As I will show, pomegranate is guilty of being intellecutually dishonest; this is the case whatever his reply to my question to him might be - if he even decides to reply at all.
If pomagranate didn't read the original article by Mark Ridley then he is doing merely what the WTS often does - quote people out of context, or misquote them altogether, to support preconceived beliefs. It is intellectually dishonest to obtain a quotation without checking the source and then simply passing it on.
If pomagranate did read the article then he is being intellectually dishonest in making Ridley appear to be saying something that will cause readers to draw a different conclusion from the one Ridley himself draws.
But, in these things most born again fundamentalist Christians are as crooked and dishonest as is the Watchtower Society. They would defend God with a lie (Job 13) although it is their own beliefs that they are defending through lies - the sure sign of the true believer.
Exceprts from Ridley's article - apart from title all bold mine:
Who doubts evolution?
[Abstract]Paleontologists diasgree about the speed and pattern of evolution. But they do not - as much recent publicity has implied - doubt that evolution is a fact. The evidence for evolution simply does not depend upon the fossil record.
[Introductory paragraph] Some paleontologists maintain that animals have evolved gradually, through an infinity of intermediate stages from one form to another. Others point out that the fossil record offers no firm evidence for such gradual change. What really happened, they suggest, is that one animal species in the past survived more or less unchanged for a time, and then either died out or evolved rapidly into a new descendent form (or forms). Thus, instead of gradual change, they posit the idea of "punctuated equilibrium." The argument is about the actual historical pattern; but outsiders, seeing a controversy unfolding have imagined that it is about the truth of evolution - whether evolution occurred at all. This is a terrible mistake; and it springs, I believe from the false idea that the fossil record provides an important part of the evidence that evolution took place. In fact evolution is proven by a totally different set of arguments and the present debate within paleontology does not impinge at all on the evidence that supports evolution.
[Para. 4] Someone is getting it wrong, and it isn't Darwin; it's the creationists and the media. But why?
[Para 6 - IMPORTANT since it contains pom's quote]However, the gradual change of fossil species has never been part of the evidence for evolution. In the chapters on the fossil record in the Origin of Species Darwin showed that the record was useless for testing between evolution and special creation because it has great gaps in it.The same argument still applies. Eldredge and Gould pointed out that the fossil record might be even less complete than Darwin had thought. Populations in the process of speciating are probably small and geographically separated fromtheir ancestral population, so the ful course of speciation would not be preserved at any one site of fossil deposition. What we would see is a series replaced by another, obviously related and yet with no gradual transitional intermediate forms. In any case, no real evolutionist, whether gradualist or punctuationalist, uses the fossil record as evidence in favour of the theory of evolution as opposed t special creation. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION IS UNPROVED. (capitals mine; italics his).
Follows three cast iron but lengthy arguments proving evolution, but note the final paragraph.
[final paragraph] If the creationists want to impress the Darwinian establishmen, it will be no use prating on about the fossils say. No good Darwinian's belief in evolution stands on the fossil evidence for gradual evolution, so nor will his belief fall by it. What we want to know instead is what the creationists say about organiz variation in space and time, in nature and the laboratory, about the artificial manufacture of new species, about ring species of gulls, about the universality of the genetic code. And about a host of other cases of which these are but examples.
So the creationists have erected a straw man - the fossil record - and then proceded to attack it rather than the actual accepted evidence for evolution. The fossil record is certainly consistent with evolution, but, as I showed above, attacking the gaps in it presents problems for those who accept Creation and a flood, e.g., "how did kangaroos get to Australia aftre the flood without leaving fossil evidence elsewhere."
As usual, Creationists have deliberately, and dishonestly, quoted a scientist out of context to try to prove their point. The basic point of the article is that differences in opinion about various theories of evolution, and what the fossil record is saying, in no way call evolution itself into question. This infuriates creationists because they generally do not have the critical thinking abilities to understand the point being made. It is quite simple: I might not be able to explain how gravity works but my inability does not do away with gravity itself.
As usual, pomagranate has said nothing original on the point of evolution - preferring to employ quotes - or, in this case, misrepresentative quotations.
I encourage everyone to visit their local library and read the entire article. It presents a compelling case for the truth of evolution - and the article is now over 20 years old.
Edited by - Gedanken on 27 October 2002 18:12:56
Edited by - Gedanken on 27 October 2002 18:16:13