Evolution: Right or Wrong

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by havelockploz, May 21, 2004.

  1. havelockploz

    havelockploz With a preliminary 'P'

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    Hello. I've noticed lots of confusion about evolution (quite a bit from myself) and some really strong views about it. I'd like to hear some people's opinions on the subject.

    At the moment I'm simultaneoulsy reading two books (go me!), one is attacking evolutionary theory, and one is defending it, so I'm sort of impartial (not really, I'm swaying towards evolution)
     
  2. Mububban

    Mububban Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm an atheist and I believe in evolution. Simply looking at nature giuves countless obvious examples of creatures adapting to their environment by evolution and natural selection. I see no evidence why humans should be exempt from that.

    However, I believe that evolution has slowed to a grinding halt, as we no longer have natural selection, and Jerry Springer is proof that stupid people are allowed to breed, thus polluting the gene pool. We're doomed people, doomed!
     
  3. kartaron

    kartaron Hunter / Gatherer

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    maybe we should copy some of the posts from the "heaven/hell who cares" topic in the arena area. Id hate to require everyone to repost the information. Especially Tarambar, who goes out of his way to provide research and links.

    However, I believe that evolution has slowed to a grinding halt, as we no longer have natural selection, and Jerry Springer is proof that stupid people are allowed to breed, thus polluting the gene pool. We're doomed people, doomed!

    It's funny but I dont think it's possible. IF it happened in the past, nothing has changed to stop it's continuing. Humanity may have a measure of contol on our enviornment, but genetic inheritance probably cant be controlled by casual breeding against the Natural Selection Theory. Even a coordinated effort probably would only have a minimal effect.
     
  4. Urambo Tauro

    Urambo Tauro Art House Member

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    I definitely believe in microevolution. It happens all the time and we can see evidence of it. People often tell me that I look like my father. Not as if I'm his twin, but we have very similar faces.

    Macroevolution, now that's a very interesting hypothesis- but far-fetched, especially when using it to explain the origin of life. Biologist Jonothan Wells stated in Icons of Evolution, "Like all other scientific theories, Darwinian evolution must be continually compared with the evidence. If it does not fit the evidence, it must be reevlauated or abandoned -- otherwise it is not science but myth."

    The very fossil record of our planet exhibits evidence of a biological "Big Bang". This is also referred to as the "Cambrian Explosion". Most if not all of the world's phyla suddenly appeared in radically unique and varied forms, without previous transition. If so many different animals sprang forth to inhabit the Earth without a common ancestor, the most logical hypothesis would be that an outside source placed them there. All at the same time.

    Consider the Archaeopteryx. This animal was discovered in Germany two years after Darwin realized that the fossil record could prove or disprove his theory of macroevolution. He wondered, "Why, if species have descended from other species by insensibly fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms?" Could the archaeopteryx bridge the gap between birds and reptiles? Let's examine the evidence. Is it half-bird, half-reptile? No. It is a bird. Study it for yourself. Bones, lungs, weight and muscle placement, they all attest to this. So, let's look for reptiles with a bird-like skeletal structure. Where do we find these? The fossil record shows them millions of years after the archaeopteryx! As Wells put it, "The missing link is still missing!"

    Let's move on to a more popular question: humans and apes. After all, we share 98-99% of our genes. Wouldn't that support a common ancestor? A neo-Darwinist would say that, "we are products of our genes". If you buy into this, you are assuming that all the differences between us and chimps are because of 1-2% of our genes. This small percentage of genes actually has very little influence on anatomy. And the other 98-99%? Well, think about it. You can use the same materials to make very different products. Ever played with an Erector set? You can build something and take it apart, but just because you are using the same pieces doesn't mean you always get similar results. Therefore, the "building materials" you use do not dictate the finished product.
    This example of macroevolution is as unreasonable as saying that streets and sidewalks evolved out of footpaths by getting wider and more complicated over millions of years without intelligent intervention.

    When you examine the evidence, you will find that, "evolution is a confirmed fact -- as long as it's defined as the micro-evolutionary variations we see in the animal and plant world."-Lee Strobel
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2004
  5. Lady_of_Shalott

    Lady_of_Shalott Weaving the Magic Web

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    The Theory of Evolution is that (1) life began as a chance combination of non-living chemicals, and (2) that all living things today developed from one-celled creatures which, (3) over millions of years gradually changed into fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals.

