|2020 Web Sites of the Month|
|Web Site of the Month - January 2020|
|by Lothar Janetzko|
|WIKIPEDIA The Free Encyclopedia|
As we begin the new year of 2020, I thought it would be interesting to review for this month how the ongoing creation-evolution controversy is currently described in WIKIPEDIA, The Free Encyclopedia. “Wikipedia is a multilingual, web-based, free-content encyclopedia project supported by the Wikimedia Foundation and based on a model of openly editable content. Since its creation on January 15, 2001, Wikipedia has grown rapidly into one of the largest reference websites, attracting 374 million visitors monthly as of September 2015.” If you want to learn more about Wikipedia, you can find an encyclopedia article about itself in Wikipedia.
As with most Wikipedia articles, the Creation-evolution controversy article begins with a general introduction and provides numerous links which describe various terms and footnotes which provide more detailed information about various topics.
Here is how the creation-evolution controversy is described in the introduction:
The creation-evolution controversy (also termed the creation vs. evolution debate or the origins debate) involves an ongoing, recurring cultural, political, and theological dispute about the origins of the Earth, of humanity, and of other life. Species were once widely believed to be fixed products of divine creation in accordance with creationism, but since the mid-19th century evolution by natural selection has been established as an empirical scientific fact.
It is interesting to note that the introduction focuses mainly on the debate as being religious and not scientific. Only as you arrive at the table of contents do you find links that provide more detailed discussion of the role science plays in the ongoing creation-evolution debate.
The article about the creation-evolution controversy in Wikipedia spends a great deal of time focusing on the history of the debate and very little material is presented that provides insights into the topics being debated about creation and evolution today in 2020. Also, the article clearly shows a bias in only presenting material that supports evolution and not creation.
A feature of the Wikipedia is that you can download an article as a PDF file or select a Printable version.
As always, just use the many links you find in this article to explore topics you find of interest in learning about the ongoing creation-evolution controversy and decide for yourself whether or not the material presented in the article really builds a strong case in favor of either creation or evolution.
|Web Site of the Month - February 2020|
|by Lothar Janetzko|
|The latest scientific research leads to an indisputable conclusion!|
The website review for this month looks at a blog post sent by a reader of our monthly newsletter. This blog post addresses the most fundamental question regarding human life. It discusses how scientists look to provide answers to the question of “How did life get here?”
In the section of the post with the title “SCIENTISTS LOOK FOR ANSWERS,” the author states that “There are only two possibilities to explain the existence of life on planet Earth. The first is that life came into existence from natural processes, meaning it was not caused by a life form. The other possibility is that a supernatural creator is responsible for the life on planet earth.”
In reviewing the history of scientists pondering the creation of life, the post discusses the work of two scientists, Francesco Redi in the 1600s and Louis Pasteur in the 1800s. These scientists did experiments and developed the “law of biogenesis.” The post quotes the Biogenesis article in Wikipedia as saying, “…biogenesis is primarily attributed to Louis Pasteur and encompasses the belief that complex living things come only from other living things, by means of reproduction. That is, life does not spontaneously arise from non-living material, which was the position held by spontaneous generation.” It is interesting to note that today scientists use the term “spontaneously” to mean “by natural processes.”
The next part of the blog post presents a discussion about perpetual motion machines. The author states that “A perpetual motion machine is a hypothetical machine that can do work indefinitely without an external energy source.” It is then pointed out that the laws of thermodynamics make perpetual motion machines impossible.
After this discussion of abiogenesis and perpetual motion machines, the writer asks the question the reader might be asking, “How can scientists be wrong? Don’t they follow the scientific method?” His response is “The only thing wrong with the scientific method is the human being that practices it.”
To explain the reason why “belief perseverance” is a problem for the advancement of science, the blog author presents “THE SAD STORY OF IGNAZ SEMMELWEIS.” Ignaz Semmelweis was a Hungarian doctor. “In 1846, doctors like Semmelweis were no longer thinking of illness as an imbalance caused by bad air or evil spirits.” At his job in the maternity clinic at the General Hospital in Vienna, he wanted to figure out why so many women in maternity wards were dying of childbed fever. Although he didn’t know anything about germs, he ordered his medical staff to start cleaning their hands and instruments not just with soap, but with a chlorine solution. You need to read the rest of this story to learn why it is so sad.
