Category Archives: Atheists

This is America today: 62% of Americans conceal their political views out of fear

How many of you have experienced what I have? — You’re in a small social gathering. Someone in your group begins ranting about Trump or some other conservative politician or policy, as if everyone in the group is in agreement.

I have never had the experience of a conservative doing that, have you?

Our personal experiences are now confirmed by a July Cato Institute survey that found that Americans increasingly are self-censoring.

Whereas in 2017, 58% of Americans said they concealed their political views, today nearly two-thirds of Americans—62%—say the political climate these days prevents them from saying things they believe because others might find them offensive.

Although conservatives are more prone to self-censorship as you would expect, the phenomenon actually crosses partisan lines, with majorities of Democrats (52%), independents (59%) and Republicans (77%) all saying they have political opinions they are afraid to share.

But it’s not all Democrats.

It’s the bullies, whom Cato Institute calls “strong” or “staunch liberals,” who are the only political group who feel they can say what they believe. Nearly 6 in 10 (58%) of “staunch liberals” feel they can freely voice their opinions, whereas a slim majority (52%) of centrist liberals feel they have to self-censor — an increase of 7% from 2017. This points to the increasing radicalization of some Democrats, who are intimidating even fellow Democrats.

But centrist liberals still have it easy compared to others: 64% of political moderates and nearly 8 of every 10 (77%) conservatives self-censor.

Self‐​censorship is widespread across demographic groups as well. Below are the percentages of each group who self-censor:

  • Race: 65% of Latinos, 64% of Whites, 49% of Blacks.
  • Gender: 65% of men, 59% of women.
  • Income: 60% of incomes over $100,000, 58% of peoople with incomes less than $20,000.
  • Age: 66% of people over 65, 55% of people under 35.
  • Religion: 71% of religious, 56% of non‐​religious.

I was surprised by more men than women engaging in self-censorship.

My interpretation of the smaller percentages of women, blacks, youth, poor, and atheists (or non-religous) who self-censor is that they are probably “staunch liberals” — radical leftists who feel and in fact do freely express their opinions and beliefs, and bully/intimidate/harass others into silence.

Methodology: The Cato Institute Summer 2020 National Survey was designed and conducted by the Cato Institute in collaboration with YouGov. YouGov collected responses online during July 1–6, 2020 from a national sample of 2,000 Americans 18 years of age and older. Restrictions are put in place to ensure that only the people selected and contacted by YouGov are allowed to participate. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 2.36 percentage points at the 95% level of confidence.

~Eowyn

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Democrats: The Godless party of gun control, nationwide lockdown and higher taxes, endorsed by China and U.S. Communist Party

If you are a Democrat, please honestly examine your conscience and ask yourself if this is your party.

(1) Godless

On August 11, 2020, leading the pro forma session of the U.S. House of Representatives in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, 81-year-old House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) deliberately left out the words “under God”. (See the video clip on CSPAN)

During last week’s “virtual” 2020 Democratic Party Convention, the words “under God” were omitted from the Pledge of Allegiance during the LGBTQ caucus meeting and the Muslim Delegates Assembly. (USA Today)

(2) Gun Control

Although the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment guarantees the American people’s right to bear arms and defend themselves, and despite the fact that the Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that Second Amendment applies to individuals, not militias, and may include military weapons, Democrats overwhelmingly favor abridging the Second Amendment to support gun control. In the words of Elaine Godfrey in The Atlantic, “Democrats in 2020 are embracing gun control in an unprecedented way, betting that their support is more likely to attract voters than turn them away—especially in the suburban districts that are quickly becoming central to the party map.”

