Thursday, January 31, 2013

Some Political Trivia

Who said it?

1) "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."
A. Karl Marx
B. Adolph Hitler
C. Joseph Stalin
D. None of the above

2) "It's time for a new beginning, for an end to government of the few, by the few, and for the few...... And to replace it with shared responsibility for shared prosperity."
A. Lenin
B. Mussolini
C. Idi Amin
D. None of the Above

3) "(We) .....can't just let business as usual go on, and that means something has to be taken away from some people."
A. Nikita Khrushev
B. Josef Goebbels
C. Boris Yeltsin
D. None of the above

4) "We have to build a political consensus and that requires people to give up a little bit of their own ... in order to create this common ground."
A. Mao Tse Dung
B. Hugo Chavez
C. Kim Jong Il
D. None of the above

5) "I certainly think the free-market has failed."
A. Karl Marx
B. Lenin
C. Molotov
D. None of the above

6) "I think it's time to send a clear message to what has become the most profitable sector in the entire economy that they are being watched." (referring to oil companies)
A. Pinochet
B. Milosevic
C. Saddam Hussein
D. None of the above

Give up?

Answer to every question: None of the above.

Hillary Clinton said all of the above!

Hillary said, “It takes a village” – translation = It takes Socialism.

OH – By The Wayboth and researched this information. PolitiFact slammed them as taken totally out of context and argued their meaning changed when in context. made no such claim.

When you read the quotes in full context – their meanings do not change.

Resources & Links

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Darwin’s Cambrian Mystery – Darwin’s Dilemma Part-3

Without gradualness... We are back to a miracle. - Richard Dawkins, Evolutionary Biologist.

Phyla are abstract categories that bring together basic features that unite large groups of animals. So you can think of a phylum as a group of organisms that all share a basic architecture. Based on the body plans of animals, we divide animals into these major groups. We have vertebrates, arthropods, echinoderms (such as sea urchins), etc. So each group has its own unique features that make them very different from the next group. The stability and consistency of the forms that make up the unique groups of phyla, contradict Darwin's vision of an interconnected tree of life. The phyla do not blend imperceptibly, one into another. So the question is; how did these differences arise? If one reads the origin of species, it is clear that Darwin is caught in a bind.

“Natura non facit saltum.” This was Darwin's famous Latin phrase which means, "nature takes no sudden leaps”. In fact, Darwin went on to say that if we found evidence of saltation, of a sudden appearance in the fossil record, that would be something equivalent to evidence of special creation.

One of the most striking examples of a sudden leaping nature is evident in the number and stability of new body plans that first appeared during the Cambrian explosion. The Cambrian explosion in its evidence tells us that a vast majority of the body plans and animal life we see now appeared rather suddenly in a very brief period of time. Scientist now agree that it is a defensible statement to say that most of the major animal body plans (essential animal structures) are present in the Cambrian explosion.

If you can imagine creating a graph that would visualize Darwin's theory, you would see a gradually growing curve of emerging phyla body types over a long period of time. Now visualize a graph of what we've learned from the thousands of excavations throughout the globe particularly of the Cambrian and Precambrian periods. What we see is a massive spike in the number of new species during the Cambria and thereafter a few that trickle in here and there across the timeline. Alternately these two graphs are so dramatically different they visually emphasize the disparity between Darwin's theory and what the fossil record actually shows us. What we see is all the major body plans at the beginning, and the organisms and life forms we see today fit within those basic body structures. They do not gradually increase over time as would be in line with Darwin's theory.

The sudden appearance of the Cambrian body plans deepens the mystery in another way. The Darwinian model predicts that as new biological forms evolved, simple to complex, they developed gradually from the smallest differences in classification to the largest or from the “bottom up.” Darwin's idea was that, given enough time evolution would lead to new species, new families, orders and eventually phyla. Only after millions and millions of generations do you end up with the several dozen phyla that we see around us today. That is the bottom-up pattern predicted by Darwin's theory. Now the other picture is top-down. The top-down picture says the primary differences in body types are original. They are present from the start. When you find mollusks in the fossil record, there they are, and the arthropods... Boom, there they are, with the major differences present right from the beginning. So the upper level of architecture is top-down, present and right there.

The fossil record clearly shows all the known basic body plans we have today – appearing in what seems a geological instant.

