Science 'is under siege'

2012-02-21 11:43

Vancouver - A stark theme emerged from an annual scientific get-together in Vancouver: the world must be helped to believe in science again or it could be too late to save our planet.

Science is "under siege," top academics and educators were warned repeatedly at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting as they were urged to better communicate their work to the public.

Scientific solutions are needed to solve global crises - from food and water shortages to environmental destruction - "but the public now does not understand science", leading US climate change expert and Nasa scientist James Hansen told the meeting.

"We have a planetary emergency, and very few people recognise that."

The theme of the five-day meeting, attended by some 8 000 scientists from 50 countries, was "Flattening the world: Building a global knowledge society."

"It's about persuading people to believe in science, at a time when disturbing numbers don't," said meeting co-chairperson Andrew Petter, president of Simon Fraser University in this western Canadian city.

Experts wrangled with thorny issues such as censorship, opposition from religious groups in the United States to teaching evolution and climate change, and generally poor education standards.

Global warming

"We have to plan for a future, considering the risk of climate change, with nine to 10 billion people," said Hans Rosling, a Swedish public health expert famous for combating scientific ignorance with catchy YouTube videos.

Rosling, pointing to charts showing how human populations changed with technology and how without science the majority of a family's children die, said it is naive to think that humanity can easily go backward in history.

"I get angry when I hear people say: 'In the rainforest people live in ecological balance.' They don't. They die in ecological balance," he said.

Outgoing AAAS president Nina Fedoroff, a renowned expert on life sciences and biotechnology, said a growing anti-science attitude "probably lies in our own psyche".

"Belief systems, especially when tinged with fear, are not easily dispersed with facts," she said, noting that in the United States "fewer people 'believe' in climate change each year."

Her remarks held particular resonance for the scientific community, coming as US President Barack Obama faces a fierce attack from a potential Republican challenger for the allegedly "phony theology" behind his environmental policy.

"I refer to global warming as not climate science, but political science," Christian conservative Rick Santorum, who is soaring ahead in the Republican race to take on Obama in November, said at a campaign stop on Monday in Ohio.

Unexpected outcomes

Scepticism and denial of climate change still run strong in the United States, with polls showing a nation divided on the threat posed by global warming.

During the AAAS meeting, there was a new development abroad in the controversy over whether research by American and Dutch scientists on a mutant form of the bird flu virus - which is potentially capable of spreading in humans - should be made public.

Bird flu experts at the World Health Organisation meeting in Geneva last week agreed that the controversial research should be made public at some time in the future after more risk analysis is done.

In the meantime, a moratorium on further studies has been extended.

Last year, American authorities asked scientists not to publish details of their research for fear the information could fall into the wrong hands and unleash a lethal flu pandemic.

"I would not be in favour of stopping the science," Fedoroff said in Vancouver. "The more we know about something, the better prepared we are to deal with unexpected outcomes."

  • Godfrey - 2012-02-21 12:22

    Correct, science is under siege by big polluting business, and the coal and oil industries in particular, and rabid creationist religious fundamentalists. Both are exceptionally well funded and will do their damnedest to sow doubt and fear in pursuit of their immoral self-interests. But just a Galileo was persecuted by then Catholic Church for revealing the scientific fact that Earth is not the centre of the universe (or the Solar System), and his discoveries had to be reluctantly accepted, so will science win through against willful religious ignorance and intolerance and corporate malfeasance.

      modo - 2012-02-21 12:34

      Godfrey, I really hope you're right. It scares me to think that there is even a possibility that a man with Santorum's beliefs and outlook could hold a title that affects not only Americans, but the lives of all of us. We need more scientists - or at least people with respect and knowledge of science - in politics.

      Godfrey - 2012-02-21 12:55

      @Modo Really scary. A brain addled, redneck, rapture ready, fundamentalist Christian zealot who can't wait to start a war in the Middle East to fulfill his idea of bible prophecy - with his hand on the red button.

      vivienne.midlane - 2012-02-21 13:22

      Godfrey, they're bewailing thew fact that their fraud has been discovered, and rejected. If anything it's the scientists themselves that are the charlatans in this case. Business is a polluter of the earth and of our thoughts, no argument there.

      modo - 2012-02-21 13:30

      @vivienne - Their fraud has been discovered?? What are you talking about?

      Juann Strauss - 2012-02-21 13:49

      Climategate parts 1,2, and 3.

      Lanfear - 2012-02-21 13:58

      @ Juan Strauss - yes, yes, the fact is that climate change is happening. The debate is about how much we as humans are responsible for it. And so what if we are not as responsible as previously thought? Should that stop us from using alternate "green" energies? Should we stop recycling? Should we stop conservation? Climate change hoax claimers don't see the point. Even it IS a hoax [which it is not], then it still doesn't absolve us from the fact that we need to look after our planet.

