2005 Web Sites of the Month
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Web Site of the Month - January 2005
by Lothar Janetzko

Creation vs. Evolution Debate (Ev)/(Cr)

“The neutrality and factual accuracy of this article are disputed”

This month’s web site review looks at the information about the creation vs. evolution debate found in the Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The interesting concept of a free encyclopedia is that anyone can edit the information found in the encyclopedia.

Before changes are made however, a voting process takes place to accept or reject the changes. It is interesting to note that on the Creation vs. evolution debate page of the encyclopedia a note states that “The neutrality and factual accuracy of this article are disputed”. The encyclopedia is also interesting in that is provides discussion and talk pages to allow readers to comment on the information found in an article.

The Creation vs. Evolution Debate article begins with a general introduction about the debate and then provides a Contents link which allows the reader to jump to various topics of interest. The Contents link is organized as follows:

  1. Introduction to the arguments
  2. Nature of the debate
  3. What is driving the debate?
  4. Abiogenesis
  5. Species differentiation
  6. Irreducible complexity
  7. Biblically literal creationism
  8. The Debate, the God of the Gaps, and Occam’s Razor
  9. The debate and the scientific community
  10. The debate and the religious community
  11. Creation and evolution in public education
  12. View of the other side
  13. Perspectives on the debate over time
  14. References
  15. External links.

I am sure a reader will find much interesting material regarding creation and evolution in the Wikipedia.

Web Site of the Month - February 2005
by Lothar Janetzko

Creation Science FAQ (Cr-)

“Scientific creationism is concerned with genetics, biology, paleontology, physics, anthropology, and other sciences, not theology”

This month’s web site review looks at a site that provides an FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) on the subject of creation science. The site is “an attempt to provide a scientific presentation of a plausible creation model of origins for consideration as a viable alternative to evolution”. The site was created by Darren Gordon who is a member of the Pennsylvania State University Origins Club.

The site begins by providing a note on terminology. Many different definitions for evolution exist. In this particular FAQ, evolution refers to macroevolution.

The rest of the site follows with an index and links to the following material:

  1. The Model
  2. Problems with Evolution
  3. Human Evolution
  4. But is Creation Science Really Science?
  5. Myths

Under the section, The Model, scientific creationism is defined as the “theory which proceeds from the claim that it is possible to employ the results of natural science to demonstrate that the universe and all life was created in a mature and fully functioning form; that the concept of intelligent design can be validated by the results of scientific investigation.”

The FAQ applies to scientific creation and makes no assertions about religion. You can learn why this is important by reading the section entitled, “But is Creation Science Really Science?”

Web Site of the Month - March 2005
by Lothar Janetzko

Creation ex Nihilo (Cr+)

"If numerous species belonging to the same genera of families have really started into life all at once, the fact would be fatal to the theory of descent with slow modification through natural selection." Charles Darwin Origin of Species, p. 302 (1st ed.).

This month’s web site review looks at the web site of CreationDesign.org. On the home page you will find links to the following topics:

The Backgrounds link takes you to a web page that allows you to download free backgrounds and wallpaper for your computer. The backgrounds are mainly nature pictures.

Following the Backgrounds link you will find another set of links to the following topics:

The Introduction link provides the reader a general discussion of what evolution teaches: “Random chance, says evolution, is the engine that produced all the complexities of life, and natural selection (survival of the fittest) is the knife that cut out the weak and left the world to the strong. The foundational principle of evolution is that the only source of changes that resulted in vast improvements - and all of life - is nothing other than mutations caused by unadulterated random chance.” Reading on in this section and in other areas of this web site you learn how complex and inconceivably complicated life really is.

Web Site of the Month - April 2005
by Lothar Janetzko

Dinosaurs (Ev+)

Why do we have so many questions about the most successful animals that ever lived?

This month’s web site review looks at the web site of the Discover Magazine. The web site’s primary purpose is to get you to subscribe to the magazine. If you are a subscriber of the magazine you will have full access to the information available on the web site which includes articles from the current and past issues of the magazine. The current issue is DISCOVER Vol. 26 No. 04, so you can tell the magazine has been in publication for some time.

On the home page of the magazine you will find a link to the article about dinosaurs. Here you will learn that “In the earliest paintings of dinosaurs, from the mid-1800s, they writhe like beached sea serpents or slouch like reptilian potbellied pigs. Now we know better. Dinosaurs stood erect and walked or ran great distances. Many were huge. One species—Argentinosaurus—reached 125 feet long. Now we know dinosaurs had complicated social lives—they raised their young, and they probably lived and hunted together in herds. We even know that the 9,000 species of birds all around us are living, feathered dinosaurs.

We also learn that “paleontologists are unearthing astounding numbers of fossils. “There are six or seven new species described every year,” says paleontologist Paul Sereno at the University of Chicago. “Even though you’d think it might be slowing down, the pace of discovery has quickened.” Modern technological devices, like CT scanners that illuminate hidden recesses of skulls and molecular probes that detect ancient proteins, offer a new depth of understanding scientists could never have dreamed of only a decade ago.”

