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Lecture Time: Evolution

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brihard View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brihard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 July 2006 at 4:23pm
When I get back form supper I've got some stuff to add to this.
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Clark Kent View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Clark Kent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 July 2006 at 4:37pm

Originally posted by mbro mbro wrote:

... we need to state that evolution != big bang, they are two different things and deal with entirely different issues.

Good point.

And I'll add abiogenesis to the mix.

 

In short:

Creationism is a centralized theory that covers the origins of the universe, the origins of life, and the origins of species (including man).

It takes (at least) three scientific theories to accomplish that:

1.  Big Bang.  This theory governs the origins of the universe, or, to be more specific, the beginning of time.  It is a spectacularly well supported theory.  While there are of course plenty of discussion about the minor issues, the central theme is pretty much settled at this point.  The big bang theory does NOT address what came "before" the beginning of the universe.  This is (at least for now) unmeasurable to us, and therefore beyond the scope of science.

2.  Abiogenesis.  This theory governs the origins of life.  In particular, it suggests that life spontaneously came to be through chemical reactions in the "primodial soup".  This theory is very much in its infancy, and does not have a substantial amount of evidence to back it up.  It is quite controversial, and is considered by some to be speculative.

3.  Evolution.  This theory governs the origins of species, including the pathways and mechanisms of same.  It is quite well proven.  Evolution does not address the origins of life, only the origins of species.

 

The important feature here is that these are all independent theories.  Criticisms of abiogenesis, for instance (of which there are many), do not in any way impact the validity of the big bang or evolution.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote procarbinefreak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 July 2006 at 4:41pm

Although this is a good thread packed with good info...

 

too much thinking for summer.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote battlefreak Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 July 2006 at 4:51pm
Originally posted by Monk Monk wrote:

Two words... Intelligent Design....
two more words .... missing link
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Clark Kent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 July 2006 at 4:53pm

Originally posted by battlefreak battlefreak wrote:

Originally posted by Monk Monk wrote:

Two words... Intelligent Design....
two more words .... missing link

I missed the original Intelligent Design post. Was there a specific question about ID?  I would be happy to talk about that as well.

As to the missing link - battlefreak, I addressed the missing link in my long post on the first page.  If there is something else you would like to know about the missing link, please let me know.  I can elaborate.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rico's Revenge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 July 2006 at 4:54pm

Dang it... I was hoping not to get into a long conversation.   But I like discussions with Clark too much.   The little lezbo actually thinks about the answer given.     And Clark, no complaining, you brought this on yourself!   Based on your original post, I don't have to prove Creationism or any other type of "where did we come from" theories... I just have to prove that Evolution is correctly labelled a Theory.   I can assure you that I will not fall into the percieved 99% of mis/underinformed people on this one.

This topic is pretty close to home since my father was a science teacher for 36 years in the public school system.   The last 10 he was constantly in a battle with the NY State Education Committee because he would present both Evolution and Creation equally, present a list of suggested study material supporting both theories and allow his students to make their own choice.   I was in his class (yeah, that sucked) and the tests on this portion of the year were not graded.

Originally posted by Rico's Revenge Rico's Revenge wrote:

...the origin of the World...

Yup, you wrecked me on this one.   Poor choice of wording given your topic... sorry about that, I was trying to get out the door for lunch and my stomach got in the way of my brain.   Now to a more complete counter-point:

I am well aware that there would not be only one "missing link" that ties everything in.   There would be thousands if not millions of sub-species that would be involved.   Based on those numbers, there should be some type of fossil record for the interim periods.  

I'm not trying to prove or disprove anything other than the perception of Evolution being fact.   The root of my irritation, as indirectly alluded to above, is the tendancy of the secular academic community to teach the Theory of Evolution not as a suggested possibility, but as 100% fact and as the only "logical" explanation for the current populace of the Earth.   You pointed out yourself that the theory is constantly "evolving" (pun intended).   Therefore how can it be taught as fact?   Throughout the years there have been many "proofs" of evolution which have been proven false.   So much so that:

Originally posted by W.B. Provine, Atheistic Evolutionist W.B. Provine, Atheistic Evolutionist wrote:

"Most of what I learned of the field [evolutionary biology] in graduate (1964-68) school is either wrong or significantly changed."

Next subject:   I feel the need to correct you on your use of the adjective "empirical" which according to wickopedia, "refers to the use of working hypotheses that are testable using observation or experiment."  However, casting aside the semantics of proper word usage, there is no 1st hand knowledge or experimentally fortified evidence that points to Evolution as more than a guess.

