The Talk.Origins Archive

Posts of the Month for 2000

January: What Is the Shaphan?
William Pratt attempts to deduce the identity of the mysterious animal that chews the cud but does not have cloven hooves, known only as the shaphan in the Hebrew text of the Bible.
February: Induction and Consensus Conclusions
In this post, Zeus Thibault argues that induction is a trustworthy method of acquiring knowledge and that evolution is the consensus conclusion of the scientific community; therefore, the burden of proof lies on those who would dispute it.
March: Garbagostratigraphy
Andrew MacRae provides an illuminating glimpse into the field of biostratigraphy, the branch of scientific knowledge that relies on the distribution of index fossils to date rock strata, and shows how creationist charges of circular reasoning in obtaining dates are unfounded.
April: The Twin Nested Hierarchy
What is this "twin nested hierarchy" thing the evolutionists keep going on about, and why do they feel it supports them? Ken Cox explains.
May: Letter to a Pastor
In response to a young-earth creation seminar being presented at his church, evangelical Christian Kenneth Kirksey wrote a letter to his pastor expressing his grave misgivings over such an unbalanced treatment of Christian perspectives on evolution, as well as explaining why he feels that belief in the Bible does not preclude acceptance of evolution and listing several well-known Christian fundamentalist groups and individuals who saw no problem with interpreting Genesis as metaphorical. That letter is reproduced here.
June: On the Front Line of the Evolution Debate
While debating in the abstract electronic world of, sometimes it's easy to forget that the battle between evolution and creationism is a real issue with real consequences. Science student Derek Tarlecki reminds us of that.
July: An Observed Example of Morphological Evolution
One of the creationists' most common complaints is that "macroevolution", defined by them to be the emergence of new species with new morphology, has never been observed. In this post, Adam Noel Harris provides a counterexample - the appearance of a new, multicellular colony form of a common alga.
August: The Talk.Origins Rules of Engagement
"Personal attacks in are like fights during a hockey game. It's hard to stop them from happening, but the goal is to stop them having any effect on the final score." So says the always-affable Louann Miller, suggesting a list of guidelines to keep debate friendly and productive on the dignified, scholarly no-holds-barred bare-knuckles intellectual brawl that is the newsgroup.
September part 1: Is Selection Falsifiable?
Or is it just a tautology, that the fittest survive and the survivors are most fit? John Wilkins thinks there's more to it than that, and lets us know why.
September part 2: DNA Directionality and Codon Conventions
Larry Moran explains the standard biochemical conventions for reading and writing nucleotide sequences.
October: Information and Thermo-Entropy
Does the amount of Shannon information an object contains affect its thermodynamic entropy, or vice versa? Gordon Davisson argues that the answer is yes, but that the contribution is so minuscule it can be ignored in all realistic situations.
November: Evolutionists Against Eugenics
Creationists have been known to argue that evolutionary theory was the inspiration for the eugenics movement of the early 20th century and its associated abuses, such as involuntary sterilization. Here, in two posts, John Wilkins shows that some of the early critics of eugenics included among their ranks several noted evolutionary biologists, who actually argued against the policy on scientific as well as moral grounds.
December: Elementary, Dear Darwin
Who better to deduce the causes of creationism than history's greatest sleuth? Joe Cummings imagines what it would be like if Mr. Sherlock Holmes of 221B Baker Street were to put his hands on some of the posts seen every day by contributors to

[Post of the Month: Main Index]

POTMs for 1999
POTMs for 2001

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