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Why Darwin's still a scientific hotshot (Nobel laureate James D. Watson on Darwin and his influence)
LA Times Calendar Live.com ^ | September 18, 2005 | James D. Watson

Posted on 09/19/2005 3:24:26 AM PDT by snarks_when_bored

Edited on 09/19/2005 3:36:21 AM PDT by Sidebar Moderator. [history]

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To: Right Wing Professor

All the list compliers at it again, evolution threads expose the mind on evolution, one bent on destruction.....quite the liberal method of operation.


51 posted on 09/19/2005 5:40:35 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: JudgemAll
In fact, he's so un-anxious, he had to respond twice to one two-line 'castration anxiety' post.

I sense issues here. Chuckle.

52 posted on 09/19/2005 5:44:38 AM PDT by Right Wing Professor
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To: snarks_when_bored
"(laughing) Thanks for a good chuckle early in the morning!"


Hey it is a hoot. Now you got a law, then there are consequences for obeying and disobeying a law. Even gravity punishes those who seek to defy it.

So now we have established a law of evolution, there must be dominion in charge of the rewards, justice for the adherents and non-adherents regarding that law.
53 posted on 09/19/2005 5:46:29 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: Just mythoughts
So now we have established a law of evolution, there must be dominion in charge of the rewards, justice for the adherents and non-adherents regarding that law

...Hmmm. Well, there is a penalty for breaking the Law of Gravity.

54 posted on 09/19/2005 5:48:49 AM PDT by SeaLion ("Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man" -- Thomas Paine)
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To: snarks_when_bored
But, even so, unless the cosmos changes its current structure fairly drastically, no foreseeable future science is going to find that Newton's law of gravity doesn't do a fairly decent job of predicting how freely falling objects in a fairly weak gravitational field behave.

No question. But I also see scientists make some pretty outrageous remarks about the "little people" who refuse to give up their misconceptions. There was an amusing flurry in American Spectator in which a letter writer claimed that the belief in Intelligent Design would end all scientific query. The letter quoted Newton who it just so happens, believed in intelligent design (no caps). I could easily see a future in which it was proven and accepted that there is intelligence embedded in all of creation and was accepted and proven scientific fact. Regarding the people who try to force it into schools, it's premature to say the least! Let them keep working on intelligent design. If they come up with something indisputable and provable then it will come to be accepted and the more hysterical Darwinists will be the ridiculed ones.

55 posted on 09/19/2005 5:50:11 AM PDT by bkepley
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To: SeaLion
"But (as has been pointed out in these threads before) anyone who could present a scientific alternative to Darwin's basic model of evolution, which better explained all of the available data, made more accurate predictions, and was equally in accord with findings of all other sciences--that man or woman would scoop up a Nobel and a place in the history of science faster than you could say 'allele'"

You are not quite accurately describing "scientific alternative" because that word science has been perverted to mean only what evolutionists say it can mean.

"With respect, it is simply wrong to insist that science holds up Darwinism in the way that religions maintain dogmas. Anyone with better evidence meeting good empirical standards can knock Darwin off his perch: it hasn't happened yet. And really, refuting (as opposed to refining) the basic Darwinian model looks as likely as someone 'proving' that the earth is flat"

People do like to use that flat earth accusation as though it gives evolution credibility. At the base of Darwin was the rejection of the Heavenly Father, and he postulated an idea that gave himself his descendants a superior ranking compared and contrasted to human beings as a whole. Now while modern evolutionists bend over backwards to deny what old Darwin thought, the focus has been shifted away from his basic premise to now include allllll forms of life having one common descent, without absolutely zilch proof.
56 posted on 09/19/2005 6:03:00 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: bkepley
Newton who it just so happens, believed in intelligent design

But Darwin started off believing 'Intelligent Design'--virtually everyone in the West, prior to Darwin's Origins, believed in some form of 'Intelligent Design' (whether literal Biblical account in Genesis, or some more Deistic view). That model eventually collapsed because the accumulated evidence against it was simply overwhelming--apart from a small number of 'fundamentalists', who appear to be refugees from reality. The vast majority of Christians have no more difficulty with Darwin than they have with the notion of the earth circling the sun (a 'belief' once persecuted by the Church as a heresy)

Creationism/ID is not some innovation--it's a re-tread of a cosmology that prevailed for the best part of 2000 years of Western history--and many of those were particularly unsavoury times.

