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Thread: Creation VS. Evolution

  1. #1 Creation VS. Evolution 
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    I realize this topic has probably been discussed more than enough on here, so, sorry about that...

    Anyway, recently in biology we talked a little about Creation VS. Evolution. I was raised on both sides of this issue so not exactly sure where I stand on it.They both seem just as ridiculous to me right now so I was hoping that I could just hear some of your thoughts and opinions on this. Just what you believe and why you believe it. I would really appreciate it. Thanks!


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    Evolution is a valid description of our world, supported by mountains of evidence and more than a century of tests.
    Creation is based on faith and wish thinking, not supported by anything other than indoctrination. Also... Which creation story do you mean? There are faiths other than christiantiy which have their own creation myths. Do you believe all of them?

    I go with credible evidence. The credible evidence is easily on the side of evolution, not the fairy tales of creation mythology.


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    I'm pretty sure I didn't say what believed. So no. I don't "believe all of them". I don't believe any of them. I just don't understand how anyone could be so sure of either one. Basically I was asking for reasons.
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    What have you learned about evolution so far in your biology class?
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsloan
    What have you learned about evolution so far in your biology class?
    We only had one class really on it so just the basics. The big bang, fish grew legs, Darwin, natural selection the geological layers. Micro and macro evolution. I'm open to it I just wasn't convinced.
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    I understand. One class is hardly enough for you to understand the theory of evolution.

    If you'd like to read a book about it try "Evolution for Dummies" by Greg Krukonis, PhD. It's aimed at beginners. Don't let the title throw you off. It's really quite good.
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  8. #7  
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    Read Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters by Donald Prothero.
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    Quote Originally Posted by justecurieux
    ... I don't believe any of them.
    What an excellent default position; the makings of an excellent scientist.
    The mark of a moderate man is freedom from his own ideas - Tao Te Ching

    Fancy a game of chess?
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  10. #9 Re: Creation VS. Evolution 
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    Quote Originally Posted by justecurieux
    I Anyway, recently in biology we talked a little about Creation VS. Evolution. I was raised on both sides of this issue so not exactly sure where I stand on it.They both seem just as ridiculous to me right now
    If both seem ridiculous to you do you have even a vague idea of some other mechanism, or process, in your mind.
    I think you would be on fairly safe ground if you came to the conclusion that creationism certainly is "ridiculous".
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    Quote Originally Posted by justecurieux
    I just don't understand how anyone could be so sure of either one. Basically I was asking for reasons.
    remember, there's never 100% certainty in science
    it's usually so that certain hypotheses, like the current ones on evolution, explain so many disparate sets of evidence and have withstood so many attempts to falsify them that it would perverse to withhold at least provisional agreement that they paint a true picture of what's going on in reality

    the difference with any religious alternative is religion starts and ends with belief, whereas in science belief is always dependent on being tested against the evidence
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    Quote Originally Posted by justecurieux
    Quote Originally Posted by jsloan
    What have you learned about evolution so far in your biology class?
    We only had one class really on it so just the basics. The big bang, fish grew legs, Darwin, natural selection the geological layers. Micro and macro evolution. I'm open to it I just wasn't convinced.
    A single period of study is insufficient time to grasp evolution's evidentiary nuances. But for me, the overwhelming physical evidence spanning millions of years--which connects the macro to the micro and vice versa--supports my certainty in evolution. Details rather than generalities persuades a clever mind--you may want to consider experiencing more than a single class before you decide.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by justecurieux
    I'm pretty sure I didn't say what believed. So no. I don't "believe all of them". I don't believe any of them. I just don't understand how anyone could be so sure of either one. Basically I was asking for reasons.
    Perhaps I did a poor job writing that response. It was not directed at you. My criticism was specific to the concept of creationism, not you. I apologize if that is not how it seemed when reading it. I know you are new to this topic, and I was not... I repeat... not trying to be negative toward you as a person. Again... Sorry if that's how it seemed.

    My answer is that I approach the world and use credible evidence to accept things as true. I have learned through years of study that evolution makes the most sense, and that those who disagree with it tend to 1) not understand it, or 2) misrepresent what it actually says. Evolution is also supported by evidence, and despite more than 150 years of people trying to show it to be false, it has survived and withstood every single challenge, and become more clearly accurate each time.

    Creation, though... That's just a story that people tell. The evidence does not support it. It talks of magical sky pixies and people floating in clouds and a woman being created from some dudes rib bone. It reminds me of a cartoon, or something one would read to their 3 year old child as they drift off to sleep.

    I also commented that there are thousands of creation stories. Different religions have different creation myths, and that alone should indicate to us that they cannot all be true. They tell different stories, so only one or none of them can be accurate. Why would we think that just one is accurate? Why would we think that when no one has any evidence to offer in support of them? ... Why would we think one is true but others are not when none of them have any evidence other than stories being told to children... and when each rest on the exact same footing as other creation stories from other religions and faiths?

