Creationist group hands out Darwin’s ‘Origin’ on campus

| Staff Reporter

Correction Appended Below

Last Wednesday, local non-student Christians handed out free copies of Charles Darwin’s “The Origin of Species” with a new introduction containing creationist arguments against evolution.

They were carrying out one arm of a national campaign called “Origin into Schools,” organized by Ray Comfort, an evangelical minister and television host who wrote the introduction to this “150th Anniversary Edition” of the text. The introduction presents counter-arguments to evidence of evolution, as well as draws lines between Darwin and Hitler and alleges that Darwin was a misogynist. It is available to read online.

Eleven people coming from as far away as Hannibal, Mo., stood in small groups at three locations: intersection of Forest Park Parkway and Skinker, Melville just off campus, and near the South 40.

They distributed around 1,000 copies at Washington University alone, and legions of other volunteers distributed 194,000 copies at 100 U.S. universities this month, according to Comfort’s Web site, livingwaters.com.

On his Web site, Comfort said he wrote the introduction “to give an alternative perspective” on “The Origin of Species.” But the volunteers said their goal was not to address evolution per se, but to spread Christian beliefs.

“My purpose for going there—I think it’s Living Waters’ purpose as well—is not necessarily to speak out against evolution, but to get the Gospel in the hands of students,” said Tom Burgee, who organized the University distribution with his wife.

Why not hand out Bibles? “Truthfully, with ‘Origin of Species’, it’s something that people are going to take, and it’s something they’re going to read,” Burgee said.

Senior Eddy Lazzarin, president of student atheist group the Washington University League of Freethinkers (WULF), read the introduction and spent time talking with Burgee.

“They were acting as if they were just promoting ‘The Origin of Species,’ with an introduction you might ordinarily expect with such an important book,” Lazzarin said. “They weren’t disclosing the fact that the introduction had been specifically prepared with the intent to slant, to argue against natural selection and common ancestry with dishonest, false evidence. Fortunately, any Wash. U. student is going to be able to find shockingly silly interpretations of commonly accepted data.”

WULF, a club committed to the application of science and reason to understandings of the universe, had planned to hand out counter-informational materials created by the National Center for Science Education. But the date of distribution of the Origin of Species was changed from the 24th to the 18th.

Christian Beaulé, a postdoctoral fellow in neuroscience, said the introduction contains typical creationist arguments.

“I think it’s funny…because it’s not the way scientists are trained to think and to analyze written material, so the arguments that are made sometimes don’t logically make sense,” Beaulé said. “I can see how if you’re not trained in the sciences, these arguments might make sense with a gut feeling.”

Students on campus did not participate in the distribution.

This campaign highlights the central features of the conflict between creationism and evolutionary biology. On one hand, Ray Comfort and his supporters aim primarily to increase belief in a literal interpretation of the Bible, and consider scientific evidence tangential to that cause.

“I’d say that the Bible is my primary source of truth,” Burgee said. “I would say that…everybody that believes in evolution that hasn’t had a full perspective on the Bible is missing information. Otherwise I believe that God would change their hearts and they would see the truth.”

On the other hand, those who support evolution respond with scientific evidence. The National Council for Science Education launched a campaign called “DontDissDarwin.com” that includes posters and fliers with analysis of Comfort’s argument, for example.

Burgee said he sees his role in disseminating information about the Gospel as comparable to saving people’s lives.

“If you look at it from my point of view…How much would I have to hate you guys to not want to share the Gospel with you? If you were walking towards a cliff, how much would I have to hate you not to tackle you, if need be, to keep you walking off that cliff?” Burgee said.

Correction: For the Record (11/23/09)
An earlier version of this article mistakenly stated that the copy of “The Origin of Species” handed out on campus was abridged; in fact, it was a complete copy of the text with a new introduction.

  • http://www.jeromebauer.com Jerome Bauer

    I think it is wonderful that Student Life published this story. They could have ignored these outsiders exercising their right to free speech on our campus.

    I showed this article and its comment thread (then 79 entries) to my SLU American Christianity class, to make my point that this is a live issue, on and off campus.

  • ericcorrick74

    Xavier. Yes I can be reached there.

  • Xavier Velasco-Suarez
  • Dave Johnson

    WHAT??? I’ll go to Hell if I don’t accept Jesus as my Lord & Savior?? Why didn’t anyone tell me this SOONER?? I mean CHRIST I’m 41 years old! Think of all the times I could have died and no one ever mentioned it to me before, EVER!! Imagine that? This fascinating and life changing information has only been made available to me for the very first time today. Wow. What callous, uncaring and horrible people those who have this information and aren’t sharing it must be!! Wow!

    I hope they turn into broken record non-information spewing ignoramuses who incessantly spread the word!

  • ericcorrick74

    Answer from an honest heart: Ever lied (even once)? Stolen (the value is irrelevant)? Then you’re a lying thief. Bad news huh? There’s more. Have you had sex out of marriage? If so, you’re a fornicator. Jesus said, “Whosoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery already with her in his heart.” If you have hated someone, the Bible says you’re a murderer. What’s more, you have a conscience (con-science means “with knowledge”), so when you sin, you do it with knowledge it’s wrong.

    Bearing in mind that God is perfect, and that He has seen your thought life, when you stand before Him on Judgment Day will you be innocent or guilty? You know you will be guilty, and end up in Hell. Perhaps you don’t believe that. That means there’s more bad news for you, because it will happen anyway no matter what you believe. That brings us to the good news: “God commended His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.” Jesus Christ took your punishment, then He rose from the dead and defeated the grave. That’s good news because if you repent and trust Him, God will forgive you and grant you everlasting life – That is the bad news & the Good News, so you do now have understanding of the Gospel.
    If you are TRULY seeking God you will find Him. If you need evidence for a creator you have that by opening your eyes and looking at creation. Its that simple.

    If you would like to dig deeper, (whether you do or don’t is irrelevant of the existence of Absolute Truth) here are some books I would highly recommend you look into.