Age of the Earth:   One of the largest issues that create a rift in schools of thought is dating of the Earth.   The evolutionary process would take millions of years whereas the creationary process would take very little time.   Therefore, in order for the evolutional theory to even be remotely considered as plausible, the Earth must be proven to be extremely ancient, millions if not billions of years old.  Obviously, the opposite would be true from a creationism stand point.   This is where dating methods come in and screw everything up for everybody...

First off, I'm not sure who the "CRI" is (Creationary Research Institute?) but, as I said, C14 dating is very inaccurate regardless of who is saying it.   You touched on it in your other post in that with the half-life of C14 being less than 6000 years, after 50,000 years there would be no measurable amount of C14.   The use of this data always confused me since based on that, if there is measurable C14, then it would be obvious to me that the object being dated would be less than 50,000 years old, not millions of years.   Also, to correct your examples used:

Quote If C14 is unreliable, then we cannot accept the dating of Pompeii, the dating of the Mona Lisa, the dating of the Mayan pyramids or the Egyptian pyramids, or the dating of the sword your dad claims is from the Civil War.

Although you didn't mean it this way, you are 100% correct that C14 could not be accepted to verify any of the examples that you gave.   The reason being is that with Pompeii the carbon properties inherent to volcanic activity negate any possible accurate measure utilizing C14 measurement.  Further, C14 is present only in living things therefore the physical makeup of the rest of your examples (stone, rock, steel) would not be candidates for C14 dating.   Paleonologists study previously living objects, therefore; C14 dating would actually fit more into their mileu than that of the Historian.   The problem is that there are so many variables that could change the carbon content and give conflicting results so there could be dating results from the same batch of samples that vary from thousands of years to millions of years.   Since the "thousands" results doesn't suit their purposes, evolutionist paleontogist will reject these as "irregularities" in favor of the "Millions" results.  

The other forms of dating also fall prey to fallibility as radiometric isotopes, radioactive daisy-chain decay and isotones are all subject to changes in environment (pressure, heat, cold, water, volcanic activity, pollution, etc...)   There are many, many documented cases of items found next to each other or even separate tests on the same object that give a wide swing in result.

The basis behind the importance of the "old Earth" theory again is the Evolutionary Time-Line.   Dinosaurs were MILLIONS of years prior to the Human race, right?   Or not?   There is actual empirical evidence that everyone can see located in Glenrose, TX and on display in San Antonio's famous Riverwalk.   Dinosaur footprints intermingled with human foot prints.   How could that be????   This is another example of why I have not adopted Evolution as fact.

Next...  God...

You are right that the existance of an all-supreme entity cannot be proven.   The belief in God or "a" god or "the Gods" is based untirely on Faith and not "Science."   Hence there is not the Theory of God, there is the Belief in God.   In the primarily athiestic world of evolution (realizing again the Theistic Evolution camp), there HAS to be another explaination besides Creation.   If there isn't, then their complete athiestic viewpoint is blown out of the water.   But that is a discussion for another day.

I think I'm done for now... I have GOT to get some work done!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Clark Kent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 July 2006 at 4:58pm
Ditto on the work.  I'll get back to you on that.  Good post.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote __sneaky__ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 July 2006 at 5:16pm

for some "Big Bang" to happen there actually has to be somthing to cause it... If that matter was already there, where did it come from? and about those "missing links" how do you know those where actuall missing links, maybe it was just some wierd-ass animal that is kinda like some of the animals we have now.

1.Evolution has'nt been proven at all. We have never seen anything evolve and we have no evidence of anything ever evolving
2.the only "missing links" that have ever been found where either dissproven or shown to be complete hoaxes.
3.Evolution goes against the 2nd law of thermodynamics

I also find this rather interesting... http://library.thinkquest.org/27407/creation/chances.htm

P.S. keep in mind i dont agree with either theories of evolution or creation they're both rediculous ideas

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote barn_user Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 July 2006 at 5:40pm
Wow...I've learned SO much from this thread already. I've always wanted to read up on this stuff but lack the effort to go to the library or searh for it on the internet as it's overwelming for me. Clark: I thank you for this informative thread. I'm awaiting the reply of brihard, he showed me up in a previous thread and I'm anxious as to see as what he can contribute to this nice thread.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brihard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 July 2006 at 5:47pm
Sneaky, I'll take your third point, Clark having already very well addressed the first two previously. I'll then segue into what I planned to talk about.