Web Site of the Month - May 2005
by Lothar Janetzko

Creation vs. Evolution

Schools teach different things about how the world began.

This month’s web site review looks at a story published in the Online Edition of The Truth, which is a paper published in Elkhart County, Indiana. The story appeared on Tuesday, April 25, 2005. Six different Truth reporters contributed to it.

The story begins by stating that “what students are taught about the origin of the world in science class depends on which Elkhart County school the child is sitting in.” Some schools teach only evolution and others present evolution and creationism as theories for how the world began.

It is interesting to note that one teacher that was interviewed said “her interpretation of the state science standards is she can teach creationism in addition to evolution as long as she presents them both in a scientific manner.” Other teachers and administrators interviewed believe state standards require teaching evolution but not creationism.

What I find interesting is that teachers in Indiana don’t feel pressured to teach only evolution. The wishes of parents and the community are taken into consideration when curriculum is established. How long teachers will have this freedom as to what to teach about evolution and creation is anybody’s guess.

At the end of the story you can read about what is happening elsewhere.

Web Site of the Month - June 2005
by Lothar Janetzko

Justices Brennan & Scalia Debate Creation Science (Ev-)

The Edwards vs. Aguillard Decision of 1987

This month’s web site review looks at a web site that provides some interesting insights into the US Supreme Court decision in the case of Edwards v Aguillard.

The web page begins by providing some background information about the two justices that are the main focus of the article. Both justices were born to first-generation immigrants, raised in Roman Catholic families, and graduated from Harvard Law School.

Although Brenann and Scalia have very similar biographies, they have very different judicial temperaments and philosophies. In the case of Edwards v Aguillard, Justice Brennan wrote the Court’s opinion and Justice Scalia wrote the dissent.

The web article provides interesting background information about the court case. A Louisiana State senator introduced a bill into the Louisiana legislature that required public schools balance the teaching of evolution with the theory of “creation ex nihilo”. After some modifications the bill passed and became law.

How this Louisiana law became challenged and finally appealed to the United States Supreme Court is quite interesting.

Even more interesting is the information the web article provides about the discussions that took place in the Supreme Court and how the two justices saw the different views that were presented. Also the reactions to the Court’s decision by the opposing sides show that the evolution vs. creation debate will not end soon.

Brennan retired from the Supreme Court in 1990 and Scalia is still on the court today.

Web Site of the Month - July 2005
by Lothar Janetzko

TrueAuthority.com (Cr)

“For True Science”

This month’s web site review discusses a site that provides some interesting articles relating to the creation vs evolution debate.

On the main page you will find a number of pictures that are links to the following articles:

  1. Carbon Dating Doesn’t Prove An Old Earth
  2. Micro vs Macro
  3. More Eager Evolutionists
  4. Archaeopteryx: The Bird
  5. Sharks And The Truth
  6. Quotes Of Power
  7. What a Wonderful World
  8. Monkey Business
  9. Redefining the Terms
  10. Lucy In The Sky
  11. Peppered Moth Mayhem
  12. Looking for Change
  13. Well, What Do They Say?
  14. Why Evolution Is Wrong
  15. Radiometric Dating Methods
  16. Reason In Circles Together

When you select an article to read, you will find out who wrote the article and when it was written. You can click on a Listen button to play some music while you read the article and also select buttons to print the article or email the author.

On the main web page you will also find links to the following three topics:

  1. Cryptozoology
  2. Creation vs Evolution
  3. Dinosaurs

The Cryptozoology link describes cryptozoology as a “science of speculation and surprise, involving the search for animals thought to be extinct to new creatures never before identified.”

I am sure a reader of this site will find many interesting topics to explore.

Web Site of the Month - August 2005
by Lothar Janetzko

The Evolution-Creation Struggle (Ev)

“Creation versus evolution: What seems like a cultural crisis of our day, played out in courtrooms and classrooms across the county, is in fact part of a larger story reaching back through the centuries. The views of both evolutionists and creationists originated as inventions of the Enlightenment--two opposed but closely related responses to a loss of religious faith in the Western world.”

This month’s web site review looks at a site of the Harvard University Press that provides some information about the latest book by Michael Ruse, who is a Professor of Philosophy at Florida State University. On the main page you get a quick introduction into the subject matter of the book entitled The Evolution-Creation Struggle. There is also a link to read an excerpt of the book in PDF format. The excerpt contains twenty-four pages and includes the Table of Contents, the Prologue and some material from the first chapter entitled Christianity and Its Discontents.

Also on the main page you will find a link to book reviews which provides three short reviews of the book by various authors. I found the material interesting from a historical standpoint, but there are many points Ruse makes that the reader will have to judge for himself or herself. The complete book is ISBN 0-674-01687-4 and is available for $25.95.

Web Site of the Month - September 2005
by Lothar Janetzko

Formation of the Moon (Ev-)

“Countless theories and speculations have shrouded the Moon…”

This month’s web site review takes a look at a web site that discusses the many different theories regarding the formation of the Moon.

