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Dr. Paine

Evolution, Creationisim, Abiogenisis, etc.

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Understanding and accepting that mutations and genetics work the way they do and natural selection does cause things like finch beaks to change shape based on the flowers they eat from does not automatically make it acceptable that mutations and genetics and natural selection are the cause of finch beaks and flowers in the first place.

Yes it does. If small mutations like that happen, what do you think happens when a bunch of small mutations happen?

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Oh, so it's the micro, but not macro thing? I gotcha.

Right.

 

Yes it does. If small mutations like that happen, what do you think happens when a bunch of small mutations happen?

 

Me? I haven't stated my views in this thread and I don't plan to : )

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The step between microevolution and macroevolution is one mutation resulting in reproductive isolation. According to the biological species concept, hey, you've got a new species.

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Since this isn't the religion thread, I'll just say: Metaphorical evenings and mornings for metaphorical days isn't so hard to understand. That's what metaphors have in them, metaphors.

You got it. "Morning and evening" could be the open and close of an age for all we know.

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I'm just going to say that I have a problem with the whole metaphorical six day idea. First of all, if Christians begin to say that the Bible is not literal and it is subjective, then that raises the question of how much of it is really true? Just what sounds logical? If so, then it seems as though humans think they are smarter than their almighty God.

Secondly, is the whole idea of there not being death before the fall subjective too? Evolution relies a lot on fossils to provide evidence and I don't think that these fossils could have formed before any creatures died. To me, it seems like some one should either buy into religion wholeheartedly or completely leave it behind, not try to take something and compromize it to fit human theories.

Edited by Zephyrgirl

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I'm just going to say that I have a problem with the whole metaphorical six day idea. First of all, if Christians begin to say that the Bible is not literal and it is subjective, then that raises the question of how much of it is really true? Just what sounds logical? If so, then it seems as though humans think they are smarter than their almighty God.

Not at all. The bible has been written down by humans - many humans over several hundred years. There's no way of knowing who wrote them or how trustworthy their statements are. It is quite possible that some passages were added by someone who claimed to have taken their message from God, but in reality just wanted to profit from it in one way or other. Passages have been altered, shortened, got additions, meanings get lost in the process of the natural evolution of languages and even more so in translations (of translations of translations and so forth). Which in my eyes makes it almost impossible to take the messages literally. So if you want to act by the bible, you'll have to study it (which includes history, politics, languages, anthropology, culture, other religions and a lot more) and from your own opinion on what you think a certain part of the bible means to you and what you will do with that.

 

And just to throw this in: I believe in Evolution, but I'm convinced (don't ask where this comes from, I have no idea) that the whole thing was started by some higher natural force/being/call-it-God-if-you-will.

Edited by TanzendeFee

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As a biologist, I find evolution to be one of the greatest theories in my field. It really unites all aspects, from the study of huge ecosystems to even the tiniest molecules. For me, the amazing thing about evolution is that its so simple; its logical and its backed by evidence.

+1 (save the "as a biologist" part - but I did study biology for 4 semesters, plus had to take some more courses for my MeD-equivalent and I'm still and always will be highly interested in biological matters...)

 

Gotta say that while I think evolution is a bit of a given I'm afraid I just can't accept abiogenesis as it currently stands. It's mathematically practicaly impossible.

 

Also, incidently, homochirality is a major problem with it in my opinion. Synthetic production of ammino acids, without a chiral catalyst, produce a roughly 50/50 mix of 'handedness'... yet in nature we only see left handed ammino acids. No theories as to why this might be have been able to be tested to any depth.

Define "mathematically practically impossible". Even if it is a one in a billion chance, with several billion tries and numerous retries for each try, something is bound to happen sooner or later.

 

Also, I don't really see monochirality as a problem. After all, all the amno acids we see now are produced by existing organisms, and they are produced to be the way they are. Producing two version of each amino acid (aa) would require twice as many genes, and the drawback would be that right- and left-handed aas couldn't be used in the same protein because the protein wouldn't be able to work, thus wreaking havoc with our whole biology.

