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Thread: Arguing with my creationist father about evolution...

  1. #1 Arguing with my creationist father about evolution... 
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    I just used the many fossils found of Homo that are not modern humans...he says how do we know that they aren't just apes? I used the answer "because they've extracted DNA from these things", "because we can tell from their bone structure that they walked around on two legs."
    Can someone please give me more solid evidence...or elaborate upon the examples I used, make them more solid?


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  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    The simple answer to the question is that they are apes. We are also apes. And our ancestors were apes. The current apes are, surprise - surprise, apes. Their ancestors were apes. It's one big happy family.
    What he means is "how do we know these are not the same as current apes". Answer - they are anatomically different. "How do we know these are not the same as ancestral apes." Answer - they are anatomically different. Although the closer we get in time to the common ancestor of humans and the other great apes, the more difficult it gets to determine which line a particular specimen is on. That uncertainty is exactly what we would expect if evolution is true and the opposite of what we should expect if special creation were true.

    Good luck.


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  4. #3  
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    Right...I know we are apes. But that answer certainly won't satisfy him. I'm learning it's pretty much a waste of time to argue this stuff...They really just do not listen at all...
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  5. #4  
    Forum Professor scoobydoo1's Avatar
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    Well, if you really want to continue a discussion with your father, you could possibly point to some of the evidence of prehistoric tools found at dig sites and evidence of possible fire usage in cooking (and crafting?). However, I'm not sure how conclusive those evidence found so far are to be honest because I'm not well read on the subject. Perhaps others here can provide credible sources for those.
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    Forum Professor astromark's Avatar
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    Your Father has the right to be wrong. That he holds as true a complex creationist view is not a surprising as he has been taught and had indoctrinated into his mind set.. Creationism. While you have a questioning intellect that has bought you a clearer image if human history I and others see and understand your frustration. Maybe you might leave a book some place your Dad might find. The writtings of Dawkins as interesting and on a subject he might find of interest. You may not and may never find common ground of this argument. That in the Book of Geneses no mention of the history of evolution is found because the compositors of that writing had no knowledge of it.. They were wrong. Understanding that might be too bigger a leap for your Dad.
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  7. #6  
    Anti-Pseudoscience Some's Avatar
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    Maybe he has a point.



    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    Your Father has the right to be wrong.
    Everyone can make conjecture.
    Men are four: He who knows not and knows not he knows not, he is a fool--shun him; He who knows not and knows he knows not, he is simple--teach him; He who knows and knows not he knows, he is asleep--wake him; He who knows and knows he knows, hi is wise--follow him!
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  8. #7  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    Personally, I would never argue with a creationist, or biblical literalist.

    Damned near every living person on this planet is deluded in one way or another.
    Have the civility to let them enjoy the comfort of their benign delusions.
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  9. #8  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    Have the civility to let them enjoy the comfort of their benign delusions.
    They aren't always benign. Nor civil.
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    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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  10. #9  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    Our ancestors were fish.

    It took him years of searching in the Canadian Arctic, but in 2004, Neil Shubin found the fossilized remains of what he thinks is one of our most important ancestors.
    Turns out, it's a fish.
    Shubin says his find, which he named Tiktaalik, represents an important evolutionary step, because it has the structures that will ultimately become parts of our human bodies. Shoulders, elbows, legs, a neck, a wrist — they're all there in Tiktaalik.
    "Everything that we have are versions of things that are seen in fish," says Shubin.
    Of course, there are things that we have that Tiktaalik doesn't.
    "We have a big brain, and portions of that big brain are not seen in Tiktaalik," says Shubin. "But the template, all the way down to the DNA that builds it, is already present in creatures like this."
    Inside this fish, Shubin sees us.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...Knn3nZYjDGCEtg
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    Have the civility to let them enjoy the comfort of their benign delusions.
    They aren't always benign. Nor civil.
    nor are you
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  12. #11  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    Have the civility to let them enjoy the comfort of their benign delusions.
    They aren't always benign. Nor civil.
    nor are you
    Yes I am, ya fat git!
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  13. #12  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    lol
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  14. #13  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Some View Post
    Maybe he has a point.


    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    Your Father has the right to be wrong.
    Everyone can make conjecture.
    What point specifically do you feel he has?
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

    The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few - Spock of Vulcan & Sentinel Prime of Cybertron ---proof that "the needs" are in the eye of the beholder.
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    Moderator Moderator Cogito Ergo Sum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Some View Post
    Maybe he has a point.


    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    Your Father has the right to be wrong.
    Everyone can make conjecture.
    What point specifically do you feel he has?

