Evolution vs. Creation

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Boris, May 30, 1999.

  1. David Guest

    I have been reviewing the arguments pro and con for evolution vs. creation as posted here over the last month. Much of the debating has centered around Bible, Theology, God, Science. I would like to take the discussion into a different direction - "Logic." For example, if someone were to take their TV apart very, very carefully, piece by piece, and then place each piece in a large revolving cauldron, how many years of turning would it take until the TV put itself back together again? 100? 1000? 1,000,000? Maybe a billion? Logic tells us it would be impossible for that TV ever to magically reassemble itself no matter how much cauldron revolving time is factored in, because the missing ingredient of reassembly is not "time" but "intelligence". And bear in mind that all of the original parts of the TV were carefully placed in the cauldron. Evolution would have us believe that an undirected, purposeless force working upon a chemical soup sea, put together not only one version of a television set but hundreds of thousands. And while I'm on the subject of television, let's employ some more logic. Why have no inanimate objects such as TV's, radios, automobiles, airplanes, etc. ever evolved. Our logic tells us that this is completely impossible yet we are willing to accept that living organisms were indeed able to do it. Let's continue with our TV analogy for a minute. Once black and white television was "appeared" back in the late 30's and 40's, how long would it then take for evolution to stumble up the evolutionary ladder on its own to evolve into color TV? You laugh!! You know this is impossible, yet you want to believe that early incipient lower life forms did this over and over again. Living things are different than inanimate objects? If it defies logic in inanimate objects, how much more so in organic, living entities? Shall we add some time? How much? 100 years? 1000 years? A billion years? Once again, time is not the missing factor - intelligence is. If the so-called "Laws" of evolution hold true, how long would evolution take then, to get us from the first Wright Brothers plane to the space shuttle? 100 years? 1000 years? Maybe 10,000 years? Maybe NEVER!!! It's logically impossible. And again I remind you, we are talking about inanimate objects? How about Model T Fords to Corvettes? How long? Typewrites to computers - how long?
    Wood burning stoves to microwaves - how long? Telegraph lines to cell phones - how long? Logic would tell anyone pondering these examples that evolutionary improvement is impossible without the addition of some sort of intelligence.
    Some more logic to ponder. Human beings as well as many other life forms reproduce through bi-sexual (male and female) reproduction. Evolution would teach us that while the sexual reproductive organs of the male were evolving, there was simultaneous evolutionary development going on for the female - not just for one species, but for all species. While evolution was hard at work over millions of years in the process of developing the highly complex and sophisticated matching male and female organs for sexual reproduction, how in the name of logic did anything replicate? Bi-sexual, male-female reproduction for all species must
    work correctly from day one or there is no species.
    Want more? One concluding example of the illogical position of evolution. We human beings have a very integrated and complex digestive system. Let's see if evolution could have put this together. Evolution's first round of trying to establish a digestive system, gave us a man with teeth, salivary glands and an esophagus. So far so good. But every time this poor guy would swallow his food, it just went into a big hole inside his chest cavity. No problem. A hundred thousand of these early working models blew up from decaying food inside their bodies. But then one day, almost by magic, a mutation came along and it had a stomach and a small intestine. At last!! Now our evolving species could get that delicious food a little farther down in the body. But evolution had not evolved hydrochloric acid or digestive enzymes, or a large intestine for that matter so a hundred thousand more of this evolving proto-human species just blew up and died from rotting food. But not to fear. Another mutation came along after - say 500 years - and introduced all of the chemicals needed for digestion and a completely developed large intestine and colon. Wow!! Just in the nick of time. At last our evolutionary species could finally enjoy a delicious meal without dying. Wait a minute!! We forgot the asshole! People continued to blow up all over the place. In fact, it was getting to be a pretty messy world. But not to fear, at last an asshole appeared and digestion was complete. And the first thing this asshole said was: "I got here by evolution."
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  3. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member


    If you *really* reviewed the posts on this board, you would have found the answers to all of your questions -- answers I recited weeks ago!

    But here's a brief retort (see previous postings for details).


    TVs don't reproduce. A key aspect to evolution is reproduction, and mutation in the process thereof. TVs don't mutate.


    Chance was not the only thing driving emergence of life. Chemical laws played a *big* role in determining the early Earth environment, as well as the particular chemicals swimming in its 'soup'. In fact, through physical and chemical laws, you could say that the universe itself is predisposed to generating life.


    The reproductive systems of males and females indeed evolved in parallel. But the changes to each were morphologically small. Only stretched out over millions of years did the organs change *significantly* -- in other words, the change is incremental and gradual. And it happens not by a conscious choice on the part of nature, but by survival of individuals which reproduce more and better, in this case.

    The same is true of human digestive system, and in fact any other organ at all. Our organs have not emerged abruptly (that would indeed indicate creation). On the contrary, our organ systems can be traced toward more and more simple forms from humans, to great apes, to monkeys, to whatever came before. In noting the discontinuity between humanoids and other animals that exists today, keep in mind that long ago they did branch off a common source -- but since then they followed their own evolutionary path. That is why right now there is no direct evolutionary link between, say, monkeys and cows. But nevertheless we do share the same systems with all mammals, and to lesser degree with all vertebrates, and to even lesser degree with all cordates, and so on all the way down to archaea.


    So there you go. But even if you have managed to read this far, I would strongly encourage you to read all the previous posts on this topic (including mine

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    ) -- from the beginning. Then we'll see who is the real asshole.

    I am; therefore I think.
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  5. Plato Registered Senior Member


    I'm sorry to say this but you don't have the slightest idea what you are talking about. First of all chance is but a small part of evolution, in fact most of the life that has evolved on this planet pretty much couldn't have done this any other place. The environment is a major factor in the evolution of species and forces them into adaptation or extinction.

    Why is it so hard to see that complex forms sponteneously (without chance) form out of simpler ones ? Besides what kind of a controll freak does it make of a god who assembles every single one of the existing creatures ? From the smallest bacteria to the largest whale ?

    we are midgets standing on the backs of giants,
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  7. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member

    On7/216/99, Matto posted this on the "Is God benevolent?" thread:

    This is my criticism of Dr. Behe' arguments in support of intelligent design (which are not uncommon in general amidst scientists who hold his position).


    First of all, I would point out that Dr. Behe's purported supporting evidence for intelligent design is a bit half-baked. To support his position, he claims that the modern cells we observe are far too complex, and in fact irreducible, due to the many interconnected and interdependent subsystems consisting of multiple highly-tuned parts. However, he does not seem to realize that the very same arguement applies to larger structures -- for example the human circulatory system, or the human brain. In truth, if one logically follows Dr. Behe's claim to its conclusion, then we are back to the good old claim that no new feature, not previously present, could possibly evolve in any other way than through design.

    Yet, with respect to larger subsystems, Dr. Behe admits that evolution best explains the morphological similarities present between 'related' species. What I do not see Dr. Behe explicitly admit is that the fossil record also gives us snapshots in time, which support the hypothesis that the various large-scale structures found in modern life have changed gradually and incrementally, as life got more and more complex and highly organized at the large scale. However, I hardly think he would dispute me on this point, so let's assume that so far he nods in agreement for the time being.

