Sunday, July 22, 2007

JHJ Peet, Liar for Jeezus

It is very strange to me that creationists are so sanctimonious about their "cosmic and moral truths" but are so sloppy with simple facts. J. H. John Peet proves no different than the average creationist in this regard telling his first lie in his very first sentence. "Charles Darwin recognised (British spelling) that a basic problem of his theory of evolution was to produce life itself."

Here is all that Darwin had to say about the origin of life in his Origin of Species.

“ I believe that animals are descended from at most only four or five progenitors, and plants from an equal or lessor number.

Analogy would lead me one step farther, namely, to the belief that all animals and plants are descended from some one prototype. But analogy may be a deceitful guide. Nevertheless all living things have much in common, in their chemical composition, their cellular structure, their laws of growth, and their liability to injurious influences. ... Therefore, on the principle of natural selection with the divergence of character, it does not seem incredible that, from some such low and intermediate form, both animals and plants may have been developed; and, if we admit this, we must likewise admit that all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth may be descended from some one primordial form. But this inference is chiefly grounded on analogy, and it is immaterial whether or not it be accepted. No doubt it is possible, as Mr. G. H. Lewes has urged, that at the first commencement of life many different forms were evolved; but if so, we may conclude that only a very few have left modified descendants.”

And, from the book’s last sentence;

"There is grander in this point of view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one ; and that, whilst this planet has gone circling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved. " From the 6th edition,
So I note that Darwin was consistent in his opinion that there were few first life forms, and merely a possibly that there could have been only one. Also, note that Darwin is little interested in the issue using well under one page of text from a 450 page book.

It is always a concern to carefully check any time a creationist quotes any scientist, particularly because they edit quotes to distort their original meaning. JHJ Peet again proved no exception when he quoted Charles R. Darwin from a letter to the botanist Joseph Hooker (1871). Let us read what Darwin wrote, "It is often said that all the conditions for the first production of a living organism are present, which could ever have been present. But if (and Oh! what a big if!) we could conceive in some warm little pond, with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, light, heat, electricity, etc., present, that a protein compound was chemically formed ready to undergo still more complex changes, at the present day such matter would be instantly devoured or absorbed, which would not have been the case before living creatures were formed."

Darwin is clearly and correctly addressing the question that if the conditions at the origin of life existed still, why do we not observe the spontaneous origin of new life forms. Peet by deleting the words above in bold, used a little snippet to falsely imply Darwin was worried that he did not know the origin of life or that this was a "problem" to the validity of evolutionary theory. In fact, Darwin later in the same letter observed, "It is mere rubbish thinking at present of the origin of life; one might as well think of the origin of matter." The origin of life is of no consequence to the theory of evolution.

Over one hundred and thirty years after Darwin wrote to Hooker we do actively study the origin of the universe and the origin of life. Peet has not limited himself to lying about Darwin, but has expounded on purported flaws in the Miller experiment.