Questions for Creationists.

Yellow_Number_Five
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Questions for Creationists.

A bit of turning the tables in the direction they should be. Feel free to add your own well thought out queries to the irrational. Evolution should NOT ever be on the defensive, when a creationist asks a ridiculously trite strawman of a question, retort with one of my personal favorites:

Here are a few questions I like to ask, and they are only the tip of the iceberg (I can formulate hundreds more, but we must start somewhere):

What do you have to say and how do you scientifically explain endogenous retrogene insertions without evolution by common descent?

Endogenous retroviral insertions are arguably the best example of molecular sequence evidence for universal common descent. Endogenous retrogene insertions are molecular remnants of a past parasitic viral infection. Occasionally, copies of a retrovirus genome are found in its host's genome, and these retroviral gene copies are called endogenous retroviral sequences. Retroviruses, like HIV, make a DNA copy of their own viral genome and insert it into their host's genome. If this happens to a germ line cell (i.e. the sperm or egg cells) the retroviral DNA will be inherited by descendants of the host. This process is rare and fairly random, so finding retrogenes in identical chromosomal positions of two different species indicates common ancestry.

There are at least seven different known instances of common retrogene insertions between chimps and humans, indicating common ancestry. I'll say it again, the same insertion occurs at the same DNA marker in two totally different species at a rate that is far far greater than chance. There are numerous know examples across other species as well.

What do you have to say about the biochemical similarity of all life on earth, and how do you scientifically explain this without evolution?

The only organic polymers used in biological processes are polynucleotides, polysaccharides and polypeptides - chemists have mades hundreds, if not thousands of additional organic polymers, but only these three contribute to biological life as we know it.

In addition, all the proteins, DNA and RNA in every organism known to man use the same chirality (twist), so for example out 16 different possible isomers of RNA, all organisms use one and only one, and they all use the same one.

There are something like 300 (forget the exact number) naturally occuring amino acids in nature. Only 22 acids are used in life as we know it, and all organisms use the same 22 acids to build proteins and carry out biological processes.

All of this points to a, as in ONE, common ancestor to ALL life on earth. The fact that no known organisms differ from this fundamental scheme when countless other schemes could work equally well should smack anyone who examines it in the face. If evolution were NOT true the odds that ALL organisms would use the same biochemical schemes is utterly astronomical.

Oh, and another example, all organisms use the same 4 nucleotides to build DNA - out of something like 100 naturally occuring nucleotides.

Oh, and all life on earth derives metabolic processes from ATP, plenty of other natural compounds would have worked equally well.

The biochemical evidence for evolution is some of the strongest evidence for evolution we have.

What do you have to say about the hominid fossil record? Do you still think there are no fossilized ?missing links? now?

We should expect related species to look similar.

What do you have to say about these observed speciation events?

Salamanders and Songbirds

More details on the salamanders, with additional links

London mosquitos

Another article on Himalayan song birds

Speciation by reinforcement

Lots of examples here

More examples

Speciation models

Links on examples and models

More on the London mosquitos

Ringed-speciation model and examples, plus links

In Drosophila (fruit flies)

How do creationists explain coccygeal retroposition (true human tails) and other atavisms and vestigual structures?

An atavism is the reemergence of a lost phenotypical trait from a past ancestor and not specific to the organisms parents or very recent ancestors. For example, perhaps you would care to explain well documented coccygeal projections (true tails) that are occasionally found on human newborns? Do you have a better explaination than the tails resulting from the incomplete regression of the most distal end of the normal embryonic tail found in the developing human fetus?

You can see about 100 medically recorded instances of this phenomena here:

PubMed links

And just so there is no misunderstanding, these are true tails, with vertebrae extending from the human tail bone as shown in this x-ray:

What about other vestigual structures like molecular vesitges in the form of human viatamin C definciency? Why does the gene for manufacturing viatamin C exist as a psuedogene in humans and also as a broken gene in chimps, orangutans and other primates - as predicted by evolutionary theory? Why can more distant relatives like dogs make their own viatamin C? This is only one of the molecular atavisms found in humans. What is your scientific explanation for this, if not evolution by common descent?

And another from a fried of mine, warriorking:

So I'm in medical school learning about the human body and all the time, I'm wondering how creationism (or ID supporters, whoever's willing to answer me) covers some of the similarities between humans and other animals that aren't like us and how they explain how poorly our bodies are designed. I wanted a thread where I could ask my questions, and anyone else who has intellectual questions for creationists, I want to hear other oddities that don't seem to be explained without common ancestry.

