More Money Quotes from the Darwin’s Doubt Review

More excerpts from a review on Darwin’s Doubt, from the American Spectator.

Darwin’s Doubt has also been subjected to a barrage of what can only be called hate. “Mendacious intellectual pornography” is among the more inventive descriptions. Hundreds of negative comments appeared on Amazon review page within hours of the 498-page book’s publication.

Donald Prothero, a geologist and research associate at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles, typified many when he said that Meyer is a “fool,” “incompetent,” guilty of “ignorance,” in “way over his head,” with a “completely false understanding of the subject.” Further, Meyer argues “dishonestly,” promotes a “fundamental lie,” promotes a “fairy tale,” and so on.

Would a scientist make his case that way if he had real arguments? Prothero did attempt a few substantive criticisms, but inadvertently demonstrated that he had not read Meyer’s chapters that had already addressed them. Prothero, in truth, hankers after creationism as his preferred target. But Meyer’s book is devoid of creationism or biblical references. It’s all science.

Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species claimed that organisms arose by random variation and natural selection, which must have been a slow business. But the fossil record shows that the major animal forms appeared without visible predecessors — an event known as the Cambrian Explosion. As the Darwinian rulebook regards such sudden changes as highly improbable, the evolutionists encounter two problems: insufficient time and missing fossils.

Years ago, speaking in a tone of subdued irony for my benefit, Donn Rosen, a curator of ichthyology at the American Museum of Natural History, wryly summarized what is involved: “Darwin said that speciation occurred too slowly for us to see it. Gould and Eldredge said it occurred too quickly for us to see it. Either way we don’t see it.”

Meyer also describes how work in statistical paleontology has undermined the idea that the missing ancestral fossils are merely an artifact of incomplete sampling. If you hunt in lots of different places and keep unearthing the same old specimens, it becomes ever harder to maintain that you still haven’t looked hard enough. Maybe the missing ones never were there to begin with.

IN THE SECOND PART of Meyer’s book, “How to Build an Animal,” the argument changes. Meyer shows that building new animal body plans requires the origin of new genetic information and “epigenetic” information (biological information stored in places outside of DNA). He shows the Cambrian explosion is not just an explosion of new forms of animal life, but an explosion of the information or instructions necessary to build them.

But to generate new information, neo-Darwinism relies on mutations — random changes in the arrangement of the chemical “bases” that function like alphabetic characters in the genetic text stored in DNA. And to build whole new animals, lots of major mutations are needed, but most are lethal.

The geneticist Hermann J. Muller, winner of the Nobel Prize in 1946, bombarded fruit flies with X-rays, which he thought would “speed up evolution.” But nothing came of it. Fruit flies not killed by the X-rays remained fruit flies. Also, mutations that occur early in embryonic development are always lethal — generating “dead animals incapable of further evolution,” as Meyer writes. Late-acting mutations may be viable, but these “do not affect global animal architectures.” Hence the Darwinian dilemma: “Major changes are not viable; viable changes are not major.”

IN THE THIRD PART of his book, Meyer outlines his positive case for intelligent design. Ironically, here he uses the same principle of scientific reasoning that Darwin used in the Origin. Darwin subscribed to a principle of scientific reasoning known as the Vera Causa principle. This asserts that scientists should seek to explain events in the remote past by causes “now in operation.” Meyer applies this to the question of the origin of the information necessary to produce new forms of animal life. He argues that the only known cause of the origin of the kind of digital information that arises in the Cambrian explosion is intelligent activity. He quotes the information theorist Henry Quastler who stated that “the creation of information is habitually associated with conscious activity.” Thus, he concludes, using Darwin’s principle, that intelligent design provides the best explanation for the Cambrian information explosion.

If a correct scientific theory is pursued, we expect new knowledge to comport with the theory. Yet recent discoveries, especially in molecular biology, were not foreseen and have weakened Darwinism. For example, Darwin’s German contemporary and supporter Ernst Haeckel viewed the cell as a simple lump of “protoplasm.” Now we know that it is a hi-tech nano-factory complicated beyond comprehension. A cell can also reproduce itself, something no man-made machine has yet been able to do.

