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Intelligent debate
August 10, 2008 ^ | Roger Palfree

Posted on 08/10/2008 4:30:27 AM PDT by Soliton

Gods, fairies, magic and the like are ways of saying "we don't know," and one simply can't base a scientific theory on a set of assumptions that includes "and something we don't know, but you can imagine it to be anything you like, happens here."

Science is a discipline, a rewarding endeavour to understand things in relation to other things and their interactions. The theory of evolution is not a belief; it is a scientifically useful model. As more data support it, it might be a threat to certain beliefs, but it is not a threat to belief in a creator, because science can never explain existence itself.

(Excerpt) Read more at canada.com ...


TOPICS: Religion; Science
KEYWORDS: creationism; crevo; evolution; id
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1 posted on 08/10/2008 4:30:27 AM PDT by Soliton
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To: Soliton
"and something we don't know, but you can imagine it to be anything you like, happens here."

Yeah, that whole "Cambrian explosion" thing always bothered me. Punctuated equilibrium just seems like something people dreamed up to explain why life seemed to spring out of nowhere with tremendous diversity. They don't understand it, but they call it science.

2 posted on 08/10/2008 4:58:39 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Et si omnes ego non)
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To: ClearCase_guy

The cambrian explosion has been explained. It happened more slowly than originally thought.

Of course creationism doesn’t explain anything in the fossil record, so we’re stuck with the best answer, evolution.


3 posted on 08/10/2008 5:01:19 AM PDT by Soliton (> 100)
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To: Soliton
Evolution is all supposition and conjecture. If the Cambrian Explosion is an idea which is "selling" then that's good theory. If people start to think it doesn't make sense, then the new theory is "it happened more slowly than we thought".

Some folks say this is good science. New evidence results in a stronger and more viable theory. Science is constantly being improved. At least, that's what they tell me. But since it's all supposition and conjecture, I think it feels more like Maxwell Smart: "Would you believe that most major animal groups appeared in a very short time? No? Well, would you believe that most major animal groups appeared in a slightly less than average time? No? Well, would you believe ..."

4 posted on 08/10/2008 5:10:27 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Et si omnes ego non)
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To: ClearCase_guy; Soliton
Yeah, that whole "Cambrian explosion" thing always bothered me.

Punctuated equilibrium just seems like something people dreamed up to explain why life seemed to spring out of nowhere with tremendous diversity. They don't understand it, but they call it science.


Punk eek and the Cambrian explosion are not the same thing. Read Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History by Stephen J. Gould.
5 posted on 08/10/2008 5:14:47 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: Soliton

You know that there is one God and one faith as the scriptures clearly state throughout and every livng creature of mankind, male and female, must make peace with the living God of Israel or choose to make war with Him and those who believe Him.
And the sorrow of not beleiving Him will destroy all those who chose not to accept His offer of forgiveness by believing How that His only begotten,sinless Son died for OUR SINS on the cross of Calvary and rose again the third day unto everlasting Joy for the saints of God who beleive on Him.
Disregard the opposition of science, falsely so called and you will one day know when you die and go to the be judged for your sins before Him , Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour of them that believe Him.

Romans 1:
14. I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.
15. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.
16. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
18. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19. Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

20. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:


6 posted on 08/10/2008 5:14:57 AM PDT by kindred ( Third party conservative,the lesser of two evils is an unacceptable evil.)
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To: kindred

“Disregard the opposition of science...”

Do you include medicine as science?


7 posted on 08/10/2008 5:18:48 AM PDT by Natchez Hawk (What's so funny about the first, second, and fourth amendments?)
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To: kindred
must make peace with the living God of Israel or choose to make war with Him and those who believe Him.

I guess He's Muslim after all

8 posted on 08/10/2008 5:20:41 AM PDT by Soliton (> 100)
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To: Soliton

Given the number of “evolution in the gap” arguments made by evolutionists, there seems to be a lot of “we don’t know” floating around on their side, too. And, by the way, part of “science” is to criticise faulty theories (such as those proposed by evolutionists) as part of the falsification process, which is why evolutionist arguments that “creationists only criticise” are bogus. You could make the same accusation against people who debunked the phlogiston theory or the aether, and be just as wrong, from a philosophy of science perspective.


9 posted on 08/10/2008 5:28:16 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (Here they come boys! As thick as grass, and as black as thunder!)
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

Let’s criticize Intelligent Design’s research. Do you know of any?


