General Question

Mtl_zack's avatar

evolution or. Creationism

Asked by Mtl_zack (6759points) March 5th, 2008

hot topic!!

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

79 Answers

eyeofnyc's avatar

isn’t evolution basic science now? And are the 2 mutually exclusive?

jrpowell's avatar

I’m a fan of de-evolution. The Flying Spaghetti Monster put down a super smart creature. And reverse evolution has made us what we are.

eyeofnyc's avatar

flying spaghetti monster for the win!

Mtl_zack's avatar

hat do you mean by de-evolution?

jrpowell's avatar

Reverse evolution. Basically going backwards. I couldn’t think of the right word so I made shit up.

eyeofnyc's avatar

Shouldn’t it be revo, then?

Mtl_zack's avatar

well the way I see it is that every organism wants to have the most offspring. Humans have sex for pleasure, and that could prove your point, but bonobos, dolphins and porcupines also have sex for pleasure so are they also de-evolving

Also, ramen

delirium's avatar

Evolution. Hands down. Its basic biology. The people who don’t believe in it 99% of the time don’t even vaguely understand it.

Poser's avatar

@johnpowell—Funny, I just finished watching Idiocracy.

eyeofnyc's avatar

idiocracy is actually more about dysgenics, rather than de-evolution, which has more to do with the soiling of the gene pool, rather than the reversal of evolutionary steps.

Poser's avatar

Oh. I thought it was a comedy.

eyeofnyc's avatar

and that’s the brilliance of Mike Judge.

scamp's avatar

If we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys? Why haven’t they evolved?

delirium's avatar

scamp: I will explain this later once I get to my computer rather than my phone.

scamp's avatar

ok, I’ll keep checking back delirium. I’m interested in what you have to say.

delirium's avatar

no problem. :)

I’ll probably write something up after work today.

Mtl_zack's avatar

@ scamp: first of all we come from apes, not monkeys. Monkeys have tails, apes do not. Actually, all the apes and humans branched out from one common ancestor which is extinct. Think about apes being our cousin rather than our parents. The common ancestor Brie off into multipule forms, one who is now the chimp, one is the gorilla, one is a orangotan, one is a bonobos and one is humans. We didn’t come from chimps, we’re just related

scamp's avatar

I meant to say ape, not monkey.. sorry. I haven’t had enough coffee yet, LOL!!
I googled bonobos, and see that their DNA is very close to ours, in fact 98% alike. I read about it here: Is the word Brie in your response a typo? I didn’t quite understand that. I tried to google that as well and all I could come up with was cheese. Also, any links available to about the extinct common ancestor you mentioned?

Besafe's avatar

so where did the first cell come from. And for that matter where did light and the various forms of energy come from?

BTW evolution is not science – it is an old theory that new evidence is showing to be too simplistic.

chassler's avatar

if you accept the big bang theory, you accept creationism. The theory says the universe is constantly expanding; reverse that and what happens? The universe gets smaller. Take that progresion to its end…its shrinks into nothing. Something from nothing = creation. They go hand in hand, evolution and creation.

scamp's avatar

@Mtl_zack Can you show me something supporting your belief that we come from apes? Also, I wonder why they called it The Scopes Monkey Trial if the argument is we came from apes. I have trouble buying what you said about us being related to bonobos. They have similar DNA, but that doesn’t necessarily make them a relative. Your DNA is similar to mine, but we aren’t related. Great question BTW. this should prove to be a very interesting thread!!

delirium's avatar

besafe. You’re wrong. Evolution is a science. Hands down.

And don’t pull the theory crap. Gravity is a theory.

More when I’m back to my computer.

Ps: scamp: we are all related. Were humans.

scamp's avatar

A quick reminder to those participating in this thread. This debate has been going on for 82 years now, and I hardly think it will be settled within this thread.

brownlemur's avatar

I’ll settle it. Evolution is a real thing. Anyone who is remotely informed or educated in the sciences knows that evolution is accepted the same way gravity is accepted. And no, creationism and evolution are not incompatible. One has to do with the way species change over time, the other has to do with the beginning of the universe. Evolutionists are not necessarily interested in the latter.

Misconceptions: humans did not “come from monkeys.” Like @mtlzack said, at one point humans and chimps shared a common ancestor from whom both lineages are descended. And don’t get your information from wikipedia either, it is not the final word on information. If you are really interested in finding out about how evolutionary processes work, try reading articles from scientific journals that deal with this every day, like Journal of Human Evolution, Science, Nature, and The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Besafe's avatar

I am still waiting for intelligent answers to my simple questions. BTW a big bang requires matter and energy—where did they come from? Can we all be honest enough to admit that either they just existed for some reason science cannot explain or that there a creator.

delirium's avatar

Scamp, first of all… monkeys are quite different from apes. A good example is if you took a monkey and lifted its arm above its head you’d have a very broken monkey. Monkeys are better with the vertical clinging and leaping and aren’t considered to be Brachiators. Apes are brachiators, which requires two notches for your clavical for you to lift your arm. Its kind of like having two sockets. You can feel it happen, too. There’s a moment when you lift your arm above your head that there’s a change. This is a charectaristic that only apes have. There are so many misconceptions about monkeys and apes. Monkey bars aren’t for monkeys. They’re APE bars. A monkey would deal with them by climbing across the top. They can’t lift their arms above their heads.


Biological structures show signs of our natural design. The rule of evolution is that ‘modern orgamisms should show a variety of structures from simple to complex, reflecting an evolutionary history rather than an instantaneous creation. There is NO INTELLIGENCE IN DESIGN. Let me say it again. DESIGN IS UNINTELLIGENT.
Lets talk eyes: Eyes are imperfect. They’re backwards, upsidown and “require photons of light to travel through the cornea, lens, aqueous humor, blood vessles, ganglion cells, amacrine cells, horizontal cells, and bipolar cells before they reach the light-sensitive rods and cones that transduce the light signal into neural impulses, which are then sent to the visual cortex at the back of the brain for processing in to meaningful patterns.
“For optimal vision, why would an intelligent designer have built an eye upside down and backwars? This ‘design’ makes sense only if natural selection built eyes from availible materials, and in the particular configuration of the ancestral organism’s pre-edisting organic structures. They eye shows the pathways of evolutionary history, and not intelligent design.
If there is a Creator who made us, he was pretty stupid about the whole thing.
We have tons of vestigial structures left over. Would a designer leave all this crap to deal with? Whales have small pelvises that they’ve retained, showing that they came from land mammal ancestors. Flightless birds have wings. Humans have these too. Tons of them. Lets name a few particularly weird ones:
Male nipples
Male uterus (men have the remnant of an underdeveloped uterus attached to the prostate gland)
Thirteenth rib: Most of us have twelve, but 8% of us have a thirteenth set, just like our chimp and gorilla cousins. This is a remnant from when we branched off from them.
Third Eyelid: Tons of animals have these, and we’re no exception… we just can’t use ours anymore. We can see it in the corner of our eyes as a tiny fold of flesh.
Extrinsic Ear Muscles: Can you wiggle your ears? Thank our primate ancestors who could move their ears independantly of their heads so they could more precicely know the direction sounds come from.
Goose Bumps: We retain the ability of our ancestors to puff up their fur for heat insulation, or as a threat gesture to potential predators.
Coccyx: tailbone is all we’ve got left of tails.
Wisdom teeth: Particularly not intelligently designed. We needed these before we had tools, fire, and weapons. We were mostly vegetarians before then, and we required an extra set of molars for chewing. Modern humans have smaller jaws, but we still have wisdom teeth.

We are so imperfect. But we’re so connected to the world. Its such a beautiful thing. :)

delirium's avatar

Besafe: I haven’t read enough hawking recently to be able to answer that coherently. But we definitely don’t have all the answers. We just have more answers than religions oversimplistic single allcovering answer. :)
(We also admit that we don’t know… yet.)

lozza's avatar

Creationism is like giving up.
“We can’t explain it yet so let’s just make up a God who started it all.”

We will work it out in the end and Evolution is one of the building blocks to the answer.

brownlemur's avatar

@delirium: i agree with a lot of what you say, but on a technical note, only gibbons (“lesser apes”) are brachiators. The other apes are not. Orangutans are quadrumanuous and do not brachiate, chimps and gorillas are both quadrupedal knuckle-walkers with some adaptations for climbing and arboreality. And there’s more to it than just looking at the clavicle – it also has to do with the humeral curvature, the size and orientation of the trochlea and capitulum, and humeral torsion, just to name a few.

