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Thread: How can you believe in Evolution?

  1. #1 How can you believe in Evolution? 
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    Evolutionary theory has many problems, but none bigger than how life began. That is such a problem that that subject has been split away from evolutionary topics and the assumption is for the evolutionary theory is that life did somehow accidently start.

    Those who support evolution will offer up sort of simplified ideas for how life began, but those Biologist and Chemist who are studing this very complicated issue have yet to come up with a theory that they can agree to. The very detailed and comprehensive science they know so far has kept them from getting to first base.

    There is an answer, THERE IS A CREATOR.


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    Not sure I understood your point on the relationship between creationism and evolution.

    There are two errors which permeate that discussion. One is that evolution disproves creationism. The other is that creationism disproves evolution.

    Technically, evolution does not address the question of origin of life but rather how various life forms have changed down through the eons of time since it began. Technically, creationism does not address the question of how life forms have changed, but merely how they may have started.


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    daytonturner Wrote:

    Not sure I understood your point on the relationship between creationism and evolution
    Relationship is that evolution could not take place without the starting of life.

    Evolutionist used to claim theories for the beginnings of life, but after seeing how complicated that issue is, they had to drop the subject and assume that life did somehow start.

    The opposite of this is that there was a creator. If there was a creator, he must have had some reason for his creation. I dont believe that a creator with a plan could just start some sort of simple life and spend billions of years observing what might happen if nature just took its course.
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    I don't usually answer a question with a question but how can you not believe in evolution? Besides, the thread's question is only aimed at those who do not believe. I believe it is happening but then again I can't prove it nor can anyone prove there's a creator about.

    What do we have to support evolution? The fossil record is the most obvious. There is evidence of sea creatures on mountaintops, evidence of creatures long extinct, heck we even have their fossilized crap. Now the creator or His counterpart may have purposely played an enormous prank on mankind but why would a creator play or allow this game? Or bury petrified crap for that matter? Coprolites aside, there is no possibility that every creature that lived or crapped has left a calling card.

    It is clear that the Earth has been around for a few billion years, 500 million I believe for the multi-celled lifeforms to have come and gone. In that time countless creatures have lived and died. If you take 500m and multiply it by the amount of creatures I can dig up from one shovelful of backyard dirt I will end up with countless trillions of creatures, I'm estimating low. Take a snapshot today of all the life in a pond, river, lake , ocean, all the oceans and multiply it by 500m. The number of animals is staggering. Its even staggering if you believe the Earth is only 5000 years old(for Bible pundits).

    The years and the number of creatures mean nothing because the rare chance of fossilization even occuring combined with the movement of the Earth's plates and erosion , make the chances of finding a fossil of every animal that ever lived impossible. We'd be lucky to find 1%, now I'm estimating high.

    Right now there isn't enough missing links to prove to creationists that at least the fossil evidence backs up evolutionary theory. I say wait, because the goods are coming. Enjoy the moment my creationist friends because it isn't going to last forever. It may take time but evolution will be proven. When it is, there will be no turning back. You might as well accept it now.
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    How can you believe in Evolution?
    The answer is as simple as there are mountains of evidence to support the fact of evolution and not one shred of evidence for a contrary belief. Until such time as evidence for another explanation is presented, I'll choose the obvious explanation.

    By the way, if I were a religious person, my first question to you would be why would you choose to be so blasphemous? Is your god that incompetent and impotent that it cannot spark creation at the beginning of the universe to turn out exactly as we have it today, in exactly the manner in which science has observed?

    Why do religious nutters always seek to limit their gods? I would think that the most powerful religion would be the one with the most omnipotent deity. One that cannot create the universe from a finger-snap over 13 Gya is a wuss. Not that I have any gods, mind you.
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    Evolutionary theory has had to change over time because of the fossil record.

    When I was young, evolutionary theory taught that simple one cell organizms started and gradually over time, more and more complex life forms developed, eventually winding up with mammals and then man.

    This is fact appeard logical.

    But the current fossil record has shown that not to be necessarily so. At one point in time (can remember the name of the so called era), an explosion of all kinds of animals showed up within a relatively short period of time.

    Trilobites with very complicated eyes has been found much farther back in the fossil record time that it should be based of the way the theory was taught when I was young.

    Yet the theory continues, having to add theory on top of theory on top of theory to still try to prove an idea. An the mathamatical odds for evolution to have occured continues to add zero's.

    Except for circumstancial evidence, there is no proof that through evolution, the life that somehow started somehow resulted in a mammal coming from a lizard or a toad.

    Yes, certain species develop traits that help it cope with its surroundings. But a lizard is still a lizard, a bird is still a bird and a cow is still a cow.

    I do not know how old the earth is, but I am not alone, science does not either. But scientist have made attempts through the science we now know and assume that the criteria used to date the earth have always been at the same rate.

    I am not sure how anyone can be so adament about some theorical preposition for how life formed so long ago when scientist cannot agree for things that are here now and should be able to be figured out. For example, there is no agreement on whether there is a presently active energy source in the inner parts of the earth.
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    Your ignorance isn't to be faulted. Either you have the education or you don't.

    The "era" you are referring to is the so-called "Cambrian Explosion." I say "so-called" because this isn't an event that occurred over night, nor was it one that took place in a matter of only a few years.

    Much of the "explosion" took place over a span of several hundred millions of years and there is evidence that lifeforms existed prior to the "explosion." The reason less is known of this period than later periods like the Jurassic or Cretaceous is that fewer pre-Cambrian strata are available and the organisms of the pre-Cambrian were less robust than those of the later periods. Thus they don't survive as well.

    With regard to your assertion that science doesn't know the age of the Earth, you are quite wrong. You may choose to believe that this is the case, but this would be a belief grounded in hopes and desires rather than evidence. Science has well-established the age of the Earth to be at least 4.6 billion years, corroborated by several main disciplines.

    Be ignorant if you wish. That is your prerogative. Believe in superstitions if you wish. But if you make ignorant assertions and superstitious claims on a science board, be prepared to receive criticisms for both your ignorance and your beliefs.
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  9. #8 Re: How can you believe in Evolution? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    Evolutionary theory has many problems, but none bigger than how life began. That is such a problem that that subject has been split away from evolutionary topics and the assumption is for the evolutionary theory is that life did somehow accidently start.

    Those who support evolution will offer up sort of simplified ideas for how life began, but those Biologist and Chemist who are studing this very complicated issue have yet to come up with a theory that they can agree to. The very detailed and comprehensive science they know so far has kept them from getting to first base.
    This is not a problem with evolutionary theory at all. Because evolution is not a theory about how life began. This is a very interesing question indeed but the fact that this is difficult question to answer is hardly a reason to jump at stupid easy solutions like spores from outer space or God creating man out of modeling clay. Life has completely transformed the earth from the environment where life began, and since it must have begun at a microscopic level, how could any evidence or clue be expected. Why in the world should we expect Biologists and Chemists to agree on a question which is this hard to answer? I am afraid that your use of this as an excuse to look for easy answers, makes your religion sound a bit like fast food.

    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    There is an answer, THERE IS A CREATOR.
    I sympathize with your point of view. I believe that there is a creator and that He created the universe and life. BUT that does NOT explain ANYTHING! God is an unexplainable black box, into which arrogant people, can put whatever they want, to pretend, that whatever they want, is explained, when in fact it hasn't been explained at all. I am a devout Christian, BUT I DONT believe in God because He is a good explanation for anything. Read the epistles of Paul who says that God delights in confounding the wise. God does not explain Himself. He does not explain the world. He does not explain mankind. He does not even explain this salvation He is offering everyone in a way that makes any sense. He certainly does not explain how life came into being with any detail. If Genesis Chapter 1 satisfies your curiousity, fine! But other people want more than this cute little story for children. You may like a religion which glorifies in stupidity and does its best to dumb everybody down, but there is a great deal of people who do not share your preference. For my salvation I will put trust in God alone, but if I want answers I will look to science instead. Thank you very much!

    Science does not accept these obfustications and attempts of religion to prevent makind from asking interesting questions. And I thank God that science has learned to reject this childish use of God as an explanation for things. Frankly if you opened your eyes and looked at the theory of evolution with eyes of faith you might see the hand of God. This could be a little bit troubling if you are a fundamentalist, for it might seriously challenge your belief that scripture can be the only source of truth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    If there was a creator, he must have had some reason for his creation.
    dont try to understand god(s) minds. assuming god thinks like us is ignorance.
    I don't suffer from insanity, i enjoy every minute of it

    the road to succes is never paved or clearly marked
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    Mitchell Wrote

    Read the epistles of Paul who says that God delights in confounding the wise
    That could mean those whose knowledge has made them arrogant.

    Read 1 Tim 6:20, where Paul is telling Timothy to beware of false science.

    Look, I or no one else knows how God did the things he did. Science has come up with a possibility that seems to satisfy the scientific methods.

    But I do not limit Gods powers as some think I might be doing. But to absolutely say that Evolution is the only possible answer is also limiting Gods powers.

    Mitchell Wrote:

    You may like a religion which glorifies in stupidity and does its best to dumb everybody down, but there is a great deal of people who do not share your preference
    I really dont know why everyone who supports evolution leaps to conclusions that those who do not as wanting to dumb everyone down. Is it because you are insecure, or is it that your pride gets hurt?

    I spent nearly all my life in the chemical business. Even though I do not have a degree in Chemistry, I am very well aware of the results of the science involved and certainly have nothing against it. To get a new process researched, tested, equipment designed to manufacture it, the energe required to produce and refine it and many other requirements involve quite a number of science fields.

    This is true of nearly everything we do and we need to develop more engineers, chemist, biologist, and the like in order to increase our innovations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    Look, I or no one else knows how God did the things he did.
    Which god? Yahweh? Atun? Ra? Quetzacoatl? Man has created many gods to fit the mythologies he develops. The judeo-christian Yahweh is but the latest incarnation and will likely not be the last.

    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    Science has come up with a possibility that seems to satisfy the scientific methods.
    There are no other methods of observing the world with any accuracy. These are the only methods worthy of satisfaction.

    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    But I do not limit Gods powers as some think I might be doing. But to absolutely say that Evolution is the only possible answer is also limiting Gods powers.
    Evolution is the only possibility so far that consistently explains the phenomena observed. If your god is, indeed, all-powerful and created the Earth to look as though it was evolved over millions/billions of years (depending on what we're looking at), then your god is a liar.

    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    I really dont know why everyone who supports evolution leaps to conclusions that those who do not as wanting to dumb everyone down. Is it because you are insecure, or is it that your pride gets hurt?
    Its because the evidence is very clear: evolution is a fact. Those that deride evolution as a mechanism for life on the planet are anti-science. For, to deride evolution as a mechanism, you have to deride nearly everything we know about chemistry, biology, geology, astronomy, and much of what we know about physics. These are the disciplines that have discovered the fact of evolution through the established knowledge of their disciplines. Amazingly enough, religious nutters are willing to accept flight in aircraft, fueling their cars with petroleum, eating wheat and corn, the pictures returned by the Mars rovers, and the very computer you're reading this on. But when the same methods and principles say the Earth is populated by species that developed slowly over time (some of which died and gave us petroleum), they balk at the idea. Suddenly they are anti-science.

    And this is why the rest of the intellectual world laughs at the United States. We are supposedly this "superpower," but we still have ancient superstitions that are obstacles to progress in politics and science.

    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    This is true of nearly everything we do and we need to develop more engineers, chemist, biologist, and the like in order to increase our innovations.
    So, do you think we can really develop these specialty fields if students are told during their educations that every method and process they learn is true except with regard to how life came to be on the planet? Should they *not* apply these same methods, principles and discoveries to life because this is mentioned in an out-dated book of dogma that was meaningfull only to people of 2 thousand years ago?

    Poppycock.
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    SkinWalker Wrote:

    Its because the evidence is very clear: evolution is a fact. Those that deride evolution as a mechanism for life on the planet are anti-science. For, to deride evolution as a mechanism, you have to deride nearly everything we know about chemistry, biology, geology, astronomy, and much of what we know about physics
    Why is it when I question a chemist, he does not get angry? Why is it when I question a biologist, he does not get angry? Yet, if I question someone who believes in Evolution, they get upset at the very fact that I have questioned them.

    I know this is going to raise some hackles, but I believe the reason is very simular to Christianity and that is the result is always the same. I believe God created the earth and everything on it, you believe that evolution is the only way.

    Oh, I have heard about the purity of science, that it is always self correcting and honest.

    But if the answer is always evolution, you will find theories to support your ideas.

    One of the scientific disciplines you mentioned is Geology. In the oil and gas field, Geology has been fixed on thier theory of how all of the oil and gas formed from decaying plants and animal and that only certain geologic formations will contain oil and gas. We have looked the world over for these kinds of formations and yep, we found oil and gas there.

    Recently though, a different theory has come forth saying not all oil and gas came from decaying plants and animals. That some of it was produced by trapped elements in different geological formations than those that were supposed to contain oil and gas. Even though I do not remember all the details, the theory was something like Geodes where minerals were trapped inside volcanic lava. Any one who knows even a little about chemistry knows that if certain elements are forced together under the right concentrations, temperaute and pressure, some even requiring a catalyst, that these elements will combine to form compounds.

    Well, the person who came up with this idea got enough support for funding and drilled a well where there was not supposed to be any oil and gas. Guess what, the results of the drilling proved him right. Now certain geologist, who have noticed previously "Empty" oil and gas zones are refilling from deep underneath where there is not supposed to be any oil.

    Can you admit, that if the current geological theory for oil and gas deposits is not the only source of oil and gas, that there might be yet undiscovered geological theories which prove the current ones are not absolute and that some of these could alter what you know are so arrogantly positive about regarding evolution?
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    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    Why is it when I question a chemist, he does not get angry? Why is it when I question a biologist, he does not get angry? Yet, if I question someone who believes in Evolution, they get upset at the very fact that I have questioned them.
    What chemist and biologists have you questioned that don't accept evolution as a fact? Just because one doesn't get "angry" when you question them doesn't imply they agree with you. Indeed, I'm not even angry in this forum. Critical doesn't equate to angry.

    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    Recently though, a different theory has come forth saying not all oil and gas came from decaying plants and animals. That some of it was produced by trapped elements in different geological formations than those that were supposed to contain oil and gas. Even though I do not remember all the details, the theory was something like Geodes where minerals were trapped inside volcanic lava. Any one who knows even a little about chemistry knows that if certain elements are forced together under the right concentrations, temperaute and pressure, some even requiring a catalyst, that these elements will combine to form compounds.

    Well, the person who came up with this idea got enough support for funding and drilled a well where there was not supposed to be any oil and gas. Guess what, the results of the drilling proved him right. Now certain geologist, who have noticed previously "Empty" oil and gas zones are refilling from deep underneath where there is not supposed to be any oil.
    Do you have a citation or source for this? Or is it simply an out-of-context anecdote that is either re-told or invented to support your argument. It may have some truth to it, but as a supporting argument it is useless without a source.
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    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    Read 1 Tim 6:20, where Paul is telling Timothy to beware of false science.
    1 Tim 6:20 "O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust avoiding the profane and idle babble and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge."

    There it is for all to see, but instead of doing it for you I am going to ask you to be an honest Christian and respect the scripture by reading the context and telling us what it is really talking about, intead of using out of context for your own purpose.

    But if you want to talk about false science, then I know an example of such a thing. Creationism is the very best example I can thing of . It is pure rhetoric clothing itself as science.

    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    Look, I or no one else knows how God did the things he did. Science has come up with a possibility that seems to satisfy the scientific methods.
    Well I am glad that you are not what 1 Tim 6:20 is really talking about, pretending to knowledge that you do not have. Granted there are many non-scientists who take evolution and turn it into some kind of atheistic religion, and do in fact lay claim to knowlege that they do not have. But evolution is a scientific theory and as such it is subject to evidence. Admittedly it is a rather soft science but the basic theory is quite sound with overwhelming evidence to support this basic theory. And you can poke all holes you like but it is all meaningless unless you can come up with a better scientific theory. The theory of evolution may be wrong, but it is still good science. And as a scientific theory, Creationism is a joke.

    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    But I do not limit Gods powers as some think I might be doing. But to absolutely say that Evolution is the only possible answer is also limiting Gods powers.
    I do not limit God in any way whatsoever. In fact, I am willing to bet that you limit God more than I do. Tell me, can you think of anything that God cannot do? I am looking at this Baptist tract entitled "3 things God cannot do". What arrogance! It does seem to me that people often like a tame limited God whom they can control with their foolish theologies and doctrines.

    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    Mitchell Wrote:

    You may like a religion which glorifies in stupidity and does its best to dumb everybody down, but there is a great deal of people who do not share your preference
    I really dont know why everyone who supports evolution leaps to conclusions that those who do not as wanting to dumb everyone down.
    First of all I do not support evolution. I defend science. I happen to think that the most commonly supported version of evolution is wrong for the very same reasons that I think that Intellegent design is wrong, both completely fail to understand the nature of living things. I do however call myself a theistic evolutionist these days because that is a fair approximation. I see in evolution nothing more than the basic ability of all living things to to learn, to be creative, and to become more than they are. I despise the childish visions of a God who points his finger like the teenage witch on TV to make things appear out of nothingness. Instead I see is a God actively, passionately, lovingly, and intimately involved in the life and development of all living things as caretaker, shepherd, teacher and parent, encouraging them all, including myself, to realize our greatest potentialities.

    Second I did not accuse you of wanting to dumb everyone down, I said you may like the kind of religion that wants to dumb everyone down. I am talking about the kind of religion that expects us to be satisfied with God as the final explanation for everything. I would be perfectly happy to learn that you do not like that kind of religion. But I think you can see why I might have thought that you might.
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    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    Why is it when I question a chemist, he does not get angry? Why is it when I question a biologist, he does not get angry?
    Since this is a science forum I should like to offer you a simple experiment. Approach one of your chemist friends and declare to him: "I don't believe that chemicals combined with each other in fixed proportions. That is not the way God would want it. I think sometimes water is made up of four hydrogen atoms and one oxygen, while at other times it consists of one hydrogen and one oxygen."

