Origins & Science
Richard Dawkins on Opportunism said...
The Blind Watchmaker (New York: W.W. Norton, 1986), p. 251.
Whatever the motive, the consequence is that if a reputable scholar breathes so much as a hint of criticism of some detail of current Darwinian theory, the fact is eagerly seized on and blown up out of all proportion. So strong is this eagerness, it is as though there were a powerful amplifier, with a finely tuned microphone selectively listening out for anything that sounds the tiniest bit like opposition to Darwinism. This is most unfortunate, for serious argument and criticism is a vitally important part of any science, and it would be tragic if scholars felt the need to muzzle themselves because of the microphones. Needless to say the amplifier, though powerful, is not hi-fi: there is plenty of distortion! A scientist who cautiously whispers some slight misgiving about a current nuance of Darwinism is liable to hear his distorted and barely recognizable words booming and echoing through the eagerly waiting loudspeakers.
Henry M. Morris on Creation said...
Scientific Creationism (General edition, second edition, El Cajon, CA: Master, 1985), p. 210.
Another point important to recognize is that the creation was 'mature' from its birth. It did not have to grow or develop from simple beginnings. God formed it full-grown in every respect, including even Adam and Eve as mature individuals when they were first formed. The whole universe had an 'appearance of age' right from the start. It could not have been otherwise for true creation to have taken place. 'Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them'. (Genesis 2:1).
Cosmos (Random House, Inc.: 1985), pp. 198-9.
We are, in the most profound sense, children of the Cosmos. Think of the Sun's heat on your upturned face on a cloudless summer's day; think how dangerous it is to gaze at the Sun directly. From 150 million kilometers away, we recognize its power. What would we feel on its seething self-luminous surface, or immersed in its hear of nuclear fire. The sun warms us and feeds us and permits us to see. It fecundated the Earth. It is powerful beyond human experience. Birds greet the sunrise with and audible ecstasy. Even some one-celled organisms know to swim to the light. Our ancestors worshiped the Sun, and they were far from foolish. And yet the Sun is an ordinary, even a mediocre star. If we must worship a power greater than ourselves, does it not make sense to revere the Sun and stars? Hidden within every astronomical investigation, sometimes so deeply buried that the researcher himself is unaware of its presence, lies a kernel of awe.
Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (Burnett Books, 1985), p.358.
Ultimately the Darwinian theory of evolution is no more nor less than the great cosmogenic myth of the twentieth century. Like the Genesis based cosmology which it replaced, and like the creation myths of ancient man, it satisfies the same deep psychological need for an all embracing explanation for the origin of the world which has motivated all the cosmogenic myth makers of the past, from the shamans of primitive peoples to the ideologues of the medieval church. The truth is that despite the prestige of evolutionary theory and the tremendous intellectual effort directed towards reducing living systems to the confines of Darwinian thought, nature refuses to be imprisoned. In the final analysis we still know very little about how new forms of life arise. The "mystery of mysteries" — the origin of new beings on earth — is still largely as enigmatic as when Darwin set sail on the Beagle.
S. Lovtrup on Incipient Stages said...
Not Necessarily a Wing (Natural History, October, 1985), pp. 12-13
Darwin offered strong, if grudging, praise and took Mivart far more seriously than any other critic...Mivart gathered, and illustrated with admirable art and force" (Darwin's words), all objections to the theory of natural selection — "a formidable array" (Darwin's words again). Yet one particular theme, urged with special attention by Mivart, stood out as the centerpiece of his criticism. It remains today the primary stumbling block among thoughtful and friendly scrutinizers of Darwinism. No other criticism seems so troubling, so obviously and evidently "right" (against a Darwinian claim that seems intuitively paradoxical and improbable). Mivart awarded this criticism a separate chapter in his book, right after the introduction. He also gave it a name, remembered ever since. He called it "The Incompetency of 'Natural Selection' to account for the Incipient Stages of Useful Structures." If this phrase sounds like a mouthful, consider the easy translation: we can readily understand how complex and full developed structures work and owe their maintenance and preservation to natural selection — a wing, an eye, the resemblance of a bittern to a branch or of an insect to a stick or dead leaf. But how do you get from nothing to such an elaborate something if evolution must proceed through a long sequence of intermediate stages, each favored by natural selection? You can't fly with 2% of a wing or gain much protection from an iota's similarity with a potentially concealing piece of vegetation. How, in other words, can natural selection explain these incipient stages of structures that can only be used (as we now observe them) in much more elaborated form?"
Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (Bethesda, Maryland, Adler & Adler, Pub.), p.162.
It is still, as it was in Darwin's day, overwhelmingly true that the first representatives of all the major classes of organisms known to biology are already highly characteristic of their class when they make their initial appearance in the fossil record. This phenomenon is particularly obvious in the case of the invertebrate fossil record. At its first appearance in the ancient paleozoic seas, invertebrate life was already divided into practically all the major groups with which we are familiar today.
Nicholas Rescher on Scientism said...
The Limits of Science (Berkeley, University of California Press : 1984).
The theorist who maintains that science is the be-all and end-all — that what is not in science books is not worth knowing — is an ideologist with a peculiar and distorted doctrine of his own. For him, science is no longer a sector of the cognitive enterprise but an all-inclusive world-view. This is the doctrine not of science but of scientism. To take this stance is not to celebrate science but to distort it by casting the mantle of its authority over issues it was never meant to address.
Garrett Hardin on Astrology said...
"Marketing Deception as Truth" in Science and Creationism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984).
Why don't we teach astrology in the schools? Astrology holds that the course of each human life is determined to a considerable degree by the position of the stars in the sky at the exact moment of the individual's birth. Belief in it, in one variant or another, has probably been held by most of the people on earth. Even today, some universities in India offer degrees in the subject. Yet American believers do not pressure boards of education to add their subject to the curriculum. If belivers in astrology became as well organized as the creationists, it is hard to see how their demands could be withstood.
"Evolution as Fact and Theory" in Science and Creationism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1984), p. 124.
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.