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Natural selection is proven wrong

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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Postby alextemplet » Sun May 03, 2009 2:32 pm

Colonial insects are an interesting special case. If we look at mammals, the reason parents so often go to such lengths to protect their offspring is basically out of a desire to see that their genes will have a future. In mammals, parents and children share 50% of their genome, and so do siblings. In colonial insects, the entire colony is centered around the queen and her constant reproduction. Every offspring she hatches is a sibling to the entire rest of the colony; thus they already have a very strong and evolutionarily valid reason to ensure each other's survival. I read somewhere that worker bees share about 75% of their genome, significantly higher than the 50% shared among mammalian siblings and giving them a much stronger reason to work together for mutual benefit. Overall, the system these insects have worked out is really "thinking outside the box" in evolutionary terms. Even though many of them don't reproduce in the classical sense of the word, they still are very successful at ensuring the continuation of their genes.
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Re: Natural selection is proven wrong

Postby AFJ » Sun May 03, 2009 5:07 pm

I guess what saddens me about evolution, uniformintarianism (belief that almost all natural processes have always proceeded at the same rate we see today), and naturalism (belief that all creation is the result of only natural processes) are two things.

1. Teaching these things as though they are scientific law.

a. The evidence we have to observe today is limited in what is testable scientifically. Therefore there is an abundance of storytelling, conjecture, and suggestions from the so-called authorities of the subject (all of these people do not even agree among themselves when it comes down to the actual DYNAMICS of how things happened).

b. To claim evolution is a fact is in a nutshell cheating. A true scientist is bound by the scientific method--by repeated experimentation and testing theory moves to scientific law. But now evolutionists have replaced this process with CONSENSUS. As though the scientific method can be usurped by democratic majority.

c. This does not mean that a paleontologist or stratigraphist does not observe evidence--he does--but his evidence is incomplete-- he was not there in the past to see how it came to that state of being. Therefore the history of the object must be there to draw a deduction--but it is not because he was not there. He must interpret then it according to the teachings he has received--his beliefs about the evidence. And anything that does not seem to fit is tabled or ignored.

2. The huge infrastructure by which these teachings are propagated.

a. Who can stand up against the government itself, who has legislated anything but these teachings, and philosophy out of our education system.

b. The majority of higher education and the media are liberal politically and at most deistic, pantheistic, or agnostic religiously and so these things fit fine with their beliefs and philosophy of life.

c. All dissenters within these systems will be hushed or eliminated.

I leave you with this thought though--a telescope operates by refracting light to a focal point and thereby magnifying the observed object, but it was not made by these principles. Neither can we interpret or explain the existence of, the separation and organization of, the continual power of all the elements, compounds, mixtures, and molecules--- the information and complexity of life's systems and micro-systems, and sustaining power by which life exists-- the immensity and unimaginable power of the galaxies, and the order thereof. All of the power and order contained in creation can not be explained by current natural laws, but only by God who loves all of us, and who planned our salvation and the sending of His Word made flesh--His Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins--and to raise again to be Lord of Lords and Kings of Kings--and by Him all these things consist!
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Postby alextemplet » Sun May 03, 2009 7:59 pm

AFJ wrote:The evidence we have to observe today is limited in what is testable scientifically. Therefore there is an abundance of storytelling, conjecture, and suggestions from the so-called authorities of the subject (all of these people do not even agree among themselves when it comes down to the actual DYNAMICS of how things happened).


Of course there's some lively debate going on, but it wouldn't be science if everyone agreed with each other. "Storytelling" is too harsh of a term; conjecture, yes, but it's the same sort of conjecture that an auto mechanic might make when he hears an engine making a particularly nasty-sounding noise. Until he actually peeks under the hood he won't know for sure, but that still doesn't mean he doesn't have a pretty good idea of what's causing the trouble. Similarly, almost nothing in science is known with absolute certainty, and that's why there's always a healthy degree of conjecture and debate going on. But that doesn't mean that scientists are engaged in some massive conspiracy to pass off some fairy-tale on the genera public.

AFJ wrote:To claim evolution is a fact is in a nutshell cheating.


To claim that evolution is a fact would merely be a statement of what we have observed, sort of like calling a banana yellow. No one can seriously doubt this unless they're also willing to claim that the sky doesn't occasionally exhibit a slight shade of blue. I think you're confusing the observable facts of evolution with various theories behind mechanisms which drive it (natural selection comes to mind, but there are others). Those theories are themselves debatable and not all of them are widely accepted, but just because we don't fully understand how evolution works doesn't mean it doesn't work any more than not knowing how to drive a car or ride a bike invalidates the fact that cars are driven and bikes are ridden.

AFJ wrote:But now evolutionists have replaced this process with CONSENSUS. As though the scientific method can be usurped by democratic majority.


