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Evolution vs Creationism

Posted on 2011-09-27
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Tom and I have been hijacking the Alien artifacts and Religion thread and I thought it was time to start a new thread.

I pointed out that the evidence exists for evolution.  I proposed that, if the Judeo Christian God exists as advertised, then He is all powerful.  God could have created the Earth with the historical evidence intact.  To be a Jew or a Christian and to say God couldn't do that, is a "bit of a problem."

Tom countered that such an argument wouldn't convince some people.  Some people would draw different conclusions.  I read that to mean that some people who claim that Satan planted the fossils to deceive humans.  Tom is right too.

In any event, I don't see a conflict between evolution and creationism.  Some do.

Anyway, how about a discussion on this topic?

Hugh
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Question by:Hugh McCurdy
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I see a conflict evolution and creationism as it is being raised currently by fundamentalist in US. Based on their insistence of using the Bible as the source of their arguments. But, if one considers God in a broader none scriptural way, then evolution and creationism can be viewed as complementary theories.
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by:Hugh McCurdy
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I wonder if we'll find any experts who are also fundamentalists.  

I recognize the problem you cited and have the similar view about creationism and evolution.

As for evolution, I find it difficult (impossible) to believe it's not happening now if we accept that genes and chromosomes exist as advertised.  Genes have to mutate.  Most of those mutations are bad.  Some are good.  The good ones will tend to survive.  Good change happens - evolution.

When I try this, I either get a personal attack (vs a challenge based on points) or I get "oh, I didn't mean to say micro evolution doesn't exist..."  I tend to counter with "why didn't you say that in the first place" and "are you in favor of teaching micro evolution in science classes?"  I've yet to receive much other than grumbles or silence at that point.
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by:Anthony Russo
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As you mention science classes, that is my biggest problem with creationism. If you want to teach it in a school, ,do it in a philosophical class or something of that sort. It has no basis in science and should not be in any way near a science class.

People are free to believe what they want and I'm fine with that, but don't go teaching elementary children that creationism/intelligent design is an alternative to evolution in science.
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by:Hugh McCurdy
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I don't think I said creationism should be taught in school.  I certainly doesn't belong in a science class because it's not science.  (We can't perform observations and experiments on creationism.  We can perform observations and experiments on evolution.  Creating hybrid corn and breeding purebred animals are examples of  experiments in evolution.

If it was up to me, I would teach creationism in middle schools and high schools.  However, I'd put the subject in a social studies class.  It is true that we have a societal conflict where some people want evolution taught in science classes and others don't.  It's a great subject for social studies.  In high school, students could write papers on the subject.  Any oral debates must have rules, like sticking to arguments.  Any name calling should be a good way to get an F.

I think elementary age students have too much to learn as it is without getting into evolution or whatever.  My daughter is happy enough learning about whales and is terrified of sharks (even though we are no where near an ocean).  I think that's enough so far.  Let's get her though set theory first and maybe later talk about evolution.
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by:Anthony Russo
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I agree hmcurdy.

Only difference is I think evolution should be introduced in upper elementary grades. That's when the questions start coming and they are looking for answers to a lot of things in relation to evolution and where did everything come from.
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by:harmono
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Hugh,

You assume that God needs to prove his existence, but the God of the Bible has ways that are not fathomed by your understanding. God chose his ways for us to know he is real. This is why we who believe God are justified by faith. Belief in God is not faith. Even the demons believe in one God. The condemnation is holding the truth in unrighteousness. People know God is real but are blinded. That is the God of the Bible. If men were truly righteous it would not matter what they believed, but they did not come to God because thier deeds were evil.
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by:Hugh McCurdy
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Anthony, I think part of the problem we are having about when to start is when does elementary school end?  In some places, elementary school ends at 4th grade.  In others, 6th grade.  I was using the 4th grade example.  I suspect you were using the 6th grade example.  If you mean by 6th grade, I agree with you.  If by 4th, I think it's too soon.

Hugh

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Harmano, what did I say that led to you the conclusion that I assume God needs to prove his existence.  I certainly didn't mean to express that position.

I was otherwise following you until you got to truly righteous.  Christians don't need to be righteous.  Galatians 3:1-14, especially 14.

Hugh
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by:Anthony Russo
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My granddaughter is in second grade (7 years old) and she asked me how the moon got there. I told her how it is theorized to have been a planetary collision (in terms she could easier understand of course).

If she asked her teacher that, I wouldn't want the answer to be that God put it there. If a child asks a religion teacher that, then it would be an acceptable answer, but not a teacher that teaches science.
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by:Clif
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I pointed out that the evidence exists for evolution.
Therein lies your first mistake.  Do not make the mistake of confusing mutation with evolution.

There is no evidence whatsoever of any species evolving into another different species.
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by:Clif
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Creating hybrid corn and breeding purebred animals are examples of  experiments in evolution.

Open in new window

No, those are experiments in breeding.  When you have a horticulturist who cross breeds corn enough that he comes up with a watermelon, then we'll talk.
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by:Clif
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I hate when that happens.
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by:harmono
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Hugh,

 "I proposed that, if the Judeo Christian God exists as advertised, then He is all powerful.  God could have created the Earth with the historical evidence intact."

You suggest putting the burden of the proof there on God here (don't you?), so I was commenting on if the God of the Bible (Judeo Christian) God who is all powerful would be able to create the Earth with historical evidence intact.   But what I'm proposing to you is "What if God did not want to prove his existence?".
It doesn't matter if God is all powerful, if he decides to hide his existence from us he can, the question is, would the God of the Bible chose to hide or chose to show us. The Bible has that answer, and I am giving my opinion of the ways of God in the Bible regarding this.
So for your statement to be valid in an argument against creation by the God of the Bible, you would have to first determine if this God would intend to show or hide his existence. For example if you believe in Deism it may be that your God does not care to show his existence, his job was done when he created everything and left it alone, and the evidence of his existence is in creation alone take it or leave it.
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by:harmono
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And I might add, just to re-iterate that God doesn't necessarily hide, but he leaves us to our own devices if he chose to do so from the beginning. So he reveals himself to whom he chooses, although his existence is evident in creation. It's sort of like taking the blinders off. The evidence is there, but God in his mercy reveals his existence to whomever he chooses although the evidence is there. This is why I am not focused on creationism if I express my beliefs (in this God), because by God's spirit does he reveal himself.
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by:Hugh McCurdy
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Anthony, I agree about the moon.  But what if she asks "how did I get inside Mommy's belly?"  (Maybe I should ask if she's 7.0 or 7.9... because I'd have different answers.  7 is an interesting age.)  / Hugh
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by:Hugh McCurdy
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Cliff said  
Therein lies your first mistake.  Do not make the mistake of confusing mutation with evolution.

There is no evidence whatsoever of any species evolving into another different species.

We are disagreeing on definition.  Some creationists (I first heard it from a monk) have used the terms micro evolution and macro evolution.  The former is change within a species, such as when a species of desert snake adjusts it's stripes over generations in a way that confuses predators about the speed at which it travels.  Macro evolution would be a change from one species to another.

Both are evolution.

Do you agree, using the definition provided by the monk I encountered, that micro evolution happens?
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by:Hugh McCurdy
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Harmano, what I said was "...God could..."  

Does that make sense?

Hugh
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by:harmono
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Hugh,

Who is saying God could not do this that is a Jew or Christian then?

"To be a Jew or a Christian and to say God couldn't do that, is a "bit of a problem.""

You carried over this topic from another thread which I was not involved in.
Perhaps you could clarify.

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by:Hugh McCurdy
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harmano, OK.

