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Was Darwin wrong ? (Page 2)
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Oct 31, 2004, 11:14 AM
 
Originally posted by chris v:
1. Evolution HAS been observed, again and again. Species mutation is an observable phoenomenon, from breeding of domesticated animals to mutation of resistant strains of virus/bacteria. Read the NG article.
Species mutation is not evidence of evolution because the original species does not cease to exist in it's original form.

2. There are plenty of transitional fossils. We're ALL transitional. Archeopterix? More recent examples-- Blind cave species that still have eye sockets. Penguns, whose wings are evolving from devices for flying into flippers for swimming. Look around you, the evidence is everywhere.

These animals have been this way ever since or earliest record of observing them. There are no fossils of penguins with air flying type wings. Blind cave species with eye sockets is simply a form of adaptation. Go live in a cave, and raise about 3 generations in that cave, and your breed will come out looking quite different. When I work with my hands, my palms get rough and leathery quite quickly. Are my hands evolving or simply adapting?


3. Apes have evolved simultaneously, along a seperate branch from a common ancestor. Again, read a little bit. Plenty of fossil evidence. The record might not be absolutely complete, but it SURE has more pieces than the Creation myth.
Where are the fossils of these evolving apes? Even if evolution happens in large leaps, there would still remain fossil evidence of of the transitions.

Proivide me with one single piece of physical evidence that even points to the validity of Creationism. Go ahead.
Why does creationism have to be proved before evolution can be disproved? I hear this argument a lot, but fail to see the logic in it. They quite possibly could both be false.
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 11:16 AM
 
Originally posted by itistoday:
Wow, that's a really good analogy... Props. Except in the case of evolution, only about two pieces are missing
Actually, I'd argue the opposite. I'd say only about 2 pieces have been found. The recent discovery of hobbit-like skeletons in Indonesia is evidence of that. They may also provide greenamp with the missing link he's looking for.
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 11:18 AM
 
Originally posted by itistoday:
Uh, Chris_v and I have already answered your questions. You are wrong

It's not your fault, you were just never taught properly about evolution and that is why you are ignorant about it. Before you go around here flaunting your ignorance do some research, and perhaps even read the article the original post refers to. It's quite good, and will teach you a lot of things. Evolution is not a philosophy, evolution is a science, and there is no gray ground here, that is simply fact.
Please don't turn this into a flame war. Your assumption about my level of study in inaccurate. I have studied evolution quite extensively, although not on the professional level, but academically.
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 11:19 AM
 
Originally posted by greenamp:
I appreciate your response, but in all sincerity, you did not answer the questions. Please keep in mind that I am not trying to debunk evolution as a means to support creationism, but simply pointing out the flaws in labeling evolution a science.
please define "science"

Originally posted by greenamp:
Please support your claims with showing: where/when evolution has been observed;
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-...s.html#observe

Originally posted by greenamp:
pictures or links to pictures of these missing link fossils.
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comd...on1.html#pred4



Originally posted by greenamp:
Evolution is a philosophy, not a science, for the mere fact that "evidence" is a relative term.
no it's not. the english language is quite precise when it comes to the definition of "evidence". and yes, evolutionary theory is a scientific theory.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-...ons.html#proof
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 11:22 AM
 
Originally posted by Wiskedjak:
Actually, I'd argue the opposite. I'd say only about 2 pieces have been found. The recent discovery of hobbit-like skeletons in Indonesia is evidence of that. They may also provide greenamp with the missing link he's looking for.
I agree with you on the inaccuracy of the analogy. It assumes we have many pieces of the "evolution puzzle," when in fact we have about 1 out of millions.

The "hobbit" fossil is quite interesting. But I don't see any definitive evidence which would prove this was some unique species, instead of simply being an adult midget or modern day dwarf.
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 11:30 AM
 
Originally posted by greenamp:
I agree with you on the inaccuracy of the analogy. It assumes we have many pieces of the "evolution puzzle," when in fact we have about 1 out of millions.

The "hobbit" fossil is quite interesting. But I don't see any definitive evidence which would prove this was some unique species, instead of simply being an adult midget or modern day dwarf.
Ok, arguing how many "pieces of the puzzle" we "actually have" is just bloody rediculous, so we should all stop that (including myself).

If you read the article you'll see that it is not just an "adult midget":
Older stone tools and other artifacts previously found on the island suggest that Flores Man is part of a substantial archaic human lineage.

