Denial of evolution

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You do relies you gone far beyond human evolution and into metaphysics asking and defining reasons for existence?
may i ask what you believe science is? Can we assume it was to make an income or perhaps a requisite for you to earn a degree in ........ art.

To me, it is to comprehend what makes life exist. The metaphysical aspect is simply the result not the solution. The science behind reality is the solution.

I be interested in discussing metaphysics if only I could get really high right now.

Almost like a monk; some prefer to mediatate on issues rather than become a part of the issue and act.

This thread is on Evolution and commenting pro/con. The metaphysical aspect could be in the statement made that the pinnacle of mankind's evolution is to comprehend existence.

But if you like theology.... how about "God saith, `Lo, the man was as one of Us, as to the knowledge of good and evil; and now, lest he send forth his hand, and have taken also of the tree of life, and eaten, and lived to the age,' "

basically man can create life and live within the contributions to existence for a long long time

but who combines knowledge anymore?

Who has that commitment on this earth to share what life is?

And in reality without the EVOLUTION Of KNOWLEDGE............... life would never understand.
Science does not answer metaphysical questions, I don't think it can. Science only says what is, it does not say what is good or bad.
Dinosaur Reconstructions; the Historical Dialectic

Dinosaur Reconstructions; the Historical Dialectic.

An informal paper by Wild Bill Senior

Part 1
Form Defies Function

First, look at a sperm whale skeleton and then a complete adult male specimen of the same species. See the large inconsistancies in mass distribution, shape, even generic function? The rorqual/cachalot skull is tiny compared to the massive, freight—car, size head—eh, hoser? Plus, it’s good to realize that generic body geometry might run to pyramidal cross section, rather than ovoid or cylindrical ones. Note that there are so many “exceptions to the rules” of morphology as currently formulated, enough, in fact, that the modern ideas of dinosaurian shape are only vaguely objective, as each scientist adhering to a certain philosophy has a personal kinesthesiological axe to grind.
In my case, I wondered about those tiny forearms on the T rex. Gorgosaurs and ceratosaurs, allosaurs, too, had perfectly adequate forelimbs for grasping, tearing, hooking, and for changing the 78rpm records at parties, in those days, so why did T rex, the therapodian evolutionary pinnacle, not have them too? Could it be that those Gorgosaurian forearms and overlong nails weren’t as useful as we humans believe they were—no matter what Jenna Jameson’s filmography might suggest? Perhaps those limbs served a different purpose than for grasping prey, I reasoned, but, if so, what could it be? Then, one day, I saw a video of a roadrunner racing after a skink, its head—down attitude suggesting a possible attitude for a hunting therapod (large meat eating dinosaur). What was that flightless bird using its wings for? Controlling its course, just like a modern day F22 uses its canards to control its flight in the low speed regime. Give that rex a filmy sheet of webbing (feathered, perhaps?) between its tiny forepaws and its sides and, voila! We have a navigating aid, not an eating tool!

But how does it feed itself?

