I keep coming back to the Creation/neo-Darwinism/Intelligent Design debate.
Why? … Because it is the core issue that will decide the values and moral direction of generations of Americans.
Read this article, Darwinian Dictates, from World magazine as a lead in to what we can expect in the future education of American children.
Some excerpts from Mr. Luskin’s article:
“NGSS makes biological evolution a “core idea” and urges that by the third grade students should be presented with “evidence of common ancestry” of humans and animals. Middle-school students should “infer evolutionary relationships,” and in high school they should hear that “common ancestry and biological evolution are supported by multiple lines of empirical evidence.”
“NGSS requires students to learn that similarities among vertebrate embryos indicate common ancestry, but says nothing about the significant differences between embryos in their earliest stages. A 2010 paper in the world’s foremost science journal, Nature, explained, “Counter to the expectations of early embryonic [similarities], many studies have shown that there is often remarkable divergence between related species both early and late in development.” Under the NGSS, such evidence would be excluded.”
“Once students hit high school, NGSS has them learning that “similarities in DNA sequences” across different species also support common ancestry. But NGSS does not note that the scientific literature is filled with studies where DNA similarities conflict with the predictions of common ancestry. A 2009 article in New Scientist, “Why Darwin Was Wrong About the Tree of Life,” observed, “Many biologists now argue that the tree concept is obsolete and needs to be discarded.” “
Mr. Luskin’s article eloquently highlights these issues at a high level, but let me add to this a specific example that speaks to my own observations, studies and intellect … the evolution of the mammalian eye.
Charles Darwin had some serious reservations about how his theory would hold up in light of the complexity of the eye:
“To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.”
Continuing, Darwin states:
“Yet reason tells me, that if numerous gradations from a perfect and complex eye to one very imperfect and simple, each grade being useful to its possessor, can be shown to exist; if further, the eye does vary ever so slightly, and the variations be inherited, which is certainly the case; and if any variation or modification in the organ be ever useful to an animal under changing conditions of life, then the difficulty of believing that a perfect and complex eye could be formed by natural selection, though insuperable by our imagination, can hardly be considered real.”
So Mr. Darwin moves from a position of such evolution being absurd to, just a few sentences later, believing it to be possible under his theory.
This problem of the eye eventually led to a 1994 study by Nilsson and Pelger, A Pessimistic Estimate of the Time Required for an Eye to Evolve (Proceedings: Biological Sciences, Vol. 256, No. 1345, (April 22, 1994), pp. 53-58).
You can also read Richard Dawkins take on the matter at http://old.richarddawkins.net/articles/646417-how-the-blind-watchmaker-made-eyes
Now read the other side of the story … “Could the eye have evolved by natural selection in a geological blink?” … a side that will not be taught if the NGSS core science curriculum comes to pass. Read it here at http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/could-the-eye-have-evolved-by-natural-selection-in-a-geological-blink/
But the story does not end with the eye, but continues with the other complex data gathering and data processing instrumentation packed tightly into our sometimes thick skulls … complex instruments such as: stereoscopic eyes, stereoscopic ears, dual strap-down inertial systems necessary for balance and a sense of three-dimensional place and attitude in a 3-D world, smell, taste and a means for energy (food) and air to enter into the body.
A reminder is appropriate at this point:
The theory of intelligent design holds that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.
Is what I’ve described above enough to give you pause and wonder as to the best explanation?
No? Then let’s move down into the body and take a look at the kidney where we see:
Read what one commentator Barb has to say:
You yourself produced my kidneys; you kept me screened off in the belly of my mother.” (Psalm 139:13)
Many of the chemical processes in your body release toxic substances and waste into your bloodstream. If allowed to remain, these would cause serious problems for you, even death. They have to be continuously filtered out and removed. This filtering is one of the principal functions of your kidneys.
To visualize how the kidney works, imagine a stadium with thousands of spectators coming in for an event. First, the crowd must divide into numerous small lines. Then, the people in each line pass one by one through security gates, where individuals without tickets are turned aside. The spectators with tickets pass through to their assigned seats. Similarly, all the many elements making up your blood need to circulate throughout your entire body. As they do so, however, they must repeatedly pass through your kidneys by means of large blood vessels, the renal arteries, one for each kidney. After entering the kidney, the renal artery fans out into smaller vessels in the kidney’s inner and outer layers. The various elements in your blood are thus channeled into smaller and more manageable “lines.”
Finally, the blood arrives at tiny clusters, each consisting of about 40 tightly looped, minute blood vessels. Each cluster, called a glomerulus, is surrounded by a two-layer membrane known as Bowman’s capsule. Together, the glomerulus and Bowman’s capsule make up the first part of your kidney’s ‘security gate,’ a nephron—the basic filtration unit of your kidney. There are over a million nephrons in each kidney.
The blood cells and proteins in your bloodstream are indispensable. They provide your body with vital services such as oxygen supply, defense, and damage repair. To prevent the loss of blood cells and proteins, the first stage of filtration separates them from all other elements. This specialized task is accomplished by Bowman’s capsules.
Blood vessels entering the glomerulus split up into tiny capillaries with very thin walls. Thus, blood pressure can force some water and other small molecules through their fine membranes, out of your bloodstream, and into Bowman’s capsule and the coiled tube connected to it. This tube is called the convoluted tubule. The larger protein molecules and all the blood cells remain in the bloodstream and continue to flow through the capillaries.
Now filtration becomes more selective. Your kidneys must make absolutely sure that nothing of value to your body escapes! The fluid flowing through the tubule at this point is a watery mixture, consisting of dissolved useful molecules along with wastes and unwanted substances. Specialized cells along the tubule’s inner wall recognize useful molecules, such as water, salts, sugars, minerals, vitamins, hormones, and amino acids. These are efficiently plucked out by being reabsorbed into the tubule wall and passed back into the surrounding network of capillaries to reenter your bloodstream. The capillaries join up again as little veins that then combine to become the blood vessel called the renal vein. By it your blood, now filtered and cleansed, leaves the kidney and goes on to sustain life in your body.
After studying anatomy and physiology at the high school and college levels and working in the medical field, it amazes me how people can examine (and I mean really examine) the human body and come to the conclusion that “it just happened” by mutations and natural selection.
An expansion of Psalm 139:13 is:
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Enough yet to give you pause and wonder as to the best explanation?
No … then perhaps your eyes are still somewhere along that long Darwinian path.
Don Johnson – August 2013