published Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Letter's to the Editor

Where is laboratory proof of evolution?

In your editorial (Aug. 28) on Rick Perry and evolution, you gave a compelling argument for the fact that evolution is an established theory.

As a retired biology teacher, I was taught that a theory must be tested many times in the laboratory producing the same results, to be a theory.

The fossil record is punctuated by large gaps, and there are no fossils to bridge the large gaps between phyla. Evolutionists often use mutations as the vehicle that allows change. Most geneticists would conclude 95 percent of all mutations are harmful or lethal. Biogenesis or life from previous life is a theory Louis Pasteur proved many years ago.

In the Dark Ages, most scientists believed the Earth was flat, that the sun and planets rotated around the Earth and life could arise spontaneously. A few dared to swim upstream. We now know the Earth is round, the sun is the center of the solar system and life comes from previous, pre-existing life.

Would you provide for me and your readers when, where and how scientists have demonstrated over and over again in a laboratory the fact of the theory of evolution?

Today some scientists believe in intelligent design and don’t follow the herd.

DAN BRUNER

Dalton, Ga.

‘Must have’ can’t explain evolution

In an editorial in the Chattanooga Times, Aug. 28, Rick Perry is quoted saying that “evolution is ‘just a theory.’” The editorial position is, “… most scientists now believe that evolution does occur.”

An article in National Geographic, November 2004, attempts to explain the evolutionary steps that led to the development of complex living structures, including the human eye. The author essentially admitted they have no evidence that these steps actually occurred. But he said they “must have.” That phrase was used repeatedly in the article.

These “scientists” would have us believe that evolution is not “just a theory?”

LOUIS MAHN

31
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Apache_Monk said...

I cannot comprehend how 'intelligent' people could accept as fact that man evolved from pond scum.

September 2, 2011 at 6:44 a.m.
Livn4life said...

And people of faith are criticized at what they believe when evolution can allegedly be scientific based on "must have?" I am missing something in all this.

September 2, 2011 at 6:48 a.m.
EaTn said...

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? This argument will continue long after I'm gone. The one thing I do believe is that all this earth's scientific knowledge combined is like a drop in the ocean compared to that of the Creator of the universe from the millions of massive stars all the way down to the smallest creatures on earth.

September 2, 2011 at 7:02 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Well, the first letter explains the sorry state of science education. "Proof" of a scientific theory? The writer should have never been teaching science in the first place.

Science does not progress based on popular opinion. That folks refuse to accept it doesn't make it any less real. That folks think ID is a good idea doesn't make it science:

http://lawreview.wustl.edu/inprint/83-1/p%201%20Brauer%20Forrest%20Gey%20book%20pages.pdf

and hoping the world was created 8000 years ago doesn't make it true.

September 2, 2011 at 7:30 a.m.
talkthetalk911 said...

My Two cents for what its worth. EaTn..which came first the chicken or the egg? Well if you believe in the Bible then the chicken came first because God created all creatures. Not to get off on a religious kick but , Accordng to the Bible God created Adam...a mature man..able to think ...reason...do for himself and intelligent enough to take on the task of naming all the creatures. Just as God created a mature earth. Adam did not have to wait on a tree to grow from a seed or a chicken to hatch from an egg to name it. thats just my opinion. I do struggle with carbon dating and all that stuff way above my education but fall back on the arguement that the earth was created in a mature fashion....

September 2, 2011 at 8:15 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

Evolutionary Theory is the reigning paradigm describing and explaining the history and diversity of life on Earth. It is the only theory that explains all the evidence. To shift this paradigm, a different theory must explain the evidence better. So, let's do an example, shall we? Use either creation or intelligent design to explain the distribution, relative ages, and physical features of this sequence of cetacean fossils: Sinonyx (paleocene) Pakicetus (early Eocene) Ambulocetus (mid Eocene) Rodhocetus(mid Eocene) Basilosaurus and Dorudon (late Eocene) Remember, the evolutionary explanation for this sequence also addresses the dentition, arrangement of inner ear and nasal bones, molecular biology, pelvic and rear limb structure, geology of the strata in which they are found. So, Intelligent Design and Creation must explain these features better than evolution. You can read the description here:

http://www.talkorigins.org/features/whales/

Take your time

September 2, 2011 at 8:46 a.m.
bookworm said...