10 posted on 08/10/2008 5:29:28 AM PDT by Soliton (> 100)
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To: Soliton
Science is a discipline, a rewarding endeavour to understand things in relation to other things and their interactions.

The intellectual tool of science is designed only to make sure that one's measurements be as accurate as one's technology permits, that one's measurements use the appropriate tool for the quantity being measured, and that one's conclusions follow logically from one's premises.

If one works very diligently, then one may be able to separate what one hopes or believes is out there from what actually is out there. That is, one may be able to systematically eliminate one's misconceptions about what is out there in the world by the practice of science and, as a result, be able to exercise control over it and then use it for one's ends. This is the power of science.

The choice of both premises and ends, though, lies outside the field of science because science is limited to reasoning and experimentation based on measurable quantities. In addition, all systems of thought that deal with the cause of existence, the purpose of existence, or the meaning of existence, whether theism or naturalism in all their many varieties, are outside the field of science. The problem lately has been that too many naturalists have forgotten this. They seem to believe that since they have limited themselves and the rest of existence only to measurable quantities, with the assumption that all these should be, in theory, open in some way to the verification by their own senses, the universe and all that was, is, or ever shall be (to quote St. Carl) is restricted to these measurable quantities that exist in a web of cause and effect that pervades everything. This is a naturalist belief, but it is not a scientific one.
11 posted on 08/10/2008 5:37:48 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: Soliton
Let’s criticize Intelligent Design’s research. Do you know of any?

Actually, I don't, but that is for the same reason that I wouldn't be able to present a sound critique of Shakespeare's collected works - I haven't read or seen much by the Bard, so most of what he produced is unknown by experience to me. Likewise, I actually don't follow the IDers much to be able to know what, if anything, they are researching. Perhaps you should investigate the matter for yourself?

And again, I note that an important function of science if falsification - presenting arguments and evidence which shoot down false theories, which is just as important as proposing new ones. Why does it seem like evolutionists are deathly afraid of falsification?

Imagine if Caesar Augustus had been that afraid when he invaded Gaul, he'd have never gotten anything accomplished!

12 posted on 08/10/2008 5:38:21 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (Here they come boys! As thick as grass, and as black as thunder!)
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To: Soliton
Willfully missing the point, IMO.

The party line is: Evolution is true. How do we know it's true? Well, Intelligent Design doesn't have any scientific research!

Bit of a strange argument. One of the points that ID'ers put forward is that there are criticisms that can be put forth against Evolution, and part of good science is the criticism of science wherever a possible weakness has been identified. But the Evos take it personally when Evolution is criticized and seem to respond: "Well your theory sucks more!"

That's not science.

13 posted on 08/10/2008 5:40:11 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Et si omnes ego non)
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To: Soliton
must make peace with the living God of Israel or choose to make war with Him and those who believe Him.

I guess He's Muslim after all

That was a good catch : )

14 posted on 08/10/2008 5:45:09 AM PDT by LeGrande
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To: ClearCase_guy
Bit of a strange argument. One of the points that ID'ers put forward is that there are criticisms that can be put forth against Evolution, and part of good science is the criticism of science wherever a possible weakness has been identified. But the Evos take it personally when Evolution is criticized and seem to respond: "Well your theory sucks more!"

Evolution is true because it is assumed to be true. Since evolution is true, we can dispense with all that silly nonsense about "falsification". Because it's just, you know, true.

15 posted on 08/10/2008 5:45:58 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (Here they come boys! As thick as grass, and as black as thunder!)
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To: kindred
20. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse

Some might interpret this as something along the lines of:

“I created a physical world and you and all the mechanisms and laws of science for how it all works and set them into motion and they (are clearly seen) and I gave you a brain and a curiosity (being understood by the things that are made) and you (are without excuse) for not figuring it out.”
16 posted on 08/10/2008 5:49:40 AM PDT by Caramelgal (Just a lump of organized protoplasm - braying at the stars :),)
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
And again, I note that an important function of science if falsification - presenting arguments and evidence which shoot down false theories, which is just as important as proposing new ones. Why does it seem like evolutionists are deathly afraid of falsification?

You are absolutely correct that falsification is important to science. All you have to do to falsify evolution is have a father or a mother produce a clone of themselves through sexual procreation. The fact that they don't produce a clone of themselves does falsify ID and Creation theories, like doesn't begat like (not exactly).

17 posted on 08/10/2008 5:53:12 AM PDT by LeGrande
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To: LeGrande

Sorry, but horizontal natural selection does not falsify creation/ID, nor does horizontal natural selection provide positive evidence for evolution.


