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Creationist Confusion

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posted on Nov, 29 2004 @ 08:59 PM
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Originally posted by saint4God

(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.
Gotcha. Sorry, I don't have any insight for you re: the issues you've raised. I think they are germane in the context of this thread, especially considering what it's 'evolved' into. I do know how you feel. I've talked to hundreds of scientists that have actually done very little exploration of their own re: evolution. People are just buying what they are being offered. Even more disconcerting is that when presented with facts and evidence that doesn't support they theory, they just usually brush it off. While we've seen much evidence of this here in this forum, for years I worked to convince myself that scientists were different. Many are not. Many scientists, IMO, hide behind their Ph.D.'s and use that alone as a justification of their evidence. I think you (saint) pointed that out in one of your initial posts on this thread.

Here's something to keep in mind: An undergraduate degree provides you with a little information about a variety of subjects within a particular discipline; essentially you learn a little about a lot of different things. A graduate education is fundamentally different: A graduate education teaches just about everything there is known about what would seem to be the most minute detail of something very particular, or you learn everything in the world about just about nothing. So, in short, and I suppose I am shooting myself in the foot on this one, having a Ph.D. in one subject by NO means makes you more qualified to comment on any other unrelated subject than anyone else with an average education. So, saint, I understand your dilemma, and I sympathize with you, and I've often asked the same questions.

BTW, not offended.... was holding off on being offended until I received clarification from you... JK. Wasn't ever in danger of being offended, I was just interested in your motivation. Keep reading, and more importantly keep asking questions.


[edit on 29-11-2004 by saint4God]




posted on Nov, 29 2004 @ 10:06 PM
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While actually off-topic, I suppose this can be refuted in an off-handed manner too.


New method to measure ancient land elevation developed by Field Museum scientist
Holy Grail of geology found: Measuring elevation over geological eras



CHICAGO--A Field Museum scientist has developed a novel way to determine land elevation as continents moved around the Earth through geological ages. Knowing how high mountains and plateaus were in the past will help scientists to study how our climate system evolved. "Understanding the past elevation of land surfaces, also known as paleoelevation, has been one of geology's Holy Grails," said Jennifer McElwain, PhD, Associate Curator of Paleobotany at Chicago's Field Museum and sole author of the research to be published in Geology's December issue. "This is the first paleobotanical method that works globally and is independent of long-term climate change.

"The new method will help us to understand the rate at which some of the Earth's most important mountains have uplifted," she added. "It will also show how the process of mountain building influenced climatic patterns as well as plant and animal evolution."

The new method of paleoelevation involves counting the stomata on leaves of plants going back as far as 65 million years ago. Stomata are minute openings on the surface of leaves through which plants absorb gases, including carbon dioxide, which plants need for photosynthesis. Anyone who has climbed a mountain knows that the air gets "thinner" as you climb higher. As with oxygen, carbon dioxide is less concentrated at higher elevations. Therefore, the higher the elevation, the more stomata per square inch of leaf surface a plant would need to survive. By simply counting the number of fossil stomata, Dr. McElwain can estimate how much carbon dioxide was in the air when the fossil leaf developed. From that, she can estimate the elevation at which the fossil plant once lived.

Dr. McElwain used historical and modern collections of California Black Oak (Quercus kelloggii) leaves for her study because the California Black Oak grows at an unusually wide range of elevations from 200 to 8,000 feet (60 to 2,440 meters). The historical leaves were collected by botanists in the 1930s and stored within herbarium collections of the Field Museum and the University of California, Berkeley.

The research was conducted with financial support from the National Science Foundation.

This new method of estimating land elevation has an average error of about 980 feet (300 meters) – but as low as 330 feet (100 meters). Such an error rate is much lower than the error rate of existing paleoelevation methods, all of which have significant limitations. This method can be used for any area where suitable plant specimens can be found.

High mountains and plateaus can act as important barriers to plant and animal migration and dispersal resulting in isolation of plant and animal populations on opposite sides of mountain chains. Therefore, knowing exactly when in the geological past the mountains of today's world reached their current elevations is relevant to our understanding of plant and animal evolution since isolation is an important mechanism in the formation of species.

In addition, high mountains and large plateaus (such as those in Tibet and Colorado today) have always had a big influence on climate by altering patterns of atmospheric circulation. Because this new method is independent of variations in climate, it will allow scientists to identify the impact of elevation on global climate patterns and factor elevation into the study of global climate change.

This research also highlights the importance of museum collections, Dr. McElwain noted. "You never know what information is locked up in specimens or artifacts kept at a natural history museum like ours until someone develops a new method, tool or technology to draw out those secrets."




Simply, this is another well-founded dating methodology relying upon good science, like so many other methods.


The Field Museum houses more than 23 million specimens and artifacts from around the world – everything from mushrooms to meteorites and mummies to man-eating lions. Everyday, it adds an average of 500 objects to its vast collections.

Public release date: 29-Nov-2004

Contact: Greg Borzo
312-665-7106
Field Museum



posted on Nov, 29 2004 @ 10:27 PM
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mattison0922,
Unlike you, some other religious types and some scientists I don't think I am winning any 'brownie points' by 'winning' an argument.

Logic is pure and has no ego.

You are arguing like it is some kind of game.

Pure science demands pure logic. If a person can set all ones beliefs aside without ego [not easy to do] then and ONLY then can one objectively examine reality.

You can argue that gravity doesn't go to the center of the Earth, you might even be right. I would personally doubt it though.

The historical score card when science has been pitted against religion is that science wins in the long run. That usually includes a lot of maimed, ruined, terminated, and tortured lives while the 'Church' runs over people and the truth in it's desperate attempts to cling to fantasy.

If you were a scientist with an open mind in the field who had made discoveries of facts that led to or strongly indicated that the universe was 'created' by some magician with a mind, that would be one thing. But instead your mind is occupied with rationalizing the Universe interms of your beliefs that make you feel good, secure or that all things are ordered. The amount of your mind dragging the burden of the bible or whatever doesn't leave it free to explore the truth, where ever it takes you.

If you don't feel a little trepidation and fear when you examine the Universe you have not accepted that you don't know all things.

Certainty is the enemy of learning.

If you really want to have an open [non-agenda] discussion, why not offer findings and your opinions and ask openly what other people think? Lose the certainty attitude and you might learn something and teach something as well.

I realize there is some dogmaticism on the side of science, but it is usually based on facts that have been examined, re-examined, re-re-examined, discussed and argued about. The data and theories are based on both hard and creative thinking as well as some soul searching and a lot of hard dedicated work acquiring them. It has a real and organic purity and morality that no organized religion can EVER match.

You believe what you believe. I don't have any initial problem with it.
Beliefs as far as i can see have virtually no effect on reality.
Imposing your beliefs on others so you won't be alone in your ignorance is a kind of mind rape.

Your own closed mind simply inspires it in others and does nothing to further the enlightenment of humanity.
.



posted on Nov, 29 2004 @ 11:05 PM
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Originally posted by slank
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mattison0922,
Unlike you, some other religious types and some scientists I don't think I am winning any 'brownie points' by 'winning' an argument.

.....

Your own closed mind simply inspires it in others and does nothing to further the enlightenment of humanity.
.


Slank,

I am sorry if I misunderstood your post but it seems to me that you have not read the majority of this thread or indeed the first 4 post on page one. This entire debate started because Aeon stated that evolution has gone beyond a theory and is very well proven.



Your points are well-taken, shmick, however, evolution no longer fits the definition of "theory." Rather, it is very well proven, especially by way of the fossil record. And even as a theory, like in Darwin's day, there is a good deal of credibility to it because the tenants are multiply peer-reviewed with respect to the evidence, etc. After all, it is not merely an educated guess, an hypothesis.


To which Mattison responded:



Sorry Aeon, but evolution is not a proven fact as you have stated. Microevolution or adaptation is a fact. The fossil record is sorely lacking in transitional forms. Archeaopteryx is controversial at best, with considerable evidence to suggest it's a fraud.

The simple fact of the matter is that I can present evidence that will argue against nearly every facet of macroevolution. I can also argue a 'young-earth' if need be.


(I have only taken partial quotes please read their entire post for yourself)

I have read most of this thread (Apologies to Mattison and Nygdan but some of your post where far too long for me to give most of my attention too, I am killing time at work and really should do some
) and found it to be most enlightening for both sides. One thing I can say from reading all that, I agree with Mattison in that evolution is not a fact. I also agree with Nygdan (from another thread) where they stated that all science is theory anyway, so I say the argument of whether evolution is fact or theory is really fruitless, but interesting non the less.

I have a question for Aeon though do you still stand by your statement Evolution has gone beyond a theory and is rather well proven in light of Mattison attempts to dissuade you?



posted on Nov, 30 2004 @ 12:48 AM
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Aeon,

Would love to attempt to refute this in an 'offhand manner.'

