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Evolution’s Not Religion and Vice Versa

You can’t disprove Intelligent Design.  Don’t feel bad about that; no one else can either.  That’s why the “Theory of Intelligent Design” is not science.  Doesn’t mean it’s not “true”, just means it isn’t science.  You also can’t prove that the whole universe wasn’t created the minute you started to read this sentence completely populated with your memories and evidence of a much longer history.

Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, on the other hand, can be disproved.  That’s because it IS a scientific theory.  All we need is evidence of a complex species arising spontaneously or even from significantly different antecedents and our current version of the theory is history.  Such evidence hasn’t shown up so the theory, in broad terms, still stands.  Doesn’t mean it’s true, just means it is a scientific theory and that it has yet to be disproved.

The problem with the current debate is that Intelligent Design advocates claim that Intelligent Design is science AND that scientists and others are acting as if Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is a religion. The latter is as much a mistake and as much a hindrance to good education as the former.

Science teaching in most American primary and secondary schools is already pretty terrible. To generalize grossly, most high schools science consists of a few facts, some half-baked environmental theories, and as little math and logic as possible.  The consequence are possibly tragic since the young citizens who aren’t being educated in the scientific method or logical thinking are going to be required to make democratic decisions on things like nuclear power, cloning, and genetic engineering.

Larding the science curriculum with non-scientific explanations won’t help.  On the other hand, teaching young people that any theory is beyond questioning is at least as harmful. It’s the way of most theories to eventually be replaced by something more comprehensive.  Good quote from wikipedia:

Thus, Aristotelian mechanics explained observations of objects in everyday situations, but was falsified by Galileo’s experiments, and was itself replaced by Newtonian mechanics which accounted for the phenomena noted by Galileo (and others). Newtonian mechanics' reach included the observed motion of the planets and the mechanics of gases. Or at least most of them; the size of the precession of the orbit of Mercury wasn't predicted by Newtonian mechanics, but was by Einstein's general relativity.”

The Theory of Evolution has itself evolved since Darwin’s original great insights.  He thought that species evolved at a constant rate.  The relative absence of transitional species in the fossil record and other observations make Stephen Jay Gould’s theory of punctuated equilibrium seem a better explanation. We now theorize that mitochondria and other organelles evolved separately from the cells which host them.  We know what Darwin didn’t: mitochondria are inherited only from our mothers.

Progress towards better understanding of evolution is inhibited it if we attack everyone who questions the current version of the theory or pretend that a theory is a fact.  Children don’t learn to think better by being exposed to ad hominem attacks on those who question the current orthodoxy.

It IS legitimate to question the probability of life arising spontaneously; the math’s not intuitive as Chris Anderson mentions in a post on hard-to-swallow numbers here.  It IS legitimate to question anything presented in science; that’s an important lesson.  And it’s legitimate to object to adding unfalsifiable  beliefs – including the versions of Intelligent Design I’ve seen – to a science curriculum.  It’s not legitimate and it’s not helpful to claim that a theory is a fact in order to protect it from politically incorrect attacks.

The great lesson of science is that ideas have to stand and fall on their own – theories evolve as surely as species do.


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Dov Henis

Natural Selection Derives From Cosmic Expansion

"Evolution is energy temporarily constrained in a mass format to postpone reconversion of the mass to the energy fueling the cosmic expansion".


Cosmic Evolution Beyond Darwin And Einstein
Natural Selection Derives From Cosmic Expansion

Two suggested editorial items:


Origin And Nature Of Natural Selection
Update Concepts And Comprehension

Life is another mass format.
All mass formats are subject to natural selection.
Natural selection is delaying conversion of mass to energy fueling cosmic expansion.
Cosmic expansion is reconversion of all mass to energy.

Natural Selection Updated 2010
Beyond Historical Concepts

Natural Selection applies to ALL mass formats. Life is just one of them.
Natural Selection Defined:

Natural selection is E (energy) temporarily constrained in an m (mass) format.

Natural selection is a ubiquitous property of each and every and all cosmic mass, spin array, formats. Mass strives to increase its constrained energy content in attempt to postpone its conversion to energy and the addition of its constitutional energy to the totality of the cosmic energy that keeps fueling the cosmic expansion that goes on since the big bang.

Dov Henis
(Comments From The 22nd Century)
03.2010 Updated Life Manifest
Cosmic Evolution Simplified
Gravity Is The Monotheism Of The Cosmos
EOTOE, Embarrassingly obvious TOE, expanding the horizon beyond Darwin And Einstein


Origin And Nature Of Natural Selection

Longevity Schmongevity Genes

It's Not The Procedure, But The Concept That Is Absurd

Longevity Genes Search Reflects Science Decadence

A. For most centenarians, longevity is written in the DNA.
A study of people who live past 100 reveals many genetic paths to a long life.

B. Longevity, survival, natural selection, evolution

- Merriam-Webster OnLine
Longevity = a : a long duration of individual life b : length of life

- Longevity is about survival, which is about "natural selection", which is about energy constrainment, which is about life evolution, which is about cosmic evolution. Every mass is destined to become energy to fuel the ongoing cosmic expansion. This is why organisms and black holes etc., eat, digest energy in mass forms, to avoid-postpone conversion to energy. This is evolution, which is natural selection, which is survival, which is longevity.

