Evolution vs. Intelligent Design discussion

What Is The Proof For Evolution?

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message 1: by Madisen (new)

Madisen Well i am not sure there is evidence, but it seems more likley.

message 2: by Laura (new)

Laura (laurula) ^ Wait a minute, let me get this straight...

You think it's more likely that you evolved from a mass of mud that just appeared out of NOWHERE, and that the world just came into existence like THAT, without any creator?
As opposed to God creating you?

message 3: by Rose (new)

Rose  | 11 comments Seriously.
When unlikely things happen for the best, we call it a miracle.
A miracle. As in a little bit of grace from God - which, put into human perspectives, is quite abundant and generally impossible to explain without God.
Besides - not even the atoms would have been there - and if one of you says that they were there, I would like you to please explain to me how they got there.

And to me, personally, (as in with the personality that God himself gave me - seriously, how can you even explain something so complex as the human mind - and where did love come from if not from God??)I see no evidence whatsoever that Evolution is true. Sure, there may very well have been a few changes within individual species - meaning basically that the human race has been around since that first week and just that there have been a few minor changes - such as hair and eye color - since then.

Madison, I'm not trying to be rude, but seriously. Do you REALLY think that it's more likely that we - no doubt the most complex beings on earth - evolved from monkeys?

Well then where did the monkeys come from?

I can keep asking you where each thing came from...
where would it end up? Where did it begin?

message 4: by Eric▲ (new)

Eric▲ | 19 comments an evolutionist once said "look! it's one of our ancestors! oh look at the stupid monkey!!!!!!-oh, wait... it's only a mirror..."

message 5: by Eric▲ (new)

Eric▲ | 19 comments if a blob of mud is where the earth originated, then where did the mud originate? did it just walk in? NO

message 6: by Sequoia (new)

Sequoia Poths | 2 comments Lol so true...

message 7: by Amanda (new)

Amanda | 2 comments well... we cant just be poofed into existence... that makes no sense!!!! the fossils tell all. you can see the human race evolving, and all other creatures for that matter too. i don't know where it all came from, but i know we didn't just get poofed here!

message 8: by Eric▲ (new)

Eric▲ | 19 comments RIGHT!
someone had to put it there!
that makes sense to you, right?
if it doesn't ill share a simple metaphor...

message 9: by Eric▲ (new)

Eric▲ | 19 comments show me REAL fossils of fish with legs, and i will start to think evolution is true. and a photo doesn't count.

message 10: by Rose (new)

Rose  | 11 comments *sigh* ...

Alrighty then, believers-in-evolution, I have one question for you.

How, my dear, dear friends, would you explain the evolution of the human heart? Of what we feel, of our consciencness? How could something so complex, amazing, wonderful, difficult, and extraordinary as the Human Heart, have just "evolved" (in the sense of the word that you seem to be using)?

message 11: by Eric▲ (new)

Eric▲ | 19 comments HI-5!

message 12: by Rose (new)

Rose  | 11 comments thank you =) *bows* =)

message 13: by Daniela (last edited Dec 20, 2008 02:10AM) (new)

Daniela (robles_daniela) | 13 comments Hello, all:
First of all, I am an evolutionist. So, first my answers to those questions posed here:
The proof we evolve from the monkeys.. The most important one I believe are the fossils which you can see in a lot of museums (like Natural History at NY). There are fossils which show human characteristics, but are smaller than our present-day selves (thus linking us to monkeys.. or what, did the Creator just failed the first time to design us? - Explain the fossils, creationists). Besides, evolution has strong evidence supporting it (The origin of species by Darwin). What he did is observe a group of finches at Galápagos Islands and notice that in different islands the birds were adapted differently according to the food sources available. That is natural selection (survival of the fittest).
As for where it all began, there is a famous experiment by a scientist called Miller which shows that organic molecules and some aminoacids (some of the basic building blocks of life) can be formed from inorganic substances if Earth's early atmosphere is mimicked. Showing this happens is essential to prove that yes, evolution could start there. As if you're asking also from where comes planet Earth, I recommend taking a look at the Big Bang Theory.
And as for your question of human brain... genes that influence thought have been identified, but yes, scientists are still trying to figure that out, same with feelings (some advances have been made, like identifying certain chemicals that influence behavior and mood) but it is all way too complex. We are too far from a deep understanding of this.
And now my questions to the creationists...
So you prefer to believe everything the Bible (or whatever holy book you have) says... it is too easy. You just don't question anything, you just take it as it is written. Who told you it was the truth? Why do you believe him/her? So, which is more likely? that a God just created everything, leaving no evidence whatsoever... or... that we're just making a God up so we don't feel that alone?
Think about it.

message 14: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 15 comments Haha, no the Creator did not fail the first time He made us. Do you know where the fossils come from and how scientist determine where in the "chain of evolution" they fall? I'm sure you'll find that interesting, although it will be quite detrimental to your argument.

