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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Theory of Evolution Primer (Page 3)

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Author Topic: Theory of Evolution Primer
Will B
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Cool link.

Are there identified fossils found that are transitional between species (as opposed to between families, genera, etc.)?

Then again, if there were, could we tell? How much physical variation does there need to be between 2 specimens, to put them in different species? If they aren't alive so we can't try interbreeding them, that may not be knowable.

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King of Men
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quote:
Darwin falsified his theory by saying that if the fossil record (which during his time was very scant) would eventually reveal an enormous number of intermediates. This has not happened. Instead, what has been found is completely formed species with no halfway developed parts. Without exception.
That would be because evolution has never predicted any "halfway formed parts", so as an argument, this is quite remarkably weak. An intermediate species has some features from two other species, but all its features work 100%,. or it would not have survived long enough to become fossilised.

quote:
Are there identified fossils found that are transitional between species (as opposed to between families, genera, etc.)?
Fossiles, I don't know about, but you might want to look at ring species, of which there are several examples. Intermediate-ness in space rather than time, as it were.
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Shigosei
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I don't know about definitive evidence of the evolution of sexual reproduction, but keep in mind that there's a continuum between organisms that produce sexually and those that produce asexually. Many protozoans are capable of doing both.

I'd like to point something else out: Darwin is not God, and the Origin of Species is not infallible. Proving Darwin wrong doesn't necessarily prove anything about evolution. Heck, you can probably find research by evolutionary biologists that contradicts Darwin.

The trouble with "transitional fossils" is, if you look at it a certain way, everything's a transition. Some transitions happen faster than others (as I understand punctuated equilibrium, if there's a lot of environmental stress, species tend to change a bit faster than in more static environments where the organisms are well-adapted), but many populations undergo change. If we survive long enough to give birth to a new species or two, then wouldn't we be a transitional species between Australopithecine and our descendants?

As for the rather uncalled-for ad hominem argument that I only believe in evolution because I want a scientific explanation, let me inform you that I used to believe that the Genesis account was literally true and that the earth was only several thousand years old. I was very interested in the scientific evidence supporting YEC, so I did a lot of reading. I ended up being dragged kicking and screaming into the evolutionist camp by the mountains of evidence. Oh, well. It's an incredibly useful theory and explains a lot of things quite well.

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Tarrsk
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It would be difficult to say. I am not a paleontologist, but IIRC, they use a somewhat different technical definition of "species" as is commonly used in other areas of biology (i.e. that two organisms are the same species if they can produce fertile offspring). Since it's impossible to tell whether two physically similar fossils might have been capable of producing fertile offspring, I think the word is used more generally by paleontologists to describe a group of fossils that demonstrate more-or-less complete physical homology. Of course, the term "species" (along with all other methods of classification) is an arbitrary designation used by scientists for simplicity's sake anyway, so this difference in terminology doesn't really make much difference in the grand scheme of things. Because natural selection is constantly working, and all generations of all organisms are constantly undergoing the process of evolution, a given type of organism is not a discrete unit, but rather a continuum of phenotype and genotype, gradually altering over time.

That said, there are certainly transitional fossils that demonstrate contiguity closely related organisms, and we are constantly finding more to fill in the gaps. The whales are a great example of this. Half a century ago, we knew that there were primitive mammals that we suspected were the ancestors of modern whales, based on various similarities in morphology. We were therefore able to make the prediction that some intermediate form of the animal existed, and could even predict what such an animal might have looked like, before finding any other fossils. These hypotheses have been confirmed with a startling degree of accuracy by the wealth of proto-whale fossils found in the past few decades, as Amanecer's and Lord of All Fools' links describe.

THAT's science in action. If we had found fossils that falsified the proto-whale hypothesis (for example, a transitional fossil that showed both proto-flippers and a hip structure more similar to reptiles than mammals), then we would have tossed out that hypothesis and started from scratch. Instead, we confirmed our hypothesis, and can move on from there to suggest new ones.

Edit: Erm, sorry. This was supposed to be in response to Will. That'll teach me to not use the quote function.

