From: Lisa Ortuno [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 4:57 AM
To: Stephen Friberg; Maya Bohnhoff; Bahram Nadimi; Bahman nadimi; Jonny Silva; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Dale Eng Quotations from “Responding: 101 Questions Often Asked by Baha’is”
Good Morning, All;
Below is a collection of quotations from Dale Eng’s book “Responding: 101 Questions Often Asked of Baha’is” published by Exir Publishing (Bellevue Washington, 2005, 2006). I’d like to add this to our growing set of reference materials of published commentaries on evolution by Baha’i writers. As you will see, Eng denies/mocks Darwinian evolution and praises Intelligent Design. Eventually he gets to saying that humans” have always been a special distinct creation – apart from animals and qualitatively different from all other living things on earth.” He does not use the term “parallel evolution.” But since he does have a section of Baha’i quotations under a heading called, “Reasons man did not evolve from animals, ” it would be easy to see how readers would conclude that humans were created independently and evolved separately. How he just tells people what “Baha’is believe” about these things just kills me! He has some really nice points on some things, but on others he is way off.
All words in italics are his punctuation.
( I found that Dale is a member of the Regional Baha’i counsel of the Northwestern US. Does anyone know anything else about him?)
Question 11: What is man? Is man an animal?
– “When logical minds study this endless universe and the marvelous complexity of life itself, Baha’is believe they will agree that everything which exists could not have simply happened as the random aftermath of an accidental “Big Bang” explosion that somehow started the cosmos.” (p 155)
– “…scientists must not ignore or deny signs of marvelous intelligence and superb design – found throughout the universe and through all living things…” (p 156, Eng’s italics)
“Those who accept the “Big Bang” theory for the origin of the universe basically believe all that is came into be as a result of a gigantic, arbitrary explosion of a pre-existent, super-compressed singularity. (p 156)
– Big discussion scenario about how improbable it is for complex organisms to have developed by chance (series of “somehows.”) p 157
– “When one breaks down what was necessary for accidental life to simply survive, all the necessary ‘somehows” – which evolutionary scientists tend to gloss over by saying they somehow did happen, since life exists – do not seem simple or easy at all.” p 157
Discussion arguing against random mutation as a source of creative power. (p158)
“And, if multicellular animals developed from single-celled ones like the amoeba because it was beneficial for them to do so, why is it then that this planet still many types of amoebae? Why haven’t all amoebae evolved into more “beneficial” forms, so that none remain in their lowly state?” (p158-9)
– “Probability alone tells us how truly impossible it would be for all the right factors to happen, through generations of cumulative random mutations, in order for whatever first accidentally came to life to become any one of the incredibly complex living beings that exist today, including the miracle of humans – there simply would not be enough time since the earth formed, or since this universe supposedly began, for the needed combinations to randomly take place, be selected, and gradually become incorporated into a species.”
– Discussion continues against Darwinian evolution.
– He introduces irreducible complexity on page 161 in a footnote.
– On p 162 in footnote 501 Eng comments: “For an illuminating collection of essays by scientists and scholars providing smart, logical and challenging arguments against notions the universe and life exist as they do as a result of sheer evolutionary chance, see Uncommon Dissent: Intellectuals Who Find Darwinism Unconvincing by William Dembski 2004
– Provides the Venus flytrap as an example of irreducible complexity. (p 163)
– “Baha’is believe every creature – be it an amoeba, a Venus flytrap, a honeybee, a flightless bird, or a human being – came into existence because its component elements were, so to speak, instructed by nature to appear and specifically develop into the life form it did.” (p 164)
– “This is not to say Baha’is reject evolutionary change per se. Evolution as a process of living things passing through different stages of development until they appear in the form destined for them by God – similar to the process of an embryo developing within the womb…–clearly exits. What Baha’is do not accept, however, is the idea that a process of randomly selected accidental mutations acting upon simple life forms somehow caused various genetic evolutionary adaptations that eventually resulted in the origin of completely new species of extremely complex plants and animals.” (p 165)
– “Baha’is believe God started this universe through His Will, He wanted it to “Be!” and it was. We can find no other acceptable logical explanations for this beautiful, complicated existence. (p 165)
– “For the various reasons given and more, Baha’is believe in the originality of species – that each life forms appear as part of God’s plan for creation, rather than simply being the random outcome of evolutionary accidents acting upon earlier organisms. Further we hold that humans are not simply clever animals that happened to evolve, but that we have always been a special distinct creation – apart from animals and qualitatively different from all other living things on earth – ordained by God to fulfill a unique purpose and a great destiny in His marvelous Plan of life.” ( p 166)
– Eng has a Section heading called “Reasons man did not evolve from animals” on page 184. Here he quotes SAQ pp 177 – 179 and PUP pp 177 – 178.