Dear people at large:

 You are all missing the point.  I believe in a supreme being or intelligence.  He( or she ) who invented the atom, the big bang, Big Orange Football.  But to doubt Charles Darwin is ridiculous.  I beieve science and religion are the same thing: Attempts by man to explain the unknown. Do you think a Neanderthal cringed at lightening in a storm and did not wonder about it?  Ergo, 'Origin of Species' is Charles Darwin's celebration of God in that he attempts to explain the wherewithall in the creation of man. Me? Golly gee.  I want it definitely to be true for sure that I am a direct descendent of monkeys.  Ergo again, I am also a descendent of a mighty T-Rex.  Awesome!!!!  This is no disrespect at all to the Bible which I believe speaks its truths mainly by metaphor, sybolism and written history.  There is no conflict between the good book and 'The Origin of Species.' Both celebrate the creation of man.
September 2, 2011 at 9:26 a.m.
moon4kat said...

Believing the biblical story of a divine creator generating all living creatures in six days is like believing in Greek mythology. Both are naive and primitive explanations for things we don't yet fully understand.

September 2, 2011 at 9:33 a.m.
librul said...

The fact that science is provided with physical evidence to prove many things stands tall over all the barking religionists of the world whose whole paradigm teeters on an inability to prove ANYTHING pertaining to life's origins and development. They may as well propose that it was cosmic fairies sprinkling pixie dust on a developing planet Earth. Heck, the Raelians demanded a refund for a telescope when it didn't reveal the existence of a spaceship which was supposed to whisk them to their "promised land". Religionists are to be pitied, but not believed.

September 2, 2011 at 10:12 a.m.
sandyonsignal said...

Cell biology is on the forefront with proof of evolution . I don't know how this so-called biology teacher missed all the work in this. Since he asked for proof, I'll google it for him. Man, some people are so lazy to go find things themselves. . Just google: cell biology, evolution. Here's a compilation of research from Science- Happy Birthday, Mr. Darwin

One of the quotes: " Finally, using examples from studies of genes and mutations involved in evolutionary change, Stern and Orgogozo (p. 746) illustrate how developmental biology and evolutionary theory might combine to reveal new predictive principles of genetic evolution.

September 2, 2011 at 11:36 a.m.
EaTn said...

Some folks can't see the forest for the trees, which is what happens when evolutionists are explaining their theories without a divine plan. It's like the wise farmer when asked how he managed to grow such a bumper crop replied "It was fairly simple. I planted the seed and fertilized -- God provided the soil, watered and caused the seed to germinate then grow into crop".

September 2, 2011 at 11:58 a.m.
librul said...

Having read EA TN 11:58 three times, I'm all out of pity.

September 2, 2011 at 12:06 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

EaTn translation:

"I have no idea"

You want to play in the arena of science, you must play by the rules. Creation and ID, if they want to be considered scientific, must explain the evidence better than evolution. Of course, you can reject all science if you want-it's a free country. But your rejecting of science does not change it or make it less real.

September 2, 2011 at 12:10 p.m.
mudbug said...

Evolutionary theory is a widely accepted scientific theory on how we and all of the planet's biota came to be what we see today. True, there are some unanswered gaps in this theory, and none of it can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. In fairness neither intelligent design or creationist theories can be proven. Evolution is not an attack on religion. Many evolutionary biologists are Christian, just as many Christians accept Evolutionary Theory as a plausible way by which we became human. Not all Christians view our world similarly, or take the Bible with similar interpretation. I personally believe that neither evolution, creationism, intelligent design has it 'right'. The truth may be far simpler or beyond our wildest sci-fi imaginations. I have spent my life seeking truths. It is what makes life bearable. I think I can safely say that what is known as truths is far outweighed by those yet to be discovered. Also, I think we can safely agree that we are here together on this wonderful planet, and instead of arguing about the unprovable points of life, let us work together towards a more peaceful and sustainable life. I can find no suggestion in the Bible to the contrary.

September 2, 2011 at 12:18 p.m.
librul said...

