Author Topic: A famous chemist states "No scientist alive understands macro-evolution"?  (Read 505 times)

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Offline Spinner198

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I am sure some if not all of you have already heard of this, but I am curious how evolutionists would respond to this; one of the greatest chemists in the world saying he doesn't understand how macro-evolution works (and claiming that numerous other famous chemists and even the dean feels the same):

http://www.jmtour.com/personal-topics/the-scientist-and-his-%E2%80%9Ctheory%E2%80%9D-and-the-christian-creationist-and-his-%E2%80%9Cscience%E2%80%9D/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZrxTH-UUdI

For the youtube video, I suggest starting a bit before 53 minutes.

Online One Above All

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A chemist - note: not even a biochemist - doesn't understand a term creationists/anti-evolutionists/ID proponents made up and isn't accepted by the scientific community as being an actual term? I really don't know how to explain this.

EDIT: Removing insults.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2014, 06:20:13 PM by One Above All »
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Offline Spinner198

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I don't understand where people get the idea that it isn't a scientific term. I see it in science textbooks all the time. Is there some definitive scientific source that defines macro-evolution as not a scientific term? What makes something a scientific term or not? Even if it wasn't a scientific term, why would it matter? It is clear as to what it describes and to where it pertains, so just ignoring it because "We're scientists and we don't accept that word." makes you look kinda arrogant.

Also, I don't think the 'term' really matters when the chemist isn't just talking about semantics, and rather the process behind macro-evolution, ie: "when you have speciation changes, when you have organs changing, when you have to have concerted lines of evolution, all happening in the same place and time – not just one line – concerted lines, all at the same place, all in the same environment" as he says it.

I don't really think that an appeal to ridicule is really going to answer a question nor refute a statement.

If you do understand how this happens though, he says he would buy you lunch if you can explain it to him.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2014, 05:42:33 PM by Spinner198 »

Online One Above All

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I don't understand where people get the idea that it isn't a scientific term.

Maybe because it was made up by people who aren't scientists and were actually trying to discredit science? That's just a guess, though.
If I came up with a couple of terms - say, pre-NT and post-OT - and asked you to explain how pre-NT became post-OT, seeing as how a book is supposed to be a continuous segment, then either denied everything about your evidence or changed my definitions mid-debate, would you think my terms were religious terms? Would you even think my terms were religious terms to begin with? No, you would not.

I see it in science textbooks all the time.

Really? Not where I live. Which "science" textbooks were those, what schools and/or colleges are they being used at, and who wrote those textbooks?

Is there some definitive scientific source that defines macro-evolution as not a scientific term? What makes something a scientific term or not?

The fact that it wasn't made up by scientists, but in fact people who were trying to discredit science in favor of their religious views. You know, typical dark-ages mentality.

Also, I don't think the 'term' really matters when the chemist isn't just talking about semantics, and rather the process behind macro-evolution, ie: "when you have speciation changes, when you have organs changing, when you have to have concerted lines of evolution, all happening in the same place and time – not just one line – concerted lines, all at the same place, all in the same environment" as he says it.

Definition of "concerted", according to Google:
"jointly arranged, planned, or carried out; coordinated"
Evolution is not "arranged", "planned", or "coordinated", so I'll assume he means "carried out"... No, wait, evolution is not "carried out" either, since that implies someone or something did the "carrying out". Orders can't be carried out without someone or something to carry them out.
Assuming he just means "occurring", all he has to do is analyze species' DNA every few decades for several hundred years and he should see some changes. Not many, though. You'd need to live millions of years for that.

I don't really think that an appeal to ridicule is really going to answer a question nor refute a statement.

If he is ridiculous, I feel compelled to treat him as such.

If you do understand how this happens though, he says he would buy you lunch if you can explain it to him.

I'd rather not have lunch with a lunatic unless he's in a rubber room, wearing a straightjacket, and I'm getting something out of it.
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Offline Azdgari

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Chemistry is a field you can study in a lab, disconnected from the outside world.  One can be a chemist, even a good chemist, and know absolutely nothing about evolution.