18 posted on 08/10/2008 5:55:06 AM PDT by Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus (Here they come boys! As thick as grass, and as black as thunder!)
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To: Soliton
The theory of evolution is not a belief; it is a scientifically useful model.

Sure it is!

(So how about a prediction, or two? Isn't that what models are good for?)

ML/NJ

19 posted on 08/10/2008 6:02:31 AM PDT by ml/nj
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To: ClearCase_guy
But the Evos take it personally when Evolution is criticized and seem to respond: "Well your theory sucks more!"

Scientists accept scientific criticism. You haven't offered any

20 posted on 08/10/2008 6:03:04 AM PDT by Soliton (> 100)
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To: ml/nj
(So how about a prediction, or two? Isn't that what models are good for?)

Evolution has been the basis of many predictions. For example:

Darwin predicted, based on homologies with African apes, that human ancestors arose in Africa. That prediction has been supported by fossil and genetic evidence (Ingman et al. 2000).

Theory predicted that organisms in heterogeneous and rapidly changing environments should have higher mutation rates. This has been found in the case of bacteria infecting the lungs of chronic cystic fibrosis patients (Oliver et al. 2000).

Predator-prey dynamics are altered in predictable ways by evolution of the prey (Yoshida et al. 2003).

Ernst Mayr predicted in 1954 that speciation should be accompanied with faster genetic evolution. A phylogenetic analysis has supported this prediction (Webster et al. 2003).

Several authors predicted characteristics of the ancestor of craniates. On the basis of a detailed study, they found the fossil Haikouella “fit these predictions closely” (Mallatt and Chen 2003).

Evolution predicts that different sets of character data should still give the same phylogenetic trees. This has been confirmed informally myriad times and quantitatively, with different protein sequences, by Penny et al. (1982).

Insect wings evolved from gills, with an intermediate stage of skimming on the water surface. Since the primitive surface-skimming condition is widespread among stoneflies, J. H. Marden predicted that stoneflies would likely retain other primitive traits, too. This prediction led to the discovery in stoneflies of functional hemocyanin, used for oxygen transport in other arthropods but never before found in insects (Hagner-Holler et al. 2004; Marden 2005).

http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CA/CA210.html

21 posted on 08/10/2008 6:08:52 AM PDT by Soliton (> 100)
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To: Soliton
I support government schools presenting Evolution in science class, along with material that criticizes Evolution and explains why some people don't accept it. Example: evolution of the blood-clotting mechanism, evolution of the eye, issues involving probability of random mutations creating the world we see within the stated time-frame. There are criticisms that can be levied against Evolution. I want them to be included in Biology classes.

Do you support that?

22 posted on 08/10/2008 6:09:37 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Et si omnes ego non)
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To: Soliton
You're talking about conclusions made about old stuff which have been made to fit the model. Predictions are about things that happen after after such statements are made.

ML/NJ

23 posted on 08/10/2008 6:15:05 AM PDT by ml/nj
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To: Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
Sorry, but horizontal natural selection does not falsify creation/ID, nor does horizontal natural selection provide positive evidence for evolution.

It does unless you can show a production of a clone.

Creationism and ID is clear that there can be no change, like begats like, exactly. So unless you can show clones then creationism and ID has been falsified.

24 posted on 08/10/2008 6:28:27 AM PDT by LeGrande
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To: ClearCase_guy

Your complaints have been addressed over and over again. They aren’t serious scientific problems. They are designed to give comfort to true believers. It is to innocuculate you against the truth.

The eye
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/01/1/l_011_01.html

Blood clotting
http://www.millerandlevine.com/km/evol/DI/clot/Clotting.html

Time and math behind mutations
http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/media/pocket_mouse_predation-lg.mov


25 posted on 08/10/2008 6:32:46 AM PDT by Soliton (> 100)
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To: ClearCase_guy
Evolution is all supposition and conjecture.

And your religious belief is...?

26 posted on 08/10/2008 7:52:28 AM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: ml/nj
You are so right. The book The Black Swan discusses how easily events in the past can be retroactively "explained," and "confirmatory" evidence discovered, by people who are wedded to a theory.

Regardless of the truth of evolution, the attitude of many fanatical evolutionists is not one of people seeking new truth, but one of people trying to enforce conformity and suppress challenge...much like the Anthropogenic Global Warming cult, or the priestly hierarchy in the Middle Ages.

