…Asteroids, asteroids, we all fall down.
“Evolution is so ‘out there’ that it’s on its way out,” a friend told me. She had many reasons to conclude that it is irrational of some scientists to proclaim that macroevolution is fact. But I’m unable to agree that it is on its way out. After all, since when has being wrong ever warranted removal from discussion in contemporary science and media? There is a sort of philosophic necrophilia permeating the evolutionary realm – evolutionists will cling to the dead body of their hypothesis like William Faulkner’s eccentric character Miss Emily did in A Rose for Emily just because it is too desirable to give up. One atheistic scientist interviewed by Ben Stein said that he couldn’t imagine anything more boring than to believe that the world was created. Au contraire, but have it your way if you must.
But you have no reason to assert that Evolution is science and Creation is not. They are two different models offered to explain what we see in the natural world today. We must admit that a broad generalization is in this mix, as there are different flavors of creationism (i.e., old earth, young earth). Beneath these scientific worldviews are different hypotheses pertaining to specific areas of study. The idea is to see which model best explains the data that we have from research. An example of this method in action is that of the theories used to explain where the electrical current in the earth’s core comes from. The dynamo theory states that the rotation of the earth and other random processes naturally occurring in the core contribute to its movement, which then generates an electrical current. The rapid decay theory states that the electrical current is a result of how the earth was formed, and that over time the electrical current would begin to slow down. Indirect observation is what we have to rely on while studying the core of the earth, and these theories account for the data in different ways. The dynamo theory has the edge in explaining the likely reversals of the magnetic field over time, while the rapid decay theory has the edge in explaining the weakening of the magnetic field.
But never has the hypothesis of macroevolution garnered a fraction of those theories’ credibility. I once said that I have yet to see any archaeological or paleontological evidence of macroevolution that hasn’t been proved to be a hoax. Allow me to rephrase that: Maybe not all the supposed transitional fossils that I’ve learned of have turned out to be hoaxes, per se. But many have turned out to be jokes. I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time being convinced by a portrait of my supposed ancient ancestor when I know that it was based upon the tooth of a pig (Nebraska man) or a tiny jawbone fragment (Ramapithecus). Neither am I convinced of a supposed transitional ape-to-human fossil when the crucial piece of evidence is a knee joint found a mile and a half away from the rest of the skeleton (Australopithecus afarensis, or “Lucy”). Nor am I encouraged to believe such fanciful interpretations of fossils when I learn that a medical illustrator was ordered to alter his artist’s impression in order to make it look convincingly transitional. I find that particularly disappointing, since Ronald J. Ervin’s field of illustration is one that I, being artistically and scientifically inclined since childhood, have been interested in. But I digress…
I said that I have yet to see any evidence of transitional fossils that convinced me of macroevolution. That is true to this day. One commenter attempted to enlighten my eyes and failed miserably. The link that he gave me lists the names of many fossils, but not one photograph. Well obviously, showing the fossils would reveal that the ones in controversy aren’t very transitional at all. Take the notion of Australopithecus, for instance (by the way, the name means “southern ape,” which is what it looks like). Another questionable reason why it was considered a transitional species between ape and man (besides Lucy’s mile and a half away knee joint) is because near some of their bones were tiny pieces of stone that looked like they could be tools. Richard Leakey, the son of the researcher who discovered Zinjanthropus bosei actually removed Australopithecus from his evolutionary chart leading to Homo sapiens. Later examination of the skulls has revealed gorilla-like anatomy on the mandibles, which has led to further skepticism of it being a transitional fossil.
Besides, that TalkOrigins article is supposed to be disputing claims against transitional fossils made by creationists. Why then are nearly half the transitional fossils heralded not even ones that creationists dispute? The transitions between species and genera are evidence of microevolution, not macroevolution.
The obsession of searching for ape-to-man links is epitomized in the tragic story of Ota Benga, a man from Africa who was put on display at the Bronx Zoo in 1904. Once an African Pygmy living in Congo with a wife and two children, he eventually found himself living in a cage with a gorilla, orangutan, and a few chimpanzees.
Ota Benga was exhibited at the St. Louis World Fair as the “closest transitional link to man.” Why? Because he wasn’t quite five feet tall and of African descent? He certainly doesn’t look half-ape, half-human in photographs. But I’m sure evolutionists have an explanation. It’s probably just my untrained, illogical eye that causes me to believe that intelligent human beings are created in the image of God and that there is sanctity of life.
The data revealing the intricacy and variety of life is exactly what the creation model predicts. The evolutionary model has not explained how new information can be added (since when has a mutation been positive?), whereas the occurrence of microevolution shows how great variety within species can result from natural selection as genetic information is eliminated.
My friend’s father also thinks Evolution is going down. He said it doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Well, since when did chopping the arms and legs off a hypothesis do any damage?
King Arthur: Your arm’s off!
Black Knight: No it isn’t!
King Arthur: What’s that then?
Black Knight: I’ve had worse.
King Arthur: You liar!
King Arthur: What else are you going to do, bleed on me?
Black Knight: I’m invincible!
King Arthur: You’re a loony.
I have more evidence that a commenter is resorting to using the name of one of my old family members to argue about definitions than I have evidence to believe in macroevolution. One of the best old Read family stories is about cousin Deborah marrying the famous Dr. Franklin. Not like that means anything, of course. [Insert Red Herring, et al. fallacy accusation here]
Dude, if your name really is Benjamin Franklin…that’s hilarious.
