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creationism and creation science
The Skeptic's Dictionary ^ | 2002-01-14 | Robert Todd Carroll

Posted on 01/14/2002 9:50:16 AM PST by Junior

...the evolution of the cosmos is more than just "compatible" with theism. Faith in a God of self-giving love...anticipates an evolving universe.* John F. Haught

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution. Theodosius Dobzhansky (1973)

We do not know how the Creator created, what processes He used, for He used processes which are not now operating anywhere in the natural universe. This is why we refer to creation as special creation. We cannot discover by scientific investigations anything about the creative processes used by the Creator. Duane Gish, Evolution? The Fossils Say No!

Creationism is a religious metaphysical theory which claims that a supernatural being created the universe. Creation Science is a pseudoscientific theory which claims that (a) the stories in Genesis are accurate accounts of the origin of the universe and life on Earth, and (b) Genesis is incompatible with the Big Bang theory and the theory of evolution. “Creation Science” is an oxymoron since science is concerned only with naturalistic explanations of empirical phenomena and does not concern itself with supernatural explanations of metaphysical phenomena.

Creationism is not necessarily connected to any particular religion. Millions of Christians and non-Christians believe there is a Creator of the universe and that scientific theories such as the theory of evolution do not conflict with belief in a Creator. However, those Christians calling themselves ‘creation scientists’ have co-opted the term ‘creationism’, making it difficult to refer to creationism without being understood as referring to Scientific Creationism. Thus, it is commonly assumed that creationists are Christians who believe that the account of the creation of the universe as presented in Genesis is literally true in its basic claims about Adam and Eve, the six days of creation, making day and night on the first day even though He didn’t make the sun and moon until the fourth day, making whales and other animals that live in the water or have feathers and fly on the fifth day, and making cattle and things that creep on the earth on the sixth day, etc.

Creation scientists claim that Genesis is the word of God and thus infallibly true. They also claim that Genesis contradicts the Big Bang theory and the theory of evolution. Thus, those theories are false and scientists who advocate such theories are ignorant of the truth about the origins of the universe and life on Earth.  They also claim that creationism is a scientific theory and should be taught in our science curriculum as a competitor to the theory of evolution.

One of the main leaders of creation science is Duane T. Gish of the Institute for Creation Research, who puts forth his views mainly in the form of attacks on evolution. Gish is the author of Evolution, the Challenge of the Fossil Record (San Diego, Calif.: Creation-Life Publishers, 1985), Evolution, the Fossils Say No! (San Diego, Calif.: Creation-Life Publishers, 1978), and Evolution, the Fossils Still Say No! (Spring Arbor Distributors, 1985). Another leader of this movement is Walt Brown of the Center for Scientific Creationism. Despite the fact that 99.99% of the scientific community considers evolution of species from other species to be a fact, the creation scientists proclaim that evolution is not a fact but just a theory, and that it is false. The vast majority of scientists who disagree about evolution disagree as to how species evolved, not as to whether they evolved.

Scientific creationists are not impressed that they are in the minority. After all, they note, the entire scientific community has been wrong before. That is true. For example, at one time the geologists were all wrong about the origin of continents. They thought the earth was a solid object. Now they believe that the earth consists of plates. The theory of plate tectonics has replaced the old theory, which is now known to be false. However, when the entire scientific community has been proved to be wrong in the past it has been proved to be wrong by other scientists, not pseudoscientists. They have been proved wrong by others doing empirical investigation, not by others who begin with faith in a religious dogma and who see no need to do any empirical investigation to prove their theory. Erroneous scientific theories have been replaced by better theories, i.e., theories which explain more empirical phenomena and which increase our understanding of the natural world. Plate tectonics not only explained how continents can move, it also opened the door for a greater understanding of how mountain ranges form, how earthquakes are produced, how volcanoes are related to earthquakes, etc. Creationism is not a scientific alternative to natural selection or any other theory of evolution. The theory has not and is unlikely ever to lead to a serious understanding of biological phenomena in the natural world.

Darwin & Gish

Darwin’s theory of how evolution happened is called natural selection. That theory is quite distinct from the fact of evolution. Other scientists have different theories of evolution, but only a negligible few deny the fact of evolution. In the Origin of Species Darwin provided vast amounts of data about the natural world that he and others had collected or observed. Only after providing the data did he demonstrate how his theory accounted for the data much better than the theory of special creation. Gish, on the other hand, assumes that whatever data there is must be explained by special creation, because, he thinks, God said so in the Bible. Furthermore, Gish claims that it is impossible for us to understand special creation, since the Creator “used processes which are not now operating anywhere in the natural universe.” Thus, Gish, rather than gather data and demonstrate how special creation explains the data better than natural selection, must take another approach, the approach of apologetics. His approach, and that of all the other creation scientists, is to attack at every opportunity what they take to be the theory of evolution. Rather than show the strengths of their own theory, they rely on trying to find and expose weaknesses in evolutionary theory. Gish and the other creation scientists actually have no interest in scientific facts or theories. Their interest is in defending the faith against what they see as attacks on God’s Word.

For example, creation scientists, mistaking the uncertain in science for the unscientific, see the debate among evolutionists regarding how best to explain evolution as a sign of weakness. Scientists, on the other hand, see uncertainty as an inevitable element of scientific knowledge. They regard debates on fundamental theoretical issues as healthy and stimulating. Science, says evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, is “most fun when it plays with interesting ideas, examines their implications, and recognizes that old information may be explained in surprisingly new ways.” Thus, through all the debate over evolutionary mechanisms biologists have not been led to doubt that evolution has occurred. “We are debating how it happened,” says Gould (1983, 256).

"creation science" and pseudoscience

Creation science is not science but pseudoscience. It is religious dogma masquerading as scientific theory.  Creation science is put forth as being absolutely certain and unchangeable. It assumes that the world must conform to its understanding of the Bible. Where creation science differs from creationism in general is in its notion that once it has interpreted the Bible to mean something, no evidence can be allowed to change that interpretation. Instead, the evidence must be refuted.

Compare this attitude to that of the leading European creationists of the 17th century who had to admit eventually that the Earth is not the center of the universe and that the sun does not revolve around our planet. They did not have to admit that the Bible was wrong, but they did have to admit that human interpretations of the Bible were in error. Today’s creationists seem incapable of admitting that their interpretation of the Bible could be wrong.

Creation scientists are not scientists because they assume that their interpretation of the Bible cannot be in error. They put forth their views as irrefutable. Hence, when the evidence contradicts their reading of the Bible, they assume that the evidence is false. The only scientific investigation they do is aimed at proving some evolutionary claim is false. Creation scientists see no need to test their theory, since God has revealed it. Infallible certainty is not the hallmark of science.  Scientific theories are fallible.  Claims of infallibility and the demand for absolute certainty characterize not science but pseudoscience.