So the relevance is...?
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Offline Spinner198

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Maybe because it was made up by people who aren't scientists and were actually trying to discredit science? That's just a guess, though.
If I came up with a couple of terms - say, pre-NT and post-OT - and asked you to explain how pre-NT became post-OT, seeing as how a book is supposed to be a continuous segment, then either denied everything about your evidence or changed my definitions mid-debate, would you think my terms were religious terms? Would you even think my terms were religious terms to begin with? No, you would not.

Whether it be a 'religious term' or not, it doesn't really matter as long as the meaning of said terms are understood, and the meaning of macro-evolution is understood quite well to be the grander form of 'evolution' that refers to organisms changing into new species rather than changing within a species.

Really? Not where I live. Which "science" textbooks were those, what schools and/or colleges are they being used at, and who wrote those textbooks?

I just so happen to have one here. Granted, this was a time ago that I got it and it is a relatively basic biology book.

The title is "Campbell Biology: Concepts and Connections (seventh edition)". It was being used at sinclair community college and the authors are Jane B. Reece, Martha R. Taylor, Eric J. Simon and Jean L. Dickley. It has a section entitled "Mechanisms of Macro-evolution" and seems to define Macro-evolution as "The major events in the history of life on earth". This textbook must be rejected by the scientific community at large if it uses such a term though, and I have no idea why a college would use it if they knew the word macro-evolution appeared in it.

The fact that it wasn't made up by scientists, but in fact people who were trying to discredit science in favor of their religious views. You know, typical dark-ages mentality.

It seems that the guy who initially 'coined' the terms macroevolution and microevolution was Yuri Filipchenko (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuri_Filipchenko) who was an entomologist that believed in evolution. Perhaps you should do your homework before making statements like that &)

Definition of "concerted", according to Google:
"jointly arranged, planned, or carried out; coordinated"
Evolution is not "arranged", "planned", or "coordinated", so I'll assume he means "carried out"... No, wait, evolution is not "carried out" either, since that implies someone or something did the "carrying out". Orders can't be carried out without someone or something to carry them out.
Assuming he just means "occurring", all he has to do is analyze species' DNA every few decades for several hundred years and he should see some changes. Not many, though. You'd need to live millions of years for that.

So you are refuting his understanding of evolution with your own? You seem to just be saying "He's wrong" and leaving it at that.

If he is ridiculous, I feel compelled to treat him as such.

Circular reasoning.

He doesn't understand evolution, therefore he is ridiculous.
He is ridiculous, therefore he must not understand evolution.

Calling someone ridiculous without any grounds besides "He's wrong" is not a way to refute a claim or argument.

I'd rather not have lunch with a lunatic unless he's in a rubber room, wearing a straightjacket, and I'm getting something out of it.

Seems like ad hominem. Claiming that since he doesn't worship the almighty evolution as much as you, that he must be a lunatic? That since he questions evolutionary claims for the purpose of clarity and understanding, that must make him a lunatic?
« Last Edit: June 16, 2014, 07:12:52 PM by Spinner198 »

Offline Azdgari

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How does this statement refute his claims or his knowledge on the subject?

It doesn't.  It refutes the relevance of saying that he's a chemist.  Which is something you did.  Why did you bother to do that?  Surely there must have been some motivation.

He questions scientific theories, therefore he must not know anything about them?

He makes sweeping claims about the suppoed lack of understanding of scientists outside his field about their own field of study.  That would beg for some evidence, no?
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Spinner198, for the love of your god, learn how to use the quoting feature. Your posts are confusing. Here: http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,16778.0.html and http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,4259.0.html and http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/board,28.0.html (this last one is the test area where you can test the quote function).
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Offline Spinner198

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It doesn't.  It refutes the relevance of saying that he's a chemist.  Which is something you did.  Why did you bother to do that?  Surely there must have been some motivation.

To give a brief summary of the article. If what you are saying holds true, then I should have been able to make the title "A ping pong enthusiast states "No scientist alive understands macro-evolution"" and you then would not have gone about laughing and mocking me for said title, correct? Either they are equally irrelevant, or the fact that he is a chemist holds some relevance, even if it isn't perfect relevance.

