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Evolution vs. Intelligent Design : Chesterfield School Board takes up debate on theories of life.
Richmond.com ^ | 06/05/2007 | Donna Gregory

Posted on 06/08/2007 10:45:45 AM PDT by SirLinksalot

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There's a new book out that seeks to improve the teaching of Evolution by the Inquiry-based approach. This will be based on arguments FOR and AGAINST Darwinism.

See here :

http://www.exploreevolution.com/

"The purpose of Explore Evolution, is to examine the scientific controversy about Darwin's theory, and in particular, the contemporary version of the theory known as neo-Darwinism. Whether you are a teacher, a student, or a parent, this book will help you understand what Darwin's theory of evolution is, why many scientists find it persuasive, and why other scientists question the theory or some key aspects of it.

Sometimes, scientists find that the same evidence can be explained in more than one way. When there are competing theories, reasonable people can (and do) disagree about which theory best explains the evidence. Furthermore, in the historical sciences, neither side can directly verify its claims about past events. Fortunately, even though we can't directly verify these claims, we can test them. How? First, we gather as much evidence as possible and look at it carefully. Then, we compare the competing theories in light of how well they explain the evidence.

Looking at the evidence and comparing the competing explanations will provide the most reliable path to discovering which theory, if any, gives the best account of the evidence at hand. In science, it is ultimately the evidence-and all of the evidence-that should tell us which theory offers the best explanation. This book will help you explore that evidence, and we hope it will stimulate your interest in these questions as you weigh the competing arguments"

1 posted on 06/08/2007 10:45:50 AM PDT by SirLinksalot
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To: SirLinksalot

If it’s a heavy topic that’s generated debate for years, then why the big fuss?


2 posted on 06/08/2007 10:52:39 AM PDT by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: SirLinksalot
Liberal: The universe sprang from in infinitesimally small point called a singularity....

Conservative: We call that "And God said, "Let there be light and there was light".........

3 posted on 06/08/2007 10:53:43 AM PDT by Red Badger (Bite your tongue. It tastes a lot better than crow................)
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To: SirLinksalot
Strikes me as ironic that one of the trends in education is -- not to educate. For example, in Math class, when discussing division of fractions, many teachers do not "teach the algorithm" (they don't tell or show how to do the work). Instead, the allow the students to "discover it for themselves". Geometry is great this way -- Every 6th grader can be as wise as Euclid. Or not.

But in the area of Evolution, someone who says:

"Let the evidence speak for itself and let [the students] draw their own conclusions."

Is a reactionary who dares to indicate that there are people who question Evolution and its role in the origin of species. Letting students "draw their own conclusions" is (in this case) crippling them for life with a flawed ability to do science.

Uh huh. No urge to indoctrinate here. No sir.

4 posted on 06/08/2007 11:00:30 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Enoch Powell was right.)
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To: Red Badger

I never saw Evolution v. Creationism as a Liberal v. Conservative issue.

Do you have any evidence to support your theory or do you have data that show that most all scientists in the fields of geology, biology, chemistry and astronomy are liberals?


5 posted on 06/08/2007 11:01:24 AM PDT by trumandogz
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To: trumandogz

My theory?....I don’t have a theory......


6 posted on 06/08/2007 11:07:02 AM PDT by Red Badger (Bite your tongue. It tastes a lot better than crow................)
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To: Red Badger
I don’t have a theory......

Well that may be obvious.

Why do you think Evolution and Creation are liberal and conservative issues?

7 posted on 06/08/2007 11:12:47 AM PDT by trumandogz
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To: trumandogz
Why do you think Evolution and Creation are liberal and conservative issues?

They aren't.......

8 posted on 06/08/2007 11:15:50 AM PDT by Red Badger (Bite your tongue. It tastes a lot better than crow................)
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To: ClearCase_guy

So true. We seem to live in backwards land where the proven is taught as speculative, and the speculative is taught as proven.


9 posted on 06/08/2007 11:22:58 AM PDT by dan1123 (You are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. --Jesus)
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To: trumandogz
do you have data that show that most all scientists in the fields of geology, biology, chemistry and astronomy are liberals?

""There was no field we studied in which there were more conservatives than liberals or more Republicans than Democrats." http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A8427-2005Mar28?language=printer
10 posted on 06/08/2007 11:28:59 AM PDT by dan1123 (You are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. --Jesus)
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To: dan1123

That would be in academia.

