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Misconceptions about evolution and religion

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posted on Sep, 10 2011 @ 09:16 AM
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I came across this interesting FAQ Helping to correct the misconceptions often had by people concerning evolution, i thought it might help clear up some of the questions some people may have about this issue
I have compiled a few of the most interesting.

Misconceptions about evolution



Evolution is ‘just' a theory.

This misconception stems from a mix-up between casual and scientific use of the word theory. In everyday language, theory is often used to mean a hunch with little evidential support. Scientific theories, on the other hand, are broad explanations for a wide range of phenomena. In order to be accepted by the scientific community, a theory must be strongly supported by many different lines of evidence. Evolution is a well-supported and broadly accepted scientific theory; it is not ‘just' a hunch. ,learn more about the nature of scientific theories


Gaps in the fossil record disprove evolution.

While it's true that there are gaps in the fossil record, this does not constitute evidence against evolutionary theory.
Scientists evaluate hypotheses and theories by figuring out what we would expect to observe if a particular idea were true and then seeing if those expectations are borne out. If evolutionary theory were true, then we'd expect there to have been transitional forms connecting ancient species with their ancestors and descendents.
This expectation has been borne out.
Paleontologists have found many fossils with transitional features, and new fossils are discovered all the time. However, if evolutionary theory were true, we would not expect all of these forms to be preserved in the fossil record. Many organisms don't have any body parts that fossilize well, the environmental conditions for forming good fossils are rare, and of course, we've only discovered a small percentage of the fossils that might be preserved somewhere on Earth.
So scientists expect that for many evolutionary transitions, there will be gaps in the fossil record.learn more about testing scientific ideas, learn more about evolutionary transitions and the fossils that document them,

Misconceptions about the acceptance of evolution



The theory of evolution is flawed, but scientists won't admit it.

Scientists have studied the supposed "flaws" that anti-evolution groups claim exist in evolutionary theory and have found no support for these claims. These "flaws" are based on misunderstandings of evolutionary theory or misrepresentations of the evidence.
As scientists gather new evidence and as new perspectives emerge, evolutionary theory continues to be refined, but that doesn't mean that the theory is flawed. Science is a competitive endeavor, and scientists would be eager to study and correct "flaws" in evolutionary theory if they existed.


Evolution is a theory in crisis and is collapsing as scientists lose confidence in it.

Evolutionary theory is not in crisis; scientists accept evolution as the best explanation for life's diversity because of the multiple lines of evidence supporting it, its broad power to explain biological phenomena, and its ability to make accurate predictions in a wide variety of situations.
Scientists do not debate whether evolution took place, but they do debate many details of how evolution occurred and occurs in different circumstances. Antievolutionists may hear the debates about how evolution occurs and misinterpret them as debates about whether evolution occurs.
Evolution is sound science and is treated accordingly by scientists and scholars worldwide.

evolution.misconceptions

Misconceptions about evolution and religion



Evolution and religion are incompatible.

Because of some individuals and groups stridently declaring their beliefs, it's easy to get the impression that science (which includes evolution) and religion are at war; however, the idea that one always has to choose between science and religion is incorrect. People of many different faiths and levels of scientific expertise see no contradiction at all between science and religion. For many of these people, science and religion simply deal with different realms. Science deals with natural causes for natural phenomena, while religion deals with beliefs that are beyond the natural world.

Of course, some religious beliefs explicitly contradict science (e.g., the belief that the world and all life on it was created in six literal days does conflict with evolutionary theory); however, most religious groups have no conflict with the theory of evolution or other scientific findings. In fact, many religious people, including theologians, feel that a deeper understanding of nature actually enriches their faith. Moreover, in the scientific community there are thousands of scientists who are devoutly religious and also accept evolution. For concise statements from many religious organizations regarding evolutionlearn more about the relationship between science and religion,



Teachers should teach "both sides" of the evolution issue and let students decide — or give equal time to evolution and creationism.