Here’s the evidence (The Atlantic):

  • Gun control was “a central focus” in the 2020 Democratic National Convention (DNC). In contrast, in the 2012 DNC, there were no convention segments or panels on gun control.
  • There is a new normal in the Democratic Party: Moderate voters not only support gun-control legislation, but have begun to use the issue as a litmus test:
    • In 2010, Democrats accounted for about 20% of all candidates in federal elections who received “A” ratings from the National Rifle Association (NRA).
    • By the 2018 midterms, Democrats accounted for less than 2% of federal candidates who were rated “A” by the NRA.
  • That’s because moderate Democrats who once represented rural swaths of the country, where guns were popular, now represent a suburban constituency that overwhelmingly favors gun control, and whose politics are more aligned with those of Democrat voters in nearby blue cities than those of voters in rural America.
  • Even moderate Democrats in red states have run and won on gun control.

(3) Nation-wide Lockdown

On August 22, 2020, on “ABC World News Tonight,” Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden said that if elected President, he would shut the entire country down if “scientists” tell him: “I would shut it down; I would listen to the scientists.” (BlabberBuzz)

Never mind the fact that:

  1. Shutdowns in states and cities across America, which continue in Democrat-controlled “blue” states and counties, already have inflicted untold damage and trauma on workers and the economy.
  2. There is no consensus among “scientists” on anything concerning the COVID-19 Wuhan virus: what it is; how/where it originated; how accurate are COVID-19 and antigen tests; and the effectiveness of lockdowns, wearing masks and social distancing.

(4) Higher and More Taxes

If elected President, Joe Biden says he will call for 12 big changes in tax laws, some of which had been championed by his former boss, Barack Obama.

One of Biden’s proposed changes is a limit on itemized deductions of 28%. This means that for each dollar of itemized tax deductions, including charitable contributions, a taxpayer or couple filing jointly would only receive a maximum benefit of $0.28. This 28% limit would hold true even if a filer is paying a higher marginal tax rate. (Source: The Motley Fool)

(5) Endorsed by Communists

  • Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe told Fox News that “China poses a greater national security threat to the U.S. than any other nation. That includes threats of election influence and interference.” On August 19, 2020, the daily newspaper Global Times, which is a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, endorsed Joe Biden for President. (Gateway Pundit)
  • Bob Avakian, the chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party USA, also endorsed Biden. Avakian said that although he doesn’t particularly like Biden, electing him is necessary for “the overthrow of this system, as the fundamental solution to the continuing horrors this system causes for the masses of humanity.” (Washington Times)

Please disseminate this post on social media, and send them to your Democrat family members and friends. Thank you.

~Eowyn

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Vicious Democrat: Hollyweirdo Patton Oswalt wishes Trump supporters die from COVID-19

Patton Oswalt, 51, is a stand-up comedian, actor, writer, and an atheist.

Like so many Hollywood denizens, Oswalt is a rabid Trump-hater.

On December 12, 2019, Oswald tweeted that President Trump is “a stupid asshole” and all who had voted for Trump — 62,984,828 Americans — are stupid assholes as well.

Not content with calling us “stupid assholes,” more recently, Oswalt tweeted his wish that “MAGAt”, i.e., Trump supporters, die from COVID-19. As of the time I’m writing this post, his tweet — and therefore, his death wish — received more than 2.3 thousand “likes”.

Patton Oswalt really should mind his own business.

Given the fact that he is obese and the fact that obesity increases the risk of dying from COVID-19 by nearly 40%, it’s more likely that Oswalt will die from COVID-19.

While I vehemently disagree with Democrats and the Left, I have never wished them death, and certainly not death from a horrible disease like the COVID-19 Wuhan virus.

These are the people with whom we are contending. There really is no peaceful way to resolve our differences. See “Not a hyperbole: We really are in a civil war” and “Former CIA officer: Arm yourself; violence by the Left will worsen in next 2 years”.

See also these acts and threats of violence against Trump:

And these acts and threats of violence against Trump supporters:

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: Hell is real

Matthew 13:34-43

All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables.
He spoke to them only in parables,
to fulfill what had been said through the prophet:
I will open my mouth in parables,
I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation
of the world.

Then, dismissing the crowds, he went into the house.
His disciples approached him and said,
“Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man,
the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom.
The weeds are the children of the evil one,
and the enemy who sows them is the devil.
The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire,
so will it be at the end of the age.
The Son of Man will send his angels,
and they will collect out of his kingdom
all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.
They will throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun
in the kingdom of their Father.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

Did you know that Jesus preached three times more about Hell than Heaven?

