Sunday, December 3, 2006

Myth or Mystery? The Truth About Creationism's Failure to Answer the Simplest of Questions in Regards to Human Evolution...

Not content to come up with silly theories which have no scientific basis, a group of fundies in Kenya have decided that all fossils showing the evolution of man must be hidden from public view when a museum is finished remodeling.

Yes, folks, that's right. Knowing they'll never, ever get smart, average people to accept blind faith as good science, they've decided to start hiding the evidence instead. From the article:

"The Christian community here is very uncomfortable that Leakey and his group want their theories presented as fact," said Bishop Bonifes Adoyo, [despite overwhelming evidence and reproducible science which holds evolution as a true working model to explain man's evolution on this earth...] head of the largest Pentecostal church in Kenya, the Christ is the Answer Ministries [despite having never gotten a phone call returned from the Big Cheese].

"Our doctrine is not that we evolved from apes [but that the Big Cheese was playing in the mud one day and "Tada!"], and we have grave concerns that the museum wants to enhance the prominence of something presented as fact which is just one theory [with mountains of evidence that we can't refute except with bad science that we're having a hard time getting anyone to believe]," the bishop said.
I want to know what their explanation is, then, for the hundreds of fossils that show the progressive evolution of man? Are you telling me that only sickly, bone-disease ridden humans and extinct apes are your only theories, theories which don't hold up? (Yes, these were actual arguments put forth a few years ago by some Christian "scientists.") We will present three articles in which scientists refute creationist claims about the "wrongness" of evolution, and excerpts from these articles.

The first deals with the human ancestor of Australopithecines, which you can read all about by clicking the link to Wikipedia. The article in question was written by Martin K. Nickels, PhD, and professor of Anthropology at Illinois State University. From his article:

Australopithecine fossils provide an especially good example of two of the creationists' central concerns: the obvious biological similarity between humans and other organisms (particularly the apes) and the existence of creatures with a distinctive (perhaps disturbing or distressing to creationists) combination of apelike and human-like features. Creationist claims to the contrary, the hominid status of the australopithecines is quite justified, not seriously open to question today, and of special importance to the question of the evolutionary origin of humans.

Thus, creationists could conclude that they need not even concern themselves with any discussion of the australopithecines; at best, it is all a big mistake, or, at worst, merely another effort to deny and obscure the real story of the origin of humans and the world.

Dismissing the evidence or misinterpreting it, however, does not answer the question of what the australopithecines are. Their geological antiquity aside, and simply from the perspective of comparative anatomy, the combination of features evident in the australopithecines would present significant problems for creationists even if there were no evolutionary interpretations of their status. We can only wonder how Carolus Linneaus, the eighteenth-century "father" of modern taxonomy and a believer in special creation, would have classified the australopithecines when he only reluctantly excluded the "ape" from the genus Homo, even though he acknowledged his inability to find a "character" to justify any separation of the two (Green, 1959:184-185).

Consider the creationists' dilemma: the more humanlike the australopithecines are, the more difficult it is to maintain the special uniqueness of "man." On the other hand, the more apelike the australopithecines are, the more apelike modern humans are (because of the array of attributes we share with the australopithecines) and, again, the less unique and less special is "man." From either perspective, the australopithecines make trouble for creationists.
The article is an awesome read for those who have never had the chance to really study up on this well-documented ancestor that we share (despite your horror at being a relative of one, let alone the ones that still show up for family reunions very year).

Another article from C. Loring Brace, deals with the ancestor of Pithecanthropines, a close relative of the above hominid. The reason there is almost no separate web data to present as a link, the author puts forth straight away:

Modern appraisers usually do not feel that it is distinct enough from Homo to warrant a separate generic name, but Dubois' species erectus is accepted by nearly all.
After dispelling with this tidbit, Loring gets into the meat of the issue creationist's have with the following:

The dilemma of the creationists, of course, is the fact that their own preconceptions require them to categorize something as either ape or human. When they actually encounter a creature that is in between, then they have to throw it in one or the other of the modern categories, and it is not surprising that a form with genuinely intermediate features should be randomly assigned to each of the only possibilities they will accept. From the point of view of their own logic, they are both equally correct. From an examination of the actual evidence, they are both demonstrably wrong.
[...]
Creationists have consistently misunderstood or misrepresented the nature of the fossil record of human evolution. They have tended to vacillate between denying the evidence and trying to force selective parts of it into easy categories of ape (or monkey) and human (meaning modern human), despite the fact that we humans have rather diligently and successfully sought out our fossil ancestry.

