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  (Source: South Park Studios/Comedy Central)

Major evolutionary leaps occured at multiple points in the Earth's history (click to enlarge).  (Source: University of Bristol via Biology Letters)

Mammals did not take over until the dinosaurs died and they were presented with large amounts of free space, triggering evolution, according to the new theory. The theory indicates that space plays a more important role in evolution than competition.  (Source: SPL via BBC)
Senior colleague supports the Ph.D candidate's assertion that space proves a more critical factor than competition

There's a wealth of evidence that can be found in any university library -- biochemistry, fossils, and field biology -- supporting the theory that creatures have evolved to their current forms over the course of Terran life's existence over the last few billion years.  How they arrived there is still a topic of hot academic debate.

A controversial new study takes a crack at the topic of major evolutionary leaps.  While the concept of micro-evolution versus macro-evolution is considered outdated, there are times when creatures make bigger changes than others; take for the example the mammal's evolution from furry reptiles in the late Permian or early Triassic period.

While some, including the founder of modern evolutionary theory, Charles Darwin, theorized that competition was the driving factor in dramatic leaps, PhD student Sarda Sahney of the University of Bristol says living space is the primary driving force.

Ms. Sahney and her group's principle investigator, Professor Mike Benton, examined the fossil record and came to the conclusion that organisms made the biggest leaps when they were exposed to an uncolonized space -- somewhere 
devoid of competition.

Perhaps the evolutionary biologist's version of "nature abhors a vacuum", the hypothesis states that a creature -- say an ancient dinosaur -- gains a small evolution that allows it to access a vast uncolonized area -- for example flaps of skin under the arms that allow it to glide (briefly) into the air (an uncolonized arena), when jumping from trees.  

Pressure pushes the creature to accentuate that evolution with more changes (for example, bigger skin flaps to help it jump from higher branches, hollow bones to help it glide better, and longer feathers to channel the air).  Via these changes the organism conquers its new territory.

Professor Benton elaborates, "Competition did not play a big role in the overall pattern of evolution.  For example, even though mammals lived beside dinosaurs for 60 million years, they were not able to out-compete the dominant reptiles. But when the dinosaurs went extinct, mammals quickly filled the empty niches they left and today mammals dominate the land"

Professor Stephen Stearns, a senior evolutionary biologist at Yale University disagrees with the report's assessment that competition was less important than space in the evolutionary process.  He states, "To give one example, if the reptiles had not been competitively superior to the mammals during the Mesozoic (era), then why did the mammals only expand after the large reptiles went extinct at the end of the Mesozoic?"

While the debate is unlikely to settled conclusively anytime soon, it's interesting to note that there's a broad spectrum of ways space and competition could stack up in terms of importance. 

The new study is published in 
Biology Letters, a Royal Society journal.



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To be more accurate...
By morphologia on 8/24/2010 6:14:19 PM , Rating: 3
This isn't exactly a "renegade" theory. It's an alternate explanation that fits the data, and the scientific community should welcome it as an opportunity to delve further into the subject matter.

Of course I have no doubt that this evolution-oriented article will "spontaneously generate" ignorant responses, but enduring fanatical farce is the perilous plight of reason.




RE: To be more accurate...
By AssBall on 8/24/2010 6:57:30 PM , Rating: 2
It makes reasonable sense to me. If you consider that most early life was oceanic, then the first land based critters would evolve very quickly, and they did. There are studies that lean toward the conclusion that the Earth today is actually less bio-diverse than it has been historically. If more space and territory influence quicker evolution, a mass extinction is a super effective tool to achieve that.

I do agree with you that this should be looked at more as an interesting scientific hypothesis than a DT-spun "renegade" originated magnet for controversy though.


RE: To be more accurate...
By Reclaimer77 on 8/24/2010 7:24:30 PM , Rating: 4
Ok I'm sure I'll be downrated for asking, but isn't it implied that if you have more living space away from others that you ALSO have less competition?

I never believed that competition alone could drive evolution anyway. I always assumed it was a complex multitude of factors. Living space could very well be one of them.

No real controversy here really. There are gaps and unexplained occurrences in a lot of evolutionary theory, and he's just trying to explain one.


RE: To be more accurate...
By Gzus666 on 8/24/2010 8:04:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There are gaps and unexplained occurrences in a lot of evolutionary theory


Such as?


RE: To be more accurate...
By Argon18 on 8/24/2010 11:01:15 PM , Rating: 1
Try studying evolutionary theory and you'll find there are more gaps than answers...


RE: To be more accurate...
By retrospooty on 8/25/2010 8:40:46 AM , Rating: 1
There are gaps, but to say it makes it sound like evolution isnt a factual account, and it is. Its defintely proven fact.

For example, a hotly debated thing right now... Scientist dont know exactly why some groups of dinosaurs grew feathers and eventually got smaller, lighter and then learned to fly and evolved into birds. We know it happened, we know its a fact, but we don't know exactly what caused it, and why it happened in the first place. The fact is it happened, there are many theory's as to how and why, but it doesnt alter the fact that it happened.


RE: To be more accurate...
By Denigrate on 8/25/2010 9:06:07 AM , Rating: 2
It was those darn space aliens making periodic stops on Earth and fooling around with the flora and fauna's DNA.


RE: To be more accurate...
By Quadrillity on 8/25/10, Rating: 0
RE: To be more accurate...
By ImEmmittSmith on 8/25/2010 9:44:24 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly! I believe both intelligent design and evolution coexist. But, to say that something that happened 100 million years ago is fact is crazy. That is called blind faith! It's more of a hypothesis than a fact. Unless you observe the evolution of flight, you can ONLY hypothesize how it could have happened. There maybe evidence, but not necessarily fact.


RE: To be more accurate...
By Quadrillity on 8/25/10, Rating: 0
RE: To be more accurate...
By Jaybus on 8/25/2010 1:59:59 PM , Rating: 2
We have observed plenty of life changes due to micro evolution, as for example MRSA. We name these organisms "strains" (micro evolution), rather than new species (macro evolution), though they are clearly not identical, and there are verifiable, clearly understood chemical differences in proteins and enzymes between MRSA and the S. aureus first discovered in the late 19th century.

The difference between micro and macro evolution is not a fundamental difference, but rather a difference in scale. Eventually, these observable micro evolutionary changes will add up. It is only logical to believe they will lead to an organism that is fundamentally different from the first observed S. aureus.

To conclude, micro evolution is clearly an observable fact. Micro evolutionary changes are accumulative, therefore, it is evidence supporting macro evolution. The fossil record is proof that organisms once existed that no longer exist. No fossils of modern organisms have been found in the same time period as fossils of organisms that no longer exist, which is also evidence of macro evolution. It is not proof of macro evolution, but it is strong evidence. Faith is not required when there is good evidence.


RE: To be more accurate...
By Quadrillity on 8/25/2010 3:13:41 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Eventually, these observable micro evolutionary changes will add up. It is only logical to believe they will lead to an organism that is fundamentally different from the first observed S. aureus.

Eventually? So, we should not call it observable science then.
quote:
To conclude, micro evolution is clearly an observable fact. Micro evolutionary changes are accumulative, therefore, it is evidence supporting macro evolution.

Are you blind or just stupid? I have clearly outlined several times that micro evolution is observable. It however DOES NOT give credit to assume that micro is evidence for macro.
quote:
No fossils of modern organisms have been found in the same time period as fossils of organisms that no longer exist,

Yes! I AGREE! Fossils in the ground mean some something was living, but no longer is...
quote:
....which is also evidence of macro evolution.

LMAO! Do you not see where you are making this magical leap? You go from finding fossils, to POOF! Evidence for macro!
quote:
Faith is not required when there is good evidence.

And I say for the 100th time; EVIDENCE IS OPINION, NOT FACT. DIFFERENT CONCLUSIONS CAN COME FROM FACTS.

For example; Fact: The grand canyon exists. Opinions: 1) it was formed in the aftermath of the worldwide flood or 2) It formed over millions of years from a river
Both are opinions derived from the fact. Stop calling yours fact, and mine religion. They both require faith.


RE: To be more accurate...
By eskimospy on 8/25/2010 3:29:04 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
And I say for the 100th time; EVIDENCE IS OPINION, NOT FACT. DIFFERENT CONCLUSIONS CAN COME FROM FACTS. For example; Fact: The grand canyon exists. Opinions: 1) it was formed in the aftermath of the worldwide flood or 2) It formed over millions of years from a river Both are opinions derived from the fact. Stop calling yours fact, and mine religion. They both require faith.


Without irony, all I can say is... Jesus Christ.

You forgot Opinion 3: The Flying Spaghetti Monster carved the Grand Canyon with his noodly appendage as a place for us to store pasta sauce.

By your logic, my explanation is as valid as yours. Once you take the time to understand why mine is a load of crap, you'll understand why yours is too.

(this should help you with the rest of the evolution debate as well)


RE: To be more accurate...
By JediJeb on 8/26/2010 12:00:10 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
We have observed plenty of life changes due to micro evolution, as for example MRSA. We name these organisms "strains" (micro evolution), rather than new species (macro evolution), though they are clearly not identical, and there are verifiable, clearly understood chemical differences in proteins and enzymes between MRSA and the S. aureus first discovered in the late 19th century.


A curious question I have about this, did anyone observe S.aureus mutate into MRSA? If not how can anyone know for sure it was not an already existent bacteria which was just then discovered. It is only because it has similar DNA that is is assumed to have mutated from the parent S. aureus?

Being a chemist I look at how life is said to have began and I wonder how a mixture of simple organic molecules can form into more complex nucleic acids and proteins spontaneously then become trapped inside a membrane and eventually become a living cell. Also a good question to answer is what came first, DNA or cells? DNA can not form a cell without the supporting mechanisms within a cell, and a cell can not replicate itself without the master blueprint of DNA. It takes complex proteins and nutrients and enzymes just to make the simplest cell function.

quote:
Although the tiniest bacterial cells are incredibly small, weighing less than 10^-12 grams, each is in effect a veritable micro-miniaturized factory containing thousands of exquisitely designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery, made up altogether of one hundred thousand million atoms, far more complicated than any machinery built by man and absolutely without parallel in the non-living world.1


This quote taken from here http://www.allaboutthejourney.org/cell-structure.h... just begins to describe the complexity of what a cell is. To say the first living cell just happened to form from a puddle of goo spontaneously would be like saying if you dump a billion Legos out of an airplane enough times they will land on the ground forming an exact replica of the White House all snapped together. Statically it is possible, but when you think about the physics involved in it happening the probability falls to near zero.

To me those who hold to the pure evolutionary theory of chemicals to human evolution, must have just as much or more "faith" as anyone who would believe in Biblical creation. I know how difficult it is to make complex organic molecules, and those are not even in the same league with complex proteins needed for life. Once you can show me step by step how the individual molecules needed formed and then came together to produce a viable cell, then I will wholeheartedly believe in evolution. But seriously if you can not get past that point then the whole theory is full of holes, because without the first cell, none of the rest can happen. I'm a scientist, I can show you the mechanism for making PVC plastic, or what makes TNT explosive, or even how you can use electroplating to coat a piece of steel with gold. I believe these things exist because I can see how they exist, show me how it all started and I will believe in evolution too.

quote:
It is not proof of macro evolution, but it is strong evidence. Faith is not required when there is good evidence.


Actually it does take some faith to make this conclusion. But to take it all the way back to the beginning it takes a huge amount of faith. It just depends on whether your faith is in the ability of random organic molecules to magically arrange themselves into life, or in something else just has unexplainable.

BTW, I do believe the Earth is in the billions of years old, I am just still looking for concrete proof of how it all began, until I have it, no explanation for me can be ruled out.


RE: To be more accurate...
By Calindar on 8/26/2010 12:33:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Also a good question to answer is what came first, DNA or cells? DNA can not form a cell without the supporting mechanisms within a cell, and a cell can not replicate itself without the master blueprint of DNA. It takes complex proteins and nutrients and enzymes just to make the simplest cell function.

This is much like the chicken and the egg paradox, which is fundamentally flawed in that you are assuming one could not exist without the other, or that one could not exist with something else before the other did. An argument like this is essentially saying the chicken and the egg shouldn't exist because they can't exist without each other. As we now know that reptiles were laying eggs before the chicken even existed, many scientist also hypothesize that self replicating RNA based ribosomes may have been the prequels to DNA based life.

quote:
This quote taken from here http://www.allaboutthejourney.org/cell-structure.h... just begins to describe the complexity of what a cell is. To say the first living cell just happened to form from a puddle of goo spontaneously would be like saying if you dump a billion Legos out of an airplane enough times they will land on the ground forming an exact replica of the White House all snapped together. Statically it is possible, but when you think about the physics involved in it happening the probability falls to near zero.

You are making the mistaken assumption that early life was a complex single celled organism like a modern bacterium. This is a false assumption as the modern bacterium have been evolving for longer than all of the multi-cell organisms. While the exact way life started on earth is not known yet, there are a few viable hypothesis, and none of which think a full fledged modern bacterium formed out of nothing.

quote:
To me those who hold to the pure evolutionary theory of chemicals to human evolution, must have just as much or more "faith" as anyone who would believe in Biblical creation. I know how difficult it is to make complex organic molecules, and those are not even in the same league with complex proteins needed for life.


No faith is required at all. The origin of life is completely separate from the evolution of life. While science may not be able to explain the origin of life yet, they are not faithfully clinging to superstitions in it's place, and the only faith required is the faith in man kind and our ability to one day figure it out. Religion claims to know with no evidence, science is aware it doesn't know, but is constantly striving to.

quote:
Once you can show me step by step how the individual molecules needed formed and then came together to produce a viable cell, then I will wholeheartedly believe in evolution. But seriously if you can not get past that point then the whole theory is full of holes, because without the first cell, none of the rest can happen.

This is akin to saying "Unless you can show me step by step how to create an engine, I don't believe in cars", or "Unless you can show me where the force came from, I don't believe in Newton's first law of motion". The only relation evolution has with abiogenesis is that evolution requires life to function. Whether a god farted that life into existence, or it formed through natural processes has absolutely no effect on the theory of evolution and it's ability to function. The only thing it needs is for life to exists, which it clearly does.


RE: To be more accurate...
By Mogounus on 8/25/2010 10:31:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You can come to those conclusions after finding bones in the ground? Seriously?


Really??? So are you saying that the whole science of Archeology and large parts of Geology are based on faith? Yeah, someone put those bones in the ground just as a practical joke to fool people. And they did that across the whole planet and even went so far as to put some bones deeper into the ground than others to fake them being older. Yeah, and then they did stuff like put shark teeth and marine fossils up in the mountain to completly mess with our minds. Dude, I know... it's like this massive conspiricy that was created to hide the real truth! (sarcasm)


RE: To be more accurate...
By Quadrillity on 8/25/10, Rating: 0
RE: To be more accurate...
By Mogounus on 8/25/2010 12:42:31 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I guess you don't even realize that the geologic column doesn't exist in the real world?


WTF? Are you serious? So are you telling me those strata in the rocks on hillsides and cliffs that I can see with my own eyes doesn't exist. An when I break them apart I can see they are sedimentary in nature because there have imbedded fossils that somehow that is not real? "Only 2 things are infinite; the universe and the stupidity of creationists. I'm not sure about the former."

The dating method has many factors one of which is radiocarbon dating. For instance you can get an icecore sample from the artic and read the rings (like a tree, one per year) and by chemically analysing a ring find that on that year there was some event that deposited unique sediment (ie volcanic eruption). Then you can go to some other place on earth and find that the same sediment exists there and can know the age of that rock based on the ice core. Then you can radiocarbon date the two samples and find it is consistent. That is just scratching the surface of the methods that are used.

Geology and Paleantology are whole fields of science that require years of study to understand and yet somehow you claim that they are incorrect without even a basic understading of how they work? Where did you get your information, maybe some christian fundumentalist leaflet handed out by some door to door evangelist?


RE: To be more accurate...
By Quadrillity on 8/25/2010 1:16:40 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
WTF? Are you serious? So are you telling me those strata in the rocks on hillsides and cliffs that I can see with my own eyes doesn't exist.

That is called rock layers. Not the geologic column; learn the concepts before debating about it.

If the strata represents great time periods, then why are there fossilized trees running through several layers that are said to be millions of years apart? what's your scientific run-around for that one?
quote:
Only 2 things are infinite; the universe and the stupidity of creationists. I'm not sure about the former."

I guess I shouldn't have expected you not to be a troll.
quote:
For instance you can get an icecore sample from the artic and read the rings

That method is completely useless since it has been proven that several layers can form in a single season, let alone a year.
quote:
(like a tree, one per year)

Evidently you are also ignorant of tree dating. Several layers can form per year.
quote:
Then you can go to some other place on earth and find that the same sediment exists there and can know the age of that rock based on the ice core.

This kinda sucks for your theory when you figure out that ice core dating is totally inaccurate.
quote:
Then you can radiocarbon date the two samples and find it is consistent.

HAHA! So it only works a handful of times, and only when its something already touted as millions of years old right? Did you know that you can get thousands of different dates from a single object? Which one do you pick? There have been countless cases where the head of a fossil date differently than the toes. So do you just pick the number that you like the most?

Radio dating is NOT a viable method for testing age. AT ALL. End of story.

quote:
Geology and Paleantology are whole fields of science that require years of study to understand and yet somehow you claim that they are incorrect without even a basic understading of how they work?

I'd have a lot of money if I got a dollar for every time that someone claimed to know how well versed I am with the subject of evolutionary sciences. It seems like you are the one with VERY LITTLE understanding since you claim ice cores and tree rings are good evidence for supporting the geologic column (which you still don't even know what it is by the way).

quote:
Where did you get your information, maybe some christian fundumentalist leaflet handed out by some door to door evangelist?

I have been studying all my life. Thanks for being a complete asshat though. You are so smug that you can't even accept that other people have opinions that are equal to yours.