I would like to see poll on political philosophy of scientists in the private sector.


11 posted on 06/08/2007 11:32:43 AM PDT by trumandogz
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To: SirLinksalot
ID proponents constantly claim that their mission is about science, not about theology. To turn their theology into science, they claim that their god is not necessarily the designer, just that the scientific evidence shows that the world must have been designed.

"I believe God is the author of life, and I don't want anything taught in schools that denigrates that,"

Liars.

12 posted on 06/08/2007 11:47:55 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: SirLinksalot

BTW, the site is a sham. It is ostensibly a balanced look at the Theory of Evolution, but it is run by the Discovery Institute, a religious organization with the stated goal of replacing science with Christian theology.


13 posted on 06/08/2007 11:57:53 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: SirLinksalot

So the school board included creationism, they get sued, they lose (as they should), they appeal, they cost the property owner/taxpayers millions of dollars. All because they won’t accept science.


14 posted on 06/08/2007 12:00:06 PM PDT by DaGman (`)
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To: DaGman
So the school board included creationism, they get sued, they lose (as they should), they appeal, they cost the property owner/taxpayers millions of dollars.

The language used by the participants guarantees that they will be perceived as having a religious motive. This is the same kind of language that sank ID in the Dover trial. A couple of school board members were cited (but not charged) for perjury.

If any action results from this debate, it will cost the school board big bucks in legal fees and court costs.

15 posted on 06/08/2007 12:07:25 PM PDT by js1138
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To: SirLinksalot; gobucks; mikeus_maximus; JudyB1938; isaiah55version11_0; Elsie; LiteKeeper; ...


You have been pinged because of your interest regarding news, debate and editorials pertaining to the Creation vs. Evolution debate - from the young-earth creationist perspective.
To to get on or off this list (currently the premier list for creation/evolution news!), freep-mail me:
Add me / Remove me



Do you think it's only a matter of time before another Dover case brews? Or do you think the threat of having coffers drained by the ACLU lawsuits will keep everyone quiet?
16 posted on 06/08/2007 2:54:55 PM PDT by DaveLoneRanger (As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free.)
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To: trumandogz

Aren’t you up to speed? Scientists in the private sector are by default in the pocket of big business and biased toward whoever hires them. School boards will only trust university faculty.


17 posted on 06/08/2007 2:58:39 PM PDT by dan1123 (You are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. --Jesus)
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To: antiRepublicrat
Though The Discovery Institute's Jay W Richards is one of the authors of The Privileged Planet: How Our Place In The Universe Is Designed For Discovery. The other is is Guillermo Gonzalez, late of denied tenure at the University Of Iowa.

They make an extremely compelling case, and I have some science background, as I think one should in being able to discuss theology...particularly say, with Christopher Hitchens.

18 posted on 06/08/2007 3:27:32 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: SirLinksalot
Another speaker, Michael Slagle, presented a document containing 700 signatures of scientists worldwide who have questioned the validity of evolution.

NO, this just can't be! I mean the evos keep telling us that there aren't any "real" scientists out there who don't believe in evolution. I bet this puts a frown on their smiley faces.

19 posted on 06/08/2007 3:32:53 PM PDT by taxesareforever (Never forget Matt Maupin)
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To: trumandogz; Red Badger; dan1123
"Do you have any evidence to support your theory or do you have data that show that most all scientists in the fields of geology, biology, chemistry and astronomy are liberals?"

Strawman Alert No such assertion was made.

Geology and chemistry are science, while evolution is religion. Biology has been polluted with the illogical philosophy of the evolution/death culture. The death culture is distinctly leftist.

"I would like to see poll on political philosophy of scientists in the private sector."

Scientists are not the problem, it's the evolutionist/humanist philosophers and propagandists.

20 posted on 06/08/2007 3:58:22 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Turning the general election into a second Democrat primary is not a winning strategy.)
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To: ClearCase_guy
I would not consider a person who says "Let the evidence speak for itself and let [the students] draw their own conclusions" to be a reactionary.

Darwin's theory isn't the only one taught in introductory biology classes. Any lecture on macroevolution should cover at the bare minimum both gradualism (Darwin) and punctuated equilibrium (non-Darwin.)

