Re: [SCICHR] "modern" evolutionary theory/evidence

Steven Schimmrich (
Mon, 27 Jul 1998 06:53:14 -0400

Many of the evolution questions you ask are addressed in the Talk Origins
archives. They are located at

A Gallup Poll was done on September 10, 1993 (most libraries have Gallup
Poll results in the reference section) which asked:

"Which of the following statements comes closest to your views on the
origin and development of human beings: 1) Human beings have developed
over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided
this process; 2) human beings have developed over millions of years from
less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process; or 3)
God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time
within the last 10,000 years or so?"

"Developed, with God = 35%"
"Developed, no God = 11%"
"God created, in present form = 47%"

It didn't really clarify things any more than this.

At 11:37 PM 7/26/98 -0500, you wrote:
>Hi all,
>I am in desparate need for some quick answers to these question re. modern
>evolution. (see below)
>This is to supplement the rebuttal I am writing for an article "Is God an
>Evolutionist" that appeared in Jul 98 Lutheran Witness Magazine. Sadly, he
>has numerous factual errors, false premises, and quotes out of context,
>that render his entire manuscript hogwash. It is very distressing to me to
>see someone cling so tenaciously to their beliefs, that they are unable to
>even present them in an unbiased light. When we do this, are we not at
>danger of worshiping our "beliefs" about God rather than God Himself?
>Anyway... my questions...
>(1) It is my understanding that the current theories of evolution have
>diverged significantly from what Darwin originally proposed. In what ways?
>(2) Darwinism: Are there evolutionary scientists who would still call
>themselves "Darwinists"? (Does that imply a belief in gradualism?) Or is
>the term "Darwinist" outdated? What is "Neo-Darwinism"?
>(3) Mutations & prim/adv. features: This author claims that the evolution
>scientist "relies" on mutations as explanation for macro-evolution. Didn't
>recent genetic findings show certain primitive species already contain
>genes for advanced features like developed eyes, even though they do not
>possess them? Can anyone provide me with specific examples of such animals
>and what features, and perhaps a citation or two? (so that I can contact
>the authors to obtain reprints - I am not close to an accessible univ.
>library). Also, is there an accepted name for this? (prim. sp. having
>"advanced" genes)
>(4) Gradualism vs. punctual equilibrium: Which is the "accepted" theory of
>the day, or is it still hotly debated? Who originally proposed punc.
>equilibrium? Are there other alternative mechanisms? (actually these are
>not really mechanisms but clarifying theories, correct?)
>(5) S.J. Gould/trade secret: The author claims Gould said "the trade secret
>of paleontology" is that there are no or few transitional fossils. I
>believe the author may have taken Gould's statements out of context. Anyone
>know Gould's actual meaning for that statement? (I do understand that in
>punctual equil. theory you would not expect many transitional fossils since
>evolutionary changes occur rapidly due to abrupt environment/climate/etc
>(6) Scriptural 'death': The Scriptures tell us "by sin, death came into the
>world" and "the wages of sin is death" --> My straight reading of that has
>always taken "death" to mean NOT physical death but spiritual death (the
>death of one's soul). Is there anyone else who holds to this
>interpretation? Is physical death the commonly accepted belief?
>(7) Appearance of Age: I know we have discussed the reason why most of us
>on list do not agree with the "appearance of age" being comparable to the
>wine at Cana. Can someone re-send me an old message about WHY the analogy
>doesn't hold?
>(8) He quotes a Gallup poll that says 47% of Americans believe God created
>HUMANS in their present form within the last 10,000 years, and that only
>38% believe in a "compromise involving some form of divinely guided
>evolution" - his words, not nec. the poll's. Has anyone seen this
>particular poll or know where I can locate the specifics behind it? I would
>be interested in the % of that 47% that believe in evolution of other
>species, but special creation of humankind - that may make the number even
>closer if not skewed the other way. (OF course the whole argument he's
>trying to pull off that "if a majority believe it, than it's true" is
>completely false)
>I appreciate your feedback even if its just to refer me to such & such web
>site. I am trying to do a quick turnaround for this rebuttal because the
>article just came out and if I want a chance at getting them to accept this
>rebuttal I have to get it in ASAP.
>Best regards,
>Wendee Holtcamp
> Wendee Holtcamp -- GREENDESIGN Communications
> Environment/Ecology/Travel Journalism & Photography
> Photos ------> <------ Articles
> List-Owner, Envwrite Writing Workshop
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   Steven H. Schimmrich
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