He starts with a rant against science in general - copied, it looks like from here, but with no link or credit (though it is in quote marks). Again, a journalist should know better than to plagarise without proper credit.
You have to love the irony of a rant against science published on the internet, using the heights of technology that science - and not religion - has given us.
From there we get to learn how he started to think about evolution in school. I wondered why this was worth including, given the document is "atrociously long", and I strongly suspect this is supposed to give it authority. This is a guy who has given this a lot of thought, so by golly, he must be right.
In there he says:
The frequent shifting of ground bothered me. If we knew how life began, why did we have so many prospective mechanisms, none of which worked? Evolution began to look like a theory in search of a soup. Fifty-five years later in 2015, it still does.And soon after:
As an example, consider the view that life arose by chemical misadventure.That is not a problem in evolution, it is not evolution at all! More importantly perhaps, science is quite open about this being as yet unknown. In fact it becomes clear that this guy has a problem with science not being dogmatic:
May have, perhaps, might. Somewhere, somewhere else, anywhere. Onward into the fog.Science is not like religion. It does not just make up stuff and present it as fact. It proposes what might have happened, and then looks for evidence. That means there can be a lot of uncertainty. See here too:
The sciences, as I knew them, gave clear answers. Evolution involved intense faith in fuzzy principles.What makes it especially odd is that later he says:
Humans today are a puffed-up and overconfident species. We believe that we know everything, or shortly will. We have a sense of near-omniscience equaled only by that of teenagers.Here he is complaining about over-confidence, just after objecting to evolution as being too tentative! We get quite the screed on how arrogant we are to suppose we know everything before we finally get to the Theory of Evolution.
The Theory of Evolution is not just about biological evolution. It is part of a grand unified theory that seeks to explain everything (except things that it can’t explain, which it ignores). It runs briefly as follows: First came the Big Bang. Subatomic particles flew in all directions, coalesced into atoms and into molecules and stars. Planets formed, then oceans, and then life came about by chemical inadvertence. Evolution produced trilobites, dinosaurs, mammals, and us. In the popular version, though not in the scientific, evolution produces ongoing betterment.Actually, Fred, the Theory of Evolution is just about biological evolution.
That it is part of a "grand unified theory" does not make that any less true. And that "grand unified theory" is called science, by the way. It is science that seeks to explain everything. That enterprise that have you the internet and allowed you to post this stuff.
In this it serves the purposes of a religion and is treated as such by its adherents. They react to questioning with anger and they see their hated opponents as Creationists–that is, adherents of another religion. Note that while in the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925, Christian fundamentalists tried to outlaw Darwin, today evolutionists appeal to the courts to outlaw mention of Creation in the schools. This is not rational. Can anyone believe that describing Creation in high schools will deter students from studying biochemistry, and turn them into intellectual loin-cloth wearers burning textbooks?Describing creation is science class will surely lead some students to believe it has scientific worth when it does not. That is reason enough to keep it out.
Before going further, let us look at some of the questions ignored by evolutionism.At last we get to his arguments...
In Evolution Writ Large nothing exists but physics. The Big Bang was physics, chemistry is the physics of the interactions of atoms, biochemistry a subset of chemistry and therefore also physics. Everything that happens in a cell is physics (to include biochemistry). Everything that happens in a living body, from movement to thought, is physics. Mutations are physical events. The behavior of DNA follows the laws of physics.Okay... So what is the question?
Note that biological evolution is always regarded as an indivisible entity, yet in fact it consists of several distinct components that are logically separable. First, that life came about accidentally in the ancient seas (highly shaky and certainly not demonstrated). Second, that evolution occurred (as the fossil record would seem to show beyond reasonable doubt). Third, that natural selection drove evolution (demonstrable in some cases, plausible in a great many, and highly unlikely in yet others). Fourth, that random mutations drive natural selection (very shaky, but crucial to evolutionism). Fifth, that nothing else drives it.This is just nonsense. Biological evolution - at its very simplest - is about selection, variation and inheritance. Three components that can, and are, studied separately.
The unwillingness to recognize that these are separable leads to a tendency to believe that when one of them can be demonstrated–natural selection, say–it is regarded as confirmation of the whole edifice. It isn’t.And that is it for his "questions ignored by evolutionism". The first is not a question, the second comes from misunderstanding evolution.Well done Fred.
Inevitably one who writes of evolution without being a PhD at CalTech is assaulted on grounds that he must be ignorant of practically everything. I claim to be an expert on nothing. However, I subscribe to the principle that most problems can be solved by the application of modest intelligence and obsessive-compulsive disorder. A fact forgotten today is that one can learn things by reading books. By doing so I have learned enough to talk about at least a few things, such as:An yet he thinks evolution cannot be split into selection, variation and inheritance. When someone displays this level of ignorance on a subject, it seems perfectly reasonasble to dismiss his opinions as ill-founded.
Let us turn this around. Why should anyone trust the opinion of a guy who has no qualifications in the field, and demonstably does not understand it versus the opinions of highly educated men and women who have working in the field for decades?