I was saying that Jews and Christians believe that God is all powerful.  Thus God can do whatever he wants including creating an Earth with evolutionary evidence in place.  It would be a "bit of a problem" for a Jew or Christian to say that God doesn't have that power when they also claim God is all powerful (and thus has that power).
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by:harmono
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Hugh,

If God did not create the world by Evolution then why would he want to include evolutionary evidence? Also the nature of God is that he cannot tell a lie. God is all powerful but that is within limits of who God is. God is holy he can do no wrong, so doing evil is not something that he is capable of doing, so we need to define what all powerful really means. Personally I don't like that term, I think the correct description of God is "most powerful". We can read in the Bible what God's powers are specifically - he can destroy and create. If God created a beautiful cake, and could not have his cake and eat it would that mean he's not all powerul?  So when you say "God could have created the Earth with the historical evidence intact" - I think I had the appropriate response, because just because God might not create the Earth with historical evidence intact doesn't mean he can't, and just if he can't create historical evidence intact it doesn't mean he's not all powerful, because you can't define his power extra-Biblically. So we need to define what that power is from what the Bible says, not some philosophical reasoning, because that is based on a God that exists in our imagination. So it may be that although God can destroy, and create,he cannot create the world, destroy the surface with a flood, then proove historically that there is a garden of eden etc. When you destroy something, the proof of it is gone, because it's obliterated. So how can he proove that? It says nothing is impossible with God, but I think you can take that a bit too far.
I don't see that as a problem.  I think his proof of that could be in the evidence of the flood. I'm not sure why this is such a problem, it's obvious that we are not talking about the kind of power such as creating or destroying things, we are presenting a more complex problem than that. We are saying he can create something, then destroy it, but can't prove that he created it because he destroyed it with a flood. That's called an explanation, because I can explain why he could not proove it (this is an exception). It's sort of like saying God is not all powerful because he can make a cake, but cannot figure out how he can still have the cake and eat it. So if God is not capable of doing this then somehow that is proof that there is no God or that God did not create it? But certainly we do have a valid explanation for that. If I say God created the world, and destroyed the surface with a flood, and that's why we cannot proove that the Garden of eden existed. And I said all that without your prior knowledge that we believe God is all powerful, would that be a valid explanation? Because that's all I'm saying. I'm saying God created the heavens and the earth, and that's all, he's powerful enough to do that, and that's impressive enough.
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by:Hugh McCurdy
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harmono, I am unable to answer why God would want to do anything except as we could find in the Bible.

In any event, the issue in my mind is rather narrow.  Science doesn't disprove God.
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by:Clif
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Do you agree, using the definition provided by the monk I encountered, that micro evolution happens?
Yes, I agree with that.

I gave up using the terms "Macro Evolution" and "Micro Evolution".  I was told that attempting to separate the two was a strawman argument (or something like that).

But, since you don't seem to mind, yes Micro Evolution is well known to happen, much more frequently as the flora/fauna get smaller and more prolific.  For example, cockroaches, within just a couple of generations, can evolve to the point where normal insecticides are no longer effective.

However, they are still cockroaches.  We have yet to have evidence of a cockroach giving birth to something that is not a cockroach.

Then there is talk of "transitional species", that is fossils of animals that show signs of two different species.  It is believed thast these animals accestors were one species, and it's descendants were another.  To this I generally ask, "Is a platypus a beaver evolving into a duck or a duck evolving into a beaver?"
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by:Anthony Russo
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Hugh.

My wife explained to our 7 year old daughter when she asked that exact question while in the waiting room at the hospital as our nephew was born. We never lie to our kids, though we are careful to tell them answers in a way they can understand and are appropriate for their age.

In rare cases, that would be "It's a little more of a grown up thing" (Say if she asked at 4 or something.)

Never would we tell something like the Stork brought the baby or anything like that.
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by:tliotta
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We have yet to have evidence of a cockroach giving birth to something that is not a cockroach.

If that ever happens, we're really in trouble. We'd have to discard the theory of evolution and start over.

Tom
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by:Clif
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We'd have to discard the theory of evolution and start over.
Huh?  You're saying that, according to the theory of evolution, that a species will always progenerate the same species?  That is, a cockroach will always give birth to a cockroach and never a "proto-something else"?

If that's the case, maybe I'm not understanding macro evolution.
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by:Anthony Russo
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>>"Is a platypus a beaver evolving into a duck or a duck evolving into a beaver?"

Evolution or God. Either way the platypus is a creature that will make you wonder. That thing is just weird. :)

>> We have yet to have evidence of a cockroach giving birth to something that is not a cockroach.

Evolution is a slow process taking many many thousands of years. There is not likely going to be the witnessing of one creature birthing another since we have only really been observing a few hundred or thousand.

Chicken and the egg problem is interesting regarding this debate. Those that believe in Creationism would say the chicken came first as God would most likely create that over an egg. Those that believe in evolution would say that the egg came first, since the creature that laid it, was not a chicken.
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by:sbdt8631
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>>Huh?  You're saying that, according to the theory of evolution, that a species will always progenerate the same species?

What exactly is a species?  It is just a term that we use to group like looking animals that can breed together.  They can start to diverge slowly to the point over multiple generations they would no longer be able to breed with a separated group.
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by:Clif
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What exactly is a species?  It is just a term that we use to group like looking animals that can breed together.
Yes, that's the generally accepted definition.

They can start to diverge slowly to the point over multiple generations they would no longer be able to breed with a separated group.
This is where I have a problem.  At some point, there would have to be one critter that gives birth to another critter that cannot mate with it's parent's species, that is a new species.  When that happens, what is it going to mate with to continue with the new species?
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by:PaulHews
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>At some point, there would have to be one critter that gives birth to another critter that cannot mate with it's parent's species, that is a new species.  When that happens, what is it going to mate with to continue with the new species?

We are talking about two groups... In one scenario a group is physically separated from another group of the same species.  Over time and generations, the groups drift apart genetically until they can no longer interbreed with members of the other group, but of course they can still interbreed with members of their own group.

If an individual could no longer interbreed with it's peers (which can happen) it is sterile.
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by:bergertime
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I agree that some people may have a problem with both, but I think the problem comes from looking at it too close.  Like this webpage right now.  If I zoom in to say 400%, it gets all jacked up.  The bible says God created horses, but I've never read that God also made a rule that horses can't micro or macro evolve.  So the horse God made may have looked very different than it does today, but to God it's still a horse.  Kinda like my kids.  My oldest is 7, if I had not seen him in 6 years, I wouldn't be sure what he looked like.  But I see him every day and as he grows and changes, he'll always be my kid.  Make sense?

My problem with saying there is no God is death and the fact that life always seems to find a way.  Why haven't we evolved beyond death?  Does nature really give a flip about overpopulation.....and explain why at some point a big pile of dirt got up and starting walking around.  The argument is "Well the conditions have to be just right...like on earth."  Really.....On this one planet in this huge universe piles of dirt got up and became self-aware.  And the reason is "Just cause".  
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by:tliotta
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...a cockroach will always give birth to a cockroach and never a "proto-something else"?

With obvious exceptions of sterile offspring, etc., that's right.

But an alternative way of thinking about it is that every individual is always a "proto-something else". You can't know unless you follow populations of resulting generations for a few thousand iterations.

Although a given generation is essentially guaranteed to have a sufficiently large number of characteristics in common with many preceding and succeeding generations, two populations that have become isolated from each other have opportunity to diverge after enough generations have passed. Isolation need not be geographic. It might arise through migration into different niches within a common geographic region, e.g., one group might develop a preference for a new food source that "isolates" it from other groups around it.

The significant heavy inclusion of animal protein in our diet is a potential example isolating factor for human ancestors. Related primates have limited interest in "meat". Perhaps limited interest in our ancestors became a necessary survival pressure that helped "isolate" us. Our ancestors competed less for food sources prized by other groups around them a few million years ago. The hereditary line could then take its own path of many, many micro-evolutions until we could no longer be pulled back into the common pool by cross-breeding.

If the question is about generation X and generations X+1 or X-1, then, yes, they breed the same species. When it becomes generation X+10000 compared back to generation X, it gets less likely.

Tom
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by:Hugh McCurdy
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Cliff, I think you make good points.  I think it's OK to say micro and macro evolution simply because it can assist communication.

As you point out, micro evolution is easy to prove (as well as we can prove anything in science).  Macro evolution doesn't have "lab reproducible" proof.  (If it did, I doubt the debate would end, however...but that's from the thread about aliens...)

Hugh
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by:Hugh McCurdy
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Anthony, 7 is a tough age.  I might answer one way at 7.0 and another at 7.9.  It's not just the raw age but what I think the child can handle.  I did talk about chromosomes and genes when she was 7.0 just to see if she was keeping up and if she had much interest.  Not so much.

Never lying to kids (at least in America) leads to a problem.  Santa Claus.  A parent could tell the truth to a 5 year old, who would then be ridiculed in kindergarten.  I was a happier kid when I figured it out myself.  However, I didn't air my concerns until January...
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by:tliotta
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Never lying to kids (at least in America) leads to a problem.  Santa Claus.

