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The Talk.Origins Archive: Exploring the Creation/Evolution Controversy

Things that Are True

Post of the Month: November 1999

by Wesley R. Elsberry

Subject:    Re: PNWS: Donald Chittick at the University of Alaska
Date:       November 10, 1999

In article <80b33t$j3f$>, Lloyd Gish <> wrote:
> Pierre Stromberg <> wrote in message
> news:80b0s5$qo2$

PS> Ladies and gentlemen, hot on the heels of added
PS> pressure on Roger DeHart, I have more news. It seems that
PS> our local ICR representative, Donald Chittick, received a
PS> rather hostile reception to his "Puzzle of Ancient Man"
PS> lecture at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.

PS> I knew about Chittick's planned lecture for a while
PS> and was already talking to folks up there. They were
PS> rather upset that Chittick was planning to hit the town
PS> with his driveby lectures and wanted to know everything
PS> they could about the guy. From preliminary reports, they
PS> were well organized and peppered him with enough
PS> questions after the lecture that Chittick blew his cool.

PS> I don't want to say anything more right now because I
PS> still have yet to receive the detailed reports and
PS> videotape of the event. But right now, it looks like it's
PS> been one bad week for creationists.

PS> More surprises are in store.

LG> Here's some more news,

It's pretty clear that the "bad week for creationists" is only getting longer when one of them claims a regurgi-quote from 1981 is "news" in 1999.

LG> Dr. Colin Patterson (Senior Paleontologist, British Museum
LG> of Natural History, London). Keynote address at the
LG> American Museum of Natural History, New York City, 11/5/81
LG> "One of the reasons I started taking this anti-evolutionary
LG> view, or let's call it a non-evolutionary view, was last
LG> year I had a sudden realization for over 20 years I had
LG> thought I was working on evolution in some way. One morning
LG> I woke up and something had happened in the night, and it
LG> struck me that I had been working on this stuff for 20
LG> years and there was not one thing I knew about it. That's
LG> quite a shock to learn that one can be so misled so
LG> long. Either there was something wrong with me or there was
LG> something wrong with the evolutionary theory. Naturally, I
LG> know there is nothing wrong with me, so for the last few
LG> weeks I've tried putting a simple question to various
LG> people and groups of people......'Can you tell me anything
LG> you know about evolution, any one thing, any one thing that
LG> is true? I tried that question on the geology staff at the
LG> Field Museum of Natural History and the only answer I got
LG> was silence. I tried it on the members of the Evolutionary
LG> Morphology Seminar in the University of Chicago, a very
LG> prestigious body of evolutionists, and all I got there was
LG> silence for a long time and eventually one person said, "I
LG> do know one thing - it ought not to be taught in high
LG> school'."

LG> So, what is the one thing that is true about evolution?
LG> Without getting into fantasy.

Actually, this came up on a mailing list I'm on. Here's a chunk of my response there...

Let's see... true things about evolution. That would make an overlong list. I'll just give some of my favorites.

- Inheritance is particulate, not blending.

- Inheritance is not perfect. Changes can and do happen in heritable information.

- More organisms are produced than can be sustained under prevailing ecological conditions.

- Those heritable variations which correlate with differential survival of organisms tend to have higher proportional representation in the population.

- The distribution of traits in a population can be influenced by chance effects, such as population bottlenecks and sampling from a limited pool of variant.

- Fossils are the traces of organisms that were once alive.

- Fossil forms show that extinction of species happens. Certain fossils represent organisms common enough, large enough, and distributed in areas where if they were present through the present day could not have been overlooked.

- Fossils are distributed in a stratigraphic pattern indicating change in fossil assemblages over time.

- Fossil assemblages show that mass extinctions have happened at widely different times in the earth's history.

- The canonical genetic code is consistent with the theory of common descent.

- Patterns of differences in sequences of proteins and heritable information support the idea that these differences have accrued since the time of a last common ancestor.

- Evolutionary interrelationships have been used to advantage in medical research.

- The principles of natural selection have been used to advantage in computational optimization and search.

- Species have been observed to form, both in the laboratory and in the wild.

- A novel symbiotic association has been observed in the laboratory.

Well, that should get us started, anyway.

Wesley R. Elsberry, Student in Wildlife & Fisheries Sciences, Tx A&M U.
Visit the Online Zoologists page (
Email to this account is dumped to /dev/null, whose Spam appetite is capacious.
"All our times have come\Here but now they're done" - BOC

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