A Review of Zombie Science: Is Darwinism Dead?

With the release of his 2000 book Icons of Evolution, Jonathan Wells became one of the leading evolution critics of today. Unlike some detractors, Dr. Wells has impeccable credentials—with Ph.Ds. in molecular and cell biology from U.C. Berkeley and religious studies from Yale.

Last week he released a new book that is just as controversial (and frankly, just as fun) called, Zombie Science: More Icons of Evolution. He begins the book with a narrative about the so-called “War on eggs,” in which the U.S. government promoted the idea that eggs cause cholesterol and are thus unhealthy.

Zombie Science Darwinism

There is only one problem with this longstanding narrative—It’s false. That’s right, the science simply doesn’t support the claim that eggs are bad for you. In fact, it’s just the opposite! In 2015, the U.S. government finally backed off.

What do we conclude from this? According to Dr. Wells, “Obviously, we cannot always trust what ‘science says,’ and an endorsement by the government doesn’t make it any more trustworthy. In fact, we are told many things by ‘science’ that are not true.”[1]

What Is Zombie Science?

The premise of Zombie Science is that there is a similar phenomenon at work in the question of human origins. Rather than following the evidence wherever it leads, says Wells, many scientists are committed to methodological naturalism, which is the view that science is limited to materialistic explanations. Wells is careful to indicate that he is not calling certain people zombies, but rather that there is a persistence to defending materialistic explanations of science even after these examples have been shown to be empirically dead—hence his use of the title “zombies.”

In Icons, Wells analyzed ten of the most common examples for evolution and claims that they misrepresent the evidence. In Zombie Science, Wells updates his criticism, showing that the same examples keep appearing in textbooks, even though many scientists have known for decades that they misrepresent the evidence.

If these icons were innocent mistakes, then biologists would have eagerly corrected them, right? Since they persist, says Wells, there must be something else besides the evidence that keeps them “alive.”

For instance, Darwin considered embryological development the best evidence for his theory. He cited drawings from the German Biologist Ernst Haeckel, which allegedly reveal how the embryological development of various vertebrate animals mirrors the larger evolutionary story of common descent. Yet despite its prominence, it has been known since at least 1997 that the Haeckel’s drawings were cherry-picked, inaccurate, and fake.[2] In fact, Wells concludes,

The real issue is that Haeckel’s drawings omitted half of the evidence—the half that doesn’t fit Darwin’s claim that embryos are most similar in their early stages (58).

Nonetheless, Haeckel’s drawings continue to appear in textbooks published after 2000, such as Donald Prothero’s 2013 textbook Bringing Fossils to Life. And the 2016 textbook Biology, by Mader and Windelspecht, uses re-drawn versions of Haeckel’s embryos that make the same (mistaken) point.

Publishers could possibly be forgiven if this was the only mistake. But as Wells indicates, similar evidential misrepresentations continue for other “icons” including the Miller-Urey experiment, Archaeopteryx, peppered moths, Darwin’s finches, and more. Like zombies, these “evidences” simply won’t die.

Dead Flies and Horses

One of the most interesting sections of the book was the discussion of epigenetics. Broadly speaking, epigenetics refers to the various factors involved in development, including genetics.

In the 20th century, the dominant view of biology was that evolution proceeded genetically from DNA to RNA to proteins to us. As a result, evolution could advance through genetic mutations that accumulate over time.

But according to Dr. Wells, there are significant carriers of information, such as biological membranes, beyond DNA sequences. In other words, the claim that the genome carries all the information necessary to build an organism is false. As a result, mutations or changes in DNA alone are not sufficient to build new function and form. Wells concludes:

All of the evidence points to one conclusion: No matter what we do to the DNA of a fruit fly embryo, there are only three possible outcomes: a normal fruit fly, a defective fruit fly, or a dead fruit fly. Not even a horse fly, much less a horse” (94).

Is Darwinism Dead?

