googlef87758e9b6df9bec.html A Sure Word: Looking into the Past

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Looking into the Past

There’s one thing that bothers me about evolution. OK, there are many things that bother me about evolution but now I’m thinking of one in particular. Evolutionists often tout that we “observe evolution in action.” And since they equivocate so on the definition of evolution, we sometimes do see “evolution” occurring (that is, we see evolution occurring by definition). However, if we limit “evolution” to mean the theory that all present biodiversity on earth has descended (via descent with modification) from a single common ancestor, then we haven’t “observed” anything of the sort.

The funny thing about science is that it’s supposed to be about things that are observable, testable, and repeatable. When we talk about unique events of the past, such as the supposed “Big Bang,” the events are neither observable nor repeatable. As a matter of fact, we can’t observe the past at all – we can only observe the present.

When you look at a fossil, you are looking at it now. You are not looking at 65 million years ago. The fossil is here in the present and any tests or experiments we conduct on it are being conducted in the present. We can repeat the experiments, we cannot repeat the supposed 65 million years.

Some things about the fossil are objective – like how much it weighs. Other things are subjective - like if it’s really a bone or simply an ordinary rock that resembles a bone. Now, you can make claims about the supposed fossil/rock and let other scientists review your claims. If you say, “this is a tooth from a T-Rex,” other scientists can compare your alleged tooth to other alleged teeth that were found in more complete, alleged skulls of what has been identified as other t-rex fossils. Maybe they’ll agree or maybe not. But whatever “science” is being conducted is being conducted here and now. We are not observing the past. We’re making observations in the present and drawing conclusions about the past.

Furthermore, if an evolutionist claimed, “this tooth is 65 million years old,” there is no way to go back in time 65 million years and look to see if this same alleged tooth was truly in a dino’s head at that time. The claim is ultimately beyond verification. The best one can hope for is validation by other scientists who might agree with the conclusion.

Now, scientists have theories about things in the past. They have theories about things like the origin of the universe and abiogenesis. OK, so how do we test their theory of abiogenesis? We could try to create life in a lab – but even if we were successful we can’t know for certain that’s how it happened. Ultimately, their theory is beyond testing. Scientific theories can never be proven true anyway – they can only be proven false. So how do I “falsify” abiogenesis? How would I falsify a theory on something like the origin of gravity? How do I falsify a theory about the origin of energy? Many evolutionists I know haven’t even thought about such things as the origin of gravity. I guess they believe it just always was.

When they do consider a theory for the origin of anything they look for natural explanations because that is what they consider “scientific.” Why? There is no objective reason to do so. Some say it’s because only the natural explanations are testable but this reason fails because no theory on the origin of something like gravity is testable. The origin of gravity was a unique event of the past that cannot be repeated or observed. And, as I’ve sometimes said, if scientists don’t know how gravity began, how can they exclude the possibility that God created it? Certainly when you start with the axiom that everything must have a natural explanation, you will always arrive at a natural explanation.

Frankly, I can't understand their reasoning. If we don't know how something happened, how can anyone so firmly believe it wasn't a miracle? The obvious answer is that their belief system is such that only what is natural is real. Hence, they practice a dogmatic belief about things you cannot observe - a religion if you will. In this sense, evolution is as religious as creation. Alternatively, creation is at least as scientific as evolution.

It’s really that simple. When we firmly commit ourselves to beliefs that are ultimately unverifiable, we are exercising a sort of faith. I have decided that the Genesis account of creation is truly how we got here even though I can’t prove it. Others can cite all the “evidence” they have that we evolved and be firmly convinced that they are correct but I know they really can’t prove their position either. If they were truly honest, they would admit the same.

Now just because something happened in the past, it does not mean we cannot judge for ourselves if we believe the event is true or not. It merely means we are thwarted in our ability to observe, test, and repeat the supposed event. Of course, some theories about past events are more obvious than others. If I saw skid marks leading off the highway, through a field, leading to a mangled car wrapped around a tree, I would conclude that the car skidded off the road and hit the tree. I would believe that even though I didn’t see it happen. However, if an eyewitness to the event gave me a different explanation than the obvious one and the details at the scene can be interpreted in a way that supports the eyewitness's account, I might change my mind.

