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In discussions related to religion, the topic of evolution often arises, and theists sometimes state that they do not "believe in" evolution. It is curious how often the topic arises considering it does nothing to support a religious position (even if evolution were a load of made up nonsense it would not imply the existence of God or gods). But so much disinformation is spread by religions to discredit evolution that a worrying number of people seem content to be ignorant of it. I despair every time someone claims not to have been "descended from monkeys". Humans are not descended from monkeys, though we have a common ancestor. Comments like that betray a deep level of ignorance, and a desire to view humans as being essentially different to other animals, motivated by pride and flying in the face of all evidence.

There is no excuse for ignorance. Education is only a threat to your beliefs if your beliefs are wrong, in which case you'd be better off without them. So I'd like to offer a starting point to get people thinking about evolution. I doubt that I can do justice to the topic, but anything's better than nothing.

Is evolution mere hypothesis, or is it proven? The answer to that depends on how much evidence you want to consider something proven. Consider the force of gravity. Do we have complete proof that it exists? Every time I drop an object it falls to the floor, but what does that prove?

It could be, for example, that objects are moved by random forces, which have given the impression of the existence of gravity by an incredibly unlikely chance. Being random, they may not necessarily continue to do so, so don't be surprised if things start flying around the room. However, the huge improbability of this makes it a poor explanation.

Or it could be that whenever I drop an object, God pulls it to the floor because He wants to. In which case, similarly, there is no reason to assume that he should continue to do so. He may change his mind at any moment. Likewise, this is a highly unlikely explanation because if God was merely exercising free will to move objects around it is unlikely that this would manifest itself in a behaviour so consistent as to appear to be a universal force with clear mathematically defined magnitude and direction. The other problem with that hypothesis is that it requires the existence of a god, which makes it a very complicated hypothesis indeed, and raises all sorts of awkward questions about how such a god could come to exist, why such a god would be doing what he is doing, the mechanisms by which he operates and so on.

So, the existence of gravity is not the only explanation for what we observe, but it is astronomically more likely than either of the above ones.

Evolution is supported in the same way, in that our observations are completely consistent with the theory. It's a tall order to give reasons why evolution is consistent with observation. The problem is knowing where to begin (and the other problem is knowing when to stop as this could be a very long post). We could start with the fact that our DNA structure is incredibly similar to that of all animals on this planet, as are larger structures like cells. Our skeletal formation, bodily functions and internal organs are incredibly similar to that of all mammals, allowing for deformation. Either that's one heck of a coincidence, or there's a suggestion of a common origin there. Based on this much alone, to suggest that human beings are not animals (since we have more developed brains) makes no more sense than a claim that a peacock cannot be a bird because it has such elaborate tail feathers.

And then there is the grouping of species at various levels which have differing degrees of commonality. All birds, for example, share common traits that differ from all mammals. But both share sets of common traits with, for example, all vertebrates. This is a clear indication of lineage, but we can look a lot deeper. We can trace lineage at the level of individual genes, and throughout the entire spectrum of living species the family tree is consistent.

Like the force of gravity, we can infer the process of evolution from the consistency of its results. But, unlike gravity, we can also observe and even interact with the underlying mechanisms that cause the process.

The process of mutation and genetic inheritance is undeniable. Humans have manipulated it successfully over millennia with selective breeding of plants and animals (including human beings). Nowadays we understand the mechanisms that cause this, in minute detail. We have also studied natural selection in the wild and how species adapt to change, and even branch off into new species. Evolution is happening, right now, all around us. That much is fact, proven to the greatest extent that anything can be. Unless our whole experience of life is some kind of fake illusion, or the whole thing is a big conspiracy, evolution happens.

Ah, but how do we know that evolution happened in the past as well? Nobody has yet envisaged a reasonable explanation of how we could have come to this point otherwise. Then there is the aforementioned commonality of physical traits and genes that caused them, the huge, well-established genetic map of species, which corresponds both geographically and chronologically with an extensive fossil record, which in itself gives us an amazingly complete picture, enabling us to trace our ancestry back millions of years. It all ties in together. There is a huge amount of data and it all fits.

Darwin understood evolution from observing the process and its effects on a medium scale. In Darwin's time, the theory was accepted by the scientific community despite flying in the face of religious belief (no small feat in those days). It was elegant, simple, and self-evident. Almost a hundred and fifty years later nobody has been able to pick a hole in it, and not for lack of trying. In that time we have come to understand so much more, far more information has been unearthed about present species, fossils, and the mechanisms of genetics (which are now understood on a molecular level). A vast amount of new information has come to light. And it all still fits.

But does that prove that we came to be this way by means of evolution? Of course not! God could have planted all the fossil evidence, arranged every living thing so as to look like it evolved, and even put all the processes in place so that evolution would have gotten us to this point, were it not for the fact that God actually put us here instead. He may be trying to fool us, just as he may be pulling objects to the floor to make us think gravity exists. The complete consistency of the data may all be just a big trick. But it's not very likely, is it?

Here I'll appeal for help from other braindenners, to provide links to websites or books for those who wish to find out how evolution works.

Here's one which seems to do a good job of taking it from first principles.