Speaking of definitions, I think there was something else I needed to clarify. Oh yes, the definition of the name Peleg. The commenter Chris misunderstood me and thought that I said the definition of the name is “he was born in the age when the worlds divided.” Actually, I meant to restate what the Bible says:
“Two sons were born to Eber; the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan.” – Genesis 10:25
This genealogical record shows that Eber gave one of his sons the name Peleg, which means division, because when Peleg was born the earth was divided. Some scholars think this is a reference to post-Deluge civilization witnessing the break up of the continents. Others assert that it is a reference to the division of families after the lingual break up at Babel.
I think I’m running out of time and space in this article and will have to address other arguments later. But one more important note has to be made. The Creation model and Evolution model continue to vie with each other, and I think that the scientific data often reflects creation more than macroevolution [Click here to watch a recent debate between a creationist and evolutionist]. But the main source of contention is often the Bible (or more specifically, Jesus Christ). Some people may believe that the universe was intelligently designed without believing in the Creator of the Bible. Let us remember that science is only one piece of the picture. History is another. The reasoning behind the God of the Bible – in fact, Jesus Christ – being the Designer of the universe is one deducted from sound historical observation. Faith is another aspect, of course. I don’t have enough faith to believe that the universe made itself, or that a chimpanzee can evolve into a human.
Richard Dawkins says that the beautiful thing about evolution is that it grants the illusion of design. Of course, I always knew that the beautiful thing about me is that I grant the illusion of actually being me.
UPDATE -03/18/10: Because of the gross confusion and grotesque misunderstanding taking place in the comment zone, allow me to summarize the core issue here. I will do so as delicately as possible so as to not upset the delicate internal chemistry of my readers (telling someone they over-complicate logic and over-simplify science is “personal abuse”?). Allow me to clear up another definition I pronounced. I implied that most all “skeptics” are hasty and sensitive in their argumentative style. What I should have said is that most all “skeptics” that I HAVE PERSONALLY WITNESSED are that way, not most all that exist. Also, I put quotes around the word “skeptics” because although colloquially (goodness, I’m having to use that term a lot) it is used to label thoughtful unbelievers, I think that few actually use real skepticism. It seems they are not looking for answers. They are playing a game with themselves and others in order to find an unanswerable question. Perhaps that’s what that one evolutionist meant when he said that he couldn’t imagine anything more boring than to believe that the earth was created. His favorite game is ended if a Creator exists to explain it all!
Anyway, my claims were totally ripped apart until they were unrecognizable in the Comment Wars. This is because of a hasty desire to state that science is not on my side, before defining what science it is that we are talking about. Creation and Evolution could be defined as the two hypothetical scientific worldviews – every scientist believes or leans towards one or the other, and there is no such thing as an unbiased scientist. NEITHER CREATION NOR EVOLUTION CAN BE FALSIFIED SCIENTIFICALLY. There are also subcategories of these overarching scientific worldviews – i.e., young earth creationism, old earth creationism, theistic evolution. Only the predictions these subcategories make can be scientifically falsified. Thus, we take into account what the dynamo theory predicts vs. what the rapid decay theory predicts, or what macroevolution predicts vs. what microevolution predicts, etc. The list that Chris got from TalkOrigins* is dealing with certain predictions of sub-hypotheses in the Evolutionary worldview. That list deals with how macroevolution can be falsified, not the Evolutionary worldview (though I’ll admit that to knock out macroevolution takes at least a leg off of the Evolutionary worldview). If macroevolution were found to be occurring, then that would shake up some of the Creation worldview, but not all of it, because there are different types of creationists who don’t see a problem with macroevolution.
Furthermore, Creation and Evolution have sub-worldview categories pertaining to particular historical beliefs. Thus, their individual stories and predictions need to be proved reliable by historical science tests more so than mere scientific tests. For instance, whether or not the Bible is a reliable historical document means a great deal to the young earth creationist view.
In short, I have not “lied through my teeth.” One must be patient and pay attention in order to understand such things.
*NOTE: If you haven’t already noticed, “Ring Around the Origins, a Pocket Full of Folly” was written as a response to a comment made on the article, “A ‘Kernel of Historicity’ vs. the Faith of a Mustard Seed” that referenced the TalkOrigins article about transitional fossils. I sought to explain how shady that article is. I try to focus on responding to one claim at a time.
Amanda I noticed that you claimed, at least twice, in the comments section to not have the time to answer me. Yet you had the time to write an etire post. It’s a miracle!
It’s Spring Break, mister! I said everyone would have to wait until this week for my response. Please tell me you are not really that dense…[Insert phony accusation of ad hominem attack here]
I prefer to write article responses.
Amanda wrote “But you have no reason to assert that Evolution is science and Creation is not. ”
Now you know that’s a lie amanda. How many times have I pointed out to you that following the scientific method makes a theory a part of science.
If creationism is science then point out how it can be falsified. Go on. What would you accept as evidence that creationism is false? Or don’t you have the time to respond anymore?
Read the part about the dynamo theory vs. the rapid decay theory. There is an instance of sub-hypotheses that can be shown to have holes. The models of Evolution and Creation are extremely broad. You have to break it down into the specifics to argue.
Macroevolution doesn’t have any evidence in its favor, and that’s the most glaring of hypotheses.
Besides, what creation are you talking about? If it’s the Biblical story of creation, then it could be disproved if the Bible is proved historically inaccurate, etc.
Amanda wrote “It’s Spring Break, mister! I said everyone would have to wait until this week for my response. Please tell me you are not really that dense…[Insert phony accusation of ad hominem attack here]”
1) Firstly the response should be given in the thread in which it was first raised.