Any dinosaur estimated to survive into its second decade of adulthood (cf Tyrannosaur age at death articles in Science, Discovery, and Nature) can obviously feed itself, availing of whatever sort of food best appeals to its genetic imperative. Therefore Apes gotta have potassium, while Lions crave iron. I will go out on a limb to discuss possible feeding strategies for large therapod predators at this time for sake of argument. First try to imagine a four ton tyrannosaur as having a very similar bulk of musculature to that of an adult elephant of similar mass. Considering its legs, I’d say it’s a given that said Tyrannosaur could very closely approximate that elephant’s top speed on level, firm, ground at 30kph/20mph. This is fast enough to chase down certain types of prey animals, if not gazelles and rocket powered sheep. It seems almost painfully obvious that a Tyrannosaurus rex could easily take out a black bear, don’t you think?
Problems with understanding the concept that a large therapod can be a successful predator are based, I believe, on the enormously credulous papers published back in the early years of the last century. In those halcyon days paleontological thought was not yet particularly integrated, so heretics of every persuasion came forth to postulate the most specious nonsense, most calling it science for lack of any more ascerbic title to award it. To whit, as an answer to the question: how could T rex die out, but Man still survive? The answer was given: because it was stupid and slow and so could not feed itself; quid pro quo.
But this is foolishness on the face of it, for T. rex did live and did survive into adulthood.
Opportunistic predators, like lions and bears, can, and do, drive other, smaller, predators away from their kills on an irregular basis. This by no means proves that those big predators are unable to obtain their own kills at need. Bears, from the look of them, are big, slow, animals, but they can run deceptively quick when they feel the need to—even outrunning you, I bet. There are currently no large meat eaters who practice scavenging of putrifying carcasses as their sole feeding strategy, however. I cite the well known feeding habits of many large, non filter—feeding, sharks, as well as those of Wolf Fish, Squid, Lions, Tigers, Bears, Crocodilians, Monitors, and Dingos, for purposes of this proposal. Other large, bitey mouth, things, like orcas, and their related delphinoids, do not scavenge corpses as far as is currently known, but prefer fresh meat at all costs for their sustenance. As for the miniscule forelimbs of the T rex, well, there are no birds, sharks, seals, or bats, in extent that require use of clawed forelimbs in order to feed themselves. Check the literature and see for yourself.
Taking today’s predators as a point of departure, and not as an abacus, for determining potential prehistoric feeding strategies, it seems likely that Tyrannosaurs, Spinosaurs, Carcharadontosaurs, and Gigantosaurs were quite capable of running down certain prey animals and biting their heads off, which counts as a valid feeding strategy in anyone’s field guide.

Color its World?

Could dinosaurs perceive color? Were their leading intellectual lights intelligent enough to be capable of mating dances, gift—givings, bower—building, and were the dino girls wowed by brilliant throat sack, or whole body, color displays like we see in some species of modern birds and fish? As for total visual acuity, could a T rex read a newspaper on a moonlit night? And where would sense of smell fit into it?
A lot of this sort of hyperbolic, nonscientific, conjecture is based on the very imaginative practice of taking endocasts of the space inside a dinosaur’s fossilized skullbone and looking intently at the result. Invariably, the cast gives a tiny little Slim Jim of a protein strip, with large swellings where a taxonomist would place olfactory bulbs or optical plexi. This leaves a strong impression that dinosaurs were more slaves to optical or olfactory cues for their behaviors rather than their amassed brainpower and problem solving capacity. Note that in these casts there is no cerebrum, no “center of thought” like we humans enjoy, suggesting, to the novice, that dinosaurs were, in fact, too stupid to do anything other than listen to Hubie Blake on the Victrola while periodically raiding the Icebox for beer (and, of course, voting for Tammany Hall). When you take an endocast of a parrot skull, however, you find that its brain is a teeny, tiny, little thing, no bigger than a Chihuahua’s, at best, certainly not enough of a brain to explain its amazing powers of memory and mimicry. Then take that little dog, with its walnut size brain (cf Stegosaurus), and discover, by expenditure of many Snausages™ , that itty—bitty pooch can learn to execute backflips, sit, roll over, leave the roast untouched, even herd sheep, while riding roughshod on local foxes and the odd scorpion. At the very least, then, it seems, indeed, that many dinosaurs had brains equivalent to those of modern reptiles, and/or birds at least, some of which demonstrate amazing powers of cognition and shape recognition, if not abstract problem solving. And, last, let us contrast the T rex with another bird, the modern Crow. Crows are pretty damn smart; just ask any farmer; no matter how tiny their brainpan is.

