Social Question

jerv's avatar

Who here wants to discuss Evolution versus Creationism in a civilized manner?

Asked by jerv (29173 points ) December 1st, 2010

There was a recent question regarding home schooling that has been sidetracked by this age-old debate.

Some have suggested another thread in which to continue that digression so that the main question can get back on track, so here it is!

Who wants to chime in on Creationism versus Evolution? What are your thoughts?

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226 Answers

snowberry's avatar

That folks here could actually discipline themselves to discuss such a topic in a civilized manner on THIS site? Oh, Puh-leeze!

phoebusg's avatar

Let’s start at the beginning…. there is no beginning. The universe is infinite, also always existed and will always exist. In this infinite time, all events and configuration of particles to space (and other dark matter we cannot detect)—have occured, and will occur again, maybe in a different template. In all this time, the creation of chemical systems such as life and their improvement over time (those that survive) is not unlikely. That’s my position, after a long day – questions? (May be answered when more time and energy arises:)

Trillian's avatar

Why bother?

zenvelo's avatar

I think this is just another question begging for an argument. This is not a debate over facts, it is a debate between scientific deduction and explanation on the one hand, and a religious belief system on the other. These cannot be reconciled.

jlelandg's avatar

Believing that there’s no such thing as evolution is pretty stupid since evolution is adaptation. When there are still some questions as far as how evolution was put into place, God could be a possibility, but most scientists acknowledge that their job isn’t to prove or disprove God, but to figure out the science. Why argue creationism v. evolution when one is religion and the other is science?

snowberry's avatar

What’s really telling is how much folks here are willing to destroy each other over it. There is no respect for tolerating the opinion of someone who doesn’t agree with you. The emotionalism is closer to that of a bunch of squabbling 5 year olds.

crisw's avatar

There really is no discussion. And it isn’t a “matter of opinion” where both sides have valid points.

Evolution is scientific fact.

There are no facts that contradict the theory of evolution.

Creationists discard the facts because they do not fit with their own personal belief system. Creationism is utterly, totally, completely scientifically invalid. Those who espouse it do so for religious reasons alone.

snowberry's avatar

@crisw I don’t agree. Can you deal with that?

jonsblond's avatar

@snowberry I know we haven’t agreed in the past, but I respect your opinion. I can deal, and I won’t belittle you for your beliefs.

crisw's avatar

@snowberry

But why don’t you agree? That is at the core of this.

Evolution is a matter of science. If you wish to dispute it, you cannot simply dismiss it because it contradicts your belief system, any more than you can dismiss gravity, which also contradicts Biblical accounts.

If you can present a logical, scientifically-based argument against evolution, I would love to hear it. But opposing evolution because of a religious belief system isn’t a valid refutation.

This isn’t “belittling” in any sense of the word. If someone holds a belief that is false, it isn’t belittling to point out that it is false.

Again- in the world of facts, there is no contest. Evolution is true. All the facts support it. No facts support creationism. That is the way it is. Wishing it wasn’t so doesn’t change this.

crisw's avatar

@snowberry

I see you repeatedly mentioning “opinion” “no respect” “emotionalism” etc.- obviously directed towards those who accept the fact of evolution.

May I ask, seriously, why you think creationism deserves respect in a scientific discussion?

Let’s say we were at a psychology conference and someone wanted to do a presentation claiming that all mental illness was the result of demonic possession. Should he be miffed that no one took him seriously?

snowberry's avatar

So far, EVERY single time I have mentioned something that is politically incorrect here on fluther, people have gone ballistic. Here, if you don’t agree with the majority and hold your ground, you are labeled as naive, uninformed, uneducated, etc., etc., Ad nauseum.

Who here actually believes that by acting like this, they actually stand any chance at all of convincing me of anything?

Personally, I’m more interested in seeing if anyone here is actually capable of remaining civil to someone they don’t agree with. I’ll be watching.

tigress3681's avatar

Evolution is currently constantly occurring. Not much to debate about. If you think it does not occur, then you are treating it the way I treat the news by being not abreast of the evidence or you are ignoring it. The only thing about evolution that is actually a theory, is the methods by which it occurs, the mechanisms, of which there are many. One such mechanism is the one proposed by Darwin to explain the data he observed.

Personally, I believe that Creation can occur simultaneously with evolution if you have faith that it can, that’s the beauty or the fugly of faith, it lets you believe anything.

snowberry's avatar

@crisw, Actually there is quite a handful of hot-topics here. Among them are alternative medicine, religion, politics, and actually anyone who expresses a strong belief in anything other than that which is politically correct on fluther, and that’s just a small number.

crisw's avatar

@snowberry

You haven’t answered a single one of my questions.

Obviously you have a problem with evolution. You are willing to complain about it, and about people who espouse it but you don’t seem willing to defend your own position. You’re just repeatedly criticizing evolutionists.

Again, this is not about “political correctness” or “respect.” It’s about truth and scientific validity.

So where are the facts to support your position?

DominicX's avatar

I believe God created man in his own image. I also believe God is a monkey.

Who says it has to be a contest between the two? Can there not be both evolution and creationism? I’m sure there are some people out there who believe that God set evolution in motion…

snowberry's avatar

Actually, I don’t recall saying a thing about evolutionists. I am simply not interested in dipping my toe into that part of the topic. What I AM looking at is whether anyone here is capable of dealing with conflict without defamation.

crisw's avatar

@snowberry

Other than you, there doesn’t seem to be any conflict. It seems you are attempting to create it, as everyone else has supported evolution as fact.

My questions still stand.

ETpro's avatar

In all the debates I have been in, when it comes right down to it, the creationist will admit that there is no evidence whatsoever sufficient to prove to them that they are wrong. The scientifically minded say just the opposite. Should evidence come forward showing they are wrong, they would immediately change their views. Given the dogmatic, unyielding nature of one side, no true debate is possible. All discussions with confirmed creationists are doomed to stalemate.

crisw's avatar

@DominicX

“Can there not be both evolution and creationism? I’m sure there are some people out there who believe that God set evolution in motion…”

Although I disagree with such a position, as it’s held purely due to religious belief and not scientific fact, I can understand it. And, if people want to believe this, that’s fine- as long as they keep such beliefs to themselves. It’s the rabid creationists who wish to rewrite school curricula and demand that their beliefs be given “equal time” who are my main concern.

snowberry's avatar

Ah ha. I have lost count of people who have started an account, asked a question that started a blast, and so they got discouraged and left. The point? You’re not friendly toward anyone you don’t agree with.

You have evidence that is simply that, evidence. Based on that, you come up with your theory. That’s why it’s called the Theory of Evolution. Yes folks, it’s STILL a theory.

And in the same manner, I look at the very same evidence, and come up with a different conclusion. I call it the theory of creation.

They are both theories. You choose to believe in yours, great. I am OK with that. Really!

I choose to believe in my theory. I predict that you cannot handle that.

jonsblond's avatar

@crisw What is wrong with giving equal time to the subject? I can’t involve myself in these discussions because my parents were not religious, I never attended church, and because of this I don’t know a thing about creationism. I was told the bible was nonsense. Why would I grab one and read it? Why not give children the chance to learn about both sides and make the decision on their own without the influence of their parents telling them what’s right and what’s wrong?

DominicX's avatar

@jonsblond

I think the argument is that only science is taught in schools and creationism is religious dogma, not science. Besides, if we teach Christian creationism, why not teach the Hindu creation story?

jonsblond's avatar

@DominicX I wish all religions were discussed in school. I would have liked it.

jerv's avatar

@zenvelo “I think this is just another question begging for an argument.”
Not quite; it’s more along the lines of, “Can we move this argument here?”. I don’t see this debate ending any time soon, so the best we can hope for is to contain the flames.

@ETpro You might like this page which debunks some of the pseudo-science that some Creationists use, and some Biblical evidence for long Creation days that allows the Universe to be created in a week and only 6,000 years old while still also being billions of years old.

crisw's avatar

@jonsblond

“What is wrong with giving equal time to the subject?...Why not give children the chance to learn about both sides ”

Because there is no “both sides.”

Creationism is purely a belief system.

Evolution is scientific fact.

What creationists want is to replace the teaching of evolution with the teaching of creationism, or at least to “give creationism equal time” in science classes. I’ve explained above why this is not tenable. Creationism is not science. We don’t teach astrology, alchemy, phrenology or water-witching in science class because these things are not science. Creationism isn’t one whit more scientific than any of these practices. As such, it doesn’t have any place at all being taught in a science class.

As far as a world religions or a mythology class- sure, teach the Christian story along with all of the others. I have no problem with that. But it’s no different, no more valid, and should not be given any more attention than any other creation story.

jonsblond's avatar

@crisw But there are both sides to this discussion. Of course creationism shouldn’t be taught in a science class, but give children the opportunity to learn about it somewhere else (outside of the church) so they can participate in these discussions. You can’t deny the fact that many people believe in creationism, so why hide it and say that it is wrong? Children aren’t stupid. They can decide for themselves.

iamthemob's avatar

Alright, @snowberry – if you haven’t been turned completely off and are ignoring the thread, let’s try to use the forum and see if @jerv‘s OP can be answered in the positive.

First, when you state that you believe in a creationist perspective, how exactly are you defining creationism?

ETpro's avatar

@jonsblond Would you also cater to Holocaust deniers by altering history classes to teach that the Nazis never put Jews in concentration camps and no Holocaust ever happened. How about teaching in American Government that the North really attacked the South and Slavery was not even an issue, as the South was about to get rid of it anyway. We teach things based on available evidence, not whatever some element out there advocates for.

You can take history of religion or comparative religion in school. It covers what each great religion teaches without advocating for one over another.

@snowberry Gravity is just a theory too. It’s a theory that the Earth revolves around the Sun, and not the opposite. Would you propose teaching a geocentric solar system and flat earth theory right alongside the heliocentric solar system and spherical Earth theories? After all, this is all “just” a theory. In science, theory doesn’t mean the same thing as hunch. A theory is the best tool we currently have to explain observed phenomena. It is always open to review and modification if new discoveries show that it is not correct or complete.

@jerv Thanks for the link.

tigress3681's avatar

“Just a theory” ~~ wow

jonsblond's avatar

@ETpro Wasn’t taught when I went. Nice to know it is now. Though I haven’t seen it in my children’s school. Maybe in college, but not before. Exaggerating a bit with your examples, aren’t we? What is wrong with teaching world religion in junior high and high school? Who is saying their beliefs are right? Not me. I would like to be educated though. Might make for more compassion in this world if we understood how others thought.

I’ll just stay ignorant and say hell with the bible cuz that’s what my parents told me.~

ETpro's avatar

@jonsblond I see nothing wrong with offering world religion in high school. Teaching one particular religion to the exclusion of others, I believe, is unconstitutional.

The creationist specifically want creationism taught in biology class alongside, if not in place of the science of evolution. Therein lies the rub.

jerv's avatar

@jonsblond I am with @ETpro on that one. Creationism is a theory, but not a scientific theory. A theory is a hypothesis that has been proven in a way that can be repeated consistently. I can drop heavy objects from tall places and measure their acceleration and thus prove gravity. Creationists can point at a book and tell me “God says you are wrong!” until they are blue in the face, but that isn’t really proof.

It may have it’s place in social studies, but Creationism (and religion in general) has no place in a class teaching the physical sciences. He may well exist (we can’t prove that He doesn’t) but He doesn’t qualify as biology, physics, chemistry, or and other hard science. God cannot be seen or measured, those who report seeing/hearing him have widely differing accounts, enough so that they cannot be considered even remotely repeatable. In short, God is unscientific.

I agree that we would probably have more compassion in this world if we understood how others thought. That is what the softer sciences are for. Theology, psychology, and Anthropology are a totally different ball of wax though, but that is where Creationism belongs in our education system. It is a religious belief without hard physical evidence that follows proper methodology, so therefore it is religion, which falls under Theology.

bkcunningham1's avatar

Before I jump in, I’d like to know what definition of scientific evolution we are discussing as fact. I’ve often seen confusion in what scientific evolution certainty means.

jlelandg's avatar

Creationist “science” does not belong in a scientific classroom, however abject atheism doesn’t either. It’s not science’s job to prove or disprove God only present facts. Creationist fail by not researching and realizing that alot of what evolutionist say has merit. Many evolutionist fail by getting so angry that Christians don’t realize this (maybe with good merit) that they often take every opportunity to bash Christianity.

