Your thoughts on Evolution

doc101
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Your thoughts on Evolution

Well it is probably assumed on the forums that a common arguement against Atheism is the whole "Evolution is a Theory, not a fact"

My question is, what is it to you? Is it true? If so, please explain to me why


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As I understand the topic,

As I understand the topic, evolution is both a fact and a theory.

Merriam-Webster defines evolution as:  2 a : a process of change in a certain direction.

We know that organisms have changed overtime.  There is more than enough fossil and DNA evidence to show this.

The Theory of evolution is what ties all of the facts together.  A theory is science doesn't mean "guess", or "speculaion".

I feel like talkorigins does a better job of explaining it than I do. 

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan


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doc101 wrote: Well it is

doc101 wrote:
Well it is probably assumed on the forums that a common arguement against Atheism is the whole "Evolution is a Theory, not a fact" My question is, what is it to you? Is it true? If so, please explain to me why

First, the validity of evolution could never be an argument against atheism. If evolution was wrong that still wouldn't give the creationists the win.

Second, undeniably, evolution is fact. How else you you explain men having nipples, the poor "engineering" of the knees and back, the defective vitamin C gene, humans being born with tails......


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shayne26 wrote: doc101

shayne26 wrote:

doc101 wrote:
Well it is probably assumed on the forums that a common arguement against Atheism is the whole "Evolution is a Theory, not a fact" My question is, what is it to you? Is it true? If so, please explain to me why

First, the validity of evolution could never be an argument against atheism. If evolution was wrong that still wouldn't give the creationists the win.

Second, undeniably, evolution is fact. How else you you explain men having nipples, the poor "engineering" of the knees and back, the defective vitamin C gene, humans being born with tails......

 

humans born with tails? its not happening on a massive scale

 

evolution would go from something good, to something better right? (otherwise it would be called de-evolution and if that was true, then the previous theories stated about human origins aren't true) so how would poor "engineering" fit in the category? its not becoming better its becoming worse 


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doc101 wrote: shayne26

doc101 wrote:
shayne26 wrote:

doc101 wrote:
Well it is probably assumed on the forums that a common arguement against Atheism is the whole "Evolution is a Theory, not a fact" My question is, what is it to you? Is it true? If so, please explain to me why

First, the validity of evolution could never be an argument against atheism. If evolution was wrong that still wouldn't give the creationists the win.

Second, undeniably, evolution is fact. How else you you explain men having nipples, the poor "engineering" of the knees and back, the defective vitamin C gene, humans being born with tails......

 

humans born with tails? its not happening on a massive scale

 

evolution would go from something good, to something better right? (otherwise it would be called de-evolution and if that was true, then the previous theories stated about human origins aren't true) so how would poor "engineering" fit in the category? its not becoming better its becoming worse 

He's speaking about evolutionary "leftovers" (by the way, nipples are not leftovers, but I'll get back to that in a second).  When a species stops using a previous feature that was needed (like a tail), evolution can't get rid of it over night, it can only slowly get rid of it over hundreds/thousands of generations.  Because of this, we still have things like an appendix, tailbone, etc.  These are things our ancestors did use, but we stopped using them, and evolution has been slowly getting rid of them.  Also, as for "bad engineering," evolution sometimes has to comprimise, since it has to evolve from what came before it (obviously).

As for nipples, woman obviously need these (otherwise we would have a lot of whiny babies).  Now, the reason that men have these as well, is that men share all the same genes as woman do (namely the X-Chromosome in this case), and subsiquently have everything that woman have (even if it is in a different form, but that is thanks to the Y-chromosome which woman don't have).


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doc101 wrote:   humans

doc101 wrote:
 

humans born with tails? its not happening on a massive scale

 

evolution would go from something good, to something better right? (otherwise it would be called de-evolution and if that was true, then the previous theories stated about human origins aren't true) so how would poor "engineering" fit in the category? its not becoming better its becoming worse

Evolution does not set out goals to acheive.  If you think humans are the epitome of evolutionary progress then try living in the niche of a fish and see who lasts longer underwater.

Humans may not always reveal tails but the human genome contains genes that can code for tails as well as many other characteristics not often seen.  However if you do want a characteristic like tails that is seen on a massive scale then go talk to a dentist and she'll tell you about wisdom teeth. 


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doc101 wrote:

doc101 wrote:

evolution would go from something good, to something better right? (otherwise it would be called de-evolution and if that was true, then the previous theories stated about human origins aren't true) so how would poor "engineering" fit in the category? its not becoming better its becoming worse

Evolution is the process in which life changes to better suit an environment. So, technically, there is no such thing as "de-evolution". With the tails example, imagine if a monkey was born without a prehensile tail. He might not be able to climb as well as the other monkeys and be at a disadvantage in competing for food and mates so the genes he carried for "no-tail" would be selected against. On the other hand, if the monkeys found themselves living on the plains (perhaps due to environmental changes), the lack of tail wouldn't matter and in fact, might be an advantage from an efficiency standpoint. Skip ahead a number of generations (in small, isolated groups, advantageous traits spread very rapidly) all the monkeys have no tails and are probably better suited to living on the ground in other ways.

Now, if our monkeys find themselves in the forest again, having a tail is an advantage again, so it might come back into play. It's not "de-volution", just better suiting it's environment.

A better and very concrete example, is cave salamanders. They live in pitch black environments so being blind is no disadvantage and not wasting energy on eyes is an advantage. Again, not "devolution", just better fitting it's environment.

Another example is sea mammals. Fish-like ancestors started walking on land, heading into replitians, then to primitive mammals, then when some mammals found themselves in wetter and wetter environments, they had no use for so much of this complicated foot and ankle nonsense. Having flippers and fins is good when you're in the water and having legs and feet and all that is good if you're on solid land.

A very important part of understanding evolution is the environmental aspect and a very important part of the environmental aspect is that creatures help generate their own environment.

(This statement seems random but it is a required tidbit for the next stuff.) Natural selection is driven by the occurance of genetic mutation. Errors occasionall occur that result in new traits. These traits will either help or hinder an animal in its given environment.

The process of natural selection which drives evolution leads to an arms race which is why life seems to get more and more complex.

You can imagine an interplay between predator and prey: the predators have to spend energy on getting food and reproducing so they go after the easiest food, the slow prey. A predator with the behavior of enjoying chasing more difficult prey spends less time and energy on mating and the genes driving that behavior are selected against.

Meanwhile, the prey have to outrun each other and, if the predator population gets big enough, the fastest predator. Assuming the predators don't wipe out all the prey, the prey that runs fastest is most likely to survive and mate while the slowest are most likely to be eaten. Then the speed of the average prey increases.

Meanwhile on the other side of the fence, the speed increase of the prey means that the faster predators will be more likely to eat and mate resulting in faster predators. This cycle bounces back and forth leading to faster and faster predator and prey.

Other defense mechanisms might arise: camoflague (sp?), toxicity, spines, who knows. That's determined by genetic mutation.

(Hopefully, this is coherent for being typed at 3am.)

-Triften

 


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doc101 wrote: shayne26

doc101 wrote:
shayne26 wrote:

doc101 wrote:
Well it is probably assumed on the forums that a common arguement against Atheism is the whole "Evolution is a Theory, not a fact" My question is, what is it to you? Is it true? If so, please explain to me why

First, the validity of evolution could never be an argument against atheism. If evolution was wrong that still wouldn't give the creationists the win.

Second, undeniably, evolution is fact. How else you you explain men having nipples, the poor "engineering" of the knees and back, the defective vitamin C gene, humans being born with tails......

 

humans born with tails? its not happening on a massive scale

 

evolution would go from something good, to something better right? (otherwise it would be called de-evolution and if that was true, then the previous theories stated about human origins aren't true) so how would poor "engineering" fit in the category? its not becoming better its becoming worse 

Good and better are subjective terms. Evolution doesn't necessarily always provide better survival equipment. Often a mutation is harmful or irrelevant.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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Evolution relies on both

Evolution relies on both minor and major mutations in order to provide an organism the opportunity to survive in a slowly or rapidly changing enviornment. We can see minor changes become rapid changes in organisms with short life spans like bacteria and virii.

The mutations allow for not only increased fitness for a surrounding system, but allows expansion into new systems. These changes often result in particular 'strains' of existing species. For example some fish species have very defined and particular strains that occur over time due to a unique environmental cause.  The ones with the beneficial mutation tend to take over as the primary genetic family and will end up with a unique genetic footprint. 

My favourite rapid mutation story involves moths. This story was taught to us in the first year of Fish and Wildlife Biology. I have no idea if this account is accurate or fabricated, but I will repeat the general outline anyway.

 A particular type of moth existedin England near the turn of the century. They had developed a wing pattern that mimiced the bark of the trees on which they lived. This made them invisible to the local predator bird population.

