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ladyattis
2006-Mar-20, 11:10 PM
I was not sure where to post this thread, but I thought I post it here since it may be partially against the mainstream in the philosophical view of Evolution and Abiogenesis.

Intelligent Design has been the new buzz word for school boards, politicians, and authors. It is the proposition that the current state of Nature, specifically the state of Life in Nature, must have been predetermined by some form of intelligence, usually of deity proportions, sometime in the past. As this idea is compelling among those that see the world not as a coincidence, it is not surprising, considering how often in the past, recent and ancient, the concept of predetermination or more specifically Biological Determinism has come to rise and fall within a given society. Why do I consider ID a form of Biological Determinism? Simply put, ID depends on that all biological features, discrete and otherwise, to behave in such a manner that is absolutely repeatable and mechanical. In short, ID becomes a form of Determinism by default for its treatment of Life as form of mechanical operation rather than as its own unique feature within Nature itself.

If ID is true, then every feature, every thought, trait, species, social movement, and so on was predestined, predetermined, and more importantly; designed by a creator. How does this bode for the religious as opposed for the irreligious? Simply put, it would mean Nature as it is should not be altered, that their fights against non-religious, or individuals not adherent to their faith, is an affront against the Designer of Life. Essentially, the religious that see ID as a means to make God trump science will find their God has also deemed homosexuality, murder, incest, plagues, and so on as good and should not be tampered with since it logically follows that each of these things were designed.

What does ID as Biological Determinism weigh on science? Simply put, it would constrict science to treating everything as a cog in a cosmic clockwork, not unlike the thinking of scientists in the 1700s to 1800s, despite the evidence against the clockwork model of existence; whether it be the fact that atoms do not behave deterministically or whether DNA itself does not directly express traits or behaviors in lifeforms. Such proven scientific paradigms of the last fifty years would have to be literally erased, and any study of non-mechanical non-deterministic phenomena would be considered 'scientific heresy [to take a phrase from the Planet of the Apes].' Ultimately, ID from this angle or any other angle is a scientific anathema since science is not a doctrine, nor a body of work, it is the methodology of studying Nature. Thus, ID or Biological Determinism through mysticism, would turn science from Naturalism to Transcendentalism.

In the end, ID could become the next phase of Determinism in biology to which would warp religious institutions into mobs of self-defeating fatalists and turn scientists into the new priests of the 'Grand Design' or 'Great Work.' And that is something that anyone with a love for Nature would do best to avoid...

-- Bridget

ToSeek
2006-Mar-20, 11:49 PM
I'm not sure I agree with your interpretation of ID. (But then there is no official interpretation, and the alleged experts are all over the map.) My understanding of the key ID claim is that certain aspects of living creatures are designed (by a supernatural entity called God, but they try to avoid admitting that). The claim is not that all aspects are designed, just a few key ones. The more mainstream IDers largely accept common descent, just claiming that certain features, like bacterial flagella and the DNA code, had to have been put there rather than evolving.

johntsang
2006-Mar-21, 12:54 AM
Without pretent , simply put, Grand, oh, Designer (GoD) is what it's all about, the final and behind the scene manipulation of GoD are GoD designer .... a newer breed of mullahs, priests.... and monks.

To those who have deep conviction in GoD, against the landscape of 21 century, ID is a necessary new slogan ... the adaptation of newer knowledge is an on going exercise, GoDs evolve and survive.

In more general sense, IMHO, ID is as scientific as science.... at least no worse than high(er ?) school physics.

ladyattis
2006-Mar-21, 12:57 AM
I'm not sure I agree with your interpretation of ID. (But then there is no official interpretation, and the alleged experts are all over the map.) My understanding of the key ID claim is that certain aspects of living creatures are designed (by a supernatural entity called God, but they try to avoid admitting that). The claim is not that all aspects are designed, just a few key ones. The more mainstream IDers largely accept common descent, just claiming that certain features, like bacterial flagella and the DNA code, had to have been put there rather than evolving.


Yet that is the flaw in their thinking. If you accept that anytime that any part of any system is designed or predetermined, then it logically follows the consequence of the future of that given system becomes wholly designed, even if it was not foreseen. We see this all the time in computer software design. Unintended design flaws, malicious 'features', and the like are all elements of a design predetermining the resultant capacities of a program. And a program in this view is analogous to their concept that Life is designed, even if it only particular elements were designed.

And that is the problem, because if you let one thing to be designed then it does conclude all of the system was designed, because the resultant behavior is the conclusion of the initiation of the design. Whether it's the formation of DNA or flagella.

