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Friday, 8 June 2012

Creationism v. Evolution (again!).

Professional writers sometimes complain about "writer's block" - when, for some unfathomable reason, thoughts refuse to flow in any coherent manner, and the work of writing simply dries up!  I now understand!  I don't think that I have ever gone for as long without a post, since I started this blog more than four-and-a-half years ago!!

Not that I have not been writing!  However, I have been spending my time responding to online newspaper articles, and to the comments of others in the fora that accompany them.  One such instance was today.  In The (Glasgow) Herald, one columnist, in an artice based on "... the bombshell news that nearly half of Americans believe in creationism."  He goes on to illustrate his point that those who are in that camp are mad: "You might as well say gravity is a theory. In a certain sense, it is, but if you'd like to throw a hammer straight upwards, your head will shortly tell you the truth of the situation."  Reference was also made to the newly-released film Prometheus, and a statement therein by a scientist character who "... claims humans evolved from alien life forms. Asked if she has any basis for such a belief, she replies: "No, but it's what I choose to believe."

My own response follows!

No attempt to hide the bias in this article!! And no reason why it should be hidden! However, to state that: "The thing about evolution is it isn't really a theory you can choose to believe or disbelieve. It is, to the best of our admittedly fallible knowledge, a fact." is the height of nonsense.

Indeed, the following reference to gravity and hammers supports my claim. For any scientific theory to be accepted as "proven", it must fulfil two basic requirements - it must be observable, and it must be repeatable. This is simple and straightforward with regard to gravity and falling hammers. However, with the beginning of everything it is, by definition, simply impossible!

What we do have is evidence. Obviously, that same evidence may be interpreted in different ways. Mr McNeil, and others, may choose to interpret, e.g., the amazing complexity of the eye as the end result of a series of random mutations - although they will be hard-pressed to explain why it 'evolved' in its 'early' stages as, until all of it is in its final form, it is useless ( irreducible complexity). Others may see, behind the complexity, order, and wonder of the eye - and, indeed, the known universe - an intelligent Being to whom they usually ascribe the nomenclature "God". The character in the film is, at least, being honest! The only thing of which we may be certain is that there was a First Cause that was (is!) outwith time and space, as these are both created entities! A little delving into the area of quantum physics will really blow one's mind!

No less a person than Lord Kelvin - a renowned scientist - stated that: "Overwhelming strong proofs of intelligent and benevolent design lie around us ... the atheistic idea is so nonsensical that I cannot put it into words." while modern-day Nancy Darrall (PhD in Botany, Univ of Wales) has stated that: "The evidence points to an intelligent designer of the vast array of life, both living anf extinct, rather than to unguided mindless evolution."

Such statements, from eminent scientists both in the past and the present, could fill at least one full issue of The Herald! 

I am unaware of Mr McNeil's area of scientific expertise, but perhaps his journalistic skills might be brought to bear by attending to some reasonable research before submitting his thoughts to print! He might then be able to make the more accurate statement that: "The thing about evolution is that it is a theory you can choose to believe or disbelieve. It is one way of interpreting the available evidence."!

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