Evolutionists should not paint Christians with a broad stroke, some of us are comfortable enough with the thought that Genesis and some other parts of the Bible were described with the best words available to the writers at the time (who lacked any modern science). In this way the Bible is figurative to me.

Unfortunately I doubt few would be willing to concede any points of their arguments, therefore my moderate stance is looney to you both.

Blackberry's avatar

We have to be honest: Snowberry isn’t explaining herself because he/she simply can’t. You cannot debate about this topic in a serious manner because the notion of creationism is that asinine (in my opinion). Why do people act like we should give equal respect and hear out the side of creationists? It’s tactful and mature, of course, but if we were debating about another, less important topic like the divine right of kings versus our current economic and government system, more people would be on board and say there is no reason to even consider the divine right of kings.

Like DominicX stated, the best defense these people could come up with is that a god set the universe in motion, but as we all know…...that still leaves no room for debate because creationism always goes back to ‘God did it all’. This way of thinking inherently curtails any room to explore anything further.

iamthemob's avatar

@bkcunningham1 – I find that to be the most frustrating aspect of having a conversation about evolution with people with a scientific background.

On a broad level, my understanding of the fact/theory divide is that speciation is a fact (reproductive isolation and adaptation), but the mechanisms as to how it occurs on the larger scale is theoretical, but one of the most universally accepted theory in the scientific community.

iamthemob's avatar

@Blackberry – Snowberry isn’t explaining herself because she also has no reason to believe that anyone from the evolutionary perspective is going to give any attention to what she’s saying, and when she gets jumped on by users demanding she explain her logic first, and there are snide comments about her position being “asinine,” I understand why she has no reason.

I swear, every single time I see one of these discussions go awry, it’s always the evolutionist/scientist contingent that is the cause.

snowberry's avatar

@iamthemob said it. Lurve for you!

iamthemob's avatar

@snowberry – I’ll ask you to stay – admit that I’m going to totally disagree with you more than likely – and ask that you ignore the “rabble” so this maybe can be the “civil discussion” holy grail.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@iamthemob FWIW, I have no intention of discussing things with Snowberry not because of a Creationist position but because of comments about how the entirety of Fluther isn’t mature, accusing others of being uncivil, saying we defame her, etc. She put forth no actual argument, only claimed she was persecuted (and not by a couple of individuals, but by the whole of Fluther). Those aren’t (to me) words of someone who is particularly open to a conversation. I’ve seen a few evolutionists saying mean things, but I’ve also seen creationists say mean things.
ETA: I have no idea if Snowberry is a girl. I hear others say “she” and I follow, but I really have no idea.

snowberry's avatar

There is a reason there’s only ONE creationist on this thread folks. You drive ‘em away.

iamthemob's avatar

Alright – so – what do you mean when you’re talking about creationism, @snowberry?

snowberry's avatar

Actually, creationism isn’t really a hot-button topic for me. My philosophy is that God made the world, and if he chose to make it in 6 days or 6 eons is immaterial, but I’m sure my uncle was not a monkey.

Don’t get me wrong folks. I’m don’t hate monkeys, but I’m not descended from them.

iamthemob's avatar

@snowberry – And evolutionists wouldn’t say that you were descended from a monkey either. That’s not the theory at all.

Why do you say that we (humans) are descended from monkeys (or any primate currently on earth)?

bkcunningham1's avatar

iamthemob, what is the theory or fact as many on this thread have stated?

iamthemob's avatar

@bkcunningham1 – I should have answered that above…as best I can at least.

bkcunningham1's avatar

Sorry, iamthemob, I just saw your previous answer. It takes my eyes awhile to adapt to the look of responses and discern what was said.

iamthemob's avatar

understood. ;-)

jerv's avatar

@iamthemob The reason the scientific side often gets unruly is that nobody likes their beliefs challenged, but one side has the numbers to bolster a bit of overconfidence to the point of being egotistical and condescending.

Some find the idea of taking knowledge straight from a book without question or experimentation to be heresy. We also get attacked, but unlike Creationists, many of us are not nice when the debate stats to get even the least bit heated.

iamthemob's avatar

@jerv – But I think there is also a terminology and basic communication issue with the scientific community. For instance, the general concept of “theory” can be pretty different from the precise thing that scientists mean when they say “theory.”

Thus, as here, the confusion about “theory of evolution” and “fact of evolution.”

bkcunningham1's avatar

Please, excuse my ignorance on the matter as I attempt to participate in this discussion. I am trying to educate myself. So, allow me to ask: The evolution being discussed is the “theory” of reproductive isolation and adaptation? Which, if I understand it correctly, is not the same as Darwin’s natural selection?

iamthemob's avatar

Well, natural selection can be described as the means by which adaptation occurs. Natural selection can be seen and has been seen to produce populations of organisms more well-suited for their environment. Natural selection in it’s most simple description is that those organisms with attributes best suited for their survival in their environment are the most likely to pass on their attributes – and so, in the numbers game, the population will eventually shift so that all members share it (well, “all” in a loose sense).

Reproductive isolation is necessary for speciation to occur generally because (1) organisms that interbreed will pass common genetic material between them, so development will occur in all of them, and (2) if they share the same environment, they will adapt to it similarly.

For instance, without reproductive isolation you might not see the difference between a zebra and a horse. However, we can show their common ancestry (i.e., at one point, they were both part of a population that was neither horse nor zebra that was separated so two groups of the original population no longer mated with each other) at least nominally through the fact that they can still mate, producing a hybrid.

crazyivan's avatar

For my money, all I see @snowberry doing is trolling. No attempt at valid response or discussion. From the get go it’s all about “nobody can be civilized” etc. etc., but no attempt is made to develop a cogent argument on either side. When others do, snowberry steps all over it, labels the people in the argument and fails again to form any point.

If you aren’t making arguments, if your aren’t adding to the conversation, why be on the thread at all?

I can’t add much more that @crisw hasn’t already said more eloquently than I would have managed, but I do want to galvanize the point that this is not an issue that there are two legitimate sides to. People are fond of saying that there are two sides to every story, but they often neglect to add that most of the time one of those sides is true and the other is complete bullshit.

I’m all for teaching creationism in school much in the same way that we teach children about Norse mythology. If it is presented as an incorrect thing that doesn’t fit into known science believed by a minority of delusional people, teach it all you want. Hell, you could have a class all about stuff like that and alternative medicine. It’s educational so long as it is never presented as fact or as something that may be fact.

Summum's avatar

There is not a problem with science or with creation. Until you understand and know the events as they occured then there will be a division. Evolution is absolutely happening on a daily basis. The world was not suddenly created a few thousand years ago it was organized to accept man as we are. As was stated in the beginning of the question the Universe has always been and will always be and how man came about will be debated until you know how he was. It is so simple people can’t see the forest through the trees but so many will not seek or search it out and close their minds to what is there for all to find.

bkcunningham1's avatar

”...but I do want to galvanize the point that this is not an issue that there are two legitimate sides to. People are fond of saying that there are two sides to every story, but they often neglect to add that most of the time one of those sides is true and the other is complete bullshit…”

Wow, crazyivan, that isn’t an open minded way to have a discussion IMHO. If you believe that, why are you on this thread? I’m not picking a fight with you or being argumentive. It just seems you’ve already closed your mind to the discussion with your statement.

iamthemob's avatar

@BoBo1946 – There are serious problems with the link that you provided, unfortunately:

(from your post – the claims from post in bold, my comments below in standard)

Scientific Fact No. 1 – Birds Prove Natural Selection is Naturally Wrong

The article argues, in essence, “Why would a bird evolve a wing that was useless?”

Of course, evolution doesn’t intend to “evolve” anything – it just happens. Further, whatever it was before it was a wing either (1) wouldn’t have been maladaptive or (2) was adaptive for another reason…such as:

Wings evolved from arms used to capture small prey. (This seems rational, so we can ask whether the ancestral forms were actually doing this.)

Wings evolved because bipedal animals were leaping into the air; large wings assisted leaping. (This is possible; any amount of wing could assist leaping. Remember that we first need phylogenetic evidence for a bipedal running or leaping origin.)

Wings were used as sexual display structures; bigger wings were preferred by potential mates. (This is a non-falsifiable evolutionary hypothesis — we cannot test it.)

Wings evolved from gliding ancestors who began to flap their gliding structures in order to produce thrust. (This is reasonable and possible, but only with phylogenetic evidence for an arboreal gliding origin.) see here.

Scientific Fact No. 2 – Species Without a Link Proves Evolution is Wrong

Of course, you know this asks the impossible – that history maintain a perfect record of all that has occurred for us to read. If it did that, we’d have the remains of Christ, or a full account of the facts of the bible inscribed in our geological record.

Scientific Fact No. 3 – Single Cell Complexity Proves Evolution is Wrong

This critique is based on the fact that we haven’t been able to show the leap happening in the laboratory. We also can’t create a star in the laboratory, but we understand exactly how those mechanisms work. But nothing has shown that it didn’t happen the way evolution claims.

Scientific Fact No. 4 – Human Egg and Sperm Proves Evolution is Wrong

This is based on the critique that “Evolutionists claim environmental factors cause small changes in the offspring in the evolutionary chain. However, the environmental experience of the female cannot change the chromosomes within her eggs and cannot have any effect upon her offspring.” Of course, this ignores the significant percentage of intersexed individuals that are born with extra or missing chromosomes, as well as virgin births that have occurred in other species.

Scientific Fact No. 5 – DNA Error Checking Proves Evolution is Wrong

This is an adaptive behavior, though.

Scientific Fact No. 6 – Chaos From Organization Proves Evolution is Wrong

This critique is based on the fact that “The second law of thermodynamics proves that organization cannot flow from chaos. Complex live organisms cannot rearrange themselves into an organism of a higher form as claimed by evolutionists.” Of course, disorganized structures organize all the time in nature – that’s essentially how stars and our solar system formed.

Scientific Fact No. 7 – Chromosome Count Proves Evolution is Wrong

Well, this doesn’t show that evolution is wrong…just that certain aspects of the mechanisms explaining how it works are theory – but strong theory. However, Ken Miller has shown that a particular human chromosome resulted from the fusion in a chromosomal pair in a species of primate still around today.

Scientific Fact No. 8 – Origin of Matter and Stars Proves Evolution is Wrong

This is not a question for evolution. This is about theoretical physics.

Scientific Fact No. 9 – Lack of Life on Mars Proves Evolution is Wrong

How?

Scientific Fact No. 10 – Radio Silence from Space Proves Evolution is Wrong

This seems out of the blue. Space is huge…lots of it is really far away…and we haven’t been looking or listening for very long. So again…how?

Of course, these point out that, again, there is evidence that hasn’t been uncovered. We may find something to disprove evolution. But it seems unlikely, and it is still the best theory and is universally accepted as such in the scientific community.

BoBo1946's avatar

@iamthemob give you credit for trying. I’m a creationist….no matter what anyone says! That why i only supplied the link. Not wearing out my fingers trying to convince someone they are wrong and i’m right. Been there and done that my friend.

iamthemob's avatar

@BoBo1946 – I’m not going to argue whether you’re right or wrong, because (1) I don’t know what you claim when you say that you’re a creationist – there are several things that could mean, and not all of them mutually exclusive from evolution, and (2) I also don’t know how you understand the theory of evolution to work.

Evolution doesn’t negate all forms of a creationist perspective. Any type of god that I can conceive of, however, wouldn’t be deceptive in giving us all of this information suggesting evolution. So if the creationist perspective is to replace evolutionary perspectives, it must be a better, more predictive model that can clearly explain the evidence we’ve been given.

Understanding and accepting the evolutionary model doesn’t mandate abandoning an idea of creation. So when you dig in, I can accept it – but it’s not something that I should be expected to respect, right? Especially considering that you provided a link trying to disprove the evolutionary model.

BoBo1946's avatar

@iamthemob yeah, i’m aware of that…. It could be a theory/fact/law…depending on a very long discussion. You enjoy this. Just not my thing… debating. Always like your perspective and attitude in discussing this. You handle it with style and grace my man…. maybe, you should go into teaching.

bkcunningham1's avatar

Very respectively, just taking it one at a time iamthemob.

I think the wing evolution argument means, regardless, whether a wing “happened” from, be it an arm or from a nub or from some other sort of appendage or whatever; the ultimate outcome we see today is a bird with wings.

During this “happening” or evolutionary process of the appendage adapting, it was adapting and changing because it wasn’t as useful as it needed to be for whatever purpose. Why would this animal survive and the “useless” or less useful part continue to change.