Habitat versus preconceptions

I was looking at a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton, a fairly complete one, in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, near Pittsburgh, Pa., and it suddenly occurred to me: wouldn’t that body make a great aquatic hunter? I mean, look at that monstrously powerful tail, wouldja? It looks like a croc tail, don’t it? And, even better, with an aquatic hunting tactic, would it need those tiny forearms at all (except as copulatory guides for potential dinosaurian oral sex)? If we didn’t know that crocs were aquatic, and had seen only skeletons of ‘em, I bet we’d have come up with “reasons” why they went extinct—eh? Crocs could never run, they’d say, and so they died out when creatures finally started to run away from them. Now that’s evolution! What if T rex had webbed feet? Wouldn’t it be a fearsome threat in any lake or large river? After all, panthers seem perfectly adapted to the wetland existence, don’t they? Why not a rex?
Same with Plesiosaurs and Pliosaurs. How could a plesiosaur run down prey, with respect to such a funky bodyshape? Well, it’s said that their necks were sinuous and quick—moving . . . enabling their toothsome jaws to pick unsuspecting fish out of a school. Unlikely in the extreme, says I. It’s quite difficult to catch fish when they can see you coming, unless you have a surprise in store for your prey (cf documented cases of Orcas hunting on dry land to catch Sea Lions), or are very, very, quick, like a barracuda, or diving/spearfishing bird. Hmmm . . .could plesiosaurs have operated on that precept? Mightn’t they have fed themselves by spearing prey from above, like modern Storks, Egrets, or Kingfishers? That brings up a possible kibosh on the whole Plesiosaurs could ever survive thing, namely: what’s to keep a big shark from eating one? Well, sharks can be taught to leave other predators alone, most times. Sharks don’t much like prey that bites back, and will usually back off if approached by a predator of similar size. Obviously, plesiosaurs managed somehow, or we wouldn’t find fossilized adults of their species.
Consider today’s crocodilians. Look at their massive, slow—moving, bodies and you might, too, wonder how in the world an adult croc could ever manage to feed itself, especially if your preconceptions lean you to imagine every predator must outrun its prey. It would shock modern researchers, I bet, to first examine a croc skeleton, come to a consensus, and write a paper describing how they could never survive for they were obviously incapable of any but the most dilatory progress on land—and then to see real crocs in action. Of course, leopards and crocs are, to a large extent, ambush hunters, and so are tigers, though from the look of ‘em tigers could easily run down a mule, a bison, or even a Toyota Land Cruiser, in the close tangled foliage of the forest verge. Cheetahs don’t employ their claws in the chase, rendering them, perhaps, the only cat disdaining use of these well—“evolved”, most often retractile, weapons. Lions run in coordinated packs, or “prides”, while tigers hunt alone; what paleozoologist could ever know in advance which predation strategy was employed by his or her object of study? And, last, but not least, an adult, (cf 350kg) grouper is most definitely not a fast swimmer after prey. How could it live long enough to grow to such a large size, without being able to chase down prey fish; but there it is . . . or is it?

Leathers, Scales, spikes, denticles, scuticles, feathers, Naugahide™, or Armani suits?

We have fewer than a dozen “samples” of dinosaurian skin impressions in extent, not nearly enough to make many generic assumptions from. Which dearth of dependable data hasn’t yet stopped the science types from doing it anyway, of course, and me with them! Surprisingly, though many authorities claim that most dinos had leathery, “proper”, dinosaur hides as shown in a hundred bad movies (and a few good ones), the bulk of the actual samples we have are of feathered flesh. Other samples closely resemble crocodilian skin, with irregularly placed bone shields embedded in thick, armor—like, hide.
Consider for a moment that the dinosaurs, especially those specimens we have examined, were in extremis during any local or global fossification episode, or, otherwise, their skeletons would not have survived the ordinary processes that abrogate that delicate balance of biology and geology. It’s easy, then, to assume that those dinosaur samples we have accessed were of creatures at the end of unusual circumstances, especially as we have postulated their “survival” as being a result of their embedation in anearobic mucks. In this instance, the “bodies” which we took skin impression(s) from were probably long enough dead before being impressed that any outer integument would have been long sloughed away, leaving leathery “hide” behind, like the skin of a sandblasted chicken. Of course, for all we know, dinosaurs might have been colored purple, sung silly songs, and helped children learn to “play nice” as some TeeVee producers would have us believe.
Sneak Attacks?

