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Traveling Preacher Debates Evolution, Other Topics

Students gathered at the UCen and later the Arbor from 12:30 to 6 p.m. as preacher and founder of the Whitefield Fellowship Keith Darrell debated students on a number of topics such as evolution, the laws of nature and inductive reasoning.

Darrell, who preaches on college campuses daily with the goal of “proclaiming the glory of God,” condemned evolution, with a sign stating “evolution is a lie” while various students and Isla Vista residents stepped up to present counterarguments. Many students criticized him for his anti-scientific views and debate tactics, while others thanked him for being receptive of their arguments.

Paul Warden, a teaching assistant with the history department, said he initially attended Darrell’s discussion to observe a potentially informed debate, but instead wound up contributing after disagreeing with statements Darrell made about “Christians as a minority.”

“By himself he’s just a man shouting, but when he gets a crowd around him, he gets a forum,” Warden said. “That’s okay, except it got to the point where it became clear that he was arguing circularly … I felt that somebody needed to call attention to the fact that he’s … not conducting himself in a way that is academic or that inspires real discussion.”

First-year psychology major Luis Narvaez said he listened to the debate, because he was interested in hearing what Darrell had to say in light of his own religious views.

“I feel like he’s making a fool out of himself, which is also why I’m standing here,” Narvaez said. “You are talking to a bunch of college students and people are, like, evolutionary ecology majors and stuff. So it’s like you’re telling them that everything they are being taught here is a lie, so it’s, like, how are you going to defend yourself in that perspective?”

A second-year math and physics major, who preferred to not be identified, said that while he does not mind individuals like Darrell coming to campus to preach their religious views, he felt the need to challenge Darrell to make students aware of the flaws he saw in Darrell’s reasoning.

“I take serious issue with his denial of science and his sign that says evolution is a lie,” the student said. “I am a science major, and I work my ass off to understand these things. This guy comes up, and he obviously has very little understanding of the topic on which he’s pontificating, I take serious issue with that and I want to challenge him on that.”

 

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Photos by John Clow / Daily Nexus

This story appeared as an online exclusive on Thursday, March 13, 2014.

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21 Comments

  1. stan klein says:

    Yes — I was referring to the pointlessness of debating when there is no possibility of logical engagement.

    As for restrictions, in case i have not been clear — I am against any restrictions (save the typical “fire in theater” caveats).

    Hope that helps clarify.

  2. stan klein says:

    From B “I don’t understand the issue with this forum. Everyone is granted the same opportunity for comment, deleting or otherwise censoring “illegitimate” comments falsely weeds out some often widespread albeit ridiculous views”

    Perhaps buried in some long comment is a request for censorship? I did not see it but I may have missed it.

    If not, what on earth are you referring to? Since your comment follows mine in “reply-line-order” all I can say, speaking for myself, is that everyone be permitted to express his or her views but that engaging ridiculous dogma driven sound bytes is counterproductive? I do not see the idea of “censorship” hidden in any aspect of this view.

    • Brandon J. S. says:

      I was reading your previous comment questioning “restrictions,” and from what I can tell there are none here because I see a lot of gibberish on Nexus articles.And then I was questioning how any of this grants “legitimacy to their irrational stance,” though perhaps you mean engaging in conversation with them… my misinterpretation

  3. stan klein says:

    Perhaps I am too pessimistic.

    But I have yet to see (not to imply absence of evidence + evidence of absence) that rational debate with these folks is a remote possibility.

    So I personally, favor letting them rant on in silence: Not addressing them directly — lest one be pulled deeper into the quick sand of their irrationality. Better to make your coherent arguments in a forum that does not acknowledge any legitimacy to their irrational stance(s).

    Just my view on the sorry state of logical discourse surrounding these so-called debates.

    • I don’t understand the issue with this forum. Everyone is granted the same opportunity for comment, deleting or otherwise censoring “illegitimate” comments falsely weeds out some often widespread albeit ridiculous views. Lucid arguments stand on their own merit, especially those involved less with semantics and rely more on factual information. I learn some things, that’s the beauty of a forum anyone can read.

  4. stan klein says:

    Note to UCSB students. Freedom of speech is fine and Dr (or coach or whatever) can pontificate all he, she or it wants. If the Nexus is providing a forum, the coach is welcome to use it (unless there are restrictions of which I am unaware).

    But you cannot debate logically with such folk. Their tactics are “look over here”, repeat well rehearsed sound-bytes, and avoid rational discourse when clear issues are presented for discussion.

    So, let them rant on. It they have any intellectual integrity, they will be open to rational, on-point discourse.

    Clearly, this is not an example of such. So, let them have their say, read it if you want, but move on. No serious academic engagement will be forthcoming. To paraphrase Barney Frank “It will be like trying to have a serious discussion with a table”.

    • Hey Stan,
      I agree with you in principle. I just want to clarify that I am under no illusion that anything that I can say will get through to Coach Edgeworth, as he has essentially dedicated his professional life to preaching his views to children in churches and home schools. He is way too far gone to be reached by anybody other than himself, and I hold out very little hope that he will ever manage to remove his head from the comfortable confines of its current resting place. That being said, I want to nonetheless challenge him on his points for two main reasons.
      1) So that people on the fence can have at least a fleeting glimpse at his position and the inanity of his arguments, and
      2) To do my part to oppose a potentially dangerous bane to society and progress. I think that pseudoscience is a serious issue that needs to be confronted and challenged, as ignoring it entirely will merely allow for a fringe to develop and spread unchecked, and as it goes without saying, the ramifications that this would have on the economy and industry would be highly detrimental. In short, I’m not confronting Coach for his own benefit- I’m merely attempting to set an example in the hopes that others might gain some inspiration, or, at the very least, some amusement.

      • Ran out of room for replies for that other post so I’ll respond in this one. I understood what you were trying to do KC by quoting that verse of scripture, and you made a good point. Quotes can be taken out of context. I need to be more careful with that. I just thought it a bit ironic you chose a verse that said the fool has said in his heart there is no God. I guess “fools” have their national holiday coming up on April 1st.

        You stated in another post that your purpose was not to convince me, but for the benefit of others reading this exchange. My purpose in responding to you was for the same reason. And actually, there is no harm in that. I believe most debates are for that purpose. We tried to cover too much ground though. We should have limited our dialog to one issue, then brief responses to each other, just on that issue before moving on. I have a busy schedule also and will be moving on. I enjoyed some of the exchange when you were more civil, which didn’t seem to be that often. Perhaps we can engage in more dialog at some point in the future when we both have more time. I hope we each find absolute truth, at which time it will of necessity be the same truth. Take care KC, I wish you well with exams.

        “Coach”

  5. First of all, as to whether evolution is a lie, that would depend on what your definition of evolution is. Nobody questions speciation or change within a species or kind (dog kind, cat kind),the only thing being questioned is change beyond the species or kind level. Since both sides agree with change within the species level, should it even be defined as evolution?

    Now let’s define “species.” A different species of finch is still a finch, nobody questions that either. I know most evolutionists hate the terms micro and macro evolution, but those terms accurately define the debate.

    The second-year math and physics major stated: “I take serious issue with his denial of science and his sign that says evolution is a lie.” If someone challenges a well accepted theory, does that mean they are a denier of science? Ever hear of the scientific method, or how it is supposed to work? Then the student states: “he obviously has very little understanding of the topic on which he’s pontificating.” That is the standard reply if anyone doubts or questions evolution theory, “You just don’t understand how evolution works.” Although I’m sure the student didn’t mean it this way, but that could come across as “I’m smart, and you’re dumb.” Actually, that is what many evolutionists think about those who doubt macroevolution.

    What an eye is, what it does, and how we treat it for disease is real science. When we get into how and why we got an eye, we have actually entered into the area of philosophical worldviews concerning origins.

    One statement that is a lie is that evolutionists have all the empirical evidence, and those who believe in creation only have faith in the Bible. Both sides are looking at the same exact evidence, just interpret it differently. Three questions: Name one empirical evidence evolutionists have, that creationists don’t have. Secondly, how can evolution can be falsified?

