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16627 Views 77 Replies Latest reply: Jan 29, 2008 1:18 PM by cclaydog Go to original post 1 2 3 4 ... 6 Previous Next
  • rlemert Pro 250 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    15. Jan 10, 2008 1:15 PM (in response to soldierdude)
    Re: Does believing in God...

     

    "1) Life began from random events when we can't create dna let alone life. We have the technology to play with molecules at the atomic level. If life is a random event, we should be able to create it."

     

     

     

     

     

      You are assuming either that science has discovered all that there is to be discovered, or that what science has not discovered does not exist. Both assumptions are flat out wrong.

     

     

     

     

     

      As for your other questions, if you ever could ever be bothered to take a course or two in evolutionary biology I think you would find that your questions would be completely and thoroughly answered. You would also find that there is absolutely nothing in evolution that precludes the existance of "God". Evolution is simply the mechanism that "He" uses to accomplish "His" creation. The only thing that evolution disputes is the notion that creation occured in its final form in an instant - and that has nothing to do with "God".

     

     

  • kfkolonel Rookie 4 posts since
    May 30, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    16. Jan 10, 2008 5:48 PM (in response to rlemert)
    Re: Does believing in God...

    Thanks, riemert, for taking the time to answer so many questions.  As you advised, those who are concerned about the theory of evolution should go to their local college and enroll in an evolutionary biology course.  To learn about evolutionary biology, go to a biologist, not to a creationist.

     

    Those concerned with my use of the expression "theory of evolution" need to know that a physicist (my field) refers to the "theory of gravitation".  In biology, it is a fact that organisms evolve.  And in physics, it is a fact that heavier-than-air objects fall when released near the surface of earth.  The detailed mechanism of evolution has to be called a theory, just as the mechanism of a object falling toward the earth has to be called a theory.

     

    Riemert said that the theory of general relativity has replaced the theory of gravitation.  I like to tell the story about the theory that the Sun and Moon circle the earththe geocentric theory.  For millenia, this theory explained all known observationsprimarily the rising and setting of the sun and moon.  As better and better observations were made, it became more and more difficult to adjust the geocentric theory to fit the data.  A new theory was proposed by Copernicus in the 1500's--the sun-centered (heliocentric) theory.  This theory was simpler to apply and fit the data better.  But not perfectly.  The Copernican theory had to be adjusted by Kepler a half-century later.

     

    Were the geocentric theory and the Copernican theory "wrong".  I wouldn't say so.  We still talk about the sun rising and setting.  Most of us still think of the sun MOVING across the sky.  So the geocentric theory works to explain the observations we make in this very limited case.  I don't think of theories being "right" or "wrong" but rather being useful or not useful in given circumstances.

     

    To continue the story (now that I am on a roll), the mechanism of Kepler's heliocentric system was unknown until Isaac Newton proposed the theory of gravitation.  Now it has been replaced by the theory of general relativity.  As in the case of the geocentric theory, I would not call the gravitation theory “wrong”, but would say that it is incomplete.  It works well in everyday conditions and is fine for us non-astrophysicists.  In fact, I’ll bet that most (perhaps all) astrophysicists use it in their everyday thinking.  However, it gives erroneous results when applied to extreme conditions.  General relativity, on the other hand, has given correct results in every case in which it has been tested.  (As any scientific theory must, it makes testable predictions.)  Will general relativity be found lacking some day?  Who knows?

     

    It's interesting that people fought against Copernicus's geocentric theory for Biblical reasons.  A century after Copernicus proposed the theory Galileo suffered at the hands of the church for proclaiming it.  (There are still a few flat-earth believers living on our non-flat earth, I understand.)  The idea of a rotating earth in orbit around the sun was not only considered anti-biblical, but it was difficult for people of the times to understand.  We are in the same condition today regarding the theory of general relativity.  Even with my physics education, I find it tough.  Will children some day grow up understanding and accepting it unquestioningly?   General relativity is much younger than the theory of evolution, and many people still do not understand evolution.