"So the 18,000-year-old skeleton cannot be some kind of 'freak' that we just happened to stumble across," said one of the discoverers, radiocarbon dating expert Richard G. Roberts of the University of Wollongong in Australia.
And:
The eye sockets are big and round, but unlike other members of the Homo genus, it has hardly any chin or browline.
And:
They suggest that Flores Man doesn't belong in the genus Homo at all, even if it was a recent contemporary. But they are unsure where to classify it.
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 11:48 AM
 
Originally posted by phoenixboy70:
please define "science"



http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-...s.html#observe



http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comd...on1.html#pred4





no it's not. the english language is quite precise when it comes to the definition of "evidence". and yes, evolutionary theory is a scientific theory.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-...ons.html#proof
If the lucy fossil is the best evidence of evolution, you would think even the consortium of evolution scientists would agree on its validity. Sadly, they don't. Some say the fossil was nothing more than an ancient species of ape. I have no direct links to this information, but those of you who have studied evolution academically know what i say to be true.
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 11:59 AM
 
Originally posted by greenamp:
If the lucy fossil is the best evidence of evolution, you would think even the consortium of evolution scientists would agree on its validity. Sadly, they don't. Some say the fossil was nothing more than an ancient species of ape. I have no direct links to this information, but those of you who have studied evolution academically know what i say to be true.
i might have enough credits in anthropology to go for a minor in it. from what i've read and heard, nearly 99% of all scientist agree on the "place" of "lucy" in evolutionary history and its "validity". that's good enough for me.
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 12:24 PM
 
Originally posted by phoenixboy70:
i might have enough credits in anthropology to go for a minor in it. from what i've read and heard, nearly 99% of all scientist agree on the "place" of "lucy" in evolutionary history and its "validity". that's good enough for me.
What are your thoughts on this article?
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 12:38 PM
 
Originally posted by greenamp:
What are your thoughts on this article?
Personally, I would first have to think about the source

Apologetics Press
http://www.apologeticspress.org/aboutap.htm
All compromising theories such as theistic evolution, progressive creationism, threshold evolution, the gap theory, the modified gap theory, the day-age theory, the non-world view, etc., shall be denied and opposed as patently false.
It would seem that they have made up their mind on the issue before even investigating it. Not very good science.
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 01:55 PM
 
Originally posted by greenamp:
What are your thoughts on this article?
Honestly Greenamp, I think if you explore the issue of National Geographic in question and the article there you might see it refutes most of your observations as being objectionary based on a deliberate attempts to argue only on points which you see as weaknesses of the studies and you dismiss all the strengths.
( Last edited by pathogen; Oct 31, 2004 at 02:14 PM. )
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Oct 31, 2004, 02:02 PM
 
Originally posted by Wiskedjak:
Personally, I would first have to think about the source


It would seem that they have made up their mind on the issue before even investigating it. Not very good science.
They didn't write the paper, they simply got permission to distribute it. The papers authors are noted on the paper.
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 02:09 PM
 
Originally posted by greenamp:
What are your thoughts on this article?
my thoughts pretty much reflect this statement:

She remains the oldest most-complete skeleton thus far known.
from here.

[edit] i stand by my statement. pretty much every respectable anthropologist i've talked to in recent years still uses "lucy" as a benchmark.

okay, your turn. got any PHYSICAL evidence for creation(ism) at all?
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 02:16 PM
 
Originally posted by phoenixboy70:
my thoughts pretty much reflect this statement:



from here.

[edit] i stand by my statement. pretty much every respectable anthropologist i've talked to in recent years still uses "lucy" as a benchmark.

okay, your turn. got any PHYSICAL evidence for creation(ism) at all?
Who said I was defending creationism?
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 02:23 PM
 
Originally posted by greenamp:
Who said I was defending creationism?
Until these questions can be answered, evolution requires of its believers just as much "blind faith" as does creation from its believers.
is this your quote? "just as much"=equal amount of evidence (or lack thereof). this is simply not true.
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 02:27 PM
 
Originally posted by greenamp:
Who said I was defending creationism?
chikkken!!

Anyway, creationism is the only way to explain how such beutifully crafted organs like the human eye, or the human brain function can be explained. There is no way in hell we have anything that beutiful coming out of an evolutionary process. But as I said before it may well be that we have been designed to believe in evolution. That's our limitation and that doesnt mean we are right in the way we think.

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Oct 31, 2004, 02:29 PM
 
Originally posted by phoenixboy70:
is this your quote? "just as much"=equal amount of evidence (or lack thereof). this is simply not true.
And from that comment you gathered I was promoting creationism? Yikes.
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 02:51 PM
 
The theory of gravity has many missing pieces. If gravity is correct:

1. Where are the observations of graviton particles?

2. Why are there two different explanations of how gravity works (i.e. curvature of space, graviton particles)?

3. Why are so many things still unknown?

Obviously, this proves that those who believe in "gravity" have just as much faith as those who believe in the Church of Magic Fall-Downiness. Since Magic Fall-Downiness has never been disproved, this makes it just as viable an explanation as "gravity." Oh, and if you happen to be one of the heathens who believe in gravity, the Magic Fall-Downiness God will throw you into hell, where you will fall down for all eternity! So beware!

Yes, this post is *obviously* satire. If you thought I was serious, you've got problems.
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 03:22 PM
 
Originally posted by greenamp:
If evolution is correct...

1)why has evolution never been "observed?"
Oh Jeez.

Seedless grapes? hairless dogs? Chihuahuas? Siamese cats? Donkeys/horses/mules? Antibiotic-resistant bacteria? All of these things happened during recorded, sometimes even very recent history. The only difference being that these are partly artificially selected for. The resistant bacteria are actually a form of natural selection, since they survive a hostile environment.
Originally posted by greenamp:
2)where are the fossils of the "transitional forms?"
Everywhere. How many transitional steps do you require? My guess is, always at least one more than can be supplied.
Originally posted by greenamp:
3)where is the "missing link" connecting humans to apes?
Which "missing link" are you talking about? This question is exactly the same as 2). The answer is the same, too, except that your ignorance is rather apparent. We did not descend from apes. Apes and humans evolved from a common ancestor.