    Tell your friendly biologist: "I do not believe DNA contains our genetic heritage. There is no real evidence for it. The genetic material is in proteins that reside all throughout the cell. If it was DNA then why don't blood cells and some other cells not have DNA."

    Once you have done this, let us know whether or not they got angry.


    The abiogenic origin of petroleum was de rigor in the Soviet Union for several decades. In the West Tommy Gold was a major proponent of the idea. The consensus remains that it is a flawed hypothesis. Gold did indeed get funding for a deep well drilled, if I recall correctly, in Sweden. It did not turn up unexpected quantities of oil or gas.
    The recharging reservoirs you refer to are in a minority and are likely recharging from connected reservoirs that were not tapped by the production wells.
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    Since this is a science forum I should like to offer you a simple experiment. Approach one of your chemist friends and declare to him: "I don't believe that chemicals combined with each other in fixed proportions. That is not the way God would want it. I think sometimes water is made up of four hydrogen atoms and one oxygen, while at other times it consists of one hydrogen and one oxygen."
    I am a chemist. The statement above really pisses me off because you think it will piss me off! :wink:

    Water is actually a very interesting fluid, and the molecule within this fluid does have a capability of possessing a range of possible structures. In pure water, because of hydrogen bonding and the amphoteric nature of the water molecule, there actually are at any given moment a very small number of water molecules (about 1 in every 10^-7) which may temporarily have a structure best defined as H3O+ (hydronium), or OH- (hydroxide). Furthermore because a water molecule can form hydrogen bonds with its neighbors, each oxygen atom is surrounded by the two hydrogens it is covalently bonded two, and also two nearby hydrogens which it share a hydrogen bond, which gives a local tetrahedral order in the fluid.

    God has nothing to do with this amazing chemistry of the fluid called water. It's all the highly complex many-variabled mathematics of solutions to the phyical equations of charges, mass, wavefunctions and quantum mechanics which describes the interactions of the molecules, and the behavior of the atoms within each molecule. God isn't personally manipulating each water molecule at every instant of time. But it is fascinating!

    The basic foundation of modern thought (since about 1500 AD) is that the same laws of nature and physics and math are applicable everywhere in the universe, and that these laws are durable. Creationism and "Intelligent" Design violates this basic concept of natural philosophy by assuming that these laws of nature are instead capricious and mutable. Creationites believe that God, and ID'ites believe that a "designer", intercedes at selected times to manipulates genes and speciation to create and balance the types and properties of living beings. In other words, creationites and ID'ites believe that the laws of nature and physics and math are valid sometimes, and invalid at other times when a God or a "designer" decides to make supernatural or magical changes. Umm, wow. And they want to teach this crap to our children? (ugh, yes I know that about 65% of American believe in creationism or IDism...further proof of the failure of our science educational system and the pervasive influence of religion over logic, reason and thinking).
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    The following is a link to the theory of Abiotic formation of oil and gas. Maybe our chemist friend can read and comment.

    http://www.gasresources.net/Introduction.htm

    I think Silylene has pointed out that there is natural variation in compounds and we have not invented a commercial chemical process that I am aware of where only one compound is formed in a reaction. Even in a simple reaction to form CO2, some trace amounts of CO will form. Others are driven by equilibrium, where the reaction will slow down and even reverse itself when the components are in the wrong proportions, ie, Water-gas shift reactions.

    Some chemical processes wind up producing something other than what was expected. Take for instance Teflon, or Celcon. Some medicenes (chemical componds) produced for certain types of illnesses, by accident wind up to be significant treatments for other illnesses, ie, Viagra.

    I am a believer in god, but I do not want to suppress science. I have said in other posts, that if the science community in general is stuck on one end point, then there may be something we need to learn that we will miss. That is my main reason for challenging Evolution. It just might have to be noticed by accident also.
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    It does not surprise me that there are people who believe IN evolution (which should not be confused with people who believe evolution has occurred). Nor is it surprising that chemists and engineers are not often the source of friction between science and religion.

    One of the reasons a chemist does not get angry when questioned is because his science is built on solid principles. (OK, there are liquid and gas principles, too.) Generally speaking, however, chemistry questions pretty much have specific and singular answers. The fact that I could never quite figure them out in chemistry class and lab did not make me doubt or even question the validity of chemistry.

    Most of the rest of the science disciplines are similarly well settled in their form and structure. While there remain unanswered questions in the science disciplines, we do not find the other disciplines directly flying in the face of religious belief.

    I can think of nothing in chemistry or physics which generally or categorically denies or can be used to attempt to deny the existence of God. There is just no conflict there. Two molecules of hydrogen and one molecule of oxygen combine to make water according to specific laws which cannot be used to prove or disprove God’s existence and everybody can figure that out. Airplanes fly because of the physical force of lift – again a law of physics which exists with or without the presence of God. And, for the most part, there is little disagreement among the practitioners and non-practitioners as to the validity of the principles and laws contained therein.

    Secondarily, nobody believes or disbelieves chemistry or physic because of their belief or disbelief in God. Not does anyone believe or disbelieve in God because of physics or chemistry.

    This is not true of evolution. Evolution, first and foremost, has many areas of disagreement as to the significance and meaning of various observations, not only from without those who work in that field, but even among people who work in the field.

    Even on this forum, you will find posters such as skinwalker who says the Cambrian explosion is not a problem for evolution while Ophiolite has said it damn well raises questions.

    But the greatest source of friction is found in the fact that many people who have taken an atheistic religious position are compelled to adopt and defend to the utmost some form of evolutionary position. They are disposed to have a closed mind on the possibility that some supernatural intelligence designed and created those things which we are able to observe and study.

    I find it not surprising at all that atheists believe in evolution. It is very necessary that such people believe in evolution. There is absolutely no other rational or reasonable explanation for the existence of the various life forms found on earth. If one does not believe God exists, how could he believe in anything other than evolution?

    Now this is not to say that all people who believe in the validity of all or parts of various evolutionary theorizing are atheists. But I think it safe to say there are no atheists who believe in creationism or intelligent design.

    What I do find surprising is that at least 80 percent of people in the United States believe that there was some creative genius behind the formation of the universe and involved in the beginning and development of life on our plant, but the other 20 percent are able to dictate what is taught in public education systems.

    The fact that 80 percent believe in some supernatural involvement is not, as silylene sillily suggests, evidence of the failure of education, but an attestment to education's inability to advance false beliefs.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    The fact that 80 percent believe in some supernatural involvement is not, as silylene sillily suggests, evidence of the failure of education, but an attestment to education's inability to advance false beliefs.
    Or... it could be an attestment to the power that the human propensity to believe has over rational thought. In other words, it may be that people are willing to suspend rational thought in favor of childhood (in most cases) indoctrinations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner

    This is not true of evolution. Evolution, first and foremost, has many areas of disagreement as to the significance and meaning of various observations, not only from without those who work in that field, but even among people who work in the field.
    Of course, because we don't have all the fossil evidence, we don't know exactly how each species evolved into others, or became extinct. The gaps in the fossil data leave room for scientific discourse, interpretation and disagreement. So what? When we find the fossils, we will know whose hypothesis was correct. But regardless of this scientific debate over the fine details sometimes of what was the ancestral species to a more modern species, there is not one single serious scientist publishing peer-refereed papers in accepted scientific journals who is challenging that evolution is the process behind speciation.

    The fact that 80 percent believe in some supernatural involvement is not, as silylene sillily suggests, evidence of the failure of education, but an attestment to education's inability to advance false beliefs.
    I will ignore the ad hominem (name playing).

    Belief in creationism is a belief that the earth was supernaturally created relatively recently by a god, who also supernaturally created all the species simultaneously in the form we see today (apparently the dinosaurs and trilobites went extinct and got buried under tons of sedimentary rocks). As a corollary, because they believe the earth is very recent, what we call geology and astrophysics must have other rather contorted explanations.

    Belief in ID'ism is a belief that a "designer" has regularly interceded throughout earth's history to supernaturally manipulate genes and chromosomes to cause and guide speciation. Apparently, at each supernatural intercession by the "designer", *kazzamm!* somehow the laws of nature, math, physics, chemistry are temporarily set aside until the magic is accomplished and the chromosome base pairs are re-sequenced within all of the sex cells within the each member of a lifeform's gonads, so that the next generation can form a newly "designed" species. Then, after the widespread DNA resequencing is done, then *kazzamm!* the laws of nature are turned back on, and math, physics, and chemistry proceed again as if nothing had happened. This supernatural intercession to temporarily halt the laws of nature to rearrange base pair sequences happens again and again, millions of times, every time the "designer" notices that is is time to create every new species of bacteria, plant, and animal we find on earth. Wow. You really expect me to believe this crap?
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    silyene wrote:

    Umm, wow. And they want to teach this crap to our children? (ugh, yes I know that about 65% of American believe in creationism or IDism...further proof of the failure of our science educational system and the pervasive influence of religion over logic, reason and thinking).
    I have already stated that I do not have a scientific education. But that does not keep me from rational thought.

    One of the scientific principles is cause and affect. When you apply that principle to the demise of the educational system, I believe you will come up with a different reason for the failure of our educational system.

    I was born at night, but not last night. I went to school in the 50's, graduating from High School in 1960. I had 6 years of science (two years of Ag) and 4 years of math. Evolution was taught as a theory.

    If you remember, the US led the world in education then. We had prayers in school, we had no problem with the Pledge of Allegence and more people were of a conservative religious nature then than now.

    Becasue so many of our parents came up during the great depression and went through WWll, many of them had less than a 6th grade formal education. Yet, we produced the engineers and scientist that got us to the moon and back. We were the first country to actually develop necular bombs (not necessarily a good thing).

    The problem with our educational system is not caused by christians. It was caused by politicians vieing for votes and pandering to minority groups.

    To keep from hurting someones feelings, it was decided to pass students along based on age, instead of knowledge. It is still being degraded by those who think competition is wrong. It is still being degraded by those who fear that a single student might feel left out.

    All of this from the politicians, secularist and elitist. Not from religion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by silylene
    failure of our science educational system and the pervasive influence of religion over logic, reason and thinking
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    The fact that 80 percent believe in some supernatural involvement is not, as silylene sillily suggests, evidence of the failure of education, but an attestment to education's inability to advance false beliefs.
    Or... it could be an attestment to the power that the human propensity to believe has over rational thought. In other words, it may be that people are willing to suspend rational thought in favor of childhood (in most cases) indoctrinations.
    Oh yes people are wilfull! They dare to make up their own mind about things no matter what people may tell them with pretended authority to indoctrinate them (religious and secular) and suprisingly enough this is just as true of people with just as much ability to justify their beliefs with the use of reason and logic as you have. Some people choose to believe in divine involvement because they are "dumber" and some because they are smarter, and others for reason you cannot even fathom.

    But perhaps this attempt to fight back with their rhetoric filled pretend science is due to precisely this attitude implied by silylene that the education ought to make such a choice unpalatable. But this is not the role of education! The role of education in this particular issue is only to imform the students of the content of this branch of science and not to convince them of anything, but that is exactly why the despicable rhetoric of the creationists MUST be kept out of education. Lets keep the attempts at both religious indoctrination and that of social-political conditioning out of the schools.
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    Mitchell wrote:

    But perhaps this attempt to fight back with their rhetoric filled pretend science is due to precisely this attitude implied by silylene that the education ought to make such a choice unpalatable. But this is not the role of education! The role of education in this particular issue is only to imform the students of the content of this branch of science and not to convince them of anything, but that is exactly why the despicable rhetoric of the creationists MUST be kept out of education. Lets keep the attempts at both religious indoctrination and that of social-political conditioning out of the schools.
    Very well said. I do not want anything other than science taught in science classes. But I also do not want the science teachers condemning those who also believe in christianity.

    There are many scientist who also are believers in creation. There are scientist who once believed in creation who have chosen to become atheist.. There are scientist who once were atheistic and have chosen to become a christian. If it were not for the differences in the scientific community, each having different theories and challenging each other, I think it would be safe to say that we would not know as much about science as we do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    Why is it when I question a chemist, he does not get angry? Why is it when I question a biologist, he does not get angry? Yet, if I question someone who believes in Evolution, they get upset at the very fact that I have questioned them.
    ...

    But if the answer is always evolution, you will find theories to support your ideas.
    Well, as a chemist and biologist who

    1. does NOT "believe in Evolution,...", but rather finds the continually refined but [frequently aggressively] misunderstood theory of the evolution of life scientifically well supported, and

    2. frequently annoys scientists of all types by giving examples of how preconceptions effect all observation, and

    3. is experiencing a profoundly religious period in this life,

    I would just like to say that you are pissing the fuck out of me!

    Why am I enraged by just another brainless psuedo-pro-religion post based on prideful ignorance and idolatry?

    Because, in the terms of the religion in which I was raised, you were blessed by a gracious God with natural ability and the opportunity to use this ability to expand yourself, your community, and your world both spiritually and intellectually, and you have spit on the gift of this God.

    An omnipotent and omniscient God, in creating this world, created our intellect, science, and capacity for critical thought, as well as for faith. And you spit on those of us with faith who use the other gifts.

    How can you deride the gifts of God and their fruit? I damn you as a blasphemer.
    Why do they want us to believe Conspiracy Theories?
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    Is it not true that even the insane believe they are rational?

    I do not think it is a sign of irrationality whether one does or doesn't believe. Only an irrational person would make such a charge. But it would seem quite rational to that person.

    If one does not believe in God, there is only one rational answer to the ageless questions of where did we come from and why are we here. Some people are completely satisfied with the answer that we got here by accident and that life has no particular purpose.

    While that answer may seem somewhat shallow to those who believe in God, it cannot be considered irrational.

    j sure had a strange way of agreeing with yujikid, tho.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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    I believe evolution, because that is selection I made
    from my free will and not forced by others...
    Machina multa minax minitatur maxima muris

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    The post title was "how can you believe in evolution?"

    First let's define "evolution". The correct modern definition (since the 1950's) is "the change in the frequency of alleles in a population from one generation to the next". Another more general (high school type)definition is: "Process by which a species develops into new and different groups in response to environmental selection favouring the reproductive success of certain individuals". The mechanisms of evolution include mutation and natural selection. These two processes result in changes at the genetic (mutation) and physiological level (selection of function). Finally, it is a key concept to note that evolution is describing changes in populations of individuals.

    Speciation occurs when the cumulative changes in the allele frequency of a population of individuals diverges to cause enough cumulative changes in form or behavior which result in essentially preventing reproduction from occuring with another population also representing the decendants the prior state population.

    From what I read, the only strategy of supporters of the Hypothesis of ID is to be an opponent of evolution, and then claim "the fossil evidence has this gap xx - where is the transitional fossil?"; "biochemistry is very complex - if enzyme yy did not exist, the lifeform would die"; "the anatomy of the zzz organ is very complex - how did something like this possibly ever evolve, for if any part of it wasn't there, it wouldn't function properly"; "<insert an incorrect> understanding of thermodynamics and entropy"; "the Bible said aaa, and the Bible is inerrant"; and "evolution doesn't explain the first creation of life".

    OK. So opponents of evolution like to criticize what they consider to be weaknesses in the theory of evolution. That's fair and something we have debated endlessly (and no need to go further pleaseeee!)

    As an alternative, they then proffer up the Hypothesis of Intelligent Design (ID) or the Hypothesis of Creationism.

    {note I inserted the words "Hypothesis of ..." to try to make these alternative concepts sound like science and not religion, and in fairness make it known that ID and Creationism are not proven either (in fact, the evidence supporting these latter two concepts doesn't rise to the level of theory, so I called them a "hypothesis", which I think is quite generous since both ideas should properly be called "The Conjecture of....") {Side note...ever wonder why ID'ites and creationites never place the two word phrase "Theory of.." or "Hypothesis of..." or "Conjecture of..." in front of the words "Intelligent Design" or in front of the word "Creationism"?}

    Like the theory of evolution, The Hypothesis of ID needs to offer up a mechanism on how it works. Yes, I mean the nitty gritty of the Hypothesis of ID - how does the "designer" cause speciation? Come on, you supporters call it a science that "deserves" to be taught in the science classrooms of our children - so once you get beyond criticizing what you perceive to be flaws in the theory of evolution, you really next need to explain just exactly how does the Hypothesis of ID actually work to cause speciation? Like it or not, at least evolution offers up a very detailed mechanism for speciation and lots of supporting data. So what is the mechanism of the Hypothesis of ID, and the data that supports it? EXPLAIN!

    (I will remind supporters of the Hypothesis of ID once again, it is not sufficient to respond to the question in the above paragraph with "well the mechanism if ID is that evolution is wrong"...you NEED A MECHANISM TOO. If you cannot offer up a mechanism on how ID works, and at least some minute amount of data to support this mechanism....well, then I will have to downgrade the Hyopthesis of ID to become the "Conjecture of ID")

    Now I ask, what is the mechanism of speciation in "the Hypothesis of Intelligent Design"? Why is it I never hear this mechanism discussed? Never, ever! Where is the science behind this mechanism, if the proponents of the Hyopthesis of ID want it to be taught in school science classes? Simply stating the mechanism of the Hypothesis of ID is "unknown" does not a good science make.

    For an intelligent, logical person of reason to not believe in evolution, the Hyopthesis of ID has to offer a better mechanism for speciation. I have yet to hear it. OK, I will stop repeating myself in order to move the discussion forward.

    But for the purposes of debate, and to try to frame ID as a science, let's me offer up some mechanisms for the Hypothesis of ID, and we can discuss whether they are a reasonable, logical alternatives which have data consistent with them, and no contradictory data opposing them.

