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The Pajaro Dunes "Conference" – Scientists Challenging Darwinism!
They were less than a dozen in all, all eminent scientists, serious doubters of the conventional wisdom that Darwinism was an established fact. All with many credentials, they were American and foreign nationals who shared dissatisfaction with the accepted belief that the theory of Darwinian Evolution fully explained the origin of life and was an established scientific fact. Yet this is what they had all been taught—and what they knew was still being taught—even in advanced biology curricula. Michael Behe, a world-renowned biologist from Lehigh University, expressed his dismay (anger) at completing a doctoral program without ever being exposed to the strong arguments against Darwin’s conventional theory that were presented in a book by Michael Denton, “Darwin in crisis”. Dr. Dean Kenyon, Professor Emeritus of Evolutionary Biology from San Francisco State University was there, as was Dr. Paul Nelson, Stephen Meyer, William Demsky, Jonathon Wells, Jed McCosko and Scott Minich – biologists, chemists, philosophers.
They discussed the ramifications of modern laboratory equipment such as electron micrography at 50,000 times magnification of living cells – technology unknown until recently, and advanced knowledge in many related fields that raised fundamental challenges for a century and a half. Old Darwinism – all ignored by the mainstream media, courts, colleges and the public. Through their own personal studies and experiments, these scientists had all come to question the conventional belief system of Darwinism, and certainly did not agree that it was proven science. In an unrestricted atmosphere of free expression, they then exchanged ideas and concepts, theoretically exploring the mystery of life – including all rational scientific options.
Many would later describe the meeting as a defining moment in their technical lives.
It began with Charles Darwin, who in 1831, during a five-year voyage of exploration, spent a month on the isolated Galapagos Islands, finding unique animals, plants and birds unlike anything he had seen before. Among the latter he discovered thirteen species of finches, with different shapes and sizes of beaks, which, twenty-five years later in his revolutionary book On the Origin of Species, became the central part of his theory. His theme was that time and random mutations had occasionally provided a natural advantage for obtaining seed foods in different localities with different plant life – which, over time, had resulted in optimized forms of different beaks in relation to a certain place. food source. This was the significant conclusion from his observations – slight changes in the shape of the beak over generations, initiated by random mutations, but providing useful advantages in the competitive struggle for existence by a functional improvement, would gradually result in a form of optimized beak for a specific shape. food source. There was no need for “intelligent” guidance from a supreme being – Darwin extrapolated his thesis beyond the optimization of the finch’s beak shape—to the major variations of all basic animal life forms, the drastic physical changes in appearance and function that improved the chances of success in the competition for survival. Darwin’s terminology: “natural selection through the survival of the fittest”.
As scholars and scientists reviewed Darwin’s words, “. . . it cannot make a sudden leap, but must advance by short and sure but slow steps,” they noted what he had also said (and which his supporters never seem to admit) , “However, if it could be demonstrated that any complex organism existed which could not have been formed by numerous successive slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” (Emphasis added.)
bacterial flagellar motor,
Of great interest were the well-known articles from today’s science, a finger filled with cultured organic fluid containing billions of single-celled bacteria, each filled with complex circuits and microscopic molecular “machines.” The common bacterium, propelled by its rapidly rotating whip-tail flagellum, was analyzed in detail. “Like a motor outside,” commented Dr Behe. Dr. H. Berg of Harvard had called it “the most efficient engine in the universe”. Dr. Scott Minich, who has studied the phenomenon for two decades, described it: “. . . rotates at 100,000 rpm, stops at a quarter turn, then rotates in the opposite direction, while continuously receiving and processing input from the environment to avoid obstacles.” He explained that detailed examination of the microscopic mechanism revealed components and functions analogous to the optimized mechanical complexity of a standard outboard motor-propeller system.
As an approach to their scientific evaluation of the whiptail, the concept of “irreducible complexity” was discussed. Using the common mouse trap as an analogy, it was very clear to all – the five components: a bait holder; a capture (or kill) mechanism; a holding device; a trigger device; and a platform in which all the elements are linked in the right relationship. Of great importance to scientists were three specific Darwinian factors that should apply to living things:
- until all elements of a system are present and functional, the system will not function;
- until the system works, elements that do not work are not a benefit, but an obstacle to the survival of the economic entity; AND
- by Darwin’s own theory of natural selection, such useless appendages would be eliminated in subsequent generations.
The complex marvel of function as shown under the microscope was decomposed into analogous and numerous elements of a common engine-drive system – forty parts, equivalent to rotor sections, drive shaft, stators, brakes, flexible joints, etc. (plus an additional feedback sensor). Every part of such mechanical systems, with modern competitive technology, is specifically designed and engineered for maximum overall operational efficiency – in stark contrast to Darwin’s theory of random mutation, small, accidental steps, (somewhat) continuous improvement generator through favorable general operation. The visual evidence of the whiptail was clearly and completely inconsistent with Darwin’s theory. To their rational minds, the theory of small random changes somehow randomly combining to achieve a miracle of operational complexity and efficiency was completely unacceptable by any scientific standard. It was not just a challenge to the theory of Darwin-Evolutionism – it was a destruction of it!
Conclusion for the best explanation,
They were scientists, in search of understanding. While Darwin’s theory was brilliant and clearly applicable at the subclass level (for beak shapes—or skin coloration for bears or humans—optimizing the amount of vitamin D absorption for different sun exposures, either harmful or useful), for the basic and initial origin of living beings, however, the analogy with the external engine was inevitable. The final result, according to the logic, could only be achieved by ultimate objective “intelligence”, driving specific detailed “engineering design” elements.
The methodology of science is specific in terms of accepting the “inference to the best explanation”. With Darwin’s theory clearly inadequate and other viable theories lacking, the alternative concept—first introduced by Behe in his book “Darwin’s Black Box”—was firmly selected by the scientific community as the most plausible explanation. good possible for the origin of life forms – “intelligent”. design”!
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