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Creationist Confusion

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posted on Nov, 18 2004 @ 10:19 PM
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Darwin was a racist. He thought that black people looked a lot like apes, and his theory of evolution was based on racism.

Amethyst, thanks for your post. However, evolution is based on significantly more than racism. Furthermore in the context of Darwin, this comment makes little sense. Darwin is more or less the father of evolutionary thought... more or less that is. Thus, in Darwin's time, at least to my knowledge, there was not an apes to man postulate. The fact that Darwin was a racist may be true, however in the context of Darwin's time, this is probably 'normal' thought for a person of his social stature and upbringing. I will however acknowledge the fact that racism and Dawinism played a huge role in the not-too-distant eugenics episode in American History. Sadly, I think we may be headed back in that direction. I don't believe that Darwin's racism is relevant in the context of this post.


I also believe in a round earth and geocentrism--earth is center. The earth was created on the first day and the sun on the FOURTH. And the Bible makes a distinction between "the heavens and the earth," and if the earth were just another heavenly body, where's that distinction? Then there's Joshua 10:12--Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, Sun stand THOU still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.

I know some people think, well, people wouldn't know about the earth turning, that's why that was said. I ask--how hard is it for anyone to understand the earth turns if it actually does?

Geocentricity does away with the idea of evolution or ETs.

Amethyst, I have read this post over and over again. I am not sure exactly what your point is here. While you may believe in a geocentric universe, I would describe you as virtually alone in this on the planet. I don't believe that anyone in this thread has disputed that the Earth turns... hence day and night. This post sounds a little baited to me, but the WTF, I'll bite. Amethyst, perhaps you would care to elaborate on the nature of your evidence re: a geocentric universe... other than the bible that is. Thanks for your input.

Nygdan... hang in there... in due time, in due time.




posted on Nov, 19 2004 @ 08:50 AM
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Well, since the topic was CREATION, I decided to throw in the geocentricity bit.

Just check out that link I posted.

And this link: Relationship between Heliocentricity and Evolution

I didn't believe it at first...and I'm not the only one who is a geocentrist. And while we're discussing evolution, I thought I'd bring up the link between evolution and heliocentricity.

The Bible says the earth doesn't move. And God ought to know--He's the one who created the universe!



posted on Nov, 19 2004 @ 08:51 AM
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Originally posted by Amethyst
Here's an interesting tidbit:

Darwin was a racist. He thought that black people looked a lot like apes, and his theory of evolution was based on racism.

False slanderous lies. YOu don't have an arguement against his theories, so you say he is a racist. What difference would it make if he were anyway? Evolution demonstrates that humanity is one species, and science shows that while 'races' or something analagous to them exist in other animals, they have no biological reality in humanity.

I also believe in a round earth and geocentrism--earth is center. The earth was created on the first day and the sun on the FOURTH.
Well, at least its clear that you are in complete denial about the world around you. I am sure you are aware of the arguements for the non-geocentrism of the earth, why haven't you even attempted to address them?

Geocentricity does away with the idea of evolution or ETs.

Geocentrism has absolutely nothing to do to evolution. If the earth is at the center of the universe or rotating about the sun evolution still occurs. It doesn't care about the physical placement of earth in the universe. If you think it does, then I have to say that you need to take a closer look at what evolution actually is.



posted on Nov, 19 2004 @ 09:12 AM
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Originally posted by Amethyst
Here's an interesting tidbit:

Darwin was a racist. He thought that black people looked a lot like apes, and his theory of evolution was based on racism.


You forgot "So there." I know someone has pointed this out already but calling someone a biggot doesn't exactly debunk the wealth of evidence that supports evolution.. it just makes you look desperate to stay in denial.


I also believe in a round earth and geocentrism--earth is center. The earth was created on the first day and the sun on the FOURTH. And the Bible makes a distinction between "the heavens and the earth," and if the earth were just another heavenly body, where's that distinction? Then there's Joshua 10:12--Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, Sun stand THOU still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.

huh?

You do realise a day is defined by sunlight? How does a day exist before the existance of the sun? I'm stunned people still actually believe this tripe.



posted on Nov, 19 2004 @ 09:41 AM
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Originally posted by Amethyst
The Bible says the earth doesn't move. And God ought to know--He's the one who created the universe!


You'd also made the reference earlier that the Earth is the center of the universe. Can you please point out these two verses for me?

Also, a point to make is it's all relative. You can draw the universe with the earth as the center, or the moon, or pluto for that matter but it gets complexly difficult to keep up with. The heliocentric view is just a way of simplifying and applying a model. The sun moves too but if you sit it stationary, it's the best reference point.


Originally posted by Amethysthis link: Relationship between Heliocentricity and Evolution

I did as you said and checked this link. No relevant verses either *sigh*. Also, I the site does not give the connection between Heliocentricity and Evolution. At least, I don't see it. All I see is an article that says "If you tell and Evolutionist the Earth is the center of the universe then they don't have any counter-argument". I think this is because evolutionists would just throw their arms up and say "forget it, there's no use having a discussion here." Rightfully so I think. If you're going to have a logical discussion, provide facts or at least verses that support what you're saying. You cannot shut-down an evolution discussion with a 'one-liner'. If it were that easy, I would've done it believe me
. Here's the thing. We're blessed with the presence of Mattison, Aeon, and Nygdan's presence. Read up their stuff, that's how you argue evolution. I'm still trying to get the time together to read and consider Nygdan's material. Thanks Ngydan, from a glance it looks like what us 'un-believers' in evolution are looking for.



posted on Nov, 19 2004 @ 12:04 PM
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Whether I agree or not is irrelevant, the fact remains you've presented a solid substantial case for transpeciation using transitional physiology. Most people I've met in the science field don't have the chutzpah to present theses explanations because they feel the evidence is thin so they crutch onto "It's just a theory", "We don't have fossils becase it takes such a long period of time that it cannot be observed", etc. or get real dodgy. My favorite statement of yours (paraphrasing here) was - If macro-evolution exists, then the transitional fossils showing it should also exist. Thanks for thinking outside of the box and putting together your own argument (instead of quoting Stephen J. Gould and others). Can't wait to see Mattison's post too, I'm throwing a bag of popcorn in the microwave.



posted on Nov, 20 2004 @ 08:25 PM
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Phew! Here it is.

I would like to preface this post by again reiterating my intentions here. I have never set out to prove evolution wrong, or prove creation right. Contrary to what may be believed I have not ‘abandoned evolution’ nor am I ‘against macro-evolution.’ In fact, somewhere in this thread, I pointed out that evolution was a valid theory, that was still capable of producing meaningful results, and for that reason alone is worthwhile endeavor. I set out on this quest to prove that evolution is not a ‘fact.’ As it just so happens that is one of those statements that sets me off…really pushes my buttons. If Aeon had not stated that, I would’ve been content to lurk as I usually do. For whatever reason, that is one of my pet peeve’s. I know why it is. Because in my opinion, when you say something like evolution is fact, evolution ceases to become science and becomes dogma. I personally think that’s dangerous.

Nygdan, thanks again for your efforts. You’ve done a tremendous amount of work here. I would further like to take this time to formally and publically apologize to you regarding my snide post about your intentions, it was presumptuous on my part, and you’ve apparently done your homework. Your extensive knowledge and organizational abilities are to be commended. You’ve demonstrated a clear commitment to these topics, and again, I commend you. You mentioned that you’ve not pursued graduate studies. This is unfortunate for science… you should consider it.

That said let’s get into it.


Despite your claims to the contrary, I still feel you are out to prove that the theory is correct.


Perhaps I tend to use a method that is adversarial, but I find its an effective way to look at the issues.

Granted. We’ve covered much information in this post, and I can’t say that I am not enjoying it.


There are very few principles of macroevolution that are actually based on real occurrences.



This importantly hinges on the usage of 'macroevolution'. I usually look at microevolution as 'merely' the change in alleles of a population over a humanly observable or short period of time. Or, for a 'zoological' example, when I hear microevolution I'll take it to mean the popularized example of bird beaks evolving in response to drought/non-drought conditions on some galapagos islands.

Agreed. I would further agree that Darwin’s initial assessment re: said example was most probably a good postulate about actual events.


When I hear 'macroevolution' I tend to think of evolution at or above the level of species, iow, speciation.

Again, agreed… definition wise at least.


Speciatio, however, has been observed.

Disagreed. I personally think that this is a semantical argument.


The other thing I think of when I hear macro-evolution is the long term, geological time, patterns in widescale paleontological history.

This is of course implicit in the theory.


punctuated equilibrium,

It is noteworthy that this is one of the major ‘disciplines’ I had major issues with.


Now, I agree, those particular patterns are only observable in the fossil record, and thus one can't witness them happening on a human timescale.
I think this is important, and I appreciate your willingness to draw attention to it.


But this is practicially a definitional limitation in so far as one is requirign that 'macroevolution' be limited to these non-directly observable 'deep time' scale occurances.
Actually, my difficulties with the theory are not based on merely these issues. I am also convinced that there are issues, big ones, huge ones with the molecular genetics of these species defining evolutionary events… more on this below as we discuss specifics.


In general, however, I try -not- to use the terms micro and macro evolution. The mechanisms proposed are the same. No one is saying that something different happens on the long term. Its allways populational genetics and shifting alleles.

