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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Evolution X3 - My article was accepted, it seems.

DANIEL Vijayaruban Samuel’s letter The case against Mr Darwin (Your Say, Feb 15) provoked a strong reaction. Here are some of the views expressed.

PLEASE allow me to respond to Mr D.V. Samuel’s scathing attack on Charles Darwin.

Creationism has a legacy of persecuting its own scientists, only to later embrace their “heresies” as facts. Darwin was fortunate. Had he been born two centuries earlier, his persecution would have been horribly harsh.

The theories of Copernicus and Galileo are now accepted as facts (or are they still being considered as another can of worms by Mr Samuel?). Creationists should ask themselves: This about-turn from heresy to belief is for whose benefit? Isn’t it for survival?

Darwin’s theory doesn’t have a role for God. The process involves two stages. The first stage, mutation (variation) is a random process, and the second stage is non-random natural selection. His book, The Origin of Species, a masterpiece, is 150 years old. Even now, it is being aggressively attacked and ridiculed by defenders of the faith. They called themselves Scientific Creationists and Intelligent Design proponents. “Instantaneous Creation” is now “guided evolution” where (to quote from a science book) “God is smuggled in by the back door to supervise the evolutionary process”.

If we care to find out, there are creatures on Earth whose “designs” are so weird and bizarre that they violate our standards of morality. Would one call such creatures the work of God’s Intelligent Design?

Despite the relentless and vigorous attempts to discredit scientific works perceived as “threats” by the defenders of the faith, it is heartening to note that The Star continues to publish news items such as Hawking told not to study start of universe (by Pope John Paul II, June 2006), Okay to believe in aliens – Vatican scientist (May 15, 2008) and, Church of England apologises to Darwin over theories (Sept 15, 2008).

Thank you for celebrating 150 years of Darwinism.

Darwinist, Selangor

D.V. SAMUEL says Darwin had “absolutely no science degrees” and therefore had no “scientific authority”. He equates scientific aptitude and rigour with something that must be taught in a particular manner, yet cites Albert Einstein who was a very distracted student.

“Absolutely no science degrees” is not the same as no degrees at all. Darwin collected his degree from one of the most excellent universities on Samuel’s list, Cambridge. A very naughty attempt at discrediting him from the outset.

Thirdly, he cites Nobel Prize winners as having some special weight when it comes to forming arguments. Possibly, but I would like to remind readers that several prize winners of the Nobel Prize in Economics, adhering to their false models of economics, ignorantly walked into the recent global banking crisis, while others, non-Nobelled, clearly more intelligent, predicted it in published form prior to its occurrence; eg, Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Innate intelligence seems an excellent way of discovering, i.e. thinking out-of-the-box rather than that dull educational process where you come out the same as everybody else and possibly misinformed to boot.

Darwin “went outright against the Bible” because his explanation is much neater, accepts the utter randomness that surrounds us and doesn’t rely on what somebody taught him. He thought about it rather than just accepted. Galileo and Copernicus shook the religious world but hundreds of years later their ideas proved to be simply correct. Darwin will be vindicated too.

Next, and most importantly, Samuel takes Darwin’s “fairytale” and replaces it with the religious version where one is required to “believe that man is God’s work”. “Believe”? If one is fairytale, then sir, so is the other.

It is clear to me, that the arrogance displayed in calling humans the “supreme being” is beyond a science fiction fairytale and strays into that delusion where we are so much greater than the animals that there must be a more supreme “supreme being” who created us. Appalling. We are animals too, and we’re not very clever at that. Finally, this supreme being God creates a universe that “ultimately falls apart and disintegrates”. Not a great piece of intelligent design.

Adam Kopystynski, BSc MSc, Kuantan, Pahang

WRITING off Darwin’s credentials is a lowly tactic used by many pro-Creationists after they fail to refute evidence of the theory of evolution nor are able to, by any extent, prove their own.

Creationism was drilled into Darwin from the start and that he, by his own initiative, found proof to refute all he had believed to be true means a lot.

Indeed, after being provided with facts, figures and scientifically quantifiable methods to prove Darwin’s point – for example the carbon dating method that puts the age of the Earth at about 4.5 billion years old – pro-Creationists simply wave it all off.

When asked for a semblance of proof for creationism, no scientifically measurable methods are forthcoming leaving Creationism to be just a belief, a theory.

With the discovery of DNA, so much has been explained. Human DNA is also found to be 96% similar to that of many apes and 99% similar to chimpanzees. Man have been found to have originated from the continent of Africa and branched out from there, settling all across the globe. Proof that man evolved from another species can be found in the discovery of Homo erectus, Homo habilis and Australopithecus africanus.

In contrast, how does the Bible explain away the tens of thousands of prehistoric fossils if the Earth were only 6,500 years old? Unless you subscribe to the lie that the fossils are nothing more than plaster of Paris, made up by artists to beguile the faithful.

To all pro-Creationists out there, it is time you come up with proof for your theories instead of doing nothing but undermining the efforts of real scientists! Till then, I’m a monkey’s uncle.

Medical student, Muar, Johor

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