It is important to understand the meaning of evolution. There are two kinds. It can simply mean "change", or it can mean the theory that all life evolved from a simple life form. The first definition "change" is actually reasonable. Think of someone moving from Florida to Alaska. They will have a lot to get used to! Their blood which was very thin before must thicken up in order that they might survive more comfortably. Does this mean that humans constantly undergo evolution? They undergo change, yes. But they are not changing species or in any way significantly changing at all!

Most of your questions are answered in the discussion, "* debate here *"

We don't question anything? I'm questioning evolution right now. I have questioned creation before as well, but after examining the evidence for both sides evolution always proves itself rather dumb. God left plenty of evidence. Just because it's not in plain writing doesn't mean it's not there. You have to look for it. If you're interested in learning about Creation vs. Evolution, "It couldn't just happen" by Lawrence Richards is a good starter.

message 15: by Courtney (last edited Dec 20, 2008 12:32PM) (new)

Courtney Jessica, I have always been under the assumption that fossils became such through unusual circumstances, and judged the location of the "chain of evolution" by dating the fossils as well as placing it among the line of change, following logical steps, such as placing an octagon between a square and circle when hypothesizing on the transition stages between such two points, as it is semi-resembling both. I do not find this detrimental to the points fossils present, and am therefore curious what you referencing. Could you explain and/or point me the right direction to learn more on this topic?

About the meaning of evolution, I believe it was you who mentioned that "Early cave drawings have shown paintings of men killing dinosaur-resembling creatures with spears. ", when we were discussing dinosaurs. Forgive me if I am wrong, but you are then equating these cave people with humans? Is not the transition from them to our advanced body and society significant change?

Jessica, if you don't mind, I'm curious as well about Daniela's questions. If it's something you feel comfortable with (some people have unusual stories they may not wish to share, and that of course is fine), what was your path to discovering what you believe to be the truth?

Oh, and welcome Daniela, I hope you enjoy it here. I'm always curious to hear different perspectives on the widely debated topic of Creation/Evolution.

message 16: by Daniela (last edited Dec 21, 2008 09:32AM) (new)

Daniela (robles_daniela) | 13 comments We don't know where the fossils come from. Neither do you, because you were not there. All we think is based in theories.
I know how the scientists can tell the age of a fossil, one of the most widely used such methods is radiocarbon dating, and no, it does not prove detrimental to evolution. In fact, it strengthens it, and if you don't believe me you can take a look at this news:
This is not an official report, the original can be found at Nature, which is one of the most important journals in science. The beauty of this is that you can actually see the fossils and question the dating methods, and you will get straight answers. So yes, the fossils strengthen evolution theory. And you still haven't answered my question, why did the Creator put the fossils there if everything was created so perfectly?
Now, for your understanding of evolution: Indeed, evolution can be understood as change as you say it. However, if you let these changes to occur for a long, long time (millions of years), you will get different species. This means they cannot mate anymore. Evidence points to the fact that yes, we all evolved from a single simple living form. All organisms studied so far use the same genetic code, use the same proteins and the same chemical reactions to make up the same compounds. Minor differences arise as a result of adaptations to their surroundings, or change as you understand it. Moreover, there are bacteria who have the simplest genomes; then yeast, the simplest eukaryote; worms; mice; you can follow these species' genomes and look how they all (from bacteria to man) have got a common set of genes and biochemical reactions, but also an increasing complexity with genome size and other functions. These are proved facts and you cannot discard them, because you can look at them whenever you want.
Now, I still believe you don't question anything in the Bible (or your holy book). So you don't believe the increasing amount ef evidence, but accept Bible just as it is? How can evolution appear rather dumb? Tell me. Evolution is the logical conclusion of the things we see.
So, I have another question for you: Which is this evidence you say God left? And please, answer my questions here, as I am doing.

message 17: by Daniela (new)

Daniela (robles_daniela) | 13 comments Thanks for the welcome Courtney :)

message 18: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 15 comments I don't mind sharing my testimony =) Ok, so both my parents are Christians, my grandparents are Christians and my siblings are Christians. I considered myself to be one, but I still had these doubts gnawing away at me. I wondered if God was real, and how did we really know he was real? Well in church one Sunday, I realized that I'd never really given my life to God. This is hard to explain over the internet, but this overpowering sense that He was there came over me. I accepted Jesus as my Savior that day and my life has never been the same since.

