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Why did evolution stall during the 'boring billion'?
New Scientist ^ | Jeff Hecht

Posted on 06/12/2014 7:44:28 PM PDT by JimSEA

LONG before evolution on Earth kicked in with a vengeance, it seemed to stall completely.

From 1.7 billion years ago, for a billion boring years, Earth remained a slimy, near-static world of algae and microbes. The pace picked up 750 million years ago: glaciers spread, complex animals appeared, and by 520 million years ago the Cambrian revolution – an explosion of varied life – was under way. The reason for that long stasis has been a mystery.

We may now have the answer: the gradual cooling of the planet's interior. Just as turning down a stove burner slows the boiling of a stew pot, cooling of the mantle allowed the "scum" on top to thicken, says Peter Cawood at the University of St Andrews, UK. The resulting surface stability slowed geological change, seemingly stalling evolution for a billion years, until the planet was cool enough for tectonic activity to shift up a gear.

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


TOPICS: History; Science
KEYWORDS: evolution; geology; godsgravesglyphs; precambrian
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Boring billion has got to be interesting, right?
1 posted on 06/12/2014 7:44:28 PM PDT by JimSEA
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To: JimSEA

God just let the soup stock simmer for a while as he decided what else to throw into the crock pot.


2 posted on 06/12/2014 7:46:22 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin.)
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To: JimSEA
Let me guess... global cooling caused evolution, and global warming will end it.

I'm right, aren't I?

3 posted on 06/12/2014 7:48:06 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum ("The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government." --Tacitus)
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To: JimSEA

Simple, because the “boring billions” never existed. Silly fools.


4 posted on 06/12/2014 7:48:35 PM PDT by Fungi
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To: JimSEA

And that’s how the leopard got his spots.

Just so!


5 posted on 06/12/2014 7:49:32 PM PDT by ifinnegan
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To: JimSEA
The big lie which is being promulgated by evolutionites is that there is some sort of a dialectic between evolution and religion. There isn't. In order to have a meaningful dialectic between evolution and religion, you would need a religion which operated on an intellectual level similar to that of evolution, and the only two possible candidates would be voodoo and Rastafari.

The dialectic is between evolution and mathematics. Professing belief in evolution at this juncture amounts to the same thing as claiming not to believe in modern mathematics, probability theory, and logic. It's basically ignorant.

Evolution has been so thoroughly discredited at this point that you assume nobody is defending it because they believe in it anymore, and that they are defending it because they do not like the prospects of having to defend or explain some expect of their lifestyles to God, St. Peter, Muhammed...

To these people I say, you've still got a problem. The problem is that evolution, as a doctrine, is so overwhelmingly STUPID that, faced with a choice of wearing a sweatshirt with a scarlet letter A for Adulteror, F for Fornicator or some such traditional design, or or a big scarlet letter I for IDIOT, you'd actually be better off sticking with one of the traditional choices because, as Clint Eastwood noted in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly:

God hates IDIOTS, too!

The best illustration of how stupid evolutionism really is involves trying to become some totally new animal with new organs, a new basic plan for existence, and new requirements for integration between both old and new organs.

Take flying birds for example; suppose you aren't one, and you want to become one. You'll need a baker's dozen highly specialized systems, including wings, flight feathers, a specialized light bone structure, specialized flow-through design heart and lungs, specialized tail, specialized general balance parameters etc.

For starters, every one of these things would be antifunctional until the day on which the whole thing came together, so that the chances of evolving any of these things by any process resembling evolution (mutations plus selection) would amount to an infinitessimal, i.e. one divided by some gigantic number.

In probability theory, to compute the probability of two things happening at once, you multiply the probabilities together. That says that the likelihood of all these things ever happening, best case, is ten or twelve such infinitessimals multiplied together, i.e. a tenth or twelth-order infinitessimal. The whole history of the universe isn't long enough for that to happen once.

All of that was the best case. In real life, it's even worse than that. In real life, natural selection could not plausibly select for hoped-for functionality, which is what would be required in order to evolve flight feathers on something which could not fly apriori. In real life, all you'd ever get would some sort of a random walk around some starting point, rather than the unidircetional march towards a future requirement which evolution requires.

And the real killer, i.e. the thing which simply kills evolutionism dead, is the following consideration: In real life, assuming you were to somehow miraculously evolve the first feature you'd need to become a flying bird, then by the time another 10,000 generations rolled around and you evolved the second such reature, the first, having been disfunctional/antifunctional all the while, would have DE-EVOLVED and either disappeared altogether or become vestigial.