What is most revealing about the creation scientists’ lack of any true scientific interest is the way they willingly and uncritically accept even the most preposterous of claims, if those claims seem to contradict traditional scientific beliefs about evolution. For example, any evidence that seems to support the notion that dinosaurs and humans lived together is welcomed by the creationists. And the way creation scientists treat the second law of thermodynamics indicates either gross scientific incompetence or deliberate dishonesty. They claim that evolution of life forms violates the second law of thermodynamics, which “specifies that, on the macroscopic scale of many-body processes, the entropy of a closed system cannot decrease (Stenger).”

Consider simply a black bucket of water initially at the same temperature as the air around it. If the bucket is placed in bright sunlight, it will absorb heat from the sun, as black things do. Now the water becomes warmer than the air around it, and the available energy has increased. Has entropy decreased? Has energy that was previously unavailable become available, in a closed system? No, this example is only an apparent violation of the second law. Because sunlight was admitted, the local system was not closed; the energy of sunlight was supplied from outside the local system. If we consider the larger system, including the sun, entropy has increased as required (Klyce).

Creation scientists treat the evolution of species as if it were like the bucket of water in the example above, which, they incorrectly claim, occurs in a closed system. If we consider the entire system of nature, there is no evidence that the second law of thermodynamics is violated by evolution.

Finally, although Karl Popper’s notion that falsifiability distinguishes scientific from metaphysical theories has been much attacked by philosophers of science (Kitcher), it seems undeniable that there is something profoundly different about such theories as creationism and natural selection.  It also seems undeniable that one profound difference is that the metaphysical theory is consistent with every conceivable empirical state of affairs, while the scientific one is not. “I can envision observations and experiments that would disprove any evolutionary theory I know,” writes Gould, “but I cannot imagine what potential data could lead creationists to abandon their beliefs. Unbeatable systems are dogma, not science” (Gould, 1983).

Creationism can’t be refuted, even in principle, because everything is consistent with it, even apparent contradictions and contraries. Scientific theories allow definite predictions to be made from them; they can, in principle, be refuted. Theories such as the Big Bang theory, the steady state theory, and natural selection can be tested by experience and observation. Metaphysical theories such as creationism are “airtight” if they are self-consistent, i.e., contain no self-contradictory elements. No scientific theory is ever airtight.

What makes scientific creationism a pseudoscience is that it attempts to pass itself off as science even though it shares none of the essential characteristics of scientific theorizing. Creation science will remain forever unchanged as a theory. It will engender no debate among scientists about fundamental mechanisms of the universe. It generates no empirical predictions that can be used to test the theory. It is taken to be irrefutable. And it assumes a priori that there can be no evidence that will ever falsify it.

creationism as a scientific theory

Religious creationism could be scientific, however. For example, if a theory says that the world was created in 4004 B.C. but the evidence indicates that Earth is several billions of years old, then the theory is a scientific one if it is thereby taken to be refuted by the evidence. But if, for example, the ad hoc hypothesis  is made that God created the world in 4004 B.C. complete with fossils that make the Earth look much older than it really is (to test our faith, perhaps, or to fulfill some mysterious divine plan), then the religious theory is metaphysical. Nothing could refute it; it is airtight. Philip Henry Gosse made this claim in Darwin’s time in a work entitled Creation (Omphalos): An Attempt to Untie the Geological Knot, published in 1857.

If the age or scientific dating techniques of fossil evidence is disputed, but considered relevant to the truth of the religious theory and is prejudged to be consistent with the theory, then the theory is a metaphysical one. A scientific theory cannot prejudge what its investigative outcomes must be. If the religious cosmologist denies that the earth is billions of years old on the grounds that their own “scientific” tests prove the Earth is very young, then the burden of proof is on the religious cosmologist to demonstrate that the standard scientific methods and techniques of dating fossils, etc., are erroneous. Otherwise, no reasonable person should consider such an unsupported claim that would require us to believe that the entire scientific community is in error. Gish has tried this. The fact that he is unable to convert even a small segment of the scientific community to his way of thinking is a strong indication that his arguments have little merit. This is not because the majority must be right. The entire scientific community could be deluded. However, since the opposition issues from a religious dogmatist who is not doing scientific investigation but theological apologetics, it seems more probable that it is the creation scientists who are deluded rather than the evolutionary scientists.

metaphysical creationists

There are many believers in a religious cosmology such as that given in Genesis who do not claim that their beliefs are scientific. They do not believe that the Bible is to be taken as a science text. To them, the Bible contains teachings pertinent to their spiritual lives. It expresses spiritual ideas about the nature of God and the relationship of God to humans and the rest of the universe. Such people do not believe the Bible should be taken literally when the issue is a matter for scientific discovery. The Bible, they say, should be read for its spiritual messages, not it lessons in biology, physics or chemistry. This used to be the common view of religious scholars. Allegorical interpretations of the Bible go back at least as far as Philo Judaeus (b. 25 BCE). Philosophical analyses of the absurdity of popular conceptions of the gods were made by philosophers such as  Epicurus  (342-270). Creation scientists have no taste for allegorical interpretations.

creationism and politics

Advocates of creation science have campaigned to have their Biblical version of creation taught as science in U.S. public schools. One of their successes was in the state of Arkansas, which passed a law requiring the teaching of creationism in public schools. This accomplishment may seem significant but it must be remembered that until 1968 it was illegal to teach evolution in Arkansas! In 1981, however, the law was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge who declared creationism to be religious in nature (McLean v. Arkansas). A similar Louisiana law was overturned by the United States Supreme Court in 1987 (Edwards v. Aguillard). In 1994, the Tangipahoa Parish school district passed a law, under the guise of promoting “critical thinking,” requiring teachers to read aloud a disclaimer before they taught evolution. This dishonest ruse was thrown out by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in 1999. Another tactic was tried by creationist biology teacher John Peloza in 1994. He sued his school district for forcing him to teach the “religion of evolutionism.” He lost and the the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled  that there is no such religion. In 1990 the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that school districts may forbid the teaching of creationism since it is a form of religious advocacy (Webster v. New Lenox School District).  Many religious leaders support this ruling. They recognize that allowing school districts to teach creationism is to favor one group’s religious views over the religious views of others and has nothing to do with critical thinking or fairness in the science curriculum.

Creation scientists may have failed in their attempts to have evolution banned from the classroom and to have creationism taught alongside evolution. However, politically active creationists have not given up; they have just changed tactics. Creationists have been encouraged to run for local school boards to try to gain control of the teaching of evolution that way. School boards can determine what texts the schools may and may not use. Creationists who complain to school boards about the teaching of evolution are more likely to be successful in their efforts at censoring science texts if the school board has several creationists.

In Alabama, biology textbooks carry a warning that says that evolution is “a controversial theory some scientists present as a scientific explanation for the origin of living things. . . .No one was present when life first appeared on earth. Therefore, any statement about life’s origins should be considered as theory, not fact.” In Alabama, it seems, if you wake up to snow on the ground, but no one saw it snowing, then you may only propose a theory as to the origin of the snow.