I could easily see a future in which it was proven and accepted that there is intelligence embedded in all of creation and was accepted and proven scientific fact. Regarding the people who try to force it into schools, it's premature to say the least! Let them keep working on intelligent design. If they come up with something indisputable and provable then it will come to be accepted and the more hysterical Darwinists will be the ridiculed ones.

Science is open to anyone who wishes to learn the scientific method--which remains our best tool for developing empirical knowledge. No hypothesis is protected from challenge on scientific grounds, so no theory is ever absolute dogma--which is a major way in which science and religion differ. Creationism, by starting with religious answers before it poses questions, cannot be science--because it cannot acknowledge any scientific answers which are contrary to its religioous premises.

Ultimately, you are right, it is a matter of probabilities. There is a tiny probablity that the law of gravity won't hold if I leap from the roof of my office--but I am confident enough that it will that I'll pass on testing it yet again, if you don't mind!

57 posted on 09/19/2005 6:07:31 AM PDT by SeaLion ("Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man" -- Thomas Paine)
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To: SeaLion
"...Hmmm. Well, there is a penalty for breaking the Law of Gravity."

Exactly, "Gravity" has no grace for any that break her.

So now if there is a law of evolution, then the lawmakers are required to explain what that means. Who sits in judgment of the breaker of that law of evolution? How exactly does one break that law of evolution? Where does one appear for the trial of breaking that law of evolution?

So many questions about the law of evolution, when did it go into effect?
58 posted on 09/19/2005 6:09:25 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: SeaLion
Creationism, by starting with religious answers before it poses questions, cannot be science--because it cannot acknowledge any scientific answers which are contrary to its religioous premises.

Not necessarily...only in your eyes. It's true that the intelligent design folks are coupled to the religious folks but I don't think all of them see are religous in the sense of an interventionist God.

59 posted on 09/19/2005 6:11:01 AM PDT by bkepley
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To: Just mythoughts

To refer to the "law" of gravity, and the "law" of evolution as though they are "laws" enacted by some governing body, and enforced by same was cute the first time it was used in this thread, but not each subsequent time.

Please note that words sometimes have multiple meanings; the word "law" is one such word.


60 posted on 09/19/2005 6:14:23 AM PDT by dmz
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To: dmz
"To refer to the "law" of gravity, and the "law" of evolution as though they are "laws" enacted by some governing body, and enforced by same was cute the first time it was used in this thread, but not each subsequent time.

Please note that words sometimes have multiple meanings; the word "law" is one such word."

I think it is GOOD to point out what is the mind of an evolutionists. I know darn well what the word LAW means and it was NOT me that called evolution a law as though it is a fact.

I am having FUN with the hilarity of the ridiculous statement that evolution is a law.

Evolutionists can sure dish out the insults and heap ridicule, but boy they sure have very very thin skins in accepting a return serve.
61 posted on 09/19/2005 6:21:28 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: snarks_when_bored
As usual, Watson pulls no punches.

If he's as dogmatically pro-evolution as some Frevolutionists, he'll be one of the first.

Ping for later reading.
62 posted on 09/19/2005 6:23:39 AM PDT by DaveLoneRanger (As long as liberalism and I exist, neither one of us is safe.)
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To: Just mythoughts
Hey it is a hoot. Now you got a law, then there are consequences for obeying and disobeying a law. Even gravity punishes those who seek to defy it.

So now we have established a law of evolution, there must be dominion in charge of the rewards, justice for the adherents and non-adherents regarding that law.

A law of nature can't be disobeyed. The law describes what happens and, ideally, makes predictions about what will happen (if certain conditions hold).

Evolution describes how organic beings on Earth have developed and are developing, a process likely to continue happening unless we develop the means to interfere with it in a decisive way (we've already done so to some extent, of course, through plant and animal husbandry, etc.).

