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Thread: A long response to human evolution

  1. #1 A long response to human evolution 
    Forum Professor Obviously's Avatar
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    Hello, I'm quite new to the forum, and I'm hoping to learn a lot here

    I was in a discussion with a guy about evolution and I showed him this video:

    Ken Miller on Human Evolution

    Here's the response I got (sorry for the lenght of it):


    Your example is flawed. It starts by assuming that which it tries to prove. In other words, Mr. Millers arguments are often of the form that evolution would explain this or that, therefore evolution must be true. Of course such an argument simply doesn't work in a logical sense. A proof of any hypothesis cannot include the hypothesis itself and Miller fails on this point. His argument assumes that Science "knows" the truth instead of starting from a standpoint where science is trying to find out the truth. Well, if he beings by assuming evolution to be true, then obviously his only result will be that evolution is true because that is his whole goal. For example, because apes have more pairs of chromosomes than we do, he makes the statement "What must have happened is that one pair of chromosomes must have gotten fused, so we should be able to look at our DNA and discover that one of our chromosomes resulted from the fusion of two primate chromosomes...". Well, that's a nice statement, but it ignores any number of other reasons for us to have fewer chromosomes. In other words, he is assuming evolution to be true and therefore because it is true, it must be that such a fusion occurred. He discards any other possibility such as different ancestry, creation or anything else that may result in us having differing chromosomes. He is trying to use evolution to prove evolution. This isn't the scientific method, nor is it even logical. His specific example using chromosome #2 is again assuming the result. Scientists set out trying to find a chromosome that matches a certain pattern and found one that was close; it wasn't exact, but it was "close enough", so they therefore claim success. Don't get me wrong, it is impressive at first blush, but fails the scientific method. Again there is no reproducable experiment to show that this occurred (e.g. some expermient that shows such a fusion happening under certain reproducable circumstances), no falsifiability test, and science hasn't observed such fusion within a single species occurring in nature, but hey, it is a theory that fits, so he runs with it.
    Let me suggest one problem with his line of reasoning. According to biology, two animals are of the same species if they can reproduce with fertile offspring. Two beings that are of different species may be able to produce offspring that can survive (e.g. eat, breathe, etc.) but the offspring is never fertile (e.g. it cannot reproduce with anything). Further, for reproduction to take place, two beings must have the same chromosome count. Let's assume that Mr. Miller's ancestor species existed where two chromosomes fused in one of its offspring. That ofspring would have a different chromosome count than his siblings and than others born to the same species. Because of the different chromosome count, reproduction would be impossible. For that matter, Mr. Miller is arguing that this new being is a different species which means that biologically it wouldn't be able to produce fertile offspring with any of its ancestor species. While the new creature may indeed be able to survive, it wouldn't be able to reproduce with anything, e.g. it would be a "dead end" (it would die out after that first animal dies). That alone logically leads a scientist to presume that his assumption is false, however let's go further to see if we can set up a scenario where it wouldn't be false. In order for such an offspring to reproduce, there would have to be many of it born within a single generation (after all, these animals would have a lifespan and only a limited amount of time where they could reproduce). Many would be needed to avoid genetic defects found when close siblings mate (which would doom this new species). In short, many separate parents in the ancestor species would have to spontaneously give birth to a bunch of animals that were not part of its own species within a single generation. Since most (nearly all) mutations that could possibly occur result in death of the offspring, even one successful birth from a mutation would be inordinately rare and yet we would have to have many such successful births (mathematics say this doesn't happen, but lets press on). Further, those descendents would all have to carry the exact same mutation. The theory behind evolution is that haphazard events (chaotic events) cause such mutations, and yet somehow we're to believe that basically at one instant dozens of identical mutations would occur within the same ancestor species within a limited geographic region (so they'd be able to mate). Even geneticists in labs who work on gene splicing cannot guarantee that the same mutation will work in multiple animals in the same fashion and yet we're supposed to beleive that it happened by random chance in nature by accident. The mathematic probabilities against this are incalculable, but staggering. Many of these descendants would likely die early in life due to being cast out from their herds (very typical for herds to exclude those who have defects, we call it survival of the fittest); some of the rest would attempt to mate with non-mutated animals from the ancestor species (these would be
    infertile and would produce no offspring). This would result in only a few (at most) couplings strictly between the new animals to potentially produce fertile offspring in the descendant species (again this against staggering mathematical probabilities). Unfortunately those few offspring wouldn't likely result in a large enough gene pool to ward off birth defects in future generations leading them in most cases to die out due to future birth defects. In short we'd see any new species die out within a generation. Evolution however says that this has happened enough, with enough regularity to produce the diversity of life on this planet yet they cannot even show a single example of it actually happening, nor can they reproduce it in a lab.
    One more thing from Mr. Miller's clip. He tries to throw in his interpretation of an Intelligent Design (ID) argument that might arise. Note that ID may or may not agree with this, but he throws it in as a final "jab". He claims that ID would shrug and explain his findings with a simple "That's the way the creator made it". Note that I, who have some respect for the ID camp, as well as the scientific community, didn't do just that. My answer is perhaps a bit deeper. Consider that if the creator is God. God would know that sooner or later human beings would be faced with all kinds of problems that would need help from genetics. We're there now with diseases, defects, mental aberrations, etc. We live in a time where countless problems exist that may be solvable with a good analysis of the genome. Fortunately, the creator took this into account and set up our genomes as sufficiently close to other animals that we can test on (this is why animal testing works and produces results that can extrapolate to human beings). By setting up the chromosomes in this fashion, note that we can use this information from animals to synthesize the results we'd see in humans. For proper testing, we'd need some animal out there close enough to our own genome so that the differences wouldn't negatively impact the results of the test. A benevolent creator would provide such an animal; and we find exactly that in the genome of the primates. In other words, the similarities are benevolently designed so that we can learn about ourselves without having to sacrifice human beings as test subjects. This isn't, of course, the only possible explanation, but clearly there is at least one.
    Ok, that is only one problem with evolution, there are many others, but this isn't an evolution thread. Evolution came up in this thread because you claimed that something as complex as God would have to evolve. Since you've accepted that something can be eternal, and that God, being supernatural, can be eternal then God wouldn't have to evolve, so I suggest we move the evolution question to the thread you created for it.