In August of 1999 the Kansas State Board of Education rejected evolution and the Big Bang theory as scientific principles. The 10-member board voted six to four to eliminate these topics from the science curricula. The Kansas Board did not ban the teaching of evolution or of the Big Bang Theory. The Board simply deleted any mention of evolution and the Big Bang theory from the science curriculum and from the materials used to test graduating students. Creationists, such as Board Member Steve Abrams, a former head of the state Republican Party, hailed the decision as a victory in the war against evolutionists. A new Board restored the scientific theories  to their previous place in February 2001. Creationists want children to believe that God made them and every other species individually for a purpose. They do not want children to think that a divine power might be behind the Big Bang or evolution of species.

At the same time that militant creationists are trying to censor textbooks that treat evolution properly, they complain of censorship against creationist works.* This tactic of fighting fire with fire has led creationist Jerry Bergman to argue that evolution (unlike Genesis?) teaches that women are inferior to men. The goal of militant creationists is to debunk evolution wherever possible, not to forward scientific knowledge. (See Revolution Against Evolution.) One of their favorite tactics is to blame all sin and crime on lack of proper Bible study and the teaching of “godless” theories such as evolution and the Big Bang theory. Marc Looy of the group Answers in Genesis says that the 1999 Kansas vote was important because

students in public schools are being taught that evolution is a fact, that they're just products of survival of the fittest. . . .It creates a sense of purposelessness and hopelessness, which I think leads to things like pain, murder, and suicide.

That there is no scientific evidence to support these claims is a matter of indifference to those who believe them. When science does not support their beliefs, they attack science as the handmaiden of Satan. I wonder what Mr. Looy has to say about Christian Identity (Buford Furrow Jr.) or Erich Rudolph or Operation Rescue (Randal Terry) and other Bible-loving groups that preach hatred and inspire violence and murder. What would he say about Matthew and Tyler Williams who, in the words of their mother, "took out two homos" because that's what God's law [Leviticus 20:13] demands? (Sacramento Bee, "Expert: Racists often use Bible to justify attacks," by Gary Delsohn and Sam Stanton, Sept. 23, 1999.*) These killers have certainly found a purposeful existence, but there is clearly no connection between purposefulness and the end of pain, murder, or suicide. Had more people been forced to read Biblical quotations on their schoolroom walls or in their textbooks, for all we know, there would be more, not less pain, murder, and violence.

The desperation of many creationists is evident from the fact that despite numerous corrections by evolutionists, they still try to get the public to identify evolution with Social Darwinism. This straw man tactic is common and is exemplified in the following letter to the Sacramento Bee. The letter was in response to an article on an expert who claims that racists often use the Bible to justify their hate.

It is Darwinian evolution, not holy Scripture, that justifies racism.... evolution teaches survival of the fittest, including (as Hitler recognized) survival of the fittest "branch" of the human family tree. Genuine evolution has no place for true equality. This same evolutionist thinking underlies the hatred that racist groups display toward homosexuals. They view homosexuals as defective and thus inferior. (-------10/3/99)

The view that Darwin’s theory of natural selection implies racism or inequality is a claim made by one either ignorant of Darwin's theory or by one who knows the truth and thinks a lie spread in the name of religion is a morally justified lie.

militant creationism evolves

Creation science has developed a new concept, useful not to science but to polemics: the concept of microevolution. They invented a distinction between macroevolution and microevolution to allow them to account for development and changes within species, without requiring them to accept the concept of natural selection.

Macroevolution is the direct attempt to explain the origin of life from molecules to man in purely naturalistic terms. In doing so, it is an affront to Christians because it deliberately tries to get rid of God as the creator of life. The idea that man is a result of millions of happy accidents that mutated their way from slime through the food chain to monkeys should be offensive to every thinking person (Sharp).*

What should be an affront to many Christians and non-Christian creationists is the insinuation that if one does not adhere to this Christian’s interpretation of the Bible, one is offending God. Many creationists believe that God is behind the beautiful unfolding of evolution (Haught).*  There is no contradiction in believing that what appears to be a mechanical, purposeless process from the human perspective, can be teleological and divinely controlled. Natural selection does not require that one “get rid of God as the creator of life” any more than heliocentrism requires one to get rid of God as the creator of the heavens.

See related entries on God, metaphysics, pseudoscience and science.


further reading

reader comments

Cramer, J.A., “General Evolution and the Second Law of Thermodynamics,” in Origins and Shape, D. L. Willis, ed., (American Scientific Affiliation, Elgin, IL, 1978).

Dawkins, Richard. River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (1995, BasicBooks).

Dawkins, Richard. Climbing Mount Improbable (1996 Viking Press).

Dobzhansky, Theodosius. Genetics and the Origin of Species (Columbia University Press, 1982).

Edey, Maitland A. and Donald C. Johanson. Blueprints : Solving the Mystery of Evolution (Penguin, 1990).

Ferris, Timothy. The Whole Shebang : A State-Of-The-Universe's Report (Touchstone, 1998).

Gardner, Martin, Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1957), ch. 11.

Gould, Stephen Jay, "Darwin and Paley Meet the Invisible Hand," in Eight Little Piggies (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1993).

Gould, Stephen Jay, "Evolution as Fact and Theory," in Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes (New York: W.W. Norton & Company,1983).

Gould, Stephen Jay, Ever Since Darwin, (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1979).

Haught, John F. God After Darwin : A Theology of Evolution (Westview Press, 1999).

Haught, John F. Science and Religion : From Conflict to Conversation (Paulist Press, 1996).

Kitcher, Phillip. Abusing Science: the Case Against Creationism (MIT Press, 1983).

Pennock, Robert T. Tower of Babel: The Evidence Against the New Creationism (M.I.T. Press, 1999).

Pilmer, Ian. Telling Lies for God: Reason vs. Creationism (Random House, New South Wales, Australia: 1994).

Schadewald, Robert. "Creationist Pseudoscience," in Science Confronts the Paranormal, edited by Kendrick Frazier. (Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus Books,1986).

Shermer, Michael. Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time, chs. 9-11,  (W H Freeman & Co.: 1997).


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: crevolist
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1 posted on 01/14/2002 9:50:17 AM PST by Junior
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To: crevo_list
A "More Red Meat" bump ...
2 posted on 01/14/2002 9:52:56 AM PST by Junior
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To: Junior
Informative post
3 posted on 01/14/2002 10:19:25 AM PST by Libertarianize the GOP
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To: Junior
A "24 crevo threads in 14 days" bump.

