The Mysteries of Evolution: 4. How did we get here…

…from: “having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one”?

Welcome all after vacation!

I have been reviewing many different articles recently and it hit me like a bolt of lighting: How did materialist who promote the Darwinian theory of evolution get to spontaneous emergence of life from what Darwin himself wrote in the Origin of Species:

“There is grandeur in this [natural selection] view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved”

One would think that scientific, experimental evidence convinced Darwinists to change their mind… Unfortunately, just like many of my posts and comments have revealed, no such evidence has emerged…. So, my question is: what prompted the Darwiwnists to change the fundamental idea about the origins of life originally written by Darwin himself, if no evidence for such a change exists?

70 thoughts on “The Mysteries of Evolution: 4. How did we get here…

  1. Darwin’s book was “Origin of species”. It was not “Origin of life”.

    Biological evolution is an account of what happens when there is already life. It is not an attempt to account for how life originated.

    Most evolutionary biologists will openly admit that origin of life has not been explained.

  2. One would think that scientific, experimental evidence convinced Darwinists to change their mind…

    What scientific, experimental evidence has shown that life was designed and/or created?

    Any chance you can even think that your position with its lack of meaningful evidence is not the default? It would be essential for you ever to be able to think reasonably about these matters.

    Glen Davidson

  3. The appearance of humans was highly probable. Thanks to evolution.

    Evolution makes the improbable probable, the impossible possible.

    Yea verily, it hath godlike powers. Amen.

    Let us now all stand and sing …

  4. GlenDavidson: What scientific, experimental evidence has shown that life was designed and/or created?

    What sort of person is it that has to have “scientific, experimental evidence” for something that is so blazingly obvious? Sheesh.

  5. Darwin wrote that bit (and added “by the creator” only in the second addition) in order to avoid discussing the origin of life, not to present his hypothesis for the origin of life. As Neil said, that’s because it was irrelevant to the subject of his book.

    He only talked about the origin of life once that I know of, in the letter where he referred to a “warm little pond”. No creator involved in that.

    And anyway, why should what Darwin said be our default belief on any subject? Are you perhaps confusing the Origin’s significance for evolutionary biologists with the Bible’s significance to you? We don’t think the same way you do. There is no holy writ for scientists.

  6. Darwins error was rejecting the bible. Instead he rejected wrong conclusions from those invoking a creator.
    He constantly did this. he fought a anglican protestant view of nature and not a evangelical protestant view.
    If one started with KINDS by God then one could welcome biological mechanisms to bring biological change in a post fall world. in order to keep survival.
    YEC welcomes biological mechanisms. We see it in peoples looks.
    So likewise creatures. more so!
    one could keep great boundaries in biology while allowing minor ability to change things.
    Minor to me is great things like in people.
    Darwin convinced himself because he saw thyese minor changes could not come from a creator. So he convince himself these mechanisms could explain everything.
    NOPE. it was a jump of a line of reasoning.
    Evolutionism is mostly a line of reasoning from basic data points.

  7. Robert Byers: If one started with KINDS by God then one could welcome biological mechanisms to bring biological change in a post fall world.

    How many years ago was “the fall” and how do you know that?

  8. OMagain: How many years ago was “the fall” and how do you know that?

    By biblical boundaries done by counting life spans that are recorded the fall was soon after creation week. before eve gave birth. so it was about 6000 years ago.
    This great event changed biological mechanisms to maintain biology against death.
    there was no immune system before the fall. Even that is a adaptation quickly done.

  9. graham2:
    Not to be unkind, but does anyone understand Robert Byers ?

    Speaking very precisely, no. No one, not a single person commenting here, understands the points he is making.

    And I am aware that he is one of the people commenting here.

  10. Neil Rickert: Darwin’s book was “Origin of species”. It was not “Origin of life”.

    Correct. But then he equated species with “variety” and proceeded to account for variety rather than species. The book could just as well have been titled “Biological Variety” were it not for some oddball assertions like “All the individuals of the same species, and all the species of the same genus, or even higher group, must have descended from common parents…” not even attempting to answer why “even higher group must have descended from common parents”. How high groups does he have in mind? Does he conceive of any limit to it? Which limit and why?