Equal time does not make sense when the two "sides" are not equal. Religion and science are very different endeavors, and religious views do not belong in a science classroom at all. In science class, students should have opportunities to discuss the merits of arguments and evidence within the scope of science.
For example, students might investigate and discuss exactly where birds branched off of the tree of life: before dinosaurs or from within the dinosaur clade. In contrast, a debate pitting a scientific concept against a religious belief has no place in a science class and misleadingly suggests that a "choice" between the two must be made.
The "fairness" argument has been used by groups attempting to insinuate their religious beliefs into science curricula. To learn more about the idea that evolution and religion need not be incompatible, see the misconception above. learn more about why religious views on creation are not science and so do not belong in science classrooms,

evolution.misconceptions




posted on Sep, 10 2011 @ 09:18 AM
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Yes, and evolution sort of explains what happens to the DNA when it recieves,but does not answer what transmits.



posted on Sep, 10 2011 @ 09:28 AM
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Originally posted by mandroids
Yes, and evolution sort of explains what happens to the DNA when it recieves,but does not answer what transmits.
Recieves and transmits what? Evolution is concerned with biodiversity, nothing else.



posted on Sep, 10 2011 @ 09:34 AM
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I think the biggest problems with the theory of evolution as it stands, are as follows:

1)That there is recently discovered evidence that life did NOT originate on this planet, but was delivered here, perhaps on the back of an asteroid or other torpedoing space crap that hit our planet back in the murk of time. This throws into question an awful lot of things about evolution. For a start, the begining of the evolution story we were taught in school includes none of this. Its a cut and dry "There was this primordial ooze. Compounds combined in an unusual fashion, and for some reason continued to do so, until amphibian life came about and strolled on land, eventualy turning into you me, and even Jenkins at the back ... marvelous bit of luck that! " thing we got told when I was in school.

2)Along side the existance of evidence that throws into question the entire set up for the evolution story, you have the fact that because life on Earth did not originate on it, we have no way to examine the true origin point of our species, or for that matter, any other of which we are aware! Until evolution can explain every single moment from the initial combination of the first co-operative compound (by that I mean chemicals in a combination which approximates DNA, and perform tasks vital for the survival of the whole) on what ever crazy planet, space rock, mote of galactic dross that it happened on, to present day, without missing a beat, or skipping a step, I will believe that the entire thing is bloody shoddy, and I wouldnt be a fool to think that way either.

How many people thought the world was the centre of creation? An awful lot. How many of them were right ? Zero.... a healthy LACK of respect for some of the more established ideas is not ignorance in of itself. Sure, if a person has seen none of the original work on evolution, is unfamiliar with the work of Darwin and so on, then thier comments are likely moronic and not at all informed. But given my familiarity with the subject, I can honestly say that I think the entire theory could use a ground up shake up, and needs adapting to fit, or drastic remodelling to accomodate new information.
edit on 10-9-2011 by TrueBrit because: Spelling and grammar, which are still awful ... sorry gang!



posted on Sep, 10 2011 @ 09:41 AM
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reply to post by Freedom_is_Slavery
 


Thank you for clearing these issues up; although I'm sad to predict that bothersome 'facts' won't sway the type of ATSer that only reads supportive statements...they just won't hear it...like a christian that will not discuss the contradictions in the bible, to the point of not allowing themselves to read dissenting opinions.

Excellent post!!! S&F



posted on Sep, 10 2011 @ 10:05 AM
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It's nice what you are attempting to do, but if you go in to these sorts of threads you will find creationists are corrected time and time again when they use the old and tiresome copy and paste 'arguments'. Actually you will find many of the same creationists repeating a lie they were corrected on in numerous previous threads....the evidence is there and it is easy to access if you wish, no excuses for not even understanding the basics before arguing about it's validity imo. Good thread though.

edit on 10-9-2011 by Solomons because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 10 2011 @ 10:15 AM
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Originally posted by TrueBrit
I think the biggest problems with the theory of evolution as it stands, are as follows:

1)That there is recently discovered evidence that life did NOT originate on this planet, but was delivered here, perhaps on the back of an asteroid or other torpedoing space crap that hit our planet back in the murk of time. This throws into question an awful lot of things about evolution. For a start, the begining of the evolution story we were taught in school includes none of this. Its a cut and dry "There was this primordial ooze. Compounds combined in an unusual fashion, and for some reason continued to do so, until amphibian life came about and strolled on land, eventualy turning into you me, and even Jenkins at the back ... marvelous bit of luck that! " thing we got told when I was in school.

