools. In the Bronze Age they added bronze. In the Iron Age, iron.

          1. John Allman

            Flint, copper and tin alloy, and iron, are all suitable materials for making tools, applying varying degrees of skill and effort. I don’t know much about other ancient writing, but the bible certainly records the use of stone to make knives sharp enough to use for circumcision long after the first use of metals, and of the use of bronze long after the first use of iron. This calls into question assumptions that the age of old tools can be determined from the material used, and that crudely constructed flint tools must have been made before other better made flint tools.

            I don’t see how it is possible to draw any conclusions at all about when a tool was made, just by looking at what it was made from, and how much skill and effort was applied in its making.

            I don’t think the simplified narrative taught in schools when I was a lad, that there had been non-overlapping ages, of crude flint work, more skilled flint work, work with bronze, and finally work with iron, came one after another. I remember wondering how anybody thought they could prove a theory that that was how pre-historic technology had developed could be proved, especially given the accounts in early historical records of multiple technologies having been in use other than in the separate ages postulated. This is not an area in which I have any expertise myself. Perhaps some of those commenting here recently can shed light upon the evidence and its interpretation that has bolstered this narrative, since Christian Jürgensen Thomsen adapted classical speculation about past gold, silver and bronze ages, to cobble together his similar hypothesis.nowadays taught as fact.

          2. Stephen

            I am sure you are right. The ancient Israelites had bronze-age tools while the Philistines, we read, denied them their iron-age technology. But what we can say for certain is that bronze tools were not used before the bronze age, nor stone tools before the stone age.

    2. will brooks

      Dear Professor Roberts,

      You are reported in the Guardian as being opposed to the teaching of the Creation account as an explanation for life in its diversity saying, “…because it is indoctrination, it is planting ideas into children’s heads. We should be teaching children to be much more open minded.”

      That you a Professor and President of the Association for Science Education could make such a comment without any sense of irony is most revealing.

      Perhaps you could explain to tax payers whose money pays for educating our children how children can expect to be “more open minded” when they are taught only one side of the argument?

      You are also reported as saying: “People who believe in creationism say that by teaching evolution you are indoctrinating them with science, but I just don’t agree with that. Science is about questioning things. It’s about teaching people to say, ‘I don’t believe it until we have very strong evidence’.”

      In connection with your reported words, “indoctrinating them with science,” I should like to ask you a few very pertinent questions. Who spoke those words? How many Creationists have you discussed this topic with?

      Either you have been misquoted or you misunderstand what Creationists in general think about the teaching of evolution in schools.

      Firstly, Creationists are NOT opposed to the teaching of science as your reported words imply. In fact, we are very much in favour of science being taught in schools and will agree wholeheartedly that “science is about questioning things.”

      Creationists are very comfortable with the situation in which Evolution is taught in schools and would not wish that either Creation or Intelligent Design is taught exclusively. We do ask that Creation and Darwinian Evolution are presented as alternative explanations thereby giving children the opportunity to evaluate arguments for and against and to make up their own minds.

      Ironically it is you who is opposed to “…questioning things.” It is you who is in favour of the “indoctrination” of children in which your preferred Darwinian evolution model is the only explanation on offer.

      Let me ask you just a few very pertinent questions.

      Have you ever considered the evidence for Creation and Intelligent Design?

      How did nothing produce something, namely, a vast highly complex Universe that is fine tuned for life? How did non life produce life? What is the Origin of the highly complex specified information in DNA which according to Bill Gates is far, far more advanced than any software ever created. ‘The Road Ahead’ p.188 by Bill Gates

      Sir Karl Popper is on record as saying: “What makes the origin of life and the genetic code a disturbing riddle is this: the code cannot be translated except by using certain products of its translation. This constitutes a really baffling circle: a vicious circle it seems, for any attempt to form a model, or a theory, of the genesis of the genetic code.” ‘Scientific Reduction’ Popper.

      Sir Karl Popper didn’t have the answer. Do you?

      From where and how do the cells of an organism obtain pre-engineered sophisticated processes equivalent to CADCAM operations in a high-tech factory to produce design engineered nanotech biosystems machines to produce protein and protein folding machines which produce body parts from complex information to produce a specific organism matching the blueprint instructions?

      Do you have the answers?

      For a fact, there is no known evidence for matter as the origin of information (unless you refer to the Darwinian process as evidence which amounts to circular reasoning) but you would “indoctrinate” impressionable youngsters throughout the country to believe exactly the opposite.

      The Darwinian evolutionary model claims that mutations/changes within the genes cause an increase in information leading to new and higher life forms. But the fact of the matter is mutations produced loss of genetic information and serious defects in the organism.

      For a fact, no experiments (on fruit flies) have produced mutations/changes which are beneficial.

      You may want to check out: ‘Can mutations increase genetic information’ by Dr. Robert W. Carter creation.com/mutations-new-information

      ‘Are there beneficial mutations?’ by Dr. Georgia Purdom molecular geneticist http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2008/…/feedback-beneficial-mutation.

      Given that you feel entitlement to express your opinion you will not deny my right to express mine and I will say that your dogmatism that Darwinian evolutionary naturalism is the explanation for life in its diversity is a huge disservice to young people in particular and the public generally.

      “The picture of the cell provided by modern molecular microbiology has led scientists to redefine the question of the origin of life. The discovery of life’s information-processing systems, with their elaborate functional integration of proteins and nucleic acids, has made it clear that scientists investigating the origin of life must now explain the origin of at least three key features of life.

      1. They must explain the origin of the system for storing and encoding digital information in the cell – DNA’s capacity to store digitally encoded information.
      2. They must explain the origin of the large amount of specified complexity or functionally specified information in DNA.
      3. They must explain the origin of the integrated complexity – the functional interdependence of parts – of the cell’s information-processing system. (p 132/5 ‘Signature in the Cell’ by Stephen Meyer)”

      Whilst I appreciate that your opinion is sincerely held and that a likely rebuttal to my observations will be your claim that the ‘majority’ of scientists believe in evolutionary naturalism I would have to say that science is not decided by a show of hands – and history shows that the minority are often proven to be correct.

      Until such time as you can provide satisfactory answers to those very pertinent issues you ought to be in no doubt whatsoever that what you are advocating is, not the teaching of science, but unproven opinions and assertions.

      Yours sincerely

      Will Brooks

      1. Guy

        Are you aware of Lenski’s long term experiment on bacteria at Michigan State University? Lenski & Travisano. 1994. ‘Dynamics of Adaptation & Diversification: a 10,000-generation experiment with bacterial populations’ Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,91, 6808-14
        New information enters genomes without the intervention of a designer. The research also undermines the dogma of ‘irreducible complexity’.

        1. Stephen

          This is the experiment where Lenski started with e-coli bacteria and 10,000 generations later (250,000 years that would be if they were human beings) he had, er, e-coli bacteria, isn’t it?

          Are you aware that bacteria lack the energy to evolve into anything more advanced? SEE HERE.

  31. Hugh

    I applaud Alice Robert’s measured response in light of the ridiculous accusations made.

    BBC Science broadcasts are world class – we should all be proud that we have such fantastic scientific communicators such as Alice Roberts, Jim Al-Khalili, Brian Cox, Iain Stewart and of course the great David Attenborough. There are many more.

    The BBC is not funded by and for Christians but by all license payers and its employees and broadcasters are not there to serve just the narrow Christian community that read the Christian Voice. They are employed for their ability, knowledge, understanding and communication skills. Try to look at the bigger picture please guys.

    On the other hand, the Daily Mail – really! It does undertake some worthwhile investigative journalism, but most of the time, it and it’s website are the mothers of hypocrisy?