      Godfrey - 2012-02-21 14:00

      @Modo vivienne.midlane feels a bit uncomfortable and uncertain because I lumped believers in the invisible sky daddy who deny climate change with smokestack industry. "The earth will end only when God declares its time to be over. Man will not destroy this earth. This earth will not be destroyed by a flood". - US Rep. John Shimkus "We don't have to protect the environment, the Second Coming is at hand". - James Watt (US Secretary of the Interior in Reagan Administration)

      Lanfear - 2012-02-21 14:07

      @ Juann Strass - btw, Climategate proved nothing in reality. Eight different and independent international committees investigated the claims and the evidence and found not a single piece of evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct. The Muir Russell report stated, however, "We do find that there has been a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness..." The scientific consensus that climate change is occurring mainly as a result of human activity remained unchanged at the end of the investigations. I think that the climate changing is a natural process, yet I also think that we humans are increasing it up to a very fast unnatural speed, hence the lack of adaptation from most living organisms.

      Mike - 2012-02-21 14:30

      If you are true to your ideals, your own principles, then turn off your electricity(coal product)park your car(steel from coal) make your own hut [(steel framing -coal) heavy equipment from steel for logging)] grow your own food (coal- generated electricity powers the stores) get rid of your clothes, etc... you get the idea . This country was built on the back of the coal miner. Don't like it? Don't promote it by using it!!!

      Godfrey - 2012-02-21 14:38

      @Lanfear Worth recording. Juann.Straus is also an invisible sky daddy believer. As I have pointed out, a definite link between fundamentalist Christians and climate change denialism.

      Mike - 2012-02-21 14:39

      If your scientiests are so smart, why do their "facts, their truths" need frequent "changes" often contradictory to their previous "truths". Why should I be forced to "drink their kool-aide"? Todays' truths are tomorrows lies.

      modo - 2012-02-21 14:44

      @Mike. Please, what nonsense. Sure, certain hypotheses have been disproved, but this is the beauty of science. It constantly improves, constantly giving us a more accurate view of reality. Please tell of a scientific fact that has contradicted a previous scientific fact. You seem to have no understanding whatsoever of the scientific method and its merits.

      Mathys - 2012-02-21 20:56

      @Godfrey: 12:22 : The Catholic Church is well known for bending the bible to their, or their funders', wiles. They got away with this for so long by keeping the Bible away from the common man, only allowing their preachers to read selective phrases out of context to protect their interests (blissfully ignoring "let the one without sin cast the first matchstick") You cannot blame all denominations of Christianity for one denominations greed. Stop generalizing. @Godfrey: 14:00 :Not all creationists deny man's role in climate change. Please stop generalizing (didn't I say, cant be...DAMN YOU, DEJA VU). @ Godfrey: 14:38 : There is a definite link between atheists and ad-homic strawmen. See, there I generalized too. @Lanfear: 13:58 : I agree with you 95%. You do have a point. @Andrew: 14:58 : We creationists only posit the possibility of an influential minority of scientists being frauds. Not all of them. Stop generalizing (why do I keep saying that? can't be deja vu)

      modo - 2012-02-22 07:27

      @Mathys Jakkie Theart. "We creationists only posit the possibility of an influential minority of scientists being frauds. Not all of them." Oh, you mean the 99.8% of earth and life scientists who support evolution and 95% of scientists across all fields?

      Mathys - 2012-02-22 20:38

      @Modo Feb 22 07:27: Did you miss the "influential minority" part? And last time I checked, "support" and "have proof* for" are two different things.(*Yes there is a difference between proof and evidence.)

  • jeffwburdick - 2012-02-21 12:56

    You can't help be impressed by the tenacity of Santorum’s beliefs. As Michigan experiences its 5th warmest winter on record and Santorum campaigns in the middle of February... in a sweater vest… only Rick could still so publicly deride climate change as a liberal hoax. I imagine even St. Thomas (of Doubting Thomas fame) is shaking his head hoping for a brokered GOP convention to nominate someone else. Speaking of people around politics trying to make a tough sell, enjoy this funny YouTube video about “Obama’s Secret Service” --

      Godfrey - 2012-02-21 14:39

      Yes - but all the other also-rans are as bad. The cupboard is bare.

  • J-Man - 2012-02-21 14:01

    "Believe in science"...they make it sound like its a religion.

      Godfrey - 2012-02-21 14:41

      Reason and faith are opposites, the attempts to blur this line don't change because people want it to. Blind obedience and utter subservience to an unprovable deity will always be the opposite of critically examining the relevant data and drawing a conclusion based on the results.

      Mathys - 2012-02-21 21:02

      @Godfrey: 14:41 : What catholic preacher raped you when you are a child? You really hate religion don't you. I'm praying for...(no wait, saying that to an atheist is mean). I'm virtually patting you on the back. (There, that sounds better.)