27 posted on 08/10/2008 7:56:51 AM PDT by hellbender
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To: ClearCase_guy
"I support government schools presenting Evolution in science class, along with material that criticizes Evolution and explains why some people don't accept it. Example: evolution of the blood-clotting mechanism, evolution of the eye, issues involving probability of random mutations creating the world we see within the stated time-frame. There are criticisms that can be levied against Evolution. I want them to be included in Biology classes. Do you support that?"

That's reasonable. There should be no problem with that, as long as it doesn't misrepresent evolutionary theory.

And ID (or divine intervention) has its place in sociology or philosophy classes, but not in the hard sciences. Do you support that?

28 posted on 08/10/2008 9:08:26 AM PDT by elfman2 (TheRightReasons.net - Reasoning CONSERVATIVES without the kooks.)
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To: elfman2
"I support government schools presenting Evolution in science class, along with material that criticizes Evolution and explains why some people don't accept it. Example: evolution of the blood-clotting mechanism, evolution of the eye, issues involving probability of random mutations creating the world we see within the stated time-frame. There are criticisms that can be levied against Evolution. I want them to be included in Biology classes. Do you support that?"

That's reasonable. There should be no problem with that, as long as it doesn't misrepresent evolutionary theory.

But it misrepresents biology, both theory and fact. That is what those links posted a few posts upthread tell you.

Why should the false claims made by religious believers be included in any science classes when the findings of science directly contradict them?

29 posted on 08/10/2008 9:14:13 AM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: Coyoteman

Kook nonsense. I don’t have time for this today.


30 posted on 08/10/2008 9:23:49 AM PDT by elfman2 (TheRightReasons.net - Reasoning CONSERVATIVES without the kooks.)
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To: Soliton
we associate the production of useful complex things with intelligent design and craft, typically by humans. It is a simple-minded extrapolation to imagine some deity creating, in a "hands-on" way, the wonderfully complex systems in our world.

Interesting choice words. "Hands on way". How about in an a "hands off way"? Humans design complex adaptive systems that change automatically i.e. "in a hands off way" all the time.

God lives outside our four dimensional world. I am sure he is capable of designing complex adaptive systems in a "hands off way".

This author should try and think "outside the box" .

31 posted on 08/10/2008 11:39:50 AM PDT by Donald Rumsfeld Fan
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To: Soliton

what does born again again mean?


32 posted on 08/10/2008 12:24:40 PM PDT by beefree (property of Chief Corner Stone)
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To: LeGrande; Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus
Creationism and ID is clear that there can be no change, like begats like, exactly. So unless you can show clones then creationism and ID has been falsified.

Neither Creationism nor ID make any such claim. To do so would be absurd since we all know that an offspring will not be perfectly identical to either of its parents. Genesis 1 says that kind begats kind. Now maybe when your dog has puppies by the normal method and the puppies will be different colors and so on or even different shapes and sizes - they are still the same kind of animal - dogs!

So your statement is a strawman, right? Or do you really believe that Creationism and ID claim that all reproduction reproduces exact genetic copies?

Remember, there are two kinds of evolution -- that kind which I have seen

-Jesse
33 posted on 08/10/2008 4:04:06 PM PDT by mrjesse (Could it be true? Imagine, being forgiven, and having a cause, greater then yourself, to live for!)
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To: mrjesse
So your statement is a strawman, right? Or do you really believe that Creationism and ID claim that all reproduction reproduces exact genetic copies?

No. Like begats like, implies no change between offspring and their parents. It is static, essentially the same as cloning.

That is what you creationist and ID'ers are implying, that change can't occur.

So all us enlightened evolutionist have to do is show a change between parents and offspring and we disprove your theory : )

34 posted on 08/10/2008 4:40:33 PM PDT by LeGrande
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To: LeGrande
No. Like begats like, implies no change between offspring and their parents. It is static, essentially the same as cloning.

That is what you creationist and ID'ers are implying, that change can't occur.

So all us enlightened evolutionist have to do is show a change between parents and offspring and we disprove your theory : )


Straw man alright! I haven't talked to any creationist or IDer who says or even implies that changes cannot occur. I've seen them occur myself, having grown up on a small family farm. Even if you can find some Creationist or IDer who says that no change can occur, most don't say that and to say that in general they do say so is a lie, then to attack them as having said that is a straw man.

Furthermore, you're relying on the logically bankrupt idea that if something can happen a little ways it can and did happen a long ways. But such an assumption is just not true!