  1. (2002-01-01) Conservatives, Darwin & Design: An Exchange

  2. (2002-01-01) Design Yes, Intelligent No

  3. (2002-01-01) Intelligent Design As a Theory of Technological Evolution

  4. (2002-01-07) Genetic Marker Tells Squash Domestication Story

  5. (2002-01-07) SNPs as Windows on Evolution

  6. (2002-01-07) Supreme Court Won't Hear Case on Teaching Evolution

  7. (2002-01-07) Universe Of Life: Maybe Not, A

  8. (2002-01-07) What Every Theologian Should Know about Creation, Evolution, and Design

  9. (2002-01-08) Democratization of Science, The

  10. (2002-01-08) Progressive Creationism

  11. (2002-01-08) Universe Might Last Forever, Astronomers Say, but Life Might Not, The

  12. (2002-01-09) Life On Other Planets? Vatican Aide Ponders The Possibility

  13. (2002-01-09) New Theory Suggests Start of Universe

  14. (2002-01-09) Primordial Air May Have Been "Breathable"

  15. (2002-01-09) What Would Newton Do?

  16. (2002-01-10) Clear Evidence for Creation

  17. (2002-01-10) How STILL Not to Debate Intelligent Design (Liars for Evolution)

  18. (2002-01-10) New Theory on Big Bang

  19. (2002-01-10) Study: Neanderthals, Modern Humans Same Species

  20. (2002-01-10) Taking Wing:  A New View of the Origin of Bird Flight Emerges

  21. (2002-01-11) Stone indicates earlier 'human' behavior

  22. (2002-01-13) From scientist to saint: does Darwin deserve a day?

  23. (2002-01-14) creationism and creation science

  24. (2002-01-14) Who let the dogs out?


4 posted on 01/14/2002 10:37:14 AM PST by Junior
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To: Junior
“I can envision observations and experiments that would disprove any evolutionary theory I know,” writes Gould,

I don't think I have ever read anywhere but here that evolution is a fact, just as I have never seen a fossil that was clearly a bridge between species. It would certainly seem Gould is unwilling to make such a claim as well.

“but I cannot imagine what potential data could lead creationists to abandon their beliefs. Unbeatable systems are dogma, not science”

Can any one reading this imagine any argument or demonstration that would cause an "evolutionist" to doubt his sacred cow?

5 posted on 01/14/2002 10:50:09 AM PST by ventana
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To: ventana
And no, I am not a Creationismist, or whatever.

Silly scientists are always proving last weeks theories bogus. For now, Genesis, even as an Allegory or Metaphor, probably still has far more truth to it than supposing intelligent designs like kidneys, feathers and gills just accidentally occured and gave their brethren a surprising advantage.
v.

6 posted on 01/14/2002 10:56:25 AM PST by ventana
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To: ventana
And no, I am not a Creationismist, or whatever.

Silly scientists are always proving last weeks theories bogus. For now, Genesis, even as an Allegory or Metaphor, probably still has far more truth to it than supposing intelligent designs like kidneys, feathers and gills just accidentally occured and gave them a surprising advantage over their brethren.
v.

7 posted on 01/14/2002 10:58:59 AM PST by ventana
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To: Vaderetro; jennyp; owk; thinkplease; longshadow; radioastronomer
Bump-o-ramma!
8 posted on 01/14/2002 10:59:21 AM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: ventana
... just as I have never seen a fossil that was clearly a bridge between species.

Archaeopteryx. Definitely has the characteristics of both therapod dinosaurs and birds.

9 posted on 01/14/2002 11:02:57 AM PST by Junior
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To: ventana

From The Ultimate Creation vs. Evolution Resource [14th Revision]:

 

Transitional Fossils 


10 posted on 01/14/2002 11:13:24 AM PST by Junior
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To: Junior
Another bump.
11 posted on 01/14/2002 11:41:15 AM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: Junior
... just as I have never seen a fossil that was clearly a bridge between species.

Archaeopteryx. Definitely has the characteristics of both therapod dinosaurs and birds.

</logic>

He's got you there, Junior. Archaeopteryx was a species, so you can't call it a bridge between species.

<logic>

12 posted on 01/14/2002 12:31:13 PM PST by Physicist
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To: Junior
Better find a better resource than your public school science text. Archaeopteryx is considered by many sources as a sophiticated fraud. X-ray resonance spectrograph tests performed on the British Museum specimen in 1986 showed the material containing the feathers was different from that containing the rest of the fossil. Add to this that fossils of real birds have been found that are much older than this hoax and it is obvious it is not a link.
13 posted on 01/14/2002 12:32:29 PM PST by Blessed
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To: Blessed
Better find a better resource than your public school science text.

Maybe you need some better sources.

X-ray resonance spectrograph tests performed on the British Museum specimen in 1986 showed the material containing the feathers was different from that containing the rest of the fossil.

Completely false. Somehow, the result of the investigation into Hoyle's bogus charge is changed in your report. Your work, or your sources?

Add to this that fossils of real birds have been found that are much older than this hoax and it is obvious it is not a link.

The logic would be silly here even if true. That Archae is probably somewhat off the main line leading to modern birds isn't a huge deal. It's still evidence of where birds came from. Here's a thread I did on the dino-bird sequence, the point of which is that some dinosaurs were rather birdlike to begin with and can be seen virtually morphing into birds in the fossil record.

14 posted on 01/14/2002 12:47:03 PM PST by VadeRetro
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To: Blessed
Better find a better resource than your public school science text. Archaeopteryx is considered by many sources as a sophiticated [sic] fraud. X-ray resonance spectrograph tests performed on the British Museum specimen in 1986 showed the material containing the feathers was different from that containing the rest of the fossil. Add to this that fossils of real birds have been found that are much older than this hoax and it is obvious it is not a link.

This is an old, discredited, canard.  From On Archaeopteryx, Astronomers, and Forgery:

If a layer of cement is present, then some sort of discontinuity should be visible between the true limestone and the cement, on the surface and/or in vertical section (a vertical section is a section cut through the slab, at 90 degrees to the fossil). No such discontinuity has been found, even in vertical section. There does appear to be a division in vertical section whereby an upper 500-850 micrometre (1 micrometre = 1/1000 millimetre) layer is separated from the lower layer by a dark band. However, the upper layer shows the same granular structure as the lower layer and the structure is continuous through gaps in the dark band (Charig et al.. 1986). Also the complete lack of air bubbles and the presence of calcite crystals indicate that the whole section is original. Besides, the upper layer is far too thin to receive any feather impressions (Charig et al.. 1986). A further point worth raising here is that any organic bonding material available to a forger in the 19th century for mixing cement would have shown some evidence of cracking or shrinking away. No such cracking or shrinkage has been observed.

And

The evidence claimed by Watkins et al. to indicate that the feather impressions are a forgery appear to be easily explainable by natural processes. Detailed study of the London specimen both across the surface and in vertical section have failed to provide any evidence to support the contention that a layer of cement is present. The method claimed to have been used to produce the forgery cannot explain the presence of fine lines crisscrossing the fossil, or the matching dendrites on the slab and counterslab, which occur on top of the feather imprints. The feather imprints on the Maxberg specimen, despite claims to the contrary, are clearly identifiable as such. In this case, forgery of the type envisaged by Watkins et al. can be discounted because of the fact that the impressions run underneath the bony elements of the skeleton.

This is one reason I created The Ultimate Creation vs. Evolution Resource -- so that these discussions could move beyond reinventing the wheel every time a new thread opens.