RE: To be more accurate...
By Mogounus on 8/25/10, Rating: 0
RE: To be more accurate...
By drycrust3 on 8/25/2010 12:48:06 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Radiometric dating is so flawed


Doesn't it strike you as odd that radio-carbon dating was touted as being reliable when it was thought the evidence didn't support Creationist theories, but as soon as it was found to seriously contradict Evolutionist ones it became unreliable?
Raw diamonds can be radio-carbon dated, which is plainly contrary to the theory of Evolution, and have shown ages of less that 80K years, which means the fossil layers were laid less than 80,000 years ago, not that facts should be used to discredit a popular theory.
Another thing that doesn't get much mention is the once famous Evolutionary Family Tree. When I was young it looked like a sophisticated 7 candle menorah, showing lots of species evolving at different times (which is basically what Jason was saying); then it looked more like a pitch fork, showing that most species evolved in the pre-cambrian era, in fact they call it "the pre-cambrian explosion" because such a huge number of species literal appeared from nowhere, and very little since then (which is consistent with Creationist ideas but not with Darwin's); and then the Evolutionary Family Tree got quietly redesigned to remove the time scale so you can't see that all the "evolving" happened in the pre-Cambrian explosion ... which means the scientific evidence supports the idea that all life just appeared from nowhere. Again, one mustn't discredit a popular theory by using facts.
Well, it isn't my theory anyway, and if people want to push a theory that no one wants to subject to scientific scrutiny, then they are quite welcome to, but don't expect that to not have consequences, one of which is progress will slow down.


RE: To be more accurate...
By gamerk2 on 8/25/2010 4:24:14 PM , Rating: 2
You forgot a fact yourself: Theres more then one method of radiometric dating, and different methods are only valid on certain materials.

Farthermore (thank you wikipedia for putting this in proper english :D):
quote:
Accurate radiometric dating generally requires that the parent has a long enough half-life that it will be present in significant amounts at the time of measurement (except as described below under "Dating with short-lived extinct radionuclides"), the half-life of the parent is accurately known, and enough of the daughter product is produced to be accurately measured and distinguished from the initial amount of the daughter present in the material. [...] For instance, carbon-14 has a half-life of 5,730 years. After an organism has been dead for 60,000 years so little carbon-14 is left that accurate dating can not be established. On the other hand, the concentration of carbon-14 falls off so steeply that the age of relatively young remains can be determined precisely to within a few decades.


Also, Radio-carbon dating, for what should be obvious reasons (a lack of C-14; Diamonds are mostly C-12 and C-13, with only trace amounts of C-14, and thus, its impossible to get accurate dating via radio-carbon dating, as noted above) Kinda blows a hole in your theory. Nevermind the irony that the age of diamonds is determined via Carbon Isotope Ratios, which is basically the same exact concept as radio-carbon dating.

Likewise, as for your tree theroy, keep in mind that it makes perfect sense for on-again off-again periods of evolution. A stable environment, where all niches are filled, is very resistent to change. However, if a niche were to open (via an extinction, climate change, asteriod impact, no species introduced into system, etc), then there is pressure on the remaining species to adapt to the change in environment. As such, once you get the first lifeform (which I note evolution makes no attempt to explain; thats a different field of study), you would expect a population explosion.


RE: To be more accurate...
By eskimospy on 8/25/10, Rating: 0
RE: To be more accurate...
By Quadrillity on 8/25/2010 11:52:13 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Actually, no. Intelligent design has exactly zero scientific support.

Do you not see where this completely your opinion? To believe in anything past micro evolution is called faith. You have faith that this occurs/occurred because we can (in no way shape or form) observe it.
quote:
Evolution IS a fact, and it's indisputable. We see it every day in the evolution of microorganisms.

You are either naive or a troll. MICRO evolution most certainly does exist, and we observe it everyday. What we have never seen is macro evolution. We have never had proof of one kind turning into another kind.
quote:
If you think acceptance of the fact of evolution is so ridiculous, then I suggest if you ever get an infection don't go for any of the newer antibiotics. You won't need them, as bacteria can't have evolved to become resistant to the old ones.

*Just rolled out of my chair laughing.


RE: To be more accurate...
By eskimospy on 8/25/2010 12:22:26 PM , Rating: 1
No, it's not my opinion, it's a statement of fact. If intelligent design has any scientific evidence in support of it whatsoever, feel free to post it here. I won't hold my breath. It's religion dressed up in a lab coat.

Your definition of faith is also quite frankly bizarre. The actual definition of faith is 'a firm belief in something for which there is no evidence'. That is most certainly not the case with evolution, even macroevolution, and no competent scientific authority would ever make such a claim. You may think that there is insufficient evidence to prove macroevolution (and you would be in a very lonely place among people with actual knowledge of it), but that's far different from faith.

Intelligent design is faith, evolution is the product of observations turned into testable hypothesis that have yielded accurate predictions.

It's nice to watch you backpedal in the rest of your post now. Before you were disputing that evolution was a fact, now you're disputing that CERTAIN TYPES of evolution are facts. (despite that they both are products of the same theory)


RE: To be more accurate...
By Quadrillity on 8/25/2010 1:34:20 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
No, it's not my opinion, it's a statement of fact. If intelligent design has any scientific evidence in support of it whatsoever, feel free to post it here. I won't hold my breath. It's religion dressed up in a lab coat.

You are totally blind to the rest of planet earth if you can not see the mounds of evidence in support of it. Like I said, it's still 50/50. Evolution is a popular theory, not even close to a proven fact of anything. If you can't get past that part, then I am just wasting time.
quote:
The actual definition of faith is 'a firm belief in something for which there is no evidence'.

LMAO! yep, you are a complete idiot, and I'm wasting my time.
quote:
evolution is the product of observations turned into testable hypothesis that have yielded accurate predictions.

Answer me this: Just how in the hell do you test the unobservable?
I can also prove that the bible yields accurate predictions. I predict that a worldwide flood would form layers of sediment(trapping things in between) all over the earth. Have you ever shaken up a jar with sand, soil, water, oil, and other things of different masses? They form layers. See how evidence can work? It is fact that the earth has layers; however it is opinion on how they got there. If you think you opinion is better than mine would be completely contradictory to your scientific integrity.
quote:
It's nice to watch you backpedal in the rest of your post now. Before you were disputing that evolution was a fact, now you're disputing that CERTAIN TYPES of evolution are facts. (despite that they both are products of the same theory)

Micro evolution is most definitely a fact. You can't show one OBSERVABLE AND TESTABLE example of where macro evolution exists/existed. Micro is not evidence for macro; and this is where you are getting confused.


RE: To be more accurate...
By eskimospy on 8/25/2010 2:58:59 PM , Rating: 3
Well if there is so much evidence, please link to it. Like I said, I won't hold my breath. As I said before, there is not one single solitary shred of scientific evidence for intelligent design. NOT ONE PIECE. The reason you haven't linked to any is because you can't.

I'm sorry that quoting the dictionary definition of faith made you 'laugh your ass off', but if you have a problem with it you'll need to consult the dictionary people, not me.

Your example on the other hand shows quite clearly why you're having so much difficulty understanding this topic. The question you should be trying to answer is not if water can lay down sediment, but if a global flood could be responsible for laying down the sedimentary layers in the manner in which we see them on planet earth today. (it can't, by the way).

The fact that you think your example somehow acted as a counterpoint explains a lot about your difficulty here, you've put the cart before the horse by starting with the conclusion of a flood and then seeking evidence that it could be possible. Real science (ie: not Intelligent Design) starts with the evidence and tries to find ways to explain it.

What would you consider evidence of macro evolution? What trait must be changed from one species to another in order for you to consider macro evolution to have taken place? Look, if you want to think that the world was poofed into existence by a sky beardo 10,000 years ago, that's fine. Don't come and try to argue the science of it though, because there isn't any.


RE: To be more accurate...
By gamerk2 on 8/25/2010 4:36:54 PM , Rating: 1
quote:

Answer me this: Just how in the hell do you test the unobservable?


Easily. Or do you not believe in gravity? After all, we don't have any clue what actually CAUSES it in the first place, yet we can directly observe its effects, make mathematical forumula on how it operates, and even use its properties to aid us (sattalites in orbit, for instance).

The argument against Macro evolution is seriously flawed though, because we ALREADY CAN SEE IT! We can prove via genetics that all dogs are decended from wolves, yet each unique group has a different chromosome count. Despite this (thanks to the marvals of hydrazation), different species can still produce offspring due to their commonality. Thats Macro evolution in a nutshell. (Cats, various horse families [Zebras, Mules, Donkeys, Horses, Camels, etc] all follow simmilar paths]

Macro evolution is nothing more then adding/subtracting of chromosomes, and having teh specimin not die and yet be able to carry on its traits (which usually means being able to mate with whatever species its parents were a part of; see above argument). Eventually, you grow a stable population, and have a new species, which continues to diverge over time via micro-evolution. Given how many generation this process would take, its no shock we haven't seen it happen in the 100-odd years we've bothered to look. [Nevermind we haven't even discovered the majority of all species on the planet in the first place].

quote:

I can also prove that the bible yields accurate predictions. I predict that a worldwide flood would form layers of sediment(trapping things in between) all over the earth. Have you ever shaken up a jar with sand, soil, water, oil, and other things of different masses? They form layers. See how evidence can work? It is fact that the earth has layers; however it is opinion on how they got there. If you think you opinion is better than mine would be completely contradictory to your scientific integrity.


Except you need to consider time scale; if you take the bible as true, then you quickly realise such an event is not possible timewise, unless you want to start changing the laws of physics. Likewise, anyone can write about a local flood, that envolps the world that they know at the time, and say "God created a flood that covered the world!", and then have some scribe put it in a book 1000 years after the fact, and have it called truth.


RE: To be more accurate...
By Quadrillity on 8/25/2010 8:53:16 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
The argument against Macro evolution is seriously flawed though, because we ALREADY CAN SEE IT! We can prove via genetics that all dogs are decended from wolves, yet each unique group has a different chromosome count.

No-one has ever seen a non dog come from a dog. It's still a dog. Also, while we are at it, no-one has ever seen life spring forth from non-living material.
quote:
Eventually, you grow a stable population, and have a new species, which continues to diverge over time via micro-evolution.

Can you not see how you inject the "if you wait long enough" that it makes my point perfectly. We do not observe this described phenomenon. We do not observe this. We do not observe this. Again, we can not and do not observe this. So stop passing from micro to macro.
quote:
if you take the bible as true, then you quickly realise such an event is not possible timewise, unless you want to start changing the laws of physics.

What makes you think that your opinion of this is any better than mine? You are talking about interpretation facts. Our interpretation of evidence is vastly different, but somehow yours is right?
quote:
Likewise, anyone can write about a local flood, that envolps the world that they know at the time, and say "God created a flood that covered the world!", and then have some scribe put it in a book 1000 years after the fact, and have it called truth.

I love how everything thinks that people from 1000 years ago were literally retarded. There is plenty of evidence for a worldwide flood. Evidence is subjective. You are an ignorant fool for thinking that technology has made us an advanced civilization. If anything, our ever increasing moral corruption is making our society worse.


RE: To be more accurate...
By Calindar on 8/25/2010 9:19:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
No-one has ever seen a non dog come from a dog. It's still a dog.

Because that isn't how evolution works, which you have once again proven you have absolutely no understanding of.

quote:
We do not observe this described phenomenon. We do not observe this. We do not observe this. Again, we can not and do not observe this.

Yes, we have... http://links.jstor.org/pss/2410209

I find it incredibly ironic how you will willfully ignore evidence and then make claims insinuating that we must observe something(which we have) in order for you to believe it, yet you base your entire world view on something that neither you nor anyone else directly observed...

By the way, willfully ignoring evidence and continuing to purposefully deceive people in order to push your belief is bearing false witness, a sin.
quote:
What makes you think that your opinion of this is any better than mine? You are talking about interpretation facts. Our interpretation of evidence is vastly different, but somehow yours is right?


Facts are indisputable and are not open for interpretation. Evidence either supports your position or it doesn't, there is no interpretation. His "opinion"" is better than yours because he has facts and evidence that support his, and you don't.

quote:
I love how everything thinks that people from 1000 years ago were literally retarded.

As I already explained to you previously, humans had a similar level of intellectual capability 1000 years ago, but they lacked the knowledge, which builds and is passed on from generation to generation, to make proper assertions. On the contrary, there are many people alive today that present themselves as literally retarded.

quote:
There is plenty of evidence for a worldwide flood.
No, there isn't. There is no evidence that supports a world wide flood more than it supports an alternative, more realistic explanation.

quote:
Evidence is subjective.

No, it isn't. Evidence either supports your claims or it doesn't. You use this as a cop out to not be held responsible for your ridiculous and illogical beliefs.


RE: To be more accurate...
By Calindar on 8/25/2010 7:06:22 PM , Rating: 2
Oh Quadrillity, I see nothing has changed has it?

You really shouldn't be calling anyone an idiot with the claims you are making.

quote:
Answer me this: Just how in the hell do you test the unobservable? I predict that a worldwide flood would form layers of sediment(trapping things in between) all over the earth. Have you ever shaken up a jar with sand, soil, water, oil, and other things of different masses ? They form layers. See how evidence can work? It is fact that the earth has layers; however it is opinion on how they got there.


Oh boy, where to start. I like to give hints and allow people to figure things out on their own, but you have proven incapable. I bolded the part that makes your own opinions false. Go look at the different rock layers, you will see they are not ordered by mass. You are describing two different process as the same. The earth does have layers, it isn't opinion how it got there, it is the theory the evidence supports. Global flood is not that theory.
quote:
If you think you opinion is better than mine would be completely contradictory to your scientific integrity.

You have absolutely no understanding of science. Science isn't about opinions, it's about evidence. His "opinion" is deemed better than your "opinion" by science, because his has evidence and yours has none.

quote:
Micro evolution is most definitely a fact. You can't show one OBSERVABLE AND TESTABLE example of where macro evolution exists/existed. Micro is not evidence for macro; and this is where you are getting confused.

I see you still have no understanding for the idea of integration huh? Let me ask you this(again, you failed to answer it the last time I asked). If someone stumbles upon a murder scene, but no one witnessed the murder, can we conclude that no one committed the murder because no one observed the murder being committed? Furthermore, should we simply say god committed the murder? That would be completely ridiculous, we look at the evidence and determine to the best of our ability who did it. Sometimes we are wrong, most times we are right.

I have to ask, why do you require direct observable evidence for anything claimed by science but have full belief in religious beliefs that have none?


RE: To be more accurate...
By JediJeb on 8/26/2010 12:17:55 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
No, it's not my opinion, it's a statement of fact.


If it is a fact, then show me the exact mechanism by which the first living cell formed. Without that the whole evolutionary theory is just a theory which must be taken on faith, not fact.


RE: To be more accurate...
By Quadrillity on 8/26/2010 6:45:58 PM , Rating: 2
That's one of the main issues here. I readily admit that I have faith in my religion. Some of the folks here fail to see how they have absolute blind faith in what they believe.

I can't understand how they can sincerely claim that their opinions are somehow "scientific" and superior to others. Snobbish, selfish, and down-right rude is what it's called.


RE: To be more accurate...
By ltgrunt on 8/25/2010 1:27:44 PM , Rating: 2
No, intelligent design doesn't have support in the scientific community. Any "theory" that suggests a supernatural answer to a line of scientific inquiry will tend to lack support.

Granted, there are a few scientists out there who do push intelligent design, but none of the arguments put forth in favor of intelligent design hold up under peer review or intense scrutiny.


RE: To be more accurate...
By retrospooty on 8/25/2010 4:59:04 PM , Rating: 3
"I think my brain might explode. You can come to those conclusions after finding bones in the ground? Seriously? Fossilized bones"


Uh... yes, hundreds of thousands of fossilid bones all over the planet, documenting all stages of life's evolution from 4 billion years ago until today. Yes, this includes man's evolution from apes. There are fossils that prove pretty much every step of the way.

Sorry if that makes your brain explode, clearly you arent too bright.


RE: To be more accurate...
By Reclaimer77 on 8/25/2010 4:33:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
There are gaps, but to say it makes it sound like evolution isnt a factual account, and it is. Its defintely proven fact.


I wasn't "making it sound" anything of the sort.


RE: To be more accurate...
By Quadrillity on 8/25/2010 9:25:03 AM , Rating: 1
It's funny how you got down rated for telling the truth. Anyone who studies evolution for more than 5 minutes can easily see how just about 99% of the underlining theories are so far stretched that it takes faith to believe in.

I was reading one just a few minutes ago that showed how a layer of rock had an isotope reading that contrary to a previously verified theory, so they made up some hair brained theory of a supernova that "may" have caused excess radiation. This one example (among many) shows how unobservable events can now be used for evidence for the theory of evolution.


RE: To be more accurate...
By 3minence on 8/25/2010 9:27:59 AM , Rating: 1
Yep, I think God just snapped his fingers and it was all done. That would certainly make taking tests in school easier. How did the world get created? God snapped his fingers. How did man get created? God snapped his fingers. Of course, then we would all get involved in fighting over which hand he used to snap his fingers, because we all know how important that is. And of course, which actual technique for snapping is immensly critical. Pretty soon we'd have all sort of fights in school and between nations over the issue.

Maybe teaching evolution isn't so bad after all.


RE: To be more accurate...
By Quadrillity on 8/25/2010 9:35:54 AM , Rating: 2
You act like God and science are mutually exclusive. Nice trolling you did there.


RE: To be more accurate...
By Flunk on 8/25/2010 11:21:16 AM , Rating: 2
If you believe in the scientific method you can't believe in god. If you claim to you are just giving lip service to one or the other because they are mutually exclusive.

Since we have a hypothesis. E.G. Our universe was created by a greater being that controls the all of creation. But we don't have any evidence that it is so, certainly nothing that holds up to scientific peer review. At this point we can't even postulate a theory. Ergo there is no reason to believe that god does/can exist.


RE: To be more accurate...
By Quadrillity on 8/25/2010 12:12:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you believe in the scientific method you can't believe in god.

I really would like to know how you could conclude that. There is a lot of scientific methodology that can co-exist just fine with God. I don't know why you can charge me with having a science vs religion debate. It's about voodoo, bad, and otherwise unobservable "science".
quote:
Since we have a hypothesis. E.G. Our universe was created by a greater being that controls the all of creation. But we don't have any evidence that it is so

We have plenty of evidence. Your evidence may not be the same as mine, you can not sit there and say that your opinion is any better than mine.
quote:
certainly nothing that holds up to scientific peer review.

LoL! I love how most of you anti-God evolutionist types always jump to the almighty and infallible "peer review" process. Like it automatically makes something indisputable. Don't get me wrong, having an open discussion with everyone is the best method of developing your beliefs and knowledge, but the "majority" isn't always right. In fact, evolution is not considered a majority. The last time I looked it was still about 50/50. Giving a creation science peer review to a group of atheistic evolutionists is laughable at best. Of course they would reject it without even researching.