That's abiogenisis, not evolution.


2)Along side the existance of evidence that throws into question the entire set up for the evolution story, you have the fact that because life on Earth did not originate on it, we have no way to examine the true origin point of our species, or for that matter, any other of which we are aware! Until evolution can explain every single moment from the initial combination of the first co-operative compound (by that I mean chemicals in a combination which approximates DNA, and perform tasks vital for the survival of the whole) on what ever crazy planet, space rock, mote of galactic dross that it happened on, to present day, without missing a beat, or skipping a step, I will believe that the entire thing is bloody shoddy, and I wouldnt be a fool to think that way either.

Again, abiogenisis is concerned with the origins of life, not evolution. Evolution is concerned with biodiversity.


How many people thought the world was the centre of creation? An awful lot. How many of them were right ? Zero.... a healthy LACK of respect for some of the more established ideas is not ignorance in of itself.

Creationism never was and never will be science. It was and is a religious belief, thus what religious beliefs people held (and still do hold) has no bearing with contemporary scientific opinion.


Sure, if a person has seen none of the original work on evolution, is unfamiliar with the work of Darwin and so on, then thier comments are likely moronic and not at all informed. But given my familiarity with the subject, I can honestly say that I think the entire theory could use a ground up shake up, and needs adapting to fit, or drastic remodelling to accomodate new information.

The theory of evolution has a broad body of evidence supporting it. For 150 years it has stood the test of time and has been expanded as new evidence comes to light in support of it. There is not a single shred of evidence to suggest that the theory of evolution is false. Scepticism is all well and good but to doubt the enormous body of evidence is very misguided, unless new evidence comes to light that contradicts the theory.



posted on Sep, 10 2011 @ 10:23 AM
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It is charming of you to hope that science [as we know it today] can explain everything,but that is,dare I say,delusion. Evolution explains how but not why. It explains how DNA does what it does,but does not explain where that signal comes from. Scary concept for the limited materialist.



posted on Sep, 10 2011 @ 10:27 AM
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Originally posted by mandroidsIt is charming of you to hope that science [as we know it today] can explain everything

Science does not claim to explain everything.


but that is,dare I say,delusion.

Objective, evidence-based research is delusional? How, exactly?


Evolution explains how but not why.

Evolution does explain how organisms evolve and why they evolve.


It explains how DNA does what it does,but does not explain where that signal comes from. Scary concept for the limited materialist.

What 'signals' are you talking about? What exactly do you mean by this?



posted on Sep, 10 2011 @ 10:32 AM
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reply to post by john_bmth
 


Seperating the origin of life, the root of life on Earth, from the diversity that has arisen from it, is thoroughly idiotic. There is no way in the world that keeping these things apart, and in seperate categories makes sense, because what we have today, is directly resultant from what arrived here in the past.The two things cannot exist in exclusivity, they are bound together utterly.



posted on Sep, 10 2011 @ 10:32 AM
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Naive realism is a comfort to the materialist,but it is a false security blanket i am afriad.



posted on Sep, 10 2011 @ 10:33 AM
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Originally posted by mandroids
Naive realism is a comfort to the materialist,but it is a false security blanket i am afriad.

Right, so do you care to address any of the rebuttals I made, or are you going to continue making vague statements?



posted on Sep, 10 2011 @ 10:37 AM
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Originally posted by TrueBrit
reply to post by john_bmth
 


Seperating the origin of life, the root of life on Earth, from the diversity that has arisen from it, is thoroughly idiotic.

It's not idiotic. Whether life began on this planet, another planet or created by some supreme being has no bearing on the theory of evolution.


There is no way in the world that keeping these things apart, and in seperate categories makes sense, because what we have today, is directly resultant from what arrived here in the past.

