Religion vs. Thought

Discussion in 'Religion Archives' started by Bambi, Sep 29, 2001.

  1. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    Since I can never put anything serious across to you guys, I just thought I would point out that GOD is a BACKWARDS DOG.
     
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  3. FyreStar Faithless since 1980 Registered Senior Member

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    Greetings -

    First off, let me say this; Bambi, I enjoy your writing immensely.

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    ***BevKay said:
    Has anyone read or even heard of this book written by Michael Behe, a secular scientist, who in studying the most recent biochemical research, has refuted the possibility of evolution as a mechanism for life?

    To prevent the unwary reader from actually believing this garbage, read this. Or
    here. Or here.

    They are worth a look, any or all.

    Thanks,
    FyreStar
     
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Anyone ever notice ...?

    Did anyone ever notice how anti-evolutionists, for all of the lack of scientific evidence they talk about, always use ridiculous examples for things? I would greatly appreciate if BevKay could please produce the reference to where a scientist claimed that mousetraps should have evolved.

    For the time being, though, I shall conclude that, having no real method of winning their creationist argument, such creationists then invent evolutionary windmills to tilt.

    If you're going to demonstrate a fault of evolutionary theory, pick an example that isn't, uh ... well ... ridiculous.

    According to evolutionary belief? Establish that.

    thanx,
    Tiassa

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  7. Bev123! Registered Member

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    Re: Tiassa

    Dear Tiassa,

    As a writer you must have some understanding of the use of metaphor (definition: A figure of speech in which an expression is used to refer to something that it does not literally denote in order to suggest a similarity) in communicatiang an idea that would otherwise take more time to communicate than I have to spare. Your "evolutionary windmills to tilt", though not nearly as descriptive or logical as Behe's mousetrap metaphor, should help you understand the intent.

    Actually, if you will be open enough to look at this book, which approaches a very technical subject in a way that most laymen can understand, you will see that he uses this "ridiculous" example to help us understand the intricacies of body systems and the importance of each component being in place at one time.

    I do sympathize with your confusion. The concept of irreducible complexity is new, and can be difficult to grasp for people who have always assumed without demonstration that small, continuous changes could produce virtually any biological structure. Perhaps in the future that assumption will not have such a strong hold on the minds of those who have wholeheartedly accepted evolutionary biology without question.


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  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Something you fail to realize, BevKay

    Something you fail to realize is that the metaphor needs to be relevant. The problem with the mousetrap is that it is not living, and that sort of removes the metaphor's efficacy.

    Now, if the mousetrap, after trapping the mouse, ate, digested, and discharged it, we could wonder why nature didn't get around to evolving this organism.

    It's like when creationists talk about a the rise of a new organism; they expect that a monkey will turn into a horse--or some such, as I admit I'm too lazy to go grab one of the plethora of examples in the myriad evolution topics in these forums. Typically, the creationists are looking at too broad a change. If I'm not mistaken, the oldest known ancestor of humanity, according to scientists, was smaller than humans today: http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2001/7/11/222403.shtml (And if one really wants to argue rebuilding theories, there's a good place to start in here ... I'll wait for the new topic if anyone's so inclined.)

    Another link to help illustrate: http://www.news24.co.za/News24/Technology/Science_Nature/0,1113,2-13-46_1051324,00.html
    See, this is what they're looking for: structural changes. In the ideal, we could trace the lineage from your body back through time (not through family, necessarily) and document what genes changed at what time in the lineage. Perhaps a million years ago, your line experienced an increase in physical brain capacity, or a change in the nature of your teeth. Brain size means a change in intelligence and therefore capability; a change in teeth indicates a change in diet, which can have any number of effects over the long term. Alas, the fossil record isn't that complete, so we're left marking such change. As our familiarity with genes improves, so too will our knowledge of the genetic development of the human species. But from monocellular to multicellular, and there the thing takes on a specific shape, and develops according to its needs, &c. Creationists usually like to scream "adaptation, adaptation!" Well enough, but that's all evolution is. The thing is that it may be so simple that this is how our lineage was always shaped, and when our needs drew us from the water, perhaps the only change initially was the addition of fur or hair. Generations later, a mutation occurs that reconfigures the feet, and allows bipedal travel, and that part of the species is what survives--in effect, becomes the species. Perhaps the difference between the feet of two separate organisms or between the teeth of two different organisms seems like a small adaptation. But Life has had plenty of time to make changes and hammer out its theories; it's just like the scientific process: Life does not, upon adapting a species to be unsuitable for its environment, continually aid the hampered species with random gifts. An A. afarensis did not give birth to an H. sapien sapiens. But it's like the notch in the skull: who would have known that by creating a dangerously soft spot at a critical location in the skull would have been so instrumental to humanity? (You can, indeed, look up, right?)

    So if the "mousetrap" didn't look right millions of years ago, perhaps the "mice" were different, too. Perhaps the "mousetrap" originally ate something else that died off because it wasn't equipped for its environment and could not overcome its predatory foe.

    Remember, anyone attempting to show intelligent design must necessarily demonstrate the designer. (How can there be something deliberately arranged if there's no one to arrange it?) In essence, Creationism seeks to prove the existence of God, which as I have been taught, advised, and have puzzled over throughout my life, cannot be done. All Creationism can do is pick out the gaps in the data set and complain about them instead of fill them. This is why the examples Creationists use are so bogus: a mousetrap? (Incidentally, we call a living mousetrap a cat--Felis cattus to be exact.)

    So that "mousetrap" didn't always eat mice ... I have a feline-American friend who eats all manner of things: spiders, moths, birds, lizards (there are none around, but I had a cat once that killed lizards and snakes) and, yes, mice ... if the moustrap didn't have all its components somewhere along the evolutionary path, then sure, it's not a mousetrap. But that doesn't mean it's not a spider trap. So maybe a million generations ago, the descendants of my feline-American counterpart may not have been exclusive mouse-hunters; it may well have been just about anything ... of course, I can't even speculate to the age of the F. cattus species or the period of its digression from the larger cats. But we know they've been mousetraps for thousands of years. My own mousetrap is fully Americanized, though: she knows to hunt mice, but she plays with them like squeak-toys these days--her palate is refined and her manner spoiled. In fact, she finds paper around the house to wipe her bloody paws on after she's done playing, and tries really really hard to not track blood on the carpets. (Incidentally, she would like nothing more than instant evolution; she would love to have opposing thumbs. As it is, she has to hide and wait for the secondhand pot smoke to find her. Well, not true, she normally sits up and asks for it, but if she could pinch a nug and operate a lighter ... well, then I'd have to hide my stash. But that's all beside the point.

