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mopc
2005-Feb-15, 09:58 PM
I wrote the following on the Internet Infidels Forum when I finally gathered my strengths to put together my thoghts on the issue of Evolution vs Creationism.... Text 2 was part of a reply to another thread. I swear this was the shortest thing I could come up with me, so if any one cares to read it, give me your opinions and point out my mistakes. I am no biologist, just a journalist/ amateur linguist, but I do read a lot on other sciences.

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Text 1

Of course some non-natural being with unlimited power (let's call it God, we usually do) could have created all the universe and everything, for it is, well, allmighty. God could have created the universe yesterday already with a past and false memories in all of us. He, or she, or it, could have created it 6,000 years ago and implanted fossils, fake atomic half-lives, geology, etc. Or the universe could have sprouted from a lotus flower out of Brahma's navel, like the Hindus believe. Or he could have created the universe 10 billion years ago with all the natural complex needed for complex atoms, molecules, and life and species to eventually evolve at least on one planet.

But what happens when we, by ourselves, with our own intellect and research, look into the world and try to come up with the best conclusions on how things work? That's science. Science in a primitive form has existed since ancient times. If your religion tells you that if you plant a rock a tree will grow from it, you try it and it doesn't work, you might think then that it is an evil force that is preventing God's word from being realized. But eventually you figure out (Im talking primitive farmers here!) you need a seed and that religion was wrong. Of course this is a pretty obvious exemple, but let me go on.

Unlike most religions, Abrahamic ones (Chr, Jud, Islam) and Zoroastrianism believe that a god created the world a number of years ago, and life and humans were created directly by him. All species were created separately, they do not share common ancestors.

How do we test that hypothesis? Well, farmers have, unwittingly, "tested" the hypothesis for a number of millenia, creating many breeds and sub-species of plants and animals through artificial selection. It is true, however that at least in recorded history, no life form was so radically altered as to become a new species, but wait...
take dogs for instance. They are all a single species, but man has created several breeds. Some of them, like the chihuahua and the saint-bernard, differ however so much in size that they cannot naturally mate, and the foetus's growth would kill the poor chihuahua mother. A path has been taken, no coming back. The same goes for thousands of artificially selected species of animals and plants created by generations of farmers.

No one can deny that the natural environment can also select the survival of specific traits, for instance a single population of a species of tiger can have a few individuals with slightly better nails, enabling them to survive and thus reproduce more successfully, whereas the ones with worse nails could either die without reproducing or find another habitat. That would change the gene-pool of every population.

How do we know that this natural selection can actually generate different species? Of course they can generate different sub-species, but can we find in nature examples of species which are splitting into other species?

Yes. Several related animals have varying degrees of reproductive compatibility, like the horse with the donkey and the zebra. That is a hint that naturall selection could have pushed these species apart a long time ago, but not enough for incompatibility.

So there is no exact "cutting point" where we can say that two populations have become different species, its a continuum, commonly and abundantly found in nature.

That makes it almost undeniable that the best way to understand the origin of species is through natural selection plus a long time, countless generations. Of course mammals share a common ancestor, but could ancient fish have turned into reptiles and mamals? I mean, can radically different animal groups have evolved from common ancestor? What would an intermediate between a fish and a mammal be?

We can always know that because 99,999% of all organisms have died without fossilizing. But even if 100% didn't fossilize, could we still come up with a hypothesis? Yes, because we see several animals and plants today which form a continuum between all kind of organisms. There are fish with only gills, fish with gills and mini-lungs, fish with gills and lungs, fish with tiny gills and huge lungs, fish with only lungs and legs... ooops, that's a reptile. There are land mammals, mammals who swim a lot, mammals which have webbed paws, mammals whose webbed feet have become almost fins, mammals with fins, mammals with fins and no rear legs, i.e., whales. The so-called "intermediates" abound in nature, only there are no intermediates, every individual is a full individual, it's our classifying minds that create the need for "intermediates".

We can't possibly fill the gaps because life is the most complex part of nature and certainly life will be the last puzzle solved by science, if at all. It is extremely unfair and biased to expect that just because we haven't figured out each step, that evolution through natural selection is wrong or impossible. It's like saying that Newton's mechanics was wrong just because Einstein came up with a more accurate theory.

Now how could one honestly criticize Evolution through Natural selection? Every person of reason and science should constantly try to find mistakes with currently accepted theories.

No one can deny that evolution through selection happens because we can see it within our lives in a very tiny way, and within human history from farmer's selection in a slightly broader way, and since fossil records show different animals and plants in different time-scales, as opposed to all blended together, also complying with order of appearance expectations, we can hardly come up with a better solution for how life came to be the way it is today. Gaps exist, and always will, but the facts collected match the Evolution through Selection model.