RE: To be more accurate...
By Calindar on 8/25/2010 7:23:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In fact, evolution is not considered a majority. The last time I looked it was still about 50/50.


50/50 of who? Even though you don't provide any sources(like always), that number only applies to the uneducated and unaware American general public that has their knowledge clouted by the baseless, unscientific, and unsupported garbage spewed by fundamentalists like you.

Among the scientific and well educated community, the percentage of people who support evolution is staggering, and that includes those that aren't in the field of biology or genetics. Among Biology and genetic researchers, that percentage is even higher.

"A 1991 Gallup poll of Americans found that about 5% of scientists (including those with training outside biology) identified themselves as creationists"

"A 2009 poll by Pew Research Center found that "87% of scientists say that humans and other living things have evolved over time and that evolution is the result of natural processes such as natural selection."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_of_support_for_...
quote:
Giving a creation science peer review to a group of atheistic evolutionists is laughable at best. Of course they would reject it without even researching.

They reject it because the evidence doesn't support it, it isn't the best solution, and it isn't science. Ask any atheist what it would take to convince them that god was real, and most will say "evidence". Ask any religious/creationist what it would take to prove to them that god wasn't real, and they will say "nothing will convince me". And that is the difference between religion and science, and most scientists are too intelligent to fall for your bronze age superstitions.


RE: To be more accurate...
By chripuck on 8/25/2010 12:20:40 PM , Rating: 2
So a superior being, millions upon millions of years ago, couldn't have traveled to Earth and seeded our planet? The term god simply refers to a supreme being. And any species able to traverse the stars millions of years ago would classify as a supreme being to me.

Seriously, what is science now was religion hundreds of years ago. You take Leonardo Da Vinci and show him a cell phone or TV and he'd freak out. It's magic or it's gods work!


RE: To be more accurate...
By Quadrillity on 8/25/2010 1:21:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Seriously, what is science now was religion hundreds of years ago. You take Leonardo Da Vinci and show him a cell phone or TV and he'd freak out. It's magic or it's gods work!

I love how your opinion automatically translates to fact. You are stuck waaay to far in your own little world.


RE: To be more accurate...
By 3minence on 8/25/2010 2:15:54 PM , Rating: 2
Actually I was simply playing on the idea that attributing everything to God is so much easier than finding evidence, formulating theories, subbmitting to peer review, etc. Simply stating "God snapped his fingers and it happened" is much easier. But, of course, the possible consiquences could be worst.

I make no claims that evolution automatically discounts God. I was simply making a joke; like the funny ones, only not.


RE: To be more accurate...
By foolsgambit11 on 8/24/2010 9:52:47 PM , Rating: 5
Actually, the space this scientist is talking about is just a rewording of what Darwin wrote about. If a species colonizes and expands freely into a new niche, then it does have very heavy competition for resources - with other members of the same species. That's what drives evolution in these cases, and Darwin examined exactly this scenario in the Origin of Species. Don't they even make evolutionary biologists read that book anymore?


RE: To be more accurate...
By Denigrate on 8/25/2010 9:07:16 AM , Rating: 2
Probably not, they've pretty well abandoned most of his theories at this point.


RE: To be more accurate...
By foolsgambit11 on 8/25/2010 12:31:43 PM , Rating: 3
But wouldn't an important part of the curriculum be learning Darwin's theory and the problems with it that have led to more refined ideas on evolution? The history of the science is an important part of studying to be a scientist - it helps ensure we don't make the same mistakes twice.


RE: To be more accurate...
By Reclaimer77 on 8/25/2010 4:40:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Probably not, they've pretty well abandoned most of his theories at this point.


I don't think that's true. But what we've discovered, and what Darwin didn't know at the time, is that life is far more complex than what you can observe from the bones or fossils of something. There are literally thousands of chemical, electrical, and mechanical systems working together for life to function. Not to mention DNA, genomes, chromosomes etc etc. And any evolutionary change, in any one of them, could have drastic effects on that life form.

They haven't abandoned him, but in the light of new discoveries, Darwin's theories just don't cover everything. So they've had to branch out.


RE: To be more accurate...
By chripuck on 8/25/2010 12:22:39 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I was thinking to-may-toe, to-mah-toe.


Based just on the article's title...
By SpaceOddity85 on 8/24/2010 5:19:19 PM , Rating: 5
I thought it was going to be about cosmic radiation mutating DNA.




RE: Based just on the article's title...
By Jedi2155 on 8/24/2010 5:32:38 PM , Rating: 5
They should change the article to

quote:
How Living Space Drives Evolution


By hughlle on 8/24/2010 5:37:14 PM , Rating: 4
agreed


By Captain Orgazmo on 8/24/2010 10:32:29 PM , Rating: 4
Lebensraum fur zee dinosaurs?


RE: Based just on the article's title...
By theArchMichael on 8/24/2010 5:34:40 PM , Rating: 2
I see you are not familiar with the work of Dr. Reed Richards. His published papers are very interesting... and beautifully illustrated


By morphologia on 8/24/2010 6:10:42 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed. The attention to detail is nothing less than...Fantastic.

:^P


RE: Based just on the article's title...
By JS on 8/24/2010 5:42:41 PM , Rating: 4
I seriously thought it was a misspelled headline regarding rocket engines. :o)


By marvdmartian on 8/25/2010 8:45:08 AM , Rating: 2
Well, it is.....the FINAL FRONTIER!! (whoooosh!! <<sound of starship, magically made in a vacuum)


Sorry.
By mugiebahar on 8/25/2010 7:08:49 PM , Rating: 1
Man I have no idea what to say other then your dumb to not think it's not your opinion. At the end of the day everyone will answer for what that do or don't believe. If creation is wrong then everyone serving their God wasted there life. If evolution proves wrong then don't expect to have any reward for life beyond this system we live in. For me, I'd rather believe in God so I have meaning to life more then the corrupt society we live in today. And the one thing in My Opinion that evolution can't explain is Love, where as Creation it's fundamental to God and us being here. Love is almost exact opposite of what evolution is. The reason why I say this (In my Opinion) is evolution teaches survival of the greatest, where love is not that at all. Why do people do great things risking life to help others out of burning buildings, car accidents, flood victims, earthquake victims, and volunteers (just to name a few) I know for every good person there probably 2 bad selfish people. But that still makes 2 billion good individuals out there. And that can't be explained by evolution. And before you bash me, I repeat this is my opinion. But think about your mom or dad and the love and sacrifice they have done for you. They did it out of love, if it was survival of the fittest you would have been last on your parents agenda. Again it's all our opinion on the facts we see observable, and we all answer to god or ourselves at the end of the day.




RE: Sorry.
By Calindar on 8/25/2010 7:55:19 PM , Rating: 3
I'm sorry, but your "Opinion" is based on misunderstanding, lack of understanding, and/or an unwillingness to understand. Love is easily explainable with evolution. This part of your post explains both the answer to your question, and the obviousness of your misunderstanding:

quote:
But think about your mom or dad and the love and sacrifice they have done for you. They did it out of love, if it was survival of the fittest you would have been last on your parents agenda.


You are misunderstanding "survival of the fittest". It doesn't necessarily describe the physical attributes of a specific individual and it doesn't necessary describe the ability of a select individual to survive. It describes the ability for that individual to pass on their genes. So in the case of humans, as you have already pointed out, your parent's "love" meant that they were willing to sacrifice to save their children. Those sacrifices made it more likely that their children would survive, and thus more likely that their genetic information would be passed on. In the course of human evolution, having both parents raise and protect their offspring together proved very beneficial, and therefore individuals displaying an urge to stay together, or "love" as you describe it, were more likely to have their offspring survive, and pass on the genetic that promoted the ability to "love".

So as you can see, love is very easily explainable by evolution. Parents that raised and protected their offspring together had a higher chance of their offspring surviving, and the feeling of "love" was the mechanism that pushed individuals to partake in this behavior.

As for your other examples about people helping each other, again as a social being, helping each other when in need helps promote the survival of the species as whole, and is visible in other species as well.

And to comment on your Pascal's Wager, I'd completely disagree. If someone wastes their life worshiping a god that doesn't exist, they have completely wasted their only existence. If someone lives their life to the fullest without wasting time on an unproven god, they have enjoyed their mortal life regardless of whether a god exists or not. If a god does not exists, then they have done the best they could with the time they actually had. If a god does exist, then they can hope that said god will judge them by the merits of their existence, and not on whether they actually believed in the god or not. For if a god would place me worshiping and believing in them as a higher priority than me being a good person, that is not a god I'm willing to worship.


RE: Sorry.
By JediJeb on 8/26/2010 12:37:32 AM , Rating: 2
But love in the form of someone sacrificing their life for the life of another would be counter intuitive to evolution. That act would destroy the genetics of the one who possessed that trait and it would eventually die out.


RE: Sorry.
By Calindar on 8/26/2010 12:53:41 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
But love in the form of someone sacrificing their life for the life of another would be counter intuitive to evolution. That act would destroy the genetics of the one who possessed that trait and it would eventually die out.

Not if the individual sacrificing their life is doing so to save an offspring and/or close relative. In that case the saved relative passes on the genes and it falls perfectly in line with evolution.

It's called Altruism. Enjoy this short video about it's evolution: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1Yrbc5O1gI


Presuppositions....
By Nightraptor on 8/25/2010 6:45:15 PM , Rating: 1
I love watching people's presuppositions play out in debate. There is always an assumption on both sides of an argument like this that the facts only support one side or the other. Of course the reality is that the facts support either side when viewed through that sides set of presuppositions.

Take for instance an earlier comment about the Grand Canyon. One person proposed that the Grand Canyon could be formed by either a long drawn out process or a worldwide flood. Another commenter responded with the classic Flying Spaghetti Monster response. The presupposition by the second commenter being that a natural explanation is always better than a supernatural explanation. Regardless of what one thinks about this (I personally find the natural explanation to be the correct one) this presupposition could at least in theory make one mistaken.

At the end of the day there are two competing set of presuppositions and worldview's which enter into a debate such as the one surrounding evolution. One says that the supernatural exists and there are ways outside of science (i.e. divine revelation) to know truth. The other states that the natural is all that exists and empiricism is the only way to know truth.

Neither one of these sets of presuppositions can be proven to be true. You can't empirically prove that something exists which by it's very nature is beyond testing in a repeatable manner. In the same way you can't empirically prove that empiricism is the best way to know truth because to do so one must already assume that fact and thus the reasoning is hopelessly circular.

Each of these presuppositions looks absurd to someone holding the opposite set of presuppositions. Yet neither can be tested - they must simply be believed




RE: Presuppositions....
By eskimospy on 8/25/2010 7:44:48 PM , Rating: 3
I have no idea where you got that entire thing from, but it's yet another attempt at false equivalence. A natural explanation is not superior to a supernatural one by virtue of the fact that it is natural. Any explanation is superior to any other if there is more evidence that it is correct.

There could be a million events that might occur in the universe that would be supernatural in origin and lend evidence to a supernatural cause for the Grand Canyon or whatever. Hell, the Bible is filled with them. Strangely enough they seem never happen anymore, but if they did any one of them would be fantastic evidence for a creator/Grand Canyon digger.

You seem to have missed the most important idea behind the Spaghetti Monster comparison. It has nothing to do with if things can be supernatural or not, it has everything to do with how silly it is to present an idea without any support and expect that others take you seriously.


RE: Presuppositions....
By Nightraptor on 8/26/2010 1:20:37 AM , Rating: 2
"Any explanation is superior to any other if there is more evidence that it is correct."

Yet your presuppositions determine what evidence you are going to consider acceptable and thus predetermine which solution you are going to consider as having more evidence.


Terran?
By brheault on 8/25/2010 2:08:36 PM , Rating: 2
I don't believe "Terran" is word. Mr. Mick uses it in his lead paragraph and it's not in either dictionary I own. This guy is such a journalistic clown I can't believe DailyTech publishes him.




RE: Terran?
By eskimospy on 8/25/2010 3:04:45 PM , Rating: 2
It comes from the Latin 'terra', or having to do with Earth. It came to prominence in science fiction writing, but it has been used as a word in common usage for quite a long time now.

Since language constantly evolves as people use it, Terran is most definitely a word, particularly within the group of nerds on this website, haha.

(note: the word 'muggle' from Harry Potter is in the Oxford English Dictionary, and it's hardly more of a word than Terran.)


well
By zmatt on 8/24/2010 5:49:07 PM , Rating: 2
the first explanation was a terrible one. The second involving mammals much better explained the theory. communication is key, if you can't explain in a simple and effective manner what you are talking about then all you have learned is pointless.




To-may-toe, to-mah-toe
By sleepeeg3 on 8/24/2010 9:06:15 PM , Rating: 2
This doc is just trying to make a name for himself by arguing semantics. He even states competition is the reason:
"For example, even though mammals lived beside dinosaurs for 60 million years, they were not able to OUT-COMPETE the dominant reptiles. But when the dinosaurs went extinct [CEASED TO COMPETE], mammals quickly filled the empty niches they left and today mammals dominate the land."

It's not like the ~15ft square area of space that each T-Rex occupied prevented elephants from evolving. It's because T-Rex would have gobbled them up!




Idiotic thinking
By gamerk2 on 8/25/2010 7:56:22 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
"To give one example, if the reptiles had not been competitively superior to the mammals during the Mesozoic (era), then why did the mammals only expand after the large reptiles went extinct at the end of the Mesozoic?"


Because if mammals had grown any larger, they would have become prey of said large reptiles. As such, mammels were isolated as small scavangers.

When the large Reptiles went extinct at the end of the Mesozoic, the downward pressure on larger mammals was removed, and the niche for larger mammals was open. This in turn created a pressure to create larger predators to more easily eat the larger mammals, which in turn put pressure on the prey to grow even larger to offset the larger predators.

Space can play a part in evolution, if only because a lack of predators enables changes over time that allow a species to specalize to their environment.




Jason Mick strikes again!!!
By wgbutler on 8/25/2010 1:09:03 PM , Rating: 2
What exactly does some student publishing a new paper on evolution have to do with technology? Answer - nothing!

But it was time for another Jason Mick "macro-evolution is true and everyone who disagrees is stupid" propoganda article so here we go!

Fasten your seatbelt and enjoy the ride folks, we are about to get treated to a whole slew of condescending, snide and derogatory commentary from materialists as they throw their mental feces at us and lecture us on how stupid we are not not agreeing with them.

But at least Jason Mick will generate some more hits for his site, so mission accomplished!




By Willie Nugs on 8/25/2010 10:11:32 PM , Rating: 2
What I don't understand is...

Doesn't additional space to expand into also mean that there will not be any competition in that new arena?
Isn't that saying the same thing. We used to think evolution was caused by lack of competition, but isn't lack of competition caused by lots of extra empty space which to expand into? It seems like lack of competition is the direct cause and extra non-used space would be the indirect cause...




sigh
By sprockkets on 8/24/10, Rating: 0
More Story telling passing as science
By MrHanson on 8/24/10, Rating: -1
By haze4peace on 8/24/2010 5:40:10 PM , Rating: 4
I expect nothing less from the Daily Fundamentalist


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By DesertCat on 8/24/2010 6:30:56 PM , Rating: 2
Actually all science can be viewed as a form of storytelling, though with very specific rules. The following link is about a class assignment made for college students to help them understand the nature of science (and is called Science as Storytelling). The linked essay in MS Word format near the bottom is what the students read and discuss in class.

http://serc.carleton.edu/teacherprep/resources/act...


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By DesertCat on 8/24/2010 8:12:44 PM , Rating: 1
Heh, wow. Got shot down for posting a link to a mainstream philosophy of science discussion. So it goes.


By B3an on 8/24/2010 10:56:13 PM , Rating: 1
You shouldn't have been rated down for posting that information. It's not like you even said you agreed with it. Idiots on this site.


By nafhan on 8/25/2010 9:54:43 AM , Rating: 2
If the guy you were responding to had -1 when you hit the "post comment" button, you would have been downrated to 1 for responding to him. I think it's a "feeding the trolls" penalty.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By diggernash on 8/24/2010 7:36:51 PM , Rating: 2
Why argue against evolution to support creation? The theory of evolution in itself relies on a supernatural creation. It can only carry you back in to time to a point where something exists. That something must have been created. Theoretical physics moves you further back, but arrives at the same impasse. No amount of math can explain the instant of creation. How you get from that instant to the present is irrelevant to the argument for or against the existence of God.

God must exist because we exist. In fact, the idea that God could create all matter, the laws that control that matter, and understand at the instant of creation how each created particle would behave for eternity is a much more interesting view than starting from a ready-made universe and plopping us ready-made into the middle of it.

Further, I don't think how we arrive at our belief in His existence will determine where we will spend eternity.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By straycat74 on 8/24/10, Rating: -1
RE: More Story telling passing as science
By diggernash on 8/25/2010 12:32:50 AM , Rating: 3
My relationship with God can only be defined by what I believe to be true. I can offer no indisputable evidence that my statement is true. Hence my words, "I don't think..." Redneck for "here comes an opinion".

My belief is based solely on faith and I will not be able to return to tell you if I was correct. Doesn't lessen my belief.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By PaterPelligrino on 8/25/2010 3:19:38 AM , Rating: 5
What is really interesting in all these debates between IDers (i.e., closet Christian Fundamentalists) and those who accept evolution, is that nothing, no matter what is said or read in on-line forums, will ever change a believer's convictions. No argument or discovery or fact can ever be convincing enough to change a believer's mind.

The most famous example of this is Kurt Wise who, incredible as it may seem, has a Ph.D. in Geology from Harvard University where he studied under the supervision of Stephen Jay Gould(!). Wise is famous for stating that "if all the evidence in the universe turns against creationism, I would be the first to admit it, but I would still be a creationist because that is what the Word of God seems to indicate."

(The obvious objection to this is how can one know that what is written in the Bible is, in fact, the word of god, while what is written in the Koran, or the Bhagavad Gita, or The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy isn't? In the final analysis, it all comes down to the circular reasoning of "I believe it because I believe it". Faith, by definition, is belief in that for which there is no proof .)

There it is in a nutshell. Evidence is irrelevant. The people who argue against evolution only do so because they think they see holes in the theory - and, in fact, there is still work to be done in explaining the details of how natural selection drives the creation of new species - however, the theist does not believe in creationism because he finds the argument for evolution unconvincing; rather his religious faith takes precedence and determines his view on evolution. Like Wise above, even if the theory were rock-solid perfect, with all the details accounted for, the creationist would still believe what he wants to believe. To a guy wearing red-tinted contacts the world will always appear red.

