Welcome to the DMZ: The Creation-Evolution De-Militarized Zone

Between North and South Korea there’s a “DMZ,” a De-Militarized Zone. A strip of land a couple of miles wide. A buffer between the two sides. A place where people from both sides can go… and not get shot.dmz_myllissa_2

The DMZ has a number of buildings for peace talks between the two sides.

Evolution 2.0 is a De-Militarized Zone for the evolution debate.

We need this desperately. Why?

Because it doesn’t exist anywhere else!

You cannot go to university and have a frank, open, civilized debate about Naturalism vs. Design. Not without getting apprehended by the Political Correctness Police. Some universities will fire professors for suggesting that the universe appears to be planned or fine-tuned for life.

The “pro-Darwin” websites and conferences are boiling with rage and vitriol. Zero tolerance for dissent.

The average church won’t touch it with a ten foot pole.

The creationist websites are offended at the very thought of evolution. Some churches and schools will throw you out in a hot second if you admit you’re an “evolutionist.”

The Discovery Institute, the Intelligent Design think tank, routinely equates “evolution = atheism” in their articles, books and blog posts. Even though the two are not at all the same.

The two main camps – ID and the Darwinists – both omit or downplay the significance of evolution’s “Swiss Army Knife” – the cell’s astonishing ability to re-program itself. Systems like transposition and symbiogenesis.

Richard Dawkins’ and Jerry Coyne’s pro-Darwin books say almost nothing about this stuff. Most ID books say just as little little.

The name-calling, back-biting, snark and vitriol are not even the worst part of the problem.

The WORST part of the problem is:

Both sides are completely talking PAST each other!

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the Intelligent Design guys raise VALID questions. Their books contain large amounts of competent scholarship.

Their questions deserve to be heard. And yes, answered.

Admire ‘em or distrust ‘em, the secular scientists who publish thousands of papers about evolutionary theory are only doing their job. Their job – their livelihood – is to hunt for naturalistic explanations for how things work.

Neither camp is listening to the other.

That needs to change.

Yes, I know. I heard the guy who just said, “There is no debate. Those guys are idiots!!!”

People from BOTH sides say that.

Statements like that are “exhibit A” of bigotry and prejudice. Because any honest objective assessment shows that both sides raise valid questions. Valid questions deserve respect.

If you’re saying the ‘other guys’ are “idiots” – then we do not have room in the DMZ for you. You will have to lay down your weapons first and agree to a peaceful discussion before you can come in.

But if you want a vigorous but peaceful discussion, this is your place.

Are you with me?

Perry Marshall

P.S.: The DMZ is not a haven for anonymous cowards. Many come here (often lacking manners) and attempt to post their opinions, commentary etc. while hiding behind screen names. That is not what a DMZ is for, and those people get banned. If you will not sign your name your opinion is worthless. The DMZ is for people who relish the clash of ideas and have the courage to be right or wrong in public.

Photo by Flickr/myllissa.

7 Responses

  1. Valen says:

    I agree, there needs to be a safe zone for discussion! Just a few observations…you seem to put a lot of stock in the single cell microbe’s ability to adapt and change when under stress. (micro-evolution) But does that translate to more complex organisms? Why hasn’t an alcoholic’s liver somewhere somehow, evolved to be able to synthesize alcohol more effectively? Why have so many species become extinct, but no new species evolved? Not to mention the theological implications of an old earth (sin, death, redemption, etc).

  2. Bart Nielsen says:

    With no snark or vitriol, could you respectfully discuss any of the lectures (available on DVD from Answers in Genesis) from Dr. David Menton?

    I’m asking specifically about Dr. Menton, so you don’t need to rehash your emotional reaction to Ken Ham or AIG. Thanks.

    • I haven’t seen them.

      I will be happy to discuss any statements made by Ken Ham or AIG without snark or vitriol. Personally I do not believe my comments thus far have snark or vitriol. Rather I have pointed out that Mr. Ham is extremely emotionally manipulative, and I have shown repeatedly that there is no credible or workable solution for speed of light within the Young Earth view.

      • Bart Nielsen says:

        Dr. Menton’s videos are readily available from AIG, and are also available online. Take his lecture, “Formed to Fly.” What do you find objectionable in it?

        • Unfortunately I don’t have the time to go find or purchase someone’s video, watch it and generally comment on it. If you have a specific question I will be happy to give a specific answer.

        • Bart,

          Allow me to anticipate what I think your questions probably are.

          I did a Google search and from the brief description of the video, it looks like your questions are about the DISCRETE differences between birds and reptiles, and that the differences are too pronounced to be the results of gradual changes over time.