Now, to the creation of man (and everything else): We are here so obviously we had to come from somewhere (unless one claims that humans have always existed). Regardless of the precise process, there are at least two theories about how we got here: 1) We were created by some type of Designer or 2) we arrived via natural processes. As far as I see it, those are really my only options. So, I will consider both sides and decide which I believe is the truth.

The most reliable information we have of the past is what has been written down and preserved by the people who observed it. We cannot go back and observe the past. We can only find the writings and artifacts of those ancient people and study them in the present. In the case of creation, we do have an impeachable Witness to the event. He is infinite, omniscient, and omnipotent. He also has revealed to us how He created the world. So I have His word or I have the word of fallible men with finite knowledge and limited understanding who are speculating about events they did not witness.

Hmmm, I think I’ll take His word.


Human Ape said...

The funny thing about science is that it’s supposed to be about things that are observable, testable, and repeatable. When we talk about unique events of the past, such as the supposed “Big Bang,” the events are neither observable nor repeatable. As a matter of fact, we can’t observe the past at all – we can only observe the present.

Actually molecular biologists observe the past every day when they compare DNA sequences of different species to accurately determine evolutionary relationships.

Evolution-deniers like yourself like to pretend the DNA in closely related species is similar because each creature was magically created by their god, also known as the invisible man with a magic wand.

That's a nutty idea, but even if it was true, the common designer idea does not work for ERVs. I talk about ERVs in my blog and I encourage you to go there and read what I said, watch the videos I recommended, and do some more research on your own to better understand this evidence for evolution.

There are millions of pieces of evidence for evolution, and exactly zero pieces of evidence that would make evolution false. The ERVs evidence I talk about in my blog is, in my opinion, one of the most powerful evidences for our evolutionary relationship with modern chimpanzee apes. I would call it lead-pipe evidence and smoking-gun proof. And there's a lot more evidence from the discoveries of molecular biologists that prove beyond any doubt that we share an ancient ape ancestor with the chimps, and a more distant ancestor with gorillas. This evolutionary relationship is now a basic scientific fact, accepted by every single serious biologist in the world.

If you refuse to do the hard work of learning the truth about the natural world, you are wasting your life. Do what you want, but I strongly recommend you try to find out why virtually the entire scientific community laughs at your ancient magical creation myth.

So please visit and look for my thread called "Endogenous Retroviruses (ERVs), the closest thing to a mathematical proof for evolution".

You will notice I have no respect for your religion, but please don't use my contempt for Christianity as an excuse to not educate yourself.

Human Ape said...

If you believe evolution, you're welcome to your belief. But at least hear the other arguments. If you want to hold to your theory, be prepared to answer some of the arguments against it.

Most people would call you a hopeless cause and they would not waste time here like I'm doing now. However, I like to be optimistic and pretend even the most brainwashed people can be saved from the asylum they live in.

Your "If you believe in evolution" really bugs me, because I don't "believe" in evolution. Belief is a word scientists don't use. They accept ideas like evolution, if and only if those ideas have sufficient evidence to be likely to be true. If there isn't enough evidence, the idea is eventually discarded unless a new discovery requires a new look at that idea.

So biologists don't believe in evolution. They don't have to believe in it, because evolution has become an established truth, thanks to 150 years of scientific discoveries, all of which completely support the evolution idea, and no evidence has been found that contradicts evolution (despite what your favorite professional evolution-deniers tell you).

A big problem in America is a big and rapidly growing business called "Lying about science for Jeebus". This business is dishonest and completely out of control. These anti-science pro-Jeebus organizations make a good living from their gullible scientifically illiterate Christian customers, who will believe any childish nonsense without making any effort to understand it, as long as it doesn't threaten their cowardly belief in heaven.

The result is massive scientific ignorance in the most powerful country in the world, the USA. Meanwhile countries like China and India are likely to pass up America in scientific progress, which will be a disaster for our already very bad economy.