The web article begins by presenting an introduction that provides a few constraints that must be considered when this topic is discussed. The constraints are: “the fact that the Moon seems to be made of the same material as the Earth's upper mantle, that the Moon has little or no iron in it, and is composed of material unlike the composition of the Earth as a whole, that the Moon is rounded in shape, like the other planets and not like an asteroid or comet, that the Moon orbits in the same direction as the Earth, that the Moon is located in the same plane as the Earth (the ecliptic plane), and that the Moon seems to have drifted away from the Earth over the length of geologic history, meaning that the Moon was once much closer to the Earth.”

The article then presents the following theories about the formation of the Moon:

  1. Capture from a Heliocentric Orbit
  2. Coaccretion from a Heliocentric Orbit
  3. Earth-fissioned Moon
  4. Moon formed by Collisional Ejecta

No consideration is given to the possibility of intelligent design.

The writer concludes that many scientific groups lean toward the collisional ejecta theory, but “all of these theories presented earlier must not be forgotten about, many people spent millions of hours and dollars researching these theories, some devoted large portions of their lives to them.”

Web Site of the Month - October 2005
by Lothar Janetzko

The Best Intelligent Design vs Evolution Debate on the Web (Cr) / (Ev)

“Intelligent Design is proposed by people who know nothing about science.”

This month’s web site review looks at a site that provides a friendly debate between two individuals considering the merits of Evolution and Intelligent Design.

The home page provides some interesting background information about how the debate started. It appears that the controversy currently going on in Kansas regarding the teaching of evolution and intelligent design is causing some people to want to learn more about this controversy. The debate is being conducted via email and is using the common practice of inserting replies to specific statements in the middle of the original text. Three links on the home page provide access to the debate.

The first link is “Jeff’s Opening Statement: 4 (or 5) evidences of Intelligent Design”. The topics covered are how Evolution and Intelligent Design view 1) Fossils, 2) Genetics, 3) Environments effects and 4) Irreducible complexity.

The second link is “Jim’s First Response: Let’s Get Detailed!” Here you will find the inserted replies to Jeff’s Opening Statement. You will have to judge for yourself if the responses made by Jeff in favor of Evolution are valid.

The third link is “Jeff’s First Response: Why not?” Here you will find how Jeff responds the questions raised by Jim.

Many interesting topics are covered in this friendly debate and I’m sure the reader will find material that will be useful should he or she be drawn into a similar debate involving Evolution and Intelligent Design.

Web Site of the Month - November 2005
by Lothar Janetzko

Discerning Secular Media Bias and Errors in Reporting on the Creation Versus Evolution Issue (Cr)

“In general, the secular news media does a poor job of reporting on the creation/evolution issue.”

This month’s web site review looks at a site that discusses how the secular media views creation versus evolution issues. On the main page you will find the following outline for presenting their views:

How the secular media distorts the facts ….

  1. Claiming that creationists are trying to sneak religion into the science curriculum
  2. Mischaracterizing the debate as one between religion and science
  3. Ignoring evolution’s atheistic roots
  4. Claiming that Christians who support some form of evolution are giving a full endorsement
  5. Ignoring the religious biases of evolutionists
  6. Attempts to discredit, belittle or ignore creation scientists
  7. Claiming that Intelligent Design and all its proponents support an ‘old’ earth and universe.

All these topics are links that direct the web reader to different sections of the web page.

After the general outline you will find some additional links to topics such as reporting of sensational new scientific claims, hidden personal agendas and how America views the media.

One new term you will find on this web site is TTC, Teach The Controversy, which “calls for (a) presenting evidence for and against evolution, (b) adopting a definition of science that allows for consideration of all logical explanations for natural phenomena, and (c) permitting, but not requiring, teachers to discuss alternative theories (such as intelligent design).”

On the site you can learn who is promoting this approach to teaching students about creation and evolution and find a list of organizations that are involved with this issue.

Web Site of the Month - December 2005
by Lothar Janetzko

Evolving into a Tricky Exhibit (Ev)

Celebrating the life of Charles Darwin

This month’s web site review discusses a newspaper article published in The Sydney Morning Herald on November 22, 2005. The article is about the new Darwin exhibition that just opened at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The exhibition is slated for the National Museum of Australia later this decade.

The paper reports that the entire three million dollar cost of the exhibition is being financed by wealthy individuals and private donations. American companies were contacted to support the exhibition but declined.

The paper says that this “reflects the growing influence of fundamentalist Christians, who are among President George Bush's most vocal supporters, in all walks of life in the US.” Whether or not this is the true reason American companies chose not to support the exhibition, I still find it interesting that this has happened.

The newspaper article goes on to report that the Creationist Museum near Cincinnati, Ohio has recently raised $7 million in donations and gives the results of a CBS News poll regarding how Americans view the theory of evolution.

Interesting observations are made about the American Museum of Natural History. The curator of the exhibition, Niles Eldredge, is quoted as saying this about the exhibition. “This is for the schoolchildren of America…This is the evidence of evolution.”

Information about the exhibition can be found at www.amnh.org/exhibitions/darwin. You can judge for yourself if this is the evidence of evolution.

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