Will most likely attempt to do so sometime tomorrow or possibly wednesday evening. I need to read the ref. first.

Anyway... good to see you posting something to discuss.



posted on Nov, 30 2004 @ 01:40 AM
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mattison0922,
Unlike you, some other religious types and some scientists I don't think I am winning any 'brownie points' by 'winning' an argument.
What? Brownie Points? What are you talking about? There are no brownie points in this anonymous forum. I am interested in the dissemination of information whether or not it supports my particular set of beliefs.


Logic is pure and has no ego.
Okay, philosophical semantics aside, what is your point?


You are arguing like it is some kind of game.
While I can't say I don't enjoy a good debate, winning or losing is not the point. The point is about truth vs. dogma. That is all it's ever been about for me. You don't see me quoting a bunch of religious dogma do you? I don't do it with science either.


Pure science demands pure logic. If a person can set all ones beliefs aside without ego [not easy to do] then and ONLY then can one objectively examine reality.
Maybe you can explain to me how I haven't done this. Maybe you can explain to me that despite nearly 14 years of undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate education in biology that attempted to indoctrinate me in evolutionary science, I insist that it is not a fact. Perhaps you can enlighten me as to what experiences you've had that make you so much more open minded than me re: this topic. Especially given that it's all I've been taught for nearly half of my life. Perhaps you can explain to me the personal search you've engaged in that has led you to your particular set of beliefs. I can, and it involves nothing more than pure examination of information. Information, examining, collecting, evaluating, is my business, and 'origins' information is my personal hobby. Has been for a long time. Perhaps you can explain to me and the thread how I am a victim of my preconceived notions?


You can argue that gravity doesn't go to the center of the Earth, you might even be right. I would personally doubt it though.
However, I am not. And it is always your right to disagree with information. Isn't that the great thing about information. There's just so much of it there.


The historical score card when science has been pitted against religion is that science wins in the long run.
I suppose I will once again have to state that my argument is not science vs. religion, it is more appropriately described as 'religion' taking over science, ie: 'evolution is a fact.' Sorry if you've got a problem with this, but dogma, scientific or religious is just not my style.


That usually includes a lot of maimed, ruined, terminated, and tortured lives while the 'Church' runs over people and the truth in it's desperate attempts to cling to fantasy.
Nice desperate attempt to villianize religion in a context where it makes absolutely no sense. So what are you saying, science has never been involved with commission of any atrocities? Ever heard of eugenics?


If you were a scientist with an open mind in the field who had made discoveries of facts that led to or strongly indicated that the universe was 'created' by some magician with a mind, that would be one thing.
Of course if I were you wouldn't know this because you're to busy espousing the 'evolution is a fact' idea to objectively look at the information.


But instead your mind is occupied with rationalizing the Universe interms of your beliefs that make you feel good, secure or that all things are ordered.
What idea do you have about what makes me feel good? What idea do you have about my beliefs? The only thing you know for sure is that I refuse to succumb to the notion that evolution is a fact. What do you mean by secure and ordered? If I wanted things secure and ordered, I'd do my job, and nod my head vacantly at lunch and at conferences where people espouse the factual nature of evolution much as they do here. Most of these people are totally inequipped to discuss it in an intelligent manner. What do I have to win by arguing against evolution? Certainly nothing by doing it an anonymous forum. If I was trying to sell a book or something you might have a point, but how am I profiting from this? Furthermore, arguing against evolution only makes me a black sheep in my particular field. While my livelihood doesn't depend on evolution, I certainly have NOTHING to gain by openly opposing it.


The amount of your mind dragging the burden of the bible or whatever doesn't leave it free to explore the truth, where ever it takes you.
I will again suggest that you perhaps READ my posts prior to commenting on them. I don't read the bible. I've tried, really I have, I have great difficulties with the geneology sections. I thought since Iron Maiden wrote a song about it I'd be able to read 'revelations', but I haven't. I have seen the Ten Commandments. Great movie... gotta love Charlton Heston, despite what Michael Moore tried to do him, but that's for another thread I suppose. Anyway... as I said actually reading what I've written is advisable PRIOR to commenting.


If you don't feel a little trepidation and fear when you examine the Universe you have not accepted that you don't know all things.
I never claimed to know all things. Again if you'd take the time to read some of my posts, you'd realize that I am more the master of anti-theory than theory. I've not postulated a single theory in this thread. Ironically enough, I feel it is I, and not you who am more willing to admit I don't understand things. Perhaps you can explain to me and this thread how stating 'evolution is a fact' accepts 'that you don't know all things?' Seems like a contradiction to me.



Certainty is the enemy of learning.
Agreed. Hence, my involvement in this thread.


If you really want to have an open [non-agenda] discussion, why not offer findings and your opinions and ask openly what other people think?
Perhaps you can enlighten me on how my discussion is not open? The only thing I've ever asked is that people speak in terms of facts. If you want to speak flippantly off the top of your head you're entitled to this. However, in defense of my initial postulate that evolution is not a fact, I will refute it. I am interested in what people think. However, I am interested in something even more important: Encouraging people to examine WHY they believe what they believe. What are they basing their particular set of beliefs on. This is fundamentally more important than the belief. If you're saying evolution is a fact, and all you're going on is your intro bio course from college, be prepared to have your arguments refuted.

Lose the certainty attitude and you might learn something and teach something as well.
Nothing, I repeat nothing I've ever said in this forum is about certainty. Nothing in evolution is about certainty, and this has ALWAYS been the point, and despite your advice about possibly teaching something, I would say based on the feedback I am getting in terms of U2U, applause and Way above, that I am teaching something... to those who would be willing to listen. Obviously, you don't care to count yourself among those, as you are already convinced, despite your posturing about openmindedness and objectivity, that evolution is a fact.



I realize there is some dogmaticism on the side of science,
Oh really you think so?

but it is usually based on facts that have been examined, re-examined, re-re-examined, discussed and argued about.
I would again challenge you to discuss and argue facts that are worthy of dogmatic distinction in this forum. Please tell me Slank, when is it proper for science to become dogma? I've discussed this and independent of you determined it's not until the evidence has been re-re-re-re-examined. Perhaps you can enlighten us as to your formula for when science=dogma. I'm sure even the evolutionist among the interested would have something to say about this.

The data and theories are based on both hard and creative thinking as well as some soul searching and a lot of hard dedicated work acquiring them.
Soul searching? Soul searching has no place in objective science. Soul searching is about nonobjectivity. I see all of the science I've cited thus far is not based on hard or creative thinking or dedicated work. Gosh, I'm really confused. Perhaps you can give me your contact information, that way when I read a science paper, I can call you and you can validate the degree of hard or creative thinking and dedicated work that went into it. It would save me a lot of time, having to come to this forum and post peer-reviewed ideas here and have you refute them. What exactly are you saying? It sounds like evolutionary hypothesis = good science, non-evolutionary hypothesis = bad science. Perhaps you can elaborate.

It has a real and organic purity and morality that no organized religion can EVER match.
What is your personal vendetta against religion that you feel the need to bash it in contexts where it's not appropriate?


You believe what you believe. I don't have any initial problem with it.Beliefs as far as i can see have virtually no effect on reality.
Imposing your beliefs on others so you won't be alone in your ignorance is a kind of mind rape.
I would agree with this. Perhaps you can explain to me how dissemination of information with no postulated theory and no coercion is 'mind rape?' My beliefs are imposed on no one. No one forces anyone to log on here and read this thread. Interesting how you've made two practically completely unsubstantiated posts, to my multiple pages of completely documented, traceable, and verifiable posts, and you call me ignorant. Interesting perspective. You sound like Pat Buchanan or something... mind rape, I love it. As I mentioned before, I don't see how posting information an anonymous forum makes me not 'alone in my ignorance,' but if that's your perception you're certainly welcome to it. Mind Rape.... I think that's great... classic. Nice buzzword.


Your own closed mind simply inspires it in others and does nothing to further the enlightenment of humanity.
Again, I beg of you Slank, please point out my many instances of closed mindedness. Please, I'd love to address it with you here. Perhaps you can find my many instances where I've attempted to suppress information, or all the times I've lied on the thread. Let's do this. While we're at it, why don't we point out the many fascinating ideas that you've put forth in support of your completely objective and open minded theory.

Slank.... anxiously awaiting your reply.



posted on Nov, 30 2004 @ 09:49 AM
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Originally posted by mattison0922
Maybe you can explain to me how I haven't done this. Maybe you can explain to me that despite nearly 14 years of undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate education in biology that attempted to indoctrinate me in evolutionary science, I insist that it is not a fact. Perhaps you can enlighten me as to what experiences you've had that make you so much more open minded than me re: this topic. Especially given that it's all I've been taught for nearly half of my life.