Again this is probably being more than a bit unfair. If it just so happens that the majority of scientists accept evolution or the theory of natural selection, then it is probably because the majority of evidence we have so far been able to collect supports such a view. Unless you're willing to argue that all physicists have secretly banded together to present a unified consensus designed to convince us to believe in a little myth called gravity even though they don't have a shred of evidence to back it up.

AFJ wrote:This does not mean that a paleontologist or stratigraphist does not observe evidence--he does--but his evidence is incomplete-- he was not there in the past to see how it came to that state of being. Therefore the history of the object must be there to draw a deduction--but it is not because he was not there. He must interpret then it according to the teachings he has received--his beliefs about the evidence. And anything that does not seem to fit is tabled or ignored.


Sort of like how certain members of certain religious organizations have a habit of ignoring anything that might challenge their faith? Ditto for politicians and political parties? Come on now, even the most casual reading of any scientific journal will show that scientists are constantly seeking and exploring new ideas, not simply clinging doggedly to old dogmas!

AFJ wrote:Who can stand up against the government itself, who has legislated anything but these teachings, and philosophy out of our education system.


The government has a certain obligation to ensure the competency of public education, which has a certain obligation to ensure that what our children are taught bears at least a passing resemblance to reality, unless you want our chemistry teachers to go back to teaching that the only elements are earth, air, fire, and water.

AFJ wrote:The majority of higher education and the media are liberal politically and at most deistic, pantheistic, or agnostic religiously and so these things fit fine with their beliefs and philosophy of life.


As a college student myself, I'll grant you that some professors are militantly liberal, but let's be fair. At least as many have just as strong of a conservative bias, so overall I'd have to say the perspective among collegiate educators is pretty balanced. As for the media, I would rate their bias as at least slightly on the conservative side.

AFJ wrote:All dissenters within these systems will be hushed or eliminated.


Once again, even the most casual reading of any scientific journal will show that you are wrong. Quit confusing scientists with the Republican party.

AFJ wrote:All of the power and order contained in creation can not be explained by current natural laws, but only by God who loves all of us, and who planned our salvation and the sending of His Word made flesh--His Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins--and to raise again to be Lord of Lords and Kings of Kings--and by Him all these things consist!


Yes, we should all pay much closer attention to what Jesus said, especially where he instructed us to prepare for the coming of the final prophet that would come after him, the great Muhammed, who proclaimed the way to all of us who live in ignorance. Only a deity as powerful as that which Muhammed proclaimed can possibly explain the wonders of the natural world all around us!
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Postby AFJ » Sun May 03, 2009 10:37 pm

Alex, I tried to do this as you do, by quoting portions but I did something wrong--so I did this manually. Maybe you can give me a lesson. You know us middle aged people! lol


ALEX "Storytelling" is too harsh of a term;"

AFJ--By story telling I mean it literally--professors have to make up scenarios which no one has proved or seen. Chemistry on the other hand can be proven and tested, medical science can be researched and proven to be true much more than the geologic time scale or the diagram of primate to man. The latter are impossible to prove because they are historical science not applied science.



ALEX "...conjecture that an auto mechanic might make when he hears an engine making a particularly nasty-sounding noise. Until he actually peeks under the hood he won't know for sure, but that still doesn't mean he doesn't have a pretty good idea of what's causing the trouble."

AFJ---But we can't "peek"-- that's my point, you can only interpret evidence according to your model which is the big bang, collapsing nebulae theory, the geologic timescale, and microorganism to man evolution. Creationists have no problem fitting the evidence into the model of creation by design and a worldwide flood. We still ask questions and investigate, there are still unknowns.


ALEX "Similarly, almost nothing in science is known with absolute certainty, and that's why there's always a healthy degree of conjecture and debate going on. But that doesn't mean that scientists are engaged in some massive conspiracy to pass off some fairy-tale on the genera public."

AFJ---Again, there are scientific laws in the applied sciences and mathematics which are laws which can be tested and proven to the greatest degree that science allows. Historical science cannot do this whether one believes in evolution or creation by God. I do not believe in conspiracy theories, although I know how the science field is political, because man is political.

ALEX "To claim that evolution is a fact would merely be a statement of what we have observed, sort of like calling a banana yellow. No one can seriously doubt this unless they're also willing to claim that the sky doesn't occasionally exhibit a slight shade of blue."

AFJ I don't doubt many results of research. Just one instance, chimps and humans apparently have what 95% DNA in common. Of course until we count sequencing and "junk DNA" which I am quite sure will be found not to be "junk" as time goes along. But it would seem apparent that a common designer would have a common method of design. We have many things in common with chimps in design, but we also have many things that are different. The word of God declares that man is not a beast but a living eternal soul. He did not come from another species but God breathed a soul into him. Common designer, not common ancestor.