Of course life could have appeared through other means, but no one has come up with a better model yet. But just because Earth isn't 100% round, it doesn't mean it's flat.

The problem with creationism is that it's just a "Gap-Filler" theory. Oh, science doesn't explain every tidy bitty detail on how platypuses evolved, so some (unspecified) "higher force" must have intervened.

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(Text 2)


Please, this is to everyone who dismisses Evolution by Natural Selection and think it is incompatible with any kind of spirituality and belief in God:

God could have created the world with the necessary laws of nature so life and later Humans could evolve at least in one planet.

It's insane to say that life couldn't be "merely" a product of natural laws and chemistry, why, don't God believers believe that the natural laws, physics and chemistry were created by God? If they were, then whatever comes out of them is no accident, no meaningless chaos, but was already designed in those laws. These laws were supposed to generate life and humans from the start.

It's like Hyperoean (whatever his nick is) said in his thread:

"it's the same facts (fossils) but different interpretation (creation or evolution)

Then why not "it's the same belief (God) but different interpretation (a God that created a world then other elements separately, as opposed to a God that created the world perfectly and then from the original masterplan all elements came about)

That's why Creationism is a misnomer: life didn't have to be created, just as a car doesn't have to be created, merely transformed from previously existing materials. Creationism is thus more appropriately called Supernatural Design, Transformationism, for life obviously is made up of atoms and molecules, not other original stuff.

Thus "Creationists" inadvertently and ironically open the floodgates for the possibility that a non-divine intelligence could have transformed molecules into living beings, since God's attribute is creation out of nothing whereas Transformation is performed by any intelligence (as well as by nature itself, obviously, and natural selection).

Nicolas
2005-Feb-15, 10:28 PM
I only want to add that science tries to understand the mechanisms of the universe now and in the past, including how it came to be. But science doesn't look at why it came to be. The reason why there is a universe is the essence of its creation, hence of its god(s). The mechanisms used are details from a religious point of view -only important to science- in my opinion.

Kristophe
2005-Feb-15, 10:52 PM
Yeah, but you have to be careful when you define the question of Why? Science does try to answer "Why?", but it's a different question than that of theology or philosophy. Creationists always argue that science has yet to answer their Why?, when in fact it never bothers to try.

Nicolas
2005-Feb-15, 10:58 PM
"why" is indeed too vague.
I didn't mean a "why" like in "why does it work like that" but like in "why IS there a Universe, what is the reason of existence itself, why is there such a thing as a university (or a reality for that matters)"

Kristophe
2005-Feb-15, 11:05 PM
Exactly, but a lot of the times creationists won't make the distinction, and neither will anyone who's listening to them. It makes science look like a failure for not being able to answer questions isn't not designed to even ask.

mopc
2005-Feb-15, 11:28 PM
Well, I was not talking about why, just saying that evolution simply doesnt rule out God, and that Creationism actually empoverishes the notion of a perfect creator, since it implies multiple interventions.

Forget about the "why" thing, nothing to do with this thread.

Nicolas
2005-Feb-15, 11:32 PM
Indeed, we just extended it to a general "science vs religion" statement which is irrelevant according to us because it are separate things in our opinion.

George
2005-Feb-15, 11:56 PM
I think it is pretty nicely done.

That's why Creationism is a misnomer: life didn't have to be created, just as a car doesn't have to be created, merely transformed from previously existing materials. Creationism is thus more appropriately called Supernatural Design, Transformationism, for life obviously is made up of atoms and molecules, not other original stuff.
I may not understand this point. Are you saying that everything that makes up life is from atoms and molecules, therefore, a creation act is not required since atoms simply transform?

Thus "Creationists" inadvertently and ironically open the floodgates for the possibility that a non-divine intelligence could have transformed molecules into living beings, since God's attribute is creation out of nothing whereas Transformation is performed by any intelligence (as well as by nature itself, obviously, and natural selection)
I am unclear what a “non-divine intelligence” might be here. If this is like a molecular internal software program, then a progamer might be required. Also, what explains the mechanism that allows transformation?

I may be wrong, by I sense you may be trying to substitute science for religion. IMO, the two are separate as land and water. However, there is an overlap down at the beach. :)

lti
2005-Feb-16, 01:10 AM
there are a few straw men in ur argument however. Preaching against creationism without understanding their position seems pretty futile.

No one would dispute natural selection and speciation. Not even creationists.
How do we know that this natural selection can actually generate different species? Of course they can generate different sub-species, but can we find in nature examples of species which are splitting into other species?
this is the position of most creationists. they would say that God originally created a selection of species (the genesis 'kinds') and from them the wide variety of current animals have formed. What they dont follow is life from non life. they dont believe that a molecule could evolve into a man. but they do follow that an existing created species can split into numerous different species through mutations and adaption. Note: they dont believe that new information can be gained through these mutations. An insect could mutate into a new wingless insect species, but a wingless insect couldnt grow wings.