  • Rudie - 2012-02-21 15:36

    Science is under siege by people with political motives. The basis of science is repeatability, and isolating the system under observation from outside effects and interference to ensure the true correlation of the system can be determined. Following scientific method correctly, should lead to a result that should be demonstrably repeatable. Manipulating results detract from and in general destroys the credibility of research efforts. When such manipulation can be demonstrated to be intentional, it should destroy the credibility of the researcher. Alarm bells should be ringing when people start using phrases such as "the end justify the means". It is a logical fallacy, and in general used in conjunction with emotional arguments in an attempt to project credibility onto a flawed argument. If your end is "world peace", which is a great end, could the end justify the means of mass extermination of combatant populations? I know that the next argument would be that "there are too many people on this planet". I can only guess that the people proposing these arguments view themselves to be from a higher caste and therefore more valuable than the rest of society (who should stop breeding in their opinion). Who gets to decide who lives, who dies, and who breeds? I certainly would not trust the socialists with this one!

      Godfrey - 2012-02-21 16:12

      I, for one, believe that over population of the planet is a recipe for future disaster. That is not to say that I favour suppressing or exterminating people and I would be the last to suggest that I am a superior member of the human race than any other. China is the only country that recognises that it has a problem and has had the balls to attempt to tackle it. Their solution is far from ideal and has raised other balance problems but I did read somewhere that the "one child" policy has maintained the population some 400 million below what it would have been if not action had been taken. I don't see any other countries trying anything. So the future will be more and more people with no means of ever finding gainful employment in a climate of decreasing need for uneducated and unskilled workers that have been replaced by technology. Sending food to areas which cannot sustain existing populations, let alone more people, seems madness to me but compassion dictates otherwise. 'Civilsation' and 'democracy' as we know it may well be overtaken by hordes of the hungry and the dispossessed demanding and taking by revolutionary force a share of diminishing resources.

      Mathys - 2012-02-21 21:12

      @Godfrey: 16:12 : Let's put those poor people out of their misery, for us,them and the future. Right? But, on a serious note, that thing about limiting births is a good idea. My opinion: Chemically castrating man and wife after birth of first child. Twins,triplets ...and... octuplets counting as one birth, of course.

  • Benji - 2012-02-21 16:04

    haha...goodness me but ol Godfrey gets around this site. Found any Christian folk to insult and demean on this thread. Of course you have!!!

  • Cobus - 2012-02-21 16:29

    Godfrey why are you using this article to get stuck into religion straight away? Of course you have religious fanatics, but that doesn't mean that all religious people are against science and believe that we can just sit back and wait for God to fix everything. Science is just using what is there already to develop solutions to problems in life. As an example, a nuclear power station is not an invention of science, science is using the power of the atom to make electricity, but first there had to be atoms and things like Uranium for science to make use of it. The difference I believe is that a religious person believes that the wonders of nature come from a Creator and science can explain some of it. Science on the other hand seems to think that because the working of something can be explained, it doesn't need a Creator. Many religious people believe in science and are scientists themselves, religion is not necessarily equivalent to ignorance, intolerance and all things negative.

      Mathys - 2012-02-21 21:21

      Godfrey does this on any article remotely to do with church, religion, bombs, inter-species marriage rights, rape, Julius Malema, and of course mountainous toll-plazas.

      Mathys - 2012-02-21 21:23

      Must not have/need a job. Lucky bastard.

      Victor - 2012-02-22 14:36

      Cobus: "Science on the other hand seems to think that because the working of something can be explained, it doesn't need a Creator." No, where do you get that from? If you infer design in everything and that everything must have had a creator, it also means that the creator himself needs a creator. Who created the creator? To believe that something exists with no proof is equivalent to ignorance.

  • david.flewellen - 2012-02-22 00:07

    It's interesting to note the parallels between the two streams of anti-science thought - the two streams being: 1) religion; and 2) climate change denial. In each case it's personal vested interests which are allowed to override scientific objectivity. Note the US Republican opposition to the scientific consensus that global warming is real - how much of that opposition is being bankrolled by energy companies with dreadful environmental records? Given the choice between doing the right thing for the environment and maximising their profits, they'll choose the greedy option every time. Just like the religious opposition to science. With every scientific advance, religion is forced into a tighter and tinier corner, as its foundations are shown to be nothing more than ancient fiction. Science threatens to dispel religion's promises of a heavenly afterlife, and it's no surprise that believers fight so vehemently against anything that challenges their precious beliefs. Scientists are motivated by knowledge and truth. Opposition to science is motivated by self-interest. The equation really is that simple.

      jody.beggs - 2012-02-22 14:53

      well put.