    1) The Case for a Creator by Lee Strobel
    2) The Case for Christ…….by Lee Strobel
    3) The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict..by Josh McDowell

    Thank you everyone who commented and read this forum. I will conclude with this being my last post. My work here is finished in the sense of You have heard the Gospel and have been given overwhelming evidence in (especially if you look into the 3 books listed above) as to the proven fact you were specially created by a Holy, Just & Good God. In the end It really comes down to your Free Will which was graciously given to you by God to decide for yourself who you will serve. Since you may not be 100% sure, it would be to your advantage to act quickly and efficiently in your studies because 10 out of 10 people die and no one knows when your day is calling you. May God Bless you on your journey.

    Eric

  • http://www.justtruth.net Tom

    Fred Phelps sadly was in St. Louis not long ago, promoting his hatred. Thankfully a local church went out to spread the truth..

    All this arguing is pointless. I advise every creationist, every evolutionist, an every “Free”thinker to go to http://www.needgod.com take the test, tell me how you do.

  • ericcorrick74

    @huntershaven. Now I remember who Fred Phelps is. I’ll make my statement concerning him short. He is not christian. He is a false teacher. He is racist. There are many who have and are using the name of “Christianity” tagged to their personal agenda. Its not good, and is in fact a sad reality. I’m not saying it doesnt happen.
    You mr huntershaven trying to lump me and Mr. Speed to a group that says they are christian(when they clearly are not regardless of the tag behind their name) , would be like me lumping YOU into a group with CREATION SCIENTIST that hold to ID. That would not make sense and YOU would deny that you adhere to that group holding to ID. Give me a break Hunter. Your letting your Emotions override your logic. Please slow down as it has been show that people do not make logical rational conclusions when their emotions are the dominant driving force behind the judgements they make.

    He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life: but the wrath of God abides on Him. John 3:36

  • ericcorrick74

    @Huntershaven, You should do your homework sir. YOU SAID,”This is one of the many reasons I take most devout christians with a grain of salt. I have seen what faith does when taken to extremes. A good number of “true christians” believe killing abortion doctors and staff is morally correct, that AIDS is a gift to homosexuals and that women should be seen and not heard. If that is what you want to brag about being “true christians,” then congregate with Fred Phelps and continue to display your disdain for learning, knowledge and science.”
    MY RESPONSE: You need to name here whom you are calling “true christians”, because anyone that kills abortion doctors and says that AIDS IS A GIFT to homosexuals is not a christian no matter what they profess to be. The women should be seen and not heard comment is absurd. I don’t know who Fred Phelps is, and don’t really care at the moment. As far as you claiming that I am displaying a disdain for learning, knowledge and science is quite funny and you are doing a good job of making yourself look ridiculous. I love learning as I do teach, have a degree, and I love science. My wife is studying to be an RN and so we talk often about how science has MOST DEFINITELY HELPED HUMANITY in the area of sickness, disease, medicine, etc. Science is GOOD.

    Huntershaven said: Given that the christian faith is based upon slightly modified or borrowed creation myths, belief systems and philosophies of cultures that predated it as well as containing numerous examples of metaphor, allegories and words written decades if not generations after events happened, it is not something I would use as a factual, historic document. The bible as it is known today is not even the entire works of all writers who wrote supposedly with the inspiration of a supposed deity.

    MY RESPONSE: Mr. Hunter haven sir you are quite ignorant in your summary of HISTORICAL & ARCHEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE concerning the Bible. Tommorow is Thanksgiving, and its late here now, but will return on Friday to bring evidence to this forum concerning the historical & archeological evidence of the Bible which will show you that it is credible & trustworthy. Mr. Haven, you really need to do your homework as the messages you have posted & that I have posted show that I do desire to TRULY DISCUSS MATTERS & you want to take jabs at true christians by lumping them with false christians. You could show some respect. I’m not lumping you with True Scientist. Oh, and as far as me continuing to browbeat others with my unprovable faith, which is what you said, not I. I’m not trying nor plan to try to prove faith. Everyone has faith (in something). I’m giving and or will continue to give evidence to prove there is an Intelligent Being called God whose name is Jesus Christ who You, Me and every human being will encounter one day either in this life or the moment your heart beats its last beat. Mr. Hunter please do your homework & not opinions when making your claims. Its old and I don’t have a lot of time to chase your rabbit trails. God Bless & have a happy, safe Thanksgiving.

  • hunters_haven

    I do not debate with those who have no desire to truly discuss matters. ericcorrick74 and Jon Speed, you both have zero desire to contemplate anything that is outside of your rigid faith adherence.

    Honestly, I treat the personal faiths of others as just that, their own personal faiths. I strongly try not to disparage different beliefs, but given that both of you have no desire to discuss topics on a factual, scientific basis there is no point in you continuing to browbeat others with your unprovable faiths.

    Given that the christian faith is based upon slightly modified or borrowed creation myths, belief systems and philosophies of cultures that predated it as well as containing numerous examples of metaphor, allegories and words written decades if not generations after events happened, it is not something I would use as a factual, historic document. The bible as it is known today is not even the entire works of all writers who wrote supposedly with the inspiration of a supposed deity.

    This is one of the many reasons I take most devout christians with a grain of salt. I have seen what faith does when taken to extremes. A good number of “true christians” believe killing abortion doctors and staff is morally correct, that AIDS is a gift to homosexuals and that women should be seen and not heard. If that is what you want to brag about being “true christians,” then congregate with Fred Phelps and continue to display your disdain for learning, knowledge and science.

    I know that some of Darwin’s theories are incorrect when viewed 150 years later, but given the level of scientific understanding at the time, they are rather insightful. We have come a long way since then, particularly from a time when so many things seemed to be based on the power of a deity because we could not understand how it could have happened otherwise.

    Faith and science are two distinctly different things. Faith can neither be proven nor disproven while science can prove or disprove theories with experiments and data.

  • ericcorrick74

    @Rickk On November 23, 2009 at 7:11 am RickK said

    By the way, it is only a few radical Christians that promote this ID nonsense. The following is a statement signed by over 12,000 Christian CLERGY:

    “We the undersigned, Christian clergy from many different traditions, believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist. We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as “one theory among others” is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children.”