He, or she, or it, could have created it 6,000 years ago and implanted fossils, fake atomic half-lives, geology, etc.
this again is not the position of creationists. I havent yet met a creationist who believes fossils are fakes. they are the calcified remains of animals or plantlife. They believe that the earth is young (only 6000 years old) and the geology that we see today is the result of a global flood. this also caused the mass burials of many animals and resulted in the abundance of fossils we see today. following the flood many of the animals became extinct. I fail to see how half-lives need to be faked?


In regards to ur text 2, im not sure what u mean. Creationists believe just that. that God created everything, the entire universe - not just earth and all the physical laws. They dont believe that the universe existed and God merely transformed it.

I dont want to cause a flame war or raised emotions in here. i am merely pointing out some of your claims which are incorrect. If we have a better understanding of other peoples point of views then there would be less unhappiness and anger.

sorry if that last bit sounded soppy. i feel like punching myself.

mopc
2005-Feb-16, 01:22 AM
I think it is pretty nicely done.

That's why Creationism is a misnomer: life didn't have to be created, just as a car doesn't have to be created, merely transformed from previously existing materials. Creationism is thus more appropriately called Supernatural Design, Transformationism, for life obviously is made up of atoms and molecules, not other original stuff.
I may not understand this point. Are you saying that everything that makes up life is from atoms and molecules, therefore, a creation act is not required since atoms simply transform?


No, I'm saying that life is not created from nothing, life is the result of a transformation of elements. Therefore life is no creation, merely transformation. The only thing that could have been created out of nothing is nature itself.





Thus "Creationists" inadvertently and ironically open the floodgates for the possibility that a non-divine intelligence could have transformed molecules into living beings, since God's attribute is creation out of nothing whereas Transformation is performed by any intelligence (as well as by nature itself, obviously, and natural selection)

I am unclear what a “non-divine intelligence” might be here. If this is like a molecular internal software program, then a progamer might be required.

You and I are non-divine intelligence, other species from other planets are non-divine intelligence.


Also, what explains the mechanism that allows transformation?

Nature.


I may be wrong, by I sense you may be trying to substitute science for religion. IMO, the two are separate as land and water. However, there is an overlap down at the beach. :)


You are wrong :wink: . My point is that even if you are religious even fundamentalist, it doesn't have to make you anti-evolution.

George
2005-Feb-16, 01:34 AM
... but they do follow that an existing created species can split into numerous different species through mutations and adaption. Note: they dont believe that new information can be gained through these mutations. An insect could mutate into a new wingless insect species, but a wingless insect couldnt grow wings.
I don't follow this constraint. Is it consistent with a non-macro evolution view that, I believe, they hold? Micro evolution is acceptable to them, IIRC.



He, or she, or it, could have created it 6,000 years ago and implanted fossils, fake atomic half-lives, geology, etc.
this again is not the position of creationists. I havent yet met a creationist who believes fossils are fakes. they are the calcified remains of animals or plantlife. They believe that the earth is young (only 6000 years old) and the geology that we see today is the result of a global flood. this also caused the mass burials of many animals and resulted in the abundance of fossils we see today. following the flood many of the animals became extinct. I fail to see how half-lives need to be faked?
Half-lifes indicate Moon and Earth ages over 4.5 billion years. Not to mention all the other results with half-lifes for all kinds of things > 6k yrs. old. Ice cores and other things seem to support mainstream science in this.

Other issues arise as well. For instance, how do they account for Hubble's view of > 100 billion galaxies with light having traveled for billions of years?


I dont want to cause a flame war or raised emotions in here. i am merely pointing out some of your claims which are incorrect. If we have a better understanding of other peoples point of views then there would be less unhappiness and anger.

sorry if that last bit sounded soppy. i feel like punching myself.
:o . FWIW, you sound pretty fine to me. :)

mopc
2005-Feb-16, 01:51 AM
there are a few straw men in ur argument however. Preaching against creationism without understanding their position seems pretty futile.

With all due respect, you are the one who does not seem to understand creationists.


No one would dispute natural selection and speciation. Not even creationists.

Huh?



How do we know that this natural selection can actually generate different species? Of course they can generate different sub-species, but can we find in nature examples of species which are splitting into other species?
this is the position of most creationists. they would say that God originally created a selection of species (the genesis 'kinds') and from them the wide variety of current animals have formed. What they dont follow is life from non life. they dont believe that a molecule could evolve into a man. but they do follow that an existing created species can split into numerous different species through mutations and adaption. .