Therefore, as I have learned from years of such arguments, there can be no fruitful dialogue between creationists and atheists; either they end up talking past each other, or the debate degenerates into name calling.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By vortmax2 on 8/25/2010 10:46:00 AM , Rating: 1
IDers and Evolutionist are both 'believers'...just in different things.

Atheists are using evolution to further their agenda of erasing all aspects of God from humanity's history and future. The sooner they can 'prove' evolution, the sooner they can erase God. Their motivation is forever tainted and they will never be convinced otherwise.

It's a 2-way street...


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By eskimospy on 8/25/2010 11:08:58 AM , Rating: 2
This is a common attempt at false equivalence. Evolutionists and IDers are not the same in any way, shape, or form.

Evolution is a testable scientific theory that has correctly made predictions and has withstood more than a century of work attempting to falsify it. It has provided us with the insight to save millions of lives through new antibiotics and treatments for genetic disease. ID has never once produced a testable prediction and has repeatedly failed to even come up with a plausible method for testing their interpretation of how life came to be.

How on earth is that a two way street?


By Flunk on 8/25/2010 11:24:19 AM , Rating: 2
If you only look at what people believe and not why. It's a factor of how shortsighted and ignorant you want to be. ID and Evolution are competitive ideas as long as you do no research of any kind.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By wgbutler on 8/25/2010 3:44:58 PM , Rating: 1
quote:

Evolution is a testable scientific theory that has correctly made predictions and has withstood more than a century of work attempting to falsify it.


Actually macro-evolutionists have made many predictions which have failed SPECTACULARLY. I'll list just a few of them:

1) the prediction that the cell was just a blob of jello that operated under very simple mechanisms
2) the prediction that the fossil record would show a series of gradually transforming animals from the very simple to the very complex
3) the prediction that the first life arose from a pre-biotic soup
4) the prediction that the DNA molecule formed on its own

I could go on and on, but you should go to www.darwinspredictions.com to see a compilation of the many things that macro-evolutions just got flat out wrong.

quote:

It has provided us with the insight to save millions of lives through new antibiotics and treatments for genetic disease.

Evolutionary biologists had absolutely nothing to do with the discovery of anti-biotics. Antibiosis was first described in 1877 by Louis Pasteur, who staunchly disagreed with Darwin's theory and was a strong Christian.

quote:

ID has never once produced a testable prediction .

Once again false. One example that immediately comes to mind is junk DNA. Evolutionary biologists predicted that certain regions of DNA were leftover junk that had no important functions, and Intelligent Design theorists predicted that these regions of DNA were still important.

Over the past several years, more and more functions have been discovered for "junk DNA". Because many biologists are so pro-evolution, this actually slowed these discoveries because many scientists stuck with the original assumptions. So belief in macro-evolution actually slowed the progress of science!

quote:

and has repeatedly failed to even come up with a plausible method for testing their interpretation of how life came to be

ID has come up with a valid explanation of how life could come to be. This is much superior than what we have gotten from materialism (absolutely nothing).


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By eskimospy on 8/25/2010 4:26:56 PM , Rating: 3
First, many of your 'predictions' aren't even related to evolution, for example it makes no claim as to how life arose. (example 3, and surely you've been told that many times before). Secondly, none of those other incorrect predictions, extremely vague as they are (example 2) contradict the premise of evolution. (examples 1 and 4) So please do go on and on, because every example you've offered up so far has been worthless. You do realize what the idea of evolution is, and what is required in order to disprove it, right? If someone who accepts the fact of evolution makes a wrong prediction, it doesn't disprove the theory. Evidence has to exist that undermines one or more of the pillars the theory requires to operate.

Evolution had nothing to do with the discovery of antibiotics, yes. Evolution has a great deal to do with our ongoing arms race against bacteria however. This should be obvious.

Your example of 'junk DNA' is similarly full of holes. Junk DNA is DNA that serves no identifiable purpose, and to be very clear I am unaware of a single scientist who believes all DNA we don't understand is junk. About your horrible example though, scientists HAVE removed significant portions of a creature's DNA with no noticeable effect on the organism. This suggests that the DNA in question was in fact junk DNA , your mention of this HARMS your argument, not supports it. You were attempting to say that because scientists misidentified certain regions as junk to mean that junk DNA does not exist, a fact that is not supported by the evidence. Another failure.

ID has not offered a scientifically valid explanation for life as it exists today, no. Your idea of what is valid may differ of course, but science's and rational argument do not.

So by all means, continue to provide examples of what you think falsify evolution and please do provide more ideas of what you think ID's testable predictions are. You might also want to forward these to the Discovery Institute while you're at it, because they have been desperately searching for them for some time without success. Every time they trot one out they are laughed out of the room.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By wgbutler on 8/25/2010 5:33:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

First, many of your 'predictions' aren't even related to evolution, for example it makes no claim as to how life arose. (example 3, and surely you've been told that many times before).


Saying that (macro)evolution doesn't make any claims about this misses a very important point. This is a necessary foundation for the theory to be true. You can't tell me that I'm an idiot for believing in a Designer and at the same time just sweep this abiogenesis problem under the rug.

quote:

So please do go on and on, because every example you've offered up so far has been worthless


The website I quoted (www.darwinspredictions.com) has many good examples of the false predictions made by Darwinism. I suggest going there for more examples, and all the examples EXCLUSIVELY quote Darwinists admitting that they were dead wrong about the predictions.

quote:

If someone who accepts the fact of evolution makes a wrong prediction, it doesn't disprove the theory.


So it would seem. Thanks for admitting that your theory is basically unfalsifiable.

quote:

Evolution has a great deal to do with our ongoing arms race against bacteria however.


MICRO-EVOLUTION - yes. Bacteria do adapt to anti-biotics, etc. However, design research is also useful in this area. For example, in Michael Behe's latest book, "The Edge of Evolution", Behe discusses the limitations of evolution when bacteria develop new protein binding sites that allow resistance to anti-biotics.

But none of this has anything to do with neo-Darwinism or macro-evolution. Claiming antibiotic research as a feather in macro-evolutions hat is extremely misleading.

quote:

Your example of 'junk DNA' is similarly full of holes. Junk DNA is DNA that serves no identifiable purpose, and to be very clear I am unaware of a single scientist who believes all DNA we don't understand is junk.


Many evolutionary biologists used to harp on misunderstood DNA as useless leftover genetic material from evolution that had no important functions. These days, not so much. In fact, we continue to discover more and more previously unknown functions that blow these flawed assumptions out of the water!

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/06/expandin...

quote:

About your horrible example though, scientists HAVE removed significant portions of a creature's DNA with no noticeable effect on the organism. This suggests that the DNA in question was in fact junk DNA


Not necessarily. Re-engineering organisms by removing DNA does not prove that the DNA is junk. If you are talking about the scientist (I think his name is Vinter?) who is synthesizing artificial life he basically created a stripped down bacteria that allowed him to plug in new DNA to design new life forms. The DNA he removed had previous function, which falsifies your statement.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By eskimospy on 8/25/2010 5:58:07 PM , Rating: 2
Evolution is not unfalsifiable, I already told you how you could go about falsifying it. Your examples were simply so poor that they were unable to do so. Don't feel too bad though, people have been furiously attempting to disprove evolution for a very long time but they have failed just as you did. (this includes scientists by the way, every good theory should be constantly attacked, the only requirement is that the attacks are made competently.)

That wasn't even a good attempt to squirm out of being shown how you were wrong on junk DNA. Your logic is following the exact same idea as Intelligent Design though, which is why both your attempts and their attempts are junk science.

The science I'm talking about is this: http://genome.wellcome.ac.uk/doc_WTD020724.html It is DNA removed without any discernible effect. If that is not evidence of the existence of junk DNA to you, then there is literally no evidence that you are likely to accept.

As I have asked others without any answer, exactly what sort of trait would have to arise in order for you to consider a change 'macro' evolution vs. 'micro'?


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By wgbutler on 8/25/2010 7:35:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

Evolution is not unfalsifiable, I already told you how you could go about falsifying it. Your examples were simply so poor that they were unable to do so. Don't feel too bad though, people have been furiously attempting to disprove evolution for a very long time but they have failed just as you did.


My examples were not intended to falsify evolution, only to point out that your initial statement about evolution correctly making predictions also had a flip side to it.

Darwinism has also made some wildly incorrect predictions, which imo speak far more about the theory than the correct predictions it has made. Any theory can make correct predictions, for example flat earth theory makes correct predictions and so does geocentrism. That doesn't mean that these theories are correct.

quote:

That wasn't even a good attempt to squirm out of being shown how you were wrong on junk DNA. Your logic is following the exact same idea as Intelligent Design though, which is why both your attempts and their attempts are junk science.


WRONG! The belief that DNA is flooded with non-functional junk that has no useful purpose is the junk science, and evolutionary biologists have admitted this.

---------------------
Although catchy, the term 'junk DNA' for many years repelled mainstream researchers from studying noncoding DNA. Who, except a small number of genomic clochards, would like to dig through genomic garbage? However, in science as in normal life, there are some clochards who, at the risk of being ridiculed, explore unpopular territories. Because of them, the view of junk DNA, especially repetitive elements, began to change in the early 1990s. Now, more and more biologists regard repetitive elements as a genomic treasure."

(Wojciech Makalowski, "Not Junk After All," Science, Vol. 300(5623):1246-1247 (May 23, 2003).)
---------------------

---------------------
"I think this will come to be a classic story of orthodoxy derailing objective analysis of the facts, in this case for a quarter of a century," Mattick says. "The failure to recognize the full implications of this--particularly the possibility that the intervening noncoding sequences may be transmitting parallel information in the form of RNA molecules--may well go down as one of the biggest mistakes in the history of molecular biology."

(John S. Mattick quoted in W. Wayt Gibbs, "The Unseen Genome, Gems Among the Junk," Scientific American (November, 2003).)
---------------------

quote:

The science I'm talking about is this: http://genome.wellcome.ac.uk/doc_WTD020724.html It is DNA removed without any discernible effect. If that is not evidence of the existence of junk DNA to you, then there is literally no evidence that you are likely to accept.


There is no immediately discernible effect. However, subsequent studies have shown that there is often more to the picture than immediately meets the eye. For example:

http://www.nih.gov/researchmatters/march2010/03012...

In this study, also conducted by the DOE, found that mice that had DNA removed were more likely to develop heart disease when eating high fat, high cholesterol foods.

"Non-coding DNA is a huge area of the genome, waiting to be explored, which could have huge dividends for understanding and treating disease," Pennacchio adds."

quote:

As I have asked others without any answer, exactly what sort of trait would have to arise in order for you to consider a change 'macro' evolution vs. 'micro'?


Sure, if we discovered a warm blooded reptile, that would be very good proof of macro-evolution. Something of that magnitude, basically.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By Calindar on 8/25/2010 8:12:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sure, if we discovered a warm blooded reptile, that would be very good proof of macro-evolution. Something of that magnitude, basically.


Oh goodness... I think I can help you discover this miracle:

1) Walk outside.
2) Listen for a "tweeting" sound.
4) Look in direction of said "tweeting" sound, usually elevated in trees.
3) Noticed feathered creature commonly called a "bird".

I have now convinced you that macro evolution is true. Birds are warm blooded descendants of reptiles, they even still have scales!

You are welcome.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By wgbutler on 8/25/2010 8:59:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

I have now convinced you that macro evolution is true. Birds are warm blooded descendants of reptiles, they even still have scales!

You are welcome.


No offense, but that is a pretty lame response. According to neo-Darwinism, mammals are also descendant from reptiles, so you could have told me to go to the local mall and see all the reptile descendants walking around.

That is called circular logic. In other words, neo-darwinism claims birds descended from reptiles. Reptiles and birds exist, therefore neo-darwinism is true.

For that matter, according to neo-Darwinism, we are all descended from primitive bacteria. So in that sense you are nothing more than an advanced bacteria. You exist, therefore you must have evolved. Of course this type of reasoning is fantastically stupid.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By Calindar on 8/25/2010 9:36:48 PM , Rating: 2
I'm aware that we evolved from reptiles, and I was even going to make mention of that in the original post but I removed that.

You asked for a warm blooded reptilian descendant, and birds being a warm blooded reptilian descendant with some similar features still showing made them a perfect example.

quote:
That is called circular logic. In other words, neo-darwinism claims birds descended from reptiles. Reptiles and birds exist, therefore neo-darwinism is true.


That is not circular logic. Reptiles existing today would have no effect on whether birds evolved from them. Instead, there is a large amount of empirical evidence that supports birds evolving from dinosaurs.
http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/diapsids/avians.html
http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/diapsids/birds/archae...

quote:
For that matter, according to neo-Darwinism, we are all descended from primitive bacteria. So in that sense you are nothing more than an advanced bacteria.

I guess you could put it that way. I guess I'm missing your point?

quote:
You exist, therefore you must have evolved. Of course this type of reasoning is fantastically stupid.

It's funny, this is creationist logic trying to be painted as scientific logic. The real logic is that we exist, and an overwhelming amount of evidence supports the idea that we are descendant from simpler beings that lived before us, therefore the idea that we evolved is the best explanation.

On the other hand, what you described is the creationist logic to a tee, and it is circular logic. "We exist, therefore we were created. The fact that complex things are created proves this."

You are right, logical fallacies like this are fantastically stupid indeed, yet look at all of the "intelligent beings" pushing these very ideas in this thread.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By wgbutler on 8/25/2010 11:34:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

You asked for a warm blooded reptilian descendan


No I didn't. I responded to the question of what kind of evidence would it take for me to think that macro-evolution is true, by saying that a warm blooded reptile (like a warm blooded lizard or snake) would convince me that macro-evolution was true.

I never asked for any examples of what Darwinists thought had evolved from reptiles, but you supplied this for some weird reason as though that settled the debate.

quote:

That is not circular logic. Reptiles existing today would have no effect on whether birds evolved from them. Instead, there is a large amount of empirical evidence that supports birds evolving from dinosaurs.


Well I wasn't debating the bird-dinosaur link, but since we're on the subject there has been recent evidence that birds are in fact, NOT related to dinosaurs.

http://www.earthmagazine.org/earth/article/297-7d9...

quote:

But for every argument, it seems there’s a counterargument. Not everyone thinks dinosaurs deserve a place in the bird family tree. Ornithologist Alan Feduccia of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, for example, doubts the dino-fuzz: He sees skin and tissue where paleontologists see feathers. The numerous fossil imprints of protofeather filaments in Sinosauropteryx, for example, represent fibers of collagen, the primary structural protein in skin tissue, Feduccia and others wrote in a Journal of Morphology study published in 2005. Collagen is relatively tough, composed of inelastic fibers and relatively insoluble in water, making it more likely than other soft tissues to be preserved. Another strike against the idea that Sinosauropteryx represented a stage in feather evolution is that Archaeopteryx, about 30 million years older, could already fly, according to Feduccia.

Meanwhile, last June, zoologist Devon Quick and vertebrate paleobiologist John Ruben of Oregon State University in Corvallis published a paper in the Journal of Morphology that emphasizes the uniqueness of bird respiration — specifically the skeletal morphology related to avian breathing — and on that basis calls into question a theropod-bird ancestry.

A bird’s respiratory system stands in stark contrast to that of other animals, Quick says. Flying requires a lot of energy and oxygen. As a result, over time, birds have developed a highly efficient lung and respiratory system that allows them to take in enough oxygen and exchange carbon dioxide efficiently enough to allow them to fly. “The way they move air across their lungs is really different from the way we do it,” she says. “It’s very special. We use a diaphragm to change the volume of our lungs. They don’t change the volume at all, because they have these really specialized collapsible structures, really thin-walled, compliant air sacs.” Birds also have a special skeleton, Quick says, that keeps the air sac from collapsing when the bird inhales.

In the study, Quick and Ruben detailed new findings about this specialized skeleton, including an immobile thigh bone that is locked into the body wall and provides extra skeletal support for the birds’ flabby air sac. But the more controversial news was the underlying implication: that if dinosaurs are the ancestors of birds, it seems unlikely that scientists would have found no trace of this highly specialized system in any dinosaur fossils.

“We’re suggesting that theropod dinosaurs did not have a bird-like lung,” Quick says. That, in turn, suggests that theropods may not be the ancestors of birds, she says, but instead may represent an extinct lineage. “I don’t think it’s clear what theropods are at all, as far as what they gave rise to or what gave rise to them.” One possibility, she says, is that theropods and birds might both be derived from a common ancestor.

The evolution of avian respiration is a tricky question, Varricchio says, because it’s a complex system that’s not likely to be preserved in the fossil record. “We’re really trying to predict what the lungs [of dinosaurs] look like, and they don’t leave any trace on any bone.” Even in birds, it’s not necessarily straightforward, he adds: For example, birds brooding on a clutch of eggs can’t use their sternums as a bellows — they have to use their abdominal muscles, suggesting that although the sternum is important, it may not be absolutely necessary for birds to breathe. Still, in their paper, Quick and Ruben do make a good point that the abdominal structure of most theropod dinosaurs is distinct from that of birds, Varricchio says. So, he adds, that structure is “probably not doing the exact same thing” when it comes to breathing.

Quick insists that she didn’t set out to disprove a bird-dinosaur link. “I just don’t think we have enough information to make a definitive conclusion,” she adds. “[It’s] the nature of the fossil record — it’s so spotty. While we can have some good preservation, we don’t have the whole picture to say that ‘x’ is really derived from ‘y.’”


quote:

I guess you could put it that way. I guess I'm missing your point?


The point being that you could have pointed to any creature that exists as an example of macro-evolution from bacteria and that would have proved the same exact thing, which is to say, nothing.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By Calindar on 8/26/2010 12:07:26 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
No I didn't. I responded to the question of what kind of evidence would it take for me to think that macro-evolution is true, by saying that a warm blooded reptile (like a warm blooded lizard or snake) would convince me that macro-evolution was true. I never asked for any examples of what Darwinists thought had evolved from reptiles, but you supplied this for some weird reason as though that settled the debate.


How exactly do you think evolution works? That one day a cold blooded lizard is just going to pop out a warm blooded lizard? Sorry, that isn't how it goes. These processes take a long time. You can already see warm blooded ancestors of reptiles in birds. That evidence isn't strong enough for you because no evidence will be strong enough for you, and you require evidence that evolution can't even produce. It's the same ridiculous alligator-duck argument Kirk Cameron makes.

quote:
Well I wasn't debating the bird-dinosaur link, but since we're on the subject there has been recent evidence that birds are in fact, NOT related to dinosaurs.