To understand the geological speed of the Cambrian explosion, imagine the history of life compressed into a single day. If we imagine the history of life taking place in one 24-hour period, the current and scientific standard estimates for the origin of life placed the occurrence about 3.8 million years ago. If we start the clock at the top of a 24-hour period, six hours pass nothing but the single celled simple organisms appear, the same sort we saw in the beginning. 12 hours, same thing; 18 hours, same thing; three quarters of the day has passed and all we have are the simple single celled organisms. Then about the 21st hour in the space of about 2 minutes; Boom! Most of the major animal forms appear in the form that they currently have in the present. Many of these animal forms persist to the present, and we have them with us today. Less than 2 minutes out of a 24-hour period; that's just how sudden the Cambrian explosion was.

Darwin was caught in the grip of a deep dilemma. The fossil record showed him one thing; his theory told him something else. Darwin comes to an impasse at this point, and he says, "If this pattern holds, it is a genuine argument against my view." I believe 150 years later, we have added a great volume of detail to the explanation but I think the basic problem is still unsolved.

Absence of Transitional Fossils

Evolution works very slowly as Darwin saw it, with lots of failed experiments along way, and one would expect that over millions of years, as sediment is being deposited, that you would capture some of those experiments; some of those linking groups leading to the trilobites that Darwin knew all about. So the absence of such forms is profoundly mysterious. However, from the standpoint of intelligent design this is not mysterious at all because we know that intelligent agents can bring things into existence that did not exist before because they had an idea. They had a blueprint in their mind that they realized in their creative activity. There's no need to tinker through millions of years of evolutionary history if you can pull together a plan at a discrete moment in time. This is exactly what appears to have occurred in the Cambrian explosion.

Darwin said, "If numerous species belonging to the same genera, or families, have really started to life all at once, the fact would be fatal to the theory of descent with slow modification through natural selection."

Resources & Links
Charles Marshall - Curator/Professor, Integrative Biology (UC Berkeley)
Paul Kwan Chien – Marine Biologist, known for his research on the physiology and ecology of intertidal organisms and his support for intelligent design and creationism.

Paul Chien, Senior Fellow – CSC – Discovery Institute
The Discovery Institute
Jonathan Wells – Author of Icons of Evolution - PhD Molecular and Cell Biology
Senior Fellow, Center for Science & Culture. Dr. Wells is an expert on biology textbooks and biology science curriculum as it relates to Darwinian evolution.

Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution Is Wrong

Irreducible Complexity (IC) and Specified Complexity -
Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design, by Stephen C. Meyer
James Valentine – Author, On the Origin of Phyla

James W. Valentine is an American evolutionary biologist and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. He has published widely and -- in addition to peer-reviewed publications -- has written several books.

Paul Nelson, Philosopher of Biology at Biola University - Ph.D. Philosophy, University of Chicago

Darwin’s Dilemma Media Presentation, Illustra Media - The Intelligent Design Collection

Simon Conway Morris

The Burgess Shale

An Interview with Simon Conway Morris by Darwin Correspondence Project

The end of materialism - Simon Conway Morris

The Intelligent Design Collection on


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Darwin in Doubt - Darwin's Dilemma Part 2

Darwin himself in his book the Origin of Species noted that he does not have a plausible answer to the Cambrian explosion. Without a plausible answer for many years he theorized or argued that not enough fossil excavation had been conducted. He believed that over time the fossil record would show a transitioning set of steps or evolving of one species type into another; supporting his Evolutionary theory. Unfortunately for Darwin’s theory and for many who still hold to it; the fossil record has clearly shown that his theory cannot be accurate.

Since the passing of Darwin we have now completed archaeological and paleontological explorations on every continent. Virtually all of these excavations have revealed and solidified the Cambrian explosion. In the latter-half of the 20th century, industry has conducted very deep offshore oil drilling. These offshore oil drilling projects were conducted by coring very deeply below the surface of the ocean bottoms. Paleontologists knew that such drilling would provide a much deeper look at the fossil record well into the Cambrian period and prior. What they found even more profoundly solidified Darwin's dilemma.