    This is quite right. We have now observed minor and incremental evolutionary change in many cases that cannot reasonably be explained in any other way than classical Darwinian natural selection. It is also true that we have not observed any truly radical changes in any species.

    However, it is deceiving to stop here. What ought to have been noted by Dr. Behe, is that the minor and incremental evolutionary change we have observed so far in the various species of the planet, has occurred only over the span of a few decades! Given how little time has passed, and how relatively few generations have changed in that time, it is not surprising that no large change has been observed yet. Statistically, it is far more likely that a single survivable mutation occurs in a generation, than a host of such mutations that are so extreme as to dramatically alter the function of a living organism. To observe more drastic change in the wild, like emergence of entirely new species or capabilities, we would have to stick around for at least a few thousand years.

    Additionally, I would caution about extrapolating the events of the past to the present. When life was more primitive, mutations would have been more tolerable. However, as life (including microscopic life) continues to evolve and gain in sophistication, new mutations would become less and less survivable as the complexity and interconnectedness of cellular automata grows. Additionally, the increasing competitiveness of the various lifeforms means that even minor genetic setbacks can result in extinction. Thus, as time goes by I would imagine that the pace of evolutionary change would grow ever slower, and that only a cosmic extinction-level event like the one that killed the dinosaurs would be able to restore some freedom of motion to the system and temporarily accelerate change once more. However, I digress. The upshot of all this is, that we would have to be patient indeed to observe significant natural evolutionary change. But, just the fact that we have had no opportunity to do so up till now, is no reason at all to debunk the theory altogether!

    It is true that even the simplest microorganisms of today are staggeringly complex. However, one should not ignore the fact that they have had at least 3 billion years (according to fossil record) -- and probably more, to evolve to the present degree of complexity. In comparison, the entire vertebrate tree of the animal kingdom evolved in less than 500 million years -- we are talking from sea worms all the way to the modern human! Now, if so much complexity can evolve in just half a billion years, why is it so surprising that microorganisms and other cells are so sophisticated now, after so much more time? Not to mention their far greater rates of reprodution (well, for most of them) -- enabling far more genetic change in the same span of time.

    If one is to avoid the undesirable premise of intelligent design, one must assume that the first life was far simpler both in features and function, than even the most primitive modern organism. It is inevitable that the first living cells were highly wasteful and inefficient, and required vast supplies of readily available food which is easy to break down. They probably did not possess any self-repair abilities, and it's possible that their waste expulsion was achieved by mere diffusion. They probably had only one strand of DNA -- and perhaps not even anything as sophisticated as DNA, and it probably was not efficiently folded. They were not able to fend off pathogens, or to prey on other lifeforms. In fact, some speculate that the very first life was little more than a self-reproducing protein -- a single molecule! To point at the sophistication of the modern life as proof that it was designed, means failure to consider how this complexity can arise out of <u>much</u> simpler forms, given enough time.

    Now, it is absolutely true that currently we have no flowcharts to clearly show how the various cellular proteins and automata evolved from simpler molecular constructs. However, absense of such theory merely betrays the relative infancy of molecular biochemistry and modern genetics. The situation is similar to that of, for example, the discovery of genetic trait inheritance by Mendel -- he knew it worked, he just didn't yet know precisely how (indeed, such knowledge was a few centuries ahead of his time).

    The reason I earlier referred to the postulate of intelligent design as undesirable, is because such a postulate would signify futility of search for these very molecular evolutionary pathways which we are missing today. The fallback on the assumption of intelligent design is reminiscent of the fallback on the almighty power of God to explain everything from disease, to weather, to cosmological phenomena. It is simply an epistemological dead end -- and contrary to Dr. Behe's opinion, I do not believe such an assumption is scientifically satisfactory, simply because it leads to no new empirical predictions to speak of.

    I am; therefore I think.
  8. 2+2 Registered Senior Member

    I read the whole thread, Excellent! And thanks for the time.
  9. MaTTo Registered Senior Member


    Excellent explanations! And thank you!

  10. MaTTo Registered Senior Member


    For the people on this web page, aithiests or believers alike, that are really seeking the solid facts about the universe around them, what references would you give to them? Are there any good scientific books that you would recommend or web sites to visit?

  11. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member

    I've got the bulk of my knowledge out of textbooks in the course of my High School and college studies. I doubt anybody would want to read one of those for pleasure.

    I also subscribe to Scientific American, a monthly magazine, which I find to be an excellent, and even somewhat entertaining, source of news concerning the latest theories and discoveries -- it's sort of a down-to-earth version of the Science magazine (which is even more excellent, but far too technical for a non-scientist). This is just about the only concrete source I can recommend (<u>highly</u> recommend).

    The rest of my knowledge base comes from collecting odd tidbits here and there -- from TV programs, from lectures and talks, from various scientific papers scattered all over the web, and even from places like this one.

    Does anybody else have any recommendations for popular paleobiology/evolution books? This thread is as good as any other to post those...

    I am; therefore I think.

    [This message has been edited by Boris (edited July 23, 1999).]
  12. Xeno Registered Senior Member

    I'm tired of explaining the
    4th dimension and 5th dimension and
    how everyone really thinks in the
    3rd dimension.
    Someone back me up.
    Dumarurer, where are you?
    I'm tired of writing the same things
    over and over again.

  13. Cisco Registered Member

    Did you know that all planets in our universe are on the exact same plane with the exception of Pluto? If one single planet's orbit were to across another planet's orbit, the entire planetary system would collapse due to the collisions. How by chance did all the planets end up on the same plane and rotating in their own orbit without crossing another planet's orbit? Pluto is the only exception. Pluto is at a 14 degree angle from the plane. Why? Because Pluto crosses 2 other orbits. If it had been on the same plane it would be on a collision course. Pluto is the signature of the Creator to prove the impossibility of chance.

    Did you know that the sun is 11000 degrees? Scientist say that if the sun were to be 50 degrees hotter or colder, life on earth would cease to exist? If the earth were on a different orbit, life would not exist? Did you know that if the earth were rotating 10% slower, life would not exist? If the earth's crust were 10% shallower, life would not exist due to the molten lava below the earth's surface?

    What do you really know about animal evolution? Our entire evolutionary theory is based on Darwin's theory. Evolution is many times presented as fact, but it is not widely known that these facts are built on a theory. If the theory is wrong, the facts too must be wrong. There is not one transitional fossil in a phenomenal fossil record of millions of fossils. We have fossils for every known species. The fossil record does not show any evidence for evolution, but rather it shows evidence of extinction. We have plenty of fossils pointing to animals that no longer exist, but we have nothing that links two species together. Even evolutionary scientist are abandoning the transitional theory. Schools teach what evolutionists have abandoned long ago.

