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Survey: U.S. Protestant pastors reject evolution, split on Earth's age
January 10th, 2012
04:18 PM ET

Survey: U.S. Protestant pastors reject evolution, split on Earth's age

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

America’s Protestant pastors overwhelmingly reject the theory of evolution and are evenly split on whether the earth is 6,000 years old, according to a survey released Monday by the Southern Baptist Convention.

When asked if “God used evolution to create people," 73% of pastors disagreed - 64% said they strongly disagreed - compared to 12% who said they agree.

Asked whether the earth is approximately 6,000 years old, 46% agreed, compared to 43% who disagreed.

A movement called Young Earth creationism promotes the 6,000-year-old figure, arguing that it is rooted in the Bible. Scientists say the earth is about 4.5 billion years old.

The Southern Baptist Convention survey, which queried 1,000 American Protestant pastors, also found that 74% believe the biblical Adam and Eve were literal people.

“Recently discussions have pointed to doubts about a literal Adam and Eve, the age of the earth and other origin issues," said Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, a division of the Southern Baptist Convention, in a report on LifeWay’s site. “But Protestant pastors are overwhelmingly Creationists and believe in a literal Adam and Eve.”

The phone survey was conducted in May 2011, sampling ministers from randomly selected Protestant churches. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percent, LifeWay said.

A 2010 Gallup poll found that 40% of Americans believe God created humans in their present form, versus 54% who said humans developed over millions of years.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Evangelical • Science

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soundoff (6,504 Responses)
  1. William Demuth

    Just as most rational educated men reject Pastors as the pedophilles and con men they are.

    Get a grip people, this is the 21st century.

    Lets leave the Bronze age BS in the Bronze age.

    January 17, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
  2. Bumper

    To Brad: when you go to work everyday, you are applying the rules of complex adaptation and not Darwin's theory of evolution. Complex adaptation does work. Fundamental rules and elements were created "fully formed" (on times scales much shorter than any Hebrew definition for "Day"), not human beings. The universe has unfolded based on the rules and elements of a complex adaptive process that has included both evolutionary and de-evolutionary processes.

    Further, I'm not a creationist, but I believe 100% in God and the teachings of Jesus. I don't consider the teachings of Christ to be a religion and Jesus spent most of his short ministry teaching against religious hypocrisy. Also, I support quality scientific findings and don't elevate the Biblical text as a book on biology or chemistry. However, I'm not aware of any Biblical scripture that is inconsistent with accurate science.

    January 17, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • momoya

      Bumper, you say that you SUPPORT "quality" scientific findings, but you don't say what form that support takes or how you determine that a scientific finding is of quality to you.

      Do you fund certain research with cash, or what? In what form does your support take?

      You say that you believe the bible fully, and then say that the universe was created with fundamental laws already in place–something you must have faith to believe since you have no proof of a priori universe creation rules.

      How can you claim to know what nobody knows and then turn around and expect to be taken seriously on your evaluation of what science is quality or not?

      You use language that is inappropriate for a scientifically knowledgeable individual (Evolution is just a theory), and then turn around and claim to be able to know what is good science. You state that you can correctly apply mathematical probability (god's existence is 50%) and then turn around and say that 100% of the bible is accurate.

      I really have no idea why anybody should take your statements seriously because they conflict each other. Why are you so desperate to sound smart when it is that exact behavior which negates the points you attempt to make?

      January 17, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  3. LordEarlGray

    Evolution doesn't say man descended from monkeys, a point the ignorant can't seem to understand. Nor does it really address the beginings of us all way back when. It simply says that man, as well as every other organism on the planet has evolved over time. Scientific findings do confirm that the world we live on is far older than 6ooo years and the fossil evidence for that is clear. What God did do is give mankind the opportunity to use the brain he possessed to figure things out and learn about himself and the world and the universe. There is no evidence that the world is only a few thousand years old and there is ample evidence that it's much, much older.

    THe fact that so many ministers actually believe in Creationist nonsense while ignoring scientific fact is sad and pathetic. God gave us brains to use and does not expect us to fall prey to nonsense.

    January 17, 2012 at 10:36 am |
  4. We live in what we believe in

    Okay, all atheists and evolunists wish granted. You are all came from monkeys.

    It only means that you share the blame of the spreading of ebola, HIV and other dreaded viruses that your ancestors (that you have been proud) had brought to us people, YOU insolent creatures!

    January 17, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • rick

      better a monkey than a slave, no?

      January 17, 2012 at 8:00 am |
    • wayne317

      Humans were first classifed by creationist christians as apes. Apes are not monkeys. Humans are apes just like ducks are birds. Do you agree ducks are birds? Do you agree that eagles are birds also? If you do then you have to understand how humans are apes as well.

      January 17, 2012 at 8:13 am |
    • TruthPrevails

      @We live in what we believe in: Just a tad bit of ignorance!! We come from a common ancestor first of all (including you whether you like to believe it or not). Disease has nothing to do with our evolving from a common ancestor like creature....we would have disease regardless. Talk to the Catholic church about why HIV spreads so rapidly...they are the ones preaching against the use of condoms, not Atheists or other believers/non-believers.

      January 17, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • Dr.K.

      hmm, ebola, HIV, and other viruses changed over time in such a way that they could infect hew hosts. It's almost as though there is some regular process behind that change, some kind of "evolution."

      And why would they most easily make the leap from one primate group to another? Perhaps they are genetically similar. Perhaps those apes and humans are genetically similar also because of some regular process...

      You just might be onto something here, We live.

      January 17, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • William Demuth

      We live in what we believe in

      Your Momma seems to like monkeys!

      January 17, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
  5. Jim

    "The person who follows the pursuit of reason unflinchingly toward its end will be atheistic or, at best, agnostic." - William Lane Craig in his book on Christian apologetics "Reasonable Faith"

    January 17, 2012 at 7:09 am |
  6. Mayme74

    All of you pro-evolutionists... keep searching you will unequivocally arrive at the solution when there are no more hypothesis to test. In the beginning there had to be something, that something is God.

    January 17, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • rick

      mayme74: do you see "creator" and "God" as synonymous? If so, why?

      January 17, 2012 at 5:21 am |
  7. Bumper

    The theory of evolution is false. Darwin never even proved how his inductive paradigm worked. It was supposed to apply to "living systems", but fails miserably at the sub-microscopic level. Fundamental rules and elements revert in energy form but are not evolving in the way that Darwin imagined. All "living systems" are composed of these fundamental rules and elements. Therefore, Darwin's theory could not possibly be true and is not valid for science. By the way, it is supposed to be just a theory and not law. However, this does not discredit the hard work that has been done by scientists with the fossil record. Recent discoveries such as Ardi, stand on their own scientific merit without any need to praise or reference Darwin at all.

    January 16, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      Bumper, your posted and re-posted and re-posted drivel has been repeatedly addressed. Please scroll back to earlier posts if you want to revisit those discussions.