 

Furthermore, if you accept the scientific theory of evolution, you must consider that it is likely that all genes for producing aas were developed from one gene, probably the one coding for the simplest aa, namely glycine. So, if you start with one gene for left-handed aas, then copy it and change one copy to code for the production of a different aa, the new one would still be left-handed.

 

Macroevolution is... well, microevolution over millions and billions of years. Eventually, the change is just so great that the end creature is a different species.
Exactly. What many of the anti-evolution-league seem to forget is the time scale involved, as they make fun of an individual fish growing lungs and legs and crawling on land. That's not how it worked, or how it's working or going to work.

 

The step between microevolution and macroevolution is one mutation resulting in reproductive isolation. According to the biological species concept, hey, you've got a new species.
That's a case of painting evolution black-and-white. The biological definition of the term species might be exact, but that's not how things really work. Take the Ensatina salamanders, for example. They are known (and proven as) a true "ring species". (For further details, here's a rather short and to-the-point article on wikipedia: Ensatina)

 

Also, there is more than one way how reproduction can be prevented, and not all mechanisms are 100% safe. Like flowering at different times, as happens with red and black elderberry bushes (Sambucus racemosa and S. nigra). Only it happens under certain climatic conditions that they do flower at the same time occasionally - and then, they can crossbreed or crosspollinate or whatever.

 

And, to make things really difficult, crossbreeds between different species can prove to be fertile, too. Like ligers (male lion x female tiger) and other panthera crossbreeds - although only the female crosses are fertile, while the males are infertile. And, last but not least, crosses can occur between animals (and probably plants) of different genera, like macaws from the Anodorhynchus and Ara genera, or African and Asian elephants, Loxodonta and Elephas (the calf died very young due to some disease) and I probably a bunch of other examples. /nerd

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Of course it's not as simple as I put it, and our classification of species and subspecies is continually being revised. The biological species concept isn't perfect, but it's a useful tool and the most widely accepted if I remember correctly. (Can't really use the evolutionary species concept here, can you.)

 

Damn I shouldn't even be posting here my head feels like it's about to fall off. Sorry if that was pointless/irrelevant. But we may as well just totally throw that definition of species out then if those exceptions make the idea of reproduction isolation = species obsolete or whatever.

 

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Disbelief in Darwinistic Theory of Evolution as an explanation for the diversity of life does not mean ignorance of or disbelief in basic genetics, mutations, and selective breeding. I thought we discussed this already? tongue.gif Because I'll happily say I DON'T BELIEVE IN EVOLUTION.

I believe in arithmetic and algebra but NOT CALCULUS.

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Personally, I've always thought that it doesn't really make sense to believe in microevolution, but not macro, since the latter is just the former over a really, really long time. It would be the same as saying yes, you believe in erosion, but don't think canyons could be made that way. That, and the fact that we can track how species developed, both through genetics and skeletons/fossils, its one of those things that I just don't see is possible.

 

I've never really thought it to be against religion or religious belief either- the concept of God or a higher being instilling a process or method for new life to be created and adapt seems more amazing than him having to fiddle with it every so often. I know I'd sure prefer if my computer fixed itself instead of me having to take it in every couple of months. xd.png

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I think the problems arise when people want to take things like the Bible 100% literally.

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I think the problems arise when people want to take things like the Bible 100% literally.

Or, even worse, interpret the bible to fit their views. It causes many conflicts. And things like the Westboro Church.

 

I always like to think that Science is the overall one I like best, although who's to say that Faith doesn't play some sort of part in Evolution as well. You can have both without isolating one or the other. If one believes that god creates everything, why can't one believe that god created the idea of Evolution.

 

Also, Crocoduck.

user posted image

 

I'd like to know if interviews like this (if you don't know what i'm talking about, google it) actually hurt a creationist's credibility with other non-creationists. I mean, I know a lot of people looked at this Crocoduck argument and laughed at it. Especially since it's not based in fact since a Crocoduck in a basic form DID exist: See Archaeopteryx.