I will wait patiently for you to publish my comments, even though I obviously have nothing but contempt for your anti-science religious ideas, and I hope you will visit my blog and hopefully you will visit some other pro-science blogs to find out what the real world is like. If you make an effort to understand, you will find out modern biology is extremely interesting, and certainly nothing to be afraid of. Biologists like to help people understand, especially if they are honestly trying to learn something.

Jorgon Gorgon said...

It is actually incorrect to say that we cannot observe the past: you are looking intop far past when you look at the night sky. In fact, with the naked eye you can see almost 1000000 years into the past: the Andromeda Nebula. And with a pair of binoculars, that distance increases even more.

And, of course, we can "see" into the past when we observe the effects of past events. Geologic and fossil record, for example.

What's more, we do observe the Big Bang directly: cosmic background radiation is the Big Bang, trmendously diluted by the expansion of spacetime that has occurred since then.

RKBentley said...

Jorgon Gorgon

It’s fairly common to assert that when we observe starlight we are observing the past. However, we still observe starlight in the present. When we look at the Andromeda Galaxy, we are not looking “1000000 years into the past;” We are IN THE PRESENT looking at the light from stars that are 2.5 million light years away. Keep in mind that a light year is a measure of distance and not time.

Now, the distant starlight problem is certainly a poser for young earth creationists but that discussion is the subject of another post entirely. For now, I can only repeat what should be obvious – we can only observe the present. Certainly events of the past leave effects but we can only study those effects in the present.

Thanks for visiting my blog and for your interesting comments. God bless!!


RKBentley said...

Human Ape

Thanks for visiting my blog. I have published and read your comments and thought I would take a moment to respond. However, after having read your first comment I’m not sure what there is to respond to. If I may paraphrase your comment, your argument seems to go something like this: “Evolution is a fact. Creationists are liars. Read a book and quit being stupid.”

Do I about have it? Your comment, though direct, is somewhat lacking in substance. I could try to respond but I’m afraid any response to such a shallow post would come off as sounding something like, “nu uh!”

You disagree with my point and have contempt for creationists. That much is obvious. You say that I’m a hopeless cause but I suspect you yourself are beyond convincing. May I point out one small detail? I was once in your shoes and believed evolution hook line and sinker. As a product of public schools, I was brainwashed into believing evolution and was a self-described agnostic. It was all I knew until I was an adult. For several years even after becoming a Christian, I continued believing in evolution. It was only as an experienced, mature, young man that I considered the arguments for a recent creation. I made a deliberate choice that special creation is the true and correct explanation of the origin of the universe.

Somehow, I doubt you’ve ever carefully considered arguments for creation.

Next, to your point about DNA, I beg to differ. Molecular biologists can only study DNA in the present. It’s really such an obvious point that I hardly feel it needs discussion. It is your theory that interprets the history of DNA but your theory is wrong and so your conclusion about the history of DNA is wrong.

Now it’s very nice of you to suggest what “evolution-deniers” like myself “pretend” about DNA but your characterization is nothing more than a straw man. You seem to suffer under the notion that I’ve never read about ERVs and don’t their place in evolutionary apologetics.

At the risk of digress I would assert that your post is a typical litany of logical fallacies invoked by militant evolutionists. It’s chock full of things like straw men and bald assertions with just a touch of the “No True Scotsman” fallacy (when you suggest that only “pro-science” blogs discuss the real world).

What else is there to say? Maybe I should just conclude by saying, “nu uh!”

Thanks again for visiting my blog. God bless!!


Human Ape said...

RKBentley, I read your comments on my blog, and I responded there. For your convenience here's my comments again, on your blog:

But of course, you're talking about ERVs. To that I would suggest that the very identification of "retroviruses" is incorrect.

But of course you don't know what you're talking about, unless you want to explain why you know more about molecular biology than all the molecular biologists in the world, including the world's best scientists who work at universities like MIT and Harvard. Perhaps you would like to visit MIT and tell those scientists why you, a non-scientist, know more about their jobs than they do.

Also, you have not bothered to answer the important question I asked in my ERVs thread. Please consider going there and answering it.

The question is - How did many ERVs find their way into perfectly identical locations in the chromosomes of people and chimps?

