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Faith in Theory (Great article by great conservative)
Opinion Journal ^ | December 26 2005 | James Q Wilson

Posted on 12/30/2005 9:12:43 AM PST by RightWingAtheist

When a federal judge in Pennsylvania struck down the efforts of a local school board to teach "intelligent design," he rightly criticized the wholly unscientific nature of that enterprise. Some people will disagree with his view, arguing that evolution is a "theory" and intelligent design is a "theory," so students should look at both theories.

But this view confuses the meaning of the word "theory." In science, a theory states a relationship between two or more things (scientists like to call them "variables") that can be tested by factual observations. We have a "theory of gravity" that predicts the speed at which two objects will fall toward one another, the path on which a satellite must travel if it is to maintain a constant distance from the earth, and the position that a moon will keep with respect to its associated planet.

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


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: crevolist; evolution; faith; jamesqwilson; science; theory; wilson
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I'm surprised no one has yet posted this article, by one of the foremost conservative thinkers of the modern era, but it's a great one.
1 posted on 12/30/2005 9:12:44 AM PST by RightWingAtheist
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To: PatrickHenry; Junior; Physicist; RadioAstronomer; Right Wing Professor; Ichneumon; longshadow

Happy New Year; one last crevo article to ring it in!


2 posted on 12/30/2005 9:13:49 AM PST by RightWingAtheist ("Why thank you Mr.Obama, I'm proud to be a Darwinist!")
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To: PatrickHenry

PING


3 posted on 12/30/2005 9:16:18 AM PST by Vaquero ("An armed society is a polite society" Robert Heinlein)
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To: RightWingAtheist
Is it true that this Court also ruled that instructors are forbidden to question, criticize or challenge evolution theory? There can be no possible justification for such an imperious command.

"Evolution is a theory in the scientific sense. It has been tested repeatedly by examining the remains of now-extinct creatures to see how one species has emerged to replace another." He calls that "testing"?

"But if an intelligent designer had created the human eye, He (or She) made some big mistakes."There's no arrogance like those who think they are smarter than God.

4 posted on 12/30/2005 9:20:12 AM PST by BenLurkin (O beautiful for patriot dream - that sees beyond the years)
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===> Placemarker <===
5 posted on 12/30/2005 9:21:49 AM PST by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
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To: RightWingAtheist

Very good article - IMHO the proper way for Christians to view the debate. Evolution cannot be successfully argued against - and in fact it does NOT need to be. It can coexist with the fundamental notion of God as creator as found in the Bible.


6 posted on 12/30/2005 9:23:56 AM PST by txzman (Jer 23:29)
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To: RightWingAtheist
I agree with the author that evolution and religion are only tangentially connected. But the recent debate has got me thinking about evolution as a scientific theory.

So here is something I have not seened discussed for the evolutionists to consider.

A few years ago some fisherman caught a fish called a Celocanth. The Celocanth was believed to be long extinct since examples of the creature had been found in the fossil record estimated to be a 100 million years old. Yet the fisherman caught a live one that was not materially different from the ones in the fossil record.

But if time and mutation are the inevitable drivers of evolution and if these processes are constantly at work changing the species, then how can you explain the lack of any significant change in the Celocanth over a period of 100 million years?

The thoughts of fellow freepers on both sides of this question are welcome.

7 posted on 12/30/2005 9:26:24 AM PST by trek
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To: RightWingAtheist

There is nothing compelling or even new about this article. Well, he managed to refrain from name-calling. That's something.


8 posted on 12/30/2005 9:36:10 AM PST by The Ghost of FReepers Past (Exalt the Lord our God, and worship at His footstool; He is holy. Ps 99:5)
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To: trek
You have to remember that the process of evolution is different for each species, and that while today's coelcanth may look externally the same as the ancestral Devonian one, there may be enough genetic change making it no longer the same species as its ancestors from millions of years ago. Here's an excellent step-by-step intro to the idea of natural selection: for the layperson
9 posted on 12/30/2005 9:51:00 AM PST by RightWingAtheist ("Why thank you Mr.Obama, I'm proud to be a Darwinist!")
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To: The Ghost of FReepers Past

Yeah, just the same old FACTS. Isn't that boring?