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    ) At any rate, I'm both stalling out and digressing, so I'll let it go for now ....

    thanx much,
    Tiassa

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  9. tony1 Jesus is Lord Registered Senior Member

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    *Originally posted by Bambi
    What I call myself, or what you call yourself, is irrelevant.
    *

    Not entirely.
    Now matter what anyone else says, the person you call "I" is the person who has to reach a conclusion.
    It is either you directly, or indirectly ( by accepting someone else's conclusion).

    *There is a reason why people spend years getting their science degrees -- the reason being that they have to learn a great deal.*

    What they need to learn is data.
    Who they are is usually kids.
    What school teaches one to reach accurate conclusions?

    *humans have only had some 5,000 generations. Bacteria can have this many generations in under a year.*

    You're highlighting one of the problems with the theory of evolution.
    Bacteria are still bacteria.
    Not only that, they're still the same bacteria.

    * all the while new non-harmful mutations get quickly diluted out of existence against the plentiful background population. *

    Those harmful mutations are still here.
    Sickle-cell anemia (your example) is here, along with the tendency for MS, etc.

    *Perhaps the most striking trait that did manage to nevertheless differentiate across the globe, is skin color.*

    So, what color was the first man?

    *This is understandable due to the pressure imposed by the sun, which over time selected for individuals with dark skin -- the more so at lower latitudes.*

    How does that explain different skin colors at similar latitudes?

    * A final (though quite more controversial than the other two) possibility could be that the much more successful and plentiful modern humans interbred with their cousin species and eventually absorbed their genetic diversity into the heritage of Homo Sapiens, ultimately leaving little if any trace of their former existence through repeated dilution (of course, such an assumption violates the very definition of "species" and is therefore suspect even on that account alone.)*

    This is an example of a posteriori reasoning typical among evolutionists.
    What is this "little if any trace of their former existence" stuff?
    If H. Sapiens did interbreed with H Somethingus Elsus, then there should be three sets of fossils H.S., H. S. E. and the offspring.
    That hardly qualifies as "little or no trace."

    *Also keep in mind that the transition from "proto-human" to completely modern human did not occur in a single step.*

    No kidding.
    So where are these huge numbers of fossils that would be of the intermediate steps rather than of either end of the procession?

    *There were quite a few intermediate steps, and for several of them (as is clear from fossil evidence) there were periods when distinct hominid species coexisted and competed.*

    Either that, or somebody mixed up skulls and skeletons.

    *This is actually false.*

    Actually, it is true.

    *our immediate ancestors started in a very small, highly-inbred group*

    That's what the Bible says, too.

    * If it weren't for our intellect, we would as a species still be quite resilient against reasonable changes in environment.*

    Yeah, if it weren't for our brains, we could easily adapt.
    ?

    *On the other hand despite genetic diversity species should not, according to current understanding, evolve any further if their environment remains static*

    How lucky for evolutionists!
    The proof for evolution is that it predicts no change under static conditions!

    *Of course, few environments remain altogether static over geological time as ice ages come and go, large meteoroids and comets impact, old mountain ranges erode and new ones arise, rivers appear, disappear, and change course, marshes turn into hills and vice versa, continents turn into sea floor and sea floor turns into continental shelf, continents drift, Earth's axis of rotation precesses, etc... *

    So, the proof of evolution is that the fossil record shows extinct species as a result of this?

    *So you do not see them today, just like you don't see Mammoths or giant sloths.*

    Of course, mammoth carcasses are almost like sand; there are a lot of them around.

    *Their fossils, however, have been found and continue to be found -- so we indeed know that they did exist.*

    If they were to be found in the huge quantities that mammoth carcasses are found in, I'd probably believe you.
    In the meantime, we have some very thinly stretched hypotheses to contend with.

    *If your hypothetical silicon life were to compete with carbon-based life, it would probably be eaten for breakfast, literally.*

    You do have a point there.
    I suspect that you do eat a lot of silicon-based "food."
    Bread, hard candy, etc.
    Silicon compounds are used as fillers in a lot of things.

    On the other hand, silicon-based compounds do not provide a lot of nutrition, so it is not really very likely we would seek them out for sustenance.

    *Dead wrong. When you see ancient cave paintings, you know that they were made by humans. Similarly, life leaves an unmistakable fingerprint on ancient geology. *

    Of course, I said "distant."
    To you, cave paintings apparently seem unimaginably old.
    I think of them as graffiti.

    *The actual Nature article (unreadable for a non-expert...*

    Oh no!!!!
    I guess I should avoid it, then?

    *First, I don't know what kind of argument you would give for the putative "1%" of vestigial parts, but consider: you wouldn't expect a solar-electric car to have a vestigial exhaust pipe, would you?*

    That would be like people having a second, "vestigial" rectum.
    I would expect to see pieces of chrome, etc.

    *Of course, under the assumption that life is created, it would be appropriate to question the <u>intelligence</u> of the "creator":
    1) after <b>4 billion years</b> (40,000,000 human lifetimes!), what we observe is the best that it could manage? (!)
    *

    If the best you can manage is a belief in evolution, I may have to cede that point.

    *2) the "creator" is one patient dude -- or else he is very, very slow (and that's not to be taken in a good way)*

    Your timing may be off.

    *3) at the same time, it sure can't get its priorities straight -- since pretty much all life starts out relatively simple and then gets increasingly complex, in parallel, with time*

    At least, that's how it was found.

