Monday, March 30, 2009

A LAYMAN'S THOUGHTS ON EVOLUTION

Here is why I'm skeptical of Darwin's theory --as a non-scientist --as a Bible-believer.

Why are we not able to see any creatures in transition today from...say...fish to mammal --or ape to "ape-like creature" to human --or ape-like creature diverging to human and ape? Why are these transitions out of one category of life form into a new category not observeable today? Why are bacteria always still bacteria and viruses still viruses --no matter how many generations they multiply with lightning speed --no matter how many mutations occur--if they do? Why do all life forms keep replicating "after their own kind," just as the Bible said?


Nature is repetitive --so why not evolution?


Steven J. Gould and Dr. Patterson of the British Museum of Natural History both admitted at some point that transitional fossils were not available --"no missing link" in the fossil record, the Time or Newsweek magazine announced perhaps 3 decades ago. (I haven't found the article on line but my husband and I read it with our own eyes when it was published.) That's the article that told about Gould's theory of "punctuated eqilibrium," as a process of evolution too rapid to form fossils. My husband always said we should be "standing knee-deep" in millions of trans-fossils if evolution were true. I say that even when we DO find fossils bearing features of extinct creatures with features of two separate creature categories, we cannot say they ARE common ancestors or evidence of descent from a common ancestor of the two or more kinds. We could just as legitimately say the trans-fossil is evidence that God designed and created a creature with DNA in common with two present-day categories --like mammals all share similar characteristics and DNA which make us classify them as mammals.


Yes, Darwin was a genius and a scholar at categorizing the life forms by their similarities and what we now find to be DNA in common --as in apes and humans. He assumed common ancestry for the creatures with similarities; no one has proven it. While DNA may be interpreted as "evidence" of common ancestry, the evidence can also be interpreted as proof of a designer in common --who "wrote" the DNA code for the ape and the human, giving them these similarities in design code from their creation. For sure, we don't see any of these creatures transitioning today from one category to another --ape to human--fish to mammal --or whatever the prevailing theory of common descent is today.


More recently, Dr. Michael Behe, a molecular biology prof at Lehigh U. said the cell shows complexity and interdependent features (irreducible complexity) which are evidence of design and thus a designer or intelligence behind the design. Not a fundamentalist but a Catholic, Behe supposedly DOES believe in the process of evolution but that it must have been guided by some kind of intelligent creative entity. I've wondered if Behe hasn't had to agree with Darwin to some extent to keep his job --as his college has made a statement that the rest of the department does not agree with him. It has become religiously political for people in the sciences to support faith in Darwin's belief in evolution, i.e. transitions from common ancestors --and all life from one-celled creatures after a Big Bang. Expelled, No Intelligence Allowed, the Ben Stein movie did a good job of discussing evidence for Intelligent Design and showed how politics and faith in Darwin are interfering with good science (more than creationism does) by closing doors to qualified, brilliant scientists who don't agree. Darwin's theory is the backbone of present-day atheism, after all, and we do see that it is defended "religiously." More and more, there will be a litmus test for grad school candidates to see if they believe in Darwin.


Consider, why do evolutionists try to debunk Behe (with ad hominem attacks mostly) if he really believes in evolution, but sees design and thus intelligence behind irreducible complexity? Consider that many evolution-believers try to say that evolution and creation are compatible -that God did it Darwin's way. Supposedly, ID theorists MAY be evolutionists as Behe is said to be --theistic evolutionists --i.e. they believe God GUIDED the process of evolution --some would say in 6 great ages or a Biblical and metaphorical 6 days for stages of evolution.


The scientific method is all about observation --and one thing for sure, evolution out of one life category into another, has not been observed. Evolution is speculated as a naturalistic explanation for the similarities in creatures --and as a defense for an atheistic theory of origins --how all life came to be without a divine intelligence behind it by random, accidental result of natural selection, adaptation, survival of the fittest, etc.


Meanwhile, humans don't seem to be getting "better" or evolving upward with successive generations. We always have our haters and murderers --from Nazis to Ku Klux Klan to Islamic terrorists.


And yet we heard yesterday in our church the story of a minister named Billy Wayne Harrington --and how his family were the poster children of dysfunctional families with unfaithful spouses, alcoholic abusive father who almost murdered their mother one night, 3 younger brothers whom Billy Wayne had to raise himself and protect from children's services taking them away. He said he wanted them to stay together so they would all come to faith in Christ. He didn't want to risk their souls to see them go to homes where no one would lead them to salvation--besides the natural desire to be together with his brothers. As the eldest, he saw to it that his brothers made it to school and did all the work of the mother. The miracle is that his parents eventually repented and came to a saving faith themselves.


There is a spiritual dimension to life --as evidenced in the changed, new life of a believer. NOw THAT is evolution!


Finally, I am skeptical of Darwin's theory because of Jesus Christ. He healed instantly; resurrected instantly. Our God does not need the slow laborious, random, "natural" process of evolution to produce the myriad of life forms on the earth. He speaks out of his vast intelligence --and it happens --now --not millions and millions of years of "natural" processes in order to produce new species. He says, "Let there be light" and it is so. With a word. If our computer can do what it does, surely our God's MIND can do anything --with a Word.


John 1:
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was
God.
2The same was in the beginning with God.
3All things
were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5And
the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

10He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the
world knew him not.
11He came unto his own, and his own received him
not.
12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become
the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13Which were
born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of
God.
14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld
his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and
truth.













"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible

59 comments:

Christian Apologist said...

Perhaps the question you should be asking is how to harmonize the age of the earth and the universe in general, with creation account in Genesis.

Barb said...

I'm not one who defends vigorously a literal 6 day Creation and a young earth --I realize, however, that evolution NEEDS a very old earth to produce all the life forms by its unguided, random, naturalistic process of chance adaptation, death of the weak and survival of the fittest. I find evolution so speculative as a theory --so hypothetical --and so unsupported by what we see right now --(and incidentally contradictory to the Bible with its post-Adamic introduction of death and violence and corruption of creatures and the earth, as a curse for sin.)

What we see now is each kind producing after its own kind within the genetic variety of its kind--i.e. all kinds of dogs, but they are still called dogs. And cats remain as cats. Humans always produce humans --despite the mutations which are generally bad in result, defects that don't help one survive. Each after its own kind--just as the Bible says.

Yet, evolution tells us that there were MILLIONS of subtle, gradual, chance transitions to produce a myriad of extremely complicated life forms from a first living cell or cells --and we can't reproduce that cell. (Yes, it was announced that some had done it in a lab --it was in h.s. text books in the 90's --it was not true. We have not created one living cell from non-living matter.)

Darwin's whole theory is to explain how we got here "naturally." If he could do it, he renders God unnecessary --except he really doesn't achieve the goal. He has an explanation but the evidence doesn't support it. His method of macro-evolution has never been seen --and no fossil proves it --though various examples in nature and fossils are trotted out as ongoing evidence of ongoing evolution.