  • albevdm - 2012-02-22 07:42

    The differences between science and religion are very simple: (1) in religion one assumes something supernatural to be fact, without any evidence, while nothing supernatural exists in science; (2) religion dictates how one should behave, based on a fabricated history, while science makes no such attempt; (3) religion is fabricated fact based on pre-accepted conclusion, while science is conclusion based on fact; (4) science can be tested and retested, by anyone, while religion is devoid of such property. I believe in science, I trust in it, but no, I don't pray to it. Why do I then get snide comments when I ask religious people to stop going to hospitals, stop taking their insulin, stop driving their cars and using their cell phones? If you are that convinced of your beliefs, don't use resources that exist because of the things I believe in. Use your own. Oh wait... you'll have to make some first. Better get on with it then.

      jody.beggs - 2012-02-22 14:55

      Damn religion to HELL !

      Mathys - 2012-02-22 20:55

      @albevdm Feb 22 07:42 (1)There is a difference between 'believing something is true' and 'assuming something to be fact'. (2)"based on a fabricated history, while science makes no such attempt" this is hear-say, not provable either way. (3)No. The scientific method includes: Asking a question, giving a possible answer, THEN either gathering evidence or doing an appropriate experiment. This has to be repeatable. With an experiment this is easy, the expected result for the repetition is provided. Gathering similar enough evidence on the other hand, not so much. (4)Faith does not require evidence. Science does. I know it's unfair, but please accept this. You get snide remarks because you make sarcastic statements. You give a perfect example of your sarcasm in your comment.

      Victor - 2012-02-23 07:35

      Mathys Jakkie Theart: "Faith does not require evidence" Strange. During biblical times (supposedly) evidence was abound. God frequently manifested to man, miracles were everywhere - wine into water, dead being resurrected, columns of fire, red sea parted, etc etc etc. Even doubting Thomas required evidence. Bronze-age man clearly needed evidence to believe. Strange that none of these things happen in modern times.

      albevdm - 2012-02-23 08:57

      Mathys, it is unfortunate that you think I'm being sarcastic. Luckily, what you think makes no difference to me. There is a problem with what you think science is though. Science is about hypothesis testing. A hypothesis is a statement based on empiricism - what we can observe - the hypothesis then attempts to make sense of observation based on previous observation. It has nothing to do with giving a possible answer, it is more akin to asking a question, only there's no question mark. We then test the hypothesis using experiment, making sure that the experimental evidence stands a good chance of disproving the hypothesis if in fact it was wrong in the first place. This is why it is possible to propose a hypothesis that cannot be disproven at the present time. But, at a later point, it may become possible to disprove it. That is the beauty of science. On your number (4) comment about faith not requiring evidence, possibly for a religious person it doesn't. But for a non-religious person it does. As the saying goes, to those who believe no explanation is necessary, to those who don't none will suffice.

      Mathys - 2012-02-23 19:44

      "Why do I then get snide comments when I ask religious people to stop going to hospitals, stop taking their insulin, stop driving their cars and using their cell phones? If you are that convinced of your beliefs, don't use resources that exist because of the things I believe in. Use your own. Oh wait... you'll have to make some first. Better get on with it then." If you tell me this is not sarcastic, you clearly do not know what sarcasm is.

  • henkkruger - 2012-02-22 08:15

    Oh please. If one studies God’s Word and understands His Law, Christianity is seen to be infinitely rational and believable. Atheism (including evolution), on the other hand, rejects logic and evidence and is the epitome of irrationalism. God has revealed numerous scientific and medical facts in the Bible, thousands of years before scientists “discovered” them. As Hank Hanegraaff said, “Faith in Christ is not some blind leap into a dark chasm, but a faith based on established evidence.” For example, science expresses the universe in five terms: time, space, matter, power, and motion. Genesis 1:1,2 revealed such truths to the Hebrews in 1450 B.C.: “In the beginning [time] God created [power] the heaven [space] and the earth [matter]... And the Spirit of God moved [motion] upon the face of the waters.” The first thing God tells man is that He controls of all aspects of the universe. In another example, scientists now understand the universe is expanding or stretching out. Nine times in Scripture we are told that God stretches out the heavens like a curtain (e.g., Psalm 104:2). The book "What is Creation Science?" says most of the great scientists of the past who founded and developed the key disciplines of science were creationists. Physics: Newton, Faraday,Maxwell, Kelvin Chemistry: Boyle, Dalton, Pascal, Ramsay Biology: Ray, Linnaeus,Mendel, Pasteur Geology: Steno,Woodward, Brewster, Agassiz Astronomy: Kepler, Galileo, Herschel,Maunder

      modo - 2012-02-22 09:41

      @henkkruger - That was all before most of the major earth and natural science discoveries were made. These days creation 'science' is completely at odds and contradictory of what we know about the world. It is just plain wrong and suffers from a huge lack of evidence. Let's look at the present day. 99.8% of earth and life scientists and 95% of scientists across all fields support evolution. You are trusting the absolute tiny minority that are completely deluded by their religious beliefs. Every single scientist you mentioned, if they were alive today, would be an evolutionist. You references to scripture are also ridiculous stretches that have absolutely zero to do with reality. I'm really not sure how a grown man can read those passages and fool himself into thinking they verify scientific discovery.