-- Bridget

ladyattis
2006-Mar-21, 01:01 AM
Another analogy could be the unintended design of buildings. Many old buildings were prefaced on a central spire-like design, where the center of the buildings held the most support. The unintend design behind that is that all rooms of such a building would be the facade of the building, thus they would hang on the central support. The Empire State building is an excellent example of this problem of the old spire-like design as what happened to a US bomber during the second world war impacting into the Empire State Building itself. It destroyed the building and the people that were on that side of the floor that was impacted, but it also crushed that side of the level it impacted with, leaving the central area and other levels with minimal damage.

What that illustrates is unintended consequence of design. How that applies to the argument I've set up is that essentially, when you begin with one premise that includes design as the key feature of Life or any system, it follows that each and every stage of that given system or complex of Life processes become dependent on that key design element.

-- Bridget

north
2006-Mar-21, 01:57 AM
Another analogy could be the unintended design of buildings. Many old buildings were prefaced on a central spire-like design, where the center of the buildings held the most support. The unintend design behind that is that all rooms of such a building would be the facade of the building, thus they would hang on the central support. The Empire State building is an excellent example of this problem of the old spire-like design as what happened to a US bomber during the second world war impacting into the Empire State Building itself. It destroyed the building and the people that were on that side of the floor that was impacted, but it also crushed that side of the level it impacted with, leaving the central area and other levels with minimal damage.

What that illustrates is unintended consequence of design. How that applies to the argument I've set up is that essentially, when you begin with one premise that includes design as the key feature of Life or any system, it follows that each and every stage of that given system or complex of Life processes become dependent on that key design element.

-- Bridget

of course there is and will always be the unexpected.

ladyattis
2006-Mar-21, 02:22 AM
of course there is and will always be the unexpected.
Of course, and maybe that is my point, that Life cannot be reduced to mechanical thinking that is often found in creation mythos. Then again, my views are colored from the fact that I came from theism to Objectivism. :shhh:

-- Bridget

north
2006-Mar-21, 02:48 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Originally Posted by north
of course there is and will always be the unexpected.


Of course, and maybe that is my point, that Life cannot be reduced to mechanical thinking that is often found in creation mythos. Then again, my views are colored from the fact that I came from theism to Objectivism. :shhh:

-- Bridget

as well, just to add, the ability to see things as they are without any reverence by whom or whatever and the ability to question(s).

for me anyway, the ability to question, and seek answers, above all else, is evidence of a non-mechanical thinking.

for mechanics,strickly speaking, sees nothing other than the mechanics in front of the nose of the self. and therefore learns nothing more than the nose.

Disinfo Agent
2006-Mar-21, 07:44 PM
Yet that is the flaw in their thinking. If you accept that anytime that any part of any system is designed or predetermined, then it logically follows the consequence of the future of that given system becomes wholly designed, even if it was not foreseen.Do the proponents of ID regard 'designed' and 'predetermined' as synonyms?
When I hear the word 'predetermined', I think of the doctrines of free will and predestination (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predestination).

ladyattis
2006-Mar-21, 08:38 PM
I use it in terms of material determinism, Disinfo. But the other definition can still apply equally if you don't exclude the other more important definitional use.

-- Bridget

Disinfo Agent
2006-Mar-21, 08:45 PM
Here's what makes me wonder:

So, we accept that humans evolved through a process of random variation and natural selection, and, quite possibly, that life itself also arose from a similar process. God may or may not have had anything to do with it -- science doesn't say. Does that mean that evolution is deterministic? What about the random variation?
More importantly, perhaps, for proponents of ID, does it mean that human salvation is predestined? I don't think you can draw that conclusion, least of which because you can't derive psychology from biology.

P.S. Here's an interesting article and discussion (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?p=705080), by the way.

antoniseb
2006-Mar-21, 08:54 PM
I am asking the people in this thread to be careful not to get more deeply into the religious side of this topic. This is not a warning to anyone in particular, but the topic started off about ID (which has special dispensation to be talked about here), but is heading into broader areas of religious debate, such as pre-destination. Repaeting the point because it is important: no one is in trouble here, but I'm asking to keep the religious content contained.

Thanks in advance.

johntsang
2006-Mar-22, 01:19 AM
Does that mean that evolution is deterministic? What about the random variation?


Chaotic .... The Butterfly in NewYork did it ..
Basically, when there's multi-party partes, it's going to get messy..... it's mathematic.

Well ... nonlinearity etc .. also play a role ... bababba.

Coyote203
2006-Mar-24, 01:20 AM
The problem I have with Darwinism is the way it is being treated by the scientific mainstream. (Just so you know, I am a believer in creationism and in God so I am biased. I am also a science teacher so I am writing this as a science teacher) There is a reason that Evolution is called a theory. It is not proven. There are problems with the theory that have not been filled in but mainstream scientists expect the world to accept the theory as a law. I do buy into the fact that things change over time. I accept that as true. What I have a problem with is the origin of life and man evolving from lower species or other species evolving into new species such as amphibians-reptiles-birds-mammals.