Edit 2: Like Shigosei, I'm also an ex-YEC. Exposure to the actual science (and doing a lot of research into the subject on my own) eventually convinced me that the theory of evolution is as solidly grounded in reality as gravitation, no pun intended. It also had the side effect of spurring an intense interest in biology in general, and is a not-insignificant part of why I decided to go into biological research myself. [Smile]

[ February 21, 2007, 12:33 AM: Message edited by: Tarrsk ]

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Friday
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quote:
But that doesn't mean it's right, because the basic premise that rules out Creationism and favors Naturalism may very well be false. And that premise is the outright rejection of the supernatural. Prove to me that the supernatural doesn't exist!
You are right, you can't prove that the supernatural may not have influenced the universe at some point. It may be that at some point in the past something (deity, pink unicorn, or whatever) waved a metaphorical magic wand and the universe, the earth, life, etc came into being. Like you said, such an event cannot be disproved. However, belief that such a creation event occurred does not give you any additional knowledge regarding the nature of the universe, earth, or life. No one has been able to accurately and consistently predict when the magic wand will be waved again or what effects it may have. No one has been able to recreate effects similar to the magic wand, and the existence of this magic wand does not seem to have any impact on what is currently happening in the universe.

The theory of evolution by natural selection can be used to make predictions about currently observable processes on earth. For example, we can (at least to some extent) predict the behavior of bacteria species that are exposed to various chemicals. Likewise we have been able to identify mechanisms (DNA, genetics, etc.) that appear to allow for the occurrence of the processes predicted by the theory of evolution. Our understanding of the evolutionary process has allowed us to engineer new life-forms through the manipulation of the mechanisms that seem to make evolution possible. Such knowledge and the resulting technologies are what makes the theory of evolution more useful than the the theory of Creationism.

If you want Creationism to be as widely accepted and supported as evolution is, find a way to make Creationism useful for humans. If you could find a way for mankind to "wave the magic wand" (for lack of a better term) in a manner similar to whatever caused life to come into being in the first place then Creationism and magic wand waving will become a useful and popular field of study.

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Reshpeckobiggle
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I'm not trying to convince anyone of what did happen, Friday. I really not trying to convince anyone that Evolution didn't happen. I'm just trying to say that I don't think evolution happened --not the way that both Darwin and modern evolutionists postulate, Shigosei; I was using Darwin as an example of falsifying the theory, something that is essentially impssible to do today-- and I'm giving my reasons why. We can argue about whether I'm right or not. What's important is that I have reasons and I believe they are as sound as you guys' reasons for disagreeing. I also think my reasons are superiour; otherwise I wouldn't be able to stand by them. Surely you guys can relate.

Shigosei, that is not an ad hominem. Evolution is a theory that makes sense for someone who, because they follow the scientific method which by definition requires excluding any supernatural explanations, is left with no other viable theory if he is to remain a scientist. Of course if there was no reason to believe evolution happened and every reason to believe otherwise, intelligent people are not going to buy the theory. It is because the theory was so compelling that it was adopted. But it has only remaianed compelling because of the lack of alternatives, and therefore the evidence is made to fit the theory, and the theory is adjusted to accept new evidence. As I said before, the process of assimilation and adjustment has had the unfortunate effect of rendering the theory unfalsifiable, and therefore unscientific. Now I don't have a problem with believing in unscientific things: I'm a Christian, after all. Just don't call evolution science because that's not what it is.

More to come....

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Reshpeckobiggle
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Amanecer: Why was it difficult for me to reconcile the two? It just was, for me. Others may not have that problem. My honest opinion, and I know someone is going to take offense, is that I had great difficulty because I thought about it so much, and if you really think about it, the two are really not reconcilable. Either God did it all or he didn't. Maybe he guided the process, or just set the ball in motion with the big bang or the first life form(incredibly problematic for evolutionists), but if you believe that, then why do you need evolution in the first place? Because the evidence says it happened? The why do you need God? God of the Gaps, they call it. Well, if the theory is true, then those gaps will close up before long, and there is no God left. That was my reasoning, all throughout middle and high school.

I've read through that page of transitional fossils before, and I've read many other defenses of the gaps in the fossil record. The archyopteryx(sp?) is found later in the record than the birds it is supposed to transition to. What is so telling about the mindset of the typical evolutionist is that it is the most sited "transitional" because it is the strongest piece of evidence, despite the fact that it does more to hurt the thoery than help it!

Someone mentioned Darwin's Black Box earlier, and that is one of the strongest arguments against Evolution. Behe is like me (or I'm like him) in that he doesn't argue for anything, but simply against evolution. The passionate and often vehement rebuttals against him are very weak and chock full of red herrings and other fallacies. A solid rebuttal may be forthcoming someday, but if you deny that his arguments are sound and have yet to be adequately addressed, then congratulations, you're atrue believer and not the skeptic you think you are (you,as in you guys; ustedes as the latinos say.)