    People believe creation stories because they were told to, and this gets socially reinforced by family and community and each week at church, not because these creation myths have survived any tests or have any evidence showing them to be true.


    I reject creationism for the same reason that I reject santa clause and the tooth fairy... for the same reason I reject the stork theory of childbirth.

    I accept evolution for the same reason I accept gravity, for the same reason I accept the germ theory of disease, and for the same reason I accept that my computer works based on logical principles and rules of the universe.
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    Whilst I think this is a valid topic for discussion, I have to stress that any evidence of an organized attempt to defend creationism will land this thread in Pseudoscience. It's totally fair that the poster should wish to be convinced, but we in the scientific community already are convinced, and creationism will not be presented as science on this pages.

    Convince away folks.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by justecurieux
    I'm pretty sure I didn't say what believed. So no. I don't "believe all of them". I don't believe any of them. I just don't understand how anyone could be so sure of either one. Basically I was asking for reasons.
    Perhaps I did a poor job writing that response. It was not directed at you. My criticism was specific to the concept of creationism, not you. I apologize if that is not how it seemed when reading it. I know you are new to this topic, and I was not... I repeat... not trying to be negative toward you as a person. Again... Sorry if that's how it seemed.

    My answer is that I approach the world and use credible evidence to accept things as true. I have learned through years of study that evolution makes the most sense, and that those who disagree with it tend to 1) not understand it, or 2) misrepresent what it actually says. Evolution is also supported by evidence, and despite more than 150 years of people trying to show it to be false, it has survived and withstood every single challenge, and become more clearly accurate each time.

    Don't worry about your previous post. You're fine. I just definitely wanted to clear that up. If I did, I didn't mean to imply that I was against Evolution, just not necessarily for it. If that makes sense...

    Like I said, I grew up on both sides of this issue so I heard the arguments from both sides. Although all I seemed to retain were the arguments against them. I guess that's why I don't like either one. I don't know maybe that's hard to understand.

    Anyway, I know there's a lot of evidence for Evolution. And I've seen people attempt to support Creation with evidence too. But I know that's a touchy subject so I'll leave it alone. I have a few questions though. If that's okay. I've heard a lot of questions from people on both sides trying to disprove the other, but I've never heard the answers. So my first question is, (and maybe it's a really dumb question but I'm trying, so that will have to be good enough. I'm really not that dumb.) about the geological layers. I've heard people say there isn't a place in the world with geological layers to support Evolution. What do you think about that?

    And its just a question about something I've heard. It has nothing to do with what I believe or don't believe.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Whilst I think this is a valid topic for discussion, I have to stress that any evidence of an organized attempt to defend creationism will land this thread in Pseudoscience. It's totally fair that the poster should wish to be convinced, but we in the scientific community already are convinced, and creationism will not be presented as science on this pages.

    Convince away folks.
    I was going to leave the creation part out because I knew no one would be for it. But that's what the class was on so I left it..
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by justecurieux
    I've heard a lot of questions from people on both sides trying to disprove the other, but I've never heard the answers. So my first question is...about the geological layers. I've heard people say there isn't a place in the world with geological layers to support Evolution. What do you think about that?
    I think it's another comment from creationists which has been demonstrated to be flawed on numerous levels.

    You might learn more by looking at sites like talkorigins. They do a fantastic job of cataloging the arguments from creationists and addressing them.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/


    Here is a link specific to creationist claims on geology: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html#CD


    If you look at that second link, you'll see an entire sub-section devoted to the geological layers arguments... section CD100: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html#CD100


    It's a lot of information, but the creationists make a lot of claims. Interestingly, pretty much all of them are shown flawed or inaccurate when viewed closely.



    The Claim: The geological column is a fiction, existing on paper only. The entire geological column does not exist anywhere on the earth.

    The Response:
    1. The existence of the entire column at one spot is irrelevant. All of the parts of the geological column exist in many places, and there is more than enough overlap that the full column can be reconstructed from those parts.

    Breaks in the geological column at any spot are entirely consistent with an old earth history. The column is deposited only in sedimentary environments, where conditions favor the accumulation of sediments. Climatic and geological changes over time would be expected to change areas back and forth between sedimentary and erosional environments.

    2. There are several places around the world where strata from all geological eras do exist at a single spot -- for example, the Bonaparte Basin of Australia (Trendall et al. 1990, 382, 396) and the Williston Basin of North Dakota (Morton 2001).
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    Quote Originally Posted by justecurieux
    So my first question is, [...] about the geological layers. I've heard people say there isn't a place in the world with geological layers to support Evolution. What do you think about that?
    I think that's wrong. There is a widespread abundance of fossils in successive geologic layers that show changes in organisms through time. The evolution of the modern horse from a small 3-toed ancestor, for example, is very well documented by a succession of gradually changing fossils spread out over the last 37 million years or so.