I would have to disagree with you again here. The mechanisms are not the same. Microevolution, according to our mutually agreed upon definition is the result of changes within existing genetic information. Macroevolution, the appearance of new traits, morphologies, biochemistries, etc. is the result of the addition of new genetic information. These are distinctly different processes at the level of molecular genetics.



I have seen enough of the people at TO to know that they aren't covering up information and lying. When something appears questionable I check it out. Do you think that there is some sort of genuine controversy as to how the joggins petrified tree strata were laid out?
What I think is actually irrelevant. I don’t know what someone’s motivation is for covering up information, and don’t care to speculate. I am willing to acknowledge that people DO have agendas, hence my emphasis on the importance of investigating for yourself. I will tell you what I personally believe to be true, based on documented refs. I’ve already provided, and personal discussions with geologist who’ve examined the fossils: Very few of the trees arise from the organic coal layers, when the trees do rest on a coal seem the roots seldom penetrate as they would based on the ‘peat-bog’ hypothesis. Furthermore the vertical stumps often penetrate multiple strata, including thin seams of coal.. In addition Furthermore, there exist hundreds of individual fossils whose body width exceeds the width of the banded layers in which they are encased. There are often overlapping trees, originating from different layers. Well preserved fossil leaves are also abundant in this area, which is rare based on uniformitarian principles. Spirorbis, a marine tubeworm, frequently found in fossilized association with the fossil trees, implies that all were exposed to seawater. Surrounding sandstone deposits are crossbedded, implying rapidly moving water. The hollow vertical trees are typically filled with different sediments than the surrounding matrix. The internal sediments are themselves crossbedded. The damning evidence not discussed on TO is overlapping of multiple layers of coal. Important, don’t you believe?


I don't think that its particularly reasonable to assume that there is allways something else out there that contradicts every publication. This reference is from over a hundred years ago, if there was controvery over it then I would probably have come across it on the other sites that address this issue.
This was not postulated. It was merely pointed out that in multiple instances opinions vary. I never said that every publication can be contradicted. I pointed out that entire ideas in evolutionary theory have been in dispute, hence this thread. I am aware of the age of the particular reference, but IMO, that doesn’t make it less valid. Furthermore, it is based on first hand accounts, prior to the area being heavily explored and tampered with.

Its possible that no one is doing proper research on this stuff, but, again, I find that extremely unlikley, and, seeing what I've seen of the creationist arguements on this sort of thing (not saying you are one, just to be clear), I know pretty well that they'd be all over it if there were actual papers that demonstrated that these trees were crossing established strata, rather than sitting in thick sediments. Creationists not withstanding, I personally am convinced that there is information being ignored. In my experience, unfortunately it is not uncommon to ignore evidence that doesn’t support your hypothesis, or just dismiss it as an outlier, which we’ve seen evidence of here.


I will further point out the irony that I feel exists in this statement in light of the original title of this thread. As Aeon pointed out this rapid in place burial could have happened via large scale flooding events.

It probably did happen via a rapid flooding event, with a scale as large as the formation invovled. That has nothing to do with 'The Flood' tho. One excepts to find evidence of floods, since floods are thought to have occured.

I wasn’t implying 40 days and 40 nights, I just thought it ironic.


I see nothing that indicates an inability to be able to asses the claims of a scientific paper,


It depends on the paper. I have no particular set of qualifications that permit me to understand geology papers, certainly not my biochemistry/molecular bio background. I compensate for that by being in academic community where I can walk two buildings away and have some explain procedures to me. I can further evaluate the merit of the study with a discussion of the methods and conclusions with someone who does know. It is only in the face of overwhelming information and resources that I have reached the conclusions I have.


I find that resources like this web forum and other discussion groups to be helpful in a similar manner. Obviously, there're lots of people out there who make themselves appear more qualified and experienced than they are, so its certainly not as good as face to face contact, but it has its uses.
Agreed.



[xrays and] This researcher completely ignored the control samples: no preservatives found on the control specimen?

well lets look at some of what TO has to say on the subject.

[img]http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/archaeopteryx/fig3.gif

[size=-3]this is Fig % from Spetner, L.M.; Hoyle, F.; Wickramasinghe, N.C. & Magaritz, M. (1988) Archaeopteryx - more evidence for a forgery. The British Journal of Photography, 135: 14-17. Its is a ""X-ray luminescence results from amorphous body shown in Fig. 4f."
The elements showing up are congruent apparently with the silcone rubber and the chlorine that is used to fix it



Actually, this is Spetner study is the study I was referring to. While it is none of the information you’ve posted is in dispute, what is in dispute is the fact that the control sample, ie: the sample taken from the same fossil for reference didn’t show the presence of this preservative. Why not? If this agent was used to preserve the fossil, why is it not in the control. In my own, and the minds of others mind this is highly suggestive of the fossil being a forgery. This is of course not mentioned in TO, hence my continued insistence on reading these refs. for yourself.


Also, Wichramasinghe et al, and I just have to comment on this because it irks me, keeps refering to the specimin as compsognathus, but, even if the feathers are fake, its still not that a member of that genus. its very similar, and of course one specimin famously had been misidentified as compsognathus, but that was more sloppyness than anything.

Sounds like you know more about it than me, but from what I understand there is such a resemblance that were it not for the feathers, archaeopteryx would be considered compsognathus.


Interestingly enough, to my knowledge only the British Museum specimen has a visible furcula.

Why is this interesting? The furcula doesn't allways ossify and therefore might rot rather than preserve.

Interesting because if this fossil is a forgery it would suggest that the reason the furcula is not seen in other samples is because there is no direct lineage to the birds from the dinosaurs.


. This would have to be done crudely with a chisel, which could not produce a degree of smoothness in cutting the rock similar to a true sedimentation cavity

Hoyle and Wickrammsinghe seem to be generally unaware of the depositional mode and way in which the specimin was split into a slab and counter slab in the first place, so I am not going to overturn all the other evidence because of this vague issue of a furcula indentation.

Well, I suppose that there other issues worthy of discussion, especially in light of the flawed methods in the forgery determination.



I will again refer to Feduccia who states that “Paleontologists have tried to turn Archaeopteryx into an earth-bound, feathered dinosaur. But it’s not. It is a bird, a perching bird. And no amount of “paleobabble” is going to change that.”



Yes, Fedduccia is the main modern opponent of the B.A.D hypothesis. But agian I must re-iterate, Feduccia isn't saying that birds didn't evolve, he is saying that they didn't evolve from dinosaurs, but rather from more primitive arboreal archosaurs.

But this is the point of MY post Nygdan. Please refer back to my ‘preface’ for this post, but my point has always been based on the available evidence, we CANNOT argue evolution as being a fact. As I have said, I never would have joined this thread if Aeon had not stated that ‘evolution is a fact.’ That kind of dogmatic speech just pushes my buttons. These references are offered for contextual purposes: What is often promoted is ‘fact’ is something for which there isn’t even a consensus opinion among scientists.


Besides which, the claim that archaeopteryx is just a bird is entirely unbeleiveable. Yes it has a perching foot with a reversed hallux, but no it does not have a hand fused into one bone, not it does not have a beak, no it does not have a pygostyle and no it does not have a fused synsacrum. Its extremely unbirdlike, esecially considering that feathers and furculae are no longer restricted to the birds. The only 'strictly' bird like features that it has (besides things like a probable lack of a post orbital bar and such) is the reversed hallux.
Well, this is not my personal claim. I suppose that this is for you to debate with Fedduccia. My intention is to point out the dissention that exists, even among scientists in the field. This dissention coupled with inconsistencies in the available evidence, absolutely argues against it being a ‘fact.’ This is not to say the theory is without value. This is not say that there is nothing left to be learned from it. This is not to say that studying and pondering evolution is not a worthwhile exercise. This is merely to say that ‘evolution’ is a theory, and not a ‘fact.’ As I have repeatedly pointed out, this is not science it’s dogma. Nygdan, how do you feel about what I’ve written here, please respond very specifically. I haven’t seen you state this here, but are you stating that evolution is a ‘fact?’


“But, as by this theory innumerable transitional forms must have existed, why do we not find them imbedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth?”

See, the problem with Darwin on this matter is that paleontology was in its infancy when he was around and considering these things. Archaeopteryx itself hadn't been discovered, and of course neither had any of the dinobirds. Darwin wasn't really qualified to speak about the occurance of transitionals in the fossil record, since the fossil record was largely unknown in his day. More importantly, Darwin asked that question rhetorically, and then moved on to answer it. he noted that the fossil record isn't going to be able to preserve everything, and in fact will miss out on a lot of earth biological history.


quote: this, perhaps, is the most obvious and serious objection which can be urged against the theory [of evolution].”
Your objection is of course acknowledged. However this quote was offered for historical perspective, particularly when coupled with the quote from Raup. Again these refs. are offered in refutation re: the statement that evolution is a fact.


It was the most serious object, in the late 1800s. Today it is not.
Agreed, however this is not necessarily because the gaps have been filled in so much as the theories have been modified to account for the gaps. As the quote below demonstrates.


record of evolution is still surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin’s time. By this I mean that [...]what appeared to be a nice simple progression when relatively few data were available now appears to be much more complex and much less gradualistic.



All well and good and most people agree with Raup. Instead of simple gradual progressive transition from one form to the next, there is a large variety of forms, all adapting to their different environments and having their own phylogenetic history. This is not the same as saying macroevolution doesn't happen, rather, its an argument against clear trendy progression.