    Consider this about non-living chemicals forming the first cell:

    Amino acids - Some 20 different kinds of amino acids are needed for the protein in living cells. Even after 30 years of experiments, three key amino acids have not been produced chemically, even in experiments especially designed to create them. Also, the way some amino acids must be made chemically will destroy other vital amino acids. Even if earth had ever been as evolutionists imagine, the amino acids that might have formed then would quickly have been destroyed. Without the protection provided by already being in a living cell, amino acids could never have come together to evolve further.

    Lipids - These fatty materials make up about 10% of the simplest cells. No one has been able to make lipids chemically. They are only produced by life.

    Porphyrin - This is an important molecule in hemoglobin, the elementin red blood cells that carries oxygen. Evolutionists realize that there must have been porphyrins for life to survive. Without porphyrins, oxygen breaks down the other chemicals in a cell. But porphyrin chemicals can only be made when there is free oxygen available. If amino acids can only be made when there is no free oxygen in the atmosphere, and porphyrins can only be made when there is free oxygen, then these things needed by every cell could not have existed together to form the first cell. What's more, many of these compunds are antagonistic. They will combine and destroy each other - anywhere except within an already living cell.
     
  6. havelockploz

    havelockploz With a preliminary 'P'

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    Yeah, that is a good thread, but it has wandered a bit.

    I'm glad you recognised the difference, as it is a very important one. I think that it is just about self-evident that microevolution occurs. When I have the book with me, I'll elaborate on this. Macroevolution, however, is a more contentious matter.
    I think the main thing here is the fact that most people have difficulty accepting that the fossil record is so woefully incomplete. Just recently, fossils were discovered that contained so many new families of vertebrate and invertebrates that biologists were astonished. Before thay were discovered, no scientist would have dremed that they existed. Don't rely on the fossil record too much.
    I think I made a point then.
    Anyway, I'll get back to you when I find that book.
     
  7. Radagast

    Radagast Art House Member

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    Would you mind providing the book title's and authors? I am always up for another good scientific related read. :)

    Anyways:

    Micro-evolution is fact. - Anyone who wants to debate this is going to have a hard time.

    Macro-evolution is faith. - Like any other creation explanation, it has not been proven. I would not say it is far-fetched though, it is the most probable scientific explanation provided thus far with the evidence gathered. But like every other explanation (religious and scientific), it still has numerous unanswered questions.
     
  8. Lady_of_Shalott

    Lady_of_Shalott Weaving the Magic Web

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    I would have to disagree and say it is a pretty far-fetched explanation, especially based on science, as I tried to explain in my previous post. Then again creation by a supernatural, intelligent designer might seem pretty far-fetched to others. But what you said reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by the Australian biologist Arthur N. Fields: "What is evolution based upon? Upon nothing whatever but faith, upon belief in the reality of the unseen - belief in fossils that cannot be produced, belief in the embyrological evidence that does not exist, belief in the breeding experiements that refuse to come off."
     
  9. Radagast

    Radagast Art House Member

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    A good point that I was going to make. Both are faith, and when viewed from opposing point of views, faith can seem quite imaginative.

    Good quote. I like it. But I could create a mirror image of that quote using what God is based upon.

    Btw, if anyone wonders, my beliefs are a mixture between Science and God.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2004
  10. Urambo Tauro

    Urambo Tauro Art House Member

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    When you find it, could you explain a few thngs?

    How is the fossil record incomplete?
    What are these new fossils and what do they prove?
    Why not rely on the fossil record?
     
  11. Harrison

    Harrison The Best Beatle

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    This thread is making me feel stupid. If you look at the facts, science and history often supports Creationism and Christianity (which is my belief) and Creationism and Christianity often support science.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2004
  12. havelockploz

    havelockploz With a preliminary 'P'

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    Titles, sure. Authors, erm. I don't have them here, so you might have to wait.
    Evolution: A Theory in Crisis
    and
    Confronting Creationism: Defending Darwin.
    Both very good, and the first one raises many interesting points e.g. The genes of all mammals are roughly equidistant from any given non-mammal.

    Very true. Anyone want to?

    I was under the impression that it was pretty rare for an animal to fossilise; all conditions had to be exactly right etc. So then it would be pretty presumptuous to expect every animal that has ever lived to turn up as a fossil.
    Sorry, I haven't found the book, but I'm pretty sure it proves that there is every chance a radically new animal/thing could turn up any time, and these could (hopefully) support or (almost equally hopefully) disprove evolution.