That didn't cause us any problem at all. We told it exactly like it was. It's a game played by grown-ups to let kids have fun because kids should have fun. Other kids should not be talked to about it because it destroys the game for everyone in it.

Being in on the grown-up side of it became very enjoyable. I think it also helped a lot in teaching how it can feel to cause happiness inside other people.

As for chromosomes/genes, that was discussed long before 7. By the time the age of 7 arrived, there was no curiosity about it at all. All reasonable technical details had been covered long before, probably making it all seem less than interesting. Nor was there any apparent curiosity until serious emotional attachments arrived in college years, and it became apparent in a couple discussions when my opinion was asked about how to handle difficult situations. From being asked, I feel it was handled well enough in youth that I was totally trusted in young adulthood.

There were never situations like "Santa Claus" where I showed myself to be anything but truthful. I wonder if many people realize how serious the belief in "Santa Claus" and many similar fantasies can be for a trusting child. Once the falsehood is revealed, a child is free to think that adults (parents) are fully capable of lying about important things. I had no intention of betraying the trust of a child of mine, especially about things that were important to the child.

Is an attitude like that troublesome when extrapolating to "G_d"?

Tom
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by:bergertime
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But don't you think there are things that your kid might not be able to handle?  Say your kids grandmother dies who the child is really close to......Do you tell them that grandmother is in heaven, or part of the energy that surrounds us all or something else that puts their young mind at ease, or do you tell them "Oh grandmom simply doesn't exist anymore and her body is in the ground rotting.".  I know for my kids as they've started asking about me dying, I've told them no matter what happens, I'll always be with them.  I think that's a little better then telling my 5 yr old, "Well no one knows I could become wormfood tomorrow and you would become an ophan....good luck.".
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by:Clif
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Why do you want to lie to your children by telling them that Santa Claus does not exist?
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by:Anthony Russo
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Santa Clause, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy. All are told to kids and mine included. The truth is you never have a young kid come and ask you if there is a Santa Clause. They just believe. When they get older and start to ask, or more likely are told by their peers in school, then is when I would tell the truth. (Granddaughter hasn't asked yet, but we told my kids when they did at around her age). Is it a 'gray' type of way of handling it? Maybe, but when dealing with my kids happiness, I'm fine with gray, and they all still trust me 100% so they understood as well.

Death is also something touchy. "Where is great grandpa" gets the answer of something along the lines of "In your heart now, and always will be with you there." Not a lie, but not a cold answer either.

Going to children is the first thing that society does to prove controversial points. Like all the crazy privacy laws regarding the internet and social networks are to "Protect the children!" That's all garbage because most of the people on the social networks are not child predators. And most children are protected and educated by their parents, or smart enough to see them as predators. There will always be tragic exceptions, but to limit the entire world based on those exceptions is terrible. That's like saying all driving should be stopped and we should all walk everywhere because sometimes a child is hit by a car.
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by:bergertime
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I was looking up on Snopes Al Gore saying he ad created the internet a while back.  It goes into a discussion of the difference of invented and created.  It basically says that created means to bring about.  It says that Gore did create the internet by passing legislation to help bring it about.  I think in the same sense you could say that about what the bible says......God created man......Did it mean poof, here we are, or as according to snopes does it mean that God put 'laws' in place which brought about man?
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by:sbdt8631
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>>that God put 'laws' in place which brought about man?

IMO, this is a very resonable attitude.
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by:Jason210
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Usually these kind of debates, which crop up from time to time, are started by people who don't understand evolution. They say things like "there is no evidence that one species evloves into another". These kind of statement indicates a lack of not only a knowledge of evolution, but also the absence of a grasp on how science works and philosophy of science. It also indicates a predesposition by the author towards a religious view.

If there is a personal creator, then the bible is certainly not an emprical description of his work. God, if exists at all, must fit in with what we know about the earth through scientific knowledge. Therefore it is acceptable to say that God is the ultimate cause of everything, or "God is in evolution", but at same time Iin what way does it help us? Whether God is or is not, the Universe is. I see no need to personlise the Universe by introducing the concept of personal God.

Furthermore, evolution is not a theory, it's a fact. It is the mechanism of evolution is the theory;  but evolution as a phenomenon is a fact. This is the scientific view. Creationism is not a scientific alternative to evolution and has no place in any school's science curriculum.
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by:Clif
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Usually these kind of debates, which crop up from time to time, are started by people who don't understand evolution.
And there is inevitably someone who posts a statement like this saying something along the lines of, "Y'all are too stupid to understand."  This will be followed soon after by references to Occam's Razor.

I understand the THEORY of evolution.  Evolution cannot be a fact as there is no proof WHATSOEVER that any one species has evolved from another species.  Are there artifacts that some scientific zealots (I like the term "Sci-onist") call "transitional species", that is fossils of species that show attributes of two different species?  Certainly, but they are not really "transitional" and definitely not PROOF of evolution.  As I said before, if no one knew what a platypus was, would you consider it a transitional species between a duck and a beaver?

The problem with people like you is that you take a simple concept (natural selection) which is evolution within a species and apply it to evolution of one species into one or more other species.  You say, "Look, this finch has evolved a longer beak so it can eat cactus.  That proves evolution exists!"  

While that may prove natural selection within a species, it certainly does not prove that the finch has evolved from some predecendent that was not a finch.
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by:bergertime
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I agree with Clif.  It seems you have two camps.  One like Jason who proclaim God can't exist because science shows evolution does, and the other that states that God made it all therefore evolution doesn't exist.  I don't think it's that cut and dry.  For example I'll freak out Jason....if evolution is truly the only way then show me proof that Australian aborigines and people of artic evolved from the the same line......well you can't.  You can assume, but there is no way to prove it, in fact I think evolution in it's truest form would evolve into the same species.  Take a dog and a cat.  Put them in the same enviroment over billions of years, would you agree they would become the same thing?  So by the definition of evolution, I would have to argue that all mankind is in fact not related, that different small groups of monkeys evolved into humans independently.  So in evolution, you don't have a tree with many branches and a single trunk.  You have a forest of trees with intermingled branches and branches that reach back to a previous point .  I can hear the gasps right now......"but that's not what science says!".....but it's the only logical conclusion.  
It also always amazes me that people on the evolution side are like "Intelligent Design,  that's crazy" yet they believe that poof life just magically happened.  Tell me what's crazy, something beyond our comprehension designed life as we know it or poof...this rock sitting there suddenly became alive.  Maybe if Adam hadn't been so dense and his audience had all had advanced degrees in the sciences, Genesis would have a more complete explaination.  I can just hear God going into quantum mechanics with Adam.  Adam: "Ummm, can you start at the beginning again?".  God: "FINE! Look I made the heavens and the earth ok, oh yeah I made everything else too!".
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by:Jason210
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Why is that some people think they are experts when they clearl know very little about the subject to hand?

Cliff, Natural Selection is a term applied to a proposed mechanism of evolution, in other words a theory. That life evolves is a fact, and it's as good a fact as any other facts we have.

Bergertime,  I did not claim that God does not exist. I said that if there is a God, then God's place is in evolution. It must fit with what we observe. Nor does it matter if there is more than one tree. Perhaps there are many trees, so what? It is not inconcievable that what we call life began in several different places where conditions were similar. Such environments would have been common a earth. Why would it be just one spot? Such small organisims would have mutated very quickly and diversified.

Also Bergertime, you dog and cat idea demonstrates the fallacy of understanding that is also common amongst creationists. Firstly, no scientist has ever suggested that this kind of evolution "dog into cat" can take place. Cats and dogs are both descended from a common ancestor, but that ancestor didn't look like either of them. It wasn't called a cat, and it wasn't called a dog. In fact there was no one around to call it anything. But had there been, it would have been called something else, and they would have had no notion of dogs or cats.

A dog cannot turn into cat because dogs don't contain the genetic information that defines a modern cat. What you are suggesting is that two branches of a tree (the one you used in your analogy) could somehow find each other and join together and form a single branch. Nope. That is not how trees grow. It doesn't happen. Branches can sprout new branches, but they can never join up with other branches.