- All mass formats age. Life is a mass format. Searching for longevity genes is searching for evolution genes...

C. The search for longevity genes is a reflection of the 20th-21st centuries science decadence

Its concepts and terminology reflect the abandonment of basic science for adoption of the pretentious cancerous capitalist 20th-21st century technology culture.

Dov Henis
(Comments From The 22nd Century)


Rethink Astronomy And The Universe
even without Quantum Unique Ergodicity, but with plain commonsense

Galactic clusters formed by dispersion, not by conglomeration. The proof of this is their behaviour, including acceleration, as Newtonian bodies.

These bodies formed at the start of inflation, when all energy was still in mass format, and the inflation was the start of reconversion of cosmic mass into energy.

- A Basic Physics Tenet
- The Universe In Which We Live

A. Neutrino quick-change artist caught in the act
A transformation from one ‘flavor’ to another confirms the elusive elementary particles have mass and suggests a need for new physics.

B. Adopt

- Each and every particle has mass.
- Dark energy and matter YOK.
- Higgs field/particle YOK.
- Do not be afraid of embarrassingly obvious answers. Adopt space-distance in lieu of space-time.

C. And Rethink The Universe

By the presently available data our universe is a dual-cycle array.

One cycle, the present, started from singularity, with all cosmic energy in mass format, and it has been proceeding to reconvert all the mass resolved at the big bang back to energy, by expanding the cosmos, by accelerating away the galaxy clusters.

The other cycle, the cycle that led to singularity, will re-start when the expanding cosmos consumes most or all mass that fuels the expansion. Gravity will then initiate reconversion of all the energy back to mass, to singularity, again.

Dov Henis
(Comments From The 22nd Century)
Cosmic Evolution Simplified
Gravity Is The Monotheism Of The Cosmos
EOTOE.Embarrassingly obvious expanding horizons beyond Darwin And Einstein.

john phillips

I am of the opinion that creation preceded evolution, in which case both are true. My main concern is that in my lifetime of 86 years I have not witnessed any continuation of evolution.


I'll choose solar power over higher power.


Oh, one more thing,.........
that damn DNA crap ...........
How Intellingent! And a Great Design too!

So, lightning (like Donner und Blitzen von "Der Nacht bevor Weinachten") and a high vapor pressure soup of elemental gases in equilibrium at the boundry layer of the liquid/ gas interface and ZAP, ZAP, ZAP .... NOooo, not static on your digital screen, (can't be in todays digital world, only in the old analog old Howdy Doody TV days)..... and .....
you get this DOUBLE HELIX (ask your wife....like a bad hair day curly cue hanging from your head)...... and...... wow, double helix instructions to be passed on so that the "Lightning strikes Once" THEORY ..... Yea, real Theories, like Scientific Stuff ..... wow, now we're getting there..... any how, lightning only has to strike once if we get it to write out some instructions for us, I mean, for HIM, so that the one cell guys can reproduce and given enough time, as per Darwin, mutate into multicell guys (n Gals)and keep carrying on these instructions...... well, where to put that big encyclopedia of rules????? Oh yea, in the Mitochondria, of course ...... OK now this is all making perfect sense ..... just depends on who you are and where you went to school ..... no, not the U of Baghdad or Tehran....... then, only Allah could help .... and, by the way, ..... before you get to Hawaii, read up and enlighten my on that Sonolumenescence stuff, is that the precusrer to Cold Fusion ..... I hear that the Los Alamos Guys think that the ID people and us RPI guys should all go to the same church (or Temple).... OK?
PS How's your Mom, Dorthy, doing? Give her our regards ......


Tisk, tisk ..........

All these "well educated scientists"
All afraid to venture deeper than a smug focus on "scientific method" goobly gook rather than on the real issue .......
... that scientists, by and large, feel so certain that e/ (C x C) = M and
that this resulted in "two H's) fusing together and condensing into a dense sphere with enormous gravitational accelerations and creating ...... woooow there ........ why (or why not) CREATING? (I'm digressing again) yea, creating such enormous pressure and temperatures and yea, more nuclear chemistry with fusion and more Einstein stuff and finally all these nice Elements, Gold, Silver, Uranium .... all those good things right out of the Periodical Table.......... wow .......... then ......
LIGHTNING (or something similar) strikes this vapor pressure soup and wow .............. I am afraid to go there now......... wow ...... and........
LIFE BEGAN !!!!!!!!!! wow.
And then that same mutating crap...... cosmic rays, gamma rays, alpha particles, wow ..... all these (Flash Gordon) rays just in time to be there to MUTATE that wonderful thing we just fell onto .........ah, yes, LIFE, and now getting wrecked before it can even get going much ........ but look ..... wow ..... all that radiation is not messing things up after all, it is mutating so that you can be here to read this bunk and me to be able to write this bunk.
Then reality sets in ....... we all have to meet sometime, somewhere .....maybe ????
For you, Tom, and for me, well how about at Nathanial's Place ............? OK....? or aren't you guys going to Hawaii soon? What do you think Marissa would say about this? Or Noah or Tanya (or Luke for that matter)?