ALEX "I think you're confusing the observable facts of evolution with various theories behind mechanisms which drive it (natural selection comes to mind, but there are others). Those theories are themselves debatable and not all of them are widely accepted, but just because we don't fully understand how evolution works doesn't mean it doesn't work any more than not knowing how to drive a car or ride a bike invalidates the fact that cars are driven and bikes are ridden."

AFJ--My head is not in the sand sir. I have been hit in the face with evolution for 47 years. I have studied to see why many scientists believe this way. Do you yourself know the history of uniformintarianistic thought upon which Darwin's books found fertile soil to produce the evolutionary faith?

Also you are using circular reasoning here. You admit that the theories upon which evolution rest upon are debatable, but then you equate evolution to a car as though it is undebatable reality.

What you can actually observe is natural selection (which by critical research has also been observed to reverse itself) and speciation. There is obviously a variation allowance in the genome which allows adaptation to different environments through natural selection. A creator would have surely put this variation within the genome for survival. The bible says that God created the different "kinds" not species. Species is a modern scientific term. "Kinds" is obviously a general term but we are researching to see how general. Is it the same as a family or order?

But what no one has observed is a mutation that adds information to the genome, and which also results in a higher species. This is a critical issue that is ignored by evolutionists. They tout observable NS and say little of this kind of mutation---and it is absolutely NECESSARY for evolution to take place. If it had been observed it would have been on every headline and TV channel worldwide.

This is why you can not make such an arrogant claim that evolution is scientific law! If you want to teach it as theory, I can handle that, but to ignore the scientific method and to blend evolution, which is a historical science, with applied science, with the purpose of borrowing from it's creditability is not at scientific, but being slick.

If it just so happens that the majority of scientists accept evolution or the theory of natural selection, then it is probably because the majority of evidence we have so far been able to collect supports such a view. Unless you're willing to argue that all physicists have secretly banded together to present a unified consensus designed to convince us to believe in a little myth called gravity even though they don't have a shred of evidence to back it up.

Again you are taking applied science--in this case Newtonian physics-- and applying it to historical science. Historical science requires observed history in order to correctly interpret what we see today. But then you have bought the fact for instance that carbon 14 and other radiometric dating methods are infallible, without considering critical research that has shown the contrary.

Sort of like how certain members of certain religious organizations have a habit of ignoring anything that might challenge their faith?

Evolution does not challenge my faith, but it challenges your soul. I am writing to you not for my sake but for yours! Microorganism to man evolution--not natural selection or speciation--is an idea in man's mind that finds its rudiments in atheistic philosophy--not Judeo-Christian or Islamic faith.



The government has a certain obligation to ensure the competency of public education, which has a certain obligation to ensure that what our children are taught bears at least a passing resemblance to reality, unless you want our chemistry teachers to go back to teaching that the only elements are earth, air, fire, and water.

First of all, please don't be guilty of the arrogance of our generation. Science was birthed in the philosophy of the Greeks. If they had not built the foundation of scientific inquiry, we would not have the discoveries we have today. In 200 years they will look perhaps at our primitive understanding. And you again seem to lay evolutionary thought on the applied science of chemistry, as if to borrow from it's credibility and scientific law. You err my friend in this.
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Re: Natural selection is proven wrong

Postby alextemplet » Mon May 04, 2009 1:15 am

AFJ wrote:Alex, I tried to do this as you do, by quoting portions but I did something wrong--so I did this manually. Maybe you can give me a lesson. You know us middle aged people! lol


Just type this code: [xquote="name"x]text[x/quotex] Fill in the name of the person you're quoting and the text he/she typed, and delete the x's (I only have them here to make the code visible to you).

AFJ wrote:By story telling I mean it literally--professors have to make up scenarios which no one has proved or seen.


Almost nothing in science is proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, so that's an irrelevant point. Seen? Yes, I'll grant you that no one alive today was able to see what happened millions of years ago. Of course, no one around today witnessed the construction of the Egyptian pyramids, either. Some people believe the pyramids were built by aliens. So-called "serious" scientists discredit such explanations as lacking in sufficient evidence, and go with hypotheses more consistent with observable data. If scientists used your methods, we'd be giving those alien theorists a voice in scientific circles that they just don't deserve. My point is that just because something happened in the past doesn't mean we can't figure out a little bit about what happened.