Meyer also reviews the “Rules of Science” decreeing what is permitted if an investigation is to be called scientific. “Methodological naturalism” is the main one today: Only material causes are permitted. That rule is the basis for Darwinian accusations that ID is creationism. ID does admit non-material causes, thereby flouting the (recently imposed) rule obliging scientists to adhere to naturalism all the way.

Yet science itself abounds with non-material entities. Information is non-material and if it is essential for building organisms, how is it transmitted to the three-dimensional world of matter? There’s an obvious parallel, Meyer points out. How are the decisions we make in our own conscious minds transmitted to the world of physical matter? We know every day that we can transform our mental decisions into physical acts. We choose to lift our arm, and it lifts.

Neuroscience hopes to explain this materially — to show how the brain’s nerve endings translate into consciousness, thence into acts. But one may predict that they will keep looking for a long time, because the gulf separating matter and consciousness is greater than that separating us from the remotest galaxy. That doesn’t mean that mind is too remote, unreal, or can be excluded from science. Mind is within us and nothing can be closer. Without it, the very ideas, theories, and arguments of science wouldn’t exist.

Planetary Zones, and Qualifications for Interstellar Life

Now, here’s my problem.

I’m a child of the 80s, so I was raised on Carl Sagan’s billions and billions of worlds, Star Trek, and Star Wars. So Across the Stars – a consideration of our future in space, guided by God rather than random chance or the droning will-to-power types – was unconsciously influenced by all sorts of evolutionary assumptions.

But real life isn’t like that: it’s far more fundamentally Biblical than I thought. Life on Earth is a remarkable special creation, of course: I never had a problem disbelieving the evolutionary claim that things can somehow make themselves, that information just mysteriously appears without either an Observer or an Author.

But it’s more complicated than that. Even the location of Earth, even the sun that we orbit, is tailored to permit us to live.

From Star Chemistry Constrains Habitable Zone:

Let’s tally up the factors we’ve reported so far that make the “Goldilocks Zone” more complicated than just allowing for liquid water:

  • Galactic Habitable Zone, where a star must be located (09/29/2009);
  • Circumstellar Habitable Zone, the right radius from the star where liquid water can exist (10/08/2010);
  • Continuously Habitable Zone, because too much variety can be lethal (07/21/2007);
  • Temporal Habitable Zone, because habitable zones do not last forever (10/27/2008);
  • Chemical and Thermodynamic Habitable Zone, where water can be liquid (12/30/2003);
  • Ultraviolet Habitable Zone, free from deadly radiation (08/15/2006);
  • Tidal Habitable Zone, which rules out most stars that are small (02/26/2011).
  • Stable Obliquity Habitable Zone (1/12/2012)
  • Stellar Chemistry Habitable Zone (this entry)

The list will probably continue to grow.  Although the current paper assumes billions of years of evolution, it’s a problem for evolutionists of all stripes: atheistic, deistic and theistic.  Why?  They all need billions of years.  Theistic evolutionists, for instance, would need for God to intervene and move the earth as the habitable zone evolves. If the solar system were created much more recently, this is not a problem at all.  The hopes of Carl Sagan and other astronomers of the 1980s for billions and billions of worlds filled with life are looking more simplistic with each new discovery.  The earth is looking more Biblical all the while.

And the latest entry, Planet Habitable Zone Cannot Be Too Windy

The “habitable zone” of a planet usually concerns its distance from the star such that it can support liquid water.  But what if the star fries the surface with intense stellar winds?

Deadly stellar winds could put a stop to life” reads the headline of an article on Astrobiology Magazine.  Planet Earth has a protective magnetic field that shields its inhabitants from the solar wind.  But the solar wind emitted by our star is mild compared to the intense storms of charged particles flung out by other stars.

Joe Llama from the University of St. Andrews looked at the winds that bombard one of the “hot Jupiters” (giant planets orbiting close to parent stars), named HD 189733.  He considered what such a wind would do to an earth-like planet, even if it orbited in its habitable zone:

In the case of HD 189733b, this is not a huge problem as it and other hot Jupiters are already far too hostile for life to survive. But strong stellar winds could also strip away the atmospheres of potentially habitable planets further out, something that would have dire consequences for their habitability.  Joe comments: “Imagine what the Earth would be like with its air stripped away, placed in a radiation bath. There could be numerous planets like this that in many ways resemble our world, but where life never stood a chance.