I'll have to write more later tonight or tomorrow.

PS - sorry it's taken me so long to get back...

message 19: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Yes Jessica, very hard to explain, but I understand completely. Thank you for sharing!

Yes, I think we're all busy.

message 20: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 15 comments No problem, Courtney! Ok, so back to debating...

First off, I think some definitions would be helpful, so here is a few. (These are from my biology textbook, btw.)

fossils: preserved remains of once living organisms.

micro evolution: the theory that natural selection can, over time, take an organism and transform it into a more specialized species of that organism.

macro evolution: the hypothesis that processes similar to those at work in micro evolution can, over eons of time, transform an organism into a completely different kind of organism.

I think we can agree that fossils are found in different layers in the geological column. Ideally, the oldest and simplest of life forms are found at the bottom in Precambrian rock and as you advance upwards toward Quaternary rock, the life forms become more complex. If this were the case it would indeed be excellent evidence for macro evolution. However this is not the case. In the Cambrian layer, an explosion of life is found. (Thus, the Cambrian Explosion.) Every major animal phylum was found in that layer! If macro evolution really took place then there should only be simple life forms in that layer, not a variety of complex life forms.

Molecular biology is more proof against macro evolution. If we all came from a common ancestor then it would show in our genetic code. Take, for example, the protein "Cytochrome C." If you compare a horse, pigeon, tuna, silkworm moth, wheat and yeast's Cytochrome C to a bacterium's Cytochrome C you can see how different each organism is from the bacterium. Now, since bacteria is a "simple life form" it should be most similar to the other simple life forms, wheat and yeast, and be the most different form the more complex organisms. (ie- a horse.) Once again, this is not the case. Here are the results:

*Organism - percentage difference from bacterium*
horse - 64%
pigeon - 64%
tuna - 65%
silkworm moth - 65%
wheat - 66%
yeast - 69%

As you can see, the horse's and pigeon's Cytochrome C are actually more similar to the bacterium than the "simpler" life forms are!

One more problem with macro evolution - How is it possible for DNA to be added to the genetic code? Yes, mutations do occur making the offspring significantly different than the parents, but the problem with that is that in cases of mutation, information is actually REMOVED rather than added.

Daniella, you said that "evolution is the logical conclusion of the things we see." That is (in a way different than you mean it) the sad truth. The view of creation is not taught in schools today. From childhood, people are taught that creation is foolish and evolution is wise and knowledgeable. Children are not given the chance to believe otherwise in the public schools! From what is seen in this system of schooling, yes evolution is reasonable. It is reasonable because the whole story is not told; all the facts are not laid out. Only possible "evidence" for evolution is taught...no evidence for creation is taught. Richard Dawkins once wrote "It is as though they [fossils:] were just planted there, without any evolutionary history. Needless to say this appearance of sudden planting has delighted creationists...Both schools of thought (Punctuationists and Gradualists) despise so called scientific creationists equally and both agree that the major gaps are real, that they are true imperfections in the fossil record. The only alternative explanation of the sudden appearance of so many complex animal types in the Cambrian era is divine creation and (we) both reject this alternative."

Please don't be close-minded like so many other scientists are. It is true that the idea of a supernatural being can sound ridiculous, but the evidence that God has left if overwhelming if you will just take a look at the creationist side of view.

message 21: by Daniela (last edited Jan 20, 2009 03:56PM) (new)