    1. Stephen

      Quite, and that is why we subjected its figures to a bit more rigorous examination and took the trouble to contact the BBC for a response. And printed it.

  32. C.

    If they argue with logic it is probably best to walk away

    “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
    Then he is not omnipotent.
    Is he able, but not willing?
    Then he is malevolent.
    Is he both able and willing?
    Then whence cometh evil?
    Is he neither able nor willing?
    Then why call him God?”

    Epicurus – Greek philosopher, BC 341-270

    1. Stephen

      It is so much easier to blame God for evil than the men who actually carry it out, isn’t it?

      1. Matthew Shute

        Read your Bible, genius.

        I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.
        —Isaiah 45:7

        1. Stephen

          In context, this is about the judgment coming on the disobedient at the hand of Cyrus. Which ideology will bring judgment on the UK and the rest of the Western world, do you think?

          Isa 45:1 Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;
          Isa 45:2 I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:
          Isa 45:3 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.
          Isa 45:4 For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.
          Isa 45:5 I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:
          Isa 45:6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
          Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
          Isa 45:8 Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it.
          Isa 45:9 Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?
          Isa 45:10 Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth?

      2. John Adams

        I do not believe C or Epicurus are really blaming God for being malevolent. They seem to be leading the reader into thinking there is no God, and therefore that men (and women and children!) are to blame for their own evil deeds.

        The flaw in Epicurus’ logic is in believing it is malevolent to be unwilling to prevent evil. God created us with free will to make good and bad choices and sometimes this will lead to evil deeds and evil natures. From our perspective it may seem malevolent to allow this. But God has a much bigger perspective and can see the whole story of mankind play out across the whole of space and time. It is possible that a greater good may eventually arise from evil. Mankind can learn from the mistakes of the past and may eventually learn to grow in love and make better, more loving, choices in the future. That is not malevolent. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to bring up children sometimes realise it is better to let our children make bad choices: only then will they learn to grow, become more understanding of others, and become more caring as adults.

        1. James

          How does the existence of malaria relate to free will?

          1. Stephen

            It’s a fallen world, James. Get over it. And then donate to a charity fighting malaria.

          2. corylus

            Good point, James.

            Stephen, I agree that it is a good think to donate to a charity fighting malaria. Some very clever researchers spend all of their available time fighting this hideous disease. They are admirable people.

            The irony here is that virology is impossible (or at least ineffective) without an understanding and acceptance of evolution. We are in a bit of an arms race with the bugs, you see. Understanding this arms race can give some insight into possible unintended consequences: insight to help us avoid them.

            I would have no issue with people believing in young earth creationism, and making errors about the stone age being a few thousand years ago as a result (as opposed to a time period spanning millennia) as, but I am afraid that this belief holds back science and medicine.

            There are smart youngsters being discouraged from going into biology, and helping research illness, and this is a tragedy.

            Those inclined to religion might wish to consider whether the term ‘sin’ is opposite here.

          3. Stephen

            Yes, the term ‘sin’ is definitely the very opposite of arguing for intelligent design.

            Viruses adapt. You don’t have to believe that men descended from rocks in order to be good at virology.

          4. corylus

            Yes, the term ‘sin’ is definitely the very opposite of arguing for intelligent design.

            Haha! Typo fail on my part – apposite was the term I meant to use. Mea culpa.

            I am glad to hear that you do not go for ‘intelligent design’ Stephen. Arguments for ‘irreducible perplexity’ are against the spirit of scientific endeavour. Complicated and unsolvable are not necessarily the same thing.

            Viruses adapt. You don’t have to believe that men descended from rocks in order to be good at virology.

            I make allowances for hyperbole here, so simply supply information in response to this. Virologists don’t think that, for many reasons, but one is because we are not in a hierarchy where humans are at the pinnacle, immune to the selections pressure to which other organisms are subject . Another possible reason is due to rocks not reproducing 😛

            With an understanding of evolution comes the knowledge that we (humans and other non-human animals) are all related, no matter how indirectly. When you realise that, as you say, “viruses adapt” then you stuck with humans also adapting. If you want to argue that this is impossible, and humans are special and separate, then you must give a reason for this: a reason other than a simple emotional reaction or a call to scripture.

            Evolution is simply change in the gene pool of a given population over time. We have genes; non-human animals have genes; other organisms have genes, and we are all subject to evolution.*. Genes and their expression change, as we have changed: with the evidence for that history is written in the language of our genome.

            Not rocks though (the lichen on them aside). I will give you that one.

            -=-=-

            *Humans living in very modern societies possibly aside.

          5. Stephen

            I certainly do believe that evidence of irreducible complexity is part of the evidence for intelligent design. And I came to faith through realising that evolution could not possibly account for the diversity of even the ducks on the pond.

            I think we now agree that you don’t need to believe in evolution (except on the micro-scale) to be a virologist.

            Evolution is not simply ‘change’ in the gene pool. Information has to be added to the gene pool for evolution to work. For example, all the genes necessary for lungs and legs (and quite a few other bits and pieces) need to be added to the fish genome in one fell swoop for fishy to climb out of the water and survive on land. ‘Over time’ won’t do it. It has to be there all at once to work. So where did that new information come from? When has such a remarkable (indeed, impossible) happening ever been demonstrated or observed?

          6. James

            <>

            If I read Genesis correctly, man is created from dust (adamah), so the two views aren’t a million miles apart.

            “Earth or soil” would perhaps be a better translation….

            Both science and the bible are in agreement that life has its origin in the inorganic.

          7. Stephen

            But only the Bible has an intellectually-coherent explanation of how non-life became life.

          8. Havok

            But only the Bible has an intellectually-coherent explanation of how non-life became life.

            Which is what, Stephen?
            Does it also correspond with reality?
            How is it verified/falsified?

          9. Stephen

            Gen 1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
            Gen 1:12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

            And that is what we see. Distinct species reproducing after their kind.

          10. Havok

            And that is what we see. Distinct species reproducing after their kind.

            False.
            What we see is nested hierarchies of organisms through time, with evidence indicating common ancestral populations for extant species.

          11. Stephen

            Or the evidence can be interpreted to show differentiated organisms some of whom have common design features …

      3. Riddles

        If you see two kids fighting and the parent just watching do you not put any blame at all on the parent letting it happen?

        1. Stephen

          Interesting analogy. I guess the parents would tell the children to stop. Just like God has laid down rules of acceptable behaviour for us. But modern society, just like unruly children who won’t stop fighting when they are told, has decided that following the rules laid down by our celestial father is too much of a hindrance to what we should rather do: lie, kill, commit adultery, engage in perversion, rob, blaspheme, and so on and so on.
          Don’t blame God for society’s sins; blame yourself.

          1. Havok

            But modern society, just like unruly children who won’t stop fighting when they are told, has decided that following the rules laid down by our celestial father is too much of a hindrance to what we should rather do: lie, kill, commit adultery, engage in perversion, rob, blaspheme, and so on and so on.

            God is a rather poor parent then, since he hasn’t provided any guidance for 2,000 years or so, gave the guidance he has provided in times of ignorance, in ambiguous and sometimes contradictory messages, which look for all the world like the work of men with no divine guidance (like all of the other holy books you don’t accept as divine).

            If your God existed, he’d have to be amongst the worst of communicators.

          2. Stephen

            ‘gave the guidance he has provided in times of ignorance’

            Chronological snobbery. And also displaying a surprising ignorance of ancient history.

            Cornwall County Council put up the signs at Land’s End saying ‘don’t go past this notice’ at least fifty years ago. They haven’t updated that guidance. But it still holds good.

