THE world wants to know — will the Curmudgeon write 100 of these silly posts before the year ends? We’re as anxious as you are to know the answer. All we can do is deal with what we find out there. Speaking of “out there” …
We’ll copy most of today’s letter, omitting the writer’s name and city, adding some bold for emphasis and our Curmudgeonly commentary between the paragraphs. Here we go:
Is the theory of evolution scientific or not scientific? Actually, both.
That got our attention. Let’s read on:
Evolution has two main branches. One is micro-evolution, which involves minor variations within a species. Micro-evolution is scientific because it is observable and measurable.
The other is macro-evolution, which is the concept that 1) life started from nonlife, and 2) successive minor variations can gradually change one species into another species. Macro-evolution (the basis for Darwin’s theory) is not scientific, because it has never been proven or observed in nature.
How disappointing; what we had hoped would be a novel argument turns out to be an oldie — one we’ve dealt with many times before. See: Micro Macro, Tutti Frutti. Maybe something else will justify this excursion. We continue:
In Darwin’s time the cell seemed relatively simple and, if given enough time (i.e. if the world had always existed), anything supposedly could happen.
That’s stunningly goofy. First, Darwin didn’t think the world had always existed. One of his rarely mentioned problems — perhaps his biggest worry — was that the world might not be old enough for the time that evolution required. As we wrote here:
Regarding the time scale, Darwin understood its necessity, and recognized it as a potential problem, because the age of the sun (approximately 4.6 billion years) was not then known, and the most educated estimates at the time seemed woefully insufficient for evolution to have occured. Darwin wrote to Alfred Russel Wallace (the co-discoverer of natural selection) in 1869: “Thomson’s views of the recent age of the world have been for some time one of my sorest troubles …” The reference is to William Thompson, later Lord Kelvin. The full text of that letter can be found here: The life and letters of Charles Darwin. As we now know, the issue was resoundingly resolved in Darwin’s favor. A good discussion of the Darwin-Kelvin dispute is presented here: The Age of the Sun.
The second goofy thing about the letter-writer’s sentence is the suggestion that Darwin’s theory requires that “anything supposedly could happen.” A theory requiring such an assumption would be lunacy. Biology is ultimately constrained by the laws of physics and chemistry — a significant distinction between it and creationism.
Here’s more from today’s letter:
Although no transitional fossils (between two species) had been found, Darwin felt it was only a matter of time, because they must exist for his theory to be true.
Aaaargh!! Moving along:
The discovery of DNA revealed the cell to be extremely complex. The discovery of background radiation caused the macro-evolutionists to “create” the Big Bang Theory which, unfortunately, disagrees with the First Law of Thermodynamics. Today, with billions of fossils found, not one is transitional.
That paragraph makes this post worthwhile. Have you ever seen anything so scrambled? First the letter-writer mentions the complexity of DNA — which he assumes is somehow the undoing of evolution and thus proof of creationism. Then he tosses in the ever-popular “no transitional fossils” line — which personnel in hospitals should be using as evidence of brain death. But he doesn’t stop there. He goes on!
Today’s letter-writer tosses in the Big Bang, and if that isn’t enough to demonstrate the quality of his thinking, he cites the First Law of Thermodynamics. We frequently see the Second Law mentioned in these letters, but the First Law does seem more appropriate to the Big Bang. Unfortunately for the letter-writer, biological evolution doesn’t depend on verification — or even knowledge — of the Big Bang theory.
Here’s the letter’s last paragraph:
Some articles or programs strive to promote the unscientific (macro-evolution) by impressing you with the scientific (micro-evolution). Please realize the significant difference the next time you read or watch something about “evolution.”
There you are, dear reader — you can’t fool the creationists of Green Bay. They know their micro from their macro.
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