Daniela (robles_daniela) | 13 comments Hello all! I apologize, it's taken me time to come back too.
To the point:
It is true that the Cambrian explosion is a puzzle in the theory of evolution, and Charles Darwin himself saw it as an obstacle to his explanation. But, let's not forget that the real puzzle is why the rate of evolution accelerated by an order of magnitude in the 70 or 80 MILLION YEARS that the Cambrian period spans, which is not equal to say that all these life forms originated at the same time. Also, you should know that the Cambrian period ended about 488.3± 1.7 million of years ago... Very, very far from what Creationists mark as the origin of life (which is something like 10,000 years ago). Also, the fossils found that belong to this period are found over a wide, wide range of time as compared to the Creationist clock.
Moreover, there is evidence for Precambrian life. You correctly say, Jessica, that "Every MAJOR animal phylum was found in that layer." However, what about simple organisms? Why are these not contemplated in the Creationist view? Fossils of stromatolites (3,550 million years ago), and fossils from more complex eukaryotic cells have been found in rocks from 1,400 million years ago. I quote these facts from Cowen, R. (2002). History of Life. Blackwell Science.
For your other point... I am a geneticist, so I can say I know this subject deeply. The protein you mention, cytochrome C, is the most used protein to study and reconstruct the history of evolution. It is used because it is found in almost all organisms (again: similarity supporting a common origin) and has a slow evolutionary rate, as compared with other proteins which evolve more rapidly.
Both chickens and turkeys have identical sequence homology (amino acid for amino acid), whereas ducks possess molecules differing by one amino acid. Similarly, both humans and chimpanzees have identical molecules, while rhesus monkeys share all but one of the amino acids. Pigs, cows and sheep also share identical cytochrome c molecules. This information can be found in Linda Stone; Paul F. Lurquin; Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza. Genes, Culture, and Human Evolution: A Synthesis, Blackwell Publishing, 2007, page 79. You can even see the evolution inferred from cytochrome C analysis here: http://books.google.com/books?id=zdeW.... This evolutionary tree is in excellent agreement with the fossil record. You can see the whole tree here: http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-...
So, I don't know where you got your facts from, but even if they were true, they don't invalidate evolutionary theory. The reason is that the same phylogeny (or almost the same, as the evolutionary process is stochastic and selective) has been found in analyses with other sequences, such as RNA-based gene phylogeny. So, evolutionary theory is not solely based on one gene. It takes lots of genes and obtains a consensus.
For your last point, I have quoted plenty of evidence for evolution. You say that in schools evidence for creationism is not taught, what do you mean? That the Cambrian explosion is not taught? It is. What I believe is that your "evidence" for Creationism are just things we cannot (yet) explain. This is natural in science, we are always trying to find explanations that agree with all evidence, and this takes time (sometimes, a LOT of time) to achieve.
Finally, you tell me not to be close minded. I am Mexican. In Mexico, as you probably know, something like 97% or so of the population is Catholic. So yes, I was raised as a Catholic. If I were close minded, I would have stayed with that idea. I am just being objective, and staying with theory that has real support for it.

message 22: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 15 comments I'm not sure that I'm following you about Creationists not taking simple life forms into consideration. How are we not taking them into consideration exactly?
Yes, the Cambrian explosion is a problem - it's a big problem! Out of nowhere all this variety of life appears! Where did it come from? According to the hypothesis of macro evolution there should be a gradual change; organisms should start out simple and grow more complex as the layers go up. In the Precambrian layer there are what you would call simple life forms, but all of a sudden there's a burst of complex life forms! I really am interested in learning how evolutionists explain this problem.
Another thing I would like to know is how the huge gaps in the fossil record is explained.
Just because cytochrome C is found in almost every creature doesn't mean we all evolved from the same organism. Naturally a wise creator would recognize something good and use it in more than just one of his creations.
No, creationism is not taught in the public schools. At least not in America. The Cambrian explosion is taught, but it's taught with a one-sided view. Kinda like you did in your last post, it seems it's brushed off like "we haven't figured that out yet, but we will." Well what about the possibility that this hypothesis is wrong?
Strata, according to evolution, is formed slowly over millions of years. However, there is another way for strata to be laid down. Science has shown that in a natural catastrophe many layers can be laid down over night. The Bible tells of a world wide flood. This would definatly lay down quite a few layers, and thus explain the young age of the earth.

I'll write more later...

message 23: by Daniela (new)

Daniela (robles_daniela) | 13 comments Ok, let's see,
You say all I say above can be explained by a world-wide flood. So, let's follow this explanation step by step:
Let's assume there was a world-wide flood. If this is the case, then the fossil record we know would be the result of a sudden destruction of life, more than the demostration of a gradual evolution of life. Then, that would mean that the sediments fossils are buried in must have been formed all at once (in the course of less than a year), and not gradually over billions of years. Contradiction! You have said (and I quote), "I think we can agree that fossils are found in different layers in the geological column", and that is the basis for you Cambrian explosion point. This would not be true if a world wide flood had occurred, fossils would be all scrambled up. Or how am I wrong here?