But yes, monkeys and apes are different. Also, you make it sound like there are many vertical clingers and leapers among monkeys – not so many. Many prosimians are VCLs (sifaka, avahi, indri, lepilemur, etc), but not many monkeys are. I could talk about this all day, let me know if you have questions.

Conclusion: people need to understand what evolution even is before arguing against its validity. Creationism has absolutely nothing to do with science.

eyeofnyc's avatar

@brownlemur: creationism has nothing to do with science at this point. Don’t forget those three words. As believers in science, we must always be open to the fact that science does indeed change. Remember when the sun used to revolve around the earth? Me neither, waaaay before my time, but I hope you see my point. I consider myself to be an agnostic evolutionist, but I have to allow that tomorrow someone could come forth with evidence that completely refutes evolution and proves god is real, which would suck, because I have done a huge amount of sinning in my life. Including lots and lots of run-on sentences. And bad punctuation?

delirium's avatar

brownlemur: yeaaaah. I do know that. I was simplifying things. I didn’t want to go in to too much detail. ;)
I’m going in to forensic anthropology. Osteological morphology and taphonomy, mostly. I love primatology, but it definitely isn’t my field of expertise. I just have to study a lot of it because its involved in the evolutionary biology required for forensics. Most of my interest in primatology focuses on behavioral things. (<3 kanzi) But if I didn’t know how to differentiate between platyrhinni and catarhinni and discuss the differences between prosimians and anthropoids my daddy would justabout kill me. :)

(And I kinda consider P.Pygmaeus’ four-handed brachiation to still count as brachiation… but that’s just me and i’m far from an expert).

Mtl_zack's avatar

@ scamp: every living organism is related in some way. Humans share 32% of our DNA with dandelions. Also, read the book our inner ape by franc de waal and his other books. He has contributed a lot to research of bonobos, mostly about behaviour, but also physiological too.
@ delirium: I too want to be an evolutionary biologist, but more in the field of ethology. Behaviour of apes fascinate me aswell as those of elephants.

scamp's avatar

Thank you for all of this information. I have to say this has been the most well informed discussion I have seen on this subject. I appreciate you taking the time to post this.

Besafe's avatar

It is obvious that some of you live by faith. Faith that by using your mind you can prove a creator does not exist and therefore there is no God. To Believe there is a creator God does not require you to dismiss true science. A lot of what some have stated here is not real science – it is an extrapolation of presumed evidence to fit the argument. There is a lot of that going on. There are those who argue that evolution applies to culture, computers, etc. If you research the literature of real science you will find that in the last few years classic evolution theory is being morphed into theorys of origin closer to creationism than Darwism. In fact several scientist now hold the postion that life was created.

In regard to my questions. I am glad you see that science can never answer that question. Science cannot provide any natural means for energy and matter to be created from nothing with no outside influence. That leads me to conclude there was a creator who is able to speak things into existence. As in God said let there be light and light came into existence.

delirium's avatar

God is an oversimplification. You are thinking that you’re high and mighty, but what we’ve stated here IS real science.

Its a silly creationist thing to argue that evolution isn’t a science because no one was there to observe past events and there are no experiments to run today to test it. The inability to observe past events or set up controlled experiments is no obstical to a sound science of cosmology, geology, or archeology, so why should it be for a sound science of evolution?
Consider the evolution of the dog. With soooo many breeds of dogs popular for so many thousands of years one would think that we’d have an abudance of transitional fossils providing paleontologiests with copious data from which to reconstruct their evolutionary ancestry. Not true, though. The fossil record from wolves to dogs is pretty sparse. We know from mtDNA that old American and Eurasian domistic dogs share a common origin from Old World gray wolves. Behaviorally dogs and gray wolves preform exactly the same in most memory tasks… except for social ones. We’ve bred dogs to understand our communicative signals. Dogs communicative skills came during hte process of domestication. Although we don’t have any single fossil to prove that dogs came from wolves, we know because of the convergence of evidence from Archeological, genetic, morphological, and behavioral ‘fossils’ that the ancestor of all dogs is the East Asian gray wolf.
‘evolutionary theory is rooted in a rich array of data from the past that, while nonreplicatable in a laboratory, are nevertheless valid sources of information that can be used to piece together specific events and test general hypotheses. While the specifics of evolution—how quickly it happened, what triggers species change, at which level of the organism it occurs—are still being studied and unravled, the general theory of evolution is the most tested theory in science over hte past century and a half. Scientists agree: Evolution happened

What i’m talking about IS GOOD SCIENCE.

Good vs. Bad Science

Good: Strong tests which result in a clear-cut support or rejection of a null hypothesis are considered Good Science.
Bad: Revision of a hypothesis after testing so that it fits with a preconceived notion and is supported, and/or the use of anecdotal evidence is Bad Science.

I never said that science couldn’t ever answer that. I said we can’t now. Your conclusions are deluded. If scientists are able to stand up and say that we can’t be sure exactly so we’re not going to guess, than its inappropriate for religion to go WERE GUESSING SO WE MUST BE SURE KAY GUYS BELIEVE WHAT WE MAKE UP BECAUSE IT HAS TO BE TRUE.

scamp's avatar

@delirium I think you are getting a little too hot under the collar here. Just because someone has views different than yours, it doesn’t mean they are deluded or oversimplified. You have made it obvious that you are an atheist, and that is your choice, as well as besafe’s choice to believe in God is hers to make. Why not live and let live and agree to disagree? I don’t think throwing insults at besafe will win her over to your way of thinking. Let’s take a moment and breathe!!

I think I liked this thread better when people were simply sharing their views and not slinging insults at each other.

delirium's avatar

I didn’t intend to be snappy, particularly. I just get touchy when people outright lie about what my lifes work does and will resolve around. It may not be meant to, but it comes off as an insult to me.
“If you research the literature of real science you will find that in the last few years classic evolution theory is being morphed into theorys of origin closer to creationism than Darwism.” = lie.
“A lot of what some have stated here is not real science – it is an extrapolation of presumed evidence to fit the argument. There is a lot of that going on.” = extremely insulting.

scamp's avatar

Quoting delirium:“God is an oversimplification. You are thinking that you’re high and mighty,” but what we’ve stated here IS real science.

“Its a silly creationist thing” to argue that evolution isn’t a science because no one was there to observe past events and there are no experiments to run today to test it. End of quote.

Ok, so now you are even. Can we please just get back to sharing information? I was actually beginning to learn something before things got to this point.

Besafe's avatar

first of all I am a guy and a scientist who has won best paper awards at international confereances – the point of that is I do know what science is and what it isn’t and am anything but deluded.

Secondly I was amused not offended. It is a very normal reaction to attack the person when their statements reveal the weakness of the foundation upon which your beliefs rest.

So once again can science show how all matter and energy came to exist?

Besafe's avatar

in regard to the newer theorys of creation -please go check out the ongong debates between the various researchers in this field. Don’t just read those you agree with and addition read what the various creations groups are saying. You will find that the old theorys are changing (that is the way science works).

Besafe's avatar

if my statement about presumed evidence and extrpplation offense you I am sorry.

It was not directed at you personally but rather at the assumption that just beacause a life form has organs and attributes we do not see a reason for and shares design traits with other species that we can say it is evidence they evolved from some common ancestor.

Do I believe evolution exists – yes But only within a “kind”. Do I believe man came froStudt thermal dynamics and yym apes – no

Do I believe in de-evoltion- yes. It is a natural process – if you have ever bred animals (I have) you know that without being exteremly careful you can lose all the good traits of a breed.

Mtl_zack's avatar

@ besafe: what field of science are you in( I.e. Biochemistry, physics, quantum mechanics, field biology, etc…) ?

Besafe's avatar

sorry about the typos and missspells etc. I am on my phone and this site isn’t very forgiving- hard to edit on the fly.

Besafe's avatar

Physics, mechanics, electronics, etc.
I am an internatioally reconized System Safety Engineer. As such I need a working knowledge of most sciences. I work for ATK. See ATK.COM

I am currently working on the ARIES project and on remotely controlled and networked weapons. Gee is that evolution – in the near future we will fight wars mostly with robots and they will have many human like attributes. We laugh but just yesteryday I listened to a debate – found it on the UK iTunes U- about evolution being applied to explain those kinds of changes.

