Creation: Facts that Support the Biblical Account III
A Sunday guest post by my brilliant husband, Gregg.
Every Sunday, my clever husband offers me a “day of rest” by taking over the homemaker duties here. His primary topic, the Biblical Truth of Creation vs. Darwinism, is a subject that has broad reaching scientific, social, and metaphysical implications and is gaining more and more attention in our modern culture. For believers and non-believers alike, the primary purpose is to present scientific, historical, logical, and/or sociological data in an empirical and defensible fashion, as much as possible written in layman’s terms, and in a format suitable for supplementing any homeschool curriculum whether you choose to believe the Biblical account — or secular guesses — about the origins of human life on earth.
Facts that Support the Biblical account of Creation
The following are observed facts about nature and the universe that support the Biblical account of Creation. Note that these facts are held up by operational and empirical science.
Ideal location of Structures—Every component on or within each organism is consistently located in the best possible place, in relation to other components, space limitations, and maximum efficiency in operation. Only careful planning, engineering, and design could do this. Randomness cannot and could not produce this level of order and efficient design.
Narrowed Limits Everywhere—Wherever we turn in the entire universe we find that the “anthropic principle” is easily observed. An extremely narrow range of conditions exists where life can exist, stars can heat exactly right, and planets can revolve and orbit around a sun. This narrowed range is found repeatedly by researchers, and is too compressed to have been caused by accidents or coincidences. The tolerances are far too fine to have been accidental.
Functional Objects which Provide an Attractive, even Beautiful Appearance—Living creatures which are commonly seen are generally quite attractive in appearance. The production of a beautiful form requires intelligent planning and execution. In addition, attractive coloration is provided. Consider the color and shaping of the cardinal, the robin, butterflies, and many other animals and flowering trees and plants. These are elements and attributes which are simply not necessary for survival, yet which provide additional comfort and beauty. Only intelligence produces beautiful things. Random chance produces chaos, disorder, asymmetry, and confusion.
Darwinists claim that believers in the Biblical account of creation employ a debate device known in terms of logic as an “argument from ignorance,” or agumentum ad ignoratum, wherein Biblical followers simply can’t think of any natural explanation (e.g.: are ignorant of a materialistic explanation) and therefore the only remaining conclusion is that God did it. The truth is this accusation on their part is quite arbitrary and the opposite is actually true.
The truth is that Darwinists simply can’t think of any materialistic explanation that is supported by actual and incontrovertible evidence but are convinced by faith in the Darwinian philosophical bias that it MUST be so, and therefore fanatically cling to their religious belief in the absence of actual evidence. Evidence, in this context, is that which is supported by real observable, empirical, and operational science as well as being consistent with logic (e.g.: absent assumptions).
This is the third post wherein I have presented a tiny handful of factual evidences that support the Biblical account of creation and politely requested EVIDENCE that shows me to be wrong instead of simple ridicule. Review the past few weeks. What do you find? No evidence. Lots of ridicule.
Logically — what does that tell you about the validity, the cogency, the soundness of the Darwinist counterpoint?
I commit to you that I will publish every single comment that meets this blog’s commenting criteria. You may want to review that criteria before adding your opinion here.
God Bless you and yours.
Additional Posts dealing with Creation and Darwinism
“Review the past few weeks. What do you find? No evidence. Lots of ridicule.”
Oh, thanks a lot. (note: that is meant as sarcasm.) Is this a new tactic where you label my criticisms of your points as ridicule? My criticism is that they are unsupported. This definitely includes your points in this post.
Also I am one commenter and I have mentioned my limitations. I think it is unfair to take my comments and generalize. (I wish someone else would comment but maybe they have gotten exasperated and given up – or maybe they are not staying within your commenting guidelines.)
I comment here to point out places where your arguments are incorrect in my view. I know it is impossible to convince you, both from reading most of your posts and seeing how you react to comments (you dismiss most arguments), and because you stated yourself that science has to be wrong if it disagrees with the Bible. So I have not set out to convince you, only to show where I think your arguments incorrectly present the views of science or where the material you present is not correct.