      henkkruger - 2012-02-22 10:03

      @modo: In the Foreword to Origin of Species (100th edition), Sir Arthur Keith admitted, “Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it only because the only alternative is special creation, and that is unthinkable.” “Evolution is a fairy tale for grown-ups. This theory has helped nothing in the progress of science. It is useless.” PROFESSOR LOUIS BOUNOURE, Director, National Center of Scientific Research “An increasing number of scientists, most particularly a growing number of evolutionists... argue that Darwinian evolutionary theory is no genuine scientific theory at all... Many of the critics have the highest intellectual credentials.” MICHAEL RUSE,“Darwin’s Theory: An Exercise in Science,” New Scientist “Scientists who go about teaching that evolution is a fact of life are great con-men, and the story they are telling may be the greatest hoax ever. In explaining evolution, we do not have one iota of fact.” DR. T. N. TAHMISIAN, Atomic Energy Commission Time magazine reported, “Scientists concede that their most cherished theories are based on embarrassingly few fossil fragments and that huge gaps exist in the fossil record” (Nov. 7, 1977). According to David Berlinsky, “There are gaps in the fossil graveyard, places where there should be intermediate forms, but where there is nothing whatsoever instead. No paleontologist... denies that this is so. It is simply a fact. Darwin’s theory and the fossil record are in conflict.”

      modo - 2012-02-22 10:23

      Again, cherry picking quotes. All of which are outdated. You can bring as many examples you want (even of scientists from this decade!) but it still won't change the statistical facts I mentioned in the last post. If you knew anything about evolutionary theory you would know that the fossil record is not even a fraction of the evidence available, nor is it the most convincing evidence by a long shot. To demonstrate how outnumbered the ridiculous creation 'scientists' are: "The Discovery Institute announced that over 700 scientists had expressed support for intelligent design as of February 8, 2007. This prompted the National Center for Science Education to produce a 'light-hearted' petition called 'Project Steve' in support of evolution. Only scientists named 'Steve' or some variation (such as Stephen, Stephanie, and Stefan) are eligible to sign the petition. It is intended to be a 'tongue-in-cheek parody' of the lists of alleged 'scientists' supposedly supporting creationist principles that creationist organizations produce. The petition demonstrates that there are more scientists who accept evolution with a name like "Steve" alone (over 1100) than there are in total who support intelligent design." The science really isn't on your side here, and being dishonest about it really isn't going to help your cause.

      henkkruger - 2012-02-22 11:31

      @modo: The fossil record is the 'backbone' of evolution. Charles Darwin acknowledged that his theory of evolution was dependent on these “missing links”: “As by this theory innumerable transitional forms must have existed, why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth? The number of intermediate links between all living and extinct species must have been inconceivably great!” While the fossil evidence does not support evolution, it does point to creation. Biochemist D. B. Gower said, “The creation account in Genesis and the theory of evolution could not be reconciled. One must be right and the other wrong. The story of the fossils agrees with the account of Genesis. In the oldest rocks we did not find a series of fossils covering the gradual changes from the most primitive creatures to developed forms but rather, in the oldest rocks, developed species suddenly appeared. Between every species there was a complete absence of intermediate fossils” (“Scientist Rejects Evolution,” Kentish Times). Furthermore, Charles Darwin wrote in The Origin of Species, “To suppose that the eye, with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.” This is an example of "irreducible complexity", which causes the theory to crash.

      modo - 2012-02-22 12:36

      @henkkruger - I'm sorry, you really don't know what you are talking about. The fact is we DO find transitional forms in the tiny amount of fossils that have been found. A fossil has never ever been found in a strata that contradicts it's age according to the family tree of life. To say fossils are the backbone of evolution displays such pure ignorance of the other evidence, of which none has ever been shown to contradict or even slightly stray from the theory of common descent). In the time of Darwin (The Origin of Species was published in 1859!!) none of the masses of corroborative evidence that we now know of was discovered yet, and fossils did provide some of the only evidence we knew of. Since then, however, the amount of evidence that has been found (again, not a single piece contradicting evolution) paints a beautiful picture of the history of life on earth. Genetics gives us a complete picture (something fossils are unable to do) of how common descent not only is a fact, but have shown how mutations propagate over time. Please go read up about chromosome 2 in humans, I'm sure if you understand it with an open mind you will find it fascinating, I'm not going to hold my breath though. Added to this is the evidence of geographical distribution, proven evolution using artificial selection, observed speciation and comparative anatomy. All of which have been studied in insane detail long after Darwin died.