      This is a typical creationist strategy: Pose supposedly problematic questions, have them answered, ignore answers, pose questions again as if they have no answers.

      Any scientific doubt concerning "Darwinian" natural selection, and there were legitimate questions, was resolved in what is known as the Modern Synthesis in the early 20th century. In the Modern Synthesis it was realized that the fields of natural history, genetics, and the fossil record all individually and collectively support the theory of evolution by natural selection.

      January 17, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • Brad

      I go to work every day applying information theory to problems in molecular biology. Basically, if the modern theory of evolution did not work, none of the things I see every day would make any sense at all. It is a powerful idea and most certainly true at its core. I'm also a Christian – you might even consider my theology conservative in most respects. My advice: it is important to keep your faith focused on Christ. Don't try to prop God up with ideas that will, in all likelihood, fail. God stands on his own.

      January 17, 2012 at 12:01 am |
    • Jim

      @Brad: I am a non-believer, but you have certainly earned by respect.

      January 17, 2012 at 7:12 am |
  8. Bumper

    I believe in God 100%
    To the non-believer, the existence of God is a binary decision that we can assign at least 50% probability.
    In other words, it is as good as a fair random coin toss. Unlike lighting strikes (etc....), there are no other Bayesian influences
    in the system that would make the probability less than (at least) 50%. Here we are assuming that the point of creation took place at a single moment in time and before this event, nothing else existed.

    January 16, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      Another re-post. A repeated answer: an airplane piloted by a polka-dotted hippo in ruby slippers might land in my yard today, or it might not. But the fact that it might or might not does not make it a 50/50 proposition. Despite being a binary phenomenon, there is not a 50% chance that a jewel-shod hippo will land a plane in the yard today.

      January 17, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Jim

      Either you read Stephen D. Unwin's "The Probability of God" and didn't understand it or you read the wikipedia entry on Bayesian probability and didn't understand it Defining an a priori probability of 0.5 to God is complete speculation, dare I say wishful thinking. You are simply making up that value with nothing to support it. There are quite a few factors that reduce to likelihood "gawd dunnit" much closer to 0 than even to 0.5. Read Unwin (again) yourself for the details. I would agree with his methodology, he makes too many unsupported assumptions. (as so many fundies like yourself do) Saying something is so over and over and over again, does not make it so.

      Second, you ingore the problem of whether we are talking about an deistic, theistic or pantheistic god. While I *might* be willing to give you a 0.5 probality for a pantheistic god, it is absurd to claim anything close to the that to a theistic god. Third, there are many factors that reduce the probability even further for a theistic (read: biblical) god, such as the problem of evil, the known errors and contradictions in the bible, the hypocrisies and deceit of modern Christians, and so forth.

      Further since time was a result of the big bang, any discussion of "before" is meaningless. Also, any cosmological argument such as Craig's frequently refuted Kalam Cosmological Argument needs to consider the possibility, if not likelihood, the universe (or multiverse) always existed and always will. You have obviously failed to address it. (assuming you even know what I am talking about)

      January 17, 2012 at 7:07 am |
  9. Dr. Gary Hurd

    This net-nanny is becoming so stupidly interfering that it prevents intellignet discussion.

    January 16, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • Brad

      You get used to it. Someone posted a fairly comprehensive list. Hopefully it'll come around again. Basically, look for things like const.itution, ho.mogeneous, anything with s.ex in it.

      January 16, 2012 at 11:24 pm |
    • Dr. Gary Hurd

      G.O.D F.O.R.B.I.D. A.N.Y. M.A.M.M.A.L, O.R. Y.E.A.S.T. E.V.E.R. M.E.N.T.I.O.N. S.E.X.

      January 16, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
  10. Dr. Gary Hurd

    http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p139/Gary_Hurd/IntheGalley.jpg

    January 16, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
  11. John

    I reject 10 out of 10 pastors.

    January 16, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
  12. Jim

    The word theory is used in scientific circles differently then it is in general conversation. For example, plate tectonics is a fact. It exists and it can be measured. The scientific tools that we use to explain and predict phenomena are called theories, the "theory of the motion of land masses" in this case. Theories can be proven wrong of course, but only by observation and evidence. The fact that biological change over time (which is a fact, that's why we need new flu vaccines every year) is described with a theory does not mean that it's less than factual. The theory of evolution is used to describe the process that leads to change, and tries to explain prior and predict future mutations.

    January 16, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
  13. MrMajestik

    Sorry but a pastor does not have to take any classes in science history or critical thinking... so of course they believe in magic!

    January 16, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • ProBaptist

      If by magic you mean primitive cellular organisms with all the proteins needed to sustain a metabolism and self-replication, and the DNA (or RNA) arranged in the exact order needed to produce the genetic code needed to replicate these proteins and self-replicate the DNA (or RNA) itself all by chance assembling in some "primordial" pond, then you are wrong, they don't believe in magic.

      January 16, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      It is a common misconception that evolution is an entirely random process. Mutation, one of several sources of variation in traits, is indeed largely random; however, natural selection (the "Darwinian" aspect of evolution) is decidedly non-random. It is in fact the filter through which variations pass which allows some traits to persist in future populations, while others do not. This filter (natural selection) is the combination of environmental, demographic, and social conditions in a given time and place – the selective environment.

      In short, the generation of new traits through mutation is random, but the differential persistence of those traits is by definition patterned. That pattern is largely the result of natural selection.

      When someone characterizes evolution as a process that happens by chance, you can be sure they are not entirely clear on what they are talking about.

      January 16, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • ProBaptist

      While the development of new traits in living organisms can be attributed to natural selection and not random chance, natural selection cannot be used to explain the origin of complex living organisms or even simple living organisms. Science has yet to give one example of a self-replicating molecule that could per-chance explain how natural selection can account for the transition of simple organic molecules to cellular life. The best that has been done is a strand of two RNA molecules that can join two single RNA molecules together. Beyond that evolutionary theory is at a loss to describe the origin of life.

      When someone characterizes the origin of cellular life as a process that happened by natural selection, you can be sure they are not entirely clear on what they are talking about.

      January 16, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • baatman74

      YO, MrMajesik, DNA is one thing, RNA referrs to the Messenger tjat brings the genes to plug into the Chromozone ladder to make you whatever, blue eyed, 5 foot 6 inches, blond hair etc. One thing, nothing could put this together other than random happening over millions and millions of years. get over it, there 'aint' no magical savior, the cave men invented god to explain something they couldn't understand. whoa, today is 2012, we have better tools now

      January 16, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • baatman74

      OOPS, sorry MrMajestik, my post was to ProBaptist, you are correct, his is mombo-jombo.

      January 16, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      ProBaptist, the theory of evolution does not purport to explain the origins of life. It never has. It is an explanation of how populations of living things change through time. You don't seem to know this, and thus don't seem to realize that you are arguing against something else.

      January 16, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
    • Cyle in Bublin

      @ ProBaptist – the above link shows a nice little vid regarding abiogenisis theory.
      It shows how it is possible, if mathematically improbable, for stable life to originate from a primordial soup.