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King of Men
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quote:
The passionate and often vehement rebuttals against him are very weak and chock full of red herrings and other fallacies.
Off he goes again with the assertions of authority. Tell you what, why don't you give one of Behe's arguments, and I'll refute it.

quote:
The archyopteryx(sp?) is found later in the record than the birds it is supposed to transition to.
This does not invalidate its transition-ness. (Transitionality?) I also note that you don't actually respond to all the other evidence that was given you. You just say "I read it, and here's the problem with the archaeopteryx". This is a red herring. Argue against all the evidence, or don't argue at all. It's perfectly possible for the transitional species to hang around for several million years alongside both the original species and the descendant species. To use an analogy, you are arguing that because Harold was buried later than George, it is not possible that Harold was George's father.

quote:
I was using Darwin as an example of falsifying the theory, something that is essentially impssible to do today
It is not impossible. Finding a human skeleton in the Triassic would do it. But nobody has ever done it, and that includes Darwin. Being a Victorian gentlemen, he was careful to point out the places where his theory might be wrong; "If you find X, I'm going to admit I was mistaken". Nobody has ever found any of the X he mentioned.
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Reshpeckobiggle
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Sorry about the triple post; I got a lot to say.

quote:
Originally posted by Shigosei:
I don't know about definitive evidence of the evolution of sexual reproduction, but keep in mind that there's a continuum between organisms that produce sexually and those that produce asexually. Many protozoans are capable of doing both.

...If we survive long enough to give birth to a new species or two, then wouldn't we be a transitional species between Australopithecine and our descendants?


So we've got a hypothetical transition between asexual and sexual creatures. But what about the descendant of ours, or of any sexual creature since they first came about? Are the genetic mutations the give us a human penis and vagina so slight that this brand new species is going to be able to mate with the standard model human? Besides, mutated humans are born all the time. They have Down's Syndrome. This is emblematic of pretty much all mutations for all species. They are either detrimental, sterilizing, or deadly. Now a neutral observer might conclude that this is because all species are made the way they are on purpose and are meant to stay that way.
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Tristan
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quote:
But it has only remained compelling because of the lack of alternatives, and therefore the evidence is made to fit the theory, and the theory is adjusted to accept new evidence. As I said before, the process of assimilation and adjustment has had the unfortunate effect of rendering the theory unfalsifiable, and therefore unscientific.
On the contrary, assimilating the evidence and adjusting the theory accordingly is what science is all about. A theory is not "unfalsifiable" just because all evidence found and tests devised speak in its favour. What this means is that it is a really good theory that is approaching alignment with reality. A theory is unfalsifiable when it is impossible to pose any testable hypothesis, but this certainly is not the case with evolution.

On the other hand, distorting the evidence to fit the theory rather than the other way around is bad science. However, unless you can give us a specific example where that has happened I am not convinced that this is valid criticism regarding the theory of evolution.

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King of Men
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Or he might conclude that he hadn't looked carefully enough for beneficial mutations.
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Reshpeckobiggle
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
The passionate and often vehement rebuttals against him are very weak and chock full of red herrings and other fallacies.
Off he goes again with the assertions of authority. Tell you what, why don't you give one of Behe's arguments, and I'll refute it.
And off you go again with the attitude. I'm making an effort to keep this civil, why don't you?
quote:


quote:
The archyopteryx(sp?) is found later in the record than the birds it is supposed to transition to.
This does not invalidate its transition-ness. (Transitionality?) I also note that you don't actually respond to all the other evidence that was given you. You just say "I read it, and here's the problem with the archaeopteryx". This is a red herring. Argue against all the evidence, or don't argue at all. It's perfectly possible for the transitional species to hang around for several million years alongside both the original species and the descendant species. To use an analogy, you are arguing that because Harold was buried later than George, it is not possible that Harold was George's father.

Actually, it was a straw man, not a red herring. But if I'm gonna argue against ALL the evidence, I'll just write a book.

quote:
quote:
I was using Darwin as an example of falsifying the theory, something that is essentially impssible to do today
It is not impossible. Finding a human skeleton in the Triassic would do it. But nobody has ever done it, and that includes Darwin. Being a Victorian gentlemen, he was careful to point out the places where his theory might be wrong; "If you find X, I'm going to admit I was mistaken". Nobody has ever found any of the X he mentioned. [/QB]
Well, that's a nice falsification, but it's also one that is not going to happen. True fasifications are ones that could conceivably be discovered. If someone theorizes that an aliecivilation seeded this planet billions of years ago, it's not falsified by saying "If an alien species comes along and tells us that that is NOT what happened, then my theory is falsified." Probably a weak analogy, but this is just off the top of my head.
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King of Men
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quote:
And off you go again with the attitude. I'm making an effort to keep this civil, why don't you?
I do not think I have attitude. I think you have attitude. Since it is not likely we are going to agree on this, suppose we just drop it and concentrate on the arguments? Now, are you willing to put up on of Behe's arguments for refutation, or are you going to cling to "They're very good and the refutations suck" and not argue at all? Please say which it is; I'm willing to have a debate, but if you're not going to give any of the arguments you think compelling, I won't waste any time.