There are cases of convergent evolution, where one species adopts similar characteristics to another, but they are still genetically seperated.
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by:Clif
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That life evolves is a fact, and it's as good a fact as any other facts we have.
Now we're dealing with semantics, so I guess I need you to state unequivocally what you believe we are talking about when we speak of (macro) evolution and what your opinion is on the subject.

By Macro Evolution, we refer to the theory (or belief) that all species on Earth (or native to Earth, if you want to be real picky) have evolved from some baser species and, if you care to go back far enough, could say that all species evolved from a single species.

Is this, basically, what you understand we're talking about?  If not, what is your interpretation?

If so, is this what you believe to be fact rather than theory?  If so, where is your empirical evidence?
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by:Clif
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Why is that some people think they are experts when they clearl know very little about the subject to hand?
Why is it that some people think that they know so much about a subject and yet cannot provide proof of their claims?

It wasn't called a cat, and it wasn't called a dog. In fact there was no one around to call it anything. But had there been, it would have been called something else, and they would have had no notion of dogs or cats.

Open in new window

Ok, so we will call this mythical species a dat (I'd call it a cog, but there's already something else with that name).  Since it is a separate species, it cannot mate with either a dog or a cat (presuming you could invent a time machine and bring one back to the present, of course)

As male dats mated with female dats, at some point (according to your theory) there was an offspring that was not a dat.  Maybe it was a dog, maybe it was a cat, maybe it was some iterative species.  Whatever the case, it was not a dat, it was something else.

With what did that something else mate with to create other something elses?

This is the issue I have with macro evolution.  Different species cannot procreate with each other.  This is a fact and one of the prime distinctions of species.  Once any species has an offspring that is a different species, that new species would end up dying off without producing an offspring.
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by:PaulHews
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>And there is inevitably someone who posts a statement like this saying something along the lines of, "Y'all are too stupid to understand."

Well we've managed to avoid that up until now...  In honesty, it's less about intelligence and more along the lines of differing expectations of what we consider reasonable evidence.  Clif, you once argued with me for days about the evidence supporting the roundness of our planet, and lets face it--that ship has sailed.  If we historically used those criteria of "proof" in science, then we would not be having this discussion, because we would not be past writing down ideas on stone with chisel.

The existence of evolution and common descent is as factual as the roundness of the earth.  The only reason for controversy is religious belief, or people would be protesting the teaching of the theory of gravity in science class.
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by:Jason210
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There is no such thing really as "macro" evolution. Life evolves. Geographical and environmental factors influence change, causing diversification. Given enough time, communities of organisms within a specific enviroment undergo change until a point is reached where those communities are different enough to be categorised by man-amde category. Species is one such category.

I don't see why everything would need to evolve from a single species.

Also, it is mainstream science that designates evolution as a fact, not I. Therefore, my belief is that evolution is a fact is a rational one, just as my belief that stalectites are formed by calcium deposits precipitated from mineralized water solutions  over time is belief. I believe that the surface of the planet is largely formed by slow erosion processes, and that these have been taking place over time.

These kind of beliefs are based on strong empircal evidence, and are different to the belief that some may hold whereby stalactites spontaneously appeared as fully fledged stalactites 4000 years ago and then proceeded to grow slowly; or that the hills and mountains of the earth somehow just "appeared" magically, and then got weathered a bit. Erosion is a fact. Stalactite formation is a fact.

Ideas that are not inconsistant with other scientific observations and knowledge, that introduce mystery where there is none, that favor the unexplained rather than the explained and which are of no practical use, do not even deserve the name theories. They are belong to the realm of crackpottery.
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by:Jason210
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Why is it that some people think that they know so much about a subject and yet cannot provide proof of their claims?
Where's your proof? Since you are the one opposing mainstream science, the oweness is on you to provide the proof. But before you attempt that I suggest you read a few books on evolution and ecology.
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by:Jason210
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Sorry, the post above- last paragraph- should read: "Ideas that are inconsistant with other scientific observations and knowledge....
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by:Clif
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Well we've managed to avoid that up until now...
You must have skipped a few posts, since it's been said twice.

In honesty, it's less about intelligence and more along the lines of differing expectations of what we consider reasonable evidence.
Reasonable and non-existent are two completely different things.

The existence of evolution and common descent is as factual as the roundness of the earth.
No, there is proof that the Earth is round (unless you subscribe to the belief that man has never been to space).  Our discussions about the flat Earth were not an argument about whether or not the Earth is flat, but what people take as fact without question simply because a "scientist" said so.  I really thought you understood that.

If something is claimed as factual, you must be able to prove it (that's from third grade science, perhaps you were sick that day).  If there is no proof one way or the other, then it is a theory, or a hypothesis.  To tell you the truth, ultimately it's not really much more than observation at this point.


There is no such thing really as "macro" evolution.
That term was invented because of people such as yourself that cannot seem to differentiate between evolution within a species and evolution from one species to another.

But it was a nice side-step that allowed you to avoid answering my direct question.

Also, it is mainstream science that designates evolution as a fact, not I.
And so we go back to the point I had made to PaulHews.  Since it's "mainstream science", it must be true and you will defend it to your last breath no matter what logic dictates.  If there are parts that don't seem to fit, rather than question it you will convince yourself that maybe you don't quite understand but it's ok because "mainstream science" has said so, so it must be true.

These kind of beliefs are based on strong empircal evidence, and are different to the belief that some may hold whereby stalactites spontaneously appeared as fully fledged stalactites 4000 years ago and then proceeded to grow slowly; or that the hills and mountains of the earth somehow just "appeared" magically, and then got weathered a bit. Erosion is a fact. Stalactite formation is a fact.
And, yes, there is empirical evidence to support the geologic erosion, etc.  But there is no empirical evidence for evolution.  None whatsoever.  I have asked a couple of times to provide it and you have yet to produce.  Instead, I get this:

Where's your proof?
Proof of what?  I have made no claim.
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by:bergertime
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Hang on just a minute, I was not saying "a dog into a cat"  What I am saying is that over time in the same enviroment the dog and cat branches would evolve into the same animal.  In fact you have to say that the modern house fly belongs to more than one tree.  And lets get this straight, as far as evolution, there is no time line on how long it takes.  For example some people say billions of years.....what it takes is generations.  In the case of the fruit fly severla hundred generations can be as short as a decade, in humans it could be several thousand years.  All I'm saying you should see different things evolve into the same thing, maybe not everything, but each evolution line is like a line of reasoning.  I present a case to a hundred people, some are going to reach the same conclusion.

Common Descent....for the theory that all living organisms on Earth are descended from a common ancestor.  Source.  How would have ever that fist cell get created, why not make thousands?  If the conditions were right on the ocean floor to create a single cell, why didn't it create thousands and some of these survive into evolutionary tress, if life came to earth on a snowball, why did it only contain 1 single cell, why not hundreds?  To me it makes no sense that we came from a single 1 cell.  I'm not saying humans could not have evolved from a single cell, I'm saying that whatever or however the first cell was made, it makes sense that not just one was made but thousands.  Hence common desent is BS.  But regardless of the logic, people will still claim on some small blue palnet that against all the odds....pop! one little cell poped up and divided into two and 3.9 billion years later you have multi celled creatures who can make spacecraft.  I'm not arguing evelution here but common descent which has "strong quantitative support" from the scientic community.
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by:Jason210
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Let's look at Cliff's dat example:

Datis cliff's mythical species. Cliff says:

As male dats mated with female dats, at some point (according to your theory) there was an offspring that was not a dat.  Maybe it was a dog, maybe it was a cat, maybe it was some iterative species.  Whatever the case, it was not a dat, it was something else.

With what did that something else mate with to create other something elses?

This is the issue I have with macro evolution.
 

Another dat.

We have a dat that is gradually changing. Genetic mutation (aka random variation) ensures that no two offspring are the same and that each offspring is slightly differerent to the parent. For a long time, these changes may be minor, although there is a tendancy for the organisms to form communities as this enhances survival chances. Those communities are seperated by terroritory and over time, they may become more seperated as they roam to find new terroritory, and thus experience different environments and environmental challenges, which the mechansim of natural selection helps them adapt to. So the environment is causing the change.