      Evolution is real, it's why we have different breeds of dogs. Instead of a natural selection of desired traits altering the species, the modern dog has been guided by man. This would not be possible if there were no such thing as evolution. The dog would be the same quasi-wolf breed humans encountered 30,000 years ago.

      January 17, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • ProBaptist

      Nobody denies that species change over time. However, minute changes in genetic coding cannot account for the origin of new species. Using your example of the dog, over 30,000 years intelligent human being have not been able to produce a new species from wolves. That is why all dogs are still Canis Lupus. Now if intelligent human beings cannot produce a new species using reproductive processes of existing genetic material over 30,000 years, a span of time that the fossil record has proven that new species pop up, then how can natural selection, and inherently unintelligent process, do it?
      As for your video, it has so many holes in it I won't start to refute it. There's a reason modern science does not have a standard model for abiogenesis. God didn't leave room for one.

      January 17, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • Cyle

      @ ProBaptist

      30,000 years is not nearly enough time to produce enough generations for a full species change, even with the intelligent guidance of breeding for traits. We can do it now with modern genetic manipulation and bypass the breeding/selection process entirely. But you're missing the point, the fact that we CAN do it, god or no god, proves that evolution happens.

      Otherwise we'd have to accept the laughably absurd notion that somehow all 5000 known species and breeds were somehow able to traverse the globe to get on a boat the size of a football field and survive without food for a year. Get off the boat to a salt water flooded dead planet, travel back to their points of origin, wait until the salted earth was able to support green plant-life again, successfully reproduce, then provide offspring that the predators could then eat.

      January 17, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  14. Serve God

    this article is an example of how to lie with statistics- Evangelical Baptists are well known to take a literal interpetation of the bible which includes denoucing evolution, gay people, jews, catholics, etc. they also think public education is evil and encourage everyone to homeschool their kids (i had a baptsit friend who "homeschooled" by leaving her middle school kid alone to watch National GEo vids while she went to work). The United Methodist Church accepts Evoution completely in their National Conference becuase the science is overwhelmingly conclusive. And iIthink the UMC is the largest Protestant denomination in the US.

    January 16, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
  15. JamFez

    Evolution, specifically "macroevolution" [man from mud over millions and billions of years], is remains a theory. It is a theory that is less and less supported by the body of scientific evidence. That God created the world and universe and everything in it (especially you) is another theory; it is one that is more and more strongly supported by the growing scientific evidence. Don't fall for macroevolution as honest science; it has has some good points but has mainly become more of a deceptive religion in and of itself.

    January 16, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Dr. Gary Hurd

      JamFez, Evolutionary theory does not claim we humans sprang out of some slime pit. Before trying to refute evolution, you will need to learn what it is. I recommend reading;

      Carroll, Sean B.
      2005 "Endless Forms Most Beautiful" New York: Norton

      Carroll, Sean B.
      2006 “The Making of the Fittest” New York: Norton

      Dalrymple, G. Brent
      2005 “Ancient Earth, Ancient Skies: The age of the earth and its cosmic surroundings” Berkley: University of California Press

      Prothero, Donald.
      2007 "Evolution: What The Fossils Say and Why It Matters" Colombia University Press.

      Shubin, Neal
      2008 “Your Inner Fish” New York: Pantheon Books

      Schwab, Ivan R
      2011 “Evolution's Witness: How Eyes Evolved” Oxford University Press

      January 16, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Daniel

      Isn't Religion a theory as well?

      January 16, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Serve God

      Don't know where on earth you get the idea that evolution is not supported by science – it is science and evolution is abeautiful thing! Folks who think it is not backed up by conclusive evidence are a testimony to the inconsistent educational standards that proliferate in certain areas of the US. I teach the theory of evolution to 8th graders supported by the fossil record, geoogical movement of the continents, etc. Later, when they take biology in high school (and they ALL are required to do so,), they will learn further evidence for evolution of several systems including including the CNS, and reproduction. It is a beautiful, systematic unfolding of life on earth and is not inconsistent with God starting the process.

      January 16, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • ashrakay

      I gotta go with the Dr on this one. When you make a statement like you did that the theory of evolution is becoming less and less supported by the evidence, you kind of flag yourself as someone who has not read enough, as there is an overwhelming body of evidence to support most claims made by evolutionists today. It wasn't mentioned by Dawkins is also a great source for understanding evolution on a biological level. A lot of his work is academic and requires a great deal of intellectual discipline to digest, but in the end you'll save yourself from making embarrassing statements like you did here.

      January 16, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      JamFez is repeating the mantra that his preachers have indoctrinated him with all his life.

      His assertion that evolution is "less and less supported by the body of scientific evidence", is just wishful Christian thinking. His assertion that religion "is more and more strongly supported by the growing scientific evidence" is categorically false, and utterly ridiculous. Something for which there is not one iota of evidence could hardly be growing in scientific support.

      I refer to the poster in the third person, because this message isn't for him. He's already too far gone to ever be able to see the obvious evidence of evolution. I'm addressing those out there who haven't yet been completely indoctrinated by their church, and might benefit from hearing what people outside of Christianity are saying about the subject.

      January 16, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • The dude

      I just want to clear this up. There is a difference between the normal way we use the word "theory" and a SCIENTIFIC theory. If something is a SCIENTIFIC theory then it has been proven with muliple pieces of evidence to be true.

      January 16, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Chad

      Some food for thought:

      In order for the principles of mutation and natural selection in the theory of evolution to work, there have to be living things for them to work on. Life must exist before it can to start diversifying. Life had to come from somewhere, and the theory of evolution proposes that it arose spontaneously out of the inert chemicals of planet Earth perhaps 4 billion years ago.

      Could life arise spontaneously? If you read How Cells Work, you can see that even a primitive cell like an E. coli bacteria - one of the simplest life forms in existence today - is amazingly complex. Following the E. coli model, a cell would have to contain at an absolute minimum:

      A cell wall of some sort to contain the cell
      A genetic blueprint for the cell (in the form of DNA)
      An enzyme capable of copying information out of the genetic blueprint to manufacture new proteins and enzymes
      An enzyme capable of manufacturing new enzymes, along with all of the building blocks for those enzymes
      An enzyme that can build cell walls
      An enzyme able to copy the genetic material in preparation for cell splitting (reproduction)
      An enzyme or enzymes able to take care of all of the other operations of splitting one cell into two to implement reproduction (For example, something has to get the second copy of the genetic material separated from the first, and then the cell wall has to split and seal over in the two new cells.)
      Enzymes able to manufacture energy molecules to power all of the previously mentioned enzymes

      Obviously, the E. coli cell itself is the product of billions of years of evolution, so it is complex and intricate - much more complex than the first living cells. Even so, the first living cells had to possess:

      A cell wall
      The ability to maintain and expand the cell wall (grow)
      The ability to process "food" (other molecules floating outside the cell) to create energy
      The ability to split itself to reproduce

      Otherwise, it is not really a cell and it is not really alive. To try to imagine a primordial cell with these capabilities spontaneously creating itself, it is helpful to consider some simplifying assumptions. For example:

      Perhaps the original energy molecule was very different from the mechanism found in living cells today, and the energy molecules happened to be abundant and free-floating in the environment. Therefore, the original cell would not have had to manufacture them.
      Perhaps the chemical composition of the Earth was conducive to the spontaneous production of protein chains, so the oceans were filled with unimaginable numbers of random chains and enzymes.
      Perhaps the first cell walls were naturally forming lipid spheres, and these spheres randomly entrapped different combinations of chemicals.
      Perhaps the first genetic blueprint was something other than DNA.