quote:
Well, that's a nice falsification, but it's also one that is not going to happen. True fasifications are ones that could conceivably be discovered.
Yes, well? Do you think we have discovered all the Triassic fossils that exist yet?
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Reshpeckobiggle
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I'm off to bed. Just wanted to make the point that a reasonably intelligent person can reject evolution without deliberately pulling the wool over his own eyes. I'm sure all of you true believers are convinced that this is exactly what I'm doing, but maybe one or two of the people reading this thread recognize my honesty.
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Reshpeckobiggle
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Don't waste your time, KoM. You don't want a debate, you want a fight. Try stepping outside of yourself and read your posts. See who has an attitude. Good night.
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Reshpeckobiggle
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Sorry, one more thing: An equally compelling explanation for all the similarities between so many species is that God made so many that nearly every variation on the theme of life is represented. ALL of the evidence that supports Macroevolution could be just as readily applied to this explanation. The only difference is that one is scientific and one is not. And so if you buy the premise that there is no supernature, then the choice is clear. For those of us who have experienced God's presence as real as anything else we've ever experienced, the choice is also clear. So again, try to respect the intelligence of those who believe in Creation. It may be that you are the one who is missing a certain piece of evidence.
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fugu13
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We see plenty of parts that are halfway developed in the sense of being less capable than more developed versions of the same thing.

We see no parts like that which are useless because those would be selected against (though we do see the odd mostly useless part, usually as a leftover).

For instance, many fish have stubby fins which are used as proto-legs on land (the lungfish, for instance). That's a perfect example of a part which could be terms a half-developed leg, but is still useful for its own sake.

Actually, I'll give you a challenge. Name any part (and an example organism edit: in which is is fairly useful), and I'll find another organism with a less-developed (but still useful) form of it.

[ February 21, 2007, 02:41 AM: Message edited by: fugu13 ]

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MightyCow
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Reshpeckobiggle: I'm really not seeing an argument from you, other than, "Evolution isn't 100% in the bag, so we should throw the whole thing in the trash."

I have yet to see a better alternative. Creationism? It is just as likely that aliens dropped off all the species fully formed. Or that there's an alternate dimension where everything came from, and it warped here. You can come up with any number of creative ideas, but none of them have any evidence behind them.

How can you show lack of complete evidence as a viable reason to completely ignore evolution, and then embrace an alternate explanation with zero evidence?

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fugu13
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Luckily for us, the argument from similarity is not the bedrock of evolution [Smile]

It is a part of one major foundation: that if we take the fossils we find and arrange them by date, they start out not very complex and become more complex, and particularly specialized species tend to be found after similar more generalized species are, and even if we zoom in to only 'short' (in geologic terms) gaps, we see separate species that look much like an assortment of changes to previous species, et cetera.

And then when we find 'close' relatives of species from the past and examine their genetics and internal organs that aren't preserved, we find that the same webs of descent we discover in the fossils appear independently!

These do not support God having created things all at once as much as it supports a gradual process of change in and between species.

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kaioshin00
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The Origin of Species is a fantastic primer [Razz]

Only took about 1 year to get through.

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Survivor
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A year?

I think this is supposed to be funny, but I don't get it.

Why? Why me? Why don't I get it?

I don't find any connection between religious belief and opposition to Darwinism. It's true that religious belief is probably necessary for going against the establishment view, because otherwise who the hell would even care whether evolution was or wasn't a random process?

You might believe that if your species was "intelligently designed", you'd have a better chance of not being wiped out, but you'd be wrong. There is no logical reason that a species designer would necessarily regard a created species as inherently more valuable than one that had occured without intervention. There are illogical reasons, but there are also illogical reasons to regard a species as less valuable if it was the product of design. We can presume that a designer (or should I say "Designer"?) would have logical reasons, but you cannot presume on illogical motives so easily.

Anyway, life on this planet is the product of design. But I don't see how that matters.

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Blayne Bradley
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I find it laughable that Resh goes so far as to make an arguement and then refuse to continue the arguement, KoM was reasonable on requesting you give some of Behes arguements bt you refuse, probly because you know it will most certanly be ripped apart, the anti evolution arguements work great with those lacking in any scientific knowledge, but I consider myself well read and so far I have not found a single creationist arguement or lack-there-of arguement convincing or as supported in observable indirectly and directly evidence.