Problem with origin of life is that science has never been able to replicate the creation of the original DNA and RNA type molecules without the use of enzymes that had to be created by previous DNA and RNA. Science cannot show how this was possible for life to start in the first place. (Which I don't believe Darwin even intended from the beginning anyways)

The evolving of different species is another problem. For the 170 years since his voyage and publishing of his theory, scientist have always said that the gaps will be filled. We are still waiting for those gaps to be filled. There has been no missing link found between any species that shows a complete progression.

Yet with these two problems, we are expected to treat the theory as a law. It is not a law and until it is proven, it shouldn't be treated as such. Yes, in the past the church has been on the other side. An example is the heliocentric theories. The church refused to believe that the Earth was not the center of the universe. Despite flaws in the theory, they refused to budge and accept an open scientific discussion of the relevant theories. Science has taken the place of the church on this topic and refuse any discussion of a theory that is not proven to be a law.

Let the bashing begin:

antoniseb
2006-Mar-24, 01:46 AM
Let the bashing begin:

No. Do not let the bashing begin. We can discuss this without bashing. BTW, Coyote203 has not made this a religious discussion (thanks). He has made some claims which have been addressed numerous times on this forum and elsewhere, but he is new. Please do not respond with a sense of how futile it is to explain one more time... Please just point him/her to the previous discussions that answer the points raised here.

Coyote203, you know that many of us disagree, and you've heard the arguments before. How many levels of back-and-forth have you had this discussion with your collegues?

Fr. Wayne
2006-Mar-24, 12:33 PM
ID requires engineering a transition in species from an intentional agent. Such an agent must be proven as an intelligence capable of rational thought. Since science has no hard evidence of any other intelligent agent than scientists, and since science claims that scientists were not created before 5000 years ago (I admit this as a simplistic metaphor), therefore ID is impossible because 1). rational thought requires brain capacity, and 2).cloning has not succeeded in trans-species experiments. ID must prove another scientist exists more intelligent than man. Good luck and BONA VENATIO!

Disinfo Agent
2006-Mar-24, 01:49 PM
Maybe you'd like to give your opinion in this thread (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=39322&page=4), Coyote 203.

Gillianren
2006-Mar-24, 08:07 PM
You say you're a science teacher, yet you expect science to be "proven" before you accept it? Also, you use that strawmen word "Darwinism" to describe a science that's been developing for over a century?

Coyote203
2006-Mar-24, 11:30 PM
I am saying that scientists treat it as proven but it is not. It is a theory. Scientists should question theories. The debate has become so polarized that nobody is willing to even listen to other posibilities. I am not asking for intelligent design to be taught because that will never happen again. What I am saying is that there are problems with the theory of evolution that nobody seems to be willing to listen too. If you question evolution, you are branded a right wing fundamentalist. You have to admit that there are problems. Maybe someday there will be proof (which I personally doubt), but until then it needs to be treated as a theory by scientists. There is something wrong when scientists discourage questioning a theory. That is how theories eventually get proved or disproved. Anything other than that is bad science.

Disinfo Agent
2006-Mar-24, 11:37 PM
I am saying that scientists treat it as proven but it is not. It is a theory.Depends on what you mean by 'proven'. There's a whole lot of evidence for evolution, you know?
In fact, that's why the scientific mainstream calls it the theory of evolution. If there weren't enough evidence, they'd call it a hypothesis.

Coyote203
2006-Mar-24, 11:45 PM
But it is still not a law and should not be treated as such until proven to be a law.

That is my whole point. I did say that I believe in change over time which is evolution. I just don't buy that origin of life and the variety of species being from evolution. I don't see how it is possible for completely different families of animals to evolve from a common ancestor. It hasn't been succesfully shown by any scientist yet.

Disinfo Agent
2006-Mar-24, 11:52 PM
But it is still not a law and should not be treated as such until proven to be a law.It's not called a law because biologists don't normally use that term. As far as I know, that's the only reason.

In fact, I think the term 'law' has gone out of fashion in most sciences. Einstein called relativity a theory, even though it's just as solid as Newton's 'laws', and in fact more successful than them. So is evolution.


That is my whole point. I did say that I believe in change over time which is evolution.No, that's an oversimplified description of Darwin's theory...


I just don't buy that origin of life and the variety of species being from evolution.The origin of life and the origin of the species are two separate questions. The theory of evolution only addresses the latter.


I don't see how it is possible for completely different families of animals to evolve from a common ancestor. It hasn't been succesfully shown by any scientist yet.Perhaps you need to look more closely at the evidence.