I tell you, CA, evolution is a sacred cow for atheists --and the theistic evolutionists just assume the science establishment is right. But where's the true transition to prove what we call macro-evolution??? And where is it happening today? And if it isn't, why isn't it???

ignoranceisbliss said...

Barb - you are posting on something you DON'T UNDERSTAND. Click on this link (http://evoedu.com/index.html), click on the "learn" tab and start reading.

Barb said...

Gee Willikers, Ignorance! There is nothing there in the clear and elementary explanation of evolution that I don't already know about on your evo-education website. I do understand the basic "theory" of the theory --natural selection, survival of the fittest, and how survivor's genes are passed on to affect characteristics of descendents, seeming to alter a whole population. And yes, these illustrations of evolution WITHIN a kind of creature are true as in the dogs and horses cited --and recognized as micro-evolution by those who do not believe in macro-evolution. Creationists DO believe in natural selection, etc --but not macro-evolutions, i.e. transitions from one category to another back in the past nor in the present --(for which there is no evidence.)

You think no biologist or educated person could dispute evolutionary theory if they only understood it. Not so. Creation scientists DO understand and explain evolution very well. (that's not me --but I do have a rudimentary understanding --at least as sophisticated as your elementary school website.)

"Dating of different layers of rocks with radioisotope dating unquestionably supports the idea that deeper rocks are older rocks, and that deeper fossils are older fossils."

I believe Creationists say this statement is the myth of the geological column --not necessarily supported by all geologists now nor by the evidence. In fact, they find extinct, "older" creatures in the theoretical evolutionary "tree" or chain, in the upper rock layers where they ought not be by evolutionary explanations --like dinosaurs.

You can go to the beach and find fossils of simple creatures which are very old in evolutionary "history." It's just not true that all creature fossils are found in depths of rocks according to their alleged evolutionary history upon the earth.

Layering and finds are consistent with what you'd find after natural disasters like a global flood. Thus we find saltwater fish fossils in the western deserts.

Darwin assumed a canyon existed by mere erosion caused by a river over millions of years; others assert and can replicate with models that the layers of the earth and the upheavals in rock strata and the canyons are results of flooding or other natural catastrophes and the waters are immediately channeled into canyons that are not carved by the rivers over huge amounts of time at all.

and tell me how they make a statement about the age of something as "between 380 and 363 million years ago." Whence comes figures, give or take 17 million years? I admit ignorance on this point, but I think they speculate based on their theory and they extrapolate accordingly.

"There, they discovered a fossil of a transitional species midway between fish and amphibians. This creature, which they named the Tiktaalik, is a world-class example of an animal acted on by selection pressures to evolve between two very different forms."

So they surmise. They don't know that God didn't create the Tiktaalik the way it was in the fossil from its beginning --and they don't know that fish and amphibians evolved from it --they are speculating and have no proof of the transition just because the Tiktaalik shares features with amphibians and fish.

To find it where they did is not proof --it is evidence for them to interpret according to their theory--but it can be disputed, also.

And did you read about the alleged Harvard study Carribean island lizards!? O my goo'ness. They called it an example of macroevolutionary change when a predator ate short-legged lizards so that the longer ones survived to reproduce the most --and then the lizards took to the trees --and the short ones started to survive better again (to pass on their short legged genes) for their tree habitat.

This, blissfulignorance, is NOT macroevolution! It is natural selection within a kind --the lizards are STILL lizards!!!!

Barb said...

One or both of the parent lizards, though most of them were short-legged themselves, obviously carried the genes for both short legs and long legs. At first their short-legged offspring were most prevalent --either because short legs were the dominant genes (like brown eyes) --or just because they survived more readily than the long-legged offspring.

But then, for a short time after the new predator was introduced, the lizards who received the genes for longer legs prevailed because they could run faster from the predator. But for some reason they took to the trees and the short-legged creatures again prevailed because they were more suited to this tree habitat and the long legged ones lost their advantage and died out, not procreating as many long-legged offspring, and thus became fewer in number again.

This, again, is not macroevolution--it is what you'd predict --and what can be observed today, given what we know about genetics -natural selection within a "kind" which creates new species of lizards --"Long Legged Lizards" -- who no doubt get named after the researcher and called a "new species" but they are still lizards.

My son was shocked that today's environmentally-conscious researchers would introduce a predator into a population to disrupt their chances for survival. He doubted the veracity of the example for that reason.

ignoranceisbliss said...

Or this
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/id/program.html

Rob R said...

The problem with these examples of natural selection when they show a a fairly huge degree of change in one creature is that they prove too much.

When evolution skeptics question that we never see evolution happening, evolutionists point to the long time spans and gradual nature of evolution, but when we see how fast change can happen, be it in dogs or darwins finches, it just presses the issue. Why is it we can have such drastic change and yet we never see formation of significantly new kinds of animals? Clearly, what these species show is that there is a limit to change. That's not to say that we have completely explored and observed the range of that limit, but to believe the limit is there is far from irrational.

Barb said...

Again, Blissfullyignorant, the mutations of e coli which allowed the e coli to eat citrate --after 10, 000 generations. So what? It's still e coli --and what else did the mutations do to this bacteria? There must have been MILLIONS of generations of e coli --billions!! and yet, it's still recognizeable as e coli.

There is tremendous diversity in our genes --and through mating of humans, too --but we keep producing after our own kind. Everything does --just as the Bible said.

ignoranceisbliss said...

If you actually understood, you would know why the following is wrong i.e. all kinds of dogs, but they are still called dogs. And cats remain as cats. Humans always produce humans --despite the mutations which are generally bad in result, defects that don't help one survive. Each after its own kind

I bet you didn't read ONE word on the link I sent. Are you actually telling me you read it all? Remember - lying is a sin.

Barb said...

The statement you quoted was written before I read stuff from your website --thought it's still a correct statement. Yes, I read a couple of threads from that link. Did YOU read your link? I did not read the second one yet.

If YOU read your link, you'd know I did --referring to the harvard lizard study and the other illustrations from your linked blog --the Tiktalik and the e coli examples.

Also the explanation of what evolution is --I read that and found it to be "elementary, my dear Watson!" I certainly do understand it --as far as these examples went.

ignoranceisbliss said...

You're basing your arguments on a misunderstanding of macroevolution. LEARN ABOUT IT.

And from a WIDE VARIETY of sources. Think and think about it. If you don't understand READ MORE. Not from the same sources - but from textbooks. Just sit in on some university classes and ask questions.

ignoranceisbliss said...

Barb, that is not MY website - I just thought it was a good place to start for a "layman". I don't NEED to read the website - I am a working evolutionary biologist - and I hate to see people misunderstand basic issues and then distribute it to a wider audience.

For you, much as if I would start telling people that the bible said that jesus arrived on a fire-breathing dragon.

ignoranceisbliss said...

Not that you'll take any time reading this - but I've tried.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/macroevolution.html

Barb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barb said...