If birds were orginally leaping into the air and this appendage adapted into a wing, wouldn’t it make more sense that the legs would have adapted since they were already more functional than this appendage that had to change and evolve into something as amazing as a mechanism for flight?

It does contradict the theory, as least to me.

Also, to your second point, about the remains of Christ. The entire “theory” of Christianity is that Christ rose from the dead. He lives and sits at the right hand of God and didn’t die in the sense he left remains. Remember the story of doubting Thomas?

I could go into the Shroud of Turin, but that is getting off point.

iamthemob's avatar

@bkcunningham1

During this “happening” or evolutionary process of the appendage adapting, it was adapting and changing because it wasn’t as useful as it needed to be for whatever purpose. Why would this animal survive and the “useless” or less useful part continue to change.

The problem with this perspective, from an evolutionary model standpoint, is that it attributes intent to evolution. The assumption is that the wing was an intended outcome. We have to consider the “hindsight is 20/20” argument – a billion years from now, if nothing has wings and it’s something else, we’ll be able to look back at how the wing was an intermediate structure that was adaptive at the time, but became something better.

It also assumes the same environmental conditions over time. Any sort of “not wing” that came before the wing might have suited a very particular purpose.

Also, if it was useless, that doesn’t mean it would go away – we still have an appendix. But it’s useless – and kind of dangerous.

The Christ example is undercut by the Resurrection – I realized that while I was writing (dernit, should have just deleted. ;-)) so I gave another example. We would have the ark. The bones of Mary, Joseph, the disciples, the siblings, etc. We’d have all of it.

So, to point out that we don’t have all of it when it comes to evolution is an intellectually dishonest argument made on the website. Further, again, it negates the fact that evolution has predicted that the fossil record would be uncovered in a certain way – and that way was how it was, in fact, uncovered.

BoBo1946's avatar

Thank you @bkcunningham1 ! Have fun guys !

iamthemob's avatar

I’ll point out one other issue – when the person claims that the fact that there was something that wasn’t a wing contradicts evolution, there are two unfortunate things happening:

(1) Part of many creationist criticisms of the evolutionary model is the lack of intermediary fossil examples. However, there are in fact fossils that show intermediary wing structures. Therefore, to claim that the intermediary structures had to be useless, etc., and therefore it contradicts evolution, is to backtrack and rewrite the argument.

(2) It is also stating that an absence of information is a contradiction. Again, unfortunately, that’s not a critique of one side that doesn’t exist on the other – and moreso. I fully accept the possibility of a god. However, there is no direct concrete evidence of god’s existence. Therefore, if absence of information contradicts the theory that it would support, the absence of evidence about the existence of god would contradict the theory that there is a god.

This site I just found seems to address a lot of misconceptions about evolution that were the basis for the questions on @BoBo1946‘s link…it’s really good…and better than I could argue it.

crazyivan's avatar

The more obvious fallacy in the bird-wing argument (which is more often framed around the turtle’s shell) is the unsupported (and frankly contradited) notion that all of the steps leading up to a wing would be useless. Clearly they aren’t as any flying squirrel will tell you.

Also, @bkcunningham1 I haven’t “closed my mind” to any option. I’ve examined both sides with an open mind and objectively termed one to be bullshit. I am on this thread because the point of having information is not to hoarde it. By your standard nobody with knowledge should ever express it anywhere. Kind of a recipe for stupidity if you ask me.

Lack of belief in evolution=Lack of understanding evolution. Not believing in evolution is every bit as blind-minded as not believing in volcanos or hummingbirds. Now, you could take the apologetic tone that there are two sides to the “do hummingbirds exist?” debate and that might be true, but one of them would be wrong. Should people who know that hummingbirds exist then excuse themselves from the debate? Can people who know that they exist not contribute anything to the conversation? Sounds curiously like circular nonsense to me.

bkcunningham1's avatar

Thank you for being open to passing on your knowledge and not hoarding. But so far in this discussion, the only facts I’ve seen that you’ve shared about the subject is that you agree with what someone else said and that evolution is fact.

iamthemob's avatar

@bkcunningham1 you’re letting him distract you…

So, @bkcunningham1 – What is the basis for the Creationist argument as you hold it.

bkcunningham1's avatar

To be honest, I’m not sure what people mean when they say creationist or creationism.

bkcunningham1's avatar

Have you ever heard anyone discuss or read anything about the first earth age?

Summum's avatar

@bkcunningham1 are you talking about the Book of Nephilim The First Earth Age?

iamthemob's avatar

Looking at some of the stuff now…

bkcunningham1's avatar

The actual Hebrew book is the book of Enoch, Summum.

bkcunningham1's avatar

But, yes, that is what I meant. Are you familiar with this Summum?

iamthemob's avatar

Is that what you believe? How exactly do you perceive it?

bkcunningham1's avatar

I’m not sure what you read. So it would be difficult for me to say that is what I believe.

My beliefs have been founded in years and years of listening, seeking, study (some casual and some serious) searching, discussions, prayers and is still a faith that is ongoing in seeking truths and favor with God.

I believe in spiritual things. I believe in God. I beleve in Jesus. I believe in Satan.I believe in good and evil. I believe the Bible is the word of God. I guess basically, I believe we were created for a purpose and it wasn’t a chance happenstance occurrence of molecules or mud or steam or a blast or a bang.

I think the heavens and the earth declare the glory of God. I think fossils and historical written documents reveal God and even backup what the Bible says. I believe there was life here before Adam and Eve and this earth age.

The Bible tells us there was an “age” before this earth age. I think there is certainly evidence to consider that seems to back this up.

I think it is intersting that some people believe in a single cell organism changing into a different life form overtime yet they can’t believe in a living God who, without sex, could create a human life form.

I think one thing we can all agree on is that we must all die. I believe that through Christ we learn how to have everlasting life. I don’t know of any other person who has documented record of people watching them die and then return from the grave.

Call it a myth, a fable or what have you. I believe if you study and open your eyes and ears you will see the truth right here on this earth with the signs in the stars and heavens and with the earth itself.

iamthemob's avatar

@bkcunningham1 – I don’t want to sound curt – but I was straightforward with your questions. I’m not going to attribute any belief to you…but I do ask that you specifically lay it out.

I think there is certainly evidence to consider that seems to back this up.

But what evidence? My problem with my readings on earth ages here here and here is that it seems mostly to be a tortured (in all honesty) attempt to make what we know fit in with a literal (or fairly literal) reading of the bible.

When we talk about the belief that single cell organisms developed into different life over time it’s based on observation and suggestive evidence that it happened, especially considering the massive amount of time we’re talking about. Especially when we have pretty good analogies in front of us (common descent in dogs as well as the man-made analogy of natural selection, artificial selection) to show how it happens.

What I’m unclear on is why there is such a struggle to apparently disregard evolution and replace it with explanations that cannot be proven. The idea that there was an Adam and Eve in the Garden spoiled by the knowledge of good and evil is just as easily explained as a metaphor, and if from divine intervention, presented to the people in a manner that they could understand at the time until they had the knowledge to understand how things actually worked.

It seems that it’s less work to tray to make the evidence fit traditional views of faith than to actually accept what is reasonably held out to be the way things appear to actually work and understand that and determine how creation still works in an evolutionary context.

Summum's avatar

@bkcunningham1

Yes I know of that book and many others that were not included in the Bible. It is strange to me that science and religion can’t come together on this but there are so many facts hidden from man. Seeking and searching is the right thing to do and in time revealation is given if you persist. Then it comes together and makes total sense and there can be no argument. Things are as they should be.

iamthemob's avatar

But in many ways, they have come together on this, reconciling evolution and theistic belief.

crazyivan's avatar

@Summum I think the stumbling block is that one group (science) is looking for truth and the other (religion) believes it’s already found it. Again, religion and theism aren’t antipodal but religion and creationism are.

All I’m saying is that one group promised us heaven but the other group actually went to the heavens and brought back pictures.

iamthemob's avatar

@crazyivan – I don’t think this is what you meant to say: Again, religion and theism aren’t antipodal but religion and creationism are.

Religion and creationism wouldn’t be antipodal – do you mean evolution where you have religion?

that would be just a classic slip.

bkcunningham1's avatar

Maybe it is how we read other people’s words. I really thought I answered your question. You know, maybe that left brain-right brain thing. (plus you are much smarter than me and it is difficult for me to craft my words to make you understand what I’m saying.)

I’m not offended when you say you don’t get my point. Trust me when I say, there was a day that I would have argued your point for you.

Let’s try it this way. And please, bear with me. When you said, ” When we talk about the belief that single cell organisms developed into different life over time it’s based on observation and suggestive evidence that it happened, especially considering the massive amount of time we’re talking about. Especially when we have pretty good analogies in front of us (common descent in dogs as well as the man-made analogy of natural selection, artificial selection) to show how it happens.”

The part: “it’s based on observation and suggestive evidence that it happened.” What obervation is made of this? It isn’t a trick question. I’m serious.

iamthemob's avatar

The fossil record moves from simple organisms to more complex ones. Simple organisms like bacteria develop resistance to certain environments formerly dangerous in an observable period of time (essentially evolving in front of us). In complex organisms, we see how when we separate them, over time we get different ones (polar bears v. grizzly, lions and tigers, horses and zebras). Dogs are descended from wolves – wolves are all biologically close, whereas dogs, through selective breeding, are genetically very different in comparison. A change in a single gene in a dog’s genome affects whether it’s the size of a chihuahua or a gernam shephard (showing how little the genome needs to change to make very different organisms). Viral DNA can be introduced in a cell to make it reproduce that viral information, showing how changes can be included from the environment. Again, the fusion of two chromosomes in the DNA of chimps has been shown to be identical to a single chromosome in humans, suggesting common ancestry (more than suggesting).

crazyivan's avatar

@iamthemob Thanks… yeah, just flipped my words there. Good catch!

bkcunningham1's avatar

I would never argue that simple organisms like bacteria don’t change and develop resistance, or that humans don’t change in the respect I’ve witnessed in my lifetime children reaching puberty at earlier ages or resistance to certain antibiotics. And no one is going to disagree with you about genetics or breeding of animals. Or that species adapt and change to their climate or environment. If that is evolution, then I believe that.

My thought (which is as old as the mountains) is, where did that first simple organism come from? How did it get here?

I believe these organisms were the life placed here when God created the waters that were upon the face of the earth for who knows how long ago. That by creating the organisms, that was part of the creation of life, water…do you know what I mean?
The Bible only says in Genesis: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

iamthemob's avatar

@bkcunningham1 – The origin of life question is one that evolution isn’t really suited to answer. I think it’s a fascinating one too…particularly considering NASA’s newest findings.

An opinion I share with many is essentially that science is suited for the “how” and not the “why.” If we answer clearly (which I think we will) how life originated on earth, we’ll still have to deal with how the universe began. At this point…it seems reasonable that there will be a “and what happened before that” that we will be unable to address.

The idea, however, that God is the first cause or reason why generally doesn’t displace any belief in evolution as the mechanism through which life diversified.

bkcunningham1's avatar

But you have to ask yourself where that first organism came from or how it became the beautiful lifeform you and I are today?

iamthemob's avatar

Sure. And there are plenty of theories. However, at this point, those really are “just theories.” Although I think that there will be a natural explanation, that still doesn’t discount any action of God.

The thing is, we can ask ourselves that, and whatever answer we come up with, it’s pretty much consistent with or doesn’t negate the understanding that evolution caused the diversity we have today.

Do you agree or disagree?

bkcunningham1's avatar

Evolution caused the diversity we see today of what?

iamthemob's avatar

Life. That’s what we’re discussing here, after all.

bkcunningham1's avatar

Diversity of a single cell organism to a man. No I don’t agree with that. God created man in his own image.

bkcunningham1's avatar

Somewhere from the voidness of the earth covered with water and single cell organism to the creation of man, evolutionist get lost I suppose.

iamthemob's avatar

“evolutionist get lost” you suppose?

bkcunningham1's avatar

Sorry, I was being silly.

bkcunningham1's avatar

Or trying to be silly anyway.

iamthemob's avatar

Alright. But you can’t really break down the evidence that supports this idea that evolution is not the mechanism provided for the process of diversification, but rather some form of creation. Is that right? (not being pointed, just breaking everything down).

Summum's avatar

How about the introduction of new DNA.

iamthemob's avatar

I’m not sure what you mean by “new DNA.” However, as mentioned, there is viral DNA (cited above). Recent experiments have shown that under certain conditions proteins can reverse-scribe information onto the DNA. There’s genetic drift and gene flow.