I totally respect your fortitude! Honestly, the whole ramming of evolution down my throat was a factor in me getting out of the field as quickly as I could. I think that's why I'm so interested in your posts. You seem to be a successful version of myself in the field.



Originally posted by mattison0922
Furthermore, arguing against evolution only makes me a black sheep in my particular field.


Yes, why is this? I've had anger and hate thrown at me for this belief as well.


Originally posted by mattison0922
I don't read the bible. I've tried, really I have, I have great difficulties with the geneology sections.


Something that helped for me is to skip them on the first go around & come back to them once familiar with the people. A lot of that is for historical record-keeping I think.


Originally posted by mattison0922
I thought since Iron Maiden wrote a song about it I'd be able to read 'revelations', but I haven't. I have seen the Ten Commandments. Great movie... gotta love Charlton Heston, despite what Michael Moore tried to do him, but that's for another thread I suppose. Anyway... as I said actually reading what I've written is advisable PRIOR to commenting.


Iron Maiden, very talented group no doubt. Revelations is my fav. book. Nothing wrong with reading the Bible from the interesting parts first.


Originally posted by mattison0922
What is your personal vendetta against religion that you feel the need to bash it in contexts where it's not appropriate?


Hehe, it always turns to a personal attack on religion when discussing evolution. If anyone can give me a substantial reason as to why, then I'm all ears. My theory is most people who deny evolution fear they have to believe in a Creator and that makes them uneasy.


Originally posted by mattison0922
Again, I beg of you Slank, please point out my many instances of closed mindedness. Please, I'd love to address it with you here. Perhaps you can find my many instances where I've attempted to suppress information, or all the times I've lied on the thread. Let's do this. While we're at it, why don't we point out the many fascinating ideas that you've put forth in support of your completely objective and open minded theory.


Well said. Why are we the close-minded ones? I've considered what little 'facts' there are and find no solid conclusion. What's wrong with that?


[edit on 30-11-2004 by saint4God]



posted on Nov, 30 2004 @ 12:49 PM
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Originally posted by mattison0922
Maybe you can explain to me how I haven't done this. Maybe you can explain to me that despite nearly 14 years of undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate education in biology that attempted to indoctrinate me in evolutionary science, I insist that it is not a fact. Perhaps you can enlighten me as to what experiences you've had that make you so much more open minded than me re: this topic. Especially given that it's all I've been taught for nearly half of my life.



I totally respect your fortitude! Honestly, the whole ramming of evolution down my throat was a factor in me getting out of the field as quickly as I could. I think that's why I'm so interested in your posts. You seem to be a successful version of myself in the field.
Saint, thanks for your vote of confidence. I gather from your post that you were in science or had considered it… what field? Did you really leave just because of evolution? I can’t say that I hadn’t considered leaving grad school on multiple occasions, for a multitude of reasons, but evolution was not one of them. Thanks for your interest in my posts. Don’t be too quick to judge my success… making a couple of noteworthy posts in this forum is hardly a measure of anyone’s success, but thanks again.


Originally posted by mattison0922
Furthermore, arguing against evolution only makes me a black sheep in my particular field.



Yes, why is this? I've had anger and hate thrown at me for this belief as well.
It is an interesting phenomenon. Personally, and I may have mentioned this in this thread, I think it’s because the alternatives are not acceptable to them. This is not just a religious or spiritual based thing either. Personally, if evolution isn’t true, it scares the hell out of me. Where does that leave us… from what I can see, it leaves us to accumulate a bunch of defective genes over time. Given that civilization frowns on eugenics (and IMO rightfully so), and human beings are to a certain extent not subject to natural selection, we will probably tend to accumulate mutations faster. I was recently discussing this very topic with a member of the theological faculty at the institution with which I am affiliated. He seemed very excited by this idea. I thought it kind of strange, as IMO the continued degeneracy of the human genetic code is more scary than exciting. However, he was very interested. Several times he mentioned about the ability of biblical figures to live extended amounts of time and was further interested in this idea with respect to marriage laws and cultural mores surrounding incest. Not really my cup o’ tea, but may be interesting to those whose belief systems tend to more spiritual.


Originally posted by mattison0922
I don't read the bible. I've tried, really I have, I have great difficulties with the geneology sections.



Something that helped for me is to skip them on the first go around & come back to them once familiar with the people. A lot of that is for historical record-keeping I think.
Interesting though… about the genealogies… they seemed to be so important formerly, but have really been de-emphasized in this culture from what I can see, with the notable exception of the Mormons. The Mormons however are different still, in that there genealogical studies are more focused on the act of post-humus soul saving than any real interest in whom one’s ancestors are.


Originally posted by mattison0922
I thought since Iron Maiden wrote a song about it I'd be able to read 'revelations', but I haven't. I have seen the Ten Commandments. Great movie... gotta love Charlton Heston, despite what Michael Moore tried to do him, but that's for another thread I suppose. Anyway... as I said actually reading what I've written is advisable PRIOR to commenting.


Iron Maiden, very talented group no doubt. Revelations is my fav. book. Nothing wrong with reading the Bible from the interesting parts first.
Others who are more familiar with the Bible than myself have often suggested that my difficulty with the book could be a function of the translation I own. The only Bible I have is the one that came from my Grandfather’s funeral more than 15 years ago. I believe it is KJV. It has been suggested to me that I might have more luck reading the NIV. What do you think, Saint. Are there any real differences between the two?


Originally posted by mattison0922
What is your personal vendetta against religion that you feel the need to bash it in contexts where it's not appropriate?


Hehe, it always turns to a personal attack on religion when discussing evolution. If anyone can give me a substantial reason as to why, then I'm all ears. My theory is most people who deny evolution fear they have to believe in a Creator and that makes them uneasy.
Agreed, please also refer back to my above rebuttal re: the genetic implications of evolution not being true. The way often used to circumvent a creator this types of discussions is to move to the idea of ‘life from space.’ While an intriguing notion, it really has all of the problems of evolution, only they are displaced. Furthermore, while retaining and displacing the difficulties that exist in evolutionary theory, it actually ADDS more conundrums than it solves. The idea of viable life traveling through interstellar space, and surviving to reproduce is tough to swallow.


Originally posted by mattison0922
Again, I beg of you Slank, please point out my many instances of closed mindedness. Please, I'd love to address it with you here. Perhaps you can find my many instances where I've attempted to suppress information, or all the times I've lied on the thread. Let's do this. While we're at it, why don't we point out the many fascinating ideas that you've put forth in support of your completely objective and open minded theory.


Well said. Why are we the close-minded ones? I've considered what little 'facts' there are and find no solid conclusion. What's wrong with that?
You’ve got me swinging…. It’s funny because I can think of very few topics in science that are capable of causing such a heated debate. Even something like stem cells, which does incite debate, is not comparable. People are concerned with the derivation of stem cell’s not the potential implications of the science. With evolution, it’s different. People are not interested in the derivation of the information; they seem to more concerned with the potential implications.

Saint, thanks for your post.



posted on Nov, 30 2004 @ 02:50 PM
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Originally posted by mattison0922
Saint, thanks for your vote of confidence. I gather from your post that you were in science or had considered it… what field? Did you really leave just because of evolution?


My course was set for genetic research primarily to work with cancer. Evolution was the tip of the iceberg. My research was heavily pressured to sell a project. I'd warned it was going nowhere, looked for help and was told to just keep going. When it was a flop after trying many, many avenues over the next four months, I was told I should've said something, got treated like an idiot and was essentially advised that this may not be the work for me. Though I disagreed as to why I should not continue, the experience of trying to prove I was smarter than my peers and selling a no-go project to some company destroyed my illusion that science was founded on the noble idea of helping society with their problems and discovering new frontiers. Lab worked sucked too, honestly. It required constant maintenance with little results only to be told I was no good. Loved the science, couldn't stand the community. I apologize for generalizing, you've proven not everyone is that way, it seemed to be that way whoever I turned at the time.


Originally posted by mattison0922
Interesting though… about the genealogies… they seemed to be so important formerly, but have really been de-emphasized in this culture from what I can see, with the notable exception of the Mormons. The Mormons however are different still, in that there genealogical studies are more focused on the act of post-humus soul saving than any real interest in whom one’s ancestors are.


There's a very very interested thread on Mormons here: www.abovetopsecret.com... Definately check it out. It's from a person who was a Mormon for 2 years and a fan of history.


Originally posted by mattison0922
The only Bible I have is the one that came from my Grandfather’s funeral more than 15 years ago. I believe it is KJV. It has been suggested to me that I might have more luck reading the NIV. What do you think, Saint. Are there any real differences between the two?