AFJ wrote:Chemistry on the other hand can be proven and tested


And yet very little in chemistry is provable, and there's a lot that doesn't even make sense to the casual observer, but the theories we have fit the evidence better than anything else, so chemists go with it even though some parts of it seem downright weird. p-orbitals are a perfect example. The p-orbital exists in two lobes projecting in opposite directions from the nucleus, with a gap in the center. Somehow, an electron is capable of crossing from one lobe to the other without ever passing through the gap. No one's sure how it happens, but as far as we can tell, it does. Does this mean p-orbitals don't exist? Certainly not; it just means we don't understand them as well as we'd like to.

AFJ wrote:But we can't "peek"-- that's my point, you can only interpret evidence according to your model


If this was true, then every police detective in the world would be out of work. Again, just because something happened in the past doesn't mean we can't piece together clues and figure out what happened.

AFJ wrote:Creationists have no problem fitting the evidence into the model of creation by design and a worldwide flood.


I'm afraid I'm going to have to call an untruth on this one. There is no evidence that a worldwide flood ever occurred, so I'm at a loss to see how you can fit evidence that doesn't exist into such a model.

AFJ wrote:I do not believe in conspiracy theories, although I know how the science field is political, because man is political.


I've got to agree with you on this one. At my university, I've met more than a few professors who think the classroom is the perfect place to preach a political agenda. It's regrettable, but as you say, it's only human, so sigh . . . :roll:

AFJ wrote:The word of God declares that man is not a beast but a living eternal soul. He did not come from another species but God breathed a soul into him. Common designer, not common ancestor.


Are you willing to bet your soul on that one? :)

AFJ wrote:I have studied to see why many scientists believe this way. Do you yourself know the history of uniformintarianistic thought upon which Darwin's books found fertile soil to produce the evolutionary faith?


I know a little bit about how some people have twisted Darwin's theory around to suit their own political agenda, just as countless people throughout history have subjected the Bible to similar abuse. Politics should be kept out of science (and religion too, for that matter). Pity that such idealism rarely comes to pass.

AFJ wrote:Also you are using circular reasoning here. You admit that the theories upon which evolution rest upon are debatable, but then you equate evolution to a car as though it is undebatable reality.


This is not circular reasoning at all, because evolution is an observable phenomenon just like gravity. The theories explaining evolution are indeed debatable, just as multiple theories have been proposed to explain gravity; however, these multiple and debatable theories do not change the central irrefutable fact of the phenomenon in question.

In fact, given the nature of some of the statements you have made, do you really want to be the one bringing up matters of circular reasoning? People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

AFJ wrote:What you can actually observe is natural selection (which by critical research has also been observed to reverse itself) and speciation.


No, natural selection is a theory put forward by Charles Darwin to explain how organisms evolve. Evolution is an observable fact of nature that scientists have been aware of since at least the period of classical Greece.

AFJ wrote:The bible says that God created the different "kinds" not species. Species is a modern scientific term. "Kinds" is obviously a general term but we are researching to see how general. Is it the same as a family or order?


This is a question I have often asked and never heard answered. Can you answer it?

AFJ wrote:But what no one has observed is a mutation that adds information to the genome, and which also results in a higher species.


First of all, yes, mutations have been observed that add information to the genome, especially in the medical sciences. Secondly, how do you define "higher" species?

AFJ wrote:This is why you can not make such an arrogant claim that evolution is scientific law!


I'm not saying it's a scientific law, merely that it's an observable phenomenon. Those aren't exactly the same thing.

AFJ wrote:But then you have bought the fact for instance that carbon 14 and other radiometric dating methods are infallible, without considering critical research that has shown the contrary.


Of course C14 dating is not infallible! Neither, for that matter, is any other form of radiometric dating. There's always a margin of error involved. However, that margin of error is much, much smaller than some people would like us to believe.

AFJ wrote:Evolution does not challenge my faith, but it challenges your soul.


Does it? Because the Church I belong to would disagree. In fact, it was my Church that first put forward the Big Bang theory. Top that! :D

AFJ wrote:I am writing to you not for my sake but for yours!


I am glad to see you are so concerned about me! I am writing this because, for some strange reason, I enjoy discussing the topic.

AFJ wrote:Microorganism to man evolution--not natural selection or speciation--is an idea in man's mind that finds its rudiments in atheistic philosophy--not Judeo-Christian or Islamic faith.


You might want to read some of the works of St. Augustine of Hippo, a 4th century writer who was one of the leading pioneers of Christian philosophy and theology. He was also an evolutionist, which is why I am citing him as an example of evolutionary thought that existed in Judaeo-Christian thinking long before atheism came into existence.

AFJ wrote:First of all, please don't be guilty of the arrogance of our generation.


I try not to. After all, I often find myself sickened by some of the ideas put forward in modern American culture! If you happen to catch me in such an act, however, please be so kind as to point it out so I can correct myself.

AFJ wrote:Science was birthed in the philosophy of the Greeks. If they had not built the foundation of scientific inquiry, we would not have the discoveries we have today.