Coyote203
2006-Mar-25, 12:12 AM
It's not called a law because biologists don't normally use that term. As far as I know, that's the only reason.

In fact, I think the term 'law' has gone out of fashion in most sciences. Einstein called relativity a theory, even though it's just as solid as Newton's 'laws', and in fact more successful than them. So is evolution.

No, that's an oversimplified description of Darwin's theory...

The origin of life and the origin of the species are two separate questions. The theory of evolution only addresses the latter.

Perhaps you need to look more closely at the evidence.

Sorry, I haven't figured out how to select each quote and respond individually. I will answer each in order though.

#1 Newton's laws are still taught as laws because they are proved. Einstein's theory of relativity is a theory because it is still being modified with new discoveries.

#2 It may be an oversimplification of the entire theory but it is the only part of the theory that I buy.

#3 I agree with you that it doesn't address the origin of life but many people speak as if that is how the theory starts out. If you leave origin of life out of the mix, evolution has a stronger case for explaining how species change over time.

#4 Show me one proven example with all of the links how a lizard changed into a mammal. Make sure that you include the physical as well as the changes in DNA at each step. The proof is not there. You can't even show within 10 steps. The gaps are too big.

P. Edward Murray
2006-Mar-25, 04:13 AM
Forgive me please if this shows up more than once:)

My problem with these Intelligent Design folks is that they cannot conceive of a Force that can create & powers the entire Universe from galaxies to stars to planets to life and still create scientific principles.

The simple fact is that there is no inherant problem between science & religion.

Religion is after all a belief that explains how and why we should behave towards our fellow man and nature.

Science is just the use of our brains to ask questions about the world and Universe that we live in.

The great truths distilled from both complement but do not detract from each other.

Disinfo Agent
2006-Mar-25, 12:32 PM
Coyote 203, you will find answers to your objections to evolution in this website (http://www.talkorigins.org/).

P.S. As for the following:


#1 Newton's laws are still taught as laws because they are proved. Einstein's theory of relativity is a theory because it is still being modified with new discoveries.If Newton's laws have been 'proven', then Einstein's relativity theory has been even moreso.

The experimental basis of Special Relativity (http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Relativity/SR/experiments.html)
Mercury's Orbital Precession: Newton, C; Einstein, A (http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Relativity/GR/mercury_orbit.html)

Fr. Wayne
2006-Mar-25, 03:27 PM
Evolution is the only theory that is accomplishing results. It's the best and, may I repeat, the only theory in town. It's best merit? The theory of evolution defends the evolution of theory.

dvb
2006-Mar-25, 04:22 PM
The problem I have with Darwinism is the way it is being treated by the scientific mainstream. (Just so you know, I am a believer in creationism and in God so I am biased. I am also a science teacher so I am writing this as a science teacher)

I truely hope that you don't share your biased views with your students. If that is the case, I feel sorry for them. It is not a scientists job to be biased. Scientists look at the evidence, and don't involve personal feelings. If the evidence fits the theory, and observations match, then there's little to be biased about. Don't you teach your students the scientific method? Something I learned as early as grade 9.


There is a reason that Evolution is called a theory. It is not proven. There are problems with the theory that have not been filled in but mainstream scientists expect the world to accept the theory as a law. I do buy into the fact that things change over time. I accept that as true. What I have a problem with is the origin of life and man evolving from lower species or other species evolving into new species such as amphibians-reptiles-birds-mammals.

I guess you don't understand how the peer review system works then.


How it works

Peer review subjects an author's work or ideas to the scrutiny of one or more others who are experts in the field. These referees each return an evaluation of the work, including suggestions for improvement, to an editor or other intermediary (typically, most of the referees' comments are eventually seen by the author as well). Evaluations usually include an explicit recommendation of what to do with the manuscript or proposal, often chosen from a menu provided by the journal or funding agency. Most recommendations are along the lines of the following:
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer_review#How_it_works

No scientific theory is taken for granted. The theory of evolution has been scrutinized to death by experts in the field, and it still holds as the best explaination as to how species evolve. If something can explain better how evolution works, then the theory will be revised to fit the observations. There is no competing theory.


Problem with origin of life is that science has never been able to replicate the creation of the original DNA and RNA type molecules without the use of enzymes that had to be created by previous DNA and RNA. Science cannot show how this was possible for life to start in the first place. (Which I don't believe Darwin even intended from the beginning anyways)


As you had previously mentioned, it wasn't Darwin's intention to explain the origin of life, so I don't see what you're getting at here.


