Why Doesn't America believe in Evolution?

Discussion about scientific issues as they relate to God and Christianity including archaeology, origins of life, the universe, intelligent design, evolution, etc.
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#31

Post by Turgonian » Fri Aug 25, 2006 4:59 am

Canuckster1127 wrote:Let's be fair. Bgood is making a valid point. Obviously, if you're going to make comments about evolution, you should be accurate in terms of what evolution claims as a sciencific theory.

Turgonian, I don't think you've really met or interacted with Bgood since you've come onto our board. He is seeking to demonstrate here that evolution does not make any such claim.
I've seen him around. But I don't think that surreal 'mental exercises' like this do anything to increase the probability of macro-evolution. After all, natural selection can't 'select' dog DNA for transformation into cat DNA...
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)

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#32

Post by Canuckster1127 » Fri Aug 25, 2006 5:02 am

Turgonian wrote:
Canuckster1127 wrote:Let's be fair. Bgood is making a valid point. Obviously, if you're going to make comments about evolution, you should be accurate in terms of what evolution claims as a sciencific theory.

Turgonian, I don't think you've really met or interacted with Bgood since you've come onto our board. He is seeking to demonstrate here that evolution does not make any such claim.
I've seen him around. But I don't think that surreal 'mental exercises' like this do anything to increase the probability of macro-evolution. After all, natural selection can't 'select' dog DNA for transformation into cat DNA...
The "mental exercise" is drawing an analogy based upon what was said previously to demonstrate the adsurdity of the claim. That's a valid technique to utilize.
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#33

Post by BGoodForGoodSake » Fri Aug 25, 2006 5:47 am

Turgonian wrote:
Canuckster1127 wrote:Let's be fair. Bgood is making a valid point. Obviously, if you're going to make comments about evolution, you should be accurate in terms of what evolution claims as a sciencific theory.

Turgonian, I don't think you've really met or interacted with Bgood since you've come onto our board. He is seeking to demonstrate here that evolution does not make any such claim.
I've seen him around. But I don't think that surreal 'mental exercises' like this do anything to increase the probability of macro-evolution. After all, natural selection can't 'select' dog DNA for transformation into cat DNA...
The point is not that natural selection causes a replacement of one genome with another. The point is that the resulting organism is mostly dependant on their genome.

In other words if I replace all the DNA from a cat's egg cell with that of a dog, the result should theoretically be a puppy.

In essence the resulting animal is defined by the string of nucleic acids in DNA. If so, what case would you have that there is no way that a series of small changes can accumulate within a populations gene pool, eventually leading to a unique population. In other words where does the burden of evidence lie? Does it lie with those who claim that the effects can accumulate or with those who claim that there are limits? Or lets put it another way, how do we measure the change, and how much change can be considered macro, where is the line? If I have zebras which have become diminutive and can no longer breed with the parent population is this micro or macro? What if they then lose their stripes? Is there a point at which they can no longer change?

Here is an analogy, one form of human interaction involves the exchange of goods and services. It is beleived that no matter the number of participants that a free exchange of goods and services will naturally be self regulated by the participants of the system, be they by laws passed or by business rules. The modern system of trade appears to have it's roots in the bartering systems of more primative cultures. Although one must find evidence to trace the changes in exchange systems, is one to assume that no such tie exists or assume that one is likely to be found?
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#34

Post by Turgonian » Fri Aug 25, 2006 5:57 am

OK, so my unscientific mind oversimplified things. I apologize.

BGood, trading has been thought up and developed by humans -- by human minds only. Apes or any other species don't have it. That's evidence for intelligent design. The designer came up with this idea and other designers improved it.

Where does the burden of evidence lie? With those who claim that a cell spontaneously came into being under impossible circumstances and then went on to divide itself and morph into a real being by mere chance?

I see no reason to assume that something like e.g. the human spirit, which has a metaphysical dimension, could come into existence by mere gene changes.
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)

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#35

Post by BGoodForGoodSake » Fri Aug 25, 2006 6:34 am

AttentionKMartShoppers wrote:BGood, and thereal, a little mental exercise:

http://intelligentdesign.podomatic.com/ ... 8_27-07_00

And listen to it (in response to thereal's equivocation between microevolution and macroevolution...again).
His statement is that microevolution is what has been observed and macro is induced from this. As we observe more and more cases, where does the line actually exist?

"Too many things would have to happen all once, because each one individually would do nothing for the organism."

His position against macro-evolution is not based on experimentally discovered limitations, but on the following. He can't imagine the pathway. For example how a shrew may turn into a bat. Lack of imagination does not count as empirical evidence against a theory.