Maybe SOME creationists hold those positions. Know that I am criticizing everyone who is again Evolution through Natural Selection as an explanation for both the appearance of life and its diversification.


Note: they dont believe that new information can be gained through these mutations. An insect could mutate into a new wingless insect species, but a wingless insect couldnt grow wings

Well then they are even more demented than I thought. According to this theory, every creature would wind up a walking stick or something. Or a bacteria!!! I guess YOU are the one creating a Straw-Man Creationism here.





He, or she, or it, could have created it 6,000 years ago and implanted fossils, fake atomic half-lives, geology, etc.

this again is not the position of creationists. I havent yet met a creationist who believes fossils are fakes. they are the calcified remains of animals or plantlife. They believe that the earth is young (only 6000 years old) and the geology that we see today is the result of a global flood. this also caused the mass burials of many animals and resulted in the abundance of fossils we see today. following the flood many of the animals became extinct. I fail to see how half-lives need to be faked?

I don't even know what's going on here. The nature of Creationisms is not in debate here, I know PERFECTLY well what the Creationists believe. I am addressing even the theory which requires separate intervention only for the formation of the first living organism.




In regards to ur text 2, im not sure what u mean. Creationists believe just that. that God created everything, the entire universe - not just earth and all the physical laws. They dont believe that the universe existed and God merely transformed it.

I didnt say that. Improve your text interpretation skills, please, gross misinterpretation is annoying and can waste time and detour a thread. I said that the universe existed and then was transformed into life.




I dont want to cause a flame war or raised emotions in here. i am merely pointing out some of your claims which are incorrect. If we have a better understanding of other peoples point of views then there would be less unhappiness and anger.

sorry if that last bit sounded soppy. i feel like punching myself.

Not flame or anger, just confusion. You say I had straw man, but you are the one limiting Creationism to a single theory, and I don't even know if that strain of Creationis actually exists.

George
2005-Feb-16, 01:53 AM
I may not understand this point. Are you saying that everything that makes up life is from atoms and molecules, therefore, a creation act is not required since atoms simply transform?
No, I'm saying that life is not created from nothing, life is the result of a transformation of elements. Therefore life is no creation, merely transformation. The only thing that could have been created out of nothing is nature itself.
But nature doesn't like to come from nothing. Transformations could come by design (and designer), too. It is beyond science as we know it. Neither designer or a something-from-nothing universe are proveable.



I may be wrong, by I sense you may be trying to substitute science for religion. IMO, the two are separate as land and water. However, there is an overlap down at the beach. :)
You are wrong :wink: . My point is that even if you are religious even fundamentalist, it doesn't have to make you anti-evolution.
I wish. Evolution needs time. Darwin knew it and, apparently, struggled with hearing Lord Kelvin decrease the age of the Earth below 20 million years, I think, with new temperature data from deeper and deeper mines. Darwin called him an "odius spectre", as I recall. :) Radioactivity was unknown by them. This won't work with fundamentalism. :-?

I do agree that creationists can be evolutionists and still maintain full Genesis integrity. (Likely improve it as it might explain who Cain married)

mopc
2005-Feb-16, 02:18 AM
I may not understand this point. Are you saying that everything that makes up life is from atoms and molecules, therefore, a creation act is not required since atoms simply transform?

No, I'm saying that life is not created from nothing, life is the result of a transformation of elements. Therefore life is no creation, merely transformation. The only thing that could have been created out of nothing is nature itself.
But nature doesn't like to come from nothing. Transformations could come by design (and designer), too. It is beyond science as we know it. Neither designer or a something-from-nothing universe are proveable.[/quote]


URGH KOBLOORGH ARKHT!!!!! You people are dragging me into a marshland of misinterpretations and extrapolations!!!!! I wanna kill myself!!! Who the heck said that creation from nothing is provable? I didn't. Who said nature likes to come from nothing? I certainly did not. Who said that transformations could not come from a designer too? For the love of Yahweh I can assure you I didn't either.







I may be wrong, by I sense you may be trying to substitute science for religion. IMO, the two are separate as land and water. However, there is an overlap down at the beach. :)
You are wrong :wink: . My point is that even if you are religious even fundamentalist, it doesn't have to make you anti-evolution.


I wish. Evolution needs time. Darwin knew it and, apparently, struggled with hearing Lord Kelvin decrease the age of the Earth below 20 million years, I think, with new temperature data from deeper and deeper mines. Darwin called him an "odius spectre", as I recall. :) Radioactivity was unknown by them. This won't work with fundamentalism. :-?

I do agree that creationists can be evolutionists and still maintain full Genesis integrity. (Likely improve it as it might explain who Cain married)

Alright, alright, let's stick to analysing the original two texts, OK??? No marshland, no thread branching, no insane multiply imbedded quoting, otherwise we would get lost. From now on disregard every post but the first!!!! PLEASE!!!