And yet a 2009 survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that only 59% of Americans believed in hell, compared with 74% who believed in heaven. That same year, a Barna poll found that 6 out of 10 American Christians did not believe that Satan is real.

Among Christians who appear to not believe in Hell is none other than Pope Francis.

According to his longtime atheist friend, Eugenio Scalfari, Pope Francis in an interview that was published March 28, 2018 in La Repubblica, said that Hell does not exist and that condemned souls just “disappear.” This, of course, is a denial of the 2,000-year-old teaching of the Catholic Church about the reality of Hell and the eternal existence of the soul.

After Scalfari’s report garnered worldwide attention, the next day the Vatican issued this equivocating statement, which is not an outright denial (source: CNS News):

“The Holy Father Francis recently received the founder of the newspaper La Repubblica in a private meeting on the occasion of Easter, without however giving him any interviews. What is reported by the author in today’s article [in La Repubblica] is the result of his reconstruction, in which the textual words pronounced by the Pope are not quoted. No quotation of the aforementioned article must therefore be considered as a faithful transcription of the words of the Holy Father.”

Those who don’t believe in Hell not only ignore Jesus’ own words, the French philosopher-mathematician-physicist Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) would say unbelievers are making a dangerous bet or wager.

In his post-humously published Pensées (Thoughts), Pascal set forth what became known as Pascal’s Wager — a cost-benefit argument for believing in God. Pascal argued that a rational person should live as though God exists and seek to believe in God. If God does not actually exist, such a person will have only a finite loss (giving up some pleasures in life), whereas if God does exist, he stands to receive infinite gains (eternity in Heaven) and avoid infinite losses (eternity in Hell).

There is another cost-benefit reason for the belief in Hell. A study in 2012 found that societies with a strong belief in Hell have lower crime-rates.

Then there are fools who believe Hell is real, but actually choose Hell.

These fools have convinced themselves that, like Lucifer in John Milton’s Paradise Lost, it is “Better to reign in Hell, than to serve in Heaven”, only to discover that “Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell.” See:

See also:

May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

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Fall of the West: Christian graffiti in Russia, while NY art museum hosts exhibit glorifying abortion

When the Communist Party came to power in 1917, Christianity was suppressed in the officially-atheist Soviet Union.

But after the collapse of communism, the people of Russia have brought back Christianity in the form of the traditional Russian Orthodox Church.

In Moscow and elsewhere, unlike the ugly rubbish graffiti that blight American cities, Russian graffiti artists like Aleksandr Tsypkov and Anton Belikov are spray-painting bridges and underpasses with beautiful Christian icons because they believe that everyone, not just church-goers, should be able to see religious art. (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)

For a video of the Russian graffiti from which I took the above screenshots, go here.

Meanwhile, the Arsenal Contemporary Art museum in Brooklyn, New York, is hosting an “art” exhibit titled “Abortion is Normal,” with proceeds going to Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider.

As reported by LifeSiteNews:

Proceeds from the event will go to Planned Parenthood’s 2020 campaign spending as well as “voter education and advocacy” efforts….

The Abortion Is Normal website, a Bloomberg highlight video, and a Daily Beast report display and describe several examples of the event’s “art,” much of which is sexual in nature. There are nude photographs and paintings, figures bearing “Thank God for Abortion” shirts, paintings of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and various simple displays of rudimentary written slogans and buzzwords, like “Choice” and “Dear Judge Kavanaugh, if you don’t like abortions don’t get one.”

Below is one of the “art” exhibits:

To sign a petition telling Arsenal museum that abortion in NOT normal, go here. The signature call in 20,000. As of this morning, 15,125 people have signed the petition.

~Eowyn

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Pentagon bans Bible verses on dog tags, while Pres. Trump upholds right to pray in public schools

No Bible Verses on Soldiers’ Dog Tags

The Pentagon caved in to (((Mikey Weinstein))) of the atheistic Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) again.