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Great topic, Octopuppy! I was just thinking about the relationship of humans with our fellow animals. Of course, we cannot deny evolution on the grounds that there is no solid proof of man evolving from other animals. I understand that a chimpanzee's genetic structure is strikingly similar to that of man, with just one genetic trait varying. And more recently it was found that a rat's genetic structure resembles that of man. Now these can't just be coincidences, if there is any such thing called coincidence. It would be a major folly on our part if we ignored or dismissed the process of evolution.

As regards the evolution of man from monkey(the term monkey is rather vague though in my opinion), there is an indication of a tail present in man which has over the centuries been hidden quite well. This small article is an interesting one, if not enlightening because this gives us something to think about.

Micheal Crichton , who recently died, the famous author of Jurassic park has expressed some interesting, theoretical points on evolution in his books: Congo, The Lost world, The Andromeda Strain(based on an infectious organism from outer space actually) among many others. I love reading his books, he gives equal importance to fiction and facts, interesting to read and gives us a lot to think about. We need to crack the mysteries like evolution open, before we venture to voice out theories about open space and it's inhabitants.

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Great post Octopuppy :P I think if there is a god, it's much more likely that they were involved in the original creation of the universe(s) and don't really care about individual universes, galaxies, solar systems, planets or life forms on those planets. It's pretty funny how mythological gods (including Christianity) are often portrayed with human emotions. Does that mean they have a human-like brain with a functioning hypothalamus? :lol: My point is that, if there is a god, they probably all treat all atoms the same, in a grand philosophical way. Like we are just groups of atoms working together in amazing, awesome ways, so maybe the god takes interest in life forms, maybe not. Certainly not just Earth, if so. Did the god know life forms would arise, or did it happen by accident and surprise the god? Can a god be surprised? Who knows. It depends on what the god actually is, where it came from, etc. And it certainly wouldn't be a god represented by any current religion, twisted by millenia, although they may feel its presence... the truth is, we cannot deny the possibility that some universal god has strangely vested its interest in our tiny planet Earth and is pretending that the earth is much older than it actually is. But more likely, if there was a god, all the natural forces & processes of the universe were put together in the beginning by the god and everything since then has been unfolding. Nothing was done specifically for us, it's just our arrogance that makes us think we are more special than everything else, more special than other intelligent animals and even ones that could be considered semi-intelligent or just plan autonomous. So, unless some god is indirectly and in some bizarre manner creating a giant conspiracy, as Octopuppy said, evolution is really undeniable. It's a natural process :D

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The idea of man being the next step in evolution from monkeys is not something I like to think about. But I don't knock those who feel strongly in its favor. Do forms of evolution exist? Absolutely. Look at nature, natural selection. the animals bred with the best genetic makeup that gives them the attributes to survive in their environment, are the ones that survive and breed with one another. Eventually the environment will change, requiring new attributes that will eventually become dominant in a species over time. I think mental evolution also exists. Those in the world that we consider to be a genius (eg: Albert Einstein) are among the few that I believe to have begun to use more than the average percentage of their bran. I've also had a theory that those with psychological issues are potentially a result of that extra unused percentage being tapped into but the individual not being able to fully comprehend it. I know there are several flaws in that theory, however once I get my PhD in psychology, I intend to further research this theory.

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Awesome! You should report your findings to us :)

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Evolution is happening, right now, all around us.

This seams to be the thing that most creationists and people that don't believe in evolution overlook. Evolution is a process that never ends as long as there is life. Problem is that changes occur extremely slowly and nowadays in small life forms - insects mostly. Take fruit flies for example. A lot of their species are diversing into subspecies as I'm typing this. They might seam small and insignificant but when scientists are analyzing their DNA and especially their proteins they are witnessing evolution right before their eyes and I think that's fascinating.

I agree with everything said above except this

Nowadays we understand the mechanisms that cause this, in minute detail.

That was my last exam and trust me when I tell you that there are still a lot of things to understand and explain.

But everyone who says that he/she doesn't believe in evolution I say - There's nothing to believe in IT'S A FACT - GO WITH IT! :lol:

Edited by andromeda
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That was my last exam and trust me when I tell you that there are still a lot of things to understand and explain.
I don't doubt it, I didn't wish to imply that there are no gaps in our current knowledge, merely that our knowledge of genetics is very detailed. There will always be questions to answer. Well, let's hope so anyway, science would be pretty boring otherwise.

I think mental evolution also exists. Those in the world that we consider to be a genius (eg: Albert Einstein) are among the few that I believe to have begun to use more than the average percentage of their bran. I've also had a theory that those with psychological issues are potentially a result of that extra unused percentage being tapped into but the individual not being able to fully comprehend it. I know there are several flaws in that theory, however once I get my PhD in psychology, I intend to further research this theory.
The mechanisms are a bit slippery when talking about humans. Natural selection appears to be no longer doing business as usual among the humans of the developed world. What determines the likelihood that a person will survive to adulthood and reproduce successfully? Anything in particular? If those with higher intelligence have no particular advantage then their genes are not going to be more prevalent in the next generation. Mental evolution certainly does exist, but I have my doubts about whether it currently amounts to anything in the human species. Though it could be that since humans now have a wider choice of mating partners we may ultimately see a diversification of human traits, the intelligent mating with the intelligent, and so on. Maybe we are moving towards a form of speciation. The other complicating factor is the meteoric rise in technology. How long will it be before humans start actively tampering with their own genes? I'd give it ten years, twenty at the most. After that, all bets are off.
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I don't think I can add to the evolution discussion too much until I've read some more so I will watch the thread for hopefully interesting data and links - not the flying spaghetti ones though pls.