The evolving of different species is another problem. For the 170 years since his voyage and publishing of his theory, scientist have always said that the gaps will be filled. We are still waiting for those gaps to be filled. There has been no missing link found between any species that shows a complete progression.
There's a lot of gaps that science hasn't filled yet, and a lot of answers to questions that we don't know either. Science doesn't claim to have all the answers. If this is about missing gaps in the fossil record, well it's true, and there is. You have to realize at the same time, those gaps are being filled in. Maybe not as quickly as some would like.

Coyote203
2006-Mar-25, 06:03 PM
To P. Edward Murray

I agree that science and religion can get along but probably not for the same reason as you. I see science as a way to understand the universe that God has set up.

DisInfo Agent

I checked out your reccomended site. I went through the 29+ proofs of evolution. While some of them seem reasonable, they did not offer hard and final proof. Others required a great stretch of the imagination to accept and others even offered proof by using assumptions. One that I will note is the one discussion of DNA and RNA stating that Evolution must be true because we all use the same chemicals for our DNA and RNA. That doesn't prove that we all evolved from the same organisms. It does prove the DNA and RNA are the building blocks of life. I could say the same with LEGOS. I can make an airplane, a car, and an animal with LEGOS. It doesn't show that one changed into another, it shows that I can build stuff with LEGOS.

Fr. Wayne

Evolution is not the only theory accomplishing results. There have been no scientific discoveries to disprove creationism or evolution. Again, I am not saying that we must teach creationism or even intelligent design though. I think that we should teach that evolution has issues that need to be resolved and it doesn't answer everything.

DVB

You have no need to feel sorry for my students. I am actually one of the more popular teachers in my school. (5th grade by the way) I teach space science, physics, and the only biology that I address is ecosystems. Yes I teach that animals adapt to function in their ecosystem. We don't discuss evolution or creationism at this level. I do teach in a community that seems to be somewhat religious in nature and most of my students are christians but that doesn't ever really come up.

I do understand how peer review works. Just because someone is an expert in a field, doesn't mean that they cannot be wrong. Most scientists once thought that the Earth was the center of the universe. Those thinking otherwise were ridiculed by their peers and others (including the church). Eventually science came to understand that the sun was the center of the universe. (which was still wrong) We have a much better understanding today and realize that the sun is only the center of our one solar system and on the fringes of our galaxy.

(Off topic: I wouldn't use Wikipedia to prove any points due to the way it is created. When my students are doing research reports, we use Wikipedia as a way to teach reliability of resources. Although in this case, it did seem to be okay in its explanation.)

Again, I agree that there are gaps. If those gaps are ever filled, I may change my mind. Up to this point, no one has been able to disprove that God created the universe and set things in motion. Nor can anyone at this time disprove evolution.

This brings me to another point. Why is there even a debate between Intelligent Design and Evolution in the first place. I like the fact that many of you have stated that Evolution doesn't cover the beginning of life on Earth. That is not how it is treated with the general public though. Many people equate evolution with the origin of life. Evolution is possible even with Intelligent Design if that designer allowed for change in his creation.

Thanks for all of you intersting posts.

Disinfo Agent
2006-Mar-25, 06:22 PM
This brings me to another point. Why is there even a debate between Intelligent Design and Evolution in the first place. I like the fact that many of you have stated that Evolution doesn't cover the beginning of life on Earth. That is not how it is treated with the general public though. Many people equate evolution with the origin of life. Evolution is possible even with Intelligent Design if that designer allowed for change in his creation.Perhaps it's a question of language. What does the phrase Intelligent Design mean to you?
Here's what it seems to mean to ID proponents:


(a) The action of an intelligent (presumably conscious) being was involved in the evolution of living organisms.
(b) There already exists empirical evidence of this action, sufficient to justify a scientific inference that such action occurred.
The term "Intelligent Design" usually refers to these beliefs together with the arguments which are made in support of them.

It is important to note that people who hold belief (a) but not belief (b) do not generally consider themselves to be advocates of ID, and this web site has no quarrel with such people. It is the claim that there is empirical evidence of design in biology which has provoked a controversy, and which we consider to be false. We argue that this claim is based on pseudoscience, and enjoys the support it does only because it appeals to the religious and/or ideological beliefs of its adherents.

Talk Design (http://www.talkdesign.org/introfaq.html)

Coyote203
2006-Mar-25, 06:50 PM
I am not one that advocates intelligent design.

My religious beliefs are that God created the universe and everything in it.
Science is the study of the universe. Therefore, science is the study of what God created.

Is evolution possible? Yes, even probable up to a point. I cannot picture humans evolving from a lower life form though.

The most serious problem that I have with many of the people who propose evolution only is that it leaves out the creation of the universe. The Theory of evolution does not involve this or even the creation of life. I believe that God started it all and has shaped everything how he wanted it. Even if you support the Big Bang Theory, something had to be their to explode in the first place. Where did that come from?

