Skip to comments.The Religion of Science (Evolution as Faith!)
Posted on 01/13/2006 8:24:51 PM PST by WatchYourself
How can someone observe, study or experiment on evolution? Evolution is the process of something moving from one stage of development to another. What do we really have to scientifically prove evolution?
A scientist might have a fossil, but we can only speculate as to the age and appearance of the animal creating that fossil. No one has ever witnessed evolution of life, no one here now was there to observe, study and experiment. Like it or not, we can only form theories and beliefs about what might have been. As sound as these theories might be, they are and will always be theories. Evolution is simply a system of belief based on what we think might have happened. Those who believe in evolution have faith in the scientists abilities to speculate and imagine what might have been. This is not science. This is faith.
It is time we removed the phony and inaccurate label of science from evolution and see it for what it really is - a religion, based on faith and a system of belief. If public schools are not allowed to teach religion, then the theories of evolution have no place in a public school classroom. If they are allowed to teach theories based on faith, like evolution, then creationism should be taught also.
(Excerpt) Read more at capitolhilljournal.com ...
"More likely, he's only read that one paragraph from creationist websites, rather than from the book itself."
It's very rare that a creationist has spent the time to read the entire book to catch the full weight of Darwin's theory. It's actually very easy reading; without the usual jargon that weighs down most other scientific works.
Regarding your post #335, where you talk about Jehovahs Witnesses needing to know about blood types...here is a little story...
Acquaintances of mine(I say acquaintances, rather than friends, as these people are Jehovahs Witnesses themselves, thus they consider me not as a friend, but rather as an acquaintance), work in a hospital lab, as lab technicians...one aspect of their job, required drawing blood from the patients in the hospital, and then testing the blood for blood typing, in case of need of transfusions...I have always found this to be rather odd..
The lab tech, is a Jehovahs witness, and according to his faith, blood transfusions are a sin, as well as what he calls 'taking in of blood'...that includes eating steak rare, with the blood oozing, and a couple of other quirky things...at least this is what he tells me...they are to abstain completely from taking in blood of any sort, from any source, as it is a sin...
Yet, he earns his living which he uses to support himself and his family, by drawing the blood of others, whose direct purpose is to provide the means of medically safe transfusions, which he considers to be a sin...I always found this to be somewhat contradictory...when I questioned him on this, he himself admitted that he himself had moral questions concerning his beliefs about blood transfusions, considering his job and what it involved...
I asked him if he ever considered doing something else in the medical field, and he said no, he had not...Its difficult for me, a non-Jehovahs witness to reconcile the fact, that someone who believes those who receive blood transfusions are committing a sin, and yet his job, and his diligence to that job, permit this person to commit what he considers to be a 'sin'...
I am not judging this man, as well I should not...I am just pointing out, I find his situation, well, odd..from what he tells me, he also finds it odd..
On the matter of Christian Scientists...I have worked for several years in nursing homes, and have taken care of 3 Christian Scientist ladies...as anyone who works in a nursing home realizes, you always wash your hands before and after you take care of any resident...I have sometimes wondered, if they felt my washing my hands before I took care of them, somehow violated their religious beliefs...
What always upset me the most about taking care of them, is that when they were at the end of their lives, we were always forbidden to take their vitals, and also forbidden to give them any type of med which would alleviate their pain and suffering...no even aspirin was allowed...I am not sure if this is indicative of all Christian Scientists, or just the ones that I took care of(remember these were elderly ladies, who came to Christian Science as youngsters, thus they were taught early on in time, and I am not sure if Christian Science changes from time to time)...Its very distressing to take care of someone and watch them die in extreme pain, and be unable to alleviate that pain...but as workers in the nursing home we had to abide by their wishes, taken from their religion, and not take their vital signs, or give them meds of any sort...
Its quite amazing, what different interpretations of the Bible, different religions espouse...
"I'm reminded of a fairly recent creationist claim of having read Darwin's book, then stating that finches -- which are mentioned only three times in the work -- are a "boring subject"."
I remember the post, but not the poster. It was the typical creationist stereotype. Some people just don't want to know.
Regarding your post #201...excellent...I just spent some time reading the link, 'What is Evolution', and I found it very informative as it does try to resolve the confusion about precise definitions of biological evolution,(as you have stated), and it tries to do so, not gearing itself so much to the scientist, but rather gearing itself to the 'layman', to those lacking a scientific education, or precise scientific knowledge...thus, its directed exactly to me, and I would assume to many on this thread...but I actually wonder how many have actually clicked onto your link, and read the article...
With PHs permission, I would just like to copy and paste the beginning of this article, because I do think its worth a read...
What is Evolution?