    Usually genetics will be mentioned. Life forms that are similar in appearance, body structure, and function would be expected to have similar DNA. It would not be expected to be different by either side. The fossil record does not work either. An out of place fossil would be against flood geology as well.

    The third question: If it has been going on for 600 million years, why can we not observe life forms in different stages of transition into something other than what it always has been? It didn’t just start. Evolutionary geologists are looking for and expecting to find clear transitional fossils from different time periods. If we had been alive then, could we have recognized life forms in clear transition? Why not now? In some minds that does falsify evolution.

    Several years ago a debate was advertised as: “Religious and Scientific leaders debate evolution.” The problem was, both sides were represented by scientists. An honest promotion of this would have been: “Scientists debate creation versus evolution.” Just because someone questions an accepted theory, doesn’t mean they are denying science. Anyone who doubts evidence of design in the human body, either doesn’t know much about it, or they are lying to someone, if only themselves.

    • Liam Stanton says:

      I completely agree Dr. Edgeworth! Not nearly enough people are bold enough to question what the evangelical, militant, heretical, liberal atheists are pushing. We came from monkeys!?!? Ha! Show me; show me the evidence. Show me the fossil record! They can’t. There are gaps. Oh then they fill those gaps in they say, but wait, then there are two gaps for every one gap they almost closed!!!! HAHAHA they can’t seem to get their act together.

      Speaking of fighting the man, I think not just biology is in need of a diversity of opinion. Ever hear about the perfectly scientific alternative to Newton’s universal law of gravitation? No? Well intelligent falling is well established and accepted by a fringe … uhm, I mean significant minority of PhD’s from online universities as a plausible explanation of why the Moon hangs out with Earth. Let’s start calling these “relativistic physicists” right where it hurts, in their Godless peer reviewed science journals. Yeah.

      Also the world is flat, we never went to the moon, and vaccines cause autism.

      And pigs fly.

      And 2+2=5

      And you’re a moron.

    • Hello, Mr. Edgeworth. My name is KC, and I’m the second-year math and physics major referred to in the article.
      I realize that you call yourself “Dr,” but because I as yet can find no record of you ever having received a PhD from any accredited university in any subject, I will, for the purposes of this response, refer to you as “Mr.” I don’t mean this condescendingly, of course- your insistence at being called “Dr” is perfectly understandable, as most people who have no substance to their arguments prefer to argue from authority rather than from merit. From your website, however, I did learn that you have had a long and impressive career as a local baseball coach for 20 years, so I will also refer to you by the far more appropriate title of “Coach Edgeworth.”
      I was also interested to find out that you used to work for Creation Science Evangelism, which had previously been headed by a Mr. Kent Hovind prior to his incarceration by the federal legal system for tax evasion and assault. You’ll notice that I also referred to Hovind as “Mr.” for the simple reason that he received his PhD from an unaccredited diploma mill called Patriot Bible University. A copy of his… ahem… “dissertation…” is available here: http://wlstorage.net/file/kent-hovind-doctoral-dissertation.pdf
      Please note its lack of citations, neutrality, and basic understanding of grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
      At this point in time, his son, Eric Hovind, is running the ministry. Eric’s credentials are equal in merit to his father’s, and you will be delighted to know that I have made a long playlist refuting young Mr. Hovind’s attempts to vandalize the scientific enterprise by parroting his father’s scripts: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFF066BFEDA2514D5

      Anyway, the reason for this prolonged introduction was not to muddy the waters or to commit an ad hominem attack on you, Coach, but to elucidate your background on the topic on which you have chosen, like your aforementioned contemporaries, to pontificate. You do not understand the theory of evolution, and I do not mean this as a general statement. You simply lack an elementary understanding not only of the theory, but of the scientific method itself, which is evidenced by your statement of the following: “Both sides are looking at the same exact evidence, just interpret it differently.” What you are essentially implying is that as long as someone is able to construct a model of reality that incorporates evidence, that model should be taken into serious consideration. What you seem to not understand is that a potentially infinite number of such models can exist to account for the same phenomena. The Grand Canyon, for instance- we can say that it exists, and that we both have the same evidence. The creationist can use that evidence to argue for spontaneous creation, and the rationalist can use that evidence to argue for gradual processes. But another person can just as easily claim that the planet Earth is a living, breathing creature, and that the Grand Canyon is the Earth’s anus. Same evidence, different interpretation, equal validity. Right? WRONG. The only models in science that are taken into consideration are the ones that accurately make predictions about future data. If a model does not have predictive capabilities, it is abandoned. The fact that you do not understand this strongly points to your scientific illiteracy, Coach, which does nothing to mitigate my aversion to calling you “Dr.”
      That being said, your successive challenge is malformed. “Name one empirical evidence evolutionists have, that creationists don’t have.” We all have the same evidence, but only the grown-ups that you refer to as “evolutionists” have synthesized the evidence to form a model that makes accurate predictions. So here’s my counter-challenge to you: name one piece of data that the creationist model exclusively was able to predict prior to the data’s discovery.

      “Secondly, how can evolution can be falsified?” The same way that any model in science is falsified- find a statistically significant amount of data that negates the predictions made by the theory. An example of this would be for you to find a taxon or two in which atavisms or vestiges are found where they’re not supposed to be. To explain that in lay terms for someone who doesn’t understand the subject, atavisms and vestiges are “extra baggage” that are left over in our DNA and/or physiology from our ancestors. However, atavisms and vestiges can only emerge in lineages that contain the traits in question. So while the theory predicts(accurately) that we will occasionally find semi-functional tails in humans, remnants of teeth in birds, and hind fins on dolphins, we should also expect to NEVER find cellulose in animal cells, bones in invertebrates, or feathers on primates. So you would easily be able to disprove evolution if you were to find a single example of, for instance, boobs on boas or tits on toads, because the theory predicts that this should never happen as mammaries developed only AFTER the emergence of reptiles.

      There are other ways to disprove the theory, of course, and I’ll get to them as I deal with your subsequent contentions. “Life forms that are similar in appearance, body structure, and function would be expected to have similar DNA. It would not be expected to be different by either side.” The cross-confirmation of phylogenetic trees is one of the strongest verifications of evolutionary theory because these trees don’t just show similarities between DNA and morphology. They show that the distributions of these similarities in DNA, morphology, ERV distribution, chronology based on DNA dating, chronology based on location in the fossil record, and so on, all independently reproduce Darwin’s tree of life which, put pedagogically, predicts that the farther back in time you go, the simpler and more similar organisms get. The mere existence of these hierarchies should by itself scream to all but the most delirious and demented of dumbfucks that evolutionary processes are at work, but the fact that they also cross-confirm each other makes evolution-denial an intellectually indefensible position.

      “The fossil record does not work either. An out of place fossil would be against flood geology as well.” You seem to already be aware that a classical way to disprove evolutionary theory would be to find a fossil out of place in the geological record, as the theory predicts that “simpler” organisms are found in the oldest sediment and “complex” ones are found in the newer ones. That said, if you could provide us with even a single example of a mammal beneath the Cretaceous, a bird beneath the Jurassic, a primate beneath the Pleistocene, a land animal beneath the Silurian, or a bunny in the Precambrian, evolution would be blown out of the water. The fact that no fossils have EVER been found to be out of place is yet another confirmation of the theory’s predictive power. You claim that we already expect this to be the case, however, as you claimed that the alleged Global Flood can account for this. As you did not even attempt to justify this statement, I am going to disregard it until you try, once again, to defend the indefensible.

      “The third question: If it has been going on for 600 million years, why can we not observe life forms in different stages of transition into something other than what it always has been?” And this question shines as clear a light as any as to the magnitude of your ignorance of the topic, Coach. You seem to expect evolutionary theory to predict the existence of some fusion of organisms- a crocoduck, perhaps. This misconception is common among creationists who do not realize that every living organism is, by definition, a transitional form. We find more dramatic examples in the geological record, of course, as extant organisms are the descendants of extinct ones, but the fact still remains that evolution does not predict the existence of a catdog. So when you say “In some minds that does falsify evolution,” I agree- in the uneducated and indoctrinated minds of religious fundamentalists, ignorance of a topic is compelling evidence against its validity.