Yes! The New International Version is the best. From what I've read it was translated by 200 scholars to ensure accuracy. The sentence structure and words are more like today's American-English. Better still is a NIV Study-Bible because it references historical things going on at the time and discussion questions. I had a horrid time with the KJV's "...and unto thee thou hast maketh..." for example. When I tried to quote it, people waved me back saying 'Say it, don't spray it' and 'what the heck are you saying?' then I'd have to shrug.


[edit on 30-11-2004 by saint4God]



posted on Nov, 30 2004 @ 04:51 PM
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My course was set for genetic research primarily to work with cancer. Evolution was the tip of the iceberg. My research was heavily pressured to sell a project. I'd warned it was going nowhere, looked for help and was told to just keep going. When it was a flop after trying many, many avenues over the next four months, I was told I should've said something, got treated like an idiot and was essentially advised that this may not be the work for me. Though I disagreed as to why I should not continue, the experience of trying to prove I was smarter than my peers and selling a no-go project to some company destroyed my illusion that science was founded on the noble idea of helping society with their problems and discovering new frontiers. Lab worked sucked too, honestly. It required constant maintenance with little results only to be told I was no good. Loved the science, couldn't stand the community. I apologize for generalizing, you've proven not everyone is that way, it seemed to be that way whoever I turned at the time.
Just curious, but why was your research necessary to sell a product? Was your mentor low on grant monies? As far as projects going nowhere, having no assistance from colleagues or mentor, failing despite numerous attempts, and insistence that grad school isn't right for you.... I don't know how to comment... I suppose I'd have to say "Welcome to grad school!" While most don't experience all that you did. There are many of us who experienced at least bits and pieces of your story... sounds as if you picked a bad advisor, bad project, bad lab, bad whateverelse. It's tough going into grad school, and trying to make the decision where you want to work. Ideally, you do what you're interested in. In the end, it appears that most ignore what they are interested in for who's got the best funding, which mentors students get good post-docs, what's the publication record of your mentor like. It's a big decision, one that affects the rest of your education. I've not met a single Ph.D. who informs me that if they could do it over again, they'd do it the same way. Most would do things completely differently. Sorry to hear your experience was so negative. I can't say I never considered walking away, but I didn't consider it until I had too much time already invested.



There's a very very interested thread on Mormons here: www.abovetopsecret.com... Definately check it out. It's from a person who was a Mormon for 2 years and a fan of history.
I will check out this thread. I am reasonably privy to the Mormons belief system... at least the inconsistencies with it, as my wife's family is firmly ensconced in their Mormonism. Please note: I didn't say my wife; I referred very specifically to my wife's family. Her stepmom's familiy are like Pioneer Mormons, handcarts and everything. Her Dad has a museum quality replica of a handcart in front of his house. Interestingly enough, I am the only non-Mormon my wife can ever recall being in their home who wasn't subjected to 'the talk.' Weird, I wonder why? I feel so left out




Yes! The New International Version is the best. From what I've read it was translated by 200 scholars to ensure accuracy. The sentence structure and words are more like today's American-English. Better still is a NIV Study-Bible because it references historical things going on at the time and discussion questions. I had a horrid time with the KJV's "...and unto thee thou hast maketh..." for example. When I tried to quote it, people waved me back saying 'Say it, don't spray it' and 'what the heck are you saying?' then I'd have to shrug.
I know what you mean about having to shrug. Maybe that's always been my problem with the bible. I am sorry to have to admit, but it's always been my problem with Shakespeare. I just want to read something and have it make sense immediately... not to say I don't ponder over certain things, or I don't like to critically evaluate my info. Hell, when I read about drosophila segmentation genetics, I've got to read paragraphs and sentences over and over to understand the science; I don't mind that. What I mean is I want the authors message clearly conveyed in an unambigous and, possibly more importantly, as colloquial a manner as is possible. Maybe that's why I rather watch 'The Ten Commandments' than read Exodus(?), even though I am fully aware of the benefits of reading something for yourself.

Thanks again for your input Saint.



posted on Nov, 30 2004 @ 05:19 PM
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Originally posted by mattison0922
Just curious, but why was your research necessary to sell a product? Was your mentor low on grant monies?


I don't know...I guess that's why it was a big shocker for me. I'd expect it from a bank but not an educational institution. Here's the funny part. The bank I work has precepts like "Treat the Customer as you would expect to be treated" and other golden rule-type stuff so I ended up going there. I can honestly say they've done more to strengthen me morally than a lot of places I've been. I can do the right thing AND get paid for it. It was a win-win for me.


Originally posted by mattison0922
As far as projects going nowhere, having no assistance from colleagues or mentor, failing despite numerous attempts, and insistence that grad school isn't right for you.... I don't know how to comment... I suppose I'd have to say "Welcome to grad school!"


Touche'. Young and hasty though I was, in the end was probably the best move for me.


Originally posted by mattison0922
... sounds as if you picked a bad advisor, bad project, bad lab, bad whateverelse.


Agreed, though my advisor picked me. Under different circumstances I probably would have a different career.


Originally posted by mattison0922
I can't say I never considered walking away, but I didn't consider it until I had too much time already invested.


That's was I was afraid of. I felt I was at a crossroad and didn't want to end up 'stuck'.


Originally posted by mattison0922
Maybe that's why I rather watch 'The Ten Commandments' than read Exodus(?), even though I am fully aware of the benefits of reading something for yourself.


Understandable. Prince of Egypt though animated sheds an interesting perspective on the events. As far as The Passion goes, it was good but liked the book better.



posted on Dec, 1 2004 @ 12:44 AM
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Originally posted by Aeon10101110
While actually off-topic, I suppose this can be refuted in an off-handed manner too.

Interestingly enough, this can't really be refuted in an offhand manner, or any other manner, at least not yet.


said Jennifer McElwain, PhD, Associate Curator of Paleobotany at Chicago's Field Museum and sole author of the research to be published in Geology's December issue.

As you can see here for yourself. The article's not been published yet. Certainly being aware of the concept of advanced publication, especially advanced on-line publication, I looked all over, but have not found ANY advanced publication of this particular article yet. Perhaps, Aeon has access that I am not aware of. In this case, I would appreciate having a .pdf emailed to me. I can provide the address via u2u. It is further possible that Aeon knows the individuals involved with the project, that can be confirmed here. However barring these and other possible unforeseen possibilities, it doesn't appear that Aeon has actually read this article either. So, despite knowing practically nothing about the methods used, the statistical analysis, the number of samples, and obviously having never seen the data Aeon feels qualified to state the following:



Simply, this is another well-founded dating methodology relying upon good science, like so many other methods.


Incredible.... at least I think. Aeon knows nearly nothing about the methods used and can conclusively state that this is good science. IMO, barring an exceptional explanation, Aeons credibility=


In all fairness some information can be gleaned from the link that Aeon provided. While the idea behind the research certainly is noteworthy and novel, it is of course based on many of the same 'old-earth' arguments used to age strata. In short, there is no new testable information being offered here. What there appears to be is an attempt to make a correlation between something reasonable and observable, the number of stomata a plant has vs. elevation, with something completely speculative, namely the alleged age of the strata from which the fossils were taken, and the alleged age of the mountains. So this is of course completely in line with Aeon's uniformitarian view of the world, and is thus not surprising that he would cite it as


another well-founded dating methodology relying upon good science, like so many other methods.


So, Aeon, should I u2u my email address to you so you can forward me that reference?

[edit on 1-12-2004 by mattison0922]



posted on Dec, 1 2004 @ 02:16 AM
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mattison0922,
I have to confess I tend to gloss over threads and then post my viewpoint. You have gotten through my barriers that I have from dealing with people who refuse to let go of superstitious beliefs even for an instant.
I will have to go back and read more in depth the previous posts.

People's way of formulating ideas is to connect dots. Often there are no connections there, they are just independent dots. Sometimes i suppose there are actual connections between some dots.

The actual basic mechanism of evolution is almost idiotic. It is like dropping marbles into Eratosthene's sieve (prime numbers).

It sort of says, what exists does so because it has some better adaptation than those things that don't exist.

The same mechanism works for rock formations, weather patterns the forms and structures we see in the Universe. Two rocks side by side, one is granite the other is limestone. Both are in a stream of carbolic acid water (CO2 in H2O) i believe. The Granite persists longer than the limestone, which gets corroded by the CO2.

A weather system with the right conditions will persist longer than under the wrong conditions.

The difference with evolution is that it deals with small biochemical structures and systems that generally speaking duplicate themselves.
Interestingly enough you could say those biological systems that didn't/don't duplicate themselves would seem likely to not be found in as much abundance as those that do duplicate themselves.