    Modern evolutionary biologists see no limit to common descent, directly leading to the question of the origin of life (or to the origin of the first species/kind). It’s an inevitable question and Darwin had to face it too.

  11. Erik,

    I think you have confused the origin of life with the most recent common ancestor of extant life. Common descent implies the latter iff we suppose a that life is a single clade. Darwin explicitly didn’t make that assumption in the Origin, which is why he said “one or a few” rather than just “one”. And nothing in even “one” implies the former, or anything about how that single ancestral form got there. Evolutionary theory implies a long series of species and evolutionary events prior to the LUCA. The occasional creationist, e.g. Michael Behe, implies the poofing into existence of that LUCA. But its the same LUCA in either case. So you are confused on at least two points.

  12. Joe Felsenstein: Speaking very precisely, no.No one, not a single person commenting here, understands the points he is making.

    And I am aware that he is one of the people commenting here.

    There is one. ME. So a first error.
    The whole issue of origins demands a higher intellectual standard.
    Tghis in order to lead those in error away from same. Whoever that is.
    It is a option, therefore, that some would do a better job but initially not be comprehended.
    Its always that way in science progress.

    cASE IN POINT.
    whats wrong with the understanding, or the conclusion, I presented on this thread?
    Show me, anybody, why its not understandable or likely wrong?

    I said one could have a creator and self organizing biological mechanisms.
    Darwin saiud it was EITHER one or the other.
    Then finding minor , possible, other options for bio mechanisms HE went too far in making minor cases into the great equation.
    However one could do better with a creator with bio organization and then change due to other problems.
    Right or wrong there is nothing wrong with this option or my articulation of it.
    I expect folks to keep up. its not for students in their late teens and early twenties in universities.
    Its for sharper adults.

  13. Robert Byers:
    I said one could have a creator and self organizing biological mechanisms.
    Darwin saiud it was EITHER one or the other.

    Really? Where did he say that? Keep in mind that bearing false witness is a sin Bob.

  14. John Harshman: I think you have confused the origin of life with the most recent common ancestor of extant life.

    Actually, it’s the other way round: I clearly distinguish between them and you don’t. If evolutionary biologists want to distinguish between “the most recent common ancestor” and the universal common descent, they must point out some (real ontological) thing or property that makes the distinction. By equating “species” and “variety”, Darwin did away with this distinction.

    John Harshman: Common descent implies the latter iff we suppose a that life is a single clade.

    This supposition is inevitable. Every evolutionary biologist must answer this question. Darwin also faced it and answered it – with hesitation and without evidence, but he did. He did it this way http://literature.org/authors/darwin-charles/the-origin-of-species/chapter-14.html (emphases mine)

    It may be asked how far I extend the doctrine of the modification of species. The question is difficult to answer, because the more distinct the forms are which we may consider, by so much the arguments fall away in force. But some arguments of the greatest weight extend very far. All the members of whole classes can be connected together by chains of affinities, and all can be classified on the same principle, in groups subordinate to groups. Fossil remains sometimes tend to fill up very wide intervals between existing orders. Organs in a rudimentary condition plainly show that an early progenitor had the organ in a fully developed state; and this in some instances necessarily implies an enormous amount of modification in the descendants. Throughout whole classes various structures are formed on the same pattern, and at an embryonic age the species closely resemble each other. Therefore I cannot doubt that the theory of descent with modification embraces all the members of the same class. I believe that animals have descended from at most only four or five progenitors, and plants from an equal or lesser number.

    Analogy would lead me one step further, namely, to the belief that all animals and plants have descended from some one prototype. But analogy may be a deceitful guide. Nevertheless all living things have much in common, in their chemical composition, their germinal vesicles, their cellular structure, and their laws of growth and reproduction. We see this even in so trifling a circumstance as that the same poison often similarly affects plants and animals; or that the poison secreted by the gall-fly produces monstrous growths on the wild rose or oak-tree. Therefore I should infer from analogy that probably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed.

    Darwin tried, but could not escape the supposition that all life forms are a single clade. What’s your answer? What is that thing by which you can escape the supposition that all species are a single clade?

  15. Robert Byers: I expect folks to keep up. its not for students in their late teens and early twenties in universities.
    Its for sharper adults.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

    In the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias wherein persons of low ability suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their cognitive ability as greater than it is. The cognitive bias of illusory superiority derives from the metacognitive inability of low-ability persons to recognize their own ineptitude. Without the self-awareness of metacognition, low-ability people cannot objectively evaluate their actual competence or incompetence.