Caleb Parke reports for Fox News, Dec. 3, 2019, that for the past 20 years, U.S. military members have been able to wear dog tags with Bible verses on them, giving them light and hope in some of their darkest times. For some Gold Star families, this is one of their most cherished possessions to remember their loved one who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Founded by Kenny Vaughan in 1998, Shields of Strength is a Texas-based company that makes Christian jewelry, beginning with a dog-tag with a Bible scripture which Vaughan had made for himself. The company now makes dog-tags with Bible verses for military members and their family, as well as other Christian-theme jewelry and apparel.

After Fox News reported on Shields of Strength last July, Weinstein complained to the Department of Defense (DOD), demanding the DOD ban the Bible verses dog-tags. “Soon after,” each military branch pulled or threatened to pull the trademark licenses that had been issued to Kenny Vaughan from Shields of Strength.

Berry, a Marine Corps combat veteran who served in Afghanistan, told Fox News: “Just when I didn’t think Mikey Weinstein could stoop any lower, he pulled a stunt like that. He’d rather take it away from them just to raise his own publicity than support our service members … that’s pretty cowardly and that’s cruel.”

Vaughan said he’s seen soldiers, who have to leave their Bible behind, carry their Shields of Strength dog-tags with them; oftentimes, the soldiers would stand in line for hours just to get one: “The love of Jesus changed my life forever. It’s the most valuable thing I have to offer anyone is God’s Word. No one needs it more than a young man or woman fighting for our freedom and we’re going to fight for them.”

An acquaintance of mine who’s a Constitutional Law attorney, says:

“While I would absolutely oppose the military issuing such tags (even with a request from the servicemember) it is outrageous that servicemembers can’t voluntarily inscribe their own tags. From a legal point of view, if the military allows any inscriptions at all (like “I Love Mom”) then banning religious ones is content discrimination. That triggers strict (constitutional) scrutiny.”

Prayer in School

Meanwhile, on January 16, 2020, President Trump followed through on his promise to the Evangelicals for Trump rally in Miami on January 3 to “safeguard students’ and teachers’ First Amendment rights to pray in our schools” through a directive from the Department of Education.

As reported by the AP and Christianity Today, the Department of Education issued a guidance on school prayer, the first updated guidance since 2003. The directive orders states to verify that school districts have no policies limiting constitutionally protected prayer, refer violators to the Education Department, and provide ways for making complaints against schools.

From the Department of Education’s press release of January 16, 2020:

[F]or the first time since 2003, the Department will …issue today updated guidance on constitutionally protected prayer in public elementary and secondary schools. The Department is required by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act, to update this guidance every two years. The guidance explains the ESEA’s requirement that states report which local educational agencies have not certified that they do not have any policy that prevents, or otherwise denies participation in, constitutionally protected prayer. The ESEA also requires states to report complaints against a local educational agency that allegedly denies a person, including a student or employee, the right to engage in constitutionally protected prayer. The guidance clarifies that the ESEA requires states to provide a clear process for students, parents, and teachers to report violations of their right to pray. Under the ESEA, states must fulfill these reporting requirements by November 1 of each year.

Christianity Today reminds us that public schools have been barred from leading students in classroom prayer since 1962, when the Supreme Court said it violated a First Amendment clause forbidding the establishment of a government religion. Later decisions extended the ban to school graduation ceremonies and, under certain circumstances, school athletic games.

Civil liberties groups say the firewall protects religious minorities and ensures fair treatment of all faiths. But many Christians say courts and schools have pushed too far against the right to free religious expression. Surveys find that Americans remain largely in favor of prayer in public schools:

  • According to General Social Survey data analyzed by political scientist Ryan Burge, just 20–35% of Christians support a ban against requiring reading the Lord’s Prayer or the Bible in public schools, and the religiously unaffiliated are evenly divided on the question.
  • A 2019 Pew Research Center survey found 41% of teens in public schools, including 68% of evangelicals, said they view teacher-led prayer in class as appropriate. A majority of teens in general (82%) and evangelical teens (64%) say there are no religious support or prayer groups that meet in their school.