10 posted on 12/30/2005 9:51:37 AM PST by RightWingAtheist ("Why thank you Mr.Obama, I'm proud to be a Darwinist!")
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To: RightWingAtheist

The Theory of Evolution is just that - A Theory.

The Theory of Intelligent Design is just that - A Theory.

Both theories have some facts that support them - and other facts that don't support them.

It used to be that places of higher learning taught students to think for themselves based on scientific facts and evidence.

But what "facts" support intelligent design?

1. Evolution doesn't explain anything on how it all began. As a theory, it is grossly incomplete. At least intelligent design has a theory on the "absolute beginning."

2. Where did the laws of nature and physics come from? They shape nature and effect evolution. Do we ignore the “architect” and just focus on the designs? Would this make any sense in any field of science or engineering?

3. Esteemed mathematicians and scientists have put forward fully vetted and accepted theories that the complex life we see on earth could have no way "accidentally" evolved in the “short” accepted age of the universe. The time period is too small and the complexity of life is too advanced or that there is no scientific way a cell could have evolved over any period of time in the life of the universe and in stages (as evolution demands). If these scientifically based theories can just be ignored, why not other theories?

4. The millions of miracles that have occurred and the hundred of thousands that have been documented since written history. Are they all fakes and hoaxes? Just because we can’t explain them should we just ignore them? Does this remind you of the 14th century “the world is flat” belief system or the universe revolves around the earth closed mindedness?

5. The historical accuracy of the Bible. Nearly a year doesn't go by where some archeologist finds a city/people/event/ruler exactly where the Bible said it was or medical/scientific breakthrough proves the validity of a Biblical historical point. So, if historically, the Bible can be trusted, why not on some spiritual level?

6. We have free will. We have morals and a conscience. We make ethical choices every day. Where did that come from? If we just "evolved" we should be just be following our natural DNA pre-programming as near robots (like flowers or wolves or fishes do - they do what they do because that is what they are - they can not choose to do different). Are we just blobs of DNA - and that is it? Then I/we are responsible for nothing - the DNA made me do it.

7. It is interesting that nearly all cultures and peoples in nearly every corner of the globe since the dawn of mankind have "invented" a God. Almost like we were preprogrammed to do so? If it was just a “random thing,” why is it so prevalent?

8. I can blow huge holes in the theory of evolution in explanation on how humans got here. For instance - evolution can not explain the "origin of life" from dead chemicals and the fossil evidence is unviable and dubious (at best) from animal to man. We know more on how the Brontosaurus evolved than man. Why is that? Is it because we have not looked hard enough or is it we are looking for something that doesn’t exist?

This is actually a very old argument: St Paul, the Apostle, once wrote of pagans: "Behold they have exchanged the Truth for a lie and worshipped the creation rather than the Creator."

It doesn't mean the theory of evolution is wrong - but it may mean that it needs to be updated and that it may only be a partial explanation (like micro-evolution of lizards on two separate islands over some time to adapt to their surroundings).

As I said - The Theory of Evolution is just that - a Theory. And when we let a Judge decide what theories are correct and what theories are incorrect we have truly lost something.

It seems like “progressives” or "secular humanists" or "naturalists" want it both ways - they believe in a "philosophy" that puts man at the center of the universe. That all can be explained by science, that humankind is good, that all bad things can be done away with if you have the right people in charge and the right laws. Their basic belief is that Man (or the state) is God.

They want what they "believe" to be taught in schools (at taxpayer expense, of course) and to the exclusion of any other philosophy.

For instance:

The Progressive agenda wants abortion on demand for any reason. If you believe in the opposite - that must be a "religious" belief and can/must banned from the schools, government or public grounds. Just look at the debates for the next Supreme Court justice.

The Progressive agenda wants only man at the center of morals and judgment. If you believe in the opposite - that must be a "religious" belief and can/must be banned from the schools, government or public grounds. Just look at the debates about gay marriage, drugs, pornography, divorce, adultery, cloning, prayer in school, vouchers, stem cell research, obscenity on the public airways, etc.

