'Creationism' biologist quits job

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'Creationism' biologist quits job

Post by simonwheeler »

Professor Michael Reiss has quit as director of education at the Royal Society following the controversy over his recent comments on creationism.
Prof Reiss, speaking at the British Association Festival of Science at the University of Liverpool, estimated that about one in 10 children was from a family which supported a creationist rather than evolutionary viewpoint.
May be going off at a slight tangent...apologies...but an interesting story taken from here


Edited by I.P. 17.9.08 - split from Russian Research Explains the Paranormal and re-titled thread
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Re: 'Creationism' biologist quits job

Post by scepticallyspiritual »

What do others think of the science - creationism communication thing?

I've been involved in many heated debates on creationism. One big thing I learned is to be specific - there is a big difference between "creationism" and "young-earth creationism".

I'm a member of the Geological Society, who recently gave a press release saying that they would not give credit to young-earth-creationists by engaging in discussion with them.

I'm not sure what I think of this attitude. On the one hand, there are some very manipulative creationists out there who are very good at twisting anything a scientist says to suit their own means, which makes discussion potentially "dangerous". On the other hand, there are plenty of people sitting on the fence who haven't decided what to make of young-earth-creationism. Friendly debate could probably win these people over to the logical, scientific view, but at present they are so put off by the attitudes of people like Dawkins that they are willing to pay attention to the creationist view point.

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Re: 'Creationism' biologist quits job

Post by Rory »

You asked what others think of the creationist thing.

For what it is worth, here are my thoughts. You may also like to know I have a Degree in Geology as well.
I know that evolution appears to be correct on the small scale, however there are some massive gaps in evolution that still have not been entirely proved to be definitely down to evolution. There are also some inconsistencies that don't add up and have no easy explanation.

However I am now also aware of a new theory on the creation of the Universe. One without the flaws of the big bang. Ron Pearson's Big Breed theory of creation is flaw free and it shows how intelligence can arise at the fundamental scale of the Universe - at the sub quantum level. It is proposed that intelligence at this level can direct waves of energy to create particles on the larger quantum level and it can do this on several frequencies. This allows for several matter frequencies that could be habitats for mind. Even habitats after we pass over potentially. It certainly explains how intelligent design can have occurred.

So from that perspective I can fully accept evolution and intelligent design playing a part in how we come to be.
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Re: 'Creationism' biologist quits job

Post by scepticallyspiritual »

Hello to a fellow rocker! I was mainly wondering about what people think about whether the scientists should engage in creationism debate, but I'm happy to discuss the issues you've raised.

What are the massive gaps in evolution that you refer to and given the natuer of the fossil record is this actually such a big deal?
And what are the inconsistencies you refer to?

With this new theory you mention, is this universal intelligence the same kind of intelligence that we understand? or is it more of an interconnected direction?

The main problem I have with intelligent design (apart from not believing in an intelligent creator) is that the designer can't have done a very good job. If we were designed, surely we should work a lot better?

One of the concept I've come across from discussing with creationists is that some of them have no problem with the concept of evolution - its just how it all started that they want to invoke God for. So on the theory that you mention, does Intelligent Design refer just to inception of life? or how life has changed over the last ~4 billion years?
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Re: 'Creationism' biologist quits job

Post by Rory »

Hi to spiritually sceptical et al.
I will try to give you a good answer here to what really is quite controversial and without enough evidence.
To start with I was probably wrong by stating 'massive gaps', as that could be a little misleading. I would start by saying without hesitation that there is plenty of evidence in the fossil record to show microevolution - changes on a small scale over a period of time (Gradualism), however there do also appear to be quite big jumps over a short periods of time, which I hear is termed Macro evolution. It is these that I now tend to think have been subject to some form of intelligent design giving evolution a helping hand so to speak (Motives aside for the moment).

I was referring to these as massive gaps earlier. For examples I would start with Prokaryotes - single celled bacteria with no nucleus. These were around on this planet about 4 billion years ago with no changes at all until many years later came Eukaryotes - single celled bacteria with a nucleus. If evolution were entirely responsible it created what was an enormous change very quickly.

Throughout the geological history we see explosive events of evolution with huge divergencies of species occurring rapidly and the strange thing is that these times occur after extinction events. In fact in the stable times, there is very little species divergence. This is not evolution by way of gradualism as Darwinists teach, but a form of punctured evolution.

Another example is that Humans have 46 Chromosomes and Primates have 48. If we have solely evolved without any intervention, then we lost loads of DNA when we lost those two Chromosomes and yet we have developed more advanced functionality.

Geneticists showed recently that Humans were around 200,000 years old by Mitochondrial DNA testing. Paleontologists previously though Humans were around 5 million years old. This again indicates insufficient time for Micro evolution to explain all the changes we now see. There is also a real absence of transition species - something you perhaps would not find if there was some form of intervention.

All domestic plants appeared around 10,000 - 5,000 years ago and there is no obvious common precursor, As of yet no Botanists are able to explain how wild plants gave rise to domesticated ones. Wild Grasses has 7 chromosomes, whilst domestic wheat and oats have 42. Wild sugar can has 10, but domesticated 80. All attempts to domesticate wild grasses have failed in the laboratory. All these changes also occurred as the human population began to build. If micro evolution cannot prove this in a short space of time, then intervention by design might be a way of that in itself was scientifically shown as possible.