He makes sweeping claims about the suppoed lack of understanding of scientists outside his field about their own field of study.  That would beg for some evidence, no?

I believe he doesn't state any names because as he said "it’s a scary thing, if you say what I just said", that thing he said being "I don't understand macro-evolution" and he wouldn't want to reveal the identities of those who have agreed with him in private for obvious reasons. Aside from that, nobody has really come forward to refute these claims, and nobody has come forward to accept his offer: "Does anyone understand the chemical details behind macroevolution? If so, I would like to sit with that person and be taught, so I invite them to meet with me."

Also, why would it be different? If you reject this man for revealing that he doesn't understand macro-evolution, wouldn't you just also reject any other man who made the same claim?

I believe I used the quoting system correctly there. Thanks for the link to that thread. I fixed the prior post of mine, should be easier to understand now.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2014, 07:13:12 PM by Spinner198 »

Online One Above All

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Thanks for fixing the quotes, Spinner198.

Whether it be a 'religious term' or not, it doesn't really matter as long as the meaning of said terms are understood, and the meaning of macro-evolution is understood quite well to be the grander form of 'evolution' that refers to organisms changing into new species rather than changing within a species.

"Grander form of 'evolution'"? If you understood even one iota of evolution, you'd see why that phrase is idiotic.
I'm already addressing the "species changed into new species" thing in another thread, so I'll leave that unanswered here.

I just so happen to have one here. Granted, this was a time ago that I got it and it is a relatively basic biology book.

The title is "Campbell Biology: Concepts and Connections (seventh edition)". It was being used at sinclair community college and the authors are Jane B. Reece, Martha R. Taylor, Eric J. Simon and Jean L. Dickley. It has a section entitled "Mechanisms of Macro-evolution" and seems to define Macro-evolution as "The major events in the history of life on earth". This textbook must be rejected by the scientific community at large if it uses such a term though, and I have no idea why a college would use it if they knew the word macro-evolution appeared in it.

Surprisingly enough, they seem to be legit. Retracted.

It seems that the guy who initially 'coined' the terms macroevolution and microevolution was Yuri Filipchenko (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuri_Filipchenko) who was an entomologist that believed in evolution. Perhaps you should do your homework before making statements like that &)

I had never heard of the terms being used by scientists except when speaking to creationists who used the terms themselves.
Also, evolution is not something you can "believe in". It's something you accept, like gravity, the shape of the Earth, germs, and so on.

So you are refuting his understanding of evolution with your own? You seem to just be saying "He's wrong" and leaving it at that.

I told you how he could verify evolution. How is that "just saying 'He's wrong'" and leaving it at that?

Circular reasoning.

He doesn't understand evolution, therefore he is ridiculous.
He is ridiculous, therefore he must not understand evolution.

Calling someone ridiculous without any grounds besides "He's wrong" is not a way to refute a claim or argument.

Strawman. All I said was that, if he was ridiculous, I would feel compelled to treat him as such. Nowhere did I say what you claim I said.

Seems like ad hominem. Claiming that since he doesn't worship the almighty evolution as much as you, that he must be a lunatic? That since he questions evolutionary claims for the purpose of clarity and understanding, that must make him a lunatic?

Triple strawman and a lie.
1 - I do not "worship" evolution[1], nor do I believe it to be "almighty"[2]. This goes for all scientific facts and theories that have ever or will ever been found or created. Even my own hypotheses, should they be "promoted" to full-blown theories, are not almighty or worship-worthy. Even if we developed a "theory of everything", it'd still just be a theory. Beautiful beyond our brains' capacity to comprehend it, mind you, if it turned out to be true, but a theory nonetheless.
2 - I never said that, because he didn't accept evolution, he must be a lunatic.[3] He is a lunatic because he believes he can disprove something that's so outside his area of expertise, it'd be like a philosopher trying to build a space shuttle.
3 - He doesn't question evolution for the purpose of clarity and understanding.[4] He questions it in a poor attempt to discredit it. He has failed, just like every attempt to discredit evolution since the fact was first confirmed and the theory was created.
 1. Strawman 1.
 2. Strawman 2
 3. Strawman 3.
 4. Lie 1.
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Offline Azdgari

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To give a brief summary of the article. If what you are saying holds true, then I should have been able to make the title "A ping pong enthusiast states "No scientist alive understands macro-evolution"" and you then would not have gone about laughing and mocking me for said title, correct? Either they are equally irrelevant, or the fact that he is a chemist holds some relevance, even if it isn't perfect relevance.