    *4) it doesn't know what it's doing: throughout the process entire sets of highly "designed" models get discarded, making no contribution whatsoever to the modern lineup -- tons of meaningless wasted "effort", any way you look at it*

    It's a disposable world.
    And, it was not much in the way of effort, as reported.

    *That and, of course, cars do not reproduce (big difference there). Interesting that you would argue intelligent design based on mechanics, but not based on method of assembly. After all, last time I checked cars didn't assemble themselves either -- yet life does. What are we to make of that little factoid?*

    Where cars are concerned, it is a little factoid.
    I did mention the method of assembly, as a possibility for different forms of life.

    *For if life can self-assemble, then why can't the precursors to life self-assemble into the first "living" biochemical complex?*

    You mentioned that life does reproduce.
    Self-assembly requires design, at least of the assemblable pieces.

    *Heck, just consider the infinite variety plus the beautiful symmetry of snowflakes -- and that's merely water chemistry, a far cry from the powers of carbon. Why don't I hear you proposing that each snowflake is a piece of limited edition art from an intelligent creator?*

    Funny you should mention that.
    I do propose that.

    *Or is that because the mechanistic nature of snowflake formation is merely more apparent than the mechanistic nature of the genesis of life?*

    Who designed water in such a way?

    *However, now we know that life is alive not because of some vital essense, but because of biochemistry.*

    Your understanding is failing you.
    The biochemistry may keep life going, but one has to have life first, in order to have a biochemistry.
    Otherwise, you're guilty of more a posteriori thinking.

    *Life evolves, as is obvious to anyone with even a basic understanding of the underlying inheritance mechanisms -- obvious even before all of the genetic, fossil, and geological evidence is taken into account, and a dead certainty after.*

    Looks like you got totally sucked in by everything they told you at school.
    If life evolves, then why does everything end up in the crapper, sooner or later?

    *But what was the primary reason for claiming intelligent design, again?*

    The complexity.
    You are asking me to believe that the life went from nothing to the simple, to the complex all by itself.

    Everything else in the universe goes the other way.
    Things decay, fall apart, deteriorate and tend to increasing entropy.
    But, the theory of evolution is here to save the day!

    *Don't tell me it's scientific, because it isn't.*

    Don't tell me the stuff you're giving me is scientific, because it isn't.
    You're as much as telling me you are a different species from your own grandmother.

    *And don't tell me it's rooted in critical thinking -- because critical thinking and religion are not synonymous, to put it mildly.*

    You have not spent one iota of time in thinking critically about evolution.
    A few years ago, it would have been me writing the stuff you just wrote.

    The problem with the theory of evolution is that it sounds plausible.
    It just isn't real.

    *Pathetic.*

    The link was pathetic.
    Evolution is presumably proven to be true by the absence of change.
    Again.

    *And what do you propose the fossil record should look like, if it were to show that new species emerge as well?*

    Beats me.
    The current fossil record shows the extinction of species due to various reasons.
    Primary among them is a major catastrophe, e.g. a flood.

    Without major catastrophes, it is highly unlikely that there would be a fossil record at all, given that scavengers eat anything that dies.

    *Non sequitur. Unless you plan to justify it.*

    Buy a copy of the game of life, and let it run.

    *First, the replacements are not "extremely slow".*

    You're saying they are fast?
    Earlier, in your post you were saying that it takes a long time, 4 billion years comes to mind.

    * if these species managed to survive one mass extinction, *

    You seem unclear on the concept of "extinction."

    *mass extinctions are always followed by a subsequent explosion of new species.*

    You wouldn't happen to be making this up, would you?
    When has this ever been observed?

    *the present incarnation of the microorganism*

    The "present incarnation?"
    Are you a Hindu?

    *(the organism starts out at a peak of fitness within this "new" environment.*

    How would you know?
    Are you saying that you can tell if an organism is optimally adapted to a previously unoccupied niche by merely looking at it?

    *Nor does it occur every generation. It may not even have a predisposition to occur (of course, whether there is a bias for it or not depends on a detailed understanding of both the genome and the proteome, which we currently do not have.) It would indeed be extremely surprising if such brain "growth" occurred by a fixed certain amount with each generation. *

    It would certainly surprise me.
    However, it has to have grown to its present size, somehow.
    If it doesn't increase by a fixed amount in each generation (not very likely), then it has increase by much larger amounts every time it skips a generation.

    Given the fact that it hasn't changed much in known history, it had to have made one gigantic leap at one point.

    *The large brain did not evolve overnight. *

    Yes.
    It took a day.

    *Evolution does not have goals.*

    That is the stupidest part of the theory.
    Even to a casual observer, it would seem obvious that every living creature has goals.
    You're proposing that the process by which they came to be that way is completely opposite to that.

    *Which is why it was selected for, and why it survives to this day. *

    Your theory just fell apart.
    "Why" means there is a goal.
    In other words, if the theory of evolution were true, there wouldn't be a "why" in our vocabulary.
    If it were true, then nothing would have been selected for, because "selected for" means "selected for something."
    That "something" is a goal.

    *Originally posted by BevKay
    all components have to be in place at one time.
    *

    That's the problem with evolution.
    It all has to work perfectly the first time.

    All those birds that supposedly evolved from reptiles would have been pretty pathetic just before they learned to fly.
    (plus, they would have made great snak-paks for some hungry carnivores)

    *Originally posted by tiassa
    I would greatly appreciate if BevKay could please produce the reference to where a scientist claimed that mousetraps should have evolved.
    *

    I would greatly appreciate if tiassa could please produce the reference to where a scientist claimed that life should have evolved.

    *If I'm not mistaken, the oldest known ancestor of humanity, according to scientists, was smaller than humans today:*

    For once you're not mistaken.
    The oldest known ancestor of humanity, according to scientists, was a single cell.

    *Creationists usually like to scream "adaptation, adaptation!" Well enough, but that's all evolution is.*

    All evolution actually is, is a fairy tale for grown-ups.

    *Remember, anyone attempting to show intelligent design must necessarily demonstrate the designer.*

    The original Corvette was designed by Zora Arkus-Duntov.
    Can you show him to me?
     