63 posted on 09/19/2005 6:31:03 AM PDT by snarks_when_bored
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To: snarks_when_bored
Invasion of the mentally challenged placemarker.
64 posted on 09/19/2005 6:31:07 AM PDT by balrog666 (A myth by any other name is still inane.)
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To: bkepley

I agree with most of what you said there (although I think it unlikely that the future will bring forth any evidence for intelligent design that is not somehow interpretable in other ways). And, yes, Newton was a sort of a Christian; interestingly, his manuscripts contain far about alchemy than they do about physics and mathematics. He was a strange bird, no doubt about it.


65 posted on 09/19/2005 6:34:23 AM PDT by snarks_when_bored
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To: bkepley
It's true that the intelligent design folks are coupled to the religious folks but I don't think all of them see are religous in the sense of an interventionist God

Fair comment, point taken.

My original point wasn't stated as clearly as it should have been. Where 'Creationists' claim there are 'difficulties' in the current model of evolution, they are stating no more than scientists who are addressing questions in the current model of evolution; moreover, there is an exceedingly high probability (though never absolute certainty) that the answers to those questions will be consistent with previous findings. If they are not (and you need good science to establish if they are not), then the theory will be refined or, if necessary, rejected. That is how science works. Science, which is the ongoing quest for knowledge, welcomes challenges to its theories, welcomes new and difficult questions, because it is the pursuit of answers to those new questions that yields new knowledge, and that is the goal.

Given that, then why are Creationists making such 'special pleading'? Why are they not pursuing their challenges within science? Answer: because they are not actually doing science, which is the search for new knowledge, they are instead seeking to bend science to confirm pre-existing religious belief. That's theology--which has its place, by all means. But that place is not (and we agree on this) in a science classroom

66 posted on 09/19/2005 6:35:50 AM PDT by SeaLion ("Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man" -- Thomas Paine)
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To: rabair

Thanks for the links to those sites!


67 posted on 09/19/2005 6:38:27 AM PDT by silverleaf (Fasten your seat belts- it's going to be a BUMPY ride.)
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To: rabair

"I've read up a lot on the creation/evolution debate over the past couple years and determined that evolution is the biggest heap of garbage ever perpetrated on us. "

Well, now. That settles it, then.....


68 posted on 09/19/2005 6:41:51 AM PDT by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: snarks_when_bored

"A law of nature can't be disobeyed. The law describes what happens and, ideally, makes predictions about what will happen (if certain conditions hold). "

Nature and evolution are not synonymous, even though that is what evolutionists claim.

"Evolution describes how organic beings on Earth have developed and are developing, a process likely to continue happening unless we develop the means to interfere with it in a decisive way (we've already done so to some extent, of course, through plant and animal husbandry, etc.)."

Well you are partially correct here that evolution is man's work. Evolution does far more than describe how organic beings on earth have developed and are developing. Evolution, man's creation, elevates some men as being more equal than the rest of man. Thus the need for things like entitlement programs, cause not all are of the fittest.

Problem is evolutionists set themselves above reproach and bring out their huge ignorant stick to any and all who disagree. Seems like I remember another system who dealt with the inferiority members of society branding those as mentally deficient.


69 posted on 09/19/2005 6:43:32 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: bkepley; snarks_when_bored
My penultimate sentence to you in that last post should've read:

"And, yes, Newton was a sort of a Christian; interestingly, his manuscripts contain far more about alchemy than they do about physics and mathematics."

70 posted on 09/19/2005 6:45:56 AM PDT by snarks_when_bored
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To: rabair
I have done a lot of reading and taken several college level courses. There are some major problems with evolution in my mind.
1. The origin of life on earth. (presumably prokaryotic cells in a non oxygen containing atmosphere)
2. The origin and evolution of DNA.
3. The evolution of the eukaryotic cell.

There are some other technical problems concerning the fact that some animals aren't well adapted to the environment that they exist in.
71 posted on 09/19/2005 6:47:03 AM PDT by Citizen Tom Paine (An old sailor sends)
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To: SeaLion
Given that, then why are Creationists making such 'special pleading'? Why are they not pursuing their challenges within science? Answer: because they are not actually doing science, which is the search for new knowledge, they are instead seeking to bend science to confirm pre-existing religious belief.