Based on my experience, the students are learning about both, as they should. And, they are given the freedom to take both theories into account and decide, also as they should.

21 posted on 06/08/2007 6:32:35 PM PDT by Abd al-Rahiim
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To: editor-surveyor
There is one definition, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, that confirms your statement.

A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

In this sense, evolution most certainly can be a religion. I pursue its instruction in the science classroom everywhere with zeal and conscientious devotion, and I am against any and all attempts to legitimize intelligent design.

Of course, if this is the definition you're using, then you'd be hard pressed to say that intelligent design is not also religion.

So, exactly what definition are you using?

22 posted on 06/08/2007 6:41:46 PM PDT by Abd al-Rahiim
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To: Abd al-Rahiim
"In this sense, evolution most certainly can be a religion. I pursue its instruction in the science classroom everywhere with zeal and conscientious devotion, and I am against any and all attempts to legitimize intelligent design."

"Of course, if this is the definition you're using, then you'd be hard pressed to say that intelligent design is not also religion."

Thank you for admitting that evolution is just as much a religion as the naturalists claim is ID.

And that ID is just as 'scientific' as evolution.

23 posted on 06/08/2007 8:04:00 PM PDT by GourmetDan
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To: GourmetDan
You're welcome. I gave a definition from the AHD1 and found that it applies to both evolution and intelligent design. If that is the definition that editor-surveyor had in mind, then I have no qualms stating that evolution satisfies that definition for me.

And that ID is just as 'scientific' as evolution.

Now, I have not admitted anything like this. Oh, no.

Let's once again visit the American Heritage Dictionary. They define 'scientific' as an adjective meaning "Of, relating to, or employing the methodology of science"

The core of intelligent design ideology - our origin is best explained by divine intervention - cannot be observed, much less tested. As Kitzmiller v. Dover demonstrated, for intelligent design to be considered 'scientific,' the scientific method would have to be expanded to include the supernatural. There's a reason why no one has claimed James Randi's million dollars; supernatural phenomena disappears in the lab.

Whether you believe in intelligent design or not is none of my business. But, if it can't be observed or tested, it's not scientific.

1 Religion - A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

24 posted on 06/09/2007 5:59:47 AM PDT by Abd al-Rahiim
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To: SirLinksalot
The purpose of Explore Evolution, is to examine the scientific controversy about Darwin's theory

There is no scientific controversy over evolution. There is scholarly debate over things like the importance of allopatric versus sympatric speciation, gradualism versus punctuated evolution. But there is no scientific uncertainty over the reality of evolution, just a political and social one.
25 posted on 06/09/2007 11:59:18 AM PDT by DiogenesTheDog
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To: DiogenesTheDog
But there is no scientific uncertainty over the reality of evolution

Let's make this clearer.There is no scientific uncertainty over the reality of MICRO-evolution. There is NO CONVINCING EVIDENCE of MACRO-evolution. This is exactly what the book wants to address.
26 posted on 06/09/2007 6:01:50 PM PDT by SirLinksalot
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To: Abd al-Rahiim
"Now, I have not admitted anything like this. Oh, no."

Well, not explicity no. You never will. It will come down to parsing planck particles, however.

"Whether you believe in intelligent design or not is none of my business. But, if it can't be observed or tested, it's not scientific."

And using those same criteria, neither are the evolutionary steps that believe, unless you define them in terms that are consistent with ID.

It's a vicious circle and most naturalists cannot understand it.

27 posted on 06/09/2007 7:57:33 PM PDT by GourmetDan
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To: Abd al-Rahiim
"The core of intelligent design ideology - our origin is best explained by divine intervention - cannot be observed, much less tested."

Please provide a reference showing that this is the core of ID.

While you're at it, please provide a reference showing that our origin is best explained by natural processes - observable and testable, according to your own requirements for ID.

28 posted on 06/09/2007 7:59:35 PM PDT by GourmetDan
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To: stuartcr

>>At issue was the concept of intelligent design, and why none of the proposed textbooks offered an alternative to evolution for how the universe came to be.<<

Wow. What a dumb reporter. Evolutionary theory does not in any way, shape or form even talk about how the universe came to be.