    Full text, with names and affiliations of all signers are found here:
    http://www.butler.edu/clergyproject/Christian_Clergy/ChrClergyLtr.htm

    So while Ray Comfort’s followers (and some of the commenters above) may be comfortable with “transmitting ignorance to children”, most Christians are not. End of Rickk statement.

    My Response: I reviewed several (not all 12,000) names and churches who signed this statement. Most do not even adhere to the Doctrine of Christ nor the Apostles Doctrine as being infallible. Many, Many people, and churches tag the name “christian” to their title. So while Richard Dawkins & his followers, and the 12,000 so called christians that signed the clergy letter project (and some of the commenters above) may be comfortable with “transmitting ignorance to children”, True Christians are not.

  • ericcorrick74

    @ Rickk

    Rickk said, that I said, “Everyone knows there is a God.” I did say that. The evidence for that is God said that. Romans 1:18-22

    Psalms 53:1 the FOOL has said in his heart, there is no God.

    Rickk said in reply, “An arrogant statement, no?”
    My response: It would be arrogant if that statement originated from me. God said that, so your beef concerning that statement is with Him, not me. If you create something,(ex. build a car, motor, house, computer, etc. etc.) then you logically know more about the created thing than the created thing knows about itself. Something can not be greater than its cause.

    Rickk said, ” Besides – what kind of god mucks about with a few organic molecules and then sits around waiting for 3 billion years for them to do something useful? That’s who you worship? What nonsense.”…………………………………………………..
    My response: Rickk, you must be reading( I assume you’ve read the Bible to state your argument against it) someone elses opinion or you came up with that on your own. You have just (by the evidence of your statement) created an imaginary god in your mind to suit yourself, and that my friend is Idolotry. In Exodus 20:3 God said,” You shall have no other gods before me.”
    Besides He didn’t wait around 3 billion years. He created everything in 6 days. Sorry Rickk, I don’t have enough faith to be an Atheist.

    Rickk, I do care about you and I do hope you continue to follow the evidence. If you use logic you will find the God of Creation.

  • John

    ericcorrick74, I don’t mean to offend (nor speak for David) but you stated you were one of the the people handing out the books challenging evolution and, as David clearly pointed out, you made the mistake of confusing evolution with abiogenesis. When he points this out you make irrelevant claims about a religion that is separate from science (you also evoke Pascal’s Wager, which annoys me because it is so logically flawed that I cannot see why people still use it).

    My question is why do you have the authority to question a theory that you seem to not understand (or at least understand so little you put evolution and abiogenesis together)?

    Logically speaking, though, the more we find out about the natural world the less we credit a supernatural (though we do see how much intelligent and grand the creator must have been if “he” exists). We no longer believe the sun is being consumed by a giant dragon during an eclipse (Chinese superstition) nor that bats are birds (Lev. 11:13, 19) whales are fish (Jonah 1:17) pi is exactly 3 (Kings 7:23), humans can live for 900 years, or that a population of 6+ billion came from 2 individuals over 6000 years because empirical observations have shown this to be wrong, just as empirical evidence has shown evolution and speciation by natural selection to have occurred. These observations lead to a better understanding and appreciation of the beauty of the creation (whether or not a intelligent creator exists).

    This is the problem with assuming god did it when we do not have an adequate hypothesis (god is in the gaps) like for abiogenesis is that it does not allow for “evolution” of thought. Even if “god did it” is factually correct for something like abiogenesis, to assume this and be done with it does not add to any understanding of the natural world, which is the goal of science (one should be asking even if they assume “god it is” is “How?”). Just think about trying to calculate the mass and surface area of the spherical earth and the sun assuming pi to be exactly 3 based on an ancient calculation in the bible. What if we assumed that the cure for leprosy required divine intervention when all it really needed was penicillin? Or to go the other way: what if they cure for AIDS really IS only divine intervention, is anything lost by trying to find a natural method? Is anything gained by assuming that a natural method does not exist (see how this applies to abiogenesis, some of the incompleteness of evolution and other “god is in the gaps” hypothesis)?

    This is not an “attack” on gods or religion (though it does annoy me when creationists lump abiogenesis with evolution), it is trying to point out that understanding of science can only be hindered by assuming the supernatural EVEN if the supernatural is could be correct. If we teach that life is VERY complex to the extent that it must have a supernatural origin, my first responses would be, “OK, cool, now how does that help me fight this drug resistant H1N1?” or “How does that help me explain why mitochondrial DNA exists?” or “Why do viruses hold so many tools we can use in gene splicing for genetic engineering?” Another response might by, “If it is so complex that it requires supernatural understanding, why bother to study it?” Much more often though when we look for a natural reason for a phenomenon we find a more plausible natural method which could not be found if we originally assumed the supernatural.

    I cannot find the exact quote, nor who made it but I will paraphrase a christian pastor I remember reading about (who also happens to hold degrees in evolutionary biology): to take the bible as literal truth insults its eternal meaning and significance.

    I also ask you one more question: Don’t you have more respect for creator that understands he creation enough to allow for all these natural processes to work in unison with the result being relatively complex life 13+ billion years later than one who went “poof” and up pops a ready made, static creation in which we occupy such a small percentage of, to call us insignificant would be the biggest understatement in the history of the universe?

    PS sorry for the long post.

  • RickK

    ericcorrick74 said: “Everyone knows there is a God.”

    An arrogant statement, no?

    As for evolution, you and Jon Speed keep asking for another example in science where information is encoded the way it is in life. Guess what – life is a pretty unique state of matter. Coded information isn’t the only trait that sets life apart. So let’s take it as given that life is different, shall we?

    But ericcorrick74 also admitted that mutation can add genetic information. That’s good. So we know that the current complexity of life could have built up gradually over time, bit by bit.

    So now the question is – could the relationship of DNA to the proteins it encodes have evolved naturally over 3 billion years? That’s roughly the time from the possibility of first replicating organic molecules to the appearance of the first multi-cellular life.