      These examples do simplify the requirements for the "original cell," but it is still a long way to spontaneous generation of life. Perhaps the first living cells were completely different from what we see today, and no one has yet imagined what they might have been like. Speaking in general terms, life can only have come from one of two possible places:

      Spontaneous creation – Random chemical processes created the first living cell.
      Supernatural creation – God or some other supernatural power created the first living cell.

      what's more likely?
      What are the calculated odds that this could have all happened by chance?

      January 16, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • Chad

      @ashrakay "I gotta go with the Dr on this one. When you make a statement like you did that the theory of evolution is becoming less and less supported by the evidence, you kind of flag yourself as someone who has not read enough, as there is an overwhelming body of evidence to support most claims made by evolutionists today. "

      =>actually incorrect.. Darwins theories held sway for 120 years, only to be put to death ultimately by the fossil record... See: Punctuated Equilibrium..

      January 16, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • ashrakay

      @Chad, A) You're confusing abiogenesis with evolution. B) there are far simpler organisms than E. Coli, like protein chains. C) You talk about punctuated equilibrium as if it invalidates Darwin's theory. It does not. It still remains true THAT it is happening. We will continue to understand precisely HOW it is happening as our technology and understanding increases. D) the chance of winning the powerball is 1 in 175,223,510. Still people win. Because something is hard to fathom in odds, doesn't mean it doesn't happen. It may turn out to be far less random that you think—as the laws of physics that govern this universe may have a propensity to deliver particular results. The scale may be vast, but so is the universe and the scale of time. Also, bear in mind, that the odds of a god creating this universe are equally or more high and there remains NO evidence to show that one exists. Without using a flawed reductionist logic, it's impossible to arrive at this conclusion.

      You're arguments are straight out of a creationists' handbook. A little bit of information twisted

      January 16, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
    • Dr. Gary Hurd

      Too bad JamFez, an even bigger nitwit has stolen your spotlight.

      Chad is hounding after origin of life questions. He has failed to understand the obvious modern examples of evolution, and so now leaps into the geochemistry, and biochemistry of ~4 billion years ago.

      Frankly Chad, you are not up to the task. Start with my "Short Outline of the Origin of Life." There is a lot more to go after that, but you need to start with the basics.
      http://stonesnbones.blogspot.com/2008/12/origin-of-life-outline.html

      January 17, 2012 at 1:48 am |
    • Chad

      @Dr. Gary Hurd "Frankly Chad, you are not up to the task. Start with my "Short Outline of the Origin of Life." There is a lot more to go after that, but you need to start with the basics.
      http://stonesnbones.blogspot.com/2008/12/origin-of-life-outline.html"

      WOW
      you actually have figured it out!
      You have succeeded where everyone else has failed, I am actually astonished that you aren't prepping for a CNN interview at this very moment.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis
      Has a bunch of theories, but the big thing they just hadnt gotten until you showed up, was definitive proof of exactly what happened.

      hubris (n). Overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance

      January 17, 2012 at 9:14 am |
  16. Fred

    Evolution is a theory. Get over it. I love the story about how reptiles evolved into birds. It's hilarious! It sounds like a Monty Python skit. The theory of evolution has been revised and updated many times over the years in an attempt to cover ever example and all the corner cases. They are still refining it, but it won't help. There have been many scientists who have come forward over the years and questioned the validity of the theory, but they always get shouted down or discredited. Why? They are challenging the belief system of the atheist crowd.

    January 16, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Dr. Gary Hurd

      Fred, "There have been many scientists who have come forward over the years and questioned the validity of the theory, but they always get shouted down or discredited."

      They laughed at Galileo! They laughed at Einstein! They also laughed at Bozo the Clown!

      In order to get the last laugh, you need to be correct. And Darwin won the last laugh. That is the difference between creationist clowns and Darwin. There have also been real scientists with serious objections to Darwin's 150 year old theory. And many of them were also correct. For example, the early genetics experiments seemed to contradict Darwin's evolutionary theory, but in the 1930s population genetics showed how the chemistry of genetics was also the chemistry of evolution. The notion that Darwin had that every mutation that was not beneficial would rapidly be eliminated was found to be wrong. Kimura's neutral theory was found to be correct, and explained ecological fitness better than Darwin's individual fitness. The late Lynn Margulis argued in favor of endosymbiosis being the origin of the eukaryote cell. The reason she is credited for this was that she was the one to actually find the evidence to support the theory.

      January 16, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • ashrakay

      You say "atheists", we say "realists". If there were evidence to support man evolved from pink bunnies, realists would follow the evidence. Why? Because we have no other indicator that accurately explains and allows us to manipulate the world around us. Religion didn't bring us cell phones, or the internet, or antibiotics. They were arrived at using the same methods that have led the vast majority of the science community to conclude that Darwin's theory is in fact, exactly what we find when we look at the evidence presented to us.

      If any scientist or average Joe presented an alternative theory that could be supported by the body of evidence that evolution brought, then undoubtedly people would have to lend it credence. To date, no such thing has been presented and any so called evidence has been shown to be unreliable, discredited, or outright false. The kind of reductive logic used by non-evolutionists deserves to be ridiculed and shouted down as it does not deserve to be taken seriously by adults. If you want someone to pamper your wild ideas and fantasies, keep your opinions in the church. I hear they are quite tolerable of fantasies without supporting evidence.

      January 16, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      Fred, the only people shouting down the proponents of evolution are Christians. They shout pretty loudly, but their cries of outrage have little effect on reality. Those of us outside the church walls will continue to accept that which has been explained and proven, and reject that which has not.

      January 16, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Chad

      @Dr. Gary Hurd "And Darwin won the last laugh. That is the difference between creationist clowns and Darwin."

      =>hmm, turns out Darwin gradualism is dead.. You might be interested in reading up on punctuated equilibrium
      "“the sudden appearance of most species in the geologic record and the lack of evidence of substantial gradual change in most species—from their initial appearance until their extinction—has long been noted, including by Charles Darwin who appealed to the imperfection of the record as the favored explanation” – Wikipedia

      "The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persist as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils ….We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life's history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study." – Stephen J. Gould

      January 16, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • hobbesjd

      why do you think you can lump atheists with religion? religion is a belief of a "god" that created everything, atheists do not believe in "a force, that wants to be worshiped" creating everything. why do you want to bring atheists down to your level of "non-education". if you want to believe in god, please do so, but please do not try to force that belief on me or the children in this country. if anything you should stop reading your bible for a while and get some real books on science. it might do you some good.