Fortis
2005-Feb-16, 02:57 AM
there are a few straw men in ur argument however. Preaching against creationism without understanding their position seems pretty futile.

No one would dispute natural selection and speciation. Not even creationists.
How do we know that this natural selection can actually generate different species? Of course they can generate different sub-species, but can we find in nature examples of species which are splitting into other species?
this is the position of most creationists. they would say that God originally created a selection of species (the genesis 'kinds') and from them the wide variety of current animals have formed. What they dont follow is life from non life. they dont believe that a molecule could evolve into a man. but they do follow that an existing created species can split into numerous different species through mutations and adaption.
If you map the concept of species onto the biblical concept of "kinds", then I would disagree. They believe that variation can occur within a finite range (i.e. within "kind"), but that, for example, a bear-like animal couldn't evolve into a dog-like animal. This is to avoid the idea that beneficial mutations can exist, i.e. all of the useful variability was already there at the start and mutations add nothing to it.

Have a look at this page (http://www.icr.org/pubs/imp/imp-089.htm) to see what folks at the ICR think about mutation.

Enzp
2005-Feb-16, 10:13 AM
Mopc, there are various levels of Creationism, so the one term does not describe all of them thoroughly. Many of them do indeed believe that one species cannot evolve into another. DOgs can evolve into other dogs, and cats can evolve into other cats, but a dog will never evolve into a cat. ANd likewise they think that any one species will not become another, hence the common ancester evolving into man and the other apes as a theory is not acceptable to them. That is the micro/macro evolution approach.

I think that to rationalize a different word for creationism doesn't alter anyone's thinking on the matter - on either side. After we decide on a new term, we still have all the original questions. AS an example consider creationism versus intelligent design. It doesn't alter the debate a bit. The new name might get you a hearing with the school board, but the debate is the same.

Semantics again. Science doesn't ask why in the sense of purpose, it asks why in the sense of process. Why does this turn green means what is the process by which it turns green, not what is the purpose for it doing so.

There is plenty of evidence for evolution. I like to say that if you see before you a duck, but the bible says it is an ostrich, then there are three possibilities. 1. The bible is wrong. 2. Your eyes see ducks when pointed at ostriches. 3.You misunderstand the bible. Even If I grant the infallibility of the bible, the other two possibilities pretty much cover things.

The literal creationists really do believe that God went poof and seven days later there is the entire universe where nothing at all was before. And that was a few thousand years ago.

Creationists will tell you that ALL mutations are bad, so how can anything evolve from them. They will also tell you that no new genetic information is ever generated, so how can we get new species.

One reason they don't like science is that they are not looking objectively for the truth. The bible is never wrong they believe. If I brought St. Peter himself to them and he told them he knew God pretty well, and they were wrong, they would just assume that satan had gotten to St. Peter.

Science can demonstrate that something they believe is wrong, and they won't allow that. Not that god doesn't exist, nothing that grand, but they won't put ANY of it at risk. Seven days, pillar of salt, horsemen of the apolalypse, the whole thing.

captain swoop
2005-Feb-16, 12:13 PM
Wouldn't this be better on the talk.origins usenet group?

mopc
2005-Feb-16, 02:18 PM
Alright, alright, forget Creationism, let's consider that my text was written against all those who dismiss Evolution by Natural Selection.

George
2005-Feb-16, 02:26 PM
Mopc, there are various levels of Creationism, so the one term does not describe all of them thoroughly. Many of them do indeed believe that one species cannot evolve into another. DOgs can evolve into other dogs, and cats can evolve into other cats, but a dog will never evolve into a cat. ANd likewise they think that any one species will not become another, hence the common ancester evolving into man and the other apes as a theory is not acceptable to them. That is the micro/macro evolution approach.
That seems understandable. But, is there some sort of clear acid test between the two? I skipped biology :-? , so I am trying to get a handle on it. In materials, wood and steel are clearly different. Test for iron content and your done. However, if cats evolve such that they get larger with less hair, shorter whiskers, shorter tail, etc. (i.e. dog-like), is there and acid test to say it is still not a dog. Is it just assumed this can not happen? Evidence seems strong against such barriers between micro and macro.


I think that to rationalize a different word for creationism doesn't alter anyone's thinking on the matter - on either side. After we decide on a new term, we still have all the original questions. AS an example consider creationism versus intelligent design. It doesn't alter the debate a bit. The new name might get you a hearing with the school board, but the debate is the same.
I wish a new word would come forth. "Creationism" is a poor word as it has come to mean the 6,000 year creation concept. I still think most creationists respect science enough to discount this very constraining viewpoint. "YEC" (Young Earth Creationists) is the term I prefer to hear.