    That answer, of course, does little to help you understand evolution or stratigraphic layers. I'm afraid that you won't find that kind of understanding in discussion forums. There is really no shortcut to learning about and understanding evolution or the evidence for it. It takes a lot of reading and careful study. The evidence for evolution has been painstakingly accumulated, one small piece at a time, over the last couple of centuries by tens of thousands of scientists (or more) all over the world. It involves a combination of different scientific disciplines that includes geology, chemistry, molecular biology, paleontology, to name a few. That's why I suggested a basic book to give you an overview of the field as a way of getting started. Creationists make it sound like evolution is a parlor game or philsophical debate, based on quick, off-the-cuff comparisions between "similar" fossils or animals, but it is not. It is the overall result of some very deep and careful science.
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    Q.: does the geological column support the idea that life started off from simple beginnings and gained complexity over time, which is what you would expect if evolution was true ?
    A.: yes

    Q.: does the geological column support the view that animal and plant species arise from parent species, change over time, and ultimately go extinct, which is what you would expect if evolution is true ?
    A.: yes

    so, in what way does the geological column contradict or sit at odds with the predictions of what you would expect to see if evolution was true ?
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsloan
    Quote Originally Posted by justecurieux
    So my first question is, [...] about the geological layers. I've heard people say there isn't a place in the world with geological layers to support Evolution. What do you think about that?
    I think that's wrong. There is a widespread abundance of fossils in successive geologic layers that show changes in organisms through time. The evolution of the modern horse from a small 3-toed ancestor, for example, is very well documented by a succession of gradually changing fossils spread out over the last 37 million years or so.

    That answer, of course, does little to help you understand evolution or stratigraphic layers. I'm afraid that you won't find that kind of understanding in discussion forums. There is really no shortcut to learning about and understanding evolution or the evidence for it. It takes a lot of reading and careful study. The evidence for evolution has been painstakingly accumulated, one small piece at a time, over the last couple of centuries by tens of thousands of scientists (or more) all over the world. It involves a combination of different scientific disciplines that includes geology, chemistry, molecular biology, paleontology, to name a few. That's why I suggested a basic book to give you an overview of the field as a way of getting started. Creationists make it sound like evolution is a parlor game or philsophical debate, based on quick, off-the-cuff comparisions between "similar" fossils or animals, but it is not. It is the overall result of some very deep and careful science.

    First of all, I really appreciate you taking your time to do this. You'll have to be patient with me.

    And secondly, I'm not trying to learn all there is to know about Evolution. Not on here. I just wanted some thoughts and suggestions..things I could look into. I've done research on this topic before but there's so much information and nothing really helped. I think the biggest problem is having to just take someones word for it, and not being able to touch and feel the evidence. For example, when they talk about the geological layers, some people say it proves it, some people say it disproves it. It can't be both, but I've never seen it, so I'm supposed to just believe what they say? I can't do that.

    Anyway, I was just hoping for some things to look into that might help me understand the theory a little better, even if it doesn't help convince me of it. So thanks for the book suggestion, I'll check it out.
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  21. #20  
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    Q.: does the geological column support the idea that life started off from simple beginnings and gained complexity over time, which is what you would expect if evolution was true ?
    A.: yes

    Q.: does the geological column support the view that animal and plant species arise from parent species, change over time, and ultimately go extinct, which is what you would expect if evolution is true ?
    A.: yes

    so, in what way does the geological column contradict or sit at odds with the predictions of what you would expect to see if evolution was true ?
    I don't know. I was asking you..

    And I'm sorry, but "yes" isn't good enough.
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    Quote Originally Posted by inow
    Quote Originally Posted by justecurieux
    I've heard a lot of questions from people on both sides trying to disprove the other, but I've never heard the answers. So my first question is...about the geological layers. I've heard people say there isn't a place in the world with geological layers to support Evolution. What do you think about that?
    I think it's another comment from creationists which has been demonstrated to be flawed on numerous levels.

    You might learn more by looking at sites like talkorigins. They do a fantastic job of cataloging the arguments from creationists and addressing them.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/


    Here is a link specific to creationist claims on geology: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html#CD


    If you look at that second link, you'll see an entire sub-section devoted to the geological layers arguments... section CD100: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/list.html#CD100


    It's a lot of information, but the creationists make a lot of claims. Interestingly, pretty much all of them are shown flawed or inaccurate when viewed closely.



    The Claim: The geological column is a fiction, existing on paper only. The entire geological column does not exist anywhere on the earth.

    The Response:
    1. The existence of the entire column at one spot is irrelevant. All of the parts of the geological column exist in many places, and there is more than enough overlap that the full column can be reconstructed from those parts.

