Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Evolution - A Treasure Trove of Pro and Con

I have argued in this place previously that if evolution was so darn obvious and devoid of serious problems - to the point where many of its adherents trust it more than most Christians trust God - why do polls consistently show that less than 50% of Americans don't think it is the basis of life? And one would think that if the arguments for evolution were so compelling, and with the complete bias in textbooks, college courses, and government operated museum, not to mention mass media treating it like fact, wouldn't one expect almost everyone to be convinced.

Well, it turns out that even some folks with names other than Bubba and Billy Jean just can't get past some of the BIG holes in the "theory" of evolution. In fact, some highly edumicated folks have taken a really hard look at both sides and, gee-golly darn, bought into the crazy notion that God created it all. And unsurprisingly, some of these PhD's and JD's and Drs. and DD's, and such don't even need their own scientific theory to compete with Darwinism. They just know in their knower that it was God and not random chance.

Well, if there are those among my readers who would like to take a little journey into some very intellectual discussions on this subject, I am going to point you to three places that are just about the best I have seen in short, fairly easy-to-read, articles. Then in the next weeks, I hope to get around to taking a few of these arguments and blowing them to pieces right in front of your very eyes. Yes! Step Right Up! Right here in a blog called the Truth About Everything.

Now lest you think I really think I know everything, and am thus less than humble, please know that I just love knowledge and am a real skeptic at heart. I have been arguing the issues on this subject for decades, and try to read everything I can to stay abreast of the debate. But, I'm sure some of my arguments have one or two holes in them.

To the chase. My friend and sometimes debate competitor on this subject, Michael Shermer, has published a book which was excerpted recently in Scientific American. The Book is Titled Why Darwin Matters. I have not read the entire book, so can't recommend it at this time, other than to say Michael's books are always worth the read, even though he is rarely right.

The article is from a chapter in his book, "Darwin on the Right." The biggest error in the article is seen right from the start when evangelicals, creationists, and Republicans are all lumped together. While evangelicals are more likely to be creationists and Republican, they may be these things for lots of disparate reasons, and not the rather stereotypical reasons Shermer alludes to. Having said that, the article is short and very worth the read.

Many letters to the editor followed the Shermer article, unsurprisingly, and the letters selected here are astonishingly good, well reasoned, and often offer new ideas on the subject. You can read these letters without reading the article, but it does make sense to do the one before the other.

Then Scientific American points you to another article, "15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense," by John Rennie. This is as succinct a presentation of Creationist arguments and counters that you are going to find. My intent is to respond to these one or so at-a-time in the next weeks, but read them now. Send me your own rebuttals. Or agree with Mr. Rennie.

Good reading. Total time to digest all of it. Maybe an hour.

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