    1. Populations of new species are just created out of the "blue" *wave of the wand and poof* when the "designer" decides it is time is appropriate for them to appear on the earth. A small population suddenly appears, healthy and able to eat, breathe and reproduce. (Does mass necessary for these lifeforms suddenly appear from nothing, or does existing matter transmutate into lifeforms, or does "cosmic energy" get sucked to earth and change into matter somehow?..E=MC^2..better have a lot of energy).

    2. Populations of new species are just created by the designer when (s)he wishes to intercede *wave of the wand and poof* in hidden locations, such as caves which they then can crawl out of; or on isolated islands; or within isolated lakes. Hmm, plants can't crawl so their seeds just drop out of the sky.

    3. Populations of new species are subtlely created by the designer when (s)he wishes to intercede *wave of the wand and poof* by secret re-arrangement of DNA base pairs within the individual germ cells of part of the population of an existing species, so that their immediate decendants will begin a new species.

    4. Populations of new species arrive by spaceship when the designer when (s)he wishes to intercede.

    Hopefully I have briefly explained the four most likely scenarios, one of which should which form the mechanism underlying the Hypothesis of ID. Which mechanism of the Hypothesis of ID should we teach to our children in science class? Which mechanism has the most data supporting it, and no data contradicting it? Please, proponents of the Hypothesis of ID, please let me know!
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    silylene did manage to leave out any possibilities relating to young earth enthusiasts. Personally, I have no idea what ID or creationist advocates believe should be taught other than just opening the door to possibilities other than the strict adherence to the hard-line atheistic teaching of evolution.

    As to which of silylene’s for suggested hypotheses should be used, I would think that if we are presenting any hypotheses, we should present all hypotheses. I see no difference in someone looking at one or all of them and saying, I can’t believe any of them and someone looking at the incomplete evidences of evolution and saying, this doesn’t add up.

    Both j and yujikid have alluded to the phenomenon of predisposition. The question to me has never been, “What do you believe?” but rather, “Why do you believe it?”

    Evolution has become one of the battlefields wherein people find it easy to meet in a discussion in which we pit what we believe against what we know. What we have at the extremes is a group on one side saying, “Our (incomplete) knowledge trumps your beliefs.” On the other side another group is saying, “Our (unproven) beliefs trump your knowledge.”

    Those who believe there is a supernatural presence in the universe are disposed to believe that existence of the natural, physical world is the result of efforts by something or someone from the supernatural non physical world. Within that belief system many believe that the supernatural’s efforts included the development of life forms pretty much as they exist today. Other suggest that several basic life forms were developed and from those, natural processes permitted the development of other related life forms.

    Those who believe there is no supernatural presence must, by default, believe that life forms are the result of some accidental combining of various chemicals and that single life form altered through millions of mutations and environmental adaptations to bring forth all life forms known to exist or to have existed.

    This latter group is more prone to view information from a one-dimensional predisposition. This is not because they are consciously unfair or intentionally dishonest. It is only that they are utterly limited in the possibilities they can consider. As a result all information must be considered only in the light that it cannot have any supernatural relationship.

    In the group that takes into account a supernatural presence we find all sorts of possibilities relating to evolution. Some do not believe any evolution has ever taken place while others find evolution completely compatible when combined with a supernatural beginning.

    What is so funny to me is that the group which has only one possibility insists that the other side is being narrow minded because it refuses consider only one possibility.

    Meanwhile they also suggest (as did eternal) that their conclusion is based on a considered, thoughtful, rational, logical process through the auspices of their own free will. Atheists believe in evolution only because it is their only option. There is nothing else for them to believe. The only free will involved is in their decision to deny supernatural because they choose to deny God.

    Any other view has a tendency to undermine their base denial of a supernatural presence. And that, of course, is the prime motivation – denial of a supernatural presence to which they may be responsible.

    In keeping with the theme of this thread, “How can [one] believe in evolution?” I must go the that pillar of philosophical expression, Mickey Spillane whose character Mike Hammer breaks tradition of tough guy characters in one tale by shooting and killing a female villain. “How . . . how could you do it?” she gasps with her dying breath.

    “It was easy,” he replies.

    If you don’t believe in God, it is easy to believe in evolution. In fact, it is necessary.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    j sure had a strange way of agreeing with yujikid, tho.
    Yeah I couldn't figure out why he had such a hostile reaction to what yujikid said either. What j said did not explain his reaction at all, and sounded more like an agreement than disagreement. It was excessively hostile and profane. strange.

    It even makes me wonder if he was making a parody of my own reaction to jujikid since I ripped on yujikid rather severly even though our points of view were not so different and we evetually found a lot to agree upon.
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    silylene wrote:

    Hopefully I have briefly explained the four most likely scenarios, one of which should which form the mechanism underlying the Hypothesis of ID. Which mechanism of the Hypothesis of ID should we teach to our children in science class? Which mechanism has the most data supporting it, and no data contradicting it? Please, proponents of the Hypothesis of ID, please let me know!
    As I have stated before, I do not want ID or creationism taught as a science in school.

    I do not have a degree in any science, as a matter of fact, I went to college for a total of one year. So bare with me for the next few paragraphs.

    I worked in the chemical business for over 40 years. 36 years with Celanese Chemical Co, retired and went to work contracting to other chemical companies.

    During this time, I worked in more chemical processes than I can count without spending some time to do it. Each of these commercial chemical process have Process Manuals. Each one of course has a chemistry section to explain the process. Even though a balanced chemical equation can be written for the reaction of a particular hydrocarbon and usually oxygen, either from oxygen itself or a compound that contains it to the finished product, most of the time, the reaction is thought to take place by first producing intermediate compounds and then those compounds react to form the final desired product. Chemical equations are written to describe these intermediate steps. It makes no difference whether the process came from Celanese itself, or from DuPont or from Monsanto or from Dow Chemical or from (German) Bayer, these intermediate equations are called "Postulated", not Thats it buddy, take it or leave it.

    Depending on the process type, a solid catalyst fixed in a tube and shell reactor does not allow one to find these intermediates in the reaction section. In processes that have liquid phase reactions, it is possible to sample for these intermediates. Sometimes they are found and sometimes they are not. Just because they are not found does not mean they have not taken place, but that they could have reacted so fast, their quanities were too low to detect them. I certainly do not have the depth of knowledge of chemistry to know if the reaction really occured in the postulated manner or not, or to even question it. But I do know over time as these chemical companies have learned more about a process and find other more efficient was of producing it, have changed thier concepts of the original process.

    I have also seen chemical processes that have been worked on by the research groups for years in their micro units, that when built commercially, the process simply does not work. Fortunately this is not a frequent problem or we would not have any chemical companies.

    The last job I had as a contractor, I worked for a US subsiderary of a French company in Beaumont Texas. I was hired to be in charge of comissioning, startup and line out. This was an Acrolein process that was supposed to be an improvement over a unit that had operated in France. This process makes Acrolein by reacting Propylene with air over a fixed bed catalyst. Water is used to absorb the acrolein and the two are eventually separated in a finishing tower. One of the byproducts of this process is Ally alcohol. One of the main problems they had with the unit in France was Ally alcohol azeotroping with water and making the finishing tower unstable. This new unit design had the finishing tower operating under a deeper vacuum, this was supposed to solve the azeotrope problem. Shortly after startup, I noticed the temperature profile of the finishing tower changing, resulting in temperatures between water and acrolein. I had many debates with the chief engineer for this process, telling him that the profile change was the result of an Ally alcohol azeotrope. He argued with me for about three months, showing me that the physical properties of ally alcohol would not form an azeotrope with water under these operating conditions. He brought his math model and showed me time and time again, that this was not an ally alcohol azeotrope. Finally, I started samping the finished product for Ally Alcohol and saw a direct relationship between the increasing tower temperatures and the ally alcohol concentration in the finished product. He finally admitted that the physical properties that he had been given must have been wrong.

    I am writing all of this just to show that things do not always go the way they are supposed to go. In the commercial world, you dont always have to be right, but you had better be open to different ideas. Too much money is on the line.

    Thats all I want from any scientific field. Predesposition leaves no room for thinking out of the box.
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    I believe that evolution is true for two reasons. First, evolution has been observed and is thus a fact.

    Second, evolution offers a much better explanation then creationsim in any form. Evolution has well defined mechanisms, makes clear predictions and has numerous examples of corroborating evidence. As many people in this thread have stated before, just because our knowledge isn't perfect doesn't mean that our theories are false. Einstein didn't prove that Newton was wrong , but only proved that his theories were incomplete. At the moment the theory of evolution is incomplete, not false.

    Also evolution is more easily falsifiable then creationism making it a more desirable theory then creationism from the beginning.

    I would like a theist to show me a theory (any theory not just evolution) that would give a better explanation of reality if a "god" term was included.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Those who believe there is a supernatural presence in the universe are disposed to believe that existence of the natural, physical world is the result of efforts by something or someone from the supernatural non physical world...

    Those who believe there is no supernatural presence must, by default, believe that life forms are the result of some accidental combining of various chemicals and that single life form altered through millions of mutations and environmental adaptations to bring forth all life forms known to exist or to have existed...

    This latter group is more prone to view information from a one-dimensional predisposition. This is not because they are consciously unfair or intentionally dishonest. It is only that they are utterly limited in the possibilities they can consider. As a result all information must be considered only in the light that it cannot have any supernatural relationship.
    Why does being a theist make someone more open-minded? In my experience theists are blind to materialistic explanations just as often as atheist are blind to divine explanations. Theists are just as limited as atheists. I find this entire point rather pointless since both sides are limited to an infinite number of theories (over an eternal amount of time that is) because all experimental evidence is compatible with an infinite number of theories. It is those theories that best solve a problem (such as "how did complex life come about?") and therefore give the best explanations as well as those that do the above with the fewest terms that are prefered. Using that criteria, evolution gives the best explanation for the origin of complex life.
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    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    Thats all I want from any scientific field. Predesposition leaves no room for thinking out of the box.
    Science doesn't work on "predisposition." It operates with tenative and conditional explanations. Should evidence and data indicate the need for revision, revision occurs.
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    Skinwalker wrote:

    Science doesn't work on "predisposition." It operates with tenative and conditional explanations. Should evidence and data indicate the need for revision, revision occurs
    .

    Yes it does, you are convinced that evolution is a fact and your findings no matter how they cause room for dispute, will cause you to find other theories that could possibly explain new evidences. There is just no way you can except anything that could point to some sort of intelligent being.

    But that does not mean these theories are correct, just that they are capable of satisfying your intellect.
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    Lets leave the world of acadamia again and go to another example of practical application of chemistry and engineering in the commercial chemical business.


    First of all, it must be pointed out that especially in the commodity chemical business, a competitive edge over your competition is paramount in the survival of a producer. Think of it, just being able to produce a commodity chemical one to two cents a pound cheaper than your competitor when you are producing a billion pounds per year, is critical to the bottom line of that company. Therefore, research and development in that business is an absolute.

    Take for example the production of Acetic Acid. Up until the 70's the only routes to the production of Acetic Acid was the oxidation of Acetlyaldehyde. Acetyaldehyde production mainly came from an ethylene feed stock.

    In the 70's, Monsanto developed a route to Acetic Acid as the result of the carbonalization of Methanol and Carbon Monoxide. Both of these feed stocks came from natural gas, which is much cheaper than ethylene. Therefore a significant competitive edge. For some reason, Monsanto decided to licience this process instead of being the controlling player in the production of Acetic Acid.

    The company I worked for bought the licience from Monsanto. The process is a liquid phase process that uses Rhodium as a catalyst and iodine as a promoter of the reaction. It was known at the time that some iodine compounds such as Methyl and Ethyl iodine would be carried from the reaction area into the purification area and the process was designed to remove these compounds from the finished product.

    One of the main uses for Acetic Acid is the production of Vinyl Acetate, but iodines are a catalyst poison for the Vinyl Acetate catalyst.

    The company I worked for is a major producer of both Acetic Acid and Vinyl Acetate. So it is an absolute requirement that the Acetic Acid feed stock for the Vinyl Acetate units contain no, and I underline a very small no, iodine compounds.

    Analytical methods are also extremely important to the production of chemicals with a competitive edge. Analytical methods in the 60's could only detect certain chemical properties in essentially parts per hundreds. In the 70's, analytical methods improved to where we could analyze at the low parts per thousand. In the 80's, it had improved where we could analyze in the parts per million, but this still was not good enough.

    When we fed Acetic Acid produced by carbonalization to Vinyl Acetate units in the late 70's and eary 80,s catalyst deactivation of the Vinyl Acetate catalyst was noticed, even though we could not detect any iodine compounds. I can tell you this was a major problem. We had to assume that some iodine was in the Acetic Acid, even though we could not find it, and an Iodine Guard Bed was developed to remove suspected iodine compounds. It Worked.

    It was only in the 90's, when our analytical methods improved where we could detect iodine compounds in the low parts per trillion, did we find these iodine compounds. We, including the research chemists, were amazed at the large number of iodine compounds at these very low levels and that even though were very small, were the source of the Vinyl Acetate catalyst poisoning. Only after being able to detect these compounds could the process be modified to further reduce their concentrations in the finished product.

    I could give many other examples, but there is a difference between acadamia and the real world. People in acadamia rely on the theortical, while the real world uses those theories, but has to adapt when they are incomplete and in a very small number of cases, they just dont work.
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    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    Skinwalker wrote:

    Science doesn't work on "predisposition." It operates with tenative and conditional explanations. Should evidence and data indicate the need for revision, revision occurs
    .

    Yes it does, you are convinced that evolution is a fact and your findings no matter how they cause room for dispute, will cause you to find other theories that could possibly explain new evidences. There is just no way you can except anything that could point to some sort of intelligent being.

    But that does not mean these theories are correct, just that they are capable of satisfying your intellect.
    No! That is how the pseudo-science of Creationism works! Like so many who don't understand evolution you assume that it is just rhetoric like Creationism. The difference is between a good scientific hypothesis and a bad one. Since evolution is basically a material hypothesis you can test it to some degree by looking for evidence for something where the theory says it should be. Not finding such confirmation usually proves nothing but finding it comfirms the hypothesis. Creationism on the other hand because it is not a material hypothesis does not work so well with such an effort to test it. So the pseudo-science works just like you say. Creationists just hunt up evidence to support their hypothesis which is not a proper scientific method. Nor are the efforts of Creationist to hunt up what think is contrary evidence to disprove evolution. This is the method of the courtroom where rhetoric is standard procedure but it is not the method of science.

    Now it would be great if there was a negative test such that supposing the hypothesis that evolution was not correct then there was a prediction that could be tested, but such an approach is rarely available. Usually the closest you can get to this is a test between alternative hypotheses, such as in the case of John Stewart Bells inequality, the test of which rejected hidden variables in favor of quantum mechanics. But the big problem with the creationism hypothesis is that it provides no real predicitions that can be tested at all. If God did it then He did it in whatever way He wanted and we don't know any details.

    If you take Genesis as a detailed description then it fails the tests you could devise. It says God created the world in six days but scientific evidence does not support this. It says God created birds before He created creatures that crawled upon the ground, but archeological evidence does not support this. It says that God created man of the dust of ground. Does the chemical composition of the human body confirm this? I mean you can explain these things away but the point is that there are just no ways of testing the hypothesis that God created the world in a scientific fashion. It is the predictions that make a scientific theory scientific. So far the only scientific evidence which comes close to comfirming the creation of the world is the evidence for the big bang, but the physicists were ready with the general theory of relativity for that one, and this theory provides far far more details and predictions which can be tested by this evidence than Creationism.

    Don't get me wrong. Just because something is a proper scientific hypothesis doesn't make it true and just because something is not doesn't make it false. The point is that scientific proceedure is worth defending and confusing it with rhetoric will set mankind back by a few centuries.
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    Mitchell wrote:

    No! That is how the pseudo-science of Creationism works! Like so many who don't understand evolution you assume that it is just rhetoric like Creationism
    .

    I say again, that creationism and or ID should not be taught as science. I do not think evolution is rhetoric, but I would agree that creationism could from a scientific point of view be called rhetoric.

    Look at this way. If there was a god who had the powers to create the universe and life, then that god would have to have powers that are above those of man. Call it supernatural or super science or what ever you like, but this would have to be true. Due to this, gods methods would have to be unexplainable and they are.

    Maybe someday, another Einstien will be born and come up with more advanced theories than we have to day that could be used to enlighen us more, who knows what the future holds.
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    I find it somewhat exasperating that some continue to attempt to validate evolution by association with other sciences or to prove criticism of evolution improper on the basis of the validity of other sciences.

    For the most part, those of us who criticize evolution do not go into the chemistry forum and criticize chemistry on religious grounds. Nor do we go into the physics forum and criticize physics. Seldom are we found in any of the other forums other than occasions where someone has made some statement maligning religion. We may venture into biology once in a while, but even there, our criticism is usually focused on evolutionary comments.

    I agree with skinwalker that science is not generally predisposed to a specific outcome. A theorist hopes that he can validate his theory, but generally, he is happy to disprove it, too, because he is looking for what is true and valid and observable.

    I have never heard of anyone explaining the Doppler effect and following it with some version of “therefore, God does not exist. I cannot think of anytime someone produced a chemical reaction and then suggested, “therefore, God does not exist.”

    It is only in the field of evolution that people can see that all mammals have four limbs and conclude from that, that God does not exist.

    It is only in evolution, as yujikid so clearly states, that advocates interpret all evidence as supportive of the general theory. It is, basically, the only theory which must consistently fall back on its “refuge city” of theories cannot be disproved even if they aren’t proven.

    But all of that is little more than a side issue. My objections are not to evolution, per se, but to those whose atheistic world view compels them to blindly accept evolution and then contend they were convinced by the evidence. They would be convinced by any even the thinnest shreds of evidence. As yujikid points out, these people are predisposed to interpret all evolution evidence, even negative evidence, as supportive.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

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    I find it somewhat exasperating that some continue to attempt to validate evolution by association with other sciences or to prove criticism of evolution improper on the basis of the validity of other sciences.
    Evolution is *not* a separate discipline of science. One does not obtain a PhD in Evolution. Evolution is a mechanism that is explained by the various disciplines of science: chemistry, geology, astronomy, physics, biology, etc. Surely you realize this.