What do I misunderstand, IIB?

about the term "macroevolution?" I don't know if creationists coined the term --they may have. What THEY mean by it is evolution from one category of creature to another --one kind to another --we can't say "species" because flowers have many species/ dogs are said to have many species --and cats have many species. We don't call the mating to get new species of dogs "macroevolution" --but evolution within a kind --or microevolution. So macroevolution would be between major classifications of animals ---like the unproven common ancestor of mammals and amphibians, etc. NOT like the Harvard lizards or the e coli examples your cited blog gave.

Did man and ape both evolve from a common ancestor? That would be "macroevolution" --some kind of inbetween creature who dies off after evolving both ape and human. I don't know of any proof for it. No ongoing evidence and no indisputable fossil evidence.

I DID read your first link --you should and you would know what I'm talking about. The examples given did not prove the claim of transitions from one category of life form to another. ALL your examples were within a kind --except the tikkolik --which, being a fossil, can not be proven to be a transitional creature. It did not observeably evolve into the amphibians and fishes, as your article claimed the fossil to prove.

A working biologist? doing what? My husband could qualify and he says the evidence for macroevolution has not been found.

Now where your cited blog discussed the amino acids --that's over my head --but that's where my husband has said for 42 years that the evolutionists have a problem with their theory --where Behe talks about irreducible complexity. The amino acids, to my husband and HIS bio prof, were evidence against the naturalistic assumptions of darwinists--and were, in fact, evidence suggesting a designer--intelligence behind life.

Have you gone to the website http://www.uncommondescent.com/ ?

Barb said...

I appreciate, IIB, that you pointed out an easy-to-read-for-laymen's website --and I enjoyed finding out that I understand evolution better than my critics think I do. I enjoyed seeing examples that do exactly what I thought evolutionists do --which is, miss the point and misunderstand what it is that evolution's critics understand and what they are saying against evolution. They tend to think that evolution's critics do not understand or believe in natural selection, survival of the fittest, the existance of dinosaurs and evolution within a category of creature. Yes, we really do.

we're just saying, you haven't proof of common descent. You have disputable evidence that can be interpreted according to a creationist or ID paradigm.

I would think from your comments, that you are not reading MY comments --as much as I read your first cited website.

ignoranceisbliss said...

Your second sentence (I don't know if creationists coined the term --they may have. proves you DIDN'T READ THE INFORMATION

This is a topic on the link I sent "How did the terms* enter into scientific use, and what has happened to them since?"
*by terms, it discusses microevolution and macroevolution

Then THIS! What THEY mean by it is evolution from one category of creature to another -
You're using a creationists definition of macroevolution (which is different from a biologists) and then basing your arguments (!) on that!???!!


A working biologist? doing what? My husband could qualify and he says the evidence for macroevolution has not been found.


SIGH. I did a bachelor of biomedical science as my undergrad, then an honours project working on nervous system patterning in a coral (yes, corals are animals). I then conducted a PhD on related topics (you don't want the full run-down, believe me), and have since been working in research laboratories for a number of years. A medical doctor is NOT a scientist, as much as I am NOT a medical doctor. We both have brief periods of training in one another's subject areas, but he would NOT be able to perform the tasks I perform in a laboratory setting as I would NOT be able to diagnose patients.

Barb said...

DICTIONARY DEFINITIONS OF MACROEVOLUTION:

Evolution that results in the formation of a new taxonomic group above the level of a species.

Large-scale evolution occurring over geologic time that results in the formation of new taxonomic groups.


I agree with these definitions, so what is it I do not understand about macroevolution?

Barb said...

I never said I read the whole blog but I did read two sections: what is evolution --and evidence for evolution.

Did they say who initiated the term, "macro-evolution?" I thought evolutionists discredited the term --because they seemed to believe that microevolution is evidence of macro --no need for separation in their minds. Their illustrations always show that they think micro is evidence of macro (like the e coli and lizard examples in your cited article.)

My husband also has a bachelors in biology --and he excelled in genetics in med school --and worked for a prof and qualified for a PhD in biochemistry for a drug study using rats --did not write the paper for a PhD because he was getting the MD and he hates to write and didn't feel he needed a phD also. He also did research with the electron microscope at Argonne Nat'l Labs.

He says there is still no irrefutable proof of macroevolution -- taxonomic groups evolving from extinct common ancestors of another taxonomic group or extinct combination thereof.

Barb said...

I'll bet that what you do in the lab has little to do with evolution and does not require you to believe in evolution in order to do it.

Same as in med. science. you can be a great doctor or make discoveries in science --without believing in macroevolution --and also without being an atheist. (Granted, not all evolutionists are atheists, but most atheists assume evolution to be true.)

ignoranceisbliss said...

READ THIS
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/macroevolution.html


Clear enough for you?

I'll bet that what you do in the lab has little to do with evolution and does not require you to believe in evolution in order to do it.

I actually laughed out loud then. What I do in the lab HAS EVERYTHING TO DO with evolution. I am not going to go in depth on what it is I am/have been researching because of a number of reasons (the biggest being .. why should I??)

You know what, I DON'T CARE what your husband does, and does/does not believe. HE IS NOT A SCIENTIST.

Here we go again linking atheism to evolution. You don't know whether or not I believe in god. Evolution is not incompatible with a belief in god!!! You are CLEARLY trying so hard to find holes in evolutionary theory to say "see! God exists!".

ignoranceisbliss said...

Oh and by the way, your definition of macroevolution

Evolution that results in the formation of a new taxonomic group above the level of a species.

OK - good! Correct (although it should "at or above the level...". Now, how is there not evidence for this?

Barb said...

I already stated that there are theistic evolutionists --i.e. those who believe in God and assume that macro-evolution is proven.

I didn't say you were an atheist.

I have said and do believe that evolution is a sacred cow for atheists --they don't want to see any evidence of design or designer --so they want darwinism as totally naturalistic to be true --and hate any opposition for the theory.

My faith really doesn't hinge on how God created --if He did it by evolution from a one-celled creature, fine --but if He did not, we should be willing to see when evidence is really proof --or just interpreted as proof.

Meanwhile, the theory is sacred to atheists --whether or not all evolutionists are atheists or not is beside the point.

If what you do in the lab has to do with microevolution, changes within a species, e.g., or the study of DNA, etc., or even stem cell research, then it still does not require you to believe in macro-evolution in order to do your job. However, if you are looking for evidence of macroevolution's transitions --trying to prove evolution, then, of course, you'd have to believe in it in order to draw evolutionistic conclusions.

But you don't have to believe in it in order to hypothesize, experiment, observe and record the results --to do "good science" --do you???

You aren't PZ by any chance, are you? I say that because he's the only one at a certain evolutionist's blog who can still see my comments. And I was wondering how you happened to come here.

Barb said...

There is evidence of evolution "at the level of a species" but I would call that "evolution WITHIN a species or microevolution." Where is the evidence of evolution from one taxonomical group to another?

species: "a category of biological classification ranking immediately below the genus or subgenus, comprising related organisms or populations potentially capable of interbreeding, and being designated by a binomial that consists of the name of a genus followed by a Latin or latinized uncapitalized noun or adjective agreeing grammatically with the genus name"

ignoranceisbliss said...

