"Sit down before fact as a little child,
be prepared to give up every preconceived notion,
follow humbly wherever and whatever abysses nature leads,
or you will learn nothing."
by:
Thomas Henry Huxley
(1825-1895) English biologist, known as "Darwin's Bulldog" for his advocacy of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution
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 -- Mike, Norwalk      
A fine definition of freedom and its purpose.
 -- Anon     
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    True. In order to fully understand the depth to which our government isn't "our" government you must completely lose all that the state has taught you. I have difficulty explaining the simplest concepts to those who's indoctrination is so complete that they actually believe income tax money goes to infrastructure. It doesn't.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Huxley, was known as "Darwin's bulldog" because of his tireless efforts in defending Darwin’s theory of evolution to the masses. Huxley is referring to the scientific method which was often in conflict with religion. In this quote he was saying that religious dogma about the earth and its inhabitants must be given up when in conflict with convincing scientific evidence. A large percentage of Americans still believe in "creationism" versus “evolution” in spite of overwhelming scientific evidence. They might as well believe in witchcraft, tiny green men, and angels. A similar quote is "Truth, in its struggles for recognition, passes through four distinct stages. First, we say it is damnable, dangerous, disorderly, and will surely disrupt society. Second, we declare it is heretical, infidelic and contrary to the Bible. Third, we say it is really a matter of no importance either one way or the other. Fourth, we aver that we have always upheld it and believed it." -- Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915)
     -- Jim, Stone Mountain, GA     
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     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA, US      
    Jim, you could have also said that a large percentage of Americans still believe in evolution versus creationism in spite of overwhelming evidence because there is no scientific proof, proving either. As to scientific evidence, there is no dna linking man's supposed predecessors or any link determining an apple tree's predecessor. There have only been weak attempts to explain why the senses, including emotion - no scientific facts. Through all the millions of attempts to create life out of chemical, electrical, etc. ooz, nothing has come close to imitating life (for one, It is believed mathematically impossible for life's primary proteins to have randomly come together in the needed order and, then associate with other like groupings and, then replicate in like form. To date, it is solely a matter of faith, depending on the individual's preconceived notions, observations and conclusions, that will determine their belief in creationism, evolution, any conflict thereto, any similarities thereof, or some other option - that is as according to the currently available facts in front of the child, you, and me.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Sorry Jim but there is no scientific evidence supporting evolution. It is just a theory. Sounds good. Sounds believable. But still no evidence. The only reason it is pushed is because of the belief that if true it would in some way disprove God. In our world people rarely get to sit down before the facts because the facts are removed from the equation before hand to avoid jeopardizing the intended conclusion.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    Good explanation Mike.
     -- warren, olathe     
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    Mike and Warren, take your head out of the sand.
     -- RBESRQ     
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    This is a great quote and an excellent suggestion.__ Facts seldom have a chance when up against ideas.
     -- A.WOODS, Gloucester     
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    Not ,many on the site today obyeing this rule. Instead they may be standing up sitffed neck and head strong and supporting their preconceived notions. Many will not accept fact, they only look at "what is the motivation for someone who advaces a fact". Well how about truth, plain simple truth without any motivation.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Robert, what do you mean, take our heads out of the sand? Are you aware of any proof, proving creationism or evolution? I don't know if you remember an event in my life that I've given in this blog a couple of times? I have a sister that was in a car wreck. She had a head injury and was in a coma for about 3 months. She had a skull fracture that was widening and they had shaved off most of her hair. All the doctors and specialists said it was certain that she was going to die. 2 men from my church anointed her head and gave her a blessing. During the blessing, she woke up. By the time the doctors got to her room, there was no sign of a fracture and all her hair was restored. I ask one of the doctors that was an avowed atheist, what he thought about the incident; he said he didn't know, "stuff happens". Many such events have happened to me, my family, and other loved ones. All of that proves nothing, science can't explain it, it's strictly open to interpretation. I've felt, heard, sensed, etc. things that have not been experienced by others and can not be explained by any science I've ever heard of. That still doesn't prove or disprove anything, its all a matter of personal belief. The individual facts by them self do not draw a definite conclusion. Following where nature leads is most always a learning excursion.