Monday, June 13, 2011
This morning I was watching The Atheism Tapes, a collection of six video taped interviews with prominent atheists conducted in 2003 by the BBC. Specifically, I listened to lecture #2, which was with Steven Weinberg, a physicist, Nobel laureate and the only distinguished scientist interviewed. (Richard Dawkins is a popular science writer, however he has done very little original research in his field of animal behavior.)
Now, why exactly is this eminent scientist, Nobel prize winning physicist, undoubtedly a brilliant man far more intelligent than myself I assume, an atheist? Well, he says why:
"What happened was that much of the early basis for religious belief was dissolved by science. It wasn't that scientific discoveries made religion impossible... it's that they made irreligion possible. It became possible to understand how things worked without the religious explanation and particularly, I think, more important than anything any physicist did, was what Darwin did, Darwin and Wallis."
That's it - evolution did it, no God needed.
However, taking the question one step further, how do we know that evolution did it?
In my opinion, it seems very clear that evolution could not have done anything. It is impossibly improbable and the fossils indicate sudden, not gradual, changes.
The proofs from homologies, embryology and vestigial organs have already been discredited by books like Evolution a Theory in Crisis by Michael Denton and Icons of Evolution by Jonathan Wells and by websites like trueorigin.org.
Nevertheless, atheists are unperturbed. Atheists remind me very much of Christians who insist that Jesus fulfilled numerous Biblical prophesies, although any objective person sees this is clearly nonsense. Christians want to believe something, have grasped an excuse to believe it and will not be discouraged by anything.
In recent years, one of the new arguments for evolution is "junk DNA" - the portions of a genome sequence for which no discernible function had been identified. In a nutshell, Michael Shermer explains in "Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design" page 74 "We have to wonder why the Intelligent Designer added to our genome junk DNA" .
Well, we need wonder no longer. Jonathan Wells has just published a new book "The Myth of Junk DNA". He explains how as time goes by, more and more "junk" has been discovered to be quite useful. Just as an example, endogenous retroviruses were regarded as clearly junk, inherited from some ancient viral infection. Two years ago, biologists discovered that this alleged junk may be essential to human life: "These results demonstrate that syncytin-A is essential for trophoblast cell differentiation and syncytiotrophoblast morphogenesis during placenta development, and they provide evidence that genes captured from ancestral retroviruses have been pivotal in the acquisition of new, important functions in mammalian evolution."
"Genes captured from ancestral retroviruses" is of course the atheist interpretation. Why not genes designed by God?
Posted by jewish philosopher at 9:05 AM