Can an atheist play devils advocate - not that I class myself as neither... At the end of the day theist can say that God 'designed' evolution - making/providing reasoning as proof of his existence - just as gravity is not tangible or directly visible (could be the sir pushing it down :P As opposed to a logic explanation thereby giving science the reasoning/logical explanation and just as much to God theory. We go back to creationist theory all the time. I hope will be little of the P.M. ME and I'll prove to YOU that God did it.

Lets hope the data stays consistent as there is much more evidence to uncover. I sometimes wonder if we make the pieces fit first then it's harder for others to discredit - like so many other first theories [the world is flat] Don't get me wrong I don't see it any other way or expect it too. So am I playing devils advocate? No. Just saying we have not excluded design/creation with an awesomely clever evolutionary DNA. I wonder if 'HE' got it right first time.

Nice one octoppupy as usual. you always lengthen your topic intros, but nicely done - More links coming I guess

edit- we may develop so far that we enter devolution ??(after discovering that out interference is our biggest challenge)Retro apes

Edited by Lost in space
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Very nicely summed up Octopuppy! Since everything has pretty much already been said, I'm just going to clarify one thing. Octopuppy was demonstrating how God may have just planted all the evidence and led us to believe we are evolving, well, this is known as Intelligent Design, and is *the most* annoying theistic argument ever. Complete bollocks. Watch out for it, 'cos it comes up a fair amount in debates, and knowing some of the weaknesses in it (such as how unlikely it is that God(s) placed everything a peculiar way so we could be deceived into thinking we're such clever beings for "figuring it all out") really helps. :)

As regards the evolution of man from monkey(the term monkey is rather vague though in my opinion), there is an indication of a tail present in man which has over the centuries been hidden quite well. This small article is an interesting one, if not enlightening because this gives us something to think about.

This is unrelated, but about 2 years ago one of my best friends came up with a selective breeding plan that would create humans with tails, or rather, give humans back their tails. I'm not so sure on the details, but I can ask him about it if anyone's interested.

I think mental evolution also exists. Those in the world that we consider to be a genius (eg: Albert Einstein) are among the few that I believe to have begun to use more than the average percentage of their bran. I've also had a theory that those with psychological issues are potentially a result of that extra unused percentage being tapped into but the individual not being able to fully comprehend it. I know there are several flaws in that theory, however once I get my PhD in psychology, I intend to further research this theory.

Mental and physical, in my opinion. Earlier this year, Eli (he's registered on here but never comes on :P)and I were going for a walk, and created our Theory Hypothesis of Superhuman Evolution. This wasn't referring to the way humans are already evolving on their own, but rather how we could make them evolve. It has to do with being capable of using more of our mind and muscles during life-threatening situations. In spite of adrenaline having quite a bit to do this with, I think the more often you are exposed to situations that challenge you physically and mentally, the easier they will be to overcome. We thought that if perhaps we had a hundred or so infants, who were completely contributed to science, we could perform a few trials ("experiment on" seems like such a bad term to use in this case >_>) on them and look at the results. If our hypothesis is correct, that the infants grow and are capable of using much more of their brain and muscle than generations before them, a superhuman race is in the breeding, and the geniuses of today will not even compare to the dumb people of tomorrow. That's one rather large step for mankind methinks, albeit an important one.

Edited by Izzy
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Let me just state right off the bat that I don't believe in Evolution. I know of several holes picked in this theory, and there are many more that I have either forgotten or never heard. Lets look at the origins of life on earth. Lets not go before the point of matter since there is really nothing that we can know from then. But after the earth was, then we can have some more definite guesses. I am not to clear on the most excepted theory in evolution about how life began, but aside from the unbelievable improbability of even the simplest chromosomes being formed from random molecules floating around and all the organelles needed for this cell to live, how could it survive and reproduce? Possibly asexually, but even if it did that, how, after there are many asexual organisms, could they some how become organisms that reproduce sexually. There are so many organs, cell parts, and other building blocks that serve no purpose if they are even the tiniest bit different. Also, since you insist that evolution is still happening, why isn't life being generated anew? There are many, many, many more unanswered questions and downright impossibilities in this theory.

Although you have already been warned against Intelligent design, I believe that there is some merit in the theory. Here is a fairly in depth article about it. I know that it is long, but if you believe that Intelligent design is stupid, this might change your opinion.