But of each new batch of offspring, a few were colored incorrectly. Some too green, others too gray. These moths would be eaten quickly by the birds. A poor desing in the genetics? Not at all.

At some point a coal fired generation station was erected upwind of this forest area. At the time there was little in the way of pollution abatement. Coal ash often spewed from the facility. It layer the trees in a greyish soot. Now...the vast majority of moths were rather visible to the birds. As the soot spread across the forst, more and more of the brown mohts were picked off by the birds. BUT...the grey moths, previously seen as a bad mutation were suddenly the only survivors. A few months created several generations of grey surviving moths. Since the greys had access to far more food than they could cosume following the wipe-out of their brown kin, the grays began reproducing at a large rate. This created an entire population that was specific to  the area and since they all decended from the original group of grey moths, they were genetically unique to the originals. Their previosuly recessive gene for grey color became dominant. A completely new strain and a full scale evolution of a species that occured in only months.

Cataclysmic events create evolutionary leaps like this. But they are exceedingly rare. Most often evolution occurs over massive time scales.

Just look at humans today. We are taller, stronger, faster and longer lived then two or three generations of our ancestors. This is primarily due to social changes, but even those changes are environemntal.

I would submit that de-evolution is not only possible, but close to occuring in humans.

For that to occur we must somehow over-ride the survival of the fittest. How do we do that? By protecting the unfit and allowing them to procreate. ( I am not advocating IQ tests prior to allowing someone to conceive...this is simply a theoretical argument). 

Lets look at how this happens and possible evidence. Prior to the major leaps in modern medicine over the last 50 years, infant and child mortality was very high. Asthmatic, hyper-allergic, cancer ridden or simply incredibly stupid people just died. We had no fixes for their genetic flaws. Since asthma or cancer can provide no apparent benefit, the genetic flaw was ended by death. This stopped the line and prevented future generations witht he same flaws.

However, we have now created a world were humans may have immunized themselves against evolution. Idiot proof electrical appliances, child proof caps, modern medicine,safety bars on machinery....all have saved the lives of those who would have perished from their flaws or ineptitude.

Now they live and grow and reproduce contrary to the evolutionary line nature intended. We risk entire generations of sick or stupid people.


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Rational Canuck wrote: My

Rational Canuck wrote:

My favourite rapid mutation story involves moths. This story was taught to us in the first year of Fish and Wildlife Biology. I have no idea if this account is accurate or fabricated, but I will repeat the general outline anyway.

A particular type of moth existedin England near the turn of the century. They had developed a wing pattern that mimiced the bark of the trees on which they lived. This made them invisible to the local predator bird population.

But of each new batch of offspring, a few were colored incorrectly. Some too green, others too gray. These moths would be eaten quickly by the birds. A poor desing in the genetics? Not at all.

At some point a coal fired generation station was erected upwind of this forest area. At the time there was little in the way of pollution abatement. Coal ash often spewed from the facility. It layer the trees in a greyish soot. Now...the vast majority of moths were rather visible to the birds. As the soot spread across the forst, more and more of the brown mohts were picked off by the birds. BUT...the grey moths, previously seen as a bad mutation were suddenly the only survivors. A few months created several generations of grey surviving moths. Since the greys had access to far more food than they could cosume following the wipe-out of their brown kin, the grays began reproducing at a large rate. This created an entire population that was specific to the area and since they all decended from the original group of grey moths, they were genetically unique to the originals. Their previosuly recessive gene for grey color became dominant. A completely new strain and a full scale evolution of a species that occured in only months.

That is a very good example. I think the it was just the industrial revolution causing the air pollution but the effect is the same. The environment changes and those best suited to the environment produce more offspring.

Rational Canuck wrote:

Cataclysmic events create evolutionary leaps like this. But they are exceedingly rare. Most often evolution occurs over massive time scales.

Just look at humans today. We are taller, stronger, faster and longer lived then two or three generations of our ancestors. This is primarily due to social changes, but even those changes are environemntal.

I don't understand how they are social changes. I would say that they are primarily technological: medicine and food. People are much less likely to be malnourished (still happens though, sadly) and much less likely to die of a heart attack at age 40ish.

Rational Canuck wrote:

I would submit that de-evolution is not only possible, but close to occuring in humans.

For that to occur we must somehow over-ride the survival of the fittest. How do we do that? By protecting the unfit and allowing them to procreate. ( I am not advocating IQ tests prior to allowing someone to conceive...this is simply a theoretical argument).

Lets look at how this happens and possible evidence. Prior to the major leaps in modern medicine over the last 50 years, infant and child mortality was very high. Asthmatic, hyper-allergic, cancer ridden or simply incredibly stupid people just died. We had no fixes for their genetic flaws. Since asthma or cancer can provide no apparent benefit, the genetic flaw was ended by death. This stopped the line and prevented future generations witht he same flaws.

However, we have now created a world were humans may have immunized themselves against evolution. Idiot proof electrical appliances, child proof caps, modern medicine,safety bars on machinery....all have saved the lives of those who would have perished from their flaws or ineptitude.

Now they live and grow and reproduce contrary to the evolutionary line nature intended. We risk entire generations of sick or stupid people.

I would argue that the technology is again part of our environment. Since our environment has changed, those issues are not currently survival factors so no "de-evolution" is taking place.

Maybe in thousands of years, we'll all be diabetic but instinctually know how to make insulin. Or maybe we'll become incredibly in tune with our blood sugar and alter our diets.

I think that our technology level and the fact that we are social animals makes our social behavior more and more of a survival factor. I know a number of people who are in good shape, healthy, but just a bit brash and have difficulty meeting potential mates.

-Triften


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Rational Canuck

Rational Canuck wrote:

Evolution relies on both minor and major mutations in order to provide an organism the opportunity to survive in a slowly or rapidly changing enviornment. We can see minor changes become rapid changes in organisms with short life spans like bacteria and virii.

The mutations allow for not only increased fitness for a surrounding system, but allows expansion into new systems. These changes often result in particular 'strains' of existing species. For example some fish species have very defined and particular strains that occur over time due to a unique environmental cause.  The ones with the beneficial mutation tend to take over as the primary genetic family and will end up with a unique genetic footprint. 

My favourite rapid mutation story involves moths. This story was taught to us in the first year of Fish and Wildlife Biology. I have no idea if this account is accurate or fabricated, but I will repeat the general outline anyway.

 A particular type of moth existedin England near the turn of the century. They had developed a wing pattern that mimiced the bark of the trees on which they lived. This made them invisible to the local predator bird population.

But of each new batch of offspring, a few were colored incorrectly. Some too green, others too gray. These moths would be eaten quickly by the birds. A poor desing in the genetics? Not at all.

At some point a coal fired generation station was erected upwind of this forest area. At the time there was little in the way of pollution abatement. Coal ash often spewed from the facility. It layer the trees in a greyish soot. Now...the vast majority of moths were rather visible to the birds. As the soot spread across the forst, more and more of the brown mohts were picked off by the birds. BUT...the grey moths, previously seen as a bad mutation were suddenly the only survivors. A few months created several generations of grey surviving moths. Since the greys had access to far more food than they could cosume following the wipe-out of their brown kin, the grays began reproducing at a large rate. This created an entire population that was specific to  the area and since they all decended from the original group of grey moths, they were genetically unique to the originals. Their previosuly recessive gene for grey color became dominant. A completely new strain and a full scale evolution of a species that occured in only months.

Cataclysmic events create evolutionary leaps like this. But they are exceedingly rare. Most often evolution occurs over massive time scales.

Just look at humans today. We are taller, stronger, faster and longer lived then two or three generations of our ancestors. This is primarily due to social changes, but even those changes are environemntal.

I would submit that de-evolution is not only possible, but close to occuring in humans.

For that to occur we must somehow over-ride the survival of the fittest. How do we do that? By protecting the unfit and allowing them to procreate. ( I am not advocating IQ tests prior to allowing someone to conceive...this is simply a theoretical argument). 

Lets look at how this happens and possible evidence. Prior to the major leaps in modern medicine over the last 50 years, infant and child mortality was very high. Asthmatic, hyper-allergic, cancer ridden or simply incredibly stupid people just died. We had no fixes for their genetic flaws. Since asthma or cancer can provide no apparent benefit, the genetic flaw was ended by death. This stopped the line and prevented future generations witht he same flaws.

However, we have now created a world were humans may have immunized themselves against evolution. Idiot proof electrical appliances, child proof caps, modern medicine,safety bars on machinery....all have saved the lives of those who would have perished from their flaws or ineptitude.

Now they live and grow and reproduce contrary to the evolutionary line nature intended. We risk entire generations of sick or stupid people.