The impression that you give hear on FR is someone who has some claim to make against everyone interested in intelligent design. I'm not educated on what all those interested in intelligent design think and do. Some of them may just believe that evolution alone is not capable of explaining things or that they see intelligence behind things and have no interest in confirming a religious belief. They may be out to prove what they believe but that's where a lot of science starts. Even Darwin was acquainted with Evolutionary concepts before he went on his voyage and he did not come up with it entirely from his research. I'm wondering if questioning the motives of all of them is fair. But, like I say I don't know all of them or any of them.

72 posted on 09/19/2005 6:48:33 AM PDT by bkepley
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To: DaveLoneRanger
Dave! Hope your ears weren't burning...I would've pinged you with this earlier post of mine on this thread, but didn't want to seem to be starting a fight with you (which I'm not):

the biogeography problem redux

Best regards...

73 posted on 09/19/2005 6:50:20 AM PDT by snarks_when_bored
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To: Just mythoughts
Evolution, man's creation, elevates some men as being more equal than the rest of man. Thus the need for things like entitlement programs, cause not all are of the fittest.

I prefer not to mix politics and science. There's nothing in evolutionary science that implies that some men are more equal than others (I'm not sure what that even means).

Problem is evolutionists set themselves above reproach and bring out their huge ignorant stick to any and all who disagree. Seems like I remember another system who dealt with the inferiority members of society branding those as mentally deficient.

You won't find any such attitude from me. If I thought evolution wasn't a fact, I'd say so. And I don't draw any conclusions from the fact of evolution about how the weak among us should be treated. We're products of evolution, but choosing what kind of people we want to be turns out to be one of the things that we've developed the ability to do.

74 posted on 09/19/2005 6:57:27 AM PDT by snarks_when_bored
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To: bkepley
I'm wondering if questioning the motives of all of them is fair

Once again, I'm going to accept your point here--it can get dangerous to assume 'motivations'.

In partial mitigation, I would invite you to make an analysis of a few of these evolution/creation threads. It is rare (and I think it can be demonstrated) for someone arguing the Creationist side to engage with issues of science, but it is (sometimes tediously so) common to find someone on that same side object to evolutionary theory solely on the grounds it is contrary to some specific reading of Biblical Genesis. And I have yet to hear anyone propose, from the other side, that they hold evolution to be more probable on the grounds that it is superior on theological grounds.

Religion is religion, and science is science. Science cannot, and does not seek to, address supernatural matters; why do some religiously-minded folks ask it to validate what they hold to be spiritual truths?

75 posted on 09/19/2005 7:02:29 AM PDT by SeaLion ("Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man" -- Thomas Paine)
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To: Just mythoughts
Nature and evolution are not synonymous, even though that is what evolutionists claim.

Can you show me where any evolutionist on any thread ever has suggested that evolution and nature are synonyms? I've never seen it. I have seen many people suggest that evolution is one of the laws of nature, bit that is a very different point than the one you make.

76 posted on 09/19/2005 7:03:42 AM PDT by dmz
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To: Just mythoughts

No oe, ever, breaks the law of gravity.

Some people demonstrate it in uncomfortable ways, though.


77 posted on 09/19/2005 7:08:13 AM PDT by From many - one.
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To: PatrickHenry

Thanks for the ping!


78 posted on 09/19/2005 7:11:29 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Just mythoughts

Dunno who, if anyone, said evolution is a law. It's not a law. There is a scientific theory of evolution.


79 posted on 09/19/2005 7:12:52 AM PDT by From many - one.
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To: snarks_when_bored

Netwon was also a unitarian. He wasn't in favor of deity as committee.


80 posted on 09/19/2005 7:21:01 AM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch ist der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: From many - one.

Its the law of gravity that forces the Moon to continue fall upward away from the Earth. Isn't science wonderful?


81 posted on 09/19/2005 7:23:23 AM PDT by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch ist der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: SeaLion
Religion is religion, and science is science. Science cannot, and does not seek to, address supernatural matters

I am somewhat of a naturalist, but I must disagree with you here. As the writer of the article points out, understanding science makes one less dependent on myth and superstition. One man's myth and superstition is another man's religion.