Wells also offers critiques for newer “icons,” such as whale evolution, antibiotic resistance, vestigial structures such as human tails and the appendix, and the evolution of the human eye. And he pulls no punches. He believes that materialism corrupts both science and religion.

Towards the end of the book, Wells makes a bold prediction:

“Today, evolutionary theory is like spring ice. It still covers the lake, and to many people it still looks solid. But it’s honeycombed with melt-water. It can no longer carry the weight it once did. Summer is on the way.”

You may agree with Dr. Wells. Or you may think he’s mistaken. But a book with as cool of a title as Zombie Science at least deserves a fair reading.

Sean McDowell, Ph.D. is a professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University, best-selling author, popular speaker, part-time high school teacher, and the Resident Scholar for Summit Ministries, California. Follow him on Twitter: @sean_mcdowell and his blog: seanmcdowell.org.


[1] Jonathan Wells, Zombie Science (Seattle, WA: Discovery Institute Press, 2016), 16.

[2] In an interview for the journal Science, British embryologist Michael Richardson said, “It looks like it’s turning out to be one of the most famous fakes in biology.” Quoted in Elizabeth Pennisi, “Haeckel’s embryos: Fraud rediscovered,” Science 277 (1997): 1435.

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50 replies
  1. ANTHONY says:

    No one has ever thought that a mutated fruit fly would turn into a horse, and if that is what Wells understands about evolution, then he’s a nitwit.

    Reply
    • Kalmaro says:

      I do not think that is what he is claiming at all. I believe he is just using word okay to hell emphasize a point.

      Reply
      • Kalmaro says:

        Sorry my phone was acting up when I first wrote that reply and I didn’t check it.

        I was trying to say that he seems to just be using worn play to help emphasize a point. I don’t believe he is implying that horses came from bugs.

        Reply
    • Brian says:

      Actually, Ken Miller does. Not directly, but over time very simple organisms have evolved into very complex and large, self aware, and willful organisms. But as he stated in an interview for Brown Universities alumni magazine, scientists just don’t know how, but they will. That isn’t science, that’s scientism.

      I also believe Miller advocated that anyone who gets a flu shot should have to sign a document proclaiming that they believe in evolution or they can’t get the shot.

      So there are well known advocates on both sides of this debate that have said some very silly things.

      Reply
      • ANTHONY says:

        “Actually, Ken Miller does. Not directly, but over time very simple organisms have evolved into very complex and large, self aware, and willful organisms. ”

        That is very different.

        Reply
  2. Andy Ryan says:

    “What do we conclude from this? According to Dr. Wells, “Obviously, we cannot always trust what ‘science says,”

    To sum up Dr Well’s conclusion: sometimes new scientific research replaces old research, therefore, who know, maybe the earth is actually flat.

    So when would be a good time to accept that eggs aren’t actually bad for you? When the science supports it, not before.

    Reply
    • ANTHONY says:

      I’ll allow that maybe Wells maybe actually says something else, but reading the section about eggs above, the conclusion that “you can’t always trust what science says” doesn’t follow. For it says that the GOVERNMENT promoted the idea that eggs were bad for you, and the SCIENTISTS said that they were good for you. The correct conclusion would therefore be that you can’t always trust what the GOVERNMENT says.

      Either poor reasoning, or poor writing.

      Reply
      • Andy Ryan says:

        I’m guessing he’s saying we can’t trust the textbooks, which effectively come from the government. It’s worth reading PZ Myers discussion of Wells’s attack on Ernst Haeckel’s drawings in textbooks. It’s easily found online.

        Reply
  3. ANTHONY says:

    Another comment in the series. The fact that science isn’t always right actually highlights the strength of the scientific method. It proceeds via further research to better understanding, and is therefore progressive. What is it that demonstrates the incorrectness of old science? New science!

    Religion, on the other hand, wants us to accept the correctness of what a more primitive society believed thousands of years ago, and is therefore ultimately regressive.