The second law of thermodynamics, or the law of Entropy, basicallystates that the total stability in a system will decrease over time, that inaccuracies, mutations, alterations, inconsistencies, and errors will arrive within order seemingly of their own accord. You will be surprised to find in the next bit of writing an explanation as to why the second law of thermodynamics actually supports what is being loosely termed 'evolution' here.

One thing to make clear- Evolution is not a process. Evolution describes the progression of results over time of a process known as natural selection. NS is critical to understanding evolutionary theory.

Creatures do not evolve of their own accord. 'Evolution' is a term I don't like, since I've already mentioned that it is not, in fat, the process that people so often talk about. It's used inaccurately. Natural selection is the gradual change of a species over time in response to selective pressures.

I'll approach this very systematically.

All living organisms known to date are constructed based around their genetic code, be it DNA or RNA.

Genetic code of both types is a grand chemical process- a stable order, as it were- in which amino acids dictate how the body will grow and behave. This is a gross simplification, but the chemistry and biology is unnecessary to this discussion. Suffice to say that it has been conclusively proven that the genes that these amino acids form dictate the biology of an organism.

All living organisms are characterised as such by their ability to reproduce themselves by reproducing and spreading their genetic code, either through invasion of cells in the case of viruses and such, or through birth of a new creature, such as in sexual and asexual animal reproduction.

Now here's where your second law of thermodynamics comes in. The genetic code is never transmitted perfectly to the new creature. Thus,  each creature will have thousands of 'errors' or differences from its source DNA. It may be something as simple as a gene that causes red hair isntead of brown, or it may be a gene that results in a stillbirth. The alw of entropy supports this- it is destabilization of an ordered system as a result of any number of interactions, be it radiation affecting the DNA prior to or after replication, be it chemicals  and toxins, or whatever the case may be. These genetic changes are called mutations. Entropy results in slightly different creatures being born, with some of these differences giving advantages over their generational contemporaries.

Mutations may have a discernable effect on a new creature. It may be something minor, like the hair thing. It may result in a creature that for some reason or another processes food more or less efficiently. It may result in a crippling disease.

Going back to all creatures existing to reproduce for a second now. The easiest one to work with here is sexual reproduction. A male and a female creature combine gametes, each with half the chromosomes needed for the offspring. The offspring will combine genetic features of both its aprents, and sometimes noticeable mutations as well.

There exist within nature what are known as 'selective pressures'. Those are any pressure whatsoever that contributes to or inhibits a creatures ability to reproduce and spread its genetic lineage.

Some mutations will have a beneficial result that allow that offspring to reproduce more successfully. This has a ripple effect in the gene pool, if you'll pardon the pun. Over one generation it may not be significant, but give a hundred generations, adn that gene type will have become a much larger proportion of the species because it can reproduce faster, or more of its offspring can survive.

One example is moths. In the 1800s in industrial england many moth species changed over a few decades from white to black, to better hide themselves from rpedators in the soot covered cities. This wasn't a conscious decision; simply, the moths that were mutants and had black wings- which previously may have made them less likely to mate - instead became the ones who were eaten less frequently, thus having a higher survival and reproduction rate. Eventually the black moths were the dominant part of the species.

Natural selection, then causes each and every generation of a species to be very subtly different, but in ways that add up over thousands of generations. The cimpanzees with the longer legs, with the bigger brain, that stood a little straighter than their offspring lived longer- they were a bit smarter in avoiding predators; they could reach food more easily. They were physically stronger and able to fend for themselves. They were mroe attractive mates and mroe of them survived, thus gradually (millions of years gradually) the monkey gene pool as a whole resulted in a different shaped monkey. The same species of monkey living across a continenet faced different selective pressures in different places, and thus those subtle differences grew in different directions until they were distinct species.

Each and every generation is a 'missing link'. You will never find a monkey five generations removed from the alst that is noticeably different- there is a fallacy that believes that evolution is noticeable, that it occurs at intervals spaced a couple million years apart, but really only the msot extreme selective pressures will result in changes in less than a few hundred or thousand generations. The Moth example was extreme. Something like the changing shape of limbs takes a long, long, LONG time and different sets of pressures.

Tiny change x 50,000 repetitions = a big-ass change long term. This, in a nutshell, is what is called evolution.

Hopefully this was clear enough to be easily understandable. I'm willing to tag team with Clark on fielding questions about this stuff.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote __sneaky__ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 July 2006 at 5:59pm

Let me be the first to say...