We have dats, but they are separated into different communities and some of those communties may be developing differently, more rapidly, than others due to these environmental differences. Let's imagine two of these communities that have changed a bit from the original dats. For example, one group is slightly larger enabling it to eat leaves higher up on trees found in its environment, that other aninlas cannot reach; while the other community has developed a liking for carrion that seems to be abundant in its environment. These are still all dats, but scenario and could, if they were to mix, interbreed. But the scenario is set for them NOT to mix, but to split off from and develop differerently.

The problem you mentioned earlier, "With what did that something else mate with to create other something elses?"never occurs. The spli is established before the species. Long before.

There is a lot of discussion and different theories as to how these communitites split and how long ago they did it, and the relationships of certain groups are debated as there are many possibilities as to how this can happen. For example, catastrophic environment changes are thought to have provoked radical changes in the mammal world, with species disappearing and others being subject to vigorous natrual selection and thus change over a short perod. My example above is just made up but indicates the general idea.


Different species cannot procreate with each other.  This is a fact and one of the prime distinctions of species.  Once any species has an offspring that is a different species, that new species would end up dying off without producing an offspring.

Parents NEVER give birth to a different species. Another fallacy. Please have a look at any basic text book on mammology. Also, try "Why big Fierce Animals are Scarce" (Colinveaux) and if you can. I think it is one of the best ecology books ever. Also try watching Richard Dawkins BBC Horizon special from the 1980s. He's talking about evolution back then. You can probably find the documentary on mvgroup or similar.
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by:Jason210
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Hang on just a minute, I was not saying "a dog into a cat"  What I am saying is that over time in the same enviroment the dog and cat branches would evolve into the same animal.

Not really. An environment that favours both species equally is unlikely to occur.  It would like favour one other the other. But let's say that it did occur. A dog and cat are different, and genetic traits would take a long, long time to disappear completely. What you say may be theortical possible, but the chances are stacked against it.
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by:bergertime
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Parents NEVER give birth to a different species. Another fallacy.

Example please.
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by:Clif
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I'm not going to quote, since it's far too long, and most of what you describe is micro-evolution (aka natural selection).

But...

So, what you're suggesting is that a parent dat gave birth to a new species (not a dat) and, through some astronomical challenge of odds, there happened to be another offspring that was another "not a dat" of the same new species (either a sibling or from some other member of the group, tribe, herd, what have you) that it could mate with?

And you still can't understand why I don't throw into this same belief as you?

Here's another one for you (this will really piss you off).  
Currently there are about 1.4 million known species on the planet.  We have been studying evolution for about an hundred years.  In all that time, among all those species, has there ever been a recorded instance of any species that has had an offspring that could not (potentially) mate with it's parent, but could (potentially) mate with another critter that was an offspring of the same species as the parent?

When that happens, then you can say evolution is a fact, otherwise it's only a theory.

I said I wasn't going to quote, but this one will have to pass through...
Parents NEVER give birth to a different species.
It is said that the horse evolved from an animal called a Hyracotherium.  So, you are saying that every Hyracotherium parent gave birth to an offspring that was also a Hyracotherium?  If that is so, what animal gave birth to a horse?  Well, I suppose that's a silly question since you said that parents never give birth to other species, so that answer is, of course, a horse.

Which is what I've been saying.  Nice of you to finally see it my way.
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by:Jason210
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@Bergertime

There aren't eny examples, since it's not possible. You can have a Hybrid, where two very similar species like a horse and donkey can mate and give birth to a mule, although the mule is generally barren and has no surivability value in nature

@Cliff
No I did not suggest that the parent dat gave birth do a new species. You need to learn about biology. These kind of questions cover a wide area of scientific topics. Biologists consider a species to be a group of animals that look similar and can breed with each other successfully. DNA stucture is one important factor in preventing closely related species from interbreeding. One important part of how new species form is that the new and old species can't breed together, like our two communities I mentioned earlier. A point comes when they are so different that they cannot breed anymore (if they were to encounter each other).

An important aspect of successful breeding is having an even number of chromosomes. Odd numbers of chromosomes are likely to cause a mistake during cell division, and which leads to sterility (as in the case of the mule) or birth defects.
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by:sbdt8631
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>>As male dats mated with female dats, at some point (according to your theory) there was an offspring that was not a dat.  Maybe it was a dog, maybe it was a cat, maybe it was some iterative species.  Whatever the case, it was not a dat, it was something else.
With what did that something else mate with to create other something elses?

The only time I have ever observed one species give birth to another is in a horror film.  Said birthed species usually preys primarily on scantily clad young women.
Clif, IMO, you seem to be acting purposely obtuse.  Two groups of one species become separated permanently for whatever reason. Gradually, almost in a micro evolution manner, each group starts exhibiting small changes with each successive generation.  No change from one generation to the next ever is so great to prevent breeding within the group.  But after enough generations, members of the two groups are so different that members of group A can no longer breed with members from group B.
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by:Clif
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You're arguing for me.

Now, with that idea in mind, explain how Hyracotheria became Horses without an Hyracotherium giving birth to something that was not a Hyracotherium.
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by:Clif
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An important aspect of successful breeding is having an even number of chromosomes. Odd numbers of chromosomes are likely to cause a mistake during cell division, and which leads to sterility (as in the case of the mule) or birth defects.
Here it is, right here.

Now, stay with me...

Humans and apes have different number of chromosomes.  This is fact.  (humans 23, Apes 24)

It is said that humans and apes evolved from a common ancestor.  So, the question is, did that common ancestor have 23 or 24 (or some other number) of chromosomes?  If it had, say, 24 chromosomes, how did it successfully give birth to an offspring that has 23 chromosomes?  And, presuming it did successfully produce such an offspring, there would have to be another (again, either a sibling or another from the same group) that had to also have 23 chromosomes, select it as a mate and mate with it.  I mean, it could not mate with it's parent, since the two have differing numbers of chromosomes.

Finally, this had to happen billions of times over the vast history of life on the planet.  The odds on having two offspring with the same number of chromosomes (different than the parents), not to mention the number of genes, be born within the timeframe that the two could get together and mate successfully once are statistically so close to zero that you might as well call it impossible.  And you want me to believe that it has happened over and over again.

Now do you understand where I'm coming from?
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by:bergertime
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"There aren't eny examples, since it's not possible."  Examples should be all over the place.  Isn't it happening all the time.

Clif....it's magic.
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by:sbdt8631
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>>Now, with that idea in mind, explain how Hyracotheria became Horses without an Hyracotherium giving birth to something that was not a Hyracotherium.

At what point is a child an adult?  Draw the line.  There are no blacks and whites in nature.  It is all shades of gray.  Nothing ever suddenly becomes something else.  It all changes slowly.
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by:bergertime
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Clif, that really is my issue with it too.  And also the fact with the same enviroment, wouldn't 'micro' evolution pull things together.  For example man and apes.  Say we are not related, but in the same enviroment, wouldn't we start looking alike via micro?  It seems people who subscribe only to evolution will say this.  Dogs and cats must share a common ancester.  But I would say regardless of if macro evolution is true, just because they look alike isn't proof they share a common ancester.  By the very defination of evolution, you would expect to see creatures that are very similar to each other in the same enviroment.
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by:bergertime
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I can draw a line.  It becomes something else when it ceases to be what it was.  When it is no longer a horse, then it is something else.  And yes there is a point.  Take dogs.  I don't care what color it is, how big it is, if it has thick fur or is hairless, it's a dog.  What makes the horse and the Hyracotheria different?  Can I breed a horse to look like a Hyracotheria?  Since it looks like it, does it make it a Hyracotheria.  Can I make a cat look like a tiger ?  Toygers Sure we can.  Is it a tiger?  Of course not.
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by:PaulHews
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Clif, if you are looking for the evidence, you can find it listed on the web:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence_of_common_descent
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

>Our discussions about the flat Earth were not an argument about whether or not the Earth is flat, but what people take as fact without question simply because a "scientist" said so.  I really thought you understood that.

You were trying to frame NASA for a conspiracy regarding the "face on Mars."  The flat Earth segment of the discussion is very pertinent to what makes sufficient evidence.   I was pointing out that the reason we believe the planet is round is because verification doesn't rely on a single source, but on an interconnecting mesh of facts and observations from lots of different sources that overwhelmingly fit the concept that the Earth is round.  

In the same way, there is an overwhelming amount of complementary evidence from different sources for speciation and common descent.  The existence of speciation can be verified and tested, and has been observed in the lab and in nature.  