I truly hope my posts are not offensive. All I am trying to do is get people thinking at a first principles level and to seek truth. In this Internet age there is a lot of information available and only some of it is real truth. To avoid fuzzy thinking one needs to think in terms of first principles and not buy into what is popular or what the media pushes. It requires an open mind and intellectual honesty. I find those attributes sadly lacking in our society.

Oops now I am getting on my soap box.

Besafe's avatar

Scientist of notable fame who have a different view.

600+ voting scientists of the Creation Research Society (voting membership requires at least an earned master’s degree in a recognized area of science).
150 Ph.D. scientists and 300 other scientists with masters degrees in science or engineering are members of the Korea Association of Creation Research. The President of KACR is the distinguished scientist and Professor Young-Gil Kim of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. Ph.D. in Materials Science, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute / highly distinguished / inventor of various important high-tech alloys.
(Note: The following list is very incomplete. Inclusion of any person on this list is in no way an endorsement, nor does it necessarily indicate anything about their religious beliefs.)

Gerald E. Aardsma (physicist and radiocarbon dating)
Louis Agassiz (helped develop the study of glacial geology and of ichthyology)
Alexander Arndt (analytical chemist, etc.) [more info]
Steven A. Austin (geologist and coal formation expert) [more info]
Charles Babbage (helped develop science of computers / developed actuarial tables and the calculating machine)
Francis Bacon (developed the Scientific Method)
Thomas G. Barnes (physicist) [more info]
Robert Boyle (helped develop sciences of chemistry and gas dynamics)
Wernher von Braun (pioneer of rocketry and space exploration)
David Brewster (helped develop science of optical mineralogy)
Arthur V. Chadwick (geologist) [more info]
Melvin Alonzo Cook (physical chemist, Nobel Prize nominee) [more info]
Georges Cuvier (helped develop sciences of comparative anatomy and vertebrate paleontology)
Humphry Davy (helped develop science of thermokinetics)
Donald B. DeYoung (physicist, specializing in solid-state, nuclear science and astronomy) [more info]
Henri Fabre (helped develop science of insect entomology)
Michael Faraday (helped develop science of electromagnetics / developed the Field Theory / invented the electric generator)
Danny R. Faulkner (astronomer) [more info]
Ambrose Fleming (helped develop science of electronics / invented thermionic valve)
Robert V. Gentry (physicist and chemist) [more info]
Duane T. Gish (biochemist) [more info]
John Grebe (chemist) [more info]
Joseph Henry (invented the electric motor and the galvanometer / discovered self-induction)
William Herschel (helped develop science of galactic astronomy / discovered double stars / developed the Global Star Catalog)
George F. Howe (botanist) [more info]
D. Russell Humphreys (award-winning physicist) [more info]
James P. Joule (developed reversible thermodynamics)
Johann Kepler (helped develop science of physical astronomy / developed the Ephemeris Tables)
John W. Klotz (geneticist and biologist) [more info]
Leonid Korochkin (geneticist) [more info]
Lane P. Lester (geneticist and biologist) [more info]
Carolus Linnaeus (helped develop sciences of taxonomy and systematic biology / developed the Classification System)
Joseph Lister (helped develop science of antiseptic surgery)
Frank L. Marsh (biologist) [more info]
Matthew Maury (helped develop science of oceanography/hydrography)
James Clerk Maxwell (helped develop the science of electrodynamics)
Gregor Mendel (founded the modern science of genetics)
Samuel F. B. Morse (invented the telegraph)
Isaac Newton (helped develop science of dynamics and the discipline of calculus / father of the Law of Gravity / invented the reflecting telescope)
Gary E. Parker (biologist and paleontologist) [more info]
Blaise Pascal (helped develop science of hydrostatics / invented the barometer)
Louis Pasteur (helped develop science of bacteriology / discovered the Law of Biogenesis / invented fermentation control / developed vaccinations and immunizations)
William Ramsay (helped develop the science of isotopic chemistry / discovered inert gases)
John Ray (helped develop science of biology and natural science)
Lord Rayleigh (helped develop science of dimensional analysis)
Bernhard Riemann (helped develop non-Euclidean geometry)
James Simpson (helped develop the field of gynecology / developed the use of chloroform)
Nicholas Steno (helped develop the science of stratigraphy)
George Stokes (helped develop science of fluid mechanics)
Charles B. Thaxton (chemist) [more info]
William Thompson (Lord Kelvin) (helped develop sciences of thermodynamics and energetics / invented the Absolute Temperature Scale / developed the Trans-Atlantic Cable)
Larry Vardiman (astrophysicist and geophysicist) [more info]
Leonardo da Vinci (helped develop science of hydraulics)
Rudolf Virchow (helped develop science of pathology)
A.J. (Monty) White (chemist) [more info]
A.E. Wilder-Smith (chemist and pharmacology expert) [more info]
John Woodward (helped develop the science of paleontology)
A more thorough list of current (and past) Creationist scientists is not provided for two reasons: (1) A complete list would be extremely lengthy, and (2) Some scientists would rather not have their name made public due to justified fear of job discrimination and persecution in today’s atmosphere of limited academic freedom in Evolutionist-controlled institutions.

brownlemur's avatar

Creation Research Society scientists are more like scienticians.

Besafe's avatar

So what about Antony Flew a noted atheist and evolutionis – I Quote

“Flew told The Associated Press his current ideas have some similarity with American “intelligent design” theorists, who see evidence for a guiding force in the construction of the universe. He accepts Darwinian evolution but doubts it can explain the ultimate origins of life.” this was in 2004

Read the list above again – they are not members of a creation society but rather scientist who played pivotal roles in the formation of modern science and technology..

I chose to follow Flews example—he stated that to be intellectually honest requires that we follow the evidence where ever it leads—it lead him to realizing that evolution cannot explain how the first reproducing life form came into existance—DNA theory shows it could not happen by chance. Think about first principles and seek the truth regardless of where it leads.

UponMidnight's avatar

“He accepts Darwinian evolution, but doubts it can explain the ultimate origins of life.”

It seems like this argument has gotten tripped up in some irrelevant comparisons. The origin of the universe and evolution are two entirely different things. (Unless one is a young earth creationist, but I hope that isn’t added to this debate)

Whether one is an atheist or religious, I’d like to sound naive and wish that some middle ground can be found. I am not religious in a traditional way, but I would think that someone religious could see beauty in science. I am, however, spiritual, and I think that our interrelated natures is one of the beautiful things about life, and that science trying to untangle the rules of the universe by no means has to conflict with being spiritual.

delirium's avatar

brownlemur, that made me smile.
*The origin of the universe and evolution are two entirely different things. *

Exactly what I was about to say.

And you know who was a very dedicated christian? Darwin!

Besafe: I’m not talking about physics or what you do. Those scientists don’t have ANYTHING to do with evolution. I’m talking about biological scientists.

And lots of your list doesn’t count. Particularly mendel. He wrote about the missing piece of darwins theory. He solved that piece. He read Origin of Species and said “Hey! My theory fits in here perfectly! It all makes sense!”

And you can’t argue about evolution being applied outside of nature. That isn’t evolution, its using evolution’s theoretical construct (IE the definition of the word) as a handy symbolic tool. Its also a good way to teach about evolution. We make things in the same way that evolution works. Trial and error.

Also, DNA theory shows that it COULD happen by chance.

The scientists who are the frontrunners of intelligent design are tricking you.