Copyright © 1993-1997 by Laurence Moran
[Last Update: January 22, 1993]
Most non-scientists seem to be quite confused about precise definitions of biological evolution. Such confusion is due in large part to the inability of scientists to communicate effectively to the general public and also to confusion among scientists themselves about how to define such an important term. When discussing evolution it is important to distinguish between the existence of evolution and various theories about the mechanism of evolution. And when referring to the existence of evolution it is important to have a clear definition in mind. What exactly do biologists mean when they say that they have observed evolution or that humans and chimps have evolved from a common ancestor?
One of the most respected evolutionary biologists has defined biological evolution as follows:
"In the broadest sense, evolution is merely change, and so is all-pervasive; galaxies, languages, and political systems all evolve. Biological evolution ... is change in the properties of populations of organisms that transcend the lifetime of a single individual. The ontogeny of an individual is not considered evolution; individual organisms do not evolve. The changes in populations that are considered evolutionary are those that are inheritable via the genetic material from one generation to the next. Biological evolution may be slight or substantial; it embraces everything from slight changes in the proportion of different alleles within a population (such as those determining blood types) to the successive alterations that led from the earliest protoorganism to snails, bees, giraffes, and dandelions."
- Douglas J. Futuyma in Evolutionary Biology, Sinauer Associates 1986
It is important to note that biological evolution refers to populations and not to individuals and that the changes must be passed on to the next generation. In practice this means that,
Evolution is a process that results in heritable changes in a population spread over many generations.
This is a good working scientific definition of evolution; one that can be used to distinguish between evolution and similar changes that are not evolution. Another common short definition of evolution can be found in many textbooks:
"In fact, evolution can be precisely defined as any change in the frequency of alleles within a gene pool from one generation to the next."
- Helena Curtis and N. Sue Barnes, Biology, 5th ed. 1989 Worth Publishers, p.974
I do find this excerpt to be quite helpful, perhaps others will find it helpful as well....
Thanks PatrickHenry for the info...
Be fair. ChessExpert claims to have understood the opening sentence of the chapter. But then Chuck started to use longer sentences, bigger words, and aubordinate clauses, and it got all too complicated.
I don't think I could handle that.
Re: the Witness working in the blood lab. Reminds me of the last line of John Ross' Unintended Consequences.(from memory, it's the thought that counts)
The First Lady: Dear, I know Jews can't eat pork, but can they raise hogs?
FL: I coulda sworn Mr. Mann said something about feeding the pigs.
[the hero had fed them dismembered ATFers, Mr. Mann was going to give them the director.]
Actually, the Witness sounds like he's in the same position as a Catholic helping an abortionist, although I imagine that blood sins are not considered as serious as murder.
Those who believe that the geological record is in any degree perfect, will undoubtedly at once reject the theory.
That seems clear.
It is indeed. Darwin is saying that if the fossil record is actually a perfect, complete record of every living thing which have ever lived on the face of the Earth, then the apparent "gaps" would show that evolutionary change had not taken place, because a gap in the record would mean an actual discontinuity in the life history.
HOWEVER, Darwin goes on to explain (CORRECTLY) that the fossil record is actually composed of only very isolated "snapshots" of certain places, times, and content. He's absolutely correct on this point.
It's very, very rare for the body of *any* animal, especially land animals, to be preserved at *all*. In most environments, the body will be eaten, decomposed, eroded, pulverized, or destroyed in any of countless different ways long before it could be "stored away" for later generations of paleontologists to find. And if it *does* manage to get buried in good condition through some enormous stroke of luck when the environmental conditions are just right, there's the question of whether it will *stay* in good shape over the next several million years, or be destroyed by worms, burrowing insects, bacteria, acidic groundwater, subsequent erosion, etc. etc. The extremely rare survivors of *that* can be subsequently buried so deep by other deposition that we'll never find them unless we dig up every square foot of the Earth to a depth of thousands of feet, or can be destroyed by subduction, or lost under a sea or ocean (there aren't many fossil hunters wandering around on the ocean floor), etc. etc. etc.
So Darwin correctly pointed out that the fossil record *itself* is such a spotty one that "gaps" in the fossil record are *expected*, and can not themselves be taken as evidence of the non-existence of certain forms or species.
The truth of this will become obvious when you realize that there are no fossilized examples of the vast majority of LIVING species. We *know* that these species exist (3,000,000+ and counting), and yet *most* of them have left no fossil trace of their existence. And so it obviously must have been for the countless species which have come and gone in the past, over hundreds of millions of years. Only a rare few have left a trace of their passing, which we have managed to find.