29 posted on 06/09/2007 8:02:05 PM PDT by gondramB (Do not do to others as you would not wish done to yourself. Thus no murmuring will rise against you.)
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To: DiogenesTheDog
There is no scientific controversy over evolution

You left off the "end sarcasm" tag. If you think there is no controversy, you haven't been paying attention!

30 posted on 06/09/2007 9:38:49 PM PDT by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: SirLinksalot
Post by DiogenesTheDog

There is no scientific controversy over evolution. There is scholarly debate over things like the importance of allopatric versus sympatric speciation, gradualism versus punctuated evolution. But there is no scientific uncertainty over the reality of evolution, just a political and social one.

Response by SirLinksalot

Let's make this clearer.There is no scientific uncertainty over the reality of MICRO-evolution. There is NO CONVINCING EVIDENCE of MACRO-evolution. This is exactly what the book wants to address.

DiogenesTheDog is correct. There is no scientific controversy over whether evolution occurs or not. The questions are instead, “How is it best explained?” or “What mechanism is responsible for it?”

DiogenesTheDog brings up two of the main competing theories of macroevolution, namely, Darwin’s gradualism and the more recent punctuated equilibrium. Neither of these theories claims that macroevolution is false. They differ on how this macroevolution occurs. SirLinksalot seems to be ignoring the fossil record when he says that there is no "convincing" evidence of macroevolution. One needs only to take a look at how the modern horse, Equus, evolved from ancestral horse-like animals or how the modern elephants evolved from ancestral elephant-like animals. You can find other examples in any introductory biology textbook (e.g. Campbell’s).

31 posted on 06/10/2007 9:57:26 AM PDT by Abd al-Rahiim
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To: GourmetDan
Thank you for acknowledging that I have never explicitly stated that “ID is just as ‘scientific’ as evolution.” I add that I have also never implicitly stated that. You are correct when you say that I never will. ID is not science.

When you said “those same criteria,” in context I will assume you are referring to observation and testing. If this is so, then you are mistaken when you write that neither are the evolutionary steps [scientific].

Let us first address observation.

Why is it that before the Industrial Revolution in the United Kingdom, most tree moths had lighter colors? The trees weren’t covered in soot. Darker colored tree moths were more readily spotted by birds and thus their numbers were minimal. After the revolution, though, soot began to make its way to the forests, and consequently the trees became darker. The situation was reversed. Now, lighter colored tree moths were more visible to birds, and their numbers dwindled. Natural selection initially favored lighter colored tree moths, but when the environment changed, natural selection began to favor darker colored tree months. Observation – something that intelligent design can not do.

Now, let us talk about testing.

When Dr. Alexander Fleming first discovered penicillin, it was so potent as an antibiotic that it was dubbed a “miracle.” But, as the decades went on, it started becoming less and less effective. We can continue to test antibiotic resistance in the lab. Take two samples of bacteria and apply an antibiotic to one but not the other (which becomes the control). The antibiotic should destroy the first population of bacteria but still leave some surviving strains. Let these multiply. Then, apply the antibiotic to both populations. The second population should be affected more so than the first. Testing – again, something that intelligent design can not do.

I hate how certain American liberals like to play word games when they defend affirmative action as not being discrimination. Likewise, I hate how certain American conservatives like to play the exact same word games when they claim that intelligent design is scientific.

32 posted on 06/10/2007 10:11:44 AM PDT by Abd al-Rahiim
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To: GourmetDan
I originally wrote that the core of intelligent design ideology is our origin is best explained by divine intervention. The Discovery Institute defines the theory as:
certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.

The definition is vague, and since we’re opposed on this issue, I don’t expect you to agree with me that how I defined it is the same as how they defined it.

Nevertheless, no matter how vague the wording is, the English language is not so imprecise as to allow the Discovery Institute to hide the creationism inherent in intelligent design.

They talk about an “intelligent cause” and “undirected” processes. What is this mysterious “intelligent cause?” Can it be observed and tested in the laboratory? Of course not, hence, it’s no surprise that even Dr. Michael Behe admitted that “There are no peer reviewed articles by anyone advocating for intelligent design supported by pertinent experiments or calculations which provide detailed rigorous accounts of how intelligent design of any biological system occurred. Ff the theory disagrees that “undirected” causes alone are sufficient, then it must espouse “directed” causes (read: divine intervention).