I completely agree that evolutionary theory has reached the status of scientific law. I also think that the "intelligent design" movement is a step backward as far as the progress of science is concerned.

Nonetheless, I keep thinking back to Ben Franklin, when he said he regretted not living a hundred years into his future so that he could see all the wondrous things the discoveries of his day would yield. Personally, I would not want to live a hundred years into the future from today because I see very little good coming out of mice with human brains and terrorists able to make nuclear bombs in their basements.

It may be that the only thing standing between civilization as we know it and a society made up of genetically perfected clones created by scientists is myth and superstition. And so I am conflicted. I'd like to think that the positive side of human nature will prevail when it comes to the application of science, but I have my doubts.

The scientists may well be freeing society from the burdens of superstition, myth and fairy tales. But they haven't really thought out the cultural implications of spoiling the glue that has held this civilization together for several thousand years, A lot of good has come out of the fear of God, and we ought to be somewhat less inclined to pull that rug out from under our society.

82 posted on 09/19/2005 7:26:07 AM PDT by massadvj
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To: Just mythoughts
Could it be that Darwin is a "god"?

Nope, that's just a canard that creationists trot out when they run out of arguments that have even the semblance of validity.

83 posted on 09/19/2005 7:27:38 AM PDT by highball ("I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." -- Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Doctor Stochastic

Shhh...don't tell.

It seems to break some folks heads to have to think too hard.

Funny, it's usually hard headed folk with the problem.


84 posted on 09/19/2005 7:36:02 AM PDT by From many - one.
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To: Just mythoughts

"Evolution, man's creation, elevates some men as being more equal than the rest of man. Thus the need for things like entitlement programs, cause not all are of the fittest."

Not even close. Are you going to deny that all people are different, unique individuals? Only the egalitarians (left and right) want to spread the lie that we are all equal. We are demonstrably NOT. This is a fact.

The reason we have entitlement programs is because the egalitarians believe that WE ARE all equal, but that the rich, the *winners of life's lottery* have stolen from the poor. It is a denial of the uniqueness of each individual.
Your desperate attempt to link natural selection with the welfare state is hilarious. If evolutionists were following *the survival of the fittest*, they would be against the welfare state. You have it EXACTLY opposite.

Biology is not a guide for politics.


85 posted on 09/19/2005 7:53:37 AM PDT by CarolinaGuitarman ("There is a grandeur in this view of life...")
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To: PatrickHenry

I see we are in for a long round of bickering over terminology -- theories, laws, facts -- as if the choice of words alters reality.


86 posted on 09/19/2005 7:56:16 AM PDT by js1138 (Great is the power of steady misrepresentation.)
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To: snarks_when_bored
unless you wish to defend some form of subjective idealism or even solipsism

OK, but who are you going to defend solipsism TO? ;-)

Cheers!

87 posted on 09/19/2005 8:06:44 AM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: Citizen Tom Paine

"I have done a lot of reading and taken several college level courses. There are some major problems with evolution in my mind.
1. The origin of life on earth. (presumably prokaryotic cells in a non oxygen containing atmosphere)
2. The origin and evolution of DNA.
3. The evolution of the eukaryotic cell.

There are some other technical problems concerning the fact that some animals aren't well adapted to the environment that they exist in."

You are not being honest with your questions. Both #1 and #2 are not part of the TOE, as you well know. If you want to question current thought concerning Abiogenesis, that's fine, but it does not impact Evolution. #3 Is well understood, if you will consult any good cell biology text.

The adaptation question is quite simple. I'd ask you to ask yourself, if you will. Organisms don't have to be "well adapted" to their environment, they just have to be successful. The crunch comes when there is competition in that environment or when it is invaded by a "better adapted" creature. Then change either occurs or one species is either marginalized or becomes extinct. Happens all the time.


88 posted on 09/19/2005 8:07:06 AM PDT by furball4paws (One of the last Evil Geniuses, or the first of their return.)
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To: Just mythoughts
What is the punishment for one who disobeys the law of evolution?

