Is It Legal?

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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Re: Is It Legal?

#16

Post by RickD » Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:36 pm

Also, it might interest you to know that practically every research lab in the country dedicated to biology or medicine uses evolution as the backbone of its research. Modern biology is either derived or completely integrated with evolution so that if you take away evolution, much of our understanding of life no longer makes sense. In essence, the medicines and treatments and genetic marvels we have coming out of research today don't happen without an understanding of evolution. There are groundbreaking genetic disease treatments I'm learning about right now that are only being thought up because evolutionary theory says it's legit, and they certainly are the next wave of modern medicine.
Ivellious, I'm certainly no expert on evolution, nor biology. But, you'd be hard pressed to find any intelligent Christian who disagrees with the kind of evolution that you are referring to, when you talk about disease treatments.

It's quite another thing, to make the leap from things like viruses mutating and changing, to single cell life on earth beginning from a naturalistic means, and evolving into sentient humans. That certainly is not anywhere close to proven.

And, naturalism, in a sense, is a religion. Because one needs extreme faith to believe life came about randomly, without an external cause. I would choose not to put my faith in something I don't know(how sentient live arose from nothing). But, I choose to put my faith in The living God, who lives inside me, and is a witness that God is responsible for creation.
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Re: Is It Legal?

#17

Post by Ivellious » Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:57 pm

I still disagree on the faith aspect. Evolution presents a solid, tested hypothesis for how life COULD have arisen to its current state based on science and logic. Yes, it does state that random mutations are the deep root of how natural selection works, but it's not faith to say that we believe this is how it happened. We have a concept for how it could have happened and based on our knowledge of where life is now and where it has been at various stages of history and pre-history, it is a completely viable reasoning. Yes, it is possible that it could have worked out another way, or that it could go in any number of directions over the next million years, but the theory states simply that this IS how we got here based on the laws of evolution.

To be fair, it is true that we cannot prove evolution. We can prove that it works, which I have done in biology labs actually. The process checks out. Though, as you point out, there is obviously no way to prove that it is how everything worked over the past 4 billion years. But, it is also important to point out that no theory or law in science can be proven, technically. The laws of thermodynamics are our best explanation for the phenomena that they describe and place values on. But we cannot prove the inner workings of thermodynamics. We can just demonstrate that they work based on the information we have now. Evolution is the same way: We cannot hope to prove it, though by the same token we have no better explanation, and thus it is the accepted reasoning, and it has been for some time, and no scientist has brought forth a better idea since evolution was proposed.

And just for clarification, viruses are an odd type of thing out there that some do not even count as life. According to cell theory (another "just a theory" debunker) cells are the smallest units of life, but viruses are not cells. They are far smaller, and only consist of DNA wrapped in a protein shell. Fascinating stuff how they seem to act like life forms in some ways and yet they act like simple non living molecules in other ways. Also, it is bacteria that we are believed to have evolved from, not viruses (just to clarify)

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Re: Is It Legal?

#18

Post by RickD » Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:10 pm

Also, it is bacteria that we are believed to have evolved from, not viruses (just to clarify)
I still disagree on the faith aspect. Evolution presents a solid, tested hypothesis for how life COULD have arisen to its current state based on science and logic.
I think it takes more faith to believe bacteria formed by natural means, and over change, and billions of years, came mankind, with a body, soul, and spirit. That, to me, takes more faith than I certainly have.
To be fair, it is true that we cannot prove evolution. We can prove that it works, which I have done in biology labs actually. The process checks out. Though, as you point out, there is obviously no way to prove that it is how everything worked over the past 4 billion years.
I'm not saying what we call micro-evolution, isn't provable. But making the huge leap from that, to "bacteria-human" evolution, is certainly all faith, and not much substance. I find it much more logical to believe that over billions of years, God created each living organism, in its proper time. Ending with the creation of man.
Have you ever studied any kind of Old Earth Creationism?
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Re: Is It Legal?

#19

Post by Ivellious » Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:37 pm

I believe it is dangerous to throw out the phrase "bacteria to human evolution" because it really isn't a fair term. Bacteria did not jump to humans at a certain spot in history. Rather, over 4 billion years, small yet advantageous mutations incrementally developed and differentiated these first bacteria into more complex bacteria. From here, multi-cellular organisms could develop and the organisms continued to become more and more advanced and complex as the generations went on. In less than 24 hours at school we can take complex bacteria, recreate a simple change in environmental factors and cause that population to evolve into a new species over several generations. Yes, these mutations would need to progressively get more complex as the complexity in species grew, but evolution does provide us with a logical way of it happening. Based on evolution, it could have happened exactly as we have predicted.