The Progressive agenda wants only "natural law and evolution" to explain how we got here. If you believe in the opposite - that must be a "religious" belief and can/must be banned from the schools, government or public grounds. Just look at the debate of evolution vs. creation.

And ETC. on nearly every issue.

See my point? One side gets all the benefits because they are only a "philosophy" and not a religion. The other side gets hammered because they are a "religion" and not a "philosophy." In reality, there is not a bit of difference between the two - it is all how a person personally views life (worldviews and ideologies). But somehow we have allowed one at the total exclusion of the other and called it "Constitutional," when it is about the furthest thing from the Constitution as the Founding Father wanted or desired.

Let's face it, "Darwinism has become Naturalism" and it is just as much religion as Christianity, Judaism, etc. Naturalists "worship" the idea that matter is all there is. What you see is what you get. Humanity is a product of time, chance, and natural selection. There can be nothing else outside of the natural system. Period. Any other claim is nonsense and nothing but superstition.

Actually, when you think of it - quite an intolerant religion at that.

Regards,

2banana


11 posted on 12/30/2005 10:04:18 AM PST by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - They want to die for Islam, and we want to kill them.)
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To: RightWingAtheist
"You have to remember that the process of evolution is different for each species,"

I will check out your link, but this argument is bogus on the face of it. The results might vary from species to species, but the principle of uniformity would demand that the process be the same for all species. And, given the time frame involved with the Celocanth, it seems that the Theory of Evolution would have to explain why some species are not seen to evolve.

12 posted on 12/30/2005 10:06:27 AM PST by trek
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To: 2banana
Definitions for you (from a google search):

Theory: a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena; "theories can incorporate facts and laws and tested hypotheses"; "true in fact and theory"

Hypothesis: a tentative theory about the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified but that if true would explain certain facts or phenomena; "a scientific hypothesis that survives experimental testing becomes a scientific theory"; "he proposed a fresh theory of alkalis that later was accepted in chemical practices"

Guess: an opinion or estimate based on incomplete evidence, or on little or no information

Law: a generalization that describes recurring facts or events in nature; "the laws of thermodynamics"

Assumption: premise: a statement that is assumed to be true and from which a conclusion can be drawn; "on the assumption that he has been injured we can infer that he will not to play"

Model: a simplified framework designed to illuminate complex processes; a hypothetical description of a complex entity or process; a physical or mathematical representation of a process that can be used to predict some aspect of the process

Speculation: a hypothesis that has been formed by speculating or conjecturing (usually with little hard evidence)

Observation: any information collected with the senses

Data: factual information, especially information organized for analysis or used to reason or make decisions

Fact: when an observation is confirmed repeatedly and by many independent and competent observers, it can become a fact

Belief: any cognitive content (perception) held as true; religious faith

Religion: (theistic): "1 the belief in a superhuman controlling power, esp. in a personal God or gods entitled to obedience and worship. 2 the expression of this in worship. 3 a particular system of faith and worship." Non-Theistic: "The word religion has many definitions, all of which can embrace sacred lore and wisdom and knowledge of God or gods, souls and spirits. Religion deals with the spirit in relation to itself, the universe and other life. Essentially, religion is belief in spiritual beings. As it relates to the world, religion is a system of beliefs and practices by means of which a group of people struggles with the ultimate problems of human life."

Faith: the belief in something for which there is no evidence or logical proof

Dogma: a religious doctrine that is proclaimed as true without proof

Impression: a vague idea in which some confidence is placed; "his impression of her was favorable"; "what are your feelings about the crisis?"; "it strengthened my belief in his sincerity"; "I had a feeling that she was lying"

Opinion: a personal belief or judgment that is not founded on proof or certainty.

Based on these, evolution is a theory. CS and ID are beliefs.