And there are important factors we cannot, at this time, fully encompass with our forensic sort of wayback machine, ie; Paleontology. Suppose, if you will, that certain specimens of well—known Cretaceous fauna were not as simple of intent and pursuit as might be otherwise expected. Is it beyond the realms of possibility that one of our more popular monsters was possessed of skunk—like scent glands, or a poison bite like the Monitor Lizard’s? Extrapolating, I might suggest a skin impregnated with chromatophores, such as a modern day chameleon has. I can even imagine an atavist plesiosaur with the sort of chromatophore based attack cuttlefish use to confuse and stun possible prey before striking with their palps.
How about a Stegosaur with poison bite, and a skin exudate approximating the effects of an LSD trip on any predator dumb enough to take one on. Add to it the ability to spray enemies with a corrosive spunk like a polecat x103 and you have one hell of a survivalist type. Heck, a Stegosaur like that could rule the world by himself! (Maybe he still does! There are a lot of dinosaurs in high places!)
Considering that, what about dinosaurs that squirt blood from their “tear ducts”; ie, the corner on one or both eyes? Could a T. rex be placated or put off by the dinosaurian equivalent of “Here’s blood in your eye?”

Part 2
Shadows on the Wall?

Finally, I must bring up the matter of radioactivity, as it applies to the viability of any distinct “bloodline” of creature. A few years ago (1991-3) I read a college physics text which showed by isotope count that a certain deposit of Actinide bearing ores in a country then known as Rhodesia composed direct evidence that a fairly active (Hypercritical mass) Nuclear Chain Reaction (such as you find today in Nuclear Reactor Cores) was in progress for some time, enough to mimic the isotopic balances shown in the spent cores of modern day models of nuclear powerplants. If this is indeed the case, consider that all the radioactive deposits today (those close enough to the surface to affect life above it) were one hell of a lot MORE RADIOACTIVE in the distant past, and, too, that there were many more low activity ores back then than there are today—right? If so, then how could any species bear nearly identical young across the potential mate spectrum? It seems evident that most or at least many, dinosaurian prodigies might have actually been mutant anomalies, or even congenital “birth” defects, regularly appearing within those strains. Maybe Tyrannosaurus rex had such tiny, withered, forearms because it was deformed? Could there be a core species from which such oddities as the weird permutations of the various hadrosaurian and corythosaurian skull arose, simply due to radioactivity—spawned birth defects?

Part 3
Conclusions in the Public Interest

All that we really know about dinosaurs is limited to the following data either directly observed, or universally inferred, from existing samples:
1) No Dinosaur over 1 metric ton could afford to pay toll road fees, which entirely explains species differentiation and separation without recourse to the scientifically egregious and quite notional theories regarding asteroid strike methodologies and/or Plate Tectonic activity over time.
2) Large Sauropods (Brontosaurus, Diplodocus, et al) died out as species because, no matter how hard they tried, their appetites were so large that their respective boyfriends could not afford to take them to a restaurant in order to “get them in the mood”. Not to mention how much beer it would take to get them drunk enough to “settle” for an accountant when they had their heart set on a football star.
3) So few dinosaur footprints have been found that it seems likely that most dinosaurs never left the house, preferring, instead, to lie in wait for the “Meals On Wheels” truck from which to derive their daily sustenance. This subsumes, of course, the retro—active novelty of placing the origin of HBO and Cinemax back before the “Stoned Age”.

All these conclusions are, of course, parallels drawn from well—documented modern behaviors among today’s Apex Predators and Herding Omnivores/Herbivores. The fact that no definitive “Meals on Wheels Truck” fossils have yet been discovered has just as little impact on the matter as the similar lack of “Missing Link” fossils across the spectrum has on the rest of Paleobiology.