Really, the Cambrian explosion does not mean "The life came out of nowhere". And there is EXACTLY where creationists are not taking into account the simple life forms, from which fossils millions of years old (Precambrian) have been found. If all life was created in the Cambrian, how can you explain these Precambrian fossils?

And about Cytochrome C, your explanation holds, but so does mine.

And about the possibility that we are wrong, of course, that always exists, a good scientist always has to acknowledge that. We just follow the evidence, which accumulates to explain a phenomenon. I do believe we will reach a good theory because this happens all the time. Just see the examples from astronomy, physics, chemistry. Hundreds of years were needed to build the rather strong knowledge we have today, and it is natural that holes are filled up as new evidence and techniques are developed. The reason I believe we are not wrong is because the evidence is accumulative, fossils, molecular biology, different phylogenetic techniques, all are building up to reach the same conclusions. The main idea behind all this, evolution, holds.

message 24: by Daniela (new)

Daniela (robles_daniela) | 13 comments Ps- I have to go from the computer now, but I'll be sure to drop by tomorrow.

message 25: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 15 comments Right, the fossils would be all scrambled up. That messes things up for creationists but it really messes things up for evolutionists. I truly believe that the flood happened not only because the Bible says it did, but also because of historical references and the fact that fossils found on the top of certain mountains have been found to have once been under water.
So saying that the flood did happen, evolution is relying on what? It can't rely on the geological column. Evolution was founded on the belief that species are in a competition for survival with one another. What about symbiosis? Organisms taking part in mutualism are obviously not competing with each other, they are helping each other out. Look at the water cycle, carbon cycle, and oxygen cycle. Plants, animals, natural streams and everything in nature works together so that everything can survive! If it all happened by chance, how does water have just the right chemical balance to sustain all life? How is our earth just the right distance from the sun? Why are there perfect gases in the atmosphere to protect us from ultraviolet, x, and gamma rays and to keep the earth from burning up? More importantly, if there is no God then what is our purpose in life? Why do we live? What will happen to you after you die?

I would like to say again that molecular biology is NOT proof for evolution. Look above to the chart showing the percentage differences from bacterium. For it to be proof for macro evolution, the more simple life forms such as yeast would have to be very similar to the bacterium. After all, they're both simple life forms, right? But no, this is not the case. The horse is more similar to the bacterium than the yeast is! And that is just one example! Also, nothing has been shown to indicate that constructive information can be added to the genetic code. In order for macro evolution to be possible it is critical that organisms must be able to do add information to its code. Since nothing has ever added constructive information, and since molecular biology shows simple life forms are just as different from each other than from complex life forms, how is this evidence for macro evolution?
Even if you take one random fossil and say it evolved into another random fossil, there should be a link, correct? Where are these links?

message 26: by Daniela (last edited Jan 21, 2009 11:04PM) (new)

Daniela (robles_daniela) | 13 comments Hello again,
That the fossils would be all scrambled up in the event of a world wide flood does mess things up for creationists, because you can't sustain your explanation otherwise. Evolution, on the other hand, relies on molecular biology (yes, molecular biology DOES support evolution, see paragraph 4), radiocarbon dating, and geological strata, among other techniques. So, this flood happening or not would not invalidate these other sources of evidence, because they are independent.

That organisms live on symbiosis by no means invalidate evolution theory. These organisms live on symbiosis in order to survive, and each clearly obtains an advantage. Your "competition" here holds, as these organisms are not "helping each other", they're advantaging on their relationship. Take for example the bacteria in your intestine. They're normally helping you out, but when your defenses get low they attack you. They're just benefiting from the symbiosis.

Now, you say "how is Earth the right distance from the Sun", "perfect gases", etc. Just look at all the other examples in which this doesn't happen, don't forget we're not the only ones in the Universe. Millions and millions of stars and planets, just not developing life because they don't have the conditions. One in billions is not that improbable. As for your points of why do you live and all those philosophical questions... these cannot be taken as evidence to demonstrate the existence of a God.

Molecular biology DOES support evolution. First, you CAN'T rely on ONE gene to draw your conclusions. Phylogenies based on A LOT of genes support evolution theory. Then, the event of a particular gene being more similar between horses and bacteria than between bacteria and yeast is possible. Mutations can happen, after the split of lineages, that made the gene more similar to bacteria again.