My ERVs thread is here:

The correct answer, according to the world's biologists (and anyone with any common sense), is those ERVs are in perfectly identical locations in people and chimps because they were inherited from the same ancient ancestor, which proves beyond any doubt that we are distant cousins of chimps.

If you disagree, you have to answer the question, and you have to explain why you know more about biology than every biologist.

Actually, you don't have to do anything. You can pretend this powerful evidence will go away if you just ignore it, or you could pretend all the world's biologists are incompetent, and not geniuses like yourself.

One more thing, if you refuse to honestly answer the question (How did many ERVs find their way into perfectly identical locations in the chromosomes of people and chimps?) then you will have proven you're a waste of time.

And you really need to stop pretending you can tell biologists, who have about a million times better understanding of evolution than you do, that you know more about biology than they do. You really got a lot of nerve to say "I would suggest that the very identification of "retroviruses" is incorrect." and you really owe the world's biologists an apology. Do you also tell brain surgeons how to do their jobs?

Human Ape said...

You wrote "We are IN THE PRESENT looking at the light from stars that are 2.5 million light years away."

OK, just once in your life, try to think.

That light that you can see now, left that galaxy 2.5 million years ago. You are seeing right now, what that galaxy looked like 2.5 million years ago.

A light year is the distance light travels in one year. You knew that, right?

RKBentley, I'm concerned that you're one of those people who think they know everything, but when they speak or write, it becomes obvious to everyone else that you know absolutely nothing.

In other words, RKBentley, I think you are full of it. I mean really full of it.

Nothing personal. I've seen this attitude before in creationists. They think they know more about science than all the world's scientists, but it's obvious they (and you) don't even know what science is.

You believe the entire universe was magically created a few thousand years ago. That's not just bloody stupid. It's insane. Way beyond insane.

I'm sorry, but you got an extremely big problem mister. I'm starting to think you're hopeless, in other words your disease is incurable.

By the way, your comment moderation sucks. On science blogs they never moderate comments, and neither do I. And I don't cry when somebody uses vulgar language on my blog. There is absolutely no excuse to censor anything in this country.

Human Ape said...

Sorry, just one more thing.

Evolution does not need defending.

What does need defending is your childish belief in magical creation.

Remember that your imaginary problems with evolution, even if those problems were real, is not evidence for anything else, including magical creation.

So instead of providing evidence AGAINST something, you need to provide evidence FOR your magical creation religious belief.

Of course there's not one shred of evidence for magic, and of course it's idiotic to believe magic is real.

I often ask creationists, what magic words did your fairy use when it made cockroaches out of nothing? And did it use a magic wand?

Those would normally be ridiculous questions, but they are fair questions to ask about your bloody insane belief there's a god fairy who made every creature, every plant, and every species of bacteria out of nothing.

What you believe in is breathtaking insanity. Of course there never will be any evidence for it. That's why creationists spend so much time attacking science. They couldn't possibly defend their god-made-everything-out-of-nothing fantasy world. It's no wonder the rest of the Western world laughs at American creationist hicks.

RKBentley said...

Human Ape,

You wrote: “That light that you can see now, left that galaxy 2.5 million years ago. You are seeing right now, what that galaxy looked like 2.5 million years ago.

A light year is the distance light travels in one year. You knew that, right?”

Oh the irony! You implore me to think while you rattle off words without thinking. Calm down for a moment and read what you wrote: “A light year is the DISTANCE light travels in one year” [emphasis added]. In my comment to you, I accurately defined a light year as a measure of DISTANCE and not TIME. You want to give the impression that it is precisely a measure of time.

At the risk of running off on a tangent, did you know the formula to determine speed is distance/time? And even though the speed of light may be constant, are you aware that time is relative? You act as though 1,000,000 light years distance automatically means 1,000,000 years of time.

Furthermore, you seem to ignore the rest of my point that, regardless of how long it took for the light to reach us, we only observe it in the present. If I took a five hour car trip to visit my aunt, she might see me pulling into her driveway. She is watching my arrival, not my five hour car trip.

The rest of your comments are more rant. You think I’m an idiot. I get it. That type of argument might be effective on a playground but I truly don’t think it’s very persuasive among adults. But hey, it’s your argument; if you think it works just keep it up.

God bless!