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Sunday, August 13, 2006

Thinkquote of the day: How do animals and plants become species, as in Darwin's Origin of Species?

University of Bristol (England) bacteriologist Alan H. Linton went looking for direct evidence of speciation and concluded in 2001:
"None exists in the literature claiming that one species has been shown to evolve into another. Bacteria, the simplest form of independent life, are ideal for this kind of study, with generation times of twenty to thirty minutes, and populations achieved after eighteen hours. But throughout 150 years of the science of bacteriology, there is no evidence that one species of bacteria has changed into another ... Since there is no evidence for species changes between the simplest forms of unicellular life, it is not surprising that there is no evidence for evolution from prokaryotic [i.e., bacterial] to eukaryotic [i.e. plant and animal] cells, let alone throughout the whole array of higher multicellular organisms." (Alan Linton, "Scant Search for the Maker," Times Higher Education Supplement, April 20, 2001, Book section, 29.)

– from Jonathan Wells, author of Icons of Evolution, who has just published The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism (p. 59), updating the intelligent design controversy.

Remember that when a supercilious person informs you that there is overwhelming evidence for Darwin's theory about how life originates*, grows, and changes and why people are what they are. (*Yes, yes, I know Darwin didn't try to explain the origin of life, only the origin of species, but most of his materialist followers are much more sure of their dogmas.)

The question is not whether species originate (they surely do) or whether Darwin's favorite process of natural selection ever influences the course of events (surely it often does), but whether it is really the engine of the vast complexity of life that we see around us. The reason that last proposition is believed and ordered to be taught in tax-funded schools is not because it is plausible but because it upholds materialism, the philosophy of the Western world elite.

As I usually say, when asked to give little talks on this subject, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the intelligent design controversy.
If you like this blog, check out my book on the intelligent design controversy, By Design or by Chance?. You can read excerpts as well.

Are you looking for one of the following stories?

A summary of tech guru George Gilder's arguments for ID and against Darwinism

A critical look at why March of the Penguins was thought to be an ID film.

A summary of recent opinion columns on the ID controversy

A summary of recent polls of US public opinion on the ID controversy

A summary of the Catholic Church's entry into the controversy, essentially on the side of ID.

O'Leary's intro to non-Darwinian agnostic philosopher David Stove’s critique of Darwinism.

An ID Timeline: The ID folk seem always to win when they lose.

O’Leary’s comments on Francis Beckwith, a Dembski associate, being denied tenure at Baylor.

Why origin of life is such a difficult problem.
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