Evolution

A Response to Richard Dawkins' Argument Regarding the Basis of Morality in "The God Delusion"

February, 2009

In The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins argues that morality is grounded in evolution rather than in God or religion. He explains morality through his concept of the “selfish gene” by which genes, through natural selection, ensure their own survival by selfishly encouraging altruistic behavior. He proposes four types of such behavior. First, a gene may program an organism to favor its genetic kin. Second, through reciprocal altruism an organism grants favors and receives favors in return. Third, through altruism an organism can acquire a reputation of being generous and kind and thereby benefit itself. Fourth, an organism can use generosity to demonstrate its superiority. Dawkins then asks why we are good to people we have never met and will probably never see again. He suggests that it is a byproduct of our distant past.1

Dawkins also argues that if our morality is grounded in our “Darwinian past” then we can expect to find universal morals which transcend cultural and religious boundaries. He cites some studies using hypothetical moral decisions which he says prove this thesis.2 He concludes that people do not need God or religion in order to be moral.

Report from the Intelligent Design Conference

October, 2004

REPORT FROM THE Intelligent Design Conference
 Highlands, North Carolina, June 24-26, 2004

Setting and Overview

The conference was held at the Community Bible Church in Highlands North Carolina situated in the beautiful Smokey Mountain area surrounded by clouds, forest, and waterfalls (website: http://www.idconference.org/). My daughter, Holly, and I attended. I took a digital camera and made a few pictures some of which are included below.

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Evolution - Impossible to Embarass its Believers

September, 2006

Written by Henry Morris, PhD

Introduction and Tribute: by Mark Stephens, MCS, former Chairman and current board member of TASC

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Henry M. Morris, Ph.D.
Late Founder and President Emeritus of ICR

Dr. Henry Morris wrote this article for Acts and Facts, the monthly publication of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), shortly before he died on February 25, 2006, at the age of 87. His messages, as was this article, were always clearly stated and well referenced from the Bible and the scientific literature. I believe God gave Dr. Morris a long life to be a courageous, intelligent messenger to help us understand that truly objective scientific observations and evidences support the Genesis account of creation, that we can rely on this account as the true Word of God, and that God is our Creator. Dr. Morris spent his life to help establish and strengthen our faith in God so that we can wholeheartedly believe in Him, accept His gift of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and go forward joyfully in His grace unto good works as he did.

Who Were the Neanderthals?

January, 2009

Neanderthal

The Devil’s Tower Neanderthal child (model reconstruction)
ht
tp://www.ifi.uzh.ch/~zolli/CAP/Gib2.htm

The identity of the Neanderthals is a hotly debated question in anthropological circles nowadays. The question is whether Neanderthals and Homo sapiens interbred. Even in the church, the question of whether the Neanderthals were the descendants of Adam and Noah or genetically and spiritually separate species continues between young earth and progressive creationists. For those who take the scriptures in a straight-forward manner, the Neanderthals must have been a fully human post Flood people, whose unique morphological traits were erased through interbreeding with our ancestors.

Hummingbirds Get "Older" and a Little Wider

June, 2004

According to secular scientists, two German fossils recently identified as "amazingly modern-looking" hummingbirds are 30-million years old. This find pushes the fossil record for hummingbirds back an alleged 29 million years. The discovery was made by Dr. Gerald Mayr of the natural history museum Forschungsinstitut Senkenberg in Frankfurt and reported in the journal Science.1 Mayr found the fossils in storage in a Stuttgart museum. They had been donated by a private collector who uncovered them in a clay pit near Frauenweiler in southern Germany. Mayr said he recognized particular features of the birds' anatomy in the fossils, which are less than five centimetres long. "I'm convinced they're hummingbirds," he said. "They're very, very distinctive in the wing bone, which is adapted to hovering and nectar feeding." The bone and shoulder joint allow the wings to beat in a figure-eight pattern. One of the fossils also has a long beak, like modern hummingbirds. The only other fossils of modern hummingbirds are about 1 million years old. Assistant Professor Margaret Rubega of the University of Connecticut told Science she was "amazed" by the find. "The amazing thing about this fossil is that it's essentially a modern hummingbird," she said. "My mind is a little blown."

