Quote of the Week; Swedish Paleontologist

If any event in life’s history resembles man’s creation myths, it’s this sudden diversification of marine life when multi cellular organisms took over as the dominant actors in ecology and evolution. Baffling (and embarassing) to Darwin, this event still dazzles us…The animal phyla emerged out of the precambrian mists with most of the attributes of there modern descendants.”

Stefan Bengtson, Swedish paleontologist, on the Cambrian explosion, in Nature, 345:765 , 1990


About notmanynoble

woodcutter from Washington State
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4 Responses to Quote of the Week; Swedish Paleontologist

  1. Erik says:

    Why do you insist on taking quotes out of context? I could do the same using the Bible, but this would be both disrespectful and dishonest.
    As well stated in http://www.christianet.com, “Many people look at famous Bible quotes as things that stand alone. The problem with this thought process is that words are often taken out of context. When individuals take these quotes from the Bible out of context, the message is not properly being used. The only thing that people are able to get is the direct statement. There is a famous quotation about the Lords strength. People take this verse out of context completely, forgetting the verses before or after it. Individuals can not make this decision about the quotes that are heard. Christians must be truth seekers in everything that is done.”
    If you need to resort to quote mining and other tactics that you would not like to see someone use with the Bible, perhaps you shouldn’t be making the argument in the first place. If you can’t defend your position with honest means, perhaps you shouldn’t defend it at all, and instead should reevaluate your position with a critical view. After all, the correctness of things like evolution and climate change does not negate the existence of God. They simply imply that the view of God you have may be wrong. Is it not human nature to be fallible? The true test is recognizing when you are wrong.


    • markho says:

      Eric, you are resorting to ad hominem attacks again. I know you mean well, but you should try and calm down. If I am trying to imply that all those people are actually creationists, then that would be a little dishonest. But that is not the point. The point is that these quotes are coming from people who are actually hostile to creationism and the Bible, and yet they are pointing out evidence that would seem to support the Genesis account of Moses. I do use ellipses to shorten quotes, but not to disguise the evidence. These kind of quotes or the information in them never make it into high school books and rarely into college texts. Eric, I am going to a secular college. I challeng all the statements that alledgedly support evolution. To do so I go to many scientific journals and use that in my arguements against the professors or textbook. Sometimes I have to spend a fair amount of money and buy the paper in order to read it. No one has been able to prove that I misquoted anyone in such a way as to distort the evidence in the article yet. Are you saying that the new molecular clock they are talking about in the article in the Journal Science isnt accurate? Or, how could I change this quote to mean somthing different, ” We are finding that humans have very, very shallow genetic roots which go back very recently to one ancestor”? Or do you think the article said somthing like, Creationists say that we are finding that humans have very shallow genetics roots…blah, blah…? and I cut out the first part? Now that would be dishonest. And I have heard that charge used against creationists again and again, but everytime I have checked it out, its proven to be an absolutely false charge.
      Here is another one I have from a College textbood I have at home..so please don’t claim I am takeing it out of context, “Douglas Wallace of Emory U. in Atlanta, studied the MTDNA from about 800 hundred women world wide and concluded that all were descended from one individual or a small group of people about 100,000 years ago. …Wallace concluded that “the mother of us all”, lived in Asia rather than Africa.” That would be on p.68 in The almanac of science and technology, HBJ 1990 edition. Sorry Charlie. But quit using ad hominem attacks and try to argue from the evidence..Usually when people use ad hominem attacks, they are upset, because they can’t answer the arguments well. Thats one of the reasons why Dawkins gets so venomous. But listen, if there is no God or heaven or hell, than why get so excited? We’re all just random chemical accidents and there is no such thing as truth anyway..
      Good day, and by the way you are a good writer and have a decent command of the language..congradulations.


  2. Erik says:

    Hi Mark,
    Again, I’m still short on time, but I would like to apologize for coming across as annoyed. Well, I was, but that doesn’t mean I should be rude. The reason I was annoyed is because I found this website simply by looking specifically for a quote taken out of context (following the same method that Richard Dawkins undertook in the letter I previously linked to you). Taking quotes out of context is a very common and dishonest tactic of people trying to discredit evolution, and I’m sure you can understand why it would bother someone looking for honest debate. I will be back in hopefully another day or two to give a more reasoned and appropriately thoughtful reply. Thank you for taking the high road and remaining calm and polite.


    • markho says:

      Eric, thanks for the courteous reply, and don’t worry about getting a little hot under the collar. I can get just as upset when I think arguments or quotes are being misreprented or used dishonestly. You write a good post and ask some good questions, no need to apologize for that.


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