South Dakota’s Republican Governor Kristi Noem, 48, is also fighting back against the Left’s tyranny.

In March 2019, Noem signed a law requiring every public school throughout the state to display an “In God We Trust” sign on their premises beginning in the fall semester. The law went into effect last July. (H/t Tom Wigand)

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: The children of God will rise from the dead

Luke 20:27, 34-38

Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection,
came forward.

Jesus said to them,
“The children of this age marry and remarry;
but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age
and to the resurrection of the dead
neither marry nor are given in marriage.
They can no longer die,
for they are like angels;
and they are the children of God
because they are the ones who will rise.
That the dead will rise
even Moses made known in the passage about the bush,
when he called out ‘Lord, ‘
the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;
and he is not God of the dead, but of the living,
for to him all are alive.”

The Empty Tomb

Two months ten days ago I lost my husband, whom I have loved since I was 22.

Several years ago, I was told by my guardian angel: “You will miss him when he’s gone.”

I miss him, sorely.

He was my intellectual mentor and my best friend, with whom I shared important beliefs and values — the Christian worldview and morality, and the conservative political ideology.

My loss would be unbearable if I did not believe that though his body is gone, his immortal soul lives and is with God, having received the holy sacrament of the Last Rites before he breathed his last. 

I am familiar with old people, whom I regularly saw, conversed with, and befriended in the assisted living facility where my husband spent his last three years. Most of the elderly in the facility are not Christians. I often wonder how they cope with old age and their impending death without the Christian beliefs that we have souls, which are immortal; that Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead; and that we are promised that as His children, we too will rise from the dead.

How utterly unbearable old age and dying must be for the unbeliever . . . .

Wisdom 2:23-24, 3:1,9

God formed man to be imperishable;
the image of his own nature he made them.
But by the envy of the Devil, death entered the world,
and they who are in his possession experience it.

But the souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them….
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.

See also:

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: ‘Before the Lord the whole universe is as a grain’

Wisdom 11:22-12:2

Before the LORD the whole universe is as a grain from a balance
or a drop of morning dew come down upon the earth.
But you have mercy on all, because you can do all things;
and you overlook people’s sins that they may repent.
For you love all things that are
and loathe nothing that you have made;
for what you hated, you would not have fashioned.
And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it;
or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you?
But you spare all things, because they are yours,
O LORD and lover of souls,
for your imperishable spirit is in all things!
Therefore you rebuke offenders little by little,
warn them and remind them of the sins they are committing,
that they may abandon their wickedness and believe in you, O LORD!

“Before the Lord the whole universe is as a grain….”

Do you want to see how our Earth, that tiny blue marble in our solar system, compares to other bodies in the Universe?

Here are some visual aids (source: BabaMail):

Psalm 19:1

The heavens declare the glory of God;
and the firmament showeth His handiwork.

Try to imagine the truly awesome, mind-boggling Being who created all this — this unimaginably vast Universe that our puny human pea-brain can’t even begin to grasp or comprehend.

And yet atheists declare there is no God and that this Universe happened willy nilly, just by accident. “There is no God” is a categorical universal negative, like the assertion “There is no unicorn,” the truth of which is dependent on the atheist having examined every place, every nook, every cranny in the unimaginably vast Universe to definitively preclude the existence of God. That, of course, is an impossibility, which just goes to show how grandiose, illogical and stupid atheists are.

It is said that when St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), the towering intellect and theologian, was near death, he was given a glimpse of the Godhead. Humbled and awed, he whispered, referring to all of the many and brilliant works he had written in his lifetime: “All is straw.”

No wonder our Lord Jesus the Christ, the Second Person of the Triune Godhead who humbled Himself by incarnating as a flesh-and-blood man, instructed us that:

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:16)

And we are alive this morning in this glorious Universe!

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

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Are We Being “Auto-Enrolled” into the Mark of the Beast?