  16. OMagain: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

    In the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias wherein persons of low ability suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their cognitive ability as greater than it is. The cognitive bias of illusory superiority derives from the metacognitive inability of low-ability persons to recognize their own ineptitude. Without the self-awareness of metacognition, low-ability people cannot objectively evaluate their actual competence or incompetence.

    You going to explain it to Byers?

    Glen Davidson

  17. Erik: Actually, it’s the other way round: I clearly distinguish between them and you don’t. If evolutionary biologists want to distinguish between “the most recent common ancestor” and the universal common descent, they must point out some (real ontological) thing or property that makes the distinction. By equating “species” and “variety”, Darwin did away with this distinction.

    You are still very confused. There is no such distinction. The most recent common ancestor (of all life) and universal common descent are the same thing. It’s just that you are confusing that with the origin of life, as I said. The one has nothing to do with the other.

    Darwin tried, but could not escape the supposition that all life forms are a single clade. What’s your answer? What is that thing by which you can escape the supposition that all species are a single clade?

    At this point it’s hardly a supposition. It’s what the data clearly show, so why would anyone want to escape it? You will note that Darwin was quite tentative on the subject and allowed that the data of his time had clear support only for a small number of clades, and he merely suspected the relationship of all life. None of this follows directly from “species are strongly marked varieties”, so I don’t know why you keep harping on that.

  18. John Harshman: You are still very confused. There is no such distinction. The most recent common ancestor (of all life) and universal common descent are the same thing. It’s just that you are confusing that with the origin of life, as I said.

    I see now the distinction that you were making at first. It was the distinction I was not making at all, nor was I confused about it. So you were wrong the first time and you are still wrong now.

    My distinction was between the common ancestor of (one or some) species versus universal common descent (the single ancestor of all species or whichever way you would phrase it). This was the question that Darwin was dealing with, not any other.

    John Harshman: At this point it’s hardly a supposition. It’s what the data clearly show, so why would anyone want to escape it?

    So when theists say that evolutionists think that humans came from apes, they are misrepresenting the theory. In reality evolutionists think humans came from bacteria or viruses via earthworms and other animals. Respect for being very clear on this point.

  19. Erik: So when theists say that evolutionists think that humans came from apes, they are misrepresenting the theory. In reality evolutionists think humans came from bacteria or viruses via earthworms and other animals. Respect for being very clear on this point.

    Only if you think you came from your cousin

  20. Erik: So when theists say that evolutionists think that humans came from apes, they are misrepresenting the theory.

    So if I wrote that the French language came from Latin that would be wrong because it came from Proto-Indo-European? Basic logic lacking.

    In reality evolutionists think humans came from bacteria or viruses via earthworms and other animals. Respect for being very clear on this point.

    Humans may have evolved from viruses, via earthworms? Wouldn’t an elementary knowledge of biology be helpful?

    Glen Davidson

  21. Erik: I see now the distinction that you were making at first. It was the distinction I was not making at all, nor was I confused about it. So you were wrong the first time and you are still wrong now.

    Yes, it’s a distinction you weren’t making at all, and that’s the confusion I was pointing out. That distinction — between the last universal common ancestor and the origin of life — does exist, and by failing to make it you were conflating the two, as when you said “Modern evolutionary biologists see no limit to common descent, directly leading to the question of the origin of life”. No, universal common descent does not lead to the question of the origin of life, directly or indirectly, except in your personal imagination.

    My distinction was between the common ancestor of (one or some) species versus universal common descent (the single ancestor of all species or whichever way you would phrase it). This was the question that Darwin was dealing with, not any other.

    Darwin wasn’t dealing with the question of universal common ancestry, as even the passage you quoted makes clear. He did express an opinion, though he said it was a conjecture. And one thing that passage points out is that common descent of some species doesn’t demand universal common descent, as you claim. Darwin was clear on that point.

    So when theists say that evolutionists think that humans came from apes, they are misrepresenting the theory. In reality evolutionists think humans came from bacteria or viruses via earthworms and other animals. Respect for being very clear on this point.