13 posted on 12/30/2005 10:09:18 AM PST by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
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To: VadeRetro; Junior; longshadow; RadioAstronomer; Doctor Stochastic; js1138; Shryke; RightWhale; ...
On behalf of the Grand Master of Darwin Central, whom it is my honor to serve as spokesman, we wish you all a Happy New Year.

Evolution Ping

The List-O-Links
A conservative, pro-evolution science list, now with over 330 names.
See the list's explanation, then FReepmail to be added or dropped.
To assist beginners: But it's "just a theory", Evo-Troll's Toolkit,
and How to argue against a scientific theory.

14 posted on 12/30/2005 10:09:29 AM PST by PatrickHenry (Virtual Ignore for trolls, lunatics, dotards, common scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
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To: RightWingAtheist

Sorry, I checked out your link and I don't see any serious refutation of the Celocanth observation. (But to be fair, your link points to a pretty elementary and cartoonish discussion of evolution).


15 posted on 12/30/2005 10:12:17 AM PST by trek
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To: trek
A few years ago some fisherman caught a fish called a Celocanth. The Celocanth was believed to be long extinct since examples of the creature had been found in the fossil record estimated to be a 100 million years old. Yet the fisherman caught a live one that was not materially different from the ones in the fossil record.

The coelocanth that was found was indeed very different from the fossil ones. It was a different species and a different genus; it merely belonged to an order which had been thought extinct.

But if time and mutation are the inevitable drivers of evolution and if these processes are constantly at work changing the species, then how can you explain the lack of any significant change in the Celocanth over a period of 100 million years?

You are forgetting the other part of Dawin's theory-- natural selection. In the absence of any environmental pressure to change, time and random mutations will not produce dramatic changes. That is why cockroaches have not changed all that much in the fossil record. The coelocanth, living in deep oceans, had indeed changed, but not as much as creatures who lived in environments that had changed more.

16 posted on 12/30/2005 10:13:24 AM PST by Lurking Libertarian (Non sub homine, sed sub Deo et lege)
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To: Coyoteman
I missed this part in you google search.

Theory - must be taught using tax payer money in all schools. Must be taken as Gospel - at least until the new PC theory comes along.

Belief - must be vilified and completely erased from government and schools.
17 posted on 12/30/2005 10:14:23 AM PST by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - They want to die for Islam, and we want to kill them.)
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To: trek
Yet the fisherman caught a live one that was not materially different from the ones in the fossil record.

Not true. The modern specimin is not the same as the fossil.

Secondly, evolution does not require change. If a creature inhabits a niche that does not change, it will not undergo much change. Change in populations is driven by changing environments.

18 posted on 12/30/2005 10:17:31 AM PST by js1138 (Great is the power of steady misrepresentation.)
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To: Lurking Libertarian

I will check out your first point. But your second point explains nothing. There were presumably many species swimming in the same sea as the Celocanth. And yet only the Celocanth displays no significant change over a 100 million years? Nice try but it doesn't explain the data.


19 posted on 12/30/2005 10:19:58 AM PST by trek
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To: trek

There's still lots of creatures around today that haven't changed much in multiple-millions of years - dragonflies, cockroaches, crabs .... they're commonly referred to as "living fossils".


20 posted on 12/30/2005 10:22:47 AM PST by canuck_conservative
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To: PatrickHenry
I've asked this before, but late in threads. Maybe someone can help me. On one of these threads someone posted a picture of a lizard fossil with a little wing coming out where is front legs should be, thus proving that lizards evolved into birds. Maybe, maybe not. What I want to know is this: is there any explanation through natural selection that describes how mutant liabilities like little wings instead of legs improves survival? Lizards are cool. Birds are cool. Lizard-birds can't run, and they can't fly.

When I asked this question of the original poster of the picture he said "I show you a picture and you don't believe it because you can't imagine how it lived!"

That's not my point. For the sake of argument let's say it is not a hoax, but a real creature that flapped around in the mud and met its demise millions of years ago. The question is, what survival benefit did a useless wing provide? What was so great about this that allowed it and its offspring to flourish to the point where they mastered flight and left their reptilian forebears in the dust?