Did you read that article? I read the whole thing, and no where did it say birds and dinosaurs were NOT related, it brought up some discrepancies on exactly how they were related and where their lineage separated.

Ironically, the last paragraph sums things up nicely...

quote:
So, are birds modern dinosaurs? The debate still continues. Ornithologist Feduccia’s opposition to a dinosaurian ancestry for birds has become well-known. Some of his concern, he says, is that the link is so tenuous that it invites opposition from creationists, who point to any holes in the evolutionary link between birds and dinosaurs or disputes over evidence that dinosaurs were feathered as evidence against evolution. “We all agree that birds and dinosaurs had some reptilian ancestors in common,” Feduccia told the University of North Carolina’s Chapel Hill news service in 2005.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By wgbutler on 8/26/2010 11:06:10 AM , Rating: 2
I think this thread is basically dead, but just to wrap up a few loose ends I'll try to respond to all the latest queries.

quote:

How exactly do you think evolution works? That one day a cold blooded lizard is just going to pop out a warm blooded lizard? Sorry, that isn't how it goes. These processes take a long time.


Sure why not? Isn't that what punctuated equilibrium is supposed to be all about? I mean at SOME POINT, according to the theory of macro-evolution, a cold blooded animal popped out a warm blooded one.

But I have to applaud you because, at least one some level, you seem to see how ridiculous this entire concept is. Of course we're not going to see any warm blooded snakes slithering around. That would be completely ridiculous. And yet these are the types of things that we're supposed to buy into if we believe in the concept of macro-evolution.

quote:

Did you read that article? I read the whole thing, and no where did it say birds and dinosaurs were NOT related, it brought up some discrepancies on exactly how they were related and where their lineage separated.


The article quoted several scientists raising skepticism about the dinosaur-bird link. There apparently have been some recent discoveries that have caused this connection to come into doubt. Here is another article which discusses some of the problems.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/09060...

quote:

ScienceDaily (June 9, 2009) — Researchers at Oregon State University have made a fundamental new discovery about how birds breathe and have a lung capacity that allows for flight – and the finding means it's unlikely that birds descended from any known theropod dinosaurs....


So please forgive me if I don't lap up all of these supposed ancient links you toss around as proof that macro-evolution is true.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By Calindar on 8/26/2010 10:49:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sure why not? Isn't that what punctuated equilibrium is supposed to be all about? I mean at SOME POINT, according to the theory of macro-evolution, a cold blooded animal popped out a warm blooded one. But I have to applaud you because, at least one some level, you seem to see how ridiculous this entire concept is. Of course we're not going to see any warm blooded snakes slithering around. That would be completely ridiculous. And yet these are the types of things that we're supposed to buy into if we believe in the concept of macro-evolution.


In this day and age, with the information available for anyone that wants to look, an argument from ignorance is no longer a valid excuse. You should really understand scientific theories before you dismiss them. The comments you have made show a clear lack of understanding of the basic mechanisms of evolution, and the majority of the claims you make are arguments based on ignorance. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, that perhaps they really don't understand and maybe I can help them learn. I have no patients for willful ignorance.


By wgbutler on 8/27/2010 7:20:46 AM , Rating: 2
quote:

In this day and age, with the information available for anyone that wants to look, an argument from ignorance is no longer a valid excuse. You should really understand scientific theories before you dismiss them. The comments you have made show a clear lack of understanding of the basic mechanisms of evolution, and the majority of the claims you make are arguments based on ignorance. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, that perhaps they really don't understand and maybe I can help them learn. I have no patients for willful ignorance.


I have used FACTS and EVIDENCE to back up my case. For the most part, the people on your side have responded with snide, condescending ad hominem comments that usually had no bearing on the points of the conversation. This is pretty typical when dealing with someone who has mostly an emotional connection to their viewpoint that is not based on logic.

I am somewhat glad though, that the conversation turned in this direction because at least on some level you guys seem able to see the sheer absurdity of a warm blooded animal popping out of a cold blooded animal - which logically, HAD to have happened at SOME POINT in the past according to the theory of macro-evolution.

I suggest you educate yourself and keep an open mind. Get rid of your materialistic bias and follow the evidence where it leads.

http://www.darwinism-watch.com/index.php?git=makal...


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By eskimospy on 8/25/2010 8:48:44 PM , Rating: 2
Let me get this straight. Your argument that my example was wrong or insufficient was:
1.) From a different experiment on different subjects.
2.) Using a different part of the DNA.
3.) Expressly removed because that area was believed to be important.

You are simply baffling. A 5th grader could tell you what's wrong with your argument.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By wgbutler on 8/25/2010 9:04:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

Let me get this straight. Your argument that my example was wrong or insufficient was:
1.) From a different experiment on different subjects.
2.) Using a different part of the DNA.
3.) Expressly removed because that area was believed to be important.

You are simply baffling. A 5th grader could tell you what's wrong with your argument.


That is incorrect. I posted a study, very similar to the study you had originally posted (both even conducted by the DOE, which I happen to work for, btw).

In your study, DNA was removed from mice from the non-coding regions and no immediate effects from the DNA removal were readily apparent.

In MY study, DNA was also removed from mice from the non-coding regions and no immediate effects were readily apparent, UNTIL the mice were put on a high fat, high cholesterol diet, at which point they displayed a greater tendency towards contracting heart disease.

The point being that just because something is not immediately readily apparent, doesn't mean that it didn't have purpose or function or undesirable consequences arising from its removal.

The abstract in my study even ends with

quote:

"Non-coding DNA is a huge area of the genome, waiting to be explored, which could have huge dividends for understanding and treating disease," Pennacchio adds.


pretty much shooting your theory out of the water.

Thanks for coming.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By eskimospy on 8/25/2010 9:29:58 PM , Rating: 2
Jesus Christ, no it doesn't. It says that some regions of non coding DNA have effects that are not immediately apparent, but by that logic you could never show that some DNA has no effect because that effect could always just be right around the corner. This is the very essence of the pseudoscience that you're trying to peddle here, because your ideas are not subject to falsification.

Oh, and I don't care where you work. As an aside though, I find it highly likely that if you presented your ideas on evolution to the people you quote from your employer they would laugh you out of the room. (as biologists such as the ones you cite accept the fact of evolution at rates greater than 98%) Doesn't it seem odd that you are attempting to cite people who almost certainly disagree with the conclusions you draw?

Did you read the last paragraph in that abstract? They said it's an area that's waiting to be explored that could lead to good things. In absolutely no way does it address if certain segments of the DNA molecule are in fact useless, which was your whole point to begin with. It's a nice attempt to twist the argument towards one you think you can win, but Dailytech records all, eh? :)

Oh, and color me surprised that you don't take birds as examples of warm blooded reptiles. As I suspected, there is no evidence that can convince you, because your beliefs are based in religious fanaticism.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By wgbutler on 8/25/2010 11:20:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

but by that logic you could never show that some DNA has no effect because that effect could always just be right around the corner. This is the very essence of the pseudoscience that you're trying to peddle here, because your ideas are not subject to falsification.


You keep missing my point. It is the neo-Darwinists who were claiming that the non-coding regions of DNA were useless leftover junk from millions of years of evolution. The more we look into this, the more function we find in these regions and the more their predictions are falsified.

As I quoted in the articles above, even they admit that they were dead wrong about this and that their assumptions slowed the pace of scientific advancement.

Meanwhile ID theory had this right all along.

quote:

Oh, and I don't care where you work. As an aside though, I find it highly likely that if you presented your ideas on evolution to the people you quote from your employer they would laugh you out of the room. (as biologists such as the ones you cite accept the fact of evolution at rates greater than 98%) Doesn't it seem odd that you are attempting to cite people who almost certainly disagree with the conclusions you draw?


Appealing to authority doesn't score any points with me. And I usually go out of my way to quote evolutionary biologists because they are strong witnesses and hard for people like you to rebut. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to quote Michael Behe and Stephen Meyer, but you would dismiss them as quacks and bad witnesses because of your extreme hostility to my point of view.

quote:

Did you read the last paragraph in that abstract? They said it's an area that's waiting to be explored that could lead to good things. In absolutely no way does it address if certain segments of the DNA molecule are in fact useless, which was your whole point to begin with. It's a nice attempt to twist the argument towards one you think you can win, but Dailytech records all, eh? :)


Let's try this again, with feeling. My original point was that the neo-Darwinists were completely wrong and harmful to science with their "junk DNA" hypothesis. The ID proponents were correct. Neo-Darwinists have admitted to this and we are finding new functions in the non-coding regions of DNA (previously referred to as "junk DNA") all the time.

quote:

Oh, and color me surprised that you don't take birds as examples of warm blooded reptiles. As I suspected, there is no evidence that can convince you, because your beliefs are based in religious fanaticism.


Actually I don't think there is any evidence that can convince you, because of YOUR religious fanaticism (atheism).

I HAVE converted from atheism to Christianity, based upon the scientific evidence. It's not an easy thing to give up your worldview. And I used to feel the hostility and contempt towards Christianity that you do, so I know what its like to be you. It's a matter of the will, not the mind. Like someone once said, "there are none so blind as those who will not see"


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By eskimospy on 8/26/2010 12:49:23 AM , Rating: 2
For the last time, the claim is not that ALL non coding DNA is useless, but it appears that some is, as I have provided evidence for. You attempted to refute that by showing how a different part of non coding DNA was not useless. This is a mistake an elementary student shouldn't make. You continue to try and twist the argument into one you can win, but I won't let you. You made the dumb assertion, you live with it.

Oh, and ID is not a theory, at least not a scientific one.

I didn't make any appeal to authority, do you know what that means? I asked you if you felt any conflict with quoting people as sources who would almost certainly vehemently disagree with what you were using their statements for. Apparently the answer to that is no.

As for your concept of my 'religious fanaticism', you're just projecting your own faults on to me. I have no religious fanaticism, in fact religion never even enters my mind most days. Simply put, I couldn't care less. If god turned out to be real tomorrow that would be great (as I don't particularly want to die), but I won't waste my time or anyone else's believing something without evidence.

If only you could do the same. It's pretty obvious you're just going to repeat the same tired arguments that I've already refuted again, so I'll leave this discussion now. I can only hope that one day you look past your fanaticism and examine reality. The world is a beautiful place, and I think you'll find that an actual understanding of it makes it even more so.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By wgbutler on 8/26/2010 7:43:41 AM , Rating: 2
I realize it is pointless trying to reason with you, but for the benefit of anyone else reading this thread I will follow up.

Lets review the history:

1) You claimed that evolution had made all these great predictions that came true.

2) I responded that evolutionists had also made many awful predictions, and listed the "Junk DNA" hypothesis as one example. This is particularly relevant as ID theorists had actually taken the opposite position that "junk DNA" had function, long before anyone started looking into it.

3) You then responded with a study done back in 2003 or 2004, by the DOE, that showed mice still living apparently after having had some of their DNA removed, so as to prove that junk DNA still existed.

4) I responded with ANOTHER study, also done by the DOE, that was conducted years after your study, that showed that mice that had certain non-coding DNA removed from them, later on had a higher rate of heart disease when eating high fat, high cholesterol foods than mice that did not have this DNA removed, as a counter example to demonstrate that just because something initially appears unaffected by DNA removal, does NOT mean that it is unaffected.

5) I have also posted several links and quotes from evolutionary biologists admitting that they completely missed the boat on the junk DNA issue, and that their assumptions based on Darwinism slowed the pace of scientific advancement.

Here's another link for you:

http://www.psrast.org/junkdna.htm

quote:

"Junk DNA"
Over 98 percent of DNA has largely unknown function

Presently, only the function of a few percent of the DNA is known, the rest has been believed to be useless garbage, commonly called "Junk DNA" by molecular biologists.

Increasing evidence is now indicating that this DNA is not "junk" at all. Especially, it has been found to have various regulatory roles. This means that this so-called "non-coding DNA" influences the behavior of the genes, the "coding DNA", in important ways....

More than 98 percent of all DNA, was called "Junk DNA" by molecular biologists, because they were unable to ascribe any function to it. They assumed that it was just "molecular garbage". If it were "junk", the sequence of the "syllables", i.e. the nucleotides in DNA should be completely random.

However it has been found that the sequence of the syllables is not random at all and has a striking resemblance with the structure of human language (ref. Flam, F. "Hints of a language in junk DNA", Science 266:1320, 1994, see quote below). Therefore, scientists now generally believe that this DNA must contain some kind of coded information. But the code and its function is yet completely unknown.

It has been reported that the sequences of this unknown DNA are inherited and that some repetitive patterns in it seem to be associated with increased risk for cancer. Also, the DNA has been found to mutate rapidly for example in response to cancer. It has been speculated that this DNA may contribute to the regulation of cellular processes. Haig H. Kazazian, Jr., chairman of genetics at the University of Pennysylvania has recently found reasons to suspect they may be a key force for the development of new species during evolution. He thinks this DNA may be essential for increasing the plasticity of the hereditary substance.

Published at this website in May 1997.

Recent studies

Such observations as above have spurred an extensive research into "Junk DNA" in recent years, some of which is briefly presented below.

Various important roles of "Junk DNA" have been discovered in recent years.

In June 2004 a team at Harvard Medical School (HMS) reported, that they have, in a yeast, found a "Junk DNA" gene that regulates the activity of nearby genes. While common genes work by giving rise to proteins, this gene works by just being switched on. Then it blocks the activity of an adjacent gene.
Quote: "In a region of DNA long considered a genetic wasteland, HMS researchers have discovered a new class of gene."... "The researchers have evidence that the new gene, SRG1, works by physically blocking transcription of the adjacent gene, SER3. They found that transcription of SRG1 prevents the binding of a critical piece of SER3's transcriptional machinery." Source: "Junk DNA Yields New Kind of Gene", Focus, Harvard Medical School, June 4 2004.

Some studies have found that noncoding DNA plays a vital role in the regulation of gene expression during development (Ting SJ. 1995. A binary model of repetitive DNA sequence in Caenorhabditis elegans. DNA Cell Biol. 14: 83-85.), including:

* development of photoreceptor cells (Vandendries ER, Johnson D, Reinke R. 1996. Orthodenticle is required for photoreceptor cell development in the Drosophila eye. Dev Biol 173: 243-255.),
* the reproductive tract (Keplinger BL, Rabetoy AL, Cavener DR. 1996. A somatic reproductive organ enhancer complex activates expression in both the developing and the mature Drosophila reproductive tract. Dev Biol 180: 311-323.), and
* the central nervous system (Kohler J, Schafer-Preuss S, Buttgereit D. 1996. Related enhancers in the intron of the beta1 tubulin gene of Drosophila melanogaster are essential for maternal and CNS-specific expression during embryogenesis. Nucleic Acids Res 24: 2543-2550.).

Over 700 studies have demonstrated the role of non-coding DNA as enhancers for transcription of proximal genes. This includes a/o:
..........

Over 60 studies have demonstrated the role of non-coding DNA as silencers for suppression of transcription of proximal genes. Such silencer genes include a/o:
........

Russian research adds a quantum physics perspective

Recently, experimental results by Gariaev et al indicate that some, and perhaps important, aspects of genetic regulation are mediated at a quantum level. Moreover, in this respect they suggest that non-coding "Junk DNA" plays a crucial role, see

* "The DNA-wave Biocomputer" (an MS Word document) and
* "Crisis in Life Sciences. The Wave Genetics Response". Excerpt:

"It appears that the languages we were looking for, are, in fact, hidden in the 98%, "junk" DNA contained in our own genetic apparatus [4]. The basic principle of these languages is similar to the language of holographic images [5] based on principles of laser radiations of the genetic structures [6] which operate together as a quasi-intelligent system, as in [3] It particularly important to realize that our genetic devices actually perform real processes which supplement the triplet model of the genetic code."

Conclusion

The idea that a major part of our DNA is "garbage" ignored the fact that a key feature of biological organisms is optimal energy expenditure. To carry enormous amounts of unnecessary molecules is contrary to this fundamental energy saving feature of biological organisms. Increasing evidence are now indicating many important functions of this DNA, including various regulatory roles.

This means that this so-called non-coding DNA influences the behavior of the genes, the "coding DNA", in important ways. Still there is very little knowledge about the relationship between non-coding DNA and the DNA of genes.


And while we're on the subject, the "junk RNA" hypothesis is also starting to fall on its face. (What is it with the obsession with junk that Darwinists have? Seems like the only truly junky things here are all the wrong predictions they are making....)

http://www.news-medical.net/news/2006/05/09/17855....


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By eskimospy on 8/26/2010 11:40:22 AM , Rating: 2
Right, and what you did was straight out of the creationist handbook. You danced around my point in an attempt to create doubt, because you were completely unable to rebut the actual one. (hey, I know your study showed this, but my study showed that it's possible somehow somewhere that your study could be wrong in a way that I do not prove and can never be proven!)

These are common ID/creationist tactics, because that's all you have left. Even if you were 100% correct about junk DNA, and let there be no mistake that you are not, it would do absolutely nothing to falsify evolution or to prove intelligent design. Literally zero .

I've grown really tired of repeating myself to you.


By wgbutler on 8/27/2010 7:40:09 AM , Rating: 2
quote:


Right, and what you did was straight out of the creationist handbook. You danced around my point in an attempt to create doubt, because you were completely unable to rebut the actual one. (hey, I know your study showed this, but my study showed that it's possible somehow somewhere that your study could be wrong in a way that I do not prove and can never be proven!)

These are common ID/creationist tactics, because that's all you have left. Even if you were 100% correct about junk DNA, and let there be no mistake that you are not, it would do absolutely nothing to falsify evolution or to prove intelligent design. Literally zero .

I've grown really tired of repeating myself to you.


I think that basically what happened here is that rather than admit that Darwinists stunk it up with their predictions that the non-coding DNA regions were junk DNA you've been wanting to quibble over essentially meaningless details that have no bearing whatsoever on the main point.

Your point seems to be, "but wait! but wait! there might still be SOME DNA that is junk!" That completely misses the boat. My point was never that 100% of all DNA was non-junk DNA (although that might indeed be true, I don't know one way or the other) but that Darwinists completely failed when they said that most or all of this DNA that they did not yet understand was simply left-over junk from millions of years of evolution. Study after study has found new purpose for this DNA and the general scientific consensus is now that most, if not all, of this previously misunderstood DNA does indeed have a vital purpose, something that the ID theorists were saying all along. So ID had it right, it made a daring prediction that turned out to be true, and Darwinism got it completely, pathetically wrong.