No, they can be equally irrelevant, without being equally ridiculous.  Anyway, he characterizes himself as a layman on the subject.

I believe he doesn't state any names because as he said "it’s a scary thing, if you say what I just said", that thing he said being "I don't understand macro-evolution" and he wouldn't want to reveal the identities of those who have agreed with him in private for obvious reasons. Aside from that, nobody has really come forward to refute these claims, and nobody has come forward to accept his offer: "Does anyone understand the chemical details behind macroevolution? If so, I would like to sit with that person and be taught, so I invite them to meet with me."

Why is it up to others to educate him when he could certainly take the time to educate himself?  Is that how he went through university the first time around?

Also, why would it be different? If you reject this man for revealing that he doesn't understand macro-evolution, wouldn't you just also reject any other man who made the same claim?

Reject him in what way?  Is he asking to date me?  I totally accept his claim that he doesn't understand macro-evolution.  I just don't think that that's a big deal.  He probably doesn't understand general relativity, either.

I reject him as someone worth listening to, because he's one of the "evolution = Nazis" folks.  "God help us" if he's wrong, so he's not wrong.  Why would anyone expect rational thought from this man?

I believe I used the quoting system correctly there. Thanks for the link to that thread. I fixed the prior post of mine, should be easier to understand now.

It does, except that the parts of your post that I originally quoted, you've cut now out completely.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2014, 07:55:01 PM by Azdgari »
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Offline Spinner198

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I had never heard of the terms being used by scientists except when speaking to creationists who used the terms themselves.
Also, evolution is not something you can "believe in". It's something you accept, like gravity, the shape of the Earth, germs, and so on.

Is there a fundamental difference between 'believing' in something an 'accepting' something? According to dictionary.com, I believe I found the definition of accept that most fits what you are describing: "to regard as true or sound; believe: to accept a claim; to accept Catholicism." correct me if I am wrong.

I told you how he could verify evolution. How is that "just saying 'He's wrong'" and leaving it at that?

Jog my memory as to how he could verify the truth of macro-evolution?

Strawman. All I said was that, if he was ridiculous, I would feel compelled to treat him as such. Nowhere did I say what you claim I said.

What is it that makes you think he is ridiculous in the first place then?

Online One Above All

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Is there a fundamental difference between 'believing' in something an 'accepting' something? According to dictionary.com, I believe I found the definition of accept that most fits what you are describing: "to regard as true or sound; believe: to accept a claim; to accept Catholicism." correct me if I am wrong.

You believe in that which can be reasonably questioned, like religion. You accept that which is proven beyond reasonable doubt, like gravity[1] and evolution.

Jog my memory as to how he could verify the truth of macro-evolution?

Re-read my post.

What is it that makes you think he is ridiculous in the first place then?

Because he's questioning one of the most well-established facts in science without having any knowledge whatsoever of the concept[2], aside from its name and a few strawmen creationists made up. That makes him an idiot.
 1. Just putting it in big words because I know how you creationists love ignoring the big things.
 2. Same as the previous footnote.
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Offline Spinner198

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You believe in that which can be reasonably questioned, like religion. You accept that which is proven beyond reasonable doubt, like gravity[1] and evolution.
 1. Just putting it in big words because I know how you creationists love ignoring the big things.

I accept the existence of God.
I believe in the existence of gravity.

Are those statements nonsensical?

Re-read my post.

The question was hypothetical. You have not empirically proven macro-evolution.