So Darwin’s problem has not been alleviated in the last 120 years

Darwin's issue of the existence of transitional forms is different than what raup is talking about. Raup isn't arguing that there aren't organisms with the requisite features. He is arguing against phyletic gradualism as the tempo of evolution.
quote: . Dr. David Raup, it former Dean, is more qualified than you or I summarize the situation regarding transitions that should be observed in the fossil record.

I agree completely, he certainly is, and he seems to be saying that simple transitions from 'little horseliek animal to large horses' don't exist. Similarly, simple progressions from dinosaurs to archaeopteryx to birds don't exist, because the phylogenetic

In many ways, I don’t feel like we are coming from different perspectives. While I understand the context of these particular quotes, it’s nice that you are elaborating for the rest of the post. My continued assertion: stating evolution is a fact is not science, it’s dogma.


study.” Stephen Jay Gould, “Evolution’s Erratic Pace,” Natural History, Vol. 5, May 1977, p. 14.



Notice, he is talking about the pace of evolution, not the occurance of it. And gould is not arguing that there aren't transitionals, even he in The Structure of Evolutionary Theory plainly admits that there are observed fossil examples of phyletic gradualism. However he is practically famous for arguing the the primary mode of speciation in the fossil record is punctuationism, where in the lack of lots of transitionals is infact an artifact of the fossil record and the 'peripatetic' mechanism of speciation, not a lack of speciation in the first place.
Interestingly enough, this is where some of my biggest problems with evolution began. There is no reasonable mechanism postulated for the rapid change suggested by the fossil record. There exists no evidence from genetics or molecular biology that support these abrupt changes that the fossil record suggests. Punctuated equilibrium in many ways is a theory with no basis in reality other than the fossil record.


places like say The British Museum have impeded this kind of research. Why?



Why should the BM grant more access to archaeopteryx? Wickramasingh's analysis was teribly flawed and the specimins are clearly not frauds. Also, the BM doesn't control all the specimins. Are you suggesting that the most rational answer is that they know its a fraud and are covering it up?
Perhaps you’d care to comment in the flawed methods used by Wickramasingh, especially in light of the flawed analysis of Spetner. I personally find it surprising for a scientific organization to take such a stance. Is there a cover up? I don’t know. Perhaps you’d like to read the comments of Dodson following a Archaeopteryx conference.

At the end of the three days of presentations, [Alan] Charig [chief curator of fossil amphibians, reptiles, and birds at the British Museum—BH/BT] orchestrated a concerted effort to summarize the ideas for which consensus exists. The general credo runs as follows: Archaeopteryx was a bird that could fly, but it was not necessarily the direct ancestor of modern birds.... A communiqué expressing the unanimous belief of all participants in the evolutionary origin and significance of Archaeopteryx was adopted, in order to forestall possible misuse by creationists of apparent discord among scientists (1985, 5:179).
Personally, I find it interesting and somewhat disheatening that the scientists at the meeting felt constrained to adopt a unanimous resolution concerning the “evolutionary origin and significance of Archaeopteryx” solely to prevent creationists from expressing what some of their own colleagues already had pointed out: The evidence surrounding Archaeopteryx is highly debatable, speculative, and open to interpretation.

All evidence provided thus far is offered in support against the argument that evolution is a scientific fact.



How is it supportive of macroevolution not occuring? They are saying that the evidence supports them evolving from basal archosaurs.

Macroevolution is NEVER going to proven by the fossil record. The fossil record can only be suggestive of Macroevolution. All evidence from the fossil record re: macroevolution is total speculation, interesting and informative on some levels, and not necessarily incorrect. There will never be hard proof of Macroevolution from the fossil record; only evidence that supports the theory. This may seem like simple semantical arguments to you, but IMO, it’s significant. BTW what’s IOW?



And yet, there ceases to be ANY evidence.



The ghost lineages imply that these organisms are older and more diverse than teh record indicated. You previously cited triassic bird like prints as indicative of the prior existence of birds. So how can you say that there is no evidence?
Please see my above rebuttals. All evidence offered is merely offered to demonstrate the highly speculative and somewhat constant transitional nature of the THEORY of Evolution that is so loosely and carelessly discussed as being a fact in many circles.


So it may only appear logical in the current context of the understandings of some. In reality, it’s speculation.


Sure, its speculation that the phylogeny has some particular shape or another, but not speculation that macroevolution occurs at all.

Disagreed. Actual observed evidence of macroevolution is not observed.


Of course, it is admitted that late Cretaceous maniraptorans are not the actual ancestors of birds, only “sister taxa”.



Well, yes. Its not so much 'admited' like its a problem, its simply when the fossils are preserved.

Context my friend (I hope I may be so bold), context.


Oh I see, “you’d have to say.” With all due respect to your education, how are you more qualified than scientists who’ve been working in the field for years and actually handled specimens and actually published peer reviewed articles to make this judgement?



Ok fine, what makes dodson more qualified than Holtz, Sereno, Horner, Padian and the majority of theropod workers and archosaur paleontologists who agree that birds have evolved from theropod dinosaurs?

Ahhhh, then you see my point. The point is there are so many different issues with respect to this stuff that to argue it a fact is absurd. To prematurely discuss some issues in this post: Gravity is not a controversial theory, (notice I didn’t say fact). The reason is because the effects are consistently observed and measurable. The results of experiments and observations over a long period of time point to particular, nearly universal properties that are maintained under nearly all circumstances, above the quantum mechanical level that is. Similarly, when you combine certain components of chemical reactions you get consistent measurable results that in general make sense with what else is known.
With respect to evolution, this is absolutely not the case. The theories are still being developed, and are in a nearly continuous state of modification. And while you’ve done a superb job attempting to uphold the veracity of evolution via the fossil record, the fossil records and the assumptions of evolutionists have NOT panned out as we’ve moved into the molecular arena. Homologous structures, initially thought to be controlled by descent with modification and natural selection of genes, are continuously being demonstrated to be controlled by DIFFERENT genes at the molecular level. So while it’s all well and good to explain the fossil record in the context of macroevolution, the theory begins to break down substantially when one employs a multidisciplinary approach. So while evidence can often be explained in the context of a particular discipline, this relationship generally breaks down above the level of that discipline alone.


Clear to who, clear to you? Not clear to every scientists in the field.

its a quasi walking ape showing a trend torwards increasing brain size and human like facial and dental features. What else could a transitional between a man and a chimp look like?
I’m sorry, but similar features does NOT necessarily imply similar ancestry. It’s not an unreasonable assumption, but it’s not a fact.



Coincidentally, here is a recent Nature article on something like the subject.


I appreciate your use of pics. (Nice Pics!!), and I admit that I haven’t read this article… just trying to keep up
but will comment when I’ve finished.

But this and others, like (W. Jungers Nature 297)do seem to confirm that australopithecines were more arboreal than i realized.
I appreciate your being able to discuss this.


However, they are not saying that it wasn't also capable of a bipedal gait, and the bones involved in their gait do appear to be transitional between chimp and man


Also, quoting Jungers "A. afarensis had already attained forelimb proportions similar to those of modern humans but possessed hindlimbs that were relatively much shorter"


I am forced to refer again to Oxnard; his analyses show that Australopithecus was not intermediate between Man and the apes but was uniquely different. Australopithecus was, in fact, as different from both Man and the apes as either is from the other. The australopithecines were uniquely different from any living form to a degree comparable to the difference between Man and any of the apes, or between any of the apes themselves. He believes further that these creatures, in exhibiting unique morphology, may also have been functionally unique, using a form of locomotion unlike any known form. The result of analyzing all available features of the pelvis, for example, of fossil Australopithecus, Man, and the apes showed that the fossil australopithecine pelvis is not intermediate between the pelves of ape and Man but is in fact uniquely different from the pelves of both living forms. A similar analysis of a finger bone of "Homo habilis," so-named by Louis Leakey but judged by Oxnard, and others to be simply a variety of the australopithecines, indicated that this creature would have been inefficient at knuckle-walking but efficient in a hanging-climbing mode of locomotion. In fact, multivariate analyses of several anatomical features, including the shoulder, pelvis, ankle, foot, elbow, and hand, according to Oxnard, suggest that the "common view," that these fossils are similar to modern man or that on those occasions when they depart from a similarity to man they resemble African great apes, may be incorrect. He suggests instead that most of these fossil fragments are in fact uniquely different from both Man and "man's nearest living genetic relatives, the chimpanzee and gorilla." While making clear that he does not wish to imply a genetic affinity of Australopithecus with the orangutan, Oxnard states that to the extent the australopithecines resemble living forms, they tend to be with the orangutans, not Man. Oxnard's conclusion is that "We may well have to accept that it is rather unlikely that any of the australopithecines, including'Homo habilis,' can have had any direct phylogenetic link with the genus Homo." Oxnard reviews evidence produced by Richard Leakey and others of fossil material indistinguishable, or nearly indistinguishable, from modern man allegedly three to four million years old. These would of course argue against the factual nature of evolution, and again point out the speculative, not factual nature of the theory.

