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Sunday, May 10 2009

It never ceases to amaze me how intellectually condescending evolutionary naturalists can be.  Keep in mind, these are folks who believe that a indescribably tiny wad of nothingness exploded into a fully functional, structured, and ordered universe of orbiting planets and complex creatures without any supernatural agency involved.  They are the ones who cling to a theory known as spontaneous generation - the notion that dead matter can just suddenly pop to life.  They are the ones who champion a man (Charles Darwin) who suggested that Africans were more closely related to gorillas than Caucasians.  They are the ones who believe that a wolf-like animal with hooves took to the water, lost its legs, and morphed into a whale (Cetaceans).  If anyone should go easy on the intellectual condescension, it's these people.  But they don't. 


In a recent article for Live Science magazine that attempts to prove Darwin by using the swine flu of all things, author Robert Roy Britt sneers, "Anyone who thinks evolution is for the birds should not be afraid of swine flu.if there's no such thing as evolution, then there's no such thing as a new strain of swine flu infecting people."  His supposedly witty remarks were meant to mock creationists, castigating their "junk science."


But the intellectual dishonesty inherent in Britt's statement is almost as obvious as his failed attempt at humor.  Britt is using a common ploy of Darwinists: confuse people into believing that their utterly unsubstantiated speculation of species-to-species macro-evolution is synonymous with the universally accepted scientific fact of adaptation and development within a species (sometimes called micro-evolution).


The word "evolve" simply means to change, alter, or develop in some way.  Everyone recognizes that changes in gene frequencies happen and are expressed in a population over time.  Unfortunately for the Darwinists, that is not anywhere close to the "molecules to man" postulation Charles Darwin made (also known as "goo to you by way of the zoo").  The contention between Darwinists and those of us who believe in a Creator then is about what kind of evolution is possible and observable.


Britt concludes that since swine flu is a mutated form of the influenza virus, it proves that viruses evolve to survive, thus confirming Darwin's theory.  The only real problem with Britt's conclusion is that it is utterly absurd.  For Darwin to be affirmed, the swine flu would have to demonstrate some new genetic information that hadn't been present in the original influenza strain.  It doesn't.  No new genetic information is present - just mutated forms of pre-existing material.


Observational science also demonstrates that various strains of flu viruses will blend together their genetic codes, creating a new form that evades our defenses.  But again, what we're left with is merely a conglomeration of pre-existing genetic information - nothing new.


Interestingly, when pressed, Britt and other adherents to the Darwinian faith would be forced to admit that they cannot produce a single example of mutations creating new genetic information.  But how can this be?  In order for a frog to morph into a lizard, it is going to need its genes to do some pretty wild and crazy productive mutations.  And when you consider the entire premise of Darwinian macro-evolution states that all creatures (not just frogs) are constantly experiencing these positive mutations, the weight of the evidence crushes evolutionary naturalists.  If Darwin was right, we should be able to observe and replicate gene mutations that yield new information nearly everywhere we look.  We simply cannot.


Meanwhile, what we can find are innumerable cases of destructive gene mutations, where we end up with less genetic information than what was originally present.  Take the recent discovery of perfectly preserved octopus remains.  The discovery revealed that these ancient octopi actually had more genetic information than do modern octopi.  Call it "Darwin in reverse."  Both horizontal and destructive mutations support the creationist model.both devastate Darwin's.


The truth is that the swine flu evolving does nothing to prove Darwin's ridiculous "molecules to man" evolutionary model.  That his modern day prophets are so willing to distort and manipulate a flu virus in order to substantiate his wild theory only proves how they are far more rigid in their commitment to their Darwinian faith than the most rabid fundamentalist preacher is to the Bible.


Perhaps in Mr. Britt's next piece, he could lay off the condescension towards creationists and instead enlighten us all as to why he defends a theory whose author proclaimed that blacks were genetically inferior to whites.  To me, I think that's the very definition of junk science.