You ask me to provide “a reference showing that our origin is best explained by natural processes - observable and testable, according to your own requirements for ID.” Please check out Biology by Campbell and Reece.

33 posted on 06/10/2007 10:54:38 AM PDT by Abd al-Rahiim
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To: Abd al-Rahiim
My link for the Biology textbook did not copy correctly. It can be found here.
34 posted on 06/10/2007 10:56:01 AM PDT by Abd al-Rahiim
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To: Abd al-Rahiim

You are forgetting, however, that one of the main arguments for punctuated equilibrium has been the absence in the fossil record of evidence of gradual change. The supporters of punctuated equalibrium and the supporters of gradual change both believe “evolution” took place. However, they both argue that the other sides mechanism for evolution cannot work. We Creationists simply agree with both of them and argue that neither proposed mechanism for macro evolution is capable of creating the complexity of life.


35 posted on 06/10/2007 3:04:54 PM PDT by dschapin
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To: dschapin
If you take a look at the textbook I linked to, there's a section on macroevolution and the gradualism versus punctuated equilibrium controversy. The history of the elephant can be explained quite nicely through gradualism; there are enough fossils in the record to do so.

Macroevolution means change "at or above the species level." Darwin's finches is the classic example of macroevolution. A more novel example can be found when a plant asexually reproduces and has an error in meiosis resulting in polyploidy. The offspring is phenotypically similar to the parent, but it cannot sexually reproduce with other plants of the parent species because it has more than the normal set of chromosomes. If it can't reproduce with a certain species, then it is distinct of that species. A new creation of a species is, you guessed it, macroevolution. Another example can be found when one population splits into two due to geographic barrier (i.e. geographic isolation). If sufficient time has lapsed and these two populations are reunited, failure to successfully reproduce indicates that these two groups have become two different species. Macroevolution at work yet again.

We Creationists simply agree with both of them and argue that neither proposed mechanism for macro evolution is capable of creating the complexity of life.

You really put a smile on my face with that comment. It was worded very well. I ask you one question - under the scientific method, can you test your creationism in the lab? Like I said to GourmetDan, I don't care whether you believe in it or not, it's not my business. But, if you claim it's science, then I'd like to know just how you can test it.

36 posted on 06/10/2007 4:57:27 PM PDT by Abd al-Rahiim
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To: Abd al-Rahiim

Thanks for your kind reply - I can see that definition’s are going to be key - I was (probably incorrectly) using the term Macro-Evolution to refer the change of one species into another - such as a fish into an amphibian. I agree with you that species frequently reach a point where they can no-longer interbreed. Where I would disagree is that I don’t see evidence of organisms developing new and beneficial genetic traits - that didn’t already exist in the gene pool - through natural selection.

In order for natural selection to develope a more complex organism it must have the ability to get significant benefits out of a progressive series of small changes to the genetic code. This presents a problem since the genetic code is much like a computer code and many base pairs would have to be changed to code for a new beneficial protein. If only some of those base pairs are changed correctly the changes would not provide any benefit and thus not be supported by natural selection.


37 posted on 06/10/2007 5:35:51 PM PDT by dschapin
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To: Abd al-Rahiim

In answer to your last question - I would say that creationism is testable in much the same way that evolution is. You can’t reduplicate it but you can look at the fossil record and the complexity of life and see if it is consistant with the view or not. Intelligent Design is simply a theory that much of the complexity of the genetic information contained in the DNA could not have been developed over time by random mutation + natural selection. So, it could be disproved by expiraments which show beneficial new proteins devoloping over time by random mutation + natural selection. Probably the easiest way to do these expiraments would be with Bacteria which have really short lifespans.


38 posted on 06/10/2007 5:51:36 PM PDT by dschapin
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To: dschapin
You're welcome.

Where I would disagree is that I don’t see evidence of organisms developing new and beneficial genetic traits - that didn’t already exist in the gene pool - through natural selection.

I agree with you, that is, I also do not see evidence of organisms developing new and beneficial genetic traits previously nonexistent through natural selection. Natural selection can only select for what's already in existence. To create "something new," a mutation is required.