The one element (random mutation leading to natural selection based on improved survivability) that Darwinists must absolutely insist on seems to be the weakest point in the whole theory.
21 posted on 12/30/2005 10:24:57 AM PST by SalukiLawyer
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To: trek
But if time and mutation are the inevitable drivers of evolution and if these processes are constantly at work changing the species, then how can you explain the lack of any significant change in the Celocanth over a period of 100 million years?

I just obtained a couple of fossil tortoises from China dating back about 130 million years. They certainly resemble modern turtles in most respects.

But evolutionary theory does not require that species continue to evolve into something else. If a species achieves a niche where it is able to continue its population in a specific form, mutations that vary from that may or may not be rewarded. But the current form of that species which reproduces without significant mutations will continue to thrive.

Evolution only rewards beneficial mutations. It doesn't necessarily punish the species that doesn't mutate. Only if the lack of mutation puts it a disadvantage will the "original" species start to be eliminated.

It's not just that fish that hasn't seen much change. Neither has the shark or the crocodile. And looking at my turtles, they haven't improved much on the design, either.

22 posted on 12/30/2005 10:26:37 AM PST by Dog Gone
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To: canuck_conservative
Here is a quote I found searching out the details on our fishy friend.

"Arnaz called Mark's attention to the creature. To most folks, the fish might have been little more than a curiosity, but Mark was a marine biologist with a recent PhD from the University of California at Berkeley, resulting from his study of mantis shrimps in Indonesia. He recognized it immediately as a coelacanth, a "living fossil" whose body plan hadn't changed appreciably in hundreds of millions of years." (emphasis mine)

First off let me apologize, the spelling of the fish's name is "coelacanth."

Secondly, your point (and the point of several others) appears to be valid. Some species appear to evolve and others not. This is really a generalization of my original argument. I have not seen a satisfactory explanation for this observation. Unless perhaps evolution is extremely rare. In which case it would seem unlikely to provide a satisfactory explanation for the great diversity of life we observe.

23 posted on 12/30/2005 10:29:58 AM PST by trek
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To: SalukiLawyer
The question is, what survival benefit did a useless wing provide?


24 posted on 12/30/2005 10:33:51 AM PST by PatrickHenry (Virtual Ignore for trolls, lunatics, dotards, common scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
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To: PatrickHenry
"The question is, what survival benefit did a useless wing provide?"

Got those dudes a blockbuster movie. Top that!

25 posted on 12/30/2005 10:35:06 AM PST by trek
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To: RightWingAtheist
Humans are not "higher" or "more evolved" than other living lineages. Since our lineages split, humans and chimpanzees have each evolved traits unique to our own lineages.

Thanks for the link. When I was reading it, I saw this next to the picture that places humans, gorillas, and chimps on the same level of the tree. So I am to understand that whatever made humans so much more (hate to sound specieist) capable is not a result of longer or better evolutionary processes, but just a really lucky deal in the random game of evolutionary poker?
26 posted on 12/30/2005 10:35:45 AM PST by SalukiLawyer
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To: trek

For further reference, here's a link to the NOVA episode on the "living fossil":

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/fish/


27 posted on 12/30/2005 10:39:39 AM PST by VOA
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To: PatrickHenry
Cute. But I think penguins are birds who are able to live in an extreme environment by flying underwater. A penguin born with a freakishly large wing would simply die, since it would not be suited to its lifestyle.

By posting a picture of a successful creature that has unusual means to deal with an extreme environment, you have shed no light on the issue of original random mutations. I want to rewind the tape a few millions years to transitional individuals and talk about them.
28 posted on 12/30/2005 10:40:46 AM PST by SalukiLawyer
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To: txzman
Evolution cannot be successfully argued against

That's because it's a competing faith.

29 posted on 12/30/2005 10:41:02 AM PST by Pyro7480 (Sancte Joseph, terror daemonum, ora pro nobis!)
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To: RightWingAtheist
...one last crevo article to ring it in!

Don't count on it. We average between one and six crevo threads per day.