Peter W. Heck

Posted by: Peter Heck AT 04:06 pm   |  Permalink   |  47 Comments  |  Email
There is so much wrong with this that it boggles my mind. Who taught you science, Kent Hovind?
Posted by Ouabache on 05/11/2009 16:37:04
Biologists don't believe in spontaneous generation. Biologists don't believe simpler forms "exploded" into complex ones. We could take your article and set all the facts straight, but then you wouldn't have a leg to stand on. Ignorance is bliss, I guess.
Posted by N. Gavelis on 05/11/2009 20:00:18
"If Darwin was right, we should be able to observe and replicate gene mutations that yield new information nearly everywhere we look. We simply cannot." Bacteria have evolved new, complex metabolic pathways, under observation, in a labs. There are several examples of this. If you have a genuine interest in biology, I recommend starting with the Lenski experiment.
Posted by N. Gavelis on 05/11/2009 20:05:59
N. Gavelis, biologists may not ALL believe in spontaneous generation, but many of the hard core Darwinists do. You are being disingenuous if you pretend otherwise. And no, the lab observations of bacteria have not found new genetic information. They have found mutated pre-existing genetic information. I'm not sure if you are assuming that no one around here knows science as well as you, but if so, you're mistaken. Don't distort the reality that species-to-species macro-evolutionary belief is rooted in concrete science. To be fair, I think Heck was being intentionally condescending in the first paragraph to prove a point. But I find little fault in his analysis of the swine flu mutation. Do you? If so, what?
Posted by Dr. Mike on 05/11/2009 21:40:48
Ouabache, Perhaps instead of throwing out red herrings, you might actually try to take on some of the "mind boggling" bad science. Or are you unable? Simply disagreeing with Mr. Heck's statements doesn't make his bad science, you know.
Posted by Dr. Mike on 05/11/2009 21:42:31
I am one of three evolutionary biologists who Mr. Heck asked to preview and critique his piece before he published it. I did not care for his juvenile opening and was rather hoping he would remove it. I think that it will drive Darwinian adherents to defensiveness. In terms of his main argument, I found arguable points, but certainly no unsound science. The flu virus that Mr. Britt wrote of is not proof of the Darwinian model in the least...
Posted by Trotsky on 05/11/2009 21:53:51
...It doesn't disprove it, by any means, but Britt was the one who started this, remember. I applaud Mr. Heck's work, even if I don't completely agree with some of his underlying assumptions. And I applaud him even more for seeking the opinions of three biology profs who he knew would perhaps disagree with his conclusion. By the way, there is nothing that prevents a biologist from believing in special creation. There is much to validate such a belief, in fact. Any honest biologist will agree with that.
Posted by Trotsky on 05/11/2009 21:55:09
Incorrect. Spontaneous generation has been obsolete for over a century. And preemptively no, abiogenesis is not the same thing. If you've never heard of ribozymes, do some reading and get back to me. "And no, the lab observations of bacteria have not found new genetic information. They have found mutated pre-existing genetic information." DNA is a molecule. The sequence and number of nucleotides are *interpreted* as information, but DNA is a fundamentally a physical entity that is changed by physical forces. There is no 'informational' constraint to DNA. Creationists love this 'information' argument, but they can't even define or quantify genetic information. Be honest with me, are you a real doctor?
Posted by N. Gavelis on 05/12/2009 01:15:06
I have never heard an opposing scientific argument of natural selection that can supplant the theory as a whole. They are piecemeal objections that seem to demonstrate ignorance of the scientific process more than anything else. Every scientific theory has unresolved problems and inconsistencies and this is the fuel that drives intellectual curiosity. More interesting to me is why quantum theory does not raise the ire of creationist. The uncertainty principle is far more of an affront to the nature of God than natural selection. It directly asserts from first principles that God cannot be omniscient. However, it has always been my firm belief that neither the clergyman nor the scientist could truly understand the idea of a God.
Posted by Raoul on 05/12/2009 01:44:42
You Creationist idiots continually provide amusement. Yes, this is intellectually condescending, but quit the stupid so I have the choice not to.
Posted by Tony Morris on 05/12/2009 03:18:13
" In order for a frog to morph into a lizard" Nobody, other than Creationist loonies, ever claims that this has happened or would happen that way.
Posted by Jo on 05/12/2009 03:24:35