It is entirely plausible that God created different kinds of creatures with built-in quality control (in other words the ones that aren't as healthy die off, leaving the less genetically corrupted ones) which is exactly what we see. The fact that they are influenced by genetic drift and different looking varieties of each kind emerge is not proof that they were not created as distinct fully developed kinds.

It would help you if you were to get over this "All or nothing" mentality. To you it looks like either offspring are absolute perfect copies of their parents or everything evolved - and of course you look at it in this light because it makes the one view look absurd - but in reality, there is no reason whatsoever that there isn't a third option, which is that God did create them, and they are influenced by genetic drift. It's not "ID or Change." Both ideas allow for the kind of evolution I've seen (some call it microevolution). If one wishes to divide it into a mutually exclusive scene, then it would be "It is ID or ASBE." (where ASBE means All Species By Evolution).

-Jesse
35 posted on 08/10/2008 5:35:19 PM PDT by mrjesse (Could it be true? Imagine, being forgiven, and having a cause, greater then yourself, to live for!)
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To: mrjesse
I haven't talked to any creationist or IDer who says or even implies that changes cannot occur. I've seen them occur myself, having grown up on a small family farm.

So you agree with the Theory of Evolution then, good.

Furthermore, you're relying on the logically bankrupt idea that if something can happen a little ways it can and did happen a long ways. But such an assumption is just not true!

Why do you think that small changes over a long period of time can't add up to large changes?

It is entirely plausible that God created different kinds of creatures with built-in quality control (in other words the ones that aren't as healthy die off, leaving the less genetically corrupted ones) which is exactly what we see. The fact that they are influenced by genetic drift and different looking varieties of each kind emerge is not proof that they were not created as distinct fully developed kinds.

Isn't that just another way of saying that God can do anything?

It would help you if you were to get over this "All or nothing" mentality. To you it looks like either offspring are absolute perfect copies of their parents or everything evolved - and of course you look at it in this light because it makes the one view look absurd - but in reality, there is no reason whatsoever that there isn't a third option, which is that God did create them, and they are influenced by genetic drift.

So you do believe in evolution? Why the debate?

Both ideas allow for the kind of evolution I've seen (some call it microevolution). If one wishes to divide it into a mutually exclusive scene, then it would be "It is ID or ASBE." (where ASBE means All Species By Evolution).

So you believe in evolution within a species. How about evolution within a Genus or Family? Would you agree that is possible? Where do you draw the line?

The only real difference between you and a true evolutionist is where they draw the line. A true creationist must draw the line at no change and a true evolutionist doesn't draw a line at all.

36 posted on 08/10/2008 6:12:48 PM PDT by LeGrande
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To: beefree
what does born again again mean?

I was lost and then I was found then I got lost and then I was found again.

37 posted on 08/10/2008 7:11:09 PM PDT by Soliton (> 100)
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To: ClearCase_guy
"If things are always improving, then where are all the new 400 hitters in baseball?"

Paraphrased

Steven J. Gould. Inventor of the "puntuated equilibrium" nonsense.

38 posted on 08/10/2008 7:17:33 PM PDT by Radix (Think it is bad now? Wait until you have to press "2" for English!)
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To: Coyoteman; ClearCase_guy
Evolution is all supposition and conjecture.

And your religious belief is...?

When Edwards was asked about his affair he said (and I paraphrase), so did McCain.

Coyoteman, your response is just like the Silky Pony's!

39 posted on 08/10/2008 7:22:00 PM PDT by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan
God lives outside our four dimensional world. I am sure he is capable of designing complex adaptive systems in a "hands off way".

Please supply some supporting evidence for this statement

40 posted on 08/10/2008 7:22:52 PM PDT by Soliton (> 100)
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To: Soliton
God lives outside our four dimensional world. I am sure he is capable of designing complex adaptive systems in a "hands off way".

Please supply some supporting evidence for this statement.

It's a philosophical speculation. Based on the logic of the "Big Bang" theory.

What's your God theory?

41 posted on 08/10/2008 7:32:01 PM PDT by Donald Rumsfeld Fan
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan
It's a philosophical speculation. Based on the logic of the "Big Bang" theory.

Then you are guessing.

42 posted on 08/10/2008 7:48:55 PM PDT by Soliton (> 100)
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To: Soliton
The theory of evolution is not a belief; it is a scientifically useful model.

For what? LOL! Atheism?