2) Actually that would be an example of personal abuse – you seem to be unable to post without them – no ad hom which would be if you abused me INSTEAD of answering. For shame that you can’t tell the difference.
Also since you wrote “Insert phony accusation of ad hominem attack here” I tke it that you can read my mind over the internet. Please produce evidence of said ability or retract the accusation.
I prefer to write article responses.
Amanda wrote “Macroevolution doesn’t have any evidence in its favor, and that’s the most glaring of hypotheses.”
My reply: It has a great deal in its favour. Try reading, just for once, some sites by universities. Raise your objections to actual professors, etyc, rather than going running all the time to AIG!
Amanda wrote “Besides, what creation are you talking about? If it’s the Biblical story of creation, then it could be disproved if the historical accuracy of the Bible is proved false.”
My reply: Really? What evidence would you accept that the bible is wrong?
Oh & why would I have to prove the ENTIRE bible is wrong to disprove the first 2 chapters of genesis?
I’m sorry to imply that you are dense – though once again that isn’t what I meant – I meant to challenge you to stop writing before reading what I previously wrote. I don’t think you are dense, I think you are too hasty. I know that I have that tendency as well which is why I try to avoid comment debates. Comment debates are ravenously destructive if you aren’t careful.
Oh, in another comment you got on the defense and said that you didn’t call me any names – but I never accused YOU of saying bad things about me. That’s why I expected a phony attack.
Chris, science is not governed by majority rule. Just because a majority of scientists insist upon a certain view does not make it right. When they keep having to reexamine and second-guessing their previous conclusions, something is up. We’ve got to go by data.
P.S. – I’ve got a Bible article coming up.
Jesus is the Word made Flesh. To discount the Word is to discount Who Christ is. It matters.
It’s humorous that these comments are big Red Herrings. They have nothing to do with the blog post.
Oh, and I don’t take diddly-squat from anybody.
Amanda wrote “I’m sorry to imply that you are dense – though once again that isn’t what I meant – I meant to challenge you to stop writing before reading what I previously wrote.”
My reply: But you didn’t ‘challenge’ me Amanda [whatever that means] you indulged in personal abuse.
Amanda wrote “I don’t think you are dense, I think you are too hasty. I know that I have that tendency as well which is why I try to avoid comment debates. Comment debates are ravenously destructive if you aren’t careful.”
My reply: Comment debates allow people to speak their mind. As long as they can do so in a respectful fashion then there is little wrong with them.
Amanda wrote “Oh, in another comment you got on the defense and said that you didn’t call me any names – but I never accused YOU of saying bad things about me. That’s why I expected a phony attack.”
My reply: Please cite the actual post. Thank you.
Amanda wrote “Chris, science is not governed by majority rule. Just because a majority of scientists insist upon a certain view does not make it right. When they keep having to reexamine and second-guessing their previous conclusions, something is up. We’ve got to go by data.”
My reply: The scientific method enforces this. But I posted a similar point on the last thread. Since I have never said, or even implied, that science was a numbers game to what post are you refering?
Amanda wrote “Jesus is the Word made Flesh. To discount the Word is to discount Who Christ is. It matters.”
My reply: This has little to NOTHING to do with falsification. Falsification deals with essential pieces of evidence which would destroy a theory if they were found. And which are inseperable from the theory. For example in the theory of evolution if a chimera was found this would totaslly disprove evolution since a chimera CANNOT exist and evolution be true.
Can we say the same for Christ? No! Jesus could be God but God did NOT create life in the way it was described in the book of Genesis. Or Christ could be God & his words were misrecorded or mistranslated. Or Christ could be God but God did NOT create life at all.
Since the two issues are seperate one is not a falsification of the other.
Amanda wrote “It’s humorous that these comments are big Red Herrings. They have nothing to do with the blog post.”
My reply: You mean this post is NOT in answer to my points from the previous thread? But you implied that it was when you wrote “It’s Spring Break, mister! I said everyone would have to wait until this week for my response.” That would seem to imply this is your response to the issues raised in the last thread. So no red herring here.
Amanda wrote “Oh, and I don’t take diddly-squat from anybody.”
My reply: There is a difference between expecting [even demanding] respect from people & abusing them when you don’t agree with them. writing “Please tell me you are not really that dense…[Insert phony accusation of ad hominem attack here]” is abusive & nothing more.
I knew someone who had a similar problem. He couldn’t reply to someone online who disagreed with him without becomming abusive. I arranged a code to help him. I told him that if he abused me it was a secret code between us that he was agreeing with me & calling himself a liar. Do you know it worked a treat.
Hey maybe we should adopt the same code. Or you caqn just refrain from abusive replies. Which would you like?
Very nice article Amanda, I especially enjoyed watching the debate video. It was very amusing to see the evolutionist avoid questions at the end.
I find it fascinating to look around at the world in which we live and not come to the conclusion that there was intelligent design at work.
And as the video showed, a good debate should be set on a time limit, and have set rules of what the candidates can debate about at the specific intervals. And upon the conclusion of the set debate length, it’s up to the listener to research and decide for themselves who is correct. So in that respect, I don’t see how blog comments are a legitimate place for any serious debate, but that’s just my opinion.
@ Anyone interested.
Does the creationist accept the need for evidence to support his idea? Not according to Sky who wrote “After reading these posts and examining the evidence, I have found that it was a global flood. Who care if there’s any scientific evidence? God said it, I believe it. Period”.
Note that last part? “Who cares if there’s any scientific evidence?” So what does Sky base his beliefs on? His own interpretation of the bible of course.
