Pic: Foolproof guides are not foolproof


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I think Dr. Carl Werner wrote this piece.

Via Reddit

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WTF? Le Café Witteveen gets the World Net Daily bump.


Screen capture of the headline for the article Le Café is featured in

I just noticed a spike in my hits today, and it’s thanks to that reprehensible Internet rag “World Net Daily.

It seems that I was quoted in an article about my infamous reviews* of the worst book on evolution out there: “Evolution the Grand Experiment,” by Dr. Carl Werner. You remember all the great reviews (scroll down) I did, right?

From WND the article:

Still, Werner’s work is not without its critics. In separate commentaries devoted to each chapter of “The Grand Experiment,” blogger Jeremy Witteveen calls it “a coloring book for Christian parents to impose on their children to keep them ignorant and far from successful academic pursuits.”

Witteveen also writes that his “personal goal is to help American Christians finally accept evolution as fact.”

Well, hellfire and broomsticks, If you’re reading from WND, make yourselves at home. I love visitors.

And if you’re visiting and you’re wondering why it is that I would make it a personal goal to help American Christians accept evolution, it’s because I’m tired of apologizing for you all for not accepting a simple concept. This is one aspect of the American cultural argument that is easily researched and understood.

I had a strict evangelical Christian education, and taught that evolution was absolute donkey poop. But once I researched the science outside of the Christian classroom, the Christian discussion points against evolution didn’t hold water.

Please, pretty please, stop dragging your collective feet on this discussion. The perception of American Christianity is often bad enough already.

The outsiders’ perception of Christianity tends to be that its flock isn’t well educated. I know, I used to be one of you. There are many great believers among you who accept evolution, and they are the shining examples in your midst. For instance, evangelical Christian and scientist Francis Collins is a proponent of evolution and he encourages believers to accept science.

Dinesh D’Souza is also a strong believer and his advocacy of evolution and the big bang is crucial to his debate tactics which can frequently embarrass non-believers.

What’s amazing to me is that you’ll all get behind a Mormon like Glenn Beck, which most people at one time or another condemned Mormonism as worse than any other religion, but this one simple provable concept called evolution is too difficult to get behind.

For the love of your own PR, speak out for the acceptance of evolution.

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Or maybe just opening your eyes to nature. Or reading a few books instead of repeating what you hear from the pulpit, that could help.

In any event, continue your education so we can all pursue the discussion intelligently.

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*Scroll down from that link and you’ll find all the reviews.

“Evolution, the Grand Experiment” Chapter 7, The Fossil Record of Invertebrates


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I’m reviewing Dr. Carl Werner’s book “Evolution, the Grand Experiment” chapter by chapter. My reviews are all searchable using the search field to the right.

I must say, thank goodness for chapter 7. Finally, it seems that Dr. Werner has come to his senses in support of evolution. Finally he wrote a chapter that just makes sense. It’s fair, balanced and honest.

Let’s go explore.

As always, one chapter title isn’t enough. There are page titles, too.

Here we find, “What’s the Problem with Trilobites?”

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There’s a graphic (pictured right) that shows fossil layers and the ages that Werner attached to them. There’s no reference despite that they don’t jive with other scientists’ dates, but who’s a stickler for that info anyway?

Werner explains that trilobites are invertebrates or animals without backbones. This is a fact. I can truly say that Werner is most accurate with his description of trilobites and backbonelessness.

Then Werner writes, “They are problematic for the theory of evolution because they appear suddenly in the Cambrian fossil layers without a trace of an ancestor.”

What a segue! Where is my teddy bear? I’m going to go hug it now, because Werner jumped from trilobites to the “fact” that they don’t appear before the Cambrian in the same paragraph.

Werner writes:

“If evolution occurred and if the fossil record is representative of the past, then animals that evolved into trilobites should have been discovered by now. Proponents of evolution imagine that the ancestors of trilobites would have had soft bodies. Despite finding hundreds of thousands of other unrelated soft-bodied fossils, not one soft-bodied fossil has been declared the uncontested ancestor of trilobites.”

Werner is truly the master of evolution. Not only does he report the facts, he doesn’t have one citation or reference backing him up. But what does it matter? Werner is honest, this book has shown his honesty in a clear fashion, and we can believe honest people.

