A Question for Atheists
Since many of you revel in your perceived rational superiority when compared to theists please answer the following question: How does nothing produce something?
To me its seems more rational to hold theist views on creation. We at least have an answer. Now, many will not accept any notion of creation but its the only logical conclusion. Give me your answer to the question and many will see the irrationality of your explanations. Before you counter with the inevitable "Who created God" argument I'll oblige with an answer..... God did as he exists beyond our human perceptions of reality. If he was subject to the limitations in human reasoning he wouldn't be God. So try as you might to answer the question and be thorough. For example, don't just say the Big Bang. Explain how the matter formed out of nothing before the explosion. I look forward to the ridiculous explanations that make a mockery of this web site's name. William of Occam was correct.... the simplest explanation for creation is God.
Here's the source for all those on that one list....http://www.programmed-aging.org/theories/evolution_issues.html
The fauna has already been cited from Sussman
<a href="http://www.google.com/search?q=evidence+for+evolution&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a>Link to my response</A>
Honestly, I am not going to explain myself if all you are going to do is provide links. There is no point in discussing with your links; they can't discuss back. Post your interpretations, and I'll respond with mine. Otherwise, we can just look at the links, and then there isn't any reason to use this forum.
Hey butters, I've been thinking about those ring species and have become extremely intrigued. They could possibly explain the problems in modern evolutionary theory. Examples 7 and 8 in my original list can possibly be addressed. The randomness in chromosomes and the lack of use for most DNA genes within a nucleus may be a product of natural selection causing traits to flow back an forth. This won't result in new species, rather, it could suggest that organisms have a biological makeup that can allow for a range of adaptations to environment within limitations. I am going to research if any genetic studies have been undertaken on ring species. If these animals display a genetic code within their variations that encompasses most or all of the genes within their nuclear DNA than they very well may be evidence of the limitations of natural selection. This could explain why higher forms of animals alive today use only a fraction of the DNA in their genetic code. Its a biological safety net against extinction due to environmental change. This would mean the animals roaming the planet today are not here because of evolution. Instead it would suggest that these animals have the ability to produce variations that will allow for adaptation within a limited spectrum that was able to cope with the various environmental conditions that have manifested throughout earth's natural history which has allowed for these particular creatures to survive up until current times. In fact, I might call my theory the Limited Variation Theory or Spectral Variation.
v4ault, this is my explanation for all that stuff. I provided sources because you asked. Now what exactly do have to contest it? I have a theory and if ya can give me evidence you feel won't mesh we can debate that.
v4ault and all others, I'm leaving this site for good. I wrote an intro and resigination explaining myself if anyone is interested. I apologize to anyone I may have offended here. Good bye and best wishes to all.
Here's the source for all those on that one list....http://www.programmed-aging.org/theories/evolution_issues.html
The fauna has already been cited from Sussman
Oi the article starts of with this
Darwin's idea that current species are descended from different earlier species is now overwhelmingly confirmed by steadily increasing observational evidence and no longer has scientific opposition. Darwin's evolutionary mechanics theory, essentially survival of the fittest or natural selection, also fits the vast majority of observations. His idea was that mutational changes occasionally occurred in individual organisms. Sometimes the changes were inheritable. Sometimes inheritable changes improved the ability of individual organisms possessing them to survive longer (and thereby reproduce more) or to otherwise reproduce more, thus propagating their altered design in a population
ummm that would support the idea that evolution is not debunked by your hypothesis at all, even more so it more just the explanations of the mechanics of evolution. However I do object to some of its observations at the website. One is the life span thing, similar species have to have the same or similar lifespan? why? I have never heard anyone one in the biological field state that evolution must make similar species have similar lifespans. Even more so why would evolution push for more or less lifespan? the mechanics behind evolution only guarantee that a species will continue passing on it's genetic information, if the creature dies in doing so, as long as this is a viable way to pass on it's genetic information then it will continue to do so. Where in the mechanics of evolution does it state that there has to be a longer lifespan? The only lifespan that it extending is the lifespan of the genetic information of that species.
even better, if you had done some minor research:
The life span issue remained a total mystery, a completely “unsolved problem of biology”, until 1952 when famous British zoologist Peter Medawar suggested that the evolution process is affected by the age of an organism as measured relative to the age at which it is first capable of reproducing. He proposed that even major adverse events, such as death of old age or other major consequences of aging, that occurred well after that age would have relatively little effect on the evolution process because they would have relatively little impact on the organism’s ability to reproduce. Indeed, age of sexual maturity in different species correlates moderately well with life span. Because of Medawar’s concept, a compensating benefit might be relatively minor.
Even more so, even if it does conflict with traditional evolutionary mechanics theory, it doesn't mean evolution is not true, it only means the explanation of how it works maybe wrong, but at no point does it mean that a creator is necessary.