Daytime TV.
For the men, WWF.
For the ladies, Oprah.

Cheers!

89 posted on 09/19/2005 8:11:03 AM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers

It would have been better if you switched the men with the ladies.


90 posted on 09/19/2005 8:12:48 AM PDT by furball4paws (One of the last Evil Geniuses, or the first of their return.)
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To: Citizen Tom Paine
"There are some other technical problems concerning the fact that some animals aren't well adapted to the environment that they exist in."

This is an argument in FAVOR of evolution and common descent, and against the idea of intelligent design and special creation. In fact, it was one that was used by Darwin.

"I have done a lot of reading and taken several college level courses"

Apparently not in the right subjects.
91 posted on 09/19/2005 8:15:52 AM PDT by CarolinaGuitarman ("There is a grandeur in this view of life...")
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To: furball4paws
. Both #1 and #2 are not part of the TOE, as you well know

Well Watson chose to bring up the subject of DNA in an article on Darwin. Now we can't ask how it evolved? Also doesn't DNA's ability to replicate itself depend on RNA and how did these two co-evolve?

92 posted on 09/19/2005 8:29:03 AM PDT by bkepley
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To: rabair
You're getting information from Creationsafaris and Answers In Genesis? No wonder you're so misinformed. The tripe these people spout out has no foundation in reality whatsoever.

Try reading some good science books based on peer-review scientific literature; some of you misunderstandings may be corrected.

It ain't true just because it's on the internet; there's lots of tricksters out there with their hands out.

93 posted on 09/19/2005 8:35:02 AM PDT by Quark2005 (Where's the science?)
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To: Right Wing Professor
Creationism as castration anxiety! Hilarious. Submitted to PatrickHenry for the 'This is your Mind on Creationism' list.

It's being actively considered.

94 posted on 09/19/2005 8:35:25 AM PDT by PatrickHenry (Disclaimer -- this information may be legally false in Kansas.)
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To: grey_whiskers
OK, but who are you going to defend solipsism TO? ;-)

Hmmm, my imagination is acting up today. I thought I heard something that I didn't say...

95 posted on 09/19/2005 8:46:22 AM PDT by snarks_when_bored
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To: snarks_when_bored
Hmmm, my imagination is acting up today. I thought I heard something that I didn't say...

Even worse: when a solipcist says "I'm just not feeling myself today..."

96 posted on 09/19/2005 8:48:12 AM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers; snarks_when_bored
OK, but who are you going to defend solipsism TO? ;-)

ROFLMHO! Splendid!

97 posted on 09/19/2005 8:49:19 AM PDT by SeaLion ("Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man" -- Thomas Paine)
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To: massadvj
and terrorists able to make nuclear bombs in their basements

The key to the WOT is the implementation of genetic engineering that will raise the fundies' collective IQ levels to the point that they can participate in the modern world.

98 posted on 09/19/2005 8:52:15 AM PDT by lemura
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To: lemura

My perception is that it is not an IQ matter but an overwhelming fear that, without the threat of punishment, people would not behave in any kind of decent way.


99 posted on 09/19/2005 9:04:34 AM PDT by From many - one.
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To: massadvj
It may be that the only thing standing between civilization as we know it and a society made up of genetically perfected clones created by scientists is myth and superstition. And so I am conflicted. I'd like to think that the positive side of human nature will prevail when it comes to the application of science, but I have my doubts

And boy, I have my doubts, too, sometimes!

You raise a whole set of excellent points, thank you for the posting--to which I don't have time to reply in detail (maybe later, if the topic engages interest among others

Fortunately, scientists are not empowered to determine alone the application of the knowledge they uncover, nor are scientists absolved of the deep human moral responsibility we all of us should bear. I do have enormous faith in our Constitution and believe our system of government is the best ever devised to ensure (though the process is often fractious and imperfect) that power is not abused, and that the citizenry can exercise both power and restraint of power over their elected representatives.

mice with human brains

My view of the liberal agenda leads me to believe that we already have 'humans with mouse brains.'

100 posted on 09/19/2005 9:19:00 AM PDT by SeaLion ("Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man" -- Thomas Paine)
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