    The chance you will get a response, is close to zero. Member Some is a serial seagull poster (similar to member PetriFB),
    who has the habit of posting i.a. pro-ID YouTube videos without discussing them (cf. post #40).
    Last edited by Cogito Ergo Sum; October 10th, 2014 at 07:26 AM. Reason: Fixed misused expression.
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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  16. #15  
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    You might pointout to your father that a belief in Evolution is not necessarily a statement of disbelief in God. It is a statement of belief in a larger, grander, smarter God. A God who is cleaver enough to use evolution. It is a statement of disbelief in the literal interpatation of the christian Bible. Learned biblical scholars have known for more than a thousand years that the Bible can't be literally true. I think Augustine of Hippo wrote something to the point in the late days of the Roman empire.
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  17. #16  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    What is Evolutionary Creation?

    The view that all life on earth came about by the God-ordained process of evolution with common descent. Evolution is a means by which God providentially achieves his purposes in creation.
    BioLogos: Science and faith in harmony
    Without wishing to overstate my case, everything in the observable universe definitely has its origins in Northamptonshire -- Alan Moore
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sealeaf View Post
    You might pointout to your father that a belief in Evolution is not necessarily a statement of disbelief in God. It is a statement of belief in a larger, grander, smarter God. A God who is cleaver enough to use evolution. It is a statement of disbelief in the literal interpatation of the christian Bible. Learned biblical scholars have known for more than a thousand years that the Bible can't be literally true. I think Augustine of Hippo wrote something to the point in the late days of the Roman empire.
    Quite so. Any educated Catholic, Anglican or Episcopalian priest, or Presbyterian minister, will tell you this.
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  19. #18  
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    er..homo erectus didn't look like an ape. and didn't move like one either.

    i don't know what more can be said...they didn't look like apes, and any modern description of an ape.
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  20. #19  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlinsomes View Post
    er..homo erectus didn't look like an ape. and didn't move like one either.
    depends on your definition of an ape - if that definition is all great apes excluding human beings and their immediate ancestors, then you're right
    but if you do that, then the classification of "apes" is no longer a natural group (in cladistic terms you've created a paraphyletic group), because you've arbitrarily chose to split off one group of relatively specialised apes

    the only true classification must, from the fact that we're closer kin to some apes than those apes are to other ones, admit that we're apes
    in fact, if you look up Hominidae in wikipedia then you'll find it contains all apes (and their ancestors of the last 15 million years) apart from gibbons
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  21. #20  
    Forum Bachelors Degree CEngelbrecht's Avatar
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    Centurion, tell your old man, that religion is a survival instinct in itself. Religion is not about seeing Creation as it actually is, but how we need it to be in order to keep on trying.

    The colossal paradox is, that this theme is actually represented in the Book of Genesis. In that fable about eating off that damn fruit tree:

    When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
    - Genesis, 3:6-7, New International Version.
    If one couples that a bit with the contemporary scientific consensus and psychology, this can actually be seen as a fable about Homo sapiens becoming fully intelligent perhaps some 150.000 years ago (science actually talks about "the mitochondrial Adam and Eve", using that literary reference). Somebody was actually really bright 5000 years ago, when that fable was thought up by some bipedal ape in the Middle East. When the text say "naked", it can be interpreted as humans gaining self awareness ... and ever since then our lives have been crap, since then we haven't been in the blissful paradise of ignorance. The paradox is that intelligence allows us to grasp our place in Creation ... and that's seriously depressing, 'cause Creation don't care about us. We are just another random product of its physical processes, another roll off the dice. The creational force in the Cosmos is not some being similar to ourselves, with a behavior similar to our own. In that context, humans created God in our own image, not vice versa. Nobody watches over us in the vastness of space. We are alone, only responsible towards each other. At the very least, that's by far the only thing making any (God) damned sense at the end of the thinking process. And that's so much scarier than any random predator from our biological reality. Once we understood that, we panicked and created religious stories that tells us the exact opposite of that horrible reality, as a survival instinct, as an odd side effect to intelligence, as a reassuring fable, as a beautiful lie. Religion is the adult version of Santa Claus.

    I also said to myself, "As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?
    - Book of Ecclesiastes, 3:18-21, New International Version.
    Truthful words are not beautiful;
    Beautiful words are not truthful.
    Good words are not persuasive;
    Persuasive words are not good.
    He who knows has no wide learning;
    He who has wide learning does not know.
    - Dao De Jing, ch. 81, Lau translation.
    Maybe that'll be a comfort for the man, being this well meaning, devout tribal ape that doesn't want to die. Tell him religion ain't going nowhere just because we're an animal, too.
    "The suppression of uncomfortable ideas may be common in religion or in politics, but it is not the path to knowledge, and there's no place for it in the endeavor of science. (History) shows us clearly that accepted and conventional ideas are often wrong, and that fundamental insights can arise from the most unexpected sources."
    - Carl Sagan, 1980


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  22. #21  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Centurion View Post
    I just used the many fossils found of Homo that are not modern humans...he says how do we know that they aren't just apes? I used the answer "because they've extracted DNA from these things", "because we can tell from their bone structure that they walked around on two legs."
    Can someone please give me more solid evidence...or elaborate upon the examples I used, make them more solid?
    Main arguments..