It’s important to note that “new genetic information” isn’t really new as it’s a repetition of the same four molecules in different orders.

crazyivan's avatar

It seems that when you dig deep enough into the creationism v. evolution debate, it always comes back to abiogenesis. The theories of how life began are legion but none are particularly convincing. I have no problem accepting that God started life. I don’t believe it, but I certainly don’t think it’s a flawed hypothesis.

When I discuss evolution v. creationism it is usually in the context of what is taught in schools. The notion that we sacrafice a childs knowledge for the purposes of religious ideology frustrates me to no end, but if we limit it to abiogenesis and simply toss it out as one of many competing and unproven theories I have no issue with that. Again, I don’t agree with it, but there is no compelling evidence to the contrary or to support contrary positions.

Quite frankly, I have no issues with the use of creationism as a substitue for evolution except when it requires people to ignore demonstrable fact (as it very often does). People are free to believe what they want and while nobody will ever advance medical science by believing in creationism, those people probably weren’t going to advance our scientific knowledge anyway.

In summary, it’s only when creationism treads on the turf of science that the ire of the skeptic is truly stoked.

jerv's avatar

If we are truly created in God’s image then you have to consider that God is also an entity far above us mere mortals, just as a flat paper map pales in comparison to the three dimensional Earth with all of the smells and sounds you can’t represent on a piece of paper.

Is it not possible that we humans are merely a small glimpse at just one facet of the Creator? Without proud to the contrary, I will maintain that that is at least plausible.

iamthemob's avatar

The issue of what is appropriate to be taught in school, I suspect, is nigh.

bkcunningham1's avatar

iamthemob, I have enjoyed the discussion. I have to say that I believe I am in over my head with you guys. I have to look up the definition of half of the words some of the posters use. You have given me a jumping board to study and learn though. Thanks.

iamthemob's avatar

@bkcunningham1 – That’s completely reasonable. Of course, you should do so and come back. I’ll keep “following” the thread.

I had to look back into it myself recently, because I had forgotten a lot…and I asked pretty much the same questions you did (although I was on the evolution side anyway) and, much as happened in this thread to y’all, got slammed.

But, all the evidence I’ve seen points to evolution. Creationist arguments that I’ve found are more isolated critiques (much as the post by @BoBo1946 here) than verifiable theories themselves, and are based on certain misperceptions of what the theory actualy says (check out the link above – it’s amazing in its clarity regarding oft-referenced “claims” that evolution doesn’t make, but are assumed part of the theory – such as the “descended from monkeys” issue).

Having a creationist perspective on evolution is completely justifiable, and the two ideas are not mutually exclusive.

Paradox's avatar

I’m a theist but I’m probally going to get duped by some other theists here but here it goes. To me creationism is not science. If we accept creationism to be taught in public schools next to evolution then we would have to include all the other religious philosophies of “creation” as well. So once we teach the biblical account of creationism then in all fairness we must all teach the Muslim idea of creationism, then the Hindu philosophy, then the Buddhist philosophy. Where does it end? What gives anyone else the right to say their religion is better or more important then mine?

If parents want to homeschool their own kids or send them to a private school to adhere to a specific religious philosophy then so let it be but teaching biblical creationism along side evolution in a science course in public schools? No I don’t support that. I would have no problems with students having a choice of religious philosophies to study as an alternative course in a public school but nothing more.

For the record there are several accepted scientific theories I do not accept (which I’m not getting into here) but this is because of research not blind faith through my own investigations. I do accept evolution as being a fact, not just some weak hypothesis.

Harold's avatar

As it was a discussion between me, Matt Browne, and jerv that lead to this thread, I guess I should comment. The thing that disturbs me more than anything else is the arrogance of SOME of the evolutionists ie “evolution is fact”, and the arrogance of some creationists who won’t even consider the other side. The only fact is that neither theory can be proven. Just because you saw some cells “evolve” in a petrie dish does not prove that man “evolved” from a lower life form. I know that is an over simplification, but it is the essence of many of the arguments. I have doubts about much of the “science” that purports to be proof.

Personally, although creationism can never be proven scientifically, to me it makes the most sense. God is above the laws of science (He created them), and can do as He pleases. Just because He does not fit a man made model does not eliminate his existence. Nor is He bound by His own laws, nor by our interpretation of them.

I respect the beliefs of those who see it differently to me, but please don’t expect me to ever accept either side as fact. We weren’t there to see how it started.

iamthemob's avatar

Alright – but did you read through this thread?

Creationism can be completely consistent with evolution. We’ve gone through how it’s been supported again and again by evidence we expected to find based on the theory.

What do you think?

crisw's avatar

@Harold

“The thing that disturbs me more than anything else is the arrogance of SOME of the evolutionists ie “evolution is fact””

As I have explained above, evolution is fact. There is absolutely no dispute whatsoever over this. Evolution happens. Evolution is a fact, just like gravity is a fact.

The theory of evolution, or how and why evolution happens, is what some people have issues with. But, just like the theory of gravity, it’s a separate issue from the existent phenomenon it explains.

iamthemob's avatar

That’s the first time you’ve separated out the two to demonstrate the difference in what you’re saying – is it any wonder that, in argument, it comes off as arrogant when the only thing that you repeat is that evolution is a fact?

crisw's avatar

@iamthemob

My apologies. I did think that I made this posting in this thread, as it’s an issue I have discussed so many, many times. Hopefully we are clear from here on out.

I do think it’s a bit unfair to state that “the only thing that you repeat is that evolution is a fact” though.

bkcunningham1's avatar

Harold, very eloquent, fair and well put remarks.

iamthemob's avatar

@crisw – I did a search before I said it – in relation to discussing evolution itself, and not aspects of it, you did only repeat that evolution is a fact.

Personally, you know I couldn’t care at this point. However, in a creationism/evolution discussion, it’s a claim that (1) isn’t really what you’re trying to say, and (2) immediately puts the other side on the non-receptive defensive.

crisw's avatar

@iamthemob

You weren’t specific that it was only this discussion you were talking about. I’ve discussed this issue hundreds of times in many places.

iamthemob's avatar

@crisw – This was your first post:

There really is no discussion. And it isn’t a “matter of opinion” where both sides have valid points.

Evolution is scientific fact.

There are no facts that contradict the theory of evolution.

Creationists discard the facts because they do not fit with their own personal belief system. Creationism is utterly, totally, completely scientifically invalid. Those who espouse it do so for religious reasons alone.

In all honesty – where can we go from that kind of statement – particularly when we are attempting to have a civilized discussion.

Harold's avatar

@crisw – you have perfectly illustrated my point. I don’t need to comment.
@iamthemob – I have not read it in detail, but have read all the arguments before. My issue is that there are people on both sides of the argument who are prepared to bend fact to support their theories. Quite frankly, the only experiments I trust are those I have seen myself. So many people have a vested interest in proving themselves correct. You cannot infer major events from the past by observing minor events in the present. There is a distinct logic gap there. Personally, I fail to see why God would take millions of years to do something He can do in an instant. Again, a logic gap. Anyway, I have no problem with you holding your beliefs.
@bkcunningham1 – thank you. I am glad my thoughts make sense to you.

crisw's avatar

@bkcunningham1

“God created man in his own image.”

Well, since, as @iamthemob pointed out, I haven’t been as clear as I could have been in this discussion, let me give one example here of an issue that I think the theory of evolution explains nicely but creationism cannot.

Much of our genome is composed of DNA that was not originally our own. It was contributed by endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) and other viral elements.

Scientists analyzing these ERVs can determine when they became part of the genome. They also can look at the DNA sequences of other animals and see if the same sequences can be found in the genomes of these other animals.

What we find is that humans and chimpanzees share almost all of the same ERV sequences, in the same places. Those that differ in human and chimp occurred after our split from our last common ancestor. Humans, chimps and monkeys share a great many of the same ERVs, and they all date from before the last common ancestor of monkeys and apes split. And so on.

ERVs often cause genes to stop working, but the defective copy of the gene may be retained. These are termed “pseudogenes.” One pseudogene in humans is the gene that, in almost all other mammals, produces vitamin C. Most mammals can make their own vitamin C. Humans cannot, and we suffer horribly in some circumstances from the scurvy that vitamin C deficiency can cause.

So we have a gene to produce vitamin C, but it’s broken. And the interesting thing is that we share the same broken gene, broken by the same ERV in the same place, with all other primates.

Why is this? Well, ancestral primates ate a diet rich in fruit and could survive without producing their own vitamin C. So the broken gene didn’t hamper them, and was passed down to all their ancestors.

Now humans evolve, and some populations didn’t eat their fruit- so we have scurvy.

This makes very good sense evolutionarily, but little sense in light of creationism. Why, if man was created in God’s image, would he be created with a broken gene that is broken in the same way as other primates, that causes harm? Or, for that matter, with a load of useless DNA from viruses that is also in the same place in the genome of a chimp?

iamthemob's avatar

@Harold – I don’t think very many experiments were discussed here (I don’t think there are any, in fact.)

However, you can’t really say “I’ve heard it all before” as an excuse for not reading the thread. Unfortunately, coming in here and accusing the other side of arrogance loses any power if you state that there’s nothing that would potentially lead you to more questions or change an aspect of your thinking. That’s the same kind of arrogance.

Harold's avatar

@iamthemob – you have grossly misinterpreted what I said. If you read my initial answer again, you will see that I said there is arrogance on BOTH sides. I also did not say that there is nothing that would lead me to consider valid evidence.

iamthemob's avatar

@Harold:

“I have not read it in detail, but have read all the arguments before.”

What is the statement above if not arrogance? You’re working under the assumption that whatever’s being discussed, it’s nothing new to you. Regardless of arrogance on one side or another, I’m talking about each individual’s approach to the discussion.

When you shut it down because you assume it has nothing original to offer you, after I asked you if you would read through the thread – how should I take that?

bkcunningham1's avatar

You would think that after millions and millions of years of evolution, humans would have mutated without hypoascorbemia. Especially since it is so deadly. Hmm. Go figure.

bkcunningham1's avatar

Geez, iamthemob, they said he read it. Just not in detail.

snowberry's avatar

I find the discussion on this thread tedious, because when you get right down to it, there is a difference in definition of terms between camps. You will never have a real discussion when you cannot even agree on terms. From where I sit, evolutionists belielive in evolution (which means placing faith in), just as creationists believe in creation. You can argue until you have no breath left, but you’ll never go anywhere when you cannot even agree on basic terminology. Creationists see this dichotomy and try to address it, but I think evolutionists are almost always offended by the mere idea that someone would suggest that believing in something is faith. That means that it’s unlikely there ever will be an agreement, because when folks get offended, respect usually flies out the window.

However, let me submit we say things like this all the time. Example: Many people voted for a candidate because they believed in them. They believed in their integrity, their philosophy, and plan (they had faith in him and his ideas). Alternatively I could just as easily say I have no faith that that same candidate will fulfill his obligations (or that I don’t believe that he’ll be a good candidate). You can see how I’m using the terms “faith” and “believe in” interchangeably. Whether you choose to “believe in” evolution, or have “faith” in creation, we’re talking about the same definition. You have to choose what you believe.

I agree with @Harold. Well put.

iamthemob's avatar

@bkcunningham1 – So…that still doesn’t tell me anything. It’s not responding to any of my posts, or the posts generally, or the arguments. It’s just dismissing them.

The problem, of course, that if we’re using this space to have a civilized discussion about it, we have to rehash things we’ve been over. This is the first time many of us are talking to each other. None of us are “sides” right?

I personally believe that the essence of respect is approaching someone you don’t know in a conversation such that you respond to them, not to what you’ve categorized their position to be.

@snowberry – this is the problem again. Did you mean to come into the conversation and say “I find the discussion on this thread tedious” in an inoffensive manner?

We can discuss the terminology, if you wish. And what aspects of what @Harold said to you agree with?

crisw's avatar

@bkcunningham1

“You would think that after millions and millions of years of evolution, humans would have mutated without hypoascorbemia.”

Well, it hasn’t been “millions and millions of years“that scurvy has cause problems, of course. It’s only been since some subpopulations of humans didn’t get enough fruit in their diets, which has only been an eyeblink in evolutionary time.

iamthemob's avatar

I would add that it’s totally in keeping with logic that we would hold onto the trait – we’re not evolving to something without flaws. Populations with maladaptive traits won’t lose them unless the trait is so bad that it prevents them from reproducing.

