There are many issues with this “book”. It is an excellent example of an essay that is fractally wrong. At whatever level we look at it, it is wrong at every level. The central thesis and the end conclusion are wrong. The arguments are wrong and riddled with fallacies and non sequiturs. The vast majority of the examples are fictional. And even the words and technical terminology are used in an awkward way. The author tries to sound profound and smart and construct uselessly complicated sentences and loses himself in his own entanglements. Hence a big number of sentences are grammatically wrong too.
The first issue I have with this essay is the total absence of references. Mike the Wiz writes about a scientific, highly technical subject and yet manages to cite not a single paper, book, article or other source. It’s not that there isn’t any material available. For every level of education, for every level of understanding there is a plethora of material, from Youtube series like “Evolution made easy”, over popular science articles, introductional books at college level to highly sophisticated papers. Not a single one is every quoted, referenced or even mentioned. I really wonder how Mike the Wiz can pretend to refute a science without ever citing printed material. It seems as if he is just attacking the demons of his own imagination.
A second issue I have with this essay is the continuous amalgamation of the Theory of Evolution with the process of evolution. The process of evolution is the gradual change of populations over time. The Theory of Evolution is the a theoretical description and explanation as formulated first by Charles Darwin (and Alfred Wallace). The process of evolution has been going on since early life, is going on today and will go on as long as there are living organisms. It is independent of the question whether the ToE is correct or not. Let us take this short quote, first unedited.
quote:A correct prediction for evolution would be to find things in the middle of evolution in the record of death (the fossils), because evolution claims the fossil record is a history of evolution which should be a history of how wings and legs were invented by evolution. This means to prove wings or legs or arms can have intermediate, "middle" stages, a series of fossils has to be shown where each stage is viable until the design is completed.
Let me now edit it a little bit:
quote:A correct prediction for evolution -- the theory -- would be to find things in the middle of evolution -- the process -- in the record of death (the fossils), because evolution -- the theory -- claims the fossil record is a history of evolution – the process -- which should be a history of how wings and legs were invented by evolution – the process . This means to prove wings or legs or arms can have intermediate, "middle" stages, a series of fossils has to be shown where each stage is viable until the design is completed.
So in the space of one single sentence Mike the Wiz uses 5 times the word evolution, yet in two different meanings and doesn’t indicate at any moment in what meaning he is using it. Is he himself confused or is it a deliberate tactic to confuse the reader? One can only guess. But this type of confusing goes on through the whole essay. This Is poor thinking at best or deliberate manipulation at worst. Either way, it’s another example of how the whole enterprise is flawed.
Another issue with this essay is that Mike the Wiz very often portrays the process of evolution as an intelligent, deliberate agent. Note how often he uses the phrase that "evolution invents" of "designs" beings;
quote:A correct prediction for evolution would be to find things in the middle of evolution in the record of death (the fossils), because evolution claims the fossil record is a history of evolution which should be a history of how wings and legs were invented by evolution.
quote:The fact is that we would also expect to find evolution in the middle of designing in the LIVING record
quote:So where am I going with this? Basically I don't think the evidence and arguments put forward for macro evolution are equivalent in any way to the size of it's claim that it invented every species that ever lived. So then evolution's claim is that it invented everything on earth, can it not even show us the invention of one small novel anatomy, even in part?
quote:So then evolution's claim is that it invented everything on earth, can it not even show us the invention of one small novel anatomy, even in part?
This coming from someone who has spend years debating on line, and complains that his interlocutors don’t listen and twist creationists’ words. Yet
quote:Online, I have known many evolutionists, even some of them for years yet they still don't know some of the basic answers creationists have to the "problems" they put forward.
quote:You are just saying things about creationists that are only true from your own TWISTED and highly limited thinking.
Yet after all those years, Mike the Wiz still doesn’t know that the process of evolution has no direction, and works along the pressure exercised by the environment (predators, pathogens, parasites etc are part of the environment.) Mike the Wiz hasn’t yet understood that the natural sciences are not teleological. Some messages have it really difficult to sink in. Or does he know, and is he simply too manipulative, too much a used car sales man to represent his interlocutor's viewpoint correctly? Again, one can only speculate.
quote:Personally, I don't have a problem with the notion of the process of evolution "inventing" things. I look upon it as a kind of shorthand for saying that through the process of evolution certain structures arise which seem like inventions that solve certain problems encountered by living things in their struggle for existence. It's a bit like Richard Dawkins' use of the word 'selfish' in conjunction with the concept of genes. Of course I can't be entirely sure about Mike's intended meaning when he uses these constructs, but he could be forgiven for it, because it makes it easier to discuss the substance of the argument without having to deal too much with its form. Mike is a stickler for formal logic, but unfortunately he gets it wrong very often, so these turns of phrase could also be viewed as a stylistic improvement on an otherwise muddled thought process.
I don’t agree with that assessment. Analogies are useful to explain and describe complex ideas or notions. But it is then indicated that it is an analogy. Nowhere in his essay does Mike indicate it as such. It fits too well with his world view, a teleological one. The multiple times that he refers to nature or evolution, inventing or designing organs or appendages, he clearly thinks that evolution happens with a goal in mind. And it fits his final conclusion well. He is an ardent proponent of intelligent design. So if he can make the reader comfortable with the false (!) notion that evolution invents or designs organisms, the step to an intelligent designer is easier to make. His multiple use of these phrases shows that he still doesn’t understand that evolution – or adaptation – is a reaction to changes in the environment and not a striving to a certain goal. If you are acquainted with the Kanban methodology, it’s induced by pushes, not by pulls.
In a previous post I wrote that Mike's essay is fractally wrong. Actually this already starts with the title.
quote:A BRIEF (intellectual) DEMOLITION OF EVOLUTION THEORY.....By Sir Toado Baggins.
The number of academic works that aim to demolish an alternative theory is : null. Nothing screams intellectual rigor as "demolish theory x, y or z". Theories can be found invalid, or outdated, or an alternative can be proposed, but to demolish is the signature of the ideology driven zealot, and not of someone who seeks truth.