    -Taxonomically they are humans, the way we define a specie ect. ect.
    -Obviously genetical analysis as discussed before, there gene is problem the same is our genome the only differences would be gene expression differentiation due to evolutionary development as early humans vs. a more advanced form of humans, diff. environmental factors, bone structures, anatomical structures for example humans wouldn't have a cecum or an our appendix is not functional.

    Other Arguments

    - Chromosome analysis, whether we could actually produce offspring with them, that's probably yes (Theoretically based on chromosome analysis and gestation would be human or ape like)
    - Neural development, you can look at the brain and see the different regions of development and we can probably predict that they were pattern and shape oriented organisms therefore they would also have attractions towards us for sexual reproduction, while for example a Gorilla more than likely would not have no interest. Whether their brain allowed for higher level brain functions such as speech, higher level cognative abilities - most apes due have well developed Frontal, Parental, Occiptal (as apes are the few animals that can see color), Temporal, regions developed.
    - Social structure, fission fusion - non human apes. Family oriented - humans.


    Short Answer...

    If they meet the criteria for (inbreeding population, and common ancestor (as all apes do)) a taxonomic specie as humans, therefore they are also Homo Sapiens.
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  23. #22  
    exchemist
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    Quote Originally Posted by CEngelbrecht View Post


    Centurion, tell your old man, that religion is a survival instinct in itself. Religion is not about seeing Creation as it actually is, but how we need it to be in order to keep on trying.

    The colossal paradox is, that this theme is actually represented in the Book of Genesis. In that fable about eating off that damn fruit tree:

    When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
    - Genesis, 3:6-7, New International Version.
    If one couples that a bit with the contemporary scientific consensus and psychology, this can actually be seen as a fable about Homo sapiens becoming fully intelligent perhaps some 150.000 years ago (science actually talks about "the mitochondrial Adam and Eve", using that literary reference). Somebody was actually really bright 5000 years ago, when that fable was thought up by some bipedal ape in the Middle East. When the text say "naked", it can be interpreted as humans gaining self awareness ... and ever since then our lives have been crap, since then we haven't been in the blissful paradise of ignorance. The paradox is that intelligence allows us to grasp our place in Creation ... and that's seriously depressing, 'cause Creation don't care about us. We are just another random product of its physical processes, another roll off the dice. The creational force in the Cosmos is not some being similar to ourselves, with a behavior similar to our own. In that context, humans created God in our own image, not vice versa. Nobody watches over us in the vastness of space. We are alone, only responsible towards each other. At the very least, that's by far the only thing making any (God) damned sense at the end of the thinking process. And that's so much scarier than any random predator from our biological reality. Once we understood that, we panicked and created religious stories that tells us the exact opposite of that horrible reality, as a survival instinct, as an odd side effect to intelligence, as a reassuring fable, as a beautiful lie. Religion is the adult version of Santa Claus.

    I also said to myself, "As for humans, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return. Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?
    - Book of Ecclesiastes, 3:18-21, New International Version.
    Truthful words are not beautiful;
    Beautiful words are not truthful.
    Good words are not persuasive;
    Persuasive words are not good.
    He who knows has no wide learning;
    He who has wide learning does not know.
    - Dao De Jing, ch. 81, Lau translation.
    Maybe that'll be a comfort for the man, being this well meaning, devout tribal ape that doesn't want to die. Tell him religion ain't going nowhere just because we're an animal, too.
    A very insightful interpretation of the allegory of the Garden of Eden and the Fall. I think a similar interpretation is shared by most educated Christians, except of course that they don't reach the same final conclusion as you do.
    Last edited by exchemist; June 16th, 2014 at 10:11 AM. Reason: word missing and typo
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  24. #23  
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    I have to agree with those above that arguing creationism with a committed believer is generally a waste of time. I feel its particularly risky to argue about this with a parent, someone you are going to have to associate with for the rest of his life. Hard feelings can be stirred up that may prove impossible to resolve. If he is willing to drop the topic I suggest you are best off avoiding it. If he is persistent about bringing the topic up I would suggest politely pointing out that this is a topic you are always going to disagree on and for the sake of family unity requesting he quit bringing it up.
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  25. #24  
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    If he is comfortable in his beliefs, and isn't using them to justify hurting someone, and isn't interested in branching out and learning more about science, you should probably just drop it and have as healthy a relationship with him as you can. So you won't connect over this one thing. Oh, well, hopefully there are other things you can connect over.
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