     

    The beauty of science is that it is forever learning and never pretends that it knows everything.  Only the fundamentalist knows everything.

     

    On this running log I would suggest that as we run, we THINK.  Use the faculties of observation and reason that we humans have, however we got them.

  • HOSS1961 Rookie 5 posts since
    Dec 3, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    17. Jan 10, 2008 4:50 PM (in response to JeanK)
    Re: Does believing in God...

    You go JeanK!!!!!!!!!

  • soldierdude Rookie 3 posts since
    Jan 10, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    18. Jan 10, 2008 7:45 PM (in response to rlemert)
    Re: Does believing in God...

    Sorry, my degree is in Electrical Engineering.  But whenever I ask the questions, I get told we don't know that yet or someone else has the answers.  But accept that Evolution is fact.

  • rlemert Pro 250 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    19. Jan 10, 2008 9:01 PM (in response to soldierdude)
    Re: Does believing in God...

     

      Unfortunately I think you are getting caught up in semantics. There is 'evolution', and there is "The Theory of Evolution" which people often abbreviate to "Evolution".

     

     

     

     

     

       Little 'e' evolution consists of facts and observations. The development of drug-resistant organisms (primarily bacteria and insects) is a 'fact' that has been demonstrated repeatedly, and in fact is something that can (and has been) demonstrated in public schools (not recommended, by the way). The existence of fossils is another fact - and in the right parts of the world you can verify their presence in the ground for yourself. If you really care to, you can also verify that most of these fossils DON'T represent creatures that currently exist, although it would help to do so if you had a strong background in zoology. These are facts that even creationists must accept.

     

     

     

     

     

      At the next level of observation you have very strong evidence in the fossil record of features undergoing transitions from one species to another. The development of a whale's fins from a land-dweller's limbs has been pretty well established, as has the development of the modern horse from creatures the size of a house cat. These are facts too, but they're not the same kind of fact as the direct observations discussed earlier. They do require you to be able to follow the feature through the fossil record, but scientists have published how they've reached their conclusions - and anyone can go read these paper. (I suppose you also have to accept that the 'older' fossils really are 'older'. However, there are multiple ways of measuring fossil ages (radio-dating, ice-cores, and sedimentation cores, just to name a few), and they all give consistent results. If these relative ages are wrong there are several branches of science - not just biology - that will have to start over.

     

     

     

     

     

       Now, what most likely has you bothered is big-E Evolution, i.e. the theory that's been developed to explain the collection of facts, observations, and evidence that I've discussed in the previous paragraphs. Theories are not, nor can they ever be, facts. They are nothing more (or less) than a coherent and consistent set of statements that explain a series of facts. No theory can ever be proven correct, but every theory can (in principle) be proven wrong. All you have to do is make an observation that directly violates a prediction made by that theory. (Simply finding an observation that can't be explained isn't enough - the theory may be correct as far as it goes but still incomplete. Newton's Theory of Gravity falls in this category.) Creationism is NOT a theory because it cannot make any predictions and it cannot - even in principle - be shown to be false. Evolution has holes in it, but these are being filled all the time. And while biologists argue the details of the theory, it's accepted as the best explanation THAT CAN BE TESTED that we have so far that explains all the facts I've mentioned and countless others as well.

     

     

     

     

     

      Now that I've got the rational presentation out of the way, let me address your last comments more directly. The LAST thing I would try to tell you is to "accept" Evolution (the theory) as fact. I responded to a post that listed several questions asked by someone who had obviously never made any effort to find out the answers - despite the fact that those answers are readily available to anyone who is willing to make the effort. If you're going to make the claim that certain things cannot happen in the way Evolution says they do, you really ought to make sure that this is the case. To do otherwise does nothing more than expose you as a fool. 