This hit me like a tonne of bricks a few years ago. I remember coming up with a good quote for it too. It escapes me today though. Seeing organizations such as this one drove the point home even more: http://www.vhemt.org/

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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My (theist) thoughts on evolution

Evolution is defined in different ways by different people. First, evolution is considered a unifying theory of science in that evolution means change over time, and everything changes over time. Volcanoes change the shape of the earth, and that is terrestrial evolution. But, for the purposes here, we are being specific to biological evolution. In biology, the most commonly accepted definition in the scientific community is “changes in allele frequency across generations.” Essentially, alleles represent genes. So, if the population is growing faster in non-Western nations than in the West, the proportion of the earth with darker skin colors might grow in relation to whites. So, the darker skin genes are being represented more and more over time (across later generations), and the human race is said to be evolving.  Now, that definition is not threatening to any theists. In this sense, evolution is said to be fact. We can prove this change over time. We have seen it and we can experiment with it.  On the other hand, there is another common definition of evolution—the gradual change of some members of a species into an entirely new species. This is also called macro-evolution. And this is where theists sometimes have problems. This type of evolution is theory and not fact. A scientific theory is a possible explanation (that cannot be ruled out) for a set of observations. Evolution tries to explain the fossil record. Evolution fits the observations and therefore is not disproven. That still doesn’t make it true, though In fact, there are some problems with macro-evolution. Scientists have studied genetics for hundreds of years, and have even studied more than 100,000 successive generations of fruit-flies, and no macro-evolution has ever been observed. It used to be believed that evolution was a constant gradual process. But, the evidence is clearly against that now. So, some scientists now claim that evolution occurs in spurts. We just happen to be in a period of stagnation, they say. Creationists, on the other hand, claim they also have a theory that fits the observations. They say creation explains why we can’t find any species evolving into new species. They also ask how evolution explains the complexity of even single-celled creatures. In general, scientists answer with their own faith statement: ‘We don’t know yet, but we’ll figure it out. Is evolution true? I'll admit it's a valid theory, in that it explains observations and has not been disproven; but I'm not convinced it's true. 

 


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internationalspy

internationalspy wrote:

And this is where theists sometimes have problems. This type of evolution is theory and not fact.

Which is exactly why you have a problem in the first place. Because it IS fact.

There's something that the vast majority of creationists, if not all of them, don't realize. The scientific community has proven evolution. The vast majority of scientists don't bother arguing with you people, because they see you as fruit cakes (like those who thought the world was flat in the face of irrefutable evidence).

So 9 times out of 10, whenever you find yourself debating evolution, you aren't doing it with the scientific community. You're doing it with the fringes of it. The ones who read about the science, not the ones who actually proved it. This is why you can't debate a scientist about it. He or she refuses to participate in your delusion. There is nothing to debate.

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internationalspy wrote:

internationalspy wrote:

On the other hand, there is another common definition of evolution—the gradual change of some members of a species into an entirely new species. This is also called macro-evolution. And this is where theists sometimes have problems. This type of evolution is theory and not fact.

This type of evolution is a term made up by creationists because adaptation (what they call "micro-evolution" ) is such an in your face fact. Under one definition of "species", two animals are of the same species if they can produce viable offspring, so if two animals can't produce viable offspring, they are of different species. It doesn't mean a dog gives birth to a cat. That's a strawman argument.

Another problem with the claim of there being no "macro-evolution" is that the definition of species is a bit iffy. With animals, the offspring test seems to work, but in plants, all sorts of strange hybrids can be made (radish/cabbage). Things get even shakier when looking at creatures that reproduce asexually.

internationalspy wrote:

A scientific theory is a possible explanation (that cannot be ruled out) for a set of observations. Evolution tries to explain the fossil record. Evolution fits the observations and therefore is not disproven. That still doesn’t make it true, though In fact, there are some problems with macro-evolution. Scientists have studied genetics for hundreds of years, and have even studied more than 100,000 successive generations of fruit-flies, and no macro-evolution has ever been observed.

Actually, scientists have produced different populations of fruit flies sharing the same ancestors that can no longer produce viable offspring together. Also, they have demonstrated the same phenomenon with plants.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html

If you think that that website is biased, feel free to look up their references and delve into the actual studies themselves.

 

internationalspy wrote:

It used to be believed that evolution was a constant gradual process. But, the evidence is clearly against that now. So, some scientists now claim that evolution occurs in spurts. We just happen to be in a period of stagnation, they say.

This is called punctuated equilibria (first presented in 1954, 97 years after Darwin's book). If you have small "clans" of creatures and a trait arises in one of them that gives it an advantage, that trait will be quickly spread over the course of a few generations until every living creature in that clan has that trait. Many primates work in small groups where this happens. So a creature may be basically the same for a number of generations, then when a trait gives one of them a massive advantage, things happen "suddenly" (geologically speaking). Then that population of creatures begins exerting pressure on its competition and/or predators and/or prey, forcing them to adapt and so on.

Basically, a population only changes when it "needs" to, when pressure is exerted by its environment (without being downright fatal).

internationalspy wrote:

Creationists, on the other hand, claim they also have a theory that fits the observations. They say creation explains why we can’t find any species evolving into new species. They also ask how evolution explains the complexity of even single-celled creatures.

They have a theory that requires the direct intervention of some outside force that either a) has a much higher technology level than our own, or b) is magic/supernatural.

Also, the claim that complexity = design is merely a "proof by personal incredulity".

Has anyone presented a theory like this in any other field?


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doc101 evolution would

doc101 wrote:

 

evolution would go from something good, to something better right?

Nope. As already noted, evolution is not goal directed... 'good' is just an evaluative term.... 

Evolution can involve loss of function is the organ in question is no longer required for procreation.

 

Quote:

(otherwise it would be called de-evolution

There's no such concept as 'devolution' unless you're talking about the 80s music scene.

If you really know this little about evolution, why not head to a library rather than try to discuss it or debate it?

 

 

 

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Evolution

Evolution is an established fact. "Theory" does not mean that it's not a proven fact; "hypothesis" would mean it's not proven.

That evolution has been the primary cause of the wide diversity of life on Earth is well-established and undeniable by anyone who possesses the capacity for rational thought. That it continues to go on today is also fully established. There are myriad ways in which evolution works and we are still discovering new mechanisms on a regular basis, but that only serves to confirm the strength of the basic theory, it's not an indication of its weakness.

The one place where the hangup occurs is with the question of where it all started. Evolution explains quite well how a single living organism can lead to billions of different types of living organisms, but theorists have not yet fully explained where that first living organism came from.

Doesn't mean they never will. Frankly, I not only expect that they eventually will but that it will be a rather disappointing and anticlimatic finding. For example, it's already well known that crystals reproduce under the right conditions; one crystal will tend to grow more crystals. Once that happens enough times in enough different ways, sooner or later there will be some crystals that prove more durable than others. Some may break loose from their locations and get moved around by winds and water. Eventually some microscopic crystals might find they have the ability to influence the assembly of other sorts of molecules, such as amino acids. And so on, and so forth, and next thing you know you have humans wondering how they got here and making up fantastical stories to explain it.

One thing is absolutely certain today: The entire idea that Adam and Eve were placed fully intact by God on Earth is a farce. If God created life, what he created was a bacterium. Everything else evolved from there without any intervention from any supernatural powers.

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Evolution: A Synopsis

Evolution is popularly described as "survival of the fittest". I prefer "try everything, keep what works." IMHO, this describes much better what actually goes on in the evolutionary process.

To the casual observer, many creatures seem to possess exactly the right trait that enables them to survive in the conditions they face. They see how precisely this trait serves them, and they think "How wonderful! Whoever designed this critter must have been brilliant!"

Nobody designed that critter. Throughout its evolutionary past, many, many possible traits appeared as a result of mutation or natural variation. Most of those creatures died out because the traits they were born with did not help them survive long enough to reproduce. This one did survive for us to observe today. It's not clever design that results in such wonderful traits, it's simple evolution.

The reason I prefer "Try everything, keep what works" is because "survival of the fittest" is a bit misleading. First off, people get the wrong idea about the term "fittest" as meaning strongest or most powerful, when in fact it merely means able to survive and reproduce within the environment. It may only survive by reproducing by the millions, each of which is barely fit at all.

But my larger objection is that "survival of the fittest" seems to imply that only the most fit will survive. Not true. It is entirely possible for many, or even all, variations in a line of creatures to survive and thrive. "Keep what works" says it better; it's possible that everything works, in which case evolution will keep everything.

-- Kirbert


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The Rate of Evolution

Scientists sometimes speak of the rate at which evolution proceeds, how long it takes one type of organism to evolve into another type of organism. I have a problem with this thinking. It presumes that the only driver is the mutation rate, which presumably is mathematically predictable. However, the rate at which evolution takes place is mostly a function of the driving forces involved, not the mutation rate.

As an example: If you cut the heads off of every human being over six feet tall this afternoon, the human race would be shorter tomorrow morning. Not just physically, but genetically.