And considering that medical technology and the concept of government allow for individuals to survive and pass on genes that may cause severely maladaptive characteristics because we now force the environment to fit our needs rather than the other way around, it’s most likely that we’ll keep the bad stuff around much, much longer.

crisw's avatar

@snowberry

“From where I sit, evolutionists belielive in evolution (which means placing faith in), just as creationists believe in creation.”

Could you please answer a direct question and explain why you say this?

Most people accept the theory of evolution because all of the observed facts fit it. This is not faith. As I have mentioned, none of the facts support a fundamentalist creationist approach. That is faith- believing in something for which you have no concrete evidence.

When you form a belief, either you base it on evidence or you don’t. Not all beliefs are the same in this respect. There’s a quantitative difference between “believing in” gravity and believing in fairies.

As Baba Brinkman states in his wonderful song Natural Selection -
“See, everybody’s always talking about “Do you believe in evolution?”
“Do you believe in creation?”
Nobody believes in evolution!
You either understand evolution- or you don’t.
It’s nothing to believe- it’s something to perceive. Feel. Experience.
Do you believe in gravity?
Come on. You can see it with your own eyes.
Just gotta look.”

snowberry's avatar

“Evolution” as a single topic has been discussed no less than 207 times here on fluther. Furthermore “Creation” reveals 43 more questions, and “Creationism” reveals 16 more. The topic has been discussed to death. It does not appear to me there is much room here on fluther for agreement regarding evolution and creation.

I’m just not that into endless discussions like that.

bkcunningham1's avatar

One example based on what you said. I believe in God’s principles as observed facts. Such as the principle of you reap what you sow. This is like gravity. You can’t physically see gravity, but you know it is there. You throw something up and it comes back down. If you sow orange seeds you get oranges; not apples. God said you reap what you sow in Galatians 6:7–8: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Sort like the Buddhism discussion on another thread.

crisw's avatar

@snowberry

So no, you cannot answer a direct question. I was inclined to try once more; I shall not try again.

iamthemob's avatar

@bkcunningham1 – That’s fine…but those types of principles don’t really have anything to do with the origin of species.

iamthemob's avatar

@snowberry – This thread was initiated as an attempt to have a civil discussion about both sides, with minimal flame-bait, etc.

Now, I’ve actively attempted to engage in the discussion – so it’s slightly frustrating for you to come in and say the discussion is tedious, there’s this problem with it, and then you’re not into discussions on the topic when asked about it. What’s productive there?

bkcunningham1's avatar

I was responding to something crisw said when they used lyrics to a song and gravity to discuss evolution.

crazyivan's avatar

@bkcunningham1 A salient difference between the two examples you cite: Gravity can be tested to absolute certainty. It can be measured and quantified which means that it could be falsified if it was not true.

“You reap what you sew” is a platitude; it is not quantifiable or testable.

Therefore the association with these two points is not a valid connection to draw for purposes of debate.

crisw's avatar

@bkcunningham1

I don’t see how these statements relate.

Once again. Gravity is a fact. We observe it every day. We can see the results of gravity all around us. Gravity exists. The theory of gravity is the best attempt science can make, based on all of the observed facts, to explain how gravity works. All of the observed facts fit the theory of gravity. If any facts didn’t fit it, we could throw it out- but all the facts fit.

Similarly-
Evolution is a fact. We observe it every day. We can see the results of evolution all around us. Evolution exists. The theory of evolution is the best attempt science can make, based on all of the observed facts, to explain how evolution works. All of the observed facts fit the theory of evolution. If any facts didn’t fit it, we could throw it out- but all the facts fit.

bkcunningham1's avatar

True, the same is true with God’s principles. We observe them everyday. We can see the results of His principles all around us. His principles exists. The theory of creation is the best attempt man can make, based on all of the observed facts to explain how God’s principles work. All the observed facts fit the theory of His principles. If any facts didn’t fit in, we could throw it out-but all the facts fit.

Similarly-
God and creation are facts. We observe it every day. We can see the results of God’s creation all around us. God exists. The theory of creation is the best attempt man can make, based on all the observed facts to explain how creation works. All the observed facts fit the theory of creation. If any facts didn’t fit it, we could throw it out-but all the facts fit.

iamthemob's avatar

@bkcunningham1 – That all sounds reasonable – however, you haven’t really described what the “theory of creation” is.

In order to make any claim about the facts fitting, you have to be able to accurately describe the theory that they fit into…

snowberry's avatar

Sorry, perhaps I should not have bothered to weigh in. I’m just recovering from pneumonia, and so at present I am spending a lot of time on fluther. In addition I’m drugged up pretty good (shorter attention span than normal, and discussions like this never were my cup of tea). If this sounds like an excuse, it is. It’s a good one too. :)

crisw's avatar

@bkcunningham1

But the observed facts don’t fit the Biblical account.

As just one example, can you explain how the scenario I explained above regarding Vitamin C genes can fit a Biblical account of creation?

iamthemob's avatar

@crisw – I think you’re asking the question kind of backwards, though.

Shouldn’t it be…how did a Biblical account of creation predict that this would be the case…and what other predictive value has it demonstrated that makes it an objectively better model for describing the natural world.

bkcunningham1's avatar

What do you mean “the observed facts don’t fit the Biblical account?” Also, how do you explain the obvious flaw in your proof of evolution with the mutated protein without and humans evolving without hypoascorbemia. So you theorize that there was always sources of vitamin C. Honestly, no offense intended, just an observation. But it almost gets to a point of silliness to me. Like you guys make up stuff to suit any question.

bkcunningham1's avatar

We are made in God’s image. Image. Not a carbon copy. We aren’t perfect. We don’t know all of the answers. Why should we? To be like God is part of the fall of man. I don’t need to. If you want to have theories to prove things. Let’s theorize that God created us without the ability to produce vitamin C because of the perfect fruit in Eden. When we were cast out of Eden, we were subjected to scurvy and other disease. I dunno. Sounds feasible.

crisw's avatar

@bkcunningham1

You are skipping almost all of my question.

“how do you explain the obvious flaw in your proof of evolution with the mutated protein without and humans evolving without hypoascorbemia.”

I am afraid that this sentence doesn’t make sense (try reading it out loud.) I explained above, if it’s what you are asking, as to why we haven’t re-evolved the vitamin C production gene.

But the main question is- how do you explain the genetic similarities in ERVs between chimps and humans? Why do we share so many ERVs? Why are all of the ERVs we don’t share of such recent origins? Why do we share more ERVs with a chimp than with a monkey? Why do we share more with a monkey than a mouse? Why do we have them at all?

Evolutionary theory has no problems explaining these phenomena. Creationism does.

crisw's avatar

@bkcunningham1

“Let’s theorize that God created us without the ability to produce vitamin C because of the perfect fruit in Eden”

OK, so why then would we have a gene to produce vitamin C at all? Why would we share the exact same gene that a chimp has, broken in the exact same way? And why do we have all those ERVs in the first place?

Guinea pigs can’t make vitamin C either. They also have a broken gene, not a missing one- but it’s broken in a different way. So there isn’t just one way to break a vitamin C gene.

“We don’t know all of the answers. Why should we? I don’t need to.”

In effect, that is the difference between science and faith. Oftentimes, faith is just content with what it believes to be true and wants to be true. Science is always striving to learn more and to discover what reality really is.

This is a beautiful, marvelous, astounding world that we live in. We gaze about us in amazement at the diversity and richness of life. Why would we not want to know more about how it all works?

I use this quote so often, it’s my favorite in the world-

“Sit down before fact like a little child, and be prepared to give up every preconceived notion. Follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss Nature leads, or you shall learn nothing. ”

T.H. Huxley

iamthemob's avatar

I’m going to give this a shot @crisw – I think I understand what he’s asking…

@bkcunningham1 – It makes no difference whether or not there was a source of vitamin C in the environment to be made use of. However, there was. So, at the point in time where the gene broke, our ancestors were able to replace the internal production with something from the environment.

If, however, that hadn’t happened – we wouldn’t be here today.

Here’s my problem with the image/not carbon copy argument. Of course, creationism might not mandate that we be perfect physical beings. However, the break in the gene was something discovered, and it was found in our closest genetic ancestors but not in evolutionary steps beyond that. Therefore, the theory of evolution would predict that such a trait would be shared by closely-related species, and if it stopped, it would not be found in the rest of the species (or it would be different).

A creation model that simply allows for physical errors, however, wouldn’t predict such a thing…it would predict that or anything else that could be found. If the same gene were found in us, 12 kinds of fish, bamboo plants, and a species of fly, it would perplex evolutionary scientists I believe. It might lend credence to a creationist viewpoint, in fact, as it just wouldn’t make sense from an evolutionary perspective.

bkcunningham1's avatar

Yeah, I was watching the televison news and didn’t proof before I answered. Sorry ‘bout that. You say, “Similarites”, not exact. Perhaps the fruit available in Eden was used in conjuntion with the gene.

Note the words, “after their kind.”

Genesis: “And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
1:23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
1:24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
1:25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

crisw's avatar

@bkcunningham1

Unfortunately, quoting the Bible to prove the Bible is circular reasoning. You can’t really use it to prove your argument. You have to use data from outside the Bible.

And you still didn’t address my questions.

bkcunningham1's avatar

Oh, I didn’t read the rules for discussion. Sorry. So you can’t quote a theory to prove a theory? Is that in the rules.

bkcunningham1's avatar

Whose to say the gene didn’t get broken with environmental issues. How do you know there was vitamin C in the early environment you are talking about? It is hard for me to keep up with the questions crisw. It isn’t that I’m intentionally ignoring your questions. BTW, he is a she.

crisw's avatar

@bkcunningham1

I really don’t think you believe that is an effective argument, do you?

Quoting from the Bible is not “a theory.”

A theory is an attempt to provide a testable, falsifiable, comprehensive explanation for a series of known facts.

iamthemob's avatar

@bkcunningham1 – For me, it’s a clarity thing. I just don’t see the applicability of those passages in terms of supporting a point.

bkcunningham1's avatar

The water covered the earth. To me any microscopic proofs or theories you have for evolution started in those waters. God created every creature after their kind. What does “after their kind” mean? I’m just asking. To me it means after animals or fish similar. Closely related genetic makups.

crisw's avatar

@bkcunningham1

“How do you know there was vitamin C in the early environment you are talking about?”

This isn’t really the point. The point is, evolutionary theory can explain all of the occurrences I mentioned. Creationism cannot.

Let me give you another example that doesn’t involve vitamins.

Humans have 46 chromosomes. Chimps have 48. Creationists sometimes like to point that out as a significant difference between us.

However, genetic research showed that, in reality, chromosome 2 in humans is composed of 2 separate chromosomes that fused. The link explains how we can tell what happened, with illustrations.

And the two chromosomes that fused? They are nearly identical to two chromosomes that remain separate in the chimpanzee.

Once again, evolutionary history can explain this. Sometimes after our divergence from the last common ancestor of chimps and humans, the chromosomes fused. But our last common ancestor had two different chromosomes.

Again, evolutionary theory can explain this perfectly. Creationism cannot- why should humans be created with two chromosomes fused together that are nearly identical to chimp chromosomes?

iamthemob's avatar

@bkcunningham1 – As @crisw pointed out, quoting the bible isn’t helpful for me, personally, in determining what you mean when you talk about a creationist theory.

Is there any way that you could outline what the theory of creationism means to you? Something that states how it explains how we have the diverse life present that we do now, and incorporates the evidence that we have that supports evolution…

Okay – well, the waters bit is outside evolutions jurisdiction, but sure – the “after its kind” passages don’t contradict evolution.

However, they also describe how the world already was at the time the bible was written. It really just claims that there are different species that continue “after [their] kind.

bkcunningham1's avatar

I am confused them crisw because I thought the vitamin C thing was a point.

crisw's avatar

@bkcunningham1

What you’re doing, though, intentionally or not, is deflecting my points with subsidiary issues rather than addressing them directly. I asked some direct questions. I was hoping to get answers to those questions.

I could explain how we know what we know about the existence of ascorbic acid, but it’s not germane to answering the questions of why we have ERVs, why we share them with chimps, etc.

bkcunningham1's avatar

iamthemob, I thought the first fossilized proofs of life were water creatures. That was my point with the water.

iamthemob's avatar

@bkcunningham1 – I talked about how it wasn’t, though, as well. The deficiency was passed on because the common ancestor of us and other primates had a diet that was rich enough in vitamin C that the deficiency didn’t affect the survival of that common ancestor. That ancestor branched into different populations, and because we had access to that same type of diet for the most part, we survived. Other branches may, in fact, not have survived.