     

     

  • cclaydog Rookie 25 posts since
    Dec 10, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    20. Jan 14, 2008 12:35 PM (in response to Jim Sullivan032)
    Re: Does believing in God...

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/10/22/opinion/polls/main965223.shtml

     

     

     

    Interestingly, the majority of Americans discount the theory of evolution.  I think this is reasonable based on the evidence that we now have.  We are a nation that believes in God.  It is because of this and also the weak scientific evidence that is being rammed down our throats in the classroom. 

     

     

    For instance, we are told that the fossil record shows that evolution "obviously" happened, but scientists can't locate transitional fossils.  Darwin said that there should be billions of them everywhere, but the few fossils that are touted as transitional are argued in the scientific community as being their own separate species that became extinct and not a transition from one to another.  Are we still looking for the billions of fossils?

     

     

    We know species change over time and adapt, which is where evolution is fact.  We see it.  We have miniature chihuahuas and great danes, but we still just have dogs.  Evolutionary science can correctly point out that these two species may have had a common ancestor, but science has no evidence that these animals came from rodents or horses or anything else for that matter.  None.  I challenge anyone to find anything but speculation.

     

     

    I think it is possible to believe that God and evolution can co-exist.  You must believe that God has no knowable purpose for his creation.  After all, who are humans to say that we are any more important than the lady bug?  We are just the current stepping stone for the next species that we will eventually evolve into.  And if God is using evolution to do his will, people like Hitler and Stalin were very important in God's scheme of things, as they are contributing to the "survival of the fittest" framework of a world that runs on evolutionary principles.  Evolution is cold, unloving and hard - our idea of God is not.

  • rlemert Pro 250 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    21. Jan 14, 2008 2:55 PM (in response to cclaydog)
    Re: Does believing in God...

     

    "...the fossil record shows that evolution "obviously" happened, but scientists can't locate transitional fossils. ... the few fossils that are touted as transitional are argued in the scientific community as being their own separate species that became extinct and not a transition from one to another."

     

     

     

     

     

      Would you care to cite the literature showing that scientists "cannot locate transitional fossils, please, along with a list of the papers arguing that "those few fossils that are transitional" really are separate species. While you're at it, I'd appreciate it if you'd take a look at the papers discussing the evolution of the horse and the whale while you're at it.

     

     

     

     

     

    "We know species change over time and adapt, which is where evolution is fact. We see it. We have miniature chihuahuas and great danes, but we still just have dogs. Evolutionary science can correctly point out that these two species may have had a common ancestor, but science has no evidence that these animals came from rodents or horses or anything else for that matter. None. I challenge anyone to find anything but speculation."

     

     

     

     

     

      You're making a pretty sweeping claim, here. Have you examined the scientific literature thoroughly to prove that the is "absolutely no evidence" of speciation?

     

     

     

     

     

      Really! If you're going to claim that there is no evidence that evolution - including the formation of new species and everything else that's covered in the theory, I'm going to demand that you make some effort to justify that conclusion by actually looking at the evidence.  Heck, you don't even need to go back to the original literature. There's enough legitimate treatises available in the general science section of your local bookstore that you should get a good feel for what scientists feel is the evidence supporting the theory. After doing so, feel free to point out where their evidence and/or their conclusion is in error. At that point your arguments stand a chance of being taken seriously.

     

     

     

     

     

      If you are unwilling to examine the scientific evidence for evolution, you have no business arguing against it because you have no idea what you're talking about.

     

     

     

     

     

    "I think it is possible to believe that God and evolution can co-exist. You must believe that God has no knowable purpose for his creation. After all, who are humans to say that we are any more important than the lady bug? We are just the current stepping stone for the next species that we will eventually evolve into. And if God is using evolution to do his will, people like Hitler and Stalin were very important in God's scheme of things, as they are contributing to the "survival of the fittest" framework of a world that runs on evolutionary principles. Evolution is cold, unloving and hard - our idea of God is not."