“A few years ago I attended a public lecture by a scientist who had written a book proclaiming that Darwin was wrong. The author of this book, Michael Behe, was promoting what many in hte audience believed to be a new idea: that animals are hte product of intelligent design and not, as Darwin argued, the product of apparent design. That Behe is a biochemist seemed to lend credence to his argument, as he shrewdly spoke over the heads of his non-scientific and prdominantly religious-minded audience and wowed them with the complexities of life in its most miniature forms. Consider the bacterium, he preached, with its flagellum designed so magnificently for forward propulsion, like an outboard moster with all of its parts working interdependently to accomplish its function. Such interdependency, he continued, could no more be the product of gradual, blind evolution than a mousetrap. Each part of hte mousetrap has a function only within the context of the complete device; remove the spring and the mousetrap is rendered completely—not only partly—useless. Having deftly maneuvered his audience to this point, he was ready to complete the bait and switch: if an evolutionary explanation fails for a mousetrap, then how could it possibly not fail for a flagellum? To bring home his point, Behe projected onto the screen a mechanical drawing of hte flagellum and its associated apparatus that looked like it had been romved from the desk of the mechanical engineer who had designed it. Nice show. The audience bought it.
“And why wouldn’t they. After all, this argument—the argument from design—has proven its rhetorical effectiveness for centuries. Although little more than an appeal to analogies between human and natural contrivances, the argument from design provided an important intellectual foundation for hte religious faith of scientists and theologans alike, with Plato, Thomas Aquinas, and Isaac Newton among its many advocates. Three hundred years ago, Newton invoked the argument in his masterwork Principia,thus providing the imprimatur of the greatest scientist of his age. With such an ancient and esteemed pedigree, it is not surprising that it took an iconoclast like the English philosopher David Hume to write what many consider to be the definitive refutation of the argument from design, the Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. Hume knew that he was addressing a touchy subject so, despite his iconoclasm, he arranged for his work to be published posthumously. It was published upon his death—1776.
“Hume wrote the dialogues from the perspective of three primary characters: Cleanthes, the scientific believer; Demea, the orthodoc believer; and Phlo, the skeptic (presumed by many to be the voice of Hume himself). It is left to Cleanthes to enunciate the argument from design, which he does with great eloquence:
Consider, anatomize the eye; survey its structure and contrivance, and tell me, from your own feeling, if the idea of a contriver does not immediately flow in upon you with a force like that of sensation. The most obvious conclusion, surely, is in the favor of design; and it requires time, reflection, and study, to summon up those crivilous though abstruse objections which can support infidelity. Who can behold the male and female of each species, the correspondence of their parts and insticts, their passions and whole course of life before and after generation, but must be sensible that the propagation of the species is intended by nature? Millions and millions of such instances present themselves through every part of the universe, and no language can convey a more intelligible, irresistible meaning than the curious adjustment of the final causes. To what degree, therefore, of blind dogmatism must one have attained to reject such natural and such convincing arguments
Cleanthe’s choosing of the eye as definitive evidence for the creative hand of God was an obvious one. Indeed, explaining the origin of the eye’s seemingly extreme perfection would prove to be a challenge to Darwin’s theory of natural selection and, ultimately, one of that theory’s greatest successes. As Darwin acknowledged in The Origin of Species:
To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting to the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree.
Consistent with his rhetorical style, Darwin erects a seemingly impassible barrier and then easily bounds over it by outlining the…....
(I’ll finish typing this up after I drive home from class) :)

Those of you who want to understand exactly how evolution works and how darwin felt about it, there’s a lovely article here:

Besafe: Please stop arguing from authority.
Authority may be wrong or mistaken. Supernatural is often contradictory with observation. Logic is faulty if assumptions are wrong. You’re incorrectly claiming that all these reputable scientists are accepting that ‘the new theories are changing’. In the fields of reputable, researched biological science, theories are NOT changing.

brownlemur's avatar

Don’t get me started on Behe….

delirium's avatar

Hahaha, that’s one of the reasons I like that chapter from Mark S. Blumberg’s book Basic Instinct. It really poses the whole argument so…. wonderfully. I adore it.
I can’t wait to type up the rest of it. I just left the book at home today, and there’s a snow emergency but I still have to wait for my next class Just In Case the professor has it.

Besafe's avatar

The theorys are not changing” I would hope you really are not that deluded. It is the nature of science to evolve theorys into new theorys as new evidence is discovered. Even in your chosen field – is it zoology – there have been many changes in the last 100 years. I applaude your obvious love of biological sciences. I only ask that you keep an open mind, think at a first principals level and likeFlew that you follow the evidence where ever it leads. Unfortunately a lot of professors at todays universities encourge students to do just the opposite.

As I said earlier I agree there is an evolutionary process but it is limited. It can not explain how life began and to believe that it produced mankind from apes require s setting aside a lot of math and physics that strongly suggests the DNA complexity envolved makes the probability of all the correct trsnsistions occuring even in a nearly infinate time too low to be believable.

My interests are more focused on the beginimg of everything. I am overwhelmed by what astronomy is discovering and by discoveries at the micro scale level. If I am honest with myself I must admit the complexity and diversity observable in the universe suggest that what ever role chance and natural selection process play they cannot explain how it all came into existence. We know from science that any process or motion will decay and eventually stop unless it is influnced by an external source of energy. That means that there had to be an external source of energy to bring light, energy, and matter into existence. No science can show how everything came from nothing.

brownlemur's avatar

Actually @besafe, an object in motion stays in motion unless acted upon by something external.

Also, again, evolution does not attempt to explain the origin of life. That is not what evolution is. Cosmology looks for those answers, not evolution.

Have you heard of this thing called the Fossil Record? The evidence for evolution is staring us in the face. How about experiments with Drosophila? Ridiculous amounts of support for evolution. If you don’t even know what I am talking about, then there is no sense of my making a logical argument for this because you won’t understand what I am saying.

People tend to read a few popular books here, a few well-written newspaper articles there about evolution, and they suddenly think they are the authority on the subject. Do some actual research on the subject, then come back and try to argue logically against the theory of evolution. Yes, this is a challenge. I dare you to find evidence to reject evolution in a logical and scientific way.


delirium's avatar

I didn’t say that all science didn’t change. I said that evolution is and has been solid for decades.

I have an open mind. I have studied theology. I’ve read the bible. And I made my decision based on logic.

Besafe's avatar

I was wondering when the fossil record record arguement would come up. Oops battery dying more later.

Besafe's avatar

Back—the fossial record can be interpreted, as I am sure you know in more than one way. But even if we assume it shows us a timeline it at best only shows an order of specification – it does not prove one evolved from the other. In addition there are inconsistencies and other issues that alternative theorys are also plausable.

delirium's avatar

You’re doing that false authority thing again.

What inconstancies?
And what alternative theories?

Besafe's avatar

hey your the ones who said you know this field. Did I wrongly assume you have researched all views or interpretations of what you call proofs. In my field of exper

Besafe's avatar

hate typing at this site on my phone. In my field we absolutely must explore all interpretations of an observation or analytical result. When we don’t it can lead to people dying.

I am finding this boring – you just throw up all the old arguement – you seem closed to the thought that you can be wrong and I see little evidence that you seek the truth. Again I refer you to Anthony Flew – He once held your views but seeking the truth led him to a creator God.

delirium's avatar

Mostly, this is you saying that I haven’t researched all views because you don’t have any evidence that can’t be refuted.

I accept that its possible that i’m wrong. Creationism isn’t an answer i’d be willing to trust, though. Religion has no place in science.
This is a joke list thing, but number five really applies here, and keeps coming to mind, and I keep squishing it down. But because its making me giggle, I have to post it.

Besafe's avatar

Please compute the probability of mankind evolving from a single cell – use what ever time period you’d like. clue yu need to determine the number based on the DNA chain.

Researched all views of the fossil record – I think my point was I assumed you had.

I will end this thread with this—and I know you will say you do not believe the bible. But consider this if it is true it doesn’t make it untrue if you do not believe it – so ponder it and be honest with yourself—even more so listen to your conscience.

19But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! 20By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. 21What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. 22They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. 23They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.
24So God said, in effect, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.” It wasn’t long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. 25And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made them—the God we bless, the God who blesses us. Oh, yes!
26Worse followed. Refusing to know God, they soon didn’t know how to be human either—women didn’t know how to be women, men didn’t know how to be men. 27Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men—all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it—emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches.

May you be blessed with Gods very best blessing

brownlemur's avatar

All Australopithecines are spinning in their graves….