Oh my, where to start.
If what you do in the lab has to do with microevolution, changes within a species, e.g., or the study of DNA, etc., or even stem cell research, then it still does not require you to believe in macro-evolution in order to do your job.

Why are you so interested in what I do? Firstly, I don't have to BELIEVE in evolution. It is a scientific theory: in science a theory means an explanation of something supported by facts. It may change, and has changed, but at the moment, it is the best theory we have which is SUPPORTED BY FACTS.
Secondly, not that I wanted to talk about my job, but I do indeed "hypothesize, experiment, observe and record the results" and relate these to what the current theory is. Do they fit in with our theories? yes! I compare processes of development in different species. There would be no point in this if our theory weren't that everthing were interconnected. But that is another story, and again, I don't want to discuss my job here.

Meanwhile, the theory is sacred to atheists --whether or not all evolutionists are atheists or not is beside the point.

Um no, wrong. There have been atheists long before the theory of evolution was put forward. I don't want to talk about god or religion here. you posted your thoughts on evolution - I just wanted to point out some fallacies you had posted as true.

You aren't PZ by any chance, are you? I say that because he's the only one at a certain evolutionist's blog who can still see my comments. And I was wondering how you happened to come here.

*snort* You really think PZ Myers would come here? He has MUCH better things to do. I, at the moment, do not. And no, he is not the only one who can still see your comments there - your earlier comments are still there for anyone who wants to read them. I know, embarrassing isn't it?

There is evidence of evolution "at the level of a species" but I would call that "evolution WITHIN a species or microevolution." Where is the evidence of evolution from one taxonomical group to another?

I don't think it matters what you would call it - we have evidence that new species are evolving. Right now! THAT is macroevolution (macro because there is a change in the two populations of organisms on a macro scale). Separate 2 populations for long enough and you will get more and more distinct differences.


My faith really doesn't hinge on how God created --if He did it by evolution from a one-celled creature, fine --but if He did not, we should be willing to see when evidence is really proof --or just interpreted as proof


AGAIN - we cannot PROVE the theory of evolution is 100% - never going to change, what we know now is it - TRUE. But it fits in with all available data. Once we find something that CANNOT be possible based on our theory of evolution, we will change it! Present ANY piece of evidence and the theory will be changed.

Rob R said...

I don't think it matters what you would call it - we have evidence that new species are evolving.

right, it doesn't matter what we think about anything. The only thing that matters is that we agree with evolution regardless of whether we are capable of assessing the evidence or not.

The fact is though, speciation is not enough to support evolution. Just because two populations of a species developes a breading barrier doesn't mean that a step up has been made. What it does mean is that each of two populations have lost the ability to integrate the genetic adaptability of the other. Loss of genetic variety for a population is not necessarily a step up. It very well could be devolution.

I believe steven Jay Gould. What we see today is not evolution. We may be seeing processes that contribute to evolution, but it isn't clearly evolution.

Barb said...

IIB: Aren't I agreeing that there is evolution which evolves new species within a taxonomical group? and we can manipulate those changes, too --as the lizard research team did by introducing a new predator to the lizard population. But the major taxonomical groups don't evolve to become wholly new tax groups, do they? Where is THAT evidence? Is it happening now? Why should it not be, if it, in fact, ever DID happen in the past??? And if you point to fossils, they only prove that some extinct creature once existed bearing similarities to two or more tax groups.

The fossil cannot prove common descent --it can only be interpreted as such to reinforce evolutionary theory that all life evolved from one cell --such that at some point the tax groups had to develop from common ancestors --just as species do.

What we see today is that every creature replicates its own kind --with genetic variations and many species evolving from the genes of the parental generations influenced by predators and other factors of environment, etc. Mutations can be caused to evolve a new species --but why do we never see in modern times a new taxonomical group evolving from a different tax group? While evolutionary changes are gradual, we have very rapid changes in populations of lizards and bacteria, e.g.--and yet the lizards are still lizards with lizard qualities; the bacteria still bacteria --never viruses.

Barb said...

IIB wrote I do indeed "hypothesize, experiment, observe and record the results" and relate these to what the current theory is. Do they fit in with our theories? yes! I compare processes of development in different species.

IN DIFFERENT SPECIES --but can you make or observe one taxonomical group evolving to another??? which is the definition of macroevolution in 3 out of 4 definitions I found at dictionary.com. Only one described macroevolution as occuring at the species level. the others said it refers to evolutionary changes above the species level, at the taxonomical level. We know there are new species --speciation-- but where are the new taxonomical groups? Why can we not AGAIN observe macroevolution today from one tax group to another?

There would be no point in this if our theory weren't that everthing were interconnected.

Well, I agree, everything is interconnected. Life is still a mysterious entity that we cannot create ourselves by any human technology. It is intriguing that DNA seems to be comprised of a "language" of sorts, don't you think? a code.

To some of us, whether macroevolution is true and proveable or not, life is still miraculous and "designed" more than it is "natural" in its essence. To some of us, nature seems marvelously interdependent and DESIGNED, engineered.

You know, when I'm criticized, called ignorant, stupid, offensive, homophobic, etc., I always think I'll see old posts and probably be embarrassed as you think I should be, and say, "I said that? Dear me!" but I'm not. If I read my old posts, I still think, "What was wrong or offensive about that?? still sounds reasonable, truthful, and polite to me."

Vitriol is not my style. Ornery? just once in a while I yield to temptation.

Christian Apologist said...

Barb, By your own words you have undermined your favorite argument.

Evolution that results in the formation of a new taxonomic group above the level of a species.

Large-scale evolution occurring over geologic time that results in the formation of new taxonomic groups.

I agree with these definitions, so what is it I do not understand about macroevolution?


But in the original post and elsewhere you state: Why are we not able to see any creatures in transition today from...say...fish to mammal --or ape to "ape-like creature" to human --or ape-like creature diverging to human and ape? Why are these transitions out of one category of life form into a new category not observeable today? Why are bacteria always still bacteria and viruses still viruses --no matter how many generations they multiply with lightning speed --no matter how many mutations occur--if they do? Why do all life forms keep replicating "after their own kind," just as the Bible said?

You recognize that macroevolution takes place over very long periods of time and then you wonder why we dont see it within our lifetimes?? This is precisely why IIB is saying you dont know what you are talking about. (I think, correct me if I am wrong IIB.)

Also...
--(and incidentally contradictory to the Bible with its post-Adamic introduction of death and violence and corruption of creatures and the earth, as a curse for sin.)

The idea that death was not in the world is false doctrine. Death was already in the world which is why the tree of life was in the garden. Adam and Eve were able to live forever because they had access to the tree of life. The Death God spoke of when he said they would surely die was spiritual not physical. That is why God states to Adam after the fall "From dust you are and to dust you will return." He now only had physical existence and not a spiritual one.

I believe Creationists say this statement is the myth of the geological column --not necessarily supported by all geologists now nor by the evidence. In fact, they find extinct, "older" creatures in the theoretical evolutionary "tree" or chain, in the upper rock layers where they ought not be by evolutionary explanations --like dinosaurs.