There are websites that talk in detail about evolution. Berkeley has one:
There’s no way all the information on evolution can be summed up in a comment. But the example of vitamin C (which Neil brought up long ago and which you never responded to until I brought it up again last week) is a useful one. It shows the similarity of nucleotides in the primate line compared to other mammals and it also shows the common mutations in the primate line not present in other mammals.
….”Functional Objects which Provide an Attractive, even Beautiful Appearance”
Two possible explanations for colors in butterflies and birds are related to either attraction of mates or warning to predators. Colors in flowers are related to attracting pollinators.
I add that some flowers have additional patterns which reflect in the UV range. poeple can’t see thme but insects can.
I think this is also true for some bird plumage but my memory is not clear on this.
…”Ideal location of Structures—Every component on or within each organism is consistently located in the best possible place, in relation to other components, space limitations, and maximum efficiency in operation. Only careful planning, engineering, and design could do this. Randomness cannot and could not produce this level of order and efficient design.
Okay, somehow you know what the best possible place is? What the most efficient strucure possible is?
What we see is robust functional systems. That is what has to be the result of evolution – an animal which cannot function is not going to survive. However there are many lifeforms with different structures and each one of those is able to survive in its environment. The idea of evolution does not say that each structure has to be perfect or the most efficent. It has to get the job done. Because evolution is a step by step process where at every step the organism must be able to survive and reproduce successfully, there is a history of changes. The changes have to be in keeping with what the existing developmental organization and structures are. Random mutations can cause changes but the changes must work within the existing framework of the organism and of the organism’s genome. This is not one-step design process.
Again, this is not just a random process. The changes are random mutations but each change is tested by the environment and by the ability of that organism to reproduce successfully (which includes, for some organisms, finding a mate,). Each change is tested for functionality.
…”Ideal location of Structures—Every component on or within each organism is consistently located in the best possible place, in relation to other components,”
laryngeal nerve of the giraffe?
Now I see that almost this whole post is cut and pasted without attribution from another website.
And here I was thinking you must have been thinking of cardinals and robins in your own backyard.
If you prefer the word criticism, that word could suffice, though ridicule is more accurate by definition in my opinion. I didn’t mean anything pejorative by using the word “ridicule” I was just trying to be accurate.
Logically, how does a flower “evolve” a color that is more attractive to insects? Does the plant hire a marketing firm to take a survey of insects and ask what most of them see as a favorite color? How does this support Darwinism since it is utterly illogical?
You say, “That is what has to be the result of evolution…”
I submit that this conclusion is not supported by evidence which is largely neutral in nature. I submit to you that this conclusion is based on a philosophical bias.
I am forced to return your arbitrary observation that, “Okay, somehow you know what the best possible place is? What the most efficient structure possible is?”
The implied accusation is that of plagarism. While the implication does not address the actual evidence on the table and amounts to a logical fallacy known as Ad Hominem Abusive, I will still answer it. I have obtained, both in writing and verbally, permission to use this source. Should you choose to email your address, I will even send you a complimentary hard cover edition of the book to enhance future discussion. None of this is, naturally, relative to the discussion at hand. It is arbitrary and amounts to ridicule of me, personally, or at least my alleged character.
I hope you are well. One of your claims is that it is a matter of operational science that all components of all organisms are in the best possible place. I don’t think this is true. We haven’t examined the positions of all positions of all components of all organisms. We can’t know that they are all in the best place.
In particular, as hd points out (rather tersely), the laryngeal nerve of the giraffe appears to be in the wrong place since it goes all the way from the brain, into the body cavity and back up the neck to the larynx. Now, perhaps there is a reason for it doing that. Perhaps. Maybe. Could be. But that’s not following operational science until we know the reason. If you know the reason, could you let me know?
Please note, this is not intended as ridicule. It is intended as constructive criticism of a claim which you have made.
May peace be with you,
…”Logically, how does a flower “evolve” a color that is more attractive to insects? Does the plant hire a marketing firm to take a survey of insects and ask what most of them see as a favorite color? How does this support Darwinism since it is utterly illogical?”
It’s logical. It works as usual by mutation, selection, drift, things like that.