You come on a forum through out your fragile beliefs into the open state your claims and say "I am resolute and absoute!" And then retreat turning your back on the snowballs that are unnervingly heading your way.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
You come on a forum through out your fragile beliefs into the open state your claims and say "I am resolute and absoute!" And then retreat turning your back on the snowballs that are unnervingly heading your way.
Yeah, but since he SAYS this is his policy, I'm always bemused by the need people seem to feel about pointing it out to him. He's openly a troll, and admits his methods up front.

quote:
I don't find any connection between religious belief and opposition to Darwinism.
Well, there's obvious correlation, and Resh has in his specific situation asserted causation.
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Amanecer
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quote:
and if you really think about it, the two are really not reconcilable. Either God did it all or he didn't. Maybe he guided the process, or just set the ball in motion with the big bang or the first life form(incredibly problematic for evolutionists), but if you believe that, then why do you need evolution in the first place? Because the evidence says it happened? The why do you need God?
The two really are reconcilable. You are setting up qualifications for God for which there is no theological basis. He could have started creation however He wanted, and your saying that he had to do it one specific way does not suddenly mean it had to be done one way.

Yes, I think a belief in evoultion is important because the evidence says it exists. I do not see how this has any bearing on a need or lack of need for God. Personally, I am agnostic. But I was raised religious and I was raised to believe that there was no conflict between evolution and God. If I became religious again, I would still believe in Evolution. The two answer different questions. Evolution explains the mechanics of how life on Earth has arrived where it is now. God explains why that might have happened. Further, the concept of a God's signifigance is not limmited to Creation. God provides purpose and direction in life as well as hope for an upcoming life. I don't know why you would want to limit the scope of God's meaning to whether life on Earth was created all at once or slowly throughout time.

quote:
So again, try to respect the intelligence of those who believe in Creation.
I'm going to assume you mean Creationism, because there is no conflict with believing in Creation. I don't think it has anything to do with respecting intelligence. It has to do with respecting the integrity of your search. You are not trying to find the best explanation for how things are. You are trying to find why Evolution is wrong because you feel threatened by it. I do not respect this approach. So long as you feel threatened by Evolution, I find your credibility on this subject to be questionable.
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Will B
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I don't understand this:

>An equally compelling explanation for all the similarities between so many species is that God made so many that nearly every variation on the theme of life is represented.

There are plenty of variations on the theme of life that aren't represented. For example, there aren't creatures that walk like Slinkys. There aren't any living hydrogen balloons. There are bound to be thousands of variations on life that aren't represented. I don't get it.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
For example, there aren't creatures that walk like Slinkys. There aren't any living hydrogen balloons.
Yet.

[Wink]

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rivka
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Inchworm, inchworm
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Will B
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The "ring species" thing is really interesting.
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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Amanecer:
... He could have started creation however He wanted, and your saying that he had to do it one specific way does not suddenly mean it had to be done one way ... I do not see how this has any bearing on a need or lack of need for God ... I was raised to believe that there was no conflict between evolution and God ... God explains why that might have happened. Further, the concept of a God's signifigance is not limmited to Creation. God provides purpose and direction in life as well as hope for an upcoming life. I don't know why you would want to limit the scope of God's meaning to whether life on Earth was created all at once or slowly throughout time.

Thats a whole lot of "God." However, I might just quickly note that many of your assertions would be just as logically consistent (or not) had we inserted Baal, Ra, Zeus, or whatever.

As an aside for Resh, this of course means that even if evolution is wrong, the default position is not God. Thus, trying (not particularly well mind you) to poke holes in evolution does not automatically make belief in God more right. *Even* if we make the leap that if evolution is wrong, then there has to be *a* god (a leap which is obviously wrong) ... then there could be *any* god.

It could be Baal, Ra, Zeus, Xenu, whatever. Even after "proving" evolution wrong, you would still need to prove that "God" is more correct, otherwise you're left with still more than 100 (as a lower bound, more probably) potential incompatible gods to choose from.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Reshpeckobiggle:
I'm sorry Tom, but you are wrong. If you say archeopteryx to me, I will respect you less than I never did.

Actually, you're completely wrong. There's an excess of transitional fossils in record. You could even find them yourself, with maybe two minutes worth of google searching, or perhaps a trip to the library.

Not at all hard.

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MrSquicky
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quote:
New Yorkers have a reputation for being rude and uncaring, but it's just not true. Ask someone from the Midwest for the time, and he'll tell you the time. Ask a New Yorker, and he'll say, "Dumbass! Why don't you get your own freakin' watch?" See? He's looking out for your welfare! Trying to help!
Except in this case, from my perspective, it is more like you are asking me how you could determine what time it was. "By looking at a watch." I respond. Neither of us has a watch, but you apparently feel I should be the one to go out and buy a watch. I disagree.