Werner concludes his opening paragraph for chapter 7 with, “Remember, Darwin believed his theory would be upheld as more fossils were found. But now, hundreds of thousands of fossil trilobites have been discovered, but no direct ancestors. Does this indicate there is a problem with the theory of evolution or is there a problem with the fossil record itself?”

It’s a good thing Dr. Werner is here to save us from our ignorance.

There’s a violator  or call out area at the bottom of the page with a quote from Dr. Andrew Knoll, paleontologist and professor of biology, Harvard University (emphasis mine. I’ll come back to this later in my reviews — not this one. There’s this great thing that Werner does that I’ll demonstrate in chapter 8’s review).

Knoll says, “What bothered Darwin about the fossil record more than anything else was the pattern of paleontology that we’ve been talking about … the oldest fossils you see are both diverse and complex, [such as] fabulously complicated things like trilobites.”

You have to hand it to Werner. He really knows how to place a quote on a page. There is a footnote on the quote that says it comes from a videotaped interview with Knoll. Great. Thanks, Dr. Werner.

The next page shows 36(!) pictures of trilobite fossils and the text says, “Trilobites: 100,000+ discovered ¶ Ancestors: None” underneath that: “Multiple varieties of trilobites have been found throughout the world but not the ancestors of trilobites.”

The next four pages show more invertebrates, and sells the message that there are 100,000,000 invertebrate fossils known, but not one direct ancestor. This poses a real problem for “scientists” who oppose evolution, but Werner is careful not to tell us what those “scientists” do believe.

The point Werner really wants to make is that the fossils of everything from shrimp to bacteria appear “suddenly” in the fossil record.

There’s another violator with a quote from Dr. James Valentine, professor Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley, Department of Integrated Biology. Valentine says (note: this is how Werner wrote it, there’s no quotes at the beginning and the quote itself is in italics. Notice also the ellipses indicating two spots of who knows how much is left out):

At the “beginning of the Cambrian Explosion proper…one finds brachiopods [shellfish] and gastropods [shellfish]...We also see trilobites for the first time.

Dr. Werner concludes the chapter with another quote from Knoll: “Despite the 30 years of research on Ediacaran fossils, there are very few, if any, unambiguous ancestors of things that appear in the Cambrian.”

There are more lines selling the “sudden appearance” bit. Thus concludes chapter 7. Not one footnote to the “facts”, just some nebulous language and quotes that seem to support the ideas.

Honesty is gorgeous.

I have three major complaints:

  1. Werner told you nothing about trilobites except that they are invertebrates. What kind of educator is he? If you are interested, here’s the wiki. They are, in fact, an extinct species of arthropod. He mentioned many other invertebrates. He offers no information on them either.
  2. Science does claim to have evidence for trilobite evolution. You can start with a simple google of “trilobite evolution” or you could read here and more info here on the same site, and another good one here that talks about how losers like Werner creationists want to confuse you.
  3. Dressing up the Cambrian explosion as a euphemism for “creationism” isn’t going to work. There are many fossils that predate the Cambrian. You can read about that here. There isn’t a wealth of fossils primarily because the animals in the Ediacaran hadn’t developed hard shells. That doesn’t mean there are no fossils. It’s simply harder for animals with soft shells to fossilize markings in rock like hard-shells can. The implication is that nothing predates these animals. This is a fruitless venture, because there are no mammals in the Cambrian. So if there’s a sudden appearance of animals … those sudden appearance animals led to the rest of creation through evolution. If you’re a “god did it by evolution” kind of person, maybe this makes sense. But otherwise, Werner is literally barking up the wrong tree.

I have a slew of other complaints, but I’ll leave that for another day. Go read about trilobites yourselves.

Again, if this is the best book creationists have for showing a fair portrait of “evolution”, Christians, you’ve set your bar lower than a sewage plant.

Set your bars higher. For the love of education.



Evolution, The Grand Experiment Chapter 4: Natural Selection and Chance Mutations


So far my exploration of this book “Evolution, The Grand Experiment” by Dr. Carl Werner has revealed no science. It offers a very childish version of evolution, and it says that there are scientists who view evolution as false. It purports to be an honest representation of the facts, but there are no “anti-creationism” sentiments within the book. Not yet anyway. Will there be? We shall see!