Semantics again. Science doesn't ask why in the sense of purpose, it asks why in the sense of process.
Nicely said. This distinction tends to get blurred too often. Religion and science are two different things. They do overlap, however. Religion needs a feel for process to feel a sense of purpose and direction. Science is not so bothered with it. If we learn the Earth's surface will be destroyed by asteroids next week, religion will ask why and science will be taking the term "down under" away from our Australian/New Zealand friends. :)

Sam5
2005-Feb-16, 05:08 PM
If we learn the Earth's surface will be destroyed by asteroids next week, religion will ask why and science will be taking the term "down under" away from our Australian/New Zealand friends. :)

I don’t think that is correct. I learned about this type of catastrophic end to the earth back in church in the 1950s, back when it was banned from science, back when catastrophism was still banned in academia. A.P. Carter wrote a couple of folk songs about it in the 1920s. So, religious people won’t be asking “why”, because for a long time they’ve already been asking “what’s taking so long for it to happen”.

http://www.honkingduck.com/realaudio/stream/K/bazk50.ram

George
2005-Feb-16, 05:42 PM
If we learn the Earth's surface will be destroyed by asteroids next week, religion will ask why and science will be taking the term "down under" away from our Australian/New Zealand friends. :)

I don’t think that is correct. I learned about this type of catastrophic end to the earth back in church in the 1950s, back when it was banned from science, back when catastrophism was still banned in academia. A.P. Carter wrote a couple of folk songs about it in the 1920s. So, religious people won’t be asking “why”, because for a long time they’ve already been asking “what’s taking so long for it to happen”.

http://www.honkingduck.com/realaudio/stream/K/bazk50.ram

:) . I suppose some would feel that way. However, most would like to know it is in accordance with some set of related prophetic scriptures.

Let me use another catastrophy - a global flood. This would bring heavy "why's" from religion regarding purposes vs. science asking "why" regarding process.

Sam5
2005-Feb-16, 06:02 PM
:) . I suppose some would feel that way. However, most would like to know it is in accordance with some set of related prophetic scriptures.

Let me use another catastrophy - a global flood. This would bring heavy "why's" from religion regarding purposes vs. science asking "why" regarding process.

:D You mean like in the Noah story?

I heard all this catastrophism stuff when I was a kid, outside of the classroom. There were plenty of folk songs about it still playing on radio stations in the 1950s, such as on XERF out of Del Rio, Texas. Their transmitter was over in Mexico, and at night they went up to 100,000 Watts and they could be heard just about all over the US. Some of the preachers even incorporated “the bomb” into their end-time stories. A lot of us kids were nervous wrecks back then, worrying about asteroids, comets, and global A-bomb wars. Then there was Hollywood telling us that space invaders were going to take over the earth.

Lurker
2005-Feb-16, 06:09 PM
To make a point in a rather trite way, perhaps at some point someone in the world throws a gum wrapper on the ground. Their arm passing through the air and sets off a set of events that causes a hurricane half way around the world. Science is interested in the chain of events involved by the action. WHY this person decided to throw the gum wrapper away is at that point is NOT the concern of science.

There is a significant amount of evidence that the chain of events from the big bang to our current moment does not require the intervention of a divine being for natural processes to reach the current state of the universe. Perhaps some day we will find a cause for the big bang as well. If this discovery produces a big gum wrapper somewhere, I don't think it will be science's responsibility to explain why it was thrown away... :wink:

George
2005-Feb-16, 07:25 PM
I heard all this catastrophism stuff when I was a kid, outside of the classroom. There were plenty of folk songs about it still playing on radio stations in the 1950s, such as on XERF out of Del Rio, Texas. Their transmitter was over in Mexico, and at night they went up to 100,000 Watts and they could be heard just about all over the US.I think this is true today, but I don't know their format.


Some of the preachers even incorporated “the bomb” into their end-time stories. A lot of us kids were nervous wrecks back then, worrying about asteroids, comets, and global A-bomb wars.
I remember those days. My neighbor would not let me (at about 9 yrs. old) help him and his son to dig their bomb shelter. I did not understand why they wouldn't until I got a little older.


Then there was Hollywood telling us that space invaders were going to take over the earth.
Not a problem. I understand Tom Cruise will have it under control by summer. :)

Sam5
2005-Feb-16, 07:35 PM
I remember those days. My neighbor would not let me (at about 9 yrs. old) help him and his son to dig their bomb shelter. I did not understand why they wouldn't until I got a little older.