The blog author makes many observations about the above story that makes for interesting reading about science in general.
|Web Site of the Month - March 2020|
|by Lothar Janetzko|
|Meridian Creation Science – from the meridian to the nations|
The website review this month discusses a site which contains a great deal of information regarding the controversy concerning the subject of Darwinian evolution and the Special Creation of God. The home page of the site presents tabs which allow the reader to explore the wealth of information the site has cataloged about the various creation and evolution websites found on the internet. The tabs have the following titles:
The home page also provides a search box to allow the reader to search for topics of interest.
The HOME tab makes interesting observations about the ongoing controversy between creation and evolution. “The theory of evolution (molecules, to microbes, to mammals to man) is widely taught as proven fact, it pervades the media and dissenters suffer scorn or worse. Creation science however refuses to be silenced and as can be found from this website has a great explanatory power.”
The BASICS tab presents 11 papers covering the fundamental differences between the worldviews of creationists and evolutionists and a section that defines terms.
The I tab serves as providing Site Information. Here you will find a description of how to navigate this website to find information about various creation and evolution websites. You can search for site names alphabetically or search for creation-related subjects alphabetically. To help you find websites of interest, the cataloged sites have a Site Rating and a Site Description. Subjects covered, and data format types of the various websites, are also given a code to make it easier to provide a short description of the contents of the various websites.
The SITES tabs provide a list of all websites listed in Meridian Creation Science along with a rating for each entry. Here you will also find a detailed listing of the above-mentioned Site Descriptions. By hovering on the SITES A-D tab you will find a pull down menu that will lead you to a listing of all Creation or Creation Science websites beginning with the letters A through D.
The O tab provides Other creation-related sites, positive, neutral and anti-.
Whether you search for websites alphabetically or by subject, there is much to explore on this website, which makes searching for information about creation and evolution on the internet interesting and even fun. Just select a letter on one of the SITES tabs or SUBJECTS tabs and be surprised by what you will find.
|Web Site of the Month - April 2020|
|by Lothar Janetzko|
|Providing scripturally sound and scientifically accurate materials in the field of Christian apologetics|
While searching for an article for the April 2020 newsletter for our website, I happened upon a link to an article found on the website of the Apologetics Press. Since there is a great deal of information about Creation vs. Evolution on this site, I thought it would be appropriate to describe in some detail what the reader may find by exploring this site.
The main page of the site serves as the launching point to learn about new and archived information of the Apologetics Press. Here you will find an RSS link that will enable you to easily subscribe to the latest news from Apologetics Press. If you are not familiar with what an RSS feed is, “Unlike a subscription email, an RSS feed doesn’t require you to use an email account to stay up to date with news and updates on your favorite content.” All you must do is use a modern web browser and configure it to support RSS feeds. If you want, you can also just sign up for the E-mail Newsletter.
The main page of the site also provides links to four recent and timely articles that you can explore as well as links to
Reason & Revelation is a monthly journal on Christian Evidences for Adults and has been published since 1981. Discovery is a monthly Christian evidences magazine for kids and has been published since 1990.
On the main page of the Apologetics Press you will also find a link to a section called, “Creation vs. Evolution.” By selecting this link, you arrive at a list of articles providing the article Title, Author and Publishing Date. A search box is provided to allow you to Search By Keyword or Search By Bible Verse. Also, to make it easier to find articles of interest, the articles can be viewed by selecting one of 31 different Topics.
Besides exploring the many different articles about creation and evolution on this website, you can also explore the PDF Books link found on the main page of the site. Here you learn that “Apologetics Press also publishes numerous books, tracts, research articles, article reprints, video tapes, audio tapes, and other items…However, because our work is strictly non-profit, over the next few years (as time and funds allow) we plan to place on our Web site electronic versions of almost all of our books. As additional titles are placed in electronic format, we will add them to the ‘PDF Books’ section of our Web Site.”