There's a lot of truth in this, since the Greeks contributed significantly to humanity's intellectual development. However, the roots of science can be traced back even further than the Greeks, at least as far as the Babylonians and Egyptians. I know, I'm a history nerd!

AFJ wrote:And you again seem to lay evolutionary thought on the applied science of chemistry, as if to borrow from it's credibility and scientific law. You err my friend in this.


Actually the biological sciences in general are heavily founded upon chemistry; this is why I have no choice but to take a minor in chemistry if I want to earn a BS in biology! So I don't think I've erred in anything. As long as living organisms continue to be composed of carbon compounds undergoing all sorts of chemical reactions, then it will continue to be justifiable to look to concepts of chemistry to help explain certain phenomena of biology.

Now that I'm finished discussing my favorite theory, I'd like to hear you explain yours. You've already given a few indications of what you believe. Would you mind explaining it in detail and presenting some evidence for why you believe so?
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Re: Natural selection is proven wrong

Postby biohazard » Mon May 04, 2009 7:17 am

AFJ wrote: All of the power and order contained in creation can not be explained by current natural laws, but only by God who loves all of us, and who planned our salvation and the sending of His Word made flesh--His Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins--and to raise again to be Lord of Lords and Kings of Kings--and by Him all these things consist!


I saw a TV documentary several years ago where a small, that time about 10-year-old Tutsi girl from Rwanda was interviewed. The girl was attending a christian school near the capital Kigali. In the interview this girl told that her life-long dream had been to become a nurse. However, during the Rwanda massacre in 1994 Hutu invaders had raided her village and took her captive. The captors had cut off both of her hands with a machete, and thus, in the interview it became quite obvious that she had given up all hope of achieving her dreams.

That day I realised that despite God claims to love all of us, he lies. If one who is almighty does not intervene in such brutality as cutting off a small girl's hands even if he could prevent it, it cannot be called love. If you loved your child, or anyone, you would never ever let anyone do things like that. But God, well, he apparently had better things to do. This is of course just one of the billions of horrors innocent people (such as little children) face on this planet, but it is all good as far as God is concerned. He just couldn't be bothered.

You can argue that people have the freedom of choice, they are the ones who do these brutalities, but this girl had absolutely no chance, no way to choose her fate. She probably prayed before she was dismembered.

God, who is almighty, could have prevented this without any problems. But as it turned out, he chose to not to do anything. A little girl had to endure unimaginable pain and fear beyond our wildest nightmares, and saw all her dreams crushed. In this light, it seems pretty obvious that God doesn't give a ****. Actually, it often looks like god is like a little boy with some sugar and a magnifying lens at an ant hill: with one hand he gives sugar to the ants who rush to the treat, thinking it's their happy day - and then with the other hand he brings the lens, burning all the ants at the surgar piece under the blazing sun. To me, God seems like a sadistic person, much more so than vast majority of us humans. After all, unlike us humans, he could end all the misery, pain and sorrow in the world now.

Ok, by now you must be wondering what the hell does all this have to do with evolution and natural selection. It is this:

People who share this twisted and sick idea of love with their creator come here and try to argument their case by claiming that this sadistic, irrational, unpredictible supernatural entity that loves us by letting little girls get mutilated beyond recognition has also created all what is around us. Well, I say that if he creates like he loves, we'd be better off dead.

But luckily all the beautiful, interesting nature, though often perilous and brutal, can be explained by the laws of physics, chemistry and biology, and we do not need to invent any supernatural forces to explain things. Also luckily it looks like God is just imagination of some superstitious people, because no evidence of him or his doings can be found whatsoever. Were this vengeful and wicked entity really around, we'd be majorly screwed.

You can bring your gods into the conversation for all I care, but at least take a moment to reflect on how absurd and contradictory YOUR version of things is!
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Postby alextemplet » Mon May 04, 2009 3:45 pm

biohazard wrote:But luckily all the beautiful, interesting nature, though often perilous and brutal, can be explained by the laws of physics, chemistry and biology, and we do not need to invent any supernatural forces to explain things.


Actually, as I mentioned previously with my reference to p-orbitals, there is much in the natural sciences that cannot be explained. I'm not saying that we should revert to the supernatural by default, just pointing out that if you're going to throw rocks about absurdity, you should make sure your own facts are straight first. People who live in glass houses . . .

biohazard wrote:Also luckily it looks like God is just imagination of some superstitious people, because no evidence of him or his doings can be found whatsoever.


Again if you really want to split hairs here, you'll likely find yourself on the losing side of that debate. I'm hesitant to go there, as that's a debate that really doesn't belong in this forum. I'll just repeat my previous warning, and point out that if you want anyone else to respect your own beliefs, it would be wise to likewise respect th beliefs of others.