15 posted on 01/14/2002 12:48:32 PM PST by Junior
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To: ventana
Can any one reading this imagine any argument or demonstration that would cause an "evolutionist" to doubt his sacred cow?

Find me a 100 million year old wheel of cheddar and i'll jump ship.

16 posted on 01/14/2002 12:57:30 PM PST by Eddeche
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To: ventana
Another Refutation of the Creationist "No Transitionals" Mantra (Dinosaur Division).
17 posted on 01/14/2002 12:57:36 PM PST by VadeRetro
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To: Eddeche
Find me a 100 million year old wheel of cheddar and i'll jump ship.

I know some cheese gets better with age, but you're a fanatic!

18 posted on 01/14/2002 12:58:51 PM PST by VadeRetro
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To: VadeRetro
They sure do look vaguely similar, don't they? And there is no doubt in my mind that individual forms adapt and change over time. Whether these pen and ink drawings provide us with an example of that I would not dare to guess, especially given that they themselves are merely imaginative extrapolation based on what were doubtless incomplete remains.

It does not even approach the question of how it began. Its the question of how the kidneys, gills and feathers "just happened" over time that I don't see in the record. Nor does an extrapolation of the record coupled with the current theory make clear to me how anything essential to the survival or function of the creature could have not have been with it from it's first moment of existance. I can imagine cells spontaneously deciding to band together and differentiate into a functioning whole, I just can't do it with a straight face.

Like I said, I'm not a Creationismalist, Evolution as an explanation of life on earth "sola scriptura" just does not seem to me to be as much rational science as a dogma seeking to find ways to trumpet the potential non-existence of God. I still vote for intelligent design and adaptive change over time.

19 posted on 01/14/2002 5:48:09 PM PST by ventana
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To: ventana
They sure do look vaguely similar, don't they? And there is no doubt in my mind that individual forms adapt and change over time. Whether these pen and ink drawings provide us with an example of that I would not dare to guess, especially given that they themselves are merely imaginative extrapolation based on what were doubtless incomplete remains.

Vaguely? A paleontologist going over the skeletons would enumerate point-for-point morphological similarities essentially all over the body. By the way, the incomplete parts of the skeletons are marked in dotted lines. There aren't that many. You're looking for dodges everywhere. Do you realize how obvious it is? When you ask for evidence of transitional forms, what do you think you're asking for?

Evolution as an explanation of life on earth "sola scriptura" just does not seem to me to be as much rational science as a dogma seeking to find ways to trumpet the potential non-existence of God.

I read things like this and realize the writer doesn't care about science but is (needlessly in my view) defending his religion against some vicious undermining attack from Godless Science. God is not the business of science.

I still vote for intelligent design and adaptive change over time.

The nature and history of the universe is not subject to your vote.

20 posted on 01/14/2002 6:02:36 PM PST by VadeRetro
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To: VadeRetro
The nature and history of the universe is not subject to your vote.

Perhaps, but shouldn't we teach pleasing lies and myths to enhance our self-esteem? For the children, of course.

[This isn't really a brilliant remark, just a bump so I don't lose the thread.]

21 posted on 01/15/2002 2:57:21 AM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: PatrickHenry
until science can explain how dust and gas ( with a low order of entropy) evolved into you and me (extremely high order of entropy) arguments of this kind only demonstate that there are different kinds of faith: religeous and scientific.
22 posted on 01/15/2002 2:01:05 PM PST by ffusco
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To: ffusco
until science can explain how dust and gas ( with a low order of entropy) evolved into you and me (extremely high order of entropy) arguments of this kind only demonstate that there are different kinds of faith: religeous and scientific.

Interesting attitude. Notwithstanding the thousands of things that science has obviously explained, you are determined to call it a mindless cult unless it answers your personal question. Okay, you're entitled to your opinion.

23 posted on 01/15/2002 3:09:28 PM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: VadeRetro
I said: "there is no doubt in my mind that individual forms adapt and change over time"

I stipulate to the existance of the fossil record. It's the SciDogma that fossils are sufficient proof of the theory of evolution and anyone who points out that the fossil record says nothing about the creation of the basic forms, only how they changed, is deluded-out-of-the-box. Should they also profess to a religious belief, they are automatically relegated to the ranks of creationists, although I have twice stated I am not. Please stop attacking me where we agree and explain how Stegasaurus A,B, and C speaks to the question about the gills, feathers, and kidneys.

In no way does the fossil record explain how life began, how individual cells came together to form vital organs, why a gill or a lung or a wing would be a positive survival trait before it was functional, and not a detriment to survival.

You said: "The nature and history of the universe is not subject to your vote."

Again, not even Gould is willing to accept evolution "sola scriptura" as immutable truth instead of theory--he says he can construct experiments to disprove any evolutionary theory he knows!-- further, the evolutionary model he proposes "Punctuated Equilibrium" requires the unexplained, the unobserved, and the unrecorded(in the fossil record) to work. There are several far brighter mathmatical types on these posts as well who offer fascinating reads on probability and survivability of incomplete systems.

One of the hallmarks of sucessful scientific discovery has always been an open mind and the refusal to accept the status quo

Give it a whirl, cast off your preconceptions, question your beliefs.

24 posted on 01/16/2002 9:31:16 AM PST by ventana
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To: ventana
. . . the fossil record says nothing about the creation of the basic forms, only how they changed . . .

Are you sure? Are you familiar with how far back the fossil record goes and what kind of changes it does show? Just an example of what I'm talking about:

Phylum-Level Evolution, by recovering YEC Glenn R. Morton.

. . . why a gill or a lung or a wing would be a positive survival trait before it was functional . . .

If it's a positive survival trait, it's functional enough to make a difference and be retained. The early function may be much less than, or even qualitatively different from, the later function. (For instance, a bat's wings were once grasping hands.)

Again, not even Gould is willing to accept evolution "sola scriptura" as immutable truth instead of theory--he says he can construct experiments to disprove any evolutionary theory he knows!-- further, the evolutionary model he proposes "Punctuated Equilibrium" requires the unexplained, the unobserved, and the unrecorded(in the fossil record) to work. There are several far brighter mathmatical types on these posts as well who offer fascinating reads on probability and survivability of incomplete systems.

Gould's Punctuated Equilibrium is an important theory, like that of Darwin which it modifies and extends. It is the theory, and not Gould or Darwin, which is important. Science is not a religion--dispite the claim (a projection of their own belief system?) of creationists--and does not have saints or infallible authority figures.