I am asking for people to explain why this should be my job or how it is uncivil, preferably without the incivility and disrespect I've been shown. edit: Perhaps this sounds like an argument to other people. To me it seems a legitimate topic of discussion.

---

I think this is actually applicable to the wider issue. Why isn't it the responsibility of the ignorant to educate themselves? We have thread after thread here of people ignorant of what they are talking about throwing out simplistic, obviously false attacks on something. Generally, someone who knows about the topic at hand spends a great deal of time and effort (far in excess of that spent on the original attack) explaining why these attacks are baseless. And then, a month later, someone else (or even the same person) posts similar or even the same attacks and people expect the knowledgible people to do the same thing each time.

Most anti-intelletual attacks I've seen only work when people are ignorant of the actual issue. The creationist attacks on evolution I've seen - the entropy thing, for example - fall into this category. And they are refuted many, many times in easily accessible places. For example, if you have a specific thing about evolution, you can go to talkorigins to look it up. People (on Hatrack even) complain about how peopel who believe in Global Climate Change never try to explain themselves in the face of a wide-release major motion picture doing just that, let alone all the other easily accessible resource. But, the anti-intellectual attackers don't use these resources, and instead use their ignorance as a weapon.

How many times do people have to refute these ignorant attacks? 7 times? How about when you do it with the same person who just doesn't ever seem to become more knowledgible?

I am all for trying to get information to people. I try to post info and link dense posts when I have time to do so. But shouldn't we have some sort of expectation that people should try to educate themselves at least a little bit? Is it really fair or a good thing to set up an expectation that it is the responsibility of the educated to do all the work? And isn't this even less fair in the case of people who are actively maintaining their ignorance?

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camus
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quote:
posted February 21, 2007 12:03 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
New Yorkers have a reputation for being rude and uncaring, but it's just not true. Ask someone from the Midwest for the time, and he'll tell you the time. Ask a New Yorker, and he'll say, "Dumbass! Why don't you get your own freakin' watch?" See? He's looking out for your welfare! Trying to help!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Except in this case, from my perspective, it is more like you are asking me how you could determine what time it was. "By looking at a watch." I respond. Neither of us has a watch, but you apparently feel I should be the one to go out and buy a watch. I disagree.

Eh, maybe more like this. You made a reference to the time and someone then asked you the time assuming you knew what time it was. Instead of simply ignoring the person or saying that you don't know the time, you berated him for asking the question.

There was nothing uncivil about you not having posted a link in your original post. In fact, I agree that the poster should not be responsible for having to provide a link to every possible point of interest, and that interested ones should be willing to search for some information instead of merely demanding it. The uncivil part was in the way you responded to Will. The point could have been made in a more civil way.

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MrSquicky
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Where did I berate him? I'm not seeing that in this.
quote:
Why can't you look it up on your own? It'd take you no more effort to find it then it would me and, as I've already said, I've linked it many, many times on Hatrack.
edit: Keep in mind that it followed this post:
quote:
I don't think it was answered yet (on this thread), so I'll throw out that the probably strongest case for observing macroevolution comes from the evolution of whales from a sort of wolf-like land mammal. You can look it up pretty easily and I've mentioned it on innumerable Hatrack threads about evolution.
which, continuing the watch metaphor, strongly impies that I don't have a watch on hand and that, if he wanted to know the time using the watch method, my advice would be to go buy one.

[ February 21, 2007, 01:23 PM: Message edited by: MrSquicky ]

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Reshpeckobiggle
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
I find it laughable that Resh goes so far as to make an arguement and then refuse to continue the arguement

I guess I should just forgo sleep and stay up all night arguing with KoM who is only looking for an opportunity to make snide comments, much like you and TomDavidson. Besides, I already said that I wasn't trying to argue about the theory specifically. I said I wanted to show that there is no need to assume someone is misinformed, ignorant, brainwashed, yadda yadda yadda, because he or she isn't convinced by the evidence. What seems so obvious to you is not so easily sold to me. I have my reasons, and I told them to you. I think I made my point sufficiently enough, and if so, it is up to you and the others to get over yourselves, recognize that you are being elitist and haughty, and have some respect for people who don't walk in mental lockstep with you. Since you have shown yourselves incapable of doing that, I will conclude that YOU are in fact the trolls, and that it is the trolls that rule the roost here on Hatrack. Have a nice day.

P.S. I still don't know what a troll is, exactly. I just know I get called that all the time around here. Could someone give me a definition?

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BlackBlade
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quote:

P.S. I still don't know what a troll is, exactly. I just know I get called that all the time around here. Could someone give me a definition?