Let's suppose that the appendix is an intentional lymphoid tissue (it's not, and it doesn't really serve as such, but let's give Ken Hovind that). How do you explain the hair-on-end reflex to cold or fright? Our hair doesn't insulate us and it doesn't seem to scare away predators or other men in an ensuing battle. Why are our hairs innervated to do that if we have no common ancestor with other mammals? Think about it, dog showing fangs and hair-on-end...you're not going to try to pet it. My hair stands on end, I'm still cold and you'd still probably try to kick my ass. Why do our hair follicles need muscle innervation if we're created intelligently and uniquely from all other mammals?

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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Yellow_Number_Five
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newmodeltheist wrote:

newmodeltheist wrote:

I could just as easily ask why so-called 'vestigial organs' are evidence for common ancestry. It is worth remembering here that of many organs previously thought to be 'vestigial', virtually all are shown to have some function at some point in our life cycle.

Again, you show your ignorance. I've already explained this to you - more than once.

Vestigial does not mean without function. It is simply an organ or something else, like a gene or genetic sequence left behind after a change has occured - like the leg joints in snakes. Wisdom teeth, like the appendix, and EVRs are vestiges, because they can be removed without affecting the survivability of the organism and obviously do not serve the function we would expect them to serve by comparison to similar organs and genes in other animals.

It's that simple. Why you continue to whine about it is beyond me.

Quote:
The whole 'vestigial' argument is nothing but viewing biology through the evolutionary goggles. The appendix incidentally performs an immune function, I don't have the precise details to hand, nor about the coccyx, sorry.

SO WHAT? SO WHAT if it performs a function? A vestige CAN perform a limited function and STILL be a vestige (and STILL be evidence of evolution). Pay attention.

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What would make me take evolutionary theory seriously? If the signatures of the same random mutations were routinely found in significantly different species. Not functional genes, but real and agreed random mutation signatures.

They ARE. Chimps and humans share many genetic mutations, mutations also found in the EVRs they share.

Like I pointed out in the post you failed to reply to, we don't just look at the EVR, but at the subtle point mutational differences between the species - it's THAT mutational rate that helps us gauge WHEN the insertions occurred.

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But between for instance, canines and cats, or any other agreed upon difference that would require new genetic information to evolve the forms from a common ancestor.

Given you info on cats, you failed to respond.

Quote:
You suggest that I might have a blinkered view of the world. This may well be true but so have naturalists. They have a passionate world-view which they are defending. Evolution screams at them when they look at fossils. Not because the fossils say so mind, but because to them it all makes sense to their naturalist eyes.

I'm sorry that empirical evidence screams at me. I apologize. My bad.

Now you apologize for having pure emotion and old books scream at you.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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newmodeltheist
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Yellow No.5 Rather than

Yellow No.5

Rather than continue this tit-for-tat format I will post an essay type thread much like deludedgod has done (twice) for your side of the argument.  I will lay out my case for why I hold the view that I do as comprehensivly as I can.  I will try to incorporate as many of the objections I have encountered from you and others. 

I have begun it but I cannot say precisely when I will post it.  I will post it as a new thread on this forum 'evolution of life'.   


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I just thought of something

I just thought of something along the same lines as Endogenous Retroviral insertions:

Mitochondrion are bacteria, the result of a billion year old symbiosis with the Eukaryotes. This explains why they have their own genome, and why they undergo their own binary fission inside the cell. Prokaryotes have a remarkable ability to exchange genetic material by a different process which is critical to bacterial evolution. This is called horizontal transfer. Horizontal transfer is an ability eukaryotes do not have because their DNA is enclosed in an intercellular packaged membrane (hence the name eukaroyote). Horizontal transfer occurs when bacteria simply exchange genes by passing them through the cell membrane to each other. This can occur either by direct junction fusing or literally uptaking of the new material. Prokaryotes can take any peice of nucleic acid string and simply incorporate it immediately because their DNA is not kept in an intercellular membrane.

Mitochondrion are like that as well. They can also perform horizontal transfer. But there is only one place for any DNA they eject to go...into the Eukaryotic nucleus. Throughout the last billion years, very occasionally, DNA would horizontally transfer itself from the mitochondrion into the master genotype. These infusions have survived for billions of years. This process, like ERVGI, is rare and random. But the MtDNA insertions always come up on identical sets of the genotype throughout different eons. Significant amounts of MtDNA are passed on, because of course, as evolution continues, the more mtDNA will accumulate in the genotypes of contemporary organisms. This is indeed backed up by the fossil record of Eukaryota. Again, without common descent, the odds are astronomical. Far more astronomical than ERVGI. 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

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If I had it to do over

If I had it to do over again, I would have been a biologist so I could understand what you just posted. :/

I have better grasp of retroviral insertions but I'm trying to determine how solid this evidence is.

Let me play devils advocate...

Humans and Chimps share a common anscestor. Is it possible that these viruses became a permanent fixture in both dnas after the split?