As mentioned above, there is much to explore on this website. Just search for topics on the Creation vs. Evolution link or read books on the PDF Books link that you may find of interest.
|Web Site of the Month - May 2020|
|by Lothar Janetzko|
|“Evolution makes scientific sense.”|
The website review for this month looks at an article found in The Guardian, a news publication from the UK that also produces a US edition, Australian edition and International edition. The title of the article says “Evolution makes scientific sense. So why do many people reject it?” They answer their own question in the subtitle by saying, “Child psychology studies have identified a natural human bias toward the theory of intelligent design, and pose a solution: teach evolution earlier.”
The article begins with the observation that “Evolution is poorly understood by students and, disturbingly, by many of their science teachers. Although it is part of the compulsory science curriculum in most schools in the UK and the USA, more than a third of people in both countries reject the theory of evolution outright or believe that it is guided by a supreme being.”
The author of the article then expresses the belief that “It is critical that the voting public have a clear understanding of evolution. Adaptation by natural selection, the primary mechanism of evolution, underpins a raft of current social concerns such as antibiotic resistance, the impact of climate change and the relationship between genes and environment.” The author seems puzzled why even with formal scientific education, intelligent design remains intuitively plausible while evolution remains intuitively opaque.
In trying to address this problem, the author says that developmental psychologists have identified two psychological biases in young children. The first is psychological essentialism – belief that species are defined by an internal quality that cannot be changed. The second is promiscuous teleology – all things are designed for a purpose.
What follows next in the article is a general discussion of these two biases and the problems they pose for teaching the theory of evolution to both children and adults.
The author next supports the belief that these psychological biases in children can be overcome by teaching evolution to younger children – 5-8-year olds.
The problem with this kind of thinking is that it is basically supporting mind control for children. I believe it shows how far evolutionists will go to try to force their beliefs on children at even a young age. What is being advocated here is “brainwashing.” You can find a good definition of this term in Wikipedia. “Brainwashing (also known as mind control, menticide, coercive persuasion, thought control, thought reform, and re-education) is the concept that the human mind can be altered or controlled by certain psychological techniques.”
|Web Site of the Month - June 2020|
|by Lothar Janetzko|
|Raising Doubts about Evolution… in Science Class|
The website review for this month looks at a RETRO REPORT published in The New York Times in November of 2017. Retro Report consists of essays and documentary videos that re-examine the leading stories of decades past. At the top of the report, you will find a link to a 10-minute video which provides a summary of what is contained in the written report. The video has the following caption: “A growing skepticism of science has seeped into the classroom, and it’s revived attacks on one of the most established principles of biology – evolution.”
The commentary of the report begins by mentioning the sassy song “Evolution Mama” which dates back many decades and provides a link that allows you to listen to the song found on "JUG BAND SONGS of the Southern MOUNTAINS." You can find the lyrics for the song by searching the Internet.
The line of the song “Evolution mama, don’t you make a monkey out of me,” serves as the introduction for discussing what the Report believes to be the “enduring strength of the forces that embrace the biblical account of Creation.” It is interesting to note that The New York Times writer feels it necessary to state that for some creationists (who are called science skeptics) “rejection of broad scientific consensus extends to issues like climate change and stem-cell research.” Bringing politics into a discussion about creation and evolution is quite common in our main-stream media.
The commentary of the Report then discusses anti-evolution court cases which are presented in the RETRO REPORT video. Of course, the first case discussed is the so-called Scopes Monkey Trial held in 1925. The case made national headlines when Mr. Scopes was found guilty of violating a state law that prohibited the teaching of human evolution in state-funded schools. His conviction was overturned on a technicality that is not discussed.
The major outcome of anti-evolution court cases is that the courts have ruled that cases involving the teaching of Creationism in public schools are religious in nature and violate the First Amendment’s proscription against “an establishment of religion.”
The controversy over a Louisiana law is quite interesting in that the law permits public schoolteachers to “use materials critical of established scientific thought.” You can read at length both about those who agree or disagree with this law.
At the end of the article, you will find 247 reader comments that present the widely different views of readers of this RETRO REPORT.
|Web Site of the Month - July 2020|
|by Lothar Janetzko|
|Public policy think-tank advancing a culture of purpose, creativity, and innovation.|
While searching the web for articles and websites about creation and evolution, I recently "discovered" the website of the DISCOVERY INSTITUTE at discovery.org.