He is working with bacteria, not multicellular organisms in which the changes are in cellular organization, not in cell chemistry. There is much more flexibility in cellular organization, as evidenced by the similarity of all animal cells. Changes in intracellular chemistry is not as flexible as can be evidenced from an analysis of the different groups of microorganisms.

His understanding of evolution requires multiple changes to occur at once, and requires that each step be advantageous. Again he is thinking in terms of intracellular chemistry in which energy is mostly conserved. In a single cell it would be relatively (in comparison with multicellular organisms) disadvantageous for any unnecessary use of resources. However traits in a population are not the result of changes in intracellular bio-chemistry. They are the result of changes in development, and/or intercellular organization. Features such as the slopping off of dead skin or the shedding of skin in reptiles does not incurr a great disadvantage. Changes which do not have any evident advantages such as attached earlobes vs unattached earlobes don't automatically dissapear. The difference between single celled organisms and sexually reproducing populations is great considering that one must take into account population dynamics and the movement of traits within a gene pool. Bacteria have less ability to swap traits than sexually reproducing organisms.

Just one change...

For example lets say a small group of people became isolated in a valley. Some of the founding memebers had the gene for attached earlobes, perhaps some sons from a single mother who had a new mutation. Lets say that there were only 4 men left because most of the men in this group had succumed to cruel winter conditions during a hunting expedition. After two or three generations attached earlobes for this group of people became more common. As they mixed with the rest of the popuulation this gene became mixed into the gene pool. What is the cause of the attached earlobe? It is a recessive gene which prevents the signal for cellular suicide during development in the womb.

A similar gene would lead to skin flaps between the fingers...

In short this individual has a relatively(Not to the average person but to an expert in evolution.) limited understanding of evolution, and his experiment is not enough for one to declare that changes must occur in tandem or that tandem changes cannot occur. And certainly his inability to imagine a possible pathway is not evolution's problem.

KMart you need to listen to what this man is actually saying instead of focusing on his degree's.
It is not length of life, but depth of life. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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#36

Post by BGoodForGoodSake » Fri Aug 25, 2006 6:46 am

Turgonian wrote:OK, so my unscientific mind oversimplified things. I apologize.

BGood, trading has been thought up and developed by humans -- by human minds only. Apes or any other species don't have it. That's evidence for intelligent design. The designer came up with this idea and other designers improved it.
This is an example of incorrectly extending an analogy. For example if you asked me to compare love and geometric shapes, and I responded that's like comparing apples and oranges, the focus should be on the use of the analogy to show contrast. One should not focus on the fact that apples and oranges can spoil or that they are both edible. And similarily you should not focus on the fact that trade was developed by humans.

Tha analogy here is to show that one event can be thought to lead to another and unless a limitation can be shown it is not unreasonable to assume that a pathway exists.

Here's another example, Lets say a drop falls from a cave ceiling and leaves behing a small deposit of limestone. We then see a very large limestone deposit next to where the drop came from. Can we take this observation and induce that the formation may have been the result of many drops? What if we find a similar deposit in another cave which is now dry?
Turgonian wrote:Where does the burden of evidence lie? With those who claim that a cell spontaneously came into being under impossible circumstances and then went on to divide itself and morph into a real being by mere chance?
Perhaps you should do some more research.
Turgonian wrote:I see no reason to assume that something like e.g. the human spirit, which has a metaphysical dimension, could come into existence by mere gene changes.
Nobody is making this claim. And by nobody I mean scientists.
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#37

Post by thereal » Fri Aug 25, 2006 8:29 am

AttentionKmartShoppers wrote:BGood, and thereal, a little mental exercise:

http://intelligentdesign.podomatic.com/ ... 8_27-07_00

And listen to it (in response to thereal's equivocation between microevolution and macroevolution...again).
So far, I haven't been able to view whatever it is you're linking. I'm experimenting with my pop-up blockers and such to fix the problem...just didn't didn't want you thinking I've decided to bow out of the discussion...

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#38

Post by thereal » Fri Aug 25, 2006 10:57 am

Ok, I was able to listen to the interview, but as I read the posts I see that BGood has already hit on several points I wanted to address. The first is the misconception that multiple changes have to occur at once for an organism to evolve. I have no idea where this man got this idea from or if it is his own belief, but I have never heard of this being a requirement for evolution. When Dr. Seelke then incorporates this idea into his own research, stating that a two change requierment halts the evolutionary process, this is built upon the previous misconception. Furthermore, he states that making one change is no good because it doesn't help anything...what is he basing this on?