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It is possible, but because

It is possible, but because the Endogenes make up significant portions of the genome (8%), and the ERVs are distributed throughout identical positions on the chromosome, and there are seven retroviruses and any number of insertable genes, the odds are extremely low, pretty much nonexistent. Less than 0.0 followed by 10 ten zeroes then a one.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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Ig
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Thanks. Pretty much a slam

Thanks. Pretty much a slam dunk then.

How anyone that understands this can still deny Evolution is beyond me. If only I had video making skills so I could post something up on You Tube showing this evidence.

RabidApe made one that lightly touched on it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKb1LXxKNHY 

I will see if cdk007 would be willing to tackle this.

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=cdk007


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Here's the IDiots response

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There is a creationist

There is a creationist wiki? Fuck.

Firstly, it is obvious that there are preferred site of insertion. I have already explained that here

http://www.rationalresponders.com/forum/sapient/atheist_vs_theist/5465

Furthermore, they fail to mention the big thing: Nearly all ERVs are useless. Totally useless. Vestigial. They are hardly the mark of the designer.

Design must be dismissed for an obvious reason, it is not testable. Thus when they say that "ERVs as proof of common descent is circular reasoning" they are being ridiculous because they set up a false dichotomy. Since they dismiss all evidence of evolution as "fitting the design model", what they have to do is to prove design. This is obviously impossible because there is no test for it, and judging by the astonishing delusions demonstrated by these nonsense-spewers, there is no falsification for it. Therefore it must be dismissed. The only weak proposition they can argue is Irreducible Complexity, which has been proven false.

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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I'm about ready to try to

I'm about ready to try to create a short video for You Tube showing this evidence in an easy to understand slide show.

I figured a good analogy would be a source code for a computer program that has a bug. This source code is then used as a foundation to build 2 different programs. Since they share the same bug in identical code positions it would indicate that both programs shared a "common ancestor".

After researching this some more, there is one part I am not too sure of. When the virus leaves it's remnant behind, does it leave it's entire genetic code or just a totally random section of that code?

Take for instance a binary code like...

0110010111100100 <-- host dna

              1111100 <-- viral dna

0110010111101100 <-- after infection(0100 changed to 1100 at the end)

Is this an accurate representation?



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Greetings!  I can't quite

Greetings!  I can't quite answer all your questions and i won't pretend to be intelligent enough to adequately respond to all of them, but I would like to answer just this one question if i may: 

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
What do you have to say and how do you scientifically explain endogenous retrogene insertions without evolution by common descent? Endogenous retroviral insertions are arguably the best example of molecular sequence evidence for universal common descent. Endogenous retrogene insertions are molecular remnants of a past parasitic viral infection.

 Could a simple explanation be that both humans and chimps could have gotten the viral infections separately?  Or that along the way, a chimp got infected with the virus and in turn infected and passed it on to its human owner?  Or vice versa? I think that was how the HIV virus was passed on from monkeys to humans.  You see, though technically, in the theist point of view Adam and Eve were the first humans, it was through Noah and his children where all the earth's population were made.  And remember that basing on what the Biblical accounts of the flood were, they spent months in the Ark which i'm sure had at least a pair of chimps in them. 

So in other words, is it possible for an entire family on a ship stranded on open water for months to contract a virus from chimps in the ship and then pass that on to the gene pool of all their descendants thereafter?  That could also explain why many other animals have that train of the viral infection since all the other animals which survived came from that ark.  I'm not asking you to believe me mind you, but just asking if it is plausible or logical.

I know its not really an intellectual type of answer but there is no harm in trying right? 


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Hello again! I'd like to

Hello again! I'd like to try answering this question as well:

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
What do you have to say about the biochemical similarity of all life on earth, and how do you scientifically explain this without evolution?

 Inventors, architects, and artists in many cases leave an underlying theme or signature in all their works.  In fact, many works of these individuals are identified as such by the similarity in their pieces.  Thomas Kinkade is an example of such in that he is famously known as the painter of light.

In other words, biochemical similarity in design may also point out to a common designer, and not just a common ancestry.


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I don't mean to scare you

I don't mean to scare you people, who might be exalting this 'evolution' theory/religiong thing.

But, in the Holy Bible, in the book of revelations, there are a few scriptures that I will quote for you:

(ISO-8859-1) Youngs Literal Translation, Revelation: false prophet

Rev 16:13 and I saw `come' out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs --
Rev 19:20 and the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet who did the signs before him, in which he led astray those who did receive the mark of the beast, and those who did bow before his image; living they were cast -- the two -- to the lake of the fire, that is burning with brimstone;

Rev 20:10 and the Devil, who is leading them astray, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where `are' the beast and the false prophet, and they shall be tormented day and night -- to the ages of the ages.

 


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Is it possible that one of

Is it possible that one of the 'frogs' might be the theory that men 'evolved' out of the water???

Kind of like 'frogs'???

If so, then what are the other 2 frogs that are mentioned in revelations?