Revelation 13:14 – 13:18

14  And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

15  And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

16  And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

17  And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

18  Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number [is] Six hundred threescore [and] six.

This piece does not aim to provide certainty of conclusion(s), but food for thought.  Over time, as one observes seemingly unrelated or spontaneous developments, a pattern can become discernable.  This writer is “discerning” that we may slowly be being corralled into a “Mark of the Beast” regime – not necessarily by force, as many assume – but through a form of “auto-enrollment” by means of that corralling. Many have opined that the “Mark” will manifest itself in the form of microchips implanted underneath the skin – whether voluntarily using deception, or by force – there’s even a movie about this titled Rumors of Wars. And that may well occur.  But …

Continue reading

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Yale U. professor: Darwinian theory of evolution cannot explain the origin of species

In a recent article published in the Spring 2019 issue of the Claremont Review of Books, David Gelernter, professor of computer science at Yale University, maintains that the Darwinian theory of evolution is not just accepted as “settled truth,” it is “the basis of a worldview” and a “replacement religion”.

The problem is this: Although called a “theory,” Darwinism is not a scientific theory because it neither predicts nor explains what it means to explain, which is the actual origin of species, because:

  1. Darwinian evolution is “gradual, step by step” as new life forms evolve gradually from old ones “in a constantly branching, spreading tree of life.” However, fossils of those predecessors of new life forms cannot be found. Instead, the fossil record shows the opposite: “In general, most species enter the evolutionary order fully formed and then depart unchanged.” During the Cambrian explosion of around half a billion years ago, for example, the fossil record shows that a striking variety of new organisms — including the first-ever animals — just “popped up suddenly”.
  2. At the molecular biology level, according to Darwinism, evolution is the consequence, over millions of years, of small good-for-survival (“natural selection”) mutations to genetic information within cells which are passed on to the next generation(s), thus changing the future of the species. Inventing a new gene by mutation requires inventing or creating a new protein. But it has been calculated that the mathematical odds of creating a new protein stable enough to be useful are zero, which means that the odds of producing “a single promising mutation in the whole history of life” is also zero. 

Gelernter concludes that “The exceptional intricacy of living things, and their elaborate mechanisms for fitting precisely into their natural surroundings, seemed to cry out for an intelligent designer.” That intelligent designer did not act just once, but “interferes repeatedly,” which suggests (what Thomas Aquinas called) “the first cause” must have a purpose — “some sense of the big picture of life on earth.”

David Gelernter

Below are excerpts from Gelernter’s essay, “Giving Up Darwinism“:

Darwinian evolution is . . . basic to the credo that defines the modern worldview. Accepting the theory as settled truth—no more subject to debate than the earth being round or the sky blue or force being mass times acceleration—certifies that you are devoutly orthodox in your scientific views; which in turn is an essential first step towards being taken seriously in any part of modern intellectual life. But what if Darwin was wrong?

Like so many others, I grew up with Darwin’s theory, and had always believed it was true….

Charles Darwin explained monumental change by making one basic assumption—all life-forms descend from a common ancestor—and adding two simple processes anyone can understand: random, heritable variation and natural selection . . . conceived to be operating blindly over hundreds of millions of years….

Yet there are many reasons to doubt whether he can answer the hard questions and explain the big picture—not the fine-tuning of existing species but the emergence of new ones. The origin of species is exactly what Darwin cannot explain.

Stephen Meyer’s thoughtful and meticulous Darwin’s Doubt (2013) convinced me that Darwin has failed. He cannot answer the big question. Two other books are also essential: The Deniable Darwin and Other Essays (2009), by David Berlinski, and Debating Darwin’s Doubt (2015), an anthology edited by David Klinghoffer…. These three form a fateful battle group that most people would rather ignore. Bringing to bear the work of many dozen scientists over many decades, Meyer, who after a stint as a geophysicist in Dallas earned a Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science from Cambridge and now directs the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, disassembles the theory of evolution piece by piece. Darwin’s Doubt is one of the most important books in a generation. Few open-minded people will finish it with their faith in Darwin intact.