  33. Chris Street

    Stephen Green is wrong when he says “according to the last census, around 72% claimed to be Christian, with just 15.5% saying they had no religion. These are the figures for the 2001 Census. The last census is the 2011 Census – 59% were ‘Christian’ and 25% ‘No Religion’. https://humanism.org.uk/campaigns/religion-and-belief-some-surveys-and-statistics/census-2011-results/

    The Daily Mail reports “combination of those who said they were atheists and those who had no faith came to a total of 23.5 per cent.” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2069649/Christians-minority-biased-BBC.html

    Are the BBC employing fewer ‘no religion’ than in the UK population?

    “Some 40 per cent of staff failed to respond to the questionnaire.” says Daily Mail. In the 2011 Census only 7.2% didn’t answer the question about religion and belief. So is the IPSOS Mori survey really representative of the BBC workers religious and non-religious beliefs?

    1. Stephen

      Our article was written in December 2011 and was critical of the Daily Mail’s approach.

  34. Martin

    Stephen Green is concerned about Christian’s being seen as bigoted, but reinforces this view by saying things like it’s “far easier to be atheistic and gay than to be normal and Christian at the BBC”. Normal?

    1. Stephen

      So now expressing the view that heterosexuality is normal is ‘bigoted’. When will our atheist opponents learn to express themselves with argument rather than insult?

      1. John Adams

        Stephen, it is unhelpful and hurtful to use the word ‘normal’ to describe a majority group wherever people are concerned. By stating that heterosexuality is normal, you are implying that homosexuality, bisexuality, and asexuality are all abnormal. That may not be what you intended (although I wonder about that), but that is certainly how I would feel if I were gay and reading the words in your original article. So you should not be too surprised that people are now calling you bigoted.

        Dividing people into ‘gay or normal’ is just as inappropriate as dividing people in the UK into ‘black or normal’ or ‘right-handed or normal’. I hope that you would not do that, but history shows that others have. I am left-handed and it was only a couple of generations ago that I would have been forced to change my ‘abnormal’ behaviour and learn to hold a pen in my left hand. Further back in time I would have been considered cack-handed, sinister, and of the devil. I look forward to the day when all Christians catch up with the rest of society and learn that being gay is just as normal as being heterosexual, and certainly not of the devil. The Christian Voice should learn to speak Christ’s own words and lead the world in following his example. Christ often went out of his way to demonstrate his acceptance of people who were previously considered outcasts, alien, unclean, unwelcome, and far from what others considered ‘normal’.

        1. Stephen

          Of course they are abnormal! Do you really want Christ’s own words on the subject of human sexuality? Here they are:

          Mar 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
          Mar 10:7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;
          Mar 10:8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.

          And of course becoming one flesh, in the full emotional and conjugal sense implied by our gracious Lord, is something a pair of gays or two women, can never do.

          1. Havok

            Stephen, how does that explain intersexed people?
            Sex, like sexuality, isn’t binary.

          2. Stephen

            Thank God that sad condition is rare, and probably best attributed to the fallen state of creation, but it illustrates that genetic mutations are never observed in real life to be beneficial.

          3. Havok

            and probably best attributed to the fallen state of creation

            Something you can provide no solid evidence for, and must take on faith in spite of, not because of, the evidence.

            but it illustrates that genetic mutations are never observed in real life to be beneficial.

            Which requires you to ignore the reality that mutations HAVE been observed to be beneficial (Lenski’s bacteria, for example).

          4. Stephen

            Yes, Lenski’s bacteria is the only one you can come up with. And he started with bacteria and finished with bacteria! For the millions of extant species, you need how many billions of mutations to have arisen? And there is no scientific evidence to back that contention up.

  35. Paul Davies

    The emergence of science as the application of rational thought to explain all that is tangible around us has only happened in the last 100 years or so. If you go back to Victorian times our great thinkers were happy to include less rational observations into their thinking. Conan Doyle and A E Waite were great examples. Go back further and great thinkers like Dr John Dee were trying to raise the dead in churchyards and change base metal into gold.

    When I was young I too believed that science could explain everything and with the arrogance of youth quickly went to the brink of believing that we humans could explain and control everything around us. Darwin seemed to me to be a self evident truth – his theory was so powerful. As I have grown older and kept my mind open to the amazing things that have happened along my seekers path I now have a much deeper understanding of the nature of reality. The key is always to keep an open mind and never throw yourself into believing someone else’s dogma whether that is the dogma of a church or of a scientific ‘theory’ that has somehow become a mantra of the mainstream and treated as “fact” – witness global warming.

    I have no problem with the youth of today going down that same path of rational thought. It is part of a seekers path. However I always felt you needed a fundamental faith to underpin this act of seeking if you were to trigger the amazing magic of Christ’s promise that if you “seek you will find”.

  36. Pete Laity

    Why is it that opponents of the scientifically based theory of evolution so often resort to the myth of creation given in the Christian bible as the only possible alternative. Who is standing up for all the other creation myths?

    …talk about Christians being prejudiced and bigoted!

    1. Stephen

      We are in the UK, where the two dominant ways of explaining how everything came into being are creation and evolution.

      1. Michael

        We are in the UK, where the two dominant ways of explaining how everything came into being are creation and evolution.

        Nope. Evolution only tells us how species and diversity arise once life has begun. If by “everything” you mean “life the universe and everything” then you want some version of cosmology. If by “everything” you mean “all life” then you want some version of abiogenesis.

        1. Stephen

          OK, accepted. But evolutionists cannot get away so easily. How did life arise from non-life? That question is fundamental. Mind you, evolutionists have as much trouble answering the question ‘How did lungs arise from gills?’ The usual answer is ‘they just did’, but there is no evidence to support that conjecture.

          1. Scott

            Admittedly, I am not a scientist, and do not have a thoroughly researched explanation for you on this. But I will say that lungs arise from gills every single day on planet earth. Tadpoles have gills. Frogs and toads have lungs. I am certain that the scientists who study this have a fairly good understanding of the process.

          2. Stephen

            Dear Scott, Tadpoles don’t evolve into frogs, the tadpole is part of the life-cycle of the frog. Now explain to me how such a creature undergoing such a metamorphosis evolved and what did it evolve from. In your own words, please.

          3. Havok

            Now explain to me how such a creature undergoing such a metamorphosis evolved and what did it evolve from. In your own words, please.

            It evolved from a previous amphibious ancestor which was much like the modern species.
            Such a metamorphosis is undergone by basically all animals, though usually in the womb (for placental mammals) in the womb and pouch (for marsupials), in the egg (for monotremes, reptiles, avians, etc), and in the egg and then subsequently out of it in the case of our frog.

            What else would you like explained to you Stephen? :-)

          4. Stephen

            Yep, the ancestors of frogs were frogs.

            But wait … metamorphosis in the womb? Surely we’re not back with Haeckel’s fraudulent evolution-supporting embryos?

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embryo_drawing

            http://www.discovery.org/a/3935

            Click here for a picture of a baby in the womb eight weeks from conception. See how unlike a tadpole it looks:

            http://oneway.jesusanswers.com/photo2.html

          5. Havok

            Yep, the ancestors of frogs were frogs.

            In the near term, yes. In the longer term, the ancestors would be something we would not call a frog.

            But wait … metamorphosis in the womb?

            Yes, metamorphosis in the womb.
            wait – do you think a human fetus goes from a bunch of cells to a fully formed baby in a single step do you?

            Surely we’re not back with Haeckel’s fraudulent evolution-supporting embryos?

            Surely you’re not repeating the tired creationist myth, are you?