      modo - 2012-02-22 12:47

      Furthermore, anatomy such as the eye has been studied in such detail, and transitional forms of such apparatus can be found all over the animal kingdom, from devices that sense light in rudimentary way to the amazing optical sense organs of eagles, which far surpass ours as humans. Irreducible complexity was indeed a mystery during Darwin's time, but so was aided human flight. From a time when not a single airplane had left the ground, to now when we have explored space and landed on the moon (if you don't think this is also a hoax!), don't you think a little progress has been made?? This is what happens when the only science and evolutionary theory you are taught is by Sunday school teachers and Discovery Institute employees whose knowledge is surpassed by a first term attendee to Biology 101. This is the final post I will be making, if you want to argue further I would appreciate it if you learnt the absolute basics of a theory rather than spouting nonsense which has been fed to you by someone who has also not taken the time to try and understand the theory even a little bit and is too stubborn to admit his ignorance of the topic. It's very easy to mock something you know absolutely nothing about, and if you choose to side with the idiots rather than the 99.8% of the scientists I mentioned earlier, well then don't be surprised if you are totally left behind.

      henkkruger - 2012-02-22 13:20

      @modo: if you have found scientific evidence that supports the theory, then pay Kent Hovind a visit. He offers $250,000 reward for anybody who can give him such evidence. The offer is at

      modo - 2012-02-22 13:30

      Hovind's offer refers to far more than evolution (only 1 of the 5 points he wants 'proven' is related). But regardless, I'm sure there are thousands of knowledgeable scientists that would like to, if Kent Hovind wasn't in jail for tax evasion (amongst other things).

      Victor - 2012-02-22 13:50

      *sigh* Henk: Kent Hovind, who is currently in jail for tax fraud is a joke. So is his challenge.

      Victor - 2012-02-22 13:51

      Henk As for your "quote" from Sir Arthur Keith - really? Care to provide the source for the quote? According to (section titled "Spurious Quotation") you are lying.

      jody.beggs - 2012-02-22 14:25

      @henkkruger read your bible and stay out of normal human interaction. Blindly believing the Bible over physical evidence is just plain stupid! Do you really love a god that kill's babies, forces rape survivors to marry their rapist or allows the murder of anyone especially the minority , gays , atheists , witches and pagan's? We understand you love and cherish the bible but before you can quote it prove it came from god and not man. Before we can use the bible as evidence it needs to be understood where it came from and the significance of the bible not coming directly from God. What you can claim without evidence can be dismissed without evidence ! Damn the man.

      david.flewellen - 2012-02-22 17:47

      @henkkruger: All the creationist scientists you listed are now dead. They never had access to the knowledge we have in the 21st century. In fact, most of those scientists lived before Darwin formulated the theory of evolution. Their ignorance is forgivable, because they lived at the wrong time. Your ignorance is neither forgivable nor accidental. You're deliberately fighting modern science with your mendacious fallacies - all because you've been brought up to believe Christianity's lies.

      Mathys - 2012-02-22 20:58

      Thank you, David. Your hatred of Christianity is noted. Life goes on.

      david.flewellen - 2012-02-22 22:17

      @Mathys: I presume you're a Christian? Then you should be familiar with the Old Testament's 7th Commandment, about bearing false witness? If the role of Christianity is to suppress and oppose science when that science contradicts scripture, then you'll have to forgive me for noticing the hypocrisy of the Abrahamic religions having "don't lie" as a commandment. For the record, I don't hate Christianity. Hate is a strong and wasteful emotion. I'm opposed to Christianity because it's basically just an ancient fairy tale, with no factual basis or evidence of its truthfulness. Which means it's basically just one big lie - and, as per your seventh commandment as well as the basic tenets of science, lies are morally wrong.

      henkkruger - 2012-02-23 07:41

      @David: the point I was trying to make is that there is more proof for Christianity than there is for evolution. To call Christianity a fairy tell is completely ignorant, while the evidence is overwhelming, if you would only be willing to actually investigate it. As for Kent Hovind, his case is on appeal, and just like so many other Christians throughout history, it seems that he is simply facing persecution. But even if he is truly guilty, it has got nothing to do with his research - the two matters are worlds apart. Christians are not better than other people, they are only better off on the day of judgement.

      henkkruger - 2012-02-23 07:45

      @Modo: it seems that the reports I get around the number of scientists who believe in evolution is totally contradictory to yours. As an example, Dr. Colin Patterson, senior paleontologist at the British Museum of Natural History, gave a keynote address at the American Museum of Natural History, New York City, in 1981. In it he explained his sudden “anti-evolutionary” view: “One morning I woke up and . . . it struck me that I had been working on this stuff for twenty years and there was not one thing I knew about it. That’s quite a shock to learn that one can be misled so long . . . I’ve tried putting a simple question to various people: ‘Can you tell me anything you know about evolution, any one thing, any one thing that is true?’ I tried that question on the geology staff at the Field Museum of Natural History and the only answer I got was silence. I tried it on the members of the Evolutionary Morphology Seminar in the University of Chicago, a very prestigious body of evolutionists, and all I got there was silence for a long time and eventually one person said, ‘I do know one thing—it ought not to be taught in high school.’”