Let us refer to some of the specific evidence. Figures 5 through 7 show some of the massive amount of evidence unearthed at Choukoutein. Compare them with claims that no such evidence exists. If the early discoveries are forgeries, how could the internal structure of a fossil have been faked? Figure 5 is an X-ray view of one of the early crania showing intricate anatomical details. Figure 6 is an external view. The back part of a skull found in 1934 (L3) fits perfectly with a front portion found in 1966 (Figure 7).
Again, I would highly encourage anyone to read the entire article, which goes into great detail about the argument creationist's have put forth and the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

The last article which I will present I will try to keep short, as I know this post has gone on for quite some time. (Just imagine how long it would be if I quoted all the proof against creationism that exists!!) This article comes from Ernest Conrad, a California high school science and anthropology teacher who has been investigating creationists claims for many years. He is dealing with perhaps the most famous of our ancestors, the Neanderthal:

Homo erectus, Homo habilis, and australopithecine remains clearly predate modern Homo stratigraphically, morphologically, and according to a range of radiometric dating techniques. The exact placement and role of Neanderthal and the nature of the Homo transitional sequence remains debatable, but there is no question about the fact that Neanderthal were people with cultural traditions and humanlike activities, such as ritualistic burial of their dead, group support of handicapped individuals, and the beginnings of artistic sensibilities. Indeed, one of the most fascinating Neanderthal questions (totally ignored by creationists) is the nature of relationships between two possibly coexisting culture-bearing species, Neanderthal and a separate archaic Homo sapiens.

Despite a few technical disagreements, including the very basic question about whether Neanderthal is a defined taxon, a stage of human evolution, or a nineteenth-century terminological artifact, no one questions its hominid nature. As with any evolutionary topic which shows signs of lively debate concerning nuances, creationists have seized upon the nature of Neanderthal.

The creationist view of Neanderthal varies from arguments that Neanderthal is an ape, a modern human with bone disease, or an extinct form of human or ape. Transitions are ruled out, of course. Anti-evolutionists find ways to read perplexity into complexity. A few quotations show some of the range of their claims:
The Neanderthal race of cave-men (based on a skull cap attested by various experts to be that of an ape-man, a modern Cossack, a Negro, an early German and several other things, including that of an idiot) has a skeletal structure similar to that of modern day men and women who suffer from the endocrine disorder acromegaly . . . occurring in about one person in 10,000.
--Pratney

Yeah, so all of the hundreds of Neanderthal skeletons have a bone disease which only affects one in 10,000 people. Riiiiiight. He goes on to quote other statements creationists have made about Neanderthal:

As far as the stooped skeletal structure of Neanderthal is concerned, most anthropologists now believe this was due to disease, possibly arthritis or rickets.
--Morris, 1974

It is my opinion from the research that the adult Neanderthal features that are so ape like are the result of a heavily functioning masticatory system and extremely old age, perhaps 150 to 200 years.
--Cuozzo, 1980

In fact a number of the man fossils may represent peoples which had suffered degeneration as the result of sin.--Kofahl, 1977

Because of sin, mankind began to degenerate, and as groups left the central society for life in the wild, they degenerated even further. According to this evidence the Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon people lived near the Mid-East, while more degenerate types such as the Pithecanthropines and Australopithecines moved still further.
--Bible Science Newsletter, 1980

He then goes on to rip apart these statements which many a creationists still stands behind despite being thirty years later with a much larger treasure-trove of evidence:

To begin with, it is important to realize that today paleoanthropologists reject the shambling, bent-kneed, slouching Neanderthal as a myth stemming in part from Marcellin Boule's 1911-1913 "restoration" of an unfortunately chosen pathological skeleton which had arthritis in the neck, jaw, and spine. The La Chapelle aux Saints skeleton he studied was a pathological case not typical of the Wurm I Neanderthal who was normally as upright as modern humans. When Boule published his findings, the majority of scientific opinion welcomed his filling of the gap in the procession of ape to human. But time did not freeze in 1911; very soon, his interpretations were challenged, tested, and changed. Some creationists, however, have fixed upon such early ideas, unfairly denigrating early paleoanthropologists and their descendants who have improved drastically upon early interpretations. A good discussion of Neanderthal pathology has been summarized by Erik Trinkaus (1978) and Trinkaus and Howells (1979).