    Moreover, evolution as a mechanism for explaining life on this planet has no goal of disproving any of the gods of humanity. By coincidence, it happens to dispell the mythology of many of humanity's religions and the nonsense that accompanies them. No longer do we need believe that man was created from the dirt of the planet by Marduk; nor do we need believe that Ptah spoke everything into existence; and we also need not believe that the first human was Adam. All of these myths and others are quite efficiently dealt with by science. There is a clear evolution of morphological detail from early primates to early hominids to archaic humans to modern humans.

    Adam didn't exist. And if he didn't exist, then the story of Jesus dying for man's "original sin" must also be a myth. Indeed, the stories of the bible are replete with examples of borrowed and adapted motifs that existed before the cultures of the authors of the various biblical myths.

    If believing in a sky-god works for you, more power to you. But as long as there are religious nutters out there that will attempt to claim their mythology is fact; that the sciences that give them all the modern conveniences the so shamelessly enjoy are not reliable simply because it threatens their superstitions -I expect I'll be willing to speak out against and even ridicule them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Evolution is *not* a separate discipline of science. One does not obtain a PhD in Evolution. Evolution is a mechanism that is explained by the various disciplines of science: chemistry, geology, astronomy, physics, biology, etc. Surely you realize this.
    Uh oh, I think you did just what daytonturner was objecting to. The issue in question is the theory of Evolution in Biology which I have been assured in threads under Biology only applies to DNA. Yet you have just tried to defend it by associating it with all the other science which have nothing to do with it, except the fact that they are sciences.

    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Moreover, evolution as a mechanism for explaining life on this planet has no goal of disproving any of the gods of humanity. By coincidence, it happens to dispell the mythology of many of humanity's religions and the nonsense that accompanies them. No longer do we need believe that man was created from the dirt of the planet by Marduk; nor do we need believe that Ptah spoke everything into existence; and we also need not believe that the first human was Adam. All of these myths and others are quite efficiently dealt with by science. There is a clear evolution of morphological detail from early primates to early hominids to archaic humans to modern humans.
    I don't seem to recall the discussion of Marduk or Adam in any of my science classes. I suspect that the only dispelling of myths which occured was in your brain. I don't think we even needed the permission of science to not believe in these myths either. I think what you are really saying is that science has provided you inpiration for inventing your own myth about how life and the world came into being. Certainly the Theory of Evolution does not attempt to answer this question since it does not attempt the question of where DNA comes from, so you must have connected some dots in your mind on your own.

    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Adam didn't exist.
    Whoa! I missed that proof! I am going to have to doubt your word on that one. I don't think there was any scientific proof that Adam does not exist. I deny that the remains of a developmental evolutionary tree of subhuman primates succeeds in proving this at all. I think that all you can conclude is that if there was a first human then this first human is not the first primate that was roughly similar to humans in various physiological characteristics like standing upright, unless this first "human" was nothing like us at all and was far more in the distant past that a mere 6 to 12 thousand years.

    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    then the story of Jesus dying for man's "original sin" must also be a myth.
    That isn't even myth at all. That is theology. Now you want science in the business of not only passing judgements on myths but on theology as well? Science is not in this business. Thank goodness for sake of science. So I think this is just your attempt to appropriate science for that purpose which is much the same as what the Creationists are trying to do for the opposite purpose.

    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Indeed, the stories of the bible are replete with examples of borrowed and adapted motifs that existed before the cultures of the authors of the various biblical myths.
    You are welcome to your opinion but neither you nor science can prove what stories were adopted by who and from whom. They may all just be distortions of what really happened and you cannot really prove otherwise, since science deal mostly in generalities while these stories speak of specific people and their personal events.


    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    If believing in a sky-god works for you, more power to you. But as long as there are religious nutters out there that will attempt to claim their mythology is fact; that the sciences that give them all the modern conveniences the so shamelessly enjoy are not reliable simply because it threatens their superstitions -I expect I'll be willing to speak out against and even ridicule them.
    I have heard many versions of this "mine is the one true church", many times before. And we nutters have just as much right to say our myths are fact as you nutters have the right to say that your science inspired myths are fact. And you could not enjoy your stupid technological conveniences if our God hadn't created you first, so there! I don't have the slightest idea what superstitions you are talking about, but I suppose you are just trying to say your myths are better than our myths again. Because I don't feel threatened in any way. But the tenor of your post suggest that you may have felt some threat to your myths and or rationalizations, although I cannot imagine why.

    Ah well, it was amusing but I hope we can drop this sillyness and simply agree to disagree.
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    yujikid I apreciate your opinion but I want to point out one thing...
    Evolution is a thing that doesn't forbid the existence of God - no, infact I found it as a sheer proof of His existence...

    If we read the stories of bible about creation and Noahs arch, we can
    easily notice a symbolic meaning that is a straigh suggestion of evolutions truthfullnes..

    And I also want to ask, wasn't Darwin the one to say, that he didn't want to question God, but to tell how allmighty He is...
    In otherwords, to Darwin the evolution theory was a proof of God...

    There is also lots of scientifical facts that creation cannot explain,
    for instance why does the embryos of a pig, a chicken, a fish and a man
    pay such a great resemblance to each other...

    Of course you're going to say that it is so because God wants to test
    our belief, but I think that is against the picture that the Bible gives us about Him...

    So, I personally think that denying evolution is the same as denying the
    work of God... God gave the idea of evolution to man.
    Machina multa minax minitatur maxima muris

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    eternal wrote:

    There is also lots of scientifical facts that creation cannot explain,
    for instance why does the embryos of a pig, a chicken, a fish and a man
    pay such a great resemblance to each other...

    Of course you're going to say that it is so because God wants to test
    our belief, but I think that is against the picture that the Bible gives us about Him...
    No I am not going to say that this is so because God wants to test our beliefs.

    But I can ask why you think that simularities in embryos at various stages of development in various animals is a problem for me, it is not?

    The fact that the DNA structure of all mammals have simular structures are not a problem for me either. There may be reasons for this that we just do not fully understand yet.

    Science should be about learning, not Preaching an idiology. When it is preached, it makes me ask why and wonder if there is insecurity in the idiology.
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I have never heard of anyone explaining the Doppler effect and following it with some version of “therefore, God does not exist. I cannot think of anytime someone produced a chemical reaction and then suggested, “therefore, God does not exist.”
    The difference, of course, is that the Bible doesn't say anything about the Doppler effect or chemical reactions. The Bible makes very specific claims about the origin of the lifeforms on earth, and those claims do not correspond with observed reality. If the bible made explicit statements about chemical reactions or the Doppler effect that clashed with what we know about physics or chemistry, people would probably bring those up in the same way.
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    In my own inept way, I have written a couple of posts on the real world of science, showing that things that we have known in the past, when tested time and time again, have indicated that we need to modify what we had known in the past.

    I could give you other examples learned in the chemical business, but let me give an example from the field of mechanics.

    There are probably no other mechanical devices that have been studied more than that of the jet engine. With the demand for newer, more powerful and more efficient jet engines, while reducing the NOX emmissions they produce, for military and commercial aircraft and power generation, jet engines have been developed, studied and the results have been constantly updated in the design criteria for the next generation of jet engines. Over the last 50 years or so, the step by step method of designing, building and testing of jet engines has gone on. Many things have been learned about the physics and mechanics of jet engines.

    When Boeing was designing a new jumbo jet, I think it was the 777, It was decided that it would only have two jet engines, but that these engines would be larger than any other in production at the time. The company designing the new engines, (cant remember, but probably was Roles Royce) determined that their experience in modeling and testing of jet engines for so long was so good that Boeing should save the time and money required to test this engine. The designer of the new engines were confident that every aspect of the design covered every possible condition the engine could go through and that the engine passed or exceeded all the test requirements.

    But Boeing decided the engine needed to be flight tested before it was accepted and installed on its new jumbo. One of these engines was installed on a modified 747 and during takeoff, the engine surged. Had these engines been installed without this flight test, Boeings new jumbo would likely have crashed on takeoff.

    The complexity of the design of jet engines is not a drop in the bucket compared to the complexity of evolution. Because it is impossible to test every aspect of evolution in the way that jet engines have been tested, much less all the aspects combined, opens the door for us who have practical minds to question it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Evolution is *not* a separate discipline of science. One does not obtain a PhD in Evolution. Evolution is a mechanism that is explained by the various disciplines of science: chemistry, geology, astronomy, physics, biology, etc. Surely you realize this.
    Uh oh, I think you did just what daytonturner was objecting to. The issue in question is the theory of Evolution in Biology which I have been assured in threads under Biology only applies to DNA.
    Very clearly, what Dayton was objecting to was the "attempt" to include evolution as another "science" as a means of validating it. My counter objection was that evolution is *not* a branch of science, but rather a mechanism within *all* branches of science that explains how life on the planet came to be. Evolution is *not* a branch of science. Its an explanation that most disciplines of science may have some thing to say about it. Which disciplines of science that I mentioned have "nothing to do with" evolution, specifically? Physics? Astronomy? Anthropology? Geology? Chemistry? Surely you see the contributions each of these has made in the discovery of the evolutionary mechanism?

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    I don't seem to recall the discussion of Marduk or Adam in any of my science classes. I suspect that the only dispelling of myths which occured was in your brain. I don't think we even needed the permission of science to not believe in these myths either. I think what you are really saying is that science has provided you inpiration for inventing your own myth about how life and the world came into being. Certainly the Theory of Evolution does not attempt to answer this question since it does not attempt the question of where DNA comes from, so you must have connected some dots in your mind on your own.
    These are myths of humanity (a tiny sampling) that science has since shown could not have actually occurred. I fail to see why you would associate them with a "science class." I hope you don't think I was implying that as each ancient myth was disspelled, a professor of astronomy would say, "therefore, that story about coyote tossing shiny objects into the sky is not how stars formed."

    Having gone back and read my post, I don't see how you could possibly misunderstand what it was I was writing. This line, perhaps, makes it very clear: "By coincidence, it happens to dispell the mythology of many of humanity's religions and the nonsense that accompanies them." Your attempt to question my intent appears nothing more than a disingenuous criticism that failed to consider the point of the paragraph.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Adam didn't exist.
    Whoa! I missed that proof!
    The "proof" need only exist if you're attempting to assert that there *was* a "first human" named "Adam." All other data indicates that Homo sapiens existed long, long before he learned to write, and therefore accurately record the mythology of Adam and Eve. Moreover, the first human didn't simply come to being as a fully formed H. sapien, but rather evolved slowly from an earlier species. This is fact, supported by data you are only too aware of. Therefore, "Adam" is a myth -an allegory. A story that was useful to ancient man and poetry as beautiful as any other of man's many creation myths, but a myth nonetheless.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    then the story of Jesus dying for man's "original sin" must also be a myth.
    That isn't even myth at all. That is theology.
    And these are different because.....? I would hazard to guess that you would have little problem considering the "theology" of Polynesian culture a mythical one. What about Mesoamerican "theology?" Ancient Greek "theology?"

    Now you want science in the business of not only passing judgements on myths but on theology as well? Science is not in this business.
    I agree, science does not pass judgement on the myths of mankind. But science, by coincidence disspells them all the same. The Noachian Flood myth, for instance. Disspelled.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    Indeed, the stories of the bible are replete with examples of borrowed and adapted motifs that existed before the cultures of the authors of the various biblical myths.
    You are welcome to your opinion but neither you nor science can prove what stories were adopted by who and from whom.
    You're dead wrong about that. We can very clearly show the literary and archaeological progression of a myth from one culture to another. The Flood myth made its way from several Near Eastern cultures to early Jewish authors who transformed it (word for word in some passages!) into the Noachian Flood myth. There are other examples as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    They may all just be distortions of what really happened and you cannot really prove otherwise, since science deal mostly in generalities while these stories speak of specific people and their personal events.
    We can apply the same rules of literary and epigraphical discovery that we do other, non-biblical works and see the not only the relationships but the "evolution" of the story from its Near Eastern source to biblical canon. So, again, you are wrong.
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    skinwalker wrote:

    My counter objection was that evolution is *not* a branch of science, but rather a mechanism within *all* branches of science that explains how life on the planet came to be.
    I thought evolution did not attempt to explain how life come to be on earth. I thought evolution predisposes that somehow life came to be and only involves transformation of that life.
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    I see your point. When I say "came to be" I'm referring to the current state of life contrasted with the state of life several hundred million years ago.

    In other words, the slow change of species over time. You are correct that "evolution" does not attempt to address what caused life to form, though the topic is related and of interest to scientists in many fields, most of whom also study the mechanism of evolution.
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    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    No I am not going to say that this is so because God wants to test our beliefs.

    But I can ask why you think that simularities in embryos at various stages of development in various animals is a problem for me, it is not?

    The fact that the DNA structure of all mammals have simular structures are not a problem for me either. There may be reasons for this that we just do not fully understand yet.

    Science should be about learning, not Preaching an idiology. When it is preached, it makes me ask why and wonder if there is insecurity in the idiology.
    let me quote your phrase again; "When it is preached, it makes me ask why and wonder if there is insecurity in the idiology." the same can be said of the bible and all religions. i find that the only people evolutionists 'preach' to are those who think evolution contradicts the bible.

    i want to make something clear to you, and all creationists

    There is NO scientific theory that discredits the existence of God.

    any indication otherwise you might have picked up is purely opinion and personal bias. it is not science. science, by definition, cannot make any postulations on religious beliefs. religion is about faith, science is about physical observation; the two ideals are on different levels of thinking, its impossible for them to conflict. the only contradiction is in people's understanding of each idea.
    "What do you despise? By this are you truly known" - Frank Herbert
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    At the end of the day, what science discredits is the ability of the rational person to regard the Bible - in any form - as inerrant Truth. And that is what the ultimate agenda is all about, and has always been about. People whose faith relies on the reliability of a man-made book. But those people don't have strong faith in my view. If I believed in God, I might suggest that those who derived their faith from belief in the inerrancy of the Book, who belittle God to the level of the imagination of 6th Century BCE writers (however phenomenal they were as philosophers and poets, incidentally), who would be first in line for a prod from a devil's trident. For the believer, it is surely the discovery through science of the vastness of the Universe, of the unimaginable stretch of time - yet but a fraction of Eternity - that passed before we came along. And they'd like to think that all of that Cosmological history took place in just six thousand piddling years. God is very angry with them, I think...
    "It is comparatively easy to make clever guesses; indeed there are theorems, like 'Goldbach's Theorem' which have never been proved and which any fool could have guessed." G.H. Hardy, Fourier Series, 1943
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    At the end of the day, what science discredits is the ability of the rational person to regard the Bible - in any form - as inerrant Truth.
    No science does not do any such thing. Say rather that it is very difficult to accept both the validity of science and certain versions of the idea of the Bible as inerrant Truth (the versions in which the text is also seen as obvious and "literal" and complete). So most fundamentalist who have this view of scripture do not accept the validity of science.

    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    And that is what the ultimate agenda is all about, and has always been about. People whose faith relies on the reliability of a man-made book. But those people don't have strong faith in my view. If I believed in God, I might suggest that those who derived their faith from belief in the inerrancy of the Book, who belittle God to the level of the imagination of 6th Century BCE writers (however phenomenal they were as philosophers and poets, incidentally), who would be first in line for a prod from a devil's trident. For the believer, it is surely the discovery through science of the vastness of the Universe, of the unimaginable stretch of time - yet but a fraction of Eternity - that passed before we came along. And they'd like to think that all of that Cosmological history took place in just six thousand piddling years.
    Amen brother. And thus we see the proof of Scott Peck's idea that the atheist and skeptic can prove himself to be more "spirtually" advanced than the institutionally religious, even if he doesn't even believe in spirit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    God is very angry with them, I think...
    Nah... We do not get angry at children for their childish views of the world, we find them cute.
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    Forum Freshman cs-comm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoyLennigan
    There is NO scientific theory that discredits the existence of God.
    Well put. As I said before evolution and god aren't logically incompatible. I don't believe that god exists simply because it wouldn't explain anything about the world ie it is unessecary. If someone wants to believe in god, I"m fine with that. However if you tell me that there is evidence that god exists I will object.

    I believe that evolution is true because (a) it has been observed and is therefore fact, and (b) it is the best explanation for the problem of how life came to be the way it is today.
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    I realize that this is the Religion section of a scientific forum. But it does get scientific replies about the theoretical approach of science.

    My arguments have been basically about the possiblity that the science leading to the theory of evolution may be misguided because the result of the theory is always the same, evolution is a fact.

    I have written three different posts giving examples of the real world of science in highly specialized and researched fields, where the full extent of the science involved was not known even though extensive research and testing had been done previously.

    I pointed out that the kind of research and testing done in the real world of science cannot be applied to evolution.

    I can give you more examples if you wish, but since no one has responded to these posts, I have to assume that either you do not think they were worthy of response or you got my point that some of the theoretical assumptions and the mathamatical expressions postulated to support the theory may have error in them and if they could really be tested the way the practical use of science is, could lead to a different conclusion.
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    I agree with Roy Lennigan that there is nothing in any scientific theory which discredits the existence of God.

    There are, however, people who erroneously use science as an excuse and justification for not believing in God and who ignore their disbelief in God as a root cause to accept any cock-a-many idea that is presented under the guise of “scientific.”

    Many also take that as opportunity to attack the veracity of the Bible, a book which they have no hope of understanding without first believing in the alleged author.

    I read and hear a lot about literal interpretation of the Bible. I confess in literal belief in the Bible, but my meaning is that to literally interpret the Bible, you must interpret it according to the literary form of writing which was being used by the writer.