In my opinion, evolution can answer how species change over time. I don't think it can answer for the vast variety of species or human intelligence.

Coyote203
2006-Mar-25, 06:53 PM
BTW: I am not implying that there is proof of God. That is a matter of faith. I am saying that there is no proof that God is not there.

Disinfo Agent
2006-Mar-25, 07:06 PM
I am not one that advocates intelligent design.Neither am I, which is why I think we should use the notion of Intelligent Design of those who do.
Would you say that you believe in proposition (b)? (See my previous post.)


My religious beliefs are that God created the universe and everything in it.
Science is the study of the universe. Therefore, science is the study of what God created.That's fine.


Is evolution possible? Yes, even probable up to a point. I cannot picture humans evolving from a lower life form though.

[...]In my opinion, evolution can answer how species change over time. I don't think it can answer for the vast variety of species or human intelligence.You seem to have ambiguous ideas regarding this point. Either you accept Darwin's theory of evolution, which implies, in particular, that our species and all others evolved from previous species ('lower' is a value judgement that science cannot make), or you do not accept this. But you should pick a side and stick to it...


The most serious problem that I have with many of the people who propose evolution only is that it leaves out the creation of the universe. The Theory of evolution does not involve this or even the creation of life. I believe that God started it all and has shaped everything how he wanted it. Even if you support the Big Bang Theory, something had to be their to explode in the first place. Where did that come from?Why should the theory of evolution be required to explain the origin of the universe, when it's not a cosmological theory? It's biology!

antoniseb
2006-Mar-25, 07:16 PM
Coyote203, you are getting into some gray territory with the rules of the forum. Please do not say things that would provoke discussion about whether proof of God is possible, or any other religious topic.

dvb
2006-Mar-25, 07:19 PM
You have no need to feel sorry for my students. I am actually one of the more popular teachers in my school. (5th grade by the way) I teach space science, physics, and the only biology that I address is ecosystems. Yes I teach that animals adapt to function in their ecosystem. We don't discuss evolution or creationism at this level. I do teach in a community that seems to be somewhat religious in nature and most of my students are christians but that doesn't ever really come up.
I'll glad to hear that you stick to the books when teaching.


I do understand how peer review works. Just because someone is an expert in a field, doesn't mean that they cannot be wrong. Most scientists once thought that the Earth was the center of the universe. Those thinking otherwise were ridiculed by their peers and others (including the church). Eventually science came to understand that the sun was the center of the universe. (which was still wrong) We have a much better understanding today and realize that the sun is only the center of our one solar system and on the fringes of our galaxy.
Very true, but there's often more than one expert who examins the data. And in the case of evolution, there have been countless numbers of experts who all come to the same conclusion when observing the data. We're not just talking about one or two scientists here. Every scientific theory is constantly under scrutiny as I've already mentioned. Science only explains things to the best of our knowledge. Sure, at one time we all believed that the Sun was the centre of the universe, but that was also based on the observational evidence of the time. If we find evidence agaist evolution in the future, the theory will be revised. Theories are not revised on speculation, just on what we know.


(Off topic: I wouldn't use Wikipedia to prove any points due to the way it is created. When my students are doing research reports, we use Wikipedia as a way to teach reliability of resources. Although in this case, it did seem to be okay in its explanation.) I agree. It wasn't used to prove a point, but mearly to give reference to what peer review is. In this particular case, it gives a pretty accurate description.


Again, I agree that there are gaps. If those gaps are ever filled, I may change my mind. Up to this point, no one has been able to disprove that God created the universe and set things in motion. Nor can anyone at this time disprove evolution. Ahh, but they are two different things. A theory is designed to be falsifiable, whereas the existance of God is not.


This brings me to another point. Why is there even a debate between Intelligent Design and Evolution in the first place. I like the fact that many of you have stated that Evolution doesn't cover the beginning of life on Earth. That is not how it is treated with the general public though. Many people equate evolution with the origin of life. Evolution is possible even with Intelligent Design if that designer allowed for change in his creation. The problem has to do with proponents of ID and creationism. These people have little understanding of how science works, and end up making assumptions based on what little they actually know of how a scientific theory works.


Thanks for all of you intersting posts. You're welcome. :)

BTW, to quote other posters, just use the "[ quote] [ /quote]" tags around the words you wish to quote. Example being [ quote]this is my quote[ /quote], but without the spaces added between the brackets.

dvb
2006-Mar-25, 07:20 PM
Coyote203, you are getting into some gray territory with the rules of the forum. Please do not say things that would provoke discussion about whether proof of God is possible, or any other religious topic.