      Victor - 2012-02-23 07:57

      Henk: Have you watched the video link I provided? Evolution is accepted by mainstream science. Your "sources" are creationist websites with an anti-science agenda. You conveniently side-step my post: "According to (section titled "Spurious Quotation") you are lying. " As for your latest "quote" - lies, again and again. Cite the original reference for this quote. Again you are either misquoting or just lying for jesus: "There is no original quote. The speech Patterson gave was taped without permission. But the sentences immediately before that, quoted by other creationists, indicate that Patterson's tongue was in his cheek" "As someone else recently mentioned, the winter '92 issue of _NCSE Reports_ covers the misuse of Patterson's quotes by creationists. The following are quotes of Patterson's referring to the disingenuous behavior of creationists." You seem to be missing how science works. Even if prominent scientists disagree the body of evidence is overwhelming. Now stop lying for jesus.

      henkkruger - 2012-02-23 08:00

      @jody: I believe the Bible because of the overwhelming evidence for it, and NOT out of ignorance... The Bible can be proven to be from God and not from man, by simply looking at the many scientific and medical facts it gives. Also, hundreds of prophecies that came 100% into fulfillment to the letter, even 1000's of years later, proofs that it is not inspired by mere men. Not one single mistake for its prophecies can be found. No other religion has such a track record. The Bible was written over a period of 1500 years by over 40 authors, 3 different languages, 3 different continents, and yet today, we have perfect harmony from Genesis to Revelation. No contradictions between the books. If you would ask a few people to write on the same subject only 50 or a 100 years apart (not even to mention different languages or cultures) you would get conflicting works between them. Just because there are many things in the Bible you don't understand yet, doesn't mean that the Bible is wrong. And when you look at all the evidence for it, you can believe it when it tells us there is a Heaven, a Hell and judgement to come. We all have sinned, and since God is a perfect and good judge, he will punish all liars, thieves, adulterers etc. He didn't want for any of us to go to hell, which is why he legally paid our fine on our behalf through Jesus Christ. Trust in the Saviour and repentance will let you escape judgement, like a parachute will save you when you jump out of an airplane.

      modo - 2012-02-23 08:08

      Hovind lost his appeal, and if you read more than one source on the matter you would hear how he lied constantly under oath during his trial and tried to hide evidence. Good Christian values. He is pure lying scum. Colin Patterson - "He authored a general textbook on evolution, 'Evolution', and edited 'Molecules and morphology in evolution: conflict or compromise?' a book on the use of molecular and morphological evidence for inferring phylogenies. Patterson has been quote mined several times by creationists, most notably from a tape recording of a talk he gave in 1981 at the American Museum of Natural History for a systematics discussion group. Patterson personally rejected the creationist interpretations of his sayings." Again, do you really think quoting one person (and, hilariously, a person who was a major proponent of evolution) is going to prove a point. There is no way you can contradict the figures I posted because they are FACTS! There is not more evidence for Christianity than evolution. I've heard people say the same about Islam, and it stems from indoctrination and complete ignorance of science. I seriously suggest you start reconsidering what people you trust Henk. You are just making yourself look extremely gullible and misinformed.

      Victor - 2012-02-23 08:18

      henk: When do you stop lying? Are you going to man up and admit that your "quotes" are just taken from creationist crud websites, either lying completely or misquoting the original quote? As for the "facts" in the bible (to mention a few): 1. Plants cannot exist before the sun is created as noted in genesis 2. Bad is not a bird 3. The earth does not have corners/pillars 4. Snakes and donkeys don't talk For more fun facts, also visit which list quite a few more. I was a christian for years and probably know the bible better than you. Reading the bible is the quickest way to becoming an atheist.

      Victor - 2012-02-23 08:19

      As for your statement about the lack of contradictions, wow, seriously? You know that NO ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS exist for the new testament? What we have: copies, from copies, from more copies. Copied by hand. Some scribes could not read the text, only copy letter for letter. Some scribes altered because they felt the previous copy had a mistake. You are a protestant I take it? That means you have to rely on the principle of "Sola scriptura" Sola scriptura means that Scripture alone is authoritative for the faith and practice of the Christian. The Bible is complete, authoritative, and true - which cannot be as we know the copies made of the new testament are riddled with errors and inconsistencies. In addition, do you know how many theologians say that the book revelations was referring to the fall of the roman empire? "No original manuscripts of the original Greek New Testament have been found. However, a large number of ancient manuscript copies have been discovered, and modern translations of the New Testament are based on these copies. As one would expect, they contain some scribal errors. In fact, 'there is not a single copy wholly free from mistakes.'" Even the prophecy about jesus is a problem. He could not be from the house of david, as joseph was not his father, the holy ghost was. Jews calculate the house from the father. Yet another contradiction.

