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To: exDemMom

RE: No one invented the ToE based on preconceived beliefs;

I’m sure Darwin did not have preconceptions. Unfortunately, his fans and followers DO.
This despite the many problems with Darwins theory that have been shown since he died.

Darwin of course described his theory as a species undergoing genetic change over time.

That is, over many generations a species can evolve into something quite different, and those differences are based on changes
in the DNA, which originate as mutations. The species of animals and plants living today weren’t around in the past,
but are descended from those that lived earlier.

Those were not preconceived beliefs, those were his theory which to his credit, he was willing to concede is falsifiable.

In The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin acknowledged that the fossil record presented difficulties for his theory.

Darwin knew that the major animal groups—which modern biologists call “phyla”—appeared fully formed in what were at the time the earliest
known fossil-bearing rocks, deposited during a geological period known as the Cambrian. He considered this a “serious” difficulty for his theory,
since “if the theory be true, it is indisputable that before the lowest Cambrian stratum was deposited long periods elapsed… and
that during these vast periods the world swarmed with living creatures.” And “to the question why we do not find rich fossiliferous deposits
belonging to these assumed earliest periods prior to the Cambrian system, I can give no satisfactory answer.”

So “the case at present must remain inexplicable; and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained.” ( That was in
Chapter 10 of his Origin of Species).

Darwin called The Origin of Species “one long argument” for his theory. I acknowledge that he was a fine scientist
willing to admit mistakes if evidence could not be uncovered to support his theory in the fossil records.

Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for many of his followers.

I have seen too many cases of academics trying to defend Darwinian evolution by rearranging the fossil record;
by misrepresenting the development of vertebrate embryos; by ignoring evidence for the functionality of allegedly vestigial organs
and non-coding DNA, then propping up Darwinism with theological arguments about “bad design;” by attributing some biogeographical patterns to convergence due to the supposedly “well-known” processes of natural selection and speciation; and then exaggerating the evidence for selection and speciation to make it seem as though they could accomplish what Darwinism requires of them.

The actual evidence shows that major features of the fossil record are an embarrassment to Darwinian evolution;
that early development in vertebrate embryos is more consistent with SEPARATE ORIGINS than with common ancestry;
that non-coding DNA is fully functional, contrary to neo-Darwinian predictions; and that natural selection can accomplish nothing more than artificial selection—which is to say, minor changes within existing species.

Faced with such evidence, any other scientific theory would probably have been abandoned long ago.

Judged by the normal criteria of empirical science, the evidence do not support Darwin at all.

RE: that rather begs the question of where those preconceived beliefs arose.

Richard Dawkins, a Darwinist the classical sense of the word, is one such person.

Where does Dawkin’s ( and his ilk ) get his preconceived beliefs? ANSWER: Hatred of religion and belief in God.

Unfortunately scientists like Dawkins DO exist. I’ve see so many of them to ignore their existence.

RE: Physical phenomena behave identically regardless of whether the observer is Christian, Muslim, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, or atheist. Evolutionary theory “took off the way it did” (as you put it) because it is a wonderful predictive theory; we have made incredible advances in life sciences using that tool. Our current state of medicine wouldn’t be possible without it.

I beg to disagree.

Our state of medicine would remain unaffected even if medical scientists did not believe in Darwinian evolution.

In fact, I am not sure if the great discoveries in biology and medicine over the past century depended on guidance from Darwinian evolution.

In 1978, microbiologist Werner Arber received a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (sharing the honor with Daniel Nathans and Hamilton O. Smith) for the discovery of restriction enzymes and their application to molecular genetics.

Arber conducted extensive scientific research in genetics, evolution, and related areas. In his Nobel Prize autobiography, Arber described his research as long but fruitless attempts to document evolution with experimental evidence. For this reason, he wrote that much of his work in this area remains largely unpublished.

Arber’s findings have been confirmed by many other scientists.

The most recent replication is by Lenski et al, who evaluated the changes in over 30,000 generations of E. coli, concluding that millions of mutations and trillions of cells were needed to produce the estimated two to three mutations required to allow cells to bring citrate into the
cell under oxic condition ( see Blount, Z., C. Borland, and R. Lenski. 2008. Historical Contingency and the Evolution of a Key Innovation in an Experimental Population of Escherichia coli. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. 105: 7899-7906.)

This corresponds with Lehigh University Biochemist, Michael Behe’s deductions that if one mutation is required to confer some advantage to an organism, this event is likely; if two are required, the likelihood is far less; but if three or more are required, the probability rapidly grows exponentially worse, from very improbable to impossible. Evolution by mutations for this reason has very
clear limits.