 

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Clark Kent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 July 2006 at 6:10pm

I had a post worked up, but brihard beat me to it.  :)

Here it is anyway:

Sneaky:

1.  Yes, the big bang did have to be caused by something.  But what?  Science doesn't claim to know.  And that in no way undermines the observations we have of the big bang.

2.  Where did the matter come from? Tough question.  According to big bang theory, that question can't be asked.  Because there was no "before".  Time itself began at the big bang.  Therefore the matter didn't "come from" anywhere at all.

Your numbered points:

1.  Evolution has been proven plenty.  There are dozens of journals that publish nothing but articles about evolution.  There are thousands of scientists that do nothing but study evolution.  All that work has resulted in vast volumes of knowledge about the details of evolution.

Evolution has been witnessed many many times, both in a lab and outside of a lab.  The easy/obvious example is the flu virus, that keeps evolving to become immune to our flu shots.  There are numerous other examples of observed evolution, including observed speciation.

2.  Your point assumes its own answer.  EVERY link was a "missing link" until it was found.  By your statement, every fossil ever found has somehow been disproven.  Millions of fossils have been found over the years.  The vast majority of them are exactly what they purport to be.

3.  Evolution does NOT go against the 2d law of thermodynamics.  The only way you can believe this is if you do not understand the 2d law.  This is a common creationist claim, and it has been shown to be wrong again and again.  Please tell me exactly why you think the 2d law applies here, and I will explain how you are misapplying the 2d law.

As to your link - two points:  First, they are incorrectly describing abiogenesis with evolution.  As I stated above, even if you somehow disprove abiogenesis, this is irrelevant to evolution.  More importantly, however, it is bad math.  The implication is that improbable = impossible.  Yet people win the lottery all the time.  I would be more than happy to discuss probability theory (which is something I actually know about, unlike this evolution stuff).

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote phillll227 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 July 2006 at 6:21pm
Care to explain multicellularity?



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Clark Kent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 July 2006 at 6:45pm

Originally posted by phillll227 phillll227 wrote:

Care to explain multicellularity?

I presume you mean the transition from uni-celled organisms to multi-celled organisms, apparently skipping 2-celled organisms?

The answer to your question is:  No.  I am not a biologist with sufficient training to provide an answer with sufficient clarity on such a specific point.  And, I presume, neither are you a biologist with sufficient training to understand the answer if I were to provide such an answer.

But - since you presumably are repeating a question that you heard someplace, I can also repeat an answer I heard someplace.  I will not claim to fully understand either the question or the answer.  That answer can be found here.

More to the point, however - even if biologists were not able to explain this leap from one to many, IT IS NOT A STRONG CHALLENGE TO EVOLUTIONARY THEORY.  Sorry for shouting, but that is an important point.  Saying that science can't explain 'X' now does not in any way prove or imply that science can never explain 'X'.

There are thousands, millions, of individual evolutionary pathways that science cannot explain.  This is inevitible, due to the sheer magnitude of numbers.  This is true of every scientific theory.  Every single one.  Science will never be able to explain every little sub-question.  This does not undermine the validity of the science itself.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote __sneaky__ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 July 2006 at 6:57pm

This is probly the most intelligent conversation we've had on this forum in months...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ken Majors Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 July 2006 at 7:30pm
Well....since my entire family since time recorded was born within 50 miles of an ocean, somewhere, sometime, my family members should begin to grow gills, webbed fingers and toes, and show an incredible affinity for the water.
That is if evolution is true.
Unless of course...we are de-volving.

I like to think I believe in natural selection but I have seen way too many people do incredibly stupid things and survive.

Interesting conversation though.
Sometimes ya just gotta have faith.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NiQ-Toto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 July 2006 at 7:51pm
Clark, how do you feel about Ann Coulter's chapter title in her book Godless that states:

"Saying that apes evolved into humans is like saying Walkmans evolved into iPods."

Or something similar to that.


Id add more to this discussion, but i have one foot out the door.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hades Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 July 2006 at 8:03pm
I have a question what happens if "God" created man through the scientific process of evolution?

/Gasp~

Take that Billy Graham. Have a cracker while your at it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Clark Kent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 July 2006 at 8:05pm

Ok, Rico, here goes.

Originally posted by Rico Rico wrote:

I'm not trying to prove or disprove anything other than the perception of Evolution being fact.   The root of my irritation, as indirectly alluded to above, is the tendancy of the secular academic community to teach the Theory of Evolution not as a suggested possibility, but as 100% fact and as the only "logical" explanation for the current populace of the Earth. 