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goodeh wrote: Is it

goodeh wrote:

Is it possible that one of the 'frogs' might be the theory that men 'evolved' out of the water???

Kind of like 'frogs'???

If so, then what are the other 2 frogs that are mentioned in revelations?

So are you saying that evolution is something from a false prophet to lead us astray? Perhaps it's a conspiracy...

I suppose one could claim the other 2 are anything you feel like demonizing. The bible is very convenient for that.

-Triften


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I have one more to add to

I have one more to add to Yellow's list.

1. How do you explain the completely homologous nature of the proteomic spectrum, across all three domains of live, eubacteria, archaebacteria and eukaryota (Even ESPs have recombinate relationship with preexisting bacerial protein strings)?

Phylogeny trees or sig sequence marks (like above) can be drawn up for virtually any protein, and the homology indicates the duplication and divergence was responsible for the entire spectrum, indeed the noise mutation on the divergence as tracked by a technique called molecular clock simply should not exist in the case of design. Being that the proteins are the direct interface between the genotype and phenotype, the duplications and homologous relationship between the entire protein spectrum is expressed by duplications in the exons in question. Duplicative mutations leave extremely distinct signs on the organism and as they become incorporated by cumulative mutation mechanisms, they provide a mark by which we can track macroevolutionary processes as easily as we can read a book. We do not need to observe macroevolution to know about it. We can read it.

For frther information:

 

 

"Physical reality” isn’t some arbitrary demarcation. It is defined in terms of what we can systematically investigate, directly or not, by means of our senses. It is preposterous to assert that the process of systematic scientific reasoning arbitrarily excludes “non-physical explanations” because the very notion of “non-physical explanation” is contradictory.

-Me

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why is it

Why is it so out of the realm of belief for a creationist to say we came from a common ancestor but not that an all powerful god created us, and if god can create us whats stopping him from creating evolution.

 

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Power leads to corruption
Corrution leads to crime
Crime doesn't pay
So if you study you'll go broke.


Yellow_Number_Five
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WBFL wrote:Why is it so out

WBFL wrote:

Why is it so out of the realm of belief for a creationist to say we came from a common ancestor but not that an all powerful god created us, and if god can create us whats stopping him from creating evolution.

 

 

The PROBLEM, as I've alluded to throughout this text (for example asking how one would scientifically explain something) is that YOUR explanation does NOTHING for us on any kind of logical, scientific or verifiable ground.

I can claim a magic snarfwidget made all of us or made all of us through a process, but how the fuck does one establish that?

In the real world, we deal with observation and fact, and draw testable conclusions from such.

 

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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Before we continue

Mr. Creationist

The following is a list of questions and terms I expect anyone actively engaged in a discussion of the validity and merits of the Theory of Evolution to be familiar with.

Before going on, I would ask that you please answer the following questions and define the following words so that I will know whether or not to waste my time with you. Failure to answer three or more of these inquiries means that any attempt to discuss the facts of evolution with you will likely be wasted, as you lack even theoretical understanding of the subject.

  • Endergonic reaction, Exergonic reaction and why one of them theoretically impossible except in the case of coupled reactions.
  • Phyletic vs. Actual Extinction and why the latter has nothing to do with natural selection.
  • The difference between a virus and a bacteria and why this is proof of Macro evolution.
  • How HIV/AIDs works and why this is proof of Macroevolution.
  • Ockham's Razor (not the "simplest explanation," but what Ockham really meant).
  • Abiogenesis (please define the word, NOT "spontaneous generation" ) .
  • Evolution is the results of natural selection plus WHAT OTHER PROCESSES?
  • What is meant by the term ecological niche? (NOTE: This has something to do with the fact that although we evolved from apes, there are still apes around)
  • Why inductive reasoning makes science different from religious methods of discerning knowledge.
  • The difference between an Ape, a Monkey, and for good measure, a Prosimian.
  • Darwin knew nothing about genetics and couldn't account for the introduction of new variation in populations. He didn't know what the mechanism that produced new variation was. This does not mean the Theory of Evolution was wrong. How has our understanding of it changed since Darwin, and it what ways is the case for Evolution stronger today because of everyone who came after Darwin? (If they can name one-Post-Darwinian evolutionary scientist besides Richard Dawkins and the disreputable "experts" on the ID side, then they get a gold star)
  • Why the Theory of Evolution still stands strong and is not threatened despite the fact that scientific knowledge is always changing (or why our understanding of evolution only gets more and more complex over time).
  • With whom does the burden of proof always lie? With a person who makes extraordinary claims, or with the person who rejects those claims because of lack of evidence?
  • How is the colloquial definition of a "Theory" different from the scientific definition of a "Theory"?
  • What is falsifiability? How would you explain it to a five year old?