Fortunately, I don’t have to justify the random generation of alien life. I’m much more into the colonial and settlement mind frame, where our descendants will have to select which systems to scout for terraforming and habitation. So, looking at those zones from a high-tech settlement/terraforming eye of AD 5,000:

Galactic Habitable Zone: Yes, we have to go here. Even with astonishing technological growth, we won’t be able to reshape the galaxy in 3,000 years!

(But in the New Creation, given infinite lifetimes and – even more important – the beneficial guidance of God Himself – perhaps something can be done about that…)

Circumstellar Habitable Zone: Not too much of a concern: in three thousand years, we should be able to shift planets around.

Continuously Habitable Zone: This will remain an issue. I am assuming that my colonists of the far future can move planets about, and even reshape and terraform them extensively… but stars are a whole new ballgame!

Temporal Habitable Zone: This is more of a problem if you are an evolutionist, and believe in all those unprovable and unseen billions of years. If not… well, even the Moon can be colonized, with an atmosphere that can last for a million years before it dissipates. As the universe itself isn’t much older than 6,000 years or so, 1,000,000 years is a fantastic amount of time. Thow in logarithmically expanding technology…

Chemical and Thermodynamic Habitable Zone: This is one of the functions of terraforming: getting liquid water on that planet.

(Terraforming is also required for pumping up that gravity, setting up that radiation-screening magnetic field, building up the atmosphere… even minor things like fertile soil just doesn’t create itself, yet are absolutely required for a living world!)

Ultraviolet Habitable Zone: Planet movers are us!

Tidal Habitable Zone: Yeah, this causes problems even for my superscience settlers. Unless they can extensively reshape the primary star…

Stable Obliquity Habitable Zone: Tilt that world!

Stellar Chemistry Habitable Zone: My starfarers of the future are far more powerful than we are, able to build mountains and oceans… but not even they can rebuild the chemistry of a star!

And finally… the technology of those star farers didn’t come from random chance. Over 9,000 years of scientific progress would be required for them to do their thing: spread across the stars. And that doesn’t count the ‘religious’ technology that was frankly given to them from on high: from “Thou shalt not murder”… to “Love the truth, and hate falsehood”… to “God created the universe in an organized fashion, with extremely stable physical laws (and truly unchanging spiritual laws)… and wants you to understand and master it all”… to “Choose life”… to “Go Forth and Multiply”.


No See Um’s

“Darwin said that speciation occurred too slowly for us to see it. Gould and Eldredge said it occurred too quickly for us to see it. Either way we don’t see it.”

From a review on Darwin’s Doubt, in the American Spectator.

Huxley worked like a political revolutionary, not an impartial scientist. He had an agenda. He wanted empire: unsatisfied with natural phenomena that were testable, observable and repeatable, he worked fervently on a hostile takeover of the origins and destiny business.

Think beyond the collapse of the Darwinian regime, which appears inevitable. Will it be replaced by something better? Probably not, as long as humans refuse to acknowledge the authority of their Creator. That’s been the basic human sin since Eden. If the scientific just-so storytellers ever get shamed out of science, what we don’t need, any more than another brand of cigarettes, is another group of storytellers from the religious side. Liberal theologians and spiritual leaders have lots of opinions, but who cares what they believe or think is true, if they cannot prove it? This leads directly to the question, what is the source of ultimate authority? We learned it is not Aristotle, but neither is it any other mortal, including a scientist. If science returns to its empirical roots and gets out of the spheres of origins, destiny and ultimate meaning, that question may well prove to be the intellectual battle of the 21st century. Unfortunately, Bible believers may find it more difficult to debate liberal theologians than materialistic scientists on this point. At least materialistic scientists claimed to respect objective truth and logic. But liberal theologians tend to become hypnotized on spirituality or their own imaginations rather submitting to the authority of the Word of God. Getting them to prove their opinions, rather than tell religious just-so stories, will be like trying to nail jello to the wall. Creationists might get nostalgic for the good old days. – See more here.

The Sexual Revolution, Race, and the Future

Lead In

How we got here in a culture of large-scale official, sterile depravity is addressed by Gary North in his article “How the Culture Battles Were Lost. The War Continues.” as a partial response to Fred Reed’s “Surrender in the Culture War.