Chemical systems that exist in a quasi state in solution, such as salts that ionize in solution yet solidify when dry. Under the right conditions with a good supply of source chemicals and atoms you should have chemical chains/sheets/formations that build up and then break down. Presumably various organic polymer constituents such as amino acids/protiens, and sugars/carbohydrates fit the bill. If a formation of organic chemicals builds up faster than it decays/degrades it will grow over time. [jumping some steps] If a formation creates a sphereoid that continues a net accrual to itself it will grow larger and when it gets to a sufficient size it lose more of it's rigidity. At that point it will under micro currents/turbulance tend to tear apart. If a particular sphereoid tends to grow to a still stable size and then neatly cleave in-two it retains its stability and can continue to grow. If done well enough the new created sphereoid may continue to grow. Some of these sphereoids may get some particular chains caught in them that create a better internal chemical environment that helps the sphereoid persist longer. Over time some of these sphereoids with chains inside may have chains that also grow, and the ones of those that cleave in some satisfactory manner may distribute that stablizing chain to the newly cleaved sphereoids.

Where people get in trouble is over-interpreting evolution is by giving it will and intent that evolution does not have. There is no designing of anything. It is more like shooting buckshot at something. Some will hit, most will not.

Basic Evolution is as completely stupid as one can imagine. It operates more like water flowing down a hillside. It is not 'artful' or directed. It still can be quite lovely.

Sexual reproduction created a huge advance [speed-up] of genetic change. There was at that point built in variance from generation to generation.
It also created potential for a 'selection' process. Initially chemical in nature, eventually rising to the point that the males, females or both chose their mates. This is the only point at which Evolution begins to take on ANY higher thought processes. And even that is limited to a single individual and a bit arbitrary. Now we have started intentionally designing species and variants by manipulating genes. We have started to take on the role that has always been atributed to some God(s) in the past.

For a particulary sucessful, and therefore un/less stressed species the selections could potentially be more and more esoteric. So a species that by accident of sudden ecological niche change could be 'superior' to there challenges. That might very naturally go into social complexity/relations.

What you see in evolution most often is 'good enough'.
Highly evolved nervous systems are very energy, nutrient, resourse expensive. Any creature that can get by without one has much less overhead to support.

The only reason that mammals are as abundant as they are is not because dinosaurs/reptiles were intrinsically less well adapted, but simply a bad [set of?] event. If the same thing happens now we very likely could go the same way.

The more adaptable species tend to persist better than those that become over specialized. The brown/black bears on North America are doing reasonably well, the panda dependant exclusively on bamboo is in danger.

A speculation of mine: Does the longer a species exists in a stable ecological niche tend to lead to over-specialization? Or is that more because the ecological niche itself is too specified? [species A has several different food sources so it is adaptable and species B has only one viable food source and therefore becomes very/over adapted and dependant].

Most people see all the dots [individual organisms] and connect them in their minds. They ususally draw a tree. In fact they are more like fog. If you move through the fog it simply flows around you. It tends to fill the lowest spots. Like water or air filling a container as physics dictates. Where we get lost is in our egos, assuming there is something so fine about ourselves [or our ancestors]. We [as a species] are just an accident of nature. The speeding up mechanisms of evolution are in place already [sexual reproduction, sexual selection]. It may be that to lose of the first semi-advanced species misjudgements about ourselves and the Universe, some other species will have to evolve on the wreckage of ourselves. Then they will look and see they were not the first [until they rise beyond us, when they will be] it will help them to have the sensible humility of place in the Universe. There is no carved-out place for us in the Universe. We do what we do [mostly based on instinct and habit] and on rare occasions those who have the freedom of time and energy look out into the void of the future and dream and imagine.

I think the innovators in society and history are usually people who are possessed of an idea. In otherwords someone with a persistent dream or idea in their minds.
.



posted on Dec, 1 2004 @ 03:02 AM
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reply to some of shmick25's early comments,

Have you ever seen the artistic and i do mean artistic creations of bower birds?
They collect and arrange objects purely to impress the female. There is a nature program with various Bower bird species in them. Very cool. See it if you can.

Emotions tend to be a mind/motivation hook for many higher organisms. Our basic motivations are still pleasure, pain, anxiety. Sex need intellectually not need to be emotional, but as for most everyone it pretty apparently is. This is probably because it is such a priority for perpetuation of an individual gene line and the species as a whole. Emotions do give a basic framework of our motivations and actions. Avoid/eliminate pain, satiate hunger and thirst, defend/advance one's place in the group, find those we enjoy spending time around.

The most advanced decision making process is probably completely dispassionate, but would be totally unmotivating. So finding some mix of rationality and emotional drive is probably the best a living creature can acheive.

As to supernatural aspects of the Universe, I personally have never had any personal experience that way. I think there may be occasional creations of ghosts at some people's deaths, but suspect is is a rare occurance. Probably has to do with certain physics conditions.

I think conciousness has to do with the blood gas content and type. I think it may take on a sort of resonance which transfers signals/states readily through a system. Sort of like tuning forks that can vibrate simply from a similar air frequency created by another harmonic fork. [piano strings too]. Purely speculatively I would say maybe ghosts have and hold a [sub]conscious mental state even in death. [scary to think about] I think headaches can be caused by too much CO2 in the brain.

Many supernatural aspects of the Universe may be like neutrinos, mostly we are totally unaware of them, and only occasionally do they have any effect we perceive.

Taste and smell is a chemical testing system. Sugars/sweet gives us easy to digest energy, salt is needed for electrolytes, sours, peppers, we probably need in very small amouts as micronutrients. Bitters especially in large quantities are often toxic. Smells often indicate the state of food. Fragrant ripe fruit, meat that is good or foul/putrid. These get adapted to some degree by association. If we grew up on particular diets, we will likely think of them as appetizing and be less happy with 'strange' foods/combinations that other cultures may eat.

The best reason for complex mentalities in social animals is that dealing with a group of unique individuals demands keeping track of personalities and how each one might react so we know best how to deal with them. If you can imagine how some else feels about something allows you to guess/anticipate them somewhat.

We probably hold onto ideas much longer than any other species, real and imagined. It has turned out to be a devastatingly successful ability. We project ideas even on the in-animate world. Shelters, fire, materials use, design, function, etc. We are very inclined to wonder about things. This could partly be a function of our success as a species, simply put we have time and luxury to wonder. Animals for whom everything is hand to mouth and constant feeding, defense and constant activities probably have little time to imagine Gods, fantasies, automobiles etc.
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posted on Dec, 1 2004 @ 03:44 AM
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If one looks at the depth of the Grand Canyon, all its various layers, how can anyone think that was layed down in 5000 years? or 10,000 years or 20,000 years? And then the time for water to cut a path through it. We have had written history for 240 years on this continent and no floods or new sediments. The Indians have been here for thousands of years and have no history or myths about repeated (or even singular) floods that deposited silts. How do Anti-Evolutionists rationalize that?

If someone wants to teach creationism at school to a student who wants to hear it, that is fine, but it has NOTHING to do with science. Evolution is the current scientific theory that best correlates with the evidence. If some students can't handle learning about it maybe they can opt out of that chapter of their science class.

Do we have to degrade science to the lowest common denominator?
At what point does it simply cease to be science?
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posted on Dec, 1 2004 @ 04:01 AM
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And what about the stars, black holes, planets, comets and nebulae?

Did some magician/God/whatever create all that on the same day?
So all this was created just for us, their 'special' species.
How soon are you going to revert to saying the Earth is the center of the Universe? Is the rest of the Universe just a big illusion?
Are Astronmers and Physicists wrong too when they say the Universe is 13-15 billion years old? You should argue that one with an atomic bomb. Bet you the scientists kick your arse hands down.

Maybe we should disallow students from looking at the stars, they may be blasphemous stars.

How many fields of science do you want to throw away? It must be magic making your automobile run, the heater work, the lights come on. Is that white magic or black magic? How far back into superstition do you people want to sink? Are you really like many animals that run from a camp fire because you don't understand it?
.



posted on Dec, 1 2004 @ 06:02 AM
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Hi Slank,

Thanks for replying back to my post. You have some interesting ideas. I personally have learnt a lot from reading these threads even if I am not a great 'master' of knowing all there is to know about evolution.

These are the conclusions I have drawn.

1. Humans are smart and are becoming smarter (not wiser).
2. Humans still do not know everything.
3. Humans believe in the theories they think are right.

I will go through each of these one by one and then tie it into the talk about evolution.



1. Humans are smart and are becoming smarter (not wiser)


It is impossible to argue that humans are not getting smarter. While their intelligence capacity may have been the same for thousands of years, with the advent of universities, schools, paper and computers and most importantly the Internet, mankind has increased in knowledge. However, this increase in knowledge is a two edged sword. Humans now have the capacity to destroy the earth numerous times over with atomic weapons. They are also acting irresponsibly with earth’s resources as they are not distributed equally over the world, not to mention global pollution etc. So smart does not equal wise.