    Reply
  4. Ed Vaessen says:

    “For instance, Darwin considered embryological development the best evidence for his theory. He cited drawings from the German Biologist Ernst Haeckel, which allegedly reveal how the embryological development of various vertebrate animals mirrors the larger evolutionary story of common descent. Yet despite its prominence, it has been known since at least 1997 that the Haeckel’s drawings were cherry-picked, inaccurate, and fake.[2] In fact, Wells concludes,

    “The real issue is that Haeckel’s drawings omitted half of the evidence—the half that doesn’t fit Darwin’s claim that embryos are most similar in their early stages” (58).

    Nonetheless, Haeckel’s drawings continue to appear in textbooks published after 2000, such as Donald Prothero’s 2013 textbook Bringing Fossils to Life. And the 2016 textbook Biology, by Mader and Windelspecht, uses re-drawn versions of Haeckel’s embryos that make the same (mistaken) point.

    Publishers could possibly be forgiven if this was the only mistake. But as Wells indicates, similar evidential misrepresentations continue for other “icons” including the Miller-Urey experiment, Archaeopteryx, peppered moths, Darwin’s finches, and more. Like zombies, these “evidences” simply won’t die.”

    Quite some rhetorical stuff in here.
    It would convince the uneducated of course.

    Reply
  5. KR says:

    Sean Mcdowell wrote: “Rather than following the evidence wherever it leads, says Wells, many scientists are committed to methodological naturalism, which is the view that science is limited to materialistic explanations.”

    If Dr Wells thinks that there are legitimate avenues of research that are being left unexploited due to a materialistic bias, what non-materialistic methodology would he like to propose – and why hasn’t he done anything about it himself? I mean, he’s got a PhD and everything, right? According to his Wikipedia entry, Wells only has his name on 3 peer-reviewed papers in his entire career – none of which is from the last 20 years.

    The ID movement (which is basically equivalent with the Discovery Institute) has its own journal, Biocomplexity, which is supposedly the premier outlet for ID research. One would expect such a publication to display plenty of examples of this new research, unshackled by methodological materialism, right? Well, no. In its 7 years of existence, Biocomplexity has published a total of 13 research articles. That’s a rather meager output but worse, none of these articles present any alternative to methodological materialism. In fact, none of the articles are even about detecting design. Looking at ID:s own flagship publication it seems there’s no actual ID science going on.

    The truth is that science is not being held back by any self-imposed philosophical limitations. The only limitations (except for our imagination) are the tools and methods at our disposal. If a dedicated ID proponent like Dr Wells really thought these non-materialistic tools and methods were availbale, he would of course have used them. The fact that he hasn’t suggests that Wells isn’t motivated by science but by ideology. This quote from his article “Why I Went for a Second Ph.D.” removes all doubt:

    “Father’s words, my studies, and my prayers convinced me that I should devote my life to destroying Darwinism, just as many of my fellow Unificationists had already devoted their lives to destroying Marxism. When Father chose me (along with about a dozen other seminary graduates) to enter a Ph.D. program in 1978, I welcomed the opportunity to prepare myself for battle.”

    “Father” in this context refers to Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the founder of the Unification Church. So much for following the evidence wherever it leads.

    Reply
  6. Kalmaro says:

    I think this makes a lot of good points. It’s odd how things that science has already proven false is still being taught today regardless. The only answers are that either people just don’t care to fix the mistakes are they just want something to be true so they publish whatever sounds good, despite the evidence pointing elsewhere.

    Reply
      • Kalmaro says:

        Just some of the examples of evolution used today. Like the one mentioned in the article with the embryos. It is just odd that those examples are still being used in text books.

        Reply
        • Ed Vaessen says:

          What is so odd? Are you trying to suggest that evolution theory stands or falls with these drawings, that science itself knows not to be fully accurate?
          Stephen Gould mentioned these drawings and expressed his discontent about the carelessness of text book editors in this respect, so you know how science sees them.
          I am not surprised that the drawings are mentioned by creationists, just like the Piltdown hoax and Nebraska man. There is not so much else to complain about science.

