I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Darwinism is grossly overrated II

The purpose of this follow-up to "Darwinism is grossly overrated" is to add the following excerpt from an article by Casey Luskin of the Discovery Institute:

It is a simple task to find quotes from scientists or scientific organizations saying evolution is crucial or key to all of modern biology. Over twenty years ago an Australian anthropologist explained in a secular journal why he thinks this is true:

[M]any scientists and technologists pay lip-service to Darwinian Theory only because it supposedly excludes a Creator from yet another area of material phenomena, and not because it has been paradigmatic in establishing the canons of research in the life sciences and the earth sciences.[5]

This explains why Mr. Mooney’s statements about the grandeur of evolution are unlikely to impress those who are not already convinced of the accuracy of Neo-Darwinism. More recently, some eminent scientists—including some evolutionary biologists—are taking a different view. Writing in The Scientist, Philip S. Skell, member of the National Academy of Science and Emeritus Professor at Pennsylvania State University stated that, “my own research with antibiotics during World War II received no guidance from insights provided by Darwinian evolution …. [and] [n]or did Alexander Fleming's discovery of bacterial inhibition by penicillin.[6] ”Skell goes on to report his experiences with evolution in empirical research:

I recently asked more than 70 eminent researchers if they would have done their work differently if they had thought Darwin's theory was wrong. The responses were all the same: No."

Skell finds many major discoveries in experimental biology were not aided by evolution. These include the discovery of the DNA double helix; the characterization of the ribosome; the mapping of genomes; research on medications and drug reactions; improvements in food production and sanitation; the development of new surgeries. If evolution won’t save the world, can it yield commercial benefits? In August, 2006, evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne wrote in an article entitled “Selling Darwin” in Nature, explaining that the answer is again, “No”:

[I]f truth be told, evolution hasn’t yielded many practical or commercial benefits. Yes, bacteria evolve drug resistance, and yes, we must take countermeasures, but beyond that there is not much to say. Evolution cannot help us predict what new vaccines to manufacture because microbes evolve unpredictably. But hasn’t evolution helped guide animal and plant breeding? Not very much. Most improvement in crop plants and animals occurred long before we knew anything about evolution, and came about by people following the genetic principle of ‘like begets like’. Even now, as its practitioners admit, the field of quantitative genetics has been of little value in helping improve varieties. Future advances will almost certainly come from transgenics, which is not based on evolution at all.[7]

One of the two commercial uses Coyne does find for evolution includes “the use of ‘directed evolution’ to produce commercial products (such as enzymes to protect crop plants from herbicides).” “Directed evolution” is otherwise known as intelligent design.

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[5] Dr. Michael Walker, Senior Lecturer, Anthropology, Sydney University. Quadrant,
October 1981, page 45.

[6] Philip S. Skell, "Why Do We Invoke Darwin? Evolutionary theory contributes little to
experimental biology," The Scientist, Vol. 19(16):10 (August 29, 2005).

[7] Jerry Coyne, "Selling Darwin: Does it matter whether evolution has any commercial applications?," reviewing The Evolving World: Evolution in Everyday Life by David P. Mindell, in Nature, Vol 442:983-984 (August 31, 2006)

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Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

> The purpose of this follow-up to "Darwinism is grossly overrated" <

...is to distract people from the fact that you are always dodging hard questions and trying to divert people from noting that you have been losing all of your arguments.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006 8:55:00 AM  

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