      January 16, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • Dr. Gary Hurd

      @Chad

      The BS creationist practice of "quote mining" is well exposed by your "quote" from Steve Gould. In fact, this is "quote #3.2" of the Quote Mine Project.
      http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/part3.html#quote3.2

      The proper citation is
      Gould, S. J.
      1977. "Evolution's Erratic Pace" in Natural History 86(5):12-16.

      The then young and combative junior professor Gould (35 years ago), was promoting his notion that some events in the bio-geological record indicated rapid origin of species. He contrasted this with the slow gradual change of classical 150 year old Darwin's ideas. This was also blended with the radical proposal to revise all taxonomic classification, replacing the species phylogeny with "cladistics."

      As it happens in the real world, Darwinian gradualism is well supported.

      January 16, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      Chad, you are regurgitating mined quotes from Stephen Jay Gould. I assure you that (a) Dr. Hurd along with any well-read armchair naturalist is fully aware of punctuated equilibrium as one scenario for the rate of evolutionary change, and (b) SJG was not in any way calling into question the validity of evolution – he was one of the most prominent evolutionary biologists of our time.

      Gradualism vs. punctuated equilibrium is a interesting debate on the rate of evolution, but has nothing to do with the validity of evolution. In my opinion, both have probably prevailed under different conditions in the past. Try reading a book by SJG rather than lifting quotes out of context. I recommend Wonderful Life, especially if you are interested in understanding punctuated equilibrium.

      January 16, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
    • Chad

      @Dr. Gary Hurd "As it happens in the real world, Darwinian gradualism is well supported."

      ouch.. sorry, no..
      "Punctuated equilibrium (also called punctuated equilibria) is a theory in evolutionary biology which proposes that most species will exhibit little net evolutionary change for most of their geological history, remaining in an extended state called stasis. When significant evolutionary change occurs, the theory proposes that it is generally restricted to rare and geologically rapid events of branching speciation called cladogenesis. Cladogenesis is the process by which a species splits into two distinct species, rather than one species gradually transforming into another.[1]

      Punctuated equilibrium is commonly contrasted against the theory of phyletic gradualism, which states that evolution generally occurs uniformly and by the steady and gradual transformation of whole lineages (called anagenesis). In this view, evolution is seen as generally smooth and continuous.

      In 1972, paleontologists Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould published a landmark paper developing this theory and called it punctuated equilibria.[2] Their paper built upon Ernst Mayr's theory of geographic speciation,[3] I. Michael Lerner's theories of developmental and genetic homeostasis,[4] as well as their own empirical research.[5][6] Eldredge and Gould proposed that the degree of gradualism commonly attributed to Charles Darwin is virtually nonexistent in the fossil record, and that stasis dominates the history of most fossil species." – Wikipedia

      Stasis is the problem.. The fossil record just simply does not support the idea of gradual mutation..

      "The sudden appearance of most species in the geologic record and the lack of evidence of substantial gradual change in most species—from their initial appearance until their extinction—has long been noted, including by Charles Darwin who appealed to the imperfection of the record as the favored explanation.[62][63] When presenting his ideas against the prevailing influences of catastrophism and progressive creationism, which envisaged species being supernaturally created at intervals, Darwin needed to forcefully stress the gradual nature of evolution in accordance with the gradualism promoted by his friend Charles Lyell. He privately expressed concern, noting in the margin of his 1844 Essay, "Better begin with this: If species really, after catastrophes, created in showers world over, my theory false."[64]" – Wikipedia

      January 16, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Chad

      But thanks for the citation Doc..

      "The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils. Yet Darwin was so wedded to gradualism that he wagered his entire theory on a denial of this literal record:" – Gould
      http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/part3.html#quote3.2

      January 16, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
    • Chad

      "Gradualism vs. punctuated equilibrium is a interesting debate on the rate of evolution"

      the problem continues to be that pesky fossil record!!

      January 16, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      You mean those millions of pesky fossils that unequivocally doc.ument biological change over long periods of time? This idea that there is a problem with fossils is also a falsehood propagated by creationists.

      January 16, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • Chad

      @Dr.K. "You mean those millions of pesky fossils that unequivocally doc.ument biological change over long periods of time? This idea that there is a problem with fossils is also a falsehood propagated by creationists."

      =>this is the real question that atheists hate.. "examples please" :-)

      species remain stable for millions, tens of millions of years.. that's the fossil record.. that isnt me talking, it's archeology.

      January 16, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      Um, no Mr. Expert, that is not archaeology, that is paleontology / evolutionary biology. I can't outline the fossil record of life for you here. You are going to have to do some research on your own. I recommend spending some time pursuing what is known regarding your questions, rather than allowing the supposed questions to keep your mind closed to new information.

      January 16, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • Chad

      "examples please" it's ALWAYS kryptonite.. always

      January 16, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      Examples of what exactly? Early human relatives? Ardipithecus ramidus, Australopithecus africanus, A. boisei, A. rob.ustus, A. afarensis, H.omo habilis, H. ere.ctus, H. rudolphensis, H. sapiens neanderthalis, H. sapiens denisovens, H. sapiens sapiens. There's more, and each of these taxa consist of numerous fossil individuals. Many are hard to classify as they don't easily fit into one class or another, because they are "transitional" (an oversimplified and misleading concept in and of itself).

      Chad, seriously, your earlier post reveals that you aren't even clear on what branch of science we are discussing here.

      January 16, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • Dr. Gary Hurd

      @Chad

      Examples? You want examples? We got examples;

      Start with "29+ Evidences for Macroevolution: The Scientific Case for Common Descent" Douglas L. Theobald, Ph.D.
      http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

      "Smooth Change in the Fossil Record"
      http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/fossil_series.html

      "Emergence of New Species"
      http://stonesnbones.blogspot.com/2009/03/emergence-of-new-species.html

      January 16, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      So much for kryptonite...

      (actually kryptonite is an apt analogy – it is a purely fictional deterrent)

      January 16, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
    • Dr. Gary Hurd

      I want to get some sleep now. But first, Chad your challenges might seem fresh to you, but I have been seeing the same cretocrap for decades.

      You do not know what a species even is. Read:
      "What is a Species and What is Not"
      http://www.aaas.org/spp/dser/03_Areas/evolution/perspectives/Mayr_1996_june.shtml

      Next, you have no idea about how to read the Bible, particularly the older bits.