  10. Bambi itinerant smartass Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    309
    <b>Bev,</b>

    It might do you good to skim through those pages Fyrestar provided (thanks, Fyrestar!) Since you consider yourself to be open-minded enough to read Behe, then aren't you openminded ehough to read Behe's critics?

    I didn't have time 'till now to write a serious post, but I saw your reply a few days back. I was basically going to argue along mostly the same lines as those webpages (though I don't know nearly as much biochemistry.) But since you like analogies so much, I was actually going to start by using Behe's technique to show that the contemporary interdependence between magnetically-sensitive traffic lights and actual traffic on the road is irreducible (the two are interdependent, after all!) -- and that, therefore, this mutual dependence was envisioned as such by the engineer of the first automobile. Next, I was going to prove a similar claim about the relationship between the economy and the Federal budget (one feeds the other, after all...) Well, maybe you get the idea -- maybe you don't -- but you might if you read those references Firestar provided.

    Just today (you'd probably call it divine intervention), I saw a quote in an unrelated British editorial online that is amazingly related to something you said. The quote was to the effect that of all the wrong conclusions humanity ever reached, half were achieved through abuse of metaphor.

    <b>Tony,</b>

    I hope you understand if I don't address every single smart-ass remark you managed to squeeze out of yourself. I do admire the effort, though. You're a man of strong compulsions. As for the more substantive portions:

    For you to walk through a door, it must first be open. Modern unicellular organisms are entirely capable of giving rise to new varieties of multicellular organisms -- and I am sure that they in fact do all over the world. The problem is that the newfangled species face stiff competition from already highly-refined multicellular organisms that have already been there for billions of years. In other words unless the playing field is cleared, the whimpy new species don't stand a chance. Once again, that's punctuated equilibrium for you.

    Geologically recent migrations enabled and sustained by large-scale, sophisticated civilization.

    Yes, that's the other part of the reason this hypothesis is so controversial. Some people like to postulate that certain species of hominids were actually hybrids (which is one possible explanation for why they would have a combination of features seemingly borrowed from two other species.) I already mentioned it's controversial -- though that does not mean it is necessarily wrong, especially in all cases.

    I'll begin the answer using your own words: <i>"Without major catastrophes, it is highly unlikely that there would be a fossil record at all, given that scavengers eat anything that dies."</i> I'll also mention that those protohumans and early humans might have also eaten their dead (evidence of cannibalism related to certain species, such as Neanderthals, is pretty solid now.)

    Of course a "massive" catastrophy is not really required to make fossils. The organism could fall into a pit and get covered over by sediment, for example (or simply sink into the pit -- e.g. the tar pits.) The organism could perish under a hillslide. The organism could be buried by desert sand, or covered with sediment at the bottom of a river. There are many imaginative ways of making fossils, and it would seem that all of those ways have collectively borne fruit. It is much easier for a giant mammoth's carcass or individual bones to get preserved through time, than it is for a much more fragile human skeleton (plus human precursors haven't remained static as species long enough to have all that many chances -- as opposed to some more enduring species.) Still, I won't be surprised at all if the Siberian permafrost eventually yields a couple of well-preserved mammoth hunters (of course, they would only be tens of thousands as opposed to millions of years old.) Actually finding those specimens that have actually been deposited and preserved though, is a different matter altogether.

    Irrelevant (to your particular brand of creationism, anyway.) Even if I grant you (and I won't) that water was deliberately designed in order to form beautiful snowflakes, it is still a fact that water does so all by itself, without any intelligent interference. By that line of reasoning, chemistry was preconfigured in such a way as to give rise to life, but then proceeded to form life on its own (with life proceeding to evolve all by itself, etc.) But this is not what you argue, since you are a dogmatic literalist. But, I suppose it's worth asking: care to change your stance?

    But you are certainly guilty of not thinking. Enzymes react just as well outside a living cell as they do inside. Diverse organic compounds (including some rather complex ones) get naturally synthesized under the various diverse environments present in space and on planetary bodies. Perhaps the designation for "biological" chemistry is aposteriori -- but certainly not chemistry itself.

    That moves us from intelligent design to artistic decoration. Though I fail to see, for example, how the horrible stink that tends to emanate from certain locations on our bodies can be considered decorative (though arguably, once upon a distant time it used to take part in olfactory communication.) Or, for example, consider the topic of wildly unpopular body hair. For that matter, an intelligent redesign of our bipedal stance could've made us quite a bit more efficient as far as locomotion goes. I could go on, but how much "chrome" does one need to see before one realises that he is looking at a junkyard? Or are you the type who finds leftovers and trash beautiful (and, moreover, deigns to project similar aesthetics onto a supposed ultimate designer)?

    Quite interesting, considering all the species that used to exist but do not any longer outnumber the currently extant species by many orders of magnitude. I don't know; if I were the designer I'd skip the "insignificant" preamble and cut to the chase. But then again, I don't tend move in mysterious ways -- it gives me nausea.

    You wish. For the sake of your intelligence, I hope this was not the reasoning that got you converted.

    But then again, it must be why you can't resist claiming that water is designed to form snowflakes. Surely then, you must also agree that metal filings were designed to self-assemble along the "field lines" of a magnet. And if you swallow that, then you must also accept that all gaseous elements are designed to self-assemble into tornadoes under the right conditions. Yet another leap of faith should lead you to the conclusion that matter is purposefully designed to, among many other things, self-assemble into manure.

    Why not? I'll give you a hint: it's typically something to do with thermodynamics. Also note that generally there is no selective pressure that could lead to an organism evolving a perpetual life-span.

    So, you are aware of thermodynamics after all. Of course, things do decay and fall apart when left to their own devices -- which the Earth has not been, thankfully. Luckily for us, the sun is continuously pouring energy into the Earth system (plus there's still considerable geothermal/radioactive energy, as well as chemical energy, left internally) -- and as long as the wind blows, there will be waves. Ultimately, we are all just ripples on some surface.

    It must really irk you that evolution is, after all, consistent with the collected data (not to mention being the only sane explanation of said data.) No wonder you keep your ignorance so well employed at inventing imaginary consequences of evolution -- after all, what's the point of attacking something that actually makes sense?