Firstly: "They are the ones who cling to a theory known as spontaneous generation - the notion that dead matter can just suddenly pop to life." Actually, that is creationism. Science doesn't say life just "popped" into being: there are a lot of smaller steps required to form the building blocks of life. Read up on it, your ignorance is not proof.
Posted by Nathan on 05/12/2009 04:02:46
"species-to-species macro-evolution". There's no difference between micro and macro (other than using these terms indicates your "science" knowledge comes from creationist sites rather than real science). "No new genetic information is present - just mutated forms of pre-existing material." I'll present to you down syndrome as an example of "more genetic information" created by mutation. Let's look at your earlier claim that inter species mutation can't happen. Do you agree the difference between species is just different combinations of genetic information? If so: how can you argue that we can't get enough mutations to get to something that can be regarded as a different species?
Posted by Nathan on 05/12/2009 04:04:02
How genetic information increases: How genetic information changes: Also, Darwin didn't regard black people as inferior to white people, specifically because of his discovery of evolution:
Posted by Benjamin on 05/12/2009 05:02:04
The dishonesty here is the unstated underlying issue that the alternative to evolution is "bible science". For any grownup to set aside logic and reason to pursue a belief that his invisible friend made everything in 6 days about five thousand years ago, is just bewildering and insulting. Our kids test scores are plummeting, our scientific competency is on a steep decline, and we still have to argue that there really wasn't a man with a big boat that held all the animals.
Posted by 8D/HD on 05/12/2009 06:09:45
Whoever taught the first creationist that biologists have two words for evolution (micro- and macro) should have also explained that accepting one is accepting the other. Just because macro-evolution is so mind-boggling huge doesn't make it less true. This argument from personal incredulity has no basis in fact, and to be condescending towards a theory accepted by well over 95% of biologists is to be condescending to the science that brought you every cure, every instrument, every convenience in your life.
Posted by Bam on 05/12/2009 06:32:36
The author writes: "No new genetic information is present - just mutated forms of pre-existing material." Definition of mutation: a mutation is any event that changes genetic structure; any alteration in the inherited nucleic acid sequence of the genotype of an organism. ... I found the beginning of this article with a link to the rest of it; the only reason I continued reading was I thought it was supposed to be a joke... boy was I wrong. Mr. Heck, go back to school :)
Posted by Artur on 05/12/2009 07:18:41
Jo writes, ""In order for a frog to morph into a lizard" Nobody, other than Creationist loonies, ever claims that this has happened or would happen that way." Then how do you explain it? Using bigger words? The principle remains the same.
Posted by Garrett on 05/12/2009 08:02:05
Two hilarious comments: "For any grownup to set aside logic and reason to pursue a belief that his invisible friend made everything in 6 days about five thousand years ago, is just bewildering and insulting." And "This argument from personal incredulity has no basis in fact, and to be condescending towards a theory accepted by well over 95% of biologists is to be condescending to the science that brought you every cure, every instrument, every convenience in your life." Sort of like Newton, Pascal, and about every other genius scientist of years gone by? Pretty insulting indeed. Yeah, every scientist that did anything great was a Darwinist. Not so much, but thanks for playing.
Posted by Janette on 05/12/2009 08:11:11
You're being disingenuous again, N. Gave...spontaneous generation was "accepted scientific fact" until it became discredited beyond recognition. At that point, the theory shifted to abiogenesis which maintains virtually all of the same characteristics, just with a fancier name. Yes, I am familiar with ribozymes. Thanks for the continuing condescension. How about you tell us...have you ever observed abiogenesis taking place? Inorganic material becoming organic. Have you EVER seen it? Has anyone? Case closed.
Posted by Trotsky on 05/12/2009 08:14:47
"If Darwin was right, we should be able to observe and replicate gene mutations that yield new information nearly everywhere we look." I'm a molecular biologist. Darwin was right, and it's true - we see mutations yielding new information everywhere we look. Given enough time, we could mutate a bacteria into a human using nothing more than UV radiation and selection. But we have better things to do, like trying to cure cancer and Alzheimer's. I encourage you to find something more productive to as well than spreading ignorance and superstition to the masses.