Ah you reply that’s just one crackpot. It would be different if someone like…oh I don’t know…Andrew Snelling for example. Who’s Andrew Snelling you ask? A creationist geologist who formerly worked for the Creation Science Foundation & now works for Answers in Genesis. This guy’s been a creationist for years. Let’s see what he has to say.
Andrew Snelling’s view of creationism in his own words.
– Organisationally we [the creationist movement] is in poor shape.
– We have enormously varying scientific quality control methods.
– We thus have confusion over scientific models, because our constituency thinks that all such models are equally scientifically valid when they are not.
– But how well have we done at building the creationist model?
– If we are honest, by looking at the current status of the creation model the answer would be poorly!
Why poorly you may ask? Dr. Snelling goes on to explain.
– We do not have a unified cosmological model.
– Even nearly five decades after ‘The Genesis Flood’ [the book which gave birth to modern creationism] we still have no comprehensive model of Earth history explaining the geologic (strata & fossil) record that includes general agreement on creation week rocks, pre-flood/flood & flood/post-flood boundaries.
– We are even still arguing about the nature of the geologic record, whether there really are rock sequences that can be traced across continents & correlated between continents.
– We still don’t have a complete understanding of radiometric dates (concordant dates, meteorite dates, Rate not withstanding.
It doesn’t sound to me like there’s much evidence supporting creation at all. So if there are so many holes in creationism why should we believe any of it? Let’s let Dr. Snelling tell us.
” What if there was absolutely no evidence that the universe was young? No scientific evidence the universe was young. Would you still believe that it was young? Why? Because God’s word teaches it. That’s the only reason you need to have to believe the universe is young. God’s word says it, therefore I believe it. That’s not to say the evidences are not important. Of course they are. Because we’re commanded to have a reason for the hope, and to give reasoned answers for what we believe and why we believe it. But we must always remember our Biblical foundations.
So often we fight over the scientific evidence, but are we winning by leaving out our Biblical foundations? Too much of our creation apologetics has therefore been based on the evidence alone. We need to keep arguing from the level of world views. Because ultimately the problem that people have is spiritual, the deliberate rejection of God’s word.” (Emphasis Added)
In other words Dr. Snelling is saying exactly the same as the crackpot Sky “Who care if there’s any scientific evidence? God said it, I believe it. Period.”
excellent reference to Monty Python’s Holy Grail scene with the loony-knight in comparison to what would be a defunct hypothesis that just wont go away.
Amanda, you’re all over the map on this one.
Why blame the media’s horribly sensationalist reporting of science on science? One is not the other.
You also don’t know much about Nebraska Man, Ramapitecus or Lucy.
“I have more evidence that a commenter is resorting to using the name of one of my old family members… Not like that means anything, of course. [Insert Red Herring, et al. fallacy accusation here]”
No fallacy accusation here, just have to wonder what the point of bringing it up is supposed to be.
“Ota Benga was exhibited at the St. Louis World Fair as the “closest transitional link to man.”
You don’t think this had anything to do with the racism of the time? Human zoos are horrible, but they also pre-date evolutionary theory.
What other Creationist think of Peleg:
From AIG under Common miscounceptions/misunderstandings: “Earth’s division in the days of Peleg (Genesis 10:25) refers to catastrophic splitting of the continents. (How could the mountains of Ararat in Genesis 8:4 have existed on Day 150 of the Flood for the Ark to land in, if the Eurasian, African, and Arabian plates had not collided to form these mountains yet?)”
“Genesis 10:25 says of Peleg that “in his time the earth was divided”. Some creationists have seen this as referring to the tectonic plates moving. However, many creationary scientists consider this verse to be referring to the division of the people at the Tower of Babel, and not to plate tectonics”.
Sorry for the broken post, but I take it you agree with the ‘continents breaking up’ idea rather than the division of language.
I’m actually curious why you would prefer one to the other.
Lisa wrote “You don’t think this had anything to do with the racism of the time? Human zoos are horrible, but they also pre-date evolutionary theory.”
You are quite correct Lisa. Societies throughout the world were racist for hundreds of years BEFORE the publication of the works by Charles Darwin.
Did the Theory of Evolution support racism? Not really, but it was certainly USED by racists just like they USED Christianity. It doesn’t mean much except that racists were everywhere.
Heck even Darwin himself was a man of his time. He also was extremely progressive. For example he thought that slavery should be abolished worldwide.
Let’s look at this thing rationally for a moment. Let’s say, for argument’s sake, that evolution is true & that it supports racism. Would one cancel out the other? How does the theory’s racism stop it from being true? Quite obviously it wouldn’t!
Ben Michael Fournier Wrote “excellent reference to Monty Python’s Holy Grail scene with the loony-knight in comparison to what would be a defunct hypothesis that just wont go away.”
I couldn’t agree with you more Ben. Id & creationism have been debunked countless times but just won’t go away.
Jay wrote “Very nice article Amanda, I especially enjoyed watching the debate video. It was very amusing to see the evolutionist avoid questions at the end.”
My reply: You do realise that it takes far longer to debunk some claim than it does to make it? For example I can say “the whole world was created yesterday.” See it only takes six words to make the claim. It would take you or anyone else paragraphs to debunk it.
So when you write “It was very amusing to see the evolutionist avoid questions AT THE END” you should have been able to work out for yourself why he couldn’t answer them.
Then Jay wrote “And as the video showed, a good debate should be set on a time limit, and have set rules of what the candidates can debate about at the specific intervals. And upon the conclusion of the set debate length, it’s up to the listener to research and decide for themselves who is correct. ”
Many people have misused set debate times Jay. One creationist who was famous for such misuse was Duanne T Gish. He actually invented a trick which was christened ‘the Gish gallop’ after him.