Besafe's avatar

@ delirium In response to your sttments in regard to alternate theorys and inconsistencies

Evolution & Creation Issues – Jan 2008 Research Paper
Extracted from: Archive for the ‘Evolution, Creationism, Intelligent Design’ Category

Origins of Life: Intelligent Design vs. Evolution
“[Evolutionary theory] is still, as it was in Darwin’s time, a highly speculative hypothesis entirely without direct factual support and very far from the self-evident axiom some of its more aggressive advocates would have us believe.”
-Michael Denton, molecular biologist
“The result of these cumulative efforts to investigate the cell−to investigate life at the molecular level−is a loud, clear, piercing cry of ‘design!’” biochemist Michael Behe of Leigh University said in his groundbreaking critique of Darwinism. He went on to say: ‘The conclusion of intelligent design−not from sacred books or sectarian beliefs…. The reluctance of science to embrace the conclusion of intelligent design…has no justifiable foundation…. Many people including many important and well-respected scientists, just don’t want there to be anything beyond nature.”
-qtd. in The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel
Paucity of fossil evidence: “Even Darwin conceded that the lack of these fossils ‘is perhaps the most obvious and serious objection’ to his theory, although he confidently predicted that future discoveries would vindicate him. Fast forward to 1979. David M. Raup, the curator of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, said: ‘We are now about one hundred and twenty years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species, but the situation hasn’t changed much…. We have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin’s time.’ What the fossil record does show is that in rocks dated back some five hundred and seventy million years, there is the sudden appearance of nearly all the animal phyla, and they appear fully formed, ‘without a trace of the evolutionary ancestors that Darwinists require.’ It’s a phenomenon that points more readily toward a Creator than Darwinism.”
-The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel
“In his book Origin of Species, Darwin also admitted: ‘If it could not be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, then my theory would absolutely break down.’ Taking up that challenge, Behe’s award-winning book Darwin’s Black Box showed how recent biochemical discoveries have found numerous examples of this very kind of ‘irreducible complexity.’”
-The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel
“The most amazing thing to me is existence itself. How is it that inanimate matter can organize itself to contemplate itself?”
-Allan Sandage
“Biological evolution can only take place after there was some sort of living matter that could replicate itself and then grow in complexity through mutation and survival of the fittest.”
-The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel
Is DNA itself the product of evolution? Evolution claims to manipulate DNA into greater and greater complexity, not create it, right?
Stanley Miller’s landmark experiment: He recreated the atmosphere of the primitive earth in a laboratory and shot electricity through it to simulate the effects of lightning. Before long, he found that amino acids−the building blocks of life−had been created.
“But there was a major problem with the experiment that has invalidated its results…. Miller and [Alexander] Oparin didn’t have any real proof that the earth’s early atmosphere was composed of ammonia, methane, and hydrogen, which Miller used in his experiment. They based their theory on physical chemistry. They wanted to get a chemical reaction that would be favorable, and so they proposed that the atmosphere was rich in those gases. Oparin was smart enough to know that if you start with inert gases like nitrogen and carbon dioxide, they won’t react…. From 1980 on, NASA scientists have shown that the primitive earth never had any methane ammonia, or hydrogen to amount to anything. Instead, it was composed of water, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen−and you absolutely cannot get the same experimental results with that mixture. It just doesn’t work. More recent experiments have confirmed this to be the case…. When textbooks present the Miller experiment, they should be honest enough to say it was interesting historically but not terribly relevant to how life actually developed.”
-Dr. Walter L. Bradley, retired from Texas A&M
“Darwin probably didn’t think it would be very difficult to create life from nonlife because the gap between the two didn’t appear very great to him…. In those days they didn’t have any way of seeing the complexity that exists within the membrane of the cell. But the truth is that a one-cell organism is more complicated than anything we’ve been able to recreate through supercomputers…. [E]ven when you try to imagine what the minimal living cell would have been like, it’s still not simple at all…. [complexity of amino acids themselves and in making a protein] The making of DNA and RNA would be an even greater problem than creating protein. These are much more complex, and there are a host of practical problems. For instance, the synthesis of key building blocks for DNA and RNA has never been successfully done except under highly implausible conditions without any resemblance to those of the early earth. Klaus Dose of the Institute for Biochemistry in Mainz, Germany, admitted that the difficulties in synthesizing DNA and RNA ‘are at present beyond our imagination.’ Frankly, the origin of such a sophisticated system that is both rich in information and capable of reproducing itself has absolutely stymied origin-of-life scientists. As the Nobel Prize-winner Sir Francis Crick said, ‘The origin of life appears to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to be satisfied to get it going.”
-Dr. Walter L. Bradley, retired from Texas A&M
“[W]ith the discovery of background radiation in 1965, the Big Bang theory came to dominate in cosmology. The bad news for evolution was that this meant the universe was only about fourteen billion years old. More recent work has verified that the earth is probably less than five billion years old…. Based on the discovery of microfossils, scientists have now estimated that the time gap between the earth reaching the right temperature and the first emergence of life was only about four hundred million years. That is not much time for chemical evolution to take place…. And not only was the time too short, but the mathematical odds of assembling a living organism are so astronomical that nobody still believes that random chance accounts for the origins of life. Even if you optimized the conditions, it wouldn’t work. If you took all the carbon dioxide in the universe and put it on the face of the earth, allowed it to chemically react at the most rapid rate possible, and left it for a billion years, the odds of creating just one functional protein molecule would be one chance in a 10 with 60 zeroes after it…. [other colorful odds examples] In other words, the odds for all practical purposes are zero. That’s why even though some people who aren’t educated in this field still believe life emerged by chance, scientists simply don’t believe it anymore.”
-Dr. Walter L. Bradley, retired from Texas A&M
“I think people who believe that life emerged naturalistically need to have a great deal more faith than people who reasonably infer that there’s an Intelligent Designer…. For the past one hundred and fifty years, scientists have used arguments based on analogies to things we do understand to formulate new hypotheses in emerging areas of scientific work. And that’s what this is all about…. If the only time we see written information−whether it’s a painting on a cave wall or a novel from−is when there’s an intelligence behind it, then wouldn’t that also be true of nature itself? In other words, what is encoded on the DNA inside every cell of every living creature is purely and simply written information…. Now when we see written language, we can infer, based on our experience, that it has an intelligent cause. And we can legitimately use analogical reasoning to conclude that the remarkable information sequences in DNA also had an intelligent cause. Therefore, this means life on earth came from a ‘who’ instead of a ‘what….’ Each cell in the human body contains more information than in all thirty volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica. It’s certainly reasonable to make the inference that this isn’t the random product of unguided nature, but it’s the unmistakable sign of an Intelligent Designer…. [Darwinists have not been able to provide a naturalistic explanation for the origin of life.] Despite all their efforts, they haven’t even come up with a single possibility that even remotely makes sense. And there’s no prospect they will. In fact, everything is pointing the other way−in the unmistakable direction of God. Today it takes a great deal of faith to be an honest scientist who is an atheist.”
-Dr. Walter L. Bradley, retired from Texas A&M
“I stand in awe of God because of what he has done through his creation. Only a rookie who knows nothing about science would say science takes away from faith. If you really study science, it will bring you closer to God.”
-James Tour, nanoscientist and professor at Rice University’s Department of Chemistry and Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology
I went to a Catholic school all my life, and from what I was taught, Genesis was most likely meant to be merely allegorical. That doesn’t mean that there are not profound truths contained within the book though.
If God created Time, is not in Time, and is not bound by Time, then what does the six days of Genesis really mean? People measured days by the rising and setting of the sun, heavenly bodies that were created during these “days.” If God creatively chose to use evolution as the vehicle by which he would bring all life and the pinnacle of life, mankind, into this world, does that really lessen God or the Bible? I don’t think so. He is still the driving force in this evolutionary scenario.
Personally, I believe in microevolution, the process of changes in traits within a species. The logic of natural selection seems to make sense at this level. I have not decided about macroevolution, the process of changes that brings about new species or whole new kingdoms/phyla of life. The fossil record supports microevolution more than macro. Most of the charts/pictures in our science books demonstrate this (merely lines connecting totally different kingdoms/phyla, nothing in between to indicate actual evolutionary intermediaries).
There is also the counter-theory of irreducible complexity, which observes that the biology of life forms are highly complex and highly interdependent, making their existence the result of incremental changes over time highly unlikely. A clock (much more simple than animal biology) does not work without each and every cog and wheel instantaneously working together, adding a cog or wheel slowly over time is pointless. However, this counter-theory of irreducible complexity does not completely contradict evolution’s mechanism of natural selection but rather limits the extent and types of changes the mechanism can bring about.
Darwinian Evolution’s Exposed Frauds
The Piltdown Man
In 1912 in Sussex, England, amateur paleontologist Charles Dawson discovered what appeared to be a skull with a human-like cranium and an ape-like jawbone. The “missing link,” a transitional organism fossil, had apparently been found.
But in 1953 radiocarbon dating revealed that it was a fake. Dawson had attached a modern orangutan jaw modern to a 1000 year old human skull. In fact, the jaw was stained with potassium bichromate and the teeth where filed down to make them look more human.