Since the diseased La Chapelle aux Saints skeleton was atypical, it should be obvious that an appeal to disease cannot be used to explain away all the clear differences between healthy Neandertals and modern humans. Some creationists, however, seem to reject the idea that any of the Neanderthals were healthy, claiming instead that Neanderthal features are simply the result of certain afflictions in ordinary humans. One of the clearest expositions of this view was made in 1978 by Rush K. Acton, an orthopedic surgeon. His Impact Series article for the Institute for Creation Research, entitled "Bone Disease Simulating Ancient Age in 'Pre-Human' Fossils," goes into some detail on disease and Neanderthals and therefore warrants a response.

Overall, Acton's article is misleading. Since he had no apparent first-hand experience with the data, his medical credentials end up contributing little to his analyses of positional and locomotor behavior of fossil forms. Some of his comments are true, some false, and some vague. Together, they do not support his conclusion: "Most examples of the 'fossil men' can best be explained as variant forms of man or ape with an occasional example of outright fraud." Let us, however, look at his main points and respond with scientific counterpoints.
Need I say, this is another great read.

In the spirit of being fair and balanced, however much one must cater to the whims and myths of creationism, here are some links to the creationist point of view if one has the time or care to so read. Since I quoted three experts on evolution, here are three "experts" on creationism:
  1. Evolution is a Myth, a could not find a profile link to this web's author or what his credentials might be, but there you are.
  2. Creation Evidence and Evolution Myths by Matthew McGee. His credentials from his web site: "I am not a pastor, nor do I have any formal theology degrees. My only degree is in engineering, and I have a full time job in that field. I study the Bible to see what God's Word says, and I do not adhere to any denomination. I take the word of no man when it comes to doctrine. That is not to say that I do not listen to other teachers, for certainly I have benefited greatly from the help of many fine Bible teachers, and I still do. I simply mean that I always check the scriptures to see how any preacher's or teacher's statements line up with God's Word. If it does not square with scripture, forget about it. I would hope that others would do the same with my writings."
  3. The Evolution Myth, by Pastor Tim. His credentials from his web site: Couldn't find any.
Looking at this sad list of people who don't even believe a text book could teach them anything, I decided to look for creationist sites that at least have some type of college degree. Here are the results of this search:
  1. Center for Scientific Creation, by Walt Brown received a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he was a National Science Foundation Fellow. He has taught college courses in physics, mathematics, and computer science. Brown is a retired full colonel (Air Force), West Point graduate, and former Army ranger and paratrooper. Assignments during his 21 years in the military included: Director of Benet Research, Development, and Engineering Laboratories in Albany, New York; tenured associate professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy; and Chief of Science and Technology Studies at the Air War College. For much of his life, Walt Brown was an evolutionist, but after many years of study, he became convinced of the scientific validity of creation and a global flood. Since retiring from the military in 1980, Dr. Brown has been the Director of the Center for Scientific Creation and has worked full time in research, writing, and speaking on origins.
  2. Missouri Association for Creation, by the Missouri Association for Creation (M.A.C.), founded in 1972 by two graduate students at the University of Missouri in Columbia. These students felt a need to establish a forum from which they could critically examine the scientific evidence as it pertains to the origin of the Cosmos in general and living organisms in particular. As the name chosen for the organization suggests, they were convinced on the basis of their own study that a careful consideration of the scientific evidence would overwhelmingly favor a creation model over against an evolutionary model of origins. They found that a critical evaluation of the scientific evidence for both models of origins, creation and evolution, was rarely attempted in the science classroom or in any instructional materials then in use. To satisfy their own curiosity and enthusiasm they met monthly with other interested students, faculty, and members of the local community to hear invited speakers and hold discussions and debates.
  3. True.Origin Archive, where you can find many links to many "facts."
I feel dirty. :D

Of course, the whole argument boils down to one question overall: Where did life come from? And being as science has yet to provide an answer (although there has been much discovered lately about its origins in recent years; see here, here, or here), the fundie always will revert to needing a god, or gods, to have accomplished this feat. The fault with this premise, though, is that if all the other tales in the bible don't hold up under scrutiny (which is really just a by-product of the search for truth and not the true purpose of scientific inquiry), why would this one still be held up as necessary? It isn't. It is simple default thinking which doesn't allow for a true curiosity of discovery.

The purpose of science isn't to disprove god, despite claims to the contrary. It is simply to understand and find answers in a methodological, reasoned way. And if the myths of the past don't hold up under the facts and truths discovered, only two options are left:
  1. Revise your understanding of these faith-based books, or
  2. Remain purposefully ignorant despite reality.
The origins of life is a mystery to be solved, not a myth to be upheld. It's as simple as that...

