Can you comment on this excerpt about evolution


#1

I’d like those who seriously support thiestic evolution to comment on this excerpt from an article on evolution:

"But Darwin’s natural selection acting on random variation is invalid when applied to macro evolution and macro evolution is basically what the controversy is all about. The theory of macro evolution is supported by omissions, fraud, and deceit to be made plausible.

The theory of evolution requires a number of assumptions:

Life arose spontaneously as a single-cell.
This cell produced two cells, each identical to the first cell and each capable of growing and producing two more cells. This production process continues for millions of years and the new cells constantly improve in capability and complexity. A spontaneous mistake in this replication process, however, produces a super cell which then produces more super cells. Over time, a two-celled organism is produced.
Eons of time are required.
Generally constant conditions (e.g., temperature, pressure, sunlight, magnetic field, humidity) with only slight changes.
Life forms are gradually molded into different types of organisms (e.g., birds, cactus, ants, polar bears, bacteria, snakes, man).
No evidence is available in the fossil record to support any of these assumptions,6, 7, 9 not even for two-celled organisms. Explaining the immense variety in nature is difficult for the evolutionists. The lungfish provides for an interesting example of this.

This organism was discovered in a small pond in the middle of an African desert made just 30 hours before in a flooding rainstorm, the first in 28 months. Dozens of vibrant healthy lungfish were in the same pond. It has been found that the lungfish is capable of surviving long periods of drought, up to four years in a carefully constructed underground burrow which it inhabits when water begins to dry up. It enters a dormant state and waits for the next rainstorm. Evolutionary biologists claim the organism to be “unchanged for 60 million years.” Let’s go back 60 million years and imagine how the lungfish might have “evolved.”

The fossil record shows this organism appearing suddenly. No transitional forms are available to support adequately the theory of its evolution. But admitting there might be transitional life forms yet unfound, how would the lungfish arrive according to the theory of evolution? -A non-lungfish interacting with environmental change turns into a lungfish capable of surviving four years of extreme temperatures (in excess of 130°F) and no moisture. As the weather gradually changes so must the “lungfish in training” -generation after generation, no mistakes, learning to burrow into the mud to a depth neither too shallow, or be baked, nor too deep, or be trapped. It must secrete an exact amount of slime to harden into its protective covering and lower its heart rate to one beat every 10-20 minutes. During this evolutionary training period of, let’s say, 30 million years, the weather must change gradually… What would happen if after 15 million years the lungfish trainee has only learned to burrow up to its pectoral fins? If it doesn’t rain sufficiently, the animal’s tail will get quite a suntan! "


#2

Welcome to CAF, Rogerteder. :slight_smile:

You probably don’t know, since you are new here, that all quotes are to include either a source or a link. Without knowing who wrote the quoted material and its source, it’s hard to make any comments on it. If we say we agree you might come back with “Aha! I knew Catholics were all a bunch of fundamentalists”–if you got this from a fundamentalist website/source. Not that that is your intention, but you see how people might think you could be baiting us. :wink:

So, what do you think of the statement? IOW, please, you go first. :tiphat:


#3

It is from Dr. Bennet and I saw the article on Bob Sungenis’ web site titled, “The Deevolution of Evolution”:eek:


#4

Lets see what we got here.

Random variation? What does that mean?

I think the article really means “mountains of evidence”.

Um no. ToE never said that, and the only ppl who believe life arose spontaneously are hardline creationists who believe God poofed everything.

ToE never says any of this.

Super-cell?

Er no. Speciation doesn’t require any of those to occur.

Molded?

Good thing too. If such evidence existeed, it would disprove ToE.

No its not. Immense variety is a result of speciation and environmental niches. If anything, it throws a monkey wrench into the creationist “kind” and Noah’s Arc fable.

I smell a quote mine. Sources from the original article would be nice.

I wonder if the author realizes less than 1% of all species that ever existed actually get fossilzed given the special conditions requred.

Er…evolution would require everything the lungfish has/does to be a modified behaviour/organ from what it was previously. Incredulity is no excuse.


#5

I found the link to the article. It is by Dr. Terry Jackson and is reprinted on the CAI website: The Devolution of Evolution.

It should be noted that the claims made about evolution, as stated by the author, are those of the Communist government of China used to “re-educate” recalcitrant Catholics. The sources for these claims are footnoted.