Posted by Garth on 05/12/2009 08:29:01
You can't believe in micro-evolution and macro-evolution. How can you not walk a mile, if you are constantly taking small steps?
Posted by Ashley on 05/12/2009 08:36:41
Let me introduce you. Peter, biology. Biology, Peter. Enjoy
Posted by #46 on 05/12/2009 08:45:11
Everything in the bible is a spontaneous load of crap. Some magic fairy came and impregnated a lady who bore a man who later walked on water and turned water to wine and raised people from the dead with a wave of the hand. Give me a break, its called logic... perhaps one day you will share genetics with someone half-way intelligent and create offspring capable of understanding such a concept. Yeah my grammar sux, so does your mom.
Posted by SA on 05/12/2009 09:30:36
To Trotsky The creation of RNA has happened under lab conditions and has been observed, so yes life from inorganic has been observed, however the spontaneous creation of a new life form has not been observed, so buy your logic evolution is the more true?
Posted by Sala on 05/12/2009 09:50:06
Trotsky, organic material is material that contains carbon. It is not what you think it is. Nor is abiogenesis what you think it is. As long as you let other creationists spoonfeed you "the facts" about biology, you won't understand biology or its unifying principle, evolution. But I suppose it would be "condenscending" to ask a person to get educated in the subject they are attempting to debate. *shrug*
Posted by N. Gavelis on 05/12/2009 10:15:43
The one thing that stands out to me is that NO ONE is arguing Peter's scientific analysis of Britt's column which was THE WHOLE POINT OF THE ARTICLE! I see a lot of people attacking his intellect, his science credentials, and getting defensive, but is Heck right or not about saying that the swine flu is NOT proof of Darwin's macro-evolutionary theory. The rest of what you're saying may or may not hold water. But I notice no one is addressing what Peter wrote about. Hmmm.
Posted by Observer on 05/12/2009 11:37:42
Lenski you say? Surely you jest. 44,000 generations of lab work...and still going. Lenski has observed many changes in the E. coli as they adapt to the culture conditions in his lab. While the fitness of the bacteria has increased (as compared to the starting bacteria), it has come at a cost. For example, all the lines have lost the ability to catabolize ribose (a sugar). Some lines have lost the ability to repair DNA. These bacteria may indeed be more fit in a lab setting, but if put in competition with their wild-type (normal) counterparts in a natural setting, they would not stand a chance. So give me another one.
Posted by Dr. Mike on 05/12/2009 11:47:34
Dr. Mike, the ability to metabolize citrate requires a highly complex chemical pathway - one that was *observed* to evolve in the Lensky experiment. Speciation has also been observed in a lab. These things are not supposed to happen, according to creationists. The problem for you is that they do happen. I don't understand why creationists ask for evidence if they're not willing to accept evidence when it's handed to them. I guess they don't expect anyone to call their bluff. By the way, of course lab species will not fair well against wild-type species. What's your point?
Posted by N. Gavelis on 05/12/2009 13:09:44
Come, come now N. Gavelis, don't play dumb. Many Darwinists like yourself state that the bacteria are experiencing "adaptive evolution." However, this is not evolution but rather adaptation. So my point is that molecules-to-man evolution requires an increase in information and functional systems. Instead, these bacteria are likely experiencing a loss of information and functional systems as has been observed in other mutant bacteria in Lenski's lab. While these changes are beneficial in the lab environment, they do not lead to a net gain that moves bacteria in an upward evolutionary direction. But I'm guessing you already knew that.
Posted by Dr. Mike on 05/12/2009 14:46:25
Dr. Mike, you've said I'm (A) playing dumb, and (B) that I agree with one of your shoddy arguments before I've even replied. You don't speak for me. The fact you apply the word 'Darwinist' to any modern biologist is disingenuous and misleading. Biological evolution has come a long way since Darwin. Your use of 'Darwinism' is as ridiculous as calling electricity 'Franklinism.' But more to the point, you've been shown a direct example of the *evolution* of a new, helpful trait. The fact that other traits changed in the genome of the test bacteria is irrelevant. You're running away from the evidence.
Posted by N. Gavelis on 05/12/2009 20:10:35
Could one of you "real scientists" refute this evalutaion of the Lenski Experiment? After all, if you can prove that Darwinian evolution is true I would be willing to alter my belief in a Creator. It would be nice to address this article without the personal attacks so prevalent in this discussion.