      So to conclude this rather long post: when you say “Just because someone questions an accepted theory, doesn’t mean they are denying science,” I agree with you 100%. It’s not a person’s skepticism of a theory that makes them scientifically illiterate, but their refusal to learn about it prior to criticizing it that makes them come off as doltish, backwards, arrogant fools who believe that simple-minded arguments that aren’t even fit for the playground can trump the scrutiny of 150 years’ worth of research. If you do attempt to reply, Coach, I want you and other creationists reading to operate under the assumption that the next argument you are about to regurgitate is not a spiritually-inspired piece of wisdom that has eluded over a century’s worth of scientists, but the uneducated machinations of a person who does not know enough about the topic to be able to discuss it coherently, much less disprove it.

      With all due respect*,

      ~KC

      *respect due = minimal

      • You are right KC, I have no earned degree, it is honorary. I use the title out of respect and gratitude for the men with earned PhDs who bestowed it upon me a number of years ago. You may call me “Mr.” or “Coach,” that would be fine. It actually reflects more on you than it does me.

        I never worked for an organization called “Creation Science Evangelism,” Creation Science Evangelism was the title given for what I do in churches and schools. So you wasted a lot of time on that one, as it does not apply to me.

        You stated: “You simply lack an elementary understanding not only of the theory, but of the scientific method itself.” I actually collected over 150 science textbooks, some on the college level, as well as Darwin’s Origin of Species, Hutton’s Theory of the Earth, Lyell’s Principles of Geology, Coyne’s Why Evolution is True, and about 100 other books on the subject. As for the scientific method, I used it professionally for a number of years. But I understand your thinking, if someone doesn’t believe macroevolution has happened it has to because they just don’t understand it. I get that a lot.

        “Looking at the same evidence” has nothing to do with trying to trying to construct a model of reality that incorporates evidence as you stated. I think you proved my point. But I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you were not intentionally lying about the issue.

        A creationist would not look at the Grand Canyon in terms of spontaneous creation, but the end results of a great flood. The geologic record is explained by uniformitarianism or flood geology, one or the other. There is a difference between models of interpretations and the evidence itself. Both uniformitarianism and flood geology make basically the same predictions regarding the observable evidence in regards to geology. The main difference is in the anomalies such as polystrate fossils, missing layers, reversed layers, artifacts in the wrong layers (according to evolutionary predictions that is) etc. Flood geology predicts those evidences, uniformitarians have try to explain them away, ignore them, or hide the evidence in the basements of museums.

        You started out pretty good using the Grand Canyon as the same evidence; you should have stopped there, because that is the issue with “same empirical evidence” not predictive models of interpretation.

        You stated: “So here’s my counter-challenge to you: name one piece of data that the creationist model exclusively was able to predict prior to the data’s discovery.” Sure, an easy one. Ever hear of Ooparts (out of place artifacts)? How about the polystrate fossils that I mentioned? I know evolutionists insist they have been able to explain away every out of place artifact, but there are some they haven’t. Flood geology predicts those.

        Actually the top 80% or so of the earth’s crust being made up of mostly sedimentary layers, mostly laid down by water, mostly in straight lines, indicating hydrologic sorting was involved.
        How about the amazing complexity of the human body? Let’s just consider a little of that.

        The human brain simultaneously processes an amazing amount of information. Your brain takes in all the colors and objects you see, the temperature around you, the pressure of your feet against the floor, the sounds around you, the dryness of your mouth, even the texture of a newsletter in your hand. Your brain registers emotional responses, thoughts and memories. At the same time your brain keeps track of the ongoing functions of your body like your breathing pattern, eyelid movement, hunger and movement of the muscles in your hands.

        The human brain processes more than a million messages a second. Your brain weighs the importance of all this data, filtering out the relatively unimportant. This screening function is what allows you to focus and operate effectively in your world. A brain that deals with more than a million pieces of information every second, while evaluating its importance and allowing you to act on the most pertinent information.

        Each neuron is connected to other neurons by up to 40,000 individual connections (called synapses) between cells. Multiplying 100 billion neurons times 40,000 synapses is equivalent to the brain having more connections in it than there are stars in the universe.

        The human brain is over three times as big as the brain of other mammals that are of similar body size. The neocortex is the portion of the human brain that is responsible for language and consciousness. It makes up approximately 76% of the human brain and making it the largest when compared to that in other animals.

        A single human brain cell can hold 5 times as much information as the Encyclopedia Britannica. Michael Denton, a British-Australian author and biochemist stated: “Even if only one hundredth of the connections in the brain were specifically organized, this would still represent a system containing a much greater number of specific connections than in the entire communications network on Earth. Because of the vast number of unique adaptive connections, to assemble an object remotely resembling the brain would take an eternity, even applying the most sophisticated engineering techniques.”

        Does accidental random chance mutations and survival of the fittest predict that? Creation does. How about human eyes? We have two eyeballs in order to give us depth perception – comparing two images allows us to determine how far away an object is from us. Our eyes are made up of over 200 million working parts. Your eye will focus on about 50 things per second. The retina of our eye is less than one square inch yet contains over 137,000,000 light sensitive cells that are sending information to our brain that allows us to see!

        Did you know our nose is more complex than a Boeing 747? Does that sound like “by accident for no purpose?” Aren’t we humans “lucky”? I could probably give you a thousand more words about the human body and its complexity.

        Carl Sagan, Cornell, “The information content of a simple cell has been estimated as around 1012 bits, comparable to about a hundred million pages of the Encyclopaedia Britannica.”, Life, Vol.10, p.894. Bill Gates, Chairman, Microsoft, Human DNA is like a computer program but far, far more advanced than any software we have ever created.” The Road Ahead, p.228
        (In case you didn’t notice, I’m quote-mining. Sagan has not doubted evolution could still do it as far as I know.)

        You state: “So while the theory predicts(accurately) that we will occasionally find semi-functional tails in humans, remnants of teeth in birds, and hind fins on dolphins, we should also expect to NEVER find cellulose in animal cells, bones in invertebrates, or feathers on primates.”

        The “semi-functional tails in humans”? Don’t have the surgery to have it removed, you have nine muscle groups attached to it, and you’ll find out within 24 hours why you needed it. Some birds have teeth, most don’t, that doesn’t prove they evolved from a small dinosaur. Some of your friends may not have teeth anymore either.

        Just a few differences between birds and reptiles. Birds have a 4 chambered heart, reptiles a 3 chambered heart; birds have tube type lungs, reptiles have sack type lungs; their reproductive systems are different; their body coverings are different; their eye coverings are different; feathers come from different genes than scales and attach differently to the skin; birds have the highest metabolic rate on earth, birds the lowest; birds have a system to regulate body heat, reptiles do not; birds reach a growth limit and stop, reptiles keep growing until they die; birds have tender skin with glands, reptiles have tough skin with no glands; birds have light hollow bones, reptiles have dense heavy bones; birds have the muscles for flight, reptiles have no muscles for flight; and birds have hard shelled eggs, and reptiles have leathery eggs. But other than that, just grow a few feathers and take off flying. That’s where that imagination part comes in.

        Okay, now tell me that small dinosaur that birds “evolved” from wasn’t really a “reptile.” The word “dinosaur” means terrible lizard. They are all related, except birds that is. As Stuart Burgess, Ph.D. Engineering Design, Professor of Combustion Theory said: “Birds are so different from other creatures that there would have been hundreds of thousands of intermediate forms between birds and land animals if birds had evolved. It is often speculated that birds evolved from reptiles. However, there are enormous conceptual differences between the two classes of creature…”

        The other differences you say would disprove evolution, would not be predicted by a creation model either.

        You state: “all independently reproduce Darwin’s tree of life which, put pedagogically, predicts that the farther back in time you go, the simpler and more similar organisms get.” You are basing this on the “geologic column” chart. That doesn’t prove anything.

        Look at the typical geologic column chart, factor in habitat, body density, and the ability to survive a flood, and flood geology explains what you see. You look at the chart and see the survival of the fittest over long periods of time. I look at the same chart and see survival of the fittest during a great flood. What does flood geology predict? Trilobites live on the bottom of the ocean, so that is where they would mostly be found, but not always. By the way, trilobites had the most complex eye structure known to man. That should falsify evolution. I wonder why it hasn’t? Darwin indicated it would.