Similarly, one would expect that evolution to proceed at a blinding rate right after one of the cataclysmic events that resulted in a worldwide die-off, such as a meteor impact that killed off the dinosaurs. Yes, many species were wiped out -- but the ones that survived faced an entirely new set of challenges and had to adapt quickly to survive. In fact, in many cases there were probably races to adapt, where the species that successfully adapts first displaces several others and causes their extinction by simply out-competing them for food and other resources. If it were possible to assemble a complete dossier on all the species during such a period and the changes they underwent, it would stagger the mind.

-- Kirbert


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doc101 said: Quote: humans

doc101 said:

Quote:

humans born with tails? its not happening on a massive scale

True. But it does happen.

Ever "hang-ten" on the bow of a nuclear powered aircraft carrier at 30+ knots?


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Piper2000ca wrote: He's

Piper2000ca wrote:

He's speaking about evolutionary "leftovers" (by the way, nipples are not leftovers, but I'll get back to that in a second). When a species stops using a previous feature that was needed (like a tail), evolution can't get rid of it over night, it can only slowly get rid of it over hundreds/thousands of generations.

Awesome, where is the fossil evidence of our tails? Don't bother answering that question, it was rhetorical.

Quote:
Because of this, we still have things like an appendix, tailbone, etc. These are things our ancestors did use, but we stopped using them, and evolution has been slowly getting rid of them.

 

There is not one reputable physiologist who will agree that our tailbone is a vestigial tail. They all agree that all true tails have bones in them that are a posterior extension of the vertebral column. Also, all true tails have muscles associated with their vertebrae which permit some movement of the tail. There has never been a single documented case of an animal tail lacking these distinctive features, nor has there been a single case of a human caudal appendage having any of these features.

Furthermore, most modern biology textbooks give the erroneous impression that the human coccyx has no real function other than to remind us of the "inescapable fact" of evolution. In fact, the coccyx has some very important functions. Several muscles converge from the ring-like arrangement of the pelvic bones to anchor on the coccyx, forming a bowl-shaped muscular floor of the pelvis called the pelvic diaphragm. The incurved coccyx with its attached pelvic diaphragm keeps the many organs in our abdominal cavity from literally falling through between our legs. Some of the pelvic diaphragm muscles are also important in controlling the elimination of waste from our body through the rectum.

Fine, I'll battle the appendix theory as well:

The evolutionary claim found in textbooks is that the human appendix is really a vestigial cecum left over from our plant-eating evolutionary ancestors. The cecum is a blind-ending pouch near the beginning of the large intestine which provides additional space for digestion. In some plant-eating animals, such as cows, the cecum contains special bacteria which aid in the digestion of cellulose. The appendix is clearly not a vestigial cecum because almost every mammal has a cecum and many of these also have an appendix! Man, for example, has both a cecum and an appendix -- neither is vestigial or useless. The appendix, like the once "vestigial" tonsils and adenoids, is a lymphoid organ (part of the body's immune system) which makes antibodies against infections in the digestive system. Believing it to be a useless evolutionary "left over," many surgeons once removed even the healthy appendix whenever they were in the abdominal cavity. Today, removal of a healthy appendix under most circumstances would be considered medical malpractice.


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Kirbert wrote: Evolution is

Kirbert wrote:
Evolution is an established fact.

I don't think that Creationists will even argue with you on that one. I am one and I fully agree with evolution as an established fact. I don't however believe that it is responsible for the myriad of life we have here on earth.

Quote:
That evolution has been the primary cause of the wide diversity of life on Earth is well-established and undeniable by anyone who possesses the capacity for rational thought.

Sometimes, I'd like to compare previous GPA's, SAT scores, IQ results, W-2'---anything that will show "rational atheists" that I, as a "rational Christian" am equally bright, rational, creative, inquisitive, intelligent, etc. as you are. Your theory is neither "well-established" nor undeniable. I am denying it right now and according to your theory of evolution, I as a human being, sharing DNA with you, must possess the capacity for rational thought, therefore, it is deniable and must be untrue.........Hah. That was sarcasm for those of you that are extremely rational.

The truth of the matter is this......Evolution takes faith as it cannot be empirically proven. (and don't tell me it can without proving it empirically) Creation as well takes faith as it too cannot be empirically proven. (Nor can Creation be disproven, so don't tell me that either unless you can empirically disprove it.)

Quote:
That it continues to go on today is also fully established.

I know, have you seen those cool dats running around, I just got to get me one! Maybe I'll get a Cog instead......they don't shed. Not true on a species level.

Quote:
The one place where the hangup occurs is with the question of where it all started.

I'm impressed that you admit that science has a hangup here. The second law of Thermodynamics explains quite easily why biogenesis is empirically impossible. If you don't believe that then read Stanley Miller's work from 1953 which shows you can create nothing even remotely close to replicating proteins. Even with unlimited resources, scientists have only been able to come up with blobs of amino acids and proteins that are completely lifeless coacervates.

Quote:
The entire idea that Adam and Eve were placed fully intact by God on Earth is a farce. If God created life, what he created was a bacterium. Everything else evolved from there without any intervention from any supernatural powers. -- Kirbert

You sound more indoctrinated to naturalism than any Theist is to their religion. Why don't some of you atheists just admit that you've got the hots for mother nature and declare naturalism the new religion and evolution your god. You'd get more followers.


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K for all those people who

K for all those people who do not believe in evolution and or genetic manipulation, here are a few facts.

Fact 1. In the early to mid 1900's when slavery was at it's peek in the U.S. the white slave owners took the strongest and hardest working slaves and bread them to produce like offspring.

Fact 2. Look at today's sports events, mostly black in the U.S. where this genetic manipulation took place.

Fact 3. Look at the other countries and in their sports, where this genetics did not take place, mostly whites and or others indigenous to that particular country.

If this does not prove once and for all that evolution happens and can happen relatively quickly, i don't know what will.

Maybe this will, i read about a scientist that bread a certain type of fly who's average life span was about 3 weeks or so I'm not quite sure how long, however now that particular type of fly is now (with genetic manipulation) living 5 and even 6 time past it's expected life. So proof positive that evolution is not only occurring, people are also making it happen. And it is happening so fast within a couple generations.

Thanks to christians, i'm an athiest.


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Diosdato wrote: Sometimes,

Diosdato wrote:

Sometimes, I'd like to compare previous GPA's, SAT scores, IQ results, W-2'---anything that will show "rational atheists" that I, as a "rational Christian" am equally bright, rational, creative, inquisitive, intelligent, etc. as you are. Your theory is neither "well-established" nor undeniable. I am denying it right now and according to your theory of evolution, I as a human being, sharing DNA with you, must possess the capacity for rational thought, therefore, it is deniable and must be untrue.........Hah. That was sarcasm for those of you that are extremely rational.

The truth of the matter is this......Evolution takes faith as it cannot be empirically proven. (and don't tell me it can without proving it empirically) Creation as well takes faith as it too cannot be empirically proven. (Nor can Creation be disproven, so don't tell me that either unless you can empirically disprove it.)

It has been proven empirically. The problem with Creationists is that they want to see a dog give birth to a cat, but that's not how evolution works. Humans have observed two populations of animals diverge to the point at which they can no longer intermix. Proof that animals change and new species can arise.

Diosdato wrote:

Quote:
That it continues to go on today is also fully established.

I know, have you seen those cool dats running around, I just got to get me one! Maybe I'll get a Cog instead......they don't shed. Not true on a species level.

Yes, it is true.

Diosdato wrote:

Quote:
The one place where the hangup occurs is with the question of where it all started.

I'm impressed that you admit that science has a hangup here. The second law of Thermodynamics explains quite easily why biogenesis is empirically impossible. If you don't believe that then read Stanley Miller's work from 1953 which shows you can create nothing even remotely close to replicating proteins. Even with unlimited resources, scientists have only been able to come up with blobs of amino acids and proteins that are completely lifeless coacervates.

Correction, a misunderstanding of the 2nd law of thermodynamics makes creationists think the 2nd law of thermodynamics prevents order from arising locally. Entropy within a CLOSED system increases and the Earth is NOT a closed system.

And don't even bring up Information Theory because that entropy has nothing to do with the second law of thermodynamics.

-Triften


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triften wrote: Diosdato

triften wrote:
Diosdato wrote:

The truth of the matter is this......Evolution takes faith as it cannot be empirically proven. (and don't tell me it can without proving it empirically) Creation as well takes faith as it too cannot be empirically proven. (Nor can Creation be disproven, so don't tell me that either unless you can empirically disprove it.)

It has been proven empirically. The problem with Creationists is that they want to see a dog give birth to a cat, but that's not how evolution works. Humans have observed two populations of animals diverge to the point at which they can no longer intermix. Proof that animals change and new species can arise.

Um, no, it has NEVER been empirically proven. Why don't you God haters back your scientific theories up with some actual science. Name the study, the journal, the date, give me something credible. YOU CAN'T.  Even hardcore evolutionists know that it is only a theory of how we came to be. If you can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that evolution is the means in which we arrived at our present state as humans, I as a Christian, will renounce my faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and I will deny the Holy Spirit. I can say this because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt you can't.