Speaking of this, how can you say that nothing has been shown to indicate information can be added to the genome? Please review evidence before saying things. There have been events of massive duplications of genomes in plants, transposons, horizontal gene transfer, translocations... Research what these terms mean and you'll see your evidence. LOTS of events of addition of information to genomes have been observed.

And lastly, that you don't SEE a link doesn't mean it doesn't exist. You don't SEE God, right? Why don't you question both sides equally?

message 27: by Libertad (new)

Libertad (libertadph) | 1 comments Hello everyone.
I'm evolutionist (with no problem with God existence, but without acceptance of Creationism).

I think Daniela's arguments are quite well supported. Indeed you need more than a gene to get a good phylogeny, and although this is the only planet with living forms in this Solar System, that doesn't means that out there are not more planets where organisms could potentially be originated because of the conditions. For example a meteorite from Mars seemed to carry an old fossil from a kind of bacteria which, lacking the fitness to the severe conditions in that planet, didn't proliferate to this days.

message 28: by Michelle (new)

Michelle | 2 comments Hi All! I am new to this group. I am in middle school, but i have very strong feelings for this subject! Daniela, I agree with all of your ideas. I am a believer that we evolved from monkeys. There is no way that we could have just showed up on Earth one day. Religious People... I hate to break it to you, but Adam and Eve couldn't just show up on earth by God's creation. Sorry... but it just totally goes against the proof!

message 29: by Michelle (new)

Michelle | 2 comments Daniela.. You are wonderful! you are bringing up such good points!

message 30: by Daniela (last edited Jan 24, 2009 08:09PM) (new)

Daniela (robles_daniela) | 13 comments Thank you Michelle! I only try to be objective.
I would like to share something Bertrand Russell wrote some years ago:

"If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is an intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time."

So true.

message 31: by Jessica (new)

Jessica | 15 comments Michelle: why couldn't Adam and Eve just "show up by God's creation"?

Daniela: you said "And lastly, that you don't SEE a link doesn't mean it doesn't exist. You don't SEE God, right? Why don't you question both sides equally?" Fossils are preserved remains of once living organisms; they are physical. We can see them with our physical eyes. God is not in human form; he is a spiritual being, which cannot be seen with our human eyes. That it the difference. If these links exist then at least SOME should be found! So far, no fossil has been found that could stand to be a link between species.
You are right, to be solid evidence I need to bring up more than one gene. But just because I've only mentioned one does not mean that you can just ignore it. If evolution happened why doesn't this gene show it?
I'd be interested in knowing how information got added to the DNA, Daniela. I'd like to be a biology major when I get older...so anything in that area tends to interest me! =)

one last thing: The quote by Bertrand Russell shows his ignorance of who God is. Comparing Him to a teapot is the most amusing and potentially offensive thing I've heard. Like I said above, God is a spiritual being; He is not limited by time or space! The teapot hypothesis could easily be disproved because it is a physical object, something we can see. With the technology today, a space shuttle-camera-thing could be sent out to once and for all prove that there is no teapot between earth and mars.
That's another thing about God; the Bible is God speaking through the writing of man. The Bible was written by more than 50 men over a period of about 1600 years, yet it all is in agreement. It is the most printed book in the history of mankind. Attempts have been made to burn this book, wipe it out, and it's been made illegal...yet it still exists. Try doing that with any other book!

message 32: by Daniela (new)

Daniela (robles_daniela) | 13 comments Again, that people haven't found a fossil doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

I didn't say "hey, let's ignore cytochrome C because it's weird and doesn't show what we want to" (As, you must acknowledge, Creationists do with Precambrian fossils for example). I still don't know where you got that information from, but anyway, what I say is that each gene is a particular case, and if the majority show a tendency then the particulars are explainable by mutations, horizontal gene transfer, etc. Lots of explanations have been found, and it depends on the chosen gene.

I've already mentioned some ways to get DNA added to the genomes. Here they are again:

Gene duplication, considered the most important evolutionary force since the emergence of the universal common ancestor. It may occur as an error in homologous recombination, a retrotransposition event, or duplication of an entire chromosome. The second copy of the gene is often free from selective pressure, which means it can mutate freely (and thus may obtain a new function). Major genome duplication events are not uncommon.
A lot of plants show a phenomenon known as "paleopolyploidy". This means that they underwent a massive genome duplication somewhere in their evolutive history, and, although they lose almost all these genes given functional redundancy, others evolve into new functions and are mantained.