    First off, when you say “theists” you mean “creationists”. Try to make that distinction at least. I see that the human lineage is another thing you are confused about. It does indeed include apes, and in fact we are apes, so your imaginary “theists” are not incorrect. But it doesn’t include bacteria or earthworms. Those are separate groups. Still, it includes things you would call “worms” if you saw them. You seem unable to imagine groups within groups, but yes, we are apes, and mammals, and tetrapods, and chordates, and animals, and eukaryotes, all at the same time. And we do share a common ancestor with earthworms and bacteria. Does that come as a surprise?

  22. Erik,

    There’s a lot wrong with that page, and there’s a lot wrong with that sentence. Was your point that someone somewhere on the web once said something untrue?

  23. Mung:
    Evolutionists hate analogy. Except when they want to use it. Then it’s ok. Makes me laugh.

    Laughter is the best medicine

  24. Since I started ignoring him, the most annoying feature of TSZ is that some people still waste time replying to him, and I can see that.

  25. John Harshman:
    Since I started ignoring him, the most annoying feature of TSZ is that some people still waste time replying to him, and I can see that.

    And still there is some relief from the steady drumbeat of non sequiturs, ad hominems, and PRATTs from that particular dullard.

    Glen Davidson

  26. John Harshman: Since I started ignoring him, the most annoying feature of TSZ is that some people still waste time replying to him, and I can see that.

    You’re free to put them on Ignore too.

  27. TristanM: Really?Where did he say that? Keep in mind that bearing false witness is a sin Bob.

    He said it always.
    He stressed a creator wouldn’t make creatures unique for every island. So instead every island had the creatures adapting to that island after a original migration from the mainland. THEN HE ROLLED IT ALL BACK.
    he used this reral thing of biological change from bio mechanisms and went to squeeze it down as is now understood.
    Yet the option was more likely of creation of creatures and then biological mechanisms to allow diversity as needed.
    Creation PLUS bio mechanism is the true equation.
    He said it was one or the other. No creation but only bio mechanism and his idea of that.
    He threw the baby out with the bathwater. Indeed ever since evolutionists tell creationists you can’t have both. sure they do.

  28. OMagain: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

    Thats just a easy way to dismiss sharper adults relative to others.
    If some were sharper, really were, you still would hit them with Dunning/kreuger(whoever they are)

    Actually I do agrre with something here.
    i do think dumber people are more likely to not see their error then smarter people seeing their errors. A curve on the graph.
    Thats why in any contention its possible the WRONG side are slow to be corrected.
    its a condition of why they are wrong in the first place. a wee bit less as intelligent.
    YES i find those on the evolution side , seem, to always be on the left wing of politics and always on a side that clusters in many opinions.
    likewise creationists cluster, it seems, on the right and other issues.
    Its never a roll of the dice on each new issue/subject.
    As in american politics . conclusions cluster in bigger demographics.
    SO its an option that some demographics are more intelligent then others and that explains the grouping/skewing to one side or the other of a issue.

    YES its an option the folks who are right on origin issues are not just right but right because of being a wee bit smarter. On a curve.

    Its also an option they recognize this better. Just polite about it.

    Anyways I was talking about middle age adults, paying attention, as more likely to raise the standard of conversation. My idea was, I think, at a higher standard.
    Unless of coarse its an illusion but then i wouldn’t know it. its an active illusion regardless of the suggestion.

  29. John Harshman:
    Since I started ignoring him, the most annoying feature of TSZ is that some people still waste time replying to him, and I can see that.

    Yea, you could put everyone on ignore.

  30. John Harshman: And we do share a common ancestor with earthworms and bacteria. Does that come as a surprise?

    What’s that common ancestor?

    Oh, I forgot, John doesn’t like to have his ideas challenged.

    He is sensitive.

  31. GlenDavidson: So if I wrote that the French language came from Latin that would be wrong because it came from Proto-Indo-European? Basic logic lacking.

    To be more appropriate to Darwin’s analogies (and logic), you’d have to say that French came from ancient Hebrew or something like that.

    John Harshman: First off, when you say “theists” you mean “creationists”.

    False. And since I know you will never accept that there’s a distinction, then that’s all it is: False.

    John Harshman: And we do share a common ancestor with earthworms and bacteria. Does that come as a surprise?