Furthermore existing factual evidence from living chimps and humans demonstrate that the molecular difficulties in turning a chimp to human are very significant. Recent detailed DNA analysis demonstrate this lineage is highly unlikely. A number of studies have demonstrated a remarkable similarity in the nuclear DNA and mtDNA among modern humans. In fact, the DNA sequences for all people are so similar that scientists generally conclude that there is a ‘recent single origin for modern humans, with general replacement of archaic populations. To be fair, the estimates for a date of a ‘most recent common ancestor’ (MRCA) by evolutionists has this ‘recent single origin’ about 100,000-200,000 years ago. In contrast, studies that have used pedigrees or generational mtDNA comparisons have yielded a much more recent MRCA—even 6,500 years. See: Heyer, E., Zietkeiwicz, E., Rochowski, A., Yotova, V., Puymirat, J., and Labuda D. 2001. ‘Phylogenetic and familial estimates of mitochondrial substitution rates: study of control region mutation in deep-rooting pedigrees.’ Am J Hum Genet 69:1113-1126, Parsons T.J., Muniec, D.S., Sullivan, K., Woodyatt, N., Alliston-Greiner, R., Wilson, M.R., Berry, D.L., Holland, K.A., Weedn, V.W., Gill, P., and M.M. Holland. 1997. A high observed substitution rate in the human mitochondrial DNA control region. Nat. Genet. 15:363-368, and Sigurgardottir, S., Helgason, A., Gulcher, J.R., Stefansson, K., and Donnelly P. 2000. ‘The mutation rate in the human mtDNA control region.’ Am J Hum Genet 66:1599-1609.


here is ASU's Institute of Human Origns take on it
Did you insert this for a point of personal irony? Just Curious.


I am sure that you are aware of ‘convergent evolution’ as Aeon felt it necessary to point out to me.



Also, on convergent evolution, if it were to occur, it'd be an example of macroevolution. So you can't maintain that australpithecines are animals that have converged on the human type, and still say macroevolution doesn't occur. Unless you would say that they were all instantaneously created and the similiarity isn't due to convergence or any other evolutionary phenomenon.
Point taken. I was using the point of convergence to illustrate the fact that different explanations are offered when evidence doesn’t fit the currently accepted scenario. The point was that because things are similar doesn’t prove common ancestry. It may suggest it, but there could be other reasons for the similarity.


Looks like an amphibious creature to me. How does this ‘prove’ evolution.

How else do you explain the conserved 'deep homology' between primitive amphibians, mice, lungfish, reptiles, and these fossil forms with half limbs and limb-fins? The only acceptable explanation is that these structures are homologous, that they are similiar because they are an inherited trait handed down to them from more primitive types, which, shown here, -are- present in the fossil record.
I don’t explain them, Evolutionists do. I will however reiterate that the idea of homologous structures doesn’t pan out on the molecular level. Often structures considered to be homologous are controlled by DIFFERENT genes.


But tetrapods appear only about 5 to 10 million years later in the late Frasnian, by which time they were widely distributed and had evolved into several groups, including the lineage leading to the tetrapods of the Famennian. This suggests that the transition from fish to tetrapod occurred rapidly within this restricted time span.”(Clack, J.A., Gaining Ground: The Origin and Evolution of Tetrapods, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 2002).


Ah, I had been considering purchasing that text on a few occasions. Looks like its interesting. Why is it considered implausible that these very tetrapod like forms can evolve into actual tetrapods over 5 to 10 million years? Without any other land animals to compete with, they should be spreading over a wide range very quickly.



Based on observable evidence, such as the rate of natural, unrepaired mutation in an organisms DNA for example.

But that doesn't answer the question of how much variation there is in this population of pre-tetrapods. What evidence does one have of mutation rates in pre-tetrapods anyway? And how much of that evidence is based on small peripheral populations, seperate from the large central populations, where speciation is thought to occur?
While your point about existing variation is taken, existing variation in genetic structures in unable to account for the appearance of new genetic information, and hence new genetic structures.


We're talking 5 to 10 million years here. And to accomplish what? The loss of rays in the limbs? A seperation of the pectoral girdle from the skull? Stronger ossifications of cartilagenous elements? 5-10 million years to go from tetrapod like animals to basal tetrapods?
While it may not seem like a tall order to you, You may not realize the number of proteins involved with the regulation and or function of each of this events, especially with respect to ossification of bones. This coupled with what we know about DNA mutation make some scientists skeptical about the ability to make that transition in said time period. You can continue to express your outrage with respect to this, but it doesn’t change the fact that scientists working in the field disagree, and don’t believe the change could take place. I don’t really care to debate their evidence with you, it only further makes my point that this theory is far from a fact.


More problems: Key morphological transitions, such as the purported change from paired fins to limbs with digits, remain undocumented by fossils.

And yet, the transition from ray like fins to lobe like fins to primtive limbs that can't work out of water and then to limbs that can support the organism.


I repeat the operative phrase “Key morphological transitions… remain undocumented by fossils.” If and when they are found, it’ll be a step closer to ‘fact,’ but nonetheless distinctly not a ‘fact.’


What key transitions are remaining to be found if one has fish limbs, boney lobed fins, fins with bones and rays, fins without rays, very weak limbs, weak limbs, and strong limbs? What transitional in the bird sequence remian if one has very simple protofeathers, symetric non-flight feathers, symmetric flight feathers, increasing arm to hind limb ratios, decreasing tail lenght, increasing pneumatiztion of the skeleton, loss of cranial bones, bipedalis, tridactly, increasing ossification of the clavicles and furculae and all the rest? And on humans and chimps, one has very chimp like animals showing human dental structures
Again, these are not my statements. These are my personal statements. These are statements pulled from evolutionary scientific literature. These statements are made by peer-reviewed, published scientists working in the field. Your debate re: whether or not these transitions exists is really with them. I am simply supplying information that would argue against the factual nature of evolution.


This is not the point. The point is that there is considerable dissention,


Fedduccia and Larry Witmer are not 'considerable dissention'. While Dodson sensibly states that these organisms probably aren't part of some 'progressive' sequence, he isn't presenting anything that contradicts or refutes the large number of shared derived characters between these animals, and he isn't, I beleie, making the bizzare case that there has been rampant convergence between animals under entirely different conditions. There isn't considerable dissent, there is considerable consensus on the topic.
There IS considerable dissent. And you are correct, Fedduccia and Whitmer are not considerable dissent. However this statement was made with respect to the ‘big picture.’ There IS considerable dissent, both among scientists about the theories as we’ve shown, and in the available evidence, especially when one considers multi-disciplinary evidence.

not to mention homo erectus and the other transional 'ape-men'.


Perhaps you’re interested in the comments of Brown, an Australian evolutionary paleoanthropologist re: Homo Erectus: “Nearly every introductory and advanced text written on human evolution in the last four decades lists thickened cranial-vault bone as one of the features distinguishing Homo erectus from H. sapiens and other hominids.


here is Dr. Brown's response to the Kow swamp material being erectus, he does not beleive that they are classifiable as erectus nor that erectus is just some far end of variation within sapiens.
I believe that this was the point

The modern Australian aborigines had the largest sample (202 individuals), and were found to share an astonishing 14 of the 17 Homo erectus traits.



And did these reseachers find conclude that homo erecuts and homo sapiens should be synonomized or not? Were they unable to distinguish group samples into the erectus type and the sapiens type or no?
The point: The most recent evidence indicates that only a handful of features distinguish the presumed two species of man, and even these are of dubious validity.


I don't see how an apomorphic definition is required. Typoligical thinking is generally rejected in the biological sciences these day. The specimin as a whole is what is looked at, along with other factors.
What else do we have with fossils? We can’t look at the specimen as a whole without analyzing the individual components of that whole. If parts of the whole don’t add up though, HOW is the whole going to add up?


Are macintosh and Larnach saying that there are persistent erectus characters in some populations of humans or that all specmins of erectus are infact sapiens?
Again: The most recent evidence indicates that only a handful of features distinguish the presumed two species of man, and even these are of dubious validity.


Nygdan, would love to discuss with you. Maybe we should start with Piltdown man, or possibly Peking man, how about New Guinea Man?

Why would one talk about piltdown man, since its a known fraud?
That was sort of my point, offered again for context.


Except for the above noted lack of any evidence showing a crossing of this barrier


I don't think that there is such any such thing as a kind barrier in the first place. I wouldn't personally include erectus and sapiens in a different kind, but they are different species. Typological 'kinds', 'Baramins' as the creationist camp calls them, are non existent, they are figments of the imagination. One recognizes say a 'bird' kind, because all living representatives of this particular clade are advanced crown group birds. If the feathered dinobirds and the rest of the dinosuars were still around, one wouldn't be able to class them into 'bird' and 'not bird' groups. Based on what? Feathers? Flight? Presence of a bony tail? What exactly? The point is that there is no kind barrier in the first place, so how could anything prevent dinosaurs from becomming birds or chimps becomming men to start off with?
Nygdan, I’m sorry but this absurd, and doesn’t take evolution as a whole into account. There absolutely are kind barriers. Life cannot evolve from a single celled ‘primordial ancestor’ without crossing multiple, probably uncountable barriers. You have the addition of genetic information over several orders of magnitude, you have development of entire tissue and organ systems. There are multiple very real, very difficult barriers that must be explained for this theory to be a ‘fact.’ I will reiterate the is no proposed reasonable mechanism to account for the formation of new genetic information. Please Dawkins for a refutation of this concept.