    Lets look at Darwin's theory. Darwin based his entire theory on one basic principle. The human cell is as simple as a glob of carbon jelly. He lived and died before the electron microscope was invented. All he could see was a nucleus, cell wall and gel. We now know that a single cell is more complex than a chemical factory. There are literally thousands of parts working together to make a cell function. It is now known that if even one of the parts of a cell was missing, the entire cell will functionally fail and thus collapse and die. This leaves evolution by chance a mathematical impossibility. Darwin could not see these functions. If he did, he would never have proposed such a theory based on simplicity. Evolutional chance is much easier to believe based on the simplicity of a ping pong ball, but chance is impossible when having the complexity of a chemical factory all work together at the exact same moment in time. Inside that cell is DNA. DNA is the code that makes life possible. It is genetic code that tells a cell how to function, how to grow, divide, repair, interact with other cells, and many other functions. Scientist say they only have very limited knowledge about the complexity of DNA. If you take all the DNA from a single cell and stretch out and lay it end to end, one cell has enough DNA to reach 7 feet. If you take all the DNA in your body and stretch it out, it would go to the moon and back 500,000 times. That is one million one-way trips to the moon. If Darwin had known this alone, would he believe in chance?

    Some of the most compelling evidence debunking Darwin's theory is amino acids. The simplest known living organism has over 500 amino acids. When amino acids form, they are less than one-millionth the size of a human hair. When they form, they form with side groups of atoms. Scientist have found that all non-living amino acids form with 50% of side atoms on the right side of the acid and 50% on the left. This is true on all non-living amino acids. Living cells can ONLY contain amino acids on the left side. ALL amino acids found in every single living cell contains only left-sided amino acids. In the most favorable environment of scientific labs, this has never been duplicated. No scientist has ever created the left-handed amino acid that is critical to the formation of life. All amino acids always form with left and right sided atoms. If scientist in perfect conditions can't duplicate one single left-sided amino acid, how could the 500 necessary for life form by chance? The scientific odds of even one left-sided amino acid forming by chance is 10 to the 123rd power. In other words 1 chance in 10 followed by 123 zeros. i.e. 1 in
    1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 Compare this to the ridiculous odds of winning the big prize in a lottery which is 1 chance in a million or two (depending on the lottery). And evolutionists say Christians have blind faith. But those are not the odds of life forming. It gets worse. That is only one of the 500 aminos necessary for the simplest life form. 20 specific aminos are needed for the simplest cell, but 500 in order for life to sustain in itself. The odds get worse. Those 500 different types of amino acids have to 'evolve' within a fraction of a millimeter of each other just to give them the chance of uniting. It gets worse. They also have to 'by chance' evolve at the exact same moment in time in a process that scientist say takes hundreds of millions of years. Elements break down the amino acids, so timing is critical. The chances of all these resources falling into place at the exact same time with the exact needed elements at the exact same place on earth within a few millionths of a millimeter of each other are 1 to the ERROR. Calculation overflow. Sorry, my computer doesn't have enough memory to even write the number.

    (At one time I heard that IBM was in the process of developing a 100 million dollar super computer called Blue Gene. The purpose of this massive project is to try to calculate the mathematically incomprehensible evolutionary model. This effort to prove random chance without intelligence is the very reason that evolutionists have limited contributions to scientific advancement. What could these scientists accomplish if they didn't spin their wheels trying to create a box that keeps God out of the equation?)

    I have also heard many evolutionists (and atheists) who resort to name-calling and belittling of those who do not accept the faulty theory of evolution, claiming that creationists are non-thinkers, unable to reason, don't understand the scientific method, cannot think rationally, etc.

    What types of people founded our current sciences? Let's take a quick look at some creationist and Christian scientists:

    Louis Agassiz - father of glacial science. He is also counted as a credible zoologist, geologist and a pioneer of paleontology. He believed in a divine Creator.
    William Foxwell Albright - a leading archeologist of this century. He began his career as a skeptic but his many archeological finds convinced him of the Bible's accuracy.
    Charles Babbage - credited for creating the computer. He invented the speedometer, the principles for the analytic engine.
    Francis Bacon - founder of the scientific method.
    Roger Bacon - the first to recognize the laws of nature. He lived in the thirteenth century and his writings claimed the earth was a sphere (the scientific world believed it was flat during this time) and he believed in the future man would travel through the air.
    John Bartram - he was the first American botanist.
    Sir Charles Bell - one of the greatest anatomists. He greatly advanced our understanding by mapping the brain and nervous system.
    Robert Boyle - one of the founders of modern chemistry. He discovered how air passes sound; originated Boyle's law which explains how volume of gas is inversely proportional to the pressure. He also transformed alchemy into chemistry and distinguishing mixtures from compounds.
    George Cuvier - founder of paleontology and comparative anatomy. He separated the animal kingdom into 4 categories including vertebrate, mollusk, articulate and radiate.
    There are dozens more, but you get the point.

    Following is a more completed list. If you take time to read you will see that these creation scientists have done more to promote science than evolution will ever accomplish. When the mind is free to explore God's creation there are no boxes to limit thinking:

    Gerald E. Aardsma (physicist and radiocarbon dating)
    Louis Agassiz (helped develop the study of glacial geology and of ichthyology)
    Charles Babbage (helped develop science of computers / developed actuarial tables and the calculating machine)
    Francis Bacon (developed the Scientific Method)
    Robert Boyle (helped develop sciences of chemistry and gas dynamics)
    Wernher von Braun (pioneer of rocketry and space exploration)
    David Brewster (helped develop science of optical mineralogy)
    Melvin Alonzo Cook (physical chemist, Nobel Prize nominee)
    Georges Cuvier (helped develop sciences of comparative anatomy and vertebrate paleontology)
    Humphry Davy (helped develop science of thermokinetics)
    Henri Fabre (helped develop science of insect entomology)
    Michael Faraday (helped develop science of electromagnetics / developed the Field Theory / invented the electric generator)
    Ambrose Fleming (helped develop science of electronics / invented thermionic valve)
    Joseph Henry (invented the electric motor and the galvanometer / discovered self-induction)
    William Herschel (helped develop science of galactic astronomy / discovered double stars / developed the Global Star Catalog)
    D. Russell Humphreys (award-winning physicist)
    James P. Joule (developed reversible thermodynamics)
    Johann Kepler (helped develop science of physical astronomy / developed the Ephemeris Tables)
    Carolus Linnaeus (helped develop sciences of taxonomy and systematic biology / developed the Classification System)
    Joseph Lister (helped develop science of antiseptic surgery)
    Matthew Maury (helped develop science of oceanography/hydrography)
    James Clerk Maxwell (helped develop the science of electrodynamics)
    Gregor Mendel (founded the modern science of genetics)
    Samuel F. B. Morse (invented the telegraph)
    Isaac Newton (helped develop science of dynamics and the discipline of calculus / father of the Law of Gravity / invented the reflecting telescope)
    Blaise Pascal (helped develop science of hydrostatics / invented the barometer)
    Louis Pasteur (helped develop science of bacteriology / discovered the Law of Biogenesis / invented fermentation control / developed vaccinations and immunizations)
    William Ramsay (helped develop the science of isotopic chemistry / discovered inert gases)
    John Ray (helped develop science of biology and natural science)
    Lord Rayleigh (helped develop science of dimensional analysis)
    Bernhard Riemann (helped develop non-Euclidean geometry)
    James Simpson (helped develop the field of gynecology / developed the use of chloroform)
    Nicholas Steno (helped develop the science of stratigraphy)
    George Stokes (helped develop science of fluid mechanics)
    William Thompson (Lord Kelvin) (helped develop sciences of thermodynamics and energetics / invented the Absolute Temperature Scale / developed the Trans-Atlantic Cable)
    Leonardo da Vinci (helped develop science of hydraulics)
    Rudolf Virchow (helped develop science of pathology)
    John Woodward (helped develop the science of paleontology)

    [This message has been edited by Cisco (edited February 27, 2000).]
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member


    I really don't get your point anymore. Are you actually trying to score the race to show that God's ahead? What Would Jesus Think?