2. Humans still do not know everything.


Here are some things that humans do not know that are happening right now (even with access to lots of data, technology and ample evidence) (and by no means is this a complete list)

- why is it that almost 100 whales decided to beach themselves and die just this week in Australia and NZ
- how did aids start and how do we find a cure for it?
- where are sadams weapons of mass destruction (hehe)?
- how is it possible to cure cancer, diabetes, down syndrome, the common cold etc
- what causes gravity? etc..

Even today, there are 10000s of things that we do not know about the human body. In another 10 years time over 50% of people will be seeking natural therapies over traditional medicine. What does this say about human perception of modern medicine?

The point I am making here is, 'if humans have really no idea of how to fix our bodies now, (because we are so amazingly complex), how the hell can they formulate probable theories of how we were developed millions of years ago. (For your reference, 40% of scientists do not support or believe in evolution. If there was substantial proof that evolution was infallible, then this would be 100% in support of evolution)

So because humans do not know everything, theories are created to support that which is unsubstantiated. i.e. the flat earth theory, ghosts, evolution.



3. Humans believe in the theories they think are right.


There are 3 distinct camps.
- I that believe that the theory of evolution is correct.
- I believes the story of creation is correct.
- I believe a combination of the 2.
(A minority of people are confused and have given up thinking about it and really do not care 2 hoots!!)

The important thing to realise is that the above 3 options require belief and at the end of the day, you are only arguing about whose belief is correct or incorrect. (it is impossible to claim that evolution is a fact if ANY assumptions are made in any part of the theory (even if they are supposedly educated assumptions) An assumption is an assumption).

On the one hand a evolutionist will say 'how can you argue against the evidence of dinosaur fossils?'

On the other hand the creationist will argue 'how can you argue against my religious experiences?'

As a Christian, I am big enough to admit that I do not have a clue regarding some of the fossils and their place in history, however, I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt I would prefer to believe in an all powerful God that has the capacity to create an earth in 7 days over a group of 'smart' scientists that can not agree on a theory of how the earth originated.

And I will repeat it once again - evolution = belief in man | creation = belief in God.

Not very scientific buy hopefully a little philosophical



posted on Dec, 1 2004 @ 01:05 PM
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mattison0922,
I have to confess I tend to gloss over threads and then post my viewpoint. You have gotten through my barriers that I have from dealing with people who refuse to let go of superstitious beliefs even for an instant.
I will have to go back and read more in depth the previous posts.

Thanks for your candor


People's way of formulating ideas is to connect dots. Often there are no connections there, they are just independent dots. Sometimes i suppose there are actual connections between some dots.

For the most part, Agreed. I do tend to take issue when people describe assorted facts, coupled with speculation and inductive reasoning a ‘fact.’


The actual basic mechanism of evolution is almost idiotic. It is like dropping marbles into Eratosthene's sieve (prime numbers).
Hmmmm, this statement seems at odds with your previous posts. What do you mean idiotic, Like Darwin and Gould are fools? I certainly wouldn’t argue that. Please clarify.


It sort of says, what exists does so because it has some better adaptation than those things that don't exist.

Is this what you take issue with in the above quote?


The same mechanism works for rock formations, weather patterns the forms and structures we see in the Universe. Two rocks side by side, one is granite the other is limestone. Both are in a stream of carbolic acid water (CO2 in H2O) i believe. The Granite persists longer than the limestone, which gets corroded by the CO2.

I am not sure you are correct about the rocks. As I understand it, limestone is precipitated calcium carbonate, and granite is postulated to be rock identical or at least nearly identical to rhyolite with respect to mineral composition. The differences between granite and rhyolite, I believe, are thought to be based in the way they were formed. Aslo, no big deal, but carbolic acid is phenol… the stuff that gives cholroseptic that funny taste. Water and CO2 is CARBONIC acid. Geological semantics aside, I don’t believe you can compare the inorganic dissolution and/or precipitation of mineral complexes to natural selection. Both are obviously observable phenomena, and certainly exist, but are distinct and not, IMO, analogous.

A weather system with the right conditions will persist longer than under the wrong conditions.

Again, IMO, this analogy is inappropriate.


The difference with evolution is that it deals with small biochemical structures and systems that generally speaking duplicate themselves. Interestingly enough you could say those biological systems that didn't/don't duplicate themselves would seem likely to not be found in as much abundance as those that do duplicate themselves.

Biological systems that don’t duplicate themselves are not observed, unless you are speaking of viruses, which actually present some interesting topics for discussion in the evolution genre. But the nature of a biological system is replication. Biochemical structures do not duplicate themselves. New copies are created from raw material based on a specific set of encoded instructions, utilizing a complex system of synthesis/degradation pathways, feedback loops, and energy transduction. To state that biochemical structures duplicate themselves is misleading and an extreme oversimplification of the process. The process is highly ordered, highly regulated, and is not as haphazard as crystallization of minerals or formation of weather patterns.


Chemical systems that exist in a quasi state in solution, such as salts that ionize in solution yet solidify when dry.
Crystallization of salts via evaporation of water is a poor analogy. While this example certainly represents a decrease in local entropy, it is countered and will occur spontaneously because of sufficient negative enthalpy. This is in no way comparable to the formation of biomolecules, which is in general associated with a positive enthalpy and decrease in entropy, both of which render a reaction non-spontaneous.


Under the right conditions with a good supply of source chemicals and atoms you should have chemical chains/sheets/formations that build up and then break down.

True, but these chains/sheets/formations that build up, lack many of the signatures of biomolecules, in particular stereospecificity. The mishmash of molecules produced is a racemic mixture, containing more or less equal parts of each possible stereoisomer. These racemic mixtures are useless and in fact counterproductive to the formation of biologically relevant molecules. I would imagine you are referring to Miller’s work here. Miller’s work of course was based on the notion of a reducing primordial atmosphere, which is currently a hotly debated notion. Furthermore, if you examine Miller’s methods you would note that he uses a cooled condenser to collect his products. Without this safe haven, the molecules would continue to ‘build up and breakdown’ as you stated.


Presumably various organic polymer constituents such as amino acids/protiens, and sugars/carbohydrates fit the bill.
Bad assumption. If ANY scientist had ever produced anything resembling a coherent biologically useful polymer via ‘Milleresque’ experiments, I would not be involved with this thread. All the biomolecules you’ve mentioned have the stereospecific requirement at least. Amino acids have further ‘requirements’ in that they must be alpha amino acids. Given the myriad ways the three components of a nucleotide (sugar, phosphate, nitrogenous base) could possibly come together, no random act could ever produce a molecule like DNA, even a short fragment, much less the thousands necessary to encode even the most basic processes.


If a formation of organic chemicals builds up faster than it decays/degrades it will grow over time. [jumping some steps] If a formation creates a sphereoid that continues a net accrual to itself it will grow larger and when it gets to a sufficient size it lose more of it's rigidity. At that point it will under micro currents/turbulance tend to tear apart. If a particular sphereoid tends to grow to a still stable size and then neatly cleave in-two it retains its stability and can continue to grow. If done well enough the new created sphereoid may continue to grow. Some of these sphereoids may get some particular chains caught in them that create a better internal chemical environment that helps the sphereoid persist longer. Over time some of these sphereoids with chains inside may have chains that also grow, and the ones of those that cleave in some satisfactory manner may distribute that stablizing chain to the newly cleaved sphereoids.

Okay… seems like a reasonable notion, however there are some fundamental flaws. For example if you’ve got conditions wherein ‘organic chemicals builds up faster than it decays/degrades’ what you have is a reactive environment. For sufficient organic synthesis to occur a certain amount of free energy must be present in this reactive environment. In a mish-mash of organic compounds as you’ve postulated, that available free energy will be contributing to ALL possible chemical reactions. Thus there will be nearly equivalent bond formation and breaking. This continuous formation/breaking of bonds results in the ‘organic tar’ that is the bane of synthetic organic chemists and oven cleaners anywhere. Look at your observable world: When you mix heat (a form of free energy) and organic chemicals you don’t get order, you get a black tarry mess. And you don’t need me or an organic chemist to tell you this, all you need is a barbeque.


Where people get in trouble is over-interpreting evolution is by giving it will and intent that evolution does not have. There is no designing of anything. It is more like shooting buckshot at something. Some will hit, most will not.