Not all creation scientist are as honest as they should be. They lie and defame the truth either out of ignorance or purposeful deception. I have seen and heard this topic discussed by creation 'scientists' and they handle it very deceptively. You should ask your son,the nuclear med tech, how reliable nuclear decay rates are. This is what all radiometric dating is based on. An example of this is where a creation scientist said that when he took samples from new rocks created in a volcanic eruption and performed Potassium/Argon dating on them they showed up to be around 170,000 years old. He never showed how this is acceptable given that this dating method has a precision of +/- 200,000yrs. Also a few anomolies in the rock strata does not overturn the overall picture of simpler life forms in the oldest rocks and more complex in ones which are younger.

Barb said...

I and creation scientists all agree with these definitions of macroevolution, CA. That doesn't say we believe that macroevolution has evidence, or has ever been observed --as should be the case with a fact of science. I'm agreeing that macro-evolution refers to evolution above the species level. Just because the term has a dictionary definition doesn't mean it has evidence. The word "fairy" is in the dictionary, too, but we don't believe in them, do we?

Give me a bonified example of macroevolution that isn't an arguable fossil, that is not merely theoretical but lacking proof. The existance of millions of life forms is not the proof of macro-evolution or a one-celled beginning of life.

CA: You recognize that macroevolution takes place over very long periods of time and then you wonder why we dont see it within our lifetimes??

No, you misunderstood me. I do not recognize that macroevolution has taken place over very long periods of time. That's the evolutionists' unproven premise. I think it's logical that something should be leaving its tax group in an observeable way today to be a modern example of macroevolution. There has to be a POINT in time at which the successive generations leave their parental tax group --if macroevolution really occurs. Why, after millions of generations and species, don't the lizards stop being lizards and become a new tax group? same with the e coli. Because they can't, won't, and never did. They keep re-producing after their great great greats --even if they have genetic variety through adaptation/natural selection and thus many new species of lizards.

I believe that the evolutionists' premise can ONLY be theoretical; they cannot prove the case by observing micro-evolution --which we both agree occurs --is observeable --and the mechanisms are mutually understood and agreed upon. The question is: are there barriers to evolving out of your tax group? Yes, indeedy, there seem to be such barriers. And fossils do not prove otherwise.

Re: What you said about sin's curse being spiritual death and not physical --as though physical death were always a possibility were it not for the tree of life. I've always understood that physical death, disease, pestilence, pain --all came with sin's curse. I think your argument could be true; the created beings could have been mortal before the fall except for the tree of life and their banishment from the garden and the tree. But I don't find that scripturally irrefutable. Isn't the more common interp that physical AND spiritual death came as a consequence of sin. I thought we were once physically AND spiritually immortal, as made in God's image. "dust to dust" seems to apply with either interp.

I deny that creationists are ever intentionally deceptive. They could be mistaken, but I would never accuse any of them of insincerity. I guess there could be some snakes in the grass, but I don't think they are Ken Ham's group or ICR's --all sincere in their Christianity --and thus strivers for truth. They don't need to be deceptive to make their legitimate scientific cases. As you said, they can be mistaken or eventually disproven in a hypothesis or premise, but not proven to be purposefully dishonest.

Some evolutionists, on the other hand, have been proven to use fraudulent examples, rigged up trans-fossils, to "prove" their case --probably to make money or advance their careers more than their "cause." An example would be the h.s. textbook reports in the 1990's of life created in somebody's lab; this proved to be untrue.

(This was said to be an embarrassment to evolutionist Patterson at the British museum --along with the moth and giraffe examples of evolution. Patterson reportedly got in trouble with evolution establishment for saying in a conference and in a letter that there were no bonified transitional fossils as evidence of macro-evolution -though he believed in the process.)

As regards dating methods, my husband has discussed radiometric dating and said it is not reliable --something about mother and daughter atoms in rocks.

But the age of the earth argument was important only to refute Darwin's theory of an ancient earth needed to produce the slower than molasses theoretical process of macro-evolution. An old earth still does not prove the process of macro-evolution --whereas a young earth makes it impossible --except for Gould's loophole of punctuated equilibrium--rapid transitions too fast to leave fossils.

I think macro-evolution never happened --no matter how old the earth is. And I don't think evolutionists really have proof that it ever did occur.

Barb said...

IIB It is a scientific theory: in science a theory means an explanation of something supported by facts. It may change, and has changed, but at the moment, it is the best theory we have which is SUPPORTED BY FACTS.

Yes, IIB --I understand what a theory is in science. An idea supported by facts --but not necessarily factual itself.

E.G., the lizard example in your first cited website --under examples of evolution --is not evidence of MACRO-evolution --though I assume the Harvard study was factual and that the lizards had short legs or long legs --depending on environmental factors of predator and habitat and genetic factors of dominant and recessive traits.

To you the lizard example is fact supporting macro-evolution. But it is only fact supporting micro-evolution --which you interpret to support macro-evolution.

Scientists can legitimately disagree with the premise of macro-evolution since there is no evidence that proves it --only evidence of MICRO-evolution to INTERPRET as support for MACROevolution.

Christian Apologist said...

No, you misunderstood me. I do not recognize that macroevolution has taken place over very long periods of time. That's the evolutionists' unproven premise.

Its not a premise its the theory itself.

I think it's logical that something should be leaving its tax group in an observeable way today to be a modern example of macroevolution

What you are talking about is called punctuated equilibrium. If I am not mistaken I think scientists have rejected this theory.

Scientists can legitimately disagree with the premise of macro-evolution since there is no evidence that proves it --only evidence of MICRO-evolution to INTERPRET as support for MACROevolution.

you are asking for experimental proof vs. theoretical proofs. There are plenty of theoretical proofs that support evolutionary theory. There is no experimental proof that all the stars we see at night are just like the one the earth rotates around. After all no one has ever visited one and returned. This does not mean you can make a legitimate claim that they are not really like our sun.

Barb said...

def: "a premise is a proposition supporting or helping to support a conclusion."

I think you're hair-splitting to say evolution is not a premise. For me evolution is a premise -- a proposition --a hypothesis -- to support both a conclusion of atheism and a naturalistic origin of life.

What you are talking about is called punctuated equilibrium. If I am not mistaken I think scientists have rejected this theory.

I mentioned P.E. before, Aaron.
It's fairly new --last 3rd of the 20th c.--theorized by Gould. I hope they rejected it, because it was a cop-out for their lack of trans. fossils --lack of missing links in the fossil record. Since then, evolutionists have fossil finds they consider to be "missing links," but they can't prove that they are trans forms. but that's not what I was talking about. As I understand it, P.E. was not, as you suggested, a suggestion that macro-evolution was observeable today. It was a theory within the theory --that evolution had occured too fast to leave fossils --not too fast to observe or whatever you meant.

The point of the creationist is that this evidence you claim as theoretical proof --is still not proof --and common sense, as I claimed before, seems to go against the theoretical proofs of evolution. In fact, what evidence do you claim as theoretical proof? microevolution? As I said, the lizards are still lizards and the bacteria still bacteria --despite millions of generations of microevolution observed in these creatures.