43 posted on 08/10/2008 8:26:15 PM PDT by Force of Truth (Legalize the Constitution::::The power to tax is the power to kill.)
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To: Force of Truth
The theory of evolution is not a belief; it is a scientifically useful model.

For what? LOL! Atheism?

No, for explaining facts. That is what a theory does.

The theory of evolution explains millions of facts (including the fossil record, geology, biology, dating, the various genomes that have been deciphered, etc.). A powerful theory, such as the theory of evolution, also allows predictions to be successfully made.

The theory of evolution is currently the only theory in science explaining these facts. This is common in science. Many fields started with competing hypotheses, and the evidence finally supported one while contradicting the others. That theory is still subject to modification as new data arise, but don't look for it to be overturned any time soon.

Many world religions have no problem reconciling belief and science. One example is the late Pope. He was hardly an atheist.

44 posted on 08/10/2008 8:48:53 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: Soliton
Then you are guessing..

That's not what I said. Please reread my reply.

45 posted on 08/10/2008 8:53:58 PM PDT by Donald Rumsfeld Fan
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To: LeGrande
So you agree with the Theory of Evolution then, good.

That depends on whether you mean "microevolution" or ASBE (All Species By Evolution) -- Remember, there are two kinds of evolution - that which I have seen and that which I have not seen. As an honest scientist, I have to stop and say "Wait, I'm not going to posit and argue as fact that which I have not seen and do not in fact know to be true."

Why do you think that small changes over a long period of time can't add up to large changes?

Remember, just because something could be doesn't mean that it is be! It's faulty logic to argue that something must be simply because it could be. And I have yet to find any proof that it could be and certainly none that it did! From what I can tell, the fossil record is severely lacking compared to the millions of generations it'd take to reach our current stage. Furthermore, I find the evidence lacking for the event of life from none life, and the same goes for the idea of matter from nothing. The "missing link" fossils we do have don't look to me to be anything that couldn't be caused by genetic drift within kinds. Think of even the size ranges of dogs from the pouch pooch (pocket pooch) to the great dane. Look at the size ranges from the tiny miniature horse to the draft horse. Based on skull size, you could argue that the biggest dog was the granddaddy of the smallest horse. I realize there are more dimensions to the equation then size, but I'm hoping you get my point -- within any kind there is enough variation in size and shape that with careful sorting, ordering, and maybe a few deformed freak of nature specimens, one could make a skull lineup not unlike our "Chimps to humans" lineup (Remember - those 17 or so skull fragments stuck onto fixall?) even if there was absolutely no relation between the different species. Remember, if I gave you a bucket full of randomly sized and colored marbles, you could sort subsets of them to show any relationship between size and color you liked, even though as a whole there was no relationship.

So you believe in evolution within a species.

As I said, I grew up watching generation after generation of livestock. The new generation rarely even looked identical (since we weren't into purebreeds) to their parents!

How about evolution within a Genus or Family? Would you agree that is possible?

Our current understanding of DNA tells us that with different configurations of DNA, any strange creature could be created. So if there were the correct bits of information added to the DNA then evolution to a more advanced creature sure would be possible. But remember, just because something is possible does not make it true, and secondly, I don't know that nature causes the right kind of new information to be added to the DNA, so I'm not even sure that in reality such a thing (evolution from one family to another) is even possible to begin with. I should also point out that the Family and Genus classification system is based upon and oriented towards ASBE (All Species By Evolution) and it already has a built in answer to the question - like the old joke "Have you stopped beating your wife?" - I prefer to work in a different classification system which says that God created the different kinds, and what we have today are descendants of those, and so if two animals both descended from the same original kind, then they are the same kind. This too has a built in assumption - that there were distinct kinds. And I do realize that it may be hard to tell now if two species are the same kind (based on my definition of kind.) Furthermore, this is based on my faith (like your classification is based on yours, except I'm honest about there being a distinct element of faith involved.) Except that my experience and observation is that today only distinct kinds exist so in that sense, if I just talk about the observed fact that a finite number of distinct kinds exist today then I can discuss it purely scientifically without inferring a faith.

Where do you draw the line?

If I've seen a certain degree or kind of evolution, then I say it's true. If I haven't seen it and it makes claims which I find far out and unsupported, then I say it probably aint true and it hasn't been proven.

So you do believe in evolution? Why the debate?

"Evolution" just means change. As I said, I believe in that which I have seen. Why the debate? Because you (and all ASBE'rs) draw a conclusion that goes far beyond the evidence in hand.