Evolution is only concerned with biodiversity. For example, how earth's atmosphere came into existence does not in any way affect or influence study of aerodynamics.



The two things cannot exist in exclusivity, they are bound together utterly.

That may be your opinion, but alas it is incorrect.



posted on Sep, 10 2011 @ 10:38 AM
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I do apologize,John!!! I was messaging in a general way,do forgive me. Well, I took a look a look at what you said,but,frankly,it all comes from the 'the little book or reductive science replies' and i charmingly ignored it.



posted on Sep, 10 2011 @ 10:55 AM
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reply to post by john_bmth
 


Your opinion is no more valid than my own. You merely seem to have a problem accepting an alternative view. I believe that because we know so little about the truth of the begining of life on earth, we should not make assumptions about what resulted from it.



posted on Sep, 10 2011 @ 11:09 AM
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Originally posted by TrueBrit
reply to post by john_bmth
 


Your opinion is no more valid than my own.

It is not my opinion, it is scientific consensus. If you have any evidence that casts doubt on the theory of evolution then by all means present it.


You merely seem to have a problem accepting an alternative view.

Your view is wrong. I'm sorry, but that's not my fault. You are more than welcome to provide evidence to the contrary.


I believe that because we know so little about the truth of the begining of life on earth, we should not make assumptions about what resulted from it.

You are free to believe what you wish but it does not change the facts. Evolution is not concerned with the origins of life. If you have evidence that the origins of life somehow falsify the theory of evolution then by all means present it.



posted on Sep, 10 2011 @ 03:29 PM
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Originally posted by Freedom_is_Slavery
I came across this interesting FAQ Helping to correct the misconceptions often had by people concerning evolution
Thanks for this thread, Freedom. I'm not sure it will convince any evolution deniers but it doesn't hurt to present it in the hope that somebody may learn something. S&F.

And back when ATS allowed video uploads, I uploaded this small excerpt of a lecture from Dr. Hazen on these very topics, like the objection that "Evolution is just a theory":

(click to open player in new window)

He addresses that even more forcefully then your source does, though your source is still good.


Originally posted by john_bmth

Originally posted by TrueBrit
reply to post by john_bmth
 


Seperating the origin of life, the root of life on Earth, from the diversity that has arisen from it, is thoroughly idiotic....The two things cannot exist in exclusivity, they are bound together utterly.

That may be your opinion, but alas it is incorrect.
The origin of life may have an effect on the final lifeform, this is true, however, the process of evolution can certainly be observed regardless of the genetic source material.

Some examples that come to mind are bats versus birds, and whales versus fish.

Bats and birds apparently have a common ancestor in early Earth life, but their later pre-flight ancestors were probably quite different dinosaurs and mammals. In spite of this difference, we can see how evolutionary pressures resulted in similar forms of locomotion in the air. But I'd agree they are not identical, since bats don't have feathers for example. But evolution allows them to fly without feathers.

Whales are now one of the best documented transitional forms, that lost their exterior legs to become more fish-like in their behavior, but they still have distinct differences from fish, like air breathing. In fact whales blow apart the argument that transitional forms aren't documented, as we have made great progress in this area in recent years/decades, in particular the discovery of Pakicetus and Ambulocetus which are early ancestors of whales:

evolution.berkeley.edu...

Tracing the origins of whales to these creatures is pretty amazing science.
edit on 10-9-2011 by Arbitrageur because: clarification



posted on Sep, 10 2011 @ 09:37 PM
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Originally posted by TrueBrit
1)That there is recently discovered evidence that life did NOT originate on this planet, but was delivered here, perhaps on the back of an asteroid or other torpedoing space crap that hit our planet back in the murk of time. This throws into question an awful lot of things about evolution. For a start, the begining of the evolution story we were taught in school includes none of this. Its a cut and dry "There was this primordial ooze. Compounds combined in an unusual fashion, and for some reason continued to do so, until amphibian life came about and strolled on land, eventualy turning into you me, and even Jenkins at the back ... marvelous bit of luck that! " thing we got told when I was in school.