For instance a (random) mutation that makes a plant’s flowers have a color that appeals to a particular pollinator type will get more visits from that type of pollinator. Depending on how many different pollinators of different types are available in that area, this may mean the plant gets a better chance of spreading its pollen around to make seeds. Or maybe there are enough pollinators that it won’t improve the chances compared to the other plants. But in either case, those seeds will carry the gene for the color change. The plants which grow from those seeds will also have flowers of the color more attractive to one type of pollinator. As the pollinator visits that subgroup of the population it will spread the color-gene-containing pollen between similar flowers so that the occurrence of that gene will be reinforced in that subgroup. Attracting one type of pollinator makes it more likely that pollen carried by that pollinator from one plant will match the next type of plant it visits. At the same time, the color change may make visits from another type of pollinator less likely. Bees prefer blue, and also yellow (from what I see online). Hummingbirds prefer red. Night-flying moths and bats see white flowers better in the dark. These are not necessarily absolute, just increase the chances that those types of pollinator will visit. Other possible pollinators for different flowers are flies, beetles and ants. And some plants like grasses and some trees (and evergreens) are wind-pollinated. there’s a lot of variety. (There are also other features of flowers that make one pollinator more likely to visit and more successful at transferring pollen such as flower shape, scent, markings, nectar.)
Apparently the columbine family is so close genetically and the plants can hybridize so easily (again, if I understand this correctly) that you might call all their differences the result of microevolution. In your view, I think microevolution refers only to redistribution of already existing alleles rather than new mutations. I don’t actually know whether this fits the columbines or not; their genomes are being studied. But using either definiton of microevolution, it seems that all the adaptations for different pollinators may have come from microevolution, which I think disagrees with your statement that this is illogical, since you do think microevolution is possible. I can’t tell if that fits with your view or not. In any case you can look at the different colors and shapes of different columbine species and see that they attract different pollinators.
And of course they are beautiful to humans (or at least to some of us). How do you argue that a color and shape functionally adapted to pollination by one type of pollinator or another is also designed to be beautiful to humans? For instance the curved long nectar tubes on the columbines are like lovely flourishes. But their shape is specifically functional. Do you think the beauty is in the flower or in our heads? Some orchid flowers have a shape that mimics a female insect of a particular type and that shape attracts the male insect. Is that also supposed to be designed to be beautiful to us at the same time? And then there are flowers that attract flies because they look and smell like carrion. How do they fit into the beauty scheme?
I think this idea that SOME common things appear beautiful to humans is not really an argument, or if it is an argument it is very weak. What about the other things that humans don’t label as beautiful?
Another group that has the range of flower shapes and colors, including reds and blues, for a variety of pollinators is the penstemons. Also I think, Salvia. And I’m sure there are others, but I thought of those because I have them in my garden. The different adaptations to pollinations by different types of insects (for instances bees and some wasps and butterflies) and birds have happened in different groups of plants.
So out of 16 million or more possible colors and shades, they just happen to hit the jackpot via random mutation and then cease to mutate. That is highly convenient.
HD: “What about the other things that humans don’t label as beautiful?”
Like two headed snakes, or ducks with an extra wing, or cows with an extra leg, or one-eyed chicks, or some other less than beautiful mutant?
I was thinking more like hippos or grasshoppers or manatees or slime molds. (depends on your definition of beauty of course; I think lots of people would call these unbeautiful.)
Why 16 million? I think there are maybe six common pigments which get made in different combinations and amounts. Plus this is not a precise thing – there is a range of sensitivity.
Why assume mutation stopped?
anyway I can’t think about this right now.
Are you limiting yourself to only the spectrum that the human eye can perceive? I am not. So out of 16 million or more possible colors and shades, they just happen to hit the jackpot via random mutation and then cease to mutate. That is highly convenient is it not?
At the outset, you say, “For instance a (random) mutation that makes a plant’s flowers have a color that appeals to a particular pollinator type will get more visits from that type of pollinator.” But isn’t it true that if the color of those flowers do not appeal to any insects, they won’t get any visits from pollinating insects at all? So how, then, would they be able to reproduce the mutated strain that DOES appeal to the pollinators? Answer: They would not be able to. So we are left with a chain of causality with a very short life span — approximately one generation to be precise.