      henkkruger - 2012-02-23 08:31

      @Victor: When you were a Christian, did you actually know the Lord? Religion will also drive me to be an atheist... However, since I came to know the Lord, I stepped into a relationship with God, something I had never known during my religious years. I stepped out of the realm of believing and into the realm of knowing. An experience that no argument can take away from me.

      modo - 2012-02-23 08:32

      And to say that the Bible has not one error is again a blatant lie or pure ignorance. There are literally hundreds of examples where prophesy was unfulfilled or contradictions occur. I used to me a Christian myself until I realised I was being fed only one side of the story. The entire institution thrives on dishonesty and false trust. I won't list thousands of examples but just to demonstrate the inaccuracy of your statement that "Not one single mistake for its prophecies can be found" and "No contradictions between the books", but here are two. Firstly, the genealogy of Jesus. Matthew an Luke give completely different versions of Joseph's family line. Blatant contradiction! Creationists try to say that Luke was talking about Mary, but Luke explicitly said he was writing about Joseph! As for prophesy, Jesus prophesied over and over that the end of the world would come within the listener's lifetime. This of course never happened. There are prophesies in basically every single book of the Bible that have not been fulfilled. The church always tries to use some spin to make it look otherwise, but all it takes is an unassisted reading of the bible to realise you have been duped. For this very reason most versions of Christianity promote an allegorical interpretation of biblical text. Please stop going on about the accuracy of the bible, it is simply not accurate or even close, and every single branch of science surpassed the 'knowledge' in the bible hundreds of years ago.

      Victor - 2012-02-23 08:32

      henk: Red herring. Answer my posts.

      Mathys - 2012-02-23 19:56

      @David: "If the role of Christianity is to suppress and oppose science when that science contradicts scripture" Yes, when science contradicts the bible, creationists become skeptical. When we remain steadfast in our beliefs, it means we were not convinced. If were not convinced, you really should try to find out why that is. Don't just write it off as ramblings of a 'fundamentalist retard', that is a 'cop out' and you know it. And, no, we do not suppress science. If we did there wouldn't be many scientists now would there. You know what the more, well lets just say it, insane Christians are capable of.

      henkkruger - 2012-02-24 08:12

      I am out of time for this post, but will only comment on a few things in general... Any intense study of the book of Revelation will show that it couldn't have been about the fall of the Roman Empire, e.g. Revelation 11 about the 3 witnesses has not happened yet etc. I have seen many supposedly contradicting statements from the Bible. However, I have not found a single one which, after an intense study as to the original meaning, context etc. remained contradicting. For example, when God told Adam that he would die on the day that he ate of the forbidden fruit, he still lived for almost another 1,000 years. However, when you understand that Adam died spiritually on the day he ate of the forbidden fruit, it makes sense and God's word was in fact true. Anybody who has experienced a miracle will understand how those things that seem absurd could be true. I can post many questions that will show how evolution becomes intellectual suicide when you try to begin to answer them. I'm sure you will feel the same way about the Bible, but after many years of studying and looking for answers to those questions, I can truly say it is the only thing that still makes sense to me. I have become bored with this discussion. Maybe many of the quotes I have given have become invalid. I don't have time to re-verify. I do know, however, that even while in prison Kent's offer is still up. I also know that God is real. I spoke to Him this morning, and He spoke to me.

      Victor - 2012-02-24 09:04

      henkkruger: I see yet again you FAIL TO ADMIT YOU LIED WITH YOUR QUOTES. "Maybe many of the quotes I have given have become invalid. I don't have time to re-verify. " How does a quote become invalid? No, you just quote-mine from creationist crud websites. It shows clearly that you don't do any real research of your own about evolution before making up your mind. It amazes me that the christians are the ones telling lies, this when I thought lying was not something you guys were supposed to do? "I have become bored with this discussion" No, you have been caught out peddling lies. "I also know that God is real. I spoke to Him this morning, and He spoke to me." Then I suggest you contact the James Randi foundation to claim their prize. They offer a $1 million prize for proof of the existence of the supernatural. What have you got to lose?

      henkkruger - 2012-02-24 11:49

      I didn't get the quotes from creationist websites, but from sources who are heavily invested in Christianity and the apologetics. However, note that you are doing the same by quoting questions and statements from anti-Christian websites, like Which by the way has a lot of problems. For example, the account of the creation in the Bible is a re-creation. There was a pre-adamic period, a world that existed long before the re-creation of the current one. Isaiah and I believe Jeremiah both talks about this. On the site they also say serpents don't eat dust, like the Bible says. Well, serpents have a forked tongue and use the tip of their tongues to sense odors and the direction they are coming from. The closer to the serpent an object walks, the more dust is stirred up. Reptiles are continually sticking out their tongues and "reading" what is surrounding them. The problems around the Bible listed by the site are immature and based on a complete lack of understanding or insight into the Bible.

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