[asa] A Question for Pat Pun

From: Richard Fischer <dickfischer@earthlink.net>
Date: Sat Feb 03 2007 - 10:56:22 EST

I read your book. I see your answer below. Can I ask you a quickie
question? In your estimation are crocadiles and aligators related by mutual
shared common ancestry? How about horses and zebras?

~Dick Fischer

> I agree with Jon Wells comments.
> Pattle.P.T.Pun, Ph.D.
> Professor of Biology,
> Wheaton College,
> Wheaton, IL 60187
> phone: 630-752-5303
> fax: 630-752-5996
> email: pattle.p.pun@wheaton.edu
> http://www.wheaton.edu/Biology/faculty/ppp/index.html
>>>> Keith Miller <kbmill@ksu.edu> 1/29/2007 2:31 PM >>>
> Below is an essay by Jonathan Wells on Evolution Sunday. I post
> without comment.
> Keith
> __________________________________
> http://www.yaledailynews.com/articles/view/19634
> As Jonathan Dudley pointed out in his recent column (“Evolution
> Sunday not so benign,” 1/24), hundreds of Christian churches across
> America will celebrate Darwin’s theory on Feb. 11.
> Why will they do this? A little background is helpful here.
> Evolution can mean many things. Broadly speaking, it means simply
> change over time, something no sane person doubts. In biblical
> interpretation, it can mean that God created the world over a long
> period of time rather than in six 24-hour days. In biology, it can
> mean minor changes within existing species, which we see happening
> before our eyes.
> But Darwin’s theory claims much more * namely, that all living things
> are descended from a common ancestor and that their present
> differences are due to unguided natural processes such as random
> variations and survival of the fittest. It is not evolution in
> general, but Darwin’s particular theory (Darwinism) that Evolution
> Sunday celebrates. That’s why it is timed to coincide with Charles
> Darwin’s birthday.
> The idea originated with University of Wisconsin evolutionary
> biologist Michael Zimmerman after a Wisconsin school board adopted
> the following policy in 2004: “Students are expected to analyze,
> review, and critique scientific explanations, including hypotheses
> and theories, as to their strengths and weaknesses using scientific
> evidence and information. Students shall be able to explain the
> scientific strengths and weaknesses of evolutionary theory. This
> policy does not call for the teaching of Creationism or Intelligent
> Design.”
> Zimmerman called the policy a decision “to deliberately embrace
> scientific ignorance.”
> But experiments have consistently failed to support the hypothesis
> that variations (including those produced by genetic mutation) and
> selection (natural or artificial) can produce new species, organs and
> body plans. And what may have once looked like solid evidence for
> universal common ancestry (fossils, embryos and molecular
> comparisons) is now plagued by growing inconsistencies. It is
> actually the Darwinists who brush aside these awkward facts who
> “embrace scientific ignorance.”
> Not only did Zimmerman oppose analyzing Darwinism’s strengths and
> weaknesses, but he also appealed to Christian churches for help. Why?
> Polls have consistently shown that about 40 percent of Americans
> believe God created the human beings in their present form a few
> thousand years ago, while another 45 percent believe that humans
> developed over millions of years from less advanced forms but that
> God guided the process. Despite their differences, both of these
> groups accept a central tenet of Christian theology: Human beings
> were designed and created in the image of God.
> Darwinism denies this.
> Darwin himself wrote that he could see “no more design in the
> variability of organic beings, and in the action of natural
> selection, than in the course which the winds blow.” Although he
> could not “look at the universe as the result of blind chance,”
> Darwin saw “no evidence of beneficent design, or indeed of design of
> any kind, in the details.” Thus, asserts Darwinist George Gaylord
> Simpson, “Man is the result of a purposeless and natural process that
> did not have him in mind. He was not planned.”
> Less than 15 percent of Americans accept this view. Yet Darwinists
> depend heavily on American taxpayers for their financial support.
> Enlisting Christian clergy to defend “science” or “evolution” is a
> tactic used to perpetuate that support.
> For example, Eugenie Scott directs a militantly pro-Darwin
> organization euphemistically named the National Center for Science
> Education. As an acknowledged humanist, Scott rejects the Christian
> worldview, yet she wrote in 2002: “I have found that the most
> effective allies for evolution are people of the faith community. One
> clergyman with a backward collar is worth two biologists at a school
> board meeting any day!”
> To reach skeptics of Darwinism, Scott recommends sugarcoating
> evolution as change over time. Only after she gets people nodding in
> agreement to the obvious fact that “the present is different from the
> past” does Scott introduce them to “The Big Idea” * namely, Darwin’s
> theory. Organizers of Evolution Sunday use the same bait-and-switch.
> The vast majority of Americans reject Darwinism for good reasons: It
> doesn’t fit the scientific evidence, and it contradicts a central
> tenet of Christianity. Instead of using Evolution Sunday to celebrate
> Darwin, churches should use the day to reaffirm the creatorship of
> God and the value of good science * which includes studying the
> strengths and weaknesses of evolutionary theory.
> Jonathan Wells has a doctorate in religious studies from Yale and a
> doctorate in molecular and cell biology from the University of
> California, Berkeley. He is the author of “The Politically Incorrect
> Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design.”
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Received on Sat Feb 3 10:57:07 2007

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