Diosdato wrote:

I know, have you seen those cool dats running around, I just got to get me one! Maybe I'll get a Cog instead......they don't shed. Not true on a species level.

triften wrote:
Yes, it is true.

No, it is not true. Once again, zero, zip, zilch, nada on the scientific evidence to back up your original irrational claim. The study you're referring to is the genetic altering of fruit flies. 1.) not an animal, but an insect. 2.) At the end, they were still fruit flies. 3.) Creationists, at least this one, have never said evolution wasn't real, it just isn't responsible for the creation of human beings.

triften wrote:
Diosdato wrote:
I'm impressed that you admit that science has a hangup here. The second law of Thermodynamics explains quite easily why biogenesis is empirically impossible. If you don't believe that then read Stanley Miller's work from 1953 which shows you can create nothing even remotely close to replicating proteins. Even with unlimited resources, scientists have only been able to come up with blobs of amino acids and proteins that are completely lifeless coacervates.

Correction, a misunderstanding of the 2nd law of thermodynamics makes creationists think the 2nd law of thermodynamics prevents order from arising locally. Entropy within a CLOSED system increases and the Earth is NOT a closed system.

Wow, I see now how your misunderstanding of basic scientific principles has led to your misunderstanding of the God that created the universe. 

This law of entropy is, by any measure, one of the most universal, best-proved laws of nature. It applies not only in physical and chemical systems, but also in biological and geological systems—in fact all systems, without exception.

"No exception to the second law of thermodynamics has ever been found—not even a tiny one. Like conservation of energy (the `first law&#39Eye-wink, the existence of a law so precise and so independent of details of models must have a logical foundation that is independent of the fact that matter is composed of interacting particles."     E. H. Lieb and Jakob Yngvason, "A Fresh Look at Entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics," Physics Today (vol. 53. April 2000), p. 32.

The author of this quote is referring primarily to physics, but he does point out that the second law is "independent of details of models." Besides, practically all evolutionary biologists are reductionists—that is, they insist that there are no "vitalist" forces in living systems, and that all biological processes are explicable in terms of physics and chemistry. That being the case, biological processes also must operate in accordance with the laws of thermodynamics, and practically all biologists acknowledge this.

Evolutionists commonly insist, however, that evolution is a fact anyhow, and that the conflict is resolved by noting that the earth is an "open system," with the incoming energy from the sun able to sustain evolution throughout the geological ages in spite of the natural tendency of all systems to deteriorate toward disorganization. That is how an evolutionary entomologist has dismissed W. A. Dembski's recent book, Intelligent Design. This scientist defends what he thinks is "natural processes' ability to increase complexity" by noting what he calls a "flaw" in "the arguments against evolution based on the second law of thermodynamics." And what is this flaw?

"Although the overall amount of disorder in a closed system cannot decrease, local order within a larger system can increase even without the actions of an intelligent agent."

Norman A. Johnson, "Design Flaw," American Scientist (vol. 88. May/ June 2000), p. 274.

This naive response to the entropy law is typical of evolutionary dissimulation. While it is true that local order can increase in an open system if certain conditions are met, the fact is that evolution does not meet those conditions. Simply saying that the earth is open to the energy from the sun says nothing about how that raw solar heat is converted into increased complexity in any system, open or closed.

The fact is that the best known and most fundamental equation of thermo-dynamics says that the influx of heat into an open system will increase the entropy of that system, not decrease it. All known cases of decreased entropy (or increased organization) in open systems involve a guiding program of some sort and one or more energy conversion mechanisms.

Evolution has neither of these. Mutations are not "organizing" mechanisms, but disorganizing (in accord with the second law). They are commonly harmful, sometimes neutral, never beneficial (at least as far as observed mutations are concerned). Natural selection cannot generate order, but can only "sieve out" the disorganizing mutations presented to it, thereby conserving the existing order, but never generating new order. In principle, it may be barely conceivable that evolution could occur in open systems, in spite of the tendency of all systems to disintegrate sooner or later. But no one yet has been able to show that it actually has the ability to overcome this universal tendency, and that is the basic reason why there is still no bona fide proof of evolution, past or present.

From the statements of evolutionists themselves, therefore, we have learned that there is no real scientific evidence for real evolution. The only observable evidence is that of very limited horizontal (or downward) changes within strict limits. Evolution never occurred in the past, is not occurring at present, and could never happen at all.

"For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear." 2 Timothy 4:3

Dio


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evilsmurf213 wrote: K for

evilsmurf213 wrote:

K for all those people who do not believe in evolution and or genetic manipulation, here are a few facts.

Fact 1. In the early to mid 1900's when slavery was at it's peek in the U.S. the white slave owners took the strongest and hardest working slaves and bread them to produce like offspring.

Fact 2. Look at today's sports events, mostly black in the U.S. where this genetic manipulation took place.

Fact 3. Look at the other countries and in their sports, where this genetics did not take place, mostly whites and or others indigenous to that particular country.

If this does not prove once and for all that evolution happens and can happen relatively quickly, i don't know what will.

Maybe this will, i read about a scientist that bread a certain type of fly who's average life span was about 3 weeks or so I'm not quite sure how long, however now that particular type of fly is now (with genetic manipulation) living 5 and even 6 time past it's expected life. So proof positive that evolution is not only occurring, people are also making it happen. And it is happening so fast within a couple generations.

I never said that evolution didn't exist, only that it is not responsible for our being. You are referring to natural selection anyway. Please quote your study on the fruitflies. The study I read on www.talkorigins.com doesn't say anything about lifespan. Need I remind all of you that black people are still people, fruit flies are still fruit flies, plants are still plants. In none of the studies does any scientist have results that show anything more than "biological speciation" which, in the words of the author of the paper:

"What is all of this doing in a discussion of observed instances of speciation? What a biologist will consider as a speciation event is, in part, dependent on which species definition that biologist accepts. The biological species concept has been very successful as a theoretical model for explaining species differences among vertebrates and some groups of arthropods. This can lead us to glibly assert its universal applicability, despite its irrelevance to many groups. When we examine putative speciation events, we need to ask the question, which species definition is the most reasonable for this group of organisms? In many cases it will be the biological definition. In many other cases some other definition will be more appropriate."

Sounds to me like biological speciation is only one of many definitions of speciation.

 


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Quote: Why don't some of

Quote:
Why don't some of you atheists just admit that you've got the hots for mother nature and declare naturalism the new religion and evolution your god. You'd get more followers.

Because that would lower us to the level of the theists. 

--  Kirbert 


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Breeding

Quote:
the white slave owners took the strongest and hardest working slaves and bread them to produce like offspring.

OK, a few spelling and typographical errors in that posting, but the points were good.  The fact is, anyone who's been involved in a breeding program, or even recognize that breeding happens, believes in evolution.  And breeding has been going on for thousands of years, from goldfish in China to that scruffy little dog that keeps yapping at ya.

I suppose it's possible that many of these people believe somehow that breeding is possible with animals but not with humans.  After all, humans are nothing like animals, sharing nothing in the way of internal organs, reproductive methods, diseases, etc.  We're completely different, doncha know, says so in the Bible.  And these same people have shown remarkable capacities to compartmentalize their beliefs, able to believe in one thing on Sunday and something in utter contradiction on Monday through Friday, for example. 

 --  Kirbert


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Vastet

Vastet wrote:

internationalspy wrote:

And this is where theists sometimes have problems. This type of evolution is theory and not fact.

Which is exactly why you have a problem in the first place. Because it IS fact.

There's something that the vast majority of creationists, if not all of them, don't realize. The scientific community has proven evolution. The vast majority of scientists don't bother arguing with you people, because they see you as fruit cakes (like those who thought the world was flat in the face of irrefutable evidence).

First, let me start at the end of your quote. The fruitcakes you refer to, i.e. me as I am a Theist, had evidence the world was not flat thousands of years before scientists knew any different:

"Do you not know? Have you not heard?             Has it not been told you from the beginning?        Have you not understood since the earth was founded?  He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers"   Isaiah 41: 21-22

Furthermore, please provide me the evidence that you speak of when you say, very close-mindedly, that "science has proven evolution".  I'd like the name of the study, the researcher/s that conducted it, the dates in which it was conducted, etc.

The reason scientists don't argue with theists is the opposite of what you say, they are smart enough to know not to argue what cannot be empirically evidenced. Once again, I am not referring to evolution as far as survival of the fittest is concerned, but more along the lines of biogenesis. Scientists still cannot explain the origin of life, nor can they provide evidence of the transitional life forms that would be necessary to evidence evolution from a single cell into multi-celled organisms. 