    I don't know to much about evolution to know how to respond to this. So I was hoping somebody here could help me out


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  3. #2  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    this is obviously part of another forum discussion - would you care to make a link to the relevant thread so that we can see how this response fits into the overall picture ?


    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  4. #3  
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    The response is made only on the video. But if you like:

    http://religiondiscussion.com/forum_...p?TID=202&PN=2

    It's post number 19
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  5. #4  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    The lengthy post is mostly about someone talking to himself.

    What are you trying to argue exactly? Why bother responding to individual points of what could be a poor argument if you could mount a solid one yourself to prove your point.
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  6. #5  
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    It's about evolution. He claims, among other things, that mutated species are unable to reproduce. Therefore, species cannot have evolved when mutated. He also argues from the video that:

    For example, because apes have more pairs of chromosomes than we do, he makes the statement "What must have happened is that one pair of chromosomes must have gotten fused, so we should be able to look at our DNA and discover that one of our chromosomes resulted from the fusion of two primate chromosomes...". Well, that's a nice statement, but it ignores any number of other reasons for us to have fewer chromosomes. In other words, he is assuming evolution to be true and therefore because it is true, it must be that such a fusion occurred. He discards any other possibility such as different ancestry, creation or anything else that may result in us having differing chromosomes. He is trying to use evolution to prove evolution. This isn't the scientific method, nor is it even logical. His specific example using chromosome #2 is again assuming the result. Scientists set out trying to find a chromosome that matches a certain pattern and found one that was close; it wasn't exact, but it was "close enough", so they therefore claim success. Don't get me wrong, it is impressive at first blush, but fails the scientific method. Again there is no reproducable experiment to show that this occurred (e.g. some expermient that shows such a fusion happening under certain reproducable circumstances), no falsifiability test, and science hasn't observed such fusion within a single species occurring in nature, but hey, it is a theory that fits, so he runs with it.
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  7. #6  
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    ...if you could mount a solid one yourself to prove your point
    I don't know to much about genetics and evolution, so I couldn't prove my point

    I just assumed that Ken Miller was talking facts. Which I don't presume was wrong of me.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    It's about evolution. He claims, among other things, that mutated species are unable to reproduce. Therefore, species cannot have evolved when mutated. He also argues from the video that:
    He is merely defending a false position.

    The simple fact is that mutated individuals reproduce every day.

    There isn't a single organism that doesn't undergo mutation in its germline. Saying that mutated individuals cannot reproduce is similar to stating that the earth is flat.

    Every time a cell divides a mutation is incorporated in its genome. That is because duplication of DNA is never perfect. There are mechanisms for checking for errors in duplication, and in eukaryotes they are pretty good, but not perfect. The germline, the lineage of cells that give rise to the reproductive cells, sperm or eggs, necessarily must undergo division. Hence they mutate. Moreover, they undergo recombination. Which rearranges the genetic material.