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Let me just state right off the bat that I don't believe in Evolution. I know of several holes picked in this theory, and there are many more that I have either forgotten or never heard. Lets look at the origins of life on earth. Lets not go before the point of matter since there is really nothing that we can know from then. But after the earth was, then we can have some more definite guesses. I am not to clear on the most excepted theory in evolution about how life began, but aside from the unbelievable improbability of even the simplest chromosomes being formed from random molecules floating around and all the organelles needed for this cell to live, how could it survive and reproduce? Possibly asexually, but even if it did that, how, after there are many asexual organisms, could they some how become organisms that reproduce sexually. There are so many organs, cell parts, and other building blocks that serve no purpose if they are even the tiniest bit different. Also, since you insist that evolution is still happening, why isn't life being generated anew? There are many, many, many more unanswered questions and downright impossibilities in this theory.

Although you have already been warned against Intelligent design, I believe that there is some merit in the theory. Here is a fairly in depth article about it. I know that it is long, but if you believe that Intelligent design is stupid, this might change your opinion.

Well hanks for that link bociniki - I'll read it later. Ithttp://brainden.com/forum/style_images/1/folder_editor_images/rte-bold.png's pretty obvious where you are coming from, so I'll let someone else (Octopuppy looks on line), shoot you down. It seems rather closed minded. Especially the way you have introduced your dissing remarks of what you know/dont know (see bold type above) can you not at least form your own rather than just say that it 'easier' for you to feel more comfortable with the god did it theory to explain ALL things like a comforting panacea that weighs up for you personally, and lets you off the hook for explanation.

No offense but you seem to be in safe/unacceptable mode

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Or it could be that whenever I drop an object, God pulls it to the floor because He wants to. In which case, similarly, there is no reason to assume that he should continue to do so. He may change his mind at any moment. Likewise, this is a highly unlikely explanation because if God was merely exercising free will to move objects around it is unlikely that this would manifest itself in a behaviour so consistent as to appear to be a universal force with clear mathematically defined magnitude and direction. The other problem with that hypothesis is that it requires the existence of a god, which makes it a very complicated hypothesis indeed, and raises all sorts of awkward questions about how such a god could come to exist, why such a god would be doing what he is doing, the mechanisms by which he operates and so on.

First of all, where are you coming up with this idea the theists believe that "God excercises free will on gravity"? NO theists I know, nor myself, believe that is what is happening. Gravity is very real, and has little to nothing to do with evolution. God created gravity, of course he can control it at any point he feels the need, but its not like he is the one pulling objects onto the earth at all times, and if he wanted to "trick"(????) us, he could move objects around with inconsistent behavior. That's not how God works.

Believe it or not, God uses reason...which in another forum on evolution, some of the atheists were saying was not compatible with religion. And quite frankly God uses reason as a framework of his power. Its like if a person was gonna jump of the empire state building, trying to prove that if he prays to God on the way down, he wont die. That is a big problem most atheists and the scorners of Jesus back in the Bible days argued. Of course God could and can do anything, but by attempting to commit suicide, is that a reasonable thing to do? No. Just like if you said, "Hey God, put a pink elephant with purple polka dots and a cape in this room right now." Most likely, God will not oblige to something that foolish. If something isnt done for the glory of him or a need( as in a need, not a want)of the person asking, God will see it as being utterly pointless, and it was a stupid decision the person made in the first place.

Back to the point of Reason which was discussed in another topic....answer this question I am about to ask you aloud before you read any further.

Was Darwin a man of Reason? (Did he use reason in his depiction of evolution?)

I am imagine most if not all of you atheists said, "yes, he was a man of reason". I can't disagree. He had to use reason, just like any other human being thinking logically, to employ the topic of evolution. Being a man of reason, as we have now descerned, and the fact that it was mentioned that reason and religion are not compatible...

Charles Darwin in fact gave his heart to the Lord on his deathbed. Will all of his reason used throughout his life and science, did he in fact use reason in his choice to except Jesus into his heart, and except Creation as the basis of our complex human world? By deduction, he had to of. He WAS a man of reason.

One more question. Knowing what I have told you, Charles Darwin accepting Creation after a life spent devoted to a silly conjecture, with which in an instant he through out the window in return for living into eternity, this very man of reason, which you have devoted your debate to also, how does that make you feel knowing in that very moment he gave it up, knowing it was just in fact a huge intellectual and physical mistake; the theory (conjecture) of evolution. ???

Edited by Jrod_Writer13
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This is unrelated, but about 2 years ago one of my best friends came up with a selective breeding plan that would create humans with tails, or rather, give humans back their tails. I'm not so sure on the details, but I can ask him about it if anyone's interested.This sounds interesting - we need to hear it don't we gang.

Mental and physical, in my opinion. Earlier this year, Eli (he's registered on here but never comes on :P)and I were going for a walk, and created our Theory Hypothesis of Superhuman Evolution. This wasn't referring to the way humans are already evolving on their own, but rather how we could make them evolve. It has to do with being capable of using more of our mind and muscles during life-threatening situations. In spite of adrenaline having quite a bit to do this with, I think the more often you are exposed to situations that challenge you physically and mentally, the easier they will be to overcome. We thought that if perhaps we had a hundred or so infants, who were completely contributed to science, we could perform a few trials ("experiment on" seems like such a bad term to use in this case >_>) on them and look at the results. If our hypothesis is correct, that the infants grow and are capable of using much more of their brain and muscle than generations before them, a superhuman race is in the breeding, and the geniuses of today will not even compare to the dumb people of tomorrow. That's one rather large step for mankind methinks, albeit an important one.