            Linking to the dishonest discovery institute doesn’t help your case.

            Click here for a picture of a baby in the womb eight weeks from conception. See how unlike a tadpole it looks:

            Not sure who you’re answering, since I didn’t say anything about human embryos at 8 weeks looking like tadpoles. I said human embyro’s go through similar changes, ie. they grow limbs, etc.

            I guess when you think all life was poofed into existence by a magic man, it’s easy to think that limbs on embryo’s are poofed into existence as well.

            You might do better looking at this image of human embryo development:
            http://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php?title=File:Human_Carnegie_stage_1-23.jpg

            Since it shows stages going from a bundle of cells to some differentiation into an elongated shape, then budding of limbs, and then, a mostly formed fetus – your 8 week image is far too late in development to see the changes I was referring to.

          6. Stephen

            Still not too sure what poofs have to do with all this, but I guess many homosexual men are of an atheist frame of mind so they think they won’t have to give an account of their behaviour to the Almighty.

            I’m sad to see Haeckel’s fraud still has a willing supporter, BTW.

            I am increasingly uncomfortable with the idea the tadpoles metamorphose in frogs. I would suggest they no more do that than babies metamorphose in the womb. All they do is grow. For the tadpoles, their legs begin to grow and their tails shrink in proportion, and the baby’s arms, legs and organs begin to grow according to a predetermined plan.

            For true metamorphosis we need to turn to the insect world. How a caterpillar turns into a butterfly, or a grub into a wasp, or a maggot into a fly is one of the wonders of God’s creation. And I’ll venture a guess that evolutionists do not have a clue how that came about. Incremental changes, I suppose! Yawn.

  37. Andy

    It’ll all work out in the end…….religious belief is part of the evolution of the human species, and evolution is dealing with religion as we speak!

    1. Stephen

      Is that what evolution is for, then, Andy? To ‘deal with’ religion?

  38. David Fletcher

    This website is an offensive, ignorance machine run by those that have more in common with BNP than right minded folk. Luckily for us this type of rubbish is fast dying out.

    1. Stephen

      No, actually, the BNP believe in evolution and that white people are more highly evolved that black people. They have more in common with you, David.

  39. John Adams

    Stephen, you have selectively chosen to take Christ’s words out of context and state that he is talking about human sexuality. In the verses immediately preceding and following those you select, it is quite clear that he is talking about divorce. He says nothing for or against homosexuality in Mark chapter 10.

    Furthermore it is far from obvious why two gay men or two lesbian women can not become one flesh.

    1. Stephen

      Not true. A discussion on divorce is the context, but the Lord says ‘God made them male and female’ in the beginning at creation and he says that is why God has ordained that people marry, and that they become one flesh.

      And the reason two men or two women cannot become ‘one flesh’, to put it as delicately as I can, is that they lack between them the full set of necessary complementary parts of the anatomy to achieve it.

      1. John Adams

        I do not think that in this passage on divorce Christ was declaring that the only way for two people to become ‘one flesh’ joined together in love was via the single specific physical union that you have in mind. Furthermore, where would that leave men and women who, for whatever reason, lack the ‘full set of necessary complementary parts’ in good working order?

        The point of his message was certainly not to exclude certain people from marriage. To try and convince others of this is a distortion of his words. Do not attempt to condemn people who are in love with each other, whatever their gender or sexuality.

        To conlcude with Christ’s words on this matter, “What God has joined together, let no one separate.”

        1. Stephen

          They sadly cannot consummate their marriage, John, which means in england and Wales at any rate that marriage can be annulled. God created us male and female, declared that is why we marry, condemned homosexual acts and described homosexual desires as ‘vile affections’. Any person attempting to ‘join together’ two people to commit acts which God describes as an abomination is acting outside the will of God, and any such ‘joining together’ is null and void. I see you are a supporter of homosexuality, John, and an advocate of evolution, and you claim to be a Christian. I don’t know where you are on your walk, but I should expect as a Christian grows in maturity his love of Jesus Christ will lead to keeping his commandments and those of the Father as revealed in Holy Scripture, and trying, with the leading of the Holy Spirit, to lead a life of holiness.

          1. David

            Then, as you so oft demand of us, where is your proof that God or Christ themselves condemned homosexuality or described them as ‘vile affections’.

          2. Stephen

            Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
            Rom 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
            Rom 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

  40. Dooley

    Stephen, you have asked the question about how first life began on this planet. There is quite an interesting scientific theory called chaos theory that may explain it. In the right conditions order can appear out of a complex chaotic system, reversing the tendency for entropy to increase over time. I implore you to look up chaos theory as it’s really interesting. Like all scientific theories, this theory will be tested, peer appraised, criticised and discussed openly. Your one religious theory cannot be put through this process as you never want to see it as anything other than true. Christianity has blocked open human thought for too long, suffocating it with rigid dogma. Thankfully this has changed and people are no longer sentenced to death for daring to disagree with God’s church. I’m sorry that you get upset when people openly discuss theories based on empirical evidence that disagree with your ‘truths’. (I am not an atheist, nor a believer.)

    1. Stephen

      Your comment betrays an ignorance of the history of science. The study of the natural world was initiated by Church-going Christians, out of Christianity’s respect for creation. Now would you kindly explain from chaos theory how life arose from non-life? Perhaps you would be so kind as to tell us the mathematical probability of assembling all the proteins and other building blocks of life together in just the right place and in the right order. In your own words.

      1. Havok

        The study of the natural world was initiated by Church-going Christians, out of Christianity’s respect for creation

        The study of the natural world was actually initiated by the ancient Greeks, centuries before Christ, and millenia before Christian Europe rediscovered their work and set about understanding and actually extending it.

        1. Stephen

          We note you too are somewhat unwilling to tell us your estimate of the mathematical probability of assembling by chance all the proteins and other building blocks of life together in just the right place and in the right order.

          1. Havok

            The probability of it having happened is 1.

            What’s the probability of your God having magic’d everything into existence in just the way we find it and not some other way?

          2. Stephen

            Ha ha ha! A probability of 1. Because it is all here and you can think of no other way of it all being here other than by chance mutations and natural selection. That’s what we in the trade call ‘circular reasoning’. Unless perhaps you can show your workings out?

            The probability of God having created everything we see is impossibly small. (By the way, the use of the made-up word ‘magic’d is disrespectful.) The probability of it all having ‘evolved’ with all the chance happenings that must involve is infinitessimal. Now you take a leap of faith. Which way do you go? God says:

            Psalm 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

            Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

            Colossians 1:16 For by him (ie Jesus) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

            Rev 4:11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

          3. Stephen

            I was wondering why that probability of ‘1’ for life having evolved was so absurd and annoying, but I lacked the reasoning to show it until the Ashes cricket series in Australia came to mind last night (from an English perspective it is also highly annoying, BTW).

            The captains toss a coin to decide who says who bats first. Australia won the toss for the first three matches. By Havok’s reasoning, the probability of that happening is 1, because it did.

            But the true probability is calculated like this. The probability of winning the toss for the first match is 1/2. To win it on the second match as well is 1/4 (1/2 x 2). The probability of winning it a third time in succession is 1/2 x 1/2 x 1/2 = 1/8.

            Incidentally, the loss of the toss was merely one factor in England losing each match. If Australia had won the toss a fourth time the probability of that happening would have been 1/16. As it happens, England won it. It made no difference, as all you cricket followers will already know. They lost yet again.