Your theory has changed by the way to say that evolution occurs in spurts not gradually as was once misunderstood. That would still mean that there should be thousands of transitional fossils to evidence this.


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Evolution

Quote:
However, we have now created a world were humans may have immunized themselves against evolution. Idiot proof electrical appliances, child proof caps, modern medicine,safety bars on machinery....all have saved the lives of those who would have perished from their flaws or ineptitude.

Incorrect. Humans have evolved and continue to evolve. When we cured polio, that was evolution. When we started making household products safer, that was evolution. Evolution isn't only about genetics; it encompasses social developments, cultural developments, any developments that affect the survival and reproductive success of the species.

Quote:
Now they live and grow and reproduce contrary to the evolutionary line nature intended.

Quite the contrary, exactly as nature intended. Nature intends each species to evolve and succeed, and we have done so with a vengeance. Nature also intends each species to displace weaker species, which we have also done with a vengeance.

Quote:
We risk entire generations of sick or stupid people.

Wrong again. We don't risk it, we are actively working towards it with all possible haste. From an evolutionary standpoint, we are doing everything in our power to ensure that the weak and stupid will inherit the Earth, and we are succeeding spectacularly.

-- Kirbert


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Cog or Dat

Quote:
The problem with Creationists is that they want to see a dog give birth to a cat...

Actually, a dog giving birth to a cat -- without some in vitro help from some meddling scientists -- would be a very good argument in favor of theism!  It clearly couldn't happen if God didn't exist, but if God does exist, why wouldn't he pull a stunt like that every now and then just to mix things up!  It would be much more impressive than a piece of toast that looks sorta like Jesus if you squint real hard.

--  Kirbert 


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Diosdato

Diosdato

Don't you find it at all strange that you are so incredulous with regard to the theory that species can evolve into other species but you can stand in front of a mountain of evidence that contradicts everything that you are saying and still believe that all animal species appeared on earth as they are by magic? Not only do you have no evidence, you believe it in spite of the evidence.

That's not something that would make you think a person had some kind of bias is it?

When someone says "science has proven evolution" they mean that the evidence is so overwhelming that to not accept it you would have to be ignorant or in some sort of denial.

Just the fact that people who study biology for a living nearly unanimously accept it should tip you off that you're wrong.

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
H.P. Lovecraft


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Scientists vs. the Ignorant

Quote:
So 9 times out of 10, whenever you find yourself debating evolution, you aren't doing it with the scientific community. You're doing it with the fringes of it. The ones who read about the science, not the ones who actually proved it. This is why you can't debate a scientist about it. He or she refuses to participate in your delusion. There is nothing to debate.

Quite true, unfortunately. As Dr. Phil would say, "How's that been working out for ya?" More than half of all high school graduates in the US today claim they don't believe in evolution. There are still movements afoot to teach creationism in public school as though it has equal validity with evolution (and obviously to convince school children that it has equal validity with evolution).

It's high time that scientists and other atheists start making their positions known and actively attacking the nonsense being spewed by religion. It's clearly not enough to merely be satisfied with knowing that theists are deluded, it's time to take action and start helping their children see the error of their parents' ways. (I'm presuming, obviously, that the parents are usually a lost cause). It may take a few generations, but eventually we must "free humanity of the mind disorder known as theism".

Sometimes a journey is so long and so forboding that you cannot see how you will ever make it to the end. You can often see where to begin, however. In this case, the place to get started is apparent, and kudos to the RRS for a very promising first step!

-- Kirbert


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Good scientific theories

Good scientific theories are falsifiable, and make accurate predictions.

To falsify evolution all you have to do is find human fossils next to dinosaur ones, or anything out of place from what the theory describes.

The Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection also makes a number of predictions which we can test.  Things like convergence of triats by different animals living in similar environments around the world.

If you have a better theory that makes predictions as well as evolution, and is also falsifiable, then by all means present it. 

"It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." - Carl Sagan


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''I'd like the name of the

''I'd like the name of the study, the researcher/s that conducted it, the dates in which it was conducted, etc.''

Errr, like every text on biology since about 1880.

 "The reason scientists don't argue with theists...''

  They're always arguing, and have been since the dawn of science! Unless they're being polite or afraid of being ostracized by fascist 'believers'.

''That would still mean that there should be thousands of transitional fossils to evidence this.''

Which there are.  You've totally misunderstood the process of natural selection and evolution.  Fish didn't grow long tails, then whiskers, then legs and then become a mouse.  Every discreet step on the scale was a functioning, surviving animal that thrived in its environment.  Look at seals, or penguins - what are they if not living transitions - they're clumsy as hell out of water, and graceful in it.  Or most obvious of all the archaeopteryx - almost literally half bird half dinosaur.


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.

.


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Second Law of Thermodynamics

Quote:
This law of entropy is, by any measure, one of the most universal, best-proved laws of nature. It applies not only in physical and chemical systems, but also in biological and geological systems—in fact all systems, without exception.

Actually, there is at least one exception: when space dust, under the influence of its own gravity, accumulates to form a star or planet, entropy apparently is decreased without any input from outside the collection of dust involved.

--  Kirbert 


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doc101 wrote:

doc101 wrote:
Well it is probably assumed on the forums that a common arguement against Atheism is the whole "Evolution is a Theory, not a fact" My question is, what is it to you? Is it true? If so, please explain to me why

I think the word 'theory' can confuse people. Sometimes the scientific meaning of a word can be different from the meaning in everyday language.

Take the word acceleration for example. Acceleration means to speed up in normal language but in scientific terms acceleration is any deviation from uniform motion. If something remains at a constant speed but changes direction that is acceleration, also in this way technically slowing down could be described as acceleration.

So theory in this context does not mean 'less than fact'.

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
H.P. Lovecraft


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Preponderance of Evidence

Quote:
Don't you find it at all strange that you are so incredulous with regard to the theory that species can evolve into other species but you can stand in front of a mountain of evidence that contradicts everything that you are saying and still believe that all animal species appeared on earth as they are by magic? Not only do you have no evidence, you believe it in spite of the evidence.

The justice system in the US provides for proof of guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt". IOW, sure, a defendant can claim that a spaceship full of little green men dropped out of the sky, killed the victim, put the knife in the defendant's hands and then disappeared. And you couldn't prove that didn't happen. But it's not reasonable.

The same standard could be applied here. Sure, perhaps you can't prove whether or not some invisible omnipotent character created us and everything around us -- but it's not reasonable to believe so. In fact, believing so should elicit reactions from others similar to the reactions you'd expect if you claimed you saw little green men get out of a spaceship.

Quote:
Just the fact that people who study biology for a living nearly unanimously accept it should tip you off that you're wrong.

Well, obviously he's aware of priests who study Christianity for a living who unanimously reject it. And it's not like either group has a reason to lie. Innocent

-- Kirbert


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Isn't natural selection

Isn't natural selection part of evolution? As far as the fruit flies go, ya really think fruit flies are the only flies being experimented on? The study i saw was in fact about the flies lifespan. And you are right humans are humans and flies are still flies, but i am not talking about mixing humans with flies, they made a movie bout that and it didn't turn out so well. Whether threw breeding or threw DNA resequencing it is all the same. People select their partners because of some physical or mental, personality trait that the other person may posses. If i were doin some DNA resequencing i wouldn't give the fly a bad trait no, i would do something that would enhance it. Scientist don't mix fly DNA with humans because it wouldn't work, just like humans don't do around fucking flies (well that and it's kinda icky).

Thanks to christians, i'm an athiest.


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Diosdato wrote: First, let

Diosdato wrote:
First, let me start at the end of your quote. The fruitcakes you refer to, i.e. me as I am a Theist, had evidence the world was not flat thousands of years before scientists knew any different: Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers

You're full of it. Theists were the ones holding back the viewpoint that the world is round. You're simply attempting to deflect the blame. You fail.

Diosdato wrote:
Furthermore, please provide me the evidence that you speak of when you say, very close-mindedly, that "science has proven evolution

The evidence surrounds you. It has been presented at least a hundred times in this forum alone. I am beyond tired of referencing the same material time and again just because someone else is too lazy to look for themselves. Look it up.

Diosdato wrote:

I'd like the name of the study, the researcher/s that conducted it, the dates in which it was conducted, etc.

Look it up, or read topics dealing with it.

Diosdato wrote:
The reason scientists don't argue with theists is the opposite of what you say, they are smart enough to know not to argue what cannot be empirically evidenced.

Wrong. They don't argue because you are crackpots who don't accept reality. And they have better things to do than argue with people with imaginary friends.

Diosdato wrote:
Once again, I am not referring to evolution as far as survival of the fittest is concerned, but more along the lines of biogenesis.

Has nothing to do with the facts of evolution. Evolution doesn't have anything to describe how life started, just how it progressed. You are confusing two topics with one.

Diosdato wrote:
Scientists still cannot explain the origin of life, nor can they provide evidence of the transitional life forms that would be necessary to evidence evolution from a single cell into multi-celled organisms.