What he’d do is raise a lot of unsupported claims. Now the scientist who was debating him had to try and debunk each & every one in the time given. As I’ve already pointed out it takes far, far longer to show a claim is false than to make the claim in the first place so inevitably the scientist would run out of time. Then Gish would claim victory because the scientist ‘couldn’t answer all his assertions.
The Gish gallop is just a debating trick but it’s amazing how often people fall for it.
Chris wrote: “Now you know that’s a lie amanda. How many times have I pointed out to you that following the scientific method makes a theory a part of science.
If creationism is science then point out how it can be falsified. Go on. What would you accept as evidence that creationism is false? Or don’t you have the time to respond anymore?”
You over-complicate logic and over-simplify science. Allow me to post the quote of a real scientist – a nuclear chemist in fact – and see if you can understand my point in this article:
“The predictions of evolution have been falsified over and over again, and the evolutionists just come up with special pleading to explain around the data. I agree that creationism cannot be falsified, but neither can evolution. However, their specific predictions can be. For example, creationists predicted that little if any of the genome is “junk DNA.” Evolutionists predicted the vast majority of the genome is “junk DNA.” The creationist prediction has been demonstrated correct, since we now know the majority of the genome is functional.”
You see Chris, as I explained in the article, Evolution and Creation are two hypothetical worldviews in science – they aren’t the “real” science. The sub-hypotheses and sub-theories within them are what we have to test. For instance, what the creationist model predicts about the genome vs. what the evolutionist model predicts about the genome, or what the old-earth model predicts about the magnetic field vs. what the young-earth model predicts about the magnetic field.
However, in colloquial terms, I have said that you cannot assert that Evolution is science and Creation is not. Come to think of it, the worldviews can also be tested historically and philosophically. But if you want to test the science, you have to look at the individual fields and ideas.
Care to name who that quote is from? Google doesn’t return any hits on it.
Genetics is the strongest evidence for Evolution. The Genome is full of useless dna. Lots of it,
LINEs and SINEs make up 21% & 13% of your Genome respectively. They are non protein encoding segments that pretty much just sit there and replicate themselves back into the genome.
ERVs make up like 8% of the Genome. One of the fun things with ERV’s is that you find them everywhere. And we know how they got there, viral insertions in sperm/egg cells that are then passed onto the child. So you make predictions about where they should show up. Why do Chimpanzees and Humans have the EXACT SAME Retrovirus, in the EXACT SAME location in their genome, but Orang-utans don’t?
But why do those 3 all share a different Retrovirus in the EXACT SAME place but don’t share it with Gibbons? Why do those 4 all have a Different Retrovirus inserted into their Genome in the EXACT SAME place but not Old or New World Monkeys? You can create an entire family tree that matches the predictions of the theory of evolution from this nested Hierarchy. And yes we all know there are examples of ERVs being co-opted into being functional.
Then there are the psuedo- genes.
Did you know there 19,000 psuedo genes in your DNA? That’s a gene which is there, but it’s turned off. Compared to ~ 20,000 normal coding genes.
You know genes for things like Prehensile Feet. You have a Gene for Prehensile Feet sitting there in your DNA, just it got deactivated by mutations. So it’s still there, sitting dormant.
Like your gene for making Vitamin C. Did you know that? You could make your own but the gene is turned off. Strangely enough it’s turned off in all Simians. Hmm so we another set of items that have a traceable family tree. 19,000 of them in fact. You can trace the reasons for them being switched off. And guess what, the family tree matches again the prediction made by the theory of evolution.
It’s this kind of repeated prediction and test that can be done thousands of times is the basis for this video by DonExodus http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgyTVT3dqGY
Unless you want to argue that God wanted Every Creature to have their genome padded out with non functional DNA and expressly inherited viral insertions and psuedo genes that just happen to make it look like they came from a common anscestor simply because God works in mysterious ways then you have to admit that the Genome has stacks of un useful stuff in it. And it’s this rubbish that is extremely powerful evidence of common descent.
It was said by Dr. Jay L. Wile. You can watch his debate with Dr. Robert Martin here: http://tv.westkentucky.kctcs.edu/videoclips/debate/video.wmv
They discuss the junk DNA issue.
In case you haven’t realized, scientific information can become outdated. What people once thought were vestigial organs or junk DNA have increasingly been found to have design. The cell, for instance, isn’t as simple as Darwin or Huxley would have imagined it to be.
Transitional fossils are great, there are loads of them. Seriously.
But they aren’t frogdogs, or crocoducks, and other chimeras that so many creationists falsely ask for.
Smooth and quite detailed and gradual transitions over time? We’ve got examples of that.
Specific examples of one species becoming another over time? We’ve got examples of that.
You want weird half and half freaks? Easy, we’ve got plenty of examples of those.
New examples are being found all the time. For example a recent paper was published on an new dinosaur transitional fossil, a transition between bipedal and quadrupedal. That’s the sort of level researchers are getting into.
So as I say tell us what you want, just not the strawmen requests that so many creationists usually come up with.
RE: Lucy’s knee joint. It isn’t.
“The skeleton called Lucy does not have an intact knee. A different, isolated knee fossil was found two to three kilometers away (Johanson and Edey 1981). Confusion over the two fossils apparently led to the false claim.”
I recommend you check your sources.
RE: Ota Benga. I am force to wonder what a case of racist discrimination commited more than a century ago by lay-people with very little understanding of the theory of evolution has to do with transitional fossils?