    Hence, there is no discussion really.

    Your opposition consists of a troll. Or he is simply ignorant, but they hardly ever are.
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  9. #8  
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    Ah, ok. Well, thanks for clearing that out. But he talks about the comparing of human chromosomes and chimp chromosomes. Is he just talking rubbish and misunderstanding everything Ken Miller says?
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  10. #9  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    Ah, ok. Well, thanks for clearing that out. But he talks about the comparing of human chromosomes and chimp chromosomes. Is he just talking rubbish and misunderstanding everything Ken Miller says?
    I do not know what ken miller says, because I cannot watch the video.

    A general overview can be found here on this topic:
    http://www.gate.net/~rwms/hum_ape_chrom.html

    However, you must keep in mind that there is no point discussing this topic with creationists with the intention of convincing them. It is not going to happen. What you can do is learn some more on the topic yourself. Or you can discuss with creationist for entertainment value as many of us like to do. But basically it comes down to flogging a dead horse. You are not going to get a normal reaction to anything you offer. They will merely jump to another topic and start all over again if you point out their mistakes.

    In the end the only satisfaction that can be derived is being in touch with reality yourself or having enjoyed the battle with the windmill for the sake of battle.

    I'm not really enthusiastic anymore about battling the windmills and hence my reluctance to go very deeply into the subject.

    Most of these topics have no scientific relevance anyway. They are memes that circle the internet because creationists focus on them. Science is doing something else. Stuff that is more interesting, stuff that goes deeper, stuff that is anal.
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  11. #10  
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    If only creationists could face the truth....
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  12. #11  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    creationists face the Truth every day, but they can't handle the little truths
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    It's about evolution. He claims, among other things, that mutated species are unable to reproduce. Therefore, species cannot have evolved when mutated.
    Well to be honest, based on this statement he doesn't know enough about what evolution IS to form the basis for a meaningful discussion. He flat out doesn't have a clue what he's talking about - unfortunately the best thing to do for people like this is give them links to go educate themselves and come back when they're ready to at least have a clue about the subject matter they are discussing.
    Reason #1 that we know this is that every single one of us has mutations, including his parents which obviously didn't lack the ability to reproduce.
    Unfortuantely if he is a creationist he'll likely be unwilling to educate himself and instead try and explain why that fact is your fault.
    Usually not worth the time on guys like this.
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  14. #13 Re: A long response to human evolution 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    Hello, I'm quite new to the forum, and I'm hoping to learn a lot here

    I was in a discussion with a guy about evolution and I showed him this video:

    Ken Miller on Human Evolution
    One thing strikes me whenever I encounter such explanations and the conclusions it makes: they are incorrect, and bordering on naivety or slight of hand trick science. And it is overwhelming that most people accept it. Lets consider what that video is saying.

    1. Humans have a pair of genes less than primates.

    Conclusion: this means the differentials can be explained by the gene variances. I don't think so: both life forms have common factors, because both come from the same scenario, namely earth, matter and water from the same planet. So there must be similar genes, with variances. It is not proof of derivity, nor has this assertion been proven in all life forms and their genes.

    2. That the missing genes can be accounted for by a double gene. I don't think so. It appears more a retrospective view, based on first hand knowledge of human gene structures, then making that provision as its proof.

    3. Not factored in is, that since the primates are an older life form, it is more feasable it developed extra genes. Perhaps to manage consuming foods humans cannot; etc. Perhaps extra genes indicates a handicap!

    4. Not factored in is, that despite being a more recent life form - humans have leapt ahead of the said primates, which is an anomoly even when adaptation [speciation], and random self-generating prowess is considered.

    5. Not evidenced is, that as the evolutionary process is said to be continuous and constant [meaning it did not cease operating now or millions of years ago] - there is no reason we do not see transit species changes in our midst: mathematically, the millions of years scenario is superfluous here, and we should see half-man/half-apes as a commonplace occurence, in all parts of the planet - continuously and constantly.

    6. Eg: in another such example, a fish is presented with its fins located closer on its belly; this is alligned with another fish/reptile which has short off-shoot legs. Valla! Both are said to be a thread of the evolutionary process, and no question is acceptable it may not be so. But there can be equally, 100s of other reasons and explanations: the reptile can be just another species which has disappeared, or it developed sturdier fin-like legs to adapt to a specific environment, as we see long distance runners with longer legs; pygmies adapting to shorter heights for specific environmental conditions, etc. We see human populations having different speech accents and different features - environmentally ipacted: does it mean they are NOT from the human chain?! The evidence is made impossible to pursue by the million years factor - how convenient.