    Breaks in the geological column at any spot are entirely consistent with an old earth history. The column is deposited only in sedimentary environments, where conditions favor the accumulation of sediments. Climatic and geological changes over time would be expected to change areas back and forth between sedimentary and erosional environments.

    2. There are several places around the world where strata from all geological eras do exist at a single spot -- for example, the Bonaparte Basin of Australia (Trendall et al. 1990, 382, 396) and the Williston Basin of North Dakota (Morton 2001).
    Thanks for the links. I read some of it, it is a lot of information, and its all the pretty typical things I hear against Evolution, but never get an answer to. A lot of them are pretty irrelevant objections but it should help.
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  23. #22 Re: Creation VS. Evolution 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halliday
    Quote Originally Posted by justecurieux
    I Anyway, recently in biology we talked a little about Creation VS. Evolution. I was raised on both sides of this issue so not exactly sure where I stand on it.They both seem just as ridiculous to me right now
    If both seem ridiculous to you do you have even a vague idea of some other mechanism, or process, in your mind.
    I think you would be on fairly safe ground if you came to the conclusion that creationism certainly is "ridiculous".
    No I don't. And I probably shouldn't have said I thought Evolution was ridiculous, that probably offended like everyone on here. So, sorry. I don't even really know enough to make that statement.
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  24. #23  
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    Maybe some videos will help?

    Natural Selection Made Easy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_RXX7pntr8
    Evolution Made Easy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7w57_P9DZJ4


    Carl Sagan explains evolution: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gl89HIJ6HDo
    Carl Sagan explains natural selection: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RLU4-kySow
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  25. #24  
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    I am half way through reading Richard Dawkins book, "The Greatest Show On Earth". Now I am not normally a fan of Dawkins. Indeed I have said some arguably libellous things about him in the pat on this forum and others. However, in this work I am on the verge of forgiving him everything.

    He delivers the case for evolution a comprehensive and entertaining way without ever once overstating the case. (This was the root of my prior objections to his writings.)

    In short, read this book. It should answer most of your questions and provide further enlightenment.
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  26. #25  
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    Hi there justecurieux,

    I just want to point out that we usually learn and communicate by using simple labels, alive vs inert/dead, black vs white, same vs different, which makes it more simple to learn on a basic level but also makes it harder to understand reality because we filter out part of reality.

    If you look at a "white" person and a "black" person, you may think heres a white person and here's black person, putting each in a label category, when in reality all people have a lot of aspects in common and many differences, many white people can have a wide variety of different characteristics that cant be seen, and some white may have unseen characteristics that are different to some other white people but the same as a black person (ex:Blood type). So the category of skin color is very misleading.

    Its the same for life vs inert, what we call life is an arbitray label, theres a spectrum of molecular interaction, its harder to understand how life can emerge when cough in a label though pattern. Same thing for species.

    In addition we tent to have a static view of the universe, because many changes occur so slowy that they cant be observed, like continents moving etc, which gives us an impression that what we happen to see now is how it is supposed to be (has been and will be) as opposed to see that this is how it happens to be now.

    cheers
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  27. #26  
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    Quote Originally Posted by justecurieux
    And I'm sorry, but "yes" isn't good enough.
    i don't see why not, but think of JBS Haldane's remark when asked what he would consider to be a falsification of evolution based on the geologic column : "rabbits in the precambrian"

    our current understanding of how evolution happened over time predicts that older rocks will contain organisms that are less like the ones that we know today, and the older the strata the more likely they will contain extinct organisms
    there is also a general progression of simpler organisms in the oldest strata, with more complex organism arising over time

    this prediction, made without reference to how the geological strata are formed, is born out by what we find in the geologic column - that's the verification part of the equation
    we also have not found any anomalies that require a rethink of evolutionary theory as we know it - that's the falsification bit of the equation

    if the predictions of a theory have been verified, and tests so far have failed to falsify it, then we provisionally accept a theory as sound
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  28. #27  
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    Creation is religious studies.
    Evolution is science.

    You will never find a Ph.D. trained biologist, who is non religious, who will argue against evolution. Some Ph.D. biologists will, but you will always discover that they have strong religious beliefs, and their denial of evolution stems from their religion, not their science.
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  29. #28  
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    when you look at all the evidence for evolution, you will realise that its really a fact, read greatest show on earth from richard dawkins
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    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    Quote Originally Posted by justecurieux
    And I'm sorry, but "yes" isn't good enough.
    i don't see why not...
    I'm not entirely sure why that's a hard concept to grasp. Anyway, I'm not saying you're wrong, but that's just your opinion. There's no proof in "yes". Which is the thing people seem to keep having a problem understanding.