Posted by Matthew Turner on 05/13/2009 07:51:13
Hi Matt, unless I'm mistaken, the only alleged scientists here appear to be creationists. I'm just a guy with a bachelors in bio, but I'll have a go at your post. I read the AiG article - turns out that's the source from which "Dr. Mike" effortlessly copied and pasted his replies to me. Guess his doctorate is in plagiarism. Anywho, two fallacies stand out in that article. (1) The author ignores the fact E. coli can't metabolize citrate in the absence of oxygen. This is the evolved trait in question, so for the author to ignore it is to ignore the whole point! (2) The author admits she starts out by assuming the Bible is absolute truth, even when it comes to science! Intellectual prejudice like this is 100% antithetical to science.
Posted by N. Gavelis on 05/13/2009 15:56:34
There are two even better examples of evolution in action that I've yet to mention: nylon-eating bacteria and radiotrophic fungus. Look into these. The fungus is incredible, it just showed up at Chernobyl, even in the reactor! It feeds off gamma radiation! Awesome stuff. By the way, I have no intention to alter your belief in a creator - evolution is not exclusive of a creator, and what you believe is your own business.
Posted by N. Gavelis on 05/13/2009 16:01:13
N. Gavelis, All you have done is given an example of adaptation. Lenski never claims that there has been new information added to the gene code. That is what needs to be demonstrated to change from one species to another. He has been performing his experiment for over twenty years without observing additional genetic information after tens of thousands of generations. As for your second point, what does that prove? Evolutionists begin with the assumption that there is no Creator. Are you willing to acknowledge that too is unscientific? I guess both begin with FAITH! Evolution is a doctrine of your religion.
Posted by Matthew Turner on 05/14/2009 07:00:35
For those of you who wonder why it really matters to Christians, here is the answer. If evolution is true, that means that there was death before Adam's Fall (sin). The Bible says that death is a result of Adam's sin. Jesus believes in the Creation account in Genesis and died for Adam's sin. If evolution is true, Jesus is wrong! That's critical!
Posted by Matthew Turner on 05/14/2009 07:57:28
N.Gavelis, I believe you are very intelligent. I was hoping you'd be willing to answer 2 questions for me. 1. Is Peter Heck's assessment that the swine flu mutations do not prove Darwinian macro-evolutionary theory wrong? If so, how? 2. Lenski nor others have proven the natural mutation of new genetic information. But supposing they had, would you be willing to acknowledge that such mutation took place only in a controlled environment, and thus is further proof that such mutation cannot happen spontaneously on its own in the wild? Even if one were to accept your suggestion there is new info, don't the odds stack firmly against the notion of it being freak mutations that bring about multiple species changes? Honestly?
Posted by Trotsky on 05/14/2009 12:49:47
Matt, hello again. Actually, I've given you 3 examples of adaption, at least 2 of which *definitively* involve the mutation of new, complex enzymes. Did you look into radiotrophic fungus and nylon-eating bacteria? No? Well you can ignore everything I've said, but for your own mental health, at least read this - Evolution does NOT exclude a god or gods. Evolution deals with the NATURAL world, not with supernatural entities. There are plenty of THEISTIC evolutionists who can attest to this. Again, what you believe is your own business - if you want to take the theologically expedient but intellectually vacant path of 7-day creationism, be my guest. Just don't become a science teacher. Thanks.
Posted by N. Gavelis on 05/14/2009 16:30:38
Trotsky, earlier you implied I'm a liar, so asking me for my honest opinion is pointless by your own standards, isn't it? I'm not exceptionally intelligent, either. I've just taken the time and effort to get a scientific education. See, it takes *effort* to learn about natural history. It takes *no effort* to settle for answers in bronze-age books. It takes *no effort* to settle for caricatures of evolution because evolutionary theory is too much to handle. It does not surprise me at all that creationists continue to exist in this, the space age. After all, what would you prefer: Reading one story book or a library of boring nonfiction? I'm running out of space, so expect answers to your questions in my next post.
Posted by N. Gavelis on 05/14/2009 17:07:26
In Q#1, you use the word PROVE, but biologists know that "proof" is a red herring. By definition, scientific theories CAN'T be proved - they can only be evidenced. So of course swine flu mutations don't "prove" the entirety of evolutionary theory. That claim is a non-starter. Now on to Q#2 and its flawed premises. ...If lab results don't apply to reality, Trotsky, then why do we even have labs? You've just admitted that even DIRECT OBSERVATION OF SALTATIVE EVOLUTION won't convince you evolution is tenable! In other words, no evidence can convince you. And again, your question is invalid due to your nonscientific wording: "proof," "freak mutations," etc. And you're a professor? Where?