        What would be predicted next? Things that lived in the water, followed by things that lived near the water, then birds and people would be mostly in the top layers, because they could survive longer. Because of the great disruption caused by a world-wide flood of that magnitude, sometimes things would be a little out of order. We are looking at the same geologic record, we just interpret it differently.

        You state: “if you could provide us with even a single example of a mammal beneath the Cretaceous, a bird beneath the Jurassic, a primate beneath the Pleistocene, a land animal beneath the Silurian, or a bunny in the Precambrian, evolution would be blown out of the water.” That wouldn’t be predicted by flood geology either. Human artifacts have been found in every rock strata, clear down into the Pre-Cambrian, but attempts are made to try to explain them away, hide them, or cover your eyes and make loud noises and pretend that Ooparts don’t exist, they are just made up by fanatics, then you connect them with bigfoot and UFOs and feel better about your creator: “God Evolution.”

        KC, you are the one who does not understand how evolution is supposed to work. Are evolutionists looking for evidence of an ape-like ancestor in the fossil record, the “missing link”? Are they constantly looking for fossils of fish that had what looks like the beginning of legs? What were you referring to about “hind fins on dolphins”? There are no clear vestigial organs. The appendix is now understood to be connected to our immune system etc. If you think evolutionists are not looking for clear transitional fossils, you are delusional. Changes within a kind are not proof of evolution. By the way, the ability of life forms to adapt for survival is evidence of intelligent design and forethought.

        To quote-mine a scientist: “Natural selection can act only on those biologic properties that already exist; it cannot create properties in order to meet adaptational needs.” Parasitology, 6th ed. Lea & Febiger, p. 516.

        Here are seven things that evolutionists are delusional about:
        1. Evolutionists have all the evidence, creationists just have faith.
        2. Microevolution and macroevolution are the same thing.
        3. If someone doubts evolution, they just don’t understand how it works.
        4. There have been no human artifacts found in the wrong rock layers.
        5. Radioactive dating proves the earth is billions of years old.
        6. Mutations do not result in a net loss of genetic information over time.
        7. There is no evidence of complex design in nature.

        But keep saying evolutionists are smart and creationists are dumb, I’m sure someone convinced you that is the issue, and you can probably find a lot of gullible folks to believe the same thing. Why deal with reality, or treat evolution theory the same way you would other scientific issues?

        • Hello again Coach,
          Just out of curiosity, I’d like to know where you got your honorary degree.
          Now to begin, you have essentially posted the same laundry list of items that creationists have been attempting to pass off for years in their attempt to vandalize scientific knowledge, and as I have dealt with this issue extensively for a number of years, I am quite familiar with this list and why it may as well be printed on toilet paper. Before we get to that list, however, let’s get back to why you don’t understand the scientific method.
          When I brought up the concept of predictive models, I did so under the assumption that you knew what the point of science is. Science is not a matter of collecting data and interpreting in a way to support your presuppositions; that’s what LAWYERS get paid to do, NOT scientists. A scientist will synthesize his model of reality out of the available evidence so that it does the following:
          1) makes predictions
          2) is independently verifiable/falsifiable
          3) has parsimonious explanatory power
          It is for this reason that your “same evidence, different interpretation” argument is as inept as Stuart Burgess’ arguments against evolution, which I’ll get to later in this post.
          At the risk of sounding repetitive: the ONLY scientific models that are taken into consideration are the ones that accurately predict future data. In your attempt to respond to my counter-challenge, you did exactly what I expected you to do, and that was to construct an ad hoc rationalization that is tangentially relevant to the issue at hand. Putting aside for the moment “polystrate” fossils and OOPArts (which I will get to momentarily,) you went on at length in describing the complexity of the human body and then, out of hand, dismissing even the possibility of its components having been formed via natural processes out of personal incredulity. It would be redundant to dwell on the fallacious thinking here, so I’ll move on to the first item on the list. Just bear in mind that you have failed to address my challenge. Regarding OOPArts, I challenge you to name a single example. It will be trivially easy to point out exactly why it is either a fraud or a misrepresentation of existing evidence, particularly if it’s the Ica Stones that you’re referring to.
          Regarding the alleged “polystrate” fossils, here’s where reading those science books rather than merely collecting them would have come in handy. This is also reflected in your statement regarding how missing layers and reversed layers are somehow anomalies to rationalists. As even an elementary level geology textbook will discuss unconformities and how they occur, I am left wondering exactly what it is that you do with these books that you proudly collect. From that statement alone, I’d be able to rule out reading them as a serious possibility.
          Now as for the “polystrate” fossils, I presume that you are referring to the trees that are standing up in multiple layers of sediment. In his work “Acadian Geology…” J.W Dawson pointed out that these trees were embedded within swamp deposits. What creationists never seem to understand is that not all sedimentary layers form at the same rate; limestone, clay, and especially chalk take extremely long periods of time, but silt, volcanic deposits, and swamp deposits can take from decades to mere months. These trees were buried underneath deposits that were laid down, at most, over a period of 90 years. Had they been found embedded inside of chalk or limestone rather than swamp deposits, you might have had a case. Now the work that I was referring to by J.W Dawson is NOT recent, ground-breaking stuff- it was published in the mid-19th century. You are, quite literally, 150 years behind the times as far as your geology education is concerned.
          And that’s being generous- when you suggested that the sedimentary layers that make up the top 80% of our crust can be accounted for by your flood, your geology education seems closer to being 300 years behind the times, as sedimentary layers form only from gradual processes (including, but not limited to, hydrological ones) while rapid flood waters can produce only a single layer of graded material. In short, had your global flood taken place, we would have expected to find a single global layer of graded material rather than (or at the very least, among) dozens of layers of neatly stacked layers. Your flood cannot account for these layers, and in fact, the first geologists were creationists who were looking for this global layer of graded bedding. Guess what? They never found it, and it hasn’t been found since. This is one of the ways that we know that the flood never occurred.
          On a tangential note, Sagan does not deny evolution. He cannot at this point, as he’s been dead for over a decade now. You’re a bit behind the times.
          So in summary, unconformities and “polystrate” fossils are accounted for by natural processes while OOPArts have not one single grain of evidence to back them up as anything other than frauds.
          You then went on to completely mischaracterize my statements concerning atavisms and vestiges by saying that, for instance, surgery is needed to have these tails removed from humans. Well of course, they’re atavisms! They’re not supposed to be there in the first place! But it was what you said next that left me at a loss for words: “Some birds have teeth, most don’t, that doesn’t prove they evolved from a small dinosaur. Some of your friends may not have teeth anymore either.” I was left dumbstruck at the sheer banality of this statement. I wasn’t arguing that the existence of atavistic teeth in some birds proves that they came from dinosaurs, was I? I made it quite clear that their existence, among the countless other examples of atavisms out there, fall neatly in line with the predictions of evolutionary theory.
          And your listing of the differences between reptiles and birds does nothing to help your case, as the evolution of birds was and is a well-documented gradual process. Fossils such as Microraptor, Archaeopteryx, and Confuciusornis help close some of those gaps between reptiles and birds that you mentioned, and nothing said by Stuart Burgess, who incidentally is on the payroll of a British creationist organization and has never published anything in the peer-review in defense of creationism, can change the fact that these transitional fossils, among countless others, exist as predicted by the theory of evolution. No imagination is necessary, just a cursory understanding of the subject is required- hence your disadvantage in this conversation, Coach.
          Now regarding your “flood geology” and its ability to explain the placement of organisms in the fossil record, it fails miserably on basically every level. Explain to me, Coach, why we don’t ever find any dinosaurs in the same layer as pigs, or any saber toothed cats in the same layer as camels. Did the sloth outrun the T-Rex? Did EVERY sloth outrun EVERY T-Rex? No, it gets worse- fossilized bananas are only ever found in layers above the T-Rex. They are NEVER found below. Did the banana outrun the T-Rex? I can name countless more examples, Coach, so I think that the lesson to take away is this: when you use the primitive texts of a bygone age as your sole reference for understanding this convoluted world that we find ourselves in, these are the sorts of facile arguments that you’ll be forced to use to defend your worldview. As far as I’m concerned, you have absolutely no claim to the title “Dr” and it is an insult to those who actually did earn their doctorates that you count yourself among them.
          This is evidenced by the fact that the fact that trilobites did not, as you assert, have the “most complex eye structure known to man.” They were merely among the first organisms to have compound eyes, which incidentally negates your earlier claim that the eye was too complex to have evolved. Here we have a perfect example of how eyes DID evolve, and had you done some actual research instead of lapping up the items on that laundry list of creationist claims that you cling to, you would have known this.
          The irony of your ignorance of these topics is only compounded when you alleged that I am “the one who does not understand how evolution is supposed to work.”
          This ironic statement was made even more so by the statements that succeeded it. “Missing Link” between humans and earlier species of ape? We have dozens of different Hominid species, and the thing that used to be called the “missing link,” Australopithecus Afarensis, was found 40 years ago. Fish with legs? Tiktaalik was found a decade ago.
          Additionally, your ignorance positively shone through when you suggested that a vestigial organ is one that has no function. This is a common misconception among creationists- a vestigial structure is one whose function has CHANGED. While useless vestiges certainly do exist (Darwin’s tubercle and your nipples are examples of such) the appendix is a vestige because it used to serve a completely different function. The fact that you lack even a rudimentary understanding of the terms that you’re using, speaks to the ineptitude of the challenges that you pose against the theory.
          “Changes within a kind are not proof of evolution.” And as it happens, creationists never seem to want to give a clear and concise definition of “kind,” presumably because they want to keep their terms vague so that they can shift the goalposts as convenient to deny evolution. When I spoke to Ray Comfort (who I’m sure you’re familiar with) and asked him to tell me what a “kind” was, he openly admitted that there is no way to objectively distinguish between them. My next challenge to you is this: give me an example of how I can objectively distinguish between one “kind” and another. Tell me the threshold, because I have seen creationist “kinds” range from sub-species to entire domains on the Linnaean ladder.
          Now with regard to your final quote: “Natural selection can act only on those biologic properties that already exist; it cannot create properties in order to meet adaptational needs.” I agree. No one claims, however, that natural selection creates new structures- reproduction with variation is responsible for that. The gas pedal of evolution is mutations, and natural selection is the steering wheel.
          Finally, to address your 7 delusions:
          1. The superiority of the evolutionary model to the creationist model is its synthesis of evidence to make a model that accurately makes predictions. To this effect, evolution is unparalleled in the scientific enterprise in its ability to predict data.
          2. There is no serious distinction between microevolution and macroevolution. If you can walk to your fridge, you can walk to the mall.
          3. “If someone doubts evolution, they just don’t understand how it works.” I disagree. Usually, they also don’t understand the scientific method or even the purpose of science (which again, is the formation of predictive models of reality)
          4. Evidence please.
          5. Radioactive dating proves the earth is billions of years old. Explain why this is wrong.
          6. Mutations do not result in a net loss of genetic information over time. As a matter of fact, Dr. Richard Lenski of the University of Michigan cultured 50,000 generations of E. Coli in his lab, and one of his populations gained the ability to digest citrate- a clear counter-example to your claim. Another one is the gained ability of a strand of flavobacterium to ingest nylon.
          7. There IS evidence of complex design in nature! And the designer is natural selection.