    Don't worry about it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by justecurieux
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    Quote Originally Posted by justecurieux
    And I'm sorry, but "yes" isn't good enough.
    i don't see why not...
    I'm not entirely sure why that's a hard concept to grasp. Anyway, I'm not saying you're wrong, but that's just your opinion. There's no proof in "yes". Which is the thing people seem to keep having a problem understanding.

    Don't worry about it.
    I think a clarification of what level of information and how much of it you are looking for is needed. You have stated that "yes" is too little, but links to relavent sites which cover the topic are stated to be too much information. You are wanting something in between but havent given a good indicator of where that is.

    I will attempt to answer on the geologic column question.

    Am i correct in assuming the argument you have heard is most likely this?
    "...the Gologic column is not found in one place on earth intact as a whole, thus it cant support evolution."

    If so the argument creationism side is that since there is no one "beginning of earth to present day" section found at one spot, the column is flawed and not usable to support evolution.

    This argument doesn't work due to different outcrops of layers (called strata) in different areas having the same chemistry, fossils, and following/being followed by the same layers that are different but having the same fossils/chemistry in common.

    Say you have a section of strata in one area that is only layers:
    C
    D
    E
    F


    a section of strata in another area has the layers:
    A
    B
    C
    D

    while those in another are
    F
    G
    H
    I

    By knowing that the layers C D and F are the same in each of the location you can get an ideal column that is:
    A
    B
    C
    D
    E
    F
    G
    H
    I

    which while not being present at any one location is still a viable column. This is the concept used by science when the "Geologic column" is talked about.
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  32. #31  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum
    I think a clarification of what level of information and how much of it you are looking for is needed. You have stated that "yes" is too little, but links to relavent sites which cover the topic are stated to be too much information. You are wanting something in between but havent given a good indicator of where that is.

    I will attempt to answer on the geologic column question.

    Am i correct in assuming the argument you have heard is most likely this?
    "...the Gologic column is not found in one place on earth intact as a whole, thus it cant support evolution."

    If so the argument creationism side is that since there is no one "beginning of earth to present day" section found at one spot, the column is flawed and not usable to support evolution.

    This argument doesn't work due to different outcrops of layers (called strata) in different areas having the same chemistry, fossils, and following/being followed by the same layers that are different but having the same fossils/chemistry in common.

    Say you have a section of strata in one area that is only layers:
    C
    D
    E
    F


    a section of strata in another area has the layers:
    A
    B
    C
    D

    while those in another are
    F
    G
    H
    I

    By knowing that the layers C D and F are the same in each of the location you can get an ideal column that is:
    A
    B
    C
    D
    E
    F
    G
    H
    I

    which while not being present at any one location is still a viable column. This is the concept used by science when the "Geologic column" is talked about.
    To supplement the above (from a link in one of my previous posts):

    There are several places around the world where strata from all geological eras do exist at a single spot -- for example, the Bonaparte Basin of Australia (Trendall et al. 1990, 382, 396) and the Williston Basin of North Dakota (Morton 2001).
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  33. #32  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum
    Quote Originally Posted by justecurieux
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    Quote Originally Posted by justecurieux
    And I'm sorry, but "yes" isn't good enough.
    i don't see why not...
    I'm not entirely sure why that's a hard concept to grasp. Anyway, I'm not saying you're wrong, but that's just your opinion. There's no proof in "yes". Which is the thing people seem to keep having a problem understanding.

    Don't worry about it.
    I think a clarification of what level of information and how much of it you are looking for is needed. You have stated that "yes" is too little, but links to relavent sites which cover the topic are stated to be too much information. You are wanting something in between but havent given a good indicator of where that is.

    I will attempt to answer on the geologic column question.

    Am i correct in assuming the argument you have heard is most likely this?
    "...the Gologic column is not found in one place on earth intact as a whole, thus it cant support evolution."

    If so the argument creationism side is that since there is no one "beginning of earth to present day" section found at one spot, the column is flawed and not usable to support evolution.

    This argument doesn't work due to different outcrops of layers (called strata) in different areas having the same chemistry, fossils, and following/being followed by the same layers that are different but having the same fossils/chemistry in common.

    Say you have a section of strata in one area that is only layers:
    C
    D
    E
    F


    a section of strata in another area has the layers:
    A
    B
    C
    D

    while those in another are
    F
    G
    H
    I

    By knowing that the layers C D and F are the same in each of the location you can get an ideal column that is:
    A
    B
    C
    D
    E
    F
    G
    H
    I

    which while not being present at any one location is still a viable column. This is the concept used by science when the "Geologic column" is talked about.
    I'm not sure why I keep being misquoted when you can just go back and look at what I actually said. I saiddd: that the information on the website was "a lot of information" I was agreeing with the posters statement, also, I read a lot of it and it was helpful. But no one seems to get what the issue is (still). You're asking me to put faith in something I can't see.