Well, at least *some* of us evolved.

-s*
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 03:33 PM
 
Originally posted by greenamp:
These animals have been this way ever since or earliest record of observing them. There are no fossils of penguins with air flying type wings. Blind cave species with eye sockets is simply a form of adaptation. Go live in a cave, and raise about 3 generations in that cave, and your breed will come out looking quite different.
No, they won't. Once you move back out into the old environment, the next generation to grow up there will be quite normal.

Originally posted by greenamp:
When I work with my hands, my palms get rough and leathery quite quickly. Are my hands evolving or simply adapting?
They are aging.

When you work with your hands, are your kids born with rough and leathery palms?

I'm afraid you have completely failed to grasp what exactly it is you're supposed to disagree with.
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 03:42 PM
 
Now that I think about it, I really have only one issue with the article, and it's not with the article itself. The title "Was Darwin Wrong?" implies that there will be some kind of debate in the magazine. As far as I have been able to discern, what actually happened was not a debate by any stretch of the imagination.

The article itself seems to have been well-written, if maybe a bit overblown. However, the cover was misleading.
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Oct 31, 2004, 04:06 PM
 
Originally posted by Millennium:
Now that I think about it, I really have only one issue with the article, and it's not with the article itself. The title "Was Darwin Wrong?" implies that there will be some kind of debate in the magazine. As far as I have been able to discern, what actually happened was not a debate by any stretch of the imagination.

The article itself seems to have been well-written, if maybe a bit overblown. However, the cover was misleading.
I think that was the point. It's to grab your attention, and I definitely did a fine job on me, I wasn't expecting the "No!", but was pleasantly surprised when I saw it. This title, large and on the front cover, will attract the attention of passerby's at book stores, etc.
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 04:46 PM
 
Originally posted by greenamp:
Species mutation is not evidence of evolution because the original species does not cease to exist in it's original form.
Could you please eloborate? I need a good laugh.
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 05:02 PM
 
Originally posted by greenamp:
If evolution is correct...

1)why has evolution never been "observed?"
2)where are the fossils of the "transitional forms?"
3)where is the "missing link" connecting humans to apes?

Until these questions can be answered, evolution requires of its believers just as much "blind faith" as does creation from its believers.
These are the big holes in the theory. The ones avid supporters pretend don't exist. Or they spin in it hyperbole to make it look as if the don't exist as well.

Not that I am saying it's wrong. I am not. I don't know. No one does.

I am a big supporter of biogenesis. As it has been shown to happen.
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 05:15 PM
 
Originally posted by Zimphire:
These are the big holes in the theory. The ones avid supporters pretend don't exist. Or they spin in it hyperbole to make it look as if the don't exist as well.
Next time, at least PRETEND like you read the thread.
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 05:25 PM
 
Oh I read the thread. I just didn't buy all the answers or excuses.
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 05:49 PM
 
Originally posted by Spheric Harlot:
Oh Jeez.

Seedless grapes? hairless dogs? Chihuahuas? Siamese cats? Donkeys/horses/mules? Antibiotic-resistant bacteria? All of these things happened during recorded, sometimes even very recent history. The only difference being that these are partly artificially selected for. The resistant bacteria are actually a form of natural selection, since they survive a hostile environment.
Everywhere. How many transitional steps do you require? My guess is, always at least one more than can be supplied.
Which "missing link" are you talking about? This question is exactly the same as 2). The answer is the same, too, except that your ignorance is rather apparent. We did not descend from apes. Apes and humans evolved from a common ancestor.

Well, at least *some* of us evolved.

-s*
Wow you really know how to start a flame war don't you? Good job. Only, I'm not gonna bother to respond with such spite in the hopes of keeping this discussion civil. It's an interesting discussion and I'd hate to see it go downhill.

Please explain how seedless grapes, hairless dogs, chihuahuas, siamese cats, donkeys, horses, and mules are evidence of evolution?

A transitional step in evolution would be some form of creature in transition from one to another. For instance, if penguins evolved to have flightless wings, there should be evidence of this transition into its flightless state. The same goes for everything else.

The missing link I was referring to pertains to humans, and would be some creature displaying qualities of a transition from ape to human. The closest evidence we have which supports evolution of human from apes is the lucy fossil, and it's controversial.

I am not promoting religion here. If you came to this thread in the hopes you would be able to bash on Christians I'm afraid you have come to the wrong place.
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 05:53 PM
 
Originally posted by Montezuma58:
Could you please eloborate? I need a good laugh.

I don't understand the attitude some of you are coming into this thread with? You would think I just cast doubt on someone's religion. Hmmm...
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 06:07 PM
 
greenamp it's called insecurity.

People that are not secure with their own beliefs, will easily mock others to cover up their own insecurities about their beliefs.