The stars are observeable, at least, even if at a distance. Macro-evolution is not. It's a very disputable theory --disputable by the absence of facts to prove it --even though they interpret the fact of microevolution as evidence.

As I always say, it takes faith to believe that macro-evolution ever occured. It is religiously defended and thus a sacred cow to the evolutionist --as it is to the atheist.

But I don't say that one has to disbelieve in evolution in order to believe in Jesus Christ or be a real Christian. I just wonder why a God who healed with a touch or a Word --as evidence of His deity --would put up with this process of evolution as His means of creation. I can sooner imagine him with an angel team and a contest to see who can design and create the DNA code for the biggest, the funniest, the most beautiful, the tiniest....creatures. DNA would be the building blocks of earth life --from which the designers could choose.

Rob R said...

You should ask your son,the nuclear med tech, how reliable nuclear decay rates are.

Many YECs don't attempt to suggest that the rates themselves are observably unreliable. I've read several of them who admit that the consistency of many dating methods is a problem for them and they have (or had) no clear solution. Currently, or at least last I checked, many YECs are looking for possible physical explanations as to why rates may have been accellerated in the past. According to their RATE group research, they claim to have evidence that radioisotopic rates were accelerated in the past though they may not have an explanation for why or how it could've happened. (I don't know whether they do or don't. I haven't looked into it into detail. I don't have the time and probably am not fully capable of assessing it anyhow).

ignoranceisbliss said...

Thank you CA for attempting to help me explain to Barb what I am trying to say.

Barb - A few points for you;
1) evolutionary theory is NOT a conspiracy among scientists to try and trick people and lead them to atheism. The sooner you can accept this the better.
2) Your husband may be a very smart man, but I think you should consult other sources in addition to him when you are asking about something out of his sphere of specialty.

In response to this
I think it's logical that something should be leaving its tax group in an observeable way today to be a modern example of macroevolution.

You will NEVER see this because that's not what evolutionary theory says - we will NEVER see something jump to something completely new. However, we can see that two separate populations of a once identical species can change to an extent that they are observably different... longer legs, different beaks etc. That is what can happen as we observe it. Just wait and keep reading. Imagine you leave those two populatons for another 100,000 years. Those changes would become even greater (especially if the environments of those two populations were drastically different). Then imagine you leave them for another million years!! Yes, they may both resemble 'lizards' but perhaps one population of these 'lizards' now has no tail and short limbs, while the others had grown much bigger with long limbs and long tails? Would they still be lizards? Would they still be the same genus? Would they still even be the same family?

I just wonder why a God who healed with a touch or a Word --as evidence of His deity --would put up with this process of evolution as His means of creation.

I would think this is heretical for you as a christian to say!! - you're saying you can't imagine god would set up a process like evolution, and therefore it is untrue?? Hmmmm...although I guess now you're thinking how many atheists think - and evolution isn't their "sacred cow" in this issue. There are many other instances in life where it is natural to think "how could god, if he were real, allow this??"


Yes, IIB --I understand what a theory is in science. An idea supported by facts --but not necessarily factual itself.

Yes Barb I agree, that is why I said this:

"AGAIN - we cannot PROVE the theory of evolution is 100% - never going to change, what we know now is it - TRUE. But it fits in with all available data. Once we find something that CANNOT be possible based on our theory of evolution, we will change it! Present ANY piece of evidence (to contradict the theory) and the theory will be changed."


Let me finish with something else for you to think about. Your husband will back me up on this; many scientists use what we call 'model species'. The most widely used are the fruit fly, the mouse, the frog and a type of fish. These are used because they are easy to rear in the lab, we have established molecular protocols to work on them etc. We use these animals (and many more) for MANY different studies; to understand how the heart develops (what genes are involved, how proteins interact), how the nervous system is patterned, how 'knocking out' (effectively 'turning off') a gene affects how the animal looks, how diseases affect an animal etc.

However, what we can then do is this - we can use the information gained from looking at a mouse and apply it to other animals! You can find a gene in a mouse which makes a heart develop properly, look at the sequence, find a sequence which is almost the same in a human and go - "right! I theorise that gene is involved in heart development in a human." Then you can look at a human with a congenital heart defect (i.e. born with it) and find that some of those people have a problem in the same gene. Facts backing up a theory. Science. Can we PROVE that this gene DEFINITELY makes the heart develop? no. But we can keep collecting data using many, many techniques and maintain the original theory as long as it is supported by data. That is science.

And furthermore, if we didn't have the theory of evolution - and its premise that everything is connected by way of common ancestry - then there would be NO POINT in trying to use model organisms and compare results from them. Do you see? That is why I say I use evolution in my everyday working life, because it is the basic, basic theory upon which many other works are based (and not just those I have described).

Rob R said...

But it fits in with all available data.

Well it's your word against the intelligent design community and we aren't qualified to judge who's right on the scientific grounds (which doesn't mean that we don't have reasons for taking sides... and we very aware that our choosen side is the minority, but the historical reality is that minority perspectives can be right. Obviously we aren't choosing by the numbers).




And furthermore, if we didn't have the theory of evolution - and its premise that everything is connected by way of common ancestry - then there would be NO POINT in trying to use model organisms and compare results from them.



If we didn't have the theory of evolution, we most certainly could use these model species to draw conclusions about humans because of the common genes, structures etc. It doesn't matter how we got these common features, be it evolution, intellegent design by aliens or intellegent design by God. Common features are common features. Evolution or no evolution, that doesn't change and the implications for function don't change.

even though some of the most important details on the debate are beyond our grasp, recognizing bad arguments like the one just asserted are not.

ignoranceisbliss said...

Well it's your word against the intelligent design community and we aren't qualified to judge who's right on the scientific grounds

So you're choosing sides on a scientific argument not based upon the majority of what scientists believe, but based on a 2000+ year old book ... ? (I presume??) talk about recognising bad arguments. Ha!!

The point. you missed it.

Oh and it's not just MY word against the intelligent design community.

ignoranceisbliss said...

Ohh and to this;
It doesn't matter how we got these common features, be it evolution, intellegent design by aliens or intellegent design by God.

Ummm yes, but design by a force we cannot provide evidence for (aliens, god) is NOT SCIENCE. We could also hypothesise that living beings share common features because a giant octopus made them that way. But that is not a a theory testable by SCIENCE.

And intelligent is not spelt "intellegent" :-)

Rob R said...

I'm running off to work now so I don't have time to directly address your comments, but the fact is, unless you want to bolster your arguments, I observe that it remaines that what you said was 100% false and you have not attempted to defend your statement.

It doesn't matter whether evolution is true or not. The common genetics, structures, and function is enough of a basis to do comparitive studies. Your opinion to the contrary is 100 percent false. What I said is 100 percent true. Your appeal to this kind of research just doesn't make the argument you wish it did. Evolution may explain why there is this common ground, but it is completely unnecessary for the pragmatic issues of what we can do with it... at least at the level at which you explained it.