And as we continue to move into the future, we continue to find even yet more purposes for this. Things that relate to cancer and other diseases. Things that could eventually save lives. So I can validly state that Darwinism has slowed down medical progress.

I have quoted Darwinian scientists who have admitted that they stunk it up and slowed down scientific progress. I don't know what more I can do. Keep clinging to hope and quibbling over minutia if that helps you sleep better.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By straycat74 on 8/25/2010 9:48:04 AM , Rating: 2
I think you misunderstood. The Bible has the information allowing you to know, not just "I think". Belief based on knowledge is much more useful.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By Calindar on 8/25/2010 8:15:35 PM , Rating: 2
Our current knowledge is based on the knowledge of those before us, as all knowledge is passed down from generation to generation. The free spread of knowledge and information is how we have achieved the amazing technological and scientific accomplishments that we have to this day.

So please, for the sake of humanity, base your knowledge off of the knowledge of the people around you and the people immediately before you, because the knowledge that you "know" is over 2,000 years old, and we have learned an awful lot in that time.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By straycat74 on 8/25/2010 10:22:13 PM , Rating: 2
Did you read the comment I replied to?
quote:
we have achieved the amazing technological and scientific accomplishments that we have to this day.

Are you that impressed with the larger TV's and smaller cars?


By Calindar on 8/25/2010 10:37:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Are you that impressed with the larger TV's and smaller cars?

No, but I'm pretty impressed with putting a man on the moon, modern computers, the massive world wide communication grid known as the internet, splitting the atom, modern medicine, among others.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By StevoLincolnite on 8/24/2010 11:04:19 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
It can only carry you back in to time to a point where something exists. That something must have been created. Theoretical physics moves you further back, but arrives at the same impasse. No amount of math can explain the instant of creation. How you get from that instant to the present is irrelevant to the argument for or against the existence of God.


God himself cannot have just popped into "Existence" then created everything, something must have created God in order for God to then create us.

I'll stop sniffing my socks now.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By diggernash on 8/25/2010 12:52:11 AM , Rating: 2
Science proposed and repeatedly supported that the universe has a beginning. I believe this to be accurate. Defining how that beginning came about can not be deduced through thought.

I believe your statement that God cannot have just popped into Existence to be true. Through pure faith and with out factual evidence of any kind, I believe that God is... no beginning and no end.

I offered my opinion only as a possible reconciliation of evolution and creation. And my belief that a omniscient being would find a static universe pretty damn boring. Leaving me to believe that learning to rewind the universe doesn't remove God from the equation.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By Triple Omega on 8/25/2010 9:16:55 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Science proposed and repeatedly supported that the universe has a beginning. I believe this to be accurate. Defining how that beginning came about can not be deduced through thought.

Are you serious? There are all sorts of theories on the beginning of the universe. From a spontaneous beginning due to quantum effects to multi-dimensional collisions in a multiverse.

quote:
I offered my opinion only as a possible reconciliation of evolution and creation. And my belief that a omniscient being would find a static universe pretty damn boring. Leaving me to believe that learning to rewind the universe doesn't remove God from the equation.

An omniscient being would find ANY universe boring as it would already know everything before it had created it. That is after all the definition of omniscient.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By DougF on 8/25/2010 9:38:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
An omniscient being would find ANY universe boring as it would already know everything before it had created it. That is after all the definition of omniscient.

Hence the giving of free will to Man. It makes the universe a LOT more interesting, it even gives rise to those who would argue against said omniscient being...


By gamerk2 on 8/25/2010 4:43:00 PM , Rating: 2
But again, not necessary. Assuming E=mc^2 is false, then theres always the possibility the big bang event is, in fact, a time paradox...[Good god, the implication THAT would have...then again, scientists recently claimed to have broken causality in an experiment...].

Even if you accept E=mc^2 as true, the "time" dimension of physics is still not yet very well understood. In theory, if Quantum Mechanics is correct, you should be able to add time to all of Newtons equations, and still be correct in the answeres. Depending on the properties of time, there could potentially be a perfectly reasonable explanation for how all that matter came to be in the first place.


By Mogounus on 8/25/2010 10:46:10 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Through pure faith and with out factual evidence of any kind, I believe that God is... no beginning and no end.


So what if I belive that there is no God and the universe just is... no beginning and no end. How the hell is that any different? This in itself completely brakes down your argument yet I know you will not accept it because it does not fall in line with your belief.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By PaterPelligrino on 8/25/2010 12:40:33 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I offered my opinion only as a possible reconciliation of evolution and creation


If ID advocates were only concerned with the notion that some unknown intelligence was involved in the creation of the universe, they wouldn't feel the need to discredit evolution - after all, even the Pope accepts the validity of the theory of evolution. Evolution itself takes no position one way or the other concerning the occurrence of such a supernatural jump-start to creation. That 'theory' is logically empty, it's untestable and unverifiable, it adds nothing to our understanding of the world and how it works, so science just shrugs its shoulders and gets on with what interests it.

No, the IDers take such pains to attack evolution because it discredits beliefs that go far beyond strict creationism to embrace very specific dogmas; in the States this usually entails an uncritical acceptance of Old Testament mythology. Christian Fundamentalists are reluctant to show their true colors because it's a far more difficult position to defend; that man was created in his present form, that the earth is 6000 years old, etc, those are all assertions that can be easily disproved by science. ID is just a convenient cover to give respectability to the same old tired biblical literalism. When school boards in the more reactionary states try to get creationism included in biology classes we all know what they really mean is the Bible.

I once read somewhere that if indeed all the claims in the Old T were literally true, that would mean that god had designed the world in such a way as to deliberately deceive us as to its true nature. (All those fossils are just divine practical jokes.) In other words, your god-given intelligence is worthless because the truth lies in a bronze-age text written by a tribe of middle-eastern nomadic goat herders; the same text that orders you to stone your wife to death if on your wedding night it turns out she isn't a virgin. You see, the omnipotent creator of the universe, really, really cares about female chastity; tho if you're a guy he cuts you some slack. You might even marvel that god has the same oppressive, paternalistic attitude towards women as most patriarchal middle eastern societies - what a coincidence!


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By wgbutler on 8/25/2010 1:24:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

If ID advocates were only concerned with the notion that some unknown intelligence was involved in the creation of the universe, they wouldn't feel the need to discredit evolution - after all, even the Pope accepts the validity of the theory of evolution.


ID advocates discredit the theory of evolution because they do not think it is true. While it is also true that the evidence from physics as well as biology indicates a designer, the two ideas are not mutually exclusive.

quote:

Evolution itself takes no position one way or the other concerning the occurrence of such a supernatural jump-start to creation.


I agree. Yet isn't is strange how so many militant evolutionists bend over backwards to bash the idea that God exists?

quote:

You see, the omnipotent creator of the universe, really, really cares about female chastity; tho if you're a guy he cuts you some slack. You might even marvel that god has the same oppressive, paternalistic attitude towards women as most patriarchal middle eastern societies - what a coincidence!


I know its hip to paint Christianity as anti-women, but the truth is actually the opposite. Women in the ancient Judeo-Christian cultures fared much better than their contemporaries. In fact, one of the chief complaints that the ancient Roman pagans had against the ancient Christians were that they saw women as equals!


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By PaterPelligrino on 8/25/2010 2:03:16 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
ID advocates discredit the theory of evolution because they do not think it is true.


A dishonest reply. Creationists dispute evolution because they are not just ID advocates but closet Christian Fundamentalists who feel compelled to discredit a theory that threatens everything they believe in. Are we supposed to think it's just coincidence that IDers only object to science that contradicts Genesis, but have no problems with everything else science has to say?

quote:
I know its hip to paint Christianity as anti-women, but the truth is actually the opposite. Women in the ancient Judeo-Christian cultures fared much better than their contemporaries. In fact, one of the chief complaints that the ancient Roman pagans had against the ancient Christians were that they saw women as equals!


You dodge the real issue here. If you acccept everything in the Old Testament as the literal word of god, that means you must support the stoning to death of brides who are not virgins. However, if you agree that stoning is morally indefensible - and there is much in the OT that is equally absurd and barabric - you then have to explain why some is valid and some not. All or nothing babe.

And just to address your comment about how fortunate ancient Hebrew women were. If your point is that women in the Islamic world are worse off, that is ironic seeing that the Muslims also accept the OT and base much of their social norms on it - i.e., the stoning of women. To say the ancient Hebrew women were better of than most modern women is flat out derisable. Inheritance, equality under the law, right to vote, freedom to divorce, protection from domestic violence, etc, etc. And that's just off the top of my head.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By wgbutler on 8/25/2010 2:49:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

A dishonest reply. Creationists dispute evolution because they are not just ID advocates but closet Christian Fundamentalists who feel compelled to discredit a theory that threatens everything they believe in.


I'm sure that some Christians do object to the theory of evolution because it threatens their belief system. But the reverse is also true, many atheists tenaciously defend the theory of (macro) evolution because it is the only game in town for them.

As a Christian who does believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God (does that make me a fundamentalist?) I take the evidence for or against evolution at face value. I don't have a theological dog in the hunt, it doesn't threaten my Christianity if macro-evolution turns out to be true. In fact, I can even make a case that macro-evolution could only happen if the hand of God were involved.

I don't believe that macro-evolution is true though because the scientific evidence for it is scant and it is mostly conjecture and wishful thinking by materialists.

quote:

Are we supposed to think it's just coincidence that IDers only object to science that contradicts Genesis, but have no problems with everything else science has to say?


I don't think that (macro) evolution contradicts Genesis. Look up the framework hypothesis interpretation of Genesis 1 and you will see what I mean. You could even fit macro-evolution into a day-age interpretation of Genesis if you wanted to.

quote:

You dodge the real issue here. If you acccept everything in the Old Testament as the literal word of god, that means you must support the stoning to death of brides who are not virgins.


Technically brides weren't stoned for not being virgins. Widows remarried, for example, and they were obviously not virgins.

The stoning was for the deception of claiming to be a virgin but not really being one, so if anything the stoning would have been for contractual fraud, rather than chastity.

I stand by my earlier point, the women in the ancient Hebrew culture were actually much better off than their pagan contemporaries, and had more rights as females in their culture as well.

quote:

If your point is that women in the Islamic world are worse off, that is ironic seeing that the Muslims also accept the OT and base much of their social norms on it - i.e., the stoning of women.


Muslims do not "accept" the OT. They use the Quran and see Judaism as a false religion.

quote:

To say the ancient Hebrew women were better of than most modern women is flat out derisable. Inheritance, equality under the law, right to vote, freedom to divorce, protection from domestic violence, etc, etc. And that's just off the top of my head.


First of all, I never claimed that ancient Hebrew women were better off than most modern women. Second of all, your list of injustices against ancient Hebrew women don't apply in any case.

Inheritance - they had inheritance rights (Numbers 36)

right to vote - Ancient Israel was a theocratic monarchy and NO ONE had the right to vote.

freedom to divorce - one can hardly see how divorce improves society (it just leads to hardship for children of divorce) but divorce was allowed in ancient Hebrew culture

protection from domestic violence - no where is domestic violence sanctioned in the old testament or Judaism. It is however, sanctioned in the religion of Islam. For a good contrast of this, compare how women are treated in the modern nation of Israel verses Iran or Saudi Arabia.

Basically, your list sucks.

Now my turn - the women of the ancient world flocked to Christianity as it was a haven from the harshness of the pagans in ancient Rome (who saw women as inferior beings).

Much of the early Christian church was actually composed of women converts who found the recognition and treatment they receieved in Christianity extremely appealing.

Modern secularism treats women very terribly in several ways:

1) It encourages sexual promiscuity which harms women physically and emotionally.

2) It encourages abortion which leads to mostly females being aborted in nations like Korea and China, for example, not to mention damages post-abortive women psychologically.

3) It turns a blind eye to abuses and maltreatments women receive in Islamic countries.

I could go on and on but in my opinion Christianity whips secular humanism hands down when it comes to the treatment of women.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By PaterPelligrino on 8/25/2010 4:12:43 PM , Rating: 3
You misunderstood my point that IDers only reject science - i.e., evolution - that contradicts Genesis. The fact that IDers have no problem with the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, or relativity, or the Theory of Plate Tectonics, or a million other laws and theories, is because none of those other scientific theories threatens the Christian Fundamentalist take on god. This clearly indicates that the real reason IDers jump all over evolution is not because they dislike the theory per se, but because they see it as a threat.

We accept the theory of evolution because it is beautiful, elegant, and perfectly reasonable. It is scientifically verifiable and totally consistent with the facts as we see them in our everyday lives. Because it's a scientific theory, as soon as someone shows it's false, it goes in the dustbin of history. This notion that evolution and creationism are equivalent beliefs is utter nonsense. Tell me, truthfully - what would have to happen for you to admit that Genesis is false.

Look, I have no desire or intention to spend hours researching the lives of ancient Hebrew women. Frankly, the subject doesn't interest me. That Pagan women flocked to the church says what, that being a free Christian woman was better than being a Roman slave? No surprise there. Also utterly unsurprising that among the ills of modern women you roll out the usual suspects - abortion, promiscuity, etc - those are evils for Christian Fundamentalists - women seem them as hard-earned rights.

However, whether Hebrew women were better off than some subset of modern women is neither here no there. The question is stoning, since the Fundamentalists insist on a literal interpretation of the ancient Hebrew creation myths written down in the OT, I'm curious to know how they deal with all the other stuff, which if also slavishly followed would necessarily lead to all sorts of absurdities - for example, stoning. And here again you dodged the issue, even if stoning was for breach of contract - tho frankly that's bulls**t, the insistence on sexual ownership of women is common to all patriarchal societies - does that make it OK to stone women? Yes or no?

I'm fond of this stoning thing in Deuteronomy because it is such an obvious example of how the OT is nothing more than a tribal record of dos and don'ts written down as a law book cum tribal history. That the creator of the universe actually told the Hebrews that it is virtuous to stone non-virgins is so flat out ludicrous, it is so obviously just a primitive tribal custom, that I really have to doubt the sanity of anyone who believes it's the literal word of god.

I really don't understand why Biblical literalists insist on arguing evolution. You can't have it both ways. You believe what you believe because you believe it - period. At least Kurt Wise was honest about it.

Here the inevitable quote from Wikipedia: "Christians accept the Hebrew prophets and scripture, but reject Islam's prophet and scriptures. Islam accepts that God revealed guidance for Jews and Christians and then adds their own perceived revelations in their scripture"

But let me warn you that I don't intend to be suckered into a long Bible-quoting argument on the relationship between Islam and the Old T. Again it isn't relevant to the discussion.

btw, you really can't see why the ability to divorce an abusive husband would improve the lives of women?


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By wgbutler on 8/25/2010 4:56:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

This clearly indicates that the real reason IDers jump all over evolution is not because they dislike the theory per se, but because they see it as a threat.


I agree with you that many people are theologically motivated to oppose evolution. But I stand by my earlier point that just as many atheists are theologically motivated to SUPPORT macro-evolution in order to support their belief in atheism. And I can prove this. Just take a look at the hostility and resistance that was given to the Big Bang theory (indeed, the term "Big Bang" was a derogatory term applied to the theory by an atheistic scientist) because it threatened their atheism. You don't think that these same people are just as militant about macro-evolution for the same reasons?

Furthermore, not all fundamentalist Christians are opposed to the theory of macro-evolution for theological reasons. One prominent example that I can think of is C.S. Lewis, who saw no problems with the theory for much of his life (although he did eventually oppose it).

quote:

Because it's a scientific theory, as soon as someone shows it's false, it goes in the dustbin of history


Well many of its predictions have been falsified (for some examples of this go to www.darwinspredictions.com) and it is built of the house of cards of where exactly the first life came from. Skepticism about this view is reasonable.

quote:

Tell me, truthfully - what would have to happen for you to admit that Genesis is false.


Good question. Several things could happen that would undermine my worldview. We could find proof that the Universe had always been here. We could get contacted by an advanced alien race. Israel could be wiped off the map. I realize that none of these things are related to evolution per se, but my worldview is falsifiable. You should also know that I am a former atheist who converted to Christianity, so changing my worldview is something that I've already done in the past.

quote:

being a free Christian woman was better than being a Roman slave


It wasn't an issue of freedom vs. slavery (although ancient Christianity did support the freeing of slaves - see I Corinthians 7:21). The ancient Roman pagans saw women as inferior creatures, useful only for the breeding of children. Christianity saw them as co-inheritors of God's kingdom and equals (Galatians 3:28) and this philosophy and superior treatment in Christian circles attracted many pagan women to the new religion.

quote:

No surprise there. Also utterly unsurprising that among the ills of modern women you roll out the usual suspects - abortion, promiscuity, etc - those are evils for Christian Fundamentalists - women seem them as hard-earned rights.


But all of these things are demonstratably harmful to women. Certainly the millions of unborn females in Asia that are aborted because the families want a son instead of a daughter wouldn't see abortion as a hard-earned right. This has actually led to weird ratios of males to females in those population, which could have the direct result of disempowering the women in those societies as more men than women will have a say in how their societies are organized!

quote:

And here again you dodged the issue, even if stoning was for breach of contract - tho frankly that's bulls**t, the insistence on sexual ownership of women is common to all patriarchal societies - does that make it OK to stone women? Yes or no?


Well first of all men were stoned as well, for things like committing adultery or breaking the Sabbath. So your question should be, is stoning an acceptable form of punishment for society?

I don't believe that in OUR day and age stoning is an acceptable form of punishment, and I partially get this from my beliefs as a Christian. Remember that Jesus pardoned the woman caught in adultery and prevented her from being stoned.

In the time of the ancient Hebrews, however, the consequences of stoning violators of the Jewish law (which was a national legal system as well as a religious legal system) may have been better than not punishing them at all and having the nation degenerate into idolatry and paganism.

I guess it would have been a question of what was the lesser of the two evils. Keep in mind that many of the pagan cultures in the area practiced things like rampant child sacrifice, so would it be better to enforce a strict adherence to Judaism and prevent as much as possible conformity to pagan culture, or be lax in enforcement of Judaism and allow pagan influences to permeate the Hebrew society?

quote:

That the creator of the universe actually told the Hebrews that it is virtuous to stone non-virgins is so flat out ludicrous, it is so obviously just a primitive tribal custom, that I really have to doubt the sanity of anyone who believes it's the literal word of god.


