Tag Archives: Charles Darwin

Jonathan Wells on Whale Evolution

Some thought-provoking observations on whale evolution by biochemist Jonathan Wells (a Berkeley graduate and vocal skeptic of strict philosophical naturalism): In the case of the Durrett and Schmidt (2008) paper, evolutionary biologist Richard von Sternberg has applied the equations employed in that … Continue reading

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Mathematician David Berlinski Doubts Whale Evolution by Random Variation and Natural Selection

Whales, obviously, evolved from land mammals. But did they achieve this feat via a blind process of random variation and natural selection? Mathematician David Berlinski doubts it:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         . To my mind, the jaw-dropping informational complexity of life is the strict Darwinian … Continue reading

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Evolution vs. Creation Rhetoric Watch: Cornelius Hunter Notices an Interesting Rhetorical Move That Charles Darwin Made in the Origin of Species

At his blog recently, Cornelius Hunter called attention to this statement of Charles Darwin’s from the Origin of Species: If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, … Continue reading

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A Just So Darwinian Story: How Giraffes Came To Be The Way They Are

Once upon a time, giraffes had shorter necks. They could eat leaves off medium and low-lying tree branches, but they had to compete for those leaves with elephants, and this caused the giraffes to be frustrated and hungry a lot of the time.  There was … Continue reading

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Did Jesus Refer to Evolution When He Said, “Many are Called, but Few are Chosen”?

Many are called, but few are chosen. This well-known saying of Jesus (Matthew 22:14) passed through my mind this afternoon, and, when it did, it occurred to me that, if Jesus really is God, then he might have been giving a … Continue reading

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Rick Perry Doesn’t Have Any Idea How Old The Earth Is

A little child (with his mother’s promptings) shall lead him:

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The Evolutionary Universe 1, Genesis Literalism 0

Question: Five days after the creation of the universe, were there whales? Answer: Obviously not. Why? Because the earth was not here five days after the universe began. And, for that matter, it was not here a billion years after the universe began. The earth … Continue reading

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Is Atheist Morality an Oxymoron? Philosopher Joel Marks Gives Up on Right and Wrong

I find philosopher Joel Marks’s recent flat-out rejection of morality disarming in its honesty. Here’s Joel Marks: The long and the short of it is that I became convinced that atheism implies amorality; and since I am an atheist, I must … Continue reading

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The Two Trees: Darwin’s and that Mesopotamian One

Visually echoing Charles Darwin’s famous description of life as a great interconnected tree, below is the image of a trunk and branches in which an artist has carved animals. And beside it is a more traditional depiction of the Tree of Life, … Continue reading

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Go West, Young Species? Like Ulysses and Darwin, Launch Out?

Exploiting an open territory appears to be a larger driver of big evolutionary changes than getting into an already crowded market and competing for local territorial niches, suggests a new scientific study that, at first glance, might seem to contradict Charles Darwin’s … Continue reading

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Jerry Coyne on Natural Selection and What Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini Get Wrong

University of Chicago evolutionary geneticist, Jerry Coyne, reviewing, for The Nation, Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini’s book, What Darwin Got Wrong (2010), gives as clear a definition of natural selection as you’re ever likely to find: In principle, natural selection is simple. It … Continue reading

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Quote of the Day

From an interview with Rutgers philosopher and cognitive scientist, Jerry Fodor: God provided us with tenure so we could do our best to say what’s true. I’m doing my best.

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Jerry Coyne v. Jerry Fodor: The Great Divorce

Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini’s book, What Darwin Got Wrong (2010), received a fair amount of attention (and drubbing) when it first came out in February. On Tuesday of this week, evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne expressed dismay that Jerry Fodor, in a recent interview, continues … Continue reading

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Stairway to Gilligan’s Island: Jason Rosenhouse and Auguste Comte on Theology v. Science

At EvolutionBlog, Jason Rosenhouse takes after theology’s shell game: If theology must change every time scientists achieve consensus on something, then what good is it? If it is only allowed to make assertions about things that are completely divorced from … Continue reading

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Why neither intelligent design nor young earth creationism can ever function as part of the sciences

I’ve always liked this cartoon:

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This religious epidural is brought to you by Francisco Ayala

Geneticist Francisco Ayala, introduced with some soothing piano and string music, takes on the manner of a family physician, assuring his jittery audience of nonexperts that everything is just fine; there is no conflict between science and religion (and we can … Continue reading

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Nietzsche’s checkmate: does atheism lead to totalitarianism?

A.C. Grayling, an atheist author that I tend to otherwise love, calls the idea that atheism gave birth to communism and fascism a theist “canard.” But, as an agnostic who has been doing a good deal of Nietzsche reading lately, I’m not … Continue reading

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Equal time alongside global warming: biblical armageddon theory comes to the classroom

Teach the controversy? I love the science-and-religion-in-harmony diorama at the 1:20 mark. Did you catch it? It has two smiling scientists and a priest glibly declaring—“We can all agree”—as a meteor hurdles toward Earth.

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If evolution is true, why do young earth creationists so often win public debates with evolutionists?

It’s sometimes said that evolutionists come out on the short end of public debates with creationists, and this is evidence that evolution is a weaker theory than scientists are generally willing to admit. But think about it. The idea that … Continue reading

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