Your argument is not sound, logically speaking, because the original flower would have had to have hit the jackpot at the outset and the insect would have had to find that jackpot color the winning color at the outset in order to then go into the types of hybridized and mutated variations you describe. Do you get my point?
Given, at the outset, an insect that favors one very particular shade of red, and given a flower that is pink (can hybridize to red), they either will or will not mix to generate progeny. if there are NO progenitors, then the flowers — and the insects — die out. If there ARE progenitors, then there is no fitness cost in hybridizing to white or red when remaining pink suffices. If red is favored, then when a random mutation to red occurs (as is your argument) then why would pink or white remain in the gene pool after millions of years of so called evolution? Why would not all flowers simply be that exact shade of red?
I don’t mean this as an insult, but I believe your argument is weaker, logically speaking.
I’m not limiting it to visible light – I already mentioned UV in a previous comment on this post.
…”Given, at the outset, an insect that favors one very particular shade of red…”
I didn’t say it was one very particular shade of red. You’re missing the fact that I said there would be a range of frequencies to which the different pollinators were sensitive. When you talk about 16 million, I think that number might be coming from the number of pixel combinations on the computer using three colors with 256 levels. But if you were to choose ‘reddish’ as distinct from blue-purple or yellow or cream-white or green, reddish would include a large number of those pixel combinations, would it not? Reddish could range from orange-red to magenta to deep pink. And I think hummingbirds also will visit yellow flowers. A moth looking for flowers in the dark would probably see all the light shades equally well, including white, cream, light yellow, pale blue, pale pink (I’m guessing here, but it seems reasonable). Bees don’t see red, but they are attracted to scent as well as color. And flowers may include UV markers that the bees can see. And there are different species of bees, butterflies, wasps. It’s complicated.
Again, why are you assuming I would think there would be no more mutations? I haven’t said that, and it’s just the opposite. Mutations would continue to happen. Mutations that changed flower characteristics in a way that made them more appealing to certain pollinators, or that made pollination by those pollinators more successful, would be retained in the population (barring chance events that elimintaed them). Mutations that were able to reverse the color change (the likelihood of that would depend on the original mutation ) could cause a change to the previous color. A mutation that caused the plant to be less competitive would be likely to cause that particular plant ‘s descendents to die out over time. (Other mutations might affect the particular plant’s ability to tolerate a drier habitat. or other environmnetal conditions.)
…”But isn’t it true that if the color of those flowers do not appeal to any insects, they won’t get any visits from pollinating insects at all? So how, then, would they be able to reproduce the mutated strain that DOES appeal to the pollinators? ”
I’m not sure I understand your point here, but I think you are asking that if a mutation produces a plant with red flowers that attracts hummingbirds, what pollinators did the non-red flowers on the parent plant attract? If we’re talking about the columbines, the tree of species that some people have compiled by various types of analysis (genetic and also morphological features) suggests that those plants probably had blue flowers and were pollinated by bees. (Bees do pollinate blue columbines and they can also visit the red flowers mainly pollinated by hummingbirds.) But if you want to go farther back in the proposed history of flowering plants, as I said previously, initially plants were wind-pollinated the way grasses and some trees and evergreens are. Also there are insects like beetles and flies and ants which pollinate flowers in a general way.
…” If red is favored, then when a random mutation to red occurs (as is your argument) then why would pink or white remain in the gene pool after millions of years of so called evolution? Why would not all flowers simply be that exact shade of red?”
Because the original flower color was being successfully pollinated by the original pollinators.
And because the fact that the new color attracted a different pollinator meant (as I tried to explain in an earlier comment) that there would now be some form of reproductive isolation between the populations. If you have two populations of mice separated by a river that they mostly can’t cross, there is a geographic isolation that keeps the two populations from mixing their genes. Over time they might (or might not) accumulate different mutations that result in their being unable to reproduce if they are later brought together.
