The Talk.Origins Archive

Posts of the Month for 2004

January: Christian Evolutionary Biologists
Howard Hershey presents a list of practicing evolutionary biologists throughout history who were also sincere, believing Christians.
January Runner-Up: A Dialogue with Dembski
As counter-arguments pour in, antievolutionist William Dembski's arguments continue to contract around him. Here zosdad envisions an imaginary dialogue between Dembski and an evolutionary scientist to illustrate this process.
February: The Story of Dirt
Thomas Faller explains that there's more going on in the dirt beneath your feet than most people may realize.
February Runner-Up: Another Dishonest Creationist Quote
catshark provides another example of a blatantly out-of-context quote, courtesy of creationist Phillip Johnson.
February Honorable Mention: The Most Influential Creationist
Raymond E. Griffith answers the question of which creationist influenced him the most.
February Honorable Mention: Was There a War of 1812?
Is historical knowledge more reliable than other kinds of scientific knowledge? Is evolution inherently less certain than other facts about the world? Daniel Harper illustrates that creationist standards for evidence can deny well-established historical facts just as easily as they can well-established scientific theories.
March: Awake for the First Time
lodger, a former Jehovah's Witness, gives a personal account of a dramatic change in his life and what brought it about.
March Runner-Up: Homosexuality and Evolution
Howard Hershey discusses what, if anything, the theory of evolution says about the existence and frequency of homosexuality.
March Honorable Mention: An Introduction to the Evolution/Creationism Debate
John Wilkins provides a brief introduction to where the creationist movement came from, what the debate is all about, and what its effects are.
March Honorable Mention: Out of Place Fossils
Glenn Morton lays out the important facts that creationist lists of "out of place fossils" fail to mention.
April: Nylonase Enzymes
The appearance of bacteria with enzymes that can digest nylon oligomers, a completely artificial polymer that did not exist on Earth until a few decades ago, is a clear example of evolution in action. Ian Musgrave responds to creationist claims about these novel enzymes.
April Runner-Up: How to Have a Debate
Expressing frustration with a creationist who claims to have witnessed an act of blatant scientific fraud but would not say where or when it took place or who the scientists were, Charles C. explains how to defend a position and have a rational, productive conversation with other people.
May: Repopulation After the Flood
thelodger reports his results obtained from a program written to simulate humanity's repopulation of Earth after Noah's flood.
June: Patterns of Macroevolution
Larry Moran argues that the splitting of one species into many branches, rather than the slow change of one species into one other species, and the differential survival of those daughter species is an important part of macroevolutionary change.
June part 2: Conversation with a Muslim
DS provides an account of a conversation with a young, intelligent, devout Muslim who became a doctor in America after starting from humble means in Pakistan, and concludes that American policy can and must do far more to reach out to people like him. (WARNING: This post is highly political.)
July: Was Jesus a Creationist?
John McKendry investigates whether Jesus or Paul either personally endorsed a creationist interpretation of the Bible or taught that such an interpretation was an essential component of Christian faith.
July Runner-Up: "That's Just Your Opinion"
Hiero5ant discusses how some invoke the phrase "that's just your opinion" as a way to protect themselves against challenge to what they personally believe.
August: Racism and the Scopes Trial
It is a little-known fact that Civic Biology, the textbook whose teaching of evolution was at issue in the infamous 1925 Scopes trial, was openly racist. Does this mean that Clarence Darrow and the defenders of Darwin were also, by extension, racists? Mitchell Coffey answers that question by investigating what happened in the trial's aftermath.
August Runner-Up: The Fifth Nucleotide
Did ancient Biblical prophecy predict that human DNA would be found to have four distinct nucleotide bases? The theologians need not tax themselves - it actually has five. Larry Moran explains.
August Honorable Mention: Omphalism and Epistemic Nihilism
John Wilkins discourses on how omphalism, the religious belief that the Earth was created with an "appearance of age," inevitably leads to epistemic nihilism - the doctrine that we can know nothing.
September: What Is Faith?
Skitter the Cat reflects on the true meaning of Christian faith and whether creationists are doing it any credit.
October: Why Not Intelligent Design?
A transcript of a talk given by John Wilkins, in which the good philosopher seeks out the origins of intelligent design in classical Greek philosophy and argues that the designer referred to can only be a supernatural deity.
October Runner-Up: The Evolution of Feathers
parrotlady points out the evolutionary advantages of feathers when it comes to heat regulation and flight.
October Honorable Mention: The Source of the Flood Waters
Thomas Faller discusses the facts that creationists overlook in their simplistic models of the cause of Noah's alleged worldwide flood.
October Honorable Mention: Antibody Binding and Goal Sequences
MEC shows why a "perfect fit" is not needed for the human immune system to rapidly evolve antibodies specific enough to bind with intruder molecules.
November: Why Not Teach Creationism?
DS argues that it would be doing our children and our society a great disservice to allow the teaching of intelligent design and other forms of creationism in public schools.
December: Teaching Biology Without Evolution
Complementing the winner from last month, R. Brown, a public school biology teacher, explains clearly why it is vital that we do teach evolution to students.

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POTMs for 2003
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