One of the sources Dr. North uses is an article from Touchstone Magazine, “Forty Years Wandering.” Unlike North, I see the crux of the seminal shift in sex and law here, not only with the rise of sex as recreation instead of reproduction, but with the destruction of law.

To quote from Touchstone:

Invented Doctrine

Government policy was set by default by an unhappy combination of Supreme Court decisions and tax-supported birth-control programs. President Johnson’s brief mention of population in his State of the Union message in January 1964 had been sufficient to stimulate would-be federal birth-control planners to start pushing.

They had a problem, however. Some states still had the remnants of nineteenth-century Comstock laws forbidding the distribution, sale, and use of contraceptive devices. Not to worry. The head of Planned Parenthood in New Haven, Connecticut, Estelle Griswold, had already filed suit against Connecticut, and on June 7 the Supreme Court ruled that laws against the use of contraceptives by married couples were unconstitutional.

Finding nothing specific in the Constitution against such laws, the Court invented its doctrine of the “penumbra” of the Fourteenth Amendment, which would have even more catastrophic effects eight years later in the Roe v. Wade decision. In 1970, Congress passed Title X to fund the distribution of contraceptives to all takers. In 1972, the Court ruled further in Baird v. Eisenstadt that laws against the sale of contraceptives to the unmarried were also unconstitutional. A year later, in Roe v. Wade, the Court struck down all state laws protecting pre-born human life.

Those in 1965 who sought to give a black underclass all the birth control that upper-class whites had been using—and for free!—thinking that it would solve the problems of illegitimacy, could scarcely have thought that their dreams would come true in less than five years. Nor could they have envisioned that easy access to abortion would be added to the birth control arsenal in less than a decade. But what they really could not have dreamed was that the effects of these “benefits” would be the opposite of what they had planned.

The Statistical Abstract of the United States tells the story. From 26.3 percent in 1965, the percentage of out-of-wedlock births to black mothers grew steadily: to 38 percent in 1970, 55 percent in 1980, 67 percent in 1990, and 69 percent in 2000. The white illegitimacy rate also rose dramatically. From a base of 4.0 in 1965, it grew to 6 percent in 1970, almost doubled to 11 percent in 1980, rose to 17 percent in 1990, and in 2000 reached 27 percent, higher than the black illegitimacy rate that concerned Moynihan in 1965. These figures include all social and economic classes. Friends at a pregnancy help center in Cincinnati’s black ghetto tell me that the illegitimacy rate in that area is at least 80 percent and may well be above the 90 percent level.

How did a contraceptively oriented sexual revolution result in more out-of-wedlock pregnancies, births, and abortions? As W. Bradford Wilcox pointed out in “The Facts of Life and Marriage” in the January/February 2005 issue of Touchstone, the sexual revolution changed the meaning of sex from a “marriage act” to a “recreational act” regardless of marital status. The number of people having sex outside of marriage increased enormously, and every form of birth control has its own rate of surprise pregnancies even if used (1) properly and (2) all the time.


So not only do we see the (accelerated) destruction of predictable law and local authority, ever further from its Biblical roots and ever more tyrannical and arbitrary,  but the destruction of marriage and reproduction itself. This vicious blow was dealt on all races, by the white establishment, in the name of destroying the black race.

Of course, most middle-class and lower-class whites at the time were racist. But they would not have made this choice knowingly. By their acceptance of the price for their choice, and their refusal to repent, the upper white leadership of the United States demonstrated their willingness to pay this price for their hatred of blacks. This remains true even today, even though Black America – while wounded – is definitely not falling in raw numbers as much as White America is.

(Justice Gindberg of the Supreme Court provided merely the most public and recent example of this attitude. Or, just watch the (rather disgusting) “Hooking Kids on Sex” video, previously censored by YouTube.

If out kind and compassionate wealthy white liberal friends (with plenty of support from wealthy white conservatives, true) actually wanted to help Black America, they would have pushed to shore up family unity and the ability of the black father to work – instead of emasculating him with welfare programs, enforcing the minimum wage (and destroying his ability to underbid white labour), and always stressing the pleasures of free love.

As it is, in 2013, the black family has been broadly destroyed – but despite all the plans of the wicked, including the countless anti-family black thugs and pro-thug entertainers – the black percentage of the U.S. population is holding steady. In the meantime, the white percentage of the population is in decline globally, and the white middle class and working class is in the process of destruction – and with it, most of the wealth generating potential of the United States.