39 posted on 06/10/2007 5:55:49 PM PDT by Abd al-Rahiim
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To: Abd al-Rahiim

Stephen Gould’s theory (at least the punctuated part of Punctuated Equilibrium) is one of the few actually based on a LACK of data rather than affirmative data.

Gould and Schwartz should both be applauded for proposing theories that fit better with the actual historical record, but can be justly faulted for their equally problematic reliance on assumed, unobserved and unexplained phenomena such as recessive mutations and resulting saltations.
Is there any reason to believe that an environmental stressor would produce recessive mutations that hang around until “poof” a new organism appears? Probably not, but it is good to see Schwartz challenge Darwin’s “slight, successive” orthodoxy.

John Davidson ( an agnostic biologist ) says :

Gould and Eldredge never had a theory of any description. They dreamed up this abuse of two words that used to have real meanings until they got a hold of them. Those words were “punctuated” and “equilbrium.” They sound wonderful don’t they but they mean nothing more than the recognition that evolution always occurred in spurts (sort of like sex). It was all pure hype. It explained nothing and only emphasized that which had been known by paleontologists for over a century. Of course it occurred in spurts. So what? What has that got to do with the price of hog bellies anyway? Gould was just another atheist Darwinian mystic like his senile buddy down the hall, Ernst Mayr and the one across the pond, Richard Dawkins. They were all three losers if you ask me so don’t ask.

Also please don’t dignify “punctuated equilibrium” by calling it a “theory.” It makes me irritable and that is not a good idea. Theories are hypotheses that have predicted specific results. Since when has Darwinism predicted anything?”

Using lack of evidence as proof for an argument is rarely convincing (such as Punctuated Equilibrium being true due to the lack of transitional forms in the fossil record).

So is punctuated equilibrium testable? Gould says that a series of fossils showing gradual development of an adaptation would refute punctuated equilibrium. Walter ReMine points out the ‘no lose’ situation that Gould and company have created here: if the fossils show systematic gaps, then the punctuated equilibrium model of evolution is ‘proven,’ but if the fossils show gradualism, then the standard Neo-Darwinian model of evolution is proven. In other words, evolution itself is no longer falsifiable! Punctuated equilibrium and Neo-Darwinism are both now part of the evolutionists’ grab-bag of conflicting theories as Gould and Eldredge now view punctuated equilibrium as an addition to evolutionary theory rather than an alternative.

So, the debate over Punctuated Equilibrium has given publicity to STATIS on the fossil record as a serious problem for evolution (how can you believe in evolution, or change, when the fossils testify to stasis, or lack of change?). The recognition of the reality of abrupt appearance and stasis corroborates what doubters have been saying.


RE : EQUUS

Many Evolutionists themselves long ago abandoned horse evolution as an example of transitional forms, since they no longer believe the fossil record represents anything like a straightforward progression, but instead a bush with many varying branches. As Heribert Nilsson correctly pointed out as long ago as 1954:

“The family tree of the horse is beautiful and continuous only in the textbooks. In the reality provided by the results of research it is put together from three parts, of which only the last can be described as including horses. The forms of the first part are just as much little horses as the present day damans are horses. The construction of the horse is therefore a very artificial one, since it is put together from non-equivalent parts, and cannot therefore be a continuous transformation series.

As far back as the 1950s, scientists already had cast aside the false notion of horse evolution via classic Darwinian changes. [In fact, the vast majority of textbooks (including ones published by National Geographic!) have abandoned the horse in favor of the camel—a species they believe can paint the same picture but that has not been so publicly ridiculed.] David Raup of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, Illinois, acknowledged:

“Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin, and knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded.... Ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin’s time. By this I mean that some of the classic cases of Darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information—what appeared to be a nice, simple progression when relatively few data were available now appears to be much more complex and much less gradualistic”

The late eminent paleontologist of Harvard, George Gaylord Simpson, summed it up well when he wrote:

“The uniform, continuous transformation of Hyracotherium into Equus, so dear to the hearts of generations of textbook writers, never happened in nature”).

Another scientist from Harvard—and a man for whom Dr. Simpson served as mentor—Stephen J. Gould, bemoaned the continued use of what he termed “misinformation” such as horse evolution. He wrote.

Once ensconced in textbooks, misinformation becomes cocooned and effectively permanent, because, as stated above, textbooks copy from previous texts.