30 posted on 12/30/2005 10:46:04 AM PST by Junior (Identical fecal matter, alternate diurnal period)
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To: SalukiLawyer
The question is, what survival benefit did a useless wing provide?

"Useless" wings don't provide any benefit. Then again, how do you know it was useless?

Perhaps if the question were a bit less Perry Masonish, you'd get more takers.

31 posted on 12/30/2005 10:49:33 AM PST by Senator Bedfellow
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To: SalukiLawyer

"But I think penguins are birds who are able to live in an extreme environment by flying underwater."

We like to call it swimming.


32 posted on 12/30/2005 10:49:52 AM PST by CarolinaGuitarman ("There is grandeur in this view of life...")
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To: RightWingAtheist

"...We have a "theory of gravity" that predicts the speed at which two objects.."

Sorry, gravity is a law. It's proven to exist. Besides a proper statement would describe acceleration of two objects towards one another in a gravitational field. You need a time variant with a known acceleration to "predict speed".

If you're going to slam alternative theories, such as ID, get your facts straight, first.


33 posted on 12/30/2005 10:59:23 AM PST by b359
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To: b359
"Sorry, gravity is a law."

Sorry, the theory of gravity is just that, a theory. No theories are ever proven in science. If you're going to make statements about science, know what you're talking about first.
34 posted on 12/30/2005 11:02:49 AM PST by CarolinaGuitarman ("There is grandeur in this view of life...")
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To: RightWingAtheist

35 posted on 12/30/2005 11:03:08 AM PST by Junior (Identical fecal matter, alternate diurnal period)
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To: b359
Sorry, gravity is a law. It's proven to exist.

Sorry, but you're absolutely wrong. The "law" of gravity show that objects attract one another. The "theory" of gravity (actually, "theories" as there is more than one) attempt to explain why the objects attract.

36 posted on 12/30/2005 11:07:09 AM PST by Junior (Identical fecal matter, alternate diurnal period)
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To: b359

The law of gravity is simply wrong (Newton's). The theory of gravity (Einstein's) is closer to reality.

You might be thinking of the fact that things fall down. But facts are less reliable in science than theories. There are things that don't fall down. There are things, like the moon, that are getting further away.


37 posted on 12/30/2005 11:12:17 AM PST by js1138 (Great is the power of steady misrepresentation.)
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To: 2banana
1. Evolution doesn't explain anything on how it all began. As a theory, it is grossly incomplete. At least intelligent design has a theory on the "absolute beginning."

Every scientific theory is "incomplete," in the sense that it doesn't explain everything. The theory of gravity tells us how matter behaves, but not where matter came from. The theory of evolution is a very good scientific theory for what it is-- an explanation of how different species diverged from a commaon ancestor. It does not expalin the origin of life, the universe and everything.

2. Where did the laws of nature and physics come from? They shape nature and effect evolution. Do we ignore the “architect” and just focus on the designs? Would this make any sense in any field of science or engineering?

Personally, I think those laws were created by God. But that is not a scientific theory. Studying how the laws of nature work helps us do the things that science is useful for-- building airplanes or computers, finding cures for diseases, predicting storms. Contemplating where those laws came from is important, but not for doing scientific things. It is important for telling us how to live. As Einstein said, "science without religion is blind; religion without science is lame."

3. Esteemed mathematicians and scientists have put forward fully vetted and accepted theories that the complex life we see on earth could have no way "accidentally" evolved in the “short” accepted age of the universe. The time period is too small and the complexity of life is too advanced or that there is no scientific way a cell could have evolved over any period of time in the life of the universe and in stages (as evolution demands). If these scientifically based theories can just be ignored, why not other theories?

There is no such "fully vetted and accepted theory."

Again, I believe that, ultimately, God created us, and that evolution is how He did it. But there is, as yet, nothing scientific about that belief.

4. The millions of miracles that have occurred and the hundred of thousands that have been documented since written history. Are they all fakes and hoaxes? Just because we can’t explain them should we just ignore them? Does this remind you of the 14th century “the world is flat” belief system or the universe revolves around the earth closed mindedness?