It's like the scientists which took a bullfrog and said "Jump, frog, Jump!" and the frog jumped 4 feet. So they hypothesized that its legs were how it jumped, so they cut one off and said "Jump, frog, Jump!" and it jumped 3 feet. So they cut off another leg and said "Jump frog jump" and it jumped 2 feet. Then they cut off another leg and said "Jump frog Jump" and the poor thing jumped 1 foot. Then they cut off the last one, and said "Jump frog Jump!" and it just sat their. Then they wrote up their conclusion: "We found that the frog's number of legs does relate to how far he can jump, but that a frog with no legs goes deaf."

The debate is because it looks to me as if the conclusion being drawn goes faaaaaar beyond the supporting data and extrapolates dreadfully, and makes claims which I do not find supported, like the millions of missing links. It's not missing links, the whole chain is missing! And many things I observe around me just do not line up with the ASBE theory. Furthermore, I well know that many people accept ASBE on pure faith: Just talk to the average person on the street who believes in ASBE. I think you will find that they aren't at all well learned on all the facts of the topic, but none the less they believe it with all their heart, and they take it by faith. Again furthermore, the theory of BigBang+Abiogenesis+ASBE provides a freedom from morality.

So what I see are masses of people believing in a theory that works towards giving them freedom to do whatever they think they can get away with - all the while accepting the theory by faith without proof. How do I know that the scientists don't also take it by faith and preach it as true? Oh, I should trust them? I've already had Soliton saying basically that it's okay to lie in order to keep our society from collapsing. (Go look. He said he didn't like about DNA and stuff. I said "I hope you don't lie about other things" and he said "Our society would collapse if we never lied.") and then he says "... our society, little lies make it work." Examples were given of the likes of "What if your wife asks 'does this dress make me look fat'" - in which case the lie's goal is to get one out of a bind by lying. So what's the difference between a big and bad lie and a little and OK lie? Whether one can get away with it! In other words the need to lie is because one is in a bind and the truth would cause some misery, and it's okay to lie because it can be gotten away with!

Now let's tie this all together. Back to my point as to whether I ought to just blindly trust the "scientists" as the masses due regarding the validity of ASBE. I already know that many people are overly willing to believe in ASBE without knowing any evidence for it. I also already know that at least some people supporting this idea believe it's okay to lie as long as they can get away with it. How can I know that the scientists and professors are telling the truth? What if they know they can get away with less then the truth? I have heard of several professors who feel it is their duty in life to shatter any remaining belief in God from the minds of their students.

How can I come to any conclusion other then that believing in ASBE because somebody - even a large number of somebodies - say so, is an act of faith in somebody I have no reason to trust about something I've never seen?

And even in our own conversations you made the claim that the gravitational(which is the actual) angle of the sun in the sky is about 2.1 degrees ahead of its optical apparent position due to the fact that the earth rotates about 2.1 degrees in the 8.3 minutes it takes the suns light to reach the earth, for an observer on the earth. But then you refuse to admit that you're wrong, and you refuse to provide a single supporting document or link, and you refuse to answer the same question about Pluto, which at part of its orbit will be so far away that the earth will turn about 102 degrees in the time it takes light from Pluto to reach the earth. According to your theory of 2.1 for the sun, Pluto wouldn't even be in the night sky by the time one cold see it overhead! So I have personally observed people believing in ASBE by faith alone, in people saying that lying is okay in some situations (which from what I can tell, are the situations where they can get away with it), and then I've seen people who pass themselves off as scientifically learned supporting crazy ideas and refusing to admit it when they must know that they are wrong. Imagine how much more a wrong idea could be argued for if one knew that there were thousands of other professors all arguing for the same thing!, I have to realize that things are in a bad state in the science classroom.

So genetic drift within a kind is not proof of ASBE, and so most creationists and IDer's do not claim that genetic drift does not happen, and your argument is a strawman.

-Jesse
46 posted on 08/10/2008 9:03:02 PM PDT by mrjesse (Could it be true? Imagine, being forgiven, and having a cause, greater then yourself, to live for!)
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To: mrjesse
Based on skull size, you could argue that the biggest dog was the granddaddy of the smallest horse. I realize there are more dimensions to the equation then size, but I'm hoping you get my point

Just a short point (not a lot of time tonight):

The statistical software that the paleontologists often use to study fossils is multiple discriminant function analysis. I used it a lot in grad school to study skeletons, so I am familiar with it.