Old-Earth creationism is an interesting concept but I find it too close to Intelligent Design to be acceptable for my tastes. I mean, I have no issue with someone believing in it. But I do question the logic behind trying to teach creationism/Id in our public schools, and that's where I draw the line. Science class is not for non-scientific topics based in religion and without scientific merit. Evolution is accepted as widely as practically any scientific concept out there among the scientific community, and it provides us with a confident explanation as to how life developed without religious or supernatural input. On that basis alone, our children have no reason to be exposed to anything but evolution in the public classrooms, because our public taxes are not supposed to fund the teaching of religion except in social studies context.

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Re: Is It Legal?

#20

Post by jlay » Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:04 am

Modern biology is either derived or completely integrated with evolution so that if you take away evolution, much of our understanding of life no longer makes sense.
Really, can you prove that statement with biological science? No. It is a philosophical and ideological statement loaded with presumption. To engage in the field of biological sciences doe NOT require one to adhere to Darwinian evolution. Natural selection is NOT mutually dependent on Darwinian evolution. Let's make sure we're together on the term evolution.
Creationism is a Christian design, which is religion. End of story.
One does not have a to be a Christian or religious to consider or support creationism. What you are talking about is a starting point. A worldview. In your arrogance (I know you won't see it this way) your starting point is valid, and ours is superstition. But this is only because this whole evolution is the backbone argument is loaded with fallacy and prejudice, as I'll show in a moment.
In essence, the medicines and treatments and genetic marvels we have coming out of research today don't happen without an understanding of evolution. There are groundbreaking genetic disease treatments I'm learning about right now that are only being thought up because evolutionary theory says it's legit, and they certainly are the next wave of modern medicine.
This statement is loaded with what we call the fallacy of equivocaiton. You are using the term 'evolution' in a sense that we ALL would agree with. Testable, observable, repeatable processes. (Mutation, natural selection.) And then you are making a leap of faith that this same definition supports molecules to man evolution. This is a common fallacy, which happens so often that the people committing it don't even realize it, and most others fail to recognize.
In short, I once again challenge anyone to actually bring a legitimate point, argument, or flaw against evolution rather than ignorant inflammatory comments that serve no purpose.
Sure, define how you are using the term evolution. In my original reply I stated what i believed we are really talking about. (molecules to man)

My guess is you believe that everything necessary for you to produce a cogent thought today was the result of non-intelligent, unguided processes over millions and billions of years. Just because many of us here reject that astronomically improbable (actually impossible) notion doesn't grant you or your side the spoils of science. Science is a process in which anyone can engage. And it doesn't require the worldview I just stated. And that is always what this is really a debate over. Worldviews. Not whether evolution is the "backbone". This seeks to pit 'science' against religion. When the fact is this is actually one religious worldview versus another. Only one wears the holy robes of infallibility, the lab coat, and diquises it's anti-God notions under the banner of science.
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Re: Is It Legal?

#21

Post by RickD » Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:46 am

I believe it is dangerous to throw out the phrase "bacteria to human evolution" because it really isn't a fair term.
I was just replying to what you said here:
Also, it is bacteria that we are believed to have evolved from, not viruses (just to clarify)
In less than 24 hours at school we can take complex bacteria, recreate a simple change in environmental factors and cause that population to evolve into a new species over several generations. Yes, these mutations would need to progressively get more complex as the complexity in species grew, but evolution does provide us with a logical way of it happening. Based on evolution, it could have happened exactly as we have predicted.
I don't see any disagreement with this kind of evolution.
Evolution is accepted as widely as practically any scientific concept out there among the scientific community, and it provides us with a confident explanation as to how life developed without religious or supernatural input.
Micro evolution is accepted. Agreed. But, you seem to be making the huge "leap of faith", that observable evolution(micro), proves naturalistic beginnings for life, and sentient humans evolving from one celled organisms. That's neither logical, nor demonstrable.
On that basis alone, our children have no reason to be exposed to anything but evolution in the public classrooms, because our public taxes are not supposed to fund the teaching of religion except in social studies context.
What happens when a student asks the teacher, " Sir, if evolution explains how life developed on earth, to where we are today, how does evolution explain how life here began?" Now you're out of the field of science, correct?
John 5:24
24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Kenny wrote:
"You don’t need faith, logic, reason, proof, or anything else to be atheist, all you need to do is reject what someone told you."



St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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Re: Is It Legal?

