Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy 200th Birthday Charles and Turning the Tables

Charles Darwin would've been 200 years old yesterday if only his body had been able to adapt to the rigors of time. Darwin's theory of evolution was our topic of conversation at dinner last night. Rachel's teacher in AP-Bio doesn't allow for much skepticism when it comes to evolution. Rachel approached her after class yesterday to discuss the lack of transitional forms/fossils necessary for Darwin's theory to hold water. Her teacher would have none of it. It's apparent to Rachel that Darwin's theory isn't much of a theory at all in her teacher's mind but rather, fact.

There needs to be more emphasis placed on the following which I lifted from Wikipedia...

Darwin's theory of evolution required that transitional forms exist. As Charles Darwin became older, however, he became increasingly concerned about this lack of evidence in regards to the fossil record. Darwin wrote,
When we descend to details, we cannot prove that a single species has changed; nor can we prove that the supposed changes are beneficial, which is the groundwork of the theory.

How do you get around that? Shouldn't this last quote be highlighted in bold faced print at the beginning of every biology book or chapter which discusses evolution? How is it that our schools place any emphasis at all on evolution while there exists no evidence for it? There are no transitional forms. None. I understand that there is such a thing as adaptation; small changes which result from mutant genes that enhance life and increase the chance of survival and reproduction while passing on the mutation and in the process eventually over time becoming the norm. That's all good but that's not the same as crossing genetic lines to establish an entirely new species and that's what evolution would have us believe. I don't believe it.

My Christian beliefs are marginalized or dismissed entirely in the classroom and I understand that but this sort of thing is held up as truth. At least Christ lived and walked the earth but what do I know? I finished near the bottom of my graduating class.

Speaking of finishing near the bottom. The FAA experienced a major security breach on February 1st when the names, Social Security numbers and medical data of 45,000 FAA employees were hacked into and downloaded off FAA servers. In my opinion, FAA management (also known as the higher skill set) has been extremely slow and vague in their response and getting the word out to all of us who have had our private information compromised. A large part of me is skeptical that the FAA has fully disclosed the extent of our personal data that's now out there.

Operation 'Beep' was a success (previous blog entry) and is still ongoing. I placed the Annoy-a-tron under a stool at the bar in our basement right next to where we watch tv. Over the past few nights Tammy and Rachel have searched for the noise (I had to, too just to make it look like I was concerned along with them) by unplugging all sorts of electronic stuff while doing a process of elimination. "Where is that noise coming from?" was asked more than a few times. Every time it would beep they would both turn their heads in the direction of it as if they were going to somehow see the source. And every time they'd do that I'd have to bite the inside of my lip to keep from laughing or even smiling.

Rachel came home late Wednesday night after Mock Trial and was telling us about some key moments in the trial when she was being questioned. She actually grabbed the stool with the annoy-a-tron attached to it and used it as a podium in front of her. I was cringing because I wasn't sure the magnet holding the little beeper in place under the seat would be strong enough to keep it from being jarred loose. When she was done talking I got up and nonchalantly placed the stool back before it beeped again which would've been a big give-away to them. I definitely dodged a bullet there.

I came down into the shop to check my email this morning and while I was waiting for my HP laptop to boot up I heard the beep of what sounded like the annoy-a-tron coming from inside the shop. Was that what I think it was I thought to myself. I dismissed it as just a random beep from something in the shop as there are enough electronics down here to possibly generate that sort of noise. Anyway, while I was going through my emails I heard the beep again. I turned to look in the general direction just as Tammy and Rachel had done so many times earlier and wondered if maybe the joke was now on me. I got up and went to see if the annoy-a-tron was still in place under the stool. It was gone.

A big smile came across my face. Rachel must've found it before school this morning because it was still doing its thing when I went to bed late last night and now she'd thrown down a challenge of her own. I spent the better part of an hour looking for it. I removed cupboards full of stuff. I was on my back on the floor looking under desks while feeling with my hands where my eyes couldn't see. I removed heating vent covers and reached up inside in search of that little gizmo. I'd resume my blogging but that noise kept drawing me back to it. I had to find where she'd put it. Funny, because I knew what it was but that wasn't enough; I had to know where.