They don't need to. As mentioned above, evolution doesn't cover life's forming. Just it's progression. Hoping for 3.5 billion year old fossils to jump out of nowhere on a planet as dynamically active as earth, where conditions for fossil forming is rarer than gold, is irrational. Look at the fossil record we DO have for proof of evolution.

Diosdato wrote:
Your theory has changed by the way to say that evolution occurs in spurts not gradually as was once misunderstood. That would still mean that there should be thousands of transitional fossils to evidence this.

You have no idea how fossils form or how often they form in the first place, so you're in no position to assume how many or what types there may or may not be. And evolution can occur either gradually or in spurts. As per it's nature. Every scientific "theory" changes as it's better understood, until the point where every facet about it is known. It's still a fact.

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.


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I'd just like to point out

I'd just like to point out that evolution is not an atheist thing, there are theists that accept evolution as fact.

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Diosdato wrote:

Diosdato wrote:
triften wrote:

It has been proven empirically. The problem with Creationists is that they want to see a dog give birth to a cat, but that's not how evolution works. Humans have observed two populations of animals diverge to the point at which they can no longer intermix. Proof that animals change and new species can arise.

Um, no, it has NEVER been empirically proven. Why don't you God haters back your scientific theories up with some actual science. Name the study, the journal, the date, give me something credible. YOU CAN'T. Even hardcore evolutionists know that it is only a theory of how we came to be. If you can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that evolution is the means in which we arrived at our present state as humans, I as a Christian, will renounce my faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and I will deny the Holy Spirit. I can say this because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt you can't.

Well, for one, I was going to mention fruit flies. They ended up with two different species of flies. Proof that the animals better fitted to the their environment (natural or "artificial" ) will perform better and thus have more offspring. This has also been observed in the wild. The peppered moth being one of those instances.

Diosdato wrote:

No, it is not true. Once again, zero, zip, zilch, nada on the scientific evidence to back up your original irrational claim. The study you're referring to is the genetic altering of fruit flies. 1.) not an animal, but an insect. 2.) At the end, they were still fruit flies. 3.) Creationists, at least this one, have never said evolution wasn't real, it just isn't responsible for the creation of human beings.

Now you are redefining the word animal. Insects are a type of animal. Equivocation is not a valid form of argument.

They key is that they were two different species of fruit fly.

So now you are admitting that evolution occurs? From your previous paragraph, I would have assumed otherwise. Which is it? Do you think evolution occurs or not?

P.S. Many creationists are of the Young Earth variety and do claim that evolution isn't real.

Diosdato wrote:
I'm impressed that you admit that science has a hangup here. The second law of Thermodynamics explains quite easily why biogenesis is empirically impossible. If you don't believe that then read Stanley Miller's work from 1953 which shows you can create nothing even remotely close to replicating proteins. Even with unlimited resources, scientists have only been able to come up with blobs of amino acids and proteins that are completely lifeless coacervates.

Since when has anyone had "unlimited resources"? Also, are we discussing evolution or abiogenesis? Evolution says nothing about how life began, just how it changes.

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and, following chemical properties, have a propensity to assemble into large chains. Some of these chains will interact very strongly with other amino acids to self replicate. A particular simple self-replicator has a 1 in 10^40 chance of appearing given "random" assembly ("random" is in quotes because these interactions are not truely random). However, keep in mind that a kilogram of amino acid contains on the order of 10^24 molecules. Even a small amount allows for many parallel trials of assembly.

Diosdato wrote:

triften wrote:

Correction, a misunderstanding of the 2nd law of thermodynamics makes creationists think the 2nd law of thermodynamics prevents order from arising locally. Entropy within a CLOSED system increases and the Earth is NOT a closed system.

Wow, I see now how your misunderstanding of basic scientific principles has led to your misunderstanding of the God that created the universe.

This law of entropy is, by any measure, one of the most universal, best-proved laws of nature. It applies not only in physical and chemical systems, but also in biological and geological systems—in fact all systems, without exception.

"No exception to the second law of thermodynamics has ever been found—not even a tiny one. Like conservation of energy (the `first law&#39Eye-wink, the existence of a law so precise and so independent of details of models must have a logical foundation that is independent of the fact that matter is composed of interacting particles." E. H. Lieb and Jakob Yngvason, "A Fresh Look at Entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics," Physics Today (vol. 53. April 2000), p. 32.

The author of this quote is referring primarily to physics, but he does point out that the second law is "independent of details of models." Besides, practically all evolutionary biologists are reductionists—that is, they insist that there are no "vitalist" forces in living systems, and that all biological processes are explicable in terms of physics and chemistry. That being the case, biological processes also must operate in accordance with the laws of thermodynamics, and practically all biologists acknowledge this.

Evolutionists commonly insist, however, that evolution is a fact anyhow, and that the conflict is resolved by noting that the earth is an "open system," with the incoming energy from the sun able to sustain evolution throughout the geological ages in spite of the natural tendency of all systems to deteriorate toward disorganization. That is how an evolutionary entomologist has dismissed W. A. Dembski's recent book, Intelligent Design. This scientist defends what he thinks is "natural processes' ability to increase complexity" by noting what he calls a "flaw" in "the arguments against evolution based on the second law of thermodynamics." And what is this flaw?

"Although the overall amount of disorder in a closed system cannot decrease, local order within a larger system can increase even without the actions of an intelligent agent."

Norman A. Johnson, "Design Flaw," American Scientist (vol. 88. May/ June 2000), p. 274.

This naive response to the entropy law is typical of evolutionary dissimulation. While it is true that local order can increase in an open system if certain conditions are met, the fact is that evolution does not meet those conditions. Simply saying that the earth is open to the energy from the sun says nothing about how that raw solar heat is converted into increased complexity in any system, open or closed.

The fact is that the best known and most fundamental equation of thermo-dynamics says that the influx of heat into an open system will increase the entropy of that system, not decrease it. All known cases of decreased entropy (or increased organization) in open systems involve a guiding program of some sort and one or more energy conversion mechanisms.

What you don't seem to be understanding is that entropy is a measure of useable energy. As useable energy decreases, entropy increase. This energy can be used to build things.

Animals use energy all the time to grow and still entropy increases. Water can freeze and crystalize and entropy increases. (Or are you going to argue that ice crystals aren't orderly?)

Diosdato wrote:

Evolution has neither of these. Mutations are not "organizing" mechanisms, but disorganizing (in accord with the second law). They are commonly harmful, sometimes neutral, never beneficial (at least as far as observed mutations are concerned). Natural selection cannot generate order, but can only "sieve out" the disorganizing mutations presented to it, thereby conserving the existing order, but never generating new order. In principle, it may be barely conceivable that evolution could occur in open systems, in spite of the tendency of all systems to disintegrate sooner or later. But no one yet has been able to show that it actually has the ability to overcome this universal tendency, and that is the basic reason why there is still no bona fide proof of evolution, past or present.

What about a mutation arising allowing bacteria to consume nylon? (Prijambada et al 1995) Or mutations in humans to gain resistance to HIV or heart disease?

Please provide evidence of your assertion that no mutations are beneficial.

(As a note: You are admitting that mutations occur.)

Diosdato wrote:

From the statements of evolutionists themselves, therefore, we have learned that there is no real scientific evidence for real evolution. The only observable evidence is that of very limited horizontal (or downward) changes within strict limits. Evolution never occurred in the past, is not occurring at present, and could never happen at all.

Again, please decide where you stand on this issue. So far, you've taken the stance that evolution doesn't occur twice and that it does once. Is this because you are copy and pasting material from the ICR website? You didn't even cite it. That's plagarizing.

-Triften


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Quote: I'd just like to

Quote:
I'd just like to point out that evolution is not an atheist thing, there are theists that accept evolution as fact.

Would you happen to be one of them?  Because, if so, I'd like to discuss how you balance the facts of evolution against the Old Testament. 

--  Kirbert 


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Kirbert wrote: Quote: I'd

Kirbert wrote:

Quote:
I'd just like to point out that evolution is not an atheist thing, there are theists that accept evolution as fact.

Would you happen to be one of them? Because, if so, I'd like to discuss how you balance the facts of evolution against the Old Testament.

-- Kirbert

No, I'm an atheist. but... There is a Kenneth R. Miller.

 

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triften wrote: Again,

triften wrote:

Again, please decide where you stand on this issue. So far, you've taken the stance that evolution doesn't occur twice and that it does once. Is this because you are copy and pasting material from the ICR website? You didn't even cite it. That's plagarizing.

-Triften

You're absolutely right. I copied from the ICR site. I do however feel that their wording is a little bit more concise than my ramblings would sound. Let me summarize my viewpoints so we can end this needless debate, for it is clear you have chosen to believe that this life is all you got, so you better get out there and enjoy it and quit wasting time debating lunatics like me.