This is not a problem with evolution. It is a problem with what you perceive to be the theory of abiogenetic origins of life. Evolution, as a theory, says nothing about the origin of life. That is not a problem with the theory of evolution itself.

Your strawman characterization of "evolution" is simply an embarrassment and shouldn't be taken to represent the state of scientific belief. Of course what you describe is absurd. Nobody would argue with that. It doesn't mean that what you describe accurately represents the state of science today. Perhaps your teachers were idiots?


Originally posted by TrueBrit
2)Along side the existance of evidence that throws into question the entire set up for the evolution story, you have the fact that because life on Earth did not originate on it, we have no way to examine the true origin point of our species, or for that matter, any other of which we are aware!


Why does that concern the theory of evolution? To paraphrase The Princess Bride, I do not think that theory claims what you think it claims. It is a theory about the progression of life on this planet, nothing more.


Originally posted by TrueBrit
Until evolution can explain every single moment from the initial combination of the first co-operative compound (by that I mean chemicals in a combination which approximates DNA, and perform tasks vital for the survival of the whole) on what ever crazy planet, space rock, mote of galactic dross that it happened on, to present day, without missing a beat, or skipping a step, I will believe that the entire thing is bloody shoddy, and I wouldnt be a fool to think that way either.


So now you won't believe a single scientific theory unless it can explain every last bit of everything? That is a tall order to fill, what with our primitive human brains. I'd be surprised if anyone could fulfill your conditions of truth.


Originally posted by TrueBrit
How many people thought the world was the centre of creation? An awful lot. How many of them were right ? Zero.... a healthy LACK of respect for some of the more established ideas is not ignorance in of itself. Sure, if a person has seen none of the original work on evolution, is unfamiliar with the work of Darwin and so on, then thier comments are likely moronic and not at all informed. But given my familiarity with the subject, I can honestly say that I think the entire theory could use a ground up shake up, and needs adapting to fit, or drastic remodelling to accomodate new information.
edit on 10-9-2011 by TrueBrit because: Spelling and grammar, which are still awful ... sorry gang!


Your same logic applies to those who think their Bibles are the first and last word of any truth at all. The origins of evolutionary theory aren't relevant to the current state of the theory: scientific theories advance when they admit that they were wrong.

Religion, on the other hand, can apparently never admit that it was wrong and grow from that experience.

If there were compelling scientific evidence to the contrary, I guarantee you that the state of science would adapt to this evidence.



posted on Sep, 10 2011 @ 09:42 PM
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Originally posted by TrueBritUntil evolution can explain every single moment from the initial combination of the first co-operative compound (by that I mean chemicals in a combination which approximates DNA, and perform tasks vital for the survival of the whole) on what ever crazy planet, space rock, mote of galactic dross that it happened on, to present day, without missing a beat, or skipping a step, I will believe that the entire thing is bloody shoddy, and I wouldnt be a fool to think that way either.



Actually, could you tell me specifically what you believe about these matters? Specifically could you explain "every single moment from the initial combination of the first co-operative compound (by that I mean chemicals in a combination which approximates DNA, and perform tasks vital for the survival of the whole) on what ever crazy planet, space rock, mote of galactic dross that it happened on, to present day, without missing a beat, or skipping a step" ?

Because if you can't, I'll believe that your entire belief system is "bloody shoddy," and "I wouldnt be a fool to think that way, either."



posted on Sep, 10 2011 @ 09:45 PM
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Originally posted by mandroids
It is charming of you to hope that science [as we know it today] can explain everything,but that is,dare I say,delusion. Evolution explains how but not why. It explains how DNA does what it does,but does not explain where that signal comes from. Scary concept for the limited materialist.


It's not really scary at all, and that has no bearing on the idea of evolution anyway. Life could have arisen from space, from God, or from random chemical mutations- what does that say about the evolution of life?

The "limited materialist" isn't scared of these ideas, but rather, intrigued and curious. Lots of mysteries to confront!

I don't know a single scientist who thinks that science can "explain everything."



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