25 posted on 01/16/2002 10:45:30 AM PST by VadeRetro
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To: patrickhenry
Placemarker.
26 posted on 01/16/2002 4:29:22 PM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: Junior
These people never quit, positing anyone who dare question evolution as a creationist. The fact is that 99.9% of the scientific community do not accept evolution as a scientific fact. After 150 years, not a single series of fossils have been found that demonstrate a gradual mutation of one species into a completely different species. This would require such gradual changes as one sees in the frames of a movie. No scientist, or group of scientists, or all scientists together, have put together such a gradual mutative change. Rather, changes are by great leaps, which modern evolutionists admit, and for mating purposes, such leaps would have to occur simultaneously in two animals. This is what Darwinists have to explain before their theory becomes a fact. That such leaps occur replies as much faith in their "science" as does the creationists faith in their "science." If you read Gould, even Darwin, carefully, they admit the limitations of the theory, but those limitations are not widely taught. If you want to hear them in the Darwinist's own words, read Phillip Johnson's, Darwin on Trial.
27 posted on 01/16/2002 4:55:31 PM PST by stryker
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Comment #28 Removed by Moderator

To: Junior
Evolution is a faith based system
29 posted on 01/16/2002 5:10:41 PM PST by marbren
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To: stryker
The fact is that 99.9% of the scientific community do not accept evolution as a scientific fact.

Gee, with that kind of support you'd think you'd be able to come up with one, just one, peer-reviewed article published in a reputed scientific journal supporting this contention -- after all, it can't be a conspiracy on the part of 0.1 percent of the scientific community to keep the the rest in line -- they wouldn't have the clout.

The truth of the matter is, 99.9 percent of the scientific community accepts evolution as fact; the actual mechanisms behind evolution are what is debated, but the contention that all organisms change over time and have arisen from common ancestor is not in any way questioned. As one biologist put it back in the 70s, evolution is the foundation of the modern biological sciences. You can rant and rave all you want, but until such a time as you, or one of your ilk, put forth a theory which does a better job at explaining the Earth's biosphere than does evolution, you will be pretty much urinating in the face of a gale. As to such a theory, here's a hint: claiming a supernatural cause (i.e., "God did it") is not a scientific theory.

30 posted on 01/17/2002 3:09:31 AM PST by Junior
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To: marbren
Evolution is a faith based system

Nope. Evolution is a theory, supported by evidence, that explains the Earth's biosphere. No "faith" is required, as one need merely study biology, paleontology, anthropology, etc., to realize that evolution is accepted in the scientific community simply because it does a better job at explaining the life around us than any other theory to date. Now, accepting a religious treatise formulated by nomadic shepherds three millennia ago as a scientific theory -- that requires faith.

31 posted on 01/17/2002 3:13:59 AM PST by Junior
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bump
32 posted on 01/17/2002 3:26:46 AM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: Junior
Creation Science is a pseudoscientific theory which claims that ...(b) Genesis is incompatible with the Big Bang theory

There are others besides creationists who question the Big Bang Theory. Just about every year someone comes up with a new dark matter, black hole, brane, etc., that they say questions the Big Bang theory, or so challenges tenets of it as to make it indescribably different.

If challenging = pseudo-science, then deciding = faith. I'd prefer to call things on some scale such as first, second, third order theories. Call the Big Bang a 1st order theory. Call this "brane theory" a 2nd order theory. Call creationism a fourth order theory. Call the world is carried on the back of a giant turtle a 100th order theory. I don't see anything, except propaganda, aided by different sides using emotionalism against opposing theories.

From Space.com, 13 Apr 2001, "Faster than you can say "Ekpyrotic Universe," a movement has taken hold -- albeit like fingers on a ledge of eternal skepticism -- that would blow one of the basic tenets of the Big Bang to smithereens. Think parallel branes and five dimensions. Science never sounded so cool. The new idea would not replace the Big Bang, which has for more than 50 years dominated cosmologists' thinking over how the universe began and evolved. But instead of a universe springing forth in a violent instant from an infinitely small point of infinite density, the new view argues that our universe was created when two parallel "membranes" collided cataclysmically after evolving slowly in five-dimensional space over an exceedingly long period of time. These membranes, or "branes" as theorists call them, would have floated like sheets of paper through a fifth dimension that even scientists admit they find hard to picture intuitively. (Our conventional view of 3-D physical space, along with time, make up the four known dimensions.) "It's almost crazy enough to be correct

33 posted on 01/17/2002 3:27:33 AM PST by xzins
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To: Junior
Archaeopteryx. Definitely has the characteristics of both therapod dinosaurs and birds.

Two points. One, My reading shows that archaeopteryx is at best an unsubstantiated wish. There is still debate over whether it is a fraud or not. Two, if it is a species, it is not a common link - a common link would be a demonstrable series of this birdlike lizard showing different stages of mutation from no wings to wings. This is something that is completely non-existant - and not just in regard to archae. Not one single instance can be shown in the fossil record of actual change taking place over long durations which end up in an added set of wings, a change from gills to lungs, fins to legs, etc.

In trying to propound the preposterous, evolutionists ignore the stark obvious. Organs and limbs are not mere things, they are complex systems that must be worked into other complex systems. Absence of single components in the system can cause death. And because these are complex systems, they require genetic change on a large scale all happening at random yet cooperatively - which doesn't happen in practice. The odds of even a single change are astronomical and there is nothing saying a single change wouldn't be a fatal one. Grouping enough changes to keep the process going or to do it all in one shot is so astronomical even for one creature that it is beyond belief that scientists can stand straight faced and say it has happened millions of times.

Archaeopteryx is either a fraud as it has been shown to be in the past, or it is just another of a diverse group of animals that have existed; but, it lends no support to the notion of evolution. It demonstrates a species, not a step in evolution.

34 posted on 01/17/2002 6:11:03 AM PST by Havoc
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To: Havoc

Archaeopteryx. Definitely has the characteristics of both therapod dinosaurs and birds.

Two points. One, My reading shows that archaeopteryx is at best an unsubstantiated wish. There is still debate over whether it is a fraud or not.

The fraud claim was put to bed in the 1980s.  Please see On Archaeopteryx, Astronomers, and Forgery for a detailed accounting of how the fraud claims were addressed and the conclusions drawn.

Two, if it is a species, it is not a common link - a common link would be a demonstrable series of this birdlike lizard showing different stages of mutation from no wings to wings. This is something that is completely non-existant - and not just in regard to archae. Not one single instance can be shown in the fossil record of actual change taking place over long durations which end up in an added set of wings, a change from gills to lungs, fins to legs, etc.

Should the one species have representatives of the whole series of transitions?  Methinks you do not understand the concept of evolution, let alone the idea of transitional species.  Please avail yourself of these links:

Bird Evolution

Transitional Fossils 

 

As you will see from a quick perusal, your accusations on the dearth of transitional forms is erroneous, to say the least.  I really wish people would avail themselves of The Ultimate Creation vs. Evolution Resource before making statements which have already been addressed.

In trying to propound the preposterous, evolutionists ignore the stark obvious. Organs and limbs are not mere things, they are complex systems that must be worked into other complex systems. Absence of single components in the system can cause death. And because these are complex systems, they require genetic change on a large scale all happening at random yet cooperatively - which doesn't happen in practice.