I've noticed that those that are secure in their beliefs don't act this way. Even in this forum.
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 06:08 PM
 
Originally posted by i_rooster:
Anyway, creationism is the only way to explain how such beutifully crafted organs like the human eye, or the human brain function can be explained. There is no way in hell we have anything that beutiful coming out of an evolutionary process.
How so? I find it far more plausible that they would come from an adaptive process than from some imaginary all-powerful being. We have lots of evidence of the former and no evidence of the latter (except in the rather fanciful imaginations of humans).
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 06:09 PM
 
Originally posted by greenamp:
If you came to this thread in the hopes you would be able to bash on Christians I'm afraid you have come to the wrong place.
Darn.
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 06:53 PM
 
Originally posted by itistoday:
I think that was the point. It's to grab your attention, and I definitely did a fine job on me, I wasn't expecting the "No!", but was pleasantly surprised when I saw it. This title, large and on the front cover, will attract the attention of passerby's at book stores, etc.
Oh, I won't deny its effectiveness. But is it right to post a title which deliberately misleads people as to the content of the article? Do the ends justify the means?

I'm afraid I can't exactly call this an honest, and I have long since come to expect better from National Geographic. This was a cheap ploy to grab sales, pure and simple. Have they really sunk so low; are they really that desperate?
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Oct 31, 2004, 07:02 PM
 
Originally posted by Millennium:
Oh, I won't deny its effectiveness. But is it right to post a title which deliberately misleads people as to the content of the article? Do the ends justify the means?

I'm afraid I can't exactly call this an honest, and I have long since come to expect better from National Geographic. This was a cheap ploy to grab sales, pure and simple. Have they really sunk so low; are they really that desperate?
I see what you're saying, but I think that in this case the ends do justify the means, especially when the end is so rewarding, and the means are rather tame.
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 07:41 PM
 
Originally posted by Zimphire:
These are the big holes in the theory. The ones avid supporters pretend don't exist. Or they spin in it hyperbole to make it look as if the don't exist as well.
Originally posted by Zimphire:
Oh I read the thread. I just didn't buy all the answers or excuses.
I think that when someone says something like "Where are the fossils?" and then several other people reply multiple times with several links to information about various different fossils, that they've answered your question. I also think that when someone asks "Where has evolution been observed?" and then someone answers with several specific examples, that the question has been answered. I don't think that showing exactly the thing that was asked for is pretending anything doesn't exist. I also don't think directly answering a question is spinning hyperbole. And if you continue to pretend that the evidence doesn't exist even after it has been shown to you and is staring you right in the face, I don't think it is the other people that are making excuses.

I defy you to find a difference between your argument and my little tongue-in-cheek example with gravity. What's the difference between wanting to throw about evolution and wanting to throw out gravity, in both cases to accommodate some arbitrary religious belief? In neither case are the mechanisms 100% known.

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Oct 31, 2004, 07:45 PM
 
If such a thing happened, there would be GADS of evidence. We'd not be questioning it IMHO.

The gads of evidence just isn't there. It's good to "want to believe" I know all about faith.

And that is what this is based on as well.

Of course IMHO.

You don't have to agree. I wont calls you names or berate you on the interweb for not agreeing I promise.

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Oct 31, 2004, 07:50 PM
 
Evolution isn't a theory. It is a fact. It has been observed, it has been proven. Darwin was right.

In science 'hypothesis' means 'theory' with all other people.
In science 'theory' means 'fact' with all other people.

Terms like 'law' of this or that are not used in science any more. The theory of relativity is as much a fact as the 'law' of gravity.
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 07:55 PM
 
I think it is fair to say that without an initial triggering event to allow evolution to start, planet earth would be like Titan.

As another matter it will be cool to plant life into Titan and watch it evolve from a distance!
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Oct 31, 2004, 08:03 PM
 
Originally posted by Zimphire:
If such a thing happened, there would be GADS of evidence. We'd not be questioning it IMHO.
There are gads of evidence. And you're still, well I wouldn't say questioning it - it's more like sticking your fingers in your ears and shouting, "It doesn't exist! I can't hear you! La la la la la la la!"

Who is "we" anyway? The creationists? It's quite clear that no matter how much evidence there is, the creationists are going to be denying it. The creationists start their thought process with the strict rejection of evolutionary theory. That's their starting point, and from there they look for anything they can possibly find (or make up) to support their assertion. It's like that link that greenamp posted, where someone pointed out that the site's "about us" page included that "All compromising theories such as theistic evolution, progressive creationism, threshold evolution, the gap theory, the modified gap theory, the day-age theory, the non-world view, etc., shall be denied and opposed as patently false." If you've made up your mind before you start, you're going to "question" it no matter how much evidence there is, because that's what creationists do.

Besides, what amount constitutes "gads" anyway? What amount of evidence is enough to convince you? Must scientists invent a time machine and personally transport you to several million years ago to see for yourself, or what?

Heck, the Flat Earth Society could make the same claims as you, and just keep repeating that there isn't enough evidence that the earth is round, no matter how much evidence is presented. Then, they could say, "Well, if there were gads of evidence, we'd not be questioning it." No, of course you'd be questioning it, because you're the Flat Earth Society.