RE: Mutation being “positive.” Ah, the old “Mutation can’t increase information” standby. I beg to inform you that this is one of the most blatently dishonest arguments in creationist literature (although perhaps the term “lie” is more appropriate). Whatever definition of “information” you give, I can provide an example of it increasing due to mutation.
Beneficial? Lactose tolerance.
Raw Data? Point insertions and gene copying.
New Features? Nylon Eating Bacteria.
Mullerian Interlocking Complexity? Genetic “scaffolding” and gene redundancy.
That Darwin thought the cell simple is another creationist myth. Apparently popularized by Behe.
For those who don’t believe me in regards to the junk DNA, here is information from the National Center for Biotechnology:
Amanda, you are misreading that study. It is true that over 80% of “junk DNA” is transcribed, but transcription does not always imply function. It has been found that approximately 90% of transcription events in yeast are “noise.” Thus, assuming comparible ratio’s in humans, the human genome still consists of more than 90% non-functional DNA.
Kevin Struhl, of the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts:
“Eukaryotes transcribe much of their genomes, but little is known about the fidelity of transcriptional initiation by RNA polymerase II in vivo. I suggest that 90% of Pol II initiation events in yeast represent transcriptional noise, and that the specificity of initiation is comparable to that of DNA-binding proteins and other biological processes. This emphasizes the need to develop criteria that distinguish transcriptional noise from transcription with a biological function.”
Quasar, first you state that “… transcription does not always imply function” and then mention transcription in regard to yeast, which has a shorter time between generations than humans and as such their genome would deteriorate faster. Second, it is reasonable to assume that processes which waste energy would be selected against, and chemical reactions always require at least activation energy and if it is an endothermic reaction then it takes more energy to store between the bonds also.
I wrote ” knew someone who had a similar problem. He couldn’t reply to someone online who disagreed with him without becomming abusive. I arranged a code to help him. I told him that if he abused me it was a secret code between us that he was agreeing with me & calling himself a liar. Do you know it worked a treat.
Hey maybe we should adopt the same code. Or you could just refrain from abusive replies. Which would you like?”
Amanda wrote “You over-complicate logic and over-simplify science.”
My reply: That’s personal abuse Amanda. So it seems our code is in operation. Thank you for admitting that youur arguments are wrong & that you are attempting to deceive.
For everyone who’se not amanda let’s check out the expert quoted shall we?
“The predictions of evolution have been falsified over and over again, and the evolutionists just come up with special pleading to explain around the data.”
My reply: So he’s saying that evolution has been falsified but the scientists won’t accept it.
Hold on. Because he contradicts himself & says “I agree that creationism cannot be falsified, but neither can evolution.”
My reply: But he just said it HAD been faLsified. So is it that evolution can be falsified but the scientists won’t accept it or is it that it can’t be?
And this guy is the great expert?
Now let’s address the next issue raised. Can evolution be falsified? Yep:
For those too lazy to actually visit the site here is the list of discoveries which would falsify evolution:
1.There are many conceivable lines of evidence that could falsify evolution. For example:
•a static fossil record;
•true chimeras, that is, organisms that combined parts from several different and diverse lineages (such as mermaids and centaurs) and which are not explained by lateral gene transfer, which transfers relatively small amounts of DNA between lineages, or symbiosis, where two whole organisms come together;
•a mechanism that would prevent mutations from accumulating;
•observations of organisms being created.
2.This claim, coming from creationists, is absurd, since almost all creationism is nothing more than (unsubstantiated) claims that evolution has been falsified.”
So evolution IS falsifiable yet our ‘expert’ says “I agree that creationism cannot be falsified, but NEITHER CAN EVOLUTION”
Now for a hypothesis to be accepted as a science it is required for the hypothesis to be falsifiable. As we’ve alreqady seen evolution is falsifiable. Our ‘expert’ also declares that he agrees that creationism CAN’T be falsified. I guess that means that evolution passes the scientific criteria & creationism doesn’t.
I should add that when I pointeed out in a previous post that creationism couldn’t be falsified Amanda wrote “Besides, what creation are you talking about? If it’s the Biblical story of creation, then it could be disproved if the Bible is proved historically inaccurate, etc.”
So Amanda is saying that creationism CAN be falsified. But her EXPERT wrote “I agree that creationism cannot be falsified,..”
Yeah I guess I’m the one who doesn’t understand science alrighty. 🙂
ben michael fournier says: “it is reasonable to assume that processes which waste energy would be selected against, and chemical reactions always require at least activation energy and if it is an endothermic reaction then it takes more energy to store between the bonds also.”
You’re projecting an end goal on these genes. Genes need only be good at replicating to be evolutionarily “fit”. The fact they waste energy is not a problem so long as that energy allows them to replicate more efficiently than say a “useful” gene like say prehensile tails.
The ‘expert’ wrote “However, their specific predictions can be [falsified].”
My reply: But that would mean that evolution & creation CAN be falsified. Yet our ‘expert’ wrote just before this that they couldn’t. Contradiction much?
Next he wrote ” For example, creationists predicted that little if any of the genome is “junk DNA.” Evolutionists predicted the vast majority of the genome is “junk DNA.” The creationist prediction has been demonstrated correct, since we now know the majority of the genome is functional.”
So how do evolutionists answer this claim? Quite simply actuqally!