Second, Dr. Seelke's example of shrews evolution to bats is also based upon this concept. He again starts with the idea that long arms bones, light bones, etc. all have to evolve at once....no one has ever suggested that before. On top of that, he doesn't even address one of the most popular hypothesized pathways for the evolution of bats. He says that to become bats, shrews would have to develop the bone length and weight changes first, but he doesn't even mention the possibility that skin extension similar to flying squirrels may have developed first, resulting in a gliding animal over time that eventually developed longer and lighter bones. Simply because his two suggested pathways might not work, he shuts the door on the idea that shrews didn't evolve into bats.

Although it doesn't totally discredit his work, I do have to bring up the fact that this man works with bacteria, which elimanates a huge source of evolution....sexual selection. Dr. Seelke, in both the introduction and when he discussed his specific research, alludes to the fact that macroevolution has not been witnessed. He uses this as evidence for why it cannot occur, but even according to the tenets of evolution the macroevolutionary process is SUPPOSED TO TAKE A REALLY, REALLY LONG TIME!!! Just because a culture that has been growing for 5 years hasn't evolved into a new species, that means macroevolution doesn't happen...gimme' a break!

On a final note, I have to address another topic from another post in this thread:
Turgonian wrote:I see no reason to assume that something like e.g. the human spirit, which has a metaphysical dimension, could come into existence by mere gene changes.
Can you please define "human spirit" in physical terms that can be utilized by scientists to study it? If not, then it does not fall within the realm of science. Who is it that is suggesting that a "human spirit" is controlled by genes?

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#39

Post by godslanguage » Fri Aug 25, 2006 11:22 am

His statement is that microevolution is what has been observed and macro is induced from this. As we observe more and more cases, where does the line actually exist?
He didn't say that at all. I didn't here him say microevolution is evidence for Macro evolution. He says there is no foundation, no observable evidence for Macro-evolution.
Too many things would have to happen all once, because each one individually would do nothing for the organism.

His position against macro-evolution is not based on experimentally discovered limitations, but on the following. He can't imagine the pathway. For example how a shrew may turn into a bat. Lack of imagination does not count as empirical evidence against a theory.
Who said he has a position AGAINST macro-evolution. Why do you infer this right away when he studies evolution yet sees lack of supporting evidence for Macro-evolution. So again, Macro-evolution is based on the imagination ? So there is no need to do any real experiments only base the theory entirely on "imagination", I understand. Tell me where his position against evolution is compatible with him doing experiements to prove evolution. He only indicated that he was a skeptic of evolution.

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#40

Post by Turgonian » Fri Aug 25, 2006 1:18 pm

BGood - Just wait until I find out the similarities between love and geometric shapes. :P
Your analogy was only saying that things (or institutions, like trade) can develop over time. I was aware of that... I just doubted that Neo-Darwinian evolution would really work.

Yeah, yeah, one thing can lead to another. The cause/effect thing.
I never doubted something could continue. But the limestone only grows bigger, not more complex. We observe the limestone growing and hypothesize that it could grow for a while, but not that it would take quite another shape or become another substance.
The limitation? What are the errors in Has evolution really been observed?

Do you believe in abiogenesis? It's what I meant when I said 'that a cell spontaneously came into being under impossible circumstances,' &c.

thereal - If the human spirit did not evolve, where does it come from?
Yeah, let's define spirit in physical terms... What about 'the ability to reflect'? Or 'the clear line that separates human intellectual life from brute sentient life'? To get a feeling of what I mean, try an article on this site.
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)

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#41

Post by thereal » Fri Aug 25, 2006 2:00 pm

Turgonian wrote:thereal - If the human spirit did not evolve, where does it come from?
Yeah, let's define spirit in physical terms... What about 'the ability to reflect'? Or 'the clear line that separates human intellectual life from brute sentient life'? To get a feeling of what I mean, try an article on this site.
I should have put a little more detail into my last statement. I am not insinuating that the "human spirit" did not evolve, I am insinuating that it is a manmade concept created to make us feel unique relative to other animals. You define "spirit" as "the ability to reflect"...how is this different from memory, which, in both short- and long-term forms, is present in the supoosedly "lower" animals.