:D LOL, there was an old Twilight Zone episode about that in the late ‘50s. If your neighbors let you help them dig the hole for their bomb shelter, then right after the Atomic War your parents might have run over and yelled at them to “open up, let us in, ‘cause our son helped you dig the hole”, but there probably wasn’t much room in the shelter for anyone but their own family members.

Enzp
2005-Feb-17, 03:55 AM
George, there are tests to determine if two creatures are different species. One main one is interbreedability. If two cannot breed together, then they are clearly different species. Physical attributes matter as well. DNA tests also measure differences. SOme creatures that look similar are found through genetic testing to not be cloesly related at all, they just look similar because they evolved in similar environments

Horses can be bred with donkeys, but the resultant mule is almost always sterile, and if I recall correctly the few that are viable are always male. So they are different species. Lesser differences might be breeds within a species. Cocker spaniels and poodles can be bred, so they are both dogs.

I appreciate Ernst Mayr's RIng Species as evidence of evolution. The example I saw was some sort of gull spread around the arctic circle. Starting in say Nova Scotia, there is a sort of gull. AS you move west around the globe, the features change and colors change, so the population of these gulls in central canada are different from the eastern ones, and over in Alaska even more different and so on around until you get to europe. The birds at the two ends of this continuum are very different and don't breed together. But along the way, adjoining populations do indeed interbreed because they are not too diffferent to do so.

ANy book on evolution should cover speciation - that is the central issue.

mopc
2005-Feb-17, 04:32 AM
Can anyone explain the exact continuum between breedable and non-breedable individuals???

I mean, certain species are very similar and are semi-breedable, like the horse and the donkey, but produce sterile offspring I guess 99% of times. Is there an example of species that produce, say, sterile offspring only half the time???

lti
2005-Feb-17, 08:58 AM
when breeding, each parent gives half their number of chromosomes. in a person that is 22, so the resulting offspring has 44 chromosomes (the same number as each parent).

In the case of a mule. Donkeys and horses have different numbers of chromosomes. a mule ends up with an odd number of chromosomes and as such is infertile because it cant evenly split his chromosomes for reproduction.

basiccally the main definition of whether two things are of a different species is whether they can interbreed. Horses and donkeys, however, can interbreed despite being of different species. creationists point out that this is evidence of them having 'evolved' from an original horse-like creature. No new information was gained in this process. it is the same as those birds u mentioned. Note: there is lots of examples of different species that can interbreed - lions and tigers, dolphins and whales. etc.


I appreciate Ernst Mayr's RIng Species as evidence of evolution. The example I saw was some sort of gull spread around the arctic circle. Starting in say Nova Scotia, there is a sort of gull. AS you move west around the globe, the features change and colors change, so the population of these gulls in central canada are different from the eastern ones, and over in Alaska even more different and so on around until you get to europe. The birds at the two ends of this continuum are very different and don't breed together. But along the way, adjoining populations do indeed interbreed because they are not too diffferent to do so.

this isnt evidence of 'macro-evolution'. it is just another of many examples of speciation or 'micro-evolution'. the birds wont have gained any information that didnt exist before.

Enzp
2005-Feb-17, 09:25 AM
But that is the point of it. The birds at the opposite ends of the chain are in fact different species. Adjacent groups are close enough they can still interbreed, but the end ones cannot. They started from a common stock, but over time and distance have evolved enough differences to speciate.

Each group along the way - and I wish I had the material to give names - is identified separately. I'll make up names: Eastern gray gull, canada gray gull, bering gull, siberian spotted gull, norway gull, proper english tea gull.

You want things that can interbreed but poorly, try two groups on either side of a third.

I am not comfortable with "no new information was gained." It is information that is different. There are only four base units in the DNA. You don't add them, you just alter them. Unless it is something like the mule with whole different numebers of genes. What we gain is new combinations of the same things. Whales, donkeys , and humans are all defined by the same DNA, it is just differing combinations.

I am confused by your statement of what creationists believe. They tend to believe that horses and donkeys were created separately. The last thing they would think was that an ancestral creature evolved into two different ones.

captain swoop
2005-Feb-17, 10:20 AM
Can anyone explain the exact continuum between breedable and non-breedable individuals???

I mean, certain species are very similar and are semi-breedable, like the horse and the donkey, but produce sterile offspring I guess 99% of times. Is there an example of species that produce, say, sterile offspring only half the time???

start Here (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-intro-to-biology.html) and follow some of the links

mopc
2005-Feb-17, 04:27 PM
when breeding, each parent gives half their number of chromosomes. in a person that is 22, so the resulting offspring has 44 chromosomes (the same number as each parent).