    I wont try to explain the "yes" issue again.

    And again, don't worry about it. I'm over it..
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    And by the way, I got your side of the geological column a long time ago.
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    I responded to the geological column question due to my thinking that it was still an open question, as you didn't indicate that you understood it and had other questions.

    The thing is you DONT have to "take it on faith" you have a 150 years of papers explaining every minute detail of evolution that you can read. if you wanted to you have the option of going to the museums and universities and asking to see fossils used in the papers. You can contact the researchers of various papers and get questions answered and clarified.

    Is there something in particular that you think should be seen and touched?
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  36. #35  
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    Quote Originally Posted by justecurieux
    You're asking me to put faith in something I can't see.
    ..
    Name one thing you can't see that you think requires faith to accept.
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  37. #36  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justecurieux
    Quote Originally Posted by marnixR
    Quote Originally Posted by justecurieux
    And I'm sorry, but "yes" isn't good enough.
    i don't see why not...
    I'm not entirely sure why that's a hard concept to grasp. Anyway, I'm not saying you're wrong, but that's just your opinion. There's no proof in "yes". Which is the thing people seem to keep having a problem understanding.

    Don't worry about it.
    selective quoting, i see - especially since what followed gave some indication of what's behind the "yes"
    all i'm saying is, there's plenty of evidence for those who wish to find out - whether you do is entirely up to you
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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    The reason I feel like I have to go on faith is because I've never seen the evidence. The fossils and bones, or any part of any layer. Maybe the only reason that its an issue is because of hearing all these years how its all fake and randomly put together or even man made,because no one else seems to have a problem with it. I know there's 150 years of papers, and people have written plenty of books, but then I just have to assume they knew what they were talking about, or telling the truth. That obvioisly seems ridiculous to you, and thats fine. But thats just the way it is.

    Thanks for trying.
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  39. #38  
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    Quote Originally Posted by justecurieux
    I know there's 150 years of papers, and people have written plenty of books, but then I just have to assume they knew what they were talking about, or telling the truth.
    You don't have to assume that they know what they're doing- you can try and reproduce their work. Granted this is not practical for most people, but in principle it is all there, explained in detail for others to test for themselves. Reproducibility is a cornerstone of modern science, and no findings of any significance are taken as reliable until they've been independently replicated.

    Granted, the average person must have a certain sort of 'faith' in the expert consensus. For example, I lack the capability to experimentally test the plausibility of the various doomsday claims that sprang up prior to the startup of the large hadron collider. Worse, I lack the grounding in physics to properly assess the arguments made for them. But I could have a certain 'rational faith', if we can call it that, in the expert consensus on the topic. The rational basis is my observation of how that consensus was reached- via the same methods that experts in the life sciences have done so. Hypothesize, test, refine, repeat, model. All reported transparently via peer-reviewed publications. I can see for myself that it works in one field and so I can reasonably infer that it works in another unless some glaring evidence suggests otherwise. Faith would be the wrong word for that, at least in the sense the word is typically used.

    As to faith in honesty... I don't have much time for any argument suggesting widespread dishonesty or large scale conspiracies within the scientific community. If you understand how the scientific method works, and you understand how adversarial the community is, it's clear that such notions are pretty ridiculous.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by justecurieux
    I know there's 150 years of papers, and people have written plenty of books, but then I just have to assume they knew what they were talking about, or telling the truth.
    Granted, the average person must have a certain sort of 'faith' in the expert consensus. For example, I lack the capability to experimentally test the plausibility of the various doomsday claims that sprang up prior to the startup of the large hadron collider.

    I've seen this over and over. People like justcurieux want to equate the "rational faith' (for the lack of a better word) that TheBiologista describes to the 'irrational faith' that is required to be a theist. This is obviously plain wrong but it makes them feel like the argument is won.
    Just Because Something's Unexplained Doesn't Mean It's Supernatural - Houdini
    Quantitative PCR
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  41. #40  
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    Quote Originally Posted by justecurieux
    The reason I feel like I have to go on faith is because I've never seen the evidence. The fossils and bones, or any part of any layer. Maybe the only reason that its an issue is because of hearing all these years how its all fake and randomly put together or even man made,because no one else seems to have a problem with it. I know there's 150 years of papers, and people have written plenty of books, but then I just have to assume they knew what they were talking about, or telling the truth. That obvioisly seems ridiculous to you, and thats fine. But thats just the way it is.

    Thanks for trying.
    Its very simple to correct the not having touched or seen fossil/rock layers. If you go to any Natural history museum you can see fossils and rock specimens. If you happen to be traveling pay attention to the road-cuts and washes along the highway and you will see the rock layers that are being talked about.