The article you presented me introduces several interesting concepts, so if this post goes a little off topic it may end up being it's own thread. The differences between humans and lower animals is said to be resulting from several things. First, the superior language skills of humans. I'll agree that humans exhibit more complex neurological behaviors and language patterns, but the author's contention that trained apes are simply memorizes signs and not learning a language does not extend to all animals. Meerkats for example, utilize complex calls that differentiate between aerial predators, terrestrial predators, food, water, etc. and these different calls elicit unique call-specific behaviors. How is this different from human language? Can you speak meerkat? Even if a study organism is unable to learn our language, does that make it a lower life form...I can't speak frog, or camel, or cricket, you get the idea.

Second, regarding the superior intellect of humans, the author cites the inability of lower animals to recognize cause-and-effect relationships. I believe this to be entirely false, unless I am mistaken as to what is being said. The author contends that animals are unable to devise new strategies for accomplishing tasks when established patterns fail...also he contends that lower animals are unable to correct themselves. I don't know if the author is basing these broad conclusions on the few sources provided, but both of these assertions are disproved in a variety of laboratory and field studies on animal behavior.

In essence, I wanted a physical definition of "spirit" so that I might ask you how scientists would be able to study this phenomenon, if it exists, and conclusively prove that it does in fact exist. I also would still like to know who it is you believe is linking a "spirit" to genes...

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#42

Post by Moster » Sat Aug 26, 2006 7:26 am

It has already been shown that animals are quite capable of solving problems requiring rudimentary logic. Apes have certainly been trained to use language; some have even invented new words when their existing vocabulary didn't cover something new they experienced.

Humans are (as the Bible says) unique only in having an immortal soul.

We are otherwise creatures from the earth like all others. God chose us, and that is what makes us different, not anything intrinsically human.

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#43

Post by Canuckster1127 » Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:08 am

Moster wrote:It has already been shown that animals are quite capable of solving problems requiring rudimentary logic. Apes have certainly been trained to use language; some have even invented new words when their existing vocabulary didn't cover something new they experienced.

Humans are (as the Bible says) unique only in having an immortal soul.

We are otherwise creatures from the earth like all others. God chose us, and that is what makes us different, not anything intrinsically human.
Welcome Moster,

More than choosing us, the Bible says we have been created in the image of God. It is that that makes us intrinsically "human."

You are right however, that we have much in common physically with other animals. The difference is a qualitative one, rather than a physical one in many regards.

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#44

Post by godslanguage » Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:23 am

Supposedly lower animals. You have got to be kidding me right, anyone can realize that humans are the dominant species on Earth, that makes any other animal lower. What makes them even more lower is that God said they are, (thats if you believe in the teachings of the bible). He created them for us, not us for them, or even in between. According to God, he created us as unique, and still today, the spirit of God flows through them. Our human spirit is the equivocal of God Himself, in fact, the spirit is made by God, its up to us what we do with it, and thats partly the differance.
See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropomorphic

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#45

Post by Turgonian » Sat Aug 26, 2006 10:19 am

thereal wrote:The article you presented me introduces several interesting concepts, so if this post goes a little off topic it may end up being it's own thread. The differences between humans and lower animals is said to be resulting from several things. First, the superior language skills of humans. I'll agree that humans exhibit more complex neurological behaviors and language patterns, but the author's contention that trained apes are simply memorizes signs and not learning a language does not extend to all animals. Meerkats for example, utilize complex calls that differentiate between aerial predators, terrestrial predators, food, water, etc. and these different calls elicit unique call-specific behaviors. How is this different from human language? Can you speak meerkat? Even if a study organism is unable to learn our language, does that make it a lower life form...I can't speak frog, or camel, or cricket, you get the idea.
That's simply physical inability. But although meerkats may have complex calls, they have no grammar or syntax, and are not on the way to invent new calls. Invention is purely human.
Second, regarding the superior intellect of humans, the author cites the inability of lower animals to recognize cause-and-effect relationships. I believe this to be entirely false, unless I am mistaken as to what is being said. The author contends that animals are unable to devise new strategies for accomplishing tasks when established patterns fail...also he contends that lower animals are unable to correct themselves.
In any case, they apparently have to try something before they discover that it doesn't work...

Do you have the answer to the question why monkeys still aren't cleaning their cages?
In essence, I wanted a physical definition of "spirit" so that I might ask you how scientists would be able to study this phenomenon, if it exists, and conclusively prove that it does in fact exist. I also would still like to know who it is you believe is linking a "spirit" to genes...
A spirit is by definition metaphysical. You might as well ask me to give a physical definition of God, so that scientists could study that phenomenon...

Genes or no genes, if Neo-Darwinian evolution is true, all of those actions we now take to be indicative of spirit are actually the result of natural selection.
The Bible says they were "willingly ignorant". In the Greek, this means "be dumb on purpose". (Kent Hovind)

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