Now, it would be miraculous if, given all the above, some new kind of complex creature with new organs and a new basic plan for life had ever evolved ONCE.

Evolutionism, however (the Theory of Evolution) requires that this has happened countless billions of times, i.e. an essentially infinite number of absolutely zero probability events.

And, if you were starting to think that nothing could possibly be any stupider than believing in evolution despite all of the above (i.e. that the basic stupidity of evolutionism starting from 1980 or thereabouts could not possibly be improved upon), think again. Because there is zero evidence in the fossil record (despite the BS claims of talk.origins "crew" and others of their ilk) to support any sort of a theory involving macroevolution, and because the original conceptions of evolution are flatly refuted by developments in population genetics since the 1950's, the latest incarnation of this theory, Steve Gould and Niles Eldredge's "Punctuated Equilibrium or punc-eek" attempts to claim that these wholesale violations of probabilistic laws all occurred so suddenly as to never leave evidence in the fossil record, and that they all occurred amongst tiny groups of animals living in "peripheral" areas. That says that some velocirapter who wanted to be a bird got together with fifty of his friends and said:

Guys, we need flight feathers, and wings, and specialized bones, hearts, lungs, and tails, and we need em NOW; not two years from now. Everybody ready, all together now:
OOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....

You could devise a new religion by taking the single stupidest doctrine from each of the existing religions, and it would not be as stupid as THAT.

But it gets even stupider.

Again, the original Darwinian vision of gradualistic evolution is flatly refuted by the fossil record (Darwinian evolution demanded that the vast bulk of ALL fossils be intermediates) and by the findings of population genetics, particularly the Haldane dilemma and the impossible time requirements for spreading genetic changes through any sizeable herd of animals.

Consider what Gould and other punk-eekers are saying. Punc-eek amounts to a claim that all meaningful evolutionary change takes place in peripheral areas, amongst tiny groups of animals which develop some genetic advantage, and then move out and overwhelm, outcompete, and replace the larger herds. They are claiming that this eliminates the need to spread genetic change through any sizeable herd of animals and, at the same time, is why we never find intermediate fossils (since there are never enough of these CHANGELINGS to leave fossil evidence).

Obvious problems with punctuated equilibria include, minimally:

1. It is a pure pseudoscience seeking to explain and actually be proved by a lack of evidence rather than by evidence (all the missing intermediate fossils). Similarly, Cotton Mather claimed that the fact that nobody had ever seen or heard a witch was proof they were there (if you could SEE them, they wouldn't BE witches...) This kind of logic is less inhibiting than the logic they used to teach in American schools. For instance, I could as easily claim that the fact that I'd never been seen with Tina Turner was all the proof anybody should need that I was sleeping with her. In other words, it might not work terribly well for science, but it's great for fantasies...

2. PE amounts to a claim that inbreeding is the most major source of genetic advancement in the world. Apparently Steve Gould never saw Deliverance...

3. PE requires these tiny peripheral groups to conquer vastly larger groups of animals millions if not billions of times, which is like requiring Custer to win at the little Big Horn every day, for millions of years.

4. PE requires an eternal victory of animals specifically adapted to localized and parochial conditions over animals which are globally adapted, which never happens in real life.

5. For any number of reasons, you need a minimal population of any animal to be viable. This is before the tiny group even gets started in overwhelming the vast herds. A number of American species such as the heath hen became non-viable when their numbers were reduced to a few thousand; at that point, any stroke of bad luck at all, a hard winter, a skewed sex ratio in one generation, a disease of some sort, and it's all over. The heath hen was fine as long as it was spread out over the East coast of the U.S. The point at which it got penned into one of these "peripheral" areas which Gould and Eldredge see as the salvation for evolutionism, it was all over.

The sort of things noted in items 3 and 5 are generally referred to as the "gambler's problem", in this case, the problem facing the tiny group of "peripheral" animals being similar to that facing a gambler trying to beat the house in blackjack or roulette; the house could lose many hands of cards or rolls of the dice without flinching, and the globally-adapted species spread out over a continent could withstand just about anything short of a continental-scale catastrophe without going extinct, while two or three bad rolls of the dice will bankrupt the gambler, and any combination of two or three strokes of bad luck will wipe out the "peripheral" species. Gould's basic method of handling this problem is to ignore it.

And there's one other thing which should be obvious to anybody attempting to read through Gould and Eldridge's BS:

The don't even bother to try to provide a mechanism or technical explaination of any sort for this "punk-eek"

They are claiming that at certain times, amongst tiny groups of animals living in peripheral areas, a "speciation event(TM)" happens, and THEN the rest of it takes place. In other words, they are saying:

ASSUMING that Abracadabra-Shazaam(TM) happens, then the rest of the business proceeds as we have described in our scholarly discourse above!