That software is able to work with shapes, and ignore such variables as size. It also does a great deal toward taking the subjectivity out of the analyses.

The size issue that you keep bringing up is not nearly as important as you believe.

47 posted on 08/10/2008 9:12:04 PM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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To: LeGrande
Why do you think that small changes over a long period of time can't add up to large changes?

You can believe it. As long as you have faith.

48 posted on 08/10/2008 9:18:08 PM PDT by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: Coyoteman
Just a short point (not a lot of time tonight):

The statistical software that the paleontologists often use to study fossils is multiple discriminant function analysis. I used it a lot in grad school to study skeletons, so I am familiar with it.

That software is able to work with shapes, and ignore such variables as size. It also does a great deal toward taking the subjectivity out of the analyses.

The size issue that you keep bringing up is not nearly as important as you believe.

Glad to hear. Sounds like some paleontologists don't use the software, though. By the way, what's you're take on the lying issue - are little lies okay, and what's the defining criteria between an okay lie and a not okay lie?

The software sounds interesting. But the integrity of the operator is still an important question - data can be selected carefully before being fed into the software, for example.

I bring up the size issue to demonstrate that even vastly different species, due to in-species variation and grotesque deformations can cause the two species to appear closely related on at least some axis or criteria types.

Regarding the 17 or so blobs of fixall with chimp and human skull fragments stuck on, obviously a lot more human and chimp skulls were found then just those few, I'd say hundreds maybe thousands had to have been found. But I have no idea whether the ones shown are average or whether there really was quite a gap between humans and chips by and large that were bridged just barely by a few grotesque deformations in each group, allowing the line to be drawn.

For example, the below diagram shows just two axis ( for example cranial capacity and jaw length, or whatever) for two different species:(I don't have any two in mind; this is just to demonstrate the principle. I just randomly placed the dots by hand.)

Now if the two species were not related at all, and yet due to genetic drift and grotesque deformation, there were some far-out specimens which brought them close to eachother, then a person could, by picking and choosing just the right ones, form an apparent line of progression, as the red line depicts. And if all you were allowed to see of the above diagram was the dots through which the red line passes, you'd have no way of knowing about all the others - but it sure isn't a fair representation of them, is it!

So I'm not saying here and now specifically that this is the case of the chimp-human fixall lineup, but that I have no way of knowing, and the integrity of the folks who did the said fixall lineup does matter.

By the way, did you work any with the chip to human lineup specimens? I would be delighted to hear some first-hand report about those. Were some of the intermediate pieces the only one? Obviously the modern chimp and modern humans are plentiful, but just how sparse were the intermediates? What was the distribution like?

Thanks,

-Jesse
49 posted on 08/10/2008 10:38:55 PM PDT by mrjesse (Could it be true? Imagine, being forgiven, and having a cause, greater then yourself, to live for!)
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To: mrjesse
Regarding your groups of dots in the above post--that is very much what the output from discriminant analysis looks like, but there is no line attempting to connect the dots. Rather what you have are the many dots (cases) separated by their measurements (variables) into one or more groups. If the many cases you input are indeed distinct, the program will group them separately; the distance between the groups shows just how different they are. The outliers can be interesting too. If you have evolution between one group and the next, the outliers should tend to be between the group centroids, not spread about at random. If the cases you input are all members of the same group you will not get two different groups, as your dots illustrate.

By the way, did you work any with the chip to human lineup specimens? I would be delighted to hear some first-hand report about those. Were some of the intermediate pieces the only one? Obviously the modern chimp and modern humans are plentiful, but just how sparse were the intermediates? What was the distribution like?

I did not do any statistics with the fossil man specimens. I did that only on human skeletons.

But the bone lab had hundreds and hundreds of casts. It had all of the famous ones that you see in the photos, such as the one photo you mention. But it had a lot of the bits and pieces as well. It was easy to see why the various fossils were grouped the way they were. You could take an early Australopithecus skull and then see where the various small parts belonging to other individuals of that group fit.

For comparison there were gorilla and various primate bones. What was particularly fascinating was the initial human osteology class. Once you had been through the bones of the skull, during the first few weeks of the class, you could pick up any primate skull and you knew all of the bones! They were of different shapes, and generally smaller, but once you knew the bones from a human skull you know all of the primate cranial bones as well. It was quite a surprise to see how similar they really were.

50 posted on 08/11/2008 8:20:19 AM PDT by Coyoteman (Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.)
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