For the plants, even if they are two feet apart, if they are only pollinated by different pollinators then there is reproductive isolation for them just as there was for the mice separated by a river. Even if the plants could be hybridized by a horiculturist, in the wild, the different pollinators keep them reproductively isolated. OTOH, if there are additional polinators (like bees for the hummingbird-pollinated flowers) there can still be limited mixing. But if the majority of pollne transfer is done by different animals, the populations stay mostly genetically isolated.
Thee’s also the idea of environmental niches. In Africa, why are there so many different types of antelopes? Why not just one? Each type can access a different height or type of vegetation, or live optimally in different environmental conditions. (plus drift and chance – I don’t wnat to make this sound more absolute than it is.) For the plants, they also have to compete for resources. One resource would be pollinators, so if one starin can be pollinated by a different pollinator it provides a new niche. There are also environmental niches for different habitats, dryness, altitude, etc; again, it’s complicated.
…”Your argument is not sound, logically speaking, because the original flower would have had to have hit the jackpot at the outset and the insect would have had to find that jackpot color the winning color at the outset in order to then go into the types of hybridized and mutated variations you describe. Do you get my point?
I’m not sure. Did I answer your objection or did I miss it? If when you talk about the original flower you mean way back during the earliest phases of angiosperm development, I think I did answer it with wind pollination and more random insect pollination.
(there are a lot of links abpout pollinators on google . There are articles on particular plants and pollinators on pubmed; some are generally accessible. Here is one on aquilegia:
You seriously don’t think things like manatees and hippos are beautiful?
well, yes and no!
(timely link, delete if you don’t think it’s appropriate:
Let’s suppose you accept the notion that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” (secular relative truth) as opposed to beauty is defined by God’s purity and creativity (absolute truth). In that case, anything that anyone happens to claim is “art,” no matter how obscene or abstract, must be accepted as “art” and a creation of beauty. While anything that is actually beautiful because it was crafted by the most infinitely ingenious designer in the universe can be deemed less than beautiful. It becomes a matter that is subjectively determined by one’s world view.
I misread your comment.
I misread and thought you said the opposite of what you did say about hippos. Yes I do think hippos and manatees are beautiful in themselves. But I think a lot of people would disagree. Your initial post used qualifiers like ‘generally’ so I assumed that left room for some creatures not being considered beautiful.
So all creatures are beautiful because they were created by God? But some creatures are MORE beautiful because they have bright colors? So, for example dull-colored birds are beautiful but cardinals are MORE beautiful because God threw in some extra beauty for people’s enjoyment and comfort? Cockroaches are beautiful because God made them and therefore they are inherently beautiful but butterflies are MORE beautiful because God threw in some colors and shapes to make them appeal to the human perception? Do you disagree that most people see butterflies as beautiful but many insects as not beautiful? Why do most people find beauty in certain things more than others? Could that be a function of the way we were (in your view) designed?
I still don’t understand that point in your comment?
….”The following are observed facts about nature and the universe that support the Biblical account of Creation. Note that these facts are held up by operational and empirical science.”
….” Consider the color and shaping of the cardinal, the robin, butterflies, and many other animals and flowering trees and plants. These are elements and attributes which are simply not necessary for survival, yet which provide additional comfort and beauty.”
How is this an observed fact? How do you support this point? These colors are functional in those species’ reproductive processes. Some have one color and others have another color. People may like some colors more than others. How do you show that the colors people do like were put there especially to be beautiful or to provide comfort to people?
….” Only intelligence produces beautiful things. Random chance produces chaos, disorder, asymmetry, and confusion.”
I think leaves floating on a pond, positioned by random chance, are quite beautiful, more so than leaves lined up in a line. Asymmetry can be beautiful.
Just to be clear, it is your position that colors are functional in reproductive processes. So if a red bird were blue or green or yellow, it would not be able to functionally reproduce?
Obviously all different colors of birds can lay eggs successfully. The colors are not necessary for the physiological production of embryos and eggs. The colors of birds (plus songs etc.) are used in mate recognition and also as a help in choosing a more fit mate and in males recognizing other males of the same species in defending territories. They also may, depending on the color or species, be a source of camoflauge.(There may also be some other effects of different colored feathers and the mutations that cause them that people are studying – for instance, are the feathers differently resistant to feather mites.) If we like the colors, that’s lucky for us, but I would say that the colors are not there for us. They are the result of some chance mutations plus all the other things that contribute to speciation, in the same way that there are red columbines and blue columbines.
