ML> Howdy, campers. ML> Well, I just got out of a 3.5 hour meeting and decided to check ML> my Email. Lo and behold, I got a notification about a NEW! NEW! ML> NEW! Creation / Evolution website. ML> They claim to be impartial. They claim to be factual. They claim ML> to not be biased. ML> They fail miserably. ML> Their hidden agenda is so bloody obvious, that they should just ML> state up-front that they're a religious mouthpiece. ML> See the idiotic, strawman-approved opinion poll! ML> See the "Theory of Creation" (Gods and all)! ML> See the use of 14C to determine the age of the earth! ML> See the utility of "index strata"! ML> See the "animals that 'prove' a creator"; including the ML> "bombardier [sic]" beetle, the archer fish, the bats and ML> the enigmatic, ethereal and equivocal "symbiosis"! ML> See how vestigial organs, horse evolution and embryology ML> "destroy" evolution! ML> See for yourself at: http://library.advanced.org/19012/menu.htm ML> And don't bother replying to them via their "comments" page; go ML> direct for the carotid at firstname.lastname@example.org ML> It is encumbant upon all right thinking people to make life ML> miserable for these nescient schmucks. From: Marty Leipzig Subj: New Website redux. ML> Howdy again, campers. ML> If you recall, I mentioned a new Creation/Evolution website on ML> the 'Net (http://library.advanced.org/19012/menu.htm)? ML> Well, I sent the chucklehead who created that mess an ML> Email telling him what I thought of his efforts. ML> Here's his, and my, replies. ========ML> On Mon, 21 Sep 98 12:49:03 +0300 email@example.com writes:
Before perusing your Creation/Evolution website, I was encouraged to see that both "camps" were claimed to be represented. After paging through the site, I was terribly disappointed as well as rather bemused.
The biases behind this site are overtly subtle, but to an old soldier from the C/E wars; they are all too evident.
The simple factual errors (for instance, index fossils termed "index layers"), the nonsensical questions, particularly the first one in your opinion poll (for your information, evolutionary theory does not claim that "man evolved from monkeys" (man DID NOT evolve from monkeys, but shares a common ancestry with them and all primates)); that you present that as the evolution-side choice. That's called a "strawman" argument and is a complete and total logical fallacy, as well as ludicrous.
Further, to denigrate the term "theory" and present as equivalent to the evolution theorieS (plural) the God-based creation "theory" borders on the benighted and dishonest.
You present arguments for the beginning of the universe. Why? Evolution says precisely nothing about cosmology. Evolution, particularly what you are trying to denigrate, that is: organic evolution, does not do ultimate "origins", and presenting it as so is fallacious.
Further, in evidence for an ancient earth, you present "carbon 14 dating". That's laughable if it weren't so pathetic! 14C dating, with it's half life of 5,570+/-30 years, is only good for artifacts ~50KA. The earth, at 4.65BY, is just *slightly* older than what the 14C method could measure.
You never (as far as I could find) make the critical distinction between the observed FACT of organic evolution (in fact, you claim "no one ever saw one type of animal change to another type"...wrong, and, by the way, in a biologically meaningful manner, what is the definition of an animal "type"?) and the various theories that explain that fact.
In sum, in my not so humble opinion, you do not present the facts fairly, accurately nor coherently. One is forced to speculate regarding your ultimate motivation for creating such a site. I have formulated a theory and your response to my objections will be the deciding factor.
Just to let you know my motives and motivations, I am an industrial scientist with more than a few degrees in natural science (I'm an international petroleum geologist) who has been a science educator and taught natural science at the university level for many years.
I think that I am quite qualified to make these objections and know the reasons why they exist. In fact, I wish to make the offer of an article that I wrote called the "Evolution Fact FAQ" (Frequently Asked Questions).
Let me know if you'd have an interest. I think it would help eradicate some of the myriad inconsistencies, nonsense and just plain balderdash that populates your website.