    I think that’s an interesting question – not only “if” it could have evolved, but “how” it could have evolved.

    Now, some people are happy to conclude right now that it didn’t evolve. They are happy saying God came down and cobbled together the first cells with the DNA encoding already working.

    However, I’m not satisfied with that answer. My curiosity is greater than that. My interest in understanding the natural world is greater than that.

    And, based on history, I have very low confidence in gods good explanations for anything in the natural world. Gods and the supernatural have a very long track record of being replaced by non-magical explanations.

    Besides – what kind of god mucks about with a few organic molecules and then sits around waiting for 3 billion years for them to do something useful? That’s who you worship? What nonsense.

    Eric and Jon – you may be happy just stopping science and concluding “God did it”, but I am not. I’m going to continue to follow the evidence, and the evidence is against “God did it”.

    Oh, and eric – if you want to take the moral high ground based on your religion, try to avoid using convicted felons as your role models. “Drdino (Kent Hovind)” is in jail for fraud and is apparently a paranoid lunatic.

  • David

    @ Jon Speed, my personal beliefs are not of importance when it comes to science. That is how presuppositions are made, which is not how science should operate. Also, as I said in an earlier post, evolution has nothing to do with the creation of life, only how life diversified once it was in existence. So whether God placed the first cell here, aliens dropped it off, or it was the process of chemical reactions, evolution only takes effect after the fact.

    And the existence of a supreme being may or may not change one’s outlook, as you insist in the statement of Dawkins. Many people believe in a supreme being. It is the interpretation of how that being operates that puts systems at odds.

    Also, making statements of something too complex is also not science. I assume you would not tell your children to quit because something is too hard. Scientists will also not quit because they have yet to achieve full understanding.

    Once upon a time, this guy named Newton postulated this great theory about how gravity works. However, his formulas could not account for multiple bodies influencing each other, such as the multiple planets in our solar system tugging on each other, yet remaining in orbit. In his writing, he stated that it must be the hand of God that occasionally pushes them back in place.

    Fast forward a bit, and this other guy named Einstein comes around and he explains how gravity holds the planets in orbit.

    Point being: Just because we don’t understand something now does not mean we will never understand it, nor should stop trying to understand it.

  • ericcorrick74

    @ Mr. Hunters Haven, truth is not open minded. There is nothing wrong with being open minded in the sense of searching for truth. Just dont be so open minded that your brains fall out.
    I’ll debate you. I have studied the major religions of the world.
    Lets hear your argument for whatever you might believe (because your not clear in the comments) and we’ll go from there. But listen, by the same token as you use historical text to defend whatever you believe, I will use an equaly valid peice of historical text. The Bible

  • Jon Speed

    David,

    As an evolutionist, you must (at least) have some personal belief about how life originated. Dawkins does. Crick did. If you would have us believe in evolution, you have to account for the origin of life. If this is not true, then why is it that whenever evolution is defended by atheists (in particular) they usually say, “You have no proof for God creating life.” Wait a minute. By your logic, that’s not an issue. But I seriously doubt that will get me off the hook.

    It most certainly IS an issue because of the fact that evolutionists have been trying to figure out how the DNA molecule evolved. And that is the sticking point. It could not have evolved because the information contained in the genotype is so sophisticated. At some point in the process, information must have come from nothing if you reject the idea of a special creation by God.

    Crick did not believe that information came from nothing. Why? Because it is scientifically untenable. Information of that level must have an extremely intelligent source behind it. So what did he come up with? Transpermia. Highly evolved intelligent beings seeded the planet either by a comet, or by space ship, with the seeds of life. Talk about something that has nothing to do with empirical evidence! It’s nice to know that Christians don’t have the market cornered on exercising faith.

    But that’s the difference between guys like Richard Dawkins and biblical Christians. Dawkins exercises blind faith in E.T. because to believe in God creating is untenable. After all, if God exists, then Mr. Dawkins would have to change the way he lives his life. If it’s E.T., he has no moral responsibility towards an alien who rides around in the basket of a kid’s bicycle (or in a high tech flying saucer…take your pick).

    Christians place their trust in One who is trustworthy: an eternal God who is powerful and wise enough to orchestrate the complexity of the DNA molecule.

  • hunters_haven

    ericcorrick74, thank you for clearly pointing out your rejection of cohistorical accounts by historians of other cultures that lived in the same area as events, people and places in your religious text, except of course for those which you believe to support your faith.

    Thank you for rejecting all archaeological evidence save what you believe supports your faith.

    Thank you for telling anyone who does not believe as you do that they are going to hell as a sinner.

    Thank you for letting so many of us know that you are not open minded enough to consider other viewpoints.

    The difference between what you believe and what I do is that I have already considered information about a variety of issues and I continue to learn more all the time to revise my evaluations. I respect personal faiths, but I do not necessarily believe them. You have no desire to debate, rather to engage in hammering others for not sharing your rigid viewpoints.

  • Derrick Jenkinstonsen

    Here is some more good news that should increase Ray’s discomfort: http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2009-11-24-college-atheists_N.htm

  • Derrick Jenkinstonsen

    Arguing w/ Creationists is a waste of time.. not unlike smacking your head onto a brick wall.

    Don’t wrestle w/ pigs.. you just get dirty and the pig enjoys it!

    Do the liars go to hell even though they are Christians? That’s what I want to know!