          So to conclude, you claimed at the end that someone convinced me that creationists are dumb and “evolutionists” are smart. You are correct on that point, and I’ll leave it to you to guess who convinced me of that.

          ~KC

          • I suspect you want the names and place I was given an honorary degree from so you can attack their credibility in some way. If I was dealing with someone that had more character I might tell you. But judging from how you have conducted yourself so far, not a chance.

            You stated: “Science is not a matter of collecting data and interpreting in a way to support your presuppositions;” that is a pretty good summary of what evolutionists do.

            You stated: “you went on at length in describing the complexity of the human body and then, out of hand, dismissing even the possibility of its components having been formed via natural processes out of personal incredulity.” What exactly is the difference between what you described, and your own unwillingness to accept the possibility the human brain was designed for a purpose? I asked you if accidental random chance mutations and survival of the fittest would predict that? Would you even consider for one second how many beneficial mutations that would require? Would you consider for one second if irreducible complexity might be in play? You talk about my personal incredulity or unwillingness to consider this being produced by natural processes, but you are totally unwilling to consider the possibility that natural processes cannot account for it. I’ve given some thought as to whether that might be a feasible explanation, I just can’t fathom how it could be.

            I know you will not be honest about this, and I don’t know why I am even asking, but if it could be conceived somehow that natural processes could account for this kind of complexity, that still wouldn’t prove that is what happened would it? Don’t worry, I don’t expect an honest answer.

            You questioned my reading the textbooks I collected. I spent many, many hours reading and re-reading the descriptions of the evolutionary processes in those books. To put this into perspective, how many hours have you put into studying the Bible account of creation? I will assume not much at all. If I asked you where the description of when and how God formed the oceans and mountain ranges, I’m pretty sure you couldn’t tell me. If I asked where the Bible explains why the stars appear to be moving away from us, I’m pretty sure you couldn’t tell me that either. If I asked you to tell me where the Bible teaches that the earth is round and not flat, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t know that either. Do you know why I assume you haven’t studied the Bible accounts of those things? Because you don’t believe in creation.

            Now KC, I don’t know if you have ever read about creation in the Bible with an open mind or not, maybe you have and could answer all those questions, but I’m pretty sure you don’t believe in creation. Using your logic, you assume I haven’t read or studied what the textbooks say, because I don’t believe macroevolution has taken place. Whether you choose to believe it or not, has nothing to do with how well you understand how it is supposed to work. You believe evolution works miracles and produces amazing complexity with the appearance of purpose, I believe you are robbing God of the credit that rightfully belongs to Him.

            In Job chapter 12 it talks about learning from observing beasts, birds, fish, and the earth itself. It then asks this question: “Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this?” I feel the same way. I believe you are placing faith in a process for producing far more than it is possibly capable of, but I don’t believe for a second it is for scientific reasons. The only reason for blindly accepting evolution is because you know the only alternative.

            I’ve read the arguments against polystrate fossils and Ooparts before. You accept these arguments because you want to. I could point out problems with these like Ooparts that still haven’t been explained, and trees fossilized upside down with the roots on the tops, but it would be a waste of time. Ignorance just indicates lack of knowledge, willing ignorance indicates lack of character. Now you can predictably accuse me of willing ignorance toward evolution. If you think all the Ooparts have been explained away, you must read Talk Origins. I read Talk Origins too, just not for the same reasons. I try to point out their flawed thinking on occasion.

            You really don’t know much about the extent of the flood do you? You must not know much about hydrologic sorting either. I watched soil and water flow in a laboratory test that produced a layering effect like we see in the Grand Canyon. We wouldn’t even have much of a fossil record were it not for a global flood that lasted over a year. This will probably come as a shock to you, but roadkill does not turn into a fossil on a regular basis. High and low tides with no coastlines, fountains of the deep breaking open and sending up water for 5 months before letting up. Greatly increased volcanic activity during this 5 month period.

            The quote about Sagan not doubting evolution was only in respect to his writings and quotes. I probably should have worded it differently, but it did at least give you something to jump on.

            While there is no evidence rejecting the idea that there could have been feathered dinosaurs, there is also no evidence proving, without doubt, that there were. If a feathered dinosaur was proven to have existed, that means that a new dinosaur was discovered they didn’t know existed before. Of course I’m sure you realize any fossil found in the Chinese fossil factory should be questioned.

            Dinosaurs, being reptiles, have scales which are folds in the epidermis. Birds have feathers which grow out of follicles. Feathers and scales are completely different in make-up and appearance. There are no known fossils presenting a transitional stage of a scale to a feather. For this even to be possible new genetic information would be necessary. Mutations have never been recorded to increase genetic information, rather they just reduce it. Scales to feathers aren’t the only characteristics needed for a dinosaur to evolve, it must also gain flight muscles, hollow bones, and a complex lung system.