Not many people are claiming to have documented miracles in recent times, except the Hindus, and I'm personally dubious of their claims.

5. The historical accuracy of the Bible. Nearly a year doesn't go by where some archeologist finds a city/people/event/ruler exactly where the Bible said it was or medical/scientific breakthrough proves the validity of a Biblical historical point. So, if historically, the Bible can be trusted, why not on some spiritual level?

I do trust the Bible (at least the OT-- I'm a Jew) on a spiritual level. I'm not sure what this has to do with Darwin's Theory of Evolution.

6. We have free will. We have morals and a conscience. We make ethical choices every day. Where did that come from? If we just "evolved" we should be just be following our natural DNA pre-programming as near robots (like flowers or wolves or fishes do - they do what they do because that is what they are - they can not choose to do different). Are we just blobs of DNA - and that is it? Then I/we are responsible for nothing - the DNA made me do it.

Again, I personally believe that God, using the laws of nature which He created, caused us to evolve to a point where we have a conscience and thus an ability to do (or reject) His will. But here, as in your other points, you seem to be arguing more against atheism than against the Theory of Evolution. They're not the same, you know.

7. It is interesting that nearly all cultures and peoples in nearly every corner of the globe since the dawn of mankind have "invented" a God. Almost like we were preprogrammed to do so? If it was just a “random thing,” why is it so prevalent?

See #6 above.

8. I can blow huge holes in the theory of evolution in explanation on how humans got here.

I doubt it. You certainly haven't on this thread, and a Nobel prize awaits you if you really could.

For instance - evolution can not explain the "origin of life" from dead chemicals

Of course not, that's not part of the TOE and never was.

and the fossil evidence is unviable and dubious (at best) from animal to man. We know more on how the Brontosaurus evolved than man. Why is that? Is it because we have not looked hard enough or is it we are looking for something that doesn’t exist?

Hardly. We have many fossil transitionals from australopithecus to homo sapiens sapiens.

38 posted on 12/30/2005 11:20:52 AM PST by Lurking Libertarian (Non sub homine, sed sub Deo et lege)
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To: 2banana
Let's face it, "Darwinism has become Naturalism" and it is just as much religion as Christianity, Judaism, etc. Naturalists "worship" the idea that matter is all there is. What you see is what you get. Humanity is a product of time, chance, and natural selection. There can be nothing else outside of the natural system. Period. Any other claim is nonsense and nothing but superstition.

Untrue. All you have to do is come up with a potentially falsifiable test for a theory of supernatural intervention that also produces testable predictions for future experiments and data collection. Evolutionary theories have done this. If someone can produce a theory of intelligent design that meets these criteria, the science community will be all over it. Till then, the supernatural is for the church, not the laboratory.

39 posted on 12/30/2005 11:24:39 AM PST by Quark2005 (Divination is NOT science.)
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To: SalukiLawyer
So I am to understand that whatever made humans so much more (hate to sound specieist) capable is not a result of longer or better evolutionary processes, but just a really lucky deal in the random game of evolutionary poker?

Depends how you define 'more capable'. If by 'more capable' you mean tree-climbing ability, chimps have us beaten, hands-down. Both intelligence and tree-climbing ability are adaptations for survival; both have worked.

40 posted on 12/30/2005 11:34:01 AM PST by Quark2005 (Divination is NOT science.)
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To: 2banana
The Theory of Evolution is just that - A Theory. The Theory of Intelligent Design is just that - A Theory.

The ToE is a theory; perhaps the best established major theory in modern science. It explains how evolution occurred; that evolution occurred is as well established a fact as anything in science.

As pointed out by others on many prior threads, "The Theory of Intelligent Design" is not a theory; it lacks the attributes of successfully explaining data and making testable predictions.

And just what is "Intelligent Design Theory"? How does it explain how evolution occurred? All I see them saying is that "We don't like Darwin," and "I don't believe that natural selection could have produced this or that biological structure, so Godthe Intelligent Designer did it"; without any scientific evidence, or evidence of process.