Again, Gould and Eldridge require that the Abracadabra-Shazaam(TM) happen not just once, but countless billions of times, i.e. at least once for every kind of complex creature which has ever walked the Earth. They do not specify whether this amounts to the same Abracadabra-Shazaam each time, or a different kind of Abracadabra-Shazaam for each creature.

I ask you: How could anything be stupider or worse than that? What could possibly be worse than professing to believe in such a thing?

6 posted on 06/12/2014 7:49:44 PM PDT by varmintman (It must really suck to be a Nazi in Kiev these days...)
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To: JimSEA

global warming.


7 posted on 06/12/2014 7:50:19 PM PDT by Jim Robinson (Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God!!)
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To: JimSEA

The pre-Cambrian explosion is linked to the genetic encoding of symmetrical body forms, particularly bilateral symmetry. It just took a while for that to happen. Once it happened there was no turning back.


8 posted on 06/12/2014 7:56:46 PM PDT by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: varmintman
What could possibly be worse than professing to believe in such a thing?

Wasting your life writing screeds that prove you have no life outside of 'being right'. Wasting time on evolution instead of the plan of salvation.

Lots of stuff is worse.

/johnny

9 posted on 06/12/2014 7:58:15 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JimSEA

I still refuse to believe that evolution could create flying creatures. Not only are birds perfectly aerodynamic many of them can do things which seem impossible. How can an eagle be flying overhead, see a mouse some 2,000 feet away in a field, go into a nosedive, at the last moment extend its talons, pull up, skim the ground and snatch the mouse and fly away without every crashing or injuring itself?


10 posted on 06/12/2014 8:00:00 PM PDT by LukeL
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To: JimSEA
An interchangeable eliptical orbit with Mars would do it. Somewhat akin to the current pluto orbit, except every hundred thousand billion years or so our planets would switch orbits.
11 posted on 06/12/2014 8:00:49 PM PDT by rawcatslyentist (Jeremiah 50:32 "The arrogant one will stumble and fall ; / ?)
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To: varmintman

Great post!


12 posted on 06/12/2014 8:00:51 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans (I mostly come out at night... mostly.)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Since evolution is used as a weapon against the plan of salvation, attacking evolution supports the plan of salvation.


13 posted on 06/12/2014 8:01:48 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans (I mostly come out at night... mostly.)
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To: All

Perhaps someone has stumbled upon the birth of liberalism LOL


14 posted on 06/12/2014 8:03:07 PM PDT by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: varmintman

I’m just thankful that my belief in God does not require me to accept the Creation Story as literal and physical fact. My faith is quite compatible with both science and scripture.


15 posted on 06/12/2014 8:03:58 PM PDT by centurion316
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To: varmintman

“I ask you: How could anything be stupider or worse than that?”

Believing that God didn’t know which animal Adam preferred as a help-mate ...


16 posted on 06/12/2014 8:04:58 PM PDT by TexasGator
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To: LukeL

Practice


17 posted on 06/12/2014 8:05:25 PM PDT by buwaya
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
Really?

How many have you brought to Christ with your battle against the current science?

Divisive fighting, interested in scoring points, in lieu of the hard work of spreading the Word. You are as bad as the evolutionists at diverting attention from salvation.

/johnny

18 posted on 06/12/2014 8:05:39 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JimSEA
Aliens came and seeded Earth with some more interesting life forms.

19 posted on 06/12/2014 8:05:47 PM PDT by BitWielder1 (Corporate Profits are better than Government Waste)
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To: centurion316
My faith is quite compatible with both science and scripture.

You might think that, but, upon examination, it is not. Reality is not relativistic, though people often wish it is.

20 posted on 06/12/2014 8:06:59 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans (I mostly come out at night... mostly.)
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To: JimSEA

Man, where does the time go?


21 posted on 06/12/2014 8:07:40 PM PDT by tumblindice (America's founding fathers: all armed conservatives)
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To: JRandomFreeper
How many have you brought to Christ with your battle against the current science?

I was converted thanks to that "battle against the current science." But you are accurate to call it "current," as fads do pass away.

22 posted on 06/12/2014 8:08:32 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans (I mostly come out at night... mostly.)
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To: JimSEA
"On the hot young Earth, the outer layer was too weak and soft for plate tectonics to operate until the upper mantle cooled enough to allow sections of crust to slip under each other, or subduct, at collision zones"

Didn't know geology could be so sexy!