It is followed immediately by the following argument:
For my part, following out Lyell's metaphor, I look at the geological record as a history of the world imperfectly kept, and written in a changing dialect; of this history we possess the last volume alone, relating only to two or three countries. Of this volume, only here and there a short chapter has been preserved; and of each page, only here and there a few lines. Each word of the slowly-changing language, more or less different in the successive chapters, may represent the forms of life, which are entombed in our consecutive formations, and which falsely appear to have been abruptly introduced. On this view, the difficulties above discussed are greatly diminished, or even disappear. I put more weight on the one clear sentence, than on all the poetry that follows.
And well you should, because he's absolutely correct.
Think of it this way -- if you tried to trace your family tree, anything beyond a few hundred years ago would be *extremely* spotty. Entire wings of your family which once lived and thrived would have left no modern trace of their existence -- no lasting record that they had ever lived. Even your direct lineage (your great-great-great-grandfather, his father, his parents before him, etc.) would have major holes in it as you tried to reconstruct your descent from, say, your original Celtic ancestors. Does this mean that you didn't actually *have* a great-great-great-grandfather? Or does it just mean that it's very rare for people hundreds of years ago to have their lives documented in detail, *and* for those records to survive the long passage of time, *and* for the few surviving records to end up in locations where you can manage to locate them when you're trying to find them (as opposed to lost in someone's attic trunk five thousand miles away, listed in no index or catalog)?
Gaps in the fossil record tell us little, because the fossil record *itself* has left vast numbers of living things "undocumented". Instead, we should be thankful for the fossils which *have* miraculously survived the eons and then fallen into human hands, and learn what we can from the evidence we *do* manage to glean from the past.
See for example Taxonomy, Transitional Forms, and the Fossil Record. Excerpt:
The recognition and interpretation of patterns in the fossil record require an awareness of the limitations of that record. Only a very small fraction of the species that have lived during past geologic history is preserved in the rock record. Most marine species are soft-bodied, or have thin organic cuticles, and are essentially unpreservable except under the most extraordinary conditions. Furthermore, the destructive processes active in most marine environments prevent the preservation of even shelled organisms under normal conditions. Preservational opportunities are even more limited in the terrestrial environment. Most fossil vertebrate species are represented by no more than a few fragmentary remains. Because of the preservational biases of the fossil record, paleontologists must reconstruct evolutionary relationships from isolated branches of an originally very bushy tree.Also see: The Fossil Record: Evolution or "Scientific Creation"
[Note: "preservational bias" means that some kinds of organisms, and some kinds of environments/sediments, are more suitable for the preservation of fossils than others. - Ich.]
There are two opposite errors which need to be countered about the fossil record: (1) that it is so incomplete as to be of no value in interpreting patterns and trends in the history of life, and (2) that it is so good that we should expect a relatively complete record of the details of evolutionary transitions within most lineages.
What then is the nature of the fossil record? It can be confidently stated that only a very small fraction of the species that once lived on Earth has been preserved in the rock record and subsequently discovered and described by science. Our knowledge of the history of life can be put into perspective by a comparison with our knowledge of living organisms. About 1.5 million living species have been described by biologists, while paleontologists have catalogued only about 250,000 fossil species representing over 540 million years of Earth history (Erwin, 1993)! Why such a poor record?
From this brief survey of fossil vertebrates, it is clear that transitional forms between higher taxa are common features of the fossil record. The morphology of species within a higher taxonomic group becomes less divergent toward the point of origin of that group. Morphological diversity and disparity increase with time. In addition, transitional species possess mixtures of morphologic characters from different higher taxa often to the extent that their taxonomic assignment is uncertain. This pattern is obscured by taxonomy which gives a false impression of discontinuity. The fossil record thus provides good evidence for the large-scale patterns and trends in evolutionary history. Recognizing its limitations, the fossil record appears to be consistent with the wide range of evolutionary mechanisms already proposed.
For more transitional fossils (and documentation of creationist lies about it), see for example:
Now, getting back to specifics, the point you keep missing -- even though I over-belabored the point and drove it into the ground in my last post to you -- is that regardless of the "gaps", there is a vast amount of "nongap" data that you seem very determined to totally ignore. That available data itself makes an overwhelming case for Darwinian evolution. Why do you keep failing to address any of it? Why do you keep fixating on the inevitable "gaps", and not on the evidence? The evidence is *far* more complete than the "gappers" like to imply, and makes an incredibly compelling case on its own. Why aren't you looking at *that*?