The Origin of Birds - Recent Evidence Complicates Evolutionary Theories

April, 2006

"Scientists: Fossils prove that birds evolved from dinosaurs" was the headline of a 1998 article in CNN News (June 24, 1998). Referring to two dinosaur fossil finds, one of which is depicted below, paleontologist Philip Currie pronounced that "[t]his shows that dinosaurs are not extinct, but are well-represented by 10,000 species of birds."

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Artist drawing of Juravenator, a 2 1/2 feet long juvenile carnivorous dinosaur

Two recent secular publications, one by Dr. Luis Chiappe, director of the Dinosaur Institute at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and Dr. Ursula B. Gohlich of the University of Munich, and another by University of North Carolina scientist Dr. Feduccia and coauthors Drs. Lingham-Soliar and Hinchliffe, suggest that, in the words of Dr. Alan Feduccia, "the origins of birds is a much more complicated question than has been previously thought."1, 2 Let's take a look at what these reports contain that complicate the prevailing evolutionary theory of bird origins.

Cavemen—Missing Link?

February, 2003

Have scientists discovered evidence that humans are descended from ape-like ancestors? Are there real "missing link" fossils to prove this? Well, one of the reasons the term "missing link" is what it is, and includes the word missing, is that the evidence has long been—missing. Some have argued that this or that fossil is the "missing link", so we will examine a few of them.

There has been Piltdown Man, which was admittedly a hoax. The teeth were filed, and the bones chemically stained to alter the appearance. Then there was Nebraska Man, which was built out of a pig's tooth. This tooth was presented as evidence for evolution at the famous Scopes trial.

It is suspected that Neanderthal Man was simply a normal human with some medical problems—possibly arthritis, rickets, or acromegaly. Scientists now classify him as human.

But what about the drawings? We see pictures showing the "missing links" with their hairy bodies, their crouching gait, and so forth. Since this is what they looked like, weren't they obviously ancestors of humans? These pictures do show something between a man and an ape; however, the question is not whether the pictures show something between man and ape, but whether the actual creatures looked at all like the pictures. So, did they?

Evolution and Evidence

September, 2005

I once heard a radio show host ask a caller, if it could be proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that the Bible wasn't true and that Jesus wasn't who he claimed he was, if the caller would be willing to accept that information. I remember thinking that I would like to ask the host the same question, turned around, if it could be proven, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that Jesus really was who he claimed to be, would you accept that? Are we willing to believe the evidence? Or do we resist truth or new ideas because of preconceived notions, traditions, or dogma? I see no problem with evidence and the truth. It certainly beats lies.

One area in which claims and counterclaims concerning evidence have been made is the area of origins. Origins deals with evolution and the creation of the universe. Let's look into this area.

One problem with the fossil record is that the many required forms between reptiles and birds predicted by the theory of evolution are missing from the fossil record.

Irreducible Complexity

Let us think about what is necessary for birds to fly. Feathers and wings and hollow bones all work together to help birds fly. Often many parts or systems work together in such a way that the total effect is one that could not exist if any of the pieces or parts was missing. This is known as "Irreducible Complexity".

Man or Ape: Which are You? Which do You Choose?

March, 2007

Mar 01, 2007 at 12:00 AM

O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: Which some professing have erred from the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.” I Timothy 6: 20-21 (KJV)

As we approach this topic, I want to remind us of Paul’s admonition to the young Christian, Timothy, to make strong efforts to keep his faith. Dr. Henry Morris in his commentary on these verses in his annotated The Defenders Study Bible points out that “Science falsely so called” is in the Greek, literally “pseudo-science” or “pseudo-knowledge."

"Junk" DNA as Evidence for Evolution?

January, 2003

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment."-Sherlock Holmes in a Study of Scarlet

Back in the 1960s, scientists discovered sections of DNA that did not code for proteins. These non-coding DNA strands were assumed to be non-functional and were referred to as "junk" DNA, the presumed evolutionary remnants of ancestral organisms.1 Almost 99% of human DNA is known to be non-coding.


A little background will facilitate discussion of non-coding DNA. Information in coding DNA sequences is transcribed into mRNA (Figure 1). mRNA exits the nucleus and attaches to ribosomes, the molecular machines that generate proteins. In the ribosome, the information in the mRNA is translated into an amino acid sequence to form a protein.

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Figure 1: Protein Formation from Coding DNA

The transcription of information from DNA to mRNA is where non-coding DNA is encountered (Figure 2).

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Figure 2: mRNA Formation by Removal of Introns

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