In 2000, this half-bird, half-dinosaur found in China and smuggled to the U.S. was also proven a hoax. A fake tail had been glued on another fossil to try and increase its value when sold on a black market.
The Peppered Moths
I remember being taught this example in school. It was supposed to be a real life demonstration of natural selection at work. According to this story, black moths evolved from white moths. It was theorized that that the white moths were easily seen on industrial revolution-blackened trees and thus were easily seen and eaten by predators. The black moths, however, blended in and avoided predators. Thus the environment naturally selected darker moths. In the 1950s, Oxford biologist E. B. Ford actually set up an experiment to test this theory. It was a fraud though.
Ford and his assistant placed lightly-colored moths on black tree trunks in broad daylight. But lepidopterist (moth specialist) Ted Sargent and others pointed out that peppered moths do not rest on tree trunks but on the underside of high branches and are nocturnal! Thus the experiment was rigged; placing moths where they would not normally be at a time that they would not even be active.
Yet evolutionary fundamentalists won’t let go of this one that is still taught in schools.
Embryo Drawings
I remember seeing embryo drawings in my biology textbook. German biologist, eugenicist, racist, and proto-Nazi Ernst Haeckel first drew the embryos of various vertebrate animals. They all looked the same and thus were evidence that they all had a common ancestor in the evolutionary chain. Darwin himself claimed the “facts” of embryology to be “second to none in importance” and “by far the single strongest class of facts” supporting his theory.
But in the 1990s, British embryologist Michael Richardson and his team of researchers actually looked at vertebrate embryos through a microscope. Photos were published in the August 1997 issue of the journal Anatomy & Embryology. The photos look nothing like Haeckel’s drawings! In fact, Haeckel had used the same woodcuts for some embryos and doctored others to make sure they looked alike. Even his contemporaries charged him with fraud.
Computer Simulations of Eye Evolution
Richard Dawkins, well-known evolutionist, claimed in his book River Out of Eden that computer models exist that can simulate or recreate the evolution of the eye.
However, the senior author of the study on which Dawkins based his claim, Dan E. Nilsson, has explicitly rejected the idea that his laboratory has ever produced a computer simulation of the eye’s development.
The Philosophical and Theoretical Flaws of Darwinian Evolution
Besides the frauds and the fossils, there are logical problems with the theory of evolution.
The renowned philosopher of science Sir Karl Popper pointed out that evolution is not science because it is “not testable” but rather “metaphysical.” It is impossible to test/observe evolution− unless one can wait millions of years. Darwin himself sets out an impossible test for his theory: “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would completely break down.” How is one to set up an experiment to put it to the test? We cannot go back in time and directly observe supposed organ evolution over millions of years. Besides, a Christian fundamentalist could easily posit: If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have formed by God, my God theory would completely break down.
Evolutionary theory and terminology is in fact filled with tautologies (logical fallacy consisting of inane repetition). The phrase the most aptly encapsulates evolution, “survival of the fittest,” is a tautology. Popper observes, “To say that a species now living is adapted to its environment is, in fact, almost tautological…. Adaptation or fitness is defined by modern evolutionists as survival value, and can be measured by actual success is survival: there is hardly any possibility of testing a theory as feeble as this.” Nobel Prize winning geneticist Thomas Hunt Morgan recognized the phrase as “little more than a truism.” British geneticist C. H. Waddington also recognized natural selection to be a tautology. Consider another example: “vertebrates evolved from invertebrates.” But invertebrate by definition means “not a vertebrate.” Evolve means to change, and a changed thing is not what it once was, by definition. Thus the example can be reduced to absurd and useless repetition: something evolved from what it was not. The end result of the phrase is merely an assumption, not a demonstration. Evolution in this way assumes itself, cloaked in logical fallacy. Everything becomes confirmation of evolution. Evolution must therefore provide real demonstration or revise its terminology. And yet, many of the evolutionary/taxonomical terms for biological groups are defined by an absence of characteristics, which is what gives rise to the tautological problem.
Even if the fossil record was surely complete and did in fact include the many transitional organisms Darwin had hoped for, one could not conclude evolution was true. The fossil “sequences” of similar physical structures would not strictly prove or demonstrate the existence of a natural mechanism, such as Darwin’s natural selection, that dictated one set of structures gave rise to another. The fossil record itself cannot reveal parental/descendant relationships; it presents end products, not processes. Evolution is a process and thus derives no support from fossils. It can only impose itself, an assumption, onto the fossil record through guesswork. The mere appearance of progress hardly establishes mutation and natural selection as the engine of change. Moreover, the capacity to draw a diagram and come up with a story about how things might have happened is not science. Processes must be observed. If a process cannot be observed by science in real time, it is hardly worthy of the prestigious title “scientific theory” but rather “untested hypothesis.”
The same goes for homologous structures and DNA similarities among various organisms. They too are end products and, in and of themselves, cannot reveal the process that gave rise to themselves. Merely more assumptions and guesswork. (According to this criteria, Intelligent Design, as a process theory, seems to fall outside of science as well. Yet if evolutionists wish to maintain that a process can be inferred from an end product without direct observation of the process, they must concede ground to Intelligent Design, which posits its own explanatory process. Of course, I wonder about the testability of some ideas in modern theoretical physics and astronomy that claim to be “science.”) Another problem with homologous structures is that there are some remarkable similarities of structure that not even Darwinian biologists attribute to common descent (e.g. the eyes of octopuses and humans). With regard to DNA, humans are at least 95% genetically identical to chimpanzees, but we are also 35% genetically identical to daffodils! Thus DNA itself doesn’t seem to tell us much about who we are. There is a much more complicated process(es) that uses DNA to make the stuff of life.
As mentioned, the vast majority of mutations are actually harmful to an organism. Probability is already against evolution. But even supposing mutation happened to work the way evolution claims it works, each and every mutation of the hundreds needed just to make one new or altered biological structure (let alone a new organism entirely) would have to, in some way, make the organism more “fit,” otherwise natural selection would not occur. Unfortunately though, Darwin had no idea about DNA and the other vastly complex systems of molecular biology/biochemistry known today. The cell seemed simple enough to him, yet it is more complex than any microchip or piece of nanotechnology ever created by man, more complex than New York City. Each cell in the human body contains more information than in all thirty volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica. This biological complexity reveals thousands of fine-tuned mechanisms that perform vital functions. If one part in the mechanism is missing or defective, the entire system fails leading to disability, disease, or death (e.g. blood clotting, flagellum function, eye function, etc.) This “irreducible complexity” turns Darwin’s impossible test back on him. To at least be understandable, if not credible, evolution has to actually demonstrate that the innumerable parts that participate in various mechanisms and make up an organ, which in turn contributes to a vital function, can each contribute some survival advantage to an organism. Each new protein, receptor, signal, cell, etc. in itself has to confer some sort of advantage. Examining these parts in detail though shows that they only contribute to the overall mechanism and can do nothing else. Evolution must actually confront and demonstratively explain the complexity and understanding of modern biochemistry. If it cannot, it is not science but rather faith. Thus far an “evolution in the gaps” theory has superseded the “God in the gaps” one. In light of the facts of complexity, it seems highly unlikely, if not impossible, that evolution can meet the challenge.
Evolution has no explanation for why humans have a moral sense, consciousness, and rationality in general. To say that these are merely the product of random material causes, as evolution must, is to undermine the validity of science itself, which rests on consciousness and rationality actually having meaning. As professor Haldane put it, “If my mental processes are determined wholly by the [random] motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true…and hence have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms [or that they move randomly].” Strict materialism defeats science itself and thus evolution. Mere motion and matter cannot make Truth.
The logical deductions of Darwinism have been catastrophic for society. It clearly helped to give rise to Marxism and Nazism. Marx saw the “struggle” as among classes, Hitler conceived of the struggle as among the races. We know for certain Marx had read Darwin’s Origin: “This is the book which contains the basis in natural history for our views.” (Ironically, Darwin was very much influenced by Malthus, a free market economist. Many have noticed that evolution is merely laissez-faire economics transplanted into the natural sciences.) Mein Kampf means “My Struggle,” which Hitler described in unmistakably Darwinian terms, referring to the “higher evolution of living organisms.” A theory that says the fittest always rise to the top has to be comforting to any dictator. Racism and eugenics both demonstrably derived support, if not their very being, from Darwin’s theory. Darwin’s half-cousin and eugenicist Sir Francis Galton coined the term “eugenics.” In fact, Darwin subtitled his Origin of Species “The Survival of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life.” Darwin may even helped plant the seed of animal rights activism: erroneously making man out to be no more than an animal may only have had the effect of elevating animals to the level of humans. Darwin, intentionally or not, overturned almost every aspect of traditional and Biblical morality. His theory enshrined biological instincts over moral values.
The Origins of Life
The odds that all life came about randomly is virtually zero.