    Well since you're having such an insurmountable mental block, I'll make a suggestion. The fossil record would show new species emerging if, indeed, more recent strata contained fossils which are not present in the older strata.

    And if anything, by their chemistry and content the fossil-containing deposits are only consistent with a very prolonged, gradual formation. A flood (even a large one) would barely even register in a geological formation that is slowly accrued over numerous millennia. (heh... you wouldn't be talking about the Biblical flood, would you? Hmmm... Just in case you are, I will be ecstatic to hear you dismiss not just evolutionary biology, but physical chemistry, geology, astronomy, quantum physics and planetology all in one shot -- since none of those scientists can read, or something.

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    )

    Burn down your lawn. See if it really takes 4 billion years for the surrounding biota to repopulate this newly vacated space. (just kidding; this is only suggested as a thought experiment.)

    Whoa! Tony the master of fictional claims and unfounded conclusions, demanding actual justification of a claim in a debate? I may have been wrong; perhaps the world <i>is</i> coming to an end... Of course, I hoped that you would simply follow the logic of evolutionary mechanisms. (I can see the next volley coming: Tony claims there's no such thing as logic. Am I right?)
    So, since you do agree that fossils can provide evidence of mass extinctions (i.e. many lifeforms being present up to a point and then absent from all subsequent deposits) then you also have to accept that fossils can show evidence for massive new species formation (many new species appearing in newer strata that aren't present in the older strata.) Go, for example, here and locate the natural history timeline; notice that major proliferations of new and revolutionary lifeforms follow major extinctions: http://www.cbs.dtu.dk/dave/html/TriumphEvolut.html (Well, actually you can find such a chart in many places on the net, but I thought I'd rub it in...

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    )

    Of course, "known history" consists of what, 2000 years? 10000? 100000? But don't go back much beyond that, because there it starts changing... If modern humans didn't have civilization and all the typical rules that apply to other species still applied to humans, my guess would be that the modern brain is just about as large as it gets -- at least in the geological short term. It is difficult enough for women to give birth with infants' heads already being so huge. In order to <i>naturally</i> enable an even larger brain, either conducive changes in female physiology or an altered brain maturation timeline would be required (either of which, I assume, would take quite a bit of time to emerge.) On the other hand, there has been little selective pressure for even more intelligence on modern humans (they already have enough to rule the world), so there is no strong bias for the brain sizes to keep increasing or for the brains to get more sophisticated per unit volume (in fact by the looks of it, the religious nuts are the ones who tend to have the largest litter these days -- with some exceptions of course.)

    Well... For one, Mr. Genius, evolution is not a living creature. Secondly, only a sentient creature has goals (and if you believe that your gastrointestinal bacteria is determined to help you digest your food, then you should probably write them a letter of gratitude.) Thirdly, sentient creatures are only sentient thanks to a very complex brain; that very complex brain descends from much simpler versions which addressed a bit more immediate issues -- such as avoiding bodily damage, for example. Finally, the fact that the fitter survive better is not a goal -- it is simply a tautology.

    Why does it rain? Because cold temperatures tend to precipitate water out of saturated air. Conclusion: in evaporating and saturating the air, water has rain as its goal. Everything in the universe, animate or not, is endowed with a living spirit who has goals. Even rocks lie around because doing so is their actual goal. Makes perfect sense. Most stone-age animistic cultures would have agreed with you 100%. Nice to know you were able to mentally progress so far beyond the stone age.

    <b>Loone et. al.</b>

    It's positively heart-warming to see such magnificent individuals stand up for what's right -- regardless of what's actually true. Your religious nationalism is most touching.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2001
  11. tony1 Jesus is Lord Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,279
    *Originally posted by Bambi
    I am sure that they in fact do all over the world.
    *

    In spite of the absence of any evidence?
    You sound positively religious!
    Or should I say negatively?

    *The problem is that the newfangled species face stiff competition from already highly-refined multicellular organisms that have already been there for billions of years.*

    You appear to be saying, as an example, that we are a problem for bacteria rather than them being a problem for us.

    *Geologically recent migrations enabled and sustained by large-scale, sophisticated civilization.*

    Not evolution?

    *Yes, that's the other part of the reason this hypothesis is so controversial.*

    The hypothesis would have to explain the paucity of partially hominid and partially pre-hominid "man," while at the same time time predicting larger numbers of such fossils.

    That isn't controversial, it is contradictory.

    * I'll also mention that those protohumans and early humans might have also eaten their dead (evidence of cannibalism related to certain species, such as Neanderthals, is pretty solid now.)*

    So, by some fluke, we have a huge fossil record of ordinary things (animals which drowned), but no fossil record of the crucial "missing links" because they ate each other?

    What complete chagrin you must have felt when you found that out!
    What rotten luck!!!!!
    The evidence was eaten!!!
    By what?
    The evidence!!!!!

    *Of course a "massive" catastrophy is not really required to make fossils.*

    While literally true, it ignores the fact that there are billions of fossils.
    Explaining each one individually by some plausible theory does not explain the totality.

    *It is much easier for a giant mammoth's carcass or individual bones to get preserved through time, than it is for a much more fragile human skeleton*

    Let me get this straight.
    It is easier to preserve buttercups between the teeth of mammoths than it is to preserve human bones?
    Tough buttercups.

    It is easier to preserve the meat of mammoths in edible form than it is to preserve human bones?
    BHT was invented far earlier than I'd suspected.

    *Irrelevant (to your particular brand of creationism, anyway.) Even if I grant you (and I won't) that water was deliberately designed in order to form beautiful snowflakes,*

    Your point, since we haven't gotten to discussing the need for an intelligent designer, except in passing.

    *it is still a fact that water does so all by itself,*

    Riiiight.
    Water just decided one day to form six-sided crystals.

    *But, I suppose it's worth asking: care to change your stance?*

    Nah.
    I already changed it once from where you are to where I am.
    It doesn't seem worthwhile going backwards.

    *Perhaps the designation for "biological" chemistry is aposteriori -- but certainly not chemistry itself.*

    That would be a limited view.
    Arguing that things were because of what they are is a posteriori thinking.