          4. joseph

            “‘What is the possibility……?” ‘1.’
            ‘What is the probability that your God magiced everything into existence in the way we
            find it?’

            infinity. or the extent that the above questioner is not able to find an error in the Scripture, written by twenty-nine people, in three continents, over one thousand six hundred years whose name is “library”( biblios =librarry) and translatedby Britain. ( But if a new apparently contradictory text is found, I would not be able to predict howmuch time might be needed to solve it).
            By saying ‘one’ in answer to the possibiity of evolutn being correct it appears the commenter has gone beyond sciencs and in to the area of religion.(since it is still only a theory and not a law).

          5. Havok

            .(since it is still only a theory and not a law).

            Theories in science are generally those which are very well supported by the evidence – Gravitation is “still just a theory”, being Einsteins General Theory of Relativity.
            Perhaps you should familiarise yourself with how certain terms are used in science?

          6. Stephen

            No, it is the ‘Law of Gravity’. Then I can think of Boyle’s Law, of the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics, laws of motion. There are lots of scientific laws, which have been demonstrated over and over again in the laboratory and in real life.

            The Theory of Evolution lacks demonstrability and should really be downgraded to a hypothesis given the lack of proper scientific evidence for it.

    2. JACK

      Dooley,
      Creationists do not have prove anything because, like evolution. it is a position of faith. However what creationism does have going for it is the order in which evolutionists say the cosmos was formed – it agrees with the Bible.

      Chaos theory is not going to give scientists a mechanism that they can use to change chemicals into life. Until they are able to do that evolution is a straw house built on sand. There is nothing wrong with constantly trying to find the answer but is very wrong to say the little that you do have is a fact. Evolution is a position of faith and that while the keywords that evolutionists constantly use like, we believe, it may be, it could have, perhaps etc. etc. it will remain so.

  41. Scott

    Much of the comments section here has turned into a discussion on evolution, but I would like to make an observation on the main topic – secular employment at the BBC, and by extension, the whole concept of “liberal media bias” – which is what this is really about..

    Typically, people who enter the field of broadcasting (that affect its content) are college graduates in the field of journalism. It is a field that is naturally taken up by people who are more liberally-minded. It is a “liberal arts” degree, even in name. I submit to you that the liberal media bias seen across various media outlets is a result of the natural predilection of liberally minded people to enter that field, and not a managerial conspiracy to maintain a secular viewpoint in the media.

    Other media entities, like FoxNews, have intentionally cultivated a conservative viewpoint. This would tend to encourage job applicants who are of a more conservative and/or Christian tendency (and would prefer to work in an environment of like-minded people) to seek employment at those outlets as a preference over others, further lowering the percentage of applicants at the BBC.

    What would be interesting to see, is a study similar to the one referenced in your article, but on job applicants at the BBC. I would wager that if a study like that was completed, it would show a very similar secular/nonreligious to Christian ratio as exists in the actual employment study. You could not logically blame the BBC (or other media company) for that disparity if this were the case.

  42. Ivan

    Stephen, I think you are misreading Mark 10 here. The question was ‘Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife?’ The context is that some pharisees are trying to catch him out into saying something they can somehow use against him. Jesus is avoiding the trap.

    I am sometimes dismayed by the way all sorts of meanings are superimposed on the briefest of statements in the gospels, often to fit some viewpoint that cannot be clearly and unambiguously ascribed to Christ himself. I think you are doing this here. There is nothing here to suggest that Jesus was making a statement against same sex relationships. There is plenty about it elsewhere in the Bible, of course – just not in the Gospels.

    1. Stephen

      Firstly, they weren’t trying to catch Jesus out, they were asking him to rule on a live topic of their day. One house of Pharisees (Hillel) said a man could divorce his wife for anything, and the other (Shammai) said only for adultery. As always, he went back to the word, rather than draw on Rabbinic tradition.
      Now, you could say that Christ did not need to speak against homosexual activity because, as the second person of the Holy Trinity, he wrote the rest of the Bible where such activities, and even homosexual desires, are roundly condemned.
      But even given the context, if he says that God created them male and female and that’s why people marry, and that they are expected to become one-flesh, which homosexuals cannot, that has to be given full weight. THis is especially so in a generation which claims ‘Jesus never said anything about homosexuality’. (A) It’s not quite true and (B) as you point out, in the light of the rest of Scripture it’s irrelevant.

  43. Ivan

    You also claim that God has ordained that people marry. That is to say he has decreed, ruled, ordered, commanded, enjoined them to marry.

    That is not really true. There is no divine commandment to marry. You are perilously close to putting words into God’s mouth here. That would be wrong. Perhaps you meant something else?

    1. Stephen

      Well, Ivan, here are some words from God’s mouth, part of the creation ordinance (I don’t see it as quite the same as a commandment, it is rather a statement of the natural order):

      Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
      Gen 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
      Gen 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
      Gen 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
      Gen 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
      Gen 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

      1. Ivan

        Stephen

        I notice that you have shifted your ground a little here. You have gone from your assertion that ‘God has ordained that people marry’ to God’s word being ‘a statement of the natural order’. I wonder if you are of the opinion that people who do not marry have left this natural order, even if, as you now suggest, they have not actually transgressed God’s command. An awful lot of spinsters and bachelors would be worried about this if it were so.

        You have said that Jesus was not avoiding a trap being set by the Pharisees, but Mark 10.ii is unambiguous about this. How else can we interpret this verse otherwise? What does ‘tempting him’ mean if it is not to tempt Jesus into making a comment that can be held against him later? I was taught that this was intended to catch Jesus out from an early age and it is a little disconcerting for you to challenge the orthodoxy in this way.

        All this is a bit of a diversion. You have not convinced me that the verse you have quoted shows that Jesus was speaking out against homosexuality here. As I said, there is much about homosexuality in the Bible, even in the New Testament, but none is to be found in the Gospels – at least, not without the sort of gloss you have put on Mark 10.

        1. Stephen

          I am at a bit of a loss to remember where I have said ‘God has ordained that people marry’. Perhaps you can help me.

          Of course the Pharisees were ‘tempting’ or more properly ‘testing’ the Lord (Gr peirazo) . They wanted to know which side he was on in a live debate of the time. I am sorry you have been misled in the past, but there has been a lot of ignorance previously concerning ‘the Pharisees’ and painting them as a homogenous anti-Christ bloc. That old view is not supported by what we now know of Judaism in the first century. Jewish studies have certainly helped us understand better what is going on when Jesus meets various Pharisees of the two main ‘houses’, Bet Hillel and Bet Shammai.

          Oddly enough, in his teachings on humility, on being reconciled to your brother, on putting people before religious observance, the Lord sided, as it were, with Hillel. But on the matter of divorce, it was Rabbi Shammai’s stricter interpretation he went with.

          There was also a matter in which Jesus disconcerted both schools of Pharisees. They laid much stress on the spoken Torah (law, instruction) which they taught was given at the same time as the written Torah. But Jesus always says things like ‘What is Written in the law?’ ‘What do you read?’ and always bases everything he says on the Torah.

          So it is in Mark 10:1-9. It’s rather reassuring to learn that the Lord believes in creation, for a start, and then restates the creation marital ordinance. You point out that there is no specific instance of Jesus saying himself, ‘no sodomy’ but homosexuality simply was not an issue in the Holy Land in the 1st Century. In Canaan, for the Israelites, yes, and also for the early Gentile church, but clearly it was not something on which you should expect the Lord Jesus to waste his breath as he went about preaching the Gospel and doing miracles. He didn’t speak against bestiality either, or against child sacrifice, both mentioned in Leviticus 18 and 20 alongside the prohibition on sodomy.

          All of which makes his statement that people marry because God made them male and female at creation and that God himself has joined them together in a one-flesh union (which homosexuals cannot achieve) all the more surprising and valuable, in a way.