Posted by N. Gavelis on 05/14/2009 18:05:30
Actually, it's 6 days. Better re-read the ol' bronze age book...maybe it takes a *little more effort* to get your answers from it than you thought. Nice job insulting the intellectual capacity of Bible believing Christians though! Pomposity always helps your credibility. Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Oh, not to speak for Trotsky, but I think his lab comment was suggesting that if you don't set up specific conditions, and play the part of an "intelligent designer" in your lab, your results will never materialize (see Stanley Miller). Remember, the evolutionary model suggests that no such designer was involved. Don't be so snippy.
Posted by peterheck on 05/14/2009 22:18:27
Hi Peter. Don't you know almighty beings need a day to rest? I include that in the equation. You're right though, I should brush up on the good book. On that note, when was the last time you read the Bhagavad Ghita? Anyway, I haven't tried to impugn the intellectual capacity of Bible-believing (does this mean evangelical?) Christians; I've only spoken of effort vs. ease. It is very *easy* to believe the universe was created for us and our kind. There is an obvious emotional appeal in that idea. I just see no reason to believe it. Also, look what just materialized: [] Anyway, thank you for not censoring my comments; I have a lot of respect for people who permit free discourse. :)
Posted by N. Gavelis on 05/14/2009 22:51:30
Gotcha. Admittedly, it has been awhile since I dusted off the copy of the Bhagavad Ghita. Even though I did read Oppenheimer's statement when he quoted from it at the explosion of the atomic bomb to my students. Does that count? I'll check out your link soon. I don't know if you saw this one that I had linked on the site for awhile. It's from 08, but amazing. It's regarding the universe being created for us. The money line: "If you don't want a God, you better have a multiverse." Of course, that is completely theoretical and reliant upon unprovable faith. Interesting.
Posted by peterheck on 05/15/2009 08:33:18
Excellent article! I haven't made up my mind about the multiverse theory so I go with the honest answer: don't know. It's definitely possible this universe is an experiment set up by an advanced civilization, one we might interpret as a deistic god. My dad thinks God created the Big Bang - that's not unreasonable either. What *is* unreasonable is the belief the universe was created in a week, that women came from a man's rib, that velociraptors ate coconuts alongside people, that millions of species fit on a boat and then found their way home, etc. If the Bible were actually a science textbook, wouldn't it have revealed at least *one* scientific fact that was not already known when it was written?
Posted by N. Gavelis on 05/15/2009 11:02:50
Let me share some more opinions with you. (1) Evo theory today goes way beyond Darwin, a guy who wasn't even aware of the workings of genetics. Your article's fixation on the man is misinformed and misleading. (2) You say Darwin's a racist. Even if that were true, how would that invalidate his discovery of natural selection and the concept of common descent? Did you know Wallace discovered evo independently? (3) You say if Darwin was right there should be adaptive mutations all over the place. Are you aware that evolution occurs over millions of years, not while your microwave your popcorn? (4) Is it honest to caricature the theory? Did your grandfather "morph" into you? Did Adam and Eve "explode" into the human species? Why the hyperbole?
Posted by N. Gavelis on 05/15/2009 12:51:08
It's too bad Trotsky never came back; I wanted to discuss endogenous retroviruses with him. Well I won't be the pompous *** and declare myself victor by default; I'll just check back from time to time with the hope some creationist will step up to the plate.
Posted by N. Gavelis on 05/18/2009 19:43:00
N. Gavelis, I completed the homework assignment you gave me (radiotrophic fungus and nylon-eating bacteria). Nowhere did I read that these organisms have added new information to their DNA. These are simply more examples of an organisms ability to adapt, or they are recently discover organisms that were previously unknown. Even if these have "evolved", you still can't sight any evidence of non-living matter becoming living matter (the major development needed for Darwinian evolution to take place). By the way, I do teach high school science. (I have degrees from Indiana University.)
Posted by Matthew Turner on 06/01/2009 09:06:47

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