To finish reading the article that inspired this post, click here.

Sorry this got so long. I will try to master the art of brevity at some point next year... well, I'll try anyway. Thoughts? Comments?

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know this would be hard for someone so hard headed, but have you ever considered the possibility that you are wrong?

Darkmind said...

Hey anon, I know this would be hard for someone so hard headed, but have you ever considered the possibility that you are wrong?

mom said...

hello jason, yes you are right this blog is long and the apple didn't fall to far from this tree since we love to type! :) i tried reading this and even looking up some of your sites and i just can't read all this stuff that everyone thinks they know since not a one of them knows really how God did do things when it came to making it all. i know we had a long talk sat. about some things and i do know one thing about myself is that i do have faith in the God i serve and i also think we have so many people out there writing this and that we are so clogged with information we forget that in Gods word He said we all need just a little faith as small as a mustard seed and to me if God said He created it and He is God He can do it all anyway He felt He wanted to no matter what anyone says. i just can't understand why you can't believe God did it all starting with whatever you think God started with or whatever you think we all started with? i came up with this theory: all the things out there you can read on this stuff any of us can find a book that we can agree with and go with that one and say that the other one we didn't agree with its all wrong. it comes down to it i think we don't want to be accountable to someone that you can't see. (when i say you i mean you but not just you. :) do you understand that.) i look at the God i serve and He is bigger than any of us and if you look at trying to make anything He did no one can. yes, you can do some things but you needed the starter kit and they didn't make the starter kit they drew from it so they didn't create it from nothing. so however it started out i don't care how God did it all i know He did it and that is that. now thats a sermon! :) throw the money in the offering plate! remember its Christmas! :) :) snort snort well, back to it have wrapping to do and cleaning to do and i started a new project to get done before Christmas. love and prayers ps we have a very small dusting of snow right now. i love getting snow before Christmas!

mom said...

mom here again. i know i am slow since i just realized you are 23rd on the reading list of blog reading? i will have to bake you a cake! :) also, i see our comments went up in price. does it have something to do the reading list?? :) snort love and prayers

Jason Hughes said...

Anon: Considering that I might be wrong and looking at the evidence is part of the path that led me to believe that there isn't a god, so there you go. Perhaps you should possibly consider the same...

Darkmind: Wanted to let you know I was looking at Darkworld, and, damn boy! You take seom freakin' awesome pictures! Very talented!

Mom: yes, our hour-and-a-half discussion on Saturday was quite fun, wasn't it? :DYeas, no one was there to take pictures, which is why we study the remnants (or even negatives?) of the past to find clues and get a hint at what may have been so we are better prepared for what could be. Everything takes faith, it's what you put your faith in that decides your course in life...

I'm at leats glad I have a mother who, while we may not always agree, has the where-with-all to at least entertain her "wayward" son... :D So, did you leanr anything?

Jason Hughes said...

So, anonymous, is Neanderthal a monkey or a man? What about Australopithecines? Monkey or man? What are these fossils if not part of our past ancestory? There's mopre than just a quick glance at these people than, "Wow! That looks like me! Or at least it looks like Grandma Zoe!" There's DNA and RNA, bone shapes, archaelogical sites, all kinds of radio-elemental dating--what do you make of it all? If you don't look at the theories and facts of science, what was Neanderthal?

Ian MacLeod said...

First, about the, "is Neanderthal a monkey or a man? What about Australopithecines? Monkey or man?
Homo sapiens sapiens is a species of Great Ape. What else? The fossil and DNA records are clear. We're a different branch on the same tree, that's all.

When I read this article, I looked up the Director of the Kenya Nat'l Mueaum and sent him a note:

Loud religionists vs. Truth

Dear Mr. Chenge,

I have read of the threat by Bishop Adoyo, who said all the country's churches would unite to force the museum to change its focus when it reopens after eighteen months of renovations in June 2007. These fanatics have done TERRIBLE damage to my own country, beginning here as they are there: through seemingly unrelated areas, like the showing of religious art or philosophy in public, or by seeking to suppress scientific evidence as they are in your land. They set up a dichotomy and attempt to force honest people to show a false "balance" by helping the side of the superstition they believe is the sole truth. From control over that small portion of government, they gain a foothold leading to more. Here in the U.S., that 'more' includes the power to suppress the truth, no matter the evidence, in the media and the schools.