 

Unfortunately most creationists can't answer these questions and the majority of them aren't patient enough to listen to the answers or smart enough to comprehend them.

 

 

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”


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And if somehow they answer those...
  • (Mr. Creationist,) are you familiar with the partially synthetic organism Mycoplasma laboratorium?
  • If they know that carbon dating is based on a flawed assumption, ask if they're familiar with ANY OTHER ABSOLUTE DATING METHODS (such as Uranium Fission Tracking or Potassium-Argon Dating, which are not based on false assumptions). For good measure, make sure they know the differences in the techniques, and what each one is useful for.
  •  

 

“It is true that in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. It is equally true that in the land of the blind, the two-eyed man is an enemy of the state, the people, and domestic tranquility… and necessarily so. Someone has to rearrange the furniture.”


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Faulty Logic

These are wonderful, elloquent and well thought out reasons for believing in biological evolution. The problem, of course, is that creationists don't use reason.
 

Creationism/Intelligent design isn't science. It isn't even really pseudo-science. It is a defense of a creation myth that has appropriated the language, but not the methodology, of the scientific method.

 

Science:
1. Define the question
2. Gather information and resources (observe)
3. Form hypothesis
4. Perform experiment and collect data
5. Analyze data
6. Interpret data and draw conclusions that serve as a starting point for new hypothesis
7. Publish results
8. Retest (frequently done by other scientists)

Creationism/ID:
1. Form a conclusion
2. Gather evidence that supports your conclusion
3. Reject, minimize or destroy any evidence that contradicts your conclusion
4. Present only that data that conforms to your conclusion directly to the public, while bypassing peer-reviewed journals
5. Attempt to legislate your conclusion in to science class
6. Never, ever question the conclusion presented in your creation myth
7. When laughed at by real scientists, claim that they are being 'irrational Darwinists'
8. Go to jail for tax evasion (although to be fair this one only applies to Hovid)

It doesn't matter how many eloquent arguments you present for the truth of biological evolution or common descent. It's like arguing the merit of the Queen's Gambit to someone who thinks you are playing checkers.

 

That being said, I fully intend to appropriate the Endogenous retroviral insertions argument you present. Its great.

 

 

 

 


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That_Guy wrote:These are

That_Guy wrote:

These are wonderful, elloquent and well thought out reasons for believing in biological evolution. The problem, of course, is that creationists don't use reason.

 

And it is here that simple science becomes hinged on politics and education.

Science can only do so much in and of itself, in the end though what you get is essentially a statistician telling you it is next to impossible to win the lottery - and that simply isn't something most people are open to hearing or accepting. I think it goes the same way with the facts of evolution, to a degree. Afterall, why wouldn't you wish to think you were favored by your Creator?

And this is what is beginning to frighten me the most - the Ben Steins of the world selling a feel good drama while our children don't get shit for an education.

I dissected worms and frogs in 7th grade, in a relatively poor public city school - if your child is that old or older and hasn't done that, perharps you should take a keener interest in their education.

 

Quote:
That being said, I fully intend to appropriate the Endogenous retroviral insertions argument you present. Its great.

 

If that's the ONLY thing of mine that spreads on the tubes, I'm more than happy.

 

 

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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  I wonder how many

 

 

I wonder how many American Evolutionists here have heard of Dr. A. E. Wilder Smith. He held three Ph.D's in biology, chemistry and pharmacology from places like Oxford. He wrote several books disproving Evolution such as the following:

 

THE NATURAL SCIENCES KNOW NOTHING OF EVOLUTION, by Smith

 

THE SCIENTIFIC ALTERNATIVE TO NEO-DARWINIAN EVOLUTIONARY THEORY, by Smith

 

HE WHO THINKS HAS TO BELIEVE, by Smith

 

ORIGINS (six part video series), by Smith

 

The video series convinced an Evolution teacher at Stanford. He was subsequently suspended . People need to understand that it's all politics today. Scientists would lose their jobs unless they fit into the paradigm of beaurocrats. Its all about money, brainwashing, and control.


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Incognito wrote:  I wonder

Incognito wrote:

 

 

I wonder how many American Evolutionists here have heard of Dr. A. E. Wilder Smith. He held three Ph.D's in biology, chemistry and pharmacology from places like Oxford. He wrote several books disproving Evolution such as the following:

 

THE NATURAL SCIENCES KNOW NOTHING OF EVOLUTION, by Smith

 

THE SCIENTIFIC ALTERNATIVE TO NEO-DARWINIAN EVOLUTIONARY THEORY, by Smith

 

HE WHO THINKS HAS TO BELIEVE, by Smith

 

ORIGINS (six part video series), by Smith

 

The video series convinced an Evolution teacher at Stanford. He was subsequently suspended . People need to understand that it's all politics today. Scientists would lose their jobs unless they fit into the paradigm of beaurocrats. Its all about money, brainwashing, and control.