Now back to your specific charge. You write of, "the many rationales Darwin's defenders provide to explain away the gaps in the record". First, no one is trying to "explain away" the gaps. What we're trying to explain to the creationists who "can't see the forest for the gaps" is that:
1. There will always be gaps in the fossil record, for the obvious fact that not everything gets fossilized, then not everything that gets fossilized will survive (many are destroyed by erosion, subduction, etc.), then not every fossil that survives will be accessible (some will be buried deep in the Earth), then not every accessible fossil will be discovered (people can't scour every square inch of the planet), etc. etc. Hell, there aren't even fossils for each and every species that exists *today*, so obviously the fossil record will always be a small fractional slice of all life that has ever lived on the Earth.
2. Because there will always be gaps, one can't conclude a damned thing from the simple fact that gaps exist in the record. Of *course* they do. There would be gaps no matter *what* the reality of the history of life on Earth was, even if it *was* truly gradualistic change. Even then there would still be gaps in the fossil record, because that record *itself* is "gappy" -- fossilization occurs too rarely to cause a "snapshot" of every significant lifeform at every significant moment in time at every significant location on Earth. Period.
3. So the meaningful question (for anyone who actually *wants* to seek the truth, instead of seeking excuses to ignore the evidence like the creationists do) is this: Is the pattern of the fossil evidence we *do* manage to find (including the pattern of the "gaps" in that evidence) of the type we would expect to find if (a) Darwinian evolution actually happened in the way predicted by the Theory, and (b) fossilization produced imperfect snapshots of that process in the way fossilation is known to take place (and not take place)? The answer to *that* question is a resounding "yes".
Come on, DRF, if you've done real engineering, you *know* how to do these kinds of analyses. If you have a process that occurs in a certain way, *and* you can only take samples or observations of that process at certain intervals or from certain narrow viewing angles or whatever, you know how to work out how to test whether the results of your limited sampling method matches the expected operational results or not. It's not rocket science.
Similarly, it's not hard to determine whether the fossils that we *do* find (GIVEN THE KNOWN LIMITATIONS OF FOSSILIZATION AND RECOVERY) are of the number, kind, and pattern that we would expect to find if life arose by evolutionary processes. And when we do such determinations, we find that the actual fossil record *does* match the predictions of evolutionary biology. So any whining about "there are still gaps" is just tunnel-visioned naysaying.
These are not "rationales". These are informed analyses. And it's not just "Darwin's defenders". Anyone with any existing belief can perform the same analyses and get the same results -- if they honestly want to. The creationists don't.
On the same subject Darwin himself wrote:
There's absolutely nothing in the fossil record that "undermines" Darwinian evolution. The *only* thing I've seen the creationists even *attempt* to offer in support of such a ludicrous statement is itself an obvious, blatant fallacy -- all such claims rest on the fallacy that "absence of evidence is evidence of absence". In other words, they rashly conclude that if there's a gap in the fossil record, it represents "proof" that there are no transitions to be found. The obvious nature of the fallacy is twofold:
1. Many of the gaps are simply spans where no fossils are available AT ALL, for ANY animals of any kind, because of subduction, deep deposition, or other obvious reasons. It really is obviously a "missing data" problem, *not* a "missing XYZ when everything else has been found" problem, as the creationists like to dishonestly imply. For example, it's extremely rare to find *any* mammal fossils of any kind from the Oligocene era. It's not just the "transitions" which are missing from that era, almost *all* fossils from that era are unobtainable.
2. You'd think the creationists would stop making this error, because they've fallen on their faces *so* many times already doing it. It seems that just when the creationists like to make a Poster Child of a particular "missing link", paleontologists find it after all. Whales with legs, proto-birds with partially formed wings, fish with feet, proto-mammals with jaw joints that are half reptilian and half mammalian... The list goes on and on. Creationists kept ridiculing biologists for not finding these "obviously" ludicrous life forms which would "obviously" remain "missing links" forever as an eternal "gap" in the fossil record -- and then such fossils *were* found to fill in the gaps that the creationists had wrongly presumed were "real" gaps. Oops.
Furthermore, by ranting obsessively about "gaps", you keep overlooking the fact that many, many, *MANY* lineages HAVE been filled by enough fortuitously found fossils to provide a clear, continuous record of evolutionary change across many millions of years, of the kind that the creationists keep falsely claiming aren't possible and don't actually happen. Oops again for the creationists. Any special reason you're not discussing *those*?
Additionally, you're glossing over the fact (I *hope* it's because of ignorance, not dishonesty) that even when "gaps" exist, they're often small and minor enough that the fossil sequences which have been found provide an overwhelmingly complete picture of the evolutionary relationships. Creationists often like to try to convince people that any gap at all is a vast discontinuity, but let's face it, when the gaps are minor enough and the nongap data is voluminous enough, it doesn't take a genius to literally "connect the dots" when the picture is that complete and obvious.