Furthermore Bones of many modern-looking humans have been found deep in undisturbed rocks that, according to evolution, were formed long before man began to evolve.


source
Examples include the Calaveras skull,
"this was a modern skull discovered in 1866 in California in Pliocene deposits (2 to 5 million years old). A few scientists did believe it genuine, but it was always widely considered to be a hoax. Personal testimonies and geological evidence indicate that it is probably a modern Indian found in nearby limestone caves, and that it was planted as a practical joke by miners. Tests have shown it to be recent, probably less than 1000 years old. (Dexter 1986; Taylor et al. 1992; Conrad 1982) "
. For many years, stories have circulated that the Calaveras skull, buried 130 feet below ground, was a practical joke. However, that tidy explanation conveniently overlooks the many other bones and human artifacts, such as dozens of bowls made of stone, found throughout that part of California. These artifacts have been found over the years under apparently undisturbed strata and a layer of basaltic lava (Whitney, 1880, pp. 262-264, 266, 274-276)


the Castenedolo skeletons


" According to Boule, an official report on these skeletons in 1899 noted that all the fossils from the deposit were impregnated with salt, except the human ones. This implies that they are from relatively recent burials. Collagen tests in 1965 and radiocarbon dating in 1969 confirmed this. (Conrad 1982)"

I am aware of these claims. I believe that the evidence tips in favor of no intrusive burial. For example, in the case of the Castenedolo skeletons, Sir Arthur Keith correctly stated the enigma that evolutionists face: "As the student of prehistoric man reads and studies the records of the 'Castenedolo' find, a feeling of incredulity rises within him. He cannot reject the discovery as false without doing injury to his sense of truth, and he cannot accept it as a fact without shattering his accepted beliefs."

However, after examining the strata above and below the Castenedolo skeletons, and after finding no indication that they were intrusively buried, Keith surprisingly concluded that the enigma must be resolved by an intrusive burial. He justified this by citing the unfossilized condition of the bones. However, these bones were encased in a clay layer. This would prevent water from transporting large amounts of dissolved minerals into the bone cells and explain the lack of fossilization. The degree of fossilization relates to chemistry, not age. Certainly my opinion re: radiocarbon dating is no secret in this thread.



Reck’s skeleton,



Unfamiliar with this

] "Reck's skeleton," better known as Oldoway Man, was a skeleton of what was apparently a mid-Pleistocene hominid discovered in Olduvai Gorge in East Africa in 1914 by Hans Reck (Reck, 1931. See also "Notes," 1914). Its most unusual feature is the number of teeth it possesses—thirty-six instead of the usual thirty-two. While Reck and Louis Leakey thought that it was a very early instance of Homo sapiens, it was later suggested to have been intrusively buried in older ground (Boswell, 1932; Leakey et al., 1933; Lewin, 1987, p. 131). This may or may not be true.


Swanscombe skull,[...] Vertesszöllos fossil


"Swanscombe Man: two cranium fragments discovered in 1935 and 1936 by Alvan Marston in England, and a third fragment, discovered in 1955, which fit with the earlier ones. The bones are very thick, with a mixture of primitive and modern features, and an estimated brain size of 1325 cc. They are probably from an archaic Homo sapiens, a view compatible with their estimated age of 200,000 to 300,000 years (Day 1986).

Vertesszollos Man: a few tooth fragments and part of an adult cranium found in Hungary. The cranial fragment is very thick and broad, with a mixture of modern and primitive features. This is also considered to be probably an archaic sapiens. This would match its age, which has variously been estimated to be from 160,000 to over 350,000 years. (Day 1986) "
I was under the impression that the remains of these and other documented human fossils, were found in rocks that are too old by evolutionist standards. Fix sums it up well: "In conjunction with Swanscombe, Steinheim, and Fontechevade, it certainly shows that there is significant evidence that modern-type humans were in existence long before Neanderthal. Accordingly, it is difficult to see how Neanderthal could have been our ancestor." So again, more dissention from within the field about the precise meaning of certain fossils


If macroevolution weren't occuring and all the sorts of animals in existence now once co existed, there wouldn't be any ability to sort them into different fauna over different times in different strata.
I don’t agree with that. Alternate theories exist to account for this.

The overwhelming majority of the fossil record shows this phenomenon of faunal turnover and sorting. Some archaic looking material in some slightly younger than expected strata simply is not convincing. Why do you find them convincing? Thanks for asking. I understand your point, if I felt the issues with fossils were isolated, few and far between, and not in opposition with other data, it would be less convincing.

The differences between humans and chimps are in some ways slight. Increased brain size, erect stance, more mobile fingers. They'd all fall under the term 'microevolution' if microevolution is 'below kinds'.



Diagreed. A chimp is a chimp, a human is human. There is no evidence of microevolution causing one organism to change into another. To my knowledge, speciation, is hardly ever if at all referred to as microevolution.



So if speciation is macroevolution then even macroevolution has been observed.
www.talkorigins.org...
www.talkorigins.org...
www.talkorigins.org...-fish
www.talkorigins.org...-speciation
Certainly I am aware of talkorigins perspective on this. As for the “Observed Instances of Speciation” FAQ (the reading of which is encouraged), after one goes to the trouble of plowing through the disclaimers in the form of preliminary verbiage, all the “speciation” examples given fall into one of two categories:
1. “new” species that are “new” to man, but whose “newness” remains equivocal in light of observed genetic “variation” vs. genetic “change” (as discussed above), and/or because a species of unknown age is being observed by man for the first time.
2. “new” species whose appearance was deliberately and artificially brought about by the efforts of intelligent human manipulation, and whose status as new “species” remain unequivocally consequential to laboratory experiments rather than natural processes.
In neither of the above examples cited by Isaak was the natural (i.e., unaided) generation of a new species accomplished or observed, in which an unequivocally “new” trait was obtained (i.e., new genetic information created) and carried forward within a population of organisms. In other words, these are not examples of macro-evolutionary speciation—they are examples of human discovery and/or genetic manipulation and/or natural genetic recombination. They serve to confirm the observable nature of genetic variation, while saying absolutely nothing in support of Darwinian “macro-evolution,” which postulates not just variations within a type of organism but the emergence of entirely new organisms.
Definitions of “species” and (therefore) “speciation” remain are and varied, and by most modern definitions, certain changes within organism populations do conveniently qualify as “speciation events.” However after many decades of study, there remains no solid evidence that an increase in both quality and quantity of genetic information (as required for a macro-evolutionary speciation event) has happened or could happen.
As for Dobzhansky’s fruit fly experiments, it should be pointed out that an example of a laboratory-induced physiological change in a specimen, even if it involves genetic change, can hardly be considered proof that NATURAL evolution occurs, since the change did not take place without the deliberate activity of man.
Furthermore, a genetic, mutational change alone, while it may qualify as microevolution, does not demonstrate evolution per se: Evolution does not require just change, but progressive change, that is from simple to complex, from one organism to another organism. This results from an increase in both quantity and quality of genetic information.
In Dobzhansky’s work, numerous varieties resulted from radiation bombardment: fruit flies with extra wings, fruit flies with no wings, fruit flies with huge wings, fruit flies with tiny wings. In the end the only thing produced was fruit flies! Dobzhansky meddled with the genetic code of an organism and effected changes on the organism’s offspring. Nearly all of the changes were detrimental to survival, and none of them resulted in an advantage over other fruit flies.


I mean, is it or isn't it macroevolution? Thats the problem. If macroevolution is speciation, then what process prevents drastic changes in speciation? If populations can adapt, then what is preventing 'macroevolution'?

Please see my rebuttals regarding what is macro vs. microevolution.


Even the bird to dinosaur transition almost starts to fall 'below the level of kinds' of animals and into the 'microevolutionary' change level.


BS. Dinosaur to bird transitions have never been classified as microevolution. Please point out a reference where this is referred to this way.


The change from somethign like herrerasaurus to modern pigeons is of course huge, and I am not claiming that, if one accepts the existence of 'kinds' (which I do not accept as a biological term) is 'inter-kind' change. What I am saying is that the change from things like archaeopteryx to birds, or microraptor and other very bird like dinosaurs shows that the 'morphological gap' between birds and dinosaurs is extremely small. Birds, again, have extremely few features that dinosaurs don't. How can one seriously contend that more co-ossification of vertrebrae is huge and fanatastic 'inter-kind' change? Or more reduction of the tail bones, or more fusion of the hand bones? Kinds simply do not exist in biology.
I would again encourage you to consider the big picture and the amount of genetic information to be added to go from E. Coli like organisms to homo sapien like organisms…. Really, seriously ponder that for a while, and I encourage you to try and answer it for yourself.



I think we understand each other. If Macroevolution occurs, then transitionals exist, and some should be fossilized. One would recognize transitionals best by finding fossils with either intermediate feautures or combinations of primitive and advanced features. One finds them. One finds dinosaurs with feathers. Birds with clawed hands and long bony tails. One finds organisms with very boney fins, or very primitive limbs attached to their skull case. The expectations of the theory, its 'predictions', are confirmed. If macroevolution does not occur, then one would expect not to find 'deep homology' or faunal succession or any seperation between fauna. And knowing tht alleles change their frequencies in populations of organisms and that adaptations occur thru natural selection, if macroevolution didn't occur then it would have to be becuase there is some biological process that 'halts' adaptation at some arbitary 'kind' level. None of these 'predictions' of the 'no macroevlution' theory are found.
I’ve never had a problem with adaptation and natural selection, and these are in fact things that can be observed. I cannot make the jump from adaptation to the input of new genetic information into an organism however.