  • ericcorrick74

    David, thank you for the conversation in this forum. It was a pleasure conversing with you and I apologize for not initially being more clear in my original question. My intentions for driving 4 hours last wednesday to WashU was to simply challenge the thinking of the young Americans in the university. Darwins Origin of Species was not tampered with. There was though a 50 page special introduction with an opposing view point, in which could be clearly seen that it (the 50 page intro) was not apart of Darwins writing. The table has been turned many times throughout history, and the Bible has come under scrutiny, with not one claim of evidence to prove it untrue. The Bible alone has stood the test of time. History attest to it, Archeology verifys it, Science has helped verified the validity of it, and Full-Filled Prophecy has proved its Supernatural in origin and was given to us by Yahweh Himself to show us that He always was, is, and always will be. The Bible is about Jesus, who is God come wrapped in flesh around 2000 years ago. He lived here on earth for approx 33 years. He lived a perfect sinless life. He then voluntarily went to a cross, suffered a horrible death and took the wrath of God upon himself to pay for yours and my sins. He took your place. He was dead for 3 days and then rose from the dead defeating death. You my friends have only 2 choices. You are going to pick one. You can repent of your sin, and put your faith in Jesus Christ alone as your savior, or you can deny him and when you die (FACT: 10 out of 10 people die) you will spend an eternity in a horrendus place of agony called hell, paying for your own sin. Jesus paid your sin debt for you, but you must by faith make him the Lord of your life to receive that payment, or spend an eternity paying for your sin yourself. You have the free will to seek the truth out for yourself. I don’t expect and wouldnt expect you to take my word for it, but you most surely owe it to yourself to check all this out for yourself. Truth is important. Your life depends on it. I’m going to put a couple of links here below for you to check out. One of the sites will send you a book. If you would like a challenge I would recommend requesting it. Thanks WashU for hearing me.
    http://oneheartbeataway.org/

    http://www.drdino.com/

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/

  • David

    eric,

    Multiple issues here, though we are getting around to the basis of your question.

    Evolution does not make any claims about the origins of life. A person who states their belief of how life originated and so happens to accept evolution means nothing to the theory. It is simply an opinion. The hypothetical origins of life are not taught in detail unless you are enrolled in a higher level biochemistry degree program.

    The term MACROevolution is not some different process. In terms you use, MACROevolution is simply MICROevolution multiplied by many more passing generations. The processes are identical. Evolutionary Theory makes no claims otherwise. Hence, this is why these terms are no longer used in evolutionary science. Same thing, different lengths of time.

    Therefore, the term of information from non-life, or life from non-life still does not apply to evolution as evolution makes no statements about those processes.

    You are lumping the theory of evolution in with something it does not discuss. It is the same as telling an atomic physicist that his theory of splitting atoms is wrong because it does not include the origin of atoms.This is why my confusion arose from your first question. Now I can answer it.

    Do I have an example of life arising from non-life? No. However, that applies to evolution in no way whatsoever.

  • ericcorrick74

    You should not take only the view of your College Science teachers. God gave you all a brain to examine with logic the evidence for a Creator. Creation proves there is a Creator. Unless you can eat grass and then make a bucket of milk, it would be wise to look into Creation Science.

  • ericcorrick74

    David, yes I believe we are on a different page. Sorry.

    What I was getting at was the assertion of MACROevolution says that living matter came from non-living matter. My claim is there is a problem with that. It has been shown to be impossible. The scientific method requires repeatable observation to prove something, yet despite scientist’ earnest attempts, and even baseless claims, they have never been able to create LIFE from NON-life. Thats why I was asking the question, “Do you have ONE EXAMPLE ANYWHERE in science, of complex information arising out of NON-information?”
    What I’m saying is there is no evidence in this theory that we arose from non-life in some prebiotic soup(where chemical reactions plus some form of energy gave rise to the first life), and all life evolved from the first life up to Homo Sapiens. That is all I was getting at. Evolutionary Theorist have no scientifically acceptable theory of the creation of life. But creation scientist do, and God said He created Life.
    http://www.drdino.com/index.php

  • David

    Are we talking about evolution or the creation of life?

    That is my question, which I already know is going spawn about three more. I will have to make assumptions again because I have no scientifically acceptable theory of the creation of life–nor does anyone else. Then again, that is not evolution.

    Also, if you are addressing macroevolution, please define it in terms that are scientifically acceptable. (I’ve never received a straight answer to what a “kind” is).

  • ericcorrick74

    David, are you saying Evolution, and I’m refering to Macroevolution accounts for only the time after first life was formed?

    (or) are you refering to Microevolution, which only involves minor variations within a species.

  • David

    No, eric, you mistake my question, which is an attempt to get to the root of your original question. I am not avoiding it. I am simply trying to avoid this run around.

    Your question confuses evolution with abiogenesis (a hypothesis). For example, whether the first life was formed by purely chemical processes, aliens (panspermia), or God, evolution only accounts for the time after that fact.

    In which case, and I will make the assumption that you subscribe to God as the originator of this “information,” it would have nothing to do with evolution itself, which is simply a change in genetic variation through each generation.

    Do you now understand why your question needs more clarification? Your argument against evolution with this information, from my perspective, is calling more to the creation of life rather than the evolution of it.

    I do apologize if I have confused what you are saying. That is why I am asking for a theoretical example of what you propose is impossible, then I can address the point. This is because I may have made a poor assumption that your argument dealt with evolution and not the creation of life.

  • ericcorrick74
  • ericcorrick74

    David, my friend, you are departing from the question. Which has caused a departing from THE ORIGINAL question in the 2nd paragraph below. My question was not & is not “Where did DNA come from?”

    “The information on the scale that we see in the genetic code. The genotype.” Where did THAT information come from IN THE EVOLUTIONARY PROCESS?……….which should lead you to my original question 2 days ago that we have been circling. That question is:Do you have ONE EXAMPLE ANYWHERE in science, of complex information contained in the genetic code arising out of NON-information? This is what would have had to happen at some point in time in order to arrive at the DNA molecule. Can this be observed? If not then Evolution does remain a theory. Good Science has always used the universal Law of Cause and Effect.

  • ericcorrick74

    For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
    For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.
    For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
    For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
    Claiming to be wise, they became fools………..Romans 1:18-22

    Actually there is no such thing as an atheist. Everyone knows there is a God. That’s how Good He is. You might suppress the truth, but that will not change the fact that there is a God. And His name is Jesus. I have met Him and He changed my life forever. You must repent & believe the Gospel, or suffer the wrath to come. My Father does not want you to suffer the wrath of Hell. He gave you FREE WILL. It is your decision, and its the most important decision you will ever make.