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    But seriously ... throw as BIG a number out as you like. The Universe is infinite, and thus has infinite probability. Now, from that I personally conclude that any Plan by any Creator must necessarily be larger than humanity itself, but that's just subjective when compared to creation theory and the apparent positioning of humanity as the apple of various gods' eyes.

    But, the universe being infinitely probable, if it hadn't been us, it would have been the Vogons or perhaps the Praxtibel of Betelgeuse 7 who would have found the optimum life-giving conditions, and they, too, would be wrestling with such questions at some point in their progress.

    Evolution theory and creationism are only mutually exclusive if one decides that they should be. A curious thing about Ultimate Questions ... I have no idea what the state of things was "before" the Big Bang as such; nor can anyone explain the "before" of the relationship between any God and this Universe. Even if science is able to track the advent of the universe to a single impulse ... well, then, have we discovered God? or is it Not God because it doesn't look like what we expected God to look like?

    One of the things that I can guarantee you everyone on your list of creationary scientists understood is simply this: that the universe itself is bigger than we can imagine, and that all of our discoveries will never begin to constitute a full knowledge of it ... and that's just an incalculably small fraction of What God Is.

    Among the difficulties I have with contemporary creationist theory is the notion that somehow humanity is elevated above the rest of the universe. It's so darn huge! There's a whole lot goin' on out there and we're missing it. It's absurd.

    Human diversity itself presents a problem in how we teach Creationist theory as fact.

    I personally think it's a great idea to teach Creationist theory, but my regard for how it should be taught differs from many if not most. I would teach it as a part of junior high school or high school world history; a comparative study of several anthropological creation myths. My high school biology teacher, among the most formally devout men I've ever known, had no problem incorporating evolution into God's plan.

    On the other hand, I would advise that, of that list, you might want to cross off the people who would have been murdered by the Christian church had they not been Christian and creationist. I mean, come on ... it's not like you could be killed for saying God created the world ... oh, that's right, you could be killed for saying God created the world, but only by other people who believed that God created the world, but believed a different thing or two about how God created the world .... It's not as if the list doesn't contain vitally important names, but I'm wondering what's so important about it? The smarter one is, the less they know about God. That's the beauty of the riddle.


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    The whole business with the fossilized dinosaur eggs was a joke the paleontologists haven't seen yet. (Good Omens, Gaiman & Pratchett)
  15. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member

    Elsewhere, a guy who goes by the callsign of Cisco has endeavored, with respect to evolution, "to demonstrate the lack of logic in that theory, thereby refuting the elitist claim of intellectual superiority."

    Well, first of all intellectual superiority does not equal acceptance or rejection of some theory. I would still say that Euclid or Ptolemy were intellectually superior, in the same way that Copernicus, Newton, or Einstein were intellectually superior. Their theories might not have been correct in an absolute sense -- but at least they chose to put their wits to good and proper use. That is "intellectual superiority" -- it's about methodology and fundamental operational principles, not about any intermediate results.

    But regardless, the particular objections to evolution cited by Cisco don't hold up:

    No, the entire purpose of the evolutionary theiory was to explain speciation. And yes, without acknowledging a creator. Evolution doesn't address origins in an absolute sense; it only concerns itself with the story of life once it had a chance to form. More recent attempts to explain the very origins of first life can also be construed as pertinent to evolution in that beneficial features are still chemically selected; however Darwin's original thesis never dared look that far. The Origin of Species was focused on inheritance and change in traits. And actually, wasn't Darwin a Christian? Anyway...

    This is the argument from "irreducible complexity". I believe I've addressed it quite thoroughly already in my criticism of Dr. Behe, above in this thread. Let me summarize: the argument is bogus and doesn't hold up. See above for details.

    True. Also kinda conflicts with the first quote in this post. But:

    Oh, in the case of evolution we aren't talking about <u>all</u> Christians -- only about those who are still in denial.

    I've got one counterexample for you: try me and see what you get. I can't promise to keep from name calling (I'm only human) -- but I do promise that such a weapon will not be the only one in my arsenal. Expect reasoned arguments, and feel free to ridicule me if you don't get what I just promised.

    I just felt it had to be quoted for completeness. No problems here.

    Ok, this is where you begin to misfire. First of all, a trait doesn't alter because of a stimulus (though you may just be using bad language here.) Organisms either die or reproduce; traits change only across generations, not within them. But my real beef is with your point 2. The trait will return to "norm" only if the original conditions (under which the trait was norm) are restored. If you do not restore the original condition, then in fact the trait will never return to "norm"; in fact the new trait will become the norm. And given enough (geological) time -- like at least a few thousand years -- the very capacity to return to the original trait may be completely lost. Then, if you restore the original condition the species may once again adapt, but in a different way. Of course, I'm forced to say "may" because such experiments are not very plausible (nobody's going to write a grant for a study that lasts over multiple millennia.) But I am coming from a genetic viewpoint here, so I'm not just guessing in the dark. Call it an educated guess instead.

    First of all, I've already said plenty of times that the fossil record, while very valuable, is not the only source of verification for evolutionary change. DNA variability analysis shows genetic change over time and correlates very well with other dating techniques. Additionally, a powerful indication toward a common origin of all life consists of the biochemical, skeletal, cellular, organ systems, and other trends. As far as these indicators are concerned, all life currently in existence is a fossil base, and a very convincing one at that.

    Note that not all species change. Spiders are not the only anscient species around that hasn't undergone much change. Sharks, coelocanths, blue-gree algae, horseshoe crabs, and many other lifeforms hadn't changed for millions of years. This is not a weakness of evolution theory. In fact, the theory does not <u>mandate</u> change. If a species in its old form is fit enough, there is no reason for it to become extinct. However, nothing still keeps it from spawning off newer species. For example, take a look at the vast variety of different sharks and spiders out there.

    As for evidence of change, you don't see any dragonflies around with a wingspan of one foot, do you? Be thankful, for they used to exist. Caetacians are clearly transitional creatures representing a mammalian colonization of the aquatic environment. Dogs evolved from wolves, and elephants from mammoths. There is a well-developed fossil tree for horses. And even now we've got fish that crawl out onto the shore and slither in the mud using their fins, in a manner eerily reminiscent of reptile gait, and these fish even go so far as to climb trees! Snakes have vestiges of reptilian limbs. Heck, even we humans have residual hair, useless articulated toes but nevertheless an inborn grasping reflex, water in our eyes and cochleas, a vestige of a tail, > 98% of chimp DNA, and of course that stunning overall similarity to apes, gill slits and tail in our fetal stage (actually, in early development we are indistinguishable even from fish embryos!), and the list goes on... Birds show an awesome morphological similarity to dinosaurs. We can group species according to shared traits -- for example, we've got warm-blooded vs. cold-blooded, marsupials vs. mammals, canines vs. felines, etc. All of these groupings point to common ancestry, and the fossil record as well as morphology and DNA analysis support that hypothesis. I don't specialize in paleontology, but even I can come up with all of the above and lots more if necessary. So you tell me who's intellectually superior here, since I assume you are aware of the preponderance of evidence <u>supporting</u> evolution.

