CREATION OR EVOLUTION?

ORIGIN OF SPECIES IN LIGHT OF SCIENCE'S LIMITATIONS AND HISTORICAL RECORDS

Ebifegha takes the theory of evolution for a ride and finds it wanting and in need of some creative intelligence.

Ebifegha brings forth a number of arguments against Darwinism. There is the issue of macro-evolution—from bacteria to human, a transformation, as opposed to bacteria to bacteria, a micro-evolutionary modification—which requires such vast spans of time that it’s not scientifically testable, repeatable or falsifiable. The fossil record is incomplete; the lack of transitional stages is disturbing. There is the indisputably important immaterial realm—the mind in relation to the material brain, or the soul or spirit, and the relative qualities thereof between species—again which science, inextricably linked to materialism, has yet to satisfyingly address. Most damningly, evolutionary theory has not been able to nail down the mechanism of life’s origin, the moment of creation. And as creation precedes evolution, and evolution is thus subordinate, then evolutionary theory is built on a house of cards sustaining a particular, errant worldview. One needn’t be a dyed-in-the-wool Darwinist or macro-evolutionist or materialist to find problems here, and much of the rest of Ebifegha’s presentation seems sketched out at best. He speaks of disciplinary limitations—science vis-à-vis immateriality—but does it follow that science ought not investigate the material side even if the whole picture is compromised? He decries evolutionists as not working with “veridical facts”—what other kind are there?—when the realm is theory, not law, and he gives scant credence that theory provokes good experiments and unexpected insights, and that evolutionary theory has been important, say, in DNA sequencing and molecular genetics. As theories go, it has been fruitful and hardly to be abandoned because it has only theories about the creation if life. Ebifegha claims that another approach has already answered that question: intelligent design, wherein we find “the evidence of creation, including God’s written and verbal claim for having created the universe. One must accept a claim that has not been and cannot now be disputed.” As an approach to understanding immateriality, that is only one, and a rather limiting, course. Ebifegha is preaching to the converted; his creation/creationist stance leaves no room for debate.

 

Pub Date: March 23, 2011

ISBN: 978-1450289030

Page Count: 178

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: Jan. 16, 2012

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A quirky wonder of a book.

WHY FISH DON'T EXIST

A STORY OF LOSS, LOVE, AND THE HIDDEN ORDER OF LIFE

A Peabody Award–winning NPR science reporter chronicles the life of a turn-of-the-century scientist and how her quest led to significant revelations about the meaning of order, chaos, and her own existence.

Miller began doing research on David Starr Jordan (1851-1931) to understand how he had managed to carry on after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake destroyed his work. A taxonomist who is credited with discovering “a full fifth of fish known to man in his day,” Jordan had amassed an unparalleled collection of ichthyological specimens. Gathering up all the fish he could save, Jordan sewed the nameplates that had been on the destroyed jars directly onto the fish. His perseverance intrigued the author, who also discusses the struggles she underwent after her affair with a woman ended a heterosexual relationship. Born into an upstate New York farm family, Jordan attended Cornell and then became an itinerant scholar and field researcher until he landed at Indiana University, where his first ichthyological collection was destroyed by lightning. In between this catastrophe and others involving family members’ deaths, he reconstructed his collection. Later, he was appointed as the founding president of Stanford, where he evolved into a Machiavellian figure who trampled on colleagues and sang the praises of eugenics. Miller concludes that Jordan displayed the characteristics of someone who relied on “positive illusions” to rebound from disaster and that his stand on eugenics came from a belief in “a divine hierarchy from bacteria to humans that point[ed]…toward better.” Considering recent research that negates biological hierarchies, the author then suggests that Jordan’s beloved taxonomic category—fish—does not exist. Part biography, part science report, and part meditation on how the chaos that caused Miller’s existential misery could also bring self-acceptance and a loving wife, this unique book is an ingenious celebration of diversity and the mysterious order that underlies all existence.

A quirky wonder of a book.

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5011-6027-1

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 2, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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A wondrous mix of races, ages, genders, and social classes, and on virtually every page is a surprise.

HUMANS OF NEW YORK

STORIES

Photographer and author Stanton returns with a companion volume to Humans of New York (2013), this one with similarly affecting photographs of New Yorkers but also with some tales from his subjects’ mouths.

Readers of the first volume—and followers of the related site on Facebook and elsewhere—will feel immediately at home. The author has continued to photograph the human zoo: folks out in the streets and in the parks, in moods ranging from parade-happy to deep despair. He includes one running feature—“Today in Microfashion,” which shows images of little children dressed up in various arresting ways. He also provides some juxtapositions, images and/or stories that are related somehow. These range from surprising to forced to barely tolerable. One shows a man with a cat on his head and a woman with a large flowered headpiece, another a construction worker proud of his body and, on the facing page, a man in a wheelchair. The emotions course along the entire continuum of human passion: love, broken love, elation, depression, playfulness, argumentativeness, madness, arrogance, humility, pride, frustration, and confusion. We see varieties of the human costume, as well, from formalwear to homeless-wear. A few celebrities appear, President Barack Obama among them. The “stories” range from single-sentence comments and quips and complaints to more lengthy tales (none longer than a couple of pages). People talk about abusive parents, exes, struggles to succeed, addiction and recovery, dramatic failures, and lifelong happiness. Some deliver minirants (a neuroscientist is especially curmudgeonly), and the children often provide the most (often unintended) humor. One little boy with a fishing pole talks about a monster fish. Toward the end, the images seem to lead us toward hope. But then…a final photograph turns the light out once again.

A wondrous mix of races, ages, genders, and social classes, and on virtually every page is a surprise.

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-05890-4

Page Count: 432

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

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