“A giraffe’s beautiful camouflage is there for one simple purpose; to allow it to sneak up on its prey before it pounces.”
--Professor Challenger to the Yale Class of ‘09
Science and Metaphysical conundra

Of course science deals with metaphysics! Paleobiology, Astrodynamics, Cosmogeny, Tectonic Causation; those are all topics which cannot be filtered into truth by simple empiricsm! Each such field, and let us not forget Newton and Einstein, has its "wild thoughts" which spark each successive revolution in empirical scrabblings!
Science and Metaphysical conundra

Of course science deals with metaphysics! Paleobiology, Astrodynamics, Cosmogeny, Tectonic Causation; those are all topics which cannot be filtered into truth by simple empiricsm! Each such field, and let us not forget Newton and Einstein, has its "wild thoughts" which spark each successive revolution in empirical scrabblings!

the metaphyical parts can be separated, there nothing but notes said scientist make but are not related to the studies them selves just related to the moral outcomes such studies could lead to interpreting.
WOW! thanks for that Boozie - if only I had seen such a well thought through and completely non-fictional, sane, and accurate depiction of atheism before I stopped beleiving in real and sensible stuff like faeries, elves, and magic singing turds - I might be as clever as you are today.

i.e. not in the slightest bit

ps - YAWN!

It's hyperbolie but it would seem to be the long and short of it.
Sort of humorous as well.
Strongest Cases for a Natural Origin of Life

According to a recent poll, less than 40% of americans believe in a natural origin of life as we know it.

I'd like to hear the strongest evidence of the theory of evolution as well as the origin of life from molecules. I have been rather disappointed in what I find on the internet, where naturalists attack deism instead of making their own case. This is an unacceptible basis for science -- to attack superstitions in order to justify science.

With a rigorous education in the physical sciences controlled experiments are emphasized to verify that F=ma, V=IR, H2 + 2O2 = H2O + heat, etc, etc. If we can not utilize the scientific method, then we can not rightfully claim something to be science.

Hence I want to hear the justification of evolution and abiogenesis from a scientific view. Both of these are required to explain a natural origin of life.

If you tell us millions of years are required to prove something that's here on earth then we have two problems:

1) nobody lives that long
2) then the control variables aren't really understood

When control variables are indeed understood, then the time factors can be reduced. This has been my experience as a career engineer and a six sigma black belt. Randomness and time do not necessarily have to be a barrier when the control variables are understood for a given process. I assume we can call evolution a process, can't we?
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I asked for the strongest cases in YOUR OPINION. Don't you have an opinion?
It should be considered as a whole. It is considered such a strong theory because everything we discover supports it. Even if there were no fossils whatsoever, evolution would be supported by genetic evidence.
I asked for the strongest evidence because I am tired of bouncing all over the internet. If there is strong evidence then bring it to the table.
Every bit of evidence supports the premise, it should be considered as a whole. That is it's strength. Even if there were no fossils whatsoever, evolution would be supported by genetic evidence.

Generalities are no good. Specific evidence is needed with case examples. I'm asking for the strongest evidence.
The evidence for evolution is strong, for abiogenesis less so, although it is still very likely. The evidence that we all evolved from a common ancestor is that we all share the same basic DNA code, with evidence of gradual mutation and building on some initial complexity.

You come to the argument from a flawed perspective. For something other than a naturalistic origin, you would have to propose a theory for non-naturalistic (supernatural) origin. Since nothing supernatural has yet been shown to exist, all naturalistic explanations, even if unproven, have more credibility than supernatural ones.

I'd say that there are two things.

First is the fossil record, but there are gaps in this evidence, and it is necessarily incomplete.

The second is microevolution. Most (sane) creationists will admit that evolution happens at a microscopic level (i.e. at the level of DNA and single cell organisms). This is apparent when it comes to flu vaccines, for example, or the way that AIDS mutated to be transmitted by humans. This is an empirical fact. Once you have established that, it is a small stretch to assume that it happens in all animals. Then, given that DNA is passed (mostly) from parent to offspring, it stands to reason that each generation has the possibility of being infinitesimally different from the previous one. Given this, one can assume that parents which develop (randomly) advantageous mutations will produce ancestors with those advantages. This process iterates, and eventually you have a new and distinct species.
The evidence for evolution is strong, for abiogenesis less so, although it is still very likely. The evidence that we all evolved from a common ancestor is that we all share the same basic DNA code, with evidence of gradual mutation and building on some initial complexity.