Smith was a chemist, not a biologist, and there is a vast gap, typically, between the two fields insofar as understanding concepts like natural selection.

He debated and was destroyed by Dawkins and John Maynard Smith - the last I checked, these are available at http://richarddawkinsfoundation.org/

Oh, and let's also not forget that Wilder Smith was the idiot who started, or at least bought into and helped perpetuate the Paluxy River Hoax in the 1960s by holding up forged prints of dinosaur tracks next to human tracks.

But yeah, it's all about politics, and it is fitting people like Dembski hold suck a hack and fraud in esteem.

 

 

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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evolution

 I don't know much about science or biology,I'm just a dumb redneck that would like to know from what ingredient,or from what matter did the human being come from?You guys always depend on logic for your answers,give me a LOGICAL explanation as to what we first evolved from.Make sure it's logical now,we don't want any nonsense like those crazy Christians.


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mcap wrote: I don't know

mcap wrote:

 I don't know much about science or biology,I'm just a dumb redneck that would like to know from what ingredient,or from what matter did the human being come from?You guys always depend on logic for your answers,give me a LOGICAL explanation as to what we first evolved from.Make sure it's logical now,we don't want any nonsense like those crazy Christians.

Well, my dumb redneck friend, first of all, it's not a simple recipe nor is it a one-step process. Second, you're hinting at abiogenesis; make sure you don't get abiogenesis and evoluton mixed up. Third, to understand the explanations, you need to understand the relevant chemistry and biology.

Here, why don't you try some of DG's essays?

http://www.rationalresponders.com/third_revolution

http://www.rationalresponders.com/chemical_evolution

I'll give you more info once you've demonstrated a proficient understanding of these articles.

Our revels now are ended. These our actors, | As I foretold you, were all spirits, and | Are melted into air, into thin air; | And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, | The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, | The solemn temples, the great globe itself, - Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, | And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, | Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff | As dreams are made on, and our little life | Is rounded with a sleep. - Shakespeare


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mcap wrote: I don't know

mcap wrote:

 I don't know much about science or biology,I'm just a dumb redneck that would like to know from what ingredient,or from what matter did the human being come from?You guys always depend on logic for your answers,give me a LOGICAL explanation as to what we first evolved from.Make sure it's logical now,we don't want any nonsense like those crazy Christians.

What are you referring to? If you trace our 'family tree' backwards, you would just see a continuous line of creatures looking progressively less like modern humans, all the way back to the earliest single-celled life-forms.

We don't know exactly what life started from in the earliest phases, but we do have lots of fossils to give us a pretty good idea what our more recent ancestors looked like.

Even in the beginnings of life, we do have a number of plausible possibilities, none of which contradict any rules of logic, of course.

We came from the same early bunch of self-replicating molecules as every other life-form on Earth now, probably something like the RNA we find in all living things today, from single-celled critters to homo sapiens (ourselves). It has recently been shown how simple forms of RNA can form from much simpler substances, under conditions which are highly likely to have existed in many places on the early Earth.

We have good reason to believe those even simpler substances are naturally formed in various ways, such as in volcanoes, from lightning, in swamps with lots of minerals in them, etc.

Once you get a collection of self-replicating molecules, evolution can kick in, and away you go.

Do you have any specific problem with any of this?

Remember that while all theories should be LOGICAL, that is not enough to make them likely or good explanations. They need to fit the facts as simply as possible, to be worth taking seriously, without relying on things we have no evidence for, like magical beings, etc. This principle for judging which scientific theories are to be adopted, until someone comes up with one which fits more facts, or fits the same observations more precisely, has worked very well for us so far.

EDIT: I dunno if I've expressed that simply enough for you, let me know if you want something made more clear. I presume you've asked this question, and admitted that you "don't know much about science or biology", because you couldn't understand the original post in this thread. 

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris

The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

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triften wrote:Clara

triften wrote:
Clara Listensprechen wrote:

If it's not possible for organisms to evolve, then how is it possible for ag businesses to create new varieties of vegetables and farm animals by doing nothing more than Artificial Selection (what would be called Natural Selection if it was nature and not mankind doing the breeding selection)?

A creationist would likely argue that you are "destroying genetic information." I believe their claim is that the variations already exist and you are just whittling them down which they try to tie into the whole "entropy" nonsense argument.

-Triften 

An educated Creationist would state that G-d created the rules and let them run themselves.

The problem with "creationists" is that they have created their god in their own image.  In my Universe, G-d created everything, including the Laws of Nature.  You like Evolution?  Thank G-d for it.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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FurryCatHerder wrote:triften

FurryCatHerder wrote:

triften wrote:
Clara Listensprechen wrote:

If it's not possible for organisms to evolve, then how is it possible for ag businesses to create new varieties of vegetables and farm animals by doing nothing more than Artificial Selection (what would be called Natural Selection if it was nature and not mankind doing the breeding selection)?