          You act like a supporter of a soccer club that went down 100 to 0 against a superior team. Now, to be honest, the result should have been 99 against 0 because one goal was made in an offside position, a fact that the superior team also readily acknowledged.

          Why do you never talk about those 99 goals the other team made and the fact that your own team cannot score goals at all?

          Reply
    • Ed Vaessen says:

      Kalmaro says:
      “I think this makes a lot of good points. It’s odd how things that science has already proven false is still being taught today regardless. The only answers are that either people just don’t care to fix the mistakes are they just want something to be true so they publish whatever sounds good, despite the evidence pointing elsewhere.”

      Who are ‘they’? The lazy textbook editors?

      And where is your judgement about Wells, who obviously has lied to people in a most shameful way? He wrote that his study convinced him that evolution theory was wrong, where in fact he was sent to that study with the explicit task to battle Darwinism.
      Not a word of disapproval I read from you and I am not surprised.

      Reply
      • Kalmaro says:

        In reply to both of your posts,
        Why is it strange that I am dissapointed with the fact that old and discredited information is being used to convince people of something? I don’t see why it should matter how important it is, if something is false then it’s false.

        As for Well’s motivation, I’m not seeing your issue. It looks like he is saying he looked at evidence, got convinced that Darwinian is false and has made it his goal to attack it. I don’t see anything dishonest there, unless he’s lying about what he saw v.

        Reply
        • Ed Vaessen says:

          “Why is it strange that I am dissapointed with the fact that old and discredited information is being used to convince people of something? I don’t see why it should matter how important it is, if something is false then it’s false. ”

          What you do not do is addressing the fact that the scientific community overwhelmingly accepts the theory of evolution and why the community does that. You do not want to know why and where this community scores its goals. Instead, you fight a rearguard battle, complaining eternally about an offside goal, as if that decides anything.
          An offside goal is not needed to convince people that the team that won the match with 100 to 0 is the better team.

          Reply
          • Kalmaro says:

            No one said it *was* needed to convince anyone. I merely wondered why outdated data was being used in the first place.

            You seem interested in trying to pit me against the scientific community as a whole but I would think that anyone would be against using old data. Whether or not the overall scientific community accepts the evolution theory has nothing to do with what I have been saying, unless the theory is flawed.

          • Kyle says:

            By all means if you have an issue with this false evidence being used, complain to the publisher. Don’t try to use it as evidence the whole concept is wrong. This is not a case where these books were written as late as 2016 with this info purposely put in. These are just new editions. All they tend to do with those is update a few problems and reformat stuff. Generally the previous edition isn’t changed much. We are against using old data. We are also against opponents trying to use that as evidence evolution is somehow wrong. Back to Ed’s analogy, the score is still 99-0 excluding the one false goal.

        • Ed Vaessen says:

          Kalmaro says:
          “As for Well’s motivation, I’m not seeing your issue. It looks like he is saying he looked at evidence, got convinced that Darwinian is false and has made it his goal to attack it. I don’t see anything dishonest there, unless he’s lying about what he saw ”

          http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/3/23/101390/-

          Wells, in his book ‘Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth?’:

          “During my years as a physical science undergraduate and biology graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, I believed almost everything I read in my textbooks. I knew that the books contained a few misprints and minor factual errors, and I was skeptical of philosophical claims that went beyond the evidence, but I thought that most of what I was being taught was substantially true”

          Wells, on another occasion, about the time before he:

          “Father’s words, my studies, and my prayers convinced me that I should devote my life to destroying Darwinism, just as many of my fellow Unificationists had already devoted their lives to destroying Marxism. When Father chose me (along with about a dozen other seminary graduates) to enter a Ph.D. program in 1978, I welcomed the opportunity to prepare myself for battle.”

          Wells is a shameless liar. But he says what you like to hear and that is what is decisive for you.

          Reply
          • Kalmaro says:

            That does look off. Unless he’s claiming that he at first thought he was a skeptic but then later discovered that he was there through God’s will I don’t see a way to make both statements he made harmonize. It would probably help if he clarified this.