Now, if people in the scientific realm other than obviously biased groups like the ICR or whatever were questioning evolutionary theory, then you might have a point. But basically no one does outside of religious movements.

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Oct 31, 2004, 08:45 PM
 
There are more than ONE human species living on Earth right now. They number in the millions. You see them on TV, in daily life, and even posted on this forum.

Why are they consider a different species from humans?

1. They have a different set of chromosomes from normal humans.
2. They can't breed with normal humans.
3. They look distintively different than normal humans.
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Oct 31, 2004, 08:46 PM
 
Originally posted by CharlesS:
The theory of gravity has many missing pieces. If gravity is correct:

1. Where are the observations of graviton particles?

2. Why are there two different explanations of how gravity works (i.e. curvature of space, graviton particles)?

3. Why are so many things still unknown?

Obviously, this proves that those who believe in "gravity" have just as much faith as those who believe in the Church of Magic Fall-Downiness. Since Magic Fall-Downiness has never been disproved, this makes it just as viable an explanation as "gravity." Oh, and if you happen to be one of the heathens who believe in gravity, the Magic Fall-Downiness God will throw you into hell, where you will fall down for all eternity! So beware!

Yes, this post is *obviously* satire. If you thought I was serious, you've got problems.


Bravo.

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Oct 31, 2004, 08:55 PM
 
Originally posted by hyteckit:
There are more than ONE human species living on Earth right now. They number in the millions. You see them on TV, in daily life, and even posted on this forum.

Why are they consider a different species from humans?

1. They have a different set of chromosomes from normal humans.
2. They can't breed with normal humans.
3. They look distintively different than normal humans.
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Oct 31, 2004, 09:22 PM
 
Originally posted by chris v:
Sapiens Nerdii?
Ahem... don't you mean Homo Nerdii?
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 09:25 PM
 
Originally posted by i_rooster:
chikkken!!

Anyway, creationism is the only way to explain how such beutifully crafted organs like the human eye, or the human brain function can be explained. There is no way in hell we have anything that beutiful coming out of an evolutionary process. But as I said before it may well be that we have been designed to believe in evolution. That's our limitation and that doesnt mean we are right in the way we think.
Evolution and nature have some complicated and beautiful results, but thinking that life all fits together beautifully by someone's design and that is unexplainable except by "god" is just about as ridiculous an argument as it gets.
When you were young and your heart was an open book, you used to say "live and let live."
But if this ever changing world, in which we live in, makes you give in and cry, say "live and let die."
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 10:00 PM
 
Originally posted by CharlesS:
There are gads of evidence. And you're still, well I wouldn't say questioning it - it's more like sticking your fingers in your ears and shouting, "It doesn't exist! I can't hear you! La la la la la la la!"

Who is "we" anyway? The creationists? It's quite clear that no matter how much evidence there is, the creationists are going to be denying it. The creationists start their thought process with the strict rejection of evolutionary theory. That's their starting point, and from there they look for anything they can possibly find (or make up) to support their assertion. It's like that link that greenamp posted, where someone pointed out that the site's "about us" page included that "All compromising theories such as theistic evolution, progressive creationism, threshold evolution, the gap theory, the modified gap theory, the day-age theory, the non-world view, etc., shall be denied and opposed as patently false." If you've made up your mind before you start, you're going to "question" it no matter how much evidence there is, because that's what creationists do.

Besides, what amount constitutes "gads" anyway? What amount of evidence is enough to convince you? Must scientists invent a time machine and personally transport you to several million years ago to see for yourself, or what?

Heck, the Flat Earth Society could make the same claims as you, and just keep repeating that there isn't enough evidence that the earth is round, no matter how much evidence is presented. Then, they could say, "Well, if there were gads of evidence, we'd not be questioning it." No, of course you'd be questioning it, because you're the Flat Earth Society.

Now, if people in the scientific realm other than obviously biased groups like the ICR or whatever were questioning evolutionary theory, then you might have a point. But basically no one does outside of religious movements.
So far the closest thing to evolutionary evidence anyone has produced in this thread was the lucy fossil. No one has answered questions any more directly than with baseless comments like, "it's a fact," "there's tons of evidence,"it's been observed."

Also, your gravity example is flawed. I can prove gravity right now by taking a quarter out of my pocket and letting go- it falls. Can you prove evolution that simply?

You seem to have a lot of faith in evolution though
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 10:18 PM
 
Originally posted by greenamp:
Also, your gravity example is flawed. I can prove gravity right now by taking a quarter out of my pocket and letting go- it falls. Can you prove evolution that simply?
You missed the point. Can you prove that the quarter falls because of gravity, and not simply because of magic / divine influence?

After all, people realized that stuff fell down long before Newton discovered gravity.