  • David

    Yes, eric, you have finally laid down a specific question, which I will rephrase before answering. Please correct this if incorrect.

    Where did DNA come from?

  • ericcorrick74

    David

    “The information on the scale that we see in the genetic code. The genotype.” Where did THAT information come from in the evolutionary process? My friend the question could not be plainer. Evolution is a dead faith that true science has proved & continues to strengthen that proof.

  • David

    eric, you are applying an concept of language to DNA when such as concept is not shown demonstrably. Also, as shown by experiment, DNA, when applied to the same standards are language, does not pass muster (See Zipf’s Law). If you like, I can also supply you with links to peer-reviewed papers that have tested this idea.

  • ericcorrick74

    David, I need to explain what I mean by Information. When I said complex information I am refering in this case to the genetic “CODE”. I’m refering to “Coded information” as a system of symbols used by an encoding and decoding mechanism, which transmits a message that is independent of the communication medium. DNA is not merely a molecule with a pattern; it is a code, a language, and an information storage mechanism. This is the complex information I am referring to.
    The information in DNA is independent of the communication medium insofar as every strand of DNA in your body represents a complete plan for your body; even though the DNA strand itself is only a sequence of symbols made up of chemicals A, G, C, T. We could store a CAD drawing of a hard drive on the same model of hard drive, but the medium and the message are two distinctly different things. Such symbolic relationships only exist within the realm of living things. They do not occur naturally. My challenge to you David is to cite a single example of coded information that occurs naturally , outside the realm of life, outside the realm of DNA. All you need is one example.

  • Jon Speed

    David, c’mon man, it’s a pretty simple question. You know what he’s talking about if you have studied DNA. The genotype. Do you have another example, anywhere in science, of information of that kind of elegance, arising out of matter?

  • David

    eric, I am trying to get a specific example of what we must see so we don’t need to do this running back and forth. I can’t give a specific reply when I don’t know the specific criteria.

    My question is simply to be cited a specific, imaginary example of what you would consider as an information increase in the genome of any species.

    I can cite examples until the cows come home from my end, and then you disagree with my interpretation, etc, and we go back and forth and back and forth. I simply ask you to cite a fictional example of the increase that would make you change your mind if it existed. And then I can answer your question with those specifics.

  • ericcorrick74

    Oh and David, i just want to say that this is fun & challenging talking to you. I am taking a liking to you, and I am confident that we will become friends that could have this discussion over coffee perhaps someday, (and probaly agree to disagree). Thats OK………………… The coffee is on me. :-)

  • ericcorrick74

    @David

    All the BIOLOGICAL INFORMATION contained in a genome is encoded in its DNA. It is my understanding that all organisms have a genome that holds all the necessary information that it needs to construct and maintain a living example of that organism.
    To make sure we are on the same page here I just need a “YES or NO” reply to the validity of this statement and then I will answer your question. Thank you David for being patient with me.

  • David

    No, errick, I don’t know what you are saying, which is why you, whom are making the claim, must provide the example of what we must see that we do not. I can provide about fifty examples off the top of my head that would fall into your description.

    However, I want you to provide an example, a theoretical example would even work, of what process must occur on the molecular level for this information you speak of to be considered an increase.

    How can you make a claim of not seeing something if you can’t explain what we are supposed to see? Can you tell me what we are supposed to see or not?

    I’ll make it specific and even use your wording. If complex information contained in the genetic code arose out of NON-information, we would see this within a genome.

    Explain to me what this is.

  • ericcorrick74

    @ David, You are squirming because you can’t answer the question. I know you are an educated man, and I have great confidence in your ability to know what the question is asking.

  • ericcorrick74
  • David

    ^Should be a blank after “see.” Comments did not like my arrows.

  • David

    @ ericcorrick74, I need an example because you are not defining information. Just give me an example of what you are talking about on a molecular level.

    Fill in the blank. If information were to increase, we would see on the molecular level within the genome.

  • David

    @Tom

    If atheism and evolution are what will tear this country apart, why do the more secular, atheistic and evolution accepting nations of Europe have less violent crime, std rates, abortions and teen pregnancy?

  • ericcorrick74

    @ David, I’m refering to the Information contained within the genetic code. Do you have ONE EXAMPLE ANYWHERE in science, of complex information contained in the genetic code arising out of NON-information? This is what would have had to happen at some point in time in order to arrive at the DNA molecule.

    @RickK, please read my questions slowly. You are adding your words to my question. I did not say that a mutation did not add information. Where did the Complex Information initially come from that makes up the genetic code?

    To All. Examine fully both sides of the argument. I have. This should be a healthy conversation between a group of people with opposing viewpoints. I do enjoy this forum & hearing your viewpoint. God Bless & peace to you.

  • http://www.justtruth.net Tom

    @Becca Krock – thanks for the correction!!

  • http://www.justtruth.net Tom

    @Alum – thanks but you’re wrong. Atheism, and evolution have ruined america.. take prayer out of schools, teach evolution, and watch the kids not fear the Lord, watch the teachers teach we’re all just animals, and watch columbine take place… sad but true, however with the fear of God, daily prayer, and the saving grace of Christ taught things like this do not happen. You can quote all the old testament wars and whatnot, thats fine.. somewhat like today, other cultures didn’t worhip the one and only God, and hated those who did and started wars… and lost. “free thinkers” are nothing more than what is described in Romans 1:20 – 23. slaves to sin and free from nothing.

    @Nick, get your facts straight please… I know a few of the references you refer to, Just cause Jesus was on the temple doesn’t mean the world is flat, look it up before bring such weak arguments. Actually the Bible says the opposite nick, when the WORLD thought we rode ona turtles back , the Bible said we were hung in space, the bible says we’re a round earth, and the Bible says we’re not the center… SO! I would advise you to look those up.. know the Bible, not what someone else says about it… did you beleive what eric said about creation? No, I would hope you looked it up. now look up what I am telling you… you can find it anywhere.

  • RickK

    ericcorrick74 said: You Believe by faith (in unsufficient evidence) that man is here on this planet as a direct result of evolution.