          1. Ivan

            “I am at a bit of a loss to remember where I have said ‘God has ordained that people marry’.”

            I am a little bit at a loss myself. I do believe you have edited your earlier comment. How very disappointing to find such feet of clay after so short an acquaintance. You made a small but telling mistake when covering your tracks like that. Can you see what it was?

            I expect this will fail its moderation. If it does, I think you will have let yourself down even further.

          2. Stephen

            No Sir, I am now happy to say I never said that. I thought it did not sound like me.

  44. James

    Dear Moderator
    I have twice posted comments which have not made it onto the message board, if you won’t publish comments to defend evolution then the conversation is biased and pointless. If you are trying to babysit and defend the creationists from evidence then you are just as deluded and the website is a waste of time for opening up the discussion. You need to be more liberal.

    1. Stephen

      James, The pro-evolution comments of Prof Alice Roberts have been published together with many others. Perhaps your comments just repeated points they made – not your fault, maybe theirs were approved before yours were considered. Sorry if you feel hard done by.

      1. James

        Stephen
        You keep dismissing evidence for evolution but how do you explain the fossil record with more complex life ascending from older rock to new, no human fossils predate the earlier fossils from more simpler life forms. Man came along late in the history of life no matter what the bible says about man being first. Secondly genetics show all life is related and can be plotted on a family tree to show common ancestors. Evidence is everywhere.

        It’s ironic you keep mentioning evidence for evolution has small knowledge gaps when creationism has no evidence at all, the bible is not evidence because there is no proof for the claims.

        1. Stephen

          I have not yet seen any evidence for evolution worthy of the name, to be honest.

          Paleontology comes closest, but even here, as evolutionist J.E. O’Rourke admitted in “Pragmatism versus Materialism in Stratigraphy,”

          “The intelligent layman has long suspected circular reasoning in the use of rocks to date fossils and fossils to date rocks. The geologist has never bothered to think of a good reply, feeling the explanations are not worth the trouble as long as the work brings results. This is supposed to be hard-headed pragmatism.” (American Journal of Science, Vol. 276, January 1976, p. 47.)

          I don’t know why more ‘primitive’ forms appear in certain rocks and more ‘advanced’ forms in other rocks. Science is not good at saying ‘why’. I do know that nowhere in the world is the geologic column actually present in its entirety. Bits are here and bits are there. In addition, creatures just ‘appear’ in the rocks with no intermediate (‘missing link’) forms.

          Bats are a good example. But then, the absence of any intermediate form of them merely adds weight to the logical improbability (to put it mildly) of an animal losing its legs and growing wings over millennia. the poor thing would be easily picked off by predators as it vainly tried to flap and hobble its way out of trouble.

          The Bible says man came last, not first, but it does say life arose quickly, which is what you need for the interdependence and circle of life which we see in action to work properly. (Flowering shrubs cannot wait for fully-fledged birds to ‘evolve’ and pollinate them. Fungus need more complex organic matter to work and feed on. And so on.)

          The Bible also says things reproduce ‘after their kind’ which is precisely what we observe. The science of Genetics backs up the Bible’s spontaneous creation hypothesis (the argument that we share 50% of our genes with bananas leads to the response ‘so what’?) and Information Theory explains how new information (for example in a database like the genome) can only be added by outside intelligence.

          I’m a hard-headed engineer, and I’m interested in explanations that work, not in the surmise and guesswork which typifies evolutionary theory.

          1. James

            Stephen
            Science is great at saying ‘why’ it’s called evolution over millions of years and there is no other credible explanation, just saying god put every species in its place is just weak. A 6000 year old earth doesn’t bode very well for creationists either. I disagree with the circular reasoning comment as there is no other possible way for fossils to appear in rocks of a certain age other than to have been there at the time.

            You can observe evolution in action by looking at how viruses become resistant to antibiotics and the way HIV mutates to evade the immune system. In your view gods creatures would be static and un-changing this not what is observed.

            The intermediate forms of bats obviously survived because they are here today, another sweeping statement to add to the long list. If there isn’t a fossil record you can put your finger on it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist!! Science hasn’t found everything but all the fossils found up to now all add weight to evolution.

            The bible has so many inconsistencies it really doesn’t sound like inspirational work from a perfect omnipotent supernatural being.

          2. Stephen

            All the time, you are just assuming evolution to prove it. A common mistake, but not at all scientific.

            Name some of your alleged inconsistencies in the Bible.

          3. James

            Stephen
            The bible is not even sure what came first man or animal to name a relevant inconsistency .

            Genesis 1:25-27
            And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and the cattle after their kind … And God said, Let us make man … So God created man in his own image.

            Genesis 2:18-19
            And the Lord God said it is not good that man should be alone; I will make a help-meet for him. And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them.

          4. Stephen

            Is that the best you can do? That isn’t even an inconsistency. Chapter Two is a restatement of Chapter One with an emphasis on man rather than on the pure order of things.

            BTW, there is no hyphen between ‘help’ and ‘meet’.

          5. James

            We’ll Genesis 1 clearly says god created beasts then man and Genesis 2 States man should not be alone and created the beasts after. If this isn’t a contradiction then what is it?

          6. Stephen

            No, Chapter 2 does not say ‘after’. It says God created them and brought them to the man. No mention of time-scale. Is this really the best you atheist Bible-knockers can do? To be fair, I suppose you need a break from trying to fathom how in gramatical sentences to explain the origins of life or how bats evolved.

        2. JACK

          The way that the fossils have been laid down isn’t to do with evolution but ius better explained by catastrophic flooding and burial. The lowest life forms are in the sea bed and the highest life forms on the land. Everything else in-between is exactly where you would expect to find them.

          Evolution is dead in the water at the abiogenesis position. Until scientists can explain that then there is nothing to evolve. Evolution is a classic house of straw built on sand.

  45. Kevin Hughes

    I too am disappointed a previous message, which defended Prof Alice Roberts, was deemed unsuitable for your website.

    I also find it interesting that you seem happy to quote endless Biblical passages as fact when they were written thousands of years ago by lots of different people and despite the fact you have absolutely no evidence to prove any passage or verse is true, accurate or factual.

    Yet you seem quite happy to denounce the research and conclusions of eminent scientists who agree on the mountains of hard evidence for evolution and natural selection we now have at our disposal.

    1. Stephen

      Perhaps it was vulgar, insulting or repetitive, which yours isn’t. And I should say that Professor Alice Roberts appears quite capable of defending herself, and in moderate and reasonable terms.

      Getting back to her supporters, including yourself, I am as disappointed that there is such ignorance of history coupled with cultural and chronological snobbery among them as I am inspired by the intellectual coherence of the Bible, penned by so many human hands over such a long time.

      Such sweeping and plainly untrue statements as ‘absolutely no evidence to prove any passage or verse is true, accurate or factual’ don’t help her supporters to be taken seriously.

      Forget mountains, I should like to see just a molehill of evidence of a beneficial mutation leading to a distinct new kind of animal as evolution theory contends.

      1. Stephen

        Because, Havok, before natural selection kicks in to weed out the weaker specimens, there must be a few trillion mutations. I am just asking for evidence of one actually having led to something new.

        1. Havok

          Stephen, there need only be a single mutation which effects the phenotype of the organism in order for selection to operate. If we include neutral drift, then there doesn’t even need to be a change of the organism’s phenotype for the genetic changes to increase in a population.

          I am just asking for evidence of one actually having led to something new.