Meyer doesn’t only demolish Darwin; he defends a replacement theory, intelligent design (I.D.) … [but]  never uses religious arguments, draws religious conclusions, or refers to religion in any way….

Some I.D.-haters have shown themselves willing to use any argument—fair or not, true or not, ad hominem or not—to keep this dangerous idea locked in a box forever. They remind us of the extent to which Darwinism is no longer just a scientific theory but the basis of a worldview, and an emergency replacement religion for the many troubled souls who need one….

Darwin himself had reservations about his theory, shared by some of the most important biologists of his time. And the problems that worried him have only grown more substantial over the decades. In the famous “Cambrian explosion” of around half a billion years ago, a striking variety of new organisms—including the first-ever animals—pop up suddenly in the fossil record over a mere 70-odd million years. This great outburst followed many hundreds of millions of years of slow growth and scanty fossils, mainly of single-celled organisms, dating back to the origins of life roughly three and half billion years ago.

Darwin’s theory predicts that new life forms evolve gradually from old ones in a constantly branching, spreading tree of life. Those brave new Cambrian creatures must therefore have had Precambrian predecessors, similar but not quite as fancy and sophisticated…. Each must have had a closely related predecessor, which must have had its own predecessors: Darwinian evolution is gradual, step-by-step. All those predecessors must have come together, further back, into a series of branches leading down to the (long ago) trunk.

But those predecessors of the Cambrian creatures are missing. Darwin himself was disturbed by their absence from the fossil record. He believed they would turn up eventually. Some of his contemporaries (such as the eminent Harvard biologist Louis Agassiz) held that the fossil record was clear enough already, and showed that Darwin’s theory was wrong. Perhaps only a few sites had been searched for fossils, but they had been searched straight down. The Cambrian explosion had been unearthed, and beneath those Cambrian creatures their Precambrian predecessors should have been waiting—and weren’t. In fact, the fossil record as a whole lacked the upward-branching structure Darwin predicted.

The trunk was supposed to branch into many different species, each species giving rise to many genera, and towards the top of the tree you would find so much diversity that you could distinguish separate phyla—the large divisions (sponges, mosses, mollusks, chordates, and so on) that comprise the kingdoms of animals, plants, and several others—take your pick. But, as Berlinski points out, the fossil record shows the opposite: “representatives of separate phyla appearing first followed by lower-level diversification on those basic themes.” In general, “most species enter the evolutionary order fully formed and then depart unchanged.” The incremental development of new species is largely not there. Those missing pre-Cambrian organisms have still not turned up.

Some researchers have guessed that those missing Precambrian precursors were too small or too soft-bodied to have made good fossils. Meyer notes that fossil traces of ancient bacteria and single-celled algae have been discovered: smallness per se doesn’t mean that an organism can’t leave fossil traces…. The story is similar for soft-bodied organisms…many fossils of soft-bodied organisms and body parts do exist. Precambrian fossil deposits have been discovered in which tiny, soft-bodied embryo sponges are preserved—but no predecessors to the celebrity organisms of the Cambrian explosion.

This sort of negative evidence can’t ever be conclusive. But the ever-expanding fossil archives don’t look good for Darwin, who made clear and concrete predictions that have (so far) been falsified….

Darwin’s main problem, however, is molecular biology. There was no such thing in his own time. We now see from inside what he could only see from outside….

Darwin’s theory is simple to grasp…variation occurs naturally among individuals of the same type—white or black sheep…. A sheep born with extra-warm wool will presumably do better at surviving a rough Scottish winter than his normal-wooled friends. Such a sheep would be more likely than normal sheep to live long enough to mate, and pass on its superior trait to the next generation. Over millions of years, small good-for-survival variations accumulate, and eventually (says Darwin) you have a brand new species….

[M]olecular biology…explains (it doesn’t merely cite) natural variation, as the consequence of random change or mutation to the genetic information within cells that deal with reproduction. Those cells can pass genetic change onward to the next generation, thus changing—potentially—the future of the species and not just one individual’s career….