For clarification of my 10:12 comment on the Raelians -- the UFO cult which demonstrated their idiocy by wanting money back for a telescope which didn't reveal the existence of their taxi to the mothership hidden behind a comet was called Heaven's Gate. They were a distinct and minute "sect" among UFO-religionists of which Raelians are likely the the largest. A parallel to the situation of the proliferation of sects among christianists.

One wonders how many chistianists of all their sects will commit anguished suicide if an archaeologist one day discovers a skeleton, whose wrist bones are disheveled showing evidence of crucifiction, lying in a tomb with inscriptions talking about the body having been that of the "son of god". If it can be proved that Jesus wasn't resurrected, it'll be "game over" for that capital of religionist kaka. Like they say - we must keep searching for the truth.....

September 2, 2011 at 12:35 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

Let me contrast with Librul: I have every respect for religion; it is a common theme in human civilization, it is sometimes the one thing that unites groups of people in times of trouble, and it is a source of comfort and inspiration to many people I know. I have great admiration for how people's faith plays out in their lives, be they Muslim, Jew or Christian.

I have NO patience for sects that warp science, deny an ancient earth and common descent in the face of overwhelming evidence, and tell others that they must choose between sound science and their belief in God. Nor do I have any respect for those that lie to push their narrow beliefs into science classes in this country. That the earth is billions of years old is fact. That animals and plants evolved from earlier forms is fact. That humans evolved from ancestors they share with other primates, other mammals, other vertebrates and so on is fact. In order to pursue creation or intelligent design as science one must violate the rules of science, lie, and misrepresent or dismiss the work of millions of scientists. That is supremely dishonest, and not a trait I would associate with Christianity or any other faith.

September 2, 2011 at 12:48 p.m.
EaTn said...

I applaud scientists for their intelligence, discoveries and continued research in areas that have generally made the world a better place to live. If one believes in a divine creator, one also has to believe that man's brain, thinking and reasoning abilities were created to be used for that purpose. To some science will confirm their divine beliefs, to others the same science will confirm their beliefs that divine is non-existent.

September 2, 2011 at 1 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

I applaud scientists for their intelligence, discoveries and continued research in areas that have generally made the world a better place to live. If one believes in a divine creator, one also has to believe that man's brain, thinking and reasoning abilities were created to be used for that purpose. To some science will confirm their divine beliefs, to others the same science will confirm their beliefs that divine is non-existent.

That was the most intelligent thing you've posted yet on this topic.

September 2, 2011 at 1:10 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Scientists could discover and fill in all of the gaps in the fossil record tomorrow and it still would not change the minds of the hard-line fundamentalists who are going to deny evolution and cling to their creationist belief, come hell or high water. They are not waiting for conclusive scientific evidence; rather they are doing their best to refute what compelling evidence already exists. Many fundamentalists even believe that science is nothing but the wily ol' devil at work, doing his best to deceive us and keep us from believing as they believe. No amount of science or logic can counter such blind and stubborn faith.

The creationist story in the Bible is an overly simplistic, juvenile explanation of how we got here. It was the attempt of a primitive people to make sense of their limited worldview. It was not God who created us in (his) image but we who created God in the image that we wanted (him) to be. It was not God who made the Israelites of old his "chosen" people but they who created a God they needed in order to feel "chosen," protected and empowered. Believers still do the same thing today. They worship and pray to a God that they WANT to be there, who is by their side and on their side, a God who fits into their comfort zone of belief. Religion might serve an ennobling purpose for some but deep down it is basically a need for reinforcement that their belief is legitimate.

I do not argue with creationists about anything scientific or, for that matter, anything outside the realm of their belief system. It is futile to attempt to debate someone whose starting point is "It's in the Bible." I just leave them alone and hope that they will leave me alone. As a non-Christian I have cheerfully reconciled myself to their concept of hell. I will let them frolic in their heaven with their judgmental God and I will be ecstatic - even if it's a little warmish where I'm going - to be free at last of their mendacious, narrow-minded dogma and their proselytizing bible thumpers.

September 2, 2011 at 4:45 p.m.
librul said...

I tried it your way for a while lkeithlu, but in the end that fence you're still straddling chafed waaaaay too much for me. Rickaroo has it spot on.

September 2, 2011 at 5:53 p.m.
librul said...