Sorry if I strayed into that. I was typing my post out after you had already replied.

Disinfo Agent
2006-Mar-25, 07:28 PM
Coyote203, you are getting into some gray territory with the rules of the forum. Please do not say things that would provoke discussion about whether proof of God is possible, or any other religious topic.It's very difficult to avoid that when we discuss Intelligent Design, though. Those who accept ID tend to see it as proof of the existence of a designer, which they naturally identify with God.

Coyote203
2006-Mar-25, 07:48 PM
Coyote203, you are getting into some gray territory with the rules of the forum. Please do not say things that would provoke discussion about whether proof of God is possible, or any other religious topic.

Sorry. I didn't mean to reply that proof was possible because in the scientific sense, it is not provable or disprovable.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Coyote203
I am not one that advocates intelligent design.

Neither am I, which is why I think we should use the notion of Intelligent Design of those who do.
Would you say that you believe in proposition (b)? (See my previous post.)


I do not believe that there is empirical evidence of proof of God. As I said, it is a matter of faith.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Coyote203
This brings me to another point. Why is there even a debate between Intelligent Design and Evolution in the first place. I like the fact that many of you have stated that Evolution doesn't cover the beginning of life on Earth. That is not how it is treated with the general public though. Many people equate evolution with the origin of life. Evolution is possible even with Intelligent Design if that designer allowed for change in his creation.

The problem has to do with proponents of ID and creationism. These people have little understanding of how science works, and end up making assumptions based on what little they actually know of how a scientific theory works.


The problem is with both ID people and evolution people. Both sides think that they are competing theories on the origin of life. (not everyone. this is an overgeneralization)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Coyote203
Is evolution possible? Yes, even probable up to a point. I cannot picture humans evolving from a lower life form though.

[...]In my opinion, evolution can answer how species change over time. I don't think it can answer for the vast variety of species or human intelligence.

You seem to have ambiguous ideas regarding this point. Either you accept Darwin's theory of evolution, which implies, in particular, that our species and all others evolved from previous species ('lower' is a value judgement that science cannot make), or you do not accept this. But you should pick a side and stick to it...


I'll try to be more clear. One species can change over time. The classic examples are the moth in England before and after the industrial revolution where they went from white to black because of pollution and the finch with the changing beaks because of changes in food supply. I can believe that because there are natural variations within a species. Sometimes, these variations can lead to an advantage which will be passed down through the generations. I can't see these changes over time leading to completely different species though. i.e. a lizard having decsendants (sp?) that are mammals.

dvb
2006-Mar-25, 08:00 PM
The problem is with both ID people and evolution people. Both sides think that they are competing theories on the origin of life. (not everyone. this is an overgeneralization)
Scientists aren't trying to compete with ID. All they're trying to do is show that ID is not science. Scientists already know that ID holds no scientific value. I can't be 100% certain, but I'm sure that most scientists know that evolution doesn't try to explain the origins of life. Who told you this?

Coyote203
2006-Mar-25, 08:06 PM
Scientists aren't trying to compete with ID. All they're trying to do is show that ID is not science. Scientists already know that ID holds no scientific value. I can't be 100% certain, but I'm sure that most scientists know that evolution doesn't try to explain the origins of life. Who told you this?

On many of the more extreme evolution web sites, they use that argument to debunk ID. If you talk to people on the street, they will say that evolution starts out at origin of life. The issue has become such a hot topic, that many of the facts have been obscurred and confused.

And there are scientists who have tried to use the primordial soup, enzymes, and lightning to explain origin of life and then transferring that into evolution. I think that this is where the confusion began. I realize that it is not part of the original theory but not all do. (more the non scientific types. problem is on both sides though)

Disinfo Agent
2006-Mar-25, 08:07 PM
Here's a BBoard trick, Coyote203: hit the shortcut button at the bottom right of a post to quote it. It automatically adds the poster's username to the quote. ;)


I do not believe that there is empirical evidence of proof of God. As I said, it is a matter of faith.Thanks for replying. I just wanted to get a better understanding of where you're coming from.


The problem is with both ID people and evolution people. Both sides think that they are competing theories on the origin of life. (not everyone. this is an overgeneralization)We should be careful with the terminology, because imprecise terms are one of the things that lead to misunderstandings and bitterness in this debate. Neither the theory of evolution nor ID attempt to explain the origin of life. They are theories about how living species change, once life has arisen. If some misuse the term, that doesn't invalidade the theory of evolution.


I'll try to be more clear. One species can change over time. The classic examples are the moth in England before and after the industrial revolution where they went from white to black because of pollution and the finch with the changing beaks because of changes in food supply. I can believe that because there are natural variations within a species. Sometimes, these variations can lead to an advantage which will be passed down through the generations. I can't see these changes over time leading to completely different species though. i.e. a lizard having decsendants (sp?) that are mammals.You will find here some examples of new species (http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB910.html) which were observed to evolve from others.