Ah, the old "Irreducible Complexity" argument.  That's been covered, too:

Irreducible Complexity

The odds of even a single change are astronomical and there is nothing saying a single change wouldn't be a fatal one. Grouping enough changes to keep the process going or to do it all in one shot is so astronomical even for one creature that it is beyond belief that scientists can stand straight faced and say it has happened millions of times.

But there are millions of such changes going on all the time.  The odds become increasingly likely in that event that something is going to happen.  The odds may be astronomical that any particular individual will win the lottery.  However, with millions of folks playing the odds that one of them will win are pretty good.

Archaeopteryx is either a fraud as it has been shown to be in the past, or it is just another of a diverse group of animals that have existed; but, it lends no support to the notion of evolution. It demonstrates a species, not a step in evolution.

Dear sir, all species are steps in evolution.  One would have to have a terribly compartmented mind not to see that organisms change throughout the fossil record.  One can draw one of two conclusions from this observation:  that the organisms come from related organisms that appear earlier in the fossil record, or that some dude pops in from time to time and makes new species out of whole cloth.  As the former is in keeping with the evidence and does not rely on a supernatural element, it is far more likely to be testable, and therefore scientific.  If you can come up with a theory which explains the evidence better than evolution does, feel free to publish your findings.  You probably will be given the Nobel Prize.

35 posted on 01/17/2002 9:19:01 AM PST by Junior
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To: Junior
One would have to have a terribly compartmented mind not to see that organisms change throughout the fossil record.

The footprints of man in fossil form walking alongside dinosaurs pretty well messes with the "fossil record" as You guys put it. You don't have proof of change in the fossil record, you have a show of diversity. And isn't it interesting that fossils require bodies being covered in mud in order to form. Carcases are not covered over by neatly sifted layers of different types of dirt, sand, minerals etc.. layers in normal cycles are layed down as an amalgumation. Only with liquifaction can you get thoroughly sorted layers of strata which blows the strata theory of dating right out of the water (no pun intended).

And if we evolved from apes, why is it that the apes are still with us while none of the other forms of 'man' are. Yeah, I'm sure ya'll have a theory for everything; but, that's just it, it's all a bunch of theory based on assumption - The only facts you have are a bunch of bones. But, you can't honestly claim to be able to date the bones with any degree of accuracy. And that is true because no one knows the level of contamination the samples have been subjected to - which means that every single date applied to anything is a guess. You may use equipment to make the guess; but, in the end, that's all it is. Theories piled upon guesses and lauded as fact. Do you want to guess how many shows I've seen on archeology that ever mentions the word "theory" with regard to evolution - less than 1%.

I love following Egyptology; And in following it, I get to see the moronicism innate in modern science on a regular basis. I've seen the story of the two tombs - one cut into and built around another. The one added later is said to be the first though there is no possible way that can be. But, it is stated as fact because altering that plays with earlier conclusions based on shoddy work. Everyone wants to look good and no one wants to admit being wrong at any cost. That is smug eliteism, not scholarship. But that's what passes in the scientific community as "knowing something".

36 posted on 01/17/2002 10:34:46 AM PST by Havoc
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To: Havoc
The Paluxy River Man Tracks have been roundly refuted, even by Creationists. Get with the program, man!

As for the old "if man came from apes, why are there still apes" canard: No evolutionist says man came from apes. Humans and apes descended from a common ancestor. We've been over this ground many times. Either you are new to these threads, or you are suffering from a major case of amnesia.

37 posted on 01/17/2002 2:36:07 PM PST by Junior
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To: Junior
It takes faith to believe everything came from nothing.
38 posted on 01/17/2002 6:16:05 PM PST by marbren
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To: VadeRetro
Sorry, forgot I was having this conversation. "Are you sure?"

I visited that link, thank you, it was very instructive. HoweverTwo of the points he make are fairly easily disputed.(whether they are true or not is another matter)

1. He talks about forms evolving from one distinct type to another. As his primary example he offers a fossil of a long animal with lobopods (lumpy feet for people like me)Here is one of the fossils he provides:

He does not talk about its date precisely seems to hold that its from the Vendian period (620m-540m bce)

The point he tries to make with this fossil is that it shows a worm on its way to evolving to another species, in short, a classic transitional form.

Here is a current photograph of what appears to be a very close relative, not at all fossilized, that does not seem to have "transited" anywhere:

2.(the other point that was disputable) He claimed the apparent big explosion of life in the Cambrian was misleading in that it just indicated this is when all the disparate forms all evolved shells, and their shell-less precursers did not leave fossils. There are two quick points on this. Firstly a LOT of different forms suddenly appeared. To surmise that they all evolved shells in parallel strains credulity but its certainly not an adequate refutal of the claim. The more convincing refutation, to me, occurs farther back on his own page and is the first image posted on this reply: It is a fossil from an earlier age that is soft.

It appears from his own supporting evidence that his assertions are not conclusive.

Please send more links if you have them.

Regards
v.

39 posted on 01/19/2002 5:19:08 AM PST by ventana
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To: Junior
Can you come up with one peer-rewiewed article in a scientific journal that refers to evolution as fact rather than theory? I am still under the impression that the term "Theory of Evolution" means what it says, and that Scientific writers whose reputations hinge on the accuracy of their words hold fast to keeping that term "Theory" in there, regardless of their beliefs.

I do not think his statement is innacurate even given the lack of anti-evolution articles you seem to require, notwithstanding that you might even agree with me that finding such articles in the venue you discribe would be a lot like finding pro-abortion articles in Official Catholic publications. It ain't gonna happen

40 posted on 01/19/2002 6:11:45 AM PST by ventana
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To: ventana
The persistence of well-adapted forms does not disprove evolution. There are still cyanobacteria unchanged so far as we can tell from their fossil counterparts 3.5 billion years ago. This does not help you that I can see.

Yes, in highly favorable conditions, soft parts can be fossilized. As mentioned above, there are fossils of unicelluars. Occasionally with vertebrates we can see skin folds, organs, feathers, and other things that far more usually leave no trace. In fact, most animals that die leave no fossils at all. The very well preserved ones are rare, exceptional cases. So what?

41 posted on 01/19/2002 6:48:24 AM PST by VadeRetro
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To: ventana
Can you come up with one peer-rewiewed article in a scientific journal that refers to evolution as fact rather than theory? I am still under the impression that the term "Theory of Evolution" means what it says, and that Scientific writers whose reputations hinge on the accuracy of their words hold fast to keeping that term "Theory" in there, regardless of their beliefs.

You obviously have little idea of what the term "theory" means in science. It has little relation to the term as it is used in every day speech. In science a theory is as close to an absolute as one is likely to get; it is a system supported by observation and experimentation upon which scientists can rely to make predictions. For this reason, Relativity is "only a theory" even though its basic tenets have been confirmed through observation and experimentation. The closest scientific term to the layman's "theory" is "hypothesis." Evolution is a theory and not a hypothesis.