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Mike, your comment about DNA evidence and evolutionary theory is not supported by the scientific evidence. For many years evolutionary relationships were based on the fossil record and many other criteria. These were were usually incomplete and needed many assumptions. However, phylogenetic trees based on DNA and RNA sequence data now provide convincing evidence on man's evolutionary history and confirm man's evolutionary relationships based on the previous data. However, many other 'supposed evolutionary relationships' have needed to be abandoned based on these same DNA and RNA sequence data. That is what the Huxley quotation is saying so eloquently. Another relevant quote from a favorite philosophical tome that is perhaps also dear to your heart "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." -- King James translation of the Bible, 1st Corinthians 13:11. Also relevant to this discussion about bias v. fact: "Every man has the right to be wrong in his opinions. But no man has a right to be wrong in his facts." -- Bernard Baruch
     -- Jim, Stone Mountain, GA     
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    Jim, your interpretation of the scientific evidence concerning phylogenetic trees is more suspect than the next generation morphology and time(s) it relies on. Differing DNA / RNA sequence data shows that man through theoretical hypothesis has been on the planet over 200,000 years. When DNA / RNA is tested from actual individuals such as the exhumed Czar Nicolas II of Russia to current day, it shows man has only been on the earth in fact for abut 6,000 years. The morphing evidence you refer to is spotty at best and based on theoretical should bee (that is, creationism can not be based on any fact) You should add to "wrong in his facts", "all the facts available should be in the equation before drawing a conclusion." You are right that DNA research has proven most of evolution's claims wrong but, to date, science is no closer to proving creationism or evolution. Those that wish to make claims not supported by all the facts should put away their childish things.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Mike, I can only conclude that you must be evangelical who will always stick with your "false view" (see below) because you have not seen all the evidence, nor have you interpreted what you have seen correctly, nor would you give up you core belief no matter how strong the conflicting evidence. "False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often endure long; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, for every one takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness." -- Charles Darwin
     -- Jim, Stone Mountain     
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    Jim, I am not evangelical, just trying to find all the facts. My core beliefs are based on the facts as I have found them. If more facts become available or are added (from my research or otherwise) to my knowledge base, I will change my beliefs accordingly. It is peculiar, for an individual that claims only his belief promoting facts are complete and conclusive to the point of rejecting so much preliminary information to the contrary. Not only false facts are highly injurious to the progress of science but cherry picking facts to support a desired out come are equally, if not more, injurious. With government, schools, the media, the immoral and many others doing all they can to diminish Christianity, little to no public voice is taking salutary pleasure in proving their own falseness. To start with, can you explain what happened to my sister while in the hospital? Can you explain the protein impossibilities? Can you explain the lack of any data coming close to showing how life began? Can you explain why that entire branch of phylogenetic tree research on DNA, demonstrating that man has only been on the planet for about 6,000 years or similar DNA has morphed simultaneously to human DNA has been abandon? You can't! There is not yet sufficient scientific data, facts, etc. to make any conclusions proving your's or my views to be false.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Warren no one can prove or disprove God. The Bible tells us that and also tells us or declares God. Take it a leave it. The Bible does not try to prove God either. Even Jesus said words to the the effect, "you folk believe in god who you cannot even see, believe in me who you can see". Darwin who was a trained minister and son of a minister became nauseas and sick to the point of throwing up when he was "discovering" his theory. He did not seek to create a theory or revolution but just to put down what he saw. His wife comforted him concerning his torn feelings between evloution and Bible creation but telling him, "Charles dear don't you know that God is about love and feelings". Why is it that women are so smart about these things and us men have to argue all of the time. There are many men of science who enjoy the love and good feelings of religion, and many men of religion who enjoy the facts of science. Lets give each other a break and some space to ruminate, think, love, laugh and be happy.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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    Waffler, quit it, it makes me smile with crazy when I agree with your conclusions.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Mike, this is America. You can believe whatever you want to, and your beliefs can be counter to overwhelming scientific evidence. Such is our great country. The beliefs of many (sometimes most) American are often a source of great distress to me and others who value the use of reason and logic in forming beliefs.