1.) Evolution, as a process, is occuring within each species.

2.) The multiple definitions of species lends itself to be questioned by scientists and creationists. Just because the fruit flies can't produce viable offspring doesn't necessarily make them a new species. I am not blind, I get the peppered moth, the adaptation of viruses to vaccinations, etc. There is no way that you can convince me that even with 3 billion years a single cell would mutate into everything we see today. Look at the food chain, it just doesn't make any sense.

3.) “The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, then walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” Brennan Manning

4.) Whether or not God used your theory or mine to create the universe, he is still God and you should seek a personal relationship with him out of adoration for his creation, not fear.

5.) Don't look to American Christianity to judge God, Look to a KJV bible, even with some clerical errors, the message has never wavered.

6.) The Holocaust did occur

7.) I believe in supernatural miracles. I have scientific evidence of one. My 9 month old daughter was x-rayed and diagnosed with a cervical rib growing out of one of her cervical vertebra. I laid hands on the back of her neck and prayed that the rib would dissolve in the name of Jesus. A month later we went to a spinal surgeon for a consult on the removal surgery and a new x-ray revealed that the rib was no longer there. I agree that that sounds completely irrational, I won't deny that. but I can't deny the results. Faith is amazing.

I'm done.


rr are religous...
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doc101 wrote:Well it is

doc101 wrote:
Well it is probably assumed on the forums that a common arguement against Atheism is the whole "Evolution is a Theory, not a fact" My question is, what is it to you? Is it true? If so, please explain to me why

I only believe in the evolution that has occured in my lifetime. 

Darwin was concerned that his theory was out the window if the 'infinetly numerous transitional links' could not be found.  From chapter 9 (Origin of the Species):

The several difficulties here discussed, namely our not finding in the successive formations infinitely numerous transitional links between the many species which now exist or have existed; the sudden manner in which whole groups of species appear in our European formations; the almost entire absence, as at present known, of fossiliferous formations beneath the Silurian strata, are all undoubtedly of the gravest nature.

Over 140 years later, and not even a thousand of these transitional fossils have been found, let alone the millions (infinite) he posited should exist. 

 I think a belief in the theory of evolution is to believe in fantasy. 


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rr are religous bigots

rr are religous bigots wrote:

Darwin was concerned that his theory was out the window if the 'infinetly numerous transitional links' could not be found. From chapter 9 (Origin of the Species):

Have you actually read Darwin? I'm betting "no"

Quote:
 

The several difficulties here discussed, namely our not finding in the successive formations infinitely numerous transitional links between the many species which now exist or have existed; the sudden manner in which whole groups of species appear in our European formations; the almost entire absence, as at present known, of fossiliferous formations beneath the Silurian strata, are all undoubtedly of the gravest nature.

Over 140 years later, and not even a thousand of these transitional fossils have been found, let alone the millions (infinite) he posited should exist.

 

140 years later is not a great deal of time considering how few paleotologists there are ..... and you also leave out how rare ancient fossils would be.

 Take a look here:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional.html 

 

Quote:

I think a belief in the theory of evolution is to believe in fantasy.

I think accepting or rejecting the theory requires that you know what you're talking about before you make a decision.

It's basically one of the strongest theories in all science, and it's the overarching principle of biology. 

 

Those who know the good, do the good. - Socrates

Books on atheism.


rr are religous...
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todangst wrote: rr are

todangst wrote:
rr are religous bigots wrote:

Darwin was concerned that his theory was out the window if the 'infinetly numerous transitional links' could not be found. From chapter 9 (Origin of the Species):

Have you actually read Darwin? I'm betting "no"

Quote:
 

The several difficulties here discussed, namely our not finding in the successive formations infinitely numerous transitional links between the many species which now exist or have existed; the sudden manner in which whole groups of species appear in our European formations; the almost entire absence, as at present known, of fossiliferous formations beneath the Silurian strata, are all undoubtedly of the gravest nature.

Over 140 years later, and not even a thousand of these transitional fossils have been found, let alone the millions (infinite) he posited should exist.

 

140 years later is not a great deal of time considering how few paleotologists there are ..... and you also leave out how rare ancient fossils would be.

 Take a look here:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional.html 

 

Quote:

I think a belief in the theory of evolution is to believe in fantasy.

I think accepting or rejecting the theory requires that you know what you're talking about before you make a decision.

It's basically one of the strongest theories in all science, and it's the overarching principle of biology. 

I have read Darwin.

According to Darwin, ancient fossils are not that rare (see his quote).

 The strongest theory is nothing when compared to real proofs.  A belief in a theory is therefore not rational.  What is rational is to say the theory could be proven right or wrong at any moment.

140 years has been plenty of time to locate even some of the millions of transitional fossils that Darwin said should exist.  There hasn't been even 100 of these transitional fossils found.  Some people are desparate to find these transitional fossils. Some paleontologists claimed they found a transitional fossil in China - turns out they put together bones from different animals. 

 Some mainstream biologists question the validity of some parts of the theory of evolution.  Google and you shall find.

 Believing a theory is true is dangerous and irrational.


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Here's some links with

Here's some links with photos of 'transitional' species that 5 mins research with Google brings up.

Fish to land animals:

http://news.mongabay.com/2006/0405-chicago.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4879672.stm

Bird evolution, with a good fossil of Archaeopteryx:
http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/diapsids/birds/birdfr.html

Hominid fossils (Human ancestors):
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/specimen.html 


Horse evolution, showing how tiny the early 'horses' were:
http://chem.tufts.edu/science/evolution/HorseEvolution.htm 

Early mammals:
http://darwiniana.org/NewFossilMammals.html 

 And a tremendously comprehensive description of 'transitional' fossils so far discovered

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional.html

Even better, go to any decent natural history museum!  Only a few thousand people have been properly looking for fossils for less than 100 years - what do you expect, your garden to be full of perfect, huge, scientifically important specimens?

You have simply closed your mind off to reality.


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Diosdato wrote: You're

Diosdato wrote:

You're absolutely right. I copied from the ICR site. I do however feel that their wording is a little bit more concise than my ramblings would sound.

Their information is still wrong. Please, get information from other sources and compare it. www.talkorigins.org is a very good website and, in fact, you can probably look at this page: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html along side the ICRs and find refutations to all the arguments they are making. The information provided on this website can be cross-referenced any number of places.

 

Diosdato wrote:

Let me summarize my viewpoints so we can end this needless debate, for it is clear you have chosen to believe that this life is all you got, so you better get out there and enjoy it and quit wasting time debating lunatics like me.

1.) Evolution, as a process, is occuring within each species.

2.) The multiple definitions of species lends itself to be questioned by scientists and creationists. Just because the fruit flies can't produce viable offspring doesn't necessarily make them a new species. I am not blind, I get the peppered moth, the adaptation of viruses to vaccinations, etc. There is no way that you can convince me that even with 3 billion years a single cell would mutate into everything we see today. Look at the food chain, it just doesn't make any sense.

The definition of species is man-made. 

We have two definitions of species: if two animals can produce viable offspring, they are of the sames species OR if two animals are taxonomically different enough (again, very man-made and hand wavy subjective).

We have observed new species arising under both these definitions. 

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

Sadly, you've already decided based on incorrect information that I can't convince you.

What does the food chain have to do with anything? If anything, it's an example of natural selection driving evolution. 

 

Diosdato wrote:

3.) “The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, then walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” Brennan Manning

What does this have to do with evolution?

Diosdato wrote:

4.) Whether or not God used your theory or mine to create the universe, he is still God and you should seek a personal relationship with him out of adoration for his creation, not fear.

Please provide evidence that god exists.

 

Diosdato wrote:

5.) Don't look to American Christianity to judge God, Look to a KJV bible, even with some clerical errors, the message has never wavered.

The message has wavered all over the place from "turn the other cheek" to "bring those who would not have me rule them before me and slay them."

 

Diosdato wrote:

6.) The Holocaust did occur

We agree there, I'm not sure why this is relevant to the evolution discussion... 

Diosdato wrote:

7.) I believe in supernatural miracles. I have scientific evidence of one. My 9 month old daughter was x-rayed and diagnosed with a cervical rib growing out of one of her cervical vertebra. I laid hands on the back of her neck and prayed that the rib would dissolve in the name of Jesus. A month later we went to a spinal surgeon for a consult on the removal surgery and a new x-ray revealed that the rib was no longer there. I agree that that sounds completely irrational, I won't deny that. but I can't deny the results. Faith is amazing.

How do you know it was the prayer that helped? Have you tried this any other time?

-Triften 


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Quote: Quote: 4.) Whether

Quote:
Quote:
4.) Whether or not God used your theory or mine to create the universe, he is still God and you should seek a personal relationship with him out of adoration for his creation, not fear.

Please provide evidence that god exists.

And while you're at it, please tell us who created God.

-- Kirbert