23 posted on 06/12/2014 8:09:06 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: JimSEA

Check out “Darwin’s Doubt” by Stephen Meyer.


24 posted on 06/12/2014 8:10:00 PM PDT by aquila48
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To: JimSEA

Wow what a story! Cambrian whatever and such! It’s all academic and field tested etc. Bet they even have some equations poking out here and there to make it all seem so scientific!

But not much gets past this scientist, yours truly.


25 posted on 06/12/2014 8:12:51 PM PDT by Hostage (ARTICLE V)
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
It's a weak faith that can have no tolerance for uncertainty. So weak as to be no faith at all.

If you rely on your own understanding for salvation, you really don't get it.

/johnny

26 posted on 06/12/2014 8:13:33 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JimSEA

There is an interesting theory that the reason we haven’t seen aliens is that there is some sort of evolutionary bottleneck or hurdle.
The pacifist view is that nuclear weapons or some of other tendency to war wipes these civilizations out before they become interstellar.
Another theory I read was that it might be the development of mitrochondria and thus complex life. There are single celled organisms that feed off sulfur compounds via volcanic vents, methane loving bacteria that feed off methane hydrates in the ocean, anaerobic bacteria and aerobic bacteria. Lots of diversity in the single celled biosphere. Even bacteria as large as small multi-celled.
But everything with multiple cells shares a large part of its genome. Mitrochondria are biological power houses, essentially getting a free ride for their DNA in return for fueling the larger cell. It appears less like a radical evolutionary step than a cellular accident, an incomplete division OR partial absorption of another cell that became part of a new, improved whole.
Out of all our biological history, this has only happened once to be passed on to all complex organisms.
And it may be such a fluke that other words may be teaming with single celled life, even oxygen bearing algae analogs. But we might be the only thing more advanced than that, because few worlds see the accident to make complex life possible.

This theory also explains “the boring billion”. Complex life was a fluke that could only happen after the accidental combination that led to mitrochondria.


27 posted on 06/12/2014 8:24:36 PM PDT by tbw2
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To: JRandomFreeper
It's a weak faith that can have no tolerance for uncertainty. So weak as to be no faith at all. If you rely on your own understanding for salvation, you really don't get it.

I don't know how this applies to anything I said.

28 posted on 06/12/2014 8:32:41 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans (I mostly come out at night... mostly.)
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To: tbw2
One theory that never gets mentioned is that we are the oldest civilization. There aren't any others... yet.

That never gets discussed. There always seems to be that human need for something more advanced.

/johnny

29 posted on 06/12/2014 8:34:33 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

Huh?

Where does Jesus say that if you devote your life to studying the physical world, you have no hope of salvation?

Also, how does the description of a biological process equate to being a weapon against the plan of salvation?


30 posted on 06/12/2014 8:34:42 PM PDT by exDemMom (Current visual of the hole the US continues to dig itself into: http://www.usdebtclock.org/)
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
I don't know how this applies to anything I said.

That is pretty obvious. When you can see it, you will be able to see it.

Being 'right' isn't as important in the long run as having faith.

/johnny

31 posted on 06/12/2014 8:37:15 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: varmintman
This is a rather dry but complete explanation of word usage in science. Science is quite precise about what words such as "theory", observation or hypothesis mean. This is a more entertaining but accurate PBS presentation from Nova on evolution. Most people accept critiques on science that are based on "straw man" descriptions of what a scientific discipline says. It makes communication difficult, to say the least.
32 posted on 06/12/2014 8:39:16 PM PDT by JimSEA
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To: exDemMom
Where does Jesus say that if you devote your life to studying the physical world, you have no hope of salvation?

More importantly, where did I say that?

Also, how does the description of a biological process equate to being a weapon against the plan of salvation?

It does not. Macro Evolution is not a description of a biological process, however, as it has never been observed.

33 posted on 06/12/2014 8:39:17 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans (I mostly come out at night... mostly.)
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To: JRandomFreeper
Being 'right' isn't as important in the long run as having faith.

This is merely relativism. If you don't believe that Christ is "right," then all you have faith in is faith itself. This sort of thing does not stand up under any close scrutiny at all.

34 posted on 06/12/2014 8:40:48 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans (I mostly come out at night... mostly.)
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To: Kirkwood

And how did it happen?

Ddarwin himself had big doubts about that, as well as Stephen Gould. Gould came up with his “punctuated equilibrium “ to try to explain Cambrian - but it proved insufficient.

