Tag: Evolution (home)

British naturalist and explorer Alfred Russel Wallace independently invented the theory of evolution by natural selection in 1858, nearly scooping Charles Darwin, who published first. Nevertheless, Wallace's research led him to another important discovery, one that geologists still enshrine on their maps: Wallace's Line. While exploring the vast 2,500-mile Malay Archipelago, Wallace noticed what kinds of animals lived on each island as he traveled farther from the mainland peninsula. He found that he could draw a boundary down the narrow Macasser Straight, which runs a twisted course between the islands of Bali and Lombock, and between Borneo and the Celebes group. Wallace's Line--an ocean channel only 15 miles wide--separates tigers from marsupials and trogons from cockatoos. The animals on either side of it, he wrote in 1858, "differ as much as those of South America and Africa. Yet there is nothing on the map to mark their limits. I believe the western part to be a separated portion of continental Asia, the eastern the fragmentary prolongation of a former Pacific continent." Wallace had no way to observe the sea floor directly, and in his day nothing was known of tectonic plates. On the basis of animal distribution alone he deduced that the eastern island groups must have been separated from the western for much longer than any individual islands were separated from each other. A hundred years later, geologists and oceanographers found the reason and the proof: Wallace's Line traverses an area of intense crustal activity, where the northward-moving Australian plate interacts with the western-moving Pacific (Asian-derived) plate. In addition to bringing two different geographic clusters of animals and plants close together, the plates' enormous pressures on each other and on the Eurasian continent has given rise to the most concentrated volcanic activity on Earth.

permalink source: Zooba Email
tags: Science, Evolution

I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Folly, Evolution

If Darwin's claim of "no-design" is scientific, then it is necessarily scientific to disagree. Further, if Darwin's claim of "no design" cannot be challenged, then it ceases to be a scientific theory and becomes an ideology (William S. Harris and John H. Calvert, The Kansas City Star)

permalink source: From ChristianityToday.com's weblog 3/11/2004
tags: Evolution

The evolutionists seem to know everything about the missing link except that it’s missing.

permalink source: G.K. Chesterton
tags: Evolution

In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.

permalink source: Terry Pratchett
tags: Science, Evolution

The worst result of popular evolutionism has been this. It has substituted the Beast for the Devil. It has made us think that our enemy is what they call our "lower nature", which means our mere lusts and appetites, things entirely innocent in themselves. Pigs are not corrupted with Imperialism. Tigers have no spiritual pride. Whales never sneer. Crocodiles are not in the least hypocritical. The worst sins of all are the purely spiritual sins. You may move upwards, working out the brute, and not work them out in the least. Indeed, you may work them in. The less beastly you grow, the more bad you may grow.

permalink source: G. K. Chesterton
tags: Evolution, Sin

When I told him [his friend Sydney Cockerell] I had become a Catholic he was genuinely puzzled, saying, `But how can you believe in a creative, all-good, all-wise God, knowing that you have an appendix, which is a totally useless organ and can prove dangerous?'

permalink source: Alec Guinness
tags: Apologetics, Evolution

...although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.

permalink source: Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker, 1986, page 6
tags: Atheism, Evolution

The biologists, writing in a Darwinian perspective, emphasize the continuities rather than the differences among species. The facts of evolution, citizens are told, imply that humans are biologically prepared to be self-interested and motivated to maximize their status, pleasure, and reproductive potential. These scholars simply ignore the glaring fact that the first human groups were cooperative and that contemporary societies that have enjoyed long periods of peace, including the Balinese and the Batek of Malaysia, discourage intense competitiveness and encourage cooperation. If maximizing our reproductive potential is the most urgent human need, it is puzzling that during the opening decades of the seventeenth century more than one in five adults in England remained unmarried because of economic conditions that motivated many to avoid the shame of being unable to support a family. Among humans, preserving one's virtue trumps the motive for maximizing one's inclusive fitness every time.

permalink source: Jerome Kagan, An Argument for Mind, 158
tags: Evolution, General Revelation, Virtue

The idea that religion can be studied as a natural phenomenon might seem to require an atheistic philosophy as a starting point. Not necessarily. Even some neo-atheists aren’t entirely opposed to religion. Sam Harris practices Buddhist-inspired meditation. Daniel Dennett holds an annual Christmas sing-along, complete with hymns and carols that are not only harmonically lush but explicitly pious. And one prominent member of the byproduct camp, Justin Barrett, is an observant Christian who believes in “an all-knowing, all-powerful, perfectly good God who brought the universe into being,” as he wrote in an e-mail message. “I believe that the purpose for people is to love God and love each other.” At first blush, Barrett’s faith might seem confusing. How does his view of God as a byproduct of our mental architecture coexist with his Christianity? Why doesn’t the byproduct theory turn him into a skeptic? “Christian theology teaches that people were crafted by God to be in a loving relationship with him and other people,” Barrett wrote in his e-mail message. “Why wouldn’t God, then, design us in such a way as to find belief in divinity quite natural?” Having a scientific explanation for mental phenomena does not mean we should stop believing in them, he wrote. “Suppose science produces a convincing account for why I think my wife loves me — should I then stop believing that she does?”

permalink source: Darwin's God, New York Times Magazine, 2007-03-04, by Robin Marantz Henig, http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/04/magazine/04evolution.t.html?ei=5090&en=43cfb46824423cea&ex=1330664400&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss&pagewanted=all
tags: Apologetics, Science, Evolution