    No surprise at all. It’s the logical outcome of Darwinian beliefs. It’s a bit surprising though that you take it with such confidence, as if it were “data” instead of metaphysical (or at least meta-scientific) assumptions leading to their logical outcome.

  32. Erik:

    GlenDavidson: So if I wrote that the French language came from Latin that would be wrong because it came from Proto-Indo-European? Basic logic lacking.

    To be more appropriate to Darwin’s analogies (and logic), you’d have to say that French came from ancient Hebrew or something like that.

    You make even less sense now than yesterday.

    You need to learn what categories mean, what trees are, etc. You’re managing to make about as much sense as Byers by making up nonsense as you fail and fail again.

    Glen Davidson

  33. John Harshman,

    Since I started ignoring him, the most annoying feature of TSZ is that some people still waste time replying to him, and I can see that.

    From a veteran of talk.origins, I find this irritation quite surprising.

  34. Mung,

    Evolutionists hate analogy. Except when they want to use it. Then it’s ok.

    Bad and/or over-stretched analogy; that’s what I’m not keen on. My own analogies are spot on, like a camembert at the absolute moment of perfection.

  35. Allan Miller:
    Mung,
    Bad and/or over-stretched analogy; that’s what I’m not keen on. My own analogies are spot on, like a camembert at the absolute moment of perfection.

    Analogies are not arguments. They are aids to communication of complex concepts. Communication requires willing participants.

    As for the willingness of evilutionists to entertain the ID argument, well Darwin’s Origin was an extended reply to Paley, and ID hasn’t had a new idea since Paley.

    The best single effort is probably Behe’s Edge, which hasn’t been ignored.

    There really aren’t any other kinds of ID arguments. Tornado in a junkyard is pretty much it.

  36. John Harshman:
    Erik,

    There’s a lot wrong with that page, and there’s a lot wrong with that sentence. Was your point that someone somewhere on the web once said something untrue?

    What page? What sentence? Maybe I inadvertently linked to an evolutionist webpage that you don’t approve of, so let’s stick to your own sentences, such as,

    John Harshman: And we do share a common ancestor with earthworms and bacteria. Does that come as a surprise?

    I don’t think I have quoted any webpage that would be in contradiction with this, by Darwin, some Darwinian, or anyone else.

    GlenDavidson: You need to learn what categories mean, what trees are, etc.

    We already established that in evolutionary biology all species are a single clade. Too late to turn back now.

  37. Allan Miller:
    petrushka,
    Excellent example of a bad analogy.

    It’s actually a very good analogy to Dembski’s argument.

    But not at all to evolution.

    What it does is clearly illustrate how Dembski ignores evolution in order to argue against it.

    I think Hoyle was talking about biogenesis, and we still haven’t got a handle on the first stages of chemical evolution.

  38. been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one;

    That passage may not appear in earlier additions. I haven’t confirmed this. One professor of biology suggested the Creator was mentioned because Darwin was married to a Christian whom he loved very deeply and thus gave a small concession.

    Can anyone look to see of this passage is omitted in earlier editions? Thanks in advance.

  39. been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one;

    Whether intended or not, the mention of Creator helped market the book immensely. The Christian clergy were gobbling this up and promoting Darwinism like the Theistic Evolutionists of today. The Christian clergy even had Darwin buried at Wesminster Abby with all these church women weeping at his funeral as if he were some Christian saint!

    Answers in Genesis has an article on the complicity of the Church in promoting Darwinism. I know that first hand since even today, I’ve been rebuked or given the cold shoulder by Christian Darwinists in venues that I thought would be friendly. For example Intervarsity Christian fellowship, numerous evangelical churches, and more recently:

    http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/my-presentation-at-lipscomb-university-in-front-of-faculty-and-deans-of-several-universities-available-for-free-online-expense-for-live-attendance-is-390/comment-page-2/#comment-178452

    my talk was supposed to be for engineers and business faculty who didn’t show up. It was the biologists and theologians who showed up, many of them chilly to ID!

    And my estimate is about half of professing Christians accept Darwinian evolution.

    FWIW, I once dated a Christian Darwinist. I didn’t have as much problem with her Darwinism. That wasn’t irreconcilable. The fact she was a Democrat, however, was a deal breaker.

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