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originally posted by: chr0naut
originally posted by: Jonjonj
a reply to: chr0naut
Hello again, thanks for responding in such detail to my rather uninformed queries, some of the things you said have raised even more questions for me.
You state that a belief in god is a leap of faith and I completely understand that, nor is it something that I hold in disregard, every person must choose that which feels right for them.
However, you then also state that a lack of faith also requires such a leap, and I am curious how you come to that assumption given that I personally feel that no such leap is required. I don't believe in god but that doesn't require me to make a leap of faith as I simply don't see any evidence of such a being. I get the idea that the universe is so mind-bogglingly complex as to play into that belief but that isn't evidence of god, in my opinion.
The next point is what I read as a contradiction, but that could simply be me, misunderstanding as I often do.
It is stated that there hasn't been enough time for the required changes by the mechanisms that evolution proposes and yet your next point states that the rapidity and complexity of the changes exclude evolution as the only driving force.
I appreciate your taking the time to address my previous questions and hope that you find interest in answering those I have asked now.
Thank you for your time.
I apologize for the delay in response.
The "leap of faith" bit refers to our incomplete knowledge. The statements that "God does not exist" or that "there is no God" are fairly absolute and assumes that we know this to be a fact (in every possible situation where God may possibly be hidden from our view).
So, in the light of the limitation of our knowledge the most honest response is to admit to opinion. Any "assurance" we have (on either side of the argument) is therefore a leap of faith.
In regard to time scales, the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis describes gradualism in overall change, and this over extended periods of time. Definitely not in terms of a few generations as per the OP article.
In truth, we continually see exceptions where little happens for extended periods, then rapid change occurs in jumps or steps. It is for this reason that Punctuated Equilibrium becomes such a hot topic.
We know that natural processes are chaotic and turbulent and so theories of development (such as the MES) that assume a gradualism or stable environmental conditions cannot hope to adequately describe reality.
This is not to say that the MES is not descriptive of nature, just that it is not the ONLY process happening.
African Cichlids are another good example of visible adaptive evolution.