#22

Post by jlay » Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:01 am

In less than 24 hours at school we can take complex bacteria, recreate a simple change in environmental factors and cause that population to evolve into a new species over several generations.
And there is the equivocation. A new species of what? Bacteria. If you have one example of bacteria 'evolving' into non-bacteria then we are all ears. Or, new genetic info being added to the genome.
Based on evolution, it could have happened exactly as we have predicted.
I really hope you understand that this is not proof. An ID proponent can make similar claims.
-“The Bible treated allegorically becomes putty in the hands of the exegete.” John Walvoord

"I'm not saying scientists don't overstate their results. They do. And it's understandable, too...If you spend years working toward a certain goal and make no progress, of course you are going to spin your results in a positive light." Ivellious

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Re: Is It Legal?

#23

Post by Reactionary » Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:46 am

Ivellious wrote:Also, it might interest you to know that practically every research lab in the country dedicated to biology or medicine uses evolution as the backbone of its research. Modern biology is either derived or completely integrated with evolution so that if you take away evolution, much of our understanding of life no longer makes sense.
I don't understand how or why evolution aids medicine, I only remember that medicine has been hindered quite a few times because of evolutionary presuppositions. Look at "vestigial organs", for instance - some older generations frequently had their tonsils removed because it was believed they were just an evolutionary leftover, a belief that turned out to be false. About 200 other human organs were also considered useless, just because we weren't aware of their purpose at the time (the so-called Evolution-of-the-gaps argument, but fortunately research and reason overcame the presuppositions).

Furthermore, I believe that your statement about our understanding of life being integral with evolution, is greatly exaggerated. Whether the living species on Earth came about by common ancestry or a common designer, doesn't affect the function of those organisms, or their genetic similarity/difference, or whatever else. To put it similarly, it's not essential to know how cars are made, in order to be able to fix one. Besides, most of big breakthroughs in medicine, such as vaccination or penicillin, were made without referring to evolution, rather observation and experiment, in a proper scientific manner.
Ivellious wrote:Creationism is a Christian design, which is religion. End of story. I disagree that evolution is religion, and the only reason one could make a claim like that is not knowing anything about evolution in the first place. Religion is faith-based, as in without concrete evidence to suggest that the belief is true, but rather it is more primal and personal. Science utilizes observation and experimentation to support hypotheses, and evolution is no exception.
So, we should reject creationism just because it implies that a religion is true? Should we rephrase it into "worldview" then? Would you agree that evolution implies a worldview? I sure think you would - if life came to be by accident, and evolved by random mutations, that would pretty much mean that there is no God, and that atheism is true. What makes atheism different from other religions? It has its own "creation myth", certainly no less vivid than others, in fact, while religions generally point to a purpose and intention, atheism teaches that everything is an accident, which is kind of surprising, since we observe a very orderly universe, and very complex life in existence.

Regarding "faith"... You can't deny that evolution is often faith-based. I've already mentioned the example of "vestigial" organs, or "junk DNA"... or transitional fossils, none of which have been found after 150 years, however, evolutionists still have faith that they will be found in the future. As for religion, I don't defend other religions, but I have to point out that Christianity is primarily based on reason, and only partially on faith. If you know about Christianity as much as we supposedly know about evolution, than I understand why you think this way. The main site, which this forum is a part of, has many answers for nonbelievers:
http://godandscience.org/apologetics/answers.html

By the way, as for "concrete evidence", the question is how we define evidence. If philosophy counts as evidence (and it should, as it provides a framework for science and thinking in general), then Christianity is (still) way ahead of atheism, because its foundations can justify knowledge in a much better and more logical way than atheism/naturalism.
Ivellious wrote:Old-Earth creationism is an interesting concept but I find it too close to Intelligent Design to be acceptable for my tastes.
Biased? :mrgreen:
Ivellious wrote:I mean, I have no issue with someone believing in it. But I do question the logic behind trying to teach creationism/Id in our public schools, and that's where I draw the line. Science class is not for non-scientific topics based in religion and without scientific merit. Evolution is accepted as widely as practically any scientific concept out there among the scientific community, and it provides us with a confident explanation as to how life developed without religious or supernatural input. On that basis alone, our children have no reason to be exposed to anything but evolution in the public classrooms, because our public taxes are not supposed to fund the teaching of religion except in social studies context.
I wouldn't worry about evolution being widely accepted - a few centuries ago a flat Earth was "widely accepted", while the proponents of a round Earth were a minority, yet turned out to be right. If we rule out a Creator, then we indeed are left with evolution as the only possible theory of creation. But if your argument for evolution (and against creationism) is that it doesn't involve a "supernatural" input, I don't think it holds much credibility, as we still don't know how life arises at all. Since we can't experimentally create life at the moment, all possibilities should be kept open, so that we don't go down the wrong path in history again. That's why I believe we should teach both ID and evolution, and I don't see anything controversial about that.
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Re: Is It Legal?