            The avian lung is structurally unlike any other organism’s. It is considered to be an irreducibly complex system, in which every part must function properly in order for it to work.

            Dr. Alan Feduccia, an evolutionist, is a bird expert at the University of North Carolina. He stated that the archaeopteryx is a perching bird, not a dinosaur like many others claim. Microraptor was considered to be a gliding animal that needed to spread its hind legs in a manner not possible for a dinosaur. However, its fossil was not discovered but purchased from a dealer and suspected to be a fake. It’s strange you should mention Confociusornis since it was a crow sized bird found in a lower strata than Archaeopteryx, the supposed “missing link” that has proven to be nothing more than a bird. You really need to read something other than Talk Origins.

            I know the problem is that if you rule out dinosaurs, birds have nothing left to have evolved from. So I understand the willingness to accept almost any scrap of bone or impression that looks like it may have been a feather, etc. Hopefully they won’t give up in trying to find fossil evidence to support their pre-conceived belief that it actually happened. Got to keep the faith.

            I hate to burst your balloon KC, but do you know how the majority of the layers are identified that contain fossils or artifacts? With human artifacts, they date the layer by the artifact itself. Do you know why some layers are determined to be a reversed layer, or why there are “missing layers”? It is because of the fossils found in some of those layers. Radioactive dating is almost never used. Relative dating is almost always used. Circular reasoning is inescapable.

            Gee KC, I am really broken up about you not recognizing the title of Dr. given to me. I probably won’t be able to sleep tonight.

            About trilobite eyes: it amazes me that no matter how increasingly complex these trilobite eyes are discovered to be, it results in evolutionary scientists just being more amazed about what evolution can accomplish. Like this article: http://news.sciencemag.org/paleontology/2013/03/looking-trilobite-eye. Personal incredulity is responsible for not considering design and purpose.

            Tiktaalik? Give me a break! Jennifer Clack thinks humans are fish too, according to her: Gaining Ground: The Origin and Evolution of Tetrapods. To the people who wrote about Tiktaalik, chickens should be considered feathered dinosaurs as well. All the hype about this fossil are smokescreens. Recent studies indicate Tiktaalik was a fish, not a tetrapod. And you say my information is ancient?

            Vestigial organs, let’s see: “An organ that was once useful in an animal’s evolutionary past, but now has no apparent nor predictable function.” http://www.everythingbio.com. “The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) defines vestigial organs as organs or structures remaining or surviving in a degenerate, atrophied, or imperfect condition or form. This is the accepted biological definition used in the theory of evolution.” http://www.livescience.com. “Vestigial structures are remnants of structures that may have had important functions in an ancestral species, but have no clear function in some of the modern descendants.” Prentice Hall Biology 2006. Where do these “creationists” get this stuff? Could you give me absolute proof that our appendix used to serve a completely different function? How many “vestigial” organs have been claimed by evolutionists to serve no function, only to later find out they do have a function?

            Why not just lie about it like the textbooks do about the hind limb bones in whales? “Modern whales have… hind limbs, which have been reduced to only a few tiny internal hind-limb bones that have no function.” Holt Biology These “vestigial” structures are deeply embedded in muscle tissue, strengthens the pelvic wall and acts as an organ anchor. Those bones have muscle groups attached to them and the whale can’t reproduce without them. There is absolutely no evidence they used to be connected to the vertebral column. But why let a little thing like empirical evidence stop you? “In modern whales, the remnant pelvic bones anchor the reproductive organs.” Science July 1990

            You stated: And as it happens, creationists never seem to want to give a clear and concise definition of “kind.” What exactly did you think I was doing when I said dog kind and cat kind? I’m assuming you can tell the difference between the two.

            You are not speaking truthfully in regards to adaptation. How many quotations would you like for giving evolution the credit for life forms having the ability to adapt to change? They can’t wait for a beneficial mutation to come along to keep them from going extinct. That is purposeful design. But I fully expect you to lie about it and try to explain it away without giving it a second of thought.

            As to the ability of evolution to make predictions, any piece of evidence is made to fit. Anomalies are explained away. If anyone looked at the evidence with an open mind, creation doesn’t have to do any of those things. If you were honest and open-minded you would be willing to admit, evolution and creation would make the majority of the same predictions. I don’t see you doing that. You proved my point about macro and micro.

            Your reply to anyone doubting evolution just doesn’t understand how it works was hilarious. First you say you disagree, then you say they “also” don’t understand other things. Which is it KC, do you agree or not? Disagree and also are in disagreement with each other. You should have stated: “I agree, and they also do not understand …”

            Number four on things evolutionists are delusional about was supposed to read: “There have been no human artifacts found in the wrong rock layers.” I’m not sure how I ended up writing “Evidence please.”

            A few problems with radioactive dating methods:
            1. Have the decay rates always been the same.
            2. Has water seepage added minerals or taken them out of the specimen?
            3. Has carbon-14 always formed in the atmosphere at the same rate?
            4. Do we know how much of the parent or daughter elements were originally in the specimen?
            (Evolutionists assume no daughter elements were originally in the specimen.)
            5. Has the specimen been affected by heat and pressure?
            6. Evolutionists use selective dating methods to get the date they want.
            (They first find out what strata the specimen was found in, then pick out a dating method that will give them an age in the correct ball park.)
            7. If the geologic column chart wasn’t already in place, radioactive dating would be useless.
            (If you use carbon-14 to date a specimen, it will only give dates up to 50,000 to 100,000 years old. If you used uranium-lead on the same specimen it would give a date of over 100 million. If samarium-neodymium-143 was used on the same specimen it would give a date of over a billion years old.) Which one would be correct?

            “Radiometric dating would not have been feasible if the geologic column had not been erected first.” O’Rourke, J.E., “Pragmatism versus Materialism in Stratigraphy.” American Journal of Science, vol. 276, (January 1976). P. 54.

            The geologic column chart was invented when very few fossils were found to be evaluated, nor was radioactive dating being used. It was just: “If evolution happened, how long would it take?” Then time periods were designated.

            “In general, dates in the ‘correct ball park’ are assumed to be correct and are published, but those in disagreement with other data are seldom published nor are discrepancies fully explained.” Richard L. Mauger, Ph.D. (Associate Professor of Geology, East Carolina University) …Contributions to Geology, University of Wyoming, vol. 15 (1), 1977 p. 37

            “Apart from very ‘modern’ examples, which are really archaeology, I can think of no cases of radioactive decay being used to date fossils.” Ager, Derek V., “Fossil Frustrations,” New
            Scientist, vol. 100 (November 10, 1983), p. 425.

            Don’t you hate it when scientists publish quotes that later turn out to be detrimental to evolution? Why yes, I am quote-mining. That doesn’t change the fact that the quotes are true.

            You aren’t dumb KC, you are a very intelligent person. You have accepted that evolution is true, and has happened, and believe new evidence continues to support that. I will agree, that evolutionists find more evidence all the time to support it, but I believe it is mostly what they already want to believe. They say: “There, see it fits. Just like evolution predicted it would.” I’m not saying it is intentional, I’m sure it usually isn’t, but when you come to believe it something so strongly, the potential is there for that to happen. Isn’t it kind of silly to think it never would? Scientists are human. None of us are perfect.

            I know you believe evolution has been severely tested in the past, and passed the tests, therefore it probaly doesn’t have to be tested all over again. I know how the scientific method is supposed to work. Like I stated, I used it for many years professionally. I facilitated problem solving teams for General Motors for a number of years using it. I came to love how it works. I actually didn’t know at the time that was what we were using. It was just called 6-Step Problem Solving. I was amazed when I started studying the textbooks to find I was using the same scientific method that scientists use.

            Here is the problem as I see it. Whenever someone says something to challenge evolution theory, they are criticized, ridiculed, their credibility is brought into question. Just pause for a moment and think about this honestly. How long have those who embrace evolution theory reacted this way? The issue is scientific testing. When a hypothesis is formed, the negative testing begins in order to falsify it. By attempting to falsify it, it becomes verified if it holds up. When did negative testing become to be viewed as attacks against this theory to the point it was widely accepted? Has the process become flawed? The challenges to evolution theory could be viewed as part of the process. If it were, the creationists would be the ones who are using the scientific method properly. Are the predictions today formed with the idea of falsifying evolution, which should always be the case? There is danger to the process when it becomes a method to substantiate, instead of disprove.