    I agree with others in that to assume that there are major problems or purposeful deceit with the published papers is not a reasonable thing to do, do to the very cut throat nature of science. If a researcher doesn't like the results put forth in a paper they almost always set out to test the hypothesis themselves. Many of the papers I referred to in the 150 years of publication data are papers saying this or that idea is wrong.
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  42. #41  
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    Quote Originally Posted by justecurieux
    The reason I feel like I have to go on faith is because I've never seen the evidence.
    What do you plan to do about that?
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  43. #42 Re: Creation VS. Evolution 
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    Quote Originally Posted by justecurieux
    ...so I was hoping that I could just hear some of your thoughts and opinions on this. Just what you believe and why you believe it. I would really appreciate it. Thanks!
    I'm getting into this thread a bit late, but my appreciation for evolution comes largely from my background in geology, and to a lesser extent paleontology.

    If you have the chance to take some geology or paleontology courses in your undergraduate studies, I'd highly recommend it. Biology factors into the geological record in a very prominent way, and not always in the obvious sense. When you start reviewing papers for classes and working with data in a very literal sense (e.g. an honour's thesis, or assisting a prof on their research) you quickly earn an appreciation for evolution and how convincing the fossil record really is.
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  44. #43  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justecurieux
    The reason I feel like I have to go on faith is because I've never seen the evidence.
    and you have never seen the evidence because you have chosen not to look at the evidence. I asked you three posts back to cite a single thing you felt you had to take on faith in relation to evolution. Be specific. I shall show you why you do not need to take it on faith, but I can't do this until you front up with a concrete, specific example.

    Quote Originally Posted by justecurieux
    Maybe the only reason that its an issue is because of hearing all these years how its all fake and randomly put together or even man made,because no one else seems to have a problem with it.
    There are doctors who con their patients out of money by promising them impossible cures, or by convincing them they have an illnes they don't actually have. I'm pretty damn sure the incidence of such behaviour in the medical profession, although low, is higher than it is among palaeontologists. Yet when you are ill I suspect you still choose to go to your doctor.

    The reason no one else has a problem with it is that they know these things aren't faked. I was able to go into the field and do geological mapping of an area that had not been touched for fifty years. What did I find? The rock sequences, the fossils, the sedimentary environments were as previously described. And not only did they match the local descriptions, but they dovetailed into the descriptions and interpretations for rocks of that age throughout the UK. So I have no doubt and no cause to doubt the veracity of findings by researchers.

    Now I may question their interpetations, but these are a matter of detail, not of substance. And, if I wish, I can go look at the original material and decide for myself.

    Quote Originally Posted by justecurieux
    I know there's 150 years of papers, and people have written plenty of books, but then I just have to assume they knew what they were talking about, or telling the truth.
    That is the whole point. You not have to assume anything. you can get educated and go look for yourself. You can establish the veracity of their observations and assess the likelihood of their interpretations. No assumption required!

    Of course you could also say "That's too much bother, I'll just remain doubtful about this evolution business, since it's really just based on assumptions and I haven't seen any evidence." That would be the dumb thing to do. That would be the cowardly thing to do. I have confidence you won't take that way out.

    Quote Originally Posted by justecurieux
    . That obvioisly seems ridiculous to you, and thats fine. But thats just the way it is.

    Thanks for trying.
    Hmm. My confidence was apparently misplaced.
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  45. #44  
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    Hi! After seeing this thread I had to sign up and pipe up. You guys are obvious a very well organized and impressive scientific community! Intimidating even, the amount of knowledge enshrined here is a testament to my idea that formal learning will become less necessary as networking methods improve.

    That's my introduction, and another thread entirely.

    While geological columns, fossils, and all such composes one face of the mountain of evidence which supports evolution; I don't think it's where you should start with doubters on the topic of evolution.

    Start with what you can see and touch... Start with the freshly domesticated foxes in Novosibirsk, for example. We're not just talking training here, we're talking an entire phenotype of genes selectively bred over a number of generations that produces changes in physical traits (such as the appearance of piebald coats and floppy ears). If evolution didn't exist we obviously wouldn't be able to directly apply the functional concept in a practical way.

    Apply the same concept to millions of years of growth, and there you have macro-evolution. If a few dozen generations can produce minor physical trait changes, it only stands to reason that tens of thousands can profoundly modify a living organism. I would also press them to explain the existence of animals that could not exist in nature, and the functions of genetics in general.

    I believe if not for widespread societal indoctrination and ignorance no more than a paragraph would be required to convince anyone of evolution's existence. The evidence is enshrined in the mean height of every door frame constructed over the last thousand years.



    :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink:

    I apologize for my extremely unscientific approach. I don't usually do this, but I stumbled here at 1AM and get a bit loopy around now.
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  46. #45  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjmounes
    While geological columns, fossils, and all such composes one face of the mountain of evidence which supports evolution; I don't think it's where you should start with doubters on the topic of evolution.