If that diet had not been there, then the common ancestor might very well have perished for lack of Vitamin C, and we would never have developed from it.

Re water creatures – cool. The problem is you’re referring to all of this in a void – just quoting the passages. If possible, again, if you could bullet point the claims of creationism as I did above for evolution in its most basic sense, it would be much appreciated.

bkcunningham1's avatar

I’m not as schooled at evolution as you crisw. I would love to know about proof of the existense of ascorbic acid. I’m not deflecting your questions. I just have questions that I’d like answered to understand your points. I’m sure it is frustrating having a discussion with someone not as educated in a subject. Too be honest, I have to read what you and iamthemob write several times to grasp your point. When I get your point, I see things in the multiply readings that don’t make sense to me so, unfortunate for you, I ask a question.

Anway, your first question: “As just one example, can you explain how the scenario I explained above regarding Vitamin C genes can fit a Biblical account of creation?”

Here is what you explained above: “Much of our genome is composed of DNA that was not originally our own. It was contributed by endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) and other viral elements.

See here I want to ask, how do we know that?

“Scientists analyzing these ERVs can determine when they became part of the genome. They also can look at the DNA sequences of other animals and see if the same sequences can be found in the genomes of these other animals.

“What we find is that humans and chimpanzees share almost all of the same ERV sequences, in the same places.

How do we know the following statement you make?

“Those that differ in human and chimp occurred after our split from our last common ancestor.

“Humans, chimps and monkeys share a great many of the same ERVs, and they all date from before the last common ancestor of monkeys and apes split. And so on.

“ERVs often cause genes to stop working, but the defective copy of the gene may be retained. These are termed “pseudogenes.” One pseudogene in humans is the gene that, in almost all other mammals, produces vitamin C.

Why would that defective gene remain throughout evolution?

“Most mammals can make their own vitamin C. Humans cannot, and we suffer horribly in some circumstances from the scurvy that vitamin C deficiency can cause.

“So we have a gene to produce vitamin C, but it’s broken. And the interesting thing is that we share the same broken gene, broken by the same ERV in the same place, with all other primates.

“Why is this? Well, ancestral primates ate a diet rich in fruit and could survive without producing their own vitamin C. So the broken gene didn’t hamper them, and was passed down to all their ancestors.

Maybe it isn’t broken. According to what you said, maybe it wasn’t needed and we are witnessing evolution of a new gene.

“Now humans evolve, and some populations didn’t eat their fruit- so we have scurvy.

“This makes very good sense evolutionarily, but little sense in light of creationism. Why, if man was created in God’s image, would he be created with a broken gene that is broken in the same way as other primates, that causes harm? Or, for that matter, with a load of useless DNA from viruses that is also in the same place in the genome of a chimp?”

My answer to this was the Garden of Eden theory that apparently the rules of discussion say I’m not allowed to mention.

bkcunningham1's avatar

I guess what I’m saying is this. You and I know there is nothing I could say or do to make you change your mind. I’m not trying to do that. It would be futile.

I mean, seriously, God Himself could come to earth, speak to you and historical record could preserve it for centuries and you wouldn’t believe it. God could tell you stories in the stars and set time in place in the heavens and if you don’t believe it, there isn’t anything I can say or do to change that.

I’m just interested in getting a better understanding of what it is that you believe as fact. If I’m too slow for you, that is fine too. I’ve enjoyed it anyway.

snowberry's avatar

(From my drug-ridden haze) yeah what @bkcunningham1 said!

iamthemob's avatar

@bkcunningham1

ERV Information in Human DNA

In terms of your question of question about the viral DNA – well, we’ve mapped the genome…so we know what all the parts are doing pretty much. Viruses replicate by using the machinery of the cell to create replicas of itself as well as a duplicate copy of the whole cell before it splits. These viruses can move DNA from one organism to another, a process which we witness today. Viral DNA has been used to repair genetic defects in pure-bred dogs to restore sight, inserting genes which provided for what the body was previously failing to produce.

Shared ERVs Cross-Species

In terms of knowing that what we say is true…you can look at various mapped genomes here. The sequences are pretty simple – there are only four base pairs in the entire structure, repeating over and over again.

Why Non-Adaptive Genes Could Continue

Regarding the Vitamin C gene…we still have the defect. It is shared by other primates. Then it isn’t. It is caused by the deletion of half of one of our genes, shared across species. Where it is functioning, you don’t see scurvy. You do in us. We currently have a diet that contains sufficient amounts of Vitamin C (if we’re lucky) to prevent scurvy.

Now…because this gene is shared, and it does the same thing across the board, any species that did not have a diet that was sufficient Vitamin C would die. We know that Vitamin C existed when the deletion happened because there was a gene that produced it, and was deleted. The common ancestor where this deletion initially occurred could have branched off into several species that don’t exist today – because they didn’t find a diet rich enough in Vitamin C.

So…the defective gene gets passed on in populations where the defect is masked by a vitamin-rich diet. The gene would not get passed on if it killed the host. Because it didn’t, it survives until now.

As to your claim that maybe it isn’t broken…maybe it isn’t. Who knows. I use broken because it’s convenient, not because it implies a specific judgment on the gene.

Problem with Eden Analogy

The problem with saying that maybe the diet that allowed for the deletion to pass on to other people was in the garden of Eden is that it’s not really part of the creationism theory – the explanation is taking a biological fact that is most easily explained through a common ancestor that branched off until we all share this deletion, and stating that maybe the reason we survived is this part of the Bible. However, that just means the fact can fit in with that part of the Bible. Evolutionary theory would predict that this type of deletion would cause a population to spread out and eventually speciate (considering that it needs to find the right diet, e.g.), and that it would show up exactly as it did. Using the Garden to explain it is showing how that doesn’t conflict with something in the bible. The Garden of Eden doesn’t mandate that man, certain primates, but no one else have this defect – what would be the reason to share it?

I mean, seriously, God Himself could come to earth, speak to you and historical record could preserve it for centuries and you wouldn’t believe it. God could tell you stories in the stars and set time in place in the heavens and if you don’t believe it, there isn’t anything I can say or do to change that.

You see…if that happened…I would believe it. I would just wonder why he would make evolution such the obvious choice if the Bible was the proper explanation.

Now, you say that there’s nothing you can do to change our minds. I’m willing to listen. The thing is, the explanation of the theory needs to be as clear as evolution, as predictive as it, and can be shown through objective observation. The first step would be to, again, lay out the “theory of creation” as you understand it to be.

crisw's avatar

@bkcunningham1

“You and I know there is nothing I could say or do to make you change your mind”

You know- I am going to be frank here.

I am really, really tired of creationists who say this.

I don’t know a single scientifically-minded person for whom this is true.

Of course we will change our minds-if you present us with facts that refute a theory.

It is usually creationists who declare “My mind is made up and nothing you say will change it!”

Science doesn’t work that way. Show me facts and I will change my mind.So would any other scientist.

crisw's avatar

@bkcunningham1

First of all, before I address what you said, let’s be clear on something.

Random speculation doesn’t disprove any scientific theory. You have to actually show some evidence that what you are saying is true. Saying “Maybe invisible fairies are doing the lifting!” will never disprove gravity. And much of what you’ve done is just this type of speculation rather than actual providing of any researched evidence that disproves a point.

“See here I want to ask, how do we know that?”

I gave a couple of links to how we know that. Please read those over and see if you have any questions- plus @iamthemob gave a good explanation.

“How do we know the following statement you make?

“Those that differ in human and chimp occurred after our split from our last common ancestor.”

Because of molecular clocks. (this is a technical article, but you’ll get the picture.) This article described the dating process in detail for one particular ERV in monkeys, chimps and man.

“Why would that defective gene remain throughout evolution?”

Because, as I think has been explained a couple of times, until recently there was no pressure for it to change. It didn’t provide any disadvatage to most primates, who eat lots of fruit. Only a tiny number of humans were negatively affected by it, not a strong enough force for natural selection to act upon.

“Maybe it isn’t broken. According to what you said, maybe it wasn’t needed and we are witnessing evolution of a new gene.”

No- it’s broken.

“My answer to this was the Garden of Eden theory that apparently the rules of discussion say I’m not allowed to mention.”

You can mention it. But if you want it taken seriously, you have to present some evidence that it’s true. As I mentioned above, you can’t just state it’s true without any evidence. You also have to show why it’s a better theory than the current one.

crisw's avatar

By the way, if you really want to learn a lot about retroviruses and other evidence of evolution, a wonderful book is Relics of Eden: The Powerful Evidence of Evolution in Human DNA.

soft_fingers8's avatar

What do you make of the recent Uppsala University Mutational Robustness of Ribosomal Protein Genes Report?

Harold's avatar

@iamthemob – I didn’t say I would never read it, but then, I don’t have to justify myself.

Personally, I believe that an atheist has more consistency than someone who claims to believe the bible, but tries to massage it to fit current scientific theory. But, that is my opinion, and I could be wrong. As a non-American, I have noticed a tendency by SOME of my American friends here to stereotype. ie just because you believe in Creation, means you support the Republican party, hate homosexuals, want to blow up abortion clinics and support the war in Iraq. Just so, I get the impression that many people read my posts on creation, and consign me to that basket. I actually don’t give two hoots about American politics, have several homosexual friends, have not made up my mind on abortion, and think Bush was an idiot to go into Iraq. Is this off the question? Maybe, but then I am just trying to make the point that not every creationist is an uneducated redneck.

iamthemob's avatar

@Harold – Nope. You don’t. However, there was a lot of stuff you didn’t say. All I get to see is what you do say. ;-)

Here’s the thing – you popped onto the site. You said that the thread was tedious. You stated your opinion as if you were done. All I did was ask whether you’d read through the thread, and some questions on what you thought. You came back, and said that you’d read all the arguments before. You stated your opinion, and then said you didn’t have a problem with anyone holding their beliefs. More dismissive than responsive, right? So, having no indication that you were looking to discuss the issue, I pointed out what I saw as the arrogance there. You interpreted that as me saying you were accusing only one side of the arrogance…but it was simply that you’d come on essentially to say “this is a useless thread” about three times at that point. And a few hours later, you’re saying that you find that creationists get stereotyped.

I get the inclination to come into this conversation as a creationist expecting blunt, evolutionist hammering. But @jerv specifically stated he was trying to get a civil discussion going.

When you come on repeatedly stating what’s wrong with the conversation, stating your opinion, defending yourself against the stereotyping (which yeah – totally happens), and claiming that you’re not really looking at what’s in this thread – well, why? It makes a civilized conversation more difficult as we get put on the blame game route.

I’ve asked you to engage in the thread itself. I’m looking forward to it.

jerv's avatar

@Harold “I have noticed a tendency by SOME of my American friends here to stereotype.”
Yeah, that seems to be kind of an American tradition, doesn’t it :/

”...I am just trying to make the point that not every creationist is an uneducated redneck.”
True, but when you combine that with our love of stereotypes, that does put you in the same lot as them, at least in some people’s eyes. I think to would be more accurate to say that many consider anybody who doesn’t follow the scientific method is considered uneducated, while those who do are often seen as elitists, Communists, and Satanists; C’est la vie
But I think that the real issue there is that many feel that an intelligent/educated person could take Creationism and find a way to reconcile it with science. Is the Earth only 6,000 years old? I believe that it is entirely possible… if your definition of “year” is flexible.
Let us stipulate that God exists. (I am an Agnostic, so I will neither concede nor deny that He does.) Let us further stipulate that the Bible is His Word. Is it not possible that mere linguistics have caused the Bible to drift over time and through many translations to the point that we really can’t tell what God said? Given the number of different sects of Christianity, I say that mere common sense would say “yes”, and even a cursory glance at Christianity would prove that God’s Word can be and has been interpreted many different ways.
Already, we are at a point where Creationists are on shaky ground as many who follow the scientific method would weigh the evidence and likely lean towards Evolution. Now, there are two ways to do so; become an Atheist/Agnostic or combine a questionable re-re-re-re-re-re-interpretation of God’s Word with observable facts and hard evidence using the brains that He allegedly gave Man.
Of course, that inevitably causes some Christians to pull a No True Scotsman .

Personally, I believe that an atheist has more consistency than someone who claims to believe the bible, but tries to massage it to fit current scientific theory.
Ummm… that is a good example of the “No True Scotsman” logical fallacy right there.

I have a few things to do (like eat dinner) but thank you for coming here and I look forward to continuing.