Accomplished Cambridge astrophysicist and atheist Sir Fredrick Hoyle calculated the mathematical probability of the basic enzymes of life arising by random processes. The odds were 1 in 1 followed by 40,000 zeroes, or so “utterly miniscule” as to make Darwin’s theory of evolution absurd. He likened it to the probability that a tornado whirling through a junkyard would put together a fully functional Boeing 747.
Biochemist Michael Behe said the probability of linking together just 100 amino acids to create one protein molecule by chance would be the same as a blind-folded man finding one marked grain of sand somewhere in the vastness of the Sahara Desert−and not just once, but three separate times.
“If you took all the carbon dioxide in the universe and put it on the face of the earth, allowed it to chemically react at the most rapid rate possible, and left it for a billion years, the odds of creating just one functional protein molecule would be one chance in a 10 with 60 zeroes after it….”
– Dr. Walter L. Bradley, retired from Texas A&M
I am very familiar with the Stanley Miller and Harold Urey experiment, who were working off of Oparin’s theories. They artificially created an amino acid. However, they used gases such as hydrogen, ammonia, and methane, which, according to NASA and other discoveries in the 70s and 80s, are NOT thought to have been the composition of the atmosphere of the early Earth. So please refer me to another experiment with the scientists names….
Some say these gases may have existed in deep ocean vents. But we know that ocean water is periodically recycled through these vents. I know that there exist today microorganisms that can survive the heat of these vents. But can they survive the full heat of the Earth’s molten core? Moreover, the first life forms, according to evolution, were the most simple and thus probably most fragile. It stretches believability that such organisms could survive the heat, at least not naturally…. Even more so, amino acids would not survive! Stanley Miller thought this was a “loser” theory.
Also, an amino acid is used to create proteins, and proteins to create tissues, and tissues to create organs. And proteins are quite complex: they have to be the right shape in many cases in order to function. One amino acid is like one letter of the alphabet in a Shakespeare play. Science is not even close.

Darwinian Evolution’s Achilles Heel: The Fossil Record
When Darwin first proposed his theory, the most strident opposition came not from Christian fundamentalists but rather paleontologists. Surely if Darwin was correct we would see a clear fossil record demonstrating evolution, no? He thought one would see “interminable varieties, connecting together all the extinct and existing forms of life by the finest graduated steps.” He knew that the fossil record was “perhaps the most obvious and serious objection” to his theory but figured that with more time and exploration, the fossil record would vindicate him. After 150 more years of digging, the record still opposes evolution. The verdict is in. One branch of science contradicts another.According to the fossil record, 500 million years ago there was a Cambrian explosion of life that lasted merely 5–10 million years at maximum (a paltry duration considering geologic and evolutionary timetables) in which new species of animals suddenly appear fully formed, remain largely unchanged for millions of years, and then some disappear. Nearly all the animal phyla we know of today emerged then. (e.g. The oldest bat fossils show bats fully formed, capable of both flight and sonar, two relatively complex mechanisms.) There is no gradual change from one life form to another as one would expect according to Darwin’s theory. In fact, there are fewer examples of evolutionary transitions now than in Darwin’s time (classic cases such as the evolution of horses, Archaeopteryx, etc. have had to be discarded as new information has come to light). Transitional animals are an “extreme rarity” according to the late renowned Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould (evolution believer). Moreover, the fact that many organisms from the Cambrian explosion went extinct suggests that there was more diversity then than now. This turns Darwin’s bottom-up “tree of life” paradigm (from simple to more complex and diverse over time) on its head.

(Some have suggested that perhaps pre-Cambrian organisms just didn’t fossilize because they were too soft and/or small. But we do actually have fossils of soft-bodied and microscopic organisms, including worms, sponges, and bacteria!)
Punctuated equilibrium (evolution can happen really fast by mutation) is merely a non-theological miracle, a theory of evolution that abandons Darwin in order to conform to the fossil record and that is more reminiscent of the story of Genesis. This theory strains credibility when we realize that the vast majority of mutations are harmful and undermine survival, if not neutral (e.g. Downs Syndrome, cancer, congenital disorders, etc.) and that the window of time for mutation and natural selection to create all the diversity we know today and then some is very short, only 5–10 million years at most.

eyeofnyc's avatar

I’m no scientist. I’m not a physicist. I’m also not a doctor, but I play one on tv, and I do have to say that even when I was a devout Christian (basically the first third of my life) I was always kind of amazed that people took, and take, the stories of the old testament literally. It was written thousands of years ago, when people were so much dumber than they are today. What drives me crazy is that these same people, who believe that Moses really talked to a burning bush, that Samson lost all of his super strength when his hair was cut off, and that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego danced with god in an oven, these same people scoff at and attack other religions for not being “true”. I know this seems off-topic, but it’s not. People arguing over their beliefs of creationism/evolution is the same as people arguing over their beliefs of different religions. Why do we continue to do this? The tenets of all major religions share the same basic fundamentals. Its better to love than hate, give aid than cause harm, spread goodness and not evil. But what do we get caught up in? “their god doesn’t look like our god” Really? That’s the best we can do? In ancient Greece, all the god’s lived on top of a mountain, and would come down and mess with us puny mortals. How is this different from the bible? Because Jesus lived? So did Mohammed, my friend. All I’m saying is mayaybe we’re worrying about the wrong things. Maybe we should stop trying to prove each other wrong, and try to figure out how and when we can all prove each other right. This sleep-deprived ramble brought to you by verbosity and the quest for true natural love.

Besafe's avatar

Wow hope you feel better now. Your post suggests your carrying a bunch frustration. IMHO – it is foolish not to ask ourselves the hard questions about life and death and seek to know the truth.

Yup other folks lived
but Jesus lived and died but then rose from the dead. Historical records confirm it. His desciples died for proclaming it – would they die for a lie. Jesus said He was the son of God. These are the major differences.
There other threads for this discusion and hopfully we can all refrain from arguing – let’s not attack posters but rather have an open and honest discusion – present facts and beliefs not emotional verbage.

brownlemur's avatar

By “historical records,” do you mean hearsay? I have yet to see any proof that Jesus was the son of god or god or however you define it. Seriously, I mean no offense to religious people. Just because a lot of people say something happened, it does not make it so.

“Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”
—Albert Einstein (and yes, I see the irony of using a quote from Einstein about religion.)

“If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.”
—Anatole France.

eyeofnyc's avatar

@besafe: I am frustrated when the argument about religion becomes about who is right and who is wrong. And I attacked no one personally in my post. I merely stated what my beliefs are. I do find that comment somewhat ironic, as your only response was to attack the form of my post (relevance to the issue, tone of the post) and to say that Jesus’ ressurection is historically documented. And brownlemur argued exactly as I would, if I was arguing that point, which I’m not. You asked me to state my beliefs. I did. And I’ll do so again. The argument of creation vs evolution, and which religion is the “right” one have done more to drive us away from the laws and words of god (pick one) than anything. Its time to embrace your neighbors’ beliefs, and understand that its possible that we are ALL correct, (and by we, I mean all of mankind, not just people on fluther) stop fighting like 8 blind men in a room feeling an elephant. Because that is getting us nowhere fast.

Besafe's avatar

@eyeofnyc Sorry you thought my comment about not arguing was directed at you. It was not meant to be directed to any one person—I just wish we could all steer clear of argument and debate and just discuss—without all the emotional verbiage. That is in fact what some of your desires are as well if I read your post correctly.

I find it interesting to consider your request that we accept that we all (all mankind ) are right—how is that possible. Are there no absolutes – no right that is right and wrong that is wrong? Do you really believe that if you believe it is true it really is true or do you have some other context.

However as i said before we are getting off the thread and perhaps should start a new thread – I gave the last post about this evolution thread I had planned to give. It really comes down to a matter of what you chose to believe and have faith in.