    Start with what you can see and touch... Start with the freshly domesticated foxes in Novosibirsk, for example. We're not just talking training here, we're talking an entire phenotype of genes selectively bred over a number of generations ......
    And there's the rub! Creationists will assert that it is only the intelligent guiding hand that has produced these changes. Ergo, significant change is always directed by intelligence.

    Or they will respond, "but it is still a fox. We have never seen a frog turn into a bat." No matter how utterly infantile, ignorant and obtuse this observation is, it satisfies many a creationist and is seen as the epitome of elegant refutation of evolution.

    Quote Originally Posted by jjmounes
    I would also press them to explain the existence of animals that could not exist in nature, and the functions of genetics in general.
    Cite a single example from genetics that appears to support evolution and I'll give you the creationist spin on it. It will fall far short of even giving you pause, but to a creationist it will convincing and comforting.

    Quote Originally Posted by jjmounes
    I believe if not for widespread societal indoctrination and ignorance no more than a paragraph would be required to convince anyone of evolution's existence. .
    And there you have it in a nutshell. (Excuse the pun.)

    Quote Originally Posted by jjmounes
    The evidence is enshrined in the mean height of every door frame constructed over the last thousand years.
    Here I must disagree with you and urge caution. Making false arguments to creationist gives them ammunition to declare that evolutionists are in constant disagreement, so that it is important that as far as is possible we get our facts right.

    It is likely that the increase in average height over the last several centuries is entirely down to nutrition. There may be an accompanying genetic component, but I know of no studies with evidence that would support such view. If I am misinformed, please correct me.

    And welcome to the forum.
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    You're right, our height is a really bad example. But it sounded nice at 1AM.
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    Evolution is a fact. I was convinced when I learned about it on the molecular level. I still think God and evolution are mutually exclusive and religious doctrines are allegories teaching people how to live better, for the most part. There is no evidence that says there is no god who created the universe.

    It is a bit odd though that some scientists dedicate their whole life to studying evolution and disproving it (apparently). One is Dr. Jerry Bergman. He has 8 degrees, 2 of them PhD's. He got fired from a university for stating some of his evidence against evolution. He has some books out on this topic, one recently came out called "the dark side of darwin". I'm gonna read it through and tell you guys if its worth it later, im sure you will want to hear it lol.
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  49. #48  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dkav
    It is a bit odd though that some scientists dedicate their whole life to studying evolution and disproving it (apparently). One is Dr. Jerry Bergman. He has 8 degrees, 2 of them PhD's. He got fired from a university for stating some of his evidence against evolution. He has some books out on this topic, one recently came out called "the dark side of darwin". I'm gonna read it through and tell you guys if its worth it later, im sure you will want to hear it lol.
    Bergman is a crank. He was fired for being a delusional creationist crackpot who ignores evidence which disagrees with his beliefs and for engaging in unscientific nonsense and misrepresentations... Not for sharing "evidence against evolution."


    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2...te_results.php
    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/bergman-and-racism.html
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    Neither argument is proven 100%, as it is unknown what the common ancestor or ancestors that would lead to evolution are, outside of choanoflagellates which are currently seen as the origin, although what caused them? And creationism is based on the idea that god created man, although there is, in my opinion, too much evidence to point to the contrary in terms of evolution leading to man. I do not have anything against religion in general, or those that believe in creationism, it's just that in my opinion the data currently available, as well as the continuing gathering of evidence pointing towards evolution as the origin of humans, it is difficult to believe that it will not become, if it's not already, the consensus that evolution is the origin of human life. Until the first form of life is discovered, as well as how it ultimately came to be, there will still be those that believe in creationism, regardless of the evidence piled against it.
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  51. #50  
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    Your thinking on these points seems rather wooly Jordan.

    Firstly evolution can never be proven. The scientific method requires that we always be prepared to reject any currently held theory until a piece of contrary, falsifying evidence turns up.

    However, the interlocking evidence from palaeontology, embryology, genetics, population genetics, comparative anatomy, molecular biology and the like is so overwhelming that, to borrow Stephen Gould's words, it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent.

    Further, the reality of evolution has little connection with the origin of life. It is irrelvant to the reality of evolution if life on Earth arose by abiogenesis, pan spermia, alien intervention, or divine act.

    Also, to say that you think it may become, or already is the consensus that humans evolved, is to quite understate the matter. There is no consensus: there is near universal agreement among those who have studied the matter that this is the case. Indeed the general case is closed (as per Gould), only the details remain to be worked out.

    Finally, I find the focus on the evolution of humans rather than evolution in general to be a stance likely to give comfort to creationists who are notorious for taking an anthropocentric view of the matter. My first appreciation of the richness of evidence for evolution arose from studies of the Graptiloidea and Brachiopodia , both much more intersting than humans.

    Also, welcome to the forum.
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