            I don’t think you are an evil person, nor unintelligent. I think you believe in evolution with your whole heart. I will try not to question your motives for disbelieving in creation, although I have done that to some degree. I doubt the debate will ever be considered from a standpoint of neutrality. If it could be, the outcome might be different. Both sides have too much at stake. I wish you well, as we both continue our search for truth. I doubt either of us will have a completely unbiased search for it. At what point are we searching, and at what point are we protecting what we already have? Real science is supposed to be neutral towards the supernatural. Real science is not anti-supernatural. That belongs in the category of philosophical naturalistic worldviews, not science. Most today seem unable to recognize the difference.

            “Coach”

            • Hello again,
              I find it somewhat ironic that you berate MY conduct when you have undeservedly adopted the title of “Dr,” presumably in an attempt to bolster your credibility. I have a deep and abiding respect for the people who actually earned their diplomas, and have an equal amount of malice and disrespect to the snake-oil salesmen who stand upon pedestals of academic superiority on which they alone have placed themselves. So if my tone seems overly belligerent, it is not because of your beliefs, but because of your commitment to a title that you did not earn. My suspicions with regard to your academic background are further compounded by the fact that you refuse to tell me who gave you the credentials that you keep putting as part of your name. If you don’t want to tell me, that’s fine, just bear in mind that if the PhDs who gave you that “honorary degree” had any ties to unaccredited diploma mills (or Liberty University or Bob Jones University, whose accreditation I still struggle to comprehend) then your alleged background is absolutely meaningless to me and anyone else who you introduce yourself to as “Dr.”

              That being said, I have a lot of ground to cover, so let’s start from the beginning. First and foremost, you projected your argument from personal incredulity onto me when asserting that I refuse to believe that anything was designed for a purpose or via supernatural processes (ie magic.) You said the following: “I’ve given some thought as to whether that might be a feasible explanation, I just can’t fathom how it could be.” That is the very EPITOME of arguing from personal incredulity! This may come as a surprise to you, Coach, but while sitting on an armchair and puzzling over an idea might have been considered groundbreaking research during the time of Aristotle, modern science does not operate in that manner. You then proceeded to rant at length about my scriptural illiteracy, which left me somewhat puzzled as I had not attempted even once to argue against the existence of a deity, much less yours. I also did not attempt to argue that the human brain was not designed- merely that it wasn’t spontaneously “poofed” into existence as you believe. The fact that I reject the position that the human brain was made in this manner is not a reflection of my close-mindedness, but of the rigorous application of healthy skepticism. By invoking the supernatural, you have explained everything by explaining nothing. It is an argument from ignorance. I stress the following: I do not care whether or not a god is responsible for the existence of the human brain, or anything else. HOW it created these things, if this god does indeed exist, is my only concern, and indeed is the only concern of the scientific enterprise. The rest are just details for philosophers and theologians to butt heads over, but as my academic domain is science, I operate strictly within naturalistic parameters because that is all that is available to me. Now as it happens, there do exist well-substantiated explanations of the human brain- written in exquisite detail, no less- in the peer review, but as I do not wish to convolute the conversation with the monumental edifice of details related to this topic, I will instead refer you to the following paper in the scientific literature that deals with this very issue. Bear in mind that there are many others like it, and while this still is an active area of research, much insight has been gained on this issue.

              http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.anthro.35.081705.123210

              Now regarding irreducible complexity, that argument and its corollaries have been debunked both by atheists like Richard Dawkins and Christians like Francis Collins, suffering a humiliating defeat in a court of law during Dover v. Kitzmiller. Its creator, Michael Behe, has yet to formally respond to the objections posed to it by his peers. He has also never attempted to defend it in the peer review, possibly because he knew that his unjustifiable claims would be torn apart by his contemporaries the moment his paper would come within sniffing distance of a peer-review committee. This is often the hallmark of pseudoscience- an individual bypasses the peer-review process and goes straight to the public because he is more interested in having his idea supported by the gullible masses than having it tested by an educated collection of his peers. You will notice that creationists do not defend creationism in the peer-review, opting instead to sell DVDs and seminars to churches and home schools. If it looks like pseudoscience, and smells like pseudoscience, and quacks like pseudoscience, then it probably is pseudoscience. Let’s move on.

              “I spent many, many hours reading and re-reading the descriptions of the evolutionary processes in those books. I find it extraordinarily difficult to believe that these books skipped over discussions of things like unconformities and graded bedding, the former of which accounts for your upside down layers, and by extension, your upside down trees. I therefore found it amusing when you said this: “Ignorance just indicates lack of knowledge, willing ignorance indicates lack of character.” What you did here is somewhat comparable to the action of a kettle being badmouthed by an ebony pot that just drifted across the event horizon of a black hole, and it would be redundant of me to explain why.

              “If you think all the Ooparts have been explained away, you must read Talk Origins.” Talk Origins, while a good resource for laypersons, is a bit too basic for someone who adheres to the caliber of research that I undertake. I only ever use it to link to original sources (primarily peer-reviewed ones that I could not have found otherwise.) In that sense, I use Talk Origins the same way that I use Wikipedia. As I have shown in my comments to be intimately acquainted with your side of the argument, while you consistently show both on here and on your personal website that your understanding of the topic is limited to the same, tired, worn out arguments that creationists have been peddling for decades, it is disingenuous of you in the extreme to suggest that I have not fairly considered the evidence presented by both positions. That being said, I still await your evidence for OOPArts with baited breath.

              “ I watched soil and water flow in a laboratory test that produced a layering effect like we see in the Grand Canyon.” Under extremely controlled circumstances, yes, you can have sedimentary layers formed quickly with water, similar to the swamp deposits covering the aforementioned “polystrate” fossils. You can NOT, however, get neat sedimentary layers of the sort that are found in the Grand Canyon and elsewhere via a spontaneous catastrophic event. Point me to a single instance in which limestone layers, clay layers, or some equivalent were laid down spontaneously (hint- silt and volcanic deposits are not “equivalent” for reasons briefly discussed in the previous comment.) Give me one example of when any flood in history was ever recorded to have done this, and I will retract my case.

              “ This will probably come as a shock to you, but roadkill does not turn into a fossil on a regular basis.” No shocks here except for my reaction to what is sometimes referred to in academic circles as… if you’ll excuse the technical language… self-pwnage. You see, it is precisely because the earth is old that we find so many fossils, as fossilization is a very rare and very gradual process. If you plan on retorting with an argument involving cowboy hats and anvils, then I’ll give you fair warning ahead of time that my rebuttal will be even more unpleasant than it already is.

              “Of course I’m sure you realize any fossil found in the Chinese fossil factory should be questioned.” If you are referring to the Archaeoraptor incident, which I believe you are, keep in mind that the reason that we know it was a fraud was because the peer-review immediately exposed it as such. This is why REAL scientists go to the peer-review, and why irreducible complexity, OOPArts, and other creationist arguments do not. Because science is a cutthroat business, and any and all frauds are mercilessly rooted out, publically humiliated, and permanently banished. As an aside, you seem to subsequently have confused Microraptor and Archaeoraptor. The latter is a fraud and the former is not, so your accusation that I cited a false transitional form is simply wrong.

              “There are no known fossils presenting a transitional stage of a scale to a feather.” This is only one hypothesis of several that describes the evolution of birds, and as this is an active area of research whose details are as yet unknown, some degree of discrepancy between observation and hypothesis is to be expected. This does not reflect poorly on the theory as a whole, of course, but rather shows that there is more to be discovered. Through similar logic, I can dismiss all of quantum theory on the basis that many hypothesized particles have not yet been found. Both quantum and evolutionary theory have shown themselves to have astonishing predictive capability, so all that you’re doing at this point is cherry-picking.