I read about a new strain of (I think) blackbirds, anyway, some kind of bird that is developing on an isolated group of pacific islands. There was a species or subspecies of bird with a reddish chest (like a robin’s pattern) and a mutation produced birds which were all black, a dominant mutation. The black-colored birds are differently camoflauged and differently affected by sunshine so they tended to hang out on different parts of the island. The conclusion was that this was a new subspecies or species in the process of developing. It’s still whatever type of bird it was, just with a different color. But as there are more birds of that color, they recognize each other (maybe because their parents had that color? I don’t know the details) and they have some reproductive isolation, not complete at this point. I would have to look up the paper; I forget the details. But there is an explanation for how bird species with different feather colors develop, and this an observation of the process.
hd — almost all of that is speculation and assumption.
…”Functional Objects which Provide an Attractive, even Beautiful Appearance”
I still don’t understand this point.
It is supposed to be an observed fact that supports biblical creation. Really it is not specific to biblical creation as far as I can see – it is more about any supernatural intelligent designer that could be imagined. The intelligent designer is being contrasted to non-intelligent evolutionary events as a source of beautiful organisms.
This argument says that many commonly seen animals are thought to be beautiful by humans. Then it says that only intelligence can produce beautiful things. But to me this seems to be a logical error. If in fact organisms, including those considered beautiful by humans, developed by the non-intelligent processes of evolution, then intelligence is NOT required to produce beautiful things.
Also according to this argument it is an observed fact that some organisms are more beautiful than they need to be ‘for survival’. I think ‘for survival’ is meant to refer to evolution, and thus implies that evolution cannot explain these features such as color, which seem to the writer to be excessive for mere survival. But this implication is a misrepresentation. The ideas of evolution do logically explain these features such as the color of flowers and birds. Part of survival is successful reproduction, and this means successfully competing for healthy mates or pollinators.
I said this:
“The colors of birds (plus songs etc.) are used in mate recognition and also as a help in choosing a more fit mate and in males recognizing other males of the same species in defending territories. They also may, depending on the color or species, be a source of camoflauge.(There may also be some other effects of different colored feathers and the mutations that cause them that people are studying – for instance, are the feathers differently resistant to feather mites.) ”
Is any of this section what you would consider an assumption or speculation? If so, which?
(I would say there are sometimes assumptions in science because there’s no way to go back into the past, or to test every possible example. So information from one situation might be used as an assumption about another related situation, with the understanding that it is incomplete knowledge.)
You said, “These colors are functional in those species’ reproductive processes.” That is an assumption.
“The colors of birds (plus songs etc.) are used in mate recognition…” assumption.
“…recognizing other males of the same species in defending territories.” assumption.
“They also MAY, depending on the color or species, be a source of camoflauge [sic.].” Emphasis mine — assumption.
“There MAY also be some other effects of different colored feathers…” Emphasis mine — assumption.
Maybe or maybe not. May or may not. Assume it is so. Speculate that it MAY be so.
…“These colors are functional in those species’ reproductive processes.” That is an assumption.
“The colors of birds (plus songs etc.) are used in mate recognition…” assumption.
“…recognizing other males of the same species in defending territories.” assumption.
“They also MAY, depending on the color or species, be a source of camoflauge [sic.].” Emphasis mine — assumption.
“There MAY also be some other effects of different colored feathers…” Emphasis mine — assumption.”
Okay, I didn’t expect that response. I thought those points were accepted as observed facts and didn’t need to be supported with details.
How about the similar points I mentioned about flowers?
For instance, do you think it’s only an assumption that the color of flowers function in the reproductive processes, related to the attraction of different pollinators?
Do you think it’s only an assumption that bees prefer blue flowers and flowers with UV patterns, and do not see red, while hummingbirds prefer red and yellow flowers?
Do you think it’s an assumption that flowers with different colors (and shapes and scents) that attract different pollinators are reproductively isolated (to some extent, depending on which flowers we are talking about) from flowers attracting different pollinators?