            That said, his credentials look pretty sound, so regardless of why he believes he entered the graduate program, would it not to better to look at his claims he’s made and go from there?

  7. Kalmaro says:

    @kyle I believe I have made it clear from the beginning that my only concern was false evidence being used in the first place. Publishers should pay more attention to these things. My views on evolution were kept separate from all of this.

    I actually am a supporter of the evolution we have *observed*. Namely, the small changes organisms can go through to adapt to their environment. Anything beyond that is speculation though I find the theories interesting.

    Reply
    • Kyle says:

      Your concerns seem to have driven you to defend someone who is using this 1 goal against the entire subject of evolution.

      Also can you clarify your last statement? How big are these small changes you accept? Where do you draw the line and consider something only speculative?

      Reply
      • Kalmaro says:

        I was not really defending anyone. I just stated that I felt they made am interesting point in how some old evidence is still used for no reason. I think we can both agree that science has come a long way into the study of evolution so we should prioritize putting out new data and getting rid of the old. I feel like text books should be focused on especially since this is what we are presenting to the children.

        I don’t have a limit on how big changes are that I’ll accept, provided that they are something we have seen ourselves and can be tested. Anything beyond that has to be investigated on a case by case basis since we are then operating beyond what we can observe. That is my personal opinion anyway.

        Reply
        • Kyle says:

          ” Anything beyond that has to be investigated on a case by case basis since we are then operating beyond what we can observe. That is my personal opinion anyway.”

          And if the opinions of professionals differs from yours? If someone or multiple people with years of experience studying this field say otherwise, would you defer to their judgement?

          Reply
          • Kalmaro says:

            All the studying in the world can not equal first hand experience. I’d be more than happy to listen to their opinions about theirs findings but evidence often can have more than one interpretation and someone being a scholars does not excuse them from being fallible.

            That goes for me too. I don’t claim to have some special insight on evolution research, I just know what we have observed and really, that is all anybody knows for sure. Educated guess are still guesses.

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            “That goes for me too. I don’t claim to have some special insight on evolution research, I just know what we have observed and really, that is all anybody knows for sure. Educated guess are still guesses.”

            Fact is that you have no insight in science at all.

          • Kyle says:

            I’m not talking about individuals. If an overwhelming majority of people studying a field agree on something that hasn’t been directly observed, would that sway you? If not, why not? What even counts as observation anymore? When CGI in a movie can lead us to new insights with black holes (http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0264-9381/32/6/065001) where do you draw the line? You say you’d be happy to listen to their opinions and findings. Most of this is readily available and contradicts especially the original article as well as supports macro-evolution.

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Kalmaro says:
            “All the studying in the world can not equal first hand experience. I’d be more than happy to listen to their opinions about theirs findings but evidence often can have more than one interpretation and someone being a scholars does not excuse them from being fallible. ”

            Ridiculous. As soon as evidence points to the truth of Christianity and the interpretation is according to your liking, no such concerns cross your mind.

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Kalmaro says:
            “I was not really defending anyone.”

            Oh yes. You are defending Wells, who is a shameless liar. You do that because he says what you like to hear.
            You complain about a goal because of offside and at the same time defend the team that does not play by the rules at all.
            Why are so many christian scientists defending evolution? It is because they play fair, unlike Wells.

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Kalmaro says:

            “I’d be more than happy to listen to their opinions about theirs findings but evidence often can have more than one interpretation and someone being a scholars does not excuse them from being fallible. ”

            It is also very revealing that Kalamaro never applies that to Jonathan Wells.

  8. Kalmaro says:

    @Kyle
    I meant when I said I’d be happy to listen to other’s opinions. If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t even be here talking with you in the first place. CGI models of black holes are fascinating, but I do not see what that has to do with our conversation. I’m not saying that black holes don’t exist. Macro evolution as a whole makes assumptions that we have not been able to observe and also comes with flaws that evolutionist have known about for years and have been trying to answer.