IMO, the fact that you put the word scientist in ironic quotes illustrates your viewpoint well enough.

>This is the issue I have with macro evolution.  Different species cannot procreate with each other.  This is a fact and one of the prime distinctions of species.  Once any species has an offspring that is a different species, that new species would end up dying off without producing an offspring.<

If this is your issue, then you should do a little reading on the subject.  Wikipedia has some explanation of the various mechanisms.



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by:bergertime
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Hey, if we found fossils of a chiwawa and a great dane that were thousands of years old, would we group them into the same species?  Do we now?
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by:Jason210
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Clif
Humans and apes have different number of chromosomes.  This is fact.  (humans 23, Apes 24)

It is said that humans and apes evolved from a common ancestor.  So, the question is, did that common ancestor have 23 or 24 (or some other number) of chromosomes?  If it had, say, 24 chromosomes, how did it successfully give birth to an offspring that has 23 chromosomes?  And, presuming it did successfully produce such an offspring, there would have to be another (again, either a sibling or another from the same group) that had to also have 23 chromosomes, select it as a mate and mate with it.  I mean, it could not mate with it's parent, since the two have differing numbers of chromosomes.

Finally, this had to happen billions of times over the vast history of life on the planet.  The odds on having two offspring with the same number of chromosomes (different than the parents), not to mention the number of genes, be born within the timeframe that the two could get together and mate successfully once are statistically so close to zero that you might as well call it impossible.  And you want me to believe that it has happened over and over again.

Now do you understand where I'm coming from?

Yes I understand where you are coming from Cliff, that's why I suggested you read some biology books.

Think of it this way. Two closely related animals that have been evolving separately meet up by chance. Take for example two varieties of tiger, or different breeds of dog. These two find they still can still produce offspring. 200,000 years later, the descendants of these two animals meet and copulate. However this time, the genetic differences are so different that although they produce an offspring, the offspring was barren. Now they are different species.
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by:PaulHews
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> So, the question is, did that common ancestor have 23 or 24 (or some other number) of chromosomes?

Actually interesting you should mention:
Human Chromosome 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdbvvUrFOKU
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by:bergertime
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Pizzly Bear is a a viable offspring for two different species.  A grizzly bear and a polar bear.  Not sure why these two bears are considered different species and a toy poodle and a great dane aren't.  Maybe someone could shed some light on that.  But for me, at this point.  Even if the polar bear and grizzly became extinct and all we were left with was the Pizzly bear, I would say we still have a bear.
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by:Jason210
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Prizzly Bear is just another example of a hybrid - and while it might be a viable animal, it is not a viable species as it almost certainly would be sterile and if not sterile then so rare that could not evolve seperately.

Hybrids are very are very common in the plant world. The occur in nature but most often in garden centres.
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by:harmono
ID: 36921246
I can totally envision evolution happening in my mind, but the problem is, do we have evidence for it, and how does evolution REALLY happen. For example, the lung fish. We see a lung fish but we don't see fishes that have evolved to be mammals. There are no scaled or semi-scaled creatures that I know of that are capable of walking around and breathing air. We have a fish that can swim like any other fish, and can breathe, and it may have fins that enable it to push from the surface up so it can breathe. Theoretically this fish may have this breathing trait that makes it more likely to survive, and lung fishes could dominate millions of years ago right? That sounds great on paper, but is that what is really happening, and is that what has happened. All we see are like species with different traits that make them survive better under different conditions. But apparently the transitional species like a walking semi-scaled animal evolved very quickly into something else, so there are no fossils remaining. We have hints at it, but no proof.  But what we have mountains of proof is that catastrophic events have happened in the past, even in the last decade that could change the surface of the planet in the matter of seconds. So if we wind back the clock millions of years we have one catastrophic event after another, comets, asteroids, volcanoes, floods, earthquakes, faultlines, all churning and changing the face of the Earth. It's difficult to tell when these things happened, because nobody was there to observe them, but if you take a look at this, I guarantee you will see sudden events, not gradual events. Look at the mountains and how jagged they are. Wouldn't they be smooth if they developed over millions of years as erosion wore them out? How can we force our school system to accept a system of gradual change over millions and billions of years if we have all these catastrophic events, and we have a lack of evidence in the fossil record that really prooves anything. It's all hypothetical, theoretical and much of it is made up stories, and speculation to fill in the gaps. We are in an era of advanced technology and genetics, but in this area of science it seems very primitive, because everything has to fit this millions and billions of years of gradual change scenario when that is not in fact what seems to have happened by the longest stretch of imagination. It seems to me that if animals evolved, it happened very fast as though aliens were genetically shaping them, or a vast variety of creatures were created in the beginning, and we are seeing them go extinct as recent catastrophes happen, or they cannot survive climate changes. The Ice age is a perfect example. Can you for a minute imagine a scenario that is different than what you were taught in school? I think you will find it is stimulating, and challenging, because you can start to measure things in a more intelligent way. I hope some student of geology is reading this, because you could make some breakthroughs. In the mean time the ancient scriptures contain wisdom, and God's spirit reaches me, and I believe God created the heavens and the earth, and I see so much evidence of that in nature, and beauty, and love, and enjoyment, after all we don't even know where life came from even if there was evolution.
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by:Jason210
ID: 36921305
Thanks for the You Tube link Paul. More of that!

Harmono, sudden events only indicate that evolution happened in jerks. The theory is known as Punctuated Equilibrium. It doesn't disprove evolution at all, it just suggests that evolution happened according to a different patterm. Unfortunately for Stephen Gould, the scientist who suggested the theory, the idea has been latched on to by creationists like yourself who don't really understand what it means but nether-the-less herald Stephen Gould as their scientific saviour.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punctuated_equilibrium

Thereare many viable explanations for the gaps in the fossil record, but the idea species just suddenly appeared out of nowhere isn't one of them, nor does it have any place on science curriculums at schools.
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by:harmono
ID: 36921329
Yes puncuated equilibrium is the speculation that I was talking about. Someone had to come up with that theory, but it's circular reasoning because it says "because there is a lack of fossils this must have happened, and it was not gradualism".  How ironic.
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by:Jason210
ID: 36921542
Yes puncuated equilibrium is the speculation that I was talking about. Someone had to come up with that theory, but it's circular reasoning because it says "because there is a lack of fossils this must have happened, and it was not gradualism".  How ironic.

Punctuated Equlibrium is a theory put forward to explain the distribution of fossils. It is still a form of gradualism and it is still in concordance with Darwin's original theory of natural selection.

Creationists mistakenly believe that scientists use circular logic when dating. They say that fossil dating is fake, saying that scientists use fossils to date rocks and rocks to date fossils, but they overlook the fact that there are different layers of rocks in vertical order, and that there are different fossils found in each layer. The fossils, when
arranged in chronological order based on these layers show a change in species over time. What is circular about that?

There are other ways to date rocks.
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by:tliotta
tliotta earned 4 total points
ID: 36922634
Evolution cannot be a fact as there is no proof WHATSOEVER that any one species has evolved from another species.

A better way of saying it would be that you refuse to accept the evidence.

There is evidence found in many branches of science. Among others:

Paleontology shows us that organisms have changed gradually over time, as reflected in the fossil record.

Biogeography shows us how new species only arise near very similiar species. Similar species share a common time and place.

Developmental biology shows us that an organism builds on ancestral features as it develops from a single cell.

Morphology shows us how organisms adapt ancestral features to new uses, even when there are more efficient solutions elsewhere in nature.

Genetics shows us that we can group species by similarity of genes. These groups even share unused DNA.

But evidence doesn't matter to those who refuse to accept it.

A huge amount of fossil evidence provides nearly complete lines of transitions.

Some transitional fossil series:

Fish --> Four-legged animals
    Lobe-finned fish --> Panderichthys --> Tiktaalik --> Ichthyostega --> tetrapods

Ancient four-legged animals --> Mammals
    Tetrapods --> Synapsids --> Pelycosaurs --> Therapsids --> mammals

Hooved mammals --> Dolphins and whales
    Pakicetus --> Ambulocetus --> Rodhocetus --> Basilosaurus --> cetaceans

Dog-sized Hyracotherium --> Modern horses
    Hyracotherium --> Mesohippus --> Merychippus --> Pliohippus --> horses

Ancient primates --> Humans
    Australopithecus afarensis --> Australopithecus africanus --> Homo ergaster --> Homo sapiens sapiens

Those are not the most detailed nor the longest known chains.