    First, in other posts on this thread I've already pointed out that, and in what ways, gradual change is not a good theory, so debunking it does nothing to disprove evolution. In fact, punctuated equilibrium is much closer to the truth.

    Dysfunctional change is just another description for irreducible complexity, and I had already addressed it in previous posts on this thread. As for the other argument:

    Ok, let's see why:

    The number of variations possible in a strand of DNA is grotesquely greater than the total number of lifeforms that ever lived. Take even fruit fly DNA: 12,000 genes. Assuming an average gene length of 1000 base pairs (generously low), we've got well over 12 million digits of a base-four number. That's 4^(12,000,000) combinations, many more than there are atoms in the universe! Granted, not all of those combinations will be viable, but even if only one in a trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion works, you've got 4^(11,999,800) possible distinct viable organisms. And that's only with a fruit fly's DNA. Now think of human DNA, with 100,000 genes that code for proteins alone.

    Now you are just flat wrong. First of all, clearly not all organisms on Earth have the same amount of genetic material, therefore new material clearly can be added and in fact was added in the course of evolution. You can have reproductive abnormalities where chromosomes are duplicated in whole or in part. You can have retroviruses inserting their DNA into gametes. Plants can cross-pollinate. Bacteria just outright exchange plasmids within and across species. DNA synthesis or recombination can misfire. In fact, it is because cellular mechanics are so complex that so many things can and do go wrong. And in very few cases, the accident is not a catastrophy. For evolution, all you need is a scant few cases.

    This is what happens over the short term. But you are extrapolating here what humanity has observed for a measly couple of millennia to billions of years. Not exactly a sane extrapolation by any scientific measure. But let me point you to a very simple example -- dog breeds. Does it not seem incredible that a German Shepherd and a Chihuahua had a common ancestor? Heck, they probably can't even interbrede any longer. Yet, they had both been artificially "evolved" over a very short timespan. Over the very long timespans, the same thing tends to happen, only not artificially.

    <u>almost always</u> -- you are skimming an important issue here. <u>Sometimes</u>, rarely, mutations actually do not cause diseases or defects. And then they simply proliferate and spread. Human skin, eye, and hair color, blood chemistry, body plan, facial features -- all serve to illustrate this process in action. You may not get very far if you tried to breed only fair-skinned people in an effort to produce dark skin -- but that's because 1) you would have operated only on very few generations, 2) your sample would have been extremely inbred and thus lacking proper genetic variability. In nature, it happened over at least hundreds of thousands of years within large and genetically diverse populations -- to the point that it's not even clear whether the original human precursors had a dark or fair skin under their fur. And although I've confined this example to humans, it is representative of what happens in general across all species.

    That's right, but only if you look at short snippets of the process. However, over longer time eyes evolve from simple patches of photoreceptors, skin develops from simple epithelial layers, bones develop from cartilage, etc.

    First of all, Darwin's theory was a proto-theory, in the same way that Newtonian mechanics preceded GR. The theory of evolution is not a fixed target, it keeps moving as new evidence surfaces. This is normal for all theories, so if you were to make a special scandal of it you ought to be similarly intolerant of, say, the Standard Model of elementary particles. It is a strength of the scientific enterprise that it never makes a religion out of its theories, even if it tries very hard. Eventually, old paradigms crumble, even if only with a great struggle. But notice that theories (especially ones that had agreed with empirical evidence for a long time) progress in an incremental manner, where superceding theories do not completely invalidate, but merely extend the previous ones. So don't look for evolution to be trashed; instead, expect evolved forms of it. Pun intended.

    Secondly, Darwin's main point was heretability of traits. And if he seriously expected his methods to be capable of producing entirely new species, then he was simply wrong (but I doubt even Darwin would have expected that.) Why? As follows:

    Well, actually compared to the next one, this is a pretty weak criticism. Natural selection as postulated by Darwin involved live-or-die dynamics in responce to environmental change. So artificial selection would simulate survival and death as far as reproduction is concerned. But even given that, Darwinian selection is not the only mechanism known today. All that is really needed is geographical separation, so that sub-populations do not have a chance to intermix.

    Cessation of selection is equivalent to removal of natural pressures. Since pigeons are presumably already optimized for the currently normal conditions, re-instituting these conditions will unsurprisingly tend to pull the pigeons back toward the optimized state. In nature, geological change almost never reverts, and long-term climatic trends (such as glacial for example) are far too long-term to allow for such complete relapse. Additionally, I am skeptical of these results -- perhaps the pigeons were allowed to interbreed with other artificial "genera". For example, you don't see this sort of thing with dogs -- if you just keep breeding a bunch of Chihuahuas with no genetic pressures, they will hardly return to something that looks like a wolf or a dingo "within a few generations".

    This is where we hit a problem with inbreeding. Genetic variability is crucial to evolution; by extensive inbreeding the variability is reduced and further change becomes increasingly difficult. Natural populations exhibit much more genetic diversity, and evolve over much longer time scales than in a lab setup (threrefore having ample chance to maintain that diversity), and hence overcome this problem.

    Once again, this is a problem with inbreeding. It has nothing to do with departing from the 'norm', and everything to do with genetic variability.

    You forgot to factor in extinctions. Yes, species do indeed go extinct. Evolution is no magic bullet where survival is concerned.

    Actually, symbiosis has always been one of the darlings of evolution. It shows yet another mechanism through which change can occur even regardless of other natural pressures. And actually, partners of symbiosis do not have to emerge at the same time; it is just as practical for one to emerge first, and then adapt to emergence of another. Symbiosis also produces entire new life forms. For example, the mitochondria in most living organisms are a symbiont.

    Strong rhetoric, but little umph. Evolution is quite logical. In fact, it is logical enough for the majority of the scientific community to accept it and maintain it for centuries. It is, in fact, the most logical, cross-disciplinary, and consistent thing currently available. As for critical analysis -- why don't you critically analyze the very Bible you swallow whole, no questions asked? Or would that be too un-intellectual for you? I live you with a snippet from one of my older posts on the "Contradictions" forum:

    P.S. When I was typing this up, I didn't see your new post to this thread. However, I'll post this up anyway, and address the stuff you just wrote presently.

    I am; therefore I think.

    [This message has been edited by Boris (edited February 27, 2000).]
  16. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member


    You're a handful. You have all these factual examples of why the universe was created. Yet, you don't have any of the theories that explain how these examples arose with no need for a creator! What are you doing, re-posting stuff off of creationist websites? Did you actually do the research yourself? If so, how on earth did you manage to only get the facts, and not the explanations?