42 posted on 01/19/2002 7:39:30 AM PST by Junior
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To: Junior
no argument there, and I may not be as ill-educated/informed as you say, but the statement you were disputing was specific to the word fact.
43 posted on 01/19/2002 8:20:53 AM PST by ventana
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To: VadeRetro
Well then we both seem to agree that the page you sent me to does not offer evidence of transitional change between forms, which is what you were trying to establish. Instead it is a lovely example of the persistence of a distinct form for half a billion years-one that clearly was under no environmental pressures that would have given some changed population within its ranks higher survivability. Further I will happily agree with your contention that the article was incorrect in its hypothesis explaining the sudden appearance of many diverse forms in the Cretaceous not proceeded by a fossil record, something I quite frankly was not aware of until you sent me the link.
44 posted on 01/19/2002 9:35:33 AM PST by ventana
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To: ventana
He talks about forms evolving from one distinct type to another. As his primary example he offers a fossil of a long animal with lobopods (lumpy feet for people like me)

Despite Morton's patient explanation, you miss the point that a lobopod is not an arthropod leg at all. The animal it appears on predates all that. And what about Anomalocaris, that wormy critter with arthropod parts?

A gene-level evo-devo scenario for arthropods starting from Aysheaia is presented beginning here, although I'd recommend starting at the beginning of the slideshow here.

How does looking up a modern velvet worm and going "Tah-dah" answer all this? Oh, wait! You did say something else:

2.(the other point that was disputable) He claimed the apparent big explosion of life in the Cambrian was misleading in that it just indicated this is when all the disparate forms all evolved shells, and their shell-less precursers did not leave fossils. There are two quick points on this. Firstly a LOT of different forms suddenly appeared. To surmise that they all evolved shells in parallel strains credulity but its certainly not an adequate refutal of the claim. The more convincing refutation, to me, occurs farther back on his own page and is the first image posted on this reply: It is a fossil from an earlier age that is soft.

I touched on this already. Yes, there are some "soft" fossils from before the Cambrian explosion, but they're harder to find. This is not suprising and does not help your case. It's far easier to fossilize chitin or bone than soft cellular tissue. It's unclear how many times hard parts were developed. I doubt if you need more than three: one each for mollusks, arthropods, and (rather later) vertebrates.

You've been given all sorts of evidence for the mechanisms involved and evidence that what obviously happens has happened.

What's your story?

45 posted on 01/19/2002 9:49:21 AM PST by VadeRetro
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To: ventana
Well then we both seem to agree that the page you sent me to does not offer evidence of transitional change between forms, which is what you were trying to establish.

I entirely disagree and have to wonder if you are honestly trying to understand me correctly. Your argument is the same as people citing the discovery of the modern coelacanth--a "primitive" lobe-finned fish--as discrediting fossil lobe-fins (Eusthenopteron et. al.) as transitionals toward amphibians. Or, you might as well ask, "If we came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?" Or, you could cite the continued existance of those cyanobacteria, or primitive Amphioxus-type vertebrates. You cannot possibly be familiar with the models of speciation you claim to distrust and make this kind of argument. Period.

Instead it is a lovely example of the persistence of a distinct form for half a billion years-one that clearly was under no environmental pressures that would have given some changed population within its ranks higher survivability.

Your velvet worm is not the same species as Aysheaia. I'm unclear on the exact relationship.

Further I will happily agree with your contention that the article was incorrect in its hypothesis explaining the sudden appearance of many diverse forms in the Cretaceous not proceeded by a fossil record, something I quite frankly was not aware of until you sent me the link.

I'm unaware of being in serious disagreement with Morton. What I'm mostly disagreeing with are your characterizations of my posts.

46 posted on 01/19/2002 10:01:27 AM PST by VadeRetro
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To: VadeRetro
I am still working my way through the links you sent, but I noticed this post.

I am very much trying to understand you. Are you trying to misunderstand me? I asked for a demonstration of transition, you provide a link to a page which does not do that. I do not claim to win a point against transition by this, only that a point for it cannot be based on the information on that page, as the fossils represented there did not show change, only proposed it. There was no earlier form there, although it was discussed. Likewise the later form shown seemed hypothetical as it was an illustration and did not seem to be an identified actual species.

I am not adverse to proof of anything. My initial question which started our discussion still has not been addressed. Where is the record of the evolution of kidneys, gills, and wings.

I am still working my way through your latest offerings, and it is a wonderful thing how different segments in arthropods can have their genes activated or surpressed by UBX to determine its function as a thoracic or abdominal unit. But (I have not finished the site yet) even that site's transitional evidence seems to be a drawing morphing our first lobopod fossil with a fruitfly. I don't see the evidence of how we got from that soft skinned simple thing to an exoskeletal, sophisticated, compound eyed, flying creature. Stating "this scale here next to the leg eventually became a wing" just is not evidence of evolution, particularly Darwin's Natural Selection., it is merely conjecture, an hypothesis.

47 posted on 01/19/2002 11:35:50 AM PST by ventana
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To: VadeRetro
Well my story is I don't have one. As I said in the beginning evolution was stated to be a fact. I said this was the first time I had heard that and had problems with the huge gaps in the fossil record where all the real changes seemed to be happening, and how when we see forms they are complete. I then pondered how very complex, multi-mutationed, components which are essential to the existence of the organism could be explained by this method.

If I have a case, its that the theory seems to be proof of itself, its true and the evidence shows it, because of the truth of the theory. Well it may well be true, but I wish someone would show me where I can find answers to the questions I asked when I first posted to the thread.

Vade, I do not want to upset you, but your standard of proof is different than mine, you're seeing things as conclusive that I am not. I am not saying you are wrong, just that I am missing your point.

Thank you for your time.
v.

48 posted on 01/19/2002 11:56:49 AM PST by ventana
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To: stryker
Excuse me!! That is why it is CALLED A THEORY!!! If you do not know what the definition of a theory is then that is your own problem not mine.

The THEORY of evolution has NEVER pretended to be fact, it is a theory that fits the known scientific data that we have at hand. It puts that data together in a logical form and makes sense.

This article called it exactly right, creationists have nothing but the bible to back thier claims, and therefore will go after the THEORY of evolution because it MAY harm thier faith. Well, go after the theory all you want, because it is JUST THAT a THEORY, it happens to fit all the facts at hand, but it is still a theory and changes every day as new scientific findings help put the puzzle together.

When you can PROVE creationism, then come talk to me, but until then, I will believe in the THEORY of evolution, because it makes the most sense at this time, and when you prove INTELLIGENT design, come see me as well. In the meantime, I will look at the THEORY of evolution as the closest explanation of what happened and how we got here. But, if and when the THEORY of evolution is disproved and a new scientific theory takes it's place, I will look at the new theory, see what a MAJORITY of scientists think, and I will move to that new theory if I feel the FACTS are there to back it up. The THEORY of evolution is NOT a sacred cow, THAT IS WHY IT IS A THEORY!!!
49 posted on 01/19/2002 11:58:39 AM PST by Aric2000
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To: marbren
See my above post!!
50 posted on 01/19/2002 12:01:40 PM PST by Aric2000
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