The Universal intelligence I am referring to is Ron Pearson's Intelligent Ether. He calls it the I-ther. It arises at a sub quantum level and from chaotic energy flowing through a large filamentous network of open and closed switches made up of filaments it is supposed to take on the rudiments of a basic computer as order emerges from chaos. As the computation increases a form of rudimentary intelligence arises that can begin to direct waves of energy about its network. By cause waves to intersect it is supposed to create a peak of energy that gives the illusion of a particle being created at the larger quantum scale. By continuing it to direct its waves, it continues to create several different matter systems on the quantum level all different habitats to experience and grow and learn from. It is proposed that our existence is one of these habitats. Nothing in our world is actually solid, just tiny particles which are really just bundles of energy within huge amounts of space. More information can be found on http://www.pearsonianspace.com

To answer your question about the designer being perfect, well this does not fit the bill but it does perhaps explain a drive for information and experience and to create challenges to learn from even minds to bring back information to this overall underlying system.

You mention about how it all started. Well that is how Ron started off his 20 years of work during his retirement. He just saw huge flaws in the Big bang theory of creation and started to try and better it. One thing led to another and the Big breed theory was born. I suspect that occasional intelligent design influencing our planet is nothing more than some entity doing the occasional experimental gardening in the hope that learning and experience and growth can add to its knowledge.

Well that's enough for now. Hope its food for some thought
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Re: 'Creationism' biologist quits job

Post by Satyr »

A very interesting post Rory and I have to say, probably about the same as I feel about this subject. I also don't believe in creationism as 'preached' however, elvolution does, as you say, have these gaping flaws. I have always felt these nagging questions, but its only recently that I have been investigating the possibility of some 'intelligent design' in the process. At this point in time, my feelings are that its probably a mix of evolution and some 'intelligent design' tweaking of some kind (I'm still doing some reading up on exactly what that tweaking might be - I'm sure there are quite a few theories about it out there).
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Re: 'Creationism' biologist quits job

Post by Rory »

Thanks Satyr
If you do come across any theories on how intelligent design might have arisen, I would very much like to look into them. At the moment though I only know of Ron Pearson's work and that seems to fit things.
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Re: 'Creationism' biologist quits job

Post by Satyr »

Try reading "Slave species of god" by Michael Tellinger, I'm busy reading it at the moment. Check here http://www.slavespecies.com/index.asp for some more info. It makes for very interesting reading. Also, when you read books by authors like Colin Wilson (ie: From Atlantis to the Sphynx & many others) and Graham Hancock (ie: Fingerprints of the gods and many others), they also highlight many inaccuracies in archeological ruins/remains that are too advanced for the cilvilisations that supposedly built them and also those "gaps" that are difficult to explain.
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Re: 'Creationism' biologist quits job

Post by Grahame »

On the subject of 'assisted' evolution, have either of you read any of Zecharia Sitchin's stuff on the Annunaki (Twelfth Planet, Earth Chronicles, etc)? It does get a bit like Erich von Daniken in places, but Sitchin is a respected Sumerian scholar so he should know what he's talking about. I read the books years ago so I'm not up to date on the current thinking on this - he may have been soundly discredited by now as happened to Carlos Castaneda. There's some interesting stuff in there, however.
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Re: 'Creationism' biologist quits job

Post by Satyr »

Thanks Grahame, I have had a look at the webiste and I'm fascinated. I'm definately going to try get hold of some of his books.
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Re: 'Creationism' biologist quits job

Post by scepticallyspiritual »

Thanks for the detailed reply, Rory.

Your description of the I-ther sounds similar to my general thoughts on the universe and existence, so I won’t go into that until I’ve read more (apart from to say that I’d question whether the word “intelligence” is the right term to use).

I am going to address some of your points about evolution though.
Rory wrote:For examples I would start with Prokaryotes - single celled bacteria with no nucleus. These were around on this planet about 4 billion years ago with no changes at all until many years later came Eukaryotes - single celled bacteria with a nucleus. If evolution were entirely responsible it created what was an enormous change very quickly.
1. The fossil record only records morphology. It doesn’t record biochemistry. Evolution could have been happening by changes in DNA resulting in purely biochemical changes that can’t be seen in the fossil record. Then all it needs is one more mutation to happen and the morphology flips and changes. That’s one reason why the fossil record isn’t necessarily a good record of evolution.