Given this is the ranting of a guy who knows next to knowing about the subject, he now launches into the usual tornado in a junkyard straw man.
Is the chance of accidentally forming a living Crittter a similar problem? It would seem so on various technical grounds involving specified information and the mathematics, similar to that of the monkeys, of protein formation. The difficulty of discussion is exacerbated by the inability of evolutionists totell us what the First Critter was. But it is their responsibility to tell us, first, what of what complexity formed and, second, why the odds are not astronomically against it. The point to take away is that the invocation of long periods of time can mean little when speaking of the probability of complex yet unspecified events.Just so we all know, he has now jumped back to abiogenesis, not evolution. His mention of "complexity" and more so "specified information" indicate where this came from.
In sum: If we don’t know what conditions existed, or what conditions would be necessary, and can’t reproduce the event in the laboratory, and can’t show it to be statistically probable, and can’t construct something that might have evolved—why are we so very sure that it happened? Would you hang a man on such evidence?His argument here appears that we do not know for sure, therefore evolution cannot have happened. A curious logic, but I have to suppose it makes sense to him. He continues at length about the uncertainty surrounding abiogenesis, as though this somehow disproves evolution.
Then we get Paley's watch:
If in an unexplored region of the Amazon Basin you find a grass hut next to a dugout canoe, you may not know who made them, but you suppose that someone must have. This is the theory of Intelligent Design. When you find in nature systems of unfathomable complexity that nonetheless work flawlessly, it is not unreasonable to suspect that they were designed, and perhaps sustained, by someone, or something. I have no idea who or what or why.Curiously this guy does not even believe the human body can keep going without some mysterious force to keep things in check:
But to believe that 180 pounds of infinitely complex, interacting chemical reactions (me, for example) can go on for seventy years without utter collapse requires powers of belief beyond the wildest imaginings of religious faith. The whole is less possible than the sum of its parts. Something is going on that we do not understand.
That last sentence is particularly interesting, given a few paragraphs ago he was objecting to evolution because "we don’t know what conditions existed, or what conditions would be necessary, and can’t reproduce the event in the laboratory", and yet here he is admitting he does not know. Apparently it is okay if Fred's pet theory does not have all the facts, but if evolution is missing anything, then we must reject the whole thing.
From there he discusses how they can be free will if the brain is purely physical:
Which means that the brain cannot, and thus we cannot, make choices. Physical systems cannot choose what to do. A bowling ball dropped from the top of the Washington Monument cannot decide to fall up, or sideways, instead of down, nor choose how fast to fall, nor how far. Similarly, the end point of a physical system is determined by starting conditions. A molecule of a neurotransmitter binds ineluctably to a receptor because of stereochemistry and charge. It cannot not bind. Quantum indeterminacy is often invoked to try to make choice possible, but this would work only if very few molecules were involved.I cannot help thinking that if he stuck to evolution, his article might not be so "atrociously long"!
It follows then that we cannot choose one action over another. Our thoughts are predetermined by the physicochemical states of our brains. We think what we think because it is physically impossible to think anything else. Thus we cannot think at all. QED.Remember, this was the guy who objected to evolution because of its uncertainty. Apparently he rejects evolution because there is some doubt in some areas, and replace it with "I don’t know what".
Unless Something Else is going on. I don’t know what.
Hmm, kind of like he has decided he does not want evolution, and having decided has been hunting around for ways to rationalise that decision.
And how exactly does "We think what we think because it is physically impossible to think anything else" imply "Thus we cannot think at all."? How can he conclude we do not think from a premise about how we think?
If fitness means the rate of successful reproduction, we encounter the interesting conclusion that a woman with a genetic IQ of sixty and twelve retarded children by forty-five drive-by fathers is more fit than a Harvard math professor who runs Triathlons but has two children.Okay. So what is his point? That "fitness" does not conform to his ideas?
A staple of evolutionism is that evolution works to maximize the number of offspring, thus passing on successful genes. This is plausible but, in the case of us, counter to observation (but why let facts debilitate a perfectly good theory?)Wrong. It is that evolution works to maximize the number of surviving offspring. Some species do that by sheer numbers in the hope that at least a few survive. Mammal on the other hand nurture and protect a limited number of young maximising the survival chances for each.
Evolutionists insist that human evolution continues today at a rapid pace. There is nothing illogical in this to the extent that it is a matter of selective breeding and that evolution is defined as a change in phenotype. In some cases it can be shown to happen.Yes, mankind is evolving. The selection process is "messed up" for various reasons, including contraception, health care and lifestyle choices, and what counts as "fit" is therefore not quite what you might expect looking at other animals. This is going on now and has been studied. It is fact.
I am only about a third of the way through his "atrociously long" sceed, and I have seen enough. This is a guy who has already decided evolution is wrong, and will find anything he can to justify that belief, and what we see here is an incoherent collection of excuses, many of which are not even about evolution.