Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tim Ball Denies Darwin!

You know I've been waiting months for this to finally happen.

Tim Ball has been making noises now and then at the Climate Skeptic Cafe, but now, in this Canada Free Press article co-authored with Tom Harris, the cork finally pops!

Like all philosophies that come to dominate society, climate hysteria is part of an evolution of ideas and needs an historical context. The current western view of the World essentially evolved from the Darwinian view. Even though it is still just a theory and not a law 148 years after it was first proposed, Darwinian evolution is the only view allowed in schools. Why? Such censorship suggests fear of other ideas, a measure of indefensibility.

All the old Creationist tropes are here. 1) Its only a theory. 2) The "controversy" should be taught in public schools, and if it isn't 3) that's censorship.

Weirdly enough, Tim and Tom are willing to go even further, tracing the roots of "environmental extremism" to, of all places, Sir Charles Lyell:

A proper appreciation of time is essential to this discussion and the larger theme of climate change. Before Darwin, the English church accepted Bishop Ussher’s biblically-based calculation that the world was formed on October 23, 4004 BC. But Darwin needed a much older world to allow the sort of evolution he envisioned as driving natural change to occur. Religion said God created the world in 7 days; Darwin needed millions.

Sir Charles Lyell provided the answer in a book titled Principles of Geology, which Darwin took on his famous voyage to the Galapagos Islands. The combination of long time frames and slow development resulted in a philosophical view known as uniformitarianism.

If such a term sounds more appropriate to religion than science, that is because it is, in essence, another form of belief system. Uniformitarianism is the idea now underpinning western society’s view of the World. A basic tenet assumes change is gradual over long periods of time and any sudden or dramatic change is not natural. Employing a version of uniformitarianism adapted to their needs, environmental extremists can point to practically any change and say it is unnatural, which implies it is man-made.

Take THAT, Rachal Carson!

26 comments:

Mike H. said...

The problem with the theory of evolution is that with many people, it starts with legitimate science but then it takes off to a slew of non-scientific assumptions and non-sequiturs that are nothing more than leaps of blind faith and it becomes a quasi-religion.

Mike said...

Mike h.

You are full of shite. Evolution has more science backing it up from more varied fields of study than any other scientific theory.

I'd be curious as to what "leaps of faith" you are talking about. Its not like they are saying all animals on the earth were created as is from dust or a rib 6000 years ago...

Anonymous said...

Mike2,

Look at the fossil record and then we'll see who's full of what.

Wayne said...

Evolution is a fact, how it works is a theory.... not a hypothesis.

Tim Ball is wrong on this one.

Ti-Guy said...

it starts with legitimate science but then it takes off to a slew of non-scientific assumptions and non-sequiturs that are nothing more than leaps of blind faith and it becomes a quasi-religion.

And I'm sure you have examples of that, right?

I hope this isn't the crazy "mike h" I've come across before. That guy needs to be medicated.

Anonymous said...

A geologist will tell you that every physical geological process that they have found and studied, can be observed occurring today.

It's simply curious that mankind has never witnessed a present-day evolutionary improvement in animals, of the type which has produced the specialized animals we have today. Of all the hundreds of thousands of species of land animals, birds, fish, insects, etc., has there ever been a documented record of such an occurence?

Anonymous said...

The fossil record shows that animals of different characteristics have existed. It does not PROVE how those characteristics changed, and what was the motivating force behind it.

bigcitylib said...

"It's simply curious that mankind has never witnessed a present-day evolutionary improvement in animals, of the type which has produced the specialized animals we have today."

Actually, they have. Google "mosquito" "& "London Underground". This is arguably a speciation event.

Ti-Guy said...

"It's simply curious that mankind has never witnessed a present-day evolutionary improvement in animals, of the type which has produced the specialized animals we have today."

Direct quote from Left Behind, is that, Biff?

It's not "curious;" it's simply the reality that you, personally, cannot witness every change that's occurring around you in order to be convinced that something is happening or not. It's simply not possible.

This is a psychological problem with people such as yourself, which ranges from the profound sollipsism that is at the core of religious fundamentalism to outright paranoia.

...unless of course, you're just lying and repeating things you know are not true. That's a psychological problem as well and one that's even worse because, beyond a certain age, it's generally not remediable, as it's an entrenched personality disorder.

Mike said...

wayne,

Good to see you aren't totally insane.

;)

Anon 9:54 - The fossil record is one of those areas. It shows transitional creatures all the time...

In case you need help, look here and here for observed speciation.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/speciation.html

And hell, go to Panda's Thumb for more.

Anyone that doesn't think evolution is real, in the face of all the evidence) is a fool and deserves to be treated as such.

Holly Stick said...

Ball and Harris are examples of devolution. Hey guys, tackle gravity next!

Jay said...

"It's simply curious that mankind has never witnessed a present-day evolutionary improvement in animals, of the type which has produced the specialized animals we have today."

On the contrary:

Study shows
Squirrels adapting to climate change
and just last night on Daily Planet (Discovery Channel) a similar study in Alaska which has been ongoing for 20 years is documenting evolution as well. Its easy when dealing with species that have a high fecundity and a short generational turnover rate.

Unless of course red squirrels are lefties and are only changing the timing of reproduction to make it look like evolution and climate change are occuring. Damn leftie squirrels.