Discussion about the presence of good or evil in the world is pointless, because those are subjective terms that depend not only on how we define them but also on the bias of the person making the argument. In fact, one could even argue that the presence of evil exists to make good even stronger. For example, would a life as inspiring as Martin Luther King, Ghandi, or Mother Theresa have been lived had the evil they fought against not existed? I don't really intend to get too deeply into this discussion, just pointing out that the very nature of this subject means that almost anything you say can be legitimately interpreted another way and used against you. You would be wise to avoid this topic entirely.
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Postby AFJ » Tue May 05, 2009 2:30 am

Alex, I don't have alot of time during the week, so i really can't do anything justice.

The only thing I can say is let's define evolution. Rubber meets road there are two types. Micro evolution which is observable in the present which would be species changes in FAMILIES of fauna or animals. Example would be the interbreeding of dogs. Varied species in the same genus, order, or family, which have been OBSERVED to change. Creationists have no problem with this. Also some of the principles of NS are observable in the present, but research also has shown the return of disappearing traits when favorable environmental factors return. This could indicate that the DNA contains pre-programed material which allows variance in traits --or adaptation to environment. That is some traits may lie dormant in genetic material depending on environmental conditions.

Then there is macro-evolution which no scientist has ever observed. He has never seen a chimp evolve into the pilt-down man, which was diagrammed in the primate-to-man illustration and was based on the tooth of an extinct pig. No one has ever seen the genome mutate to ADD information and create a new family. The evolutionists take micro evolution and assumes that there will be no genetic boundaries, but God has them there and has always had them there. I know all about the theories of speciation and the separation of species from each other. And i'm talking about change in families not species. But may I say no one saw it--so one has to BELIEVE it.

Evolution takes faith Alex--bottom line. Alex, you've only heard one side of the story all your life, and there are always two sides of the story.

Where is the anti-matter from the big-bang? Energy transforming into matter produces anti-matter in the labratory. The universe shoud be full of antimatter which would in turn destroy it.

Why are there fossilized fish in the himalayas, and the upper layers of the grand canyon? Why are there severe bends in the multiple strata that is supposed to have been layed down over millions of years--should be cracked not bent? Because it was laid down quickly.

Have you seen how large canyons can be formed by floods? Or how large boulders are where they should not be?

Why is there so much buried material in the earth's crust which has been oxidized? Because it was once wet sediment or material covered by water. Please-- water rust things much quicker than air. Leave some water droplets on a hatchet and see how long it takes to oxidize where the droplets are sitting.
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Re: Natural selection is proven wrong

Postby alextemplet » Tue May 05, 2009 3:35 am

AFJ wrote:Alex, I don't have alot of time during the week, so i really can't do anything justice.


Welcome to my world. I've got four tests this week and then finals next week. Busy busy, but here's a few brief thoughts:

There is only one type of evolution. The difference between micro and macro is meaningless; in fact, it's not even a difference that is recognized by scientists! This is merely a creative tactic developed by the anti-evolution crowd to try to create uncertainty where there isn't any. It's a pretty neat idea, isn't it? If you wish to attack an idea that is solidly supported by evidence, you can just change the idea itself until it no longer fits. If only science worked that way!

What makes this such an effective tactic for the anti-evolution crowd is that they have conveniently forgotten to define where the boundary lies between macro and micro, sort of like how they never bothered to define "kinds". Originally, macro was considered anything above the species level, until several cases of speciation were demonstrated. Then they moved the definition up to the genus level and then to family, because as long as they keep changing the definition they can keep claiming that it's never been observed. I'm sure I don't have to explain to you why this is a logical disaster as a debating tactic.

AFJ wrote:Evolution takes faith Alex--bottom line. Alex, you've only heard one side of the story all your life, and there are always two sides of the story.


I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt here because you don't know me, but I'd appreciate it if you'd not make any unnecessary assumptions about my faith life. I live in the south, where the religious right is the dominant force in politics, so I've had ample exposure to "both sides" during my lifetime. Not to mention the anti-global warming types in my church who are less than happy with my decision to major in environmental biology. One even went so far as to warn me that ecology is becoming the new religion. :roll:

AFJ wrote:Why are there fossilized fish in the himalayas, and the upper layers of the grand canyon? Why are there severe bends in the multiple strata that is supposed to have been layed down over millions of years--should be cracked not bent? Because it was laid down quickly.


No, because the rock that now forms the tops of mountains was once at the bottom of the sea, and was gradually pushed upwards as the mountains developed over millions of years. Look up plate tectonics.

AFJ wrote:Where is the anti-matter from the big-bang? Energy transforming into matter produces anti-matter in the labratory. The universe shoud be full of antimatter which would in turn destroy it.