    On that basis, your thinking of chemistry vis-a-vis life is a posteriori.
    You have decided that chemistry in some Platonic sense existed first, therefore life arose because of it, and by itself, yet.

    *That moves us from intelligent design to artistic decoration.*

    Not really.
    If you look at some "decorative" pieces on cars today, you can see the functional devices they are vestiges of, on horse-drawn carriages.

    *the horrible stink that tends to emanate from certain locations on our bodies*

    I can recommend a good soap.

    *I could go on, but how much "chrome" does one need to see before one realises that he is looking at a junkyard?*

    How much junk does one need to see in a junkyard before one realizes that it was designed by someone at one time.

    *You wish. For the sake of your intelligence, I hope this was not the reasoning that got you converted.*

    I suspect that your reasoning is somewhat of a hindrance to you.
    Are you actually suggesting that items are constructed out of parts that are not designed for that use?

    What kind of car do you drive?
    It must be one horrendous eyesore, if it is made out of undesigned parts.

    *Yet another leap of faith should lead you to the conclusion that matter is purposefully designed to, among many other things, self-assemble into manure.*

    I suspect that you are unable to conceive of a designer who would be able to design to the level of complexity that you propose.
    No matter.
    A lot of human designers crap out at much lower levels of complexity because of the same inability.

    *I'll give you a hint: it's typically something to do with thermodynamics.*

    Oh no.
    Now you are proposing the reversal of the second law of thermodynamics.
    What would be your evidence of such reversals?

    *the sun is continuously pouring energy into the Earth system (plus there's still considerable geothermal/radioactive energy, as well as chemical energy, left internally)*

    In spite of that input of energy, things still decay, and more rapidly, at that.
    Yet, the theory of evolution soldiers bravely on, ignoring all evidence to the contrary.

    *It must really irk you that evolution is, after all, consistent with the collected data (not to mention being the only sane explanation of said data.)*

    Not at all.
    Part of the collected data is psychological, related to delusions.
    As a result, the theory of evolution fits that data quite well.

    *No wonder you keep your ignorance so well employed at inventing imaginary consequences of evolution -- after all, what's the point of attacking something that actually makes sense?*

    Well put.
    If I appear to be tilting at windmills, it's because I am.
    I can only invent imaginary consequences of evolution, because those are the only kind there are.

    *The fossil record would show new species emerging if, indeed, more recent strata contained fossils which are not present in the older strata.*

    So, after every flood, new species arise that can swim better and faster because they're at the top of the sediments?
    I think it's because the ones that can't swim drown sooner.

    *A flood (even a large one) would barely even register in a geological formation that is slowly accrued over numerous millennia.*

    Aren't you assuming quite a bit with this "numerous millenia" thing?
    Your reasoning is getting tighter and tighter.

    Evolution occurred over millennia.
    We know this because of the fossil record.
    The fossil record shows that evolution occurred over millennia.

    *heh... you wouldn't be talking about the Biblical flood, would you? Hmmm... Just in case you are, I will be ecstatic to hear you dismiss not just evolutionary biology, but physical chemistry, geology, astronomy, quantum physics and planetology all in one shot -- since none of those scientists can read, or something. *

    So, I'm not the only one who noticed that?

    Be prepared for some great ecstacy.

    I dismiss evolutionary biologists.
    I also dismiss evolutionary psychologists (I think I touched on that in another post)
    I dismiss planetologists, for now.
    What they would have do with anything other than "cosmic evolution" is beyond me.
    I dismiss astronomers from the discussion of evolution, but mainly because their telescopes are pointed in the wrong direction.

    *Burn down your lawn. See if it really takes 4 billion years for the surrounding biota to repopulate this newly vacated space.*

    OK, I tried it.
    No new species, just some old ones.

    Your point appears to be that when speed is an issue and I say it has to be fast, you argue "slow," and when I question you on that, you argue "fast."

    *Tony the master of fictional claims and unfounded conclusions, demanding actual justification of a claim in a debate?*

    As I recall, you were the one claiming that evolution is real.
    I don't mind you asserting all kinds of stuff, but once in a while I need to determine how far divorced from reality you are getting.

    *I can see the next volley coming: Tony claims there's no such thing as logic. Am I right?*

    Yes, you are.
    Where evolution is concerned, there is no logic.

    *So, since you do agree that fossils can provide evidence of mass extinctions (i.e. many lifeforms being present up to a point and then absent from all subsequent deposits) then you also have to accept that fossils can show evidence for massive new species formation (many new species appearing in newer strata that aren't present in the older strata.)*

    Not really.
    We have evidence for extinct species.
    We have extinct species.
    Those two pieces of evidence agree.

    We have the absence of evidence of extinction for "new" species.
    We have those "new" species now.
    You say that proves that "new" species are, in fact, new.
    I say it proves that those "new" species aren't extinct.

    *Go, for example, here and locate the natural history timeline; notice that major proliferations of new and revolutionary lifeforms follow major extinctions: (Well, actually you can find such a chart in many places on the net, but I thought I'd rub it in... )*

    Wow!
    The chart does show that!

    How do we know the chart is accurate?

    *But don't go back much beyond that, because there it starts changing... *

    How lucky for evolution!
    Evolutionary changes ceased just before recorded history.
    Who knew?

    * in female physiology or an altered brain maturation timeline would be required (either of which, I assume, would take quite a bit of time to emerge.)*

    Here, you are arguing "slow."

    *For one, Mr. Genius, evolution is not a living creature.*

    Of course.
    But you are saying an unintelligent process leads to intelligent results.
    Why not just toss the day-planner and proceed randomly?
    Your chances of success are at least as good as, well, your chances of success.

    *you should probably write them a letter of gratitude.*

    I'd have to eat it, sort of like your missing links eating each other to dispose of the evidence of their own existence.

    *the fact that the fitter survive better is not a goal -- it is simply a tautology.*

    I guess that seagulls and cockroaches are some of the fittest creatures around.