Finally, the creationists like to "forget" to deal with the fact that even when (often relatively minor) gaps exist in fossil sequences, DNA analysis and other kinds of independent evidence can and does provide overwhelming cross-confirmation of the fact that the apparent fossil lineages (gaps and all) are, indeed, true lines of descent. But the creationists don't like to talk about that...
We shall, perhaps, best perceive the improbability of our being enabled to connect species by numerous, fine, intermediate, fossil links, by asking ourselves whether, for instance, geologists at some future period will be able to prove, that our different breeds of cattle, sheep, horses, and dogs have descended from a single stock or from several aboriginal stocks [...] are really varieties or are, as it is called, specifically distinct. This could be effected only by the future geologist discovering in a fossil state numerous intermediate gradations; and such success seems to me improbable in the highest degree.Here Darwin was pointing out that new breeds can appear in just dozens or hundreds of years, and yet representative fossils of the transitions are unlikely to be produced or preserved, because they are so few in number (and fossilization is a rare event requiring special circumstances).
Even so, Darwin's pessimism was overstated. Countless transitional fossils, including many gradual sequences, have been found, wonderfully supporting evolution in both large and small scopes. But Darwin's points still stand and explain why we'll likely never be able to recover *all* (or even a large majority) of such sequences.
I got the link from one of Ichneumon's always-enlightening posts.
I actually wonder how many have actually clicked onto your link, and read the article...
The creationists never visit The List-O-Links.. If any do go there, once they see how much material is available they quickly return to the thread and mumble something about "no proof!" and then their one brief shining moment of being on the verge of learning something is over.
This is very incorrect.
Let's see what Gould *ACTUALLY* says on this subject, shall we?
"We believe that Huxley was right in his warning. The modern theory of evolution does not require gradual change. In fact, the operation of Darwinian processes should yield exactly what we see in the fossil record."Or as accurately summarized by another author:
- Gould, Stephen J. The Panda's Thumb, 1980, p. 181-182
"It [PE] represents no departure from Darwinian mechanisms."
-- Gould and Eldredge 1977, Section IV, "PE as the basis for a Theory of Macroevolution", page 139
"Evolution is a theory of organic change, but it does not imply, as many people assume, that ceaseless flux is the irreducible state of nature and that structure is but a temporary incarnation of the moment. Change is more often a rapid transition between stable states than a continuous transformation at slow and steady rates."
-- Gould, Stephen Jay 1980. "A Quahog is a Quahog", The Panda's Thumb. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., pp. 204-13
"Many colleagues thought that we had raised the old anti-Darwinian specter of macromutationism, or truly sudden speciation in a single generation by a large and incredibly lucky mutation. I do not know why this happened; I think that all our articles and public statements were clear in separating human from geological rapidity. The theory, after all, is rooted in this distinction - for punctuated equilibrium is the recognition that gradualism on our mortal measuring rod of three score years and ten translates to suddenness at the planet's temporal scale."
-- S. J. Gould, "Opus 200"
"For a variety of reasons, small isolated populations have unusual potential for effective change: for example, favorable genes can quickly spread throughout the population, while the interaction of random change (rarely important in large populations) with natural selection provides another effective pathway for substantial evolution. Even with these possibilities for accelerated change, the formation of a new species from a peripherally isolated population would be glacially slow by the usual standard of our lifetimes. Suppose the process took five to ten thousand years. We might stand in the midst of this peripheral isolate for all our earthly days and see nothing in the way of major change. But now we come to the nub of punctuated equilibrium. Five to ten thousand years may be an eternity in human time, but such an interval represents an earthly instant in almost any geological situationa single bedding plane (not a gradual sequence through meters of strata)."
"What then is the expected geological expression of speciation in a peripherally isolated population? The answer is, and must be, punctuated equilibrium. The speciation event occurs in a geological instant and in a region of limited extent at some distance from the parental population. In other words, punctuated equilibriumand not gradualismis the expected geological translation for the standard account of speciation in evolutionary theory. Species arise in a geological momentthe punctuation (slow by our standards, abrupt by the planet's). [...] Most of our paleontological colleagues missed this insight because they had not studied evolutionary theory and either did not know about allopatric speciation or had not considered its translation to geological time. Our evolutionary colleagues also failed to grasp the implication, primarily because they did not think at geological scales."
"Charles Darwin often remarked that his revolutionary work had two distinct aims: first, to demonstrate the fact of evolution (the genealogical connection of all organisms and a history of life regulated by "descent with modification"); second, to advance the theory of natural selection as the most important mechanism of evolution. Darwin triumphed in his first aim (American creationism of the Christian far right notwithstanding). Virtually all thinking people accept the factuality of evolution, and no conclusion in science enjoys better documentation. Darwin also succeeded substantially in his second aim. Natural selection, an immensely powerful idea with radical philosophical implications, is surely a major cause of evolution, as validated in theory and demonstrated by countless experiments.