Hmmm… there could be some confusion here. I don’t know if anyone in this thread claimed evolution was designing anything. I follow the thread pretty carefully and I don’t recall this. Evolution, as it is postulated has no intent or will. I don’t believe those things were stated here either. If they were, it certainly wasn’t by me. Either way, I would disagree with this. I think that where people get into trouble is by under-analyzing the available data from all relevant disciplines. As you are well aware evolutionary thought covers nearly the entire science spectrum, zoology, molecular biology, organic chemistry, physiology, geology, paleontology, anatomy, and many more. Most people get into the trap of only examining the notion through their own particular discipline. It’s easy to believe in evolution if all you’ve looked at is the fossil record. It’s easy to believe in evolution when all you’ve seen is some sequence homology data, and it’s easy to believe in evolution if you use comparative anatomy. The real problems with theory become strikingly apparent when one considers say comparative anatomy in conjunction with developmental or molecular biology. Evolution is a multi-disciplinary ‘science’ and thus requires a multi-disciplinary approach of inquiry if one wishes to gain any true perspective about its state of coherence. So again, I respectfully disagree with the notion that people are over-interpreting evolution; I would state people are under-analyzing the available data.


Sexual reproduction created a huge advance [speed-up] of genetic change. There was at that point built in variance from generation to generation.

This actually raises an interesting point: What was the selective pressure to evolve sexual reproduction? You’ve stated that it speeds up the rate of genetic change, which I agree with and will address in a moment. But, the increase in the rate of genetic change occurs only after the fact, and cannot be defined as selective pressure. As you pointed out, evolution has not will and is not directed. IMO, those organisms that were hermaphroditic and didn’t require a partner would have the greatest chance of survival. Furthermore, sexual reproduction isn’t a requirement for genetic recombination. Bacteria are perfectly capable of genetic recombination, and they can do it better, that is horizontally; bacteria can alter there genomes without reproducing. Furthermore the fact that sexual reproduction isn’t required for genetic recombination would tend to negate or at least call into question that particular advantage.


It also created potential for a 'selection' process. Initially chemical in nature, eventually rising to the point that the males, females or both chose their mates. This is the only point at which Evolution begins to take on ANY higher thought processes.

Slank, this statement stands is direct opposition to your above statements re: will/direction in evolution. Evolution does not take on a higher thought process. I think what you mean to say is that evolution begins to affected by higher thought processes. And again this ‘selection process’ only occurs AFTER the fact. It still doesn’t address the fundamental issue of selective pressure driving the emergence of sexual reproduction.

And even that is limited to a single individual

It’s really some what inappropriate to speak of individuals when speaking of evolution. The discipline is based on the concept of slight variations within populations. In the absence of certain environmental influeces, such as the founder effect, individuals are inconsequential to evolution.


Now we have started intentionally designing species

We haven’t intentionally designed any species. Certainly we’ve manipulated existing genes and existing genomes. To my knowledge we haven’t created genes or species de novo. What species specifically are you referring to when you say we’ve ‘intentionally design[ed] species?’


We have started to take on the role that has always been atributed to some God(s) in the past.

This is not my particular genre, but which roles? We’ve not created genes, we’ve not created anything resembling life. No scientist has created any useful products by assembling a random arrangement of nucleotides or amino acids. Self-replicating and templated directed synthesis experiments tend to be methodically flawed. I don’t believe that even the most arrogant evolutionist would claim we’ve achieved anything resembling that which was achieved by a)random processes b)Supernatural beings or c)forces unknown (insert your particular choice), although I continue to be astonished by them.


For a particulary sucessful, and therefore un/less stressed species the selections could potentially be more and more esoteric. So a species that by accident of sudden ecological niche change could be 'superior' to there challenges. That might very naturally go into social complexity/relations.

I don’t think I have any major issues with this statement other than semantics. IMO particularly successful ‘kinds’ are under the same stress that it’s less successful colleagues are experiencing, however they are better adapted… same stress, different or better coping mechanisms. Like when my wife and I see George Bush on TV: I am overcome with feelings of nausea, revulsion, angst, bitterness and rage, and tend to rant and rave. She is only mildly sickened, and doesn’t suffer the same pangs because she just turns the channel… See… same stress, different or better coping mechanism


What you see in evolution most often is 'good enough'.
Highly evolved nervous systems are very energy, nutrient, resourse expensive. Any creature that can get by without one has much less overhead to support.

Hmmmm… not quite sure how to interpret this either. I guess I don’t know what you mean by “What you see in evolution most often is 'good enough.'” Please clarify. So… based on your statement what was the selective pressure to develop nervous systems?


The more adaptable species tend to persist better than those that become over specialized. The brown/black bears on North America are doing reasonably well, the panda dependant exclusively on bamboo is in danger.

Granted. Take it to the next step. How does this ‘prove’ that my most distant ancestor is a primordial, single-celled entity?


A speculation of mine: Does the longer a species exists in a stable ecological niche tend to lead to over-specialization? Or is that more because the ecological niche itself is too specified? [species A has several different food sources so it is adaptable and species B has only one viable food source and therefore becomes very/over adapted and dependant].

Interesting question. I would imagine it varies on a case by case basis. While I am not familiar with the alleged phylogeny of the Panda, perhaps Pandas suffer from a founder effect type scenario. Ultimately what it comes down to is the level of genetic diversity present in a population. More unique genes afford more adaptive possibilities; the more unique alleles that exist within a population, the better that population is suited to adapt. Perhaps I need some clarification: Panda’s eat ONLY bamboo? Is it that they can’t eat other things or won’t. If they can’t what’s the problem? To my bamboo is still just cellulose right?


Most people see all the dots [individual organisms] and connect them in their minds. They ususally draw a tree.

Again this is the problem. The tree is pre-supposed.


In fact they are more like fog. If you move through the fog it simply flows around you. It tends to fill the lowest spots.
Not sure I agree with or even understand this analog. IMO the low spots and holes are not even close to being filled in… more like ‘partly cloudy’


We [as a species] are just an accident of nature.
While I don’t personally take issue with or necessarily believe it. There are most likely others who would disagree with you on this thread. I would again challenge you to provide even a shred of TESTABLE evidence that demonstrates this.


The speeding up mechanisms of evolution are in place already [sexual reproduction, sexual selection].

Please see my above rebuttals re: sexual reproduction.


It may be that to lose of the first semi-advanced species misjudgements about ourselves and the Universe, some other species will have to evolve on the wreckage of ourselves.

Is this really what religious doctrine teaches, that we are somehow special and unique? I understand the ‘created in God’s image’ thing, but in the minds of the religiously inclined is this the case? Saint, Schmick, do you believe that humans are somehow more important or more special than any of the other creations of God?


If one looks at the depth of the Grand Canyon, all its various layers, how can anyone think that was layed down in 5000 years? or 10,000 years or 20,000 years? And then the time for water to cut a path through it. We have had written history for 240 years on this continent and no floods or new sediments. The Indians have been here for thousands of years and have no history or myths about repeated (or even singular) floods that deposited silts. How do Anti-Evolutionists rationalize that?

Not sure if this was addressed to me or not, but I felt compelled to respond. It sounds like you’ve been to the Canyon, have you? I go two or three times year. Certainly have observed from both the north and south rim, have rafted the entire length of the canyon, have done the rim to rim hike (3X), the rim to rim run (2X), and have mtn biked through the Canyon. I tend to be lean more towards catostrophism with respect to this. IMO, the canyon could have been carved in just a few years or even a few weeks. Perhaps you are unfamiliar with Burlingame Canyon near Walla Walla, Washington. This canyon is nearly 1500 feet long, up to 120 feet deep, and 120 feet wide, winding through a hillside. It was observed to form in less than six days. Six days of runaway erosion removed nearly five million cubic feet of silt, sand, and rock. Given enough water, canyons can be carved quite rapidly. Furthermore there exists geological evidence of 2 extremely large lakes covering much of prehistoric N. Arizona and surrounding states; the lakes are commonly referred to as ‘Grand Lake’ and ‘Hopi Lake.’ It has been postulated that breach of an earthen dam containing these lakes caused the formation of the Grand Canyon and Marble Canyon. The remnants of this earthen dam exist today as Echo Cliffs and The Vermillion Cliffs. Incidentally, Slank, perhaps you’d care to comment on a post I made earlier in this thread. Where did all the dirt (more than 1000 cubic miles) associated with the formation of the Grand Canyon go? There is no large river delta at the mouth of the Colorado in the Gulf of California. Why is this? Where did this dirt go?


If someone wants to teach creationism at school to a student who wants to hear it, that is fine,
Actually, (and I don’t know what country you live in) it’s not fine here. You absolutely can’t teach it in the public schools in the US.


but it has NOTHING to do with science.
Strict evangelical and biblical creationism MAY not have anything to do with science. However there exist entire schools of thought (creation science) based on the scientific support for creationist theories. These individuals conduct research, and are familiar with the literature, and publish in their own refereed and peer-reviewed journals. I understand the typical complaints that ‘creationists are biased,’ well I’ve got a shocker for you, so are evolutionists. Identifying yourself as a member of either camp makes you biased. However to state they are biased and dismiss their work without ever having looked at it is just wrong. Because someone has a set of beliefs doesn’t make their science bad. Experiments need to be judged on an individual basis, not on who is performing them.


