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Evolution under the Microscope, by David Swift

Discussion in 'Origins Theology' started by hiscosmicgoldfish, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. hiscosmicgoldfish

    hiscosmicgoldfish Liberal Anglican

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    Evolution under the Microscope, by David Swift

    The premise of the book is that evolution has indeed occurred, such as the evolution of the horse, (and although the subject is not covered, I suspect that there has been evolution of whales as well) but that evolution is limited, and is the result of gene segregation, and macro-evolution (the generation of new information in the genes) has not occurred. Species are not fixed, sub species and even new species can arise from an original population, such as the American sparrow, and the lesser black backed gull, which is very closely related to the herring gull.

    The stratification of the geologic column is not questioned, but it is shown that new genera arise suddenly and fully formed in the fossil record, and that there are no intermediate fossils. There are two opposing views; strict naturalism, which is the current paradigm, and religious doctrine, which most scientists don’t want anything to do with, as it is thought to be associated with anti-scientific beliefs. The author makes the point that we all exist within a particular paradigm; we have been taught that Darwinian evolution is true, and we do not question that.
    Knowledge is passed on, and we don’t have to rediscover everything from scratch, so what we are taught is thought to be true. The general public is taught from the earliest age, that evolution is true. The last major paradigm to be revised was the geocentric model, however, I am not totally convinced that the geocentric model is false, but heliocentrism is now the established paradigm.

    The industrial melanism of the peppered moth is shown to be evolution by natural selection, due to gene segregation, evolution within limits. I skipped a few chapters, which I will go back to later, as much of the information is beyond my academic level, it is really geared towards the university student, studying biology, rather than for the layman. The author concludes by saying that biology shows design, although any religious opinions are not expressed.

    For me, reading the book has been useful in trying to get to the truth of the matter; that life has not arisen according to the biblical scenario, but new species have arisen over geological ages, call it progressive creationism, although the process is not progressive, but I don’t know of any other way to describe it at the moment. The most important concept to understand, is that we are now living within a particular paradigm, and that is unlikely to change, as people abhor a vacuum, and there is nothing else to replace Darwinism, and that is why Darwinism persists, despite the evidence to show the theories limitations.

    Darwin got some of it right, but he did not have the knowledge of biology that is now known. Because evolution occurs, people assume that life is the result of naturalistic processes. Most people will not think to question what they have been taught; there would be no reason to do so. The alternative might appear to be religious fundamentalism, but for me, that resembles the days of the middle ages and the church, and the persecution of people who were unable to continue to perpetuate the existing beliefs, just because that was what was believed at that time, despite the evidence to the contrary.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
  2. Papias

    Papias Listening to TW4

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    If one wanted legal advice, would it be a smart move to look up and consult a plumber for the legal advice, instead of a lawyer?

    In His love-

    Papias
     
  3. MrsLurking

    MrsLurking Retired Biblical scholar; Verysincere's wife.

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    Yes, the David Swift book is the nonsense of an armchair dilettante.

    Breathtakingly inane from someone with no knowledge of the relevant fields.
     
  4. hiscosmicgoldfish

    hiscosmicgoldfish Liberal Anglican

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    thats why the book gets top marks on the amazon reviews.
     
  5. Calminian

    Calminian Senior Veteran

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    Depends on the plumber and the lawyer. The argument is specious at best, indicating that only a particular person with a title knows about a particular subject.

    I could easily use the same arguments against scientists who attempt to become theologians.

    Ultimately, an argument should be taken on its merits. If one can't do that, he may be tempted to simply poison the well, but that's the lazy disingenuous route.

    And it appears that the route all the dissenters are taking so far.
     
  6. sfs

    sfs Senior Member

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    No coherent argument was presented -- just a string of assertions. Several of the assertions seem to wildly implausible (industrial melanism was solely the result of segregation of existing genes, ditto for speciation), while the assertion that genera always appear suddenly and fully formed is simply wrong. This kind of thing has no merit to justify taking it seriously at all.
     
  7. Papias

    Papias Listening to TW4

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    HCG wrote:

    HCG, most of the amazon reviews are by people who don't know the field either (and idiot can post a review). Plus, you can look up any number of inane books on amazon, and they have lots of positive reviews too (because amazon is in the business of selling books, duh...). By your measure, Sam Harris' Anti Christian rant is a good and reliable book, right? It has 486 positive reviews on amazon. The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason: Sam Harris: 9780393327656: Amazon.com: Books

    Cal wrote:
    Not just a title, but background, study, and demonstrated expertise. Any sensible employer demands that of job applicants, after all. Are you seriously saying that you'd be happy having your child get brain surgery from a top-notch accountant (with no training in brain surgery), or have your taxes done by a very good plumber (with no training in taxes). In fact, I bet your actions already show that you agree with me. You don't get you car repaired by a lawyer with not car repair training, do you?



    And you would be right. Unless the scientist also has training, expertise, and a background in theology (like Dr. Jefferts-schori), they have no business opening their mouth about theology.


    ....by people who understand the argument. An argument falsely presented by someone who doesn't understand their own argument is worthless.

    Poisoning the well is asserting without basis that one can't be listened to for an irrelevant reason (such as, say, that they beat their cat). That's not at all the same as pointing out that a person doesn't understand their own argument and is talking out of ignorance, which is abundantly clear in the case of Mr. Swift, as has been pointed out by real experts, and is obvious by the ludicrous howlers he spouts, like saying that "there are no transitional fossils", when there are literally millions of them. Here, you can learn for yourself what the "poisoning the well" fallacy actually is: Fallacy: Poisoning the Well

    Papias
     
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