(I am absolutely confident that God’s wrath is almost always intertwined with frank mockery and derision.)

In the public name of free love and the private name of black eradication, the ruling leadership of white America has effectively shattered the foundations of American authority, and – after most deliberately destroying the personal discipline needed to build and sustain a civilization – has handed economic and cultural leadership to the East Asians.


True: the God-State that is today’s Source of the Law is in the process of bankrupting itself. Just like the rest of God’s enemies – from Pharaoh to the Soviet Union – it’s going to become just so much forgotten scrap, another busted tyrannical (and mindless!) failure, as Christus Victor tightens His grip on the future.

And also true: the main intellectual enemy of the incompetent and failure-bound New Order, the Christian Reconstructionists, are mainly white themselves. And they (and their families) will be blessed for their fidelity to Christ, as surely as the sun rises in the morning.

Rushdoony himself was certainly a racist, but his followers are not: and as God respects repentance, so shall I. Nor am I interested in dumping all of Rushdoony’s work because of his racism, no more than I should attack Martin Luther King’s worthy achievements for Black America because of a fake doctorate and routine adultery. As the Biblical example of King David shows, Christian leadership does not require moral perfection: but the wise Christian leader will still shun all sins and unrighteousness, as they give an occasion for Satan and his servants to strike effectively at those who fear the Lord.

The Bible-Belt South is certainly in the process of disintegration, and is unlikely to exist as such by 2030 or so: but by that same point in time, the abject failure of the God-State should be largely complete, and homeschooled Christian families from the South and West – of all races – will be a major force in rebuilding America.

(That would be American culture and society: rather than again recreate a centralized, bloodthirsty, and  self-worshipping state, I advise that the county become the centre of American governance and sovereignty.)

Black preachers mainly fell into the Jesse Jackson mode, enforcing Democratic solidarity. It would have been much better if they demanded obedience and unity to Christ and His Command… but in the end, they didn’t. I trust that Black Christians – actually, all Christians – will be able to abandon the bankrupt denominational model – with their college-educated (and thus humanist) preachers – and move on to the home church model. See “The State of American Churches” and “The Unknown Christian Revolutionary Who Has Launched a Massive Recruiting System to Transform the Third World” for more.

Most White conservative preachers were just cheerleaders of the militarized State, and will fade with their master. Much like how most White liberal preachers were just cheerleaders of the welfare State, and will fade with their master. Surprise, surprise.

If you have a sneaking suspicion about the future of black churches, cheerleaders of the Democratic Party, you are correct: they will fade as they grow more liberal, and the Democratic Party, just like the Republican Party, is shown to be just a bunch of droning windbags at best, murdering, lying, spying, thieving, and oppressive windbags at worst.

The Future

The Rapture churches will continue to sing their fantasies of rescue from reality, and the flight from responsibility. In the meantime, there are quite a lot of tools – small and large – that can be used to build and strengthen the freedom and prosperity of yourself, your family, and your community, right now. And technology will continue to make more tools, and make them cheaper as well. Use them in peace and compassion and righteousness, and work for Christ in this world, so His Kingdom of peace and justice will grow strong and broad right where you life, unto the ends of the earth.

It all starts with knowing Christ’s will – in both the Old and New Testaments – and living it. Learn the Law and her principles, and steadily apply it. For beginners, American Vision and Blog and Mablog are quite useful for both light and in-depth material. Heavy books are available at Gary North’s Freebooks and Chalcedon.

Doing What You’d Said You’d Do

People tend to emphasize the positive (which can lead to profit) and downplay the negative. There are some serious problems with this business, including the deaths of many, many people.

On the other hand, the only suggestion of Dr. Goldacre is more stringent rules and punishments. Already, the FDA has slowed the flow of new drugs to a trickle: if table salt and aspirin hadn’t been grandfathered in, it would be banned. And rules are no substitute for a moral compass, which the high elites have spent the last century or so destroying in the name of some fantasy equality.