sounds awesome - where can we get hold of these babies. Actually there maybe a couple of groups or so that may be offended - yet again I am sure we can round up a few quid to purchase some from the poor and needy :)

Can you rationalize theory so that we may all diss it :P . I hink it has no merit on the usual basis that nature acts better when ready otherwise it upsets other facets of nature, just as if a temperature rise of 1 or 2 degrees and the ice-burgs melt, water where there as none before, fine balanced animals that are out of there comfort settings die etc.

edit DMS - we can always say that God designed man to think a particular way - it just does not hold up without the evidence, please do not use the he does not want us to se him or we are not worthy to see him, we should not doubt him etc

nb When God made man - she was only joking.

Edited by Lost in space
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. Also, since you insist that evolution is still happening, why isn't life being generated anew?

See my post about natural selection. Evolution doesn't occur overnight. It's a slow process. if it did occur overnight the world would never really be able to fully adapt to each new species. Which, in turn would result in total chaos (or something like that ;))

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Sorry LIS, but I don't see any bold type in you reply to me. And if it came across closed minded and dissing, I am sorry. I thought this discussion was for people to put forth some evidence that they have seen, heard, or observed, and then discuss it. Obviously I think that evolution is wrong (that's why I am arguing against it), and I don't think that I am too closed minded, but I have looked into this a little bit, and everything that I see looks (to me at any rate) like it is not in favor of evolution, so in one way I am closed minded, which doesn't mean that I won't change, or that I can't change, but it does mean that I think I am right.

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Let me just state right off the bat that I don't believe in Evolution. I know of several holes picked in this theory, and there are many more that I have either forgotten or never heard. Lets look at the origins of life on earth. Lets not go before the point of matter since there is really nothing that we can know from then. But after the earth was, then we can have some more definite guesses. I am not to clear on the most excepted theory in evolution about how life began, but aside from the unbelievable improbability of even the simplest chromosomes being formed from random molecules floating around and all the organelles needed for this cell to live, how could it survive and reproduce? Possibly asexually, but even if it did that, how, after there are many asexual organisms, could they some how become organisms that reproduce sexually. There are so many organs, cell parts, and other building blocks that serve no purpose if they are even the tiniest bit different. Also, since you insist that evolution is still happening, why isn't life being generated anew? There are many, many, many more unanswered questions and downright impossibilities in this theory.

Although you have already been warned against Intelligent design, I believe that there is some merit in the theory. Here is a fairly in depth article about it. I know that it is long, but if you believe that Intelligent design is stupid, this might change your opinion.

Well, like you said, it's a long article, so I only glanced at the first page so far, and it already seems disingenuous in my mind. It starts by reassuring the reader that Intelligent Design is not "repackaged Creationism." :rolleyes: If ID actually had the legs that it claims, then those legs should be the focus of the paper, not the "fact" that ID is in no way, related whatsoever, under any conditions, to Creationism. It starts on the defensive. It's essentially saying, "People are attacking the beliefs that you cherish; never fear, I am here to defend those beliefs."

Many were impressed by the discovery that the laws and constants of physics are

improbably “finely-tuned” to make life possible. As British astrophysicist Fred Hoyle put it,

the fine-tuning of the laws and constants of physics suggested that a designing intelligence

“had monkeyed with physics” for our benefit.

This quote from the first section relates directly to the short speech that Douglas Adams made about a puddle:

imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, 'This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!' This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.

It may seem like a truism, but it is really true to say that life exists because the conditions for life are nearly perfect. Admittedly, I think that the puddle would fit a little better in its hole if the sun had a little less UV radiation. Then, it would be perfect... :rolleyes: My point is that it wouldn't be possible for any of us to be having this conversation without the physics constants being "finely-tuned to make life possible." The only possible way for life to exist is if those constants are just right, so it's a necessary condition for life. Every time we find that life exists, we have to find that those constants are right for life, so, it by no means justifies that the Universe had to be designed for life.

I think that's enough about that aspect for now. On to what you said regarding evolution. :P

Evolution's main theories (to date) focus on what life has done since it began and they do not cover how it began. That is still an open question, but there is still a lot of evidence for evolution to have played a role even at the beginning. The first organisms would have to be the simplest (and oldest:) Bacteria. All unicellular organisms reproduce asexually and the first ones converted H2S released from steam vents on the ocean floor into food through some process that released Oxygen into the water (and the atmosphere.) I don't remember the exact process, but doing so allowed other more developed and complex organisms to form.

How could new multi-cellular creatures develop from unicellular ones, you ask? Mutation is likely a good answer, but to go into more detail, it is accepted that he first organisms, like the bacteria of today, didn't have nuclei, which limited their complexity, but through some favorable mutations (one bacterium swallowed another, but the other continued to exist inside it; when one bacterium reproduced, instead of dividing like its peers, it didn't fully disconnect and the two cells remained together.) Variations like these could provide the mechanisms for evolution on the microscopic level at the beginning of life.