I know that this point you are not going to respond to this. However you still have not in anyway or form discredited evolution. You have not even begun to show that a creator is the only viable alternative, even the web page you presented doesn't state that, only that the mechanics of evolution might have to be adjusted.
You can ask me about misconceptions as it relates to the secular history/ sociology/anthropology of Christianity, other ancient mythologies/civilizations/beliefs or loosely related fields. Its my expertise.
Why would I? You're bringing a knife to a gun-fight. How would you plan on defending your refutation of biological science with knowledge from such areas? I'm glad you have an expertise, but unfortunately for you, it won't lend you much good in a debate over the scientific method and evolution. Pardon me if I've misunderstood the root of your creationism, but it doesn't seem related to "overwhelming" evidence from these areas you have studied, but more due to the inability to accept plain empirical evidence that shows the serious flaws in such beliefs.
Problems with evolution:
1. West African human populations. Some of the groups that occupy the region are scientifically accepted as the oldest human populations on earth. These group members share dominant characteristics yet among them the highest degree of genetic variance exists. Kinsmen in these groups are more varied genetically than you are to an Inuit. Some say this only is more evidence for evolution but think about it. These people ain't superhuman or subhuman their just human and untarnished from the explanation that humanity has slowed its evolution from increased gene flow due to global traffic. Their genetics could suggest genetic variance doesn't mandate eventual speciation.
The high degree of genetic variance makes perfect sense in the context of evolution - It would actually lend greater power to the Darwinian model of evolution by natural selection. In the Origin of Species, Chapter 4, he outlines how vital the existence of individual variations must be in order for natural selection to occur. Each slight difference in allele frequency provides a selective advantage for a unique selective pressure. Darwin put it much more eloquently than I have here. I would suggest you read it if you haven't already done so - If not for the content, then at least out of respect for the wonderful prose.
2. Bacteria and viruses. I don't trust wikipedia as its not scholarly and subject to errors. Not that that is wrong but its untrustworthy. I don't know what it said but with bacteria evolutionists most always point to antibiotic resistant strains. These strains simply drop a ribosome that an antibiotic attaches through mutation. Sounds beneficial and seems to support evolution but upon further experimentation any antibiotic resistant bacteria that is introduced to a normal population (i.e. one with the ribosome) will succumb to the one without mutation. It seems to me to suggest mutation only has a benefit when subjected to the artificial selection imposed by human activity. Its the same with dogs. We subject them to various genetic crossings to develop traits that suit our preference but after a while disorders in "pure breds' become prevalent because of the genetic manipulation. Color, size, bone structure, and many other traits vary to a large degree but a pug is still the same species as a german sheperd. As for viruses they work similarly to bacteria. Someone afflicted with drug-resistant AIDS that developed due to mutation have only one dangerous course to remedy the situation (actually 2 if new drugs prove helpful but there is concern here about making it more resistant and not a good long term solution). They need to stop taking medication so the virus once again produces in a non-mutated form in a sufficient fashion to overrun the mutated strains. Treatment is effective once again at this point suggesting again that mutation is only beneficial in artificially created situations. Viruses and bacteria are the most common bits of evolutionary evidence for beneficial mutation by observing the initial change but by observing the the effects of a mutated population in interaction with a biologically normal population than a logical interpretation can be that mutation serves as a detriment to the principle of natural selection itself.
I'll agree with your misgivings about Wikipedia. Good on you for understanding that. It's quite accurate in most cases, but not a proper source in most contexts.
Okay, I think I understand your first argument here. I'm not sure you understand exactly how antibiotics function, or the nature of selective pressures. Any pressure (artificial, or natural) will result in a similar stress on an organisms, allowing for those best suited to survive and pass on their advantageous (or desirable) characteristics. In artificial selection, as you've pointed out with your crossbreeding example, there is a risk of passing on additional deleterious genetic information as well. Remember, it was not being selected for, and would normally not be passed on in the wild. This is an example of Mendelian genetics, in which recessive traits can (as a simple example) pair to form homozygotic recessive genotypes at greater frequencies within populations, leading to phenotypes which may not be desirable for survival. Genetic hitch-hikers, in a sense. This is selective breeding though, not natural selection, and as such has no bearing on the validity of evolutionary theory.
Furthermore, you must understand that bacteria and viruses do not work "similarly" to one another. Viruses are neat packages of genetic material, coding merely for the machinery necessary to replicate and deliver this material to hosts. Bacteria are living organisms. Drug-resistant AIDS? Most viruses would be "drug-resistant," in the sense that they do not have metabolisms to interfere with - Thus rendering antibiotics pointless. Anti-retro-viral drugs are possibilities, and some do limit the spread of viruses. This isn't even the point though.
