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Archive for April 23rd, 2007

What has Thomas Huxley got to do with these 6 Sulawesi Monkeys?

tx1.jpg vs tx4.jpg

Thomas Henry Huxley was an English biologist and the chief proponent of Darwin’s theory of evolution. He is often referred to as “Darwin’s Bulldog” due to his aggressive defense of Darwin.

There was a debate between Huxley and Wilberforce (A British Mathematician), there is very little record of the debate, so little can be certain about actually happened. According to legend Huxley was asked to explain how all the apparent design in life could be the result of chance and responded with the following analogy:

If given an extremely long period of time, an infinite amount of ink, six monkeys who never die and six typewriters that never break. The monkeys would eventually type the complete works of Shakespeare.”

According to legend Wilberforce did not have a good objection to the analogy and that marked a great turn in the public opinion concerning evolution.

Let us Understand Huxley’s Analogy,

  • The universe is the paper and the ink
  • The monkeys are “random” external causal agents.
  • The input of the random forces is restricted by the laws of the typewriter which would correspond with the laws of nature.
  • The complete works of Shakespeare are supposed to be analogous to the complexity of life.

Let us put Huxley to the test

In an interesting experiment, Huxley’s idea was put to the test. A Plymoth University research team left a computer in the monkey enclosure at Paignton Zoo in southwest England, home to six Sulawesi crested Macaques named Elmo, Gum, Heather, Holly, Mistletoe and Rowan. Mike Phillips, who runs the university’s Institute of Digital Arts and Technologies, had the following comments concerning the results,

1. “The lead male got a stone and started bashing the hell out of it.”
2. “Another thing they were interested in was in defecating and urinating all over the keyboard.”

3. “The monkeys failed to produce a single word”

Conclusion

The chance god!

By the way, you can even buy the book written by Elmo, Gum, Heather, Holly, Mistletoe and Rowan titled, “Notes Towards the Complete Works of Shakespeare” for UK 25 pounds.

tx2.jpg

View the project with pictures and videos.

Or, if you don’t want to buy the book just view for free.

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reFocus Conference this year featuring John Piper. Others include J.I Packer, Bruce Ware, Mark Driscoll, etc.

 

Video of,

 

John Piper – The Reason for Our Creation

John Piper – The Nature of Our Depravity

John Piper – The Nature Of Saving Faith

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Dr. Bruce Ware (Professor of Christian Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the speaker for the Spring Resurgence Conference.

The conference provides both video and audio lectures. Q&A follows after each lecture. Lecture notes are also available. Scroll down of each page for the download.

Uncertain Hands of God and Men: Providence in Process Thought and Open Theism

Independent Hands of God and Men: Providence in Classic Arminianism

Coordinated Hands of God and Men: Providence in the Reformed Tradition

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A new video of the interesting and often humorous conversation between CJ Mahaney, Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan and Al Mohler. It has reflections of the T4G 2006 conference and also the future T4G 2008 conference.

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