    Some of the Bible is historical narrative, some is poetry, some is allegory, some is symbolic to name a few forms of literature. So it is to be interpreted by the same literary standards we would interpret modern writings.

    Do we look at poetry the same way we look at narrative? Do we apply the common meaning of literal to allegory or symbolism or irony or satire? No, we view them differently than we view narrative history or commentary or factual accounts. Is Colridge’s Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner a totally fictional poetic saga or is there some event which precipitated his poem? Is the basic gist of the story invalid because of its form and structure? Does it lose its meaning because it is not a narrative report of the mariner’s journey?

    Is the Genesis account of creation a narrative history of creation? No, no, a thousand times no. And anyone who tries to interpret it as that is going to run into problems trying to either discredit or validate it. Were Adam and Eve real people or do they represent a point at which humans became aware of their mortality? (Is any other animal aware of its mortality?)

    Was the Noahic flood a world-wide event or an event which affected only that world which Noah was familiar with? Were there 10 plagues in Egypt? Did Moses evoke the parting of the Red Sea or was it a natural event which occurred at an opportune time for the children of Israel? Were Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed by fire and brimstone and Lot’s wife turned to a pillar of salt?

    Strangely, there are scientific explanations for any of these stories. It is not the scientific community which tries to discredit these stories, just atheists. We know how these stories could have occurred via some form of natural event, so there seems to be little reason to disbelieve that some event occurred. Nor would it been required that God intercede in nature to have caused them to occur through invocation of supernatural nature defying powers. Still, it does not remove these events from consideration as miraculous.

    We know, for example, that an area at the West end of the (then) Red Sea (an area actually once called the Reed Sea) was quite shallow. On rare occasions (probably a matter of many years), low tidal conditions and strong wind currents from an unusual direction would cause water to recede and bare land to be exposed for a nominal period of time. Even if one considers Moses parting the sea is a somewhat self-aggrandizing account of such an occurrence, it still does not detract from idea that the children of Israel escaped Pharaoh. And, to me, the story remains miraculous to the degree that the children of Israel arrived at that specific place at that specific time when they could escape.

    Just this week Digging the Truth on History Channel investigated the possibility that there could have been cities such as Sodom and Gomorrah which were utterly destroyed by fire and brimstone. Making a long story short, there is evidence of a city near the Dead Sea which was destroyed by fire and never rebuilt. The fire was most likely fueled by naturally occurring sodium which the ancients called brimstone fire. The miraculous part of this story is not that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, but that Lot and his family (except for his wife) were saved.

    Anyone who insists these stories must be word-for-word historical accounts of these events is going to have difficulty accepting them on that basis. I, personally, do not find it necessary to believe them that way to find meaning and significance to them.

    To me, the point of these stories has nothing to do with what happened in nature, but the fact that God was able to save those whom he chose to the extent they were able to perceive His instructions and to be willing to follow them.

    My primary point is, basically, that science has done much more to prove the stories and accounts of the Bible than has all faith of believers.

    Secondarily, scientific confirmation of the likelihood of these stories which some people believed on faith for centuries, make it just that much more easy to believe, by faith, those things which have not been confirmed.

    It almost sounds like what evolutionist say about evolution, doesn’t it?

    I believe the Bible for the very same reasons cs-comm says he believes evolution.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    I have to agree with Silas when he says, "[a]t the end of the day, what science discredits is the ability of the rational person to regard the Bible - in any form - as inerrant Truth." Within the spectrum of "science," I include archaeology and anthropology, both of which are concerned with the science of religiosity and the myths and cults of humanity through history and prehistory. In these sciences, we have the opportunity to take a holistic perspective of human religiosity and myth and see the patterns and trends that exist. While geology and biology discredit the literal interpretation of the Noachian myth, archaeology and anthropology visit the literary and mythic evolution of the Deluge myth among Mesopotamian peoples, dependent upon and significantly affected by the Tigris and Euphrates.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    There are, however, people who erroneously use science as an excuse and justification for not believing in God and who ignore their disbelief in God as a root cause to accept any cock-a-many idea that is presented under the guise of “scientific.”
    Cockamamie ideas "presented under the guise of 'scientific'" are called pseudoscience, and they are deserving of derision and ridicule. But this isn't exactly what you were getting at, I suspect. The people you mention probably exist, but there are far more of those that chose not to buy into sky-god superstitions simply because of their educations in science. They don't use science as the "excuse" to disbelieve your god, they disbelieve your god because the evidence for it is lacking, questionable, and largely discredited. Moreover, your god's apologists leave much to be desired in their logic when they attempt to convince the critical and freethinker that superstitions are the "safe bet." Undoubtedly, there are those that would like to quote Alister McGrath, C.S. Lewis, Flew, or McDowell whilst attempting to demonstrate that there are atheists who are willing to abandon their "heathen ways" in favor of theological pursuits. But if such pursuits were truly logical, one would expect a far higher number of converts from atheism to theism. Instead, the number of conversions of the opposite seems far more significant.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Many also take that as opportunity to attack the veracity of the Bible, a book which they have no hope of understanding without first believing in the alleged author.
    This, my friend, would be a serious fallacy in thinking, would it not? Indeed, to suggest that one must believe the "alleged author[s]" before they are qualified to criticize them or even understand them is seriously begging the question. Might I not be able to suggest, based on this logic, that there are those who attack the fact of evolution, a mechanism they have no hope of understanding without first believing in the science? A preposterous position of Petitio principii, indeed. I could hardly expect someone to first believe in evolution before they attempted to understand it. This is why science education is so important and why those that threaten it are such a detraction to society: they interfere with understanding in the hope that people won't believe in that which seems to handily discredit their superstitions.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I read and hear a lot about literal interpretation of the Bible. I confess in literal belief in the Bible, but my meaning is that to literally interpret the Bible, you must interpret it according to the literary form of writing which was being used by the writer.

    Some of the Bible is historical narrative, some is poetry, some is allegory, some is symbolic to name a few forms of literature. So it is to be interpreted by the same literary standards we would interpret modern writings.
    Right. The same literary standards, eh? Whenever the same literary standards are applied to biblical mythology that we apply to modern or even ancient literature, the critics are criticized as being anti-religious or atheistic. In examining works such as those of Homer, we note the literary device of the time, which is to "borrow" stories from oral tradition. Indeed, The Odyssey and the Iliad were very likely oral stories told and retold long before Homer wrote them down. What Homer is able to offer us is a set of snapshots of what contemporary life was like for the period the stories took place in as well as the prevailing attitudes and beliefs of the people.

    Literary criticism and examination is well accepted and established as a technique for investigating the origin and evolution of ancient literary ideas and motifs, but is somehow "taboo" when applied to biblical mythology. But it is here that we can see the heavy borrowing, a practice that was not considered in any way plagiaristic during ancient times but rather quite appropriate. Cultures of the Near East borrowed liberally from each others' myths, legends and stories, adopting as their own those that made for good story-telling. The progression from one culture to another is determined by the evolution of the story and the inclusion/exclusion of various details.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Do we look at poetry the same way we look at narrative? Do we apply the common meaning of literal to allegory or symbolism or irony or satire? No, we view them differently than we view narrative history or commentary or factual accounts. Is Colridge’s Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner a totally fictional poetic saga or is there some event which precipitated his poem? Is the basic gist of the story invalid because of its form and structure? Does it lose its meaning because it is not a narrative report of the mariner’s journey?
    Your point is well-taken. I agree. There is much that can be learned from biblical mythology in regard to the period. But I think where we would diverge would be what would be considered "literal" and what is to be considered "allegorical." Indeed, I assert that many of the stories in the bible are simply borrowed from other cultures because their Hebrew editors found them entertaining or useful. Others are simply made up in order to validate other cult teachings.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Strangely, there are scientific explanations for any of these stories.
    Hmm. That's interesting. Since you seem to agree that the earliest myths of Genesis are not demonstrable, we'll discard them from the discussion. Suffice to say they are pretty stories and poetically interesting.

    However, I'm interested in the "scientific" explanations you suggest can exist for the remaining stories you mentioned. Lets pursue this a bit further:

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Was the Noahic flood a world-wide event or an event which affected only that world which Noah was familiar with?
    Beaten to death and obviously not a world-wide event, so we'll skip it. I'm assuming you don't have some "scientific explanation" for this, since none exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Were there 10 plagues in Egypt?
    There could have been. Certainly each of the "plagues" mentioned in Exodus 7-11 were scientifically possible. The Nile turning to blood could simply have been the downstream wash of clay deposits from flooding up-river, which could, in turn, have driven the frogs out, etc. Certainly people got sick in antiquity and the "darkness" could have been anything from an eclipse to a volcanic explosion sending sun-screening clouds of ash to the atmosphere. The interesting thing about the "10 plagues" is that the very literate Egyptians didn't write about them. This may simply be because they didn't write about "negative" affects on the kingdoms, but then there are the Admonitions of Ipuwer, which clearly paint a less than rosy picture for Dynastic Egypt. They even mention a Nile that is turned red, but the implication here is that there were battles and deaths in which blood was spilled in the river. No mention of frogs or darkness.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Did Moses evoke the parting of the Red Sea or was it a natural event which occurred at an opportune time for the children of Israel?
    We're probably all familiar with the whole "reed sea" speculation, but the Hebrew term used is yam suph, which translates to "sea of seaweed." Yam suph is used elsewhere in the bible to refer to the Red Sea (I Kings 9:26; Exodus 10:19) to refer to the Red Sea proper (the body of water that the locusts were alleged to have been cast would have had to be large). "Suph" is also used in Jonah 2:5 and is the vegetation that gets wrapped around his head after being swallowed by the sea-creature (saltwater vegetation that grows under the sea is inferred). So the bible is talking about the Red Sea or one of its Gulf's (Suez or Aqaba). Either has a deep trench down the middle. Very deep. The wind didn't blow the reeds apart to allow Moses and his crew to pass only to "drown" the Egyptians. Nor did it blow the water, parting many, many metric tons of liquid to allow pedestrians to pass. Not only would such a wind not be permissive to walking, said pedestrians would need to cross a ravine several hundred meters deep: the sea's channel.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Were Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed by fire and brimstone and Lot’s wife turned to a pillar of salt?
    I'd be interested in hearing/reading the scientific explanation for this one. As a hint, you mightn't let it include the name Hayseed should you want it to be a credible explanation.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    It is not the scientific community which tries to discredit these stories, just atheists.
    You say "atheists," I say "critical thinkers." Atheism is merely a by-product of rational thought. And silly superstitions need a counter voice to discredit them. Religious superstitions shouldn't be taboo when it comes to ridiculing and criticizing beliefs. We have not problem ridiculing the nut that believes Elvis is still alive; deriding UFO nutters who think they're being abducted every Tuesday and Thursday for a good anal probing is acceptable; we can even criticize each other for our political opinions. But, somehow, it's supposed to be taboo to treat religion with the same consistency?

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    We know how these stories could have occurred via some form of natural event, so there seems to be little reason to disbelieve that some event occurred.
    You're kidding, right? We should believe just because something's possible? What rubbish! The Flying Spaghetti Monster is possible. But I somehow suspect you'll not find yourself touched by His noodley appendage anytime soon. The reason to "disbelieve" the events of biblical mythology is because they have the circular purpose of validating each other in order to maintain and increase cult membership. Such motivations should absolutely not be accepted without first finding validation. Moreover, to claim that these fantastic events actually occurred at all should require evidence before even being considered!

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    The miraculous part of this story is not that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, but that Lot and his family (except for his wife) were saved.
    Yes, one must find this simply amazing. I'm in awe of a god that would spare the man who was willing to offer up his daughter for gang-rape in order to prevent a man from having to endure the same fate. My memory fails me, but is this not the same family where the daughters get Lot drunk and screw him? That's one inconsistent sky-god he had.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Anyone who insists these stories must be word-for-word historical accounts of these events is going to have difficulty accepting them on that basis. I, personally, do not find it necessary to believe them that way to find meaning and significance to them.
    That's good to know, based on the above conflicting and contradicting information dealing with the Lot family. I would hate to think anyone took that stuff literal or even seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    My primary point is, basically, that science has done much more to prove the stories and accounts of the Bible than has all faith of believers.
    Perhaps you could outline precisely what it is about biblical mythology that science has affirmed? The only thing discussed so far is "possibilities" and nothing as yet testable or even decently inferential. I want to discuss the stories that are "prove[n]" as you mention above.
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    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Memory is not about perfect accuracy it is about the incorporation of the events of our life into our identity. We accept their truth on faith because they are a part of who we are. It makes no sense to wipe slate clean on the flimsy excuse that their accuracy may not be 100%. Surely if they cause us problems in coping with life then an honest examination and a skeptical treatment could be called for. However we must be aware of the danger of imagination or speculation in creating false memories in the process (http://faculty.washington.edu/eloftu...cles/sciam.htm).

    I think we what call myth are the most ancient of our cultural memories. In our multi-cultural societies we certianly have the freedom of choosing those most meaningful to us or of abanoning them all together. But I think the role of myth in who we are is unavoidable and that when we abandon those of the past we create others to fill the vacuum. As a Christian the myths of the Bible are part of my cultural memory and I accept them on faith as a part of who I am. And when I see people misuse science as a tool for debunking myths, I recognize their freedom to do so but I keep a sharp eye out for the myths they unconsciously invent for themselves and try to understand what kind of person or culture these myths create.

    I affirm the truth of the story of Adam and Eve with same confidence as I do my memories from childhood. I also accept the validity of sciences of biology and archeology so I know that these two people were not created out of clay as the first representatives of their biological species. But I do not think that humanity is just a new species of animal, I believe that we are creations of God made in His image which makes us like His children. But understanding the nature of living things I know that His creation of living things was not like the design of a watch. So I see the creation of Adam and Eve as something like the recreation of myself in the relationship I have with Christ. I believe that God adopted them as son and daughter just as He has adopted me. On that basis I see no reason to doubt the truth of the story as it has been handed down.

    I do recognize that the Bible is not anything like a scientific text. Though as a record of the sins and mistakes of a people in their relationship with God, I see an objectivity which is remarkable for the period of time which it covers, but I know that it is no video recording. So I do not try to argue the historical or scientific accuracies of its details and I see attacks made on them from this basis as silly. It is only natural that people in a multicultural society that choose not to accept Christiantiy should also not accept its myths. But I view their self-righteous self justifications based on science with some amusement and pity, knowing that the myths and culture which they are creating for themselves is rootless and largely unconcious and un-aware of itself and thus I think it stumbles blindly into a future over which it has only illusory control. Science has only scratched the surface in its attempt to understand what we are as human beings. I find it more sensible to embrace all the possible sources of truth unlike either the fundamentalists or the "atheists".
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    Okay, let me give you an example of something you all can relate to.

    When I was in school, we were taught that the length of a stalatite in a cave could be used to determine the age of the cave.

    In 1974, while on vacation in Arkansas, we visited Blanchard Caverns. The care takers of the caverns did not want the cave to be "Killed" like Carlsbad had and every effort was being taken to keep the tourist from having an impact on the cave. In one section, a cave in occured long ago and the bats that lived in the cave were nesting in that section. So a tunnel was dug around the cave in and was shored up with concrete. Guess what, there were stalatites several inches long hanging from the concrete roof of the tunnel. We were told that the original thought of the age of a cave being determined by the lenght of the stalatites, was wrong, because the concentration of calcium had a direct affect on the lenght of the stalatites.

    Over the years, due to gained practical knowlege and a logical mind, there are many other things that would determine the lenght of the stalatites. I am going to get pretty basic here, but that is how I think.

    Stalatite formation is the result of a super saturated liquid flowing at a slow enough rate to allow settlement to occur. The amount of saturation is dependent on the amount of calcium available and the temperature of the water.

    The flow rate of the water is dependent on the size of the crack in the rocks above and the hydraulic head of the water available.

    If you take a glass of iced tea and add 4 heaping tea spoons of sugar to it, it will be supersaturated. If you stir the ice tea vigorusly, there will be no noticable sugar on the bottom of the glass. When you stop stiring, the excess sugar will fall out of solution. But if when you let the ice tea warm up to room temperature and restir it and then stop, the amount of settlement on the bottom of the glass will be less than it was when it was cold.

    Simple stuff, yes.

    But there are many things which will affect these conditions in a cave. First is the amount of water. Since the caves were originally cut by underground rivers and now there is very little water in them, the amount of saturation has changed over time, and by logical thinking then, the hydraulic head of water availabe to seep through the cracks has not been the same.

    We are pretty sure that the earths temperature has not remained constant over long periods of time. Since the saturation of a liquid is affected by its temperature, the growth rate of a stalatite will certainly be affected.

    One of the geology theories is that the earths surface recylces over time. If that were not true, then just from volcanic activity, there must be very large voids under the earths surface, perhaps in the 10's to 100's of cubic miles. If this recyling is taking place, then the types of minerals and their concentrations in any given place is not what it has been in the past.

    The size of the cracks above caves where the water flows through certainly does not stay the same. They are affected by the the fact that material is being absorbed and carried away by the water. The size of the cracks are affected in earths movements, either from the movement of the earths plates, volcanic activity, earth quakes and the recyling of the earths surface.

    So any use of the lenght of stalatite to determine the age of a cave is simply fruitless.

    All of these conditions affect other things that we see in geology and makes me question when science says that a foot of limestone takes X many millinium to form, no matter where it is found on earth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    When I was in school, we were taught that the length of a stalatite in a cave could be used to determine the age of the cave.

    So any use of the lenght of stalatite to determine the age of a cave is simply fruitless.

    All of these conditions affect other things that we see in geology and makes me question when science says that a foot of limestone takes X many millinium to form, no matter where it is found on earth.
    It is commonplace in school to be given approximations, generalisations and (because of the ignorance of some teachers) downrights errors.

    If you had been told that the length of a stalactite could help to approximate the age of a cave that would have been valid. You correctly identified many of the variables that could effect the growth.

