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  Topic: Canadian scientists want out of Darwin's 'rut'< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Jason Spaceman



Posts: 163
Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 22 2006,14:45   

Quote
Tom Blackwell, National Post
Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2006

A handful of Canadian scientists are speaking out against evolution as an explanation for all of life as we know it, saying the complexity of living things simply cannot be attributed to biological chance.

Nine university professors and others with science or engineering PhDs have added their names to an American petition that voices skepticism about the theory of evolution. The list was posted on the Internet this week.

At least two of the scientists teach at Christian universities, while another runs an organization dedicated to the links between Islam and science.

Some of those contacted yesterday acknowledged their doubts about Darwinism coincide with their religious beliefs, and espoused the controversial idea of "intelligent design" -- that some guiding hand was behind life on Earth. But one molecular biologist said he is convinced that science is stuck in an evolutionary "rut" and must seek better explanations for the existence of elaborate biological structures.

"I look at biology as being a very complicated computer code," said Stephen Cheesman, a geophysics PhD and software developer who compares genetic systems to languages created by humans.

"There is no way I could create a code like this..... In the DNA, you have a novel, a long novel, spelled out, which produces us."

The scientists' public positions against evolution mark perhaps the first time the issue has arisen recently in Canada, despite a raging debate in the United States over the teaching of evolution in public schools.


Read it here.

   
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 22 2006,23:45   

Or in other words, ID is a religiously inspired, pre-determined search for evidence for a divinity?  Nice of them to confirm this.

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 23 2006,01:12   

Quote
Dr. Cheesman said he believed in creationism as a young man but developed doubts after he started studying geology, which he admits conclusively shows the world is billions of years old.

But his perusal of biological evidence has convinced him that evolution and the idea of natural selection and mutation of living organisms is not the key to all of life.
I would say after studying biology the evidence conclusively supports evolution, maybe I should peruse it a little longer.

Quote
For starters, it cannot explain how the whole process of life on Earth began, he said.

"If you look at the research into the origin of life, there isn't a single, plausible hypothesis or even proposed mechanism [within evolution] that would have worked," he said.

"That is the biggest shortcoming in the whole evolutionary scenario."
This is probably new to Canadians

  
Russell



Posts: 1082
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 23 2006,02:04   

Quote
"If you look at the research into the origin of life, there isn't a single, plausible hypothesis or even proposed mechanism [within evolution] that would have worked," he said.

"That is the biggest shortcoming in the whole evolutionary scenario."
Oh, the blindness is much more pervasive than that! There isn't a single, plausible hypothesis within all of chemistry to explain the origin of atoms! And yet, chemists have been blithely building their submicroscopic castles in the sky for generations, as if that's not a problem!

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Must... not... scratch... mosquito bite.

  
GCT



Posts: 1001
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 23 2006,03:23   

Quote (Jason Spaceman @ Feb. 22 2006,20:45)
There is no way I could create a code like this.....

Therefore it must have been created by some designer?

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 23 2006,09:16   

Re "Stephen Cheesman, a geophysics PhD and software developer who compares genetic systems to languages created by humans."

As a software engineer, I can say that genetic code has no real resemblance to computer machine code (at least not the types I've studied). Computer code is basically sequential, with the occasional jump to a different place. Genes seem to me much more analogous to recipes than computer code.

Henry

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 23 2006,09:48   

As a non-specialist (and non-scientist, for that matter) I have to say I still find it surprising that the vast bulk of professionals who doubt evolution seem to be non-biologists (with a preponderance of physicists, computer scientists, and mathematicians).

I imagine that if they thought about it, a lot of biologists might have issues with some of the weirder predictions of, say, quantum mechanics or superstring theory. But it seems that most biologists are smart enough to realize they don't have the background to have competent opinions on the subject. Could it be that members of the "hard" sciences (e.g., physics, chemistry, engineering) think that biology is sufficiently uncomplicated that non-specialists know enough about it to hold competent opinions about it?

For my money, biology is at least as complex as particle physics. And it's a lot less amenable to mathematical analysis. Maybe that's what keeps tripping up the likes of Berlinksi (who seems to do creditable work in mathematics) and Dembski (who doesn't).

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2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Feb. 23 2006,10:15   

Re "For my money, biology is at least as complex as particle physics."

Especially if one compares the number of fundamental types dealt with in each field. :)

Henry

  
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