Werner has made no attempt to be accurate. He simply mocks descriptions of evolution and attaches elementary school science help sites as its sources. He makes evolution out to be a trivial matter originated from complete idiocy.

I have a lot of hope for chapter four.

Continue reading

“Evolution, the Grand Experiment” Chapter 2, Evolution’s False Start: Spontaneous Generation 322 B.C.-1859 A.D.


Introduction
Chapter 1 Review

Dr. Carl Werner opens chapter two of “Evolution, The Grand Experiment” with the words, “Even Scientists Can Be Wrong!”

In sum, the chapter discusses and old disproven theory called: “Spontaneous Generation (SG).” SG was a theory life came from non-life or non-parentage. For instance, that maggots come from rotten meat idea. Werner also hopes to show how science and scientists aren’t always accurate and are often wrong, and it takes a brave scientist to point this out.

For the record, scientists like atheists PZ Myers and Richard Dawkins admit often that science is and can be proven wrong. That’s what makes it science. An idea is generated, it is tested, and if it is tested wrong, it gets thrown out.

I also want to remind my readers that this book was chosen by creationist Mark Tetzlaff for the following rationale:

“I believe that Dr. Werner is a honest researcher. He examines the evidence in great detail and contrasts how evolutionists and creationists interpret the evidence. In his book, he never states his opinion or interpretation of the evidence, but simply explains the evidence, how others have interpreted it and leaves it to the reader to make their own choice. This book does not provide answers to our origin or development, but it does provide a tremendous amount of information that teaches us a great deal about the world in which we live.”

Let’s explore Dr. Werner’s honest research … Continue reading

Evolution: The Grand Experiment, a Book Review


In response to the challenge I made to Mark Tetzlaff, here is the beginning of my review of the book “Evolution: The Grand Experiment” by Dr. Carl Werner.

Since none of you have probably even heard of the book, let me describe it. It’s a hard cover book approximately 262 pages long. It is written by the good Doctor Carl Werner and filled with photography from his lovely wife Debbie.

You could read along with me if you’d like. The first few pages of the book can be found at Amazon.com.

Tetzlaff recommended this book, because he believes “that Dr. Werner is an honest researcher. He examines the evidence in great detail and contrasts how evolutionists and creationists interpret the evidence. In his book, he never states his opinion or interpretation of the evidence, but simply explains the evidence, how others have interpreted it and leaves it to the reader to make their own choice. This book does not provide answers to our origin or development, but it does offer a tremendous amount of information that teaches us a great deal about the world in which we live.”

Tetzlaff’s recommendation can be found in the comments of this post.

Continue reading

The Christian book duel? It’s on.


Yesterday I challenged Christian blogger Mark Tetzlaff to a book duel. I said that because it appeared that he had not read Richard Dawkins’ “The Greatest Show on Earth,” he must read it in full and write an entire review on it. Then — and only then — would I validate his review and have a conversation with him about it.

I took it a step further and I said that in exchange, I’d read — not one — but TWO books of his choice. I would review his recommend on my blog and he would have to review Dawkins’ book on his blog.

Well, he took the challenge. So far, he’s only recommended one book. The book he chose?

Evolution, the Grand Experiment,” by Dr. Carl Werner. Tetzlaff chose this book because he claims it is fair and balanced in contrast to one-sided Richard Dawkins and his despotic views of evolution and evolution only.

I would like to refrain from making any judgements about the book until I have a chance to read it and digest it. After reading through some comments on Amazon, I’m anxious to see what it says myself. I want to remain as unbiased as possible and approach this challenge with an open mind. At least as open as I can muster.

For the record, I grew up in a fundamental Christian home. I went to school from 5K to through high school and then on to a college at Christian schools. My elementary to graduation was at a school called Wesleyan Christian Academy in High Point, NC. I have a bachelors degree in English Communication from Montreat College. Most of my education has been from a Christian background with an emphasis on creationism.

I don’t have a background in evolution. In fact, I’ve read as much as I can on both topics. Creationism pales in comparison to evolution on many levels, which is why I made the switch from creationism to evolution.

That’s just a little background for Tetzlaff and for those interested in following this conversation.

Once I get the book, the challenge begins.