      Start with some examples from my shelves;

      Blenkinsopp, Joseph
      1992 "The Pentateuch: An Introduction to the First Five Books of the Bible" The Anchor Bible Reference Library New York: ABRL/Doubleday

      Boadt, Lawrence
      1984 "Reading the Old Testament: an Introduction" Mahwah N.J.: The Paulist Press

      Bodine, Walter R., (Ed.)
      1992 "Linguistics and Biblical Hebrew." Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns

      Brotzman, Ellis R.
      1994 "Old Testament textural criticism: a practical introduction." Grand Rapids: Baker Academic

      Brown F., Driver S., Briggs C.
      2007 (reprint from 1906) “Hebrew and English Lexicon: With an Appendix Containing the Biblical Aramaic: With Strong’s Numbering” Peabody Mass: Hendrickson Publishers (The Strong’s catalog #s was added by Hendrickson Publishers).

      Cross, Frank Moore
      1973 "Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic: Essays in the History of the Religion of Israel". Boston: Harvard University Press

      Dahood, Mitchell
      1965 "Psalms I, 1-50: Introduction, Translation and Notes" New York: Anchor Bible- Doubleday

      __________
      1968 Psalms II, 51-100: Introduction, Translation and Notes New York: Anchor Bible- Doubleday

      ___________
      1970 Psalms III, 101-150: Introduction, Translation and Notes New York: Anchor Bible- Doubleday (1995 paperback printing)

      (BTW, You might get away with just reading the first volume of Dahood's "Psalms" but his translation notes through-out are critically important to understanding the origins of Scripture).

      Dalley, Stephanie
      2000 "Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, The Flood, Gilgamesh, and Others. Revised" Oxford: Oxford University Press

      Finkelstein, Israel, Neil Silberman
      2001 "The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts" New York: The Free Press

      Hamilton, Victor P.
      1990 “The Book of Genesis: Chapters 1-17” Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co.

      Jacobsen, Thorkild
      1976 "The Treasures of Darkness: A History of Mesopotamian Religion" New Haven: Yale University Press

      Jewish Publication Society
      2004 “The Jewish Study Bible: TANAKA translation” Oxford University Press.

      Kramer, Samuel Noah
      1972 "Sumerian Mythology: A study of Spiritual and Literary Achievement in the Third Millenium B.C." OP 1961 New York: University of Pennsylvania Press/ Harper.

      Matthews, Victor H., Don C. Benjamin
      2006 “Old Testament Parallels: Law and Stories from the Ancient Near East” New York: The Paulist Press.

      Mazar, Amihai
      1992 "Archaeology of the Land of the Bible: 10,000-586 B.C.E." The Anchor Bible Reference Library NewYork: ABRL/Doubleday

      Pardee, Dennis
      2002 "Writings from the Ancient World Vol. 10: Ritual and Cult at Ugarit" Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature

      Parker, Simon B. (Editor)
      1997 "Ugarit Narrative Poetry Translated by Mark S. Smith, Simon B. Parker, Edward L Greenstein, Theodore J. Lewis, David Marcus, Vol. 9 Writings from the Ancient World" Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature

      Pope, Marvin H.
      1965 “Job: A new translation with Introduction and Commentary” Anchor Bible Vol. 15, New York: ABRL/Doubleday

      Schmandt-Besserat, Denise
      1992 "Before Writing Volume I: From counting to cuneiform" Austin: University of Texas Press
      (Only professionals need the second volume).

      Schniedewind, William M., Joel H. Hunt
      2007 “A Primer on Ugaritic: Language, Culture, and Literature” Cambridge University Press
      (It really is necessary to either know Hebrew, or Arabic, or Akkadian before learning Ugaritic).

      Slifkin, Rabbi Natan
      2006/2008 “The Challenge of Creation: Judaism’s Encounter with Science, Cosmology and Evolution” New York: Zoo Torah and Yashar Books

      Slifkin, Rabbi Natan
      2007 “Sacred Monsters: Mysterious and Mythical Creatures of Scripture, Talmud and Midrash” New York: Zoo Torah and Yashar Books

      Smith, Mark S.
      2002 “The Early History of God 2nd ed.” Grand Rapids: Wm B Eerdmans Publishing
      ___________
      2003 “The Origins of Biblical Monotheism: Israel's Polytheistic Background and the Ugaritic Texts” Oxford University Press.

      Sparks, Kenton L.
      2005 “Ancient Texts for the Study of the Hebrew Bible” Peabody PA: Hendrickson Publishers

      Speiser, E. A.
      1962 "Genesis: Introduction, Translation and Notes" New York: Anchor Bible- Doubleday

      Stern, Ephraim
      2001 "Archaeology of the Land of the Bible, Vol. II: The Asserian, Babylonian and Persian Periods (732-332 B.C.E.)" The Anchor Bible Reference Library New York: ABRL/Doubleday

      Strong, James (author), revised and edited Kohlenberger, James R. III, Swanson, James A.
      2001 edition (original 1894) “The Strongest Strong’s exhaustive concordance of the Bible (KJV) for the 21st Century” Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

      Walton, John H.
      2006 “Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament” Grand Rapids: Baker Academic Press

      Zevit, Ziony
      2001 The Religions of Ancient Israel: A Synthesis of Parallactic Approaches” New York: Continuum Press

      January 16, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • Chad

      @Dr. Gary Hurd "http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/pelycodus.html"

      Tree dwelling primate gets bigger, wow.
      like breeding dogs can get you different size/shapes (the term "species" is fairly flexible)
      now, if you have a series of fossils showing how a monkey gradually turns into a human over millions of years.. bet you would get the nobel for that.. :-)

      but, a valiant effort anyway

      January 17, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • Fred

      When you mention Darwin getting the last laugh, I assume you must, of course, be referring to his deathbed conversion.
      It's okay. You'll do the same thing, too, I'm sure.
      Evolution is all a part of the atheists belief system. It helps to prop them up so that they have a platform to rail against Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, etc.

      January 17, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Dr. Gary Hurd

      @Fred, The "Darwin's Deathbed Conversion" story was a fraud promoted by a British evangelist, Lady Hope. It was repudiated by Darwin's wife, herself a Christian, and his children.

      Why is it that you folks so insistent you have the almighty "truth" on you side find it necessary to lie so much?

      January 17, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Chad

      @Dr. Gary Hurd " Next, you have no idea about how to read the Bible, particularly the older bits. Start with some examples from my shelves; [long list]"

      => hmm.. I'm going to call you a faker, I dont believe you have read any of those, and believe them only to be a transparent attempt to look as if you are knowledgeable on the bible..

      now, my evidence is this: you cited that exact same list (100% cut and paste, same book order, same separators, textually identical. ) with the same sarcastic intro, see below) in an amazon discussion on "Which Is the Best Koran? "

      see: http://www.amazon.com/forum/religion/Tx3CNOXGY9G0I5V?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx417AUXOWKSRN
      @Gary S. Hurd says: "What a silly boy. I have read more of the Bible, in more languages, than you have."
      Some of my recommend reading;
      [same exact list]

      and here, with same sarcastic condescending intro
      http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?115513-Is-there-any-evidence-at-all-for-YEC/page19
      @Dr. Gary Hurd "Your questions are only moderately coherent. How do I read the first pages of Genesis? "
      [same exact long list]

      and here "http://www.christianforums.com/t2196575/"
      and here "http://www.christianforums.com/t2086244-5/"

      faker :-)

      January 17, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Dr. Gary Hurd

      The net-nanny is being stupid again. I think I am about fed up with this failure of a website design.