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Oct 31, 2004, 10:18 PM
 
Originally posted by greenamp:
I can prove gravity right now by taking a quarter out of my pocket and letting go- it falls. Can you prove evolution that simply?
Evolution can't fall out of ones pocket! Neither is it something that will fit in there! Just my 0.02$.
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Oct 31, 2004, 10:29 PM
 
Originally posted by greenamp:
So far the closest thing to evolutionary evidence anyone has produced in this thread was the lucy fossil. No one has answered questions any more directly than with baseless comments like, "it's a fact," "there's tons of evidence,"it's been observed."
Originally posted by itistoday:
Your dog, is the result of "controlled" evolution. There are fossils of the "transitional forms", they are simply the fossils of similar species. There are hundreds of species of lizards, while they are all similar, each specializes at something depending on the environment it lives in. There are thousdands fossils (don't know the names of them) of the "transitional" animals from land-walking animals to birds, from fish to land animals, etc. And the "missing link" as you call it, that connects us to apes, does exist. I forget the names of them, but I think one of them is called "proto-man" and something else.

I'm sure you've seen this picture (couldn't find a non-messed with version ):
<snip>
Well, the animals in each one of those stages has been found.
Originally posted by chris v:
Species mutation is an observable phoenomenon, from breeding of domesticated animals to mutation of resistant strains of virus/bacteria.
Originally posted by chris v:
There are plenty of transitional fossils. We're ALL transitional. Archeopterix? More recent examples-- Blind cave species that still have eye sockets. Penguns, whose wings are evolving from devices for flying into flippers for swimming. Look around you, the evidence is everywhere.
Originally posted by chris v:
Apes have evolved simultaneously, along a seperate branch from a common ancestor.
Originally posted by Wiskedjak:
Go visit a farm. NONE of the animals there existed in their present form even a few hundred years ago.
Originally posted by Wiskedjak:
The recent discovery of hobbit-like skeletons in Indonesia is evidence of that.
Originally posted by Spheric Harlot:
Seedless grapes? hairless dogs? Chihuahuas? Siamese cats? Donkeys/horses/mules? Antibiotic-resistant bacteria? All of these things happened during recorded, sometimes even very recent history. The only difference being that these are partly artificially selected for. The resistant bacteria are actually a form of natural selection, since they survive a hostile environment.
And if what's in this thread isn't enough for you, there's been some good advice for where you can find answers to your questions in great detail:

Originally posted by phoenixboy70:
http://www.talkorigins.org/
And of course, since it's what the thread is about:

Originally posted by chris v:
Read the NG article.

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Oct 31, 2004, 10:34 PM
 
Originally posted by greenamp:
So far the closest thing to evolutionary evidence anyone has produced in this thread was the lucy fossil. No one has answered questions any more directly than with baseless comments like, "it's a fact," "there's tons of evidence,"it's been observed."
I can tell you as a former Anthro major who studied a LOT of fossil record (12 years ago now .. plz don't ask for details) that there is an extensive fossil record. Lucy was just a famous, nearly intact one, found in the early 70's which filled one of the "gaps" at the time. There have been many more fossils of Lucy's relatives (known as Australopithecus Afarensis) found since then. There is a nearly continuous fossil record that shows human development through the eons -- they just don't all have rock n' roll names like "Lucy" that everybody knows.
Here is a short list of just a few of the major fossils found and Here is a link to PBS.org that has some nifty discussions and flash animations regarding the "evidence" for evolution -- both in humans and other animals.

Originally posted by greenamp:

You seem to have a lot of faith in evolution though
See my earlier post .. I agree that there is a large element of faith that goes into scientific inquiry in general. Its a philosophical quandary that no scientist nor philosopher has been able to get past yet.
     
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Oct 31, 2004, 10:41 PM
 
Five Major Misconceptions about Evolution
Copyright 1995-1997 by Mark Isaak
[Last Update: October 1, 2003]

A large part of the reason why Creationist arguments against evolution can sound so persuasive is because they don't address evolution, but rather argue against a set of misunderstandings that people are right to consider ludicrous. The Creationists wrongly believe that their understanding of evolution is what the theory of evolution really says, and declare evolution banished. In fact, they haven't even addressed the topic of evolution. (The situation isn't helped by poor science education generally. Even most beginning college biology students don't understand the theory of evolution.)

The five propositions below seem to be the most common misconceptions based on a Creationist straw-man version of evolution. If you hear anyone making any of them, chances are excellent that they don't know enough about the real theory of evolution to make informed opinions about it.

* Evolution has never been observed.
* Evolution violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics.
* There are no transitional fossils.
* The theory of evolution says that life originated, and evolution proceeds, by random chance.
* Evolution is only a theory; it hasn't been proved.

Explanations of why these statements are wrong are given below. They are brief and therefore somewhat simplified; consult the references at the end for more thorough explanations.


"Evolution has never been observed."

Biologists define evolution as a change in the gene pool of a population over time. One example is insects developing a resistance to pesticides over the period of a few years. Even most Creationists recognize that evolution at this level is a fact. What they don't appreciate is that this rate of evolution is all that is required to produce the diversity of all living things from a common ancestor.

The origin of new species by evolution has also been observed, both in the laboratory and in the wild. See, for example, (Weinberg, J.R., V.R. Starczak, and D. Jorg, 1992, "Evidence for rapid speciation following a founder event in the laboratory." Evolution 46: 1214-1220). The "Observed Instances of Speciation" FAQ in the talk.origins archives gives several additional examples.