     

     

     

     

     

    In one sense I agree (at least partially) with you: that "God" has "no knowable purpose for his creation." After all, who are we to say that we are the pinnacle of creation, or that we know what "God's" purpose is in his creation. Do you know why "God" does everything he does?

     

     

     

     

     

      Your assumption that this is the only way "God" and evolution can co-exist, though, is completely fallacious. All you have to do is understand that evolution is nothing more than the mechanism that "God" uses to perform his creation.

     

     

  • broadbill Rookie 124 posts since
    Sep 27, 2004
    Currently Being Moderated
    22. Jan 15, 2008 5:21 AM (in response to cclaydog)
    Re: Does believing in God...

     

    cclaydog wrote:

    _[http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/10/22/opinion/polls/main965223.shtml]_

     

     

    Interestingly, the majority of Americans discount the theory of evolution.  I think this is reasonable based on the evidence that we now have.  We are a nation that believes in God.  It is because of this and also the weak scientific evidence that is being rammed down our throats in the classroom. 

     

     

    ...[laughing]....I love it when creationists pull out this one!  "Well, if enough of us believe it, then it MUST be true"....sure, the theory of evolution is based on reason and loads of empirical evidence, but everyone I know thinks otherwise so it can't possiblity be right! 

     

     

    For instance, we are told that the fossil record shows that evolution "obviously" happened, but scientists can't locate transitional fossils.  Darwin said that there should be billions of them everywhere, but the few fossils that are touted as transitional are argued in the scientific community as being their own separate species that became extinct and not a transition from one to another.  Are we still looking for the billions of fossils?

     

     

    The bulk of transitional fossils cannot be found most regions of the earth are not conducive to either the formation or discovery of fossils.  Therefore, such transistional organisms die, decay completley without any fossil formation. Alternatively, it is very difficult to find fossils of organisms that die and settle to the bottom of the ocean or other deep bodies of water.  Since water covers 70% of the earth's surface and alot of the evolution of earth's species occurred in water....well, that is alot of lost fossils. 

     

     

    We know species change over time and adapt, which is where evolution is fact.  We see it.  We have miniature chihuahuas and great danes, but we still just have dogs.  Evolutionary science can correctly point out that these two species may have had a common ancestor, but science has no evidence that these animals came from rodents or horses or anything else for that matter.  None.  I challenge anyone to find anything but speculation.

     

     

     

    I think it is possible to believe that God and evolution can co-exist.  You must believe that God has no knowable purpose for his creation.  After all, who are humans to say that we are any more important than the lady bug?  We are just the current stepping stone for the next species that we will eventually evolve into.  And if God is using evolution to do his will, people like Hitler and Stalin were very important in God's scheme of things, as they are contributing to the "survival of the fittest" framework of a world that runs on evolutionary principles.  Evolution is cold, unloving and hard - our idea of God is not.

     

     

    I don't get your reasoning here.  You describe how you think the evidence for evolution is wrong but turn around and state that God is using evolution for his master plan....so is there evolution or isn't there?  Or is it evolution on your terms....accept what you believe is right (or what lines up with your religous beliefs) and discount everything else...no matter what the evidence indicates?

     

     

  • dg12 Amateur 76 posts since
    Jul 12, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    24. Jan 15, 2008 9:02 AM (in response to Jim Sullivan032)
    Re: Does believing in God...

     

    Believe in which God? Iif someone believes in evolution they believe that they evolved from pond scum. They evolved from a monkey.

     

     

    Christians believe a loving Father created us in His own image and after His intelligence. Evolutionism should be insulting to you

     

     

    but obviously it's not. A Christian who believes in evolution doesn't spend any time in the scriptures but will get a rise out of this and

     

     

    answer in pride and ignorance. I'm waiting for the reactions of people with NO knowledge of the Holy Bible. It's Holy because God

     

     

    is holy above all else and he made mistakes in creating us it's when you hear man made lies to discount the Creator.