I will conclude by saying that Biology and Evolution are not my areas of expertise and most of what I am saying above are by no means conclusive or supported by oodles of research, but they make sense to me as logical extensions of what I do know. Some derives from vague memories of high school biology and others are pure inference on my part. (The sulfur vents part is Biology class and the mutations are my own concoction from memories and my own reasoning. B)) )

To conclude, I think that an amazing book that everyone should read (but especially if you have an interest in this area) is The Beak of the Finch by Jonathan Weiner. In it, he examines a lot of the claims of evolution and does a very good job (IMHO -_- ) of putting the idea that "there is no evidence of evolution happening right now" to rest. I've heard that some people have found it a little boring to read in parts, but I think that the whole thing is fascinating and I would highly recommend it to any and everyone. :D

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Sorry LIS, but I don't see any bold type in you reply to me. And if it came across closed minded and dissing, I am sorry. I thought this discussion was for people to put forth some evidence that they have seen, heard, or observed, and then discuss it. Obviously I think that evolution is wrong (that's why I am arguing against it), and I don't think that I am too closed minded, but I have looked into this a little bit, and everything that I see looks (to me at any rate) like it is not in favor of evolution, so in one way I am closed minded, which doesn't mean that I won't change, or that I can't change, but it does mean that I think I am right.
I have started to use google chrome and thought I could just do <ctrl+b> so It did not come out bold. Anyway to not get off to a wrong footing. I was just trying to point out that it is easy to say I have read and don't believe, but nicer inout would be to quote something specific - your link is hellishly long bociniki, could you at least copy in the text that is relevant - otherwise I will not have time for a few days. Not that it can not wait. I'm not impatient. I can be a little lazy and I prefer not to have to fish out information of a few lines out of thousands

FanQ

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I can recommend LIFE by Richard Fortey. It explains everything from the beginning. if I don't go for Dawhs beak of the finch I'll reread LIFE

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Two things.

One, dawh said that on the first page of the article that it is not a "repackaged Creationism." As LIS said, this is a very long article. It is fairly complete and I would ask you not to judge it by its first page. I only expect you to read this if you are really interested in debating this point, in which case, since I don't know that much you will probably "win," but since this is about showing our opinions and evidence to others, debating can always be a win-win situation.

Second the likelihood of there being helpful mutations instead of harmful ones are very unlikely. How come the bacteria didn't turn into a bacteria eating organism and eat all the bacteria and then die?

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Let me just state right off the bat that I don't believe in Evolution. I know of several holes picked in this theory, and there are many more that I have either forgotten or never heard. Lets look at the origins of life on earth. Lets not go before the point of matter since there is really nothing that we can know from then. But after the earth was, then we can have some more definite guesses. I am not to clear on the most excepted theory in evolution about how life began, but aside from the unbelievable improbability of even the simplest chromosomes being formed from random molecules floating around and all the organelles needed for this cell to live, how could it survive and reproduce? Possibly asexually, but even if it did that, how, after there are many asexual organisms, could they some how become organisms that reproduce sexually. There are so many organs, cell parts, and other building blocks that serve no purpose if they are even the tiniest bit different.
It's clear that all life goes back to a common origin. What is not clear is exactly what happened at that origin. Looking at Wikipedia there is information on both the origin of life and origin of sexual reproduction. These are ancient events that only had to occur once, so while there are plausible theories it may be impossible to determine exactly what happened. Frankly, it's not my field and I can't offer any comment on the mechanisms beyond that.

Mathematics and probability, on the other hand, are much more up my street. Let's just say for the sake of argument that abiogenesis is, as you say, unbelievably improbable. Suppose it requires very specific conditions and a crazy amount of luck. Given a planet suitable for life, let's say the chances of it happening within any given year, over the space of the entire planet, are one in a trillion (picking an arbitrarily big number out of the air here). Not good odds, you might say. Estimates of the number of habitable planets in the Milky Way vary, but taking a conservative figure of 10 million, the probability of abiogenesis occurring within the Milky Way in any given year would then be 1 in 100,000. So you'd expect life to pop up somewhere in the Milky Way roughly once every 100,000 years (in that case you'd expect there to be several thousand worlds currently supporting life in our galaxy alone). And of course I haven't even considered all the other galaxies out there yet. But hey, maybe it's less likely than that. Doesn't matter really. In order for the development of life not to be an absolute certainty, it must be completely impossible. Unbelievably improbable just doesn't cut it. Any possible event will happen, given enough chances. And it's a big universe.

Also, since you insist that evolution is still happening, why isn't life being generated anew?
:blink: A friend of mine had a baby last week. There you go.

There are many, many, many more unanswered questions and downright impossibilities in this theory.
Unanswered questions are the lifeblood of science. Scientist seek them out, and in such a complex field, you would hope to find a few questions currently unanswered. But downright impossibilities? Name one.

Although you have already been warned against Intelligent design, I believe that there is some merit in the theory. Here is a fairly in depth article about it. I know that it is long, but if you believe that Intelligent design is stupid, this might change your opinion.
I just get a blank screen there, so I'll have to stay out of that one for now. :(
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sounds awesome - where can we get hold of these babies. Actually there maybe a couple of groups or so that may be offended - yet again I am sure we can round up a few quid to purchase some from the poor and needy :)

Can you rationalize theory so that we may all diss it :P . I hink it has no merit on the usual basis that nature acts better when ready otherwise it upsets other facets of nature, just as if a temperature rise of 1 or 2 degrees and the ice-burgs melt, water where there as none before, fine balanced animals that are out of there comfort settings die etc.

nb When God made man - she was only joking.