From the Wikipedia "Theory" article, the following are the characteristics of a scientific theory--how does "Intelligent Design Theory" meet them?:


Characteristics

In science, a body of descriptions of knowledge is usually only called a theory once it has a firm empirical basis, i.e., it

is consistent with pre-existing theory to the extent that the pre-existing theory was experimentally verified,

though it will often show pre-existing theory to be wrong in an exact sense,

is supported by many strands of evidence rather than a single foundation, ensuring that it probably is a good approximation if not totally correct,

makes predictions that might someday be used to disprove the theory,

is tentative, correctable and dynamic, in allowing for changes to be made as new data is discovered, rather than asserting certainty, and

is the most parsimonious explanation, sparing in proposed entities or explanations, commonly referred to as passing Occam's Razor


41 posted on 12/30/2005 11:49:50 AM PST by MRMEAN (Better living through nuclear explosives)
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To: RightWingAtheist
The theory of evolution has not been proved as fully as the theory of gravity.

I disagree. TOE has survived 150 years of testing largely intact albeit modified. OTOH, Newton's theory is known now to be wrong and Einstein's theory is generally understood to be, at the least, incomplete and is expected to be transcended by unification with quantum theory.

So, it seems to me that, right now, TOE is stronger that the orthodox theory of gravity.

42 posted on 12/30/2005 11:58:24 AM PST by edsheppa
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To: MRMEAN

The Theory of Evolution (OF MAN) is just that - A Theory. The Theory of Intelligent Design is just that - A Theory.

No one is disputing animals adapting to their surroundings...


43 posted on 12/30/2005 12:02:41 PM PST by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - They want to die for Islam, and we want to kill them.)
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To: 2banana

"The Theory of Evolution (OF MAN) is just that - A Theory. The Theory of Intelligent Design is just that - A Theory."

ID is not a scientific theory. It is an untestable claim. It belongs to philosophy and theology, not science.
There is nothing above the *theory* level in science; no higher level to attain.


44 posted on 12/30/2005 12:05:42 PM PST by CarolinaGuitarman ("There is grandeur in this view of life...")
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To: BenLurkin
Is it true that this Court also ruled that instructors are forbidden to question, criticize or challenge evolution theory?

No.
45 posted on 12/30/2005 12:10:04 PM PST by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: trek
There were presumably many species swimming in the same sea as the Celocanth. And yet only the Celocanth displays no significant change over a 100 million years? Nice try but it doesn't explain the data.

What environmental changes do you assert should have driven the Celocanth order to complete extinction?
46 posted on 12/30/2005 12:11:14 PM PST by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: 2banana
The Theory of Evolution (OF MAN) is just that - A Theory. The Theory of Intelligent Design is just that - A Theory.

What hypothetical observation would falsify "The Theory of Intelligent Design"?
47 posted on 12/30/2005 12:12:21 PM PST by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: b359
Sorry, gravity is a law.

No, the "law of gravity" is a (inaccurate but mostly useful) mathematical relationship defining the resulting gravitational force between two masses. The cause of that force and the exact nature of the force itself is theory.

It's proven to exist.

No, there's no "proof" that the force is actually a direct result of the distortion of space-time between two masses. There's a lot of evidence in that regard, but no "proof".
48 posted on 12/30/2005 12:15:27 PM PST by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: CarolinaGuitarman
There is nothing above the *theory* level in science; no higher level to attain.

There is, of course, the highly-prized and rarely-granted Darwin Central Seal of Approvaltm ...

49 posted on 12/30/2005 12:24:40 PM PST by PatrickHenry (Virtual Ignore for trolls, lunatics, dotards, common scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
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To: Dimensio
It seems like "The Theory of Intelligent Design" has a couple of steps to go before it is ready to take on the theory of evolution.

One such step is determining Who did it? Seems like an in-house battle to determine if Zeus, Thor, Old Man Coyote or ??? is responsible for the I in ID.

This should serve to illustrate the problem science has with ID as well. How do you get a grasp on any data? It is all based on belief.

50 posted on 12/30/2005 12:26:02 PM PST by Coyoteman (I love the sound of beta decay in the morning!)
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