          Lenski’s bacteria acquired a new metabolic pathway enabling them to metabolise citrate.
          The mutations which led to this have been analysed, and you can find the papers in the primary literature.
          New metabolic pathways are certainly something new.

          1. Stephen

            I think you mean ‘affects’. But English is not an easy language.

            I am sure the ability to digest citrate must have been jolly useful to those bacteria. Now, where is the evidence that bacteria then evolved into the first cell with a nucleus? Well, actually, the science says it cannot happen without a miracle:

            ‘In a study published in Nature, the authors asked, “If the compartmentalization of energy coupling within cells gives such a massive energetic advantage, why don’t prokaryotes [tiny cells without nuclei] just compartmentalize themselves?”1 One possibility is that they simply can’t. But the authors do not entertain that option, since it would close the door on naturalistic origins for cellular life.

            ‘The study’s authors found that the total energy required to process eukaryotic DNA is far more than any bacterial system can produce. They therefore maintained that “mitochondria are prerequisite to [eukaryote] complexity.”1 They further wrote:

            ‘”The transition to complex life on Earth was a unique event that hinged on a bioenergetic jump afforded by spatially combinatorial relations between two cells and two genomes (endosymbiosis), rather than natural selection acting on mutations accumulated gradually among physically isolated prokaryotic individuals.”1 (emphasis added)

            ‘In other words, the first eukaryotic cell must have had fully functioning mitochondria right from the beginning. “To exist at all, they have to have an interaction between these genomes,” lead author Nick Lane said in an online mini-lecture.2’

            ‘Such a one-time event, wherein some bacterium instantly received a fully prepped mitochondrion, “is essentially an ‘evolutionary miracle’, assumed to have happened in the past, but never seen or duplicated in the present.” says a leading creation science writer. 3

            You will dismiss that comment as coming from a creationist, as well as the link where the story is.

            Dismissing the scientific findings published in Nature that evolution cannot account for the first cellular life, will be harder to finesse.

            ‘References

            Lane, N. and W. Martin. 2010. The energetics of genome complexity. Nature. 467 (7318): 929-934.
            Mini-lecture: The origins of complex life. University College London online video. Posted on ucl.ac.uk October 22, 2010, accessed October 25, 2010.
            Demick, D. 2006. Mitochondria―created to energize us. Journal of Creation. 20 (3): 11.

          2. Havok

            I am sure the ability to digest citrate must have been jolly useful to those bacteria.

            It ewas, undermining your repeated claim that there have been no beneficial mutations.

            Now, where is the evidence that bacteria then evolved into the first cell with a nucleus?

            Bacteria ARE cells.

            Well, actually, the science says it cannot happen without a miracle:

            Perhaps you’d like to actually indicate why science says this, rather than making another unfounded pronouncement?

            Dismissing the scientific findings published in Nature that evolution cannot account for the first cellular life, will be harder to finesse.

            Again you don’t seem interested in finding out what actual scientists think.
            The first eukaryote cell could well have had fully functioning mitochondrial DNA, since prior to that DNA that would become the Mitochondria and the DNA which would become the nuclear DNA were in a symbiotic relationship – the sybiotic origin for Eukaryotes is quite well supported.

            Instead of getting your information second hand, through other creationists, I suggest you investigate the actual primary literature.

          3. Stephen

            Bacteria are not cells WITH A NUCLEUS (sorry to shout!)

            We have what the actual scientists think. They were quoted. You can look up their video. And they say bacteria cannot evolve into a cell with nucleus, the prerequisite of what we would all take as proper life. Not, without, as you might say, the mitochondria being ‘poofed’ (silly expression) into existence.

    2. joseph

      ‘I also find it interesting you seeem happyto quote endless Bible passagesas fact WHEN they were written thousands of years agoBYmany different people despite the FACT you have ABSOLUTELY no evidence to prove any verse or passage is true, accurate or factual.’

      Has the writer of the above ever read ISAIAH 40;22 and JOB 26:7?
      “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth”, and Job.”… and hangeth the earth upon NOTHING”.
      Note that (as the above writer said) Isaiah was wtitten about 600-700BC, or two thousand six hundred years ago, and Job about at least a thousand yeard prior to Issaiah or about three thousand six hundred years ago,far pre-dating Newton’s discovery of gravity and Columbas’ sailing West to arrive East.

  46. Kevin Hughes

    My previous message wasn’t insulting, vulgar or repetitive.

    Sweeping plainly untrue statement? Well forget mountains too, I should also like to see just a molehill of hard real evidence of a virgin birth, resurrection, miracles and so forth.

    Mutation leading to new kind of animal, Archaeopteryx might do it. However, no doubt in your blinkered way you will come up with some sort of answer that ignores the science.

    1. Stephen

      It was insulting and rambling, Kevin. You are doing better now.

      Yes, your statement that there is ‘absolutely no evidence’ that any Bible verse is ‘true, accurate or factual’ is untrue. I only need one example, but here are three: there is plenty of outside evidence to support the Bible’s references to people like Nebuchadnezzar, Artaxerxes, and even Jesus Christ (to name but three). However, for some things like those you mention you need faith to believe (a bit like you need anti-faith to believe in evolution!).

      No, Archaeopteryx doesn’t do it. It’s just there in the fossil record and it’s more dinosaur than bird. So we think it had feathers. Where did the genetic information to produce those come from?

    2. JACK

      I have two questions for you.

      1 Is there and evolutionary explanation for abiogenesis? Don’t waste your time looking because scientists have long given up on earth and now looking to space for it. Its called moving the goalposts!

      2 No scientists has yet been able to explain how a genetic mutation can increase the information (complexity) of an organism.

      1. Havok

        1. There are large pieces of the puzzle which have explanations, though there is no complete theory of abiogenesis. Scientists certainly have not given up looking.
        Also, it’s quite possible that there are multiple valid theories of abiogenesis, and that we’ll be unable to decide which, if any of them, occurred on earth due to a lack of evdience to differentiate between them.

        2. This is false, and betrays an ignorance of both biology and information theory. A simple duplication event (something that has been witnessed in the lab, and in the wild) increases the information content of DNA.

        1. Stephen

          1 There is no evidence of life arising from non-life just by chance because it didn’t.

          2 Duplicating a gene is not actually adding very much at all. It cannot explain gills transforming into lungs:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_duplication

    3. joseph

      ‘…I should also like to see just a molehill of hard real evidence of a virgin birth, resurrection, miracles and so forth.’

      Consider the great miracle of 1948, when the God of Isaac brought back his people after 2000 years of wandering the globe. and restored Israel as prophesied by Isaiah and the prophet Jeremiah, about two thousand six hunddred years ago. Isaiah 11:11,12 and Jeremiah 31, the whole chapter.

      The bible is a great miracle. and proof that YAH exists. No one has been able to find an error in it so far. THe KJV used the correct manuscripts according to Dean Burgon.

      UK Historyproves that the God of Isaac exists. In the last war HM King George VI called several days of National Prayer. One was on SundayMay 26th 1940. Three miracles happened that week. Adolf Hitler called off the general advance against the surrounded UK Army, after the enigma decoding machine intercepted a message from him saying ‘proceed to annihalation’. “The heart of the king is in the hand of the LORD and he turneth it withsoever way he will” Proverbs. Then a storm ‘of extraordinary fury’ grounded the Luftwaffe. and there was a third miracle.

      Etc.

  47. JACK

    Saying that evolution is the only credible explanation is no more than arm waving. Until evolution can explain how lifeless chemicals organised themselves in a reproducing organism and that the organism can get more complex with an increase in information by mutation then it is dead in its own primordial soup.