    It doesn’t take faith to look at endogenous retrovirus markers that we share with chimps and conclude that we had a common ancestor. It is basically impossible that we DIDN’T share a common ancestor with chimps.

    It doesn’t take faith to see and touch the 18 (so far) species of early hominid that pre-date modern humans.

    And, it doesn’t take faith to accept all the examples of small-scale evolution over small timeframes, and it doesn’t take faith to see a complete lack of small-scale divine design events over the same timeframe.

    Nothing real requires faith.

  • RickK

    ericcorrick74, here is an example of mutation adding information:

    http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/15/8/931

    Now, will that stop you from distributing lies to people? There are blatant, easily disproved lies in Comforts 50 pages. Why does this not bother you? How are you excused from the commandment against “bearing false witness”? Why do you know more about being a good Christian than the 12,000 clergy listed in my prior post?

  • hunters_haven

    Religion is a matter of faith and cannot be proven or disproven. A true believer never changes their faith because they know without hesitation that they have the only real truth in the world and no one else could possibly be right.

    Science is a matter of facts based on logical deductions which are, or have the possibility of being, proven or disproven and whose ideas can change over time due to additional new data, experiments or findings. Science continues to advance because ideas are constantly changing.

    One of my majors was in anthropology while I was at Wash U. After graduating I have continued to learn about religions and science and my beliefs are based on science. I treat religions as personalized faiths which are to be respected. Thus I give as much weight to one who is a Pagan as a Christian as a Jew as a Buddhist. To me the mythology of Christianity is equal to that of the Greek, Roman, Mayan and Aztec cultures in my book. All religions are based on faith and philosophy, not facts.

    I continue to follow findings in archaeology, anthropology and many other scientific disciplines because I know there are always new discoveries that can change what I learned in class. There is always the possibility that a finding or theory could be thrown out or changed due to new evidence.

    While the exact idea of Darwin has been found to be a bit simplistic, the core concept of evolution remains. What science knows about the mechanisms of evolutionary changes continues to expand and update over time. Science has proven that evolution is a logical and provable theory.

    Given the logic of the Christians who distributed the books on campus, I would take it that they believe the Earth is also flat and the center of the universe, and that all other science is just as error prone or false. Given that, those Christians must not believe gravity exists either and that geology, biology or any of the other scientific disciplines have any factual information. The scientific disciplines are all interrelated. If Christians call one theory in one field into question, they must also call into question all theories in all other fields that the theory touches.

  • Nick

    ““I’d say that the Bible is my primary source of truth,” Burgee said.”

    This is very interesting to me. Considering parts of the first testament referred to the Earth as the center of the universe, the world as flat, and the moon as a glassy/crystal sphere, its hard to comprehend where the ‘truth’ lies. I might not be able to prove the big bang, or the lack of a creator, but i’m pretty gosh darn sure the moon is not a crystal ball etc…

  • David

    Ericcorrick74,

    I know what DNA consists of (at least my degree says I do). I am just unfamiliar with your definition of information. An example, on the molecular level, of what you are saying is impossible would be nice.

  • ericcorrick74

    David. Are you serious? Do I really need to explain what DNA consist of? Its late, but I will tommorrow if you really want me to. I guess I do need to be clearer.

    Kagecee. Thank you for the warm response. Please refer back to my comment above, and you will not see a quote by me saying that science is a religion. Science IS NOT religion. Evolution is a Religion. You Believe by faith (in unsufficient evidence) that man is here on this planet as a direct result of evolution. You will one day know for sure if what you believe is true or false, and that my friend is absolute truth.

  • kagecee

    ericcorrick7, science is not religion, just as cooking is not playing monopoly. stop perpetuating the fallacy of “one or the other”!! I am a religious person. religion serves a purpose for me that science does not and vice-versa. the two are as different as tomato soup and motorcycles. stop making religious people look like idiots!!

  • alum

    @Tom- You are ruining America

  • David

    Ericcorric74,

    Define information, please. Or please give an example of what evolution says must happen that has not been observed in regard to adding information.

    Sorry, information is a very vague term.

  • Becca Krock

    Tom – Thanks for pointing out that the copies were not the abridged edition. I’ll make sure that gets changed ASAP.

  • Christian Beaule

    To Ignatius, comment #1

    Mermaids????? What fairy tale are you referring to? Find me a living mermaid, and we can start building its evolutionary tree and find out when it evolved, or what was its common ancestor. In addition, I would like to know how credible your scientists are, if you need to refer to them with “quotes…”

  • http://www.justtruth.net Tom

    if you;d like a free book, my e-mail is on my site, thanks for the opp. to post.

    God Bless.

  • http://www.juttruth.net Tom

    Sadly the article starts off wrong -the copies handed out were not abridged.

    As expected the article has an atheist slant, but thats fine. I still have a few copies of the book if you’d like one… Free of course, the gospel is that important.

    Thanks for the hospitality I really was impressed with the students at WashU.

  • ericcorrick74

    Thank you for the opportunity to allow me to comment in this discussion. I was one of those guys you saw on wednesday handing out the books at WashU. Thanks to all who received them. You were presented with an opportunity to look at two entirely opposing faiths. Evolution takes faith. Christianity takes faith. We were simply giving young Americans the opportunity to examine the evidence on both sides. No harm done right? Is not the University a symbol of free thinking?
    I once believed in the “Religion of Evolution”, but after examining the evidence I realized there is not ONE iota of strong supporting evidence that I was once soup. Anyone can arise with theories and then convince you of that theory being truth.
    Here is a question that you need to answer: Do you have ONE EXAMPLE ANYWHERE in science, of complex information arising out of NON-information? This is what would have had to happen at some point in time in order to arrive at the DNA molecule. Such a thing has never been observed.
    I’m not here to argue, that is not why I’m posting. I want you to think for yourself. It is appointed once for ALL men to die once, and then judgement.