    The fact that a large, even overwhelming, number of people support it does not mean something is fact. It may give the impression that something is more likely to be fact but ‘fact’ is not determined by popular vote. What I have found is that macro evolution is not only accepted because all the evidence points to it, rather, it becomes the only option that can be true in the first place if the universe had a purely natural cause, if it even began in the first place.

    All of this is my opinion. I was not there to see how the universe began, or how the first life started, if it evolved over a period of time due to mutations which led to other organisms, etc. What I do know is that animals changing over time has been observed and tested, but we have yet t be able to accurately demonstrate how this process over an extended amount of time could lead to other organisms. The tests run so far have only shown that, while mutations do occur, they are almost exclusively detrimental

    Reply
    • Kyle says:

      How do you define a trait as exclusively detrimental? How would this refute any points of macro-evolution?

      The black holes and CGI models were to show that we gained new insight to a phenomenon based solely off observations that were computer generated. Do you consider that to be an observation? If so would computer simulations showing macro-evolution to be true suffice? If not, why not?

      Reply
      • Kalmaro says:

        A computer simulation is based off assumptions from what we have observed. I’m not saying that they are wrong because no one knows enough to even say that. I think what they did for interstellar was a phenomenal achievement but to say that the model that they made is absolutely accurate, no one can say that, not at our current understanding.

        Same goes for simulations on macro evolution. I have no doubt that scientists can put together some very impressive ND convincing simulations but at the end of the day, it is still an assumption that a computer is told to work with. We can certainly make educated guesses, like I stated earlier, but they are still guess. All the computers can do is take what we put into them and paint a picture grin it, so to speak.

        As for traits being detrimental, I am referring to the work done by those who have been experimenting with flies and one scientist was working with a specific Bacteria. The idea was to work with an organism that reproduces quickly. I can get the information for you if you want but the basic idea was that they did notice mutation like extra wings for the fly, but most mutations resulted in dead flies and even the ones with extra wings did not benefit.

        Reply
        • Kyle says:

          I think you are confused over what goes on with these “guesses”. It’s not like scientists observe something, toss their best guess at it, and walk away. The guess is the beginning, the hypothesis. They then find ways to test that. Then they rigorously test it. Sometimes it holds true, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes something holds true until we dig deeper. The atom is a perfect example of this. From just a small indivisible building block, to a bunch of subatomic particles. Even when their “guesses” are wrong it can lead to huge discoveries like the Ernest T. Rutherford gold foil experiment. These guesses don’t just hang in the air until something better comes along. They are put through the ringer to make sure they are right. That is what science does.

          As for traits being detrimental, if it helps the species survive somehow is it really detrimental? Yes there are traits that are categorically bad for the species. That doesn’t mean all are. That doesn’t mean if we think they are bad for the species they are. It depends on whether the species survives. Here are a few that come to mind as being beneficial-

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._coli_long-term_evolution_experiment#Evolution_of_aerobic_citrate_usage_in_one_population

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asexual_reproduction#Alternation_between_sexual_and_asexual_reproduction

          Reply
          • Kalmaro says:

            We can’t test macro evolution so yes, all we can do is look at the evidence we have and make the best assumptions we can.
            We can’t test black holes so, once again, the best we can do is look at the evidence we have and go from there.

            You act like I’m trying to make science sound like it is ineffective at doing anything. I’m not, I’m just pointing out that there are some things that we currently can only guess on.

            Even with the E.coli experiment, the mutation mention does help it survive in a specific environment but that’s about it. It’s still E.coli and the mutation that happened changed basically nothing about it.

            According to macro evolution, we we from simpler organisms to more complicated ones over a period of time. We have yet to be able to test this however. While mutations have certainly been proven, we have yet to see anything that can provide the changes necessary for what macro evolution is suggesting.

          • Kyle says:

            We can test macroevolution. A new fossil is found. We can explore the fossil and determine what it is and at what stage in evolution it is. Compare that to where it was found and guess at its age. Then date the fossil and see if your guess was right. Simple. Then if we happen to find fossils in areas that can’t be easily dated, we could use the above process to approximate its age with some degree of certainty.