And the drive to christianize public schools is going quite well in Chattanooga. While the zealots with "Bible in the Schools" will try to say that their courses are "just teaching the bible as history", one can only wonder which denomoination's prayers and which denomionation's god they will be featuring at their gala in the Brainerd High School gym. What tripe.

So sad that all the sponsoring churches are thus admitting that they cannot attract these students to their services on Sundays:

http://www.chattanoogan.com/articles/article_208264.asp

"A diverse group of 15 Brainerd-area churches have come together to support the Bible history program in their local public school.

"The “Brainerd Gathering,” scheduled for Oct. 2, from 6-7:30 p.m., will feature a community meal, prayer service and fund-raiser at the Brainerd High School gym. Organizers expect to raise enough money to fund a full-time Bible history teacher at Brainerd High School. Proceeds will be directed to the school through Bible in the Schools, a local nonprofit organization."

September 2, 2011 at 7:41 p.m.
talkthetalk911 said...

Here is where i get confused. if science is an excact...then how come scientist disagree with certain issues pertaining to this. i will post a site when i think of it. it was a scientist who was an athiest who set out to scientifically disprove the exsistance of God. Along the way he became a christian and has a site supported by scientific data. what makes him wrong and the others right? Both sides say there is scientific data that supports what they are saying???????

September 2, 2011 at 9:10 p.m.
librul said...

Christianity HAS NO DATA. Hello, Earth to talkthetalk911.

September 2, 2011 at 9:29 p.m.
ToHoldNothing said...

Fact, theory and evidence in science become a bit more complex terms than face value, especially with fact and evidence when you apply them to a scientific theory. There's also considerations of the law of parsimony, which tends to either negate God as any explanation or expose people as believing in God for no reason apart from personal compulsion and psychology.

The eye evolving doesn't have scientists saying it must have happened this way without a reason. The eye just popping into existence or rapidly evolving would be either improbable or intensely painful for the organism involved with rapidly dividing cells and the like (I'd imagine)

And finally, the round earth idea being revolutionary wasn't the case so much in Columbus' time, except in terms of ridiculous Biblical literalists. Even Greeks had been theorizing that the Earth was round hundreds, maybe close to a thousand years beforehand.

September 3, 2011 at 2:07 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

The eye evolving doesn't have scientists saying it must have happened this way without a reason. The eye just popping into existence or rapidly evolving would be either improbable or intensely painful for the organism involved with rapidly dividing cells and the like (I'd imagine)

Individual organisms don't evolve-populations do. This is nonsensical.

September 3, 2011 at 2:28 a.m.
hambone said...

The question between evolution and creation is mute when you think about who has the most to gain if they are right!!

September 3, 2011 at 3:07 p.m.
librul said...

Questions are never mute.

September 3, 2011 at 5:08 p.m.
ToHoldNothing said...

True lkeithlu, more popular misunderstandings about evolution creeping into my head. Need to be more aware.

September 3, 2011 at 6:08 p.m.
Apache_Monk said...

I don't know what I was thinking. The few scientist who don't believe in intelligent creation must be right, they're scientist! The millions of people who believe in God have to be wrong!

September 4, 2011 at 7:19 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

The few scientist who don't believe in intelligent creation must be right, they're scientist!

Most scientists reject (in your words) "intelligent creation" as scientific. Most of the millions of people who believe in God (including many scientists) accept evolution.

September 4, 2011 at 7:38 a.m.
HiDef said...

The millions of people who believe in God have to be wrong!

Well apache monk, I'm going to assume you're a Christian and I'm sure you believe Buddhists are wrong in their thinking, correct? Surely 300 million Buddhists can't be wrong...What about the Hindu's? Could 900 million people be wrong?

I cannot comprehend how 'intelligent' people could accept as fact that man evolved from pond scum.

But you accept the bible as fact??? Have you read the damn thing? YOU cannot comprehend how intelligent people believe in evolution? Your book has talking snakes, a 6000 year old earth, people living to 900 years of age and a guy who built a giant boat with 2 or 7 (depending on which part of the bible you're reading)types of every animal...which is impossible.

"I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." ...Stephen F Roberts

September 4, 2011 at 8:22 a.m.
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