Let's be generous and say that 2% of the surface of the Earth has been examined for fossil evidence. Even with such a small amount, long chains have already been established. Imagine how complete the picture might be in another century when we've examined a whole 3%!

But if it's refused for acceptance, it doesn't mean a thing.

Tom
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by:tliotta
ID: 36922714
By the very defination of evolution, you would expect to see creatures that are very similar to each other in the same enviroment.

Not so. Actually it's more the opposite. In the same environment, the slightly more advantaged will win out. Niches become occupied by the fittest.

However, in very isolated environments that are similar, you do find that specific niches are filled by very different animals. The divergence of marsupials to fill niches in Australia is a strong example. The lower competition from other groups of animals allowed predatory carnivorous marsupials to fill niches that would be occupied by wolverines or other animals on other continents -- even when other marsupials are the prey.

Tom
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by:Clif
ID: 36923993
And also the fact with the same enviroment, wouldn't 'micro' evolution pull things together.
No.  Micro-evolution (aka natural selection) only favours what works.  There could be many variations of the same species living in a community.  As long as they are all fed and allowed to procreate in positive numbers, they will survive.

Clif, if you are looking for the evidence, you can find it listed on the web:
Another fine tactic.  Flood them with so much data they get frustrated and give up.  You win.  Right?
The links don't show evidence, they show one option for recorded observations.

You were trying to frame NASA for a conspiracy regarding the "face on Mars."
That was a separate argument related only by the fact that, in spite of visual evidence, you blindly believe NASA only because they represent "mainstream science"

Yes I understand where you are coming from Cliff, that's why I suggested you read some biology books.
Biology books agree with me.

Think of it this way. Two closely related animals that have been evolving separately meet up by chance. Take for example two varieties of tiger, or different breeds of dog. These two find they still can still produce offspring.
But they are (by their DNA definition) still tigers and dogs.

200,000 years later, the descendants of these two animals meet and copulate. However this time, the genetic differences are so different that although they produce an offspring, the offspring was barren. Now they are different species.
If the offspring is barren, how does the new line continue?  This is the point that you can't (or won't) seem to address.

Paleontology shows us that organisms have changed gradually over time, as reflected in the fossil record.
No, paleontology only shows that there were many other species at one time.

Biogeography shows us how new species only arise near very similiar species. Similar species share a common time and place.

Developmental biology shows us that an organism builds on ancestral features as it develops from a single cell.

Morphology shows us how organisms adapt ancestral features to new uses, even when there are more efficient solutions elsewhere in nature.
These are examples of micro-evolution (natural selection), not macro-evolution.

Some transitional fossil series:
Platypus: Duck -> Beaver  (or is it Beaver -> Duck?)
My point is, just because an animal shows traits of two other species doesn't automatically make it transitional.  It makes it a separate species.
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by:Jason210
ID: 36924577
Cliff

If the offspring is barren, how does the new line continue?  This is the point that you can't (or won't) seem to address.
Huh? The point has already been addressed. The barren offspring is an indication that the parents have evolved in different directions and have now reached a point where their genetic differences mean that they can no longer successfully breed. The infertility of the offspring is the very indication that parents have diverged to the point where they become new species. The future of the offspring is irrelevant.

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by:PaulHews
ID: 36924842
Clif,
>Another fine tactic.  Flood them with so much data they get frustrated and give up.  You win.  Right?
The links don't show evidence, they show one option for recorded observations.<

Person 1:  How can we work like this.  There's no documentation for these systems!
Person 2:  [Drops a stack of system manuals on the desk]
Person 1:  You expect me to read all this?

Sometimes RTFM is the right answer.

>That was a separate argument related only by the fact that, in spite of visual evidence, you blindly believe NASA only because they represent "mainstream science"

Believing the validity of mainstream science is not unreasonable.   The success of mainstream science is evident in every bit of technology around us!  

I don't advocate "blindly" believing in anything.  I've said before that not every possibility is credible.  The email from the Nigerian doctor is fake.  You don't have to prove that every time before you delete it from your inbox; you can safely assume that to be factual.

But in order to have an informed opinion, one has to be informed.  If you are ignorant of the basic science involved, there isn't anything *I* can do about it.
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by:Clif
ID: 36924861
The barren offspring is an indication that the parents have evolved in different directions and have now reached a point where their genetic differences mean that they can no longer successfully breed.
Huh?  Does anyone else see the (il)logic in this?

You're saying we know it's a new species because it can't generate any offspring.

I simply do not know how to respond to this other than staring at the screen in dumbfounded disbelief, which doesn't transmit well over the Internet.
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by:Clif
ID: 36925002
Believing the validity of mainstream science is not unreasonable.   The success of mainstream science is evident in every bit of technology around us!
There is a difference between believing and blindly following.

You don't have to prove that every time before you delete it from your inbox; you can safely assume that to be factual.

Open in new window

And yet there are still some who, to this day, fall victim to the scam.

But there are general truths out there.  Fire is hot.  Water is wet.  But all that is aside from the fact (another truth) that an animal with 24 chromosomes that gives birth to an animal with 23 chromosomes cannot mate with that animal to produce offspring.  The new critter need another, opposite gender, with the same number of chromosomes (and the same number of genes) to mate with.

I do not dispute the possibility that an animal with 24 chromosomes can give birth to an animal with 23 chromosomes.  What I do dispute is the belief that it is common enough to account for the diversity of life on the planet.  It may happen that fruit flies, that lay hundreds of eggs every few days, might pull it off.  But the higher up the chain you go, the fewer offspring there are to be "accidentally" born with a different number of genes that can only mate with another who happened to be born within the same family or group (as opposed to the other side of the continent) that has the exact same mutation that it can and would choose to mate with.

Do I see opffspring being born with a mutation that prevents it from mating with others of its species?  Yes, it happens all the time.

Do I ever see two mutations that cannot mate with others of its species but can mate with each other?  No.  There is no documented evidence of this ever happening.
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by:Jason210
ID: 36925067
Cliff

There is no illogic. A hybrid is not successful offspring because it has genetic defects and is often barren.

One important part of how new species are differentiated is that two closely related animals diverge to the point where their genetic differences do not allow them to successfully breed together. A hybrid is an indication that the two parents are approaching that point. If the parent "species" continued to evolve along seperate and divergent paths, there is a likelihood that a point would be reached in the future where attempted breeding between the two would result in an embryo that could not survive.
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by:Jason210
ID: 36925095
Cliff.

Your problem is that you think new species are the result of two parents producing a new kind of offspring. This is NOT how new species are formed. New species are formed by a split in population which allows two communities of the same species to develop along two divergent paths. When they reach the point where they can no longer interbreed, then we can them species A and species B.
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by:PaulHews
ID: 36925133
>that an animal with 24 chromosomes that gives birth to an animal with 23 chromosomes cannot mate with that animal to produce offspring.

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/04/basics_how_can_chromosome_numb.php

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by:Clif
ID: 36925387
PaulHews
Nice article.  But before I address it, I need to ask, do you agree with Jason210's comments?  

Now, as I said, I understand and accept that there are potential variations in genes/chromosomes.  That is not in dispute.  One thing your article did not address, which is where I have major problems, is that there is a point in evolution where an animal (P) gives birth to an offspring (C) that, because it is sufficiently different genetically, cannot mate with others of its parent's (P) species.  To continue the new genetic line, it must be able to mate with another of this new (C) species.

Where I have a problem is with the odds.  Yes, yes, I know we're talking millions of years.  But still, what are the odds that an Hyracotherium would give birth to an Orohippus and have that Orohippus be able to mate with...  What?  One presumes that, like modern day horses, only one and perhaps occasionally two are born in a season (per mother).  There would have to be a genetic roll of the dice to produce two Orohippuses (Orohippii?) within a sufficient range of days (up to a few years) that they could meet and choose to mate with each other.
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by:PaulHews
ID: 36926028
>One thing your article did not address, which is where I have major problems, is that there is a point in evolution where an animal (P) gives birth to an offspring (C) that, because it is sufficiently different genetically, cannot mate with others of its parent's (P) species.  To continue the new genetic line, it must be able to mate with another of this new (C) species.

