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To: exDemMom

This is bluff. Evolutionary stories and mythologies exist to explain what *can’t* be replicated in laboratories and “can’t* be precisely explained because they apparently unfold over millions of years as opposed to human lifespans can’t possibly fuel modern medical science. Modern medical science is absolutely driven by what can be observed to occur in laboratories or in experiments designed where results can be measured in the lifetime of the researcher.

In short, evolutionary yarns which are essential to human understanding and to stave off the beast that is existential angst is a completely different species from research which is result-oriented and driven by the reality of the moment.

Fundamental forces shape biology...sure...but evolution isn’t a force, it’s a construct which we apply to biological diversity and the appearance and disappearance of species. It’s chance and luck driven by the forces of nature...those would be actual fundamental forces.

You suggest the modern medical breakthroughs were only able to occur in light of the general scientific acceptance of modern evolutionary theory. You can’t possibly prove that.

Everybody believes in some form of an evolutionary theory. A young earth creationist can accept biological change and diversity which has been witnessed the last few thousand years without accepting a narrative that lasts hundreds of millions of years.

I’m not going to defend young earth creationism as I don’t accept it. Whether your mythology extends back several thousand years or several billion years, we can all agree that unobservable and unrepeatable things happened in the past. The fossilized entities which are part of your pantheon are connected by the necessary intermediaries who must exist to create the unbroken chain of speciation, the nuts and bolts of which can not be explained (what base pair mutations led to what speciation?). It had to happen that way. Fair enough. And again, what the heck does that have to do with modern medicine?


24 posted on 06/20/2012 9:44:07 AM PDT by woolley
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To: woolley
This is bluff. Evolutionary stories and mythologies exist to explain what *can’t* be replicated in laboratories and “can’t* be precisely explained because they apparently unfold over millions of years as opposed to human lifespans can’t possibly fuel modern medical science. Modern medical science is absolutely driven by what can be observed to occur in laboratories or in experiments designed where results can be measured in the lifetime of the researcher.

Ah, yes, here we have the literal creationist's core strawman: since we can't show the *entire* evolutionary process, we don't have proof of *any* of it. Which is simply ludicrous. We can and do see the active forces of evolution in the laboratory all the time... whether we want to or not.

In short, evolutionary yarns which are essential to human understanding and to stave off the beast that is existential angst is a completely different species from research which is result-oriented and driven by the reality of the moment.

Right... because somehow, when life scientists form hypotheses and design experiments based in evolutionary theory, it's different than when chemists form hypotheses and design experiments based in atomic theory. "Hard" scientists are all trained in the scientific method; life scientists are not exempt from it.

Fundamental forces shape biology...sure...but evolution isn’t a force, it’s a construct which we apply to biological diversity and the appearance and disappearance of species. It’s chance and luck driven by the forces of nature...those would be actual fundamental forces.

Um... wow... maybe you should read this Introduction to Evolution and figure out exactly what scientists are talking about when they discuss the theory and process of evolution. Because that paragraph, as you wrote it, suggests to me that you *do* have some understanding of evolutionary processes (evolution is change over time), but you think "evolution" refers to something else.

You suggest the modern medical breakthroughs were only able to occur in light of the general scientific acceptance of modern evolutionary theory. You can’t possibly prove that.

I do basic research; without this fundamental research, there can be no medical breakthroughs. I generate and examine phylogenetic trees so that I can decide how to direct my research. In the field in which I got my PhD, much of the current research wouldn't even be possible without asking evolutionary questions. Other scientists apply the knowledge of evolutionary theory differently, but for all of us, it provides a contextual framework within which to work.

Everybody believes in some form of an evolutionary theory. A young earth creationist can accept biological change and diversity which has been witnessed the last few thousand years without accepting a narrative that lasts hundreds of millions of years.

The problem with young earth creationists is that they (sort of) accept evolutionary theory, but only after it's been mangled in such a way that it isn't scientific at all. Nor is any kind of evolution mentioned in the Bible--whether it is the real process as described by scientists, or the imaginary process invented by quacks. I have to wonder why people who are so eager to embrace a non-Biblical pseudoscience are so adamant about rejecting the non-Biblical real science.

I’m not going to defend young earth creationism as I don’t accept it. Whether your mythology extends back several thousand years or several billion years, we can all agree that unobservable and unrepeatable things happened in the past. The fossilized entities which are part of your pantheon are connected by the necessary intermediaries who must exist to create the unbroken chain of speciation, the nuts and bolts of which can not be explained (what base pair mutations led to what speciation?). It had to happen that way. Fair enough. And again, what the heck does that have to do with modern medicine?

Speciation does not occur by a single base-pair substitution. The process of genetic drift happens continually; the accumulation of base-pair changes over time leads to speciation. The effects of genetic drift can be compared either between two contemporary populations that have a common ancestor, or between a modern population and its ancestor. What this has to do with modern medicine is that we have to do research before any innovation can be brought into clinical practice; we can only do a very limited amount of research on humans, so our only option is to use proxies that we know have a certain evolutionary relationship with humans. Without taking evolution into account, we wouldn't know where to direct our research efforts.

25 posted on 06/21/2012 4:39:23 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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