Harold's avatar

It actually wasn’t me who said it was tedious! Or that it is a useless thread. That is far from my thoughts, and if anybody took it that way I apologise. I will answer the rest more comprehensively later. I am busy on messenger talking to my son in Peru

iamthemob's avatar

Crapballs! You’re totally right about the first one – your name was in @snowberry‘s post and I collapsed the two. That was my bad – the tedious description was not on you, and I apologize.

Harold's avatar

Firstly, @iamthemob – apologies gratefully accepted. I am certainly able to see how the confusion can happen. I actually made a mistake too. I got you confused with @jerv , who sent me a link to a website, and that was what I mistakenly thought you were referring to when you mentioned the thread. I apologise for the mistake, and to answer your question, yes, I have read the thread. I would not comment on a thread I had not read. Also, yes, I do expect to get hammered by evolutionists. I have no problem with that, but I do have a problem with closed mindedness, which we all know is prevalent in every viewpoint.

My youngest son is an atheist, and we have this discussion often. I really enjoy my discussions with him, even though we don’t agree. One thing that we do agree on is that theistic evolution has little credibility as a theory. He at least sees my position as being consistent. Of course, his opinion is not the be all and end all. However, it is the one that I care about most, which I am sure you understand.

@jerv – I do appreciate you sending me the link. I have read similar websites before, but I am sure this is valuable. I will get to look at it in detail, but it may not be soon.

I can see that I am very likely to be put in the same category as certain US rednecks, but believe me, Australian culture, and mostly, Australian Christianity, is very different to the types of one eyed fools you have in the US who blow up abortion clinics.

I agree with you that the bible can be and has been misinterpreted on many fronts. That is why we cannot be dogmatic about certain non-core beliefs. I belong to a particular denomination (which one is not important), which has its share of people who feel that everyone else is wrong. However, I am happy there, because there is a great deal of tolerance for all types of people. (Yes, we have a homosexual couple in our congregation). However, I believe that the fundamental principles, including literal 7 day creation, have not changed in essence.

I am aware of the scientific method (if you read my profile you’ll understand how aware I am). However, I believe that:
1. Not everyone who claims to have used it necessarily has, without preconceived ideas
2. God is above it, and does not need it

Call that blinkered if you will, but so far, here stand I. I am aware of the No true scotsman fallacy (my atheist son has drawn it to my attention).

I, too, look forward to continuing the debate. A debate in the right spirit, which this is, is a good thing. No belief is worth its effort unless you are prepared to have it challenged!

jerv's avatar

@Harold “However, I believe that the fundamental principles, including literal 7 day creation, have not changed in essence.”
If you looked at that link in detail, you would understand why I can’t help but ask, “How long a day are we talking here?”. Like other similar pages, it raises questions about the exact definition of the Hebrew word ”Yom”. (For others out there, the link I refer to here is one about Biblical evidence for long Creation days.)
Unfortunately, it’s a bit hard since there is also disagreement over what the fundamentals really are. To my knowledge, the only real universal agreements are that Jesus was the son of God and died for our sins. Beyond that, it seems like there is so much room for interpretation it’s really hard for opponents of Creationism to really know who/what they are up against :P

iamthemob's avatar

@Harold – I always prefer the term “discussion” as opposed to “debate.” Debate is always tainted with the idea of a winner for me…

I’ve heard the “intellectual dishonesty” accusation from the atheist camp brought against those supporting the idea of theistic evolution. However, the argument that it’s dishonest seems based on the assumption that fairly literal biblical beliefs about creation are held.

My inability to understand why it’s strongly argued that this is a dishonest position comes from the fact that all the religion I’ve encountered and religious leaders associated with it have always taken a more metaphorical approach to the Bible creation passages. Either approach (an acceptance of Christian literalist or semi-literalist teachings or total atheistic teachings) are both, sure, consistent – but require that one take what I see to be a willfully blind intellectual approach to possibilities offered through the contrary argument. Granted – I think that the willfull blindness on the Creationist side is greater.

I’m uncertain what you mean by the adherence to the 7 day creation and what the fundamental principles are…but I can’t concentrate right now…I must return later.

crisw's avatar

@soft_fingers8

“What do you make of the recent Uppsala University Mutational Robustness of Ribosomal Protein Genes Report?”

You mean this work?

Although interesting, I don’t think it’s terribly surprising, especially since, as I understand it, it dealt with just point mutations, which typically have less effect than larger mutations such as frameshifts or duplication.

BoBo1946's avatar

I’m often amused by those who don’t believe (creationism) spending large amounts of times debating the issue. It’s almost like a form of insecurity. They seem to be saying, “longer I discuss it, the more I convinced they are wrong and I’m right.” I’ve never been insecure in my belief and that is why I don’t try to defend it.

Blackberry's avatar

@BoBo1946 I understand what you mean, but passion to constantly defend something doesn’t mean one is insecure. For example, people that fervently support and defend not wearing fur. They don’t seem to be insecure in their beliefs (at least not to me), they seem to care strongly about the way the coats are made.

BoBo1946's avatar

@Blackberry good point! Touche my friend!

iamthemob's avatar

@BoBo1946 – I’m with @Blackberry on that one.

I think that the time spent on debating the issue is associated with the concern that creationism will be taught alongside evolution as a valid explanation for the origins of species. It is decidedly, as far as I’ve seen, unscientific, subjective, and personal. That doesn’t speak to its validity as a belief personally held by someone, but because one can’t take a random sample of people, explain the theory to them fully, and have them be able to objectively agree as to the results and the theoretical explanations as to the results and evidence, creation is something that must be off the educational agenda.

jerv's avatar

Personally, I’ve always taken the Creation versus Evolution debate as a good barometer of how logical and open-minded a person is. There are closed-minded people on both sides, and I really don’t like dealing with either of those types. Fortunately, many people are at least intelligent, flexible, and creative enough to see how there could be a middle ground.

I tend to be passionate about things that I am quite secure in my beliefs on, so I agree with @Blackberry on that one. In this instance, I am passionate about making people think. I don’t care much about which side of this particular fence they are on so much as whether they arrived there by thinking soundly.

Just like everybody else, I have my own beliefs here, and part of those beliefs revolve around the fallibility of Man and our limited ability to comprehend things vastly greater than ourselves. That is why I object to certain things, like people making declarative statements about God.

For instance, how do we know God is a singular entity that is a white male? Even the slightest glimmer of belief in Christianity would tell someone that God is omnipotent, so “He” could easily be a black lesbian, a genderless entity, Archeological evidence suggests that humanity originated in Africa, so I think it safe to assume that if Adam and Eve existed, they were probably dark-skinned, and likely rather short compared to people in 2010.

To my mind, a literal interpretation of the Bible is ludicrous as best. However, a more allegorical approach is perfectly consistent with both itself and with science. After all, what is science but Man’s attempt to make sense of Creation in terms that we can understand? A good scientist will be less interested in challenging the Creator than in figuring out their creation (in this case, everything) works.

Many Creationists I’ve run across find such thoughts blasphemous, so it’s hard to have a rational discussion with them. By the same token,I’ve run across enough Evolutionists who believe that the Bible is completely wrong, and I find them just as irrational. Why can’t we have more people in the middle? I have a friend who is a good church-going guy and he never refutes me outright; he merely says that he believes otherwise and we’ll find out which of us is right when we are done with our mortal shells, and then we can go on with our lives without introducing tension and drama to what little time we have on this Earth. That seems more rational than a lot of people.

iamthemob's avatar

@jervWell said.

Paradox's avatar

@jerv I’m one of those people in the middle.
@Harold You mentioned theistic evolution has little credibility as a theory. I believe young earth creationism has little credibilty as a theory. I also don’t appreciate creationists telling other theists such as myself which “religion” is the one that makes the most sense. Everyone that believes in some form of a God has every right to worship as we please. There are many Christians as well as other religious philosophies who believe it is perfectly reasonable that a divine force of some type set evolution in motion.

Many Christians also use the Bible for symbolic and spiritual purposes rather than taking it literally. I don’t believe it’s fair to accuse other Christians of trying to “fudge” certain philosophies to fit into the Bible when clearly many maintstream Christians can’t even agree amongst themselves how to interpret the Bible.

Harold's avatar

@Paradox – what I meant to say is that it makes the most sense TO ME. I also meant to say that it has little credibility TO ME. Hope that clarifies it, and sorry if my comment offended you. I agree that everyone has the right to worship or not worship as they please.

@jerv – I have no disagreement with you over what God might be like. You may remember that in the bible Jesus is referred to as the lamb of God. I heard a story about a missionary in New Guinea who was trying to explain this to villagers, and they didn’t know what a lamb was. The most valuable animal to them was a pig, so he referred to Jesus as the pig of God. Some might see this as offensive, but he got his message across in the language of the locals. Just so, if the local population can relate to God better as a black woman, so be it. I have often thought that a woman who was subjected to abuse from her father might have trouble with the concept of a heavenly father.

I think that the middle ground has a lot of credibility, but I have no reason MYSELF to change where I am at just yet.

@iamthemob -happy to refer to this as discussion; I see your point. Personally, I believe that creation is just as credible (in fact more so) than evolution, and should be taught in school. I know that will bring howls of derision from many, but if evolutionary teaching is as strong and infallible as many claim, what have they got to worry about? Surely if it is THAT much more logical than creation, teaching the two theories alongside each other will show which makes the most sense! I suspect that the case for evolution is not as strong as many would have us believe.

iamthemob's avatar

@Harold

- Can you show me how, without reference to the bible, we can observe creation at work and how instances of it can be experimentally derived, then maybe I will be convinced.

- What is the creationism that you are suggesting be taught? Constitutionally, there might be problems.

crisw's avatar

@Harold

“I believe that creation is just as credible (in fact more so) than evolution, and should be taught in school. I know that will bring howls of derision from many, but if evolutionary teaching is as strong and infallible as many claim, what have they got to worry about?”

The problem here, as has been explained above, is that you are comparing apples and oranges. Evolutionary theory is science. Creationism is a religious belief. In science class, we teach- science. We don’t teach creationism- not because it’s a “threat”- but because it is not science. We don’t teach alchemy along with chemistry. We don’t teach astrology alongside psychology. We don’t teach the geocentric universe along with astronomy. We don’t teach about the four humours along with anatomy. And we don’t teach creationism along with evolution.

In addition to the little matter of the First Amendment, you also have to consider- if you want to teach creationism- whose creationism do you teach? Every religion has a different creation story, and they are all equally invalid as scientific theories.

There is a place for creationism in the public schools- in a world religion class, taught alongside the creation stories of every other religion. But not in science class.

crisw's avatar

@Harold

“I suspect that the case for evolution is not as strong as many would have us believe.”

Can you please outline what, exactly, the flaws are that you find in evolutionary theory?

iamthemob's avatar

@crisw – By flaws, you mean ways in which evolution simply cannot describe natural phenomenon that we observe or has claims that it continues to hold onto that have been disproven by observance, right? I don’t believe that you mean places where the mechanisms are not completely clear (i.e., “holes”). Those wouldn’t be flaws as they don’t run contrary to the theory…

crisw's avatar

@iamthemob

I find that those who believe in creationism often don’t understand the difference between the two.

BoBo1946's avatar

@iamthemob was referring too a larger context. Any discussion that is directly or indirectly related to religion. Did not make myself clear.

iamthemob's avatar

@BoBo1946 – I figured that’s what you were talking about. But I think the motivation can be the same much of the time. You say that there’s an agenda associated with an insecurity about the theory. I think that almost immediately the school issue comes up – and that’s where the motivation to “call out” creationism comes from.

It’s an inevitable association if you start talking about creationism compared to evolution, as (1) it’s how it’s discussed generally in the media context (via education issues) and (2) creationism and intellectual property have emerged as outgrowths of “faith” it seems as a challenge to evolution and in order to allow for religion in the curriculum.

jerv's avatar

I think that the animosity between science and religion can be summed up with one tasteless picture

BoBo1946's avatar

@jerv there will always be radicals that do evil things in the name of religion. There are lots of good Muslims in the World. They should not be judged on the bad deeds of a few in my humble opinion. Just like Christianity, we have our Jim Bakers, but not all Christians should be judged on the evil deeds of a few. But, your point is well-taken and understood in the present day World. Lot of evil in the crazy World today…that included so-called religious people.

Summum's avatar

For instance, how do we know God is a singular entity that is a white male?