Your argument becomes fairly weak again, as you are arguing for artificial selection as evidence refuting natural selection again. Evolution can be observed through artificial selection, yes, but evolution is not driven by artificial selection in the wild. You argue that artificially selected populations being less robust than their wild-types shows that mutations would be detrimental to natural selection? I don't follow. The basis of your argument is that the strains born of natural selection out-compete their artificial counterparts, which would lend evidence to the power of natural selection in the first place.
3. Cyanophycea (a kind of blue-green algae). Shows extremely minimal variation over 1.5 billion years. Surely this is not an example of a 'drop in the bucket' of evolutionary time like other organisms that fail to evolve.
Okay, you need to understand something important here: ALL organisms that currently exist are EQUALLY evolved. All of Earth's life has come from the same place, and branched into various different forms due to individual variations and selective pressures. Complexity is not a marker of "how evolved" something is. As has been said already, these organisms have a commanding role in their niches. They exist in very similar form because they haven't needed to change. Perhaps they could have gone extinct or other traits selected for over time, but this doesn't appear to be the case. It wasn't necessary for their survival. Just because an organism has been around for a long time doesn't necessitate it's development into a complex creature.
4. New World Monkeys. Yes, island hopping has been demonstrated in the fossil record but that was by the much more intelligent Homo erectus going from Asia to Australia through the Indonesian island chain. This distance doesn't come close to the distance between Africa and S. America (even 35 mya). Some serious anthropologists even postulate that New World monkeys may have traversed Antarctica. Kinda far-fetched but its fills gaps.
How does a measurement of "intelligence" enter in to the struggle for existence in this context? Some bacteria, for example, exhibit remarkable chemotaxis abilities, traveling relatively vast distances to obtain nutrients. Isolation is the most likely explanation here, and a common ancestor likely populated a common ground which was separated through geological means. This is not my area of expertise, but your argument doesn't seem to acknowledge the most likely possibilities here. In fact, I'm not sure how this example even attempts to refute evolutionary theory. Please elaborate.
5. Fauna fossils. Faunas of certain geological time periods seem to have been exposed to massive catastrophes that occured at the same time as catastrophes on land, in the ocean, or both.
And? Please don't tell me you're aiming to introduce flood geology here...
6. Man's single phyletic line. No one knows why only a single phyletic line out of more than a billion led to man. This requires such an extreme of special conditions that all evolutionary biologists are perplexed. (ID *gasp*)
You are appealing to a majority here (one which I'm not sure exists). I don't know that I'm perplexed by it, at least, nor are any of those I've worked with. A phyletic line is simply a path from a common ancestor, so what are you trying to say here? Are you simply perplexed that "we" are products of evolution? I hope you don't feel that we are somehow superior or more evolved than other species (if so, refer to number 3, above). We are products of a very trying series of selective pressures, which developed specific advantages in our physiology, that's all. It seems that you are placing man on a pedestal here, and wondering what makes us "special." We aren't, we're just very differently adapted to our environment. As far as an "extreme of special conditions" go - That's sort of the point. We've undergone significant changes due to a series of conditions (selective pressures), and our current morphology depicts it marvelously. We wouldn't exist if this hadn't occurred, and wouldn't be having this conversation. It's pretty amazing when you think about it, but certainly not supernatural.
7. DNA. Specifically the amount in each nucleus. In higher forms of animals only 5,000 to 50,000 genes can be observed as evidence for evolution while DNA can provide the material for over 5 billion genes. This would suggest rapid evolution is not only possible but should be prevalent based on the Modern Synthesis and its reliance on genetics. Doesn't work that way, however, in reality
Actually, 2.5 billion genes do exist in Psilotum nudum. This would be the same order of magnitude as 5 billion. Your assertion that "higher" forms of animals means more genes, and hence "more evolved," is erroneous. Remember, all organisms are equally evolved. Arabidopsis has more genetic information than we do, squeezed into a smaller genome. Genomic size (in base pairs) is all contingent upon the lengths of genes, their regulatory organization, and molecular mechanisms for their transcription. I'm taking a class which just discussed these variations, actually - I'm glad you've provided a context for using the information.
"Rapid evolution?" Well, I'll tell you this: Unless it's achieved via artificial selection, evolution is rarely rapid (though you'll have to define "rapid" here).
8. Chromosomes in eucaryotes. In many groups of animals the number of chromosomes will remain constant in some but variable in others. In plants and animals the number of chromosomes will also vary from high to low in different groups. Same with size of chromosomes. This presents problems as it seems natural selection cannot explain this evidence that is prevalent in many plants and animals. They insist its controlled by natural selection but take the intellectually honest stance of "we don't know" how natural selection does it but it does.
Examples? Are you being intentionally vague here? What evidence? And evidence of what? What is the variation of chromosomes evidence of? What are you attempting to argue here?
On your last sentence: Natural selection isn't some ambivalent aether or something. It's a population/environment/gene induced occurrence... A progression of changes manifested in populations of organisms which have had to endure specific pressures.
Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.
-- Richard Dawkins