Review: 'The Origin of the Species - Where Darwin got it wrong' talk at Lye ecclesia

By Ex-Christadelphian Joseph Strong

The February 2013 at Lye Christadelphians in the UK West Midlands gives us an interesting insight into the depth to which young earth creationism has penetrated Christadelphian thinking in the UK of the 21st Century. It also helps us to understand John Bedson's position of his feeling of wasting time on such people in his recent reply to author David Pearce.

Your researcher and his assistants
 I think all of us owe it to John to follow what I have written below to help us glimpse his sense of frustration and how hopelessly lost in the past our former religion has become.

The talk is entitled "The origin of the Species-where Darwin got it wrong" (sic)


http://www.lyechristadelphians.org/listen/index.php

It runs for about 40 minutes, time well spent in understanding the point reached by the Christadelphians after 160 years of deep study. You will need about an hour to listen to it and look up the references.

It is a teaching lecture, intended for the "interested visitors" and "young people", so I have decided to look at it from that point of view. I will present this article as though  my kids have been to the lecture, made notes of the key points, and come home and headed over to the computer, just as they do when they get set homework, the key words will be typed in, and we will see just what Google pops up, and how long it takes to check the "facts" presented. As such it may seem a bit odd.

Introduction

The speaker is not named on the downloads page. He introduces himself by telling us that he left school at 16 with 3 CSE's in physics, biology and chemistry. For those not in the UK, the CSE was a lower form of school leaving qualification for those not up to doing "O" levels. It was current up until about 1987, this tells us that the speaker is at least 42, 3 CSE's would have been at the lower end of the scale, and it would have been unlikely that he went on to furthur education.He reminds us that just as you do not need to be a doctor of divinity to speak about the Bible, so you do not need to be a scientist to speak about science. He tells us that we can "follow" Darwin, or the Bible, but not both (watch out Ken Gilmore).

A couple of quotes are then made of Richard Dawkins and Judith Hayes, in order to whip up some sort of sympathy it seems.


References


Like any good YEC lecture this one fires off with some "scientists-who-don't-go-with-evolution" references.

First up is Sir Arthur Keith:

The Google search brings us this, at the first attempt:

http://youtu.be/p-38kBfhfHQ

Yes, note only is the quote fake or un-documented, but Arthur Keith died in 1954 and the supposed quote was from 1959. So even if it was real, the quote would have been 60 years old.

Next up is Dr T N Tahnmision: Again, first attempt on Google:

http://www.creationism.org/articles/quotes.htm

Bottom of the page. The quote is originally from 1959, and appears in a books tile page from 1983.

Followed by Louis Bounoure, "Evolution is a fairy tale for grown-ups", and this gives us:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/ce/3/part12.html

Yes, you guessed it, not only is the quote incorrect or constructed, it too appears to come from some time around 1959... there is a trand appearing here.

The speaker goes on to quote Michael Denton, From "Evolution In Crisis" (1985) which brings us:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/denton.html

Long, long debunked, and it's the newest quote the speaker gives us at 1985. Notice too that Denton has been criticised for "reliance on antiquated sources".

The Lecture Proper

Genesis 1.1 is quoted, the speaker concludes that we must accept or reject it, there is no room for middle ground, and those who try to compromise by means of Theistic Evolution (Ken Gilmore et al) are on thin ground, and that there are multiple scripture quotes to "prove" it. He states the aim of the lecture is to compare Darwin's approach to the Bible and see which is most logical.

The speaker goes through Darwin's background and the Beagle mission, he describes the 1859 publication of the Origin of Species as "incredibly wordy" and admits that he is not actually able to read or understand a full sentence. (I wonder what he makes of "Elpis Israel"?)How this qualifies him to comment is beyond me, but please compare it with how John Hellawell thinks:

http://bcseweb.blogspot.com.au/2009/12/creation-watch-report-from-redditch.html

At least Hellawell managed to get to page 14 before declaring it "boring", our speaker failed to manage to understand one sentence. That said he does at least admit his uneducated status early on.