S. J. Gould, "The New York Review of Books", Volume 44, Number 10 · June 12, 1997
"...may I state for the record that I (along with all other Darwinian pluralists) do not deny either the existence and central importance of adaptation, or the production of adaptation by natural selection. Yes, eyes are for seeing and feet are for moving. And, yes again, I know of no scientific mechanism other than natural selection with the proven power to build structures of such eminently workable design."
"But Gould, Eldredge and Stanley are talking about the failure of the fossil record to document fine-scale transitions between pairs of species, and its dramatic documentation of rapid evolutionary bursts involving multiple speciation events -- so-called adaptive radiations. They are not talking about any failure of the fossil record to document the existence of intermediate forms (to the contrary, there are so many intermediates for many well-preserved taxa that it is notoriously difficult to identify true ancestors even when the fossil record is very complete). Nor are Gould, Eldredge, and Stanley talking about any failure of the fossil record to document large-scale trends, which do exist, however jerky they may be. Furthermore, fine-scale transitions are not absent from the fossil record but are merely underrepresented. Eldredge, Gould. and Stanley reason that this is the unsurprising consequence of known mechanisms of speciation. Additionally, certain ecological conditions may favor speciation and rapid evolution, so new taxa may appear abruptly in the fossil record in association with adaptive radiation. Since creationists acknowledge that fine-scale transitions (including those resulting in reproductive isolation) exist and since the fossil record clearly documents large-scale "transitions," it would seem that the creationists have no case. Indeed. they do not. Their case is an artifact of misrepresentation to the lay public of exactly what the fossil record fails to document."And for anyone who thinks that Gould's "Punctuated Equilibrium" is somehow a departure from Darwin's own view:
-- Laurie R. Godfrey, "Scientific Creationism: The Art of Distortion", 1984
I further believe that these slow, intermittent results accord well with what geology tells us of the rate and manner at which the inhabitants of the world have changed." (Darwin, Ch. 4, "Natural Selection," pp. 140-141)This is classic Puncuated Equilibrium -- from Darwin himself.
But I must here remark that I do not suppose that the process ever goes on so regularly as is represented in the diagram, though in itself made somewhat irregular, nor that it goes on continuously; it is far more probable that each form remains for long periods unaltered, and then again undergoes modification. (Darwin, Ch. 4, "Natural Selection," pp. 152)
"It is a more important consideration ... that the period during which each species underwent modification, though long as measured by years, was probably short in comparison with that during which it remained without undergoing any change." (Darwin, Ch. 10, "On the imperfection of the geological record," p. 428)
"Widely ranging species vary most, and varieties are often at first local, -- both causes rendering the discovery of intermediate links less likely. Local varieties will not spread into other and distant regions until they are considerably modified and improved; and when they do spread, if discovered in a geological formation, they will appear as if suddenly created there, and will be simply classed as new species. [Charles Darwin, Origin of Species 1st Edition 1859, p.439]
But we continually over-rate the perfection of the geological record, and falsely infer, because certain genera or families have not been found beneath a certain stage, that they did not exist before that stage. We continually forget how large the world is, compared with the area over which our geological formations have been carefully examined; we forget that groups of species may elsewhere have long existed and have slowly multiplied before they invaded the ancient archipelagoes of Europe and of the United States. We do not make due allowance for the enormous intervals of time, which have probably elapsed between our consecutive formations, -- longer perhaps in some cases than the time required for the accumulation of each formation. These intervals will have given time for the multiplication of species from some one or some few parent-forms; and in the succeeding formation such species will appear as If suddenly created.
I may here recall a remark formerly made, namely that it might require a long succession of ages to adapt an organism to some new and peculiar line of life, for instance to fly through the air; but that when this had been effected, and a few species had thus acquired a great advantage over other organisms, a comparatively short time would be necessary to produce many divergent forms, which would be able to spread rapidly and widely throughout the world.
I will now give a few examples to illustrate these remarks; and to show how liable we are to error in supposing that whole groups of species have suddenly been produced.