Even without these direct observations, it would be wrong to say that evolution hasn't been observed. Evidence isn't limited to seeing something happen before your eyes. Evolution makes predictions about what we would expect to see in the fossil record, comparative anatomy, genetic sequences, geographical distribution of species, etc., and these predictions have been verified many times over. The number of observations supporting evolution is overwhelming.

What hasn't been observed is one animal abruptly changing into a radically different one, such as a frog changing into a cow. This is not a problem for evolution because evolution doesn't propose occurrences even remotely like that. In fact, if we ever observed a frog turn into a cow, it would be very strong evidence against evolution.


"Evolution violates the 2nd law of thermodynamics."

This shows more a misconception about thermodynamics than about evolution. The second law of thermodynamics says, "No process is possible in which the sole result is the transfer of energy from a cooler to a hotter body." [Atkins, 1984, The Second Law, pg. 25] Now you may be scratching your head wondering what this has to do with evolution. The confusion arises when the 2nd law is phrased in another equivalent way, "The entropy of a closed system cannot decrease." Entropy is an indication of unusable energy and often (but not always!) corresponds to intuitive notions of disorder or randomness. Creationists thus misinterpret the 2nd law to say that things invariably progress from order to disorder.

However, they neglect the fact that life is not a closed system. The sun provides more than enough energy to drive things. If a mature tomato plant can have more usable energy than the seed it grew from, why should anyone expect that the next generation of tomatoes can't have more usable energy still? Creationists sometimes try to get around this by claiming that the information carried by living things lets them create order. However, not only is life irrelevant to the 2nd law, but order from disorder is common in nonliving systems, too. Snowflakes, sand dunes, tornadoes, stalactites, graded river beds, and lightning are just a few examples of order coming from disorder in nature; none require an intelligent program to achieve that order. In any nontrivial system with lots of energy flowing through it, you are almost certain to find order arising somewhere in the system. If order from disorder is supposed to violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics, why is it ubiquitous in nature?

The thermodynamics argument against evolution displays a misconception about evolution as well as about thermodynamics, since a clear understanding of how evolution works should reveal major flaws in the argument. Evolution says that organisms reproduce with only small changes between generations (after their own kind, so to speak). For example, animals might have appendages which are longer or shorter, thicker or flatter, lighter or darker than their parents. Occasionally, a change might be on the order of having four or six fingers instead of five. Once the differences appear, the theory of evolution calls for differential reproductive success. For example, maybe the animals with longer appendages survive to have more offspring than short-appendaged ones. All of these processes can be observed today. They obviously don't violate any physical laws.


"There are no transitional fossils."

A transitional fossil is one that looks like it's from an organism intermediate between two lineages, meaning it has some characteristics of lineage A, some characteristics of lineage B, and probably some characteristics part way between the two. Transitional fossils can occur between groups of any taxonomic level, such as between species, between orders, etc. Ideally, the transitional fossil should be found stratigraphically between the first occurrence of the ancestral lineage and the first occurrence of the descendent lineage, but evolution also predicts the occurrence of some fossils with transitional morphology that occur after both lineages. There's nothing in the theory of evolution which says an intermediate form (or any organism, for that matter) can have only one line of descendents, or that the intermediate form itself has to go extinct when a line of descendents evolves.

To say there are no transitional fossils is simply false. Paleontology has progressed a bit since Origin of Species was published, uncovering thousands of transitional fossils, by both the temporally restrictive and the less restrictive definitions. The fossil record is still spotty and always will be; erosion and the rarity of conditions favorable to fossilization make that inevitable. Also, transitions may occur in a small population, in a small area, and/or in a relatively short amount of time; when any of these conditions hold, the chances of finding the transitional fossils goes down. Still, there are still many instances where excellent sequences of transitional fossils exist. Some notable examples are the transitions from reptile to mammal, from land animal to early whale, and from early ape to human. For many more examples, see the transitional fossils FAQ in the talk.origins archive, and see http://www.geo.ucalgary.ca/~macrae/talk_origins.html for sample images for some invertebrate groups.

The misconception about the lack of transitional fossils is perpetuated in part by a common way of thinking about categories. When people think about a category like "dog" or "ant," they often subconsciously believe that there is a well-defined boundary around the category, or that there is some eternal ideal form (for philosophers, the Platonic idea) which defines the category. This kind of thinking leads people to declare that Archaeopteryx is "100% bird," when it is clearly a mix of bird and reptile features (with more reptile than bird features, in fact). In truth, categories are man-made and artificial. Nature is not constrained to follow them, and it doesn't.

Some Creationists claim that the hypothesis of punctuated equilibrium was proposed (by Eldredge and Gould) to explain gaps in the fossil record. Actually, it was proposed to explain the relative rarity of transitional forms, not their total absence, and to explain why speciation appears to happen relatively quickly in some cases, gradually in others, and not at all during some periods for some species. In no way does it deny that transitional sequences exist. In fact, both Gould and Eldredge are outspoken opponents of Creationism.

"But paleontologists have discovered several superb examples of intermediary forms and sequences, more than enough to convince any fair-minded skeptic about the reality of life's physical genealogy." - Stephen Jay Gould, Natural History, May 1994


"The theory of evolution says that life originated, and evolution proceeds, by random chance."