    By the way, is anyone here totally creationist (or just mostly) I'd be interested to see your views on dinosaurs. What were they, when were they etc. Were they made and then died out in the day before God made humans or what?
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2004
  13. Harrison

    Harrison The Best Beatle

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    I'm creationist, and I have a Bible right here. Let me give some Biblical reference. Job 40:15-18 "Behold now Behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox. Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly. He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together. His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron." Now this may be talking about a hippo or something like that. But I believe that Dinosaurs existed because we have found skeletons of them. They had to have lived apart for a few days because of the order of creation. What I think happened to them is that Noah took them onto the Ark and during the flood all of the vegetation died. Because of this the herbivores died and because of that the carnivores died. This would have happened slowly of course.
     
  14. kartaron

    kartaron Hunter / Gatherer

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    Let me give some Biblical reference.

    I agree that this is likely a depiction of a dinosaur as is the "leviathan" passage (in Psalms? I forget). But I think most people are looking for more mundane sources than the bible to prove or disprove evolution.

    Some good books are Scientific Creationism and Darwins Black Box.
     
  15. havelockploz

    havelockploz With a preliminary 'P'

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    If all the plants, and then all the animals died, how did we, and the animals we see today, survive?

    May I please have a rant? Thanks.

    Creationism can never be called scientific.
    I am not saying this because I am an atheist (I am not) or trying to cast religion in a bad light. I am saying it for the simple reason that the scientific method is based on making a theory, testing it and then changing it if it doesn't fit with observations. Evolution has undergone countless minor changes to comply with observation since it was firtst put forward by Darwin, and many scientists love seeing a theory refuted. Some theories that were thought could never be wrong and have been refuted are Newton's theoris of motion and countless theories of the atom.
    Now, creationism doesn't apply these principles because of the fact that Creationists believe that the Bible is the the literal and irrefutable word of God. Therefore, any evidence against Creationism is ignored, for a variety of different reasons, from 'the experiment/observations must have been wrong' to 'the devil is trying to decieve us'.
    CREATIONISM DOES NOT COMPLY WITH THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD AND CANNOT BE CALLED SCIENCE.

    End rant.
     
  16. Harrison

    Harrison The Best Beatle

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    I didn't say that all the animals died. What I am saying is that the smaller animals, the ones we see today, don't each nearly as much as dinosaurs so the dinosaurs could have eaten the plants that grew after the flood for a while but they wouldn't have grown big enough to be sufficiant in time for them to eat them and keep on living. But the smaller animals would be able to survive on these smaller portions. This is simply my view of things.
     
  17. kartaron

    kartaron Hunter / Gatherer

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    CREATIONISM DOES NOT COMPLY WITH THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD AND CANNOT BE CALLED SCIENCE.

    I didnt title the book but I am willing to argue the point. Science takes an event and applies a hypothesis to explain it. When the hypothesis is investigated, evidence pro and con is collected and investigated for merit. Some studies are more scientifically honest than others. In many ways creationism is a more open palette for modification. Evolution requires a very specific set of circumstances. Creationism need only meet a few broad strokes to fit the hypothesis. What you are saying is that a christian scientist (not a "Christian Scientist") will not be able to accept facts that contradict faith. For some people this might be true but most will accept a cross-checked fact. I only need to point out the low quality of "facts" in the evolution theory.
     
  18. Radagast

    Radagast Art House Member

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    Science requires a (logical) explanation as to how things happened. Just saying 'god created' without giving any reasoning as to how - doesn't cut it. And far as my knowledge extends, the Bible does not explain the process by which God created organisms. It just simply states that he did.
     
  19. kartaron

    kartaron Hunter / Gatherer

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    How do you explain the process by which an all powerful being wills something into being? How do you enable a man who probably barely understands numbers to understand the impact of that power on science? How do you enable that man to convey that message to the masses?

    Why bother when all that they need to know is that God wanted it and it happened?
    Why bother when the details are really just arcane trivia that bear no impact on the present or future?
     
  20. Radagast

    Radagast Art House Member

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    Exactly. One cannot explain it. Therefore there is no science about it. And until there is an explanation (unlikely to happen anytime soon), I stand by havelock:

    Why bother? Science should bother because in essense, science's goal is ultimate knowledge. An answer for everything. Can't achieve that if you just assume 'it happened'.