A creationist would likely argue that you are "destroying genetic information." I believe their claim is that the variations already exist and you are just whittling them down which they try to tie into the whole "entropy" nonsense argument.

-Triften 

An educated Creationist would state that G-d created the rules and let them run themselves.

The problem with "creationists" is that they have created their god in their own image.  In my Universe, G-d created everything, including the Laws of Nature.  You like Evolution?  Thank G-d for it.

The thing is in "your universe" god is completely irrelevant, he is not needed so why believe in him. 

 

The world works in a certain way.

 

why?

 

God made it that way.

 

why did god make it that way

 

because another god made god that way <--- it would add nothing to the story just like god adds nothing to the story to the world working a certain way. There is just as much proof for this god as there is for the first one.

Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal.


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Tapey wrote:FurryCatHerder

Tapey wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

An educated Creationist would state that G-d created the rules and let them run themselves.

The problem with "creationists" is that they have created their god in their own image.  In my Universe, G-d created everything, including the Laws of Nature.  You like Evolution?  Thank G-d for it.

The thing is in "your universe" god is completely irrelevant, he is not needed so why believe in him.

Actual beliefs -- not "belief systems", but whether you believe something or not -- is pretty much outside your control.

And who said I believe G-d is needed inside the Universe in the first place?  I don't believe G-d tinkers with the Universe on a regular basis just for kicks.  That would be rather stupid -- if G-d created the Universe, you think it would be able to function on its own without constant tweaks.

You look at the Universe and say "god is irrelevant".  I look at the Universe and say "G-d got it right, no regularly scheduled maintenance required!"

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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FurryCatHerder wrote:You

FurryCatHerder wrote:

You look at the Universe and say "god is irrelevant".  I look at the Universe and say "G-d got it right, no regularly scheduled maintenance required!"

You are still adding something on top of the pile which does not need to be there for things to work the way they do. Could I prove that that god does not exist? No. I also couldn't prove there wasn't something higher on the creation list than god. I certainly couldn't have the first clue as to which god especially if they didn't interfere. I can only believe in what I see as necessary for the world to be as is, god just does not seem necessary so is irrelevant. If you are whiling to believe in things which are not necessary for the world to be as is (I am talking about the creation story) what reason do you have to not believe in another god creating the god with the purpose that that god would create the world. It is the same, It is adding an added layer of complexity where none is needed.

Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal.


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Tapey wrote:FurryCatHerder

Tapey wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

You look at the Universe and say "god is irrelevant".  I look at the Universe and say "G-d got it right, no regularly scheduled maintenance required!"

You are still adding something on top of the pile which does not need to be there for things to work the way they do. Could I prove that that god does not exist? No. I also couldn't prove there wasn't something higher on the creation list than god. I certainly couldn't have the first clue as to which god especially if they didn't interfere. I can only believe in what I see as necessary for the world to be as is, god just does not seem necessary so is irrelevant. If you are whiling to believe in things which are not necessary for the world to be as is (I am talking about the creation story) what reason do you have to not believe in another god creating the god with the purpose that that god would create the world. It is the same, It is adding an added layer of complexity where none is needed.

Sigh.

I believe in G-d because I do.  It changes =nothing= about how I live my life except now I have "reason", as it were.

But more relevant to the discussion, Science and Theology are NOT the same subject.  To say that "Science has no need of god" is like saying that Biology has no need of a jelly donut.  Or that a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.  Science answers "How?", not "Why" or "Right and Wrong".

You're also arguing this polytheistic god-concept in which gods create gods.  Sorry, I don't believe in polytheism and a god which is created isn't a god, so far as I'm concerned.

If you want to discuss Science, have at it.  It's the one thing I love about this website.  But if you want to mix Science and Theology, what's the point?  It's like mixing Chemistry and baseball trading cards.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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FurryCatHerder wrote:Tapey

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Tapey wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

You look at the Universe and say "god is irrelevant".  I look at the Universe and say "G-d got it right, no regularly scheduled maintenance required!"

You are still adding something on top of the pile which does not need to be there for things to work the way they do. Could I prove that that god does not exist? No. I also couldn't prove there wasn't something higher on the creation list than god. I certainly couldn't have the first clue as to which god especially if they didn't interfere. I can only believe in what I see as necessary for the world to be as is, god just does not seem necessary so is irrelevant. If you are whiling to believe in things which are not necessary for the world to be as is (I am talking about the creation story) what reason do you have to not believe in another god creating the god with the purpose that that god would create the world. It is the same, It is adding an added layer of complexity where none is needed.

Sigh.

I believe in G-d because I do.  It changes =nothing= about how I live my life except now I have "reason", as it were.