            For black holes we can test how they affect light based off models. Again, simple.

            For E. Coli, this is exactly what evolution predicts will lead to new species. You still seem to have the wrong impression of science. Science doesn’t need to directly observe something the way you seem to think it does to be able to come up with answers to questions or to form theories about things. With macroevolution we have fossils from eons ago that we can study. We are directly observing them, maybe not while they were alive or in a natural habitat, but it’s observation.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macroevolution

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_transitional_fossils

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            When we see ships sinking down more the further they distance themselves from he shore, when we see the Polar Star rising more above the horizon when we travel north, when we find ourselves coming back to our point of departure after making a long journey in one direction, when we see a spherical shadow thrown on the moon at moon eclipses, when we see a big ball when we ascend to space and make photographs of the earth, then we conclude scientifically that the earth is round.
            But sometimes we see lands ‘impossibly’ far beyond the horizon and that doesn’t fit with the model of round earth at all. We can explain that however as we have learned something about the peculiar way light propagates through the atmosphere under specific circumstances.
            And all will agree the earth must be round. So will Kalmaro.

            When we see that all life is built from the same building blocks, that it has the same core of DNA, that there is a tree of life with groups in groups both morphologically and in the DNA, when we see atavisms and rudimentary organs, when we see the biogeographical distribution of life and he fossil record, we will conclude that all life on earth is related and has a common ancestry.
            But sometimes we see the ‘impossible’ lack of intermediate forms from species to species and that throws doubt. We can explain that however as we learned something about population genetics and the fossilization process.
            And all will agree that all life is related. Except for Kalmaro who on a daily base kissing the ass of his imaginary, stone age god and still follows the limited imagination of stone age people.

    • Ed Vaessen says:

      “What I do know is that animals changing over time has been observed and tested, but we have yet t be able to accurately demonstrate how this process over an extended amount of time could lead to other organisms. ”

      You demonstrate a total ignorance about the scientific method. Science is not about answering all questions, as all scientific disciplines have their knowledge gaps. According to your rules, all scientific disciplines could be put in the dust bin.
      A scientific theory gets its plausibility by showing that many independent observations point to the same model and that no observations falsify it. It is about converging lines of evidence and if they are many, we have no longer a reasonable doubt about a theory.
      It is very clear that you do not want to know this simple fact that any scientist could explain you if you had the guts to do it. For your religious peace of mind stick to a caricature of science.

      Reply
      • Kalmaro says:

        Look, no one is going to take you seriously if all you do is attack them.

        I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with science at all, just that when it comes to evolution we still have not been able to answer some of the glaring faults. To believe that we will in the future based on what we have done in the past is not science, that is faith.

        If evolution is the ultimate answer to how we went from the first spark of life to where we are now then so be it. However, we do not have enough on the table to make that call yet. The best we can do is work on assumptions and make models to help give us an idea and a way to interpret the evidence we have.

        Reply
  9. Kalmaro says:

    @ED VAESSEN
    You seem more interested in attacking me than discussing anything so I’ll keep this short.
    In an earlier post I point out that Wells seems to contradict himself and he should probably clarify what he meant in a quote you gave me.

    Saying Christian scientists defend evolution does not mean much, I support evolution too, just to the extent of what we have observed and not what we assumed.

    I do not just accept something because it has God’s name on it, you do not know me and to assume you do makes you look less intelligent. Try to focus more on facts and don’t let your emotions type for you.

    Reply
    • Ed Vaessen says:

      My point simply is that you don’t reason rationally. That is easy to see. Your emotional attachment to your specific christian doctrine makes you stick to the belief that we descend from Adam and Eve. You cannot tolerate the idea that we are apes and descended from primitive creatures, right back to the first cells, because that makes the whole sacrifice of Christ unnecessary. Now, instead of acknowledging that in all honesty, you try to fly for that obvious fact. You try to sound reasonable and in that you fail hopelessly. You clearly do not realize what science is and disqualify it with silly phrases about scholars being fallible , ‘first hand experience’ and interpretation of evidence.