    Simplicity itself. The planets formed out of a spinning accretion disk. Therefore, they are all in a plane and orbiting in the same direction. Therefore, they don't tend to intersect their orbits. (This is not advanced science, this is basic Newtonian mechanics! Where have you been for the last 4 centuries???)

    You are kidding, right? Pluto is a classic example of orbital resonance, it is not unique and it is perfectly explainable! And in fact, the many protoplanets that weren't in resonance or possessing nice orbits, crashed into other protoplanets or got expelled out of the solar system. This bears out in basic computer simulations. So... you are going to tell me you didn't know that?

    No, you aren't kidding. You've got problems, man. The Sun's temperature fluctuates by far more than 50 degrees, even on scales shorter than the 11-year solar cycle! And where do you get off assuming that if this were so or that were so, life wouldn't exist? What life we have now, exists everywhere from superheated volcanic vents, to many miles deep in the crust, to polar ice caps! And it is merely adapted to conditions on Earth. Why couldn't life adapt to different conditions? Did you know that the Earth used to rotate much faster than it does now; in fact the Earth is constantly slowing down? Do you realize that the crust indeed was much thinner in the beginning; in fact there was a moment when the entire Earth was a ball of molten rock? How many other planets are there in the universe whose orbital or chemical or stellar components are not favorable to earth-like life? Why is it so surprising that Earth should by sheer chance get the "right" ingredients as far as life-as-we-know-it is concerned?

    No, really? And what about meteorology -- that is also just a theory. After all, what if it is God who controls the weather, and all the forecasting aspirations are simply futile? Or perhaps we should teach our school children that Newtonian mechanics is just a theory, and that after all maybe conservation of energy is not a real truth? WTF? Why do you have such a big hard-on for evolution, and not for any of the other many <u>theories</u>?

    There you go again, quoting some creationist web site or book or journal or something. "We have fossils for every known species."?!! "we have nothing that links two species together."?!! No, seriously, how exactly do you expect me to respond to this? Not any differently than to claims of flying purple people eaters, I should hope! You are wrong, wrong, wrong!! In fact, if you aren't just misinformed, you are lying through your teeth!

    The fossil record is woefully incomplete. And there is plenty of evidence for morphological change across species! Pick up any paleontology book out there, and see for yourself! The facts really are not all that inaccessible, nor all that esoteric. Shit, I better move on to the next point before I begin screaming obscenities...


    Your next point, again, harps on the complexity of life. May I ask if you actually read my retort to Dr. Behe? Hello, knock-knock, the cellular machinery had at least 3 billion years to evolve even before multicellular life emerged!! Why are you so blithering surprised that it's so complex, after so much time and so uncountably many generations? The parts evolve together, so of course removing something will make the thing break! But that doesn't mean that the complex parts didn't evolve from simpler parts, and that the simpler parts at some point didn't need all the other parts to function! What is this "logical impossibility" you keep mentioning? Are you having problems with language, perhaps you really mean to say "lack of imagination"?

    Hello, knock-knock, did you read those parts where I mentioned that no scientist in their right mind is about to claim that the chemical factory emerged spontaneously in all of its complexity out of nothing?! Life did not start with DNA! In fact, life probably started with self-reproducing proteins molecules. Man, it's like you looking at a modern car and concluding that there is no way it could have had simpler versions, when in fact its heritage goes all the way back to the horse carriage!

    It's good that you have a grasp of the complexity of life. Now get a grasp of the immensity of the test tube in which life emerged and blossomed. Take a look at the sheer volume of Earth's biosphere, and then try to figure out that if a trillions of bacteria reproducing every couple of hours can fit inside your bowel, how many bacteria can live and reproduce over the entire volume of Earth's biosphere in a span of 3 billion years! You wanted complexity and huge numbers? You've got it!


    The right-handedness of organic chemistry... A good challenge, but a hollow one. There are already theories that the right-handedness is caused by circular polarization of ionizing radiation from space, which cooked the organic material into amino acids long before they were merged with the forming Earth. In fact, right-handed amino acids are being found in meteorites. There could be other explanations as well. Your impossible chance arguments are based on simply tossing the die without any bias. Well, obviously since organic chemistry exhibits a sheer handedness bias, it then must have been biased somehow! Hence, the odds are not astronomical, they are indeed reduced to unity, due to a bias which has not yet been ascertained with 100% certainty. Duh! So what if the current explanation is not final? What do you expect, The Complete Universal Truth on a golden platter? Heck, if it weren't for twentieth-century biochemistry, you wouldn't even be able to make this argument in the first place! Science discovers, science explains -- that's how it goes. It's an <u>incremental</u> process. So yes, at any particular point in time there will be known phenomena that don't yet have an explanation. Should be of little surprise. Shouldn't it?!? If there's still no 99% certain and accepted explanation 100 years from now, then I'll be worried.

    My goodness man, just look at your own claims above and my responses to them! What do you want me to call you after that? An erudite? A genius? I'm not going to repeat what you wrote, but consider it said!

    And as for the long list of creationist scientists, I can make a list 50 times that long of famous and productive scientists who find creationism degrading, to say the least. Evolution stifles scientific progress?!! Jeepers creepers, that's got to be one of the biggest non-sequiturs you've recited so far!

    And here's an excerpt from my Behe post above: "The reason I earlier referred to the postulate of intelligent design as undesirable, is because such a postulate would signify futility of search for these very molecular evolutionary pathways which we are missing today. The fallback on the assumption of intelligent design is reminiscent of the fallback on the almighty power of God to explain everything from disease, to weather, to cosmological phenomena. It is simply an epistemological dead end -- and contrary to Dr. Behe's opinion, I do not believe such an assumption is scientifically satisfactory, simply because it leads to no new empirical predictions to speak of." So, I'd argue just about the opposite: it's creationism that's stifling scientific progress!

    Man, I need a drink. You've depressed the willies out of me.

    I am; therefore I think.

    [This message has been edited by Boris (edited February 27, 2000).]
  17. Cisco Registered Member


    You don't know what my point is "anymore"? Have you actually gotten any of my points so far??? I thought you were busy dealing with a herd of rhinoceroses?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    I don't know exactly what your point is but I'm participating in a debate entitled "Evolution vs Creation". How about you?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    My main points in this debate are:

    1. Darwin's theory of evolution, which many accept as fact, is not a fact but a theory - an incomplete and faulty one at that. (BTW - In case you have not seen it yet, I differentiated micro-evolution as a fact from macro-evolution as a theory in the Nth Round thread.) If you read my differentiation, you know that I do not dismiss evolution in its entirety. I dismiss it as the cause of origin - for very valid reasons. I reason creation as the cause of our origin.

    2. Those who subscribe to (what I consider to be) Darwin's faulty theory (and I have stated some of those faults) are committing an injustice - not when they disagree but - when they belittle creationists and claim to be intellectually superior to those who don't subscribe. There are many valid reasons why a person would reason to conclude creation as the origin instead of evolution. (By saying this, I am by no means saying that evolutionists are intellectually inferior.)