    So, the use of the length of a stalctite to estimate the possible age of a cave remains a useful method. It provides guidlines, not absolutes. If you were told it provides absolute ages you were misinformed.

    I have never heard nor seen it written that a foot of limestone takes a specific amount of time to form. Indeed, the exact reverse is the case. The diversity of environments within which limestone can form means there are a diversity of depostion rates. In as much as we can isolate the various independent variables controlling this deposition rate then we can produce a range of numbers reflecting these rates for a variety of environments.

    I see no problem with that. Do you?
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    I have a problem with skinwalker’s dual standard.

    On one hand, he will state that only religious skeptics are qualified to provide unbiased criticism of religious issues since their analysis is not so jaded that they fail to see the flaws.

    On the other hand, he will suggest that evolutionary skeptics are not qualified to comment on evolution because their analysis is jaded by their disbelief.

    skinwalker seems to insist that religious belief should somehow be capable of being quantified or qualified by some scientific process.

    These are just plain erroneous bases for any kind of fair intellectual criticism and direct a person with such starting points down paths of confusion.

    I just don’t know where to start in response to skinwalker’s response to my post. But lets try this:

    skinwalker wrote:

    Undoubtedly, there are those that would like to quote Alister McGrath, C.S. Lewis, Flew, or McDowell whilst attempting to demonstrate that there are atheists who are willing to abandon their "heathen ways" in favor of theological pursuits. But if such pursuits were truly logical, one would expect a far higher number of converts from atheism to theism. Instead, the number of conversions of the opposite seems far more significant.
    Since all the people skinwalker mentions are European or American, and converted from atheist to Christianity, I will comment only in those contexts. First of all, we all start out neutral with no beliefs and we end up with a current population which is apparently about 15 percent avowed atheist and which does not indicate to me that atheists are winning the battle for the minds and hearts of Europeans or Americans. Also, you must place this in the context of the two areas of the world where free expression allows the greatest freedom of choice.

    Now if skinwalker is talking about people who line up on one side and then change course in the middle of the stream, I am unaware of any statistical study. I do find it interesting that skinwalker can readily tick off several names of prominent persons who have converted to Christianity. I could not do the same for people who have left Christianity. Not that there are not such persons, it is just that they seem less publicized. I think Flew has backtracked a little, leaving himself in a position which neither atheists nor religious people quite trust.

    My sense is that skinwalker’s claim that there are more converts from theism to atheism than the other direction is unsupportable wishful thinking.

    Skinwalker had previously written:

    Cockamamie ideas "presented under the guise of 'scientific'" are called pseudoscience, and they are deserving of derision and ridicule. But this isn't exactly what you were getting at, I suspect. The people you mention probably exist, but there are far more of those that chose not to buy into sky-god superstitions simply because of their educations in science. They don't use science as the "excuse" to disbelieve your god, they disbelieve your god because the evidence for it is lacking, questionable, and largely discredited. Moreover, your god's apologists leave much to be desired in their logic when they attempt to convince the critical and freethinker that superstitions are the "safe bet."
    First of all, thanks for correcting my spelling of cockamamie. The idea that evidence is lacking, questionable and largely discredited is interesting in the face of claims that there is “no” evidence. But this is sort of a Mad Hatter situation in which evidence is whatever the Mad Hatter says it is. Without mention of what evidence is being judged lacking, questionable or discredited, it becomes far too general of a rhetorical statement to reply to other than to say that only 15 percent of the people have been convinced that is true, hardly resounding support for that position.

    Two or three times in his post, skinwalker suggests to the effect that just because something is possible, it is not manditory to believe it. Well, duhhhhhh.

    In relation to Bible stories, I would say they are seldom, if ever, the sole basis of someone’s belief in God. I don’t think you will ever find some one whose testimony is that he read the story of Noah and said, “Wow, that’s it for me, I finally believe I am a sinner and need to accept Jesus as my savior.” Nor do I remotely suspect that any individual similar story has been the sole basis of someone coming to a belief in God.

    Salvation is function of belief, not a function of knowledge. So long as one insists on having an intellectual, knowledgeable basis for belief, he cannot have it. Belief requires a step beyond.

    But there is kind of a ha ha here. skinwalker reminds me of what Josh McDowell says he was in college – an avowed atheist who delighted in antagonizing the Christian community. He became so desirous of discrediting Christianity that he set out to prove Christianity was absolute error in logic and history. His research, however, convinced him of just the opposite such that he has now become one of the most widely read Christian apologists of this day.

    I believe, before it is over, some adamant atheist who posts on this very forum will respond to the call of the Holy Spirit and accept salvation in Jesus.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Ophiolite wrote:

    I have never heard nor seen it written that a foot of limestone takes a specific amount of time to form. Indeed, the exact reverse is the case. The diversity of environments within which limestone can form means there are a diversity of depostion rates. In as much as we can isolate the various independent variables controlling this deposition rate then we can produce a range of numbers reflecting these rates for a variety of environments.
    Okay, maybe limestone was the wrong rock to use as an example. But if my limited information is correct, all rocks were either formed by a chemical reaction or from sedimentation.

    The rate at which rocks are formed by a chemical reaction is going to be determined by many factors, including the amounts of chemicals available and what the ratio of composition is of those chemicals, temperature and pressure and maybe a catalyst.

    The rate at which sedimentary rocks form I assume are based on varibles also. One would be the amount of sediment in a given area over a certain period of time. The sediment would have to get there by some driving, I assume those carried by water. The rate at which the water is either evaporated or seeps below the sediment and the pressure applied to the sediment, which would depend on the length of time for that additional material to form a significant layer above the sediment.

    If I am correct, I think the formation of some kinds of rock is used to determine the age of certain aspects of the earth.

    I saw a special on the Discovery Channel I think about a researcher who came up with the idea that T-Rex was not originally a predator, but was a scavenger. To prove his point he went some place where a T-Rex in imbedded in some rock formation had been dug up and the skeleton looked like a predator. But he dug down another few feet and found another T-Rex, whose skeleton had different features that made it look more like a scavenger. He said because of the time it took for this kind of rock to form, the T-Rex in the lower strata was some 50 to 60 thousand years older than the first one and proved his point. (Did not give any possibility that the T-Rex in the lower strata simply had some bad genetic traits)

    This story is not about T-Rex, it is about using the rate of formation of that particular rock and saying that is proof that the T-Rex he found was so much older than the first one.

    Am I supposed to believe that the first T-Rex, with his rather large size, layed there for several thousand years before just he was completely covered and the scavengers did not tear him apart? Am I supposed to believe that during these thousand of years, that the sun was not having an affect on his skin and his bones and that amount of time for him to be covered that there would not be noticalbe progression of the damage the sun had done?

    Well, I do not and cannot from a logical point of view believe that. More likely these two animals were covered fairly quicly and could be of nearly the same age. The formation rate of the rock I dont believe is the same in one area as the other and may not be anywhere close to the rate he said it was. There are just too many varibles.
    Yujikid
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  60. #59  
    Forum Senior silkworm's Avatar
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    The Theory of Evolution is a scientific explaination for the observed variation of the living things of this planet. It has overwhelming scientific support, so much so that it is the fundamental theory of biology, the study of living things. Things are not "believed" in science, they are either supported or not supported. There is no belief required to accept evolution. It has overwhelming, undeniable, support by scientists, people who study nature.

    The scientific community, and science itself, has no position on whether or not there is a creator. Supernatural beings or forces are not considered in science because science is limited by what it is, the study of the natural world. Its boundary is the universe. Supernatural forces can not be controlled for by science, so their existence is irrelevant.

    The position that The Theory of Evolution implies there is no God is a not a scientific one. You'd be hard pressed to find any scientific article in any reputable scientific journal that concludes on the existence of God. This marriage between evolution and atheism was not made by the scientific community, not by scientists. In fact there are many Christian scientists who accept evolution's scientific validity, and still go to church on Sunday.

    Evolution has nothing to do with religion. Science never made this position. Evolution is what it is, a scientifically based explaination for the variation of life on Earth. It does not comment on the existence of God.

    I must also ask, that if you are not a natural scientist, to please accept that you do not have the right to tell natural scientists what is valid evidence, and what are valid methods, and what is not. There is a profound difference between seeing something about evolution on TV, seeing a newspaper article about it, being told about it in church and ACTUALLY HONESTLY studying it.

    I don't go to your job and pretend to be an expert and tell you what to do. I grew up as an evangelical Christian, and although I am no longer religious myself, I do not beg for you to lose your faith. In fact I would fight against anyone who tried to compromise your freedom by taking it from you.

    I respect you, what you do, and your right to have faith. But I, as a natural scientist, do expect the same treatment, and I feel that I, and other natural scientists, deserve the same.
    "I would as soon vomit over him as buy him a hamburger."-Ophiolite about Richard Dawkins

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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I have a problem with skinwalker’s dual standard.
    The "duel standard" doesn't exist, though I can see how you'd like to point one out.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    On one hand, he will state that only religious skeptics are qualified to provide unbiased criticism of religious issues since their analysis is not so jaded that they fail to see the flaws.
    Let me clarify. I think I've only ever said that only the non-religious are qualified to criticize religion since they aren't beholden to the doctrines of individual cults and therefore can be expected to have the least ethnocentric perspective. Whether these non-religious are "religious skeptics" or not hasn't been mentioned by me (that I remember). I will say, however, that if these are skeptics in the true since of the word (rather than the pejorative), then skeptics are the best critics of any topic.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    On the other hand, he will suggest that evolutionary skeptics are not qualified to comment on evolution because their analysis is jaded by their disbelief.
    As I have just mentioned above, skeptics are the best critics of any topic, including evolutionary ones. I don't, however, feel that the fundamental religious make good critics of evolution since they consistently fail to avail themselves of available knowledge on the subject and clearly allow their belief regarding the doctrines of their individual cults to override their willingness to evaluate the evidence with objectivity. They make poor critics. Skepticism without religious ethnocentrism is not only healthy, but welcome.

    So, as you can see (or perhaps you choose not to), there is no double standard.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    skinwalker seems to insist that religious belief should somehow be capable of being quantified or qualified by some scientific process.
    Why shouldn't it be? It is a facet of humanity that is significant. It affects every single culture on the planet. It is both the cause of greatness and the cause of catastrophe -sometimes at the same time. Religion can be quantified, that much has been shown even by the religious. It can be qualified as well, by looking at trends within and without individual religious cults and beliefs.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    These are just plain erroneous bases for any kind of fair intellectual criticism and direct a person with such starting points down paths of confusion.
    The alternative is that we (as society) only allow criticism and comment of religious topics by the religious. This is clearly an intellectual problem since it caters to the beliefs of the religious as they seek only to re-enforce their individual doctrines and criticize or even deride the doctrines of others within religious belief. It is the outside perspective that is un-affected by religious doctrine and therefore capable of maintaining objectivity. I think the intellectual failure that daytonturner cites would exist only in the views of the religious -who would like to keep their opinions as the only relevant ones with regard to religion, thus preventing (or at least limiting) the dissenting voice.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Now if skinwalker is talking about people who line up on one side and then change course in the middle of the stream, I am unaware of any statistical study. I do find it interesting that skinwalker can readily tick off several names of prominent persons who have converted to Christianity. I could not do the same for people who have left Christianity. Not that there are not such persons, it is just that they seem less publicized. I think Flew has backtracked a little, leaving himself in a position which neither atheists nor religious people quite trust.

    My sense is that skinwalker’s claim that there are more converts from theism to atheism than the other direction is unsupportable wishful thinking.
    I'm saying that the the non-religious make up a third of the world's population. In the United States, atheism/agnosticism (according to various sources) is the third largest group after Catholics and Baptists. Most atheists I know personally were raised in the indoctrination of Christianity. I mentioned prominent atheist-to-theist converts because the invariably get mentioned in discussions like this. I'm not trying to avoid their existence, but they seem to be in a minority. True, this isn't data from a statistical source, its merely personal observation. But the trend seems to be more in de-conversion from Christianity and to becoming non-religious. Beyond that, I'm not really interested in debating the growth of atheism and agnosticism. But to share a few prominent ex-christians: Brian Flemming; John Loftus; Tom Harpur (now a deist, but with interesting spiritual concepts); Robert Price; Farrell Till; and Edward Babinski to name a select few.


    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    First of all, thanks for correcting my spelling of cockamamie. The idea that evidence is lacking, questionable and largely discredited is interesting in the face of claims that there is “no” evidence. But this is sort of a Mad Hatter situation in which evidence is whatever the Mad Hatter says it is. Without mention of what evidence is being judged lacking, questionable or discredited, it becomes far too general of a rhetorical statement to reply to other than to say that only 15 percent of the people have been convinced that is true, hardly resounding support for that position.
    Are you disagreeing that believers propose all sorts of "evidence" to support or justify their beliefs in various religious doctrines? If not, which of these alleged bits of "evidence" was not lacking or questionable? I'm sure we can all agree that there are many supposed claims of evidence that are completely discredited -even you would have difficulty accepting the claims of the late Ron Wyatt, eh? So, are my "mad hatter" comments so unjustified? If we look at the "evidence" supplied in support of the validity of any one religious cult's claims to date, we end up back to square one: with not a shred of viable evidence. No evidence for resurrection for instance. Or for immaculate conception. Both of which are claims that have empirical evidence to the contrary.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Two or three times in his post, skinwalker suggests to the effect that just because something is possible, it is not mandatory to believe it. Well, duhhhhhh.
    And yet, there are those who are willing to believe simply because it *is* possible. I echo your "duhhhhh" moment here.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    In relation to Bible stories, I would say they are seldom, if ever, the sole basis of someone’s belief in God. I don’t think you will ever find some one whose testimony is that he read the story of Noah and said, “Wow, that’s it for me, I finally believe I am a sinner and need to accept Jesus as my savior.” Nor do I remotely suspect that any individual similar story has been the sole basis of someone coming to a belief in God.
    Let us hope not. And I am in agreement with you. I don't think that the individual stories of biblical mythology are responsible for belief. Clearly, most people are born into the mind virus of cultural indoctrination. Otherwise, the trend would not be so consistent that those born of Christian families accepted Christianity, those of Muslim families accepted Islam, those of Indian families accept Hinduism, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    Salvation is function of belief, not a function of knowledge. So long as one insists on having an intellectual, knowledgeable basis for belief, he cannot have it. Belief requires a step beyond.
    Belief requires faith, blind trust in the absence (or even in spite of!) evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    But there is kind of a ha ha here. skinwalker reminds me of what Josh McDowell says he was in college – an avowed atheist who delighted in antagonizing the Christian community. He became so desirous of discrediting Christianity that he set out to prove Christianity was absolute error in logic and history. His research, however, convinced him of just the opposite such that he has now become one of the most widely read Christian apologists of this day.
    Yes, the predicted mention of the atheist-turned-christian. yawn.

    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    I believe, before it is over, some adamant atheist who posts on this very forum will respond to the call of the Holy Spirit and accept salvation in Jesus.
    Again, belief is faith -that blind trust without evidence. Perhaps it will be me dayton. Perhaps I'll be the next Josh McDowell.
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    silkworm wrote:

    I must also ask, that if you are not a natural scientist, to please accept that you do not have the right to tell natural scientists what is valid evidence, and what are valid methods, and what is not. There is a profound difference between seeing something about evolution on TV, seeing a newspaper article about it, being told about it in church and ACTUALLY HONESTLY studying it.
    I have nothing against science, I find it fascinating. Every thing we have today has come from the study of science.

    Science is what it is. The people who study the mechanizm of what they see, trying to determine the applications of those mechanizms and try to find the limits of those mechanizms, I feel by and large due their dead level best to fully understand what they see.


    I have only pointed out that in my experience, when theory has been used to actually produce a product, that it is found that sometimes both the mechanizms of the theory was incomplete and in a few places wrong.

    I think that expeience gives me the right to question the validity of other scientific theories.

    There have been some who have posted messages here that say if evidence was found to contridict the theory of evolution they would change their minds.

    I believe that any one who says that and really believes it violates the very laws of biology and genetics they use to support the theory of evolution. For they would be void of common human traits like pride, prejedous, arrogance and all those things that make it hard for human to admit an error. They also would be void of having an agenda. These common human traits cast doubts in my mind about the objectivity, at least of some, of the end result of a theory.

    Having an agenda would not in any way be limited to a believer in evolution. Take for example Walter Browns Hydroplate Theory. I cannot understand all the concepts of this theory and certainly cannot validate nor deny its credability from a technical view point. But I believe that his theory, right or wrong, was derived to dispell current geology theory that would place the age of the earth as more than 4 billion years.

    So you see, I question not only theories put forth by those who claim evolution, but I see reasons to question theories of those who do not.
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    skinwalker said:

    Again, belief is faith -that blind trust without evidence. Perhaps it will be me dayton. Perhaps I'll be the next Josh McDowell.

    And you would be an excellent one!
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    Relevant to this thread, I've written a review of Alister McGrath's Dawkins' God: Genes, Memes and the Meaning of Life, which can be found at my blog (that no one knows about in spite of my posting at blogs on a daily basis -trackbacks?...right).

    http://hotcupofjoe.blogspot.com/2006...memes-and.html

    McGrath and McDowell are atheist-turned-Christians that I'm a bit skeptical of. McGrath claims his "atheism" ended in his late teens, and I wonder if he simply wasn't exploring a rebellious period without a real atheistic point of view. I've met many a teen that professed no belief in God, but really hadn't rationalized his belief.

    Both he and McDowell appear to draw on their former "atheism" as a device of appeal more than a functional reality. They seem to be saying, "I was once blind, but now I see" which is a appeal that works well with the converted.
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    silkworm’s last post made it appear he had undergone a metamorphosis. It was almost difficult to believe the post came from his keyboard.

    That was until I got to the part that only religious people should be allowed to comment on religion. Oh, wait! It was that only people trained in some science should be allowed to discuss science. Left unsaid was whether those trained only in chemistry should be permitted to comment on physics.