      @chad,

      That was an amusing attempt, but 1) the lists are not identical. You are wrong again. For example, I only recently read Rabbi Slifkin's books, and it took well over 40 days and 40 nights to read Ziony Zevit's 2001 book, "The Religions of Ancient Israel: A Synthesis of Parallactic Approaches” (New York: Continuum Press) and I rarely recommend it.

      January 17, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • Dr. Gary Hurd

      This site's editing, and nannybot is garbage. After this post I am done.

      2) Why shouldn't I recom.mend good books rel.evant to the .t.o.pic? Does one. recom..m.endation wear ou.t the book .t.itle? I ty.pic.ally list my books alph.a.b.etically.

      I maintain an annotated bibliography of most books, and articles I read that I can use when I need to cite, or recommend a book or article. Most professional scholars do this. When I first started my career 40 years ago, I used index cards. My Bible bibliography is currently 36 pages long, including subsections on creationism, theistic evolution, biblical scholarship and languages, apologetics, and so on... When you have read more than a few books, you might try this yourself.

      I accept your apology in advance. I am flattered you took so much effort. Your time would be better spent in study.

      January 17, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      Dr. Gary Hurd,

      Did you see the list of frequent word-fragment offenders below on this page?

      I think that t.itle was the gremlin on your last post.

      The nanny-bot is horrendous, but I hope that you don't give up. You offer so many great and knowledge-filled comments. Thank you very much, even if you don't continue.

      January 17, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • Chad

      @Dr. Gary Hurd "This site's editing, and nannybot is garbage. After this post I am done."

      =>probably shouldnt provide advice to the opposition, but in the interest of maintaining a level playing field.. If your post doesnt take, do this and it will make your life a great deal easier.

      a. use your browsers "back" arrow, this will bring you back to the reply and it will have maintained your text

      b. copy and paste the content of your problem post to a text editor, or MS Word

      c. search for the strings that "Helpful Hints" has posted here: http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/15/asked-about-belief-in-god-richard-branson-says-he-believes-in-evolution/comment-page-6/#comments

      d. 99% of the time it is either going to be "t i t" or "c u m" or "a s s" that is the problem.. "ti tle", "circ umstance", "as sessment", so search for those three first

      e. if that doesnt find a problem, then you have to tediously go through the entire list.. that HH posted

      f. copy and paste it from the text editor to the post, and post it.. saves a huge amount of time (which you can use to come up with further methods to obfuscate and avoid HAHA )
      :-)

      January 18, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Chad

      @Dr. Gary Hurd "When you have read more than a few books, you might try this yourself."
      => you are certainly consistent in your undeserved self inflation and unfounded condemnation of others..
      It isnt data based or true in any sense to say "well, if he believes in Creationism, he's an unlearned idiot"

      To do so demonstrates bias on your part, no?

      @Dr. Gary Hurd "I am flattered you took so much effort. Your time would be better spent in study."
      =>again with the "you're an idiot".. you should attempt to refute the argument instead of relentlessly engaging in ad-hominem fallacious arguments, right?
      =>99% of atheist as sertions can simply be refuted by reading their cited source. It's extremely easy and I do it every time someone cites something.. When I saw your list it looked way to canned, and an obvious Appeal to Authority,/argumentum verbosium.

      I simply googled the list and found it all over the place, with a pretty simple pattern of response from you:
      DGH: makes unfounded as sertion
      Someone: challenges it
      DGH: calls said challenger and idiot and posts this long list of "this proves I know what I'm talking about"

      but you dont deal with the question posed.. that's the pattern I noticed..

      January 18, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  17. Bannister

    Most liberals believe in Darwin's Theory of Evolution – and so do I. But those very same liberals are aghast to learn that Darwin believed blacks were less evolved than Europeans. According to his theory, ALL human beings came out of Africa. But as humans moved North, they were exposed to harsher climates and evolved more rapidly to meet the greater demands of survival. This is known as Natural Selection. It may pain liberals to admit it – but Darwin was a firm believer in racial hierarchy.

    January 16, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • EnjaySea

      It hardly matters what Darwin's opinion was of Africans. It doesn't change his observations, and it doesn't change the scientific truth. I don't accept evolution because I was fond of Darwin. I accept it because it's a perfectly logical explanation of how species adapated and changed on this planet.

      One's opinion of a species, luckily, is not a selective trait.

      January 16, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
    • Dr. Gary Hurd

      I have had three commnets blocked by the local net-nanny.

      Darwin was not a racist. Darwin supported that all humans were the same species at a time the Christian racists were claiming the Africans were subhuman. There are racist Christians still claiming that Africans are subhuman.

      For current scientific thinking of human race see:

      Ed Hage
      2009 "Biological Aspects of Race" The American Association of Physical Anthropologists (Published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 101, pp 569-570, 1996).

      January 16, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Dr. Gary Hurd

      Bannister, Your assertion that Darwin was a racist, or that evolutionary theory is, was at best an ignorant error, at worst a bald-faced lie. Both in publications, and in private letters, Darwin maintained the equality of humans. He was an upper middle class Englishman, and he did consider his class the epitome of civilization. But he did not believe that this was a biologically fixed condition. He had harsher things to say about the Irish "race" than the Africans.

      January 16, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • Dr. Gary Hurd

      Darwin, wrote in "The De.scent of Man, and Selection in Relation to S.ex" (John Murray, London, 1871), "It may be doubted whether any character can be named which is distinctive of a r.ace and is constant."

      This Net-nanny is one of the most stupid I have ever encountered.

      January 16, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Dr. Gary Hurd

      Bannister, Your assertion that Darwin was a racist, or that evolutionary theory is, was at best an ignorant error, at worst a bald-faced lie. Both in publications, and in private letters, Darwin maintained the equality of humans. He was an upper middle class Englishman, and he did consider his class the epitome of civilization. But he did not believe that this was a biologically fixed condition. He had harsher things to say about the Irish "race" than the Africans.

      Darwin, wrote in "The De.scent of Man, and Selection in Relation to S.ex" (John Murray, London, 1871), "It may be doubted whether any character can be named which is distinctive of a ra.ce and is constant." Note that this is at a time when many Christians argued that non-Europeans were not even human! For example, Marvin Wheat's 1862 screed “Proof of Slavery From the First Chapter of Genesis” used Genesis to claim that Africans were created in the 5th day of creation with the "beasts of the field." Other racist Christians (even now) claim the "non-White" races suffer the "curse of Ham" and are ordained to serve under the Whites (Creationist Henry Morris "The Beginning Of the World, Second Edition" (1991), pp. 147-148).

      Even so-called "advanced" 19th century Christians such as the Rev. John Bachman (American Lutheran) maintained that if the African and European were of the same species, slavery was still justified due to the abject inferiority of Africans (1850 “The Doctrine of the Unity of the Human Race Examined on the Principles of Science,” 1855 “Characteristics of Genera and Species, as Applicable to the Doctrine of Unity in the Human Race”).