Edited by MysticTiger

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I recently went and saw a debate at a local university on this very topic, coincidentally. The guest (John Mackay) who came to the university was a professor of "Creation Research;" an evangelical christian with a literal interpretation of the bible that apparently works a scientist finding evidence to support his claims. He had apparently made a statement on his website supporting the biblical claim of homosexuality being an "abomination."

 

There was a question period, and one of the audience members brought up a point against that statement, using the book Sex At Dawn as a reference. She said that, according to the book (this is third hand information, and having not read the book, I can't say whether this is true or not), homosexuality developed in both human and animal populations as a means to encourage stronger community relationships between members of the same gender, in order to strengthen social ties. Whereas the person debating the side of evolution supported that statement which was made by pointing out the existence of homosexuality in Bonobo populations, the creationist basically fell back to "God said homosexuality is bad, God is infalliable, ergo you're wrong." I believe his exact words went something along the lines of: "God was the one who created the universe. If the author of the book you cited was God, then I would value their opinion."

 

I believe that sort of logic is what causes the extremely difficult to reconcile problems between fundamental creationism (such as Young-Earth Creationism that arises when you take everything the book of Genesis in the Bible says literally) and evolution. Whereas the scientific method fosters the creation and refinement of new theories based on the evidence (like that infographic someone posted and that keeps being quoted says), any argument that attempts to support creationism in the style of "God created the earth in 6 days" via science is doing the opposite. Evolutionary theories have come about due to the examination of empirical evidence. Creation 'science' is what happens when you start with the theory, e.g. that creation is correct and whatever religious text you're basic said idea on is infallible, and then try to curtail the evidence in order to support your claim. That's simply bad science, and should not be seen as such.

 

Does science currently have the answer to every last thing about our universe? No. But science is willing to change its mind when contradictory evidence arises. I know that some people are willing to accept both religion and evolution simultaneously without conflict. I'm personally willing to allow that the use of evolution as a mechanism by some sort of intelligent and possibly omnipotent creator is possible. However, when you try to adhere strictly to a belief, whether scientific or religious, and try to force the world to comply with that even though evidence may say otherwise... that's just irrational.

Edited by Hohahihehu

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You know, I'd love to be pitted against one of these creationist "scientists". biggrin.gif

 

I once had a bit of a debate with a man from another forum. He told me he was a Young Earth Creationist, and told me that no matter how many radiometric methods scientists used, they would never be correct because the results can be wrong. Let me quote what he wrote:

In 2000, rock samples were taken from Mt. Ngauruhoe, located in the center of New Zealand's North Island. These samples were from the eruptions on February 11, 1949, June 4, 1954, june 30, 1954, July 14, 1954, and February 19, 1975. They were sent to the Geochron Labortories in Cambridge, Massachusetts for whole-rock potassium-argon dating. The samples were sent on three different occasions, giving the lab plenty of raw material to work with. The samples were not described or identified except as probably being very young rocks with very little argon in them. This would ensure that the lab would take extra care during analysis.

 

These rocks had been formed from volcanic activity between twenty-five and fifty-one years prior to testing. The lab returned results between "less than 270,000 years old" and "3.5 million years old."

 

That's not even close, [my forum name from there]. It seems to me that the reliability of the potassium-argon dating method is at least questionable and at most totally useless.

The ohly problem with this kind of logic is that, well, this kind of dating does not work on rock that has come from Earth's core recently because magma contains larger amounts of argon than regular "stone", and the gas will be encased in the stone after it solidifies - as everybody who deals with radiometry knows.

 

To use a simile: If the instructions of your toaster say to not toast your bread more than twice, and you go and toast it four times, you can't use the fact that your toaster produced charcoal as proof that the toaster doesn't work properly.

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This is what I was expecting the thread to turn into as soon as that image was posted, so, I'll just be over there avoiding it so I don't see it get worse.

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The evidence supports evolution, while creationism uses flawed "gap" logic.

 

Abiogenesis is more speculative, but is in principle scientific and is supported by some evidence.