You come to the argument from a flawed perspective. For something other than a naturalistic origin, you would have to propose a theory for non-naturalistic (supernatural) origin. Since nothing supernatural has yet been shown to exist, all naturalistic explanations, even if unproven, have more credibility than supernatural ones.

That's right. I agree that we do not have a truly scientific understanding of the origin of life, but the lack of a scientific understanding at present in no way logically implies "therefore God did it" nor does it put supernatural explanations collectively on an equal footing with naturalistic ones as credible answers to the question. We do not have a scientific theory for quantum gravity either, yet few posit that the answer there is supernatural.
It's difficult to pick a single peice of evidence as providing the strongest case for confirming the Theory of Evolution - what makes the theory so elegant and robust is that evidence has flooded in from many seemingly different disciplines.

Study of taxonomy gives us a nested heirarchy of species indicating their common descent - Genetics analysis of species close to each other in this hierachy confirms this.

Indeed the evidence for common descent within taxonomy is so strong, that the original creator of the taxonomical system we have today (Carl Linnaeus) - a creationist (although by default because everyone was in those days) - almost figured it out by accident a fill 60 years before Darwin was even born.
When admonished for impeity by a bishop for including the homo genus with other apes he replied:
It is not pleasing to me that I must place humans among the primates, but man is intimately familiar with himself. Let's not quibble over words. It will be the same to me whatever name is applied. But I desperately seek from you and from the whole world a general difference between men and simians from the principles of Natural History. I certainly know of none. If only someone might tell me one! If I called man a simian or vice versa I would bring together all the theologians against me. Perhaps I ought to, in accordance with the law of Natural History (Linnaeus 1747).

In other words - "humans are so similar to primates that I cannot find one good shred of physical evidence to conclude anything other than the fact we ARE primates - even though I'm really not all that happy about that "

Close but no Cuban Carl!

Paleontology and geology confirm abundant transitional species, and a gradual transition from simple to more complex organisms throughout the geologic column.

Zoological studies and molecular biology have observed macro and microevolution taking place within our own lifetimes.

The fact that all of these interrelated discipluines have all provided evidence that elegantly dovetails into the theory - without one single peice of contradictory evidence, is what provides the best case for why the theory is universally accepted.

Evidence for abiogenesis is less compelling - we know that many of the macromolecules required for life can form abiotically - as can many of the reactions that these macromolecules can catalyse.
We also know that many of the structural components of living cells can form abiotically as well.
So with only around half a century of serious experimentation into the subject we've done OK so far with what is clearly a massively complex problem but we are still a long way off providing a workable theory.

Of course even if we are never able to replicate abiogenesis does not immediately promote a God hypothesis - that needs evidence of its own - just as if someone were to disprove the Theory of Evolution it would not create a default win for divine creation, that would also need evidence of its own.
Just to give Woody something to talk about, how about the Panda's thumb? If God wanted Pandas to have thumbs, which they need to feed on bamboo, why didn't he give them a proper one? Instead, they have a weird extention of a bone normally used by bears in the movement of the hand, there are no proper muscles to control it. This is a strong case for the idea that the structure was a recent evolution that came about due to natural selection pressures when the bears switched to a vegetarian diet.
Do you see a dog living in the wild ever? If we can create tiny little Chihuahuas from the wolves in 100,000 years, then why is it so hard to believe in evolution considering that life begun on earth 3.5 bilion years ago?
According to a recent poll, less than 40% of americans believe in a natural origin of life as we know it.

I object to this is your imply it means that the 60% majority must be correct. An Appeal to popularity does not mean something is correct or true. Like wise 700 years ago the majority of people believed the earth was flat and that it was the center of the universe and that all things revolved around it.
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