Taking on the professor
Reply to Douglas J. Futuyma:I am the common man. I appeal to my fellow common man with common sense. Come and listen, someone is hoodwinking you. Allow me to point your eyes in the right direction. In my first article on evolution as a worldview, I described four hurdles for evolution: the fossil record doesn’t support it; the famous textbook example of the peppered moth was a fake; it cannot explain irreducible complexity; and it has never been spelled out as a working theory is the serious scientific literature. Of the responses I have read so far, only one has even attempted to interact with these hurdles. This makes my larger point with this series of articles: evolution is a worldview, not a valid scientific theory. When defending worldviews authors tend to make statements not explanations.I was very surprised to see a response from Douglas J. Futuyma, professor of evolutionary biology at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, author of several books about evolution. What is Professor Futuyma doing writing in the Vail Daily? The thought police have arrived. We can’t have the central plank in the materialist worldview being challenged.But I was even more surprised to read the content of Professor Futuyma’s response. It essentially amounted to: Don’t challenge me, evolution is as certain as the atomic theory of chemistry, the Newtonian theory of mechanics, and the heliocentric solar system. And no knowledgeable and unbiased person questions it. Why would someone of this stature leave himself wide open?Let’s try some common sense on this grand statement from a pillar of the evolutionary community. First, have you heard of any debates on the atomic theory of chemistry, the Newtonian theory of mechanics, or the heliocentric solar system lately? But you have heard of frequent debates over evolution. It doesn’t appear that evolution has achieved the status of these other facts of science. Professor Futuyma is wrong on his first statement. A trip to the library will drive this nail home. Find W. R. Bird, “The Origin of Species Revisited,” Vol. I and II (Philosophical Library: New York, 1989).Second, as a born and raised evolutionary atheist and college biology major at a secular university, I asked my prominent professor in a roomalone one day if she believed we evolved. Her candid reply, “I have no idea.” Hmmm. It appears Professor Futuyma is wrong on his second assertion also. Drive another nail home by going to the library and finding William Dembski, ed., “Uncommon Dissent: Intellectuals Who Find Darwinism Unconvincing” (ISI Books: Wilmington, Delaware, 2004). Here you will find evidence of the growing crisis of confidence within evolutionary circles, how Darwinism works as a worldview and not science, the dynamics of deconverting from Darwinism, and the nitty gritty of why Darwinism is a failed intellectual project.My apologia I would like Professor Futuyma, along with the reader, to consider the following quote. The quote is from Colin Patterson, a senior paleontologist at the British Natural History Museum, an evolutionist. In 1981 he started out his lecture to a room full of evolutionist this way, “Can you tell me anything you know about evolution, any one thing … that is true? I tried that question on the geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural History and the only answer I got was silence. I tried it on the members of the evolutionary morphology seminar in the University of Chicago, a very prestigious body of evolutionists, and all I got there was silence for a long time and eventually one person said, ‘I do know one thing. It ought not to be taught in high school.’ “It’s starting to look as if Professor Futuyma is not only wrong, but he is wrong on purpose. The history of this debate and these statements are not new to him.Let’s try another scenario. Perhaps, though evolution is not a testable hypothesis because it is proposed to happen over millions of years, we could speed up the process in the laboratory. Fruit flies reproduce in only a few days. What if we caused genetic mutation in them? Evolution predicts new and better fruit flies. What did we really get after nearly half a century of fruit flies being genetically altered every few days? Some had larger wings, some smaller wings, some shriveled wings, some no wings, and some four wings (two of them non-functional because they didn’t have the muscles to go with it; remember irreducible complexity?), some had legs growing out of their heads. The geneticist Richard Goldschmidt’s conclusion: Even if you could accumulate a thousand mutations in a single fruit fly, it would still be nothing but an extremely odd fruit fly.You are familiar with the experiments, Professor Futuyma? Could you please explain these to we commonsense folks? Because it sure looks like an enormous amount of research has been carried on within the Darwinian paradigm over the past century and a half, yet success has been limited to changes within fixed limitations, like mutations in fruit flies that never changed it to some other species, just a weird fruit fly. A third trip to the library will divulge M. W. Ho and P. T. Saunders, “Beyond Neo-Darwinism – An Epigenetic Approach to Evolution,” Journal of Theoretical Biology 78 (1979): 573-591. Since you state that evolution is as accepted and certain as the other scientific theories, could you explain that article to us, Professor Futuyma?My adviceTo Professor Futuyma: Come to the Vail Valley and explain your statement in a debate format. To the reader: When a biological organism displays design way beyond what even humans can create, it’s because there is a designer. Don’t be a lemming. Think for yourself. Use common sense. Go to the library instead of getting the next DVD. Bob Branden, Ph.D. in New Testament studies, is the pastor of the newly founded Eagle Bible Church, which meets Sunday mornings in the Eagle Valley High School auditorium. He is writing a series of commentaries on worldviews.