Kids + Science + Helium = FUN

Fun little video here of a creatively geeky Dad teaching his little ones about science.

I bet you’ll smile and learn something too!

The Surprising Reason Why I Don’t Believe in Evolution

I don’t believe in evolution because I have never seen a monkey at the movies.

Excuse me?!

Allow me to unpack.

monkeys_ernestclineI am not scientifically trained; my last science class was in high school.  However, just as everyone is a theologian, forming interpretations and views and convictions about God (or not-God), so too everyone is a scientist, forming hypotheses and gathering information to confirm or challenge those theories.

That said, I have no lab work to back my findings.  I have not participated in an archaeological excavation or visited the Galapagos Islands.  I would jump at such opportunities, but those have not been my life.

My first thought on evolution: It is not a mere theory.

It is certainly a fact.

Excuse me again?!

You heard me rightly.

The movement, by small degrees, from state A to state B to state C is an undeniable reality. I am a different man today than I was yesterday or last year.  The world is changing, along with all of its parts.

In a sentence, I see evolution as a certain process, but not as a limitless process.

Many have used the phrases “micro-evolution” and “macro-evolution” to speak of the difference to which I’m alluding, while some feel clearer terms are needed.  (One such article is HERE, though I fear the author’s grudge with creationists has actually clouded his ability to express his point.)

Regardless of precise terms, my point of conviction is simply that some fences do exist.  The universe is not so fluid that any substance can become any other substance.  It appears woven into nature that THIS is THIS and THAT is THAT, and we live within a world comprised of a glorious variety of this-es and thats-es (to speak in the tongue of the esteemed Dr. Seuss).

One example is the similarity of DNA observed between humans and primates.  Some estimate that the DNA common between chimpanzees and humans is 93-98%.  To any student, this “test score” sounds impressive, as in, “close to 100%”.  But in the precision realm of genetics, one must raise a different consideration:

What lies in that narrow field of difference?

To be blunt, I don’t need a scientist to tell me that monkeys and men are similar.  Pass a deck of flashcards depicting creature silhouettes, and even a child could conclude that the man’s form is more like the monkey’s than to those of the tiger or elephant or camel, not to even mention creatures of the sky or sea.

So the similarities are easy to establish.  Save your lab fees; I’m already convinced.

As I said earlier, it would be poor logic to see an impressive figure like 93-98% and thus conclude that the remaining 2-7% is of little consequence.  My common-sense theory would argue that every detail found in that thin slice of the genetic pie is part of the proof that evolution exists within solidly established and beyond-compromise boundaries.

How can I make such a firm statement?

Answer: I’ve never seen a monkey at the movies.

I’m confident that some cultured primates might enjoy a film, but they are unlikely to get a chance.

Who is going to ask them on a date?

The rich verses of the childhood taunt sketch out how relationships typically move forward:

Joey and Susan sitting in a tree,
First comes love, then comes marriage,
Then comes Joey pushing a baby carriage.

Conceivably, a movie date with a monkey could very well end in a tree.  Regardless of the specifics though, this romance assuredly could not end with a baby carriage.

Those 2-7% of differences between DNA are forceful enough to deem inter-species reproduction impossible, even when the similarities might run as high as 98%, it appears.  Within those complex amino acid combinations, all sorts of not-compatible-with-life sequences exist.  Giving sperm from one species access to an egg of another is not a creative venture, even when the percentage appears to suggest nearly “can’t miss” odds.

Yet, evolutionary theory claims that given obscene lengths of time, freak genetic mutations, combined with useful survival-geared genetic “slidings”, have created the vast array of species we witness today.  My city’s primate-free theaters suggest that the lines between species are impassably thick, yet evolutionary theory aims to convince me that they have been crossed millions of times by virtual chance.

I’m afraid I’d have to muster more than my mustard seed of faith to enter that realm.

YOUR TURN: What points within the creation/evolution/whatever-else debate have stuck in your mind as key rungs on your ladder to understanding? Your input makes this post better!

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In case you missed this day in elementary science class, now you’ll be caught up in under two minutes.

Dawkins and Collins on Universe’s Fine Tuning

Interesting read HERE from the Annual Christian Scholars Conference, hosted this year at Pepperdine University.

If you’ve wondered how the book of Genesis is supposed to fit into your science classes, this MIGHT offer you some possibilities you hadn’t before considered.

[At right is geneticist Francis Collins, who elaborates on some of the discussions he’s had with Richard Dawkins.]

Homemade Spaceship

A friend sent me this recently.  He said: “If I was still blogging, I’d blog this.  But since I’m not, here you go.”

So… here I go.

This is from Youtube, but the original can be viewed here.  If you get really intrigued, more on the project can be found here.

Roll it…

PS: Thanks Wade.