Because he's questioning one of the most well-established facts in science without having any knowledge whatsoever of the concept[2], aside from its name and a few strawmen creationists made up. That makes him an idiot.
 2. Same as the previous footnote.

Its level of establishment has zero impact on its truth value, and it seems like you are questioning his claims without having an knowledge of his knowledge on the subject. He obviously knows what micro-evolution is, as he sees it all the time in the lab. What he doesn't understand is how it could cause new species to come about.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2014, 08:45:14 PM by Spinner198 »

Online jaimehlers

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Regarding the title, this chemist is either blatantly ignorant or outright lying.

I would be inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt on statements he makes regarding chemistry, but not on something that's completely outside his field.  That's about as ridiculous as expecting a plumber's opinions on car repair to be taken seriously compared to an actual car mechanic, or said mechanic's opinion on plumbing compared to the plumber's for that matter.

This statement of his is exactly what you might expect - an opinion, and not a particularly well-informed one at that.  I mean, when his article is titled "Layman's Reflections on Evolution and Creationism", it doesn't exactly lend him any credence when he claims that no scientist understands macro-evolution, let alone the authority to make such a statement and be taken seriously.

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Let's look at what was written from Spinner's link:
Quote
I do not have anything substantive to say about [evolution vs creation]. I am a layman on the subject.

Quote
I have been labeled as an Intelligent Design (ID) proponent. I am not. I do not know how to use science to prove intelligent design although some others might.

So when he says he doesn't understand "macroevolution", he's already said he's not qualified.

Plus, they guy drank the koolaid.
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http://www.jmtour.com/personal-topics/personal-statement/

He's a chemist and nanomaterials specialist.
http://www.jmtour.com/about/resume/

So, as far as evolutionary science goes, this guy has disqualified himself.  What he has to say about evolution amounts to noise.
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Offline Emily

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There is really nothing too special about this guy not knowing how macro-evolution works, considering how his website seems to have a section dedicated for Scripture Impact, his Personal Statement discusses his religious views, and he has a spot for Creation/Evolution - all on his personal website, where he can express his personal views about his belief.

It's a typical creationist tactic, really: finding a guy with PhD in [insert biology, chemistry, physics here] and use that guy as some kind of "proof" that macro-evolution doesn't happen.

It's hardly a big deal with what this guy thinks about macro-evolution considering how a majority of biologist disagree with this guy's views, and accept macro-evolution as happening. Until he can somehow prove otherwise through scientific research and experimentation that macro-evolution doesn't occur, and he is able to get his findings published in peer-review papers, his opinion is only that: his opinion, and his personal beliefs doesn't really mean too much.

Besides, as others have pointed out, he's a chemist and not a biochemist. If he gave his opinions on big bang cosmology and they go against what the current understanding of big bang cosmology has to say about the origins of the Universe, his opinions wouldn't hold too much merit within physics.

The guy can believe in ID all he wants too (which he seems to belief in), and not accept macro-evolution as happening, but it doesn't make his opinions right. Basically, he has no idea what he's talking about.

It's like the MIchael Behe effect.

And besides, what makes him a "famous chemist" anyway?
« Last Edit: June 17, 2014, 12:09:55 PM by Emily »
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And besides, what makes him a "famous chemist" anyway?

No idea. I've never heard of him before.
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Offline Emily

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Well, he has been named one of the 50 most influence Scientists in the World today by The Best Schools.org. (according to his resume, anyway). That's the closest thing to "famous" I have found. It's impressive (if true and the website is reputable), but it doesn't make him an authority to to claim what's said in the Subject of the thread: "No scientist alive understands macro-evolution"?

Really, no scientist alive!? That's a bit arrogant of him to claim.
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Offline Hatter23

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I am sure some if not all of you have already heard of this, but I am curious how evolutionists would respond to this; one of the greatest chemists in the world saying he doesn't understand how macro-evolution works (and claiming that numerous other famous chemists and even the dean feels the same):

http://www.jmtour.com/personal-topics/the-scientist-and-his-%E2%80%9Ctheory%E2%80%9D-and-the-christian-creationist-and-his-%E2%80%9Cscience%E2%80%9D/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZrxTH-UUdI

For the youtube video, I suggest starting a bit before 53 minutes.