But more relevant to the discussion, Science and Theology are NOT the same subject.  To say that "Science has no need of god" is like saying that Biology has no need of a jelly donut.  Or that a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.  Science answers "How?", not "Why" or "Right and Wrong".

You're also arguing this polytheistic god-concept in which gods create gods.  Sorry, I don't believe in polytheism and a god which is created isn't a god, so far as I'm concerned.

If you want to discuss Science, have at it.  It's the one thing I love about this website.  But if you want to mix Science and Theology, what's the point?  It's like mixing Chemistry and baseball trading cards.

The created god doesn't have to be a god, call it "generic world builder.", the same thing applies, it is another layer of complexity. Why add that complexity when It doesn't need to be there. I know you have little control over the fact that you believe that the god is there but think about.

 

I have no interest in science, I know nothing about science.

Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal.


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Tapey wrote:The created god

Tapey wrote:
The created god doesn't have to be a god, call it "generic world builder.", the same thing applies, it is another layer of complexity. Why add that complexity when It doesn't need to be there. I know you have little control over the fact that you believe that the god is there but think about.

I have no interest in science, I know nothing about science.

First, I'm not stupid, and second I've had this discussion often enough to have thought long and hard about it.

But to answer the "generic world builder" comments, a god who has to create some "helper" to create a universe is a pretty pathetic god.  I'll stick with the much simpler "Light, Exist!" version of G-d.  What could be simpler than creating an (almost) infinitely small point of (almost) infinite energy?  If it weren't for my belief in G-d, I'd probably never have dove so far into Science.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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FurryCatHerder wrote:Tapey

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Tapey wrote:
The created god doesn't have to be a god, call it "generic world builder.", the same thing applies, it is another layer of complexity. Why add that complexity when It doesn't need to be there. I know you have little control over the fact that you believe that the god is there but think about.

I have no interest in science, I know nothing about science.

First, I'm not stupid, and second I've had this discussion often enough to have thought long and hard about it.

But to answer the "generic world builder" comments, a god who has to create some "helper" to create a universe is a pretty pathetic god.  I'll stick with the much simpler "Light, Exist!" version of G-d.  What could be simpler than creating an (almost) infinitely small point of (almost) infinite energy?  If it weren't for my belief in G-d, I'd probably never have dove so far into Science.

I am not saying you are stupid.

I never said god had to make the generic world builder. God just decided to on a whim, just like he decided on a whim to make evolution work in such a way that I would be eventually be born and have birthmark on my shoulder instead of having that birthmark 1 cm to the left. I suppose he could have some deep reason for that choice but I don't see it so I can only assume it was a whim. Assuming you believe that god is all powerful and knew exactly how his creation would turn out.

 

Look believe what you want, I have no real interest in trying to convert anyone. If believing in god is something you feel enriches your life I am happy for you. As long as you don't start using that to support denying rights to gays, rampart sexism etc. feel free to add that god on top of the pile. It is not like I have spouting some truth which you must accept, just why I feel no need to add god there. I am not going to argue this point any further as I have said all I have to say on the subject, I would just be repeating myself from here and I have no interest in doing that.

Whatever goes upon two legs is an enemy.
Whatever goes upon four legs, or has wings, is a friend.
No animal shall wear clothes.
No animal shall sleep in a bed.
No animal shall drink alcohol.
No animal shall kill any other animal.
All animals are equal.


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Tapey wrote:FurryCatHerder

Tapey wrote:

FurryCatHerder wrote:

Look believe what you want, I have no real interest in trying to convert anyone. If believing in god is something you feel enriches your life I am happy for you. As long as you don't start using that to support denying rights to gays, rampart sexism etc. feel free to add that god on top of the pile. It is not like I have spouting some truth which you must accept, just why I feel no need to add god there. I am not going to argue this point any further as I have said all I have to say on the subject, I would just be repeating myself from here and I have no interest in doing that.

I'm a lesbian.  I assure you that I'm not going to use my religious beliefs to oppress gays or women.  Or gay women.  Unless they want to bring bacon into my house.  Then I will tell her to take her dead pig somewhere else.

"Obviously I'm convinced of the existence of G-d. I'm equally convinced that Atheists who've led good lives will be in Olam HaBa going "How the heck did I wind up in this place?!?" while Christians who've treated people like dirt will be in some other place asking the exact same question."


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FurryCatHerder wrote: First,

FurryCatHerder wrote:

First, I'm not stupid, and second I've had this discussion often enough to have thought long and hard about it.

But to answer the "generic world builder" comments, a god who has to create some "helper" to create a universe is a pretty pathetic god.  I'll stick with the much simpler "Light, Exist!" version of G-d.  What could be simpler than creating an (almost) infinitely small point of (almost) infinite energy?  If it weren't for my belief in G-d, I'd probably never have dove so far into Science.

 

I like this version.....

 

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

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