The statement bolded confused me. Reiterate please?

Getting the babies is probably the most intricate problem we have. I was watching this finance show with my mom a few days ago, and apparently it only costs $100 000 to clone your dog. I'm thinking donations/black mailing/hacking Bill Gates' bank account a spankin' way to commence.. Assuming we can pull off getting some kids, obviously if any of them are getting hurt or we can noticed a trend that may lead to some long-term psychological damage, we call the whole thing off.

I love nature for everything it has done for our planet, our race, and well, everything else. However, today I realized fully how pointless life is. There's no divine purpose for me here; assuming I reproduce and my childlings reproduce until the day the human race days out, the human race has still died out and there was no point in me reproducing; There were other examples I had, but I'm venturing off-topic. Basically, it's all pretty depressing. Nature will stay forever, but we humans only have so long to make our mark on the planet before a much more advanced and capable species evolves. Well, why not speed the process up a bit? Create a super-human race. If I screw anything up, nature will just make it right again - that's what it does. It's fun and makes me feel important. :D

Lmao at the quote btw.

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First of all, where are you coming up with this idea the theists believe that "God excercises free will on gravity"? NO theists I know, nor myself, believe that is what is happening. Gravity is very real, and has little to nothing to do with evolution.
I never said anybody believes that. Why would you? It's absurd! I was merely demonstrating that failing to recognise the reality of evolution is equally absurd (arguably more so, since with evolution you can see the mechanism as well as consistently observe its effects)

God created gravity, of course he can control it at any point he feels the need, but its not like he is the one pulling objects onto the earth at all times, and if he wanted to "trick"(????) us, he could move objects around with inconsistent behavior. That's not how God works.
You'd hope not. That would be a pretty wierd sort of god. Why does he offer us such consistent evidence of the process and history of evolution then?

Charles Darwin in fact gave his heart to the Lord on his deathbed. Will all of his reason used throughout his life and science, did he in fact use reason in his choice to except Jesus into his heart, and except Creation as the basis of our complex human world? By deduction, he had to of. He WAS a man of reason.
That's wrong in so many ways. Firstly, that particular myth was put about by an evangelist who claimed to have visited Darwin on his deathbed, though Darwin's family denied that she had ever been present. Another fine upstanding Christian lying for Jesus.

But even if it were true, it would mean nothing. There is no such thing as a man of reason. Men are men. Sometimes we use reason. Sometimes we don't. I have the greatest respect for Darwin but I would be surprised if he didn't have moments of weakness. We all do. But I won't say any more along those lines for fear of lending credibility to that rather pernicious tale.

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Mathematics and probability, on the other hand, are much more up my street. Let's just say for the sake of argument that abiogenesis is, as you say, unbelievably improbable. Suppose it requires very specific conditions and a crazy amount of luck. Given a planet suitable for life, let's say the chances of it happening within any given year, over the space of the entire planet, are one in a trillion (picking an arbitrarily big number out of the air here). Not good odds, you might say. Estimates of the number of habitable planets in the Milky Way vary, but taking a conservative figure of 10 million, the probability of abiogenesis occurring within the Milky Way in any given year would then be 1 in 100,000. So you'd expect life to pop up somewhere in the Milky Way roughly once every 100,000 years (in that case you'd expect there to be several thousand worlds currently supporting life in our galaxy alone). And of course I haven't even considered all the other galaxies out there yet. But hey, maybe it's less likely than that. Doesn't matter really. In order for the development of life not to be an absolute certainty, it must be completely impossible. Unbelievably improbable just doesn't cut it. Any possible event will happen, given enough chances. And it's a big universe.

There are a few problems with this that I see.

#1 a trillion seems like a tad bit to small of a number here. a better number might be something like 1*1010000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

0000000000000000000 (If it is even possible which I still have doubts about) and I am not quite sure where you get 10 million, but that seems a little bit to high to me, seeing as, to the best of my knowledge, we haven't seen one so far.

#2 In this argument, you assume that we have an infinite, or at least a very large amount of time, which is not necessarily true. Why should this earth, this solar system, or this universe exist for trillions of years?

#3 You are also assuming that anything that is possible will eventually happen, which is not true.

QUOTE (bociniki @ Dec 10 2008, 10:33 PM) *

Also, since you insist that evolution is still happening, why isn't life being generated anew?

blink.gif A friend of mine had a baby last week. There you go.

Are you saying that babies being born is evolution?

QUOTE (bociniki @ Dec 10 2008, 10:33 PM) *

There are many, many, many more unanswered questions and downright impossibilities in this theory.

Unanswered questions are the lifeblood of science. Scientist seek them out, and in such a complex field, you would hope to find a few questions currently unanswered. But downright impossibilities? Name one.

DNA arising from a random stew of molecules that can code for thousands of proteins with extremely small amount of errors.