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Don't tell that to any creationists... You'll have to beat them off your back with a stick. Make that a club.

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Don't tell that to any creationists... You'll have to beat them off your back with a stick. Make that a club.

'Scuse me? That was an unnecessary snide remark.

 

Anyway--I agree that *SOME* creationists use very flawed gap logic. I'm always trying to flesh out what I know in both the science and religious perspectives so that I can be sure to get the full picture. Creationists who are completely unreceptive to new scientific theories choose to be ignorant, so I don't even bother with them.

 

 

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Probably ENTIRELY off subject here, but, since we seem to be mentioning a whole lot of the bible in the few posts that I've managed to read, how can those of you who ARE religious (compared to those of you who are not) be so sure that the bible is really nothing more than a textbook on how to better your life, or, better yet, just a story? I'm not religious, in any way, shape, or form. I just am. I do not have faith, and I do not follow any guidelines set by religions to better my own life. I just live it. That being said, I have a hard time finding that such a big debate can be made over a book. I find it impossible to put faith that's not something tangible. Evolution is tangible, because the results of it are all around us. Everything has evolved from something, that much science has proved. How, why, when, and where are hard to answer, though. Creationism itself is a hard thing to understand, even for me. I don't understand how the implied mechanics of a god creating the Earth and all those who dwell it makes much sense. Abiogenisis... I'm of average intelligence, so I don't understand that one at all, if only because I haven't taken the time to understand it and what it is.

 

Anyway. I thought I'd just post a small snippet of what I had in mind for now. Don't hate me. >.<'

From my understanding, the majority of biblical scholars take the bible as a series of stories meant to teach people morals, and do not take any portion of it as literal fact. (Some may argue it is divinely inspired, while others may only study it as the writings of ancient humans, but for your question only the former are important.)

 

I saw a debate with some biblical scholars (and I wish I could remember what it was called so I could find it for you), who thought it was absolutely [i[absurd[/i] that anyone would take the creation story, or the story of the flood, literally. Remember, these aren't atheists, these are people who study the bible because they believe in the Christian god.

 

Those who believe the creation story of the Christian bible, and do not accept other creation stories, nor the scientific evidence of evolution, I cannot explain.

 

I know this is a bit tangential but I thought I would clear some things up for you, god.ofthedead. For the record, I'm an atheist as well.

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'Scuse me? That was an unnecessary snide remark.

 

Anyway--I agree that *SOME* creationists use very flawed gap logic. I'm always trying to flesh out what I know in both the science and religious perspectives so that I can be sure to get the full picture. Creationists who are completely unreceptive to new scientific theories choose to be ignorant, so I don't even bother with them.

Sorry, but that was from personal experience. The stuff I've seen quoted as "fact" by Young Earth creationists can make your hair stand on end. (This includes claims of a global flood, explaining away the biblical equation 2=4=14 (numbers of animals per kind on the ark, depending on where you read) or claiming that all the "evidence" for evolution was deliberately placed by some arch fiend to confuse us poor infidel folk or claiming that only creationists (=faithful Christians) can be moral beings, unlike people who don't believe in a Young Earth.)

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Sorry, but that was from personal experience. The stuff I've seen quoted as "fact" by Young Earth creationists can make your hair stand on end. (This includes claims of a global flood, explaining away the biblical equation 2=4=14 (numbers of animals per kind on the ark, depending on where you read) or claiming that all the "evidence" for evolution was deliberately placed by some arch fiend to confuse us poor infidel folk or claiming that only creationists (=faithful Christians) can be moral beings, unlike people who don't believe in a Young Earth.)

Not all creationists are Young Earth Creationists, fyi.

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I believe in arithmetic and algebra but NOT CALCULUS.

That's a completely absurd comparison. There is a clear difference between variation of beak length and a non-bird species evolving into birds and sprouting beaks. Especially since the beak lengths fluctuate depending on environmental conditions and will often eventually return to what they were in the first place, no progressive "forward" evolutionary motion having taken place. Please stop assuming that all those who reject evolution as an explanation for multiple species are ignorant. I would highly appreciate it.