40 posted on 06/10/2007 5:59:41 PM PDT by SirLinksalot
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To: dschapin
It's very easy to test microevolution - change in the allele frequencies of a population over time. Bacteria, which you mention as having really short lifespans, are great test subjects. Within the last two hundred years, we have seen several examples of microevolution, notably the moths in the United Kingdom and penicillin resistance.

Due to my weaker background for macroevolution, I believe it is harder to test it in the lab. (There may be good examples of reproducible experiments, but I am not familiar with them.) It is, however, easy to observe its effects. I've previously mentioned Darwin's finches, plant reproduction problems, and geographic isolation.

Creationism could be true. The problem is that it is difficult to test its propositions. We can observe a lot of things that seem to be the products of design, for example, there's a mantis in Indonesia that looks exactly like a flower. But, it's not scientific to attribute the result to a higher power. Doing so invokes the supernatural, which has no place in science. What's more, claiming that "God did it" is tantamount to quitting, in my opinion.

When asked to reconcile the not-perfectly-circular orbits of the planets, Newton claimed that it was the work of God. It took another scientist, Kepler, to show that the orbits are elliptical.

We may never know the answers to life, the universe, and everything. But, claiming that "God did it" and leaving it at that takes the fun out of observation, inquiry, and discovery.

41 posted on 06/10/2007 6:10:28 PM PDT by Abd al-Rahiim
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To: Abd al-Rahiim

Sorry - I guess I wasn’t as clear as I could have been. I meant that I don’t see new and complex genetic information such as would be required to form a new protein forming through a process of random mutation + natural selection. This is because partially coding for a new protein would not provide any benefit to the organism and thus would not be supported by natural selection.


42 posted on 06/10/2007 6:15:18 PM PDT by dschapin
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To: Abd al-Rahiim

I would agree with you that natural selection will change the allele frequencies in a population over time. Thats really not any different than what happens in a controlled breeding program except that survival is operating as the breeder. And I would not be surprised if that sort of variation is the explanation for Darwin’s finches.

The problem is that evolution claims the complexity of life is the result of mutation + random chance. As I discussed in my earlier posts there isn’t really any good natural explanation for the coding of the complexity of life (all the proteins and such). You reject by definition any appeal to an intelligent designer and I don’t see any natural explanation that satisfies the evidence so I guess we are at an impasse.


43 posted on 06/10/2007 6:23:00 PM PDT by dschapin
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To: dschapin

Oops typo, my previus post should have read that evolution claims that the complexity of life is the result of mutation + natural selection.


44 posted on 06/10/2007 6:26:44 PM PDT by dschapin
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To: dschapin
You reject by definition any appeal to an intelligent designer and I don’t see any natural explanation that satisfies the evidence so I guess we are at an impasse.

I myself am not religious. I reject the inclusion of an intelligent designer into the field of biology as his existence cannot possibly be tested or observed. (Even if we witness what appears to be design, we are only witnessing the "product" - we do not see the producer.) I do not, however, reject the possibility that such an intelligent designer exists. He very well could. I don't know, and I'm not willing to have faith. But whether or not he exists is a moot point for science unless he reveals himself. As the New Testament says, though, "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God."

I'm happy that you and I have had a civil and courteous discussion on this issue. All too often, supporters of evolution label creationists as rubes and backwards. From the reverse side, supporters of creationism resort to charges of atheism, propaganda, and secularism with unnecessary frequency.

So, it's good to have a calm discussion.

45 posted on 06/10/2007 7:31:05 PM PDT by Abd al-Rahiim
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To: Abd al-Rahiim

Thanks, I enjoyed discussing the issue with you too. Have a great evening.


46 posted on 06/10/2007 7:45:16 PM PDT by dschapin
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To: Abd al-Rahiim

quote:

Why is it that before the Industrial Revolution in the United Kingdom, most tree moths had lighter colors? The trees weren’t covered in soot. Darker colored tree moths were more readily spotted by birds and thus their numbers were minimal. After the revolution, though, soot began to make its way to the forests, and consequently the trees became darker. The situation was reversed. Now, lighter colored tree moths were more visible to birds, and their numbers dwindled. Natural selection initially favored lighter colored tree moths, but when the environment changed, natural selection began to favor darker colored tree months. Observation – something that intelligent design can not do.

my reply:

This is classic ignorance taken to the limit. The moths that changed colors exhibited no sign whatsoever even of micro-evolution, let alone macro-evolution. All that happened is that moths of a lighter color died off at a more rapid rate than the moths of a darker color. And this is taken as a great “observation” of evolution. What absolute incredible ignorance.