    1. David

      Unfortunately that is a misconception. The theory of evolution exists to attempt to explain the world’s biodiversity and to track the change and staging of mutations and hybridization across the past few million years. To trace the origin of our species, where it all started (biologically), not to explain how it began.

      1. Stephen

        What observed (and replicated) mutations might those be?

        1. Havok

          Stephen, we can take our DNA and the DNA of other animals and compare them (Say, humans and other primates).

          We can infer a decent model of ancestral DNA from the derived DNA we have now, and then calculate the mutations that would be required to get from that to what we have today (both humans and other Primates).

          We have models of how mutations occur, and how selection effects and neutral drift influence the frequency of various alleles in a population, and on and on, so we can model how these mutations could have occurred.

          We can also apply these models to reality, so we know what we could expect between some putative ancestor and ourselves, and then go out and look for evidence to either support or refute this prediction.

          And using these tools, we have gotten quite a detailed picture of the evolution of humans from non-human ancestors (and Chimps from non-chimp ancestors, and humans and chimps from a shared non-human, non-chimp ancestor, etc).

          What models, evidence, mechanisms, and predictions are in your “theory”?
          How is it tested? How would you know if you were wrong?

          1. Stephen

            ‘We can infer a decent model of ancestral DNA from the derived DNA we have now, and then calculate the mutations that would be required to get from that to what we have today (both humans and other Primates).’

            I keep asking you to provide the maths for us and it is a step forward that you admit ‘we can … calculate the mutations that would be required.’

            Do so.

  48. James

    One of the leading theories is RNA which can be formed from credible reactions and replicate, this is much more credible than saying god did it. Once this has been figured out I’m sure you creationists will move your goal posts and focus on the next thing that science is still working on. What you fail to understand is that science doesn’t claim to know everything but what it does currently know has been found through evidence and the scientific method which creationists don’t seem to grasp.

    1. Stephen

      No it isn’t, until it is demonstrated and observed in action as science demands.

    2. joseph

      ‘that which science knows has been found through evidence and the scientific method…’.

      Could I urge the writer of the above to apply these same principles to the WORD of the God of Isaac,.i.e. the KJV or any translation based on the correct manuscripts. bearing in mind that few “christian” denominations or churches actually follow the Word of God. Christ’s main enemy were the religious priests. So today. And the publicans and whores enter the kingdom before those ‘priests’,as Christ said.He said further On the Mount, Matthew 5:20, “..,except your righteousness exceed of the scribes and priests, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven”.
      The above writer is looking for a longterm verity. Does not science change its mind? That could happen tomorrow.(or later today).
      A few years ago, there was news oin the popular press of a discovery by Australian scientists of ‘accelerated decay’ of radioactive elements. (therefore billions of years).

      There have been and also are dishonest scientists.

      REceived wisdom is that theWord is Infallible and as Stephen pointed out above, Inerrant. and this ,so far, is proveable. Or no one has, so far, been able to find an error in Yah’s Word, the KJV.translated by Britain. That is , despite the german theologians of the 1800’s, westcott and Hort, then the ‘higher’critics’,etc. An eternal and unshakeable foundation has been found. that is peace and peaceful..
      which no one can overthrow by evidence.(but its not a sin to try).

  49. ann farmer

    The BBC is very good at marginalising majority views by positioning minority opinions to appear as representing the majority and therefore correct.
    The theory of evolution was indeed developed to explain the origin of species and so conveniently distracted from the fundamental problem of how life began. Who on Earth cares about where species came from?

    1. James

      It’s called education and valuable to the younger generation to help question things and not just believe passages in a book as truth without question

      1. Stephen

        The book in question being ‘On The Origin of Species. by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life’?

  50. Charles Stammers

    In response to Dave who points out (quite rightly) that ‘religion’ creates violence, Jesus Christ is not a religion. He is God and creates people who are peaceable, caring, honest and chaste living. Christians are over represented in the caring professions; many work voluntarily for charities.

    In the UK , violence has escalated dramatically since 1960 as humanists promoted selfishness and child-killing.

    Charles (former staunch atheist)

    1. Stephen

      Personally, I should say man creates violence.

  51. Ivan

    Stephen

    Lenski’s work demonstrated conclusively that bacteria mutated. Every stage of the mutation has been catalogued and preserved as separate living cultures. This is beyond dispute. I am not sure why you have placed such stress on bacterial nuclei – or their apparent absence. The bundles of DNA in bacteria behave in a way that is entirely similar to DNA in more complex organisms.

    Are you arguing that the mutation which occurred in Lenski’s experiment was not evolution because bacteria have no nucleus? That seems wrong to me. Perhaps you are saying that because bacteria have no nucleus resembling higher life forms’ nuclei then they need not be regarded as alive. They perform the defining functions of living things so that does not seem satisfactory either.

    Or perhaps you are asserting that what happened in Lenski’s experiment simply does not demonstrate that a bacterial culture mutated into something which did not exist previously. That is tantamount to saying the work was scientifically invalid. Such a view will not find traction in the scientific community.

    1. Stephen

      Lenski demonstrated that bacteria can mutate into bacteria. Well done him.

      Nick Lane and his fellow researcher William Martin in The energetics of genome complexity. (Nature. 467 (7318): 929-934) start by saying this:

      “All complex life is composed of eukaryotic (nucleated) cells. The eukaryotic cell arose from prokaryotes just once in four billion years, and otherwise prokaryotes show no tendency to evolve greater complexity. Why not?”

      They are right that “prokaryotes” (cells without a nucleus – such as bacteria) “show no tendency to evolve greater complexity”. Lenski in his famous experiments started with E-Coli bacteria and ended with E-Coli bacteria. And of course their claimed ‘arising’ of eukaryotes from prokaryotes is just conjecture, and their paper then demolishes the possibility that it could actually have happened. That is because the ‘Why not’ question has an answer, which they give: “Prokaryotic genome size is constrained by bioenergetics.” That’s the energy available to an organism, in layman’s terms.

      Brian Thomas M.S., of the Institute for Creation Research, says they: ‘found that the total energy required to process eukaryotic DNA is far more than any bacterial system can produce.’

      ‘They therefore maintained that “mitochondria (cellular structures that contain the instructions and tiny machinery to produce energy in cells – SG) are prerequisite to [eukaryote] complexity.” They further wrote:

      ‘”The transition to complex life on Earth was a unique event that hinged on a bioenergetic jump afforded by spatially combinatorial relations between two cells and two genomes (endosymbiosis), rather than natural selection acting on mutations accumulated gradually among physically isolated prokaryotic individuals.” (emphasis added)’

      This statement of Lane and Martin trips up evolution at its first primitive cell-with-a-nucleus hurdle. Eukaryotes have 1,000 times the DNA of bacteria – see the pro-evolution Arizona Biology Project) These authors say the transition from bacteria to the eukaryotic next stage cannot have happened by means of the evolutionary mechanisms (mutations and natural selection) upon which evolutionists rely.

      It needed ‘a unique event’, ‘a bioenergetic jump’. It needed more energy than bacteria possess, or have ever possessed. It needed a miracle. It needed Deus ex Machina. OK, it needed God.

  52. Gareth

    I think these debates, on this webpage alone illustrate the need for the BBC to be more rounded in its publications and broadcasts. Well done to all those individuals who have taken the time to respectfully communicate their point of view ( I have enjoyed reading your conversations). Shame on those who are taking part in the debate but not reflecting on their own world view. How very unscientific!

    Consider for one moment that you might be wrong! A TRUE follower of Jesus ought to do this regularly. And they have little confidence in the wisdom of humankind. Nor humankinds weak attempts to deny Gods existence.

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