    *Conclusion: in evaporating and saturating the air, water has rain as its goal. Everything in the universe, animate or not, is endowed with a living spirit who has goals. Even rocks lie around because doing so is their actual goal. Makes perfect sense. Most stone-age animistic cultures would have agreed with you 100%. Nice to know you were able to mentally progress so far beyond the stone age.*

    That is quite the summary.
    Basically your argument for evolution boils down to the same thing.

    We exist because evolution has us as its goal, although not really. It's actually just a fluke that we ended up being the end result.
    That is what it means to say, "Which is why it was selected for, and why it survives to this day."

    "Why" still implies goals.
    That is why the theory of evolution is so contradictory.
    Fast, no, slow, no, fast.
    Goal, no goal, no, goal.
    Selected, no, random, no, selected.
    The missing links ate each other.

    It's funny stuff, but not science.
     
  12. KalvinB Publicity Whore Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,063
    I was actually thinking about that a day or two ago. The evidence was eaten thing. But then one realizes that a lot of research is done by picking through shit. In biology we had to pick through owl pellets to see how many mice it ate. Maybe we'll find a human "missing link" that way.

    Or maybe that's why we don't find human tracks by dino tracks. How dumb would you have to be to play around a 40ft dinosaur? Most people don't go around 8ft alligators.

    Ben
     
  13. Godless Objectivist Mind Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,197
    Hi Banbi

    Welcome to the sci-forums, I see that you've been busy with Tony1 & KalvinB, well first of all let me state that you've taken care of yourself quiet adequate, not that I'm judging you, just observation!.

    Tony1 is a bible quoter, I'm supprised that he hasn't thrown any quotes in this argument, he says that atheists are boring people, mainly cause he is probably chasing them down with a bible under his arms. Other than that Tony1 is a very nice dood, who will allways retort to his way of the bible, basically he is blind to reason, has little logic, and quotes his bible almost in every argument.

    KalvinB, on the other hand is totally ilogical, he has no free will, he claims that only god has free will, so plainly he believes god sends his thoughts to him via esp, or something. He will tend to get rude, at first he called me a "whiny bitch, idiot, ass hole" and perhaps other names as well, be ready to piss off this guy with some of your arguments and he will probably get messages from his god to start calling you names, cause he doesn't think for himsef, remember he has no "free will" so oviously the message must come from beyond.

    Well It is nice to see another athiest on these boards, and remember that our position is one of contraversy, so yes we will always find Tony1s and KalvinBs on these boards, and always will find them somewhat illogical and unreasonable, not to say that all theists are the same way, however that has been my experience in these boards.
     
  14. Godless Objectivist Mind Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,197
    They have!.

    *I would greatly appreciate if BevKay could please produce the reference to where a scientist claimed that mousetraps should have evolved.* just my two cents worth, sorry for the intrusion.
    Engineers have designed a better mouse trap, therefore it stand to reason that the design of mousetraps have evolved. Not that
    they have naturally evolved.
    Creationist say that theres' no proof of evolution are blind. Can't they see how humans have evolved?, A garvage truck driver lives better off now, than some royalties did in the seventieth century. He has a house or an appartment with running water, electricity, tv, phone, vcr, an automobile by conbustible engine, plenty of grocery food stores, an elected goverment, and the freedom to miss work everyonce in a while when he is sick!. LOL. If thats not evolution in a sence I've no idea what is?.


     
  15. KalvinB Publicity Whore Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,063
    No one is arguing that technology doesn't evolve or the standard of living. We're just arguing that those who create the technology don't evolve.

    But the standard of living varies greatly even in cities. What technology is available also varies greatly even in cities though mostly from country to country.

    Apparently no, Godless, you have no idea what evolution is. Or at least not much of a clue what's the issue here. You dig too deep and you'll bury yourself.

    While you're catching up with the rest of us you might want to learn the difference between having a will and having free will.

    Ben
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2001
  16. Bev123! Registered Member

    Messages:
    35
    Bambi, your analogies as stated below do not have the same meaning as the mousetrap analogy. The mousetrap, which consists of a flat wooden platform, a metal hammer, a wire spring, a sensitive catch and a metal bar, assorted staples and screws that hold the system together, is an example of an irreducible system, which when any of the components is removed, keeps the trap from functioning. In other words, the simple little mousetrap has no ability to trap a mouse until several separate parts are all assembled. Because the mousetrap is necessarily composed of several parts, it is irreducibly complex. The application of this analogy, Tiassa, has absolutely nothing to do with whether the mousetrap is alive or not. Whether it is a living object does not change the efficacy of the analogy. It only adds confusion to the clarity of the analogy when introduced into the example. (Was that you or your pot- inhaling cat that was speaking? )

    How does the mousetrap example clarify irreducibly complex body systems? One example are cilia. These hair-like organelles on the surfaces of many animal and lower plant cells, serve to move fluid over the cell's surface. In humans, for example, epithelial cells lining the respiratory tract each have about 200 cilia that beat in synchrony to sweep mucus towards the throat for elimination. I won't go into the detailed data describing the components of the cilia, but as the mousetrap must have a base, hammer, spring, catch, and holding bar, all working together in order to function, similarly, the cilium must have the sliding filaments, connecting proteins, and motor proteins for function to occur. In the absence of any one of those components, the apparatus is useless.



    This is not an example of irreducible complexity. Either one can exist without the other. They are not dependent on the other for their functioning
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2001
  17. FyreStar Faithless since 1980 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    229
    BevKay -

    One of the flaws in this line of reasoning is the need you and Behe seem to have to imply a purpose to structure, mechanical or biological. More on that in a bit.. first, some reasons that the mousetrap is a bad analogy. First, it is put forth as a single 'unit', which is then compared to biological 'units'. Biological systems, even the most basic of them, are orders of magnitude more complex than said mousetrap. Find me ANY, and I do mean any, organism that consists of only 6 or 7 pieces, and I'll let this point go. Second, and possibly most importantly, your mousetrap is not irreducably complex. Remove everything but the platform. Now, you have a viable doorstop, or paperweight. Leave only the metal bar; now you have a sturdy digging tool, or a prybar, or a conductor of electricity. Or any of a thousand uses. And that, my dear, is what evolution is all about. A part of a biological system that does one thing (or perhaps nothing) on its own, but when given a new environment, or a push from mutation, is capable of doing a new task. (For example, the primary use of fins is to propel a fish through water. Does that mean fins can't propel a fish on ground? No. But certain fish [say, those with longer, stronger fins] will have an easier time. And since those fish have an easier time surviving, they'll breed more rapidly than others, which will tend to produce a fish population with stronger and stronger fins, etc.) Only religious arrogance assumes that evolution would have to be aimed towards humanity. The analogy of the mousetrap also requires the existence of a mouse. Try to find a similar statement in evolution.