    You wrote:

    "One of the things that I can guarantee you everyone on your list of creationary scientists understood is simply this: that the universe itself is bigger than we can imagine, and that all of our discoveries will never begin to constitute a full knowledge of it ... and that's just an incalculably small fraction of What God Is."

    With this, I must agree. May I ask - Do you believe in God?

    You brought up the subject of teaching creationism. Now, due to the needed separation of church and state, I don't necessarily believe that creation should be taught as fact - but, then again, neither should evolution. As a matter of fact, evolution is currently being taught by some who know that certain information is erroneous. I find that to be a great modern injustice.

    The importance of the list was to point out that creationists are not intellectually inferior to evolutionists/atheists as many claim.

    As for who might have been crossed off the list throughtout history:

    The inquisition and the crusades are often used as proof that the Bible teaches men brutality. There are two important notes that are left out of these claims, though. First, during the inquisition period (crusades fall within this period), the Bible was purposefully kept out of the hands of the common people. It was punishable by death if you were caught with the Bible. The only Bible accepted during this period was the Latin Bible, which was not understood by the people of this era. There was a concentrated effort to keep the average person from having personal knowledge about the Bible. The Bible wasn’t used as God’s word, but as a tool for manipulation and maintaining power for a handful of religious leaders. The trials of the inquisitions and the punishments did not come from scriptures.

    The second note I feel which is often omitted is that there is a much greater example of atrocities than that which is found in the inquisition. In this century, it is the atheistic governments of the world that have been found to commit far greater violations against humanity. The Soviet block countries were founded upon atheism. Stalin killed millions of people each year during his reign of terror, as did those who followed him. The most oppressed society in history was built upon atheism. The claims of the communist officials was that if God was banished from society that utopia would result. (Reminds me of Boris). The claims Stalin and his followers made are still being proclaimed by atheist today. They claim that God and religion is the root of all evil and if God is removed, society will benefit. Did society benefit? Half of Europe prospered; half of Europe spiraled into unprecedented widespread poverty. Atheism was the impoverished half. So where is the utopia? It does not and cannot exist on this earth and a society void of God suffers beyond all others. If you don’t think that is a true statement, look at all the communist countries. Is there one that has not suffered? Compare communist failures to America where Christianity and freedom of religion has thrived for the most part and so has prosperity.

    The Freedom "From" Religion Foundation wrote an article about why women should be freed from religion. They made the claim that the western culture oppresses women and that the Christian religion has done more to harm women’s rights than anything else in history. Is that true? Maybe the Freedom "from" Religion foundation should study the women of modern-day China. They are barely considered human. China has a worldwide reputation for forced girl and women trafficking for the purpose of prostitution. Human rights groups continually protest the Chinese government for turning a blind eye and refusing to enforce even the most straightforward laws prohibiting these practices that are on the books today. Consider this comment taken from the official Human Rights Report of the U.S. State Department, "Women in China who survive termination as fetuses, starvation, and neglect as an infant face very real prospects of abduction, enslavement, coercive abortion, coercive sterilization and coercive unemployment." The absence of Christian values does not seem to have helped these women.

    Many African cultures perform genital mutilation on women to prevent them from gaining pleasure from their marital relationships. Look at the Middle Eastern cultures. Do these women have the status that western women do? Asian cultures consider the woman to be property and require them to follow a few paces behind men. Compare this to Christian culture that offers a seat to a woman in a crowded room, opening doors for women and promoting chivalry. The women’s rights movements in the West have squelched much of these ideas that hold women as special, but its largely Christian culture does not promote this abandonment of cherishing women.

    The claims of atheist do not hold up under examination. Many atheist sites like to quote Mikhail Bakunin who said, "I revise the statement of Voltaire. If there was a God, it would be necessary that we abolish Him." This is the heart of atheism. It is not a disbelief in God, but a revolt against God and anything that represents God. George H. Smith who gave a speech entitled ‘Why I am not a Christian’ (which was renamed from ‘Atheism: a case against God’) says that the significance of freethought is that no one can make you believe anything you do not wish to believe. The significance of the ‘free’ in ‘freethought’ is that you are morally free. These two heavily quoted atheists give us insight into atheism. I believe the desire is to choose your own morality. God gives us moral direction that opposes the atheists desire to do what he or she wants without any constraints. Abolishing God is necessary because if God exists then we know that we will one day be accountable to Him. When someone is in the wrong, they despise anyone that reminds them that they are in the wrong. Christians are a constant reminder of God and this is why they are opposed by atheists in the modern world.

    Atheists ‘disprove’ God by setting up rules that He must fit within. If God does not fit within their conceived rules, that is proof that God does not exist. For example, D’Holbach said that in order for God to be a reality we must be able to comprehend His divine nature and that if God is incomprehensible, it is rational to think that He doesn’t exist at all. This is an irrational argument. The same could be argued about the universe. Scientist now tell us that they believe that we have not even scratched the surface of the universe around us and we may never know how many stars are out there. Under D’Holbach’s argument, if we can’t comprehend the universe, maybe it doesn’t exist at all. That is no argument at all. Just because I am not able to comprehend the magnitude of something does not discredit anything except my limited ability to comprehend. D’Holbach obviously did not realize that he was not infinite in his understanding. That is the arrogance of his atheism.

    Another hero of atheism is Bertrand Russell. In the book also entitled ‘Why I am not a Christian’, he ‘disproves’ God by attacking the idea of intelligent design by revealing our misguided thinking. He illustrates this misguided thinking with this analogy:

    A great many things that have been regarded as laws of nature are of that kind. On the other hand, where you can get down to any knowledge of what atoms actually do, you will find they are much less subject to law than people thought, and that the laws at which you arrive are statistical averages of just the sort that would emerge from chance. There is as we all know, a law that if you throw dice you will get double sixes only about once in thirty-six times, and we do not regard that as evidence that the fall of the dice is regulated by design; on the contrary, if the double sixes came every time we should think that there was design. The laws of nature are of that sort as regards a great many of them. They are statistical averages such as would emerge from the laws of chance; and that makes this whole business of natural law much less impressive than it formerly was.

    That might be true if the laws of physics were as simplistic as his analogy of throwing double sixes. There is no comparison of the formation of an atom to throwing double sixes. Bertrand believes that the laws of chance eliminate the need for intelligent design. Do you? Before you answer, consider the scientific data concerning amino acids presented above and compare it to his double sixes analogy.

    As for your statement:

    "The smarter one is, the less they know about God."

    That just seems to support the elitist intellectual superiority misperception being propagated by evolutionists/atheists. Personally, I don't find any beauty in that. In my opinion, to the contrary, it supports modern ugliness and injustice.

    [This message has been edited by Cisco (edited February 27, 2000).]
  18. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member


    When it comes to atheists, I would prefer to speak for myself. Stop putting words into my mouth, even if I'm not the one you are replying to.

    P.S. Does it fit into your framework that I hadn't read a <u>single one</u> of the "famous atheists" you have mentioned so far? While I can't claim all of my views to be original, I can't cite any specific sources either. My views are a result of many years of consideration. I speak on my own authority, not Bertrand Russel's et. al.

    I am; therefore I think.