     

     

  • DONSKIMAN Rookie 234 posts since
    Nov 25, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    25. Jan 15, 2008 9:21 AM (in response to JeanK)
    Re: Does believing in God...

     

    JeanK wrote: "Contrary to popular belief, evolution is not scientific fact."

     

     

    You're not helping yourself any.  Evolution is a scientific theory; a scientific theory is more like a scientific law than a hypothesis. A theory is an explanation of a set of related observations or events based upon proven hypotheses and verified multiple times by detached groups of researchers. One scientist cannot create a theory; he can only create a hypothesis. In general, both a scientific theory and a scientific law are accepted to be true by the scientific community as a whole. Both are used to make predictions of events. Both are used to advance technology. The biggest difference between a law and a theory is that a theory is much more complex and dynamic. A law governs a single action, whereas a theory explains a whole series of related phenomena. Evolution is a fact!

     

     

    Perhaps yre you thinking about the origins of human life??  That scientific field of study is called abiogenesis not evolution!  The accepted scientific Theory of Evolution has nothing repeat NOTHING to do with the origins of life on earth.  Apparently you have some <<gasp>> incorrect information!!

     

     

    It would be to your benefit if you would take some time to actually educate yourself about evolution rather than blindly accept the misinformation handed to you by your religious leaders and/or apologetic sites.

     

     

  • cclaydog Rookie 25 posts since
    Dec 10, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    26. Jan 16, 2008 11:38 AM (in response to DONSKIMAN)
    Re: Does believing in God...

     

    If it weren't so blantantly arrogant, it would be funny reading the consistent answer of the faithful evolutionist - "Go educate yourself" or "Evolution is a fact, go read a book". I consider myself educated in general science subjects, but by no means an expert. I'm smart enough to find answers for myself. And I'm pretty sure that Richard Dawkins isn't going to be too interested in running any marathons in his wheelchair, we can all just come off our high horses in this forum.

     

    There are facts in the theory of evolution that are not disputed. Certain characteristics are more likely to be passed on to the next generation based on the surrounding environment of certain animals. Therefore, animals change and adapt to changing environments over time. Proven evolutionary biology in nature show these very small changes in animal fossils as they adapted and survived. Microevolutionary change is very present in nature, but these changes always take place on animals that are already there (i.e created). Evolution can not and does not bring about anything that was not already there, it only acts on creatures that already exist. The average heighth of an American has risen by 2-3 inches over the last 200 years. Can we say that Thomas Jefferson is the transitional species from tiny Christopher Columbus to 6'6" Fred Thompson? Quick, someone write that down in the evolutionary holy books beside Darwin's Species...

     

     

    Science has not found transitional fossils. Did I actually read someone post a reference to the debunked National Geographic story of whales to bears? Whale's fins to land limbs - even though they found only a jaw and a few skull fragments! This is not the God-believer's world view quoting this kind of psuedo-science, but the opposite worldview. And I really like the horses from cats comment.

     

    "There is no evidence of long-term changes within these well-defined species through time. Instead, they are strikingly static through millions of years. Such stasis is apparent in most Neogene horses as well, and in Hyracotherium.This is contrary to thewidely-heldmythabout horse species as gradualistically-varying parts of a continuum, with no real distinctions between species. Throughout the history of horses, the species are well-marked and static over millions of years. At high resolution, the gradualistic picture of horse evolution becomes a complex bush of overlapping, closely related species - Stephen Jay Gould, Harvard University

     

     

    Go educate yourself? What a great idea. What's the next proof of macroevolution in this forum, Piltdown Man?

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    "A large number of well-trained scientists outside of evolutionary biology have unfortunately gotten the idea that the fossil record is far more Darwinian than it is. This probably comes from the over-simplification inevitable in secondary sources.... Also, there is probably some wishful thinking involved. In the years after Darwin, his advocates hoped to find predictable progressions. In general, these have not been found-yet the optimist has died hard, and some pure fantasy has crept into textbooks."