  • Russell

    I was one of the students who got one of these books earlier — I’m a little confused as to where people are getting the idea that it’s an abridged edition… Amazon is definitely selling it as “abridged,” whereas the website for the project writes:

    “This will be the entire publication (304-pages). Nothing has been removed from Darwin’s original work. As usual with reprints of On the Origin of Species (there have been over 140 reprints), there will be an Introduction.”

    Interestingly, the official 150th Anniversary OoS book supposedly has twice as many pages, yet is still the same size as Ray Comfort’s (both small, 1″ thick paperbacks).

    I really didn’t have a problem with being given a copy of this, though. I’ve been wanting to read OoS anyway, and there are worse uses for freedom of speech.

  • Dirk Jenkins

    Do Creationist Liars Burn in Hell? Or not? Golly Gee I wonder.

  • 4HisNamesake

    The worldly, sin-filled side of me wants to laugh at all the comments by the people who obviously don’t like the fact this was done. However, the Christian in me (who realizes none of us are better than the other) refuses to one day stand before my Maker and have Him ask me……”why didn’t you tell them?” You can chose to hate the message, the messenger and all it stands for, but I will continue to share the gospel and pray one day that He will stay “Well done my good and faithful servant”. Over 2000 years ago He told those around Him that His followers would be hated for His namesake. Hmm, not to far from here…….

  • http://twitter.com/nolastan Stan

    1) I received one of these books. It was clearly meant to be deceptive; the cover says “150th Anniversary Edition,” not “Revised Creationist Propaganda Edition.” I didn’t even know it was a modified book until I read about it on the Internet.

    2) The book is a clear example of where science and religion clash. In religion we discuss very old texts that have not been modified with new findings. In science we discuss the most recent findings and build upon what we already know. Discussing a 150-year-old scientific writing is thus hypocritical, since much additional research has been done since Darwin.

  • RickK

    “One wonders why the atheist are afraid of free thought?”

    One wonders why people who claim divinely inspired morality are so supportive of distributing obvious, demonstrable, documented lies.

  • Chrysanthemum

    Why are atheists so hateful?

  • Jimmy Khan

    One wonders why the atheist are afraid of free thought? Isn’t it better to allow the student to know other views on this topic and let them make up their own minds?

  • MPM

    C. Urrea: Sadly, no lawsuit, as Darwin’s text is now out of copyright.

  • Kevin

    Each copy came with a fifty page introduction by Ray “Bananaman” Comfort. Let’s be honest, times are tough and students need handouts sometimes. Certainly they can all appreciate 50 free sheets of toilette paper.

  • C. Urrea

    Gee, I wonder just how much of the original text was used in this overt propaganda? It seems to me that these twits may have opened themselves to a HUGE lawsuit.
    It seems to be typical zealot thinking to act before thinking.

  • RickK

    By the way, it is only a few radical Christians that promote this ID nonsense. The following is a statement signed by over 12,000 Christian CLERGY:

    “We the undersigned, Christian clergy from many different traditions, believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist. We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as “one theory among others” is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children.”

    Full text, with names and affiliations of all signers are found here:
    http://www.butler.edu/clergyproject/Christian_Clergy/ChrClergyLtr.htm

    So while Ray Comfort’s followers (and some of the commenters above) may be comfortable with “transmitting ignorance to children”, most Christians are not.

  • RickK

    They weren’t disclosing the fact that the introduction had been specifically prepared with the intent to slant, to argue against natural selection and common ancestry with dishonest, false evidence.

    If ID is such a strong theory, why do people ALWAYS resort to lying to promote it? Judge Jones in Kitzmiller v Dover was astounded at the open, willful lying of the ID proponents.

    And the funny thing is that these people often claim the moral high ground as they lie.

  • David Turner

    Ignatius: if there are no transitional fossils, then what do you call Maiacetus? An international conspiracy by godless scientists?

    Gnanadas: “Nothing is accidental” – the coffee I spilled this morning refutes you. “All perfectly designed by the creator” – that’s a big assertion. Prove it. In particular, prove that the human eye is perfect, despite the fact that it sees less than the eye of an octopus.

  • bobxxxx

    “Abridged copies? Why abridge a work you are arguing against except to mislead?”

    That’s the point. Christians must be compulsive liars. That’s the only way their goofy death cult can survive. Without the dishonesty, without their war against scientific progress, and without constant threats of torture in hell, the disgusting Christian religion would have be extinct a long time ago.

    Not to worry. A religion so full of bullshit as Christianity can’t last forever.

  • bobxxxx

    Gnanadas, what is it like to be a member of the asylum? Do you enjoy not having to think?

  • Clark

    I agree with Mark VanGelder, what a wonderful idea. Religion has prove once more to be harmful to humanity. For that, we just need to look at history and we see the same story Judaism vs. Christianity vs Islam vs ” you name it.” Some times one more radical or fanatical than the other. If it weren’t for men and women of science humanity would still be living in caves. If you don’t like advancement, then don’t use your television, computer, cellphones, or seek medical treatment and just go and live in a desert, for you all know we are sinful and evil.

  • http://thencmindia.org Gnanadas

    It is an excellent move to mak people think there is a creator behind all creation. The naturalist cannot neglect this fact and I am grateful to the living waters for taking such a strong step. We should never forget the reason behind the reason, cause behind the order. Nothing is accidental, nothing had happened accidental in the human history whic could form an order and law as we see in the universe. All are perfectly designed by the creator. For him be the glory.

  • bobxxxx

    Typical brain-dead Christians. They deserve nothing but ridicule and contempt.

  • dirk jenkins

    I hope Tom Burgee submits to Islam before it’s too late.. hopefully this message reaches him in time.

  • Dan

    Abridged copies? Why abridge a work you are arguing against except to mislead?

  • Mark VanGelder

    The same thing should be done then to the bible. If creationist can insert their social poison into scientific literature, then rationalists should be able to put their disputes against religion in the bible.

  • http://www.formerthings.com Ignatius

    Let us know when you find a mermaid skeleton Christian Beaule. The “scientists” know the fossil record shows no evidence of transitional forms. Amber fossils prove that there is no evolution. They look exactly the same as 2009.