There is probably no other statement which is a better indication that the arguer doesn't understand evolution. Chance certainly plays a large part in evolution, but this argument completely ignores the fundamental role of natural selection, and selection is the very opposite of chance. Chance, in the form of mutations, provides genetic variation, which is the raw material that natural selection has to work with. From there, natural selection sorts out certain variations. Those variations which give greater reproductive success to their possessors (and chance ensures that such beneficial mutations will be inevitable) are retained, and less successful variations are weeded out. When the environment changes, or when organisms move to a different environment, different variations are selected, leading eventually to different species. Harmful mutations usually die out quickly, so they don't interfere with the process of beneficial mutations accumulating.

Nor is abiogenesis (the origin of the first life) due purely to chance. Atoms and molecules arrange themselves not purely randomly, but according to their chemical properties. In the case of carbon atoms especially, this means complex molecules are sure to form spontaneously, and these complex molecules can influence each other to create even more complex molecules. Once a molecule forms that is approximately self-replicating, natural selection will guide the formation of ever more efficient replicators. The first self-replicating object didn't need to be as complex as a modern cell or even a strand of DNA. Some self-replicating molecules are not really all that complex (as organic molecules go).

Some people still argue that it is wildly improbable for a given self-replicating molecule to form at a given point (although they usually don't state the "givens," but leave them implicit in their calculations). This is true, but there were oceans of molecules working on the problem, and no one knows how many possible self-replicating molecules could have served as the first one. A calculation of the odds of abiogenesis is worthless unless it recognizes the immense range of starting materials that the first replicator might have formed from, the probably innumerable different forms that the first replicator might have taken, and the fact that much of the construction of the replicating molecule would have been non-random to start with.

(One should also note that the theory of evolution doesn't depend on how the first life began. The truth or falsity of any theory of abiogenesis wouldn't affect evolution in the least.)


"Evolution is only a theory; it hasn't been proved."

First, we should clarify what "evolution" means. Like so many other words, it has more than one meaning. Its strict biological definition is "a change in allele frequencies over time." By that definition, evolution is an indisputable fact. Most people seem to associate the word "evolution" mainly with common descent, the theory that all life arose from one common ancestor. Many people believe that there is enough evidence to call this a fact, too. However, common descent is still not the theory of evolution, but just a fraction of it (and a part of several quite different theories as well). The theory of evolution not only says that life evolved, it also includes mechanisms, like mutations, natural selection, and genetic drift, which go a long way towards explaining how life evolved.

Calling the theory of evolution "only a theory" is, strictly speaking, true, but the idea it tries to convey is completely wrong. The argument rests on a confusion between what "theory" means in informal usage and in a scientific context. A theory, in the scientific sense, is "a coherent group of general propositions used as principles of explanation for a class of phenomena" [Random House American College Dictionary]. The term does not imply tentativeness or lack of certainty. Generally speaking, scientific theories differ from scientific laws only in that laws can be expressed more tersely. Being a theory implies self-consistency, agreement with observations, and usefulness. (Creationism fails to be a theory mainly because of the last point; it makes few or no specific claims about what we would expect to find, so it can't be used for anything. When it does make falsifiable predictions, they prove to be false.)

Lack of proof isn't a weakness, either. On the contrary, claiming infallibility for one's conclusions is a sign of hubris. Nothing in the real world has ever been rigorously proved, or ever will be. Proof, in the mathematical sense, is possible only if you have the luxury of defining the universe you're operating in. In the real world, we must deal with levels of certainty based on observed evidence. The more and better evidence we have for something, the more certainty we assign to it; when there is enough evidence, we label the something a fact, even though it still isn't 100% certain.

What evolution has is what any good scientific claim has--evidence, and lots of it. Evolution is supported by a wide range of observations throughout the fields of genetics, anatomy, ecology, animal behavior, paleontology, and others. If you wish to challenge the theory of evolution, you must address that evidence. You must show that the evidence is either wrong or irrelevant or that it fits another theory better. Of course, to do this, you must know both the theory and the evidence.


Conclusion

These are not the only misconceptions about evolution by any means. Other common misunderstandings include how geological dating techniques work, implications to morality and religion, the meaning of "uniformitarianism," and many more. To address all these objections here would be impossible.

But consider: About a hundred years ago, scientists, who were then mostly creationists, looked at the world to figure out how God did things. These creationists came to the conclusions of an old earth and species originating by evolution. Since then, thousands of scientists have been studying evolution with increasingly more sophisticated tools. Many of these scientists have excellent understandings of the laws of thermodynamics, how fossil finds are interpreted, etc., and finding a better alternative to evolution would win them fame and fortune. Sometimes their work has changed our understanding of significant details of how evolution operates, but the theory of evolution still has essentially unanimous agreement from the people who work on it.

- From here:
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-misconceptions.html
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Oct 31, 2004, 10:45 PM
 
Originally posted by greenamp:
I am not promoting religion here. If you came to this thread in the hopes you would be able to bash on Christians I'm afraid you have come to the wrong place.
No, that's the other room. I'm here to bash ignorance.

-spheric* (Christian)
     
 
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