Evolution is the current scientific theory that best correlates with the evidence.
I again challenge you: What alternatives to evolution have you truly examined? What creation science books have you read? What panspermia references have you read? For that matter, what evolution books have you read? This thread is filled with ideas, suggestions and evidence that evolution doesn’t explain all that it claims to. What alternate explanations have you familiarized yourself with?


If some students can't handle learning about it maybe they can opt out of that chapter of their science class.

Yeah, right. Maybe we can just let kids pick and choose what they want to learn.


Do we have to degrade science to the lowest common denominator?

At what point does it simply cease to be science?

Who has degraded science? I have not degraded science. But science always needs to be questioned. There is always more to know.

Evolution ceases to be science when it’s proclaimed as a fact. The proclamation of ‘fact’ is where science ends and dogma begins.


And what about the stars, black holes, planets, comets and nebulae?

What about them? I would be happy to discuss them with you… comets in particular are very interesting.


Did some magician/God/whatever create all that on the same day? So all this was created just for us, their 'special' species.
I think the magician postulate is from another thread… perhaps Saint or Schmick can help you with the God question.



How soon are you going to revert to saying the Earth is the center of the Universe?

I personally am not… mostly because I don’t really care, and I don’t believe it relevant to anything that I am actually interested in. Interestingly enough, if you’d bothered to read this thread, you’d have realized that someone did make this claim in this very thread. There is a website and everything. And while I am not supporting the idea, nor have I even considered the science behind it, obviously this school of thought exists. If it exists there is probably a reason, and if you are interested, it’s your responsibility to investigate said reason, and form your own opinion PRIOR to commenting.


Is the rest of the Universe just a big illusion?

I don’t believe this was postulated here. Hmmm… perhaps you are confusing this post with a post concerned with the beliefs of David Icke, who happens to believe the universe is an illusion.


Are Astronmers and Physicists wrong too when they say the Universe is 13-15 billion years old? You should argue that one with an atomic bomb. Bet you the scientists kick your arse hands down.

Hmmm… they certainly could be wrong. I mean none of them were here 13 billion years ago. My personal belief: scientists have no real clue about the age of the universe. And despite the fear and intimidation I feel from reading your ‘atomic bomb’ comment and the threat of “scientists kicking [my] arse,” I’ll take you up on this offer. You pick the age of the universe topic, and we can discuss it here in this thread.


Maybe we should disallow students from looking at the stars, they may be blasphemous stars.

What’s a blasphemous star? I may not want to look at one myself… sounds scary.


How many fields of science do you want to throw away?
Hmmm… somehow I feel like I am the one who should be asking this question.


It must be magic making your automobile run, the heater work, the lights come on.

These are obviously observable man-made phenomena and require no supernatural explanation. To compare the observable as above, with unobservable, (evolution for example) is a poor analogy. And based on the evolutionary theory that cells spontaneously arose from random chemical associations, I would say it’s not just the creationists who are proposing magic.


How far back into superstition do you people want to sink? Are you really like many animals that run from a camp fire because you don't understand it?

No superstition in my posts. I could ask the same question of you though. I say evolution isn’t a fact and I get reactions from people ranging from pissed off to whining like a little baby. Why is that notion so inconceivable for you? I’ve already posted the reason why: because the alternative is unacceptable to you… hence, running from a fire because you don’t understand it.

Slank, awaiting your reply.



posted on Dec, 1 2004 @ 08:02 PM
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Rocks occur naturally, Planets occur naturally, Stars [that exist for longer than anyone of us] occur naturally, why are we or any form of life different?

Evolution is like the jet stream. It is real. It has form. It moves. But it has no innate structure.

Individuals are the basic unit of evolution. Evolution has NO structure, it is just random events that grant or deny survial of individual chemicals and organisms. It is absolutely like a casino. While no individual outcome can be predicted, the law of large numbers says that certain outcomes are more likely over the long run. The process has to be seen as a cascade of vast numbers of individual events. What we see is just the results of permutations and addtions to genetic and pre-genetic organic chemical structures and processes. In fact many potentially better adaptations may have been squelched by bad luck. The process for the most part operates on the law of large numbers.

Speciation can be thought of as having special chips that only apply to a specific game. [quaters in the quarters slot machines, etc.]

Only when you get to more 'advanced' [that is a loaded word] species that are so hyper-equiped that smaller numbers of individuals live long and have more of an impact on persistance. They can be thought of as a new type of game in the casino. One where larger numbers of chips are passed/duplicated from generation to generation.

If it was a designed creation honestly it looks pretty pallid and uninspired as far as i can see.

If various forms of life are created, why not make the fundamental chemistry and genetics of each more unique? Why do we have so many genes in common with all life forms? Why are the genetic patterns of higher primates so close to our own? If someone is designing each one from scratch, I would think simply out of boredom they would make each one more unique.
Would some people claim that the Apes and 'lower' forms were just trial runs till God 'got it right'? That sounds an awfully lot like evolution, a working process.

Evolution doesn't cap everything off with us or even current species, it is a process that happens all around us, and is even currently being observed by some researchers now. Much as many may want to dismiss micro-evolution, you are looking at one game of the genetic casino of chance in action.

In short you, i and everyone and everything animate and inanimate are all just statistics. [And in the long run that is the fact, don't love that, but what can you do?]

We may be smart enough to 'stack the decks' as we manipulate the genecode. Whether we are wise enough to do it with minimal catastrophic consquences remains to be seen.
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posted on Dec, 1 2004 @ 10:11 PM
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Rocks occur naturally, Planets occur naturally, Stars [that exist for longer than anyone of us] occur naturally, why are we or any form of life different?

Sorry, poor analogy again. Organisms are infinitely more complex than rocks, planets or stars… completely inappropriate analogy. However, if you’d care to, we can discuss the formation of stars and planets… rocks too!


Evolution is like the jet stream. It is real. It has form. It moves. But it has no innate structure.
Translation: I disagree with your argument but can’t really dispute in any intelligent manner, thus I will make vague simile.


Individuals are the basic unit of evolution. Evolution has NO structure, it is just random events that grant or deny survial of individual chemicals and organisms.
Please see my above rebuttal.


It is absolutely like a casino. While no individual outcome can be predicted, the law of large numbers says that certain outcomes are more likely over the long run.

I could agree or disagree, if I knew what the ‘law of large numbers’ was. However, you can argue statistics all you want, I am merely informing you of what happens in actual experiments.


The process has to be seen as a cascade of vast numbers of individual events. What
we see is just the results of permutations and addtions to genetic and pre-genetic organic chemical structures and processes.

This is such garbage. I can’t believe you’re willing to post this.

In fact many potentially better adaptations may have been squelched by bad luck.
Oh, really? Perhaps you can provide an example; although I seriously doubt it.


The process for the most part operates on the law of large numbers.

?


Speciation can be thought of as having special chips that only apply to a specific game. [quaters in the quarters slot machines, etc.]

Classic!


If it was a designed creation honestly it looks pretty pallid and uninspired as far as i can see.

Sorry to hear you have such a bleak outlook of the world and life in general. I guess this answers my previous question, that you’ve not seen the Grand Canyon first hand.


If various forms of life are created, why not make the fundamental chemistry and genetics of each more unique? Why do we have so many genes in common with all life forms? Why are the genetic patterns of higher primates so close to our own? If someone is designing each one from scratch, I would think simply out of boredom they would make each one more unique.

Why not? But if I had to guess, I’d say, to make life compatible with other life. Why make organisms that can’t function and complement each other in the same biosphere. It makes the most sense to plan your organisms along similar lines. I don’t understand why this is even an issue. What genetic patterns of primates are so close to our own, specifically?


Would some people claim that the Apes and 'lower' forms were just trial runs till God 'got it right'? That sounds an awfully lot like evolution, a working process.

Some people might claim that, but no one has in this thread.


Evolution doesn't cap everything off with us or even current species, it is a process that happens all around us, and is even currently being observed by some researchers now. Much as many may want to dismiss micro-evolution, you are looking at one game of the genetic casino of chance in action.

In short you, i and everyone and everything animate and inanimate are all just statistics. [And in the long run that is the fact, don't love that, but what can you do?]

We may be smart enough to 'stack the decks' as we manipulate the genecode. Whether we are wise enough to do it with minimal catastrophic consquences remains to be seen.


I hate to be so disrespectful, but this post is truly a monument to ineptitude. You’ve not addressed even a single issue being brought forth on this thread. Instead of intelligently discussing this topic you’ve opted to ramble incessantly about nothing. You’ve not made even one intelligent or coherent argument in support of your position. Why are you even bothering to post?
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