Fundamental Astuteness

The Essence of Astuteness: Non-Partisan Intellectual Honesty

Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

BornAliveTruth.org…Check it out today

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Someday I should write an essay on an introduction to pro-life apologetics, or, how to defend the pro-life view using science, logic, and observation.

If I ever get into politics, abortion will become my number one issue. Millions of innocent lives are at stake. My passion against abortion really took off when I saw a lecture by pro-life apologist Scott Klusendorf. In his 2 hour lecture, he outlines several cogent scientific and logical reasons to believe that life begins at conception, and his presentation totally blew his opponents argumennts out of the water.

Then I did some reading on my own, and was stunned to read the story of Gianna Jesson, an abortion survivor who goes around the country now speaking for the pro life cause. Abortion survivor? I didn’t know there was such a thing, but my discovery that there are motivates me all the more, and makes me wonder all the more how politicians can talk about a woman’s “right” to an abortion with a straight face.

I watched some videos of Gianna Jesson on youtube and was moved by what I saw. Hopefully someday someone will make a documentary of her story for the world to see on the screen, but until then, I was really pleased to find this TV ad that will be airing in a few states as the presidential campaigns head for the home stretch.

Be sure to check out the 527 website sponsoring the ad, BornAliveTruth.org

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Written by Astuteness

September 16, 2008 at 1:25 pm

Missing links in the Associated Press report…

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I know I promised my small readership that I would develop more central themes and issues for my blog to cover, but tonight I must dissent from myself just this once…

Those who know me may be aware, to varying degrees, of my intense skepticism of evolution. Indeed, my previous article on evolution issues, one of the most visited posts on this website, I think leaves no doubt as to my position of this matter. There seems to be no end to the stream of evidence and logic that consistently works against Darwinism, and no end in sight for the consistency with which the dissent from Darwinism is suppressed and ignored by major media and scientific outlets.

Although I mostly limit my research to topics like Christian Apologetics, Politics, and Public Policy, it is not unheard of for me to find myself intruiged by some scientific discovery or anecdote. Such was my situation this evening that brought back several reflections on Darwinism and media reporting in general as relates to that theory (note “theory” not “fact”)

My attention was immediatlely drawn to this article written by the Associated Press and linked to the front page of yahoo.com. The yahoo headline read “New Flatfish fossils solve missing link in evolutionary theory”.

The article explained that “Some odd-looking fish fossils discovered in the bowels of several European museums may help solve a lingering question about evolutionary theory, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday. The 50 million-year-old fossils — which have one eye near the top of their heads — help explain how flatfish such as flounder, sole and halibut developed the strange but useful trait of having both eyes on one side.”

The article then went on to describe various facts of interest that made for a decently written article in many respects, but even as I was reading it, two things immediately came to mind:

First: Will “missing links” really provide that panacea that evolutionists are so quietly desperate for?

I think not. While the absence is missing links is hailed by the oft-supressed skeptics of evolution, I think there is little chance that finding a even a substantial number of “missing links” will prove anything or convince anybody. As a point of debate, it is too easy for the creationist/intelligent design advocate to argue three things, to start with. First, say something like “The presence of ‘missing’ links does not prove anything for  the evolutionist because it is just as reasonable to say that God created many similar things on day one (or two, etc) without evolution”. Second, a legitimate point could be made by saying that “the similarity between two things does not prove the ancestry of the objects in question”. I find two similar fossils. What does that prove? One thing, and one thing only: That two fossils look the same (further investigation might show that there are those who believe it proves more). That’s it. To say as much as Darwinists want to would be to commit the logical fallacy of non-sequitar–‘it does not follow’. Just because a Honda hubcap is compatible with a Chevy rim doesn’t prove that Chevy evolved from Honda 60 million years ago. Thirdly, the people concerned with propelling this message as a support of Darwinism do so while making an important mistake by failing to differentiate between macro and micro evolution. There’s an important difference; micro evolution is something that everyone, whether Darwinist or not, are perfectly aware of and at peace with. Micro evolution refers to small changes that can occur over time within a specified species. Breeding dogs will create diversity in kind–retrievers, labs, pointers, setters, shuitzou, etc. Nobody disuputes this. The point is, whatever you started with, you still have. We started out with dogs, and we still have dogs…just different variations of the same creature.

The debate comes in over macro-evolution. This refers to the idea that, given enough time (or chance) huge changes within species by combining many many small changes together will result in an entirely different entity altogether (like from microbes, to monkeys, to humans). No substantial missing link establishing this branch of evolution has been established; and when they have been in the past, no great length of time has passed before they are discredited. Do we have fossils showing how a whale graduated from whale-ness into lizard-ness? There is no such thing. And even if one were established, we would simply refer to the first argument presented in this post.

So two branches of evolution: Micro-evolution, which states that small changes within a species will occur while still maintaining fundamental characteristics, and Macro-evolution, which states that large changes will occur over time that result in an entirely different species. Creationists agree with the small changes, and evolutionists are hard pressed to substantiate the historicity of the large ones.

Does the article presented by the Associated Press on the front page of Yahoo! do anything to resolve this struggle and give a victory point to the Darwinists? By no means. Notice that the article refers primarily to the fact that some flatfish had one eye, and some had two. Does this represent huge change such that we end up with entirely different species? No.  It simply substantiates something both sides of the creation/evolution debate agree on…that changes within a species overtime can occur. But notice that we still have the same fundamental being: fish. This does nothing to resolve the chief point of dispute between creationists and evolutionists, although the media made the article headline seem to hope we’d be led to believe otherwise.

Speaking of the media leads me to my second major reflection of this post. While the first one had to do with the actual evidence and logic of the evolution debate, this second thought concerns the media only. Look through the article carefully, and see if you don’t notice something:

There is no dissent presented in the article at all.

No alternative viewpoint. Usually the media inserts phrases like “but critics say” or “…but according to…”. This is especially true for political coverage, but it is the mark of every semi-balanced media report. Yet no such regular and essential feature appears here. I would think it should, since many qualified authorities would differ with the point of view presented in this article. According to this report from WorldNetDaily, (in response to an assertion by PBS that “virtually every scientist in the world believes the [Darwinian] theory to be true”) over 600 PhD scientists signed a document expressing a “skeptic[ism] of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

“Examination…should be encouraged”? I think so, but I guess the fair and balanced media didn’t get the message. Why? I’m not aware. Ask Bernard Goldberg

Written by Astuteness

July 9, 2008 at 10:08 pm