Interesting you mention the big bang, one of my favorite little subjects of astrophysics, and I believe still one of the best pieces of evidence for the existence of a creator ever put forward. Pity so many people seem to associate it with atheism, when the theory was created by the Catholic Church in order to prove that the universe had a moment of creation as described in the Bible. But that's getting a little too much into history, and I have a test tomorrow I should be studying for, so if you're interested in discussing the topic some more I'm sure we can find time later in the week. :wink:
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Re:

Postby biohazard » Tue May 05, 2009 6:52 am

alextemplet wrote:
biohazard wrote:But luckily all the beautiful, interesting nature, though often perilous and brutal, can be explained by the laws of physics, chemistry and biology, and we do not need to invent any supernatural forces to explain things.


Actually, as I mentioned previously with my reference to p-orbitals, there is much in the natural sciences that cannot be explained. I'm not saying that we should revert to the supernatural by default, just pointing out that if you're going to throw rocks about absurdity, you should make sure your own facts are straight first. People who live in glass houses . . .


If we cannot explain something currently does not mean it cannot be explained. It is just our limits that prevent us from doing it, but it doesn't mean something couldn't be explained by the laws of nature. I know it's been the way of the mankind for ages to explain all they don't understand by calling it an act of god. Just take a lightning bolt as an example: not too long ago just about every civilization believed it to be a sign of god's anger, the great overgod venting out his anger upon us puny mortals and so on - just look how often Zeus is portraited with a bundle of lightning bolts in his hand. But when our knowledge increased it became apparent that it could be easily explained by the laws of nature. Not so godly anymore?

Surely there are many difficult things to explain, some of which may remain unexplained for us forever. In this cases it is of course easy to just call it god's doings and not confess that it is just our limitations that prevent us from seeing the real nature of certain phenomena.

biohazard wrote:Also luckily it looks like God is just imagination of some superstitious people, because no evidence of him or his doings can be found whatsoever.


alextemplet wrote:Again if you really want to split hairs here, you'll likely find yourself on the losing side of that debate. I'm hesitant to go there, as that's a debate that really doesn't belong in this forum. I'll just repeat my previous warning, and point out that if you want anyone else to respect your own beliefs, it would be wise to likewise respect th beliefs of others.

Discussion about the presence of good or evil in the world is pointless, because those are subjective terms that depend not only on how we define them but also on the bias of the person making the argument. In fact, one could even argue that the presence of evil exists to make good even stronger. For example, would a life as inspiring as Martin Luther King, Ghandi, or Mother Theresa have been lived had the evil they fought against not existed? I don't really intend to get too deeply into this discussion, just pointing out that the very nature of this subject means that almost anything you say can be legitimately interpreted another way and used against you. You would be wise to avoid this topic entirely.


Nice evasive action. Yes, I know christians are good at twisting words, because that's what you usually have to do to get even some tiny amount of logic in the bible's promises about all-loving god and the complete lack of it in the actual world :)

No matter what definition of love in the world you choose to use, the fact that you choose not to act, when you can, if a small girl's hands are being torn off is not love. If God had loved that little girl, he would have intervened. That is all I need to know about God.

Yes, I know that soon I hear something about God's mighty plans that are too complex for us to understand and which probably involve a handless girl. And yes, I know that the same guy let also his son to be hammered onto a cross with nails piercing through his hands and legs because he loved him so much. Or was it so that he loved just us so much that he let us torture and kill his son? I wish I had as cool a father as Jesus had :/

When I was a kid and they taught us what happened to Jesus I remember thinking that "man, we really have an evil God", and that view surely hasn't changed except that I'm starting to hope that there is no God.

You say this is off-topic, and maybe so, but as long as I keep bumping into god and religious dogmas as arguments in half of the scientific debates, and especially when it is not just an ethical argument but actually explaining how things are ("well, God just made it so!"), just proves that this is an important topic that should be addressed in order to prevent people from being completely mislead.

And I respect you Alex, as well as other people on this forum. You seem like an intelligent, well-educated person with good scientific skills. I have actually enjoyed reading most of your posts here, which are well-structured, clever and rarely miss the point. That probably also makes you a difficult opponent in this debate ;)

But religions in general, I can unfortunately only respect as interesting cultural and historical phenomena rich in tradition, which had their place in the past, but not in today.

