Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Little Book of Prophecy and Truth

Got an interesting response in email a link to a hilarious website, although the sender may not think that it was so funny. Have you seen "The Little Book of Prophecy and Truth"? I plan on exploring the whole thing, but for this post I want to focus on the part about Evolution.

First of all the title, stating something as prophecy and Truth doesn't make it so. But that is a theme I felt thought looking at Book 3 of this site "Is Evolution a Scientific Fact?"

While I honestly believe I could dissect this word for word, I'll spare you that and focus on his paragraphs instead. Like the very first one: "The common theory of evolution states that there was matter and energy, already in existence, that exploded 15 billion years ago (the big bang) and has expanded into the present state of the universe. Hard matter (non-living matter) became biological life over those billions of years of being exposed to energy and has evolved on this planet to the point of life as we know it today. It started as the simplest form of life and gradually became more complex as time went on. This is taught as a science fact in our schools today."
It's a lie! This is a mish-mash of a number of hypotheses and theories from a number of sources other than the Modern Synthesis Theory of Evolution. The Big Bang is an astronomical theory, not Evolution. While the Big Bang does support some other theories of evolution by virtue of allowing the time frame discussed by evolution to have happened, the Big Bang theory is not Evolution. It also discusses the formation of life form non-living matter -- while this is a scientific hypotheses, it is NOT part of evolutionary theory. I believe the author of this website is deliberately expanding the theory of evolution to include things in order to be able to build a case against evolution by arguing against things that are not part of evolution.

Next he makes several sweeping generalizations as if they are fact: "Evolution has never been shown to exist in any way, shape or form in any living thing or in any remains found in the earth (discussed further in this book) and no scientist has ever been able to observe, test or demonstrate anything that even remotely corroborates the theory of evolution. No intermediate or transitional stage of evolutionary development of any creature has ever been found. "
If you want en example of evolution look at your own children. There have been experiments with insects, bacteria, butterflies, and mice. Scientists have observed directly many parts of evolutionary theory in action. Just because the author doesn't accept it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Look at his statement about transitional stages. Again Science has documented many creatures as intermediate/transitional stages over time. Take a look at this image about the evolution of the horse:
If you need a larger copy, click here. And that is just one example. Again I sense a trend with the author. He makes sweeping statements and assumes they are true without backing them up. His statement should have read "No intermediate or transitional stage of evolutionary development of any creature, that I accept as a transitional stage, has ever been found." I believe he may also be using a different definition of transitional than evolution and paleontology use. His definition probably says there are no half reptile/half horse -- like something out of a bad science fiction movie. Of course he makes his statement without any support at all . . .his stock in trade.

Next up is another sweeping, unsupported statement. "
Evolution cannot be proven and as defined practically and literally, it is a belief, not a science, and certainly not fact. It’s a belief. Anyone can believe anything they want, but that doesn’t make it true." First of all he hasn't proven evolution cannot be proven, but he then equates it to a religion belief. Again first you have to accept he has disproven evolution in order to accept his comment about Belief. Since he's failed in the first, that makes his second just a little tautology.

Now he takes on Physics when he claims "The Law of Science states that “all things left to themselves will tend towards disorder and decay.” First of all he is incorrect. It is not The Law of Science, but the Second Law of Thermodynamics which states: "The second law of thermodynamics is an expression of the universal law of increasing entropy, stating that the entropy of an isolated system which is not in equilibrium will tend to increase over time, approaching a maximum value at equilibrium." In simple terms, the second law is an expression of the fact that over time, ignoring the effects of self-gravity, differences in temperature, pressure, and density tend to even out in a physical system that is isolated from the outside world. Please note the word "Isolated". In other words his statement doesn't apply!

And finally on his first page discussing Evolution he shows his complete and total ignorance of Science. "People used to believe that a big rock would fall faster than a small rock. Today we know that they fall at the same speed. There are many, many examples of old science theories that have been proven wrong. Today’s science “fact” becomes tomorrows discarded trash." While he is right in some regards, scientific theories have changed over time. But yesterday's theories are the basis for tomorrows. We live, we learn and we refine our explanations of the things that happen around us. Many of Charles Darwin's details have been so refined. The current Theory of Evolution is made up of many more ideas than just his. In fact he made part of the argument for science. "People used to believe that a larger rock will fall faster than a smaller one." Let's get is straight Aristotle taught that a larger body would fall faster than a smaller one. A number of scientists, including Giambattista Benedetti, 1553, and Galileo in the early 1600's proved that mass didn't matter and two bodies would fall or roll down an inclined plane at the same. So I really enjoyed his use of the word "Today". Maybe it's a recent discovery by the author of the Little Book. He is well behind his understanding of science. My final point here is that why do people "know that they fall at the same speed", it's because of Science. It's not about belief, because even back in Aristotle's day, people may have believed it, but two bodies of differing masses still fell at the same rate. Science works whether you believe in it or not! Oh what a tangled web this author has woven.

Darwin did write about potential weaknesses in his "Theory of Natural Selection". But what he was describing, also missed by the author, was the difficulty in proving the natural selection of complex objects like the eye. What he failed to realize is advances in science have resulted in greater advances in the understanding of evolutionary theory. In Darwin's day the Cell was seen as a protoplasmic blob, the eye was also not understood to any real degree. The atom was a hypothesized mystery. However the eye is much better understood and there is evolutionary work on how the eye was formed starting with light sensitive cells. The evolution of the Human Eye has been a popular study in biology for decades. So Charles Darwin didn't have a crystal ball, but his theory of natural selection is still one of the central tenets in evolutionary theory today.

And that's from the first page. I can't wait to dig deeper. This is fun!

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