Ti-Guy said...

On the contrary:

Study shows...


Haven't we already learned that providing examples doesn't work with these people? They can parse any issue down to the point where everything is meaningless, which is what they want. And when that stops working, they just re-boot and start all over again: "Yeah, well about the bacterial flagellum?"

They have boundless energy for that; what they don't have time for is to respond to our requests for evidence to back up their own assertions.

Isn't that right, Mike H?

Jay said...

Just to stave off those graspers. The
Bacterial flagellum
did evolve as well in spite of its multiple required components and so did
the eye

Andrew said...

All I can say is thank God the world got it right in Bali, EVERY COUNTRY including the mega-polluters like CHINA, INDIA and the USA, who together produce more greenhouse emissions than the rest of the world combined, will be involved in the next round of talks. That's real progress.

andrew said...

Harper gets credit for sticking to his guns in Bali. He's a leader, love him or hate him.

dan . johnson @ uleth,ca said...

"Even though it is still just a theory and not a law 148 years after it was first proposed,..."

Good grief. It boggles the mind that someone who taught in a University (although obviously not biology) can be so profoundly ignorant of what "theory" is.

There is no progression from "a theory" to a "law" in this context. Where does someone who would make such a statement get his view of evolutionary theory and biology? Maybe from newspaper opinion columns and grumbling neocon blogs (like the trademark charge of 'quasi-religion', or that we don't witness evolution in progress all the time - ha - it ain't just about dinosaurs, you know).

Next stop: Number theory. Does this mean we are not sure there are numbers?

Wayne said...

Right On Dan.

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."
Galileo Galilei

The theory of relativity.

The Theory of Gravity.

Theory of Radioactivity or Nuclear Theory.

etc. etc. etc.

Dr Zen said...

I've never witnessed a supreme being create a planet, and now I have my eyes tight shut and am afraid to open them because I just proved conclusively that the Earth doesn't exist.

Kitchener Conservative said...

BCL,

I think you might want to take the opportunity to read the article from beginning to end. Encourage your readers to do the same.

You'll find that you'll come to a different conclusion and find that your diatribe doesn't fit with the reality of the article

climatepatrol said...

I once led a topic at "Polittalk.ch". What was the outcome of the theory of evolution in terms of scientific nature? Evolution theory remains a theory that can neither be refuted nor given evidence by experimental, scientific approach, while evolution itself is a fact. I am waiting for a month for another commenter that will attempt to prove an experiemental, scientific approach of the theory of evolution. They have given up!

In a similar way as the theory of evolution is regarded as "settled", the core issue of AGW science is regarded as settled in mainstream science (Oreskes 2007). The evolution theory is about humans modelling the past. Global warming theory, more specifically attributing 2 - 4.5°C warming (AR4) to 2*CO2, is about modelling the future although even the present (carbon cycle, etc. etc.) is not yet fully understood.

Please do not mock anybody regardless of his/her religious convictions who challenges this modelling as long as he/she uses scientific reasoning.

Kitchener Conservative said...

Just to add to climatepatrol,

Reading the article you see that Ball and Harris are likening AGW belief to the Darwinian belief that change happens slowly over time and any sudden changes to a species' evolutionary track is unnatural, a belief still held by many in spite of other evidence that change can and does happen very quickly.

The same thinking is used by modern day global warming alarmists.

They don't appear to be talking about creationism at all in spite of what some here believe.

Again read the article from beginning to end.

bigcitylib said...

KC,

That is true, but along the way to making that argument they also claim that Evolution is "merely" a theory and that alternatives are not allowed in the classroom because teachers are trying to silence dissent (also, they claim, the debate around AGW). Those are the prototypical ID talking points.

Kitchener Conservative said...

Without getting too much into an argument of semantics, Evolution is "merely" a theory, it is supported by evidence, observation, facts, but it is still a theory like relativity, big bang.

A theory is only good until someone comes up with something better.

That being said, whether you believe Ball and Harris were talking about ID or something else, you've missed 'the forest for the trees' so to speak.

Their point is that there is a belief in western culture, as a result of Darwinian theory, that says that natural change only happens slowly and any change that happens quickly is unnatural.

This thinking has spilled over to "Climate Change" theory where by temperature change that happens quicker is unnatural and must be caused by man because nature only makes changes slowly. Ball and Harris are saying that it's this "alarmist" thinking that is part of the problem when trying to understand something as complex and chaotic a climate.

I would suggest getting a copy of "Taken by Storm". I'm aout 1/3 way through it and it's very eye opening.

Dan said...

Anonymous climatepatrol said...I am waiting for a month for another commenter that will attempt to prove an experiemental, scientific approach of the theory of evolution.

///

Sheesh. Since the agenda-driven "climatepatrol" probably doesn't care about molecular biology, genetic frequencies, attributes of actual species, fossils, etc., how about this easier one?

a) go to the mountains
b) look at the Cambrian layer or other suitable very old layer
c) find a bone in the rock(not a fake or mistaken one dropped in a crevice)
d) be famous!

Maybe you can think of some more on your own.

Now I suppose you'll say you have never seen a proof that Adam and Eve didn't camp there. Can't help you there.

dan.orthop@gmail.com

Dan said...

See how easy it would be for you to disprove evolution? I suggest you go and try. You have millions of possible ways to do it. Get the picture?