[many excellent examples snipped for length -- Darwin lists several examples from even his own day of fossils which were thought to have first appeared "suddenly" in certain formations with "no" prior appearance of fossils, only later to discover precursors in earlier formations]
Some few families of fish now have a confined range; the teleostean fish might formerly have had a similarly confined range, and after having been largely developed in some one sea, might have spread widely. Nor have we any right to suppose that the seas of the world have always been so freely open from south to north as they are at present. Even at this day, if the Malay Archipelago were converted into land, the tropical parts of the Indian Ocean would form a large and perfectly enclosed basin, in which any great group of marine animals might be multiplied; and here they would remain confined, until some of the species became adapted to a cooler climate, and were enabled to double the southern capes of Africa or Australia, and thus reach other and distant seas.
-- Charles Darwin, "On the Origin of Species", 1859
Species of different genera and classes have not changed at the same rate, or in the same degree. In the oldest tertiary beds a few living shells may still be found in the midst of a multitude of extinct forms. Falconer has given a striking instance of a similar fact, in an existing crocodile associated with many strange and lost mammals and reptiles in the sub-Himalayan deposits. The Silurian Lingula differs but little from the living species of this genus; whereas most of the other Silurian Molluscs and all the Crustaceans have changed greatly. The productions of the land seem to change at a quicker rate than those of the sea, of which a striking instance has lately been observed in Switzerland. There is some reason to believe that organisms, considered high in the scale of nature, change more quickly than those that are low: though there are exceptions to this rule. The amount of organic change, as Pictet has remarked, does not strictly correspond with the succession of our geological formations; so that between each two consecutive formations, the forms of life have seldom changed in exactly the same degree. Yet if we compare any but the most closely related formations, all the species will be found to have undergone some change. When a species has once disappeared from the face of the earth, we have reason to believe that the same identical form never reappears. The strongest apparent exception to this latter rule, is that of the so- called `colonies' of M. Barrande, which intrude for a period in the midst of an older formation, and then allow the pre- existing fauna to reappear; but Lyell's explanation, namely, that it is a case of temporary migration from a distinct geographical province, seems to me satisfactory.
These several facts accord well with my theory. I believe in no fixed law of development, causing all the inhabitants of a country to change abruptly, or simultaneously, or to an equal degree. The process of modification must be extremely slow. The variability of each species is quite independent of that of all others. Whether such variability be taken advantage of by natural selection, and whether the variations be accumulated to a greater or lesser amount, thus causing a greater or lesser amount of modification in the varying species, depends on many complex contingencies, -- on the variability being of a beneficial nature, on the power of intercrossing, on the rate of breeding, on the slowly changing physical conditions of the country, and more especially on the nature of the other inhabitants with which the varying species comes into competition. Hence it is by no means surprising that one species should retain the same identical form much longer than others; or, if changing, that it should change less. We see the same fact in geographical distribution; for instance, in the land-shells and coleopterous insects of Madeira having come to differ considerably from their nearest allies on the continent of Europe, whereas the marine shells and birds have remained unaltered. We can perhaps understand the apparently quicker rate of change in terrestrial and in more highly organised productions compared with marine and lower productions, by the more complex relations of the higher beings to their organic and inorganic conditions of life, as explained in a former chapter.
-- Charles Darwin, "On the Origin of Species"
What you said! Except I was too lazy to look for the proper quotes. :)
Explain why the entire history is measured in relation to the birth of Jesus Christ? There are over 300 prophesies concerning the birth, life, death, ressurection and assension of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament. All of them were fulfilled. He claimed to be God. If he is not God, he was a crazy man. It's one or the other.
There is far more objective evidence that Jesus is the Son of God than there is for evolution. There were witnesses to the events of Christ's life. There are none for evolution.
Why do you wilfully ignore the evidence concerning Jesus Christ? It can't be because you lack the ability to exercise faith. after all, you believe in evolution, for which there is far less evidence.
As for your posts, there is nothing to rebut because all the links you have ever provided are filled with words implying speculation.
Where is the objective evidence for evolution. Even the plaintiffs' witnesses in the Dover trial admitted that evolution is not a fact. It is one thing for an evolutionist to claim evolution is a fact in some biased article. The witnesses at the Dover trial knew that if they had claimed evolution was a fact, they would have been ripped a new one.
You are an intellectual lightweight.
Well, then to Ichneumon, many thanks for the link, which PatrickHenry credits to you, in his post #201..
Regarding your observation on how many actually do go to the List-O-Links for reading material....you are quite right, that for many, its just too much info, and they dont want to take the time to read, and digest what they have read...I, however, and I am sure there are many more such as me, look forward to tackling a new piece of information or reading material, and seeing where it leads me...
Do always remember, there are many lurkers out there, who may never, ever participate on these threads, while at the same time, they may be reading something from your List-O-Links...
Directly observed means eyewitnesses must have seen it. Are you claiming that there arer eyewitnesses to macro-evolution? Who was this person who has observed macro-evolution?