There is some risk of sinking into semantics here...

Yes, the theory of evolution is not "fact" in a strict scientific/epistemological sense of the word.  However, at some point a scientific theory gains such weight and consistency that it is indeed "fact" for all practical purposes. 

Aerodynamic theory, for instance, is the theory of interaction of objects with the air.  The central points of aerodynamic theory have been proved up so much over the years that most people (like airplane mechanics) regard it as "fact" - and indeed it is, in all but the most theoretical sense of the word.  Now, there are some sub-theories on the frontier of aerodynamic science that are still being explored and refined, and those would not be "fact" by any measure, but the central points of theory are essentially "fact".

The same is true of evolutionary theory.  There are many frontiers, and much research being done.  New learning replaces old all the time.  But the central tenets of evolutionary theory have not only not changed since Darwin, but have been proved again and again and again, with independent evidence in many different disciplines.  I would venture (as would many others) that these central tenets (common origin, inherited characteristics, natural selection, etc.) are now de facto "facts" in a practical sense of the word.

Have these tenets been proven beyond all doubt?  No - and they never will be.  But they are proven much more than most of the things we teach in high school history class as "fact".

Now - I completely sympathize with your view of some teachers.  This issue has unfortunately become very politicized, and many teachers make claims that go far beyond what science can support.  Sadly, not surprising - evolutionary science is complicated, and the best scientists tend not to be teaching in high school.

There are numerous alternate explanations for the origins of species possible that I can think of without any particular effort.  LaMarckian evolution, for instance, is an alternative, as well as intelligent design.  And these alternatives are certainly open for discussion, I would think.

Now, each of these other alternatives have failed to provide any meaningful scientific evidence in their support, including LaMarckian evolution and ID.  While there are other logical theories, there are no other alternate theories that have anything approaching the level of scientific support that "regular" evolution does.  Evolution should certainly be taught as the overwhelmingly predominant scientific theory (which is true), and perhaps as "fact" from a practical perspective (since that is how it is used by the thousands of researchers that rely on evolutionary theory in their work), but absolutely should not be taught as the only possible explanation.

 

Originally posted by Rico Rico wrote:

Throughout the years there have been many "proofs" of evolution which have been proven false.   So much so that:

W.B. Provine, Atheistic Evolutionist wrote:

"Most of what I learned of the field [evolutionary biology] in graduate (1964-68) school is either wrong or significantly changed."

I have to correct you on that.  That Provine quote was in regard to outdated science text books.  The things that were wrong/changed that Provine was talking about were not in any way central to evolution - in fact, Provine was not singling out evolution, he was describing in general the changing face of science.  He just used evolution as an example because that is his field.

Yes, evolutionary theory is constantly changing, JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER SCIENTIFIC THEORY.  Science by its nature is constantly changing/evolving.  That does not mean that the old science was entirely wrong, it just means that more learning has been added.  In fact, it is my understanding that Provine has grown tired of being quoted out of context like this, and routinely makes a point of mentioning in speeches how the central points of evolutionary theory have not been proven wrong or significantly changed.

There has never been a significant scientific challenge successfully mounted to the central tenets of evolutionary theory.  NEVER.  Not one.  Every single one that has been raised (like Behe's efforts) has been batted down as quickly as they arise.  At the fringes, sure - there is constant battle among scientists as to whether/how bird x is related to bird y.  That's what scientists do.

 

(quick side note on "empirical" - it has a scientific use, which is what you described - it also has an older, more basic use, which simply refers to anything observed or observable.  This is the way in which the old empiricists - Locke/Berkeley/Hume used the term.  Look up "empiricism" on Wiki and you will see what I mean, including a different definition of "empirical".)

 

Originally posted by Rico Rico wrote:

there is no 1st hand knowledge or experimentally fortified evidence that points to Evolution as more than a guess

I have to violently disagree with this.  In fact, I am not even sure how to begin to address this, since there are thousands of people that do nothing but observe and work with evolution in action every day.  To start with the obvious Bird Flu, which we are expecting will evolve to move between humans sometime soon.  Or insects that evolve resistance to pesticides, or bacteria in labs, or - the list goes on.

And even apart from actual evolution occurring in front of a researcher's eyes, evolutionary researchers have access to the same data as all other historians and scientists.  Will you argue that it is "merely a guess" that Pompeii was buried by a volcano, simply because we weren't there to see it?  If that is your position, we should not be teaching history - I mean "guesswork" - in school at all.

