email - February 2013

Dialogue with Adults

Adults don’t resort to name calling.

In a previous column, we shared Jeff’s Sad Experience with rude evolutionists. Jim had a different experience.

I was particularly struck by the story you have recounted in the last couple of issues about Jeff, who unsuccessfully tried to engage evolutionists in a civil discussion. I have tried to do the same thing myself, but in a different way. It has been my experience that if you send a polite and sincere email to an evolutionary scientist, they will typically respond in kind. I emphasize sincere - I would have been delighted to get a cogent response that challenged my personal beliefs (I didn't), and I had no intent to play "gotcha" or embarrass them in any way. I think you might be interested in some of my correspondence; it suggests to me that scientists are in genuine denial about even the most obvious challenges to evolutionary theory.

Jim

Jim wrote to professors who had published articles on evolution, asking this question:

On the one hand, evolutionary change must arise at the genetic level. Most mutations are not advantageous; they are neutral or disadvantageous. Moreover, there is a limit to how much advantageous change can be caused by a single mutated gene, and adaptations that depend on the interaction of multiple independently mutated genes are statistically improbable in the extreme. As a practical matter, genetic mutation can only account for very small changes, such as making small incremental modifications to a primitive proto-flagellum.

On the other hand, these changes must be large enough to confer a significant reproductive advantage. Small changes at the cellular level which do not materially enhance that particular specimen’s survivability will not be “selected” and passed on at a preferential rate.

He posed basically the problem Suzan Mazur asked of the Altenberg 16. Space prevents us from printing all their answers. Suffice it to say that he received answers very much like those in Suzan Mazur’s book.

Jim was corresponding with adult evolutionists who actually know what they are talking about—unlike Jeff who was corresponding with children on the Internet who didn’t. Adults don’t have to resort to name calling. Although Jim and I believe the evolutionists he wrote to were rationalizing their belief, and are wrong, at least they had reasons that could be considered to be rational. That wasn’t the case for Jeff’s correspondents.

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