      It is all to clear that do you not in the least apply that to Christianity. You accept it without really thinking about it and then words like fallible, interpretation and the like are completely absent.

      So what you do is defining the rules of the game according to your liking and that has nothing to do with rational thinking.

      Reply
      • Kalmaro says:

        What on earth are you talking about? The entire history of Science is built on the idea of improvement. No one is perfect and all that can be done is to look at the evidence, interpret it and if a better interpretation comes along we go with that. Mistakes are made and to say otherwise just shows your blind faith in scientists.

        It is much better to work with what we know and can observe than to make guesses and say that they must be true and nothing else. Hence my point on valuing first hand experience. Models are fantastic learning tools and have their place but we have to remember that they are still built on assumptions, which means we just don’t know enough about the subject so we are making the best guesses we can think of while using the data provided.

        This nonsense about what I can or cannot tolerate is absurd and is just distracting from the topic. If you want to just attack me then go ahead, just don’t expect me to reply to you anymore here or anywhere else. I’m too old for that.

        Reply
  10. Kalmaro says:

    @KYLE
    No, of course Science does not have to observe something to have an idea about it. That’s just common sense everyone uses. My point is that, while we can make models and predictions that does not mean that we can rule out other answers or even act like we do have all the answers. That leads to dogma, which science should be free from.

    Fossils present more problems than they answer. We can’t tell if a fossil is related to another exclusively by looking at it due to it’s relationship to another fossil then being a matter of opinion. We can make some guess but that’s about it. Finding the age of the fossil is difficult as well since different methods can give radically different ages. Then when you factor in thins that are still causing issues like the Cambrian explosion, you start to see that fossils may not be the most reliable method for proving macro evolution after all.

    I wont touch black holes again, we both agree that we can only test them with models and I’ve talked about that already.

    The results for E.coli still do not answer anything. Yes, there were mutation but even after all the work done, it never really changed. Mutations as what macroevultion depends on, this much is true, but we have come no closer to proving that this has happened than when we started.

    I’m perfectly fine with theories being made, questions being asked and models being constructed. My problem comes from when other theories and suggestions are made and are immediately shut down when the main ones being followed today are no more proven than when they first began.

    We still can’t even show how life could have started through purely natural means.

    Reply
    • Kyle says:

      You still seem to be missing the point. Science works with the best answers they can manage at the time. That means that the answer to things like speciation is macroevolution. Whether or not you accept that does not mean a thing to the scientists who study and accept this as fact. This is the basis for their work because it does not fail them. If/when it were to fail them, they would then reevaluate the issue. Fossils do not present more problems than they answer. That just sounds like some trite statement made by someone who does not understand everything that goes into their study. Again, this is not something where scientists just make a guess and then call that the answer. These “guesses” are rigorously tested. The ones you hear about are the ones that do not fail. Also you seem to misunderstand what a theory is if you think these are “immediately shut down”. A scientific theory is considered proven fact (which evolution is). These theories are derived from hypothoses (the guesses you seem to think everyone clings to). You have been horribly misguided by those that do not understand science.

      Reply
      • Ed Vaessen says:

        Kalmaro doesn’t want to know science. He only wants to know that Jesus is his Savior. There is no more to it than that.

        Reply
    • Ed Vaessen says:

      Kalmaro says:
      “No, of course Science does not have to observe something to have an idea about it. That’s just common sense everyone uses. My point is that, while we can make models and predictions that does not mean that we can rule out other answers or even act like we do have all the answers. That leads to dogma, which science should be free from.”

      According to this reasoning, it is a dogma to assume that the earth is round.
      When Kalmaro then says that there are splendid reasons to assume that the earth is round beyond doubt (and indeed there are many, though we cannot rule out other answers), he will NOT acknowledge the existence of equally good reasons to assume that we are apes and evolved from primitive creatures.
      As soon as the conclusions do not suit his emotional desires, Kalmaro changes the rules.
      What a prick he is!

      Reply

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