What you offered was not a defense of your point. It was a shift of the point.

FYI, I know I'm a bad speller. I try not to be, but it doesn't effect the quality of my thought.

Christian Apologist said...

I just wonder why a God who healed with a touch or a Word --as evidence of His deity --would put up with this process of evolution as His means of creation.

I realize that this is your favorite argument and nothing I say will stop you from saying it over and over again. I have tried in the past to explain from artistic reasons why God would take time in creation. Let me take another tack here.

Think about free will. If science could actually prove the existence of God empirically then Free choice would be compromised for a large portion of humanity.

ignoranceisbliss said...

RobR - sigh - yep, whatever, I seriously can barely be bothered anymore.

I was just giving ONE example of how evolutionary theory is relevant. Sooorrrry. Won't do that again.

The current evolutionary theory is supported by the fact (and many, many other data) that all living things share common characteristics. But yep OK, you're right, it doesn't 100% prove evolution and hey, maybe we have gotten the theory of evolution all wrong. But until we find something that doesn't fit in with evolutionary theory, IT WILL REMAIN; much research is done with evolution as its central theory, and much research is done to test the theory. If you can present a better, different, scientifically testable theory, then that will also be considered, tested, evaluated as evolution has been and continues to be!!

Barb said...

IIB --I wish you could tell me something I don't already know.

I understand how you say macroevolution works

I understand like an educated layman, college grad, how microevolution works --evidently --I went to your final website. No epiphanies from there in what I read. (No, I haven't had time to read all of the site.) In fact, from what I've read from "educated" evolution supporters who are themselves non-scientists, I think I understand evolution better than they. I think it's safe to say that creation science advocates who have read up on it a bit as I have, who have attended a couple of seminars about it, and the creation scientists themselves understand evolution better than the average college grad who assumes macroevolution has occured because the academic elites insist so--assuming it without necessarily being able to prove that the process could happen or ever did. That's what I see from laymen on forums.

I understand how lab creatures are used to learn things about ourselves

I understand that we can study creatures, manipulate genes and hope to do good with our efforts for medical science

I certainly am willing to let God be God and believe He can create any way He wishes and don't need lectured on this point. Are you willing to follow wherever the evidence leads?

Great ages with this gradual genetic "change" which evolution describes do not account effectively or sensibly for the myriad of species of life on the earth. Microevolution simply does not prove the possibility of macroE. It's a nice try --but it's not convincing except to people who have much more confidence in science and scientists and the unobserved theoreticals than I do--considering, as you once conceded, that theories change as new facts "evolve." That's why Gould came up with his stasis theory of P.E. --no missing links or at least great gaps in the fossil record so evolution must have occured in spurts after long periods of stasis --in other words, too fast to form fossils.

I understand that evolutionary scientists are mostly sincere in their religious devotion to the theory --not involved in a conspiracy.

But it's also true that many Evolutionist supporters are vehement against creationists and ID proponents, using ad hominem vitriolic attacks on forums to declare them as non-scientist, ignoramuses, blinded by their religious faith--when they are neither. I have to wonder how PZ would treat a candidate for grad school or faculty position who didn't swallow macroevolution whole--no matter how brilliant, proficient and accomplished the candidate in his science studies, papers written, and so on.

There would appear to be a conspiracy nowdays against anyone who is so "stupid and ignorant" as to doubt Darwin's premise of naturalistic origins --against any who promote the possibility of design (intelligent, purposeful guidance and plan in evolution) with its implications of designer--even if they DO believe in macroevolution--such as Behe is alleged to believe.
If only the macroevolution were important, why the vitriol toward ID proponents who do believe in macroevolution but deny that evolution is sufficient to explain all of life? who deny the atheistic conclusions inherent in the theory?

I did learn from your last website that it is EVOLUTION supporters who erroneously thought the creationists came up with the distinction between macro and micro --so I was right in thinking that some evolution advocates were scornful of the term as though creationists had coined it --but, in fact, the term is legit in its definition and not a product of the creationist movement at all.

Again, CA, recognizing the term as legit in definition does not mean I think macroevolution really happens, now or in the past.

I did notice, Ignorance, that your last website said that macroevolution DOES describe what we see at the species level --as you said --but 3 out of 4 dictionary definitions say that macro occurs ABOVE the species level --which is the definition I'm using to distinguish between the visible evolution of various dog species, e.g. and the alleged but invisible evolution between amphibians and fish --despite a fossil of a creature with features of both, alleged but impossible to prove to be a common ancestor.

HOw, IIB, do you evolutionists deal with the fact that cells only become more complex with mutations and that mutations are usually bad in result --like Down's Syndrome? As I understand it, parent cells do not become more complex in the next generation --diversity comes from mating and influences of habitat which cause some offspring to survive with their genes more than others but the genes of both are in the parent. So how in heck does the first one-celled creature ever "luck out" to mutate upward in results, to greater complexity --with new DNA markers for survival just evolving from nowhere without purpose or control? This process is so unlikely to succeed, how can it be theoretically credited for all the species no matter how many billions of years you give to the process?

Barb said...

For CA :

Think about free will. If science could actually prove the existence of God empirically then Free choice would be compromised for a large portion of humanity.

HUH? how so and which portion? Do you mean that if we had proof, everyone would have to believe because it was so obvious? It's still a free choice to believe the obvious or not. For me, the existance of intelligence behind life is already too obvious to not believe it.

I'm not looking to science to prove the existence of God empirically. The accounts about Jesus are enough for me as proof. Granted, we can't "prove" by the accounts that they are true and that He came and resurrected, was God, etc. That's what faith is about.

Again, CA, my faith in God is not based on Genesis. I don't need a literal Genesis in order to believe in God --as you do not either.

The diversity and beauty and mutual dependence of life --the apparent uniqueness or rarity of it in the universe as far as we can tell --the delicate balances sustaining life --are evidence enough for me. There MUST be intelligence behind our creation and our existance --as I'm sure you agree.

I don't see how macroevolution over billions of years is necessary for the "art" of creation at all. But more to the point of this discussion, I don't think it's possible.

Microevolution makes sense --is observeable –is factual --for me macro neither makes sense, nor is it observeable –and thus we can’t say with authority that it is more than theoretical and speculative.

It is VERY speculative-- a leap-- to assume that macro works the way micro does --only requiring more time. Micro operates by certain biological principles that are violated by macro and the theory of a one-celled origin of life.

I believe, instead, that somehow, (I don't know how nor need to know how ), somehow God writes the genetic code for every living thing --and built within it the principles and process of microevolution--but not macro. Again my faith is not the issue and does not require me to reject macroevolution. Evolution does, however, contribute to many atheistic conclusions and atheists do defend it religiously as an explanation for our existance without a Creator. But that is not the defense of my view of macro-evolution.

Also, CA –what are the artistic reasons for a pre-Adamic long, slow, process of creation by evolution that depends on dog eat dog competition, death and struggle for survival?

Barb said...