          This kind of problem is pervasive in biology. What you see in nature in the differences between species is wholesale discrete changes. Not gradual steps. And of course Neo-Darwinists trip all over themselves trying to explain this as coming from accumulated gradual mutations.

          So without watching the video I would predict that the guy has described all these differences more or less accurately and yes these present a real problem for the standard old-school Neo-Darwinian model of gradual mutations, random mutations etc.

          So let’s understand that in order for evolution to work, it requires MAJOR “rotations of the genetic Rubik’s cube” and they have to be highly coordinated.

          And let’s also understand that evolution on any scale requires an ENORMOUS level of highly coordinated engineering. Beyond anything human devices are capable of.

          Let’s also understand that in order to accept this view of evolution, you have to accept such feats of engineering as an intrinsic, built-in capability of living things. “Autopoiesis”

          As a creationist, Bart, it requires you to embrace a view something on the order of believing that God made living things such that they can adapt to this large degree. (And let me remind you that traditional YEC *necessarily* invokes large evolutionary capabilities, since YEC asserts that every species that now exists descended from a group of animals that would fit on the ark. So the fact that YECs rail against evolution really puzzles me.)

          So the question is, are these “rotations of the genetic Rubik’s cube” possible?

          Well I’ll be the first to admit that nobody has seen a reptile evolve into a bird in real time.

          But what do we know?

          -We know that a protozoan can cut its on DNA into 100,000 pieces and MASSIVELY re-arrange its genetic instructions. In a few hours.

          -We know that you can hybridize two species to generate a third, like emmer wheats + goat grass = modern wheat with a doubling of chromosomes – radical transformation in a single generation.

          -We know that amoeba and bacteria can execute a full symbiotic merger in 18 months, such that neither can survive without the other after the merger is complete – including radical re-structuring of the genomes of both.

          -We know that cells can create information and reverse the normal flow of entropy (they exhibit “negentropy”). Information entropy + millions of years = extinction. NEGATIVE entropy over millions of years is probably quite impressive, given what a protozoan can do in six hours.

          -We know that the mathematics of DNA appear to be based on a fractal mathematical matrix – http://cosmicfingerprints.com/mathematics-of-dna/ – and this “genetic Rubik’s cube” of mathematically based re-combinations does seem likely to exist. (Also see http://www.fractogene.com).

          From my engineer’s point of view, it is FAR more impressive for God to make living things such that they have a built-in, mathematically driven adaptation matrix which is capable of transforming a reptile into a bird by making massive wholesale changes to complete structures – than for God to “poof” create these creatures individually.

          From a general zoological point of view, it is extremely useful scientifically to categorize reptiles and birds as actually being related, rather than just “appearing to be related.”

          From an empirical point of view, we know that massive wholesale restructurings are observable scientific facts in biology. But neither creationists nor atheists like to talk about them. This is the biggest untold story in the history of science.

          From a theological point of view, we don’t have any kind of precise definition of “kinds” at all; we don’t even know whether the statement about reproducing “after their kind” is a general principle or an absolute iron law.

          So there is no theological basis for asserting that new species cannot evolve.

          And again because of the Noah’s ark problem, macro evolution on a major scale is MANDATORY to make the conservative YEC interpretation of history possible.

          And finally from a practical point of view:

          YEC consistently and reliably turns smart, curious Christian kids and adults into atheists. Why? With its inability to square its views with empirical data. Sooner or later people figure out the universe is old. Sooner or later people figure out that evolution in real time of new species and traits is a verifiable observable fact. If you taught them while growing up that YEC is reliable science, they will begin to question EVERYTHING ELSE you have ever taught them. The historicity of Jesus, the NT and everything else becomes suspect. Even though the rest of Christian apologetics is generally pretty sound.

          I’ve never heard of any Christian reading Evolution 2.0 and becoming an atheist. I’ve had a lot of atheists read my book and come to this website who came to faith, or came back to faith, or decide there must be some kind of higher purpose in the universe and begin seeking.

          I submit to you, sir, that Evolution 2.0 reconciles science and religion. To a degree that it becomes obvious how absurd dogmatic materialistic atheism actually is.

          I submit to you that if you adopt my approach in talking to non-Christians you’ll get a lot farther than you did before. Science goes from liability to asset in your conversations.

          And to any irreligious person who only cares about the science, I submit to you that this view serves empirical science, medicine and technology FAR better than either the traditional creationist or Neo-Darwinist views of evolution.

          P.S.: I’m not married to the dogma that birds evolved from reptiles. They might have taken some other evolutionary path.

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