    FyreStar

    P.S. Did you even read any of the links I posted? Who is more open, the people who ponder Behe's work, pick through it, and systematically refute it, or those who accept it as gospel because it happens to coincide with personal opinion?
     
  18. tony1 Jesus is Lord Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,279
    *Originally posted by KalvinB
    The evidence was eaten thing. But then one realizes that a lot of research is done by picking through shit.
    *

    Of course, you realize that normally you get no fossils because of that.

    The fossil record is proof of the flood, because there wasn't enough time for all the carcasses to get eaten.

    *Maybe we'll find a human "missing link" that way.*

    Where evolutionary "science" is concerned, there is plenty of shit to pick thru.

    *Originally posted by Godless
    I'm supprised that he hasn't thrown any quotes in this argument
    *

    Evolutionary thought collapses by itself.

    *basically he is blind to reason, has little logic*

    You wish.

    Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
    (Isaiah 1:18, KJV).

    I can reason with God.
    You can't generate enough reason to figure out he exists.

    *it stand to reason that the design of mousetraps have evolved. *

    You didn't have to prove your absence of reason so quickly.
    Mousetraps get redesigned.

    *Can't they see how humans have evolved?*

    We might, except atheists come along and prove that we haven't.

    *If thats not evolution in a sence I've no idea what is?. *

    You're right, you have no idea what evolution is supposed to be.

    *Originally posted by BevKay
    (Was that you or your pot- inhaling cat that was speaking? )
    *

    LOL!
    It was his "goddess" speaking.

    *Originally posted by FyreStar
    Biological systems, even the most basic of them, are orders of magnitude more complex than said mousetrap.
    *

    Strike one against evolution.

    *Only religious arrogance assumes that evolution would have to be aimed towards humanity.*

    Proof positive we aren't here.
    Strike two against evolution.

    *The analogy of the mousetrap also requires the existence of a mouse. Try to find a similar statement in evolution. *

    The whole point of the evolutionary argument is the existence of selective pressures.
    If there isn't a similar statement in evolution, then strike three for evolution.
    Out!

    Great job, FyreStar!
     
  19. FyreStar Faithless since 1980 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    229
    tony1 -

    Well, your first two 'strikes' are entirely random and inexplicable, I'll ignore them until you provide a little support.

    ***tony1 said:
    Proof positive we aren't here.

    So we're not here?! Dang, and here I was thinking I existed. So tell me.. if we aren't here........where are we?

    ***tony1 said:
    The whole point of the evolutionary argument is the existence of selective pressures. If there isn't a similar statement in evolution, then strike three for evolution.

    I guess you didn't understand what I said. The mousetrap analogy requires the existence, specifically of a mouse to the exclusion of all else. Even other mousetraps, since I don't see (in Behe's example, anyway) a description of the trap's....well..breeding apparatus. Evolution doesn't look into the future and say 'Ok, we need something that can eat horses'. Nay, in fact evolution isn't about what happened in any other time period than the present. A species finds out that mice are a great source of daily protein, and that species gradually turn into living 'mousetraps'. Species (like Behe's moustrap) aren't randomly created out of nothing with but one purpose.

    FyreStar
     
  20. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    36,040
    Then what are you whining about Tony1

    Well, Tony1 ... I would ask you what you're arguing about if nobody's made that claim. Inventing another windmill to tilt?

    I mean, since it's obvious you don't believe anyone's ever made this claim, why do you waste your life complaining about it? After all, you're complaining about something that doesn't exist.

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    ,
    Tiassa

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  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    36,040
    Another stupid windmill

    Depends on how much proof you want. Let's see, I could always try to dig up a birth certificate, I could always try to dig up any patents associated with the car, or I could always try to dig up the original plans for the Corvette design. Any combination of those generally provide better proof. Any one of those should provide better proof of the Corvette's designer than anything you can show on behalf of a Universal Designer. It's one of the reasons I wish Creationists would get over their stupid habit of inventing irrelevant windmills. Consider this: are your parents alive? Guess what? After they're dead, nobody can prove you were born.

    Ah ... birth certificate? Maybe? Patent office? Maybe.

    Besides, who says I have to believe you? It's your claim, go right ahead. In fact, what would be best about it is if you prove the designer of the Corvette, we can then examine your method of proof and apply it to the Universal Designer and decide what we need to prove its existence.

    How can you prove "intelligent design" without an intelligence to design the designed?

    But yeah, you've raised a great point: if you'd be so kind as to demonstrate the kind of proof you require to establish that your own assertion is correct, at least then we'll have an idea of what is required for your proof of God.

    Myself? A birth certificate is a fair assertion of his existence, and a patent on any part of the Corvette would go a long way toward establishing his responsibility for its design.

    Unfortunately, we have neither of those for God, merely faith.

    --Tiassa

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  22. Bev123! Registered Member

    Messages:
    35
    Fyrestar,
    Your logic is flawed. In spite of the possibility of the separate components being able to perform other functions than the end product, the end product still had to evolve step by step!!!!! Any non-functioning components along the way would die out through natural selection, and thereby never produce the end complex unit. See post below by BevKay for further explanations.

    I will read the posts as soon as possible and report back.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2001
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Messages:
    36,040
    A-ha! Well ... okay, maybe ... yeah. Maybe.

    BevKay
    I must inquire here, regarding the end complex unit, or, specifically, the end, what exactly is meant here?

    By end, are we considering the present station in time?

    Or by end, are we considering the final version?

    thanx,
    Tiassa

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