Interestingly enough, the Torah contains laws that on the surface make no sense, but only now in our modern age we are discovering hidden benefits to. Circumcision, for example, apparently has health benefits for males, and we have only discovered that in the twentieth century. Also many of the laws of cleanliness and crop rotation were centuries ahead of their time.

quote:

I really don't understand why Biblical literalists insist on arguing evolution. You can't have it both ways. You believe what you believe because you believe it - period. At least Kurt Wise was honest about it.


Because they don't think its true and want to express their opinions?

quote:

Islam accepts that God revealed guidance for Jews and Christians and then adds their own perceived revelations in their scripture


Islam also rejects the OT and NT as valid scripture. They see those writings as having been corrupted and the Quran as God's word for our time.

quote:

btw, you really can't see why the ability to divorce an abusive husband would improve the lives of women?


I certainly think that women should protect themselves from abusive men and remove themselves from the risk of being harmed. Generally speaking, most divorces occur for strictly selfish reasons (i.e. the woman is not happy) which has bad consequences for society.

And this gets back to the violence issue. Say a woman divorces her husband and causes her children to be brought up in fatherless environment. Statistically speaking, these children are much more likely to become violent criminals. In fact, most criminals in prison were brought up in single parent homes with only a mother and no father. So now the newly single woman's son goes out and murders someone. How exactly is this new situation an improvement for society?


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By Calindar on 8/25/2010 8:47:54 PM , Rating: 2
You said a lot, but I only want to address one part:

quote:
Well many of its predictions have been falsified (for some examples of this go to www.darwinspredictions.com) and it is built of the house of cards of where exactly the first life came from. Skepticism about this view is reasonable.

There is a lot wrong with this standpoint. First, Darwin making incorrect predictions does not falsify the theory. His theory has been greatly advanced and refined since he first came up with it. In many cases his predictions were right. A theory that gets many predictions right, but produces some predictions that are inaccurate but do not invalidate the theory as a whole means that theory simply needs to be refined and improved, not scrapped, which it has since the time of Darwin.

As for your second point, there is no house of cards. The theory of evolution only explains the way life changes and adapts over time. It's only requirement is that life exists, no matter how it came to be, and is completely separate from abiogenesis. Your "house of cards" postulation is the same as saying that Newton's first law of motion should be viewed with skepticism because it doesn't explain where the motion of the object came from to begin with. It doesn't matter how the object started moving, it explains what happens when it is already moving.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By wgbutler on 8/25/2010 11:44:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

There is a lot wrong with this standpoint. First, Darwin making incorrect predictions does not falsify the theory. His theory has been greatly advanced and refined since he first came up with it. In many cases his predictions were right. A theory that gets many predictions right, but produces some predictions that are inaccurate but do not invalidate the theory as a whole means that theory simply needs to be refined and improved, not scrapped, which it has since the time of Darwin.


Any theory can get some predictions right. Geocentrism and flat earth theory both have successful predictions. It is the bad predictions of a theory that really tell the tale, and neo-Darwinism has had some spectacular failures.

quote:

As for your second point, there is no house of cards. The theory of evolution only explains the way life changes and adapts over time. It's only requirement is that life exists, no matter how it came to be, and is completely separate from abiogenesis.


It's not completely separate. You are the one telling me that my views (God created life) are absurd. You can't just pick and choose what to argue about when you make a claim like this. You have to present a plausible alternative. If you can't present a plausible alternative on how life arose on Earth that covers all the bases (and I won't even touch where the Universe came from), then you have no right to tell me that my beliefs are stupid.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By Calindar on 8/26/2010 12:50:05 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Any theory can get some predictions right. Geocentrism and flat earth theory both have successful predictions. It is the bad predictions of a theory that really tell the tale, and neo-Darwinism has had some spectacular failures.


And ironically, both geocentrism and flat earth theory have references(roots?) in the bible.

quote:
It's not completely separate. You are the one telling me that my views (God created life) are absurd. You can't just pick and choose what to argue about when you make a claim like this. You have to present a plausible alternative. If you can't present a plausible alternative on how life arose on Earth that covers all the bases (and I won't even touch where the Universe came from), then you have no right to tell me that my beliefs are stupid.

A plausible alternative to what? "God dun it" is not a plausible answer to anything, has never gotten humanity closer to the truth, and has never had evidence to support it. Scientists know they severely lack knowledge in the field of abiogenesis, but not knowing does not mean it can't be known, and "God dun it" answers nothing. If there was a shred of empirical evidence of anything supernatural effecting the natural world, I would give credence to your beliefs. But just as lightning isn't really from Zeus and earthquakes aren't caused by Poseidon, natural causes have been found for the vast majority of things humans didn't understand and once attributed to supernatural forces. A god could very well have created life, but without evidence the hypothesis holds as much truth as anything else anybody could randomly dream up.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By wgbutler on 8/26/2010 11:23:30 AM , Rating: 2
quote:

And ironically, both geocentrism and flat earth theory have references(roots?) in the bible.


The bible does not teach that the earth is flat nor does it teach that the Earth is the center of the Universe.

It does however, make some amazing claims that the Universe was created ex nihilo (Genesis 1:1), that space is expanding (Job 26:7, Isaiah 40:22), and that time had a beginning (2 Timothy 1:9, Titus 1:2), all of which we have only recently confirmed within the past century by modern science. In fact, the New Testament is the only religious document in the world that claims that time had a beginning.

quote:

A plausible alternative to what? "God dun it" is not a plausible answer to anything, has never gotten humanity closer to the truth, and has never had evidence to support it. Scientists know they severely lack knowledge in the field of abiogenesis, but not knowing does not mean it can't be known, and "God dun it" answers nothing.


Well "God didn't dun it" doesn't really help anything either, and I dispute your assertions that the Bible doesn't contain any knowledge that haven't been borne out by science. In fact, I predict that as science advances in the future we will see more claims of the Bible completely validated.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By PaterPelligrino on 8/26/2010 12:12:17 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
that space is expanding (Job 26:7, Isaiah 40:22)


I thought I'd finally run down one of these biblical miracles of scientific truth, so I looked up:

Isaiah 40:22

quote:
He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.


Job 26:7

quote:
He stretches out the north over empty space And hangs the earth on nothing.


So "he stretches out the heavens" means the universe is expanding. Man, you really have drunk the Koolaid!

You get the same thing from all the Nostradamus nutters: every metaphor and simile is interpreted however the reader wants. You aren't one of those guys who sees the Virgin Mary in your cornflakes are you?

I'm tempted to randomly chose some biblical verse and interpret it literally, like " the ends of the earth" means the earth is flat.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By wgbutler on 8/27/2010 9:53:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:

So "he stretches out the heavens" means the universe is expanding. Man, you really have drunk the Koolaid!


Look, you're the one that brought this whole thing up by falsely claiming that the Bible taught that the Earth was flat and the center of the Universe. I have yet to see an acknowledgement that those statements were wrong, you've simply just moved on to the next ad hominem attack.

quote:

You get the same thing from all the Nostradamus nutters: every metaphor and simile is interpreted however the reader wants. You aren't one of those guys who sees the Virgin Mary in your cornflakes are you?


This is just more nonsense from you as you only have insults and caricatures left in your arsenal. You've lost the debate so its time to start hurling the insults.

For those who aren't biased against the scriptures, the verses quoted above are rich in scientific meaning. "Circle of the Earth", "hangs the Earth upon nothing", and "stretches out the Heavens" are all scientifically valid statements made thousands of years before modern astronomy and physics.

The Bible is rich in scientific knowledge, in many cases thousands of years ahead of its time. For example, the Biblical edict to circumcise on the eighth day after birth (Genesis 17:12) is an astounding scripture, as we have only recently discovered that it is on the eighth day that the vitamin K content of a newborn baby is above 100% normal, which makes that day optimal for any type of surgical procedure. And while we're on the subject, we have also discovered many medical benefits to males that have been circumcised ranging from everything from decreased risk of HIV infection to reduced cancer rates!

Another example is the Bible's statement that air has weight (Job 28:25) which was confirmed thousands of years later by Evangelista Torricelli in 1643!

I could keep quoting examples, but before I do I will wait to see if you have the nerve to reply.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By PaterPelligrino on 8/27/2010 11:17:15 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Look, you're the one that brought this whole thing up by falsely claiming that the Bible taught that the Earth was flat and the center of the Universe. I have yet to see an acknowledgement that those statements were wrong, you've simply just moved on to the next ad hominem attack.


No, I don't remember saying any of that - you're confusing me with Calindar perhaps?

As for all the rest: look, in all seriousness, no one who hadn't already made up his mind on the subject would ever interpret "he stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent" to mean that the Bible is claiming that we live in an expanding universe. This is just an image of how the sky appears, spread out above one on a starry night - anything else is just something you're reading into it.

And air has weight? Anyone who's ever had his hair blown about by the wind knows that the air has weight. How could it not? I'm sure the guys who wrote the Bible had all sorts of common-sense knowledge about the world; but to see that as god revealing modern physics to the ancient Hebrews is nuts. It's plain crazy interpreting simple figurative biblical phrases as expressions of modern science. You really don't help your argument any when you say stuff like this to non-believers.

This assigning meaning to something so that it conforms to present knowledge is exactly what the Nostradamus people do - for instance, taking some vague phrase as a prediction the Kennedy assassination. You should check out some of the Nostradamus sites. Frankly, I don't see the difference. If you'd ever studied interpretive lit you'd be amazed at what people can read into a simple English text.

If I wanted to, I'm sure I could locate some figurative expression somewhere in the OT that could be fancifully and arbitrarily spun into a foreshadowing of E = mc2, or that the moon is made of green cheese.

You know a lot of things wg, but I've got to say you are surprisingly ignorant about how the mind works. You really should read a few books on cognitive psychology. The mind is a really tricky beast - we constantly lie to and deceive ourselves.


By wgbutler on 8/27/2010 2:44:06 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

No, I don't remember saying any of that - you're confusing me with Calindar perhaps?


You are correct, Calindar is the one who made the the claim that the Bible taught geocentrism and flat-earthism. My mistake.

quote:

And air has weight? Anyone who's ever had his hair blown about by the wind knows that the air has weight. How could it not? I'm sure the guys who wrote the Bible had all sorts of common-sense knowledge about the world; but to see that as god revealing modern physics to the ancient Hebrews is nuts. It's plain crazy interpreting simple figurative biblical phrases as expressions of modern science. You really don't help your argument any when you say stuff like this to non-believers.


Well thanks for the feedback. I'm sure that most non-believers would have the same types of reaction that you have. They would dismiss these types of statements as some sort of vague poetic reference or lucky coincidence.

Some things are easier to dismiss than others. For example, we are learning every day that regular prayer, forgiving others and belief in a higher power is turning out to have profound effects on ones psychological well being and personal health.

There are so many sociological studies out there that validate the Christian way of life, its truly amazing. I guess if you want to be a naturalist and say that Christianity just sort of lucked out by getting all of these things right, you can take that position if you want to. I just don't find that type of reasoning very convincing.

quote:

You know a lot of things wg, but I've got to say you are surprisingly ignorant about how the mind works. You really should read a few books on cognitive psychology. The mind is a really tricky beast - we constantly lie to and deceive ourselves.


I've actually thought about this a lot. From what I've observed people are very resistant to accept anything that contradicts their worldview, and very eager to accept any bit of evidence that (they think) validates their worldview.

So when we find a 500 million old fossil in the ground, the naturalists give each other high fives and celebrate that their worldview has been proven correct, even though such evidence is extremely tenuous and often later on proven to be incorrect (see Ardi).

On the other hand, when we find things like the Pilate Stone, the naturalists shrug it off and say "so what?" People believe what they want to believe, for the most part. Every once in awhile you find the rare bird who is willing to change worldviews (as I have on two different occassions) but I admit that even then it tends to be a slow process.


By LoweredExpectations on 8/26/2010 1:38:17 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
But I stand by my earlier point that just as many atheists are theologically motivated to SUPPORT macro-evolution in order to support their belief in atheism. And I can prove this. Just take a look at the hostility and resistance that was given to the Big Bang theory (indeed, the term "Big Bang" was a derogatory term applied to the theory by an atheistic scientist) because it threatened their atheism.


And yet we accept the Big Bang because the evidence supports it. That is what differentiates the atheist from the theist, and illustrates how mistaken is the supposed equivalency between evolution and creationism. None of us is "theologically motivated" to support macro-evolution. I have no emotional attachment whatsoever to the theory of evolution - other than to admire it's beauty and logical vigor. We can change our minds, and must when the evidence demands it. Creationists, on the other hand, remain forever fixed and immobile in the certainty of their uncritical acceptance of biblical truth. (Like a deer stunned and rooted to the spot in the glare of god's high-beams :))

It is telling that all it would take for me to acknowledge the falsity of the theory of evolution would be some contrary evidence - a product of the human mind; while among the necessary conditions for you to abandon Genesis you give events such as being contacted by aliens, or the destruction of Israel. You don't see the humor in that? Let me admit that if god were to unequivocally make himself known to me, I too would change my mind. In any case, forgive me if I doubt your assertion that your beliefs are falsifiable.

About www.darwinspredictions.com. Evolution hasn't been falsified, not in any sense of the word 'falsify' that I understand. Also, you seem to think the theory of evolution is a mathematical formula such as the Eisensteinian equivalence of matter and energy, where all it takes is an alteration in some discreet component for the whole edifice to come tumbling down. However, the theory is more of a overarching mechanism that describes how natural selection drives the development of life; a mechanism that is continually being fine-tuned as we learn more of the underlying biochemistry. Is it any wonder the Darwin, who lived in a time that new nothing about DNA, got some of the details wrong? What is amazing is that he got so much right, which in itself demonstrates how robust the idea was.

quote:
But all of these things are demonstrably harmful to women.


One can find examples of any behavior that are harmful; to say that proves that all instances of such behavior are harmful is invalid. To say that skewed man-female ratios in China is proof that all abortion is wrong doesn't hold up. All human behavior is subject to abuse. As a Christian, you naturally take the side of the unborn fetus and ignore the rights of the pregnant woman. It's a complex issue, and I can see both sides of the argument. In your apology for stoning promiscuous women you site differing social circumstances in those ancient societies - tho for me this just underscores how those biblical customs were created by men, not gods - well I would like to point out that enforced chastity, prohibition of abortion, and laws against divorce are not appropriate in this age.

quote:
Statistically speaking, these children are much more likely to become violent criminals.


I marvel at the lengths you go to, the intellectual knots you tie yourself into, the evasions and self-serving spin you give to everything to keep your theology alive. (About your objection to divorce, for instance, one could just as easily site studies that have shown that children raised by parents who are miserable with each other suffer lasting psychological damage.) I always recommend that people with unshakable convictions - esp, but not exclusively, religious literalists - spend some time researching the logical error of 'circular reasoning', it's amazing how much of what we think is prey to this defect.

And even if I agreed with your opinions on divorce, abortion, etc., I don't admit that arguing from the social utility of some religious rule - which, in any case, I think was actually invented by men - says anything at all about the truth of the underlying supernatural belief system.

quote:
I guess (stoning) would have been a question of what was the lesser of the two evils.


So god is a "lesser of two evils" kind of deity? "Well you dumb Jews, just so you don't sacrifice any children, I'm going to have to order you to stone your promiscuous women. It's a bad business all around, but that's what I have to work with and there's no help for it."


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By wgbutler on 8/26/2010 12:05:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

And yet we accept the Big Bang because the evidence supports it. That is what differentiates the atheist from the theist, and illustrates how mistaken is the supposed equivalency between evolution and creationism.


Not every atheist supports the Big Bang. Many, if not most, atheists I talk to usually hem and haw at the implications. There have even been some in these very comments appealing to fictional models of the Big Bang proposed by Hawking or "big crunch" scenarios which have been falsified by recent scientific discoveries.

There are also a handful of atheistic scientists out there that have formally protested the Big Bang theory and have (or had until very recently) a website which contained a petition against it.

And also keep in mind that it took DECADES and mountains of evidence before it was finally accepted within the scientific community. In 1931 Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington wrote, “The expanding universe is preposterous … It leaves me cold.” which illustrates the attitude these scientists had towards the new discovery. How many decades were wasted by these attitudes? Atheistic beliefs have harmed scientific advancement in so many ways.

quote:

Is it any wonder the Darwin, who lived in a time that new nothing about DNA, got some of the details wrong?


The falsified predictions aren't just from Darwin. They involve many recent predictions about junk DNA and junk RNA as well. This is an ongoing thing. The theory of macro-evolution continually needs to be revised and changed as the evidence we observe in nature fails to yield what we would expect if this theory were true.

quote:

marvel at the lengths you go to, the intellectual knots you tie yourself into, the evasions and self-serving spin you give to everything to keep your theology alive. (About your objection to divorce, for instance, one could just as easily site studies that have shown that children raised by parents who are miserable with each other suffer lasting psychological damage.)


And I marvel at your obstinate blindness, unwillingness to see the truth, and incredible ignorance! Dr. Judith Wallerstien conducted a study on this exact situation and found that most children were better off staying in an intact family with conflict and turmoil between the spouses than the children whose parents split up! So even in unhappy situations, it is usually better for the children if the parents stay together!

quote:

I always recommend that people with unshakable convictions - esp, but not exclusively, religious literalists - spend some time researching the logical error of 'circular reasoning', it's amazing how much of what we think is prey to this defect.


It is not circular reasoning. Mountains of sociological evidence back up the lifestyles espoused in scripture, which indicates to me that these systems were designed by a higher intelligence. If these were all man-made rules, one would expect a mixed bag and no overall net tangible benefits towards living the lifestyle promoted in scripture. The difference between the two of us is that I look at the results and the data, and you cling to your preconceived notions.

quote:

So god is a "lesser of two evils" kind of deity? "Well you dumb Jews, just so you don't sacrifice any children, I'm going to have to order you to stone your promiscuous women. It's a bad business all around, but that's what I have to work with and there's no help for it."


Well Jesus was asked a similar type of question when the Pharisees asked him why Moses had a law in the Torah permitting (they actually misquoted and said
"commanded") divorce in Matthew 19. Jesus answered and said the law was put there because of the hardness of the human heart. In other words, it is not God who is evil, but sinful man who does the wrong. When men do wrong things because of hardness of their hearts, Moses had to have a civil law in place to handle the aftermath and protect the other citizens of the nation.