On the main page of the site you will find links to ABOUT, EVENTS, STORE, SUBSCRIBE, DONATE and SEARCH.
Selecting the link to ABOUT you can learn about what the Discovery Institute does and read the mission statement of the organization. Here you will also find a link to Navigator that will guide you to information about The Latest and Discovery Programs.
You will find some interesting observations in the mission statement of the Institute. "Mind, not matter, is the source and crown of creation, the wellspring of human achievement. Conceived by the ancient Hebrews, Greeks and Christians, and elaborated in the American Founding, Western culture has encouraged creativity, enabled discovery and upheld the uniqueness and dignity of human beings ... In contrast, the contemporary materialistic worldview denies the intrinsic dignity and freedom of human beings and enfeebles scientific creativity and technological innovation."
The way the Discovery Institute disseminates information is through "books, papers and reports, conferences, lectures and seminars, through regular radio and television appearances by scholars and fellows, and through sponsorship of national and international colloquia, seminars and conferences."
From the EVENTS link you can find information about upcoming events. On July 10, 2020, in Seattle, WA there will be a Seminar on Intelligent Design in the Natural Sciences and a CS Lewis Fellows Program on Science and Society. On July 23, 2020, in Seattle, WA there will be a Gilder Fellows Seminar [if permitted by Washington State Governor Jay Inslee]. You can also access Event Archives.
The STORE link will guide you to the Discovery Store where you can purchase books and films by Institute fellows and friends. The Institute publishes books exploring the intersection of science, education, technology, culture, and public policy using the Discovery Institute Press. The Discovery Store will allow you to select topics of interest from a vast array of subjects relating to creation and evolution. Most of the books published by the Discovery Institute Press can be purchased at Amazon.com.
You can subscribe to numerous newsletters by following the SUBSCRIBE link.
There certainly is much to explore on this website. Use the SEARCH link to find information that may be of particular interest.
|Web Site of the Month - August 2020|
|by Lothar Janetzko|
|Why yet another website about evolution?|
This month we are looking at a website recommended by a reader of our website. The site has the title, “Evolution under the microscope”, and asks the question, “Why yet another website about evolution?”
The website is organized by providing a Go To tab with a hover dropdown menu with links to the following topics:
Using this Go To tab makes it easy to find your way around the site.
On the Home page you find the answer to the question, “Why another website about evolution?” The author of the website, David Swift, wrote a book, Evolution under the Microscope, over 10 years ago and now wants to bring it up to date presenting recent developments. He feels using a website makes it easier to provide updated information on an ongoing basis.
The Home page also provides a summary of all the information you can explore on this site plus an About Me link where the author provides some background information about his school and university training. Here you learn that the focus of his book was on the biochemical case against evolution and why he formerly believed that the fossil record and homology provided supporting evidence for evolution.
The Evolution page presents the theory of evolution (in a nutshell). Here you can read about descent with modification, variation within species, competition and natural selection, adaptation, and speciation. Additional links cover the topics of Micro- and Macroevolution, Neo-Darwinism, and Variations by corrupting genes.
The New Genes page begins with an introduction to the topic of the biochemical reasons against genes evolving and then discusses in detail proteins. Beside the main New Genes page, additional pages discuss:
The Eyes page discusses eyes and their evolution. Classical ideas and how Darwin and natural selection view this highly specialized organ is presented, followed by a discussion of genes and molecular biology. Separate pages discuss embryonic eye development and the time required for an eye to evolve.
Space does not permit me to provide details about some of the other pages available on this website so just use the website navigation system to find topics of interest. I believe the book author has created a great website to present the material from his book and has made it easy to understand why he believes that "the more we discover about biology, the stronger becomes the case against (macro)evolution." Also, you will find many informative illustrations on many pages of this website.
|Web Site of the Month - September 2020|
|by Lothar Janetzko|
|The fascinating saga of the fate of Charles Darwin's finches|
The website review for this month looks at another article suggested by a reader of our website. This website is a blog post written by Richard William Nelson. On the home page of the site, you will find the following tabs:
Typical of blog posts, on the bottom of a post you will find a link to Archives of posts spanning the period of January 2010 to March 2020.