Coyote203
2006-Mar-25, 08:29 PM
You will find here some examples of new species (http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB910.html) which were observed to evolve from others.

Interesting article. I would like to check the facts of what they are reporting though. It doesn't give any links for the different facts. I googled the first pair of names (Byrne and Nichols ) and came up with this: http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1134/is_1_110/ai_70770157

The problem is that it doesn't give info on how the one set of mosquitos evolved into the other. I would like to see that.

I should be more precise in what I mean by proof of new species. I shouldn't have used species at all. I meant the different classes,orders, and families. All of the examples were of different plants and animals having variety within a species. Example: The mosquitos were still mosquitos and the fly was still a fly and the fish a fish.

I know this is an exageration but I am using it as an example of my point. Show me where a cat becomes a dog. I know this is not possible, but at some point, they should have had a common ancestor. Everything that I have seen as evidence has always been, this bird became this type of bird. Or this cat became these types of cats. These are all changes at the species level. Show me changes at the genus, family, order, or even class level that show a logical progression.

I have previously said that I believe that evolution can explain change over time. I'll even admit that it can generate new and different species. I don't see how the different genuses, families, orders, and classes can be explained that way though. Sorry for my lack of precise terminology.

Fr. Wayne
2006-Mar-25, 08:35 PM
After reading many articles like this: http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn6588 One begins to understand that the origin of Genus (a taxidermal category of families of species used in biology) is the "next big discovery" that will revolutionize biological evolution since many new species can be demonstrated to have evolve from parent species due to "fitness" during crucial reproductive phase. ID' ers want to know everything right now. Where did all these genera (plural of genus) come from? Patience.

Disinfo Agent
2006-Mar-25, 08:46 PM
I know this is an exageration but I am using it as an example of my point. Show me where a cat becomes a dog. I know this is not possible, but at some point, they should have had a common ancestor. Everything that I have seen as evidence has always been, this bird became this type of bird. Or this cat became these types of cats. These are all changes at the species level. Show me changes at the genus, family, order, or even class level that show a logical progression.They may or may not be changes at the species level only. Mammals and birds (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrapod#Tetrapod_groups), for instance, are made up of different orders (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird), which is a higher taxonomical rank than the species.
But I suggest you look at what the fossil record can tell us about the evolution of ungulates (http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/natsci/vertpaleo/fhc/relatives1.htm) and horses (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/horses/) in particular.

Coyote203
2006-Mar-25, 08:49 PM
After reading many articles like this: http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn6588 One begins to understand that the origin of Genus (a taxidermal category of families of species used in biology) is the "next big discovery" that will revolutionize biological evolution since many new species can be demonstrated to have evolve from parent species due to "fitness" during crucial reproductive phase. ID' ers want to know everything right now. Where did all these genera (plural of genus) come from? Patience.

I remember reading that article on CNN when it first came out. We will see if the there is ever a discovery like this. It would be a big thing in biology if it is ever discovered. Not sure it will be though.

Coyote203
2006-Mar-25, 08:56 PM
They may or may not be changes at the species level. Mammals and birds, for instance, are made up of different orders (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird#Bird_orders), which is a higher taxonomical rank than the species.
But I suggest you look at what the fossil record can tell us about the evolution of ungulates (http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/natsci/vertpaleo/fhc/relatives1.htm) and horses (http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/horses/) in particular.

There are problems with classifying animals based on exterior characteristics. Look at fish and whales. They both have fins, mouths, live in water and such. We know that they are not related though. There should be more than just physical characteristics. Look at the DNA. There are theories about convergent evolution as well. Birds and insects have wings. Should they be classified together?

(Gotta take the family out to dinner now. I'll check back tomorrow. Been a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon without football or baseball though)

CACTUSJACKmankin
2006-Mar-30, 02:28 AM
Even using comparative anatomy you can largely distinguish superficial similarities with more concrete ones. A great white shark and a bottlenosed dolphin have the same general body shape, however sharks breathe with gills and dolphins have lungs, thus demonstrating that their relatedness is quite distant. General body shape is superficial, breathing anatomy is concrete. In many ways paleontology is just applied comparative anatomy. You establish relatedness through comparisons of bone structure of fossils with living animals. Bones are compared with painstaking detail and it involves parsimony(occam's razor). This analysis is done in a very comprehensive way. Of course we now have genetics which can be used to derive timelines of special deviation which usually back up the fossil evidence. So if you know what to look for, basic comparative anatomy can give you a significant understanding of the relatedness of organisms.