Transposons. Transposons are mobile DNA sequences that can "jump" between places in the genome. While doing this, they can change the amount of DNA in the genome.

Horizontal gene transfer. This happens when an organism incorporates DNA from another organism without being its offspring.

Translocation. This is a rearrangement of parts between nonhomologous chromosomes. A fusion gene may be created when the translocation joins two otherwise separated genes, and if it is unbalanced, can result in extra or missing genes.

I don't ask you to believe me. You can research on your own, and read, and question.

About Bertrand Russell, if you read what he said carefully, his hypothesis cannot be disproved because he says the teapot is too small to be detected by telescopes. With this said, how can you disprove it?

I agree about the Bible being the most printed book, I don't discuss that. I've read it myself, as I was raised as a Catholic.

It's wonderful if you want to be a biology major, it's a very rewarding field of study. I am right now finishing my B. Sc. in Genome Sciences and attempt to start a PhD on Systems Biology next year.

Finally... I just want to say that I am by no means trying to make you or any Creationist believe in evolution. You can believe whatever you want, and I respect that. The only thing I want to leave perfectly clear is that Creationism IS NOT backed up by evidence, the "scientific facts" they quote are completely flawed, as I have tried to show here. If you want to believe it, you are with your faith alone.

message 33: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Sophisticated Biology is not meant to be understood by readers as they head to bed, much less analyzed, so I shall stick to teapots.

Proving a mathematical theorem is much more difficult than disproving one: find one discrepancy, and back to the drawing board, much simpler than proving that none of these discrepancies exist. The same principle applies when searching for an item. One missing data point leaves open a chance: if we weren't looking at one point at one time, well then, how do we know that's not where the teapot is? Hence why it can be very hard to prove anything because people will keep looking for that one exception to prove you wrong. Evolutionist will be asked the same question about one missing link countless times, that link that "if they look close enough, will prove them wrong". Creationists, likewise.

It's rather a hopeless situation really, because we don't have enough information at this time to really prove anything. Or maybe we do, one way or another, but that one chance that the theory is wrong lets in a whole bunch of doubt about whether or not it is.

The real question is, which one is default. Doubt until proven, but we have to believe something. What Russell points out is that if Evolution had been the accepted theory for years, and just now this Bible and Church and Creationism were beginning to take roots, which would be thought of as "radical"?

Not that this has any effect to the case either way, but it's wonderful to know in our hearts that we're all fighting hopeless arguments, isn't it?

message 34: by Robert (last edited May 19, 2009 06:15PM) (new)

Robert (rgbatduke) | 192 comments Mod
Hello, I just joined, and this question still has only a relatively few replies so I'll jump right in. Consider Genesis:

Begin with:


This is an essay on radiometric dating, written by a Christian geologist. I have noticed that there are many, many misconceptions (brought about, no doubt, by profound ignorance) about radiometric dating, with people thinking that it is all based on Carbon 14. It isn't. Carbon 14 dating is good only for relatively recent events because its half-life is too short.

In fact there are some forty clocks used by scientists, many of them with overlapping ranges, based on many different dating methods and aspects of science. These methods agree with each other where there is more than one that applies in the range, and they also agree well internally, with many different samples drawn from a single rock stratum generally in agreement per method.

To summarize the article, the earth is not young. It is very old. It is roughly 4.5 billion years old. Furthermore, we can accurately date the rock layers in which we find fossils, using these clocks. We can then clearly observe the changes in species over time, with one species gradually evolving into another, with some species becoming extinct and others evolving to fill the ecological niche thus left open.

The evidence against Genesis doesn't stop there. If one simply looks up with instruments, if one photographs the stars with special cameras that are sensitive to frequencies of light that our eyes cannot see, if one creates magnified images of very distant objects and tries to understand the wealth of data thus obtained, a clear and compelling picture of the beginning of the current cycle of our spacetime continuum emerges.

From this process, we can conclude that the Universe began with a "Big Bang" some 13.5 to 14 billion years ago. We can see the primordial light of the original event, and photograph it. You can look at the photograph on wikipedia if you care to. Since light travels at a fixed speed, we can deduce the size of the visible part of the Universe, and looking at very distant objects is looking back in time. Even when you look at Jupiter on a clear night, the light you are seeing is thirty minutes old and shows a Jupiter in the past, not the present. Hopefully this is easy to understand.