But what does generating new forms of life entail? Many biologists agree that generating a new shape of protein is the essence of it. Only if… Darwinian evolution is creative enough to do that is it capable of creating new life-forms and pushing evolution forward….

Inventing a new protein means inventing a new gene…. Genes spell out the links of a protein chain, amino acid by amino acid. Each gene is a segment of DNA….

Your task is to invent a new gene by mutation—by the accidental change of one codon to a different codon…. But if you mutate your way to an actual, valid new gene, your new gene can create a new protein and thereby, potentially, play a role in evolution….

Douglas Axe did a series of experiments to estimate how many 150-long chains are capable of stable folds—of reaching the final step in the protein-creation process (the folding) and of holding their shapes long enough to be useful. (Axe is a distinguished biologist with five-star breeding: he was a graduate student at Caltech, then joined the Centre for Protein Engineering at Cambridge…. He estimated that, of all 150-link amino acid sequences, 1 in 1074 will be capable of folding into a stable protein. To say that your chances are 1 in 1074 is no different, in practice, from saying that they are zero. It’s not surprising that your chances of hitting a stable protein that performs some useful function, and might therefore play a part in evolution, are even smaller. Axe puts them at 1 in 1077.

In other words…The odds bury you. It can’t be done…. The odds against blind Darwinian chance having turned up even one mutation with the potential to push evolution forward are 1040x(1/1077)—1040 tries, where your odds of success each time are 1 in 1077—which equals 1 in 1037. In practical terms, those odds are still zero. Zero odds of producing a single promising mutation in the whole history of life. Darwin loses….

You don’t turn up a useful protein merely by doodling on the back of an envelope, any more than you write a Mozart aria by assembling three sheets of staff paper and scattering notes around. Profound biochemical knowledge is somehow, in some sense, captured in every description of a working protein. Where on earth did it all come from?….

There are many other problems besides proteins. One of the most basic, and the last I’ll mention here, calls into question the whole idea of gene mutations driving macro-evolution—the emergence of new forms of organism, versus mere variation on existing forms.

To help create a brand new form of organism, a mutation must affect a gene that does its job early and controls the expression of other genes that come into play later on as the organism grows. But mutations to these early-acting “strategic” genes, which create the big body-plan changes required by macro-evolution, seem to be invariably fatal. They kill off the organism long before it can reproduce. This is common sense. Severely deformed creatures don’t ever seem fated to lead the way to glorious new forms of life. Instead, they die young….

Meyer explains: “genes that are obviously variable within natural populations seem to affect only minor aspects of form and function—while those genes that govern major changes, the very stuff of macroevolution, apparently do not vary or vary only to the detriment of the organism.”….

Darwin would easily have understood that minor mutations are common but can’t create significant evolutionary change; major mutations are rare and fatal….

The exceptional intricacy of living things, and their elaborate mechanisms for fitting precisely into their natural surroundings, seemed to cry out for an intelligent designer…now that we understand so much cellular biology, and the impossibly long odds facing any attempt to design proteins by chance, or assemble the regulatory mechanisms that control the life cycle of a cell….

If Meyer were invoking a single intervention by an intelligent designer at the invention of life, or of consciousness, or rationality, or self-aware consciousness, the idea might seem more natural. But then we still haven’t explained the Cambrian explosion. An intelligent designer who interferes repeatedly, on the other hand, poses an even harder problem of explaining why he chose to act when he did. Such a cause would necessarily have some sense of the big picture of life on earth. What was his strategy? How did he manage to back himself into so many corners, wasting energy on so many doomed organisms? Granted, they might each have contributed genes to our common stockpile—but could hardly have done so in the most efficient way. What was his purpose? And why did he do such an awfully slipshod job? Why are we so disease prone, heartbreak prone, and so on? An intelligent designer makes perfect sense in the abstract. The real challenge is how to fit this designer into life as we know it. Intelligent design might well be the ultimate answer. But as a theory, it would seem to have a long way to go.

~Eowyn

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