On the About tab you will find some background information about Richard Nelson and the book he has published entitled Darwin, Then and Now, the most Amazing Story in the History of Science. As you can tell, the website name comes from the name of the book. A brief summary of the book states "Darwin, Then and Now is a chronicle of who Darwin was, how he developed his theory, what he said, and what scientists have discovered since the publication of The Origin of Species in 1859. The book details the rise and fall of evolution as a scientific theory. With over 1,000 references from Darwin and scientists, Darwin Then and Now retraces how this once popular theory is now recognized as only a philosophy; not a valid scientific theory."
The blog post, Fate of Darwin's Finches, provides interesting details about the role Darwin's finches have played in the development of the theory of evolution. Darwin reached the Galápagos Islands on September 15, 1835, aboard the HMS Beagle and spent about five weeks there. He collected many different types of specimens. "Darwin surprisingly did not record the number of finches collected nor the number loaded onto the ship." As it turns out, thirty-one Galápagos finch specimens reached England.
In 1836, Darwin presented some of his new collection of specimens to a meeting of the Geological Society of London. It was British ornithologist John Gould, who studied the birds in more detail and inferred the evolution of "an entirely new group, containing 12 species" in his report.
In 1839, Darwin published the first edition of the Journal of Researches, also known as the Voyage of the Beagle. In this book, Darwin never mentions the Galápagos finches. In the second edition of the book published in 1845, Darwin mentions the finches seventeen times, but concedes, "Unfortunately, most of the specimens of the finch tribe were mingled together."
This poses a problem for presenting the case of the evolution of different species on different islands.
More of the saga of the finches is presented in this post.
One interesting feature of the blog posts on this website is that each post has an audio link at the top of the post so you can listen to the post besides just reading it.
There is much to explore on this website. Just select tabs of interest or use the search feature to locate more information about Darwin and the theory of evolution.
|Web Site of the Month - October 2020|
|by Lothar Janetzko|
|A reference for defending the Bible's account of origins|
The website review for this month looks at a site that seeks to "find evidence defending the Bible's account of origins, problems with evolution, and answers to skeptics' claims."
The home page of the site provides tab links to the following topics:
On this page you will also find a search box that allows you to find information of interest.
It is on the About web page that you learn about the goal of the site and how the author of the site has chosen to present his arguments for defending the Bible's account of origins. His approach is to present arguments in a "dictionary format.” By dictionary format he intends arguments to be stated in a one-sentence format and indexed on the website. Each argument has a basic explanation of what it means and the reasons for it. His goal for the website, which is still in progress, is to provide references for further research for his arguments from books, technical journals and "respectable educational web pages." His goal is also to present objections and rebuttals in a debate-like layout.
On the Home page of the site you will find “Creation vs. Evolution: An Index to Topics” and “Complete Index to Arguments.” You can browse the indexes to evidence and claims and review Creation Evidence and Evolution's Claims. For these indexes you can review information about:
Also at the bottom of the Home page you will also find Quick Links and a place to sign up for a Reference Newsletter to receive "a couple of evidences for creation (or against evolution), and a couple of answers to evolution's claims against the Bible."
The Index page allows the website reader different ways of looking at creation vs. evolution. One approach is to view the Complete Index where you can view the website's complete index of arguments arranged in a tree-like structure. Another way is to view the Standard Index which allows you to view a summary of the arguments of the site in a blog-like fashion. A third way of navigating this website is to use the Common Sense Index. The description for this index states "You don't need to be a scientist to realize the problems with evolution. Common sense tells us that evolution is not possible and that the Bible's account of origins is true."
Beside the three different indexes found on the Index page, you will also find links to Reference and Dictionary. The Dictionary allows you to look up terms used in the creation/evolution debate and attempts to make them understandable to a lay person.
There is much to explore on this website and the various indexes allow you to find topics of interest easily. The website navigation features scale nicely depending on the size of the browser window you use to view the site.
|Web Site of the Month - November 2020|
|by Lothar Janetzko|
|Planets Beyond Our Solar System|
The website review for this month looks at the NASA EXOPLANET EXPLORATION website. This website provides a great deal of information about NASA's next big challenge, finding potential life-bearing worlds among the stars.
