Evolution debating with Ark Times Bloggers Part 1 “Steven Jay Gould and the fossil record”

The Long War against God-Henry Morris, part 1 of 6

Uploaded by  on Aug 30, 2010

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I have debated with Ark Times Bloggers many times in the past on many different subjects. Here are some of the subjects: communism, morality, origin of evil, and the Tea Party. I have always loved to post about evolution and I have had a chance in the past to correspond with scientists such as Carl Sagan and George Wald and also had the opportunity to write reviews of science related books that were published.

Recently I got into the subject of evolution on the Ark Times Blogand the subject came up on the Ark Times Blog. I go by the username “Saline Republican”:

I stated on the Arkansas Times Blog on 3-18-13:

Yesterday I heard a very good message from our pastor on Genesis 1 and he talked about the fact that evolutionists have “faith” just like we do in the church. The starting point in the universe has to be accepted by faith by both sides. It is hard to argue against that point. https://thedailyhatch.org/2013/03/18/carl-s…

Evolutionists are busy arguing with themselves because the fossil record does not support gradual change as Darwin misled us to believe. Actually it supports the creationist view that there was a sudden appearance of many animals.

Steven Jay Gould said, “Many evolutionists view strict continuity between micro- and macroevolution as an essential ingredient of Darwinism and a necessary corollary of natural selection. Yet, as I argue in essay 17, Thomas Henry Huxley divided the two issues of natural selection and gradualism and warned Darwin that his strict and unwarranted adherence to gradualism might undermine his entire system. THE FOSSIL RECORD WITH ITS ABRUPT TRANSITIONS OFFERS NO SUPPORT FOR GRADUAL CHANGE, and the principle of natural selection does not require it — selection can operate rapidly. Yet the unnecessary link that Darwin forged became a central tenet of the synthetic theory.

The person using the username Zatharus responded:

When some make a habit of misquoting in order to bolster their arguments, the question of whether this is because of mental or ethical deficiencies becomes meaningful.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Fallacy of quoting out of context
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy_of_qu…

The practice of quoting out of context, sometimes referred to as “contextomy” or “quote mining”, is a logical fallacy and a type of false attribution in which a passage is removed from its surrounding matter in such a way as to distort its intended meaning.

Their [Creationists’] favorite sport is stringing together quotations, carefully and sometimes expertly taken out of context, to show that nothing is really established or agreed upon among evolutionists. Some of my colleagues and myself have been amused and amazed to read ourselves quoted in a way showing that we are really antievolutionists under the skin.

The Creationist redacted quote reads:
“The fossil record with its abrupt transitions offers no support for gradual change. All paleontologists know that the fossil record contains precious little in the way of intermediate forms; transitions between major groups are characteristically abrupt.” Stephen Jay Gould

The actual quote continues:
“… Gradualists usually extract themselves from this dilemma by invoking the extreme imperfection of the fossil record. Although I reject this argument (for reasons discussed in [“The Episodic Nature of Evolutionary Change”]), let us grant the traditional escape and ask a different question.”

Knowing that creationists are quoting him as if he were saying there were no transitional forms, Gould responded:
“Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists — whether through design or stupidity, I do not know — as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. The punctuations occur at the level of species; directional trends (on the staircase model) are rife at the higher level of transitions within major groups.”

“Today the theory of evolution is about as much open to doubt as the theory that the earth goes round the sun.”
Richard Dawkins

I then replied:

Zatharus, I gave the whole quote and it is explained very well by Dr. Gould so I can not be accused of taking it out of context. I actually got it from a website that was critical of a creationist for only taking 8 words out of the quote and using it. Instead, I provided the whole quote. Outlier and Vanessa you need to learn from Tuna who admits that faith is true for the believer as the unbeliever. Do you ever get on a plane without meeting and questioning the ability of the pilot? You have faith in that airline because of evidence you have from the past concerning their reliability.

Paul Covert says that Genesis is just fiction. I have a lot of evidence that indicates to me that the Book of Genesis is reliable.

Dewayne Bryant notes: Archaeology demonstrates solid connections between the biblical record and ancient history, in contrast to Christopher Hitchens’ assertion that it is an implausible record.

Consider the following:

Critics often malign the patriarchs without just cause. They insist that camels were not domesticated during the patriarchal age, thus constituting an anachronism in the biblical text. Yet evidence of camel domestication appears as early as 2000 B.C. in several places in Mesopotamia, concurrent with Abraham—if not slightly preceding him (Kitchen, 2003, p. 339). Another point of confidence is the names of the patriarchs. While God selected Jacob’s name, they all highlight the Mesopotamian roots of Abraham since the names of Isaac, Jacob, Ishmael, and Joseph are all of Amorite origin (pp. 341-342). These names were at the height of their popularity when the patriarchs lived in the early second millennium and quickly fell into disuse in subsequent centuries.

A vital piece of evidence is the structure of covenants in the Bible. Covenants made in antiquity evolved over time, and each period has a distinct structure for the covenants made at various times and particular locations. Kenneth Kitchen has surveyed a wide range of covenants used from the third millennium through the first millennium B.C. (Kitchen, 2003, pp. 283-289). He found the Abrahamic covenant made in Genesis 15-17 fits securely in the early second millennium, while the covenants in Exodus, Deuteronomy, and Joshua 24 fit only in a late second millennium context. After the evidence is surveyed, it is apparent that much of the criticism of the Bible arises—not from intense scrutiny of the evidence—but from ignorance of it. The overwhelming weight of the archaeological and historical evidence firmly places the Bible in the sphere of reality rather than myth.

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