    Up to that point, I absolutely agreed with what silkworm had to say about the relationship of evolution to creationism or the existence of God – and vice-versa. (Probably he will now have to go back and read his post to make sure he really meant what he said.)

    If silkworm and other defenders of evolution could only say:

    “Yes there are some rather large gaps in the fossil record. And no, we can’t quite explain the changing mechanisms. Yes, the Cambrian explosion is an anomaly which does not seem to fit any evolutionary paradigm. Yes, slow evolution concepts run into time problems. Yes, fast evolution concepts run into problems because it would seem we should have, by now been able to confirm some recent evolutionary change. The fits and starts paradigm is little more than a workaround to avoid explaining the timing issues. Nevertheless, in spite of these irregularities, I accept evolution as a reasonable explanation for the different life forms on earth.”

    Now a person who can say all of that (and a couple of people come close to that position), I can understand.

    But when people attempt to deny these circumstances within the doctrine of evolution or slough them off as insignificant or attempt to rehabilitate the information with erroneous or misleading information, I am inclined to think they are insecure in their stance.

    I think there is enough information available that one can logically accept the concept of evolution as a reasonable explanation even in the face of those problems.

    If supporters of evolution had the confidence in their position despite its problems, to accept that the problems exist, they would first recognize and tolerate that some people can logically remain skeptical and second, they would understand how some can believe in a supernatural being.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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  66. #65  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytonturner
    If silkworm and other defenders of evolution could only say:

    “Yes there are some rather large gaps in the fossil record. And no, we can’t quite explain the changing mechanisms. Yes, the Cambrian explosion is an anomaly which does not seem to fit any evolutionary paradigm. Yes, slow evolution concepts run into time problems. Yes, fast evolution concepts run into problems because it would seem we should have, by now been able to confirm some recent evolutionary change. The fits and starts paradigm is little more than a workaround to avoid explaining the timing issues. Nevertheless, in spite of these irregularities, I accept evolution as a reasonable explanation for the different life forms on earth.”
    Well I should hope that there are large gaps in the fossil record since the theory predicts that there should be, a lack of such gaps might lend credence to the idea the devil or someone put all those bones there just to mislead us. The Cambrian explosion fits quite well with my understanding of evolution.

    .....for pete sake....

    Slow evolution occurs in large populations in stable evironments. Fast evolution occurs in small populations (due to near extinction or isolation) in a changing environment. That is why the the large gaps in the fossil record are predicted.

    And where have you been.... There is plenty of evidence for recent evolutionary change. Particularly in the adaptation of animals to the changes that mankind has brought to the environment because mankind is creating an unstable fast changing environment which is bringing many species to the brink of extinction, so fast evolution is in effect. The only problem is that the human community which is bringing an end to the normal progress of human evolution by protecting is weaker members is slowly being extended to other species as well. And the environment is not so much changing as it is being completely overwhelmed. So it is more likely that the survival of these species will be due to our efforts to protect them rather than because of evolutionary adaptation. Therefore perhaps species like insects, rats and mice which we are least likely to protect may be the best places to look for evolutionary adaptation.

    Your criticism are pure rhetoric and I do not see why anyone with the least scientific background would be inclined to participate in such a farse. The irregularities you see are not bugs they are features.

    But I am willing to make the kind of admission that you ought to make. The idea of God as an all powerful, all knowing entity, who created everything and controls everything without leaving any verifiable evidence except a record called the Bible, with a description that is contradicted by all the scientific evidence, and who does not bother to lift a finger to protect people whom He supposedly loves and who really needs His help, seems pretty far fetched. And even though this idea of God provides a pretty lousy explanation of things in this world, I believe He exists anyway as a matter of faith, choice and my completely unverifiable subjective experience of life.

    But on the basis of this completely unscientific belief I think that God played an important role in development of the species. Perhaps the failure of species to adapt quickly enough to human disruptions of the environment may be because God is no longer helping them to adapt, perhaps this is because He expects us to take responsibility ourselves for the changes we are making in the environment.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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    When a specie adapts to a changing environment, it does not produce a new specie. While the adapted version servives better in the different environment, it may be that the unadapted version remains in the old environment or goes extinct. However, it this has not effected the development of a new specie, merely a new variety of an already existing specie. This is not an example that qualiies as evolution.

    Wish I could remember where Ophiolite's post on the problems of the Cambrian explosian was.

    The idea that there SHOULD be gaps in the fossil record is a recent adjustment of theory developed to coincide with observations that were not originally predicted.

    In order to be considered an observed event of evolution, the actual event would have to take place in a controlled environment. No such event has been recorded.

    The irregularities I pointed out do not invalidate evolution. They are merely irregularities in original theorums which have subsequently required the reformulation of some theorums which are still in the process of being validated or invalidated.

    Even with these irregularities and yet to be borne out reformulation, there remains plenty of information from which one can logically and reasonably support evolution while others can question.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard SkinWalker's Avatar
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    Of course there is plenty of information within the theory of evolution that provokes question. This is a good thing, however. Indeed, there will probably always be unanswered questions with regard to the various mechanisms of evolution.

    That doesn't detract from the fact that evolution, itself, is a fact. It really happened.

    There are, currently, many questions about the nature of gravity. Is there a graviton? Is gravity the result of a particle or wave function or both. Not being overly interested in or educated in physics, I merely accept that gravity is a fact and I await the conclusions of researchers in this area. Because there exists disagreements among researchers in this field, I daren't suggest there might be some question as to the reality of gravity.

    One might argue that everyone can readily observe "gravity in action" simply by tossing a ball in the air. But then another might also argue that evolution is readily observable simply by noting the clear evidence of change over time in the fossil record and the fact that there is speciation now.

    Gravity is a fact. Evolution is a fact.

    That aside, there are definately data in the fossil record that appear to reflect periods of rapid speciation. One theory is that this is explained by punctuated equilibrium -speciation is gradual over time but accelorates during periods of extreme environmental pressures: ice ages; post-ice ages; lulls in the magnetosphere that allow increased cosmic rays to get through; catastrophes like asteroids/comets; etc.

    The other theory, the one that I'm partial to based on the evidence and data I've read, is that speciation is gradual change over time and is relatively constant. However, a species that is of low population (and therefore without ability to leave significant forensic evidence in the fossil record) uses competetive release to take advantage of opportunities. This occurs when a species that has dominion over a niche is suddenly unable to take advantage of the niche -the environment changes drastically, for instance. The previous species goes extinct and another species is able to take advantage of the environment because it is suited to it.

    This may have occurred with the polar bear. Mind you, I've not bothered to study polar bears, so I'm making an example based on a bit of assumption, but the regions now inhabited by polar bears was once a much warmer climate. As the climate cooled, there may have existed a small species of bear that evolved to take advantage of the northern reaches. The lightest bears were most able to get close to their prey since their coats matched the snow, etc. The members of this early-Pleistocene minority probably found that by the peak of the Pleistocene they were better suited for the environment as other carnivorous mammals found conditions too harsh and migrated to warmer climates. The seal and the polar bear found they were well-suited (as did the caribou, reindeer, mammoth, etc.).

    If, indeed, the reason for its "appearance" in the evoloutionary process was related to competitive release, I would expect that the earliest examples of the polar bear in the fossil record should be during the mid-Pleistocene. That's not to say that the polar bear suddenly evolved, it most likely evolved long before but existed in a much smaller population until conditions favored its survival in a wider range.

    Interestingly enough, the polar bear's niche is fast disappearing. As it goes extinct, other species will take competitive advantage of the niche as it is released and modified. Some species will be better suited.

    There is also the theory of competitive exclusion, in which a species is so much better suited for an environment than another that it limits the other species' population growth. Kudzu in the American South East is an example, as is the introduction of several species of fish in the north-central lakes of the United States. These types of change in speciation can have cascading effects on the entire ecosystem. Looking at such changes in the fossil record would likely give the appearance of sudden shifts in speciation.

    The fossil record is incomplete, no anthropologist or paleontologist could argue otherwise. The very nature of fossilization is such a rare occurrance that despite the many thousands of fossil species that have been found, we've only scratched the surface of what was.

    One thing that has not occurred, however -the one thing that would send the entire fact of evolution tumbling like a house of cards- is an out of place fossil. Finding a rabbit in the Cambrian would do that.

    Evolution is a fact. It really happened. Scientists who concern themselves with research that contributes to the overall understanding of evolution, but disagree about details of the mechanisms, still agree that evolution is a fact.
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    skinwalker’s post is well taken and represents more what I think supporters of evolution should be doing if they would like to create a broader understanding.

    skinwalker does not overtly attempt to sweep the anomalies under the carpet as if hiding them, nor does he deny their existence.

    But does revert to one unsubstantiated claim.

    He says:

    clear evidence of change over time in the fossil record and the fact that there is speciation now.
    As I mentioned previously, there is no observed evidence of any current speciation. We have no idea how often mutations effecting changes may occur, nor how long, or if, an adaptation takes to provide a new specie which is incapable of mating with surviving members of the pre-adapted version.

    If speciation is taking place “now,” one would think such evidence would be at hand and would be or would have been the hottest topic in science. If this had taken place anytime in the last 150 years, it would have made the front page of just about every newspaper in the world and would be the the most important chapter of any biology text. No such event has taken place and recorded.

    I am merely suggesting that evolution enthusiasts would be far better positioned to agree that there are anomalies and irregularities and, while evolution enthusiasts are satisfied with current explanations, they also understand that skeptics may not be satisfied.

    I understand that there are religious skeptics and I understand they have rational questions about various religious beliefs and practices. I also understand that explanations which fully satisfy my intellect and spirit, do not satisfy the skeptic.

    It will always cause conflict when one begins to assert beliefs as facts.
    Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. -- Albert Einstein

    If God DID do all of this, is He not the greatest scientist of all? -- dt, 2005
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    I don't want to insult anyone, but this reminds me an old joke
    that I invented during rather fanatic discussion between creatonists
    and evolutionists...

    an evolutionist and a creationist talked to each other in a bar:

    E: I have proofs from God himself that evolution is the truth!!!

    C: No, you don't have on. God created all so your evidences are falsery.

    E: But, of course you must commit that they're the truth because the
    evidence came from the God himself...

    C: God created all, and all your proofs against it are non-exiting,
    even you say that they're from a Godly-source.

    E: So you're saying that God is also non-exiting?

    C: No, I didn't say that. All I said that you don't have evidence for the evolution.
    Machina multa minax minitatur maxima muris

    Carminis Iliaci libros consumpsit asellus. O Fatum Troiae! Aut ecus aut asinus!

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    SkinWalker wrote:


    The fossil record is incomplete, no anthropologist or paleontologist could argue otherwise. The very nature of fossilization is such a rare occurrance that despite the many thousands of fossil species that have been found, we've only scratched the surface of what was.

    In possible explanations for "Fast" versus "Slow" evolution, SkinWalker wrote:

    If, indeed, the reason for its "appearance" in the evoloutionary process was related to competitive release, I would expect that the earliest examples of the polar bear in the fossil record should be during the mid-Pleistocene. That's not to say that the polar bear suddenly evolved, it most likely evolved long before but existed in a much smaller population until conditions favored its survival in a wider range
    .


    I can make an assumption based on the two above statements, that since the fossil record has only scratched the surface of what was and the possiblitiy that some species may have been in "Small Numbers", waiting for the conditions to change that favored its survival, the probability of finding fossils of species in small populations should be less than those of Larger populations.

    Therefore, it is possible to yet find fossils that are out of place. Therefore evolution is not a fact, but current theory.
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    It is also possible that I may one day throw my ball up and have it not come down or wake up to a world where the sun fails to "rise" in the east.

    But I'll be willing to accept that gravity and a rotating-revolving Earth are facts in spite of the "theories" they are grounded on.

    The definition of "theory" in science is not the same as the definition that exists in colloquial speak. In science, something can be both "theory" and "fact." Moroever just is a diminitive term that doesn't work with the scientific version. I'll not bore you with a class on the scienctific use of theory, you can get that elsewhere. Suffice to say "just a theory" doesn't work when describing scientific theories in the same way it might when you have a theory about why grandma keeps stealing flatware from the Golden Corral.

    The plain truth of the matter is that there is a preponderance of evidence, housands upon thousands of recovered fossils, which demonstrate the fact of evolution. I dare say your doctor would order open-heart surgery working with a tiny fraction of evidence in comparison should he think it necessary to save your life and you would agree on it without question.

    The difference is, you don't allow the doctor's knowledge of anatomy and physiology contradict your belief in God. You *do,* however, appear threatened by what science has to say about how life has come to be in the last few hundred million years, since this directly contradicts one or more myths of the bible (which are "fact" from your perspective). The same science that has led to the modern understanding of cardiovascular health has provided us with understanding of evolutionary mechanisms. Yet your still picking and choosing what to "believe" in to protect your superstitions.
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    SkinWalker wrote:

    The difference is, you don't allow the doctor's knowledge of anatomy and physiology contradict your belief in God. You *do,* however, appear threatened by what science has to say about how life has come to be in the last few hundred million years, since this directly contradicts one or more myths of the bible
    Wrong again. I, not being a member of the "Scientific Community" and not driven by the ego of self intellect, allows me to think outside the box more.

    If there is a supernatural being who had any part in the creation of what we now see as this universe, then that being would have to have powers that are greater than ours.

    Having powers greater than ours would mean that what we can do and what we know is limited to what we need to not only sustain ourselves, but to provide us with the knowledge to adapt to changing environments.

    Therefore, the science we have defined would be within these limits.

    Just think of the problems the use of some of the science that we now have when put into practice has hurt our environment and created terrible weapons.

    Just imagine, if we had a knowledge of science outside what we currently have, what some tyranical person could and would do with it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    SkinWalker wrote:

    The difference is, you don't allow the doctor's knowledge of anatomy and physiology contradict your belief in God. You *do,* however, appear threatened by what science has to say about how life has come to be in the last few hundred million years, since this directly contradicts one or more myths of the bible
    Wrong again. I, not being a member of the "Scientific Community" and not driven by the ego of self intellect, allows me to think outside the box more.
    I disagree. And I say this because its been very clear that "outside the box" thinking is far from how you and others that are infected with the mind-virus of faith view the world. Forgive my pejorative characterizations, but I feel free to do so with your derision of science as "driven by the ego of self-intellect." Indeed, I feel free to point out that science is driven by the search for truth, in spite of the threat that truth might have on the ego of superstitious belief. There are certainly those within the scientific community that are "egotistical" as I'm sure there are those in the theological. But "outside the box" is certainly not characteristic of those who limit their view of the world to a cult doctrine written in antiquity, most of which is plagerized from neighboring cultures.

    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    If there is a supernatural being who had any part in the creation of what we now see as this universe, then that being would have to have powers that are greater than ours.
    No kidding. But the sad fact of the matter is that a "creator" need not be postulated in order to explain the universe. A "creator" provokes the question, "who created the creator?" If the answer is the creator is timeless (whatever that would mean), then that implies that the universe is also "timeless." Any universe capable of creating a god is certainly capable of creating life as we know it, evolved as we have observed. Thus, no need for a creator. Indeed, there is no evidence that a creator exists, but that isn't questioned by the un-reasoned query of the thread title, which is How can you believe in Evolution?

    The answer to which is very simple: there is a preponderance of evidence to suggest that evolution occurred. The evidence is testable and predictable and gives rise to new questions, some of which have been answered with predictive results. No other explanation seems to work. The explanation is either Darwinian evolution or something else that we have yet to discover.

    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    Just think of the problems the use of some of the science that we now have when put into practice has hurt our environment and created terrible weapons.
    Science hasn't done a thing to harm the environment. Science is merely a method of observing and discovering the universe. Man, on the other hand, has been very destructive of both the environment and of itself. Man has abused science to be sure, but if I were to accept your logic, would not I be able to draw the conclusion that religion is just as harmful? After all, religion is probably the single biggest factor in explaining human suffering on the planet. Indeed, I contend that "end-times" belief is most responsible for the destruction of society and the planet. If you believe in the mythology of "end-times," what use do you have for an environment that will no longer matter soon? What good reason do you have to believe that conserving or protecting the environment, natural resources, or society at large is worth attempting. End times nutters believe they are all going to be part of the mythical "rapture" and the world will be "left behind."

    Total bunk. Undoubtedly, someone (perhaps yourself) will chime in with how it is "christian responsibility" to be a good steward of "god's creation," but such thinkers are a minority in the modern mind-virus of belief that has swept the largest, most powerful nation on the planet. One need only look at the popularity of the Left Behind series by LaHaye -a complete work of fiction, but one that is believed and has a cult-following of millions.

    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    Just imagine, if we had a knowledge of science outside what we currently have, what some tyranical person could and would do with it.
    And so the old (hundreds of years, by the way) anti-science argument continues to manifest itself. Sorry, it doesn't wash. For just as there are those (usually with deeply held religious beliefs) willing to use discoveries of science for malice, there are those willing to use science for positive purpose; purposes that contribute greatly to society. Diseases have be eradicated; average life-expectancies are increased; infant mortality rates decreased; solutions to existing environmental problems implemented; and so on.

    Science will not ignore discovery and inquiry simply because the superstitious of the world are afraid their houses of cards will be toppled.

    Evolution is a fact, albeit one that the ignorant will deny in favor of faith -that blind-trust without evidence.
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    SkinWalker wrote:

    And so the old (hundreds of years, by the way) anti-science argument continues to manifest itself. Sorry, it doesn't wash. For just as there are those (usually with deeply held religious beliefs) willing to use discoveries of science for malice, there are those willing to use science for positive purpose; purposes that contribute greatly to society. Diseases have be eradicated; average life-expectancies are increased; infant mortality rates decreased; solutions to existing environmental problems implemented; and so on.
    No where have I said anything anti science. I am fascinated with it. I made a living using it.