: I agree that everything is not known. However, the evolution obviously occurs.
Microevolution obviously occurs.


Again, i really think that one needs to explain why microevolution occurs but macroevolution does not, or at least give adequate defintions that distinguish between the two.
Again, please refer to the idea of evolving new genetic information.


There are transitional fossils. Not every fossil that one would like to have is there, but there are organisms that can't be neatly fit into one kind of creature or another.


This admitted controversy, and you can still claim it as a fact?


The controversy of the lack of some stages in some 'major' transitions? I think it unreasonable to reject the theory merely because a representative of every population invovled in every transition has not been preserved in the fossil record, let alone found.
It would be nice if the controversy and the inconsistencies were just represented by a few instances in the fossil record alone. If that were the case we wouldn’t be having this discussion. However, as I’ve repeatedly tried to point out, the inconsistencies and controversies extend through all disciplines of ‘origins of life’ study. If it were the fossil record that would be one thing, hell, I probably wouldn’t even know about the inconsistency, as I would be accepting of the theory. My position is unique however. I was sold on evolution until the subject of the primordial cell came up, then I started seriously researching it. If it was just the primordial cell, I could dismiss that too, but starting from the PC and working up, I discovered that the inconsistencies are present within all disciplines, and there are still a hell of a lot of questions left to answer. In light of this, I cannot proclaim evolution as a fact.



One doesn't observe DNA or gravity either. One can only know gravity by its affects. Even DNA and proteins can only be seen thru things like x-ray diffraction and the like, thats not observing them directly, thats looking at their effects and infering their existence. One can't observe quarks or electrons, but one can still see their effects. One can theorize that they exist, predict some properties and consequences, and then see if those predictions hold true. Heck, even one one diretcly observes something, its still going thru the analyzing 'experimental' filter of your senses. Merely because one sees something doesn't mean it exists.
While you are 100% correct in stating that these things cannot be observed, you neglect to point out that there effects, or their consequences are consistently observed. Gravity seems to hold up very well at all levels except the quantum level. Similarly, you can mix two organic reagents together and get coherent repeatable results time after time. However the result of evolution is merely inferred, and never observed (macro). Furthermore, these inferences are, as is being shown in this thread, not always in agreement with results from within the same discipline or from other related disciplines. This is the essence of my argument, notice how I didn’t say gravity is a ‘fact.’


If you want to reject "macroevolution" because you've never witnessed it, then you'd also have to reject almost any chemical reaction, or the existence of transitional states within those reactions that are too small to see or too ephemeral to be 'observed' in the same manner than you want to observe macroevolution.
Please see my above rebuttal. While reactions can’t be observed, their results can be measured with some degree of reproducibility. Furthermore transition states can be studied; there are entire fields of study devoted to this, one of the major one’s is drug development. I specifically did a major portion of my graduate work re: enzyme thermodynamics and transition state analogs.

Besides which, if you are including speciation as macroevolution, then it has been observed.
In the TO sense it has. If you are talking about the formation of new genetic information, it absolutely has not.


And I thank you for being able to have a rational discussion about this and keeping it civilized. This is a topic that often crumbles into 'much heat, little light' category, but I think we are bringing up some valid issues and concerns.
Thanks again to you. I can talk rationally about this because I have nothing to lose. I am not religious, so it doesn’t ‘shake me spiritually’ or anything like that. Furthermore, since my grant monies etc, are absolutely not dependent on evolutionary biology, I absolutely have nothing to lose. And I think you are right, we are bringing up valid issues and concerns. Nygdan, perhaps you and I could come up with a way to reduce the size of these posts without reducing the quality, Let me know what you think. Until next time.


[edit on 20-11-2004 by mattison0922]



posted on Nov, 20 2004 @ 11:49 PM
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(instead of quoting Stephen J. Gould and others).
Saint, not sure if I should take this personally or not. This is done to support my statement that evolution is not a 'fact.' I don't understand how I can do that reasonably without quoting mainstrem scientists. I am certainly capable of thinking outside the box. My postulate is based on significantly more than the fossil record. Furthermore, this area is not so much my area of expertise, and I must admit to being somewhat outclassed by Nygdan with respect to this particular discipline. We've only touched on one small area of evolution that doesn't necessarily make sense. I would think based on your posts you'd be interested in hearing about the dissention and disagreement that exists among mainstream scientists. Am I wrong to assume this?

[edit on 20-11-2004 by mattison0922]



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 03:33 PM
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Thank you Mattison, for providing evidence for the thesis of the present thread. While no actual evidence is proferred for any alternative to evolutionary theory, there is only a great deal of filibustering regarding "disproof." Certainly, one capable of entertaining rational thought knows that disproving an assertion in no way provides evidence for any alternative. As such, creationism stands to be judged in terms of fossil evidence.

Many thanks are in order for the demonstration of mere smoke-blowing to divert attention from the original topic. Creationist Confusion is evidenced throughout the thread by way of diverging from the original topic to confuse the issue.

Therefore the nonsense that "science is religion and religion is science" remains as Orwellian newspeak. That is as utter fiction.



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 04:16 PM
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Originally posted by mattison0922

Originally posted by Aeon10101110

To separate a concept such as microevolution from evolution is absurd. Simplistically by its very nature, the argument is moot vis a vis reductio ad absurdum. Over time, mutations result in phenotypes entirely divergent from original forms, hence speciation.


I would like to address this particular issue for the benefit of those on this thread who may be interested. Aeon continues to attempt to 'wow' us with his well-written, jargon-heavy posts meant to intimidate the uninitiated...

[deletia]

Mutation merely changes existing genetic information, and is cannot be shown to be responsible for new genetic information.


No jargon, such as is the case with mere technical shorthand, is used. Clearly, english is the primary language and when latin (one of the most simplistic bases of the tongue) is invoked, italics are used, which is the convention. That's right, conventional english.

True colors are being shown now, because of the inability to prove a point, the only alternative is to impune an opposing party. Such is known as an ad hominem attack and a very good example is given in the quoted post. (Further evidence that the argument put forward is shaky, at best.)

"Mere" changes in genetic information actually are new information!!! Please, most people here matriculated grade school. While one may slam "the uninitiated," a great deal more credit is due.



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 04:37 PM
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While no actual evidence is proferred for any alternative to evolutionary theory, there is only a great deal of filibustering regarding "disproof." Certainly, one capable of entertaining rational thought knows that disproving an assertion in no way provides evidence for any alternative. As such, creationism stands to be judged in terms of fossil evidence.


I think the purpose of this thread is to point out the invalidity of evolution as being a fact. Obviously the side effect of this will be to 'disprove' certain areas of evolution.

I would have thought as a group of 'intelligent' people and those wanting to know the truth, questioning what is being presented (as fact) should be encouraged. Unfortunately, what I am seeing from a lot of evolutionists is this.

1. Question the creation theory as it presents no scientific proof and is implausible
2. Create and build upon our own theory based on diverse information. Fill in the gaps with speculation where necessary
3. Discourage questioning of this new theory

It is good to see some intelligent conversation on this thread, however, when anyone claims to know the absolute 'truth' of what supposedly happened millions of years ago, alarm bells should be ringing.



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 05:42 PM
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True colors are being shown now, because of the inability to prove a point, the only alternative is to impune an opposing party. Such is known as an ad hominem attack and a very good example is given in the quoted post. (Further evidence that the argument put forward is shaky, at best.)

"Mere" changes in genetic information actually are new information!!! Please, most people here matriculated grade school. While one may slam "the uninitiated," a great deal more credit is due.

Aeon, thanks again for attempting to uphold your 'evolution is a fact' statement in an utterly unsubstantiated way. There is no point to be proven. Evolution is a theory. All of your whining about it isn't going to change it.

Sorry but genetic changes do not represent new genetic information. That statement is complete rubbish and actually is merely indicative of your ignorance when it comes to genetics. For your own good stay off the topic of genetics. Changes in cytochrome c don't make it not cytochrome c, if it does, it generally kills the organism. Perhaps you can enlighten us with some actual examples of changes in genetic information yeilding new and superior structures. Perhaps you can provide us with some examples of mutations that cause a new genetic structure to arise? Perhaps you could even provide a single example of a beneficial mutation? The last one should be easy, why don't you start there. Although based on your record, you won't even try to defend your position.

With respect to the 'impun[ing of] an opposing party,' and my 'true colors' What are you talking about. Are you upset about the way I referred to your signature? Well... truth hurts doesn't it? What is your motivation? You claim evolution as a fact, degrade another member with your initial post, stating it looked as if he'd never opened a dictionary, and you've got the balls to claim I'm making ad hominem attacks. What's the matter Aeon? You can dish it out, but you can't take it apparently. If you'd simply made an effort to back up your multiple statements regarding the factual nature of evolution with something verifiable and tested, something you've continuously refused to do, I wouldn't have pointed out the irony in your signature. You obviously don't actually care to hear about alternative theories, as your mind is made up. You've made lots of nice posts about things being carved in stone and the fossil record, etc. The fact of the matter is there ARE alternative explanations for the fossil record. I'll make this really easy for you: Without entering into a discussion of anything religious, let's discuss this fossil evidence. You can take whatever your particular stance is, and I'll take the stance of the fossil record being evidence for a large scale flooding. Surely you can argue against a statement such as this. I will further state that certain of the Earth's geologic features are better explained in the context of this large flood than using uniforimatarian principles.