#6

Things don’t bode well, when a writer’s opening statements includes world-class errors like this one:

The Communists utilized Darwin’s observations of natural selection1 (which are valid observations) to advance a concept that all life, humans included, is pure chance resulting from environmental pressures existing for untold millions of years slowly molding them into their current status.

Your writer seems completely unaware that Darwin’s discovery was that it wasn’t by chance. Let’s see if he does better farther on…

**Darwin hoped to make evolution a new religion. It was embraced by Karl Marx1, is taught in our public schools as the state religion5 and is publicly accepted by Pope John Paul II. **

In fact, Darwin attributed the origin of life to God, and never said anything about starting a new religion. Again, it appears that your guy just made up some stories. And in the Soviet Empire, Darwinism was “crimethink”; those who persisted in Darwinian thinking were fired, imprisoned, and even executed. Let’s shake the tree a bit and see if any truth at all falls out…

Yet, the theory of evolution has no scientific basis.

Other than the fossil record, observed macroevolution, DNA evidence, molecular biology, and numerous confirmed predictions of the theory. So much in fact Pope John Paul said:

Today, almost half a century after publication of the encyclical, new knowledge has led to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis. It is indeed remarkable that this theory has been progressively accepted by researchers, following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge. The convergence, neither sought nor fabricated, of the results of work that was conducted independently is in itself a significant argument in favor of the theory.

Of course, the Pope spent some time learning about the issue and the evidence, which your guy seems to have regarded as unnecessary detail.

And Pope Benedict XVI:
Since it has been demonstrated that all living organisms on earth are genetically related, it is virtually certain that all living organisms have descended from this first organism. Converging evidence from many studies in the physical and biological sciences furnishes mounting support for some theory of evolution to account for the development and diversification of life on earth, while controversy continues over the pace and mechanisms of evolution.

Of course, the Pope had the advantage of a committee of the best theologians and scientists the Vatican could assemble, when he investigated the issue.

Let’s see what else there is…

The fossil record shows this organism (lungfish) appearing suddenly. No transitional forms are available to support adequately the theory of its evolution. But admitting there might be transitional life forms yet unfound, how would the lungfish arrive according to the theory of evolution?

In fact, primitive lungfish have been known from the early Devonian, a long, long time ago. Since primitive fish had lungs long before they came out of the water as lungfish sometimes do, there’s no surprise that lungfish have lungs.
devoniantimes.org/who/pages/lungfish.html

So another major goof. Let’s look further…

**A new theory, however, “punctuated equilibrium,” has been proposed to help evolutionary biologists through these difficult problems. Punctuated equilibrium proposes sudden leaps in animal forms. For example, chickens lay eggs hatching into chickards (e.g., half-chicken, half-lizard). **

No. Punctuated equilibrium notes that most species evolve rapidly in a short period of time, followed by long periods of stasis. It is not about saltation, sudden huge changes in populations. Although speciation can happen in a few hundred thousand years, according to Eldredge and others, they still see it as an incremental process. And that information isn’t exactly hidden. You can pick up a copy of many different essays by Stephen Gould, explaining it.

Getting stranger, the deeper we go…

This dating technique was recently tested for accuracy and failed.15 Three independent laboratories were sent a sample of basalt produced by an Hawaiian volcanic eruption less than 200 years ago. The testing results varied from 20 million years to 3 billion years.16, 17

This one is a particular egregious dishonesty, although it’s pretty clear that the writer is the patsy, not the perpetrator of this fraud.

One looks for an eruption of relatively low-melting point lava, and then takes a sample with xenocrysts (unmelted ancient rock particles) entrapped in the recently-melted lava. This will guarantee a reading of great age. Vulcanologists and geologists are trained to avoid taking such samples. But they are useful to unscrupulous creationists.

Let’s go on. On the other hand, no, let’s not. This is a pretty sad thing, particularly sad to find on a site that represents itself as Catholic.

You can’t serve God by lying for Him.


#7

Would you be willing to deabte Sungenis on evolution? From what I read on his web site he is looking to debate on evolution.


#8

Seeing how he considers geo-centricism still up for “debate”, it may be a lost cause. lol:rolleyes:


#9

Would you be willing to deabte Sungenis on evolution?

Of course. Tell him to drop in and take part.

From what I read on his web site he is looking to debate on evolution.

Then this would be the place. Is he a bit shy about doing it where he doesn’t control the microphone?