              As for the allegedly insurmountable gaps between birds and reptiles, Archaeopteryx has hollow bones and Microraptor additionally showed the beginnings of gaining flight muscles (it glided rather than flew, which is to be expected in a transitional form- a non-avian did not give birth to an avian, there was a gradation of adaptations, as the theory predicts.)
              Additionally, Archaeopteryx has never been “proven” to be “just a bird” anywhere other than the tortured imaginations of creationists. Your contentions against the specifics of these animals and their morphologies is grasping at straws, and as neither you or I are experts in comparative anatomy, let’s leave the discussion of the exact classification of ancient avians to the people who are. The specifics of this issue are very much a controversy even amongst academics, and offering obscure quotes by those who would superficially appear to agree with you on this specific point (but would certainly disagree with you about evolution in general) is selective data mining and is extremely unethical. If you have any intellectual integrity whatsoever, you will consider the issue of evolution’s veracity at a broad scale rather than cherry-picking quotes and data to construct your house of cards. The scientific method’s necessity for open argumentation amongst scholars is not a license for you to present science as something that can’t make up its mind. You are not a paleontologist and as such are in no position to join the conversation that academics are having with regard to Archaeopteryx’s specific classification, so just bear in mind that while the details are in dispute among academics, what isn’t in dispute is the fact that modern avians are descended from theropod dinosaurs, not even by scientists who reject Archaeopteryx as anything other than a transition between reptiles and birds.

              I am also puzzled as to why you claimed, again, that mutations never add genetic information after I cited both Richard Lenski’s E. Coli experiment and nylonase as counterexamples to your general claim.

              “ Do you know why some layers are determined to be a reversed layer, or why there are ‘missing layers’?” Yeah, and the answer isn’t fossils or relative dating- it’s unconformities. Again, time to brush up on your geology.

              Regarding the article that you linked, of course scientists are going to attribute this to evolution. No other model- no, not even “Goddidit-” can explain the matter in such exquisite detail. In fact, those details can be found in the peer-reviewed article that your layperson article summarized right here:

              http://www.nature.com/srep/2013/130314/srep01429/full/srep01429.html?WT.ec_id=SREP-20130319

              Pro tip, “doctor”: if you want to find out the specific details of whatever’s being discussed, go to the original source. The physiology and evolution of these structures was explained in exquisite detail, clearly negating your pretense that they committed what some creationists like to call a “nature of the gaps argument.”

              Regarding vestiges, different sources seem to give different definitions, but the fact still remains that neither Darwin’s tubercle nor male nipples serve any function in humans. As for “absolute proof that our appendix used to serve a completely different function,” sure! As soon as I get you absolute proof that electrons exist, or that the universe isn’t a computer program, or any number of other things that you can posit with your semantic word game that attempts to arbitrarily change the epistemology of science! As anyone with even a cursory understanding of science will know, the scientific method is inductive and therefore doesn’t concern itself with any “absolute” epistemic standard. It makes predictions about future data, and that is it!

              Regarding your unfounded protestations that the hind bones on whales have anything to do with sexual reproduction, this peer-reviewed paper, which deals with this matter (yes, someone devoted years of their professional life to study the physiology of whale sex) in agonizing detail, makes no mention of the pelvic bones or their role in reproduction.

              http://www.biolreprod.org/content/71/2/650.full

              As it happens, the very article that you quote mined went on to explain exactly what evidence pointed to the pelvic bones of whales having been once connected to hind limbs. What you basically did is take a single quote from the article to support a position that the article as a whole was diametrically opposed to. In the future, “doctor,” I would advise reading the sources that you cite rather than blindly copying and pasting whatever you find on creationist websites. If you think that this sort of behavior is even remotely acceptable in any academic circle, then I have a bridge to sell you. Had you pulled this kind of crap in the peer-review, and had you been in possession of an actual degree, I have little doubt that the committee reviewing you would immediately contact your parent academic institution to request the revocation of your PhD.

              “What exactly did you think I was doing when I said dog kind and cat kind? I’m assuming you can tell the difference between the two.” Once again, “doctor,” your ignorance of the topic on which you opine shines through. In real academic circles, organisms are objectively distinguished via a set of strict criteria in order to avoid equivocation and goalpost shifting. Dogs, or Canis Lupus, are a genus of organisms, whereas Felines are an entire family. I have also heard creationists say that Bacteria is its own “kind,” which renders the definition of “kind” as an entire domain. Under that definition of “kind,” I can say that humans, jellyfish, and marijuana are all the same “kind.” Again, give me an objective criteria that I can use to distinguish between “kinds,” seeing as that word is not recognized by any biological standard anywhere.

              “As to the ability of evolution to make predictions, any piece of evidence is made to fit. Anomalies are explained away.” You are projecting. This is what creationism does, not evolution. I’ve already made my point in this incredibly long post though, so I won’t elaborate any further.

              Now with regard to your pontifications on radiometric dating:
              1. “Have the decay rates always been the same.”
              Not unless the strong and electromagnetic forces have varied tremendously over history, which would have rendered the universe essentially unrecognizable. In any case, you’d better hope to God that decay rates don’t change, as the entire nuclear industry is based on that fact.
              2. “Has water seepage added minerals or taken them out of the specimen?”
              There are ways of determining that. Water isn’t the only possible contaminant by the way- xenocrysts can contaminate sediment in volcanoes, for example. The general rule for radiometric dating is to take specimens from non-volcanic, non-aquatic, meteorologically inactive areas.
              3. “Has carbon-14 always formed in the atmosphere at the same rate?”
              No, and we can synchronize concentrations via methods like dendrochronology.
              4. “Do we know how much of the parent or daughter elements were originally in the specimen?
              (Evolutionists assume no daughter elements were originally in the specimen.)”
              Perfectly reasonable assumption whenever you’re not doing isochron dating method (which does not rely on that assumption.) Take the K-Ar dating method, for instance- Ar is a noble gas, which means that it’s inert and can therefore be assumed to have been negligible within the structure of whatever’s being dated.
              5. “Has the specimen been affected by heat and pressure?”
              Unless we’re talking about heat and pressure at the scales of nuclear-explosions, heat and pressure won’t affect decay rates, despite what creationists insist.
              6. “Evolutionists use selective dating methods to get the date they want.
              (They first find out what strata the specimen was found in, then pick out a dating method that will give them an age in the correct ball park.)” And guess what? All applicable dating methods independently cross-confirm each other.
              7. “If the geologic column chart wasn’t already in place, radioactive dating would be useless.” Bullshit. Once again, different methods independently cross-confirm each other.

              Now with regard to your quotes, you openly admitted to quote-mining them as well. Since you evidently see nothing wrong with this, I’m going to do a bit of quote-mining of my own:
              Psalms 14:1 says “there is no God.”
              Gee, that was fun, wasn’t it?

              Coach… just stop. You’ve wasted hours of my time when I have finals coming up and I grow weary of dealing with the same nonsense that I confront on a regular basis. Just pay a visit to my YouTube channel and we can proceed to discuss things there. I’d recommend starting with this video.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LITCCA212hg

              ~KC

              • Why didn’t you quote the whole verse KC? “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.” We’re not talking about a chapter, just one verse. Goodbye Kc. Have a nice eternity.

                • Are you dim? I’d preceded that verse with a discussion on quote mining and why it’s unethical. Let me break it down for you, Coach: taking a portion of a quote while leaving out the rest in order to form a case that is diametrically opposed to the intent of the original quoter, as you’ve done several times throughout this exchange, is dishonest. I was illustrating this by using your own Bible as an example. Look up what “quote mining” means, as you evidently don’t understand what that is either.

  6. Gotta wonder about the Nexus editors these days. They completely ignored Monday’s story about how a feminist professor allegedly criminally attacked a pro-life protester, stole/destroyed her poster, and tried to incite a group of her students to take the posters too. Instead, of important but very PIC free speech related stories, we have this PC puff piece about a preacher.

    • Shortly after your post the Nexus (in response?) Published a watered down version of what all the other media are reporting about the incident.

      • Hilarious. It’s nationwide news now on FOX and other conservative outlets but nary a story from the faux-liberal side of the lame stream media. Gotta wonder about these totalitarian goons on the left. Had this story been reversed, with some pro-lifer daring to attack a pompous feminist professor or to steal/destroy fascist feminist signs, we have had a serious national crisis worth hyperventilating hysterically for weeks about.

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