Based on this I am not sure I can agree with the statement: “Our current state of medicine wouldn’t be possible without it.”

Darwin’s theory isn’t the basis for comparative medicine. Comparative medicine antedates Darwin by several millennia. Aristotle developed a system of comparative biology, and Galen, the father of classical medicine before the Enlightenment, used the principles of comparative biology
in his dissection of Barbary apes and other animals as the basis for his system of human anatomy.

The pioneers in seventeenth and eighteenth century anatomy and physiology, such as William Harvey and William Hunter, based nearly all of their research on extrapolation from animal to human biology, which of course is comparative biology.

The father of modern comparative biology—the modern system of classification of species—was Carol Linnaeus, who worked a century before Darwin was born. Most of biological science before Darwin was comparative biology. Darwin offered one particular explanation for the similarities and differences between species, but the similarities and differences were known centuries before he lived. Darwin’s theory depends on our understanding of species similarity (and differences), but the converse is not true.

Our knowledge of these similarities and differences doesn’t depend on Darwin’s theory.

Comparative medicine depends on the actual study of human and non-human biology, not theories as to how these similarities came about.

Darwin’s theory depends on the data, but the data for species similarity and differences is independent of Darwin’s theory. And it is the data, not the conjecture, that is essential to modern comparative medicine.

Neither does our knowledge of genetics depend on Darwin’s theory of non-teleological variation and natural selection. Our knowledge of genetics depends on physics, chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, etc. The proposal that biological complexity is non-teleological, which is the cornerstone of Darwin’s theory, contributes nothing to the study of genetics.

In fact, by definition, virtually all experimental research in genetics involves genetic engineering (design) and artificial selection in the laboratory, both of which are quite purposeful and thus are examples of breeding, not of Darwinian evolution. Advocates for Darwin’s
theory of course use modern genetics in their work, but the converse is not true.

Molecular geneticists gain little or nothing from the assertion that all biological complexity arose by “chance and necessity.”

Genetic engineering, which is the real basis for most of our progress in molecular genetics, is, in a very real sense, the antithesis of Darwin’s theory.

RE: Of course they say that. If they were to come right out and say they wanted one specific religious version of creationism taught in the
guise of science, they would get no support at all.

And what would be deceptive about what they say? If this TRULY reflects their personal desires, I see no reason why we should attribute
deceptive inent on their part.

RE: So they disguise their intent by claiming that they just want “all points of view” taught,

Well, that’s YOUR VERSION of what you think they want. Not sure if it’s correct, but I would suspect some bias on your part.

RE: as if scientific facts can be determined by democratic vote instead of by empirical observations.

I’m sure they will agree with you here. All they want is FEAR be taken out of the classroom. If a teacher expresses his doubts
and would like an alternative view presented, LET HIM DO SO WITHOUT FEAQR OF REPRISAL. If his alternative view is found wanting,
I’m sure it will be discovered.

THAT is exactly what they want. How do I know this? I’ve spoken to at least 2 of them — Dr. John Morris and Dr. Carl Weiland.

Of course you don;t believe them and you use the word “subterfuge”... that is well within your personal rights.

I’m not going to waste my time changing your mind. I can only speak for what I personally see they want and we part ways in our views here.

This post is already too long. I’ll get back to your haploid human genome estimations later.


21 posted on 06/16/2012 6:46:38 PM PDT by SeekAndFind (bOTRT)
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To: SeekAndFind
That is, over many generations a species can evolve into something quite different, and those differences are based on changes in the DNA, which originate as mutations. The species of animals and plants living today weren’t around in the past, but are descended from those that lived earlier.

In The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin acknowledged that the fossil record presented difficulties for his theory.

First of all, Darwin and his contemporaries knew nothing of DNA. It wasn't until the 1950s, after Watson/Crick/Franklin determined the structure of B-DNA that it was finally established that DNA was the carrier of genetic information and how it did that function. He most certainly knew of the various theories of evolution, and was aware that they were missing crucial details which made them inadequate for the purpose of understanding biology.

Now, as far as Darwin's supposed admission that the fossil record presents difficulties for his theory: that is a quote often mined by young-earth creationists (YECs), who, unsurprisingly, leave out the rest of the passage in which he discusses the (then) current understanding of geology and sets forth a hypothesis as to why the fossil record is spotty. I'll put some of the passage here; there is another preceding paragraph that I am omitting, but you can read it at the link:

The case at present must remain inexplicable; and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained. To show that it may hereafter receive some explanation, I will give the following hypothesis. From the nature of the organic remains which do not appear to have inhabited profound depths, in the several formations of Europe and of the United States; and from the amount of sediment, miles in thickness, of which the formations are composed, we may infer that from first to last large islands or tracts of land, whence the sediment was derived, occurred in the neighbourhood of the now existing continents of Europe and North America. The same view has since been maintained by Agassiz and others. But we do not know what was the state of things in the intervals between the several successive formations; whether Europe and the United States during these intervals existed as dry land, or as a submarine surface near land, on which sediment was not deposited, or as the bed on an open and unfathomable sea. - Origin of Species, 6th Ed. John Murray, 1872, Chapter 10, pp. 286-288.