Oh, and ID cannot do any observation? Have you ever looked at how the ear works? Try to build a working model of that sometime, moron, and keep us posted about how far you get. That is an “observation” of ID to anyone with half or more of a brain in their head, which apparently excludes you.

Oh, and I already know your reply: I cannot “prove” that the ear could not have come about without ID. But you have it backwards. The burden of proof is not on me to “prove” that ID was required for the ear to develop. The burden of proof is on *you* to explain how the ear came about by random mutations and natural selection alone. Evolutionists don’t even *try* to do that. They just tell us to use our imagination, and if we cannot imagine how it could happen, then we somehow don’t “understand” science. Bullsh*t.

Cripe, the time I have to waste on you fools.


47 posted on 06/10/2007 11:39:58 PM PDT by RussP
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To: Abd al-Rahiim

quote:

I myself am not religious. I reject the inclusion of an intelligent designer into the field of biology as his existence cannot possibly be tested or observed. (Even if we witness what appears to be design, we are only witnessing the “product” - we do not see the producer.) I do not, however, reject the possibility that such an intelligent designer exists. He very well could. I don’t know, and I’m not willing to have faith. But whether or not he exists is a moot point for science unless he reveals himself. As the New Testament says, though, “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”

my reply:

Oh, this one again. So we cannot identify design unless we can also identify the designer. Hey, genius, suppose I give you a computer program. Would you conclude that we cannot say it is intelligently designed until we know who designed it? Use your brain for a minute if you can.

Suppose we receive an apparently intelligent message from space. Should we reject the idea that it originated from an intelligent source until we can identify that source? Use your brain for a minute if you can. It won’t hurt too much.


48 posted on 06/10/2007 11:44:56 PM PDT by RussP
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To: RussP
I went from a courteous discussion with dschapin to being the target of a rampage of insults and ignorance from RussP. Can’t complain.

I disagree that this is “classic ignorance taken to the limit.”

I never once mentioned that the moths were an example of macroevolution. It is you, rather, who suggested that I made such an allusion. I did, however, present the moths as an example of microevolution – change in the allele frequencies of a population over time. Your statement, “All that happened is that moths of a lighter color died off at a more rapid rate than the moths of a darker color,” ironically enough, actually confirms that microevolution happened. The moths of a lighter color died off at a more rapid rate than the moths of a darker color. That’s what we call change in the allele frequencies of a population over time. Of course, like with GourmetDan, I don’t expect you to realize that what you wrote confirmed my example. That would be asking for too much.

The problem with your “take a look at how the ear works” argument is that you assume an ear has to be as complex as ours to in order to be considered an ear. It does not.

The burden of proof is on you to show that intelligent design was required for the ear to develop. Your refusal to do so is irresponsible and childish - “I believe it, now you prove it.” Does that make sense? No. If it’s your belief, then don’t ask others to do the hard work for you. Do it yourself.

Why don’t you give me a simple experiment that demonstrates the existence of an intelligent designer? As I’ve said multiple times before, I could care less about whether or not you’re creationist. That’s your business, not mine. I do care greatly, though, if you attempt to pass off your creationism as science. In order to be considered science, your creationism requires a redefinition of the scientific method to include the supernatural. If you can show that your creationism is science under the commonly accepted definition, more power to you. But, for some inexplicable reason, I get the feeling you’re not going to make it. Wonder why.

Also, you didn't have to waste time on "fools like me." That was your choice. You're free to waste time preaching your beliefs on persons such as myself, and you're free to use that time to do other things. I can't force you to do anything.

49 posted on 06/11/2007 9:17:10 AM PDT by Abd al-Rahiim
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To: SirLinksalot
Let's make this clearer.There is no scientific uncertainty over the reality of MICRO-evolution. There is NO CONVINCING EVIDENCE of MACRO-evolution.

"Micro" evolution X 3,500,000,000 equals?
50 posted on 06/11/2007 9:28:08 AM PDT by mysterio
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