I beg you - do not give in! A relative handful of loud and obnoxious fanatics may make as much noise as a great many people, but they remain a relative handful. Remember too that these are the same people pushing "abstinence only" sexual education that forbids the use of condoms that has harmed countries all over Africa, even closing down the clinics that gave out medications for AIDS along with contraception, reversing all of the gains made with so much effort against this horrible disease.

They could care less about how many people suffer and die, or how many orphans there are or how many people live in crushing poverty, as long as they get their way. If you must, ask the government to intervene to stop the harassment.

Protect our common heritage of the knowledge of our ancestors there in the cradle of humanity, and of freedom, and of the right to know what is true, no matter who doesn't like it. The smartest thing your country could do is to banish these mentally unbalanced fanatics before they do there what they have done here. They are book-burning destroyers, liars, and must be stopped, sir!

Good fortune and strength to you and the scientists and other honest souls with whom you work!

VERY Sincerely,

Ian MacLeod
Veteran, now disabled
Madras, Oregon, USA

Ian MacLeod said...

I beg your pardon, but I meant to add that it seems to me the fanatic religious right's trying to place limits on the Creator simply because THEY can't understand the evidence left by what actually exists and what existed, beyond doubt, is the height of lack of faith. The evidence being what it is, the only conclusion possible if we accept their interpretation is that God is a sadistic practical joker (personally, I think all practical jokers are sadistic): If their interpretation of scripture is the only possible right one, and adding in the clear, consistent evidence apparently planted by God the Comedian at the risk of damnation of those who believe the evidence, then God is a joker and a liar.

This makes it a case of one's god looking a lot like one's self, does it not? At least the Greeks and Romans were upfront about it.

Ian MacLeod

Jason Hughes said...

What an excellent letter, Ian! And good for you for having the gumption to do something about the issue!

To our other readers: I, too, followed Ian's exmaple and sent the National Museum's of Kenya a letter about the irrationality behind this move by the right-wing, and hope you will join us. You can contact the National Museums through this link, which will take you to their contact page.

Thanks again, Ian, for your thoughts and you example.

Anonymous said...

http://www.saintsalive.com/general/wonderfully.htm

Ian MacLeod said...

It seemed the reasonable thing to do - let them know that the loud voices of a few fanatics aren't the only ones. This is also the mentality that burned the Great Library of Alexandria. Thousands of years of gathering knowledge, over five million manuscripts, and it was burned because "it wasn't scripture - it was all profane".

I really don't see the dichotomy. As far as biblical explanations go, how would YOU try to explain even modern technology to a bunch of desert savages and shepherds? Why can time itself not be an artifact, and the result of time on life in a changing, world-sized environment be predictable?

Some time ago a programmer made an artificial environment in a computer, then created a small sort of sub-program to run in it. It was made to require 'food', to 'die', and to procreate. The smallest he he could make it and still have it function was seven bytes, I think. After days of 'evolving' on it's own in that software environment, he noticed a new kind of sub-program; it was much more efficient that his, and was only three bytes! It turned out that one byte did MORE than one job.

It's the same in the human body. Anonymous, the cells that make up the lens of the eye are modified, optically almost pure SKIN CELLS, which are also used for other things. We note that in very primitive organisms, some skin cells become sensitive to light, too. Most people have NO idea of the length of time that a billion years is. Givien four times that, plus an entire world of life experimenting on improvement, where there is light, eyes are pretty much inevitable. And living tissue is not the same as the parts of a watch - it CAN change, and does, all the time. The life on Madagascar is living proof of that, and clearly related to other life; it is also clearly in the process of change.

So if you need to believe in a God, why could that process not be the way He works? Why pick and choose what is metaphor and what is not? A God such as you postulate could easily have closed the Gates of Knowledge to us - no searching, no amount of experimentation would have given us repeatable results, the basis of science. That didn't happen, and we do learn. Why assume we were intended NOT lo learn, when it is so clearly our nature?

Ian

mom said...

hello jason! you asked if i learned anything? yes, i learned that i have not enough time to read all that there is out there on this subject and i am glad i don't have to prove anything to anybody since that is Gods job and i am sure He can handle it. :) i feel God made me special and to love others with His divine help. you all can argue to the cows come home and i feel we are all going to be surprised to find God is bigger than anything you brain people can ever think. i can go to bed at night and i know i am living without fear in anything since i knon i am loved by God and my family and thats enough for me. now that doesn't mean i don't have fears but i pray a lot and i really don't expect you ALL to understand it all since you All don't let God do His thing in your life. i will always stand on the words God put in His book and whenever you don't understand it all which i don't and there are alot of people that don't i rather go by what i do understand and live what i know that works. i know i am using the know word and that makes you upset but deal with it! :) i can think of a lot worse things. :) and one more thing i have learned that with reading others views makes me stronger in my views since i feel it is important to know what you believe and to search out what you believe and i have faith that in all your search you will turn towards God. i think alot of fundies don't practice what they preach and you all do call us on that. we should never be afraid to listen to each other and if you have to agree to disagree so be it. after that i pray for you all! :) love and prayers

James F. McGrath said...