     -- Jim, Stone Mountain     
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    Jim, thanks, I echo your comment and sentiments.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Mike, other than Jim's great comments I'm sorry but this needs a much longer conversation. I'm an Atheist and each month I made it a point to meet up with a friend for lunch who is a devote Christian - he is going to seminary college. The reason for the meetings was simple I needed to know why he didn't believe in science over dogma and myth. Science has proved beyond a shadow of doubt that our existence is older than 6000 years. Science has also proved that the human race goes back a very long way though only a short time compared to the life of Earth (when compared to a year we have been around for about 13 seconds to midnight on the 31st of December.) Science has also proved that the Eye is not perfect -- read the 'Blind Watchmaker' and the 747 analogy. Science has also proved that fossils are the age they are, give or take a few thousand years. My question has always been, why did it take so long (that other 364 days eleven hours and 47 seconds) to produce humans. Please don't say it was God's will or his intention so that we would have true faith. The DNA and carbon dating processes have been verified by the vast majority of scientists -- you quote others, please provide their names and I will prove there is hidden agendas. Mike, you say your views and opinions are based on facts -- I find that very hard to believe. There is a mountain of evidence proving the dating of fossils and the existence of humans (Apes). Jim we must band together and provide more verifiable evidence so that Mike doesn't waste any more time with this myth (the biggest hoax in history). The second being Democracy.
     -- RBESRQ     
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    P.s please provide the scientists name re Czar Nicolas ll DNA/RNA thanks.
     -- RBESRQ     
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    RBESRQ, I am not optimistic about changing the beliefs of certain segments of the American people. The great changer will be the death of this and several additional future generations. For example, look at evolving beliefs about witchcraft, the earth's being the center of the universe, and the germ theory of disease. One of my favorite quotes is from Upton Sinclair -- "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."; which in a current discussion of evolution v. creation could be paraphrased to -- "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salvation (he believes) depends upon his not understanding it."
     -- Jim, Stone Mountain     
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    Robert, I am a devout Christian that believes in independent study, not relying on seminary views, and as such, have found no disagreement between science and Christianity. Because you have chosen myths, supported by prejudicial interpretations, based on selective evidence, such places you in a venue to never experience what I have or to understand what a full body of facts would provide you. I didn't say that man has only been on the planet for 6000 years, I believe man has been on the planet much longer than that. (by way of example: the word 'day' in Genesis is more accurately translated 'period' - the labors of the first period could have measured 1,000,000 earth years; it does not reference any number of dark / light cycles). My reference was to point out that only the 'science', theoretical or otherwise, that will help push the agenda of atheism is allowed in academia. Since you are the optimist with all the facts, how about if I do this, when you can show me overwhelming scientific fact that explains my sister's experience in the hospital, and overwhelming scientific evidence that life started in some chemical / electrical ooz or by accident somewhere without an intelligent design, I'll give you the references to the dna science that demonstrated that man has only been on the planet for about 6,000 years. Evolution to date, can only start somewhere in the middle, after life had already started; and further, science is yet in such an infancy state, that all the overwhelming evidence you refer to keeps changing so much that last decade"s info isn't so correct anymore.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  •  
    Wow, I love this quote. You guys have demonstrated it perfectly. A seeker of truth must always be prepared to review all of his/her personal beliefs regularly and even let go of long held beliefs -- it is the way of liberation. The hardest things to see are often right in front of our faces because we have been so conditioned that we do not even think about challenging 'common knowledge.' Civilization's ideas about science, God, kings, sex, marriage, property, freedom -- all of that is ingrained from youth -- to question such things has been considered taboo, and only an idiot would question whether 'evolution' was true. ;-) You guys make me laugh -- one minute you challenge the status quo, the next you defend your own prejudices as common knowledge. LOL, too funny. I could no more declare that there is no God any more than I could declare that there is one -- I can only relate my experience. Evolution is a theory no less than Creationism is a theory -- and there are many variations of each theory. As a cosmologist, I love theories, and put them in their proper context. There is no way to discover truth if you have a vested interest in a particular theory -- it has been where scientists and religionists have been getting stuck for millenia. As far as creationism vs. evolution goes, as long as it is a political football, the theories will devolve. The theory of evolution with respect to DNA only means that perhaps evolution is NOT random, perhaps within the programming of DNA is its future tranformation? Why does evolution imply no intelligence? Creationism --well, it simply means that the universe has come into existence (i.e. created) -- let me tell you: if you think you can comprehend the super intelligence that 'appears' to be reflected in all of creation, and that it somehow is the proof of the christian biblical 'creation' then I guess you can stop seeking and rest comfortably -- I for one will continue to make a bit more sense out of it than that. Life is a grand mystery, full of energy, intelligence, and so vast that we can only fathom its edges. For me. the journey is enough, for there does appear to be no end.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Archer, the force is with you today, said well. I am Christian for one, because I understand the lawful / justice position of a Christ in eternity; and, for another, many personal experiences. If there ever came to be sufficient facts as proved evolution, then that's what it would be.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    I do not know who or what created Earth, neither does anyone on this tiny spec in the Universe
     -- David Johnson, Patong Beach     
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    evolution of humans is somewhat proven ! if u take into mans ability to fully clone a human. i believe that a god is nothing more than an truly advanced being that well like it says god created man in his image so it only goes that perhaps one day man may evolve to a state of being that perhaps will equal the creators being
     -- HMMMMM., Earth     
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    Nuff said..