And apparently you don't know what an appeal to authority is, and a dubious authority at that. And the authority in this case is making an appeal to ignorance.

Good job showing you don't understand how to make a logical argument.
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Offline Hatter23

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Well, he has been named one of the 50 most influence Scientists in the World today by The Best Schools.org. (according to his resume, anyway). That's the closest thing to "famous" I have found. It's impressive (if true and the website is reputable), but it doesn't make him an authority to to claim what's said in the Subject of the thread: "No scientist alive understands macro-evolution"?

Really, no scientist alive!? That's a bit arrogant of him to claim.

 The Best Schools.org is a Creationist Homeschooling resource for college prep and finding colleges that do not challenge creationism with, say, facts.

A quote from the site:
Quote
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

American colleges are notorious for undermining the Christian faith of their students. Good Christian schools can reverse this trend. They allow open debate of contrary views without belittling nay-sayers or coercing conformity, and without compromising Christian integrity.


Which is the same load of crap of "Expelled" to hide the basic idea that Christian ideas of creation were once the rule of the land until scientific fact and discovery got in the way and it is coercing of science curriculum  TO ACTUALLY PAY ATTENTION TO EVIDENCE.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2014, 01:18:23 PM by Hatter23 »
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Online nogodsforme

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<snarkometer on>You don't want to have colleges and universities questioning what students come in already knowing, do you? Everyone knows all they need to know by age 18, definitely if properly home schooled by right-thinking Christian parents. And one thing they do not need to know about is evilution. No need to study actual biology or anything like that. Chemistry covers it all. That's why they let 18 year old first year chemistry majors do heart transplants and neurosurgery at Christian colleges. <off>

As a college professor myself, I wonder why these people send their kids to college at all. They clearly don't want them to learn anything. :P

Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Online jaimehlers

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What Spinner is trying to do here isn't too far off from, what, say, the anti-vaccine movement tries to do in recruiting famous people to act as their spokespersons.

Offline Emily

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Well, he has been named one of the 50 most influence Scientists in the World today by The Best Schools.org. (according to his resume, anyway). That's the closest thing to "famous" I have found. It's impressive (if true and the website is reputable), but it doesn't make him an authority to to claim what's said in the Subject of the thread: "No scientist alive understands macro-evolution"?

Really, no scientist alive!? That's a bit arrogant of him to claim.

 The Best Schools.org is a Creationist Homeschooling resource for college prep and finding colleges that do not challenge creationism with, say, facts.

Ah, I see. So his awesome recognition of being one of the "50 most influential Scientists" is meaningless then.

Bummer.
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Offline Hatter23

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Well, he has been named one of the 50 most influence Scientists in the World today by The Best Schools.org. (according to his resume, anyway). That's the closest thing to "famous" I have found. It's impressive (if true and the website is reputable), but it doesn't make him an authority to to claim what's said in the Subject of the thread: "No scientist alive understands macro-evolution"?

Really, no scientist alive!? That's a bit arrogant of him to claim.

 The Best Schools.org is a Creationist Homeschooling resource for college prep and finding colleges that do not challenge creationism with, say, facts.

Ah, I see. So his awesome recognition of being one of the "50 most influential Scientists" is meaningless then.

Bummer.

Most Influential means "most touted by Creationists regardless" It is meaningful in that Creationist are a substantial lobby in a first world country. In academia that actually needs things like evidence...not so much.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline Airyaman

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C'mon people, the very first few sentences from the first link says all we need to know:

"Assuming that I have something significant to contribute to the evolution vs. creation debate, many ask me to speak and write concerning my thoughts on the topic. However, I do not have anything substantive to say about it. I am a layman on the subject. Although I have read about a half dozen books on the debate, maybe a dozen, and though I can speak authoritatively on complex chemical synthesis, I am not qualified to enter the public discussion on evolution vs. creation."
If you are following God why can I still see you?