To me it strongly looks that religions have formed to explain things we haven't been able to explain and to alleviate our fear of death (ever-lasting life in the heaven sounds very nice and all when the true life is hard and bitchy, your crops fail and your son dies of pneumonia, or when the Black Death wipes out your village - or any such small joys the life offered to people in the past and still often offers today). Also, religions have always been excellent means of controlling people. You can still today see how the Chatolic Church and Islam suppress and manipulate their people. No wonder virtually none of the most developed and equal countries in the world are neither Catholic or Islamist. The apparent wealth of a few Arab countries is simply because of oil, if they had none of it they'd be developing countries like the rest of them.
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Postby wbla3335 » Tue May 05, 2009 10:44 am

Well, I have to side with biohazard on this one. Science has few final answers on anything, but at least it tries to find answers based on observation and testing the validity of those observations. Because hardcore atheists have no final answers, faith does enter the picture. Our faith, however, and this is the crux of the matter, is not a blind faith. It's based on probability - the probability that what we observe and verify by testing is LIKELY to be true. We find it difficult to believe in gods of any sort because there is precious little evidence, or need, for doing so. We've learned a lot about ourselves and our world since the days of comparative ignorance when today's religions were founded. We humans are what we are because of our brains, not our physical strength or speed or sensory acuity. We have survived and become dominant because we are good at figuring things out. Religions are attempts at explanation and served us well in the absence of anything better. But now there is something better at explaining the world we live in. Sure, there are plenty of unknowns and gaps and maybe's, and some of our cherished notions will some day be shown to be inaccurate, but we are slowly ratcheting ourselves towards understanding. We are doing so by using what has got us this far, not by clinging to what we wish were true.

How many gods have we imagined there to be over the millenia? How many are independent of culture or geography? How many remain in contention? How many can vie for top spot? Which god is the one and only god? Why do we need gods? Why do we kill each other in their names? Why can't we just move on? What is it about death that scares the **** out of us and turns us into blithering idiots? Why can we not become worthy of living up to our name and claim sapience?

Sorry if I've offended anyone, but sometimes a good smack in the head is useful.
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Postby alextemplet » Tue May 05, 2009 4:59 pm

biohazard wrote:If we cannot explain something currently does not mean it cannot be explained. . . . Surely there are many difficult things to explain, some of which may remain unexplained for us forever. In this cases it is of course easy to just call it god's doings . . .


You are absolutely correct, but I think you missed my point. You said that the laws of biology, chemistry, and physics, are sufficient to explain the world around us. As it currently stands, they are not, because there is much that still baffles us. I'm not saying we should automatically invoke the supernatural for the unexplainable path of every single electron; I'm just pointing out that claiming that we can fully understand our universe through purely natural means is just a tad bit on the prideful side. Maybe one day we will, although I doubt it; today, we certainly cannot.

biohazard wrote:No matter what definition of love in the world you choose to use, the fact that you choose not to act, when you can, if a small girl's hands are being torn off is not love. If God had loved that little girl, he would have intervened. That is all I need to know about God.


I understand where you're coming from, but you're still using a purely subjective definition. Based on my own understanding, I'm obviously going to disagree, and I feel confident that I can defend my position with just as much logic and reason as you claim is inherent in yours. But as I said before, that's not a debate that's going to lead anywhere other than possibly getting us all ticked off with each other, so we'd do better to stick to pure science.

And besides, let's assume for a minute that you're right, and God (if He exists) is really a sick, sadistic bastard. Does that prove that He doesn't exist? Of course not! It just means that many people have a very inaccurate view of Him. This is why this topic is best left alone. Nothing you can say will ever disprove God's existence, just as I stand an equally fleeting chance of proving that He does. All we can do is accept that some of us believe and some of us don't, and some of us have different opinions about Him, and just agree to disagree.

biohazard wrote:To me it strongly looks that religions have formed to explain things we haven't been able to explain and to alleviate our fear of death


Ok, I'm going to break my own rule and indulge this topic a bit, because I think it might help if I try to explain why I believe as I do. The spectrum of religious belief is so broad and diverse that it is probably wrong to make such sweeping generalizations about all believers. I can only answer this question for myself, but for me, belief in God has nothing to do with explaining mysteries of the universe or a happy place to go when I die. To be perfectly honest, I really don't give a rat's hind-end about what happens after I die; I simply believe to make my present life a bit more bearable. From what I've seen so far in my life, I am simply unable to convince myself that God does not exist. From the countless people in the Church who have reached out to help me when I was in need, to the equally countless happy coincidences (dare I say miracles?), to my own peace of mind that derives from encountering such an infinite and total love, I simply find myself unable to comprehend a world without God. Add in a few experiences of my own with the supernatural that convinces me that there must be more to the universe than what we can see, and I hope you can appreciate that there are at least some legitimate reasons why an educated, intelligent person would want to believe in God.

Also, if we're going to be brutally honest, I've seen a few atheists on this forum who make even the most hard-core creationists seem downright logical by comparison. So maybe we're all just a little bit crazy! ;)
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