    The only thing I have questioned is the belief in the evolutionary theory that states that all life on earth came from a single organism. There is no evidence that a cow came from a horse or visaversa. There is no evidence that a lion came from an elephant or visaversa. There is no evidence that a monkey came from a wooly mamoth or visaversa.

    I know I am using examples that are riduclous, but other than the limited fossil records (which by the way, the Pre Cambrian Explosion creates problems for the Original Darwin Theory), there has been no witnessing of one kind or class of animal becoming another type.
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    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    The only thing I have questioned is the belief in the evolutionary theory that states that all life on earth came from a single organism. There is no evidence that a cow came from a horse or visaversa. There is no evidence that a lion came from an elephant or visaversa. There is no evidence that a monkey came from a wooly mamoth or visaversa.

    I know I am using examples that are riduclous, but other than the limited fossil records (which by the way, the Pre Cambrian Explosion creates problems for the Original Darwin Theory), there has been no witnessing of one kind or class of animal becoming another type.
    Maybe not the way you describe it but certainly adaptation is going on all the time. Mutating germs seem to manage to become something different in a very short time. The time required for germs to accomplish this is much different than for the higher animals if only for frequency of procreation.
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    The pre-cambrian/cambrian-explosion does not create a problem for evolution in any sense that it is suggestive that evolution could not have occurred. For reasons offered elsewhere in this and other threads.

    Having said that, I'll also note that no one is suggesting that "lions came from elephants" etc. There is, however, much evidence that lions and elephants share common ancestors.
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    zinjanthropos wrote:

    Maybe not the way you describe it but certainly adaptation is going on all the time. Mutating germs seem to manage to become something different in a very short time. The time required for germs to accomplish this is much different than for the higher animals if only for frequency of procreation
    I agree that things like bacteria adapt very quickly. These are some of the most important organizms on earth. Without them, things would not rot or decay. Our digestive systems would not work. Goats would not be able to eat toxic plants, etc.

    You can take bacteria living on human waste and slowly (period of a couple of weeks) introduce them to chemical waste and in that short period of time, they will learn to feed and exist on harsh chemicals.

    Open cooling water systems have bacteria in them. Some of them will collect at certain sites within the piping, feeding on other organizms. If the site becomes too populated, the bacteria at the bottom of the pile cannot get enough oxygen to live in that current state. So some of them start changing to anerobic bacteria and will feed of the piping itself, even if it is stainless steel.

    Observations by science has seen bacteria change quickly, but in no case have they seen bacteria suddenly have a backbone. In no case have they seen bacteria develop an exoskeleton. In no case have they seen bacteria develop wings. In no case have they seen bacteria turn into a flowering plant.

    It would seem to me that a study of adaptation of bacteria, that adapts very quick to changing environments, would seem to be the best way for man to observe bacteria becoming a common ancestor for another class of life. That has not been witnessed.
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    The adaptation you are speaking about in bacteria is called evolution.
    The emergence of radically different types of bacteria is called speciation.
    There is a very large difference between experiments conducted over years or observations made over decades and the billions of years of time during which small changes may coalesce into major ones.

    With barely contained frustration, Ophiolite.
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    SkinWalker wrote:

    Having said that, I'll also note that no one is suggesting that "lions came from elephants" etc. There is, however, much evidence that lions and elephants share common ancestors.
    But you are saying the same thing, that at one time some animal on earth became a different animal with entirely different appearances, traits, and habits.

    You would have to admit that lions and elephants are quite different.
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    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    You would have to admit that lions and elephants are quite different.
    I would certainly not admit this, for it is patently not true. The similarities between the two abound. Gross morphology; skeletal structure; internal organs; cellular types; mode of reproduction; locomotion; character of nervous system; onotogological character; life span.
    The two creatures are very similar indeed.
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    Ophiolite wrote:

    The adaptation you are speaking about in bacteria is called evolution.
    The emergence of radically different types of bacteria is called speciation.
    There is a very large difference between experiments conducted over years or observations made over decades and the billions of years of time during which small changes may coalesce into major ones.
    According to your definition of evolution and only on that definition, I too believe in evolution. All species have the ability to adapt to thier environment.

    Man is no different and according to the fossil records is a fairly new comer to earth. Yet we have people that have adapted to live in very high altitudes. We have people that have adapted to live in very hot dry areas. We have people who have adapted to live in very cold climates. Yet man has not been around for billions of years.

    To say that all these different adaptations were merely a function of a common ancestor who for some reason suddenly had offsprings of so many varieties all over the earth that only the varieties capable of living in that environment remained. That the others died out or somehow knew that there was a better environment somewhere on earth and simply migrated to those unknown places even though they had no idea of which direction to take seems highly unreasonable to me.

    Yet with all the differences between these different humans, including things that cause us to classify them as different races, they according to evolution are still the same specie because all the races can still reproduce with each other.
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    "Man" (meaning H. sapiens) is a relative "new-comer," but hominids have been on the planet for millions of years. The earliest hominid species are evident to about 2.5 million years ago.

    Evolution of early hominids to humans isn't a "sudden" event either. Think of it as being similar to the yarn you can buy that has all the colors of the rainbow in it. There is no specific point at which blue becomes red, yet we can look at two different colors and identify them as such. The stuff in the middle gets a bit subjective, but you can almost identify the point at which there is no more blue -but not quite.

    This is how speciation works, except the yarn of time is much, much longer and the cline is much more gradual. As ophiolite pointed out, elephants and lions are very similar and, as we trace their ancestory back, the similarities increase until we find we cannot separate between the two lines.

    I would highly recommend The Ancestor's Tale by Richard Dawkins as well as, perhaps, his The Selfish Gene. These are two well-written and informative texts that anyone who has an even passing interest in evolution (pariticularly if they disagree!) would want to read.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkinWalker
    I would highly recommend The Ancestor's Tale by Richard Dawkins as well as, perhaps, his The Selfish Gene. These are two well-written and informative texts that anyone who has an even passing interest in evolution (pariticularly if they disagree!) would want to read.
    Whereas I would not reccomend these at all. This is more philosophy than science. No doubt SkinWalker eats that stuff up but I have little doubt that you would be disgusted after the first paragraph. So I would reccommend a Biology text or looking up specific topics like the Cambrian explosion or hominids. Scientific American has also had quite a few excellent articles over the years (it is the only publication I subscribe to).

    P.S. I admit I have not looked at "The Anscestor's Tale" but author who wrote "The Selfish Gene" is not likely to have "change his stripes" that much in a different book.
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    It would seem that you haven't read either text. Perhaps you would at least give them a cursory glance before dismissing them?

    Dawkins is, without doubt, a figure that draws much attention from the religous believers becaus of his staunch atheism, but there is very little of his "philosophy" in either book and only his expertise, which is biology/zoology.
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    When reading books of the advanced mechanism of science, unless you are schooled in that, the terminology and the mechanics behind the terminology is greek to the reader.

    I have read a book, although not on evolution per say, but on the complications of DNA ever forming accidently. The book is called Tornado in a Junkyard and is written by James Perloff.

    Have any of you read this book and if you have, does it accurately explain the complicated structure of DNA?

    If you haven't read this book, get a copy and read it. It is not very long and I would like to hear your opinion on the book.
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    I can tell you that DNA didn't form by accident and the "tornado in a junkyard" analogy is rather old and misinformed, if the title of the book is any indication.

    The two books that I mentioned are written with the intention to be widely read. You needn't be a science major to understand them and, if you only read the first chapter of The Selfish Gene, you'll gain a good insight of evolutionary mechanism and theory (not "theory" in the colloquial sense).

    In the mean time, I'll keep my eyes open for the title you mentioned.
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    As you guessed by its title, Tornado in a Junkyard is not favorable to evolution, but it attempts to explain the complex nature of DNA. And that is why I would like you to read it and tell me if the description of the nature of DNA is anywhere near right.

    Many books are biased in one way or the other and it is a human trait to accept a books content or not, based on what a person either believes or thinks.

    No one is completely objective, but knowing this, I still would like you to comment on the technical parts of the book.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    P.S. I admit I have not looked at "The Anscestor's Tale" but author who wrote "The Selfish Gene" is not likely to have "change his stripes" that much in a different book.
    A suggestion for you Mitchell. I considered Dawkins the most arrogant, self satisfied, smug, unscientific purveyor of popular evolution on the face of the planet, simplifying theory to the point of pointlessness, and glossing over genuine gaps in our knowledge. I would as soon vomit over him as buy him a hamburger.

    After having read the first three of four chapter's of Ancestor's Tale I have forgiven him. See what you think.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    A suggestion for you Mitchell. I considered Dawkins the most arrogant, self satisfied, smug, unscientific purveyor of popular evolution on the face of the planet, simplifying theory to the point of pointlessness, and glossing over genuine gaps in our knowledge. I would as soon vomit over him as buy him a hamburger.

    After having read the first three of four chapter's of Ancestor's Tale I have forgiven him. See what you think.
    I did read "The Selfish Gene" and I find your description adequate. But I will have to borrow the other book and take a look since you say it is different, and I will not post in this thread again until I have.

    P.S. Looks like SkinWalker really does eat that stuff up. I guess I tickled his unfunny bone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    Man is no different and according to the fossil records is a fairly new comer to earth. Yet we have people that have adapted to live in very high altitudes. We have people that have adapted to live in very hot dry areas. We have people who have adapted to live in very cold climates. .
    All these adaptations are minor. I have lived at high altitude in Mexico. I have lived in the equatorial rain forest. I have spent time in Siberia at minus 35 Celsius. None of these presented a problem to me.

    Please note that race is no longer a biologically accepted concept. There just aren't enough consistent differences between the so-called races to justify it. There is far less genetic variation amongst man than amongst any other common mammal. This is generally considered to be the result of a choke point around 70,000 years ago when the planetary population was reduced to two or three thousand individuals.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitchellmckain
    P.S. I admit I have not looked at "The Anscestor's Tale" but author who wrote "The Selfish Gene" is not likely to have "change his stripes" that much in a different book.
    I'm afraid I haven't read the Ancestor's Tale myself, but I am perhaps more inclined to give people a little credit for having come on a bit, not only in attitude but in accessibility and writing style.... over a period of thirty years!

    Me, I'm a Blind Watchmaker fan. I did try the S.G., but found it quite indigestible. Though not as smug, etc, as Ophiolite did.
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    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    Okay, maybe limestone was the wrong rock to use as an example. But if my limited information is correct, all rocks were either formed by a chemical reaction or from sedimentation.
    For completeness you really ought to add in evaporation (which is a physical process) and organic activity (which strictly speaking is biochemical rather than chemical). Of course these classifications are artificial and the processes overlap to varying degrees.
    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    The rate at which rocks are formed by a chemical reaction is going to be determined by many factors, .....
    The rate at which sedimentary rocks form I assume are based on varibles also.........
    Absolutely correct. It is precisely these variables that an army of sedimentologists, stratigraphers, paleontologists, micro-palaeontologists, geochemists, geomorphologists and geochronologists have been investigating continously for over one and a half centuries. Would you concede there is a smidgeon of a possibility that the thousands of investigators, with their millions of hours in the field and the laboratory, may have been able to determine some of these variables with a reasonable accuracy?
    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    If I am correct, I think the formation of some kinds of rock is used to determine the age of certain aspects of the earth.
    Not that I am aware of. Or do you mean they may be used to estimate the length of time over which a particular rock sequence was deposited? If that is your thought, you are correct.

    Thus we know from direct observation that in some lakes we can get a layer deposited annually. In other settings similar, but not identical, layers are laid down at time of floods. When we examine lithified sediments and see these same characteristics it is reasonable to assign the first to an annual depositional regime, the other to one where periodic flooding occurs. What is so controversial, or potentially misleading, about that?
    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    Discovery Channel...researcher suggests T-Rex not predator, but scavenger. T-Rex embedded in rock looked like a predator. A few feetlower another T-Rex looked more like a scavenger. He did not consider that the T-Rex in the lower strata simply had some bad genetic traits.
    I've condensed oyur quote. You make an excellent point. That's one reason I don't accept at face value anything on Discovery Channel. If it interests me enough I dig out the original research, or at least a competent review of it. However, that was not your main point of the story:
    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    Am I supposed to believe that the first T-Rex, with his rather large size, layed there for several thousand years before just he was completely covered and the scavengers did not tear him apart? Am I supposed to believe that during these thousand of years, that the sun was not having an affect on his skin and his bones and that amount of time for him to be covered that there would not be noticalbe progression of the damage the sun had done?
    No. you are not supposed to believe that at all. You have revealed yourself through your observations to be intelligent. I urge you, therefore, to stop being obtuse. It almost appears deliberate.

    You are supposed to believe that this was one of those most fortuitous incidents where, whether by sandstorm, mudlside, or flood, the remains of the T-Trex were buried rapidly, so that neither the elements or animals could disturb its remains. It is precisely because of the circumstances preventing fossilisation (some of which you have scathingly identified) that there are so few fossils available for our study. If even 1% of creatures that had lived had fossilised we would overrun with more missing links than you could poke a Young Earth Creationist at.
    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    Well, I do not and cannot from a logical point of view believe that. More likely these two animals were covered fairly quicly and could be of nearly the same age. The formation rate of the rock I dont believe is the same in one area as the other and may not be anywhere close to the rate he said it was. There are just too many varibles.
    Ah yes. You would rather accept your own uninformed view of what we know or do not know about sedimentation rates than those of the army of sedimentologists, etc referred to earlier.

    You seem to think you have a special brand of logic and objectivity. It does not look like that from where I am sitting. Scepticism based on insufficient or contrary evidence is one thing. Scepticism based on a disinclination to believe is quite another.
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    Well I have picked up a copy of "The Ancestors Tale", and have read enough to offer my preliminary opinion. And I can agree with Ophiolite that Ophiolites description:

    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    the most arrogant, self satisfied, smug, unscientific purveyor of popular evolution on the face of the planet, simplifying theory to the point of pointlessness, and glossing over genuine gaps in our knowledge.
    does not apply to this new book of his. He is definite an older and wiser writer. It still waxes philosophical at times but it does not indulge in the kind of ideologically motivated rhetoric which characterizes "The Selfish Gene". I did not even find the portions which I read to be offensive. It is a rather large book and incredibly ambitious trying to date when the human species can claim common ancestors with other species on the planet. I doubt that the scientific support for his claims can be solid. There clearly must be a lot of speculation involved. BUT I actually like that. I get tired of too much insistence on absolute proof and the refusal to take a few leaps of faith and speculate where the evidence leads us.

    But all this does not mean that I would reccommend this to someone who already has a tendency to indulge in predigested reports of biology aimed at ideological ends. I have to reccommend something which sticks closer to the science and only the science. Over-reaching speculative works like this, however much I may enjoy and respect its ambition, is not the direction I would point someone who has been arguing against evolution. For such a person the basic mechanics of the theory, the role of the theory in the science of biology, and the nature of the supportive evidence are all more important. Some biographical accounts of Darwin's work and struggles would also help as well, I think.

    I should say, however, that his claim in this book, that biologists already have their "unified field theory" in the theory of evolution, is quite laughable. If we are going to make silly analogies then I would say the theory of evolution is more like its Newtonian theory, but I think it might be close to a "quantum breakthrough" in the applications of chaos science, that is if biologists can let go of their "Newtonian" (Darwinian) mindset long enough. The analogy is of course poor, but Dawkins started it.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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    I think it can be easy, particularly in a strict and pedantic environment such as this one, to be a little over-critical of a book which isn't intended as a scientific treatise, but as a popular essay. In those terms, it's a reasonable metaphor for him to make, if it reflects his opinion. That opinion may be misguided - in the long view of future history - but it's a good way for him to get his point across.

    I may well give the AT a try, although I wasn't particularly going to buy a book which I already agree with! His recent collection of essays A Devil's Chaplain is quite a good read, and probably easy to drop in and out of.
    "It is comparatively easy to make clever guesses; indeed there are theorems, like 'Goldbach's Theorem' which have never been proved and which any fool could have guessed." G.H. Hardy, Fourier Series, 1943
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  96. #95 Re: How can you believe in Evolution? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by yujikid
    Evolutionary theory has many problems, but none bigger than how life began. That is such a problem that that subject has been split away from evolutionary topics and the assumption is for the evolutionary theory is that life did somehow accidently start.

    Those who support evolution will offer up sort of simplified ideas for how life began, but those Biologist and Chemist who are studing this very complicated issue have yet to come up with a theory that they can agree to. The very detailed and comprehensive science they know so far has kept them from getting to first base.

    There is an answer, THERE IS A CREATOR.

    ...And where is your proof of a creator?
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  97. #96  
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    This is why Creationism does not work

    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?art...EDF&sc=I100322
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  98. #97  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope mitchellmckain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silas
    I may well give the AT a try, although I wasn't particularly going to buy a book which I already agree with! His recent collection of essays A Devil's Chaplain is quite a good read, and probably easy to drop in and out of.
    A theistic evolutionist I talked with on the christianforums reccommended Dawkins book "Climbing Mount Improbable", so I picked up a copy and so far it is fascinating. It focuses on an issue of particular interest to me - that of design. I may make more comments when I have read more of it.
    See my physics of spaceflight simulator at http://www.relspace.astahost.com

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  99. #98  
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    It amazes me that people can still deny Evolution. Like denying the earth is spherical or denying heliocentricism.
    Omnia dicta fortiora si dicta Latina
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    primates and hominids share the same mutation that prevents our bodies from producing vitamin C?

    an example of evolution
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  101. #100  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiberius
    It amazes me that people can still deny Evolution. Like denying the earth is spherical or denying heliocentricism.
    Long ago I gave up worrying about being thought arrogant, conceited and elitist. The truth is that the majority of the planet's human population are not especially bright, do not understand how to employ critical thinking, are gullible, followers rather than leaders, and have limited interest in working out anything for themselves.
    Consequently, I am not surprised that many people deny the reality of evolution. I am, however, hugely disappointed.
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