Our learned Speaker then moves on to assert his status as representing Christadelphians as a whole by stating that WE "Believe such claims (as Darwin's) to be untrue due to not being able to be substantiated by the world we see around us". He goes on to suggest how totally unscientific Darwin's approach is and how he will PROVE it in six sections in half an hour.

 We will now examine the Christadelphian scholar's proofs.

The 6 sections In 30 minutes  
Evolution-Rubbish!

(1) Geology


Quick! Hide before the Christadelphians spot us..
Claims that no transitional fossils have been found and we are still waiting to find some after 153 years: (remember, we are doing simple searchs only, like a child would)

http://www.transitionalfossils.com/


"Boxgrove man" is ridiculed
Polystrate Fossils are used to introduce the idea of flood geology, and the "fact" that only one answer explains them, a worldwide cataclysmic flood.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polystrate_fossil


Note what line 4 of the wikipedia reference says, "The word polystrate is not a standard geological term. This term is typically only found in creationist publications"
Psalm 104 is used to support this section of the talk.


looks like rain


(2) Limits to breeding

Dog breeding is discussed at length and comes to the conclusion that you can only ever breed dogs from dogs. No need to look that up... Dr Austin Clarke is quoted (1880-1954) so we looked him up and found that the book quoted from is "The New Evolution: Zoogenisis", written in 1934, 80 years ago: (warning-creationist site)
http://creation.com/zoogenesis-a-theory-of-desperation

 (3) Aquatic Animals

Whales developing from land animals 60 million years ago is quickly despatched as "unscientific nonsense" (search term used-"evolution of whales"). Apparently all such thinking is "utter conjecture" because that is not how the bible tells us it happened Psalm 104:24 tells us how it really happened. The scripture is described as logical and SCIENTIFIC by the (non-scientist) speaker.
http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evograms_03

(4) Irreducible complexity


This is a favourite area for the creationist first out of the trap is the evolution of the eye, and how it could not be, because the eye is a miracle. Proverbs 20:12 gives all all we need to know. Sticking with the kids theme:
http://scienceforkids.kidipede.com/biology/cells/eyespot.htm

Perhaps he will understand that. Then it is on to the "simple cell" which is, well, too complicated to have evolved, so it could not have. We are told that the "scientific" approach is to read Psalm 139: 14-19.

Oh no! not mousetraps again...


A young earth creationist trap

(5) Common Ancestors

Here our speaker becomes lost, he rambles on about the wonders of nature, and how can it have evolved? Evolution cannot answer it but the Bible can.

 (6) Animals That Cannot Have Evolved

Just the one, as normal, the duck billed platypus. The speaker tells us to rely on Ecclesiastes 3:11, that God has hidden stuff so men won't get it. Search term "evolution of duck billed platypus":

It can't have evolved
http://realtruth.org/articles/110819-005.html

Or did it?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platypus

80% of Platypus genes are common to other mammals but some are reptilian (2008).

Conclusion

The speaker tells us that there is no doubt about it, God did all of it, just as it says in the Bible, and sends us off with just two more quotes to confirm it, Romans 1:16 and Romans 1:20.

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities -his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse".

Earlier in the week I watched the younger of those two kids in the picture researching a project on Adolf Hitler and I wondered why if an 8 year old can use the internet to research facts to do a bit of homework then why cannot a full grown Christadelphian?

It is simple, and John has spelled it out to us elsewhere. They are too damn lazy, too stupid, and too arrogant to even try, so instead they put fools like this on the platform to represent them and make them all look like idiots and then compound their stupidity by publishing it for the world to see.

It took me an hour to look up what that man referred to and find out what a load of rubbish he was talking, it take my kids even less time. Just imagine the effect on the "young people" or "interested visitor" if they did make notes and actually looked it all up. They would discover that Christadelphians use made up dodgy quotes that are 60 or even 80 years out of date, (that is telling lies to the rest of us). They will find out that everything they were told is out of date or just plain wrong.

Perhaps after following all that, our intelligent readers can understand why trying to educate Christadelphians in their 60's and 70's or even in their 50's is a dead loss once they have begun to slide down the plug hole into crackpot fundamentalism, they are not worth wasting time on. The only way is to steer well clear of these nutters and let them waste their lives


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