#10

Mr. Sungenis doesn’t post on CAF. Besides, this isn’t about him really. It’s about the claims in the article. Yes? :slight_smile:

As a lay person with no more than high school science (pre 1966) to go by, I am not qualified to speak on the points under discussion. That doesn’t mean I don’t grasp the basic concepts, though. What I do understand is that no real discoveries of science ought to hold any fears for any Catholic. Truth is just as much a part of the Catholic faith as faith is, as are reason and logic.

Science is a great thing and has given us so much that makes life easier and in some cases saves lives. I cannot fault anyone for being grateful for such things. But, it cannot tell us much about our Creator nor much about why he created things as they are nor anything about his plans for humanity.

We can infer certain things from seeing the natural world around us, of course, but they are not, in and of themselves, proofs for this or that moral or this or that doctrine. Science and theology are great goods. It’s just too bad some folks have to play the either/or game that puts them in a false dichotomy. It’s very un-Catholic to think in terms of either/or in matters not related to morals, and it shouldn’t be done.


#11

New to the forums, but I could not let this one pass by without a comment or two. Kinda rummaging around the web I found this site: freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1875079/posts
I think Sungenis may have some … issues. Any rate, years ago I had a keen interest in evolution, especially as it was being applied to human beings. There is simply too much evidence in our world to totally deny evolution as a process in our natural world, a natural world created by God out of his Will and Love to create … out of nothing. Adam and Eve were His creations, well after the rest of world was created and plenty of time passed I’m sure for much of God’s creation to tootle along and be affected by all the wonderful processes He created to manage it. I will always have questions about such things as the land of Nod (Mrs. Cain) and other such obscure references in the Bible. But those are nonsense to debate, we simply may never know the answers until they are satisfied in Heaven by God Himself.

It never ceases to amaze me how twisted and convoluted arguments for and against evolution can get. People on both sides of the argument always seem to have a burr or chip somewhere to eradicate or placate. I am glad the Church is staying close to this topic (and others) as it is a very culturally relevant topic in our time and perhaps always will be, at least until the advent of the Second Coming of Jesus.


#12

Mr. Sungenis doesn’t post on CAF. Besides, this isn’t about him really. It’s about the claims in the article. Yes?

Yes. If Mr. Sungenis would like to discuss the issue with me, I’d be pleased to do that.

It might be interesting. If here isn’t a good place, I can think of some others.


#13

Strictly speaking I do not “support theistic evolution” since I am Buddhist, and it is not easy to define what “theistic evolution” means in a Buddhist context.

"But Darwin’s natural selection acting on random variation is invalid when applied to macro evolution and macro evolution is basically what the controversy is all about. The theory of macro evolution is supported by omissions, fraud, and deceit to be made plausible.

This is complete rubbish. There is a great deal of real evidence for macroevolution (defined as evolution above the level of species). Start with 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution and follow the extensive references for more detail where you need it.

The theory of evolution requires a number of assumptions:

Life arose spontaneously as a single-cell.

This is false. The theory of evolution merely requires the existence of living organisms. The existence of living organisms is not an “assumption”, it is an observed fact. Charles Darwin said:There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved.

“On the Origin of Species”, Sixth edition, Chapter Fifteen.
Notice that “breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one” in there? There is no requirement for life to arise spontaneously and there is no requirement for life to start as a single cell: “into a few forms or into one”. Your source is misleading you here. You would do well not to rely on it.

This cell produced two cells, each identical to the first cell

Probably wrong. The very earliest cells would not have had the sophisticated error-correction mechanisms current cells have to rectify any errors in DNA (or RNA) copying. It is very likely that the mutation rate among those early cells was much higher than we see currently.

Over time, a two-celled organism is produced.

Probably not. If cells become “sticky” and do not separate after dividing then we would expect to see multi-celled agglomerations very quickly. Bacteria can divide every twenty minutes so any two-cell agglomeration would be a four-cell agglomeration after just twenty minutes. See Biofilms for an example of just such an agglomeration. Again your source is providing incorrect information.

I strongly suggest that you find a better source than Sungenis’ website.

rossum


#14

Rossum,

I am a Christian and I do not subscribe to “Theistic Evolution” either. A very well thought out and compassionate response to the original post. It is so easy to react with sarcasm and cynicism when responding to charged issues like evolution. Thank you.

Thom


#15

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.