A troll on an internet forum is a user who "trolls" around a forum looking for threads where they can throw in often brief snide comments that add nothing to the content of the discussion but often get people angry and argumentative.

An example would be upon finding a thread where people are discussing T.S. Elliot's literature, a troll might say something like, "Elliot was a moron, and people who think he had anything useful to offer literature are too stupid for rational thought."

They might point out insignificant flaws in a post like grammar or spelling, (not to be confused with the useful grammar and spelling protocols that some try to uphold here) and make that the crux of their post.

This isn't to say trolls are exclusively this way, they can post things of substance on some threads, but still be trolls in others.

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King of Men
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quote:
I have my reasons, and I told them to you.
You didn't, actually. You said "There are reasons!" You did not say what they are.
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Samprimary
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Applied use present herein

quote:
Trolls can also be existing members of such a community that rarely post and often contribute no useful information to the thread, but instead make argumentative posts in an attempt to discredit another person, more often than not based on what they thought was said rather than what was actually said by the other person, concentrating almost exclusively on facts irrelevant to the point of the conversation, with the intent of provoking a reaction from others.
hmm
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Reshpeckobiggle
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Thanks Blackblade. Does that mean that people like TomDavidson and Blayne who have nothing of substance to say in a thread but simply jump in with brief posts calling me a troll are in fact, trolls?

KoM: I stated a BUCH of reasons. Because you don't agree with my reasons does not deny them their reason-ness. Read my post with an eye toward what I am saying rather than an eye toward weakness that you can exploit. Here you go, for your convenience:

quote:
by me!

An equally compelling explanation for all the similarities between so many species is that God made so many that nearly every variation on the theme of life is represented. ALL of the evidence that supports Macroevolution could be just as readily applied to this explanation. The only difference is that one is scientific and one is not. And so if you buy the premise that there is no supernature, then the choice is clear. For those of us who have experienced God's presence as real as anything else we've ever experienced, the choice is also clear. So again, try to respect the intelligence of those who believe in Creation. It may be that you are the one who is missing a certain piece of evidence.

That's one. Go look at an earlier post, where I went to the trouble of writing one sentence in bold. These are reasons that are apparently incomprehensible to some of you, because you don't approach them appropriately, you keep falling back on your same old talking points. If you guys would try to comprehend the substance of what I'm saying, while it may not change your mind, you might end up opening your mind to how people with completely foriegn thought processes think. So why I get called a troll, I can only guess. I believe there is plenty of substance here, in what I say. For some reason, I only seem to attract those of you who simply cannot tolerate someone who disagrees. And I know what you're going to say: "No, we can't tolerate someone who refuses to listen to reason and keeps making stupid arguments, troll!" Well, how can you tolerate yourselves, then?
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King of Men
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Oh, was that a reason? But the argument is clearly wrong. This is the point where your argument fails:

quote:
ALL of the evidence that supports macroevolution could be just as readily applied to this explanation.
Wrong; nested hierarchies does not support any such thing.

And again:

quote:
For those of us who have experienced God's presence as real as anything else we've ever experienced, the choice is also clear.
You've done nothing of the sort. Go talk to BlackBlade. He is a Mormon, and also claims to have experienced God's presence. (So does Dag, a Catholic.) And yet, these three gods have separately assured you three people that different sets of doctrine about them are correct. What is the natural conclusion for this phenomenon?
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Verloren
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Until I started reading this thread, I had my own definite view of evolution versus creationism. I was definitely in the creation camp, but I had lots of questions which I really hadn't explored much.

I still haven't explored much, but I did find an interesting (at least to me) article that fits in very well with what I believe already, while changing me over to an evolution camp.

How is this possible, you ask? How can I still be religious and believe in God AND the account of creation in the Bible, as well as evolution and dinosaurs and an earth older than 6000 years?

Two words: Hugh Nibley

(For those who don't know, he was a Mormon scholar - quite famous in the church, at least)

Now, his comments are his opinions, tied in with scriptures and his vast experience and knowledge, and not any doctrine of the church. But, I did find his comments very intriguing, and they tied in very well with another book I was reading recently.

For those who are even vaguely interested, here's the link:
http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?table=transcripts&id=73

Also, please note that I am still up in the air on several of his points, and I still have lots of questions.

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Reshpeckobiggle
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KoM: You speak from clear ignorance. I'm guilty of the same from time to time, and I'm sure you're thinking "no need to remind me," though you're probably thinking of different instances from what I am. But any faithful person who reads your above post is just going to think: if only he knew what he was talking about.