     -- Re' Starnes, Coeurdalene, Idaho.     
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    Jim, Stone Mountain and E Archer, really well said. I'm an ex fundamentalist and was raised in a Bible church, so I know what they believe. If someone should ask me if I'm a Christian, I would first ask them to define a Christian. It's hard to have an intelligent conversation or debate with anyone unless you define your terms. When fundamentalists come across something they don't quite get, their fall back position is that you have to have faith. I came across a great definition of faith as follows. " Faith is nothing more than pretending to know something that you don't know".
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
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    jim, now that you are an ex, now anti, with weird new definitions to an otherwise well establish word (obviously having only an intellectual / non-sensorial / faithful or otherwise understanding of Deity), can you explain how a teenage girl that was in a coma for so log, with a fracture in her head (that was widening and oozing liquid), with her hair cut off and with all medical experts saying she was going to die, immediately waking up upon receiving a health blessing and within a blink of an eye having no fracture, no sign of injury and all of her shoulder length hair restored ? Would your answer be like the doctor's; "stuff happens" ? Of course, "stuff happens" is the scientific, medical, technical term for an otherwise HMMMM ! ! !

    jim, are you a Christian ? I would define a Christian as someone who believes the individual that walked the earth, "Jesus", if he were the Son of the living God. AND, if you so believe, are you following Christ's teachings (understanding repentance - one understanding of repentance is: In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; . . . God . . . give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;)
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    The whole 'evolution' vs. 'creation' thing is way too general -- it is really simply do you believe in the Bible -- period. The evolution of humans from apes is but one aspect of the theory of evolution. Do you believe in oil? Do you believe in geology? Do you believe in astronomy? How about chemistry? How about meteorology? Well, you can't very well believe in something that you have not studied. At one time it was considered heretical to declare the Earth round or that it revolved around the Sun -- what do Creationists believe? How old is the Earth? Geologists could tell you it is billions of years old and prove it. How old is the Sun? Astronomers and physicists can tell you how stars are 'created.' How old is the Milky Way? Why would it have been necessary to create it all 5000 years ago and yet now apparently going on forever? Do you believe in a universe at all? Do any creationists breed animals? Or are veterinarians or horticulturists? Do any creationists study biology or anatomy? I do not know about you guys, but life on Earth does not look random to me -- everything in Nature follows natural law perfectly.

    'Evolution' really means do you believe that the universe is really, REALLY old!! Did humans descend from apes? I don't know, probably not -- heck we may not even be from this planet originally. But it is possible the human species is very, VERY old and has changed over the eons -- we are certainly taller than a couple thousand years ago, that is for sure, and our heads and jaws have changed. But why would this upset anyone? Only those for whom this knowledge challenges their religious beliefs -- that is all.

    For me, I can embrace evolution and intelligent design for I believe that it is all inherent and built-in. I don't have to understand it and I don't have to have faith in it -- the truth does not need me to believe in it to exist. I need only be willing to see it and comprehend what little of it my tiny brain can understand. The universe reflects incredible order, harmony, synchronicity, and yes, INTELLIGENCE, and perhaps very old religious mythos are trying to convey something that is very, VERY hard to explain to simple, common man. Let's at least be honest about it, though. This whole evolution vs. creationism stuff is about the veracity of the Bible, that's it.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  •  
    Are we confusing evolution with adaptation? Adaptation is real and proven for all living things except mankind. Evolution is still unproven theory.
     -- Cal, Lewisville, TX     
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