Eventually, today’s corrupt system will perish. I wonder if we can come up with something better…

On the Purposes of Creationism and Evolution

After North noted the failure of Scientific Creationism to properly recognize the importance of the Resurrection (instead focusing on the Second Law of Thermodynamics), he notes in his book Is the World Running Down (page xx: the bold has been provided by myself):

Paradigm Shift is in Progress

I do not expect to persuade the founders of the Scientific Creation movement with the arguments in this book. Very few established scholars ever participate in a paradigm shift. I do expect to persuade the best and the brightest of the younger members of the movement. Like the Darwinists, Scientific Creationists do not hold their position because of scientific arguments alone, or even primarily. They hold them because of the overall worldview they have already adopted personally. They came to six-day creationism after their conversions to Christ; they did not begin with six-day creationism and then become Christians. (On this point, the Darwinists are correct: Scientific Creationism exists only to bolster the Christian religion. What they refuse to admit is that Darwinism exists only to bolster the anti-Christian humanist religion.) In short, a scientist’s worldview generally determines the kind of science he does, not the other way around.

The religion of evolution is tied closely to faith in the Total State. This god is dying visibly as we speak, and I doubt that there will be anything but rotting relics in 50 years.

This defeat will not be because of a resurgent Christian faith (although I expect such a rebound after the old idol has visibly collapsed, just as Communism was dumped after the Soviets lost power), as much as the failure of the God-State to cope with either technological change, or with economic reality.

The failure of the Total State in the economic universe is now obvious, and so is slowly and grudgingly being abandoned by academia decades after the intellectual reasons for its failure – outlined in Mises’ Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth – was published.

What’s more interesting is that technological power has increasingly empowered the individual, and not the state as feared by C.S. Lewis, George Orwell, H. W. Wells, or Aldous Huxley.

This is a welcome if rather unexpected surprise: freedom was restored not by the pathetic and insipid hand of the Church: if we were dependent on the bishops and the pastors, we would have long ago been placed under the heel of an secularistic communist state (which took the time to mouth a few Christian platitudes every so often.) It was wrought by the very nature of technology, coupled by the very nature of human behaviour.

With no small assist by thousands of anti-Christian scientists and entrepreneurs, whose work was used by God to break the bonds of the anti-Christian Total State. Yes, even the online God-hating prono types had their role to play: and now, their usefulness to God finished, are now left to fade to financial irrelevance.

The God of Isaac is a very powerful God, but a very strange one, who likes to move in extremely unexpected ways. I wish that His people would listen to Him more, and obey Him with more consistency. It would make for a far more interesting world, and a faster move to a most glorious (and outrageously funny, in the kindest and happiest sense possible) future.

A bit more from North:
(The bold is mine, but the italics are his)

Christians need to start arguing that the burdens imposed by the second law of thermodynamics could be progressively removed as a curse on man and the creation if mankind would repent before God. Even better, they should become prophetic: the second law of thermodynamics will be progressively removed as a curse on man and the creation when mankind repents before God. We never hear Creation Scientists arguing this way. It would destroy their original argument. They assume that the second law is a constant – a uniformitarian constant – in the external world (except when God performs a miracle). This constant never changes (except when God performs a miracle). Indeed, this explicit uniformitarianism is the heart and soul of the Scientific Creationists’ technical criticism of evolutionism: the evolutionists supposedly do not adhere to the second law as a constant, they argue. Creation Scientists almost always argue as though the imposition of the second law of thermodynamics were God’s irrevocable curse on Adam; they never argue that we can legitimately expect a reduction in these curses as a result of Christ’s resurrection – the most astounding miracle in the history of man. They find themselves in the unenviable position of implicitly (and sometimes explicitly) arguing that the cursed effects of Adam’s sin will remain cosmically dominant in history – except possibly during a millennium when Christ and His death-free resurrected saints will rule the earth – despite Christ’s bodily resurrection.

We must abandon this presupposition. We must begin to work out the implications of Christ’s resurrection for every area of life. Jesus offers us redemption – comprehensive redemption. No area of life is exempt from the judgment of God, so no area of life is outside the redemptive work of Christ.

Am I arguing that the second law of thermodynamics will be pro- gressively repealed in history as a result of the preaching of the gospel? No. It need not be “repealed” in history because it was not imposed in history as God’s curse. The second law of thermodynamics was oper- ating in the sin-free garden, and it will be operating in eternity, too. It is an aspect of the original creation, not a product of the curse.

Now, THIS is what Across the Stars is all about!