Ahhh...and then I found it. I was down on the floor waiting for the next beep trying to get an idea if it was higher or lower than my head when I saw where she'd placed it. I'd already looked under the table top where we grind glass but I didn't look close enough. She'd taped it to a small space between the back of the table and the wall. Nice job, kiddo. I have a feeling that she's not done with me yet.

Now the question remains; do we tell Tammy or do we make her have to work a little more for it? I'll let Rachel decide.

I'll leave you with this...

7 comments:

Tim said...

I think the reason that your "Christian beliefs are marginalized or dismissed entirely" is related to separation of church and state. Public schools can't teach religious beliefs; you have to go to private school or home school if you want that.

Then you get into the argument over whether teaching Darwin and scientific theory with its associated gaps in evidence is some sort of pseudo-religion.

I'm not seeing the quotes you said were on Wikipedia: "Darwin's theory of evolution required..."(etc)

They've apparently been edited out, but I can't even figure out which revision contained them.

I would like to read it in context and see the note on the edit when it was removed.

What day did you copy that information from Wikipedia?

Kevin said...

Tim,

I understand why Christianity isn't taught in public schools and I'm fine with that. I wouldn't expect it to be. Christianity is no more science than Darwin's theories on evolution are. I think the further downstream we get from his original hypothesis the more we realize that it's not gelling and at some point we need to focus on that rather than continuing to teach his 'theory' as though it were gospel. Rachel's biology teacher being a prime example of one who is presenting his theory as fact.

I took the quotes from Wikipedia on Thursday night from this section.

Tim said...

Ah, now I understand what's going on.

You didn't in fact lift that quote from Wikipedia...

It's on the CreationWiki which is a different Wiki altogether.

I failed to follow your other link to the CreationWiki since you said you "lifted it from Wikipedia." I assumed you got it from the same Darwin article on Wikipedia as well.

It is notable however how scientists teaching evolution can be as sure of themselves as they are considering the somewhat limited evidence supporting their case, while at the same time dismissing creationism in religious faith.

Their fervor for their "faith" in their science is in many cases is no different that religious faith.

However, keep in mind from a scientific standpoint it's easy to dismiss religion in toto (including creationism) when for instance, there is incontrovertible scientific evidence that the Earth itself is 4.5 billion years old, and not around 6000 (to 10000) years old as both Christians and Jews believe.

In order to challenge science, religions need to produce some sort of empirical evidence to support their case beyond faith and what's written in the Bible.

The lack of evidence (doubt) isn't evidence however, and that's what the evolution dispute is ultimately based upon.

An argument flying in the face of all known/established evidence is difficult to defend (scientifically anyway) without contrary evidence.

But faith doesn't require (or even desire) evidence. That's what makes it faith.

By the way, apparently there are those who believe the Earth is flat...

Craig and Sheila Natvig said...

Kevin,

I agree with Rachel, that there is a lack of transitional records that could prove evolution.

Link below is where the "wiki" thing came from, worded slightly differently.

When I think of how awesome the human body is and how it interrelates, I can't imagine evolution making that happen.


http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/darwinletters/calendar/entry-4176.html

Kevin said...

I didn't even realize there was a CreationWiki. I thought I was on Wikipedia. Thanks for pointing that out.

The main thing about the teaching of the theory of evolution is that it appears to be taught more so as a fact rather than a theory. Lacking huge disclaimers along the way I think it's disingenuous at best to keep teaching itin our schools.

Christ lived and died as prophets who lived hundreds of years before He ever set foot on earth said he would. That's as much substance as I can give you for my beliefs. People of faith are just that, people of faith.

I'm not troubled by the teaching which put the earth's age at thousands rather than billions of years old. A God who can orchestrate this sort of creation can make an earth which appears to be much older than it is.

Craig...I totally agree.

Kevin said...

Craig...thanks for the link. That's the one I was looking for.

Tim said...

From the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:

Now, it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some have chosen to see it as the final proof of the NON-existence of God. The argument goes something like this: "I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing." "But," says Man, "the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn't it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves that You exist, and so therefore, by Your own arguments, You don't. QED" "Oh dear," says God, "I hadn't thought of that," and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic. "Oh, that was easy," says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.