2. Who knows what was happening to those prokaryotes 4 billion years ago to get them to develop a nucleus. One theory about how eukaryotes developed is that one kind of prokaryote ate another and they developed a symbiotic relationship – that is one of the theories for how mitochondria came about. A similar kind of process could have resulted in the development of a nucleus. A big evolutionary leap isn’t necessarily required.
Rory wrote:Throughout the geological history we see explosive events of evolution with huge divergencies of species occurring rapidly and the strange thing is that these times occur after extinction events. In fact in the stable times, there is very little species divergence. This is not evolution by way of gradualism as Darwinists teach, but a form of punctured evolution.
Punctuated evolution isn’t strange at all – it makes perfect sense. Remember, evolution isn’t just about random changes in genetic structure. It is as much about how the environment selects for those changes. The environment changes, existing species either adapt (evolve) or die off. There’s a whole new set of evolutionary pressures that select different characteristics. Of course you are going to get evolutionary leaps.
Rory wrote:Another example is that Humans have 46 Chromosomes and Primates have 48. If we have solely evolved without any intervention, then we lost loads of DNA when we lost those two Chromosomes and yet we have developed more advanced functionality.
So?

Why is it surprising that losing chromosomes makes an organism more advanced? What do you mean by advanced functionality anyway? Our brains might be more advanced than other apes, but our bodies aren’t necessarily.
Rory wrote:Geneticists showed recently that Humans were around 200,000 years old by Mitochondrial DNA testing. Paleontologists previously though Humans were around 5 million years old. This again indicates insufficient time for Micro evolution to explain all the changes we now see.
Define “humans”. From my understanding, *hominids* are thought to be around 5 million years old, but these are still a long way from modern humans. I think the 200 000 year old human origin you refer to is “mitochondrial eve”. I’ve just read the Wikipedia article on it, which is interesting. I don’t see the point you are trying to make though. Firstly, mitochondrial eve is a maternal common ancestor to all humans and doesn’t necessarily represent the origins of modern humans. According to Wikipedia, anatomically human fossils first appear around 130 thousand years ago. Which bit are you saying is too short for evolution to take place and why?
Rory wrote:There is also a real absence of transition species - something you perhaps would not find if there was some form of intervention.
Just because they haven’t been found yet doesn’t mean they didn’t exist. Fossils only preserve in exceptional circumstances. Then it takes exceptional circumstances for those fossils to be found. Anyway, which big leaps are missing a major transition species at the moment?
Rory wrote:All domestic plants appeared around 10,000 - 5,000 years ago and there is no obvious common precursor, As of yet no Botanists are able to explain how wild plants gave rise to domesticated ones. Wild Grasses has 7 chromosomes, whilst domestic wheat and oats have 42. Wild sugar can has 10, but domesticated 80. All attempts to domesticate wild grasses have failed in the laboratory. All these changes also occurred as the human population began to build.
I read an article about wheat domestication and I have to say, my limited knowledge of it so far is the most compelling “evidence” pointing towards ID. However, why would a designer give us plants that are basically poisonous for so many humans? (wheat and gluten intolerance. I don’t believe that it is a purely modern construct). Also, domestication in the laboratory hardly replicates real-life conditions 10 000 years ago. You had major climate change with the end of the ice age and the domestication process probably took place over hundreds of years. What if there was a wild grass that had a mutant version with its extra chromosomes, but in the cold climate the mutant couldn’t reproduce. Ice sheets melt, climate gets warmer and the mutant one is able to reproduce. It gets exploited by the humans who are learning about breeding plants, therefore it is selected for and domestication happens. You meaningfully correlate human expansion with domestication of grasses – maybe the only reason humans started farming so were able to expand is because the grasses evolved to become domesticatable? That’s how ecosystems work.

Sorry this is so long, btw.

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Edited by I.P. - 2.10.08 - put Rory's quotes in markup for clarity
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Re: 'Creationism' biologist quits job

Post by Geoff Stuttaford »

Dowsing, I get that humans have a mind that is outside the body whereas monkeys, apes and the like have minds that are ipart of their brains. Also, humans have individual souls that can reincarnate whereas apes, monkeys, other animal species, things that fly or swim have group souls that are not individually reincarnated.

If that is so, perhaps someone can explain why humans are regarded by the scientific community as 'cousins' to apes and monkeys ?

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Re: 'Creationism' biologist quits job

Post by scepticallyspiritual »

Hi Geoff

1. I'm not sure how much I believe that other animals don't have individual souls, or that humans don't have a group soul. There are lots of thoughts and messages flying around on this, so apologies for not believing what your dowsing says. ;-)

2. IF what you say is true, then what is to say that the souls don't evolve aswell? Maybe group souls evolve to become more individual?

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Re: 'Creationism' biologist quits job

Post by Geoff Stuttaford »

Hi SS,

1. What I believe doesn't matter, all I do is to pass on the results of what I dowse. I think that it's up to others to dowse my results with an open mind but not to dowse their beliefs (engage their unconscious minds) when they do so. If they then get different answers that's OK with me.

2. I have no doubt that human souls evolve with each life they undergo otherwise we would probably still be hunter/gatherers or similar :P Whether group souls evolve to become more individual is a most interesting point IMO. I wouldn't know and can't get any answer from my source either ! :mrgreen:

3. I would still like to know why some humans regard apes etc., as our 'relatives' though.

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Re: 'Creationism' biologist quits job

Post by Satyr »

Geoff Stuttaford wrote:3. I would still like to know why some humans regard apes etc., as our 'relatives' though.

Geoff
I think maybe its just because of their human like qualities
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