In the case of a mule. Donkeys and horses have different numbers of chromosomes. a mule ends up with an odd number of chromosomes and as such is infertile because it cant evenly split his chromosomes for reproduction.

basiccally the main definition of whether two things are of a different species is whether they can interbreed. Horses and donkeys, however, can interbreed despite being of different species. creationists point out that this is evidence of them having 'evolved' from an original horse-like creature. No new information was gained in this process. it is the same as those birds u mentioned. Note: there is lots of examples of different species that can interbreed - lions and tigers, dolphins and whales. etc.



What about two different species which still look similar, similar sizes, and same number of chromossomes??? Are there any? What would happen???

Blob
2006-Oct-19, 11:39 PM
Fish developed features characteristic of land animals much earlier than once thought, say researchers.
Dr John Long of Museum Victoria and colleagues base their conclusions on an uncrushed 380 million-year-old fish fossil found in Western Australia.

"The specimen is the most perfect complete three-dimensional fish of its kind ever discovered in the whole world" - Dr John Long , who reports the team's findings online today in the journal Nature.

"It looks like it died yesterday. You can still open and close the mouth."

Long says the preserved remains of a Gogonasus fish from the Devonian period (395-345 million years before present) were found last year in the remote Kimberley area at the Gogo fossil site, once an 'ancient barrier reef' teeming with fish.

Read more (http://abc.net.au/science/news/stories/2006/1768029.htm)

http://www.ahc.gov.au/publications/geofossil/gogo.html


Latitude: 18°16'51.61"S Longitude: 125°35'57.05"E

The site is situated 100 km SE of the popular backpacking and conservation centre of Fitzroy Crossing within the Geikie Gorge National Park.

sarongsong
2006-Oct-20, 08:02 AM
I only want to add that science tries to understand the mechanisms of the universe now and in the past, including how it came to be. But science doesn't look at why it came to be...Coming soon:
October 19, 2006
Physicist Stephen Hawking...is penning a new work. “The Grand Design” will examine how and why the universe was created. Publication date: fall 2008.
San Diego Union-Tribune (http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20061019/news_lz1c19toppers.html)

LayMan
2006-Oct-20, 08:20 AM
"Physicist Stephen Hawking...is penning a new work. “The Grand Design” will examine how and why the universe was created. Publication date: fall 2008."

Rats, he's gonna beat me to it... :D

mugaliens
2006-Oct-20, 06:10 PM
I know a guy who has webbed fingers and toes, proving that he at least carries some genetic material (perhaps we call do) that was carried over from a distant and possibly aquatic past.

What I'd like to know is why some people have large noses and some have small ones. Was there an environmental advantage, or was it due to what was considered beautiful or handsome over a long period of time?

Sock puppet
2007-Feb-19, 12:57 PM
I know a guy who has webbed fingers and toes, proving that he at least carries some genetic material (perhaps we call do) that was carried over from a distant and possibly aquatic past.

What I'd like to know is why some people have large noses and some have small ones. Was there an environmental advantage, or was it due to what was considered beautiful or handsome over a long period of time?

When humans reached northern Europe, their ancestors had dark skin and large noses- and so did they. In African conditions, these are advantageous because they protect you from skin cancer and sunburn, and allow you to breathe properly (enough airflow through your nose) when you exert yourself. However, in northern Europe, too much skin pigment is bad, because it prevents you (among other things) from producing vitamin D. Similarly, a large nose with a wide opening lets you cool too fast.

When you're in northern Europe, dark skin is a disadvantage, but the big nose- well, that's a bit of a mixed bag: it still confers the same bonus as before, but also has a downside now. so you get a mixed selection pressure, which tends to produce a range of values (in this case, nose sizes).

Sorry if this is a little confused, I just sort of vomited my thought out onto the keyboard...

Disinfo Agent
2007-Feb-19, 09:35 PM
When humans reached northern Europe, their ancestors had dark skin and large noses- and so did they.

In African conditions, these are advantageous because they protect you from skin cancer and sunburn, and allow you to breathe properly (enough airflow through your nose) when you exert yourself. However, in northern Europe, too much skin pigment is bad, because it prevents you (among other things) from producing vitamin D. Similarly, a large nose with a wide opening lets you cool too fast.Wide nostrils can be found in all sorts of different populations around the world -- in and out of Africa.

Sock puppet
2007-Feb-20, 10:36 AM
Sorry, that was a rather poor attempt by me. To clarify, that was an illustration of just two of the selection pressures at work on nostril sizes. And it didn't even occur to me that nostril size and nose size may not be correlated.

Disinfo Agent
2007-Feb-20, 04:45 PM
Well, I was actually thinking of either of the two versus skin tone, though the way I phrased my post was probably confusing.


For example, skin color varies largely from light in the temperate areas in the north to dark in the tropical areas in the south; its intensity is not related to nose shape or hair texture.

source (http://www.aaanet.org/stmts/racepp.htm)