I used to believe in Darwin’s theory, after reading “Darwin’s Doubt “, I’ve become a strong skeptic.


35 posted on 06/12/2014 8:41:56 PM PDT by aquila48
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To: Jim Robinson

Well, global cooling had to take place first before we could come along and build the SUV so Al Gore could save us from ourselves, making a ton of money at the same time.


36 posted on 06/12/2014 8:42:10 PM PDT by JimSEA
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To: BitWielder1
Aliens came and seeded Earth with some more interesting life forms.

You mean like the way Spanish explorers let hogs loose on islands so when they returned later they would have fresh meat?

Uh oh.

37 posted on 06/12/2014 8:44:22 PM PDT by eartrumpet
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
Paul tells us that we will NEVER see anything but 'through a glass, darkly'.

To try to assume we have all the answers is to usurp the role of faith.

The devil is in the details. You presume to have answers to the details. The scriptures tell us that we do not.

/johnny

38 posted on 06/12/2014 8:45:24 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Fungi
the “boring billions” never existed. Silly fools.

The Earth;'s evolution involved some massive collisions, one of which was when the Moon separated from our current Earth. And ... since our moon is much less subject to evolutionary changes such as those on Earth, which is subject to wind, water, rain, earthquakes, and spinning in orbit. So it is that scientists used Moon rocks to tell us - factually - that our Earth is 4.5 billion years old.

39 posted on 06/12/2014 8:53:33 PM PDT by OldNavyVet
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To: JRandomFreeper
Paul tells us that we will NEVER see anything but 'through a glass, darkly'. To try to assume we have all the answers is to usurp the role of faith. The devil is in the details. You presume to have answers to the details. The scriptures tell us that we do not.

Again, I don't know how this has anything to do with anything I've said. It is pure nonsense to suppose that we aren't allowed to know anything about evolution or what the scripture teaches of creation. The passage you cite has nothing whatever to do with what you are claiming.

40 posted on 06/12/2014 8:54:03 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans (I mostly come out at night... mostly.)
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To: cripplecreek

I like that description.


41 posted on 06/12/2014 8:57:21 PM PDT by BigEdLB (Now there ARE 1,000,000 regrets - but it may be too late.)
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To: JRandomFreeper

There seem to be three big problems which most people have with religion. In something like order of magnitude, they are: The problem of evil; the Theory of Evolution; the Book of Joshua. Aiding the process of getting rid of evolutionism is not a waste of time, I believe it’s doing some of God’s work.


42 posted on 06/12/2014 8:59:39 PM PDT by varmintman (It must really suck to be a Nazi in Kiev these days...)
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans
Then go to bed knowing that you won the argument and that you are 'right'.

/johnny

43 posted on 06/12/2014 8:59:51 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: LukeL

Flying was a good idea however it came about. Flying reptiles, flying mammals and the amazing diversity of birds. I think a video of a crow in Russia obviously creating a game to play sliding object down a snowy roof was just out and out humbling. We haven’t got any monopoly on smarts.


44 posted on 06/12/2014 9:01:33 PM PDT by JimSEA
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To: varmintman
What could possibly be worse than professing to believe in such a thing?

Believing in anything other than those things known.

Beliefs belong in church.

45 posted on 06/12/2014 9:02:04 PM PDT by OldNavyVet
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To: varmintman
Then sleep well, knowing that you won the argument, and that you are 'right'.

Personally, I see more of an appetite for a pseudo-intellectual fight than desire to convert in your actions.

/johnny

46 posted on 06/12/2014 9:02:27 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper

My experiences with evolosers inform me that they are basically immune to logical and rational argument, but they are not immune to ridicule. I aim to teach the world to laugh at them.


47 posted on 06/12/2014 9:05:37 PM PDT by varmintman (It must really suck to be a Nazi in Kiev these days...)
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To: varmintman
And ridicule is something the Savior taught... I'm sure.

/johnny

48 posted on 06/12/2014 9:07:08 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper
Then go to bed knowing that you won the argument and that you are 'right'. /johnny

This conversation is what results when you try to argue with someone with an objective mentality with subjective and meaningless statements.

I'll go to bed knowing I am "right," but only because you didn't offer a wrong.

49 posted on 06/12/2014 9:11:34 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans (I mostly come out at night... mostly.)
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To: varmintman
EXCELLENT!
50 posted on 06/12/2014 9:15:54 PM PDT by ForGod'sSake (What part of "Fundamentally transforming the United States of America" don't the LIV understand?)
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