Well, if you aren't going or can't hold your breath that long, I'll state my case so you can have enough time for a well formulated response.

Let's say there wasn't a Darwin or that you or I was thinking how about we were that Darwin.
What would make you or I more famous..... realizing that things always seem to go from "A" to "B" (or even to "Z") or even from E to M C C or something like that ...
and back and forth again and again.....
And, Eureka! Why not call it "evolutionary theory" so we too could be famous..... rather than what all this realy is ...... simple, ordinary life.......

What I am trying to say, Tom, is that it really doesn't take a Darwin or even an Einstein to see that LIFE........... as in.. a SINGLE CELLED organism couldn't just become a complex human being ....as in.... a Tom Evslyn..... AND, on the other hand, that the SINGLE CELLED ORGANISM definetely should become an Albert Einstein or a Tom as long as that single celled organism was a sperm or an egg. Then, viola! you get this tiny, microscopic wiggly, piggly tailed thing that ends up like me, writing more gooobly - gook about how I could or could not have gotten to this stage in my life so quickly when everyone knows that I was just a one celled organism just about yesterday......
.....my point is that, I should have stuck to the script.... I was going to be Darwin and proclaim that God didn't just stick us here like that, He said wooow, lets start with an ugle worm or a snake and then have it grow arms and legs and stuff over millios of years and ...... yea .... kind of like a tadpole and .... like, unbelievable ..... fish become frogs, sperm and eggs (not ham 'n eggs, though) can become Einstein or Evslyn .......
......See ya guys in Hawaii ?????

Bernard Moon

Good post, Tom. I've been meaning to post on this subject at my blog, but haven't had the chance to yet. I'm a conservative Christian by definition and believe in Creation by God, and believe Evolution takes as much faith as any religion after exploring both sides at length. But I don't support the Intelligent Design movement because it really is just an effort to teach the Christian viewpoint in our schools. I haven't put that much thought into this subject as I would have liked to, but in general I believe you really can't legislate morality or religious teachings because people have to accept such things on their own time and initiative.

On a practical level, it's like enforcing prayer in school. The act of prayer would become a mechanical action, especially for children, and the power and passion of praying would rapidly lose its effectiveness and meaning.


Adrian Savage: Seems the creationists are seeing it -- or at least presenting it -- as a case of their own religious beliefs being "persecuted" and "suppressed" by those Evil Evilutionists(tm). You can see it in their insistence that the Scientific Establishment(tm) is quashing all mention of alternative theories of creation, and that they only want people to Be Exposed To All Points Of View(tm), yadda yadda yadda.

Turns out, however, that when they say "all points of view", the only points of view that they're seriously trying to expose people to are (1) Christian creationism (2) godless evolution (3) the end.


Two comments:
1. Due to language difficulties, I couldn't get Newton's "Laws" of Motion. I wanted to know how did he know that the force IS lineraly proportional to acceleration. It would have been much better if I was told that it is a model or even an axiom. It was stated as such in math or stat classes and it was easy to follow; so much so it easy to understand the background of non-Euclidian geometry if not the mathematics. At least Darwin's is labelled "Theory" as opposed "Law".
2. I have a problem with some of Anderson's statements, to wit, order arising out of chaos. This is ture only under certain conditions. Brownian motion has a structure only if the random behavior is built on Gaussian distribution. If the fundamental process is Cauchy then the whole thing falls apart. That was supposed to be a light-hearted remark. Taking on earnest mode, Wikipedia or blogs for that matter can display the characterisitcs he is ascribing only if the participants display constant vigilance. Apathy and non-participation will certainly drive the quality down. Already blogs on specialized topics have become an echo chamber. So just as in Sciences, we should allow and encourage challenges to the existing body of knowledge in the Web. (I will get of my box now. :-) )

Adrian Savage

I think you're missing the real point. It's not whether or not Darwin's Theory of Evolution is capable of refinement (or even replacement); all scientific "truths" are theories that may be upset at any time, however much we treat them as proven. The whole debate is about whether you can force religious views onto children (or anyone else) via the power of government.

The American consitutional prohibition against mixing church and state was actually designed to protect religious freedom. The Founding Fathers were used to the British pattern of an "established church" which typically persecuted or suppressed other religious outlooks. That's why they were adamant that no US government should be able to do the same thing.

Of course, protecting freedom of religion also means protecting the freedom to have no religion -- a logical pattern many religious people try to ignore. As a British person living in the US, the debates about evolution make me laugh. In a land so attached to the idea of freedom, why so much effort to force people to conform? Surely an individual can believe whatever he or she wants to, without trying to force everyone else into the same viewpoint? If I believe Darwin is probably right, should that prevent someone else from believing in a creator? Intelligent Design is a religious idea, not a scientific theory, and that should be the end of the matter.

Religion is a personal matter, isn't it? Or do people want an American Protestant Inquisition to replace the former Spanish one?

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