I find it interesting that people get so upset when you state evolution is not a fact. No one gets upset and pissed off and throws a hissy fit when I say that quantum mechanics isn't a fact. Why is this? I think I understand it, at least in part. People don't have any tolerance for the alternatives. Notice how Aeon insists that if I don't have a plausible theory myself then evolution must be a fact, especially in light of the overwhelming evidence he's provided. In this case, the only postulated alternative seems to be creation. For atheists, agnostics, etc., and Aeon, who actually professes to believe in a god, this idea is not going to ever be plausable. Panspermia has many of the same difficulties as evolution, only they are displaced. However, I don't think that this is what necessarily shakes people. I think it's what is suggested if evolution isn't true: That the human genetic code, and in fact the genetic code of all organisms is on a downward spiral towards degeneracy and ultimately becoming completely defective. Without evolution that is seemingly the only alternative. Perhaps this is the explanation for the increase in cancers and other chronic diseases observed worldwide.... Anyway just some philosophy on why this hits home so hard.

Anyway... Aeon, waiting to discuss any of the multitude of topics I've brought forth.



posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 07:04 PM
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The method of science is to gather data and then try to explain it [all].

Evolution comes from looking at all the biodiversity and now some genetic mechanisms in action and explains them with logic that conforms with what we know.

Creationism is an attempt to support a superstitious belief by selectively picking and choosing data that seems to support it and passionately attempting to degrade a theory based in the facts.

Creation sprang fully formed from someones head, Evolution came from people looking at biodiversity around them and putting pieces together.

I don't discount anything, there may be an Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and possibly a Yeti, but so far there is little tangible evidence to support those beliefs.

I do wonder at the rationality of people who passionately support beliefs that have no solid basis in the facts that try to parade them as some kind of pseudo science and then try to deface that which is founded in the FACTS.

It's like accounting, you can base it on the numbers or you can cook the books.
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posted on Nov, 28 2004 @ 09:13 PM
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[quoteI do wonder at the rationality of people who passionately support beliefs that have no solid basis in the facts that try to parade them as some kind of pseudo science and then try to deface that which is founded in the FACTS.

It's like accounting, you can base it on the numbers or you can cook the books.

Well, Slank sounds like you're pretty informed. Perhaps, you'd care to engage in a discussion of said 'facts.'



posted on Nov, 29 2004 @ 01:10 AM
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Not an expert on evolutionary data, but here goes,

How do you explain dinosaurs? I don't see them explained in religious doctrine. Notably there are no humans or any modern mammals there with the dinosaurs.

Living tree rings go back as far (I believe currently) around 5300 or 5500 years back in time. (Bristle cone pines)

Ice cores go back 100s of thousands of years

The tests confirm that the 3200-metre core dates back at least 750,000 years
www.newscientist.com...

Obviously looking at the data the 4-5 thousand year old earth idea seems silly.

If you give credence to both geologists and astronomers the planet is about 4 or 5 billion years old and the Universe is about 13 billion years old.
The oldest fossilized bacterium are in strata about 3.5 billion years old. There probably may have been organisms older than those but that didn't leave any record.

These incomprehensible spans of time make evolution easy to imagine. Although i think the fits and starts changes in evolution have at least as much to do with it as any slow gradual changes.

Organisms fit into ecological niches. Sometimes these change gradually, but more often I think sudden changes occur. And in fact rather than the 'survival of the fittest', It might be described as survival of the luckiest. In economics and evolution if you happen to have the right product at the right time you flourish, while those who are prepared for previous conditions struggle.

I can imagine/wish/believe any number of things. It has to do with the easy with which our minds/brains form images. But it takes time, work and study to comprehend the actual world around us. You have to go out and get some dirt under your fingernails, breathe some clean air, work with the data.

In a sense you have live eat breathe your data to be most likely to understand it. In otherwords you have to be a little obsessive and it takes some effort. Science sometimes even takes some risk, some scientists inadvertantly give their lives in the pursuit of truth.

If the ability to manipulate genetic material to create totally new combinations by us doesn't make it pretty obvious that science understands how the building instructions for an organism are passed i don't know what would make it clearer. Why didn't God just create clones? Why waste all that wasted/unused genetic matterial? If a God created us he sounds a little confused.

Mostly what supports creationism is hubris. Some people think humans are so 'special' that we can't have a common source with those *noses turning up* plants, animals and slime. If you approach a subject with humility, energy and openess you can learn a lot. If you want to close it off, I honestly don't want to waste my life, time and energy trying to pry it open. The beauty of science/truth is that it takes no overhead. It is so economical it certainly doesn't need me, you or anyone to believe it. It is simply what it is. Whether this species survives or not.

How much science does one want to just throw away so one can support superstition?
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posted on Nov, 29 2004 @ 03:43 AM
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Apple quick lappelle, lacklustre smell pinkly Iron.


Just like you sain when you start flipping terms to mean what you want.. then all is lost. Just have a look at my "creationist" scentence above it makes no sense because all because i have ignored all convention.

THis double speak does indeed go very far... just look at the words "drug" and "medicine"... morphene when given by a medic is a "painkiller" when administered by ones self (ok most likely for recreation) is called a drug. One is "good" the other "bad". See also the words "soldier" and "terrorist"...

Anyway creationists are good for one thing.. thats a good laugh!



posted on Nov, 29 2004 @ 12:05 PM
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Originally posted by mattison0922

(instead of quoting Stephen J. Gould and others).
Saint, not sure if I should take this personally or not. This is done to support my statement that evolution is not a 'fact.' I don't understand how I can do that reasonably without quoting mainstrem scientists. I am certainly capable of thinking outside the box. My postulate is based on significantly more than the fossil record. Furthermore, this area is not so much my area of expertise, and I must admit to being somewhat outclassed by Nygdan with respect to this particular discipline. We've only touched on one small area of evolution that doesn't necessarily make sense. I would think based on your posts you'd be interested in hearing about the dissention and disagreement that exists among mainstream scientists. Am I wrong to assume this?


The others I refer to are the self-contradicting scientists who say 'trans-species evolution originating from a single cell must exist to explain diversity', but then 'you must have diversity in the beginning to have a viable ecosystem'. Also, if you study Ecology 'evolution must exist' but in Genetics 'it cannot exist'. I don't get why these authors have to speak out of both sides of their mouths. If someone can shed some light as to why this is, I'm all ears. Are they afraid of being wrong and getting laughed at? The one and only thing I admired about Darwin is that he chose a theory and stuck to it. The rest of it went into the trashcan, literally. Nothing personal was meant, sorry if implied. I enjoy reading the dialogue because on the topic I am still undecided, but thus far you seem to be making the most sense.


[edit on 29-11-2004 by saint4God]



posted on Nov, 29 2004 @ 12:12 PM
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Originally posted by slank
I don't discount anything, there may be an Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and possibly a Yeti, but so far there is little tangible evidence to support those beliefs.


How scientific. I think this sums up your whole argument. Denying ignorance is letting go of things you know are not true.



posted on Nov, 29 2004 @ 03:51 PM
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evolution is only accepted not because of the "facts" but because people turn to God if its not true, and people dont like to think theres someone higher, but want to be their own god, and evolution isnt even close to a fact, its just a theory, and doesnt have jack evidence. how we no the earth is billions years old anyway? and the rock layers, what if their was a huge global flood, can u imagine the mud splahses from that covering many layers of earth? and in evolution coal is supposively formed thru millions of years, when why is it ive read reports of coal minders finding whales preserved in coal, or fish in layers of layers of mud in museums, what do they do, sit their for millions of years and wait to be covered?



posted on Nov, 29 2004 @ 08:02 PM
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How do you explain dinosaurs?

How do I explain dinosaurs? Hmmmm let me see. Dinosaurs seem to be for the most part extinct animals that we know about from the fossil record. I say for the most part because certain cryptozoological schools of thought based on anecdotal evidence indicates there may exist isolated pockets of allegedly extinct animals.

I don't see them explained in religious doctrine.
This isn’t relevant to my posts on this particular thread. If you’d read my posts you’d be aware of this.


Notably there are no humans or any modern mammals there with the dinosaurs.
There are pieces of evidence put forth in this thread that suggest dinosaur like footprints and man-like footprints have been observed in multiple locations on the Earth. Please read the thread.


Living tree rings go back as far (I believe currently) around 5300 or 5500 years back in time. (Bristle cone pines)
And this makes evolution a fact how?


Ice cores go back 100s of thousands of years.
Which ice cores? Using what dating methods? Perhaps you are unaware, but the Greenland Society based in Atlanta has attempted to excavate a 10-foot diameter shaft in the Greenland ice pack to remove two B-17 Flying Fortresses and six P-38 Lightning fighters trapped under an estimated 250 feet of ice for almost 50 years. The fact that these aircraft were buried so deeply in such a short time focuses attention on the time scales used to estimate the ages based on ice cores.

Since the aircraft were buried under about 250 feet of ice and snow in about 50 years, this means the ice sheet has been accumulating at an average rate of five feet per year. The Greenland ice sheet averages almost 4000 feet thick. Assuming the ice sheet has been accumulating at approximately this rate since its beginning, it would take less than 1000 years for it to form and the old earth model would be in question.

The situation is of course not this simple. I did not take into account the compaction of the snow into ice. Also one should consider the thinning of ice layers as the tremendous weight above forces the ice at lower levels to squeeze out horizontally. Furthermore, I did not factor in the average precipitation rate and actual depths of ice for different locations on the Greenland ice sheet.