    [This message has been edited by Boris (edited February 27, 2000).]
  19. Xeno Registered Senior Member

    I didn't have time to read any posts
    so I have no clue what's going on here.

    If I am right, evolution means to
    adapt, to change, to grow, and to learn.
    In body and mind, both change in order
    to adapt to their current situation
    so that they can continue to survive.

    In retrospect, you evolve right from
    the start of birth. From a smally
    baby, you eventually (slowly)
    grow and change. Even after puberty,
    your body still continues to change
    right up to the point of death.
    You mind is in constant evolution.
    It continues to develope, and grow,
    and change as you learn new things,
    ideas, and concepts.

    If there was no evolution, life could
    not exist. If we could not evolve,
    we could not learn thus there would be
    no point in life, or even in existence
    at all.
  20. Cisco Registered Member

    Not much time today but here goes:

    "When it comes to atheists, I would prefer to speak for myself. Stop putting words into my mouth, even if I'm not the one you are replying to."

    Boris - Sorry old man. I don't know and can't find where I ever put words into your mouth. (I did say that something reminded me of you because it did. You might want to ask yourself, why?) As far as your desire to stand apart from your comrades in atheism - fine - but you might want to be careful then, not to put yourself out as a mouthpiece for the cause by using terms such as "we".

    Your request has certainly peaked my curiosity - Does this mean that you disagree with certain statements made by Russel et.al.? If so, I'd like to hear how your atheistic doctrine differs.

    I see that you spent some time responding to my posts. Wish I had as much time to spare (BTW - none of my posts here were directed at you personally. I did read most of your previous responses in the thread but please understand that your theories are still just that, theories. So, when I present a fact about something that you might have touched on previously, try not to take it personally).

    Theories versus facts, theories versus facts. Now, that reminds me of a quote which I came across again, just yesterday:

    "The great tragedy of science is the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by a fact." -- Thomas Huxley

    Briefly, with regard to many of your responses which were based on the theory that unobservable events ocurred over long periods of time - thereby filling in the gaps of evolution. What would happen to your theory if you were to learn that current methods of "dating" the universe is not as accurate as you thought?

    For example, I watched a secular science program on volcanoes. A seasoned geologist was talking about the excitement of Mt Saint Helens eruption in 1980. This scientist
    said that she is accustomed to viewing the sediment of the earth and thinking in billions of years, but Mt Saint Helens was thought to be unique. This eruption accomplished in "one day" what previously was thought to take "billions of years" to

    Well, maybe this volcano is not entirely unique? Perhaps Mt Saint Helens gives us a major clue that maybe some data is not calculated accurately in the aging of the earth formula. Without any eye-witness accounts we can't possibly say that we know how everything formed. Based on what was "observed" at Mt Saint Helens, it must be classified as unique in order to hold onto current dating theories, don't you agree?

    [This message has been edited by Cisco (edited February 28, 2000).]
  21. Cisco Registered Member


    "And actually, wasn't Darwin a Christian?"

    No, Boris. Darwin was not a Christian, that is, not until shortly before his death. Here is an account of a visit during what was considered his death-bed days:

    "He seemed greatly distressed, his fingers twitched nervously, and a look of agony came over his face as he said: 'I was a young man with unformed ideas. I threw out queries, suggestions, wondering all the time over everything, and to my astonishment, the ideas took like wildfire. People made a religion of them.'

    Then he paused, and after a few more sentences on 'the holiness of God' and the 'grandeur of this book,' looking at the Bible which he was holding tenderly all the time, he suddenly said: 'I have a summer house in the garden which holds about thirty people. It is over there,' pointing through the open window. 'I want you very much to speak there. I know you read the Bible in the villages. To-morrow afternoon I should like the servants on the place, some tenants and a few of the neighbours; to gather there. Will you speak to them?'

    'What shall I speak about?' I asked.

    'Christ Jesus!' he replied in a clear, emphatic voice, adding in a lower tone, 'and his salvation. Is not that the best theme? And then I want you to sing some hymns with them. You lead on your small instrument, do you not?' The wonderful look of brightness and animation on his face as he said this I shall never forget, for he added: 'If you take the meeting at three o'clock this window will be open, and you will know that I am joining in with the singing.' "
  22. Sprout Registered Member

    You wonder what would happen if you discovered a dating method was not as accurate as you thought? I ask you the same question, what if the bible is not as acurate as you thought?
  23. Boris Senior Member Registered Senior Member


    Whenever you say things like "Atheists ‘disprove’ God by setting up rules that He must fit within", or "Another hero of atheism is Bertrand Russell", or "This is the heart of atheism. It is not a disbelief in God, but a revolt against God and anything that represents God", or "These two heavily quoted atheists give us insight into atheism. I believe the desire is to choose your own morality", or " -- you are putting words in my mouth. So quit with it already, will you? Practically none of the above applies to me, yet I'm an atheist. Surprise, surprise.

    I personally stopped long ago saying things about Christians, or about Communists, or about the Chinese. This is bigoted rhetoric, even if you don't intend it to be. You can't divine people's motivations, aspirations, or reasoning based on a generic classification and a selection of known individuals fitting that classification.

    Well, for one (with respect to your Russell quote) I despise attempts to bill statistics and chance as the foundation of reality. I am a determinist and a computationalist. I believe that an ultimate reduction exists to the smallest unit obeying fundamental <u>laws</u> -- and that statistical averages arise only out of aggregate behavior of many such units. (similar to how air pressure waves form out of aggregate behavior of individual air molecules, each of which obeys some very well-defined laws.) In order for statistics to have a good definition, they must be statistics of some underlying object or signal. They just can't be construed as self-sufficient and fundamental -- not in my book! I'm all against the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics, and I'm all for such endeavors as the M-theory.

    Actually, it is my firm and educated position that <u>absolutely all knowledge consists of theories</u>. No exceptions. If you want to discuss that, I invite you to start a separate thread, since there will be much to say and none of it concerned with evolution or creationism.

    In view of that position, it bothers me not in the least that evolution is "just a theory". Everything is just a theory. Some are just more complete, reliable, and form better approximations to reality.

    I would be very surprised indeed. Because there are <u>many</u>, <u>diverse</u>, <u>cross-disciplinary</u> methods of dating the universe, Earth, and its geological strata, all of which, based on <u>varied evidence</u>, converge on the same results. There is no one, single "aging of the Earth formula" -- there is an entire zoo of them, and all of them produce the same outcomes. I assure you, as far as dating is concerned the ground on which I stand is firmer than Terra Firma itself. (if you want to find out for yourself, search the web for "geological dating". I didn't try very hard, but <A HREF="http://talkorigins.org/faqs/dating.html">here's the first reasonable web site I found</A>. Interesting coincidence, since talkorigins.org also happens to be an excellent site for discussion of evolution vs. creationism, with some very lucid expositions of creationist myths and mistakes. I love that site!)

    P.S. With respect to Mt. St. Helens, I believe the scientist meant to say that an entire mountain was destroyed in seconds, whereas erosion would have taken millions of years. This has nothing to do with dating techniques.

    P.P.S. What's the source of the Darwin quote you made in your latest post?

    I am; therefore I think.

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