1.It has long been known that some noncoding DNA has important functions. (This was known even before the phrase “junk DNA” was coined.) However, there is good evidence that much DNA has NO function:
•Sections of DNA can be cut out or replaced with randomized sequences with no apparent effect on the organism (Nóbrega et al. 2004). [junk DNA]
•Some sections of DNA are corrupted copies of functional coding DNA, but mutations in them, such as stop codons early in the sequence, show that they cannot have retained the same function as the coding copy. [junk DNA]
•The fugu fish has a genome that is about one third as large as its close relatives. [junk DNA]
•Mutations in functional regions of DNA show evidence of selection — nonsilent changes occur less often that one would expect by chance. In other sections of DNA, there is no evidence that any changes are selected against. [junk DNA]
EvoWiki, 2004. Junk DNA. http://www.evowiki.org/wiki.phtml?title=Junk_DNA
1.Nóbrega, Marcelo A., Yiwen Zhu, Ingrid Plajzer-Frick, Veena Afzal and Edward M. Rubin, 2004. Megabase deletions of gene deserts result in viable mice. Nature 431: 988-993.
Knight, J., 2002. Evolutionary genetics: All genomes great and small. Nature 417: 374-376, http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/nature/journal/v417/n6887/full/417374a_r.html
Ah but maybe that’s just those people at talk origins, and geneticists. What would a geneticist know about genetics compared to a NUCLEAR CHEMIST? Yep, Jay Wile is a nuclear chemist – a field of study which has NOTHING to do with genetics at all. But I’m sure he knows more than anyone else because…well because he’s a creationist of course. That must be why.
And has he actually published his remarkable ideas in a peer reviewed journal? Nope! Of course he hasn’t. I wonder why?
It couldn’t be because there isn’t a lick of evidence to support his wacky ideas is there?
To anyone who cares Amanda lied through her teeth when she wrote ” But if you want to test the science, you have to look at the individual fields and ideas.” Yet she quoted a scientist OUTSIDE his field. Why would she do that? Because he was a creationist. No other reason.
Amanda knew she was quoting an authority outside his area. That is a logical fallacy by the way. But Amanda knew this & then has the nerve to lecture anyone who disagrees with her that “if you want to test the science, you have to look at the individual fields…”
Amanda I put up with your personal abuse, quote from Amanda on this thread “Please tell me you are not really that dense…[Insert phony accusation of ad hominem attack here]”
I tolerated your arrogance & bigotry, quote from Amanda on previous thread “Most all of you “skeptics” are like that. I was under the impression you were proud of it.” [This an obvious use of a stereotype]
But I won’t accept you lying to your readers. I truely hope you have a good excuse ready for God. Fare thee well. I shan’t return to trouble you again.
“I have more evidence that a commenter is resorting to using the name of one of my old family members to argue about definitions than I have evidence to believe in macroevolution.”
On the one hand, you have absolutely no evidence that I “resorted” to using my name to argue about definitions, as the assertion is patently false, and easily disproved with evidence.
In fact, I have been blogging for several years regarding the nonsense of young earth creationism, and active in the teaching of biblical creation as non-science since before you grew out of wearing diapers.
On the other hand, the evidence for evolution exists. That you choose not to ‘believe’ in it begins with your strong and unshakable faith to the effect that all the words of the Bible are literally true and cannot be wrong. The function of observation and logic is then confined to the confirmation of the literal meaning of the words of the Bible. Any observation, or any course of logic, which seems to argue against those words must then be false and must be dismissed. Any conclusions of science that seem to argue against those words must also be false and must be dismissed. Whatever creationism is, then, it is not scientific.
Science is a process of thought, a way of looking at the Universe. It consists of the gathering of observations that can be confirmed by others using other instruments at other times in other ways. From these confirmed observations, consequences and conclusions can be reasoned out by logical methods generally agreed upon. These consequences and conclusions are tentative and can be argued over by different people in the field and modified or changed altogether if additional, or more subtle, observations are made. There is no belief held in advance of such observations and conclusions except that observations can be made, that consequences and conclusions can be reasoned out, and that the Universe can, at least to a degree, be made comprehensible in this fashion. (If these assumptions are not true, then there is no way of using the mind at all.)
“Dude, if your name really is Benjamin Franklin…that’s hilarious.”
I am glad you are amused, but it is not an uncommon name. If you were to check a phone directory of any major metropolis, I am sure that you would find several, if not dozens of listings for Benjamin Franklin.
I am further sure that if the Benjamin Franklin of early American history were alive to today, he would find the unscientific practice of biblical inerrancy and literalism practiced by young earth creationists to be, as you say hilarious.
As far as evidence goes, you referenced the PubMed website in this thread. Perhaps you should read some of the 241,000 reference works regarding evolution, or at least some of the 140,000 works specifically regarding human evolution. I doubt if you will, because you have made it clear that adherence to your biblical interpretations are more important than actual evidence, education and learning.
Vagon replied to my reply to Quasar, “You’re projecting an end goal on these genes”… yes and it should be reasonable to assume that in populations which have had few generations for genomic deterioration that less of such waste of energy would occur.
Now Vogon, if I were to view the statement of yours which I copy-pasted in isolation alone, then I could easily make a statement about how non-deterministic and etc evolution is and how it primarily functions as an explanatory filter for data rather than even being worthy of being called a hypothesis.
I just updated this blog post in hopes of clarifying some things.
Those of you with patience, I thank you.
“it should be reasonable to assume that in populations which have had few generations for genomic deterioration that less of such waste of energy would occur.”
Could you define “waste” from the perspective of a gene?
“Now Vogon, if I were to view the statement of yours which I copy-pasted in isolation alone, then I could easily make a statement about how non-deterministic and etc evolution is and how it primarily functions as an explanatory filter for data rather than even being worthy of being called a hypothesis.”