Considering these factors, the average annual thickness of ice at Camp Century located near the northern tip of Greenland is generally thought to vary from about fourteen inches near the surface to less than two inches near the bottom. If we assume the average annual thickness to be the mean between the annual thickness at the top and at the bottom (about eight inches), this still gives an age of less than 6000 years for the 4000-foot-thick ice sheet to form under uniformitarian conditions.

To my knowledge the claims that layers of ice were formed >100,000 years ago or more come primarily from interpretation of ice cores in Antarctica Soviet Antarctic Expeditions at Vostok in East Antarctica recovered an ice core nearly 7,000 feet long in a region where the total ice thickness is thought to be about 12,000 feet. Since the current precipitation rate is so much less than Greenland (on the order of one inch per year) the crude calculation of age, without corrections for compression and horizontal motion for the lowest layers is more than 100,000 years.

Such estimates are critically based on the assumption that the accumulation rate has not varied greatly over the past. Unlike the Greenland ice cores, annual oscillations of 18O and other parameters cannot be traced deeply into the ice sheet on Antarctica. The high precipitation rates in Greenland not only provide relatively thick annual layers for analysis, but the accumulating snow quickly seals off the ice beneath and protects the record from metamorphosis by pressure and temperature changes in the atmosphere. In Antarctica, by the time the ice has been buried deeply enough to no longer be influenced by the atmosphere, annual variations have been greatly dampened by diffusion.

The technique used to estimate the age of an ice layer deep in the ice sheet is to measure its 18O content and compute the atmospheric temperature which is observed to produce such concentrations today. Through a second-known relation observed in today's atmosphere between temperature and precipitation rate, the accumulation rate for a given layer is calculated. Once the accumulation rate is calculated for each layer, both the depth and age for each layer in the ice is calculated by integrating the annual accumulation downward from the surface.

Historical markers exist in Antarctica which can be used to cross check these calculations for the past few thousand years. However, historical volcanic events are not known beyond a few thousand years in the past which provide any certainty with respect to age. This method might be reasonably reliable if precipitation rates were similar in the past. However, some models predict significant quantities of snow were deposited during an ice age. Perhaps as much as 95% of the ice near the poles could have accumulated rapidly during an ice age. This would of course throw off any measurements based on 18O in ice cores.


Obviously looking at the data the 4-5 thousand year old earth idea seems silly.
Silly based on what?


If you give credence to both geologists and astronomers the planet is about 4 or 5 billion years old and the Universe is about 13 billion years old.
Again, If you’d bother to read this thread in it’s entirety, we’ve discussed whether or not these ages are valid. I personally am not a believer in radiometric dating of any kind. I have pointed out in multiple threads the fact that the currently accepted interpretation of the observed galactic red shift is nothing more than that. Certainly alternative theories exist.


The oldest fossilized bacterium are in strata about 3.5 billion years old.

Rubbish…. The very idea of fossilized bacteria in and of itself is highly speculative. What exactly is mineralized when bacteria become fossilized? How were said strata dated?

There probably may have been organisms older than those but that didn't leave any record.
Well stop the presses!! This statement did it for me. Evolution must be true. There may be organisms older than 3.5 billion years. We are just awaiting evidence.


These incomprehensible spans of time make evolution easy to imagine. Although i think the fits and starts changes in evolution have at least as much to do with it as any slow gradual changes.
Really, hmmmm. Funny because I’m a molecular biologist, and the more I learn about evolution the less I am able to swallow. The incomprehensible spans of time you mention may or may not be a part of the universe’s history.


Organisms fit into ecological niches.
How does this ‘prove’ evolution?

Sometimes these change gradually, but more often I think sudden changes occur. And in fact rather than the 'survival of the fittest', It might be described as survival of the luckiest. In economics and evolution if you happen to have the right product at the right time you flourish, while those who are prepared for previous conditions struggle.
Economics and evolution are not comparable. Evolution isn’t based on luck on a population scale. Sudden changes, while more consistent with the fossil record, present huge difficulties at the genetic level.


I can imagine/wish/believe any number of things. It has to do with the easy with which our minds/brains form images. But it takes time, work and study to comprehend the actual world around us.
Nothing in this thread posted by me is about wishing/believing/imagining anything. I have merely presented scientific evidence that stands in opposition to the alleged ‘factual’ nature of evolution.

You have to go out and get some dirt under your fingernails, breathe some clean air, work with the data.
Oh, okay… you hear that thread? Apparently I’m not qualified to comment on this topic as my fingernails are too clean (?).


In a sense you have live eat breathe your data to be most likely to understand it. In otherwords you have to be a little obsessive and it takes some effort. Science sometimes even takes some risk, some scientists inadvertantly give their lives in the pursuit of truth.
Gee, thanks for the info. Perhaps you’d now like to inform us as to your experience as a scientist. Perhaps you can elaborate on evolutionary data that you’ve lived breathed and slept. Perhaps you can also tell of the scientists who given their lives (?) in pursuit of truth. I think we’d all like to know what in addition to your college Bio101 text have you read to further your vast knowledge of the subject. Just out of curiosity, ever read even any seriously critical evaluations of evolution? Have you ever read a single creation science book? Have you looked at evolution and studied it from the bottom up and top down, reading everything you could possibly get your hands on for nearly 10 years? Have you ever read a PRIMARY reference?


If the ability to manipulate genetic material to create totally new combinations
We definitely do NOT have this ability. Genetic manipulation is performed with existing genes. I challenge you to find a single reference where someone has created a useful gene de novo.


by us doesn't make it pretty obvious that science understands how the building instructions for an organism are passed i don't know what would make it clearer.
What is clear is your apparent lack of understanding of even the most basic of genetic concepts. Maybe it’s time to crack open that Bio101 text again.


Why didn't God just create clones?
Not relevant to my posts, but why would god create clones. What possible advantage could a population have by being clones. Genetic diversity is the hallmark of adaptation. Surely if there is a god, it is aware of this.

Why waste all that wasted/unused genetic matterial?
There is no wasted genetic material. While not all DNA encodes specific proteins, calling it junk DNA is not only unfortunate, it’s flat out wrong.


If a God created us he sounds a little confused.
It seems like the only individual, supernatural or not, confused on this thread is you. Perhaps you should read a thread before flippantly replying with a bunch of crap you gleaned watching Fox News. Obviously the issue is not solved. We are currently up to 7 pages in this thread. I’m still going strong. Nygdan states he’s working on a rebuttal to my most recent post. What else do you have?


Mostly what supports creationism is hubris.

Oh please, fill us in. What supports creation? What causes you to describe it as hubris? I would again ask you to elaborate for the benefit of this thread: What creationist literature have you read… I’m not talking the internet here. What creationist books, articles, whatever have you read? Anxiously awaiting the response to this!!!

Some people think humans are so 'special' that we can't have a common source with those *noses turning up* plants, animals and slime. If you approach a subject with humility, energy and openess you can learn a lot.
Sounds like good advice to me. Isn’t it ronic how you state this and start off your first post in this thread by making a bunch of unqualified and almost completely unsubstantiated statements. If you want to ‘debunk’ creationism, then pick something claimed in creationist literature and debunk it. Oh… this would of course involve reading said literature. Don’t just toss around information about evolution that I could get from my Dad.


If you want to close it off, I honestly don't want to waste my life, time and energy trying to pry it open.
Interestingly enough, it’s YOU and others like you who wish to close it off. All I’ve ever tried to do is state evolution isn’t a fact. By claiming it is a fact, it is YOU who are closing off other avenues of inquiry that are capable of producing meaningful results. When you state evolution is a fact it ceases to be science and becomes dogma.


The beauty of science/truth is that it takes no overhead. It is so economical it certainly doesn't need me, you or anyone to believe it.
Oh, really? I’ll keep in mind when the reviewers send back my next grant unfunded (not evolution based
) I don’t know how many science budgets you’ve prepared, but it’s far from economical, it’s downright expensive, and there is often not going to be ANY payback, as very few ideas are actually developed into new technologies. Contrary to what you’ve stated it does need to be believed. If you’re not believed, then your work isn’t funded. And I can’t imagine where you get the idea that there is no overhead. Ever heard of lab space, reagents, equipment, publication costs, employees, benefits, or hazardous waste disposal. Science does need people to believe or else it doesn’t continue. Even when large groups of people believe, it’s still doesn’t necessarily continue: Think Wilhelm Reich and Orgone energy (not saying I believe it, but significant numbers of people have and do)


It is simply what it is.
How profound.


How much science does one want to just throw away so one can support superstition?
Actually, since you and others like you are willing to ignore evidence that doesn’t support your theory, I think you are better equipped to answer this question yourself. All I’ve ever tried to do is present MORE information than others would have you believe exists. Perhaps you can state very specifically what science I’ve thrown away and haven’t considered. Okay, okay, there is the whole thing of radiometric dating, but it’s not that I’ve not considered it, just that AFTER consideration I feel the results are too unreliable to draw and firm, factual conclusions. Other than radiometric dating, what science have I thrown away.

Slank, you’ve provided yourself with an easy way out via your statement that you “don't want to waste [your] life, time and energy trying to pry it open,” my prediction is that you’ll use it and you won’t posting in support of evolution on this thread again. Perhaps you’ll prove me wrong.



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