QUOTE (bociniki @ Dec 10 2008, 10:33 PM) *

Although you have already been warned against Intelligent design, I believe that there is some merit in the theory. Here is a fairly in depth article about it. I know that it is long, but if you believe that Intelligent design is stupid, this might change your opinion.

I just get a blank screen there, so I'll have to stay out of that one for now. sad.gif

It should try and download a file. Anybody else having trouble downloading it?

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The statement bolded confused me. Reiterate please?

Uhm is that iterate and iterate again - confusing iterate/reiterate the dictionary needs tidying up there

Getting the babies is probably the most intricate problem we have. I was watching this finance show with my mom a few days ago, and apparently it only costs $100 000 to clone your dog. I'm thinking donations/black mailing/hacking Bill Gates' bank account a spankin' way to commence.. Assuming we can pull off getting some kids, obviously if any of them are getting hurt or we can noticed a trend that may lead to some long-term psychological damage, we call the whole thing off.
So you not serious then :(

too bad that was looking interesting on paper.

I love nature for everything it has done for our planet, our race, and well, everything else. However, today I realized fully how pointless life is. There's no divine purpose for me here; assuming I reproduce and my childlings reproduce until the day the human race days out, the human race has still died out and there was no point in me reproducing; There were other examples I had, but I'm venturing off-topic. Basically, it's all pretty depressing
there is more fun to life than that - just think what it wld be like to snowbaord into the back of a truck and laugh about it??? :D

. Nature will stay forever, but we humans only have so long to make our mark on the planet before a much more advanced and capable species evolves. Well, why not speed the process up a bit? Create a super-human race. If I screw anything up, nature will just make it right again - that's what it does. It's fun and makes me feel important. :D
no need to iterate/reiterate now - I was after your deeper theory about it so I could 'diss' it - but I can see you pulled my leg! B))

Lmao at the quote btw.
there are many more i'm sure
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That's wrong in so many ways. Firstly, that particular myth was put about by an evangelist who claimed to have visited Darwin on his deathbed, though Darwin's family denied that she had ever been present. Another fine upstanding Christian lying for Jesus.

But even if it were true, it would mean nothing. There is no such thing as a man of reason. Men are men. Sometimes we use reason. Sometimes we don't. I have the greatest respect for Darwin but I would be surprised if he didn't have moments of weakness. We all do. But I won't say any more along those lines for fear of lending credibility to that rather pernicious tale.

I agree and I would like to add that putting famous people's names on stories (whether they be true or false) really are just appeals to Authority, which are logical fallacies (I'd make links to define that, but Octopuppy and ADParker are much better at that sort of thing than I am :P ) In any case, it's usually bad to try to support an argument with "evidence" that is hotly contested. There are people who declare that the event is true and others who adamantly deny it. While the truth-value is in question, it is extremely weak support for an argument. I can't come up with an appropriate analogy right now, but to look at it in logical terms:

Goal: prove q is true.

If you have the premise:

If p is true, then q is true

and then assert:

p is true (and provide some "evidence" to support it)

then you can conclude:

q is true

However, if someone else comes along and says:

p is false (and provides his own "evidence" to the contrary)

then it doesn't matter what q is or that "if p is true, then q is true," since the truth-value of p has been called into question. It does not help the conversation as it provides no conclusive evidence in either direction. Some will agree with the first person because they believe his evidence and others will agree with the second person because they find his evidence more persuasive and for those of us in the middle, it does no good since there is insufficient evidence to verify the claim in either direction.

Attempting to use such "evidence" seems at best ignorant of the facts and at worst a disingenuous act. If someone truly wishes to convince someone of something, they should try to find facts that both sides can agree upon to work from. Anecdotes rarely fit the bill as different people will tell the same story differently. In short, it is always a good idea to fact-check yourself before you start trying to put words into the mouths of others.

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There are a few problems with this that I see.

#1 a trillion seems like a tad bit to small of a number here. a better number might be something like 1*1010000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

0000000000000000000 (If it is even possible which I still have doubts about) and I am not quite sure where you get 10 million, but that seems a little bit to high to me, seeing as, to the best of my knowledge, we haven't seen one so far.

I got 10 million by checking a few astronomy websites and going for a low figure. It's a big galaxy, we can't see planets in other star systems because they are a long way away. That doesn't mean they aren't there.

#2 In this argument, you assume that we have an infinite, or at least a very large amount of time, which is not necessarily true. Why should this earth, this solar system, or this universe exist for trillions of years?
If (as in the example), abiogenesis occurred in every Milky Way - sized galaxy once every 100,000 years, why would you need trillions of years?

#3 You are also assuming that anything that is possible will eventually happen, which is not true.
Given unlimited chances for things to happen, that is exactly the case. Too counterintuitive for you?

Are you saying that babies being born is evolution?
That's how it works. The baby was born because its parents (and all their ancestors) survived and reproduced. Lucky little blighter got all those tried and tested genes. A natural selection success story.

DNA arising from a random stew of molecules that can code for thousands of proteins with extremely small amount of errors.
That probably happened in smaller stages, though I'll leave it to someone more qualified to explain the details. Or you can look it up.
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