By PaterPelligrino on 8/26/2010 1:01:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Not every atheist supports the Big Bang. Many, if not most, atheists I talk to usually hem and haw at the implications.


That's ridiculous. Either you don't talk to many atheists or you are lying (tho, to be fair, it's most likey willful self-deception). I go with option number 2. The Big Bang presents no problem at all to the atheist. Scientists don't take a position one way or another on the Big Bang because it challenges their atheism. I can only think that you spend so much time on like-minded websites that you have no idea how scientists and atheists think. There are a handful of nutters in every class of people, it would be wise to pick a larger population sample before you draw any conclusions.

quote:
And also keep in mind that it took DECADES and mountains of evidence before it was finally accepted within the scientific community.


But they changed their minds didn't they? Compare that with your lot.

quote:
And I marvel at your obstinate blindness, unwillingness to see the truth, and incredible ignorance! Dr. Judith Wallerstien conducted a study on this exact situation and found that most children were better off staying in an intact family with conflict and turmoil between the spouses than the children whose parents split up!


That is ironic, a Biblical literalist accusing me of obstinate blindness. You want a conversation with a flexible mind, seek out a Christian Fundamentalist I always say. Anyway, you're cherry picking again; I've read just the opposite. But then I'm not the one whose mind is made up (on everything.)

quote:
It is not circular reasoning. Mountains of sociological evidence back up the lifestyles espoused in scripture, which indicates to me that these systems were designed by a higher intelligence. If these were all man-made rules, one would expect a mixed bag and no overall net tangible benefits towards living the lifestyle promoted in scripture.


I have no doubt that that is what it indicates to you; trouble is it doesn't indicate any such thing to someone who doesn't share your preconceptions. This is yet another example of why I accuse you of circular reasoning - you see what you want to see, you don't think man made rules can explain anything so you assume god had something to do with it. You've got this romantic idea of a perfect little Hebrew society ruled by harmony and love and so perfect a little world must have been designed by god because it is such a perfectly wonderful and holy place and that can only come form god and ..........goodness gracious I do believe I feel faint.

As this debate progress, you head deeper and deeper into Bible Thumper country. I'm outta here.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By PaterPelligrino on 8/26/2010 2:10:51 AM , Rating: 2
(What LoweredExpectaions said - that actually is my post made while mistakenly logged in under my more left-wing house-mate's username. Sorry)

What is really interesting in this debate is not whether God exists or not - as Kierkegaard said, in the end it all comes down to that "leap of faith". No, what interests me is the question of why we believe what we believe. But one thing is indisputable: when it come to the supernatural, the human need to believe precedes the object of belief - as should be obvious from all of the mutually-contradictory religions that man has thought up over the eons - what you might consider 'starter religions' - after all, logic demands that, at most, only one can be true. The human mind will have god, and in the absence of this one, another will do until something more compelling comes along. One might even say that god himself evolves as our social needs change.

I don't believe because it all seems so silly and improbable. I look around and see all the nonsense mankind has embraced, see the extraordinary lengths people will go to deceive themselves, how they will believe literally anything if it suits them, if it satisfies some urgent need. But you certainly see that as well, considering all the rival religions and false ways of thinking that the Christian is always warning against. Yet you have carved out an exception to this acknowledged tendency of man to deceive himself and have accepted, without reservation or doubt, one particular religion as the truth.

So let me ask you a question. I have already given my explanation - mistaken or not - as to why I think people do or don't believe in the supernatural; tell me, why is it you think we don't believe? I mean on a deeper psychological level. I flatter myself that I'm not stupid. I also admit that it would be nice if there were a god - not the blood-thirsty lunatic of the OT or the Koran, but someone like the Buddha or even the Christian god of the New Testament. Who wouldn't want to live on in eternal bliss? And surely if I thought there was even a remote chance that I would burn in hell for all eternity if I didn't believe (Pascal's Wager), I'd see the light double quick. Yet I don't. So why do you think we remain in the dark? What do you think makes the atheist tick?


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By wgbutler on 8/26/2010 12:17:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

So let me ask you a question. I have already given my explanation - mistaken or not - as to why I think people do or don't believe in the supernatural; tell me, why is it you think we don't believe? I mean on a deeper psychological level. I flatter myself that I'm not stupid. I also admit that it would be nice if there were a god - not the blood-thirsty lunatic of the OT or the Koran, but someone like the Buddha or even the Christian god of the New Testament. Who wouldn't want to live on in eternal bliss? And surely if I thought there was even a remote chance that I would burn in hell for all eternity if I didn't believe (Pascal's Wager), I'd see the light double quick. Yet I don't. So why do you think we remain in the dark? What do you think makes the atheist tick?


Well I've spoken with many atheists, and I used to be one myself. I think different people are atheists for different reasons.

In my particular case I wanted to see myself as master of my own destiny and be able to live my life in any way I chose, without some Deity or religious system telling me what to do. And so I saw Christianity as a threat to this independence.

In some cases bad things have happened to people and they blame God or they can't bring themselves to think that there is a God becauase of the awful thing that happened to them or someone they cared about. In other cases its out of a desire to be perceived as more enlightened or intelligent and get the approval of others.

But one thing that I have noticed is that many unbelievers really tend to despise Christianity while often giving the other religious systems a pass (like Islam). I find this particularly intriguing and it validates a prediction made by Jesus when He said that Christians would be hated and persecuted (Matter 24:9, John 15:18). We see this pattern throughout history, starting with the ancient Romans, and continuing to this day.

I call this behavior the "anti-God effect", and it is a very interesting phenomona to observe. It's also empirically testable. For example, go to almost any Internet message board and self-identify as a Christian. Watch all the nasty comments that will be hurled at you for no apparent reason. It's a pretty cool experiment to do.


By PaterPelligrino on 8/26/2010 1:24:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In my particular case I wanted to see myself as master of my own destiny and be able to live my life in any way I chose, without some Deity or religious system telling me what to do. And so I saw Christianity as a threat to this independence.


None of that applies either to me or to any other atheist I'm familiar with. My pride or need to control my life has nothing to do with it - on the contrary - if I saw the slightest shred of evidence for the existence of god, even knowing what I do about human psychology, I would abandon my atheism in a heart beat. I have always believed that if we have one duty in these few years on earth, it is to see life as it is, not how we want it to be. If god were there, I would embrace him with a joyful heart. But I just don't see it. I'm an atheist because that is how the world appears to me - that and nothing more.

And for the record, I'm not partial to any religion, esp Islam. Islam, seeing Mohammad never said anything like "render under Caesar what is Caesars", is much too totalitarian, too controlling for my taste.


By Calindar on 8/25/2010 8:30:12 PM , Rating: 2
Your post was well said and very respectable. Here is the issue I have with your position(Friendly discussion, not trying to "prove you wrong" or anything).

I find that humans are very susceptible to attributing things they don't understand to the will of a higher power. Lightning was attributed to Zeus, and other occurrences now known to be completely natural, were attributed to the supernatural because humans did not understand them. While most scientists now agree that the universe as we know and observe it had a "beginning" to say, we do not have a firm grasp on an explanation for how the beginning came to be. As humans, it is again our tendency to attribute that which we do not understand to a higher power, and as we don't understand the beginning of the universe fully, it's easy to say that a god created it.

The problem I have is attributing something to a higher power has rarely, if ever, accomplished anything for humanity. It has never gotten us closer to the "real" answer, and in most instances a more plausible, natural cause has been discovered at a later date.

I think it is important for everyone to keep in mind that not knowing something does not make that thing unknowable, and not knowing something now does not mean that we are unable to know it in the future.

So, while a god creating our universe is a possibility, based on previous things "god" has done, I am unwilling to accept that answer without evidence to justify it. I have a strong faith in the ability of mankind to discover and provide evidence for the true origin of the universe, no matter what that origin may be.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By Quadrillity on 8/25/2010 10:31:33 PM , Rating: 2
I think the point at which you went wrong is assuming that God is limited to our world and rules. Essentially saying, we can't assume that God is bound by the laws of time, space, matter, or physics etc. That would be a very limited God, and I do not worship a limited God.


By StevoLincolnite on 8/26/2010 7:36:33 AM , Rating: 2
My post was entirely sarcastic, I have no particular view/care on evolution or religion.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By tim851 on 8/25/2010 1:51:30 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
No amount of math can explain the instant of creation.


Yet. No amount of math can explain it YET. But math, physics and astronomy have made giant progress in the last 100 years and if we extrapolate that progress, it's reasonable to assume, that they will one day explain the instant of creation.

On the other hand, no religion has made ANY progress. Theology, the "science" of faith, has come up with absolutely ZERO new knowledge in the past 2000 years.
Even I could probably dazzle ol' Pythagoras with some crafty math stuff, I would blow Copernicus' mind with something I read about Relativity.
However, no contemporary religious "scholar" would have any advantage over Pope Clement I.

The really sad part is that Ancient Greek, Chinese or Indian (amongst others) scientists already had a surprising amount of knowledge of the world.
Yet it were the boneheads who didn't know sh*t about Atoms, DNA or the non-flat earth who would lay down the incredible knowledge of the one true God and influence world view of billions for millenia to come...


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By diggernash on 8/25/2010 7:18:36 AM , Rating: 2
Giant leaps have been made in understanding the history of the time after and the forces controlling the interactions of energy and matter in the present. I have not been exposed to any science that extended our understanding of the instant the universe began or of any period before that period, beyond the biblical explanation. Even the period just after the scientific bang is tough, because you have the universe inflating at beyond light speed.

And don't take anything I'm saying to believe that I am against science exploring the workings of the universe. I believe it is a worthy pursuit that I wish were better funded. We gain much practical benefit, even if the explanations sought are never realized.

The last paragraph of your response could be seen as evidence that something outside of the normal human experience was in control. Why did such a simple story influence the world more than the ancient Greek, Chinese, and Indian? I'd throw Persia and sub-Saharan Africa in with those three as well.


By gamerk2 on 8/25/2010 7:52:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The last paragraph of your response could be seen as evidence that something outside of the normal human experience was in control. Why did such a simple story influence the world more than the ancient Greek, Chinese, and Indian? I'd throw Persia and sub-Saharan Africa in with those three as well.


Because a Romen Emporor converted, and Rome conquered most of the world? Or the executions of those people, well into the 19th century, that proposed any theory within the continent of Europe that went against gods teaching? Or the fact that until about the mid 18th Centruy, only those associated in teh Church were literate, and thus the church had total control over scientific knowledge?


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By Denigrate on 8/25/2010 9:13:17 AM , Rating: 2
Only if you don't believe that all knowledge comes from God. The reality is that much of the basis for current science came from scientists either looking to prove or disprove the existence of God.

Enjoy your shuttered life.


By Mogounus on 8/25/2010 11:08:43 AM , Rating: 2
You fools are completely delusional. The extent of which has no bounds. It pisses me off to no extent how you sheep always hijack any discussion on evolution and twist it to be evolution vs creationism and god!

quote:
The reality is that much of the basis for current science came from scientists either looking to prove or disprove the existence of God.


Science came about because of a need to explain things and evidence and observations that were not sufficiently explained by religion. Many scientific discoveries were made by devout religious people searching for answers to things they did not understand and what they discovered was often in opposition to religious dogma.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By wgbutler on 8/25/2010 1:32:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

Yet. No amount of math can explain it YET.


So what you are saying is that you have (blind) faith that someday someone will discover some purely naturalistic explanation for the beginning of the universe.

quote:

physics and astronomy have made giant progress in the last 100 years and if we extrapolate that progress, it's reasonable to assume, that they will one day explain the instant of creation.


Yes they HAVE made great progress, by eventually agreeing with a theory (Big Bang) that validates the Biblical account of creation.

For a long time, mainstream science taught that the Universe was eternal and self-existant. When the evidence started pouring in that the Universe was indeed finite and had a beginning (as the Bible claimed) many scientists resisted that concept mightily.

But the evidence was so strong for this that even the most die hard atheists had to concede that there model of the Universe was incorrect.

quote:

On the other hand, no religion has made ANY progress. Theology, the "science" of faith, has come up with absolutely ZERO new knowledge in the past 2000 years.


I'm not going to defend religion in general, as I do not believe in most of them. But the Judeo-Christian religions have not HAD to make any progress, as they were right on the issue of the origin of the Universe (creation ex nihilo) all along. How can you improve upon perfection?

quote:

Yet it were the boneheads who didn't know sh*t about Atoms, DNA or the non-flat earth who would lay down the incredible knowledge of the one true God and influence world view of billions for millenia to come


Did the ancient Greeks and Chinese know about atoms and DNA? And what is this billions of millenia you are talking about? Your statement makes no sense and you are clearly on a strong anti-religion (Christianity in particular, I am sure) rant.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By PhatoseAlpha on 8/25/2010 3:06:14 PM , Rating: 2
Christian mythology is not creation ex nihilo. God's existence means pretty much destroys the 'ex nihilo' part.

That said, when ask "How did the universe begin", one is first inclined to ask "Did it begin?". The answer isn't as cut and dried as you imply - while the steady state model is gone, the no boundary proposal pretty much eliminates the need for a creator altogether, and the 'beginning' is only a simple point on a continuum.


By wgbutler on 8/25/2010 3:15:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

Christian mythology is not creation ex nihilo. God's existence means pretty much destroys the 'ex nihilo' part.


Christian theology states that God is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end and that God created the Universe "ex nihilo" or out of absolutely nothing. Big Bang cosmology confirms that the Universe did indeed began out of nothing.

A hundred years ago a Christian would have been laughed out of the room for making the above statements, now this is considered mainstream science. Many atheistic scientists resisted these new discoveries MIGHTILY because it threatened their atheism, but eventually they had to concede that Big Bang cosmology was correct and their model of the Universe was wrong.

quote:

the no boundary proposal pretty much eliminates the need for a creator altogether, and the 'beginning' is only a simple point on a continuum.


If you are talking about the model submitted by Hawking where he uses negative time to get around the beginning point, even he has conceded that this was just an intellectual exercise that has no basis in reality. He had to use imaginary numbers to make that model work. In short, that model is nothing more than wishful thinking for atheists who hate the idea that the Universe had an absolute beginning a finite time ago out of absolutely nothing.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By gamerk2 on 8/25/2010 4:52:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So what you are saying is that you have (blind) faith that someday someone will discover some purely naturalistic explanation for the beginning of the universe.


Why not? Its not like "time" is very well understood anyways. Heck, it took humans over 100,000 years to figure out how gravity worked, and we STILL haven't found what actually causes it. The point being, everything operates within certain rules, and given enough study, the solution will be found. You are basically trying to argue that theres no point in studing, because an answer won't be found.

quote:
Yes they HAVE made great progress, by eventually agreeing with a theory (Big Bang) that validates the Biblical account of creation.

For a long time, mainstream science taught that the Universe was eternal and self-existant. When the evidence started pouring in that the Universe was indeed finite and had a beginning (as the Bible claimed) many scientists resisted that concept mightily.

But the evidence was so strong for this that even the most die hard atheists had to concede that there model of the Universe was incorrect.


Which proves what exactly? Even then, the most likely (although not proven) scenereo is a big bang-big crunch scenereo, which would technically mean the universe as a whole is a closed system that resets itself every so often.

You actually undermine your own argument here, as you basically agree that given enough evidence, scientists will follow the evidence to whatever theory that evidence leads itself to. If the evidence points to a god, then so be it. But thats no excuse to stop studing, all the same.

quote:
I'm not going to defend religion in general, as I do not believe in most of them. But the Judeo-Christian religions have not HAD to make any progress, as they were right on the issue of the origin of the Universe (creation ex nihilo) all along. How can you improve upon perfection?


You assume the BB event, IF CORRECT, does not have mathematical beginning. In the case of a big bang-big crunch model, if our universe is not the first in the cycle, then your argument is automatically invalid, as for OUR unique big bang-crunch cycle, no god is needed to explain the beginning.

So again, using flawed reasoning to "prove" god exists.

quote:
Did the ancient Greeks and Chinese know about atoms and DNA? And what is this billions of millenia you are talking about? Your statement makes no sense and you are clearly on a strong anti-religion (Christianity in particular, I am sure) rant.


His argument is basically that these things, that were once attributed to nothing but God's will, were understood given time and study, and the beginning of our universe is no exception.


By wgbutler on 8/25/2010 5:42:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

The point being, everything operates within certain rules, and given enough study, the solution will be found. You are basically trying to argue that theres no point in studing, because an answer won't be found.


Quite the contrary, I am not arguing that there is no point in studying. I am only saying that belief in Christian theism is reasonable given the scientific evidence we have discovered. By all means lets continue to study and learn more though.

quote:

Which proves what exactly? Even then, the most likely (although not proven) scenereo is a big bang-big crunch scenereo, which would technically mean the universe as a whole is a closed system that resets itself every so often.


Actually the big crunch scenario has largely been discarded by the scientific community, as the gravitational force in the Universe is insufficient to slow down the expansion rate of the Universe. We have actually discovered that the expansion rate is accelerating.

quote:

as for OUR unique big bang-crunch cycle, no god is needed to explain the beginning.


See above statement. God is apparently back in the picture.

quote:

His argument is basically that these things, that were once attributed to nothing but God's will, were understood given time and study, and the beginning of our universe is no exception.


Science is leading us towards God, not away from Him. As we learn more about the laws of physics and the origin of the Universe, the Bible just gets more and more credible.


RE: More Story telling passing as science
By Calindar on 8/25/2010 8:56:41 PM , Rating: 2
" But the Judeo-Christian religions have not HAD to make any progress, as they were right on the issue of the origin of the Universe (creation ex nihilo) all along. How can you improve upon perfection?"

WHAT? Perfection? The description of "God created the heavens, the earth, and man", as they are today, in 7 days time is perfection to you?

Wow...


By wgbutler on 8/25/2010 11:52:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

" But the Judeo-Christian religions have not HAD to make any progress, as they were right on the issue of the origin of the Universe (creation ex nihilo) all along. How can you improve upon perfection?"

WHAT? Perfection? The description of "God created the heavens, the earth, and man", as they are today, in 7 days time is perfection to you?

Wow...


I never claimed that "God created the heavens, the earth, and man, as they are today, in 7 days time".

I interpret Genesis 1 with the framework hypothesis. Here are some links which describes this if you are interested in learning more:

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

http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/origins/fw.htm

The main point of Genesis 1 being that God created the Universe and life on Earth, in progressive stages. This is consistent with what we see in the fossil record.


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