We have photographed some of the earliest stars being born using the Hubble telescope, out there on the boundary, only a few hundred million years after the Big Bang. We can see stars being formed all over the visible Universe now -- stars are constantly being born and dying in supernovae. We have many photographs of the former, but the latter is difficult to capture because the events are so brief and usually so far away. There are famous novas that were recorded in history, however, and you can see nebulae where the stars once were today along with neutron stars that are the remnants of the explosion.

All of this evidence directly contradicts Genesis. Genesis has the order of events wrong. It has the events themselves wrong. It has them in a ridiculous order, with seeded plants and flowering trees preceding the sun. It describes a solid heaven (the "firmament" on which stars are hung, stars that are created to mark out human seasons. We now know that the stars that are visible on a starry, clear night are a paltry fraction, a teaspoon to the ocean, of the stars that are in the visible Universe. God didn't make those distant stars to mark out seasons -- humans cannot even see them without powerful telescopes.

The Bible describes a luminous moon, but we know the moon is not luminous; it only glows with light reflected from the sun. The Bible describes stars being shaken down from the solid bowl of heaven by earthquakes. We now know that stars cannot be shaken down -- they are immensely distant. That the "bowl of heaven" is basically nothing at all, a hard vacuum. That earthly earthquakes have no effect whatsoever on stars, or the moon, or meteors, or the sun, or the planets.

We know that the flood described in Genesis did not occur. It couldn't have occurred, if one bothers to do a tiny bit of arithmetic. To cover Mount Everest, it would have to rain roughly 5 inches a minute for forty days straight on every square inch of the planet. This isn't just implausible, it is lunatic fantasy. It never happened.

Noah never preserved all the species in the world that would be killed by such a flood, either. For one thing, the Bible (and most of its defenders) appear to have no clue as to how many species there are. There are at least millions -- a reasonable guess is 20 million, although 10 or 30 million are both possible.

Why so uncertain? Because some species live in very specialized environments. Who hasn't heard of e.g. poison dart frogs? They breed only in certain species of bromeliad in the forests of the Amazon basin. There are thousands of species of beetle that are found only in the Amazon. Thousands of kinds of butterflies. There are species of ants in the Amazon that one has to travel long and hard to discover.

If there are (say) ten million species of plant or animal that would drown in a five inch a minute rain (enough to drown a human standing up!), including blind freshwater fish that live only in specific caves in specific deserts that would die in salt water, including all of the fish in the sea that would die as the ocean freshened, including all of the insect species that would die during the 190 days the Bible claims the flood lasted, including all of the animals specialized to life at the poles where it is cold that would die in the hot climate of the middle east in short order, and consider the amount of time required to just load them onto an ark that is only the size of a typical Wal Mart (really, a bit smaller), well, there are 1440 minutes in a day. It would take nineteen years to load the Ark at the rate of one crate, or cage, or whatever a minute.

Now think about Noah collecting all of those animals. With huge teams of people collecting all over the planet, actively searching for new species, with jet airplanes and air conditioned climate controlled ships, with modern veterinary medicine to help, we haven't even found all of the species there are to find yet. If loading the Ark at a species a minute takes nineteen years, how long does it take to actually collect all of those animals, bring them back, and keep them alive until the rain started?

As long as you like, since rather obviously none of this actually happened. It isn't just "unlikely". It is mathematically impossible. Genesis is myth.

All evidence contradicts it. No evidence supports it. The evidence that contradicts it isn't "subtle", it is enormous, in-your-face things like the assessment of numbers and ages above.

Given that Genesis is myth, should we take any of the Bible seriously?

The answer is almost certainly no. After all, a divinely inspired work could hardly be expected to contain such an egregious error in the very first book and not be chock full of errors derived and otherwise everywhere else. Jesus more or less directly endorses Genesis. So does Paul. This is direct proof that neither of them was gifted with perfect knowledge, because the events described in Genesis never happened.

Once one has finally come to grips with this fact, one can start to look at the evidence for the process of evolution (which is overwhelming) without blinders on. Until then, one's reason is inverted. It is "The Bible must be true, so all of this science and evidence is wrong." This requires incredibly convoluted and twisted explanations to make work. The truth is much simpler. The Bible is wrong.


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