Thursday, March 12, 2009

Scientific American - Jan 2009

The January 2009 issue of Scientific American (SciAm) was dedicated to evolution (page references are from this issue). One article rightly attacks the errors of evolutionary psychology (p. 74). Supposed “talking with the dead” is also debunked (p. 36). Eugenie Scott and Glenn Branch, both from the National Center for Science Education, write an attack piece on creationism (pp. 92-99).

Throughout this issue, good and evil, morality and ethics are mentioned. Yet, without a Moral Lawgiver and an ultimate Judgment Day (not the NOVA episode) morality makes no sense. Even Immanuel Kant (d. 1804) held that we must accept the existence of God for morality to have meaning. [1]

Atoms-to- Adam evolution and atheism are strongly linked. Darwin doubted the reality of God, “This very old argument from the existence of suffering against the existence of an intelligent first cause seems to me a strong one…” (Autobiography p. 90). Darwin no longer doubts the reality of God (see prior post).

How is it that most of the world accepts God’s existence if evolution is so obvious? Consider these statistics of global adherents:
Christians 33.3%
Muslims 21.0%
Jews 0.2%
Total who believe in a Creator 54.5%
Atheists 2.3% [2]
Darwin was not fazed by these facts, “This argument would be a valid one if all men of all races had the same inward conviction of the existence of one God…” (Autobiography p. 91). How many people believe that the Apollo landings on the moon were a fraud? Or consider prisoners who rationalize their crimes. Truth is not determined by universal assent.

A number of articles in this issue focus on natural selection. Edward Blyth, a creationist, published a paper on natural selection in 1835 long before Darwin’s The Origin of Species. Natural selection is a conservative process. What is needed for Bacteria-to-Brainiac evolution to take place is new information in the genetic code and Darwinists cannot explain this. New info is needed to make eyes, wings and other complex organs.
John Rennie, the editor in chief of SciAm, mentioned Stephen Jay Gould’s Wonderful Life on the Burgess Shale which contains the remains of many strange and unique creatures (p. 6). However, this issue has little of the provocative thought that Gould shares. Gould states that, “The history of life is… not the conventional tale of steadily increasing excellence, complexity, and diversity.” [3] Gould points out that the organisms represented in the Burgess Shale in British Columbia belong in 15 to 20 phyla (basic body plans) most of which are now extinct. Some estimates of life in the modern world reach up to 32 phyla. [4] Most of these phyla exist in the Cambrian and yet there is little in the Pre-Cambrian showing intermediate transitional forms from single-celled organisms. This Cambrian Explosion is a major problem for evolution. Both Gould and Darwin admitted that this is a major difficulty. [5] [6]

In an ad on page 11, Paul Davies is mentioned. Davies wrote Cosmic Jackpot that describes the fine-tuning of the universe. If certain physical constants were just slightly different, life itself would be impossible. Davies appeared in the pro-Intelligent Design film Privileged Planet, even though he is not an ID advocate. SciAm overlooks the evidence that the cosmos was made for life and scientific investigation.

SciAm should take Darwin’s advice and allow a creationist response. Darwin states in his intro to The Origin of Species that, “A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question…” [7]

Here are some great sites from the “other side”:
Creation Moments
Creation Research Society (creationresearch dot org)
Institute for Creation Research (icr dot org)
Answers in Genesis (answersingenesis dot org)
Creation Ministries International (creation dot com)

SciAm may be contacted by email or snail mail:
Letters to the Editor
Scientific American
415 Madison Ave
NYC NY 10017

1) Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics by Norman Geisler (Baker, Grand Rapids, 1999), p. 498.
2) Time Almanac 2008 (Encyclopædia Britannica , Chicago, 2008), pp. 600, 601.
3) Wonderful Life by Stephen Jay Gould (W.W. Norton, New York, 1989), p. 25.
4) Ibid., p. 99.
5) Ibid., pp. 56, 57.
6) On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (Mentor, New York, 1958 ed.), pp. 308-312, ch. 10.
7) On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (Mentor, New York, 1958 ed.), p. 28.

In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind. With Him are wisdom and strength, He has counsel and understanding. (Job 12:10, 13)