You seem to think that two parents mate and produce a different species, but it isn't as simple or as quick as that.   Speciation happens at the group level, not the individual level.  Small genetic changes have a tendency to add up over the course of generations.  When a mutation occurs at an individual level, and is persisted into the gene pool, those genes wind up in all those descendants.  

If you start with one group that becomes divided geographically (and even this is a simplification as there are many different mechanisms which produce reproductive isolation), and those two groups breed in isolation over thousands of generations, then the running sum of tiny genetic changes between the two groups starts to become more significant.  Eventually, if the differences are large enough, then even if the two groups come back into contact, they can no longer interbreed.
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by:Clif
ID: 36926264
But at some point there has to be that instance where it no longer is what it was.

So now, instead of saying that one species give birth to something that is non-species, you're saying that a group split off from the main group and had babies who had babies who had babies (ad naseum) and so then could not re mingle with the original group.

Once again, we're not talking about just one group, we're talking about billions upon billions of groups that had to move far enough away from each other that they could create new strands.

Sorry, but my bookie still says the odds on that happening (even over the eons) to create the diversity of life we see today is still so low as to be deemed impossible.

And, before you go there, just by you (or a "scientist") saying "But it did" doesn't automatically make it so.
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by:sbdt8631
ID: 36926795
>>A better way of saying it would be that you refuse to accept the evidence.

I agree Wholeheartedly

IMO, Clif is arguing just to argue, IMO.
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by:Clif
ID: 36926939
And with that, and the fact that this thread has become long enough that it takes a full minute or more to load (and re-load after submitting a comment)

I'm out of here.
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by:sbdt8631
ID: 36927264
>>So now, instead of saying that one species give birth to something that is non-species, you're saying that a group split off from the main group and had babies who had babies who had babies (ad naseum) and so then could not re mingle with the original group.
Once again, we're not talking about just one group, we're talking about billions upon billions of groups that had to move far enough away from each other that they could create new strands.

No, that is not what anyone said, which is why I made my above comment.  
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by:PaulHews
ID: 36927552
From earlier:
>I do not dispute the possibility that an animal with 24 chromosomes can give birth to an animal with 23 chromosomes.  What I do dispute is the belief that it is common enough to account for the diversity of life on the planet.  It may happen that fruit flies, that lay hundreds of eggs every few days, might pull it off.  But the higher up the chain you go, the fewer offspring there are to be "accidentally" born with a different number of genes that can only mate with another who happened to be born within the same family or group (as opposed to the other side of the continent) that has the exact same mutation that it can and would choose to mate with.<

Do you think it's a coincidence that the number of insect species identified is an order of magnitude larger than the number of vertebrate species?  No, that's a fact predicted by the theory.

>Once again, we're not talking about just one group, we're talking about billions upon billions of groups that had to move far enough away from each other that they could create new strands.

Sorry, but my bookie still says the odds on that happening (even over the eons) to create the diversity of life we see today is still so low as to be deemed impossible.<

Again, this is an argument from ignorance rather than an attempt to provide a rational alternative.  The range of some species covers continents, so obviously given enough time they can separate themselves effectively.  Also the theory predicts the uniqueness of fauna on Australia, Galapagos and other remote islands.
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by:BigRat
ID: 36936597
>>are to be "accidentally" born with a different number of genes

Evolution does not stipulate "accidental" birth, but variational birth, by that one means that the genes from parent to child are not completely deterministical. It is not known whether environmental changes influence the genetic makeup, but they certainly do influence sibhling survival. In fact it is precisely this mechanism which darwin originally proposed.
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by:ropenner
ID: 36947907
After reading it all and going to reference sites listed my conclusions would be as follows.  Note the examples of evidence given below are sufficient for observation but not exhaustive.

genetic division in cells is imperfect.  (Evidence: XXY humans, downs syndrome persons, Hyflick limit).

imperfections can lead to LESS genetic information or DUPLICATION of genetic information chromosomes.  (Evidence: duplicates: XXY and downs syndrom, less: non-stem cell division: Hyflick limit),

the offspring with genetic differences have been observed to reproduce with both their parent genotype and others with similar mutations.  (Evidence:  down's syndrome people can have children as couples or with other people without down's syndrome)

Chromosome #2 in humans is large (2nd largest) and is consistent with joining the genetic information of two chromosomes of the chimpanzee.

Chromosome #2 is also evidence for a different structure for chromosomes than in the other chromosomes in humans. (Evidence: multiple centers (centromeres))

We have not done the experiment where we take one animal (kingdom animalia) couple and observe 1000 generations later that the resulting population has a group of children which can reproduce that also have a different number of chromosomes than the originating parents.

We have not done the experiment where we take one couple of any animal (kingdom animalia) and split the first set of children into two separate groups... then put both groups in different environments in which they both can thrive and produce 1000 generations.  Then take one child from each group (1000 generations later) and see whether they can produce offspring.  I don't believe this experiment has been done but I could be wrong.  If there was an instance of this experiment then evolution as a theory of being able to produce new species would be stronger, but it still would not be enough to prove the origin of all known species.

This can lead to 0 conclusions.  

It would not be consistent using only the above information to say any of these things:

     1. humans are definitely a result of genetic changes from an originating chimpanzee set of parents.

      2. it is impossible for humans to have evolved from a set of chimpanzee parents.

      3. evolution is the only possible theory that could explain the diversification of species on this planet and it will not change in the future.

      4. evolution cannot explain how it would be possible for genetic mutations to result in the current diversification of species.



We can say things that are not conclusive.  For instance that evolution is a theory of genetic imperfections that could explain the diversity of species on the earth if life's origin was (a) single cell organism(s).  Evolution does not explain what came before the single cell:  that is another theory.  Evolution also doesn't say how all the changes occurred or in which order they would have occurred:  it is a work in progress.

If there were contradictory evidence for this theory, then it would not be as useful.  If this theory is helpful to understand or explain observation then it is a useful scientific theory.  If it helps us to create new things us humans can use it could also be helpful, but if it doesn't help us with anything in our current lives then I'd question why we spend any time talking about it.

I could imagine introducing various environmental changes to a batch of bacteria and then extract the genetic results 10 000 generations later and then splicing the genetic changes into other animals so that they might also adapt to the same environments.   Would this be helpful to us .... or cause us more problems?

We've skipped the step of trying this for genetically modified foods.  We splice out sections of genetics from other plants into wheat and canola and try to produce offspring with properties (phenotypes) of the originating plants.
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by:Jason210
ID: 36952752
Your points 3 and 4 are somewhat meaningless. Point 3 starts by saying that evolution is a theory - when it's a fact. Then you appear to contradict yourself by implying in point 3 that evolution is a possible explanation of diversification, which you then deny in point 4.

You need to disntinguish between the fact of evolution and the propsed mechanisms of evolution. I think what can be said about the current state of this science is that while the idea of random variation and natural selection is seen as a contibuting factor to the mechanism of evolution, there are other propsed factors which have yet to be fully understood.
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by:ropenner
ID: 36954005
1-4 were meant to be statements that are false, or not consistent with the statements above them.
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by:PaulHews
PaulHews earned 4 total points
ID: 36959067
> Note the examples of evidence given below are sufficient for observation but not exhaustive.

Not really clear on what you mean by not exhaustive.  

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section4.html

That seems pretty exhaustive to me.  The same kind of analysis is used in criminal DNA fingerprinting and parental testing without protest from the creationists.

>We have not done the experiment where we take one couple of any animal (kingdom animalia) and split the first set of children into two separate groups... then put both groups in different environments in which they both can thrive and produce 1000 generations.  Then take one child from each group (1000 generations later) and see whether they can produce offspring. <

Domestic sheep are that experiment.  Domestic sheep no longer produce viable offspring with their wild species.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speciation#Artificial_speciation

Jason pointed out that evolution is both theory and fact.  In the same way that the theory of gravity attempts to explain the phenomenon of gravity, the theory of evolution explains the phenomenon of evolution.  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_as_theory_and_fact







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by:Hugh McCurdy
ID: 36967505
Sorry, only 50 points to divvy up.  I'm sure some people ended up with more than 1 point and others with 0.  Sorry about that.

Thanks for your participation.
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