      For current scientific thinking of human race see:

      Ed Hage
      2009 "Biological Aspects of Race" The American Association of Physical Anthropologists (Published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, vol. 101, pp 569-570, 1996).

      January 16, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      Dr. Gary Hurd,

      Re: The net-nanny: Yes, it is ridiculous, but here is a copy of many of the forbidden word fragments...

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ---
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      cu-nt.....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      nip-ple
      o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      que-er
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sl-ut
      sn-atch
      sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      sp-oon
      sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
      strip-per
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      wt-f....also!!!!!!!

      January 16, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
  18. Honestly

    Come on, Pastors need you to believe to keep them clothed and housed. Actually, to also go on vacations, live free and drive nice cars, sleep with a lot of people, and eat to get fat. Your ignorance is key to their survival. They need you to close your eyes and imagine silly thoughts that perpetuate their existence.

    January 16, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  19. Gumby

    Flintstones in a Jetsons world.

    January 16, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  20. Rim

    Evolution was a theory about 150 years ago. With all the overwhelming evidence on every front from DNA, to Fossils, to Geology, anthropology, the 15+ different ways to determine the age of something (IE carbon dating) etc....evolution is fact. An overwhelming fact at that.
    Religion, any one of them not just Christianity, with its lack of evidence should be referred to as Religious theory.

    January 16, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • ten

      Then how come science is alway "revised" when new things are found? It is a theory kind of like how the sun revolved around the earth until more evidence.

      January 16, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • JamFez

      Hey Rim. Don't fall for macroevolution as honest science; it has has some good points but has mainly become more of a deceptive religion in and of itself.

      January 16, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Dr. Gary Hurd

      @Rim, All the sciences do independently support a coherent understanding of Nature. However, I would separate discussion of the age of the earth which is geochemistry, from evolutionary biology. We can demonstrate the validity of dating methods through direct comparison with annual events such as as lake varves, or tree rings (dendrochronology). Radiometric methods employ dozens of different decay paths with temporal ranges from centuries to billions of years.

      We can independently confirm evolution by the simple observation of new species emerging from old. I have compiled a list of dozens of examples;
      http://stonesnbones.blogspot.com/2009/03/emergence-of-new-species.html

      January 16, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • The dude

      I don't know if you know this, but you sound really smart, just sayin'.

      January 16, 2012 at 10:16 pm |
    • The dude

      Sorry, this message was supposed to read;
      @Dr. Gary Hurd I don't know if you know this, but you sound really smart, just sayin'.

      January 16, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • Chad

      Dr. Gary "We can independently confirm evolution by the simple observation of new species emerging from old. I have compiled a list of dozens of examples; http://stonesnbones.blogspot.com/2009/03/emergence-of-new-species.html"

      =>hmm, turns out Darwin gradualism is dead, put to death the the fossil record..see: punctuated equilibrium

      "“the sudden appearance of most species in the geologic record and the lack of evidence of substantial gradual change in most species—from their initial appearance until their extinction—has long been noted, including by Charles Darwin who appealed to the imperfection of the record as the favored explanation” – Wikipedia

      "The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persist as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils ….We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life's history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study." – Stephen J. Gould

      January 16, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Dr. Gary Hurd

      @Chad

      Your B.S. "quote" from Steve Gould. In fact, this is "quote #3.2" of the Quote Mine Project.
      http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/part3.html#quote3.2

      The proper citation is
      Gould, S. J.
      1977. "Evolution's Erratic Pace" in Natural History 86(5):12-16.

      The then young and combative junior professor Gould (35 years ago), was promoting his notion that some events in the bio-geological record indicated rapid origin of species. He contrasted this with the slow gradual change of classical 150 year old Darwin's ideas. This was also blended with the radical proposal to revise all taxonomic classification, replacing the species phylogeny with "cladistics."

      As it happens in the real world, Darwinian gradualism is well supported.

      January 16, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Dr. Gary Hurd

      Well Dude, Thanks. I have been told that before, just sayin'

      January 16, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • Chad

      @Dr. Gary Hurd "As it happens in the real world, Darwinian gradualism is well supported."

      hmm.. no

      all below from Wikipedia

      "Punctuated equilibrium (also called punctuated equilibria) is a theory in evolutionary biology which proposes that most species will exhibit little net evolutionary change for most of their geological history, remaining in an extended state called stasis. When significant evolutionary change occurs, the theory proposes that it is generally restricted to rare and geologically rapid events of branching speciation called cladogenesis. Cladogenesis is the process by which a species splits into two distinct species, rather than one species gradually transforming into another.[1]

      Punctuated equilibrium is commonly contrasted against the theory of phyletic gradualism, which states that evolution generally occurs uniformly and by the steady and gradual transformation of whole lineages (called anagenesis). In this view, evolution is seen as generally smooth and continuous.

      In 1972, paleontologists Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould published a landmark paper developing this theory and called it punctuated equilibria.[2] Their paper built upon Ernst Mayr's theory of geographic speciation,[3] I. Michael Lerner's theories of developmental and genetic homeostasis,[4] as well as their own empirical research.[5][6] Eldredge and Gould proposed that the degree of gradualism commonly attributed to Charles Darwin is virtually nonexistent in the fossil record, and that stasis dominates the history of most fossil species." – Wikipedia

      Stasis is the problem.. The fossil record just simply does not support the idea of gradual mutation..

      "The sudden appearance of most species in the geologic record and the lack of evidence of substantial gradual change in most species—from their initial appearance until their extinction—has long been noted, including by Charles Darwin who appealed to the imperfection of the record as the favored explanation.[62][63] When presenting his ideas against the prevailing influences of catastrophism and progressive creationism, which envisaged species being supernaturally created at intervals, Darwin needed to forcefully stress the gradual nature of evolution in accordance with the gradualism promoted by his friend Charles Lyell. He privately expressed concern, noting in the margin of his 1844 Essay, "Better begin with this: If species really, after catastrophes, created in showers world over, my theory false."[64]" – Wikipedia

      And from talkorigins:
      "The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology. The evolutionary trees that adorn our textbooks have data only at the tips and nodes of their branches; the rest is inference, however reasonable, not the evidence of fossils. Yet Darwin was so wedded to gradualism that he wagered his entire theory on a denial of this literal record:" – Gould
      http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/quotes/mine/part3.html#quote3.2

      January 16, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • Dr. Gary Hurd

      http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/fossil_series.html

      Dummy.

      January 16, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • Chad

      @Dr. Gary Hurd "http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/creation/pelycodus.html"

      Tree dwelling primate gets bigger, wow.
      like breeding dogs can get you different size/shapes (the term "species" is fairly flexible)
      now, if you have a series of fossils showing how a monkey gradually turns into a human over millions of years.. bet you would get the nobel for that.. :-)

      but, a valiant effort anyway

      January 16, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.