Jesus – historical – recorded in various roman and Jewish historical references. Also his disciples wrote some of what He said and did – including rising from the dead in writings that are now the Gospels in the bible.

May God bless you with his very best blessing!

eyeofnyc's avatar

Sweet! Eye-volution!

delirium's avatar

Besafe, don’t PM me about this. Keep it in the thread.

Neat video but all it showed me is nice but simplistic explanations of a few basic principals of physics in the field of optics. BTW these same principals to some degree apply to other forms of radiation. I heard no explanation nor facts that show the eye of more primitive animals evolved to those in other species. As I have stated before I do believe evolution occurs but that it is limited to one “kind as used in Gen) – there is evidence to support that (I think it is called micro evolution or something like that if I remember it right). I also see no conflict between this view and my faith in a creator God. In fact (as noted in info I provided) there are those who share your view of evolution and still believe there was a creator God who directed it. You stated you couldn’t put your trust in there being a creator. That is a very un-logical position – it means you are putting your trust in random chance – to me that requires more faith than I have.
I asked you to compute the probability that mankind could have evolved from a single cell. In my field of science I deal with determining safety risk levels (probability of a mishap occurring – like what is the probability the next launch of a manned ATK rocket will explode). To do this we use various analytical and statistical methods. I have imagined trying to do the same with evolution and as you can read in the info i posted the probability for a even small fraction of the evolutionary process produces numbers so small that I conclude it is totally absurd to put my trust in that being the process that produced mankind. To do so requires a faith in presumed evidence not reasoned logical conclusions. But even if I chose to disregard other scientific evidence (like probability) and believe man evolved from a single cell it does not negate the bible account nor prove there is not a creator God. I am getting the impression that some evolutionists do not use the knowledge of sciences other than biology to test or verify their theoretical hypnosis. On the threads I participate in over and over again the argument arises that the creation of energy matter and life should not be brought into a discussion of evolution. That that is cosmology (spelling ?). Must be nice to be able to get rid of the hardest questions that way—kind of wish I cold do that in my field – well sorry we lost the crew – we decided not to address the issue that caused the mishap because we didn’t think we had any good answers.
I really do want to stop this discussion – I doubt you are very open to what I have to share – and I don’t hear any new views or real evidence (measurable evidence of transitions between “kinds”) from you. As I suggested before research all views and as you do think at first principal levels, seek the truth, follow the truth where ever it leads. Be like Anthony Flew – be honest with yourself don’t refuse to admit it when you find most evolutionist are in error on a tenet
May you come to know Gods very best blessing

Besafe's avatar

Just wanted to stop the thread – figured if it was posted others would pull me back in – that noen of you will take my challenge on probability says all that needs to be said

bye bye all

brownlemur's avatar

Lack of logic aside, it’s difficult to take seriously anyone who cannot spell or who has little to no mastery over English grammar and syntax. It would behoove you in future posts to do a little spell-checking, lest others skim what you have to say.

delirium's avatar

My answers to some of your comments:

Increasingly, scientists dobt the truth of evolution
There is NO evidence to suggest that evolution is losing adherents. Pick up any issue of a peer-reviewed biological journal and you will find articles that support and extend evolutionary studies or that embrace evolution as a fundamental concept.

Conversely, serious scientific publications disputing evolution are all but nonexistent. In the mid-1990s George W. Gilchrist of the University of Washington surveyed thousands of journals in the primary literature, seeking articles on intelligent design or creation science. Among those hundreds of thousands of scientific reports, he found none. In the past two years, surveys done independently by Barbara Forrest of Southeastern Louisiana University and Lawrence M. Krauss of Case Western Reserve University have been similarly fruitless.

Creationists retort that a closed-minded scientific community rejects their evidence. Yet according to the editors of Nature, Science and other leading journals, few antievolution manuscripts are even submitted. Some antievolution authors have published papers in serious journals. Those papers, however, rarely attack evolution directly or advance creationist arguments; at best, they identify certain evolutionary problems as unsolved and difficult (which no one disputes). In short, creationists are not giving the scientific world good reason to take them seriously.

If humans descended from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?

This surprisingly common argument reflects several levels of ignorance about evolution. The first mistake is that evolution does not teach that humans descended from monkeys; it states that both have a common ancestor.

The deeper error is that this objection is tantamount to asking, “If children descended from adults, why are there still adults?” New species evolve by splintering off from established ones, when populations of organisms become isolated from the main branch of their family and acquire sufficient differences to remain forever distinct. The parent species may survive indefinitely thereafter, or it may become extinct.

Evolution cannot explain how life first appeared on earth.

The origin of life remains very much a mystery, but biochemists have learned about how primitive nucleic acids, amino acids and other building blocks of life could have formed and organized themselves into self-replicating, self-sustaining units, laying the foundation for cellular biochemistry. Astrochemical analyses hint that quantities of these compounds might have originated in space and fallen to earth in comets, a scenario that may solve the problem of how those constituents arose under the conditions that prevailed when our planet was young.

Creationists sometimes try to invalidate all of evolution by pointing to science’s current inability to explain the origin of life. But even if life on earth turned out to have a nonevolutionary origin (for instance, if aliens introduced the first cells billions of years ago), evolution since then would be robustly confirmed by countless microevolutionary and macroevolutionary studies.

Mathematically, it is inconceivable that anything as complex as a protein, let alone a living cell or a human, could spring up by chance.

Chance plays a part in evolution (for example, in the random mutations that can give rise to new traits), but evolution does not depend on chance to create organisms, proteins or other entities. Quite the opposite: natural selection, the principal known mechanism of evolution, harnesses nonrandom change by preserving “desirable” (adaptive) features and eliminating “undesirable” (nonadaptive) ones. As long as the forces of selection stay constant, natural selection can push evolution in one direction and produce sophisticated structures in surprisingly short times.

As an analogy, consider the 13-letter sequence “TOBEORNOTTOBE.” Those hypothetical million monkeys, each pecking out one phrase a second, could take as long as 78,800 years to find it among the 2613 sequences of that length. But in the 1980s Richard Hardison of Glendale College wrote a computer program that generated phrases randomly while preserving the positions of individual letters that happened to be correctly placed (in effect, selecting for phrases more like Hamlet’s). On average, the program re-created the phrase in just 336 iterations, less than 90 seconds. Even more amazing, it could reconstruct Shakespeare’s entire play in just four and a half days.

delirium's avatar

(Also, lemur, i completely agree, but couldn’t find such a gentlemanly/ladylike way of saying it.)

delirium's avatar

Evolutionists cannot point to any transitional fossils—creatures that are half reptile and half bird, for instance.

Actually, paleontologists know of many detailed examples of fossils intermediate in form between various taxonomic groups. One of the most famous fossils of all time is Archaeopteryx, which combines feathers and skeletal structures peculiar to birds with features of dinosaurs. A flock’s worth of other feathered fossil species, some more avian and some less, has also been found. A sequence of fossils spans the evolution of modern horses from the tiny Eohippus. Whales had four-legged ancestors that walked on land, and creatures known as Ambulocetus and Rodhocetus helped to make that transition [see “The Mammals That Conquered the Seas,” by Kate Wong; Scientific American, May]. Fossil seashells trace the evolution of various mollusks through millions of years. Perhaps 20 or more hominids (not all of them our ancestors) fill the gap between Lucy the australopithecine and modern humans.

Creationists, though, dismiss these fossil studies. They argue that Archaeopteryx is not a missing link between reptiles and birds—it is just an extinct bird with reptilian features. They want evolutionists to produce a weird, chimeric monster that cannot be classified as belonging to any known group. Even if a creationist does accept a fossil as transitional between two species, he or she may then insist on seeing other fossils intermediate between it and the first two. These frustrating requests can proceed ad infinitum and place an unreasonable burden on the always incomplete fossil record.

Nevertheless, evolutionists can cite further supportive evidence from molecular biology. All organisms share most of the same genes, but as evolution predicts, the structures of these genes and their products diverge among species, in keeping with their evolutionary relationships. Geneticists speak of the “molecular clock” that records the passage of time. These molecular data also show how various organisms are transitional within evolution.

eyeofnyc's avatar

@besafe: who are you to close the thread? And when you argue probability, tell me, what is the probability of someone building a boat big enough for 2 of every animal?

brownlemur's avatar

Steve Carell did it….

mmargo1's avatar

I believe in Evolution, but also that there can not be order without chaos

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