How can you say that the --granted, faith-based and unscientific-- explanation for all of existence is that it was Created by God, is not supported by something that is in existence? Sure, it's a mere convenience for me to say, "oh, nested hierachies (whatever they are) were made that way by the Creator. But is equally convenient to say, "well, there was billions of years for these things to develop." Prove it! You prove that, and I'll go ahead and prove instead that God did it. Open your eyes! We are fundamentally making our arguments from the same place: from faith.

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Reshpeckobiggle
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Thanks for the link, Verloren. I skimmed through it and intend to read it in detail when I get time later.

I would like to reiterate that I am not set on disproving Evolution. I'm not smart enough or talented enough to do that if evolution is in fact false, and it may be that it did happen, in which case no amount of intelligence or talent is going to do that. I am simply trying to establish that disrespecting someone simply because he doesn't buy the theory, that is elitist. I am doing this by showing that I, no idiot, am able to provide reasons and arguments in support of my position. Choose do dismiss them if you like, but don't think yourself smarter, more open-minded, or better informed than me or others who believe the way I do. Is that such an unreasonable request?

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King of Men
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Yes. Sorry, but science is in fact elitist: That is to say, there's a right way and a wrong way to do it. People who do it the wrong way don't get their inventions to work, and are eventually out-competed by those who do it the right way. That's evolution.
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camus
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quote:
I am simply trying to establish that disrespecting someone simply because he doesn't buy the theory, that is elitist. I am doing this by showing that I, no idiot, am able to provide reasons and arguments in support of my position.
No one here is disrespecting anyone for questioning the theory. After all, that is what scientists do, question theories in order to continually improve them. Rather, what's being disrespected are some of your reasons and arguments. And if you refuse to openly and honestly evaluate those reasons and arguments, then yes you are being close minded and uninformed.
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Tarrsk
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quote:
Originally posted by Reshpeckobiggle:
Thanks for the link, Verloren. I skimmed through it and intend to read it in detail when I get time later.

I would like to reiterate that I am not set on disproving Evolution. I'm not smart enough or talented enough to do that if evolution is in fact false, and it may be that it did happen, in which case no amount of intelligence or talent is going to do that. I am simply trying to establish that disrespecting someone simply because he doesn't buy the theory, that is elitist. I am doing this by showing that I, no idiot, am able to provide reasons and arguments in support of my position. Choose do dismiss them if you like, but don't think yourself smarter, more open-minded, or better informed than me or others who believe the way I do. Is that such an unreasonable request?

Us "evolutionists" aren't any smarter, I'll happily grant you, and quite often, we're not any more open-minded either, but I think it CAN be fairly said that we're better informed. Do you know what pseudogenes are? Promoters and enhancers? Master regulator genes? The Hardy-Weinberg equation? Polyploidy? Morphological homology? Punctuated equilibrium? No? These are all *basic* concepts in evolutionary biology, things that any second-year graduate student should be intimately familiar with.

I don't think you're an idiot. You're clearly capable of cogently expressing your point of view, and your written English is great (which immediately puts you ahead of 99% of internet users). I do, however, think that you've demonstrated a lamentable ignorance of the topic that you're trying so hard to argue against. Throughout this thread, people have been trying their best to show you WHY they accept the theory of evolution- we've described whale evolution, chromosome fusion, all sorts of things. We have, I think, adequately disproved every assertion about evolution that you've made, from the "lack" of transition fossils to the faulty understanding of thermodynamics. The onus is on you to demonstrate a willingness to actually engage in a serious discussion, and to treat *us* with some respect, rather than throwing around blanket accusations of elitism and closed-mindedness.

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Blayne Bradley
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Resh so far theres alot more people with alot more evidence supporting the plausibility/possibility of Evolution (currently in this thread), you however say its bunk and gave nothing of substance, you give only clever little comments and metaphors and metaphysical explanations as to why you are right and we are all wrong. By the current definition of troll I am no a troll for this thread I have contributed atleast 3 thoughtful well written posts and considering the lack of bricks being thrown at me from other members I think I'm doing a good job today.

And by not continuing the arguement I mean refusing to anwser KoMs requests.

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Will B
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>Morphological homology?

Punk band, right?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I am doing this by showing that I, no idiot, am able to provide reasons and arguments in support of my position.
People are pointing out that your reasons and arguments are, at best, extraordinarily feeble and are in many cases demonstrably false. You have taken this badly.
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Reshpeckobiggle
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Tom, you really ARE a troll.

Perhaps you all are right. I don't know as much about evolution as some of you, especially those of you who are best able to defend it. But then, I know much more about it than the vast majority of people who believe it. The theory still functions as a faith in that regard.

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King of Men
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No, you don't, and it shows every time you post.
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