Thanks for this post - helpfully pointing out the truth, namely that creationists will enthusiastically hide evidence that doesn't fit their predetermined "conclusions"!

http://blue.butler.edu/~jfmcgrat/blog/

Jason Hughes said...

Hey James, thanks for the compliment, and welcome to the blog! It's always nice when you take the time to write these long posts to know they're being read...

Anonymous said...

I know this would be hard for someone so hard headed, but have you ever considered the possibility that you are wrong?

Ian MacLeod said...

First, about the, "is Neanderthal a monkey or a man? What about Australopithecines? Monkey or man?
Homo sapiens sapiens is a species of Great Ape. What else? The fossil and DNA records are clear. We're a different branch on the same tree, that's all.

When I read this article, I looked up the Director of the Kenya Nat'l Mueaum and sent him a note:

Loud religionists vs. Truth

Dear Mr. Chenge,

I have read of the threat by Bishop Adoyo, who said all the country's churches would unite to force the museum to change its focus when it reopens after eighteen months of renovations in June 2007. These fanatics have done TERRIBLE damage to my own country, beginning here as they are there: through seemingly unrelated areas, like the showing of religious art or philosophy in public, or by seeking to suppress scientific evidence as they are in your land. They set up a dichotomy and attempt to force honest people to show a false "balance" by helping the side of the superstition they believe is the sole truth. From control over that small portion of government, they gain a foothold leading to more. Here in the U.S., that 'more' includes the power to suppress the truth, no matter the evidence, in the media and the schools.

I beg you - do not give in! A relative handful of loud and obnoxious fanatics may make as much noise as a great many people, but they remain a relative handful. Remember too that these are the same people pushing "abstinence only" sexual education that forbids the use of condoms that has harmed countries all over Africa, even closing down the clinics that gave out medications for AIDS along with contraception, reversing all of the gains made with so much effort against this horrible disease.

They could care less about how many people suffer and die, or how many orphans there are or how many people live in crushing poverty, as long as they get their way. If you must, ask the government to intervene to stop the harassment.

Protect our common heritage of the knowledge of our ancestors there in the cradle of humanity, and of freedom, and of the right to know what is true, no matter who doesn't like it. The smartest thing your country could do is to banish these mentally unbalanced fanatics before they do there what they have done here. They are book-burning destroyers, liars, and must be stopped, sir!

Good fortune and strength to you and the scientists and other honest souls with whom you work!

VERY Sincerely,

Ian MacLeod
Veteran, now disabled
Madras, Oregon, USA

mom said...

hello jason, yes you are right this blog is long and the apple didn't fall to far from this tree since we love to type! :) i tried reading this and even looking up some of your sites and i just can't read all this stuff that everyone thinks they know since not a one of them knows really how God did do things when it came to making it all. i know we had a long talk sat. about some things and i do know one thing about myself is that i do have faith in the God i serve and i also think we have so many people out there writing this and that we are so clogged with information we forget that in Gods word He said we all need just a little faith as small as a mustard seed and to me if God said He created it and He is God He can do it all anyway He felt He wanted to no matter what anyone says. i just can't understand why you can't believe God did it all starting with whatever you think God started with or whatever you think we all started with? i came up with this theory: all the things out there you can read on this stuff any of us can find a book that we can agree with and go with that one and say that the other one we didn't agree with its all wrong. it comes down to it i think we don't want to be accountable to someone that you can't see. (when i say you i mean you but not just you. :) do you understand that.) i look at the God i serve and He is bigger than any of us and if you look at trying to make anything He did no one can. yes, you can do some things but you needed the starter kit and they didn't make the starter kit they drew from it so they didn't create it from nothing. so however it started out i don't care how God did it all i know He did it and that is that. now thats a sermon! :) throw the money in the offering plate! remember its Christmas! :) :) snort snort well, back to it have wrapping to do and cleaning to do and i started a new project to get done before Christmas. love and prayers ps we have a very small dusting of snow right now. i love getting snow before Christmas!