All of science and history is about observing things.  Sometimes that means observing the path, not the thing itself.  If you see deertracks in the woods, is it mere "guesswork" that a deer walked by recently, just because you didn't see the actual deer?

You may choose to disregard the evidence.  You may choose to ignore the evidence.  But to claim that there simply IS no evidence is simply wrong, as a factual matter.  All of genetics is evidence.  All of paleontology is evidence.  All of anatomy is evidence.  All of bacteriology and virology is evidence.  Everything the CDC does is evidence.  There is so much evidence for evolution that you can't turn your head without bumping into evidence.

 

Originally posted by Rico Rico wrote:

the half-life of C14 being less than 6000 years, after 50,000 years there would be no measurable amount of C14.   The use of this data always confused me since based on that, if there is measurable C14, then it would be obvious to me that the object being dated would be less than 50,000 years old, not millions of years. 

You should not find that so obvious.  That is in fact an incorrect conclusion.  The explanation for why that is so gets a bit more scientific/complicated than is appropriate here, but I will simply state that that is not a supportable conclusion.  If you really want a long version, I can probably find one someplace, although it was pretty messy last time I read about it.

Again, C14 is used mostly by non-evolutionary historians.  They seem to find it pretty accurate.  And again, 99% of the time it is pretty darn accurate.  You a date what appears to be a viking tool?  Lo and behold, it is 1,000 years old.  You date a similar tool in Rome - heck, it's 2,000 years old.  C14 dating is used thousands of time each year, and thousands of times each year the results are verified by other data.  There are some screwball results, most of which have been individually addressed by the researchers involved.  But even if we couldn't explain those screwball results, it would remain that the test is 99% accurate.  And 99% is pretty good.  If there is a conspiracy to pretend that C14 is more accurate than it is, then practically every historian and achaeologist must be in on the joke.

More to the point, you don't have to use C14 to date ancient bones.  You can date the rocks in which they lie encased, which requires no carbon trace.  C14 is not used by paleontologists to date dinosaur bones.  U-Th or K-Ar are methods better used for things of that age.  And again, each conclusion is supported by others.  We do not simply take one test and conclude that "that's the age" - you also look at the geology of the region, the tectonics, the surrounding flora and fauna, etc, etc.

And again, each conclusion is verified from different sources.  Nothing bugs a scientist more than an unsupported datum.  Scientists must confirm and replicate - that's what they do.  So they will do one test, and a different test, and then with a different sample, and then look at the environs, and so forth and so on.  No self-respecting scientist will reach any conclusion based on a single test or a single datum.  Everything is retested, confirmed, and replicated.

And if you look closely at those "many many documented cases" of various radiometic dating methods yielding impossible results, you will find that the overwhelming majority of them either weren't all that well-documented to begin with, or have later been identified as a lab error or testing error, and so forth.  ICR (Institute for Creation Research - my bad) in particular is a violator in this.  They routinely put forth claims that have been proved wrong again and again, yet they continue to put forth the same bold and false claims.  Very frustrating.

 

As to the various dinosaur/human footprints - the Glen Rose/Paluxy footprints are the best example.  Numerous scientists have reviewed these footprints, and concluded that the "human" footprints are not human.  Some of the alledged human footprints are eroded dinosaur tracks, others appear to be deliberately altered.  I am actually surprised you bring this up - most leading creationists at this point admit that the Paluxy prints are a hoax.  Even ICR no longer claims the Paluxy prints are real - they removed their Paluxy exhibit from their museum.

Similar results are found elsewhere.  At passing glance the tracks look human, but a trained paleontologist can easily show that they are not.  I saw a demonstration once - very impressive.  A quick web search for "Paluxy" should find at least some scholarly articles fully scanned and accessible.

 

As to god - I do not accept your dichotomy (god vs. evolution).  I do not view them as inconsistent, nor do I view them as the only alternatives.  But I agree that this is a subject for another day.

:)



Edited by Clark Kent - 31 July 2006 at 8:11pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Clark Kent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 July 2006 at 8:13pm

Originally posted by Hades Hades wrote:

I have a question what happens if "God" created man through the scientific process of evolution?

/Gasp~

Take that Billy Graham. Have a cracker while your at it.

Bad example, Hades.  Billy Graham does not dispute evolution, and actually holds that exact belief.

:)

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