On the top of the home page of the site you will find links to:
Another way to explore the site is to follow the links provided under the title "The Search for Life" which include the following topics:
In case you are not familiar with the term Exoplanet, from the glossary which you can find on this site, it is "a planet orbiting a star other than our Sun." As of October 29, 2020, NASA claims there are 4,296 confirmed Exoplanets from 5,632 NASA candidates.
Following the link on Habitable Zones you learn that "Discovering thousands of planets beyond our solar system counts as a 'eureka' moment in human exploration. But the biggest payoff is yet to come: capturing evidence of a distant world hospitable to life." The 'habitable zone' around stars is where it is not too hot and not too cold for liquid water to exist on the surface. An exactly right planet would be about 1-2 times the size of Earth.
There are 5 ways used to find planets:
Interesting videos are presented on the site which illustrate these different methods used to find a planet.
The ultimate goal of NASA's exoplanet program is to find unmistakable signs of current life. "How soon that can happen depends on two unknowns: the prevalence of life in the galaxy and how lucky we get as we take those first, tentative, exploratory steps." NASA scientists believe "unless we get lucky, the search for signs of life could take decades. Discovering another blue-white marble in the star field, like a sand grain on the beach, will probably require an even larger imaging telescope".
On the website you can also learn how spectroscopy is being used to analyze the light shot by a star through the atmosphere of a planet to determine the constituents that are present in the atmosphere.
On the More link of the website you will find a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) link that will guide you to answers to questions you may have about this NASA program. You can use the Search link to find additional information. There really is a lot to explore on this site and the graphics on the site are highly informative.
|Web Site of the Month - December 2020|
|by Lothar Janetzko|
|Readings in the Philosophy of Science|
For this month's website review we are looking at an article found on a website we previously reviewed for our Disclosure newsletter in September 2019. As you can tell from the link, the article was recently published in November of 2020 and deals with the topic of what science can and cannot do, and the biases that affect it.
The main page for the article provides links that allow you to Sign in / Join, show Your Profile, get information About and share your thoughts with Contact. Additional links allow you to search, SUBSCRIBE, DONATE and select a pulldown MENU of many different topics.
The article begins by stating that "Educated people need to get over the simplistic picture of science as a guarantor of truth and the opposite of religion." If you follow the recent news, you know that the mainstream media is constantly pushing the idea that science has all the answers to solving the world's problems concerning the current pandemic, climate change and a host of other issues.
The article then presents essays and book reviews that the author believes can help readers to better understand the proper role of science.
The first item discussed is a book review by Joseph Swift published in Science called Moving beyond the paradigm. The author states that Swift provides a "remarkably fair review of Paul Feyerabend's 1975 treatise, Against Method." In this book Feyerabend, challenges the assumption that the "scientific method" produces reliable conclusions and can "actually perpetuate myths and inhibit truth from being found." You can read the problems Feyerabend believes Galileo faced in the 17th century regarding the Earth orbiting the Sun.
The next item discussed is another book review. The reviewer is Jan G. Michel and in “Imaginary demons and scientific discoveries” (Science) he discusses the 2020 book Bedeviled: A Shadow History of Demons in Science written by Jimena Canales. Canales maintains, "demons are 'neither just psychological delusions or simplistic heuristic fictions nor simply midwives who help scientists deliver knowledge'". The author believes that Canales is incorrect in arguing that "the notion of a (scientific) demon should be regarded as akin to other, more established philosophical notions or tools, 'such as concepts, numbers, classes, and categories'".
The final item discussed is the article “Philosophical thoughts for the future” (Phys.org) by David Bradley discussing an article by Austrian scientist Franz Moser. The website author believes that this review is an example of philosophy done poorly. The views presented by Bradley and Moser receive the classification of STUPID EVOLUTION QUOTE OF THE WEEK. Moser believes our minds are merely a manifestation of the electrochemistry of our brains. The implications of this idea are presented in some detail.
You can get additional insight into the various books and article reviews by selecting the (Science) and (Phys.org) links provided on the main page of website reviewed this month.
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