You wouldn’t find me arguing. Evolution is a theory, an explanation of data from which hypothesis can be made. Its only in extremely theoretical areas (like say string theory) that the lines between hypotheses and theories blur. Perhaps I’ve misunderstood you, what do you mean by “explanatory filter”?
Amanda your update still asserts that evolution cant be falsified when Chris already mentioned:
“•a static fossil record;
•true chimeras, that is, organisms that combined parts from several different and diverse lineages (such as mermaids and centaurs) and which are not explained by lateral gene transfer, which transfers relatively small amounts of DNA between lineages, or symbiosis, where two whole organisms come together;
•a mechanism that would prevent mutations from accumulating;
•observations of organisms being created.”
Do you need more examples or have you now learned it is falsifiable?
That list that Chris posted is dealing with certain predictions of sub-hypotheses in the Evolutionary worldview. It deals with how macroevolution can be falsified, NOT the Evolutionary worldview. The reason why we can’t scientifically falsify Creation or Evolution is because none of us were there to observe the data in the making.
We can only falsify the predictions that those worldviews make, and thus deduce which worldview is most likely to be true (for instance, the predictions of macroevolution that are falsified would make Evolution less credible). Still, science is only one piece of the puzzle. History and archaeology have to be considered too.
That is what I meant when I brought up the Bible in one of my earlier comments. After all, if scientific evidence asserts that Creation is true, which creation story is the right one? I think that historical evidence points towards the Biblical model. I’m sorry that I didn’t phrase that well in my earlier comment – I should have said that the Biblical creation model could be DISCREDITED substantially if the Bible were found to be historically inaccurate, but not disproven, because once again, we weren’t actually there when the universe came into existence. Maybe that’s what confused Chris and made him think I was lying.
I’m so sorry for the confusion!
amanda wrote: “After all, if scientific evidence asserts that Creation is true, which creation story is the right one?”
No matter what Creation story, with a big ‘C’ is true; common descent is a fact. We, humans, are part of the big tree of life, and we all share a common ancestor with all other animals, whether you like it or not. Nothing to do with religion. Period. That’s it.
And from what I read here Amanda, you have absolutely no clue of what Macro vs Micro evolution means… it’s kind if sad… Want to learn?
I see where you are coming from, but Chris’ examples are so core to evolution that to falsify them is to fundamentally flaw the entire theory. For example finding a crocoduck is tantamount to finding Noah’s ark, but inscribed with the Bhagavad Ghita. Does this help?
“The reason why we can’t scientifically falsify Creation or Evolution is because none of us were there to observe the data in the making.”
If we take your criteria of not being able to observe the exact same data, then there is literally nothing we can falsify that “occured” in the past because we are bound by time and space dimensions. Science understands this (physics) and compensates for it using objective tools like statistics and falsification to get close enough to make a judgement. What I’m trying to get at is saying we cant falsify on these grounds is at best a cop-out and at worst a complete misunderstanding of what falsification claims.
I think your problem is philosophical not scientific: you’re looking for certainty.
There are a couple thought they do overlap a little.
Find life that doesn’t use the same DNA. There is nothing inherent to Life = DNA. The difference could be as simple as using the same sugars but in a different way, or using entirely different materials.
Find the mythical Genetic Barriers to “Kinds”. Show what limits repeated small genetic changes accumulating into bigger ones.
And here’s the overlap, if each ‘kind’ used a unique ‘DNA’. If you really honestly could define ‘Dog Kind’, ‘Miacid Kind’, ‘Sponge Kind’. That’s the sort of thing that would kick Common Descent in the goolies.
And ben you are really discussing a mythical efficiency, things are generally only ‘good enough’ not best, or most efficient. If your selection for efficiency was real you would be able to predict genome sizes.
Check it out.
The life with the biggest Genome?
Amoeba. It’s 200 times the size of our own.
There are Fish & Plants with Genomes 30 times the size of ours. And there are Fish & Plants with Genomes Fractions of a percent the size of ours.
Gene/Chromosome and indeed entire Genome Duplication Events are one of the known methods of speciation.
Amanda, I find that most young earth creationists don’t enjoy conversation. They’ll challenge science and critique society without hesitation, but when their ideas are questioned, they tend to not answer. Rather, they take a few words from the question and spin it into a scriptural lesson, or perhaps tangent off to something unrelated. There’s rarely an honest attempt to answer the question, or even an “I’m sorry but I don’t know the answer to that”
From what I’ve read here, you seem like a nice person who does exactly the same thing. So rather than dance around trying to provoke or challenge each other, why don’t I just cut to the chase:
Seeing as I’ve already been exposed to the gospel, why should I spend time reading your blog?
Actually, I do enjoy conversation. There are some things I want to ask all of you about. I will post more soon.
I suspect you believe you enjoy discussion, and although I’m being critical, there are hints that it may be true to some extent. However, the topic which you seem to write about most often isn’t open for discussion; it’s indisputable fact.
So, if THAT is what you enjoy, it’s not discussion. It’s something else entirely.
With that said, I like the way you communicate in general. Perhaps I’ll stick around to answer questions, and leave the question of whether discussion actually happens here open for the time being…
Evolution and creationism will never come to an agreement so I don’t know why the conversations continue. What does one side gain by convincing the other? If you have faith in evolution and that helps you satisfy your “why are we here” question in your head, then great. If you believe in creationism then the same could be said.
We should be living in an age when people are accepting of other people’s beliefs, but we are not. One side is always attacking the other on just about every issue. The intent of debate should not be to convince the other side beyond the shadow of a doubt that you are right.
With all of our technology and education, are we really that much more educated than people were in the past? Or are we just all that much more confused?