I hear from them ... every now and then.
How come there's still apes and humans together if we evolved from them? And if evolution were true there would be many thousands or more of transitional fossils throughout the fossil record and those are not there. I think Darwin would admit today if he were alive that his theory doesn't stand up to logic.
Watching someone dying, is always difficult, but when they are in extreme pain, that could be alleviated with meds, which are refused on religious grounds is especially difficult...most of us that do that kind of work, try to comfort the dying, in ways other than the use of meds.... its rarely effective, but at least we feel more useful, trying to help them die more peacefully...
I guess there are many people like my Jehovahs Witness acquaintance, who chose to make compromises with their faith...I know, at least by my talks with him, this is not an easy thing to do...
Gotcha, right? Admit it, you're stumped! Nyaaaa, nyaaaaaa, nyaaaaaaaaaaa!
Speciation through hybridization and/or polyploidy has long been considered much less important in animals than in plants [[[refs.]]]. A number of reviews suggest that this view may be mistaken. (Lokki and Saura 1980; Bullini and Nascetti 1990; Vrijenhoek 1994). Bullini and Nasceti (1990) review chromosomal and genetic evidence that suggest that speciation through hybridization may occur in a number of insect species, including walking sticks, grasshoppers, blackflies and cucurlionid beetles. Lokki and Saura (1980) discuss the role of polyploidy in insect evolution. Vrijenhoek (1994) reviews the literature on parthenogenesis and hybridogenesis in fish. I will tackle this topic in greater depth in the next version of this document.
Suggest? May? Doesn't seem to be direct observation to me. Those words imply speculation.
There are other example which imply a considerable degree of speculation. this was just the first one that I found. In no case, and I did not read all of the links completely, was there any direct observation of macro-evolution.
Any attempt to compare hybridization of plant life with animal life is a huge stretch; but I suppose if that's all you have, it's all you have.
Pelicans etc are birds that "fly above the earth" See your own quote of Gen 1:20.
Your distinction is incorrect.
Gotcha, right? Admit it, you're stumped! Nyaaaa, nyaaaaaa, nyaaaaaaaaaaa!
Actually I was not stumped, I was watching football!
Evolution usually comes when there is pressure. When the climate changes occurred in Africa some 6 million years ago, the forests started to shrink while the grasslands expanded. Primates living in these areas at the time diverged; one group went each direction.
The group that remained in the familiar terrain of the forests evolved little.
The group that went (probably was forced) into the grasslands had to evolve, and quickly, in response to new conditions.
That's the quick (half time) answer off the top from my grad school days. For more details, and probably a lot more recent details, see: PatrickHenry's List-O-Links. That is always a good starting place for this type of question.
See you all after the game.
The current issue of Scientific American has an article discussing the potential for mapping personal genomes. One wonders whether those who demonstrate a marked lack of ability to reason would avail themselves to gene therapies that might correct this condition. Would you be willing to take such a test in order to discover that you may possess genetic tendencies that engender spiritual belief?
I don't believe in science fiction or waste effort on wildly speculative scenarios.
Is an ancient George Carlin quote the best argument you have? How come there's still parents if we evolved from them? duh!
It isn't fair to FORCE non-Shaira Law on Muslim parents and children because it has religious consequences.
"Pelicans etc are birds that "fly above the earth" See your own quote of Gen 1:20."
The earth includes water AND land. All birds that fly, fly above the earth, whether above the land or above the water.
However, "Genesis 1:20 - And God said, Let the WATERS bring forth... and fowl that may fly above the earth..." is refering to fowl that live from the water (it is their domain).
"Genesis 2:19 - And out of the GROUND the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air..." is refering to fowl that live from the land.
We do not see Pelicans and Puffins in Oklahoma because they are birds of water.
The 2nd chapter of Genesis is added detail to the "Creation Account" using the "Law of Recurrence" I alluded to in an earlier post.
So where did chickens come from? They don't fly, and they're certainly not water-dwelling.
"More likely, he's only read that one paragraph from creationist websites, rather than from the book itself."
Perhaps some will find this a reasonable guess. But its wrong, please see post 286, where I mention my source.
"So where did chickens come from? They don't fly, and they're certainly not water-dwelling"
I have several chickens roosting 30 to 40 feet up in the trees, right now. Have you ever witnessed a chicken climbing a tree? LOL
Maybe you have been eating too many Tyson birds. ;)
"...evolution and see it for what it really is - a religion, based on faith and a system of belief."
a pseudo cult intent on the debasing, perversion, ridicule, belittling, deameaning and ultimate destruction of Christianity and its Western Culture and peoples.
Evolution is a cult of the devil's propagation.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.