The bolded part is the quote most often cherry-picked by YECs.

I think of the fossil record as analogous to a series of snapshots. We don't have a movie that shows everything, but that doesn't mean that nothing existed in the unrecorded intervals (or that miracles happened in between the snapshots, as YECs claim). I should point out that the claim of some creationists that there were several creation events, and that is why the fossil record resembles snapshots, is also unbiblical. The Bible describes one creation story, in two different versions, neither of which mentions multiple creation events.

I have seen too many cases of academics trying to defend Darwinian evolution by rearranging the fossil record; by misrepresenting the development of vertebrate embryos; by ignoring evidence for the functionality of allegedly vestigial organs and non-coding DNA, then propping up Darwinism with theological arguments about “bad design;” by attributing some biogeographical patterns to convergence due to the supposedly “well-known” processes of natural selection and speciation; and then exaggerating the evidence for selection and speciation to make it seem as though they could accomplish what Darwinism requires of them.

Honestly, those do not look like conclusions anyone would reach after reading actual scientific sources. Those have every appearance of being pseudoscientific arguments lifted from some YEC website. I've said it before: you must take extreme caution when getting information from those sites. If the information is not referenced, it's most likely outright fabrication. If it is referenced, it's probably quote-mined (the Darwin quotes being a good example of that), and the original source says something quite different.

I beg to disagree.

Our state of medicine would remain unaffected even if medical scientists did not believe in Darwinian evolution.

In fact, I am not sure if the great discoveries in biology and medicine over the past century depended on guidance from Darwinian evolution.

First of all, it's not "Darwinian" evolution. I am quite aware that YEC websites use all kinds of language to make people think that the idea of evolution was a pure fabrication on Darwin's part. It was not. Darwin was one of only several biologists who were aware of the phenomenon and tried to explain it. Evolution would still proceed if no one had tried to explain it.

As for the belief that modern medicine would still be in its present state without relying on knowledge of the fundamental forces shaping biology: that is just plain wrong. Circumstantially, we can look at history and note that the state of medicine was fairly primitive until the last century or so. The great explosion in medical advances seems to have taken off only after Darwin proposed a workable ToE. And, since I'm a medical researcher and knowing this stuff is essential for my continued employment, I'll point out that understanding evolutionary relationships is fundamental to basic research, and absolutely crucial to many aspects of infectious disease research. None of our current knowledge even makes sense in the context of a one-time sudden creation event. Keep in mind that YEC creationist concepts of "micro-" or "macro-" evolution, or "adaptation" are nothing more than attempts to mash the real concepts of evolution into a YEC framework to make YEC sound scientific; they have no Biblical validity, and there is no passage of the Bible in which those concepts can be found. Taking the actual stories of creation from Genesis, we have no reason to assume any biochemical similarity between organisms that live in different environments (between sea slugs and camels, for example), and no reason to assume that a badger-lemur hybrid is any more or less possible than a horse-donkey hybrid. Thus, it would be impossible to devise any research plan; research on C. elegans (a nematode) would be absolutely pointless, since we'd have no reason to think such research is in any way relevant to human physiology. Yet C. elegans research continues, precisely because it *is* relevant to our physiology.

I’m not going to waste my time changing your mind. I can only speak for what I personally see they want and we part ways in our views here.

Hmm, although you mentioned a lot of other things that YECs love to misrepresent, I'm going to have to resist commenting on them (because I could write several pages fully discussing those). But I do have to comment on this.

I am a scientist. I have spent years studying biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics, as well as doing hundreds of laboratory experiments. PhDs aren't awarded on the basis of having memorized a ton of facts and learning to recite the party line; they're awarded to students who demonstrate that they understand the fundamental concepts underlying the facts, well enough to research and add new knowledge to the field. I'm fluent in the language of science, while you have the equivalent of a Rosetta Stone course. Of course you won't change my mind.

It is significant, BTW, that very few scientists believe in YEC, and when only scientists who directly work in fields involving evolution (geologists and life scientists) are considered, that number becomes so small as to be statistically insignificant.

23 posted on 06/17/2012 7:18:28 AM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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