[And their reply]
>We're sorry you don't approve of our site. ML> If that is so, are you going to correct your errors, ML> misrepresentations and obvious flaws contained therein? > Its obvious your a evolutionists, ML> [Ed. note: are all fundies always this incapable of constructing ML> a coherent sentence?] ML> No, I'm not "a [sic] evolutionists", whatever that may be; but I ML> am a natural scientist, pragmatist, realist and unrepentant atheist. ML> We're here for you children, John. ML> BOO! ML> Although you claim to present both sides of the C/E issue, ML> it's terribly obvious, both literally and textually, that you are a ML> fundamentalist and/or creationist. Which is/are it/they? >could I ask you a few questions I've been meaning to ask a scientist? ML> But of course. That's the prime reason why I exist. >1. Why is there only a few inches of dust on the moon? If its really >millions of years old, then there should be feet of dust, right? ML> Wrong, as you proceed from a series of false assumptions. The ML> moon is not millions, but billions, of years old. Further, the ML> original calculations that the creationists cite as "Gospel", by ML> Hans Pettersson, are in error: ML> Re: "Accumulation of meteoritic dust on the moon" ML> This argument: A single measurement of the rate of meteoritic ML> dust influx to the Earth gave a value in the millions of tons per ML> year. While this is negligible compared to the processes of ML> erosion on the Earth (about a shoebox-full of dust per acre per ML> year), there are no such processes on the moon. The moon must ML> receive a similar amount of dust (perhaps 25% as much per unit ML> surface area due to its lesser gravity), and there should be a ML> very large dust layer (about a hundred feet thick) if the moon is ML> several billion years old. ML> Morris (you know him, don't you?) says, regarding the dust influx ML> rate: ML> "The best measurements have been made by Hans Pettersson, who ML> obtained the figure of 14 million tons per year (1)." (Morris ML> 1974, p. 152) ML> Pettersson stood on a mountain top and collected dust there with ML> a device intended for measuring smog levels. He published ML> calculations which measured the amount of nickel he collected, ML> assumed that nickel was only present in meteoritic dust, and ML> assumed that some percentage of meteoritic dust was nickel, to ML> get his final figures (that first assumption was wrong and caused ML> his published figures to be a vast overestimate). ML> Pettersson's calculation resulted in the a figure of about 15 ML> million tons per year. He believed that estimate to be an ML> overestimate, and indicated in the paper that 5 million tons per ML> year was a much more likely figure. ML> Much more accurate measurements were available, from satellite ML> penetration data (no possibility of earthly contamination), by ML> the time Morris published Scientific Creationism. These more ML> accurate measurements give the value of about 18,000 to 25,000 ML> tons per year. These measurements agree with levels of meteoritic ML> dust levels trapped in sediments on Earth. (That is, they are ML> verified by an independent cross-check.) ML> Morris chooses to pick obsolete data with known problems, and ML> call it the "best" measurement available. His calculations are ML> based on a figure that is nearly three orders of magnitude too ML> high. With the proper values, the expected depth of meteoritic ML> dust on the moon is less than one foot, approximately 15 ML> centimeters; precisely what is found by Apollo. ML> For further information, see (Dalrymple 1984, pp. 108-111) or ML> (Strahler 1987, pp. 143-144). ML> There is a recent creationist technical paper on this topic which ML> admits that the depth of dust on the moon is concordant with the ML> mainstream age and history of the solar system (Snelling and Rush ML> 1993). Their abstract concludes with: ML> "It thus appears that the amount of meteoritic dust and meteorite ML> debris in the lunar regolith and surface dust layer, even taking ML> into account the postulated early intense bombardment, does not ML> contradict the evolutionists' multi-billion year timescale (while ML> not proving it). Unfortunately, attempted counter-responses by ML> creationists have so far failed because of spurious arguments or ML> faulty calculations. Thus, until new evidence is forthcoming, ML> creationists should not continue to use the dust on the moon as ML> evidence against an old age for the moon and the solar system." ML> Next. >2. Where are all those transitional fossils? ML> In paleontology labs the world over. I'd send you a listing of ML> them, but since you can't handle file attachments, merely point ML> your browser at ML> http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitionals.htm ML> There you'll find "all those transitionals". >3. Has there ever been any observation where ne information is >added through a mutation to the DNA? ML> As above, look at ML> http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/molecular-genetics.html, ML> and you'll have your answer. >I've always wondered what you say about the second law of >thermodynamics. ML> Then why not research the question yourself instead of it simply ML> "always wondering" about? >Evolution is in complete contradiction with it. ML> Of course it is not. What is in conflict is your strawman ML> characterization and your obvious lack of understand of the ML> second law. ML> In reality, the second law of thermodynamics applies only to a ML> closed system. The earth is most surely NOT a closed system. If ML> you do not agree with me, go face east some early morning and see ML> that huge nuclear furnace some 150 MM Km distant just pouring out ML> vast amounts of energy our way and into space. Secondly, nothing ML> prohibits local areas from increasing order if there is an energy ML> supply (go look outside again). Finally, when the sun goes red ML> giant some 5 BY hence, the system-wide thermodynamic debt will be ML> paid in full. ML> In no way does evolution violate the second law any more that ML> does an infant growing to adulthood, crystals forming out of ML> liquids or trees growing from acorns violates the second law. ML> Ever make ice in the freezer? How dare YOU violate the second law? >Is the law changed just for evolution? ML> No, as it does not violate the 2LOT. ML> But, since we're on the subject, how do you reconcile Genesis ML> 1:1 with the First Law of Thermodynamics? You know, the one that ML> states that matter can neither be created nor destroyed? ML> Hmmm? >As for the FAQ, if you want to email it to me feel free, but I >don't get attached files. ML> I see. Well it was a good faith offer; but I doubt it would be ML> appreciated, either literally or figuratively. > Actually, the web site has had very good response, and your the >only one so far who's complained. ML> Maybe because I'm the only one to trip over your site who has ML> the education, determination and lack of theism necessary to ML> challenge your erroneous and specious claims. ML> Don't worry. You site is getting far and wide publicity. ML> Although I do not think it's the type for which you're looking. >But thank you for your Email, bye. >Jonathan Taylor ML> Da Svidonya, John. ML> Any other misconceptions about organic evolution on which I can ML> set you straight? ML> Marty