     

     

    Raup, David (1981), Science, 13:289, July 17.

     

     

     

     

     

  • rlemert Pro 250 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    27. Jan 16, 2008 2:34 PM (in response to cclaydog)
    Re: Does believing in God...

     

      You seem to feel very confident that you have successfully debunked evolution, and while I disagree with you completely I'll let your statements stand at face value - for the time being. However, even if your arguments are correct, that's only half the battle. If evolution does not exist (except in the micro sense as you put it), then we need a theory to replace it. I know you creationists like to tout Intelligent Design as your alternative theory, but so far I'm not aware of anyone that has ever put any science into it. As far as I can tell when you boil it down, all ID says is "life exists like it does because someone somewhere decided that this is how it should be." I don't see anything in this statement that allows you to make any predictions (a key element of any theory), and I don't see any way you can test it. It's basic premise (if you ignore the religious aspects) seems to be "evolution is wrong because things are too complicated to have arrived naturally, and if it's wrong then we must be right." (I'm sorry, but saying "you're wrong" doesn't make me right.) Finally, it doesn't really answer the question it's supposed to be addressing, it just sidesteps it. After all, if we are nothing more than the product of some creator, then where did that creator come from, and why did he/she/it decide we would be like we are. The only possible answer I can see is a referrel back to "God", and that automatically takes it out of the realm of science and into the realm of faith.

     

     

     

     

     

  • cclaydog Rookie 25 posts since
    Dec 10, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    29. Jan 17, 2008 8:40 AM (in response to rlemert)
    Re: Does believing in God...

    The question is, what do you consider "science"?  Spewing what some hack puts on talkorigins.com?  I could quote some psychotic street evangelist's website and defend my position, but I didn't.  That's why I quoted Gould's horses comment.  It seems to me that if you're going to easily discard a widely held worldview, you should at least know something about it.  Religious people hear the word "evolution" and start screaming "No!" and evolutionists hear the word "creation" and scream just as loud.  Most of it's from ignorance on both sides.  There is a consistent scientific case for creation.  You might not agree with it, but you should at least examine it with an open mind.  When people belittle the scientific status of creationism, they usually attack its believers, not its claims.

     

     

    "Most remarkable of all is the fact that in science, as in the Bible, the World begins with an act of creation. That view has not always been held by scientists. Only as a result of the most recent discoveries can we say with a fair degree of confidence that the world has not existed forever; that it began abruptly, without apparent cause, in a blinding event that defies scientific explanation" - Robert Jastrow 1977. 

     

    Scientifically, the choice is between matter only and more than matter as the fundamental explanation for the existence and orderliness of the Universe. In fact, when it comes to any particular case, there are again only two scientific explanations for the origin of the order that characterizes the Universe and life in the Universe: either the order was imposed on matter, or it resides within matter. However, if you say that the order resides within matter, I say that I certainly have not seen the evidence. The creation model not only is plausible, but also is the only one that postulates an adequate cause for the Universe and life in that Universe. The evolution model cannot, and does not. The evidence speaks clearly to the existence of a non-contingent, eternal, self-existent Mind that created this Universe and everything within it.

     

     

    Intelligent Design is seperate from creationism.  Creationists tend to link scientific evidence to their faith, ID requires no faith in any thing supernatural.  But the creationist can use the scientific observations from ID researchers to bolster their case for the supernatural.  Take vision for example - We now know that the biochemistry of vision is irreducibly complex. Take out one step at the biochemical level, and vision is not possible. You cannot cobble these parts together like a second camel hump; all the components have to be present and interacting at once in order for the system to work. That is something that neo-Darwinian evolution can't explain.  Who Designed the eye is not the place of science, but there's no getting around a Designer.  Maybe Tom Cruise is right about those aliens...

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