They call him the Heavenly Father and there is also a Heavenly Mother. They are very brightly skinned so much so they seem to glow when we see them. We are their spiritual children and were born to them before we recieved an Earthly body. But differences from Science and Religion is not a problem at all when you know what happened.

iamthemob's avatar

@Summum – and this is based on…

Summum's avatar

Experience and knowledge. Revelation is alive and well if you seek and or knock.

iamthemob's avatar

But not objectively definable, and therefore problematic when we’re talking about comparative validity.

If you can’t explain how you got there without subjective experience being a significant factor, it can’t be compared.

28lorelei's avatar

If you don’t believe in evolution, how can you explain things such as fossils? Evolution can be proved easily.

Harold's avatar

@28lorelei – fossils are much more reliably explained by Noah’s flood. Evolution cannot be proved, because you weren’t there to see it happen, nor was anyone else. Both creation and evolution are theories, and one has to decide which one makes most sense to them. Personally, I believe in creation.

jerv's avatar

@Harold You are entirely correct that each person must decide which makes more sense to them, and personally, I find literal interpretations of the Bible to be unbelievable in the truest sense of the word and thus take Creationism with a huge grain of salt.

Now, intelligent design from another source is a different ball of wax entirely.

Harold's avatar

@jerv – Yes, and I respect your right to believe as you do. The grain of salt with which I take evolution is just as large.

crisw's avatar

@Harold

“fossils are much more reliably explained by Noah’s flood”

Really? So how do you explain why the mammals are never found with the ammonites. or the whales with the ichthyosaurs, or the sabertooths with the dinosaurs?

“Evolution cannot be proved”

Sure it can. Evolution is just the change in gene frequency in a population over time. It happens. The theory of evolution explains how and why it happens. But evolution itself is a proven fact.

“because you weren’t there to see it happen”

I wasn’t there to see myself conceived. Therefore, I must not exist.

“Both creation and evolution are theories”

No, they aren’t. A theory is a testable, falsifiable explanation of observed facts that makes predictions that can then be validated. Evolutionary theory does this. Creationism does not.

“one has to decide which one makes most sense to them”

No, one has to decide which one is backed by the facts- and it isn’t creationism.

Harold's avatar

@crisw – no one has ever found all the fossils, so you can only say that these groups have not yet been found together. Unless you’re a prophet, you can’t say they never will. Just because a few people have seen gene changes in a petrie dish or whatever you are calling evolution, does NOT prove that humans or other forms of life are a product of it. The origins of life are FAR from proven. You may not have seen your own conception, but I have a feeling that your parents did. They can (or could have) confirmed this. No human was there to see the origin of life. You need to make up your mind if evolution is a theory or a fact. I am comfortable with it being a theory, that some people think they have proven (of course they haven’t done so). According to your definition, the origin of life should be testable for it to be a theory. It obviously is not testable because, as I have clearly outlined, we weren’t there. So whatever basket you are consigning creationism to, evolution as an explanation for the origin of life must go there too.
You are perfectly at liberty to believe that the facts back evolution as an explanation for the origins of life, but I am confident that one day you will be shown to be in error by the One that WAS there when man was created. I know you will scoff at this, but that also is your right and privilege. As I said, I respect your right to believe as you do. However, it disturbs me to see people so confident in rejecting the other point of view as not worth their consideration.
I don’t know whether or not you care if people who believe as I do come to your way of thinking, but if you want people to give credibility and respect to your point of view, you would do well to pay them the same courtesy.

crisw's avatar

@Harold

“no one has ever found all the fossils, so you can only say that these groups have not yet been found together”

What we can say, with certainty, is that all of the millions of fossils that have been found support the standard models of evolution, geography, stratigraphy, oceanic formation, etc. Why is it that this is so, if your flood story is true? “Flood geology” has no way to explain this. Science does it easily.

“Just because a few people have seen gene changes in a petrie dish or whatever you are calling evolution, does NOT prove that humans or other forms of life are a product of it.”

Do you understand what, exactly, “changes in gene frequency” means? This is observable, measurable, and provable. It;s how we breed new crops, for example. There is absolutely no doubt, even among the most rabid creationists, that it happens.

“The origins of life are FAR from proven. ”

And the origins of life also have nothing to do whatsoever with evolution. That’s a common confusion that creationists have.

“No human was there to see the origin of life. ”

I could name any number of things that no human saw that we accept as true. Why, exactly, do you think we have to see things in order for them to be true? And, what about your own creation story? No human saw that, either.

“You need to make up your mind if evolution is a theory or a fact.”

As I explained, evolution is a fact. The theory of evolution is an explanation of those facts.

“I am comfortable with it being a theory, that some people think they have proven (of course they haven’t done so).”

I really think you don’t understand what a scientific theory is. They are never “proven.”

“It obviously is not testable because, as I have clearly outlined, we weren’t there.”

We don’t have to be. Any number of things could show that the theory of evolution is invalid- for example, finding that whale among the ammonites. This has not happened. Ever. Not once. In addition, evolutionary theory makes predictions- and those predictions pan out.

“However, it disturbs me to see people so confident in rejecting the other point of view as not worth their consideration.”

I work solely on facts. There are no facts that support creationism.

jerv's avatar

@crisw “There are no facts that support creationism”
Some would claim that the Bible is proof of Creationism. Simply put, the definition of “fact” is rather… malleable/debatable/subjective. I don’t know which of those three words is the best fit, so I put them all down.

Of course, this all assumes that we are talking about Christian Creationism. While that is the most common form here in the US, there are plenty of other Creation myths out there; yet another reason I cannot be a Creationist.

crisw's avatar

@jerv

I have been using a bit of shorthand. I am using the scientific definition of “fact”- an observation that has been confirmed repeatedly and is accepted as true. The Bible doesn’t qualify.

Good points about the other creation myths, but since Harold is referring to the Bible and the Flood and all, I’m assuming he’s a young-earth Christian creationist.

Harold's avatar

@crisw – you simply cannot divorce the origins of life from evolution because it does not explain it. I am not referring to the origin of life as being the big bang, or how it started. I am referring to it as being how we got here. The process that led man to be man. If you read carefully what I said, I also said that creation is not provable, for exactly the same reasons that your theory is not. It is a dangerous practice to extrapolate what you see in a petrie dish to the past- it is just not necessarily so.

crisw's avatar

@Harold

Let’s get down to brass tacks here.

If creationism is a “theory,” how does it explain, as just one example, the similarity of endogenous retroviruses in chimps and humans? What is the theory, what predictions does it make, and how would you test or falsify the theory?

The linked article explains exactly this for the scientific theory.

iamthemob's avatar

@Harold

“you simply cannot divorce the origins of life from evolution because it does not explain it.”

That’s like saying you cannot divorce the origins of life from gravity because it does not explain it.

Evolution has nothing to do with the origins of life on earth. It explains the diversity of it. Therefore, to criticize that it doesn’t cover how life started is to criticize gravity for not explaining the same thing.

jerv's avatar

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; is it not possible for God to have started things out primitive and set things up for Evolution? Maybe God is a hyper-intelligent bacteria who originally crafted us in His image and we evolved from there.

All I’m saying is that both theories can be equally true.

crisw's avatar

@jerv

“All I’m saying is that both theories can be equally true.”

There’s a big difference between a deistic position that states that a creator set evolution in motion, and then sat back and watched what happened, and young-earth creationism. Young-earth creationism and science cannot both be true.

iamthemob's avatar

@crisw – He wasn’t talking about young-earth creationism. I’m certain you know that. So don’t direct the question at him.

Harold's avatar

@iamthemob – I understand that the theory of evolution is talking about how life developed once it began, not how it began. Maybe my terms were a little unclear, but that is what I meant.

iamthemob's avatar

@Harold – but then what did you mean? The theory of evolution is completely divorced from any theory of how life began. And any creationist idea of how life developed after that point on earth come from a presupposed idea of how it happened. Evolutionist theory merely is supported by discovery – it predicts that we will find things in a particular place, in a particular way.

The difference is that creationist theories look at discoveries and show how the evidence can be incorporated into and might not contradict certain aspects of their theory. Evolutionists show that discoveries support their theory. That’s significant.

crisw's avatar

“The difference is that creationist theories look at discoveries and show how the evidence can be incorporated into and might not contradict certain aspects of their theory. Evolutionists show that discoveries support their theory. ”

I am afraid that, in reality, it doesn’t work that way.

The young-earth creationists seek to uphold their beliefs at the expense of the facts. If the facts contradict their beliefs, they will discard the facts. They will not change their beliefs, no matter what facts are presented to them. This is why creationism, by definition, is not science, and is not a scientific theory.

On the other hand, those who accept the theory of evolution- and the validity of the scientific method in general- will change a theory to fit new facts, as this is exactly how science works. Theories evolve every but as much as species do, and the theory must fit the observed facts.

crisw's avatar

@Harold

Along the lines of what I just said to @iamthemob – what, if anything, exactly, would be the evidence you would accept that would show that creationism is not valid? In other words, what would invalidate the idea that creationism is correct? What would change your mind?

I’ve given some examples (such as discovering fossil whales and ammonites in the same strata) of what would invalidate the current theory of evolution. And I could give many more. What, if anything, would do it for you, as regards creationism?

iamthemob's avatar

@crisw – Sigh. You and I are making the same fucking argument. They look at the evidence and distort it in a manner that it makes previous assertions still true. This includes finding a way to discard facts, distort them, etc. This is, as I said, incorporating new discovery into an already-determined answer. Your description adds depth, but doesn’t disagree with me.

Thanks again for doing that.

crisw's avatar

@iamthemob

You keep calling creationism a “theory.” It isn’t. This is a very important distinction. “Theory”, in the scientific sense, has a very specific meaning, and calling creationism a “theory” confuses the issue and debases the meaning of the word. We are not saying the same thing, as long as you call creationism a “theory.”

iamthemob's avatar

I’m not using it in a scientific sense. Considering that I talked about how it bent evidence to fit its presuppositions, I would think that was obvious.

And considering that I’ve repeatedly talked about the very specific definition of what scientists mean when they talk about a theory, in threads you’ve been on, I think you should know that.

So if you want to talk about the differences, do so. But direct the comment at someone other than me. I already know. And you should know that I do. Thanks again for doing that AGAIN, though. ;-)

Summum's avatar

I love watching this and seeing so many trying to make their points and it is very amusing. There is Nothing at all that conflicts with either side. It takes both sides to have a world called Earth.

cockswain's avatar

Wait…evolution is only a theory?

28lorelei's avatar

@cockswain it is a “theory” that has been proven scientifically over and over again. For example, there are fossils that are clearly “in-between” states between one animal and another, like how winged dinosaurs eventually became feathered and shaped like birds, and finally became modern-day birds. Another good example is of bacteria that become resistant to antibiotics: only the ones resistant survive, so while the rest die off the strongest remain and they reproduce.
Not to mention where Darwin originally came up with the idea: finches on different islands that are clearly from a common ancestor, but are slightly different.

cockswain's avatar

I know. I was being sarcastic. I fully believe everything you wrote.

28lorelei's avatar

I believe you. That is the crux of the argument… I mean, what if someone decided not to believe in gravity? That doesn’t make gravity vanish.

cockswain's avatar

Sadly, despite the truth of what you’ve written, it isn’t nearly convincing enough to a disbeliever. It is a rare occasion I have a discussion with a non-believer in which he/she ends up learning something.

crisw's avatar

@28lorelei

Actually, I want to point out a pretty common misconception here.

Theories are never proven. It’s almost impossible to prove something in science (unlike math or logic.) Instead, a theory is an explanation for observed facts. A theory is always subject to revision if new facts are discovered. So, as an example, the present theory of evolution incorporates genetic change; something that was impossible in Darwin’s day because genetics was in its infancy.

Evolution is both a fact and a theory. Evolution is defined as the change in the allele frequency in a population over time.This can indeed be proven to happen. Thus it’s fact. The theory of evolution is an explanation of how and why we think those changes occur.

HungryGuy's avatar

If I may jump in, I’d also like to add that, to most religious people, creation and evolution aren’t in conflict. The real point of conflict is how that first spark of life occurred; by God’s hand, or by random chance.

jerv's avatar

Those people must keep quiet for the most part then since most people that you hear from seem to think that they are mutually exclusive. I know that there are many scientists who are of the belief that God is the one who set things up to make Evolution possible, but there are also many people who take the Bible literally and think that the first woman was created by yanking some ribs from the first man. Those people also conveniently overlook Lilith, but that is a separate discussion.

I suppose a decent follow-up is whether Creationism versus Evolution really is a “versus” thing; it seems to me that they are compatible, and I am not aware of any Theory of Evolution that presumes to know what The Prime Cause is.

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