What they found in sediments dating back to pre-Cambrian was not a fossil record of transitions of species. On the contrary all they found were evidence of single cell organisms and simple plant life. The shale and rock samples beneath the ocean floor have revealed that the single cell organisms and plant life disappeared from the Earth rather suddenly. Then sometime after that we see all the basic animal life structures including those with complex design; bones vertebra, etc., appeared nearly all at once – not an evolutionary process at all. Everything changed in what seemed to be a geological instant.

In the early 1990’s, reports of new Chinese fossils were released to the rest of the world. Marine biologist Paul Chien at the University of San Francisco was one scientist who followed the news closely. What drew his attention were a couple of articles that were published in the People's daily, the official newspaper from the Communist Party in China. The article stated the Chinese fossils drew the attention of scientists worldwide and this fossil find actually challenges the theory of Darwin's evolution. Then on December 4, 1995, Time Magazine published a cover story entitled Evolution's Big Bang. The story included great detail about the Chinese fossils. Since 1996 Paul Chien has made several trips to conduct his own investigation in China of the fossil site. Paul Chien has found that when you get into the subject of the Cambrian explosion and all the various fossil sites there is one of two possible reactions; people either love to talk about it or they would prefer to avoid the subject. He says the Cambrian explosion absolutely challenges the idea of the traditional view of evolution. The problem is that all of the various fossils and animal species found have clearly appeared in a very brief period of time. This is very difficult to explain from the evolutionary point of view.

Paleontologists have determined that the Chinese fossils were older than those excavated in the Burgess Shale in previous years. Yet, anatomically they were often even more complex. This discovery also confirmed that the previous estimates of the Cambrian explosion of life lasting 20 to 40 million years were much too long. The time estimate has now been reduced to between 5 and 10 million years. So this is truly an explosive event in scientific terms. What we are seeing is a quantum jump; and this quantum jump has no explanation. Most scientists agree that we do not know the exact rate of the Cambrian explosion; they simply agree that it was very fast in evolutionary terms. As the time period of the Cambrian explosion has shrank, the challenge to evolutionary theory has grown. This is because the distinct differences and animal forms would have to be constructed very rapidly are much more dramatic; these pose a real and fundamental challenge to evolutionary mechanisms. Scientists began speaking in terms of finding an explanation to the Cambrian Explosion outside of the Darwinian thought.

The Cambrian Explosion fossils in China were not all that was discovered. In the area of shale below the Cambrian period, they found evidence of little tiny microscopic sponge embryos. These embryos were soft-bodied animals some of which were fossilized 60 million years prior to the Cambrian explosion. They are eggs and embryos which are preserved in thin crusts of mineralized materials, on ancient sea floors. Now this suggests that the chemistry of the seawater in those days was somewhat different than it is today because this method of preserving fossils disappears during the Cambrian and it is not around today. Now this is highly significant because one of the most popular explanations for the missing Precambrian fossils is that the pre-Cambrian animals were too soft and too small to have been preserved. Dr. Chien was able to develop a unique process of examining and analyzing the embryos and the sponge content that they were in. Eventually using an electron microscope he was able to examine the internal cell structure of the preserved embryos.

Chien's work on these fragile samples of Precambrian life raised an important question. If these lower strata that are Precambrian can preserve an embryo, and if they can preserve a soft microscopic embryo, then why could they not have preserve the larger ancestral forms of animals that would have supposedly evolved into the Cambrian animals; according to Darwin's theory? In other words if you can preserve something as fragile as an embryo, why couldn't you, in the same strata of rock, preserved the immediate ancestor of a hard shelled trilobite? So this idea that many scientists had put forth, that the fossil record is just too damaged to give us an accurate general picture; well that idea just doesn't wash.

During the past 150 years, fossil hunters have searched the earth for the many species of transitional links that Darwin's theory requires – yet they have come up empty.

Resources & Links

Paul Kwan Chien – Marine Biologist, known for his research on the physiology and ecology of intertidal organisms and his support for intelligent design and creationism.

Jonathan Wells – Author of Icons of Evolution - PhD Molecular and Cell Biology
Senior Fellow, Center for Science & Culture. Dr. Wells is an expert on biology textbooks and biology science curriculum as it relates to Darwinian evolution.

Irreducible Complexity (IC) and Specified Complexity -

James W. Valentine is an American evolutionary biologist and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. He has published widely and -- in addition to peer-reviewed publications -- has written several books.