 

 

user posted image

 

(and before I get flak for that, it's a joke. Haha wink.gif )

Edited by philpot123

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That's a completely absurd comparison. There is a clear difference between variation of beak length and a non-bird species evolving into birds and sprouting beaks.

 

user posted image

 

user posted image

 

Especially since the beak lengths fluctuate depending on environmental conditions and will often eventually return to what they were in the first place, no progressive "forward" evolutionary motion having taken place. Please stop assuming that all those who reject evolution as an explanation for multiple species are ignorant. I would highly appreciate it.

 

What are "kinds"?

 

How do you get a beetle to a rhinoceros beetle or a bombardier beetle For example, Creationists love to argue that the bombardier beetle's noxious chemical spray mechanism is irreducibly complex.

 

How do you get a vampire bat and a fruit-eating bat?

 

How do you get a boa constrictor and a black mamba?

 

 

 

 

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Please stop assuming that all those who reject evolution as an explanation for multiple species are ignorant. I would highly appreciate it.

The fun thing about everything related to biology is that, the more you know, the more you see how evolution has happened, how it influenced pretty much every living thing. And although there is no predetermined direction to gene drift or, as a consequence thereof, evolution, it does not mean that in hindsight, you cannot see that it did take a clear direction for a group of organisms over a certain period of time. (Like, when you watch the movement of a spinning top, it's highly erratic. However, it hardly ever stops spinning in the same place it has started, and you can actually measure the distance and direction afterwards.) And even so, developments can change direction again. Let me explain that with an example:

 

There was a period of time where all kinds of organisms started to adapt to life on land. First, it was just plants, later animals as well. However, many plants and animals that had been living on land for millions of years (and developed into completely different organisms during that time), returned to the water. Like water lilies or sea weed or whales or penguins or crocodiles or plesiosaurs... Yet, the fossil records of whales (and probably other organisms) shows pretty clearly when that movement back to the water started with the whale ancestors, and how they adapted to life in water over the following millions of years.

 

At the same time as you find more and more evidence for evolution, you also find more evidence against creation. Like how our bodies - or those of other animals or plants - are flawed. Yes, flawed. The best example is our human eye, which is often cited by creationists as the perfect example for creation. However, as I said, it is flawed. The most striking flaw is that our eyes are inverse, meaning the light will have to pass by the nerves before reaching the photoreceptor cells, which causes the "blind spot" where the visual nerves are bundled and leave the eye.

 

Anyway, in my experience, the deeper you delve into the matter of biology, the more you find to support evolution. (And, yes, I did delve quite deep.) As a consequence, it does feel like ignorance to me if someone believes something entirely different.

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user posted image

 

user posted image

 

 

 

What are "kinds"?

 

How do you get a beetle to a rhinoceros beetle or a bombardier beetle For example, Creationists love to argue that the bombardier beetle's noxious chemical spray mechanism is irreducibly complex.

 

How do you get a vampire bat and a fruit-eating bat?

 

How do you get a boa constrictor and a black mamba?

Lovely, my favorite animal. I find them rather sexy actually wink.gif

 

 

 

Variation within specific kinds is obvious through everyday observation, and differences BETWEEN completely different animals are also apparent. Cats, dogs. Fish, lizards. You can selectively breed dogs into different types of dogs, but you will never selectively breed a dog into a cat. (obviously a gross over simplification of evolutionary theory, but you get my point)

 

 

Anyway, in my experience, the deeper you delve into the matter of biology, the more you find to support evolution. (And, yes, I did delve quite deep.) As a consequence, it does feel like ignorance to me if someone believes something entirely different.

 

Feel free to tell creationists with biology PhD's from secular universities that they're ignorant. Perhaps it would be better if people stopped assuming ignorance and simply understood that people can view the same information and come to drastically different conclusions, without one or the other being ignorant, stupid, etc. Arguments are better all 'round with out ad hominems hm?

Edited by philpot123

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