#24

Post by SnowDrops » Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:24 pm

He does have a point in that macro-evolution (please use macro- and micro- so it's clear what you're talking about) is believed even by Christians (Theistic Evolution) and people from many other religions, so it's not actually a religion in itself. But that it's a "scientific fact" (which is a term most philosophers of science would probably regard as nonsense, since nothing can be proven by science, especially not by the (not very strong) consensus he seems to be stressing) is not so clear at all. For a start he should try studying the main site.
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Re: Is It Legal?

#25

Post by Byblos » Fri Dec 09, 2011 12:33 pm

Reactionary wrote:I wouldn't worry about evolution being widely accepted - a few centuries ago a flat Earth was "widely accepted", while the proponents of a round Earth were a minority, yet turned out to be right. If we rule out a Creator, then we indeed are left with evolution as the only possible theory of creation. But if your argument for evolution (and against creationism) is that it doesn't involve a "supernatural" input, I don't think it holds much credibility, as we still don't know how life arises at all. Since we can't experimentally create life at the moment, all possibilities should be kept open, so that we don't go down the wrong path in history again. That's why I believe we should teach both ID and evolution, and I don't see anything controversial about that.
I wouldn't rule out evolution as the mechanism by which a creator did create but I agree that ID ought to be at least considered as a viable alternative theory, considering that is precisely where contemporary cosmology and physics are pointing towards, i.e. to a supremely intelligent creator.
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Re: Is It Legal?

#26

Post by Reactionary » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:10 pm

SnowDrops wrote:He does have a point in that macro-evolution (please use macro- and micro- so it's clear what you're talking about)
By "evolution" I mean specifically "macroevolution". Instead of "microevolution" I prefer terms like 'adaptation', 'mutation', or 'natural selection', since we never see species "evolve" in the true sense of the word. It's better not to make it seem like there is a small step between 'micro-' and 'macro-', because those are different types of changes.
Byblos wrote:I wouldn't rule out evolution as the mechanism by which a creator did create but I agree that ID ought to be at least considered as a viable alternative theory, considering that is precisely where contemporary cosmology and physics are pointing towards, i.e. to a supremely intelligent creator.
Agreed. I wouldn't rule out TE either, but considering the present evidence, I'll stick with OEC for now.
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Re: Is It Legal?

#27

Post by Proinsias » Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:29 pm

Reactionary wrote:I don't understand how or why evolution aids medicine
I think it is largely genetics that has aided medicine, many, including myself, are of the opinion that evolutionary theory is the bedrock of genetic theory.
In my opinion the dispute between the Darwinian theory over that of Lamark was put to bed with by Francis & Crick describing DNA.

One does not need to buy into evolution hook, line and sinker. It's a great theory and has united the science of biology over the past hundred years or so, it's provided a common language for biologists.The Mendel>Darwin>Francis & Crick combination has done for biology what Newton done for physics. It may be a massive lie but by God it works.
Personally I hope they break evolution soon. Biology has been comfortable for over a hundred years, most of the scientific community regard evolution as Gospel, science is better when people are disagreeing about fundamentals.

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Re: Is It Legal?

#28

Post by sandy_mcd » Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:55 pm

jlay wrote:
This seeks to pit 'science' against religion. When the fact is this is actually one religious worldview versus another. Only one wears the holy robes of infallibility, the lab coat, and diquises it's anti-God notions under the banner of science.
I don't think it is fair to say that scienc(e/tists) claims to be infallible. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_theory Atomic theory has progressed from Dalton's small indivisible particle, to Thomson's plum pudding model, to Rutherford's planetary model, to Bohr's quantum model, and now to the present quantum mechanical model. So science is willing to change if there is evidence which current models do not fit.

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Re: Is It Legal?

#29

Post by sandy_mcd » Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:00 pm

RickD wrote:What happens when a student asks the teacher, " Sir, if evolution explains how life developed on earth, to where we are today, how does evolution explain how life here began?" Now you're out of the field of science, correct?
No, you're out of the field of evolution and into the field of abiogenesis, which is obviously much more speculative and much more primitive. Scientists will likely never be able to show how abiogenesis happened. At best they might some day show a way (or ways) it might have happened.

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Re: Is It Legal?

#30

Post by sandy_mcd » Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:11 pm

Reactionary wrote:I wouldn't worry about evolution being widely accepted - a few centuries ago a flat Earth was "widely accepted", while the proponents of a round Earth were a minority, yet turned out to be right.
The spherical earth is accepted by most today. I doubt we will go back to the concept of a flat earth.

Similarly, a recent Creation was widely accepted hundreds of years ago. Then people began noticing things which didn't fit in with this idea. So I think the possibility of science going back to recent Creation is no more likely than going back to a flat earth.

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