    7. Eg again: Retrovirus' are said to have become embedded in the dna structures of life forms many millions of years ago. The host life form successfully prevailed the virus - but seccumbed to certain components of the virus (?!), and this impact carried on for millions of years, effected many/all life forms, impacted differently - and thus it is proof that all life forms have a common ancestry. But, you may say, virus effectations (cancer; flu; colds, etc) are not heriditary transferable; no matter - their impacts in dna structures can be?! Can this be evidenced today? No - refer to the million years scenario.

    Well, that video can just as well express that humans have a comprehensive gene - and other life forms are missing out, by reason of additions and subtractions, and inclinations. Whatever can apply here - take your pick. But the time factor cannot apply here: this is not only open to slight of hand casino science, but it also contradicts the most recent life form having the most transcendent dna structure, where the time factor obviously does not apply!

    The underlying factor of all this is, that if certain conclusions of evolution are incorrect, then what is the correct answer - because it appears evolution is comprehensively accepted because of a lack of any alternative, more than anything else. This situation is similar to the BBT: it is the most feasable - but this is only so because there is no alternative, not because it is of itself an acceptable and proven conclusion.

    While there is yet no factual answers here, as with a host of other factors, it does appear that the life forms are pursueing adaptation to their own environment, and the goal is to elevate in the direction of their own species only; the same as with humans! Fish are not trying to become birds; birds are not pursueing a trajectory inclined to become animals: these are eronously termed as species elevations, when they are destructive de-elevations of a specie's demise. There has been sufficient time elapsed, and it does not appear all the fish are soon going to become birds!

    As another view, it may be that evolution is an after thefact phenomenon, which only becomes active when life is already existing; there is no evolution without life forms already active. This factor says that what we call evolution is only a placebo for the inexplicable, or at best an implement to move things forward - like wind and rain. The underlieing factor may be that whatever makes a fish a fish, and whatever makes a zebra a zebra, a pineapple a pineapple - have been wired in before the evolution thing kicks in. A speech endowed life form [humans] do not acquire this attribute from their parents and teachers; it is an inherent wired-in attribute, and the parents just click it, and the rest happens.

    I see the term evolution as an intelligent placebo to leap over the inexplicable, same as the term 'nature'. Nothing more - nothing less. The instant we find an answer, we will discard the terms evolution and nature and call it - maybe EVOGRITE - as we did with GRAVITY. 8)
    Monotheism is the ultimate Scientific Theory.
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  15. #14  
    Forum Professor Obviously's Avatar
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    Did I mension I got banned from the forum I was discussing this in? Funny story really. Banned without warning. Didn't do anything bad, wasn't particular rude or anything. I just got banned^^

    Maybe it was because I was such an "atheist."
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  16. #15 Re: A long response to human evolution 
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    IamJospeh, this is a science forum, not a repository for fairy stories. I have neither the time nor the inclination to refute the drivel you have just posted. Be on notice that our tolerance level of pseudo science, intelligent design, creationist rhetoric, and comparable nonsense is approaching a low. Please think in future before you post, rather than just regurgitating fundamentalist propaganda.
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  17. #16  
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    Sorry? I'm just here to learn. I put this up here so I could understand it better, not as some sort of propaganda. :/
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  18. #17 Re: A long response to human evolution 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    IamJospeh, this is a science forum, not a repository for fairy stories. I have neither the time nor the inclination to refute the drivel you have just posted. Be on notice that our tolerance level of pseudo science, intelligent design, creationist rhetoric, and comparable nonsense is approaching a low. Please think in future before you post, rather than just regurgitating fundamentalist propaganda.
    Ah, if you want some intelligent correspondense, just find Ophiolite, the man with the plan. I like the guy.
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  19. #18  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obviously
    Sorry? I'm just here to learn. I put this up here so I could understand it better, not as some sort of propaganda. :/
    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    IamJoseph, ...
    Obviously, unless you're registered as IamJoseph as well, Ophi was aiming for the other guy
    "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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    Oh sorry^^ lol, my mistake. I guess I'm a bit tired perhaps
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  21. #20  
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    Yes, indeed, that was exactly how it was.
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  22. #21  
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    IamJoseph is a confusing nick. Sorry for the misunderstanding^^
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  23. #22  
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    Thank you Marnix for pointing out to Obviously that I was targeting IamJospeph.
    Obviously, it was a good thread starter since it is typical of many of the distorted arguments presented by creationists.
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