IIB --I don't think mutations fit in with the theory of upward evolution from simple to more complex life forms very well --since they are required to make macro-leaps (however gradually) --and they so often turn out badly like that hairy/furry family in Mexico --like down's syndrome --and other genetically-caused pathologies which are negative, counter-productive --not improvements or moves up on the evolutionary scale.

For CA: mutated genes are undesirable and thus part of the curse of the Fall – by a Biblical view of disease and defect. When we talk about mutations in microevolution, we are usually talking about pestilence –again, the Fall wrought by sin. They are defects in genes –not something to pass on for evolutionary progress.

IIB Remember the examples your first cited website used have nothing to do with mutations --but with natural selection of genes surviving due to environmental factors which enabled the parent genes for long legged lizards or short legged to become prevalent -- variety in the parent genes is already there --not created new in the next generation. Mutated genes are not the reason behind most speciation in microevolution, are they?

The fact that leaving a species means the new product can't procreate --like the mule? --or has great difficulty procreating --suggests another hurdle for macro-evolution. As I understand it, one of the definitions of “species” includes the ability of those of the same species to procreate and make new varieties of the same species as iin breeding animals, e.g.

Another example: How did the bombadier beetle evolve without first randomly, accidentally blowing up its back end with its own explosions --how did it ever survive to this day? how did it evolve to have just the right amount of explosive gas to deter predators without accidentally evolving to have too much and thus blowing their whole species off the planet? Must've been intelligent, protective design in the process, at least!

Rob R said...

IIB

So you're choosing sides on a scientific argument not based upon the majority of what scientists believe, but based on a 2000+ year old book ... ? (I presume??) talk about recognising bad arguments. Ha!!



I choose the ID side for philosophical reasons just as I believe and am confident that naturalists do theirs. It's partly because of the things that naturalists say that makes me question that they don't have their blind spots. Of course I don't depend upon it either. If God wanted to use completely naturalistic means, I think that'd be weird, but so be it. But the theistic case is only stronger if the ID view is scientifically valid.



Oh and it's not just MY word against the intelligent design community.



I implied as much. I know where I stand.



Ummm yes, but design by a force we cannot provide evidence for (aliens, god) is NOT SCIENCE.



There's lot's of evidence for the existence of God. Now proof, who cares, there isn't much of that for many rational things we subscribe to. Of course there are many scientists who wouldn't agree with your view on the state of the evidence.

But I recognize philosophical evidences beyond the scope of the natural sciences and I believe them to be more important than what ID can tell us. Of course if adhering to something that cannot be grounded in science is bad, then so is the project of science itself. The project of Science is not self authenticating with regard to testability.



We could also hypothesise that living beings share common features because a giant octopus made them that way.



but no doubt, you have your existential reasons and commitments to your octopus.



I was just giving ONE example of how evolutionary theory is relevant. Sooorrrry. Won't do that again.


You weren't arguing mere relevence. You said there was "no point" to using model creatures without evolution. That's quite a stretch.

I know evolution is relevent to in comparitive studies. I just noted that it was far from the necessity that you implied.



But yep OK, you're right, it doesn't 100% prove evolution and hey,



I never said that. That's not how I do things. I'm well aware that evolution is a succesful paradigm. I just don't believe that that means it's the only game in town.

I wasn't commenting on the big picture their at all. I'm a details person (as far as I have the time and ability to assess them).



If you can present a better, different, scientifically testable theory, then that will also be considered, tested, evaluated as evolution has been and continues to be!!




No, that's not my role. There are others who are working on that project.

At any rate, I accept that many scientists are on scientific grounds to continue to pursue evolutionary intepretations. What I absolutely object to is the myth that no one else can pursue alternative understandings in a scientifically acceptable way and furthermore that only the naturalists and evolutionists can claim rationality.

Rob R said...

CA


Think about free will. If science could actually prove the existence of God empirically then Free choice would be compromised for a large portion of humanity.



Lets say that the intelligent design community could prove their case to the satisfaction of the scientific community as a whole.

It would not remove free will, but it would change the landscape of free will. For one, there could still be a vocal minority of naturalists in science, or some atheists could choose to reject science.

Furthermore, Intelligent design does not prove a Christian God. It strengthens our case, but one could still be a deist. For that matter, one could still be a Jew, Muslim, Hindu and so on.

Finally, even if one were to believe in the Christian God, even on account of ID, the great challenge of faith can't be reduced to belief in the existence of God. There are to my knowledge no atheists (or almost none) in scripture and yet, through both testaments, people struggle with everything from pagan influences to obedience to the God that they hold to.

In short, even if ID were overwhelmingly succesful, there is still plenty of room for free will.

ignoranceisbliss said...

Barb, your misunderstanding of the topic is highlighted by the following:

HOw, IIB, do you evolutionists deal with the fact that cells only become more complex with mutations and that mutations are usually bad in result --like Down's Syndrome?

WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

Firstly, evolution DOES NOT say that cells become more and more complex. Every animal you see today has been evolving for EXACTLY THE SAME AMOUNT OF TIME AS HUMANS. However, each animal has relative measures of success in their niche.
Secondly, mutations are NOT USUALLY BAD. Mutations are usually NEUTRAL. And pulling out a few examples of where mutations ARE bad does not prove anything. For a population to evolve there must be natural genetic variation within that population. Pulling out an example of a bad mutation does not mean a thing - yes SOME mutations are bad, SOME are beneficial, but the majority are neutral.


And this, well this is just laughable:
How did the bombadier beetle evolve without first randomly, accidentally blowing up its back end with its own explosions --how did it ever survive to this day? how did it evolve to have just the right amount of explosive gas to deter predators without accidentally evolving to have too much and thus blowing their whole species off the planet?

Wouldn't the beetles that 'blew themselves up' be destroyed and therefore not able to procreate? Wouldn't those who could deter predators with just the right amount of explosive gas be more successful? Again, it relies upon variation within a species, but as I said, that is what the premise of evolution is.

ignoranceisbliss said...

RobR;
What I absolutely object to is the myth that no one else can pursue alternative understandings in a scientifically acceptable way and furthermore that only the naturalists and evolutionists can claim rationality.

Heh?? There is a myth that no one else can persue science? Weird. As I said, that scientific community is more than happy to consider other SCIENTIFIC ALTERNATIVES. Again with the conspiracy theories.

ignoranceisbliss said...

One last thing:
I don't think mutations fit in with the theory of upward evolution from simple to more complex life forms very well

WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG. THERE IS NO THEORY OF EVOLUTION FROM SIMPLE TO MORE COMPLEX LIFE.

Rob R said...

I don't believe you. Much of the scientific community is not willing to pursue a course that says that naturalistic means simply cannot explain certain structures thus intelligent intentional actions are needed. No, the assumption is that naturalistic means have to explain everything cause science allegedly depends on methodological naturalism.

I never suggested there is a conspiracy. I do believe that many scientists have philosophical biases and many aren't even aware of them.

Rob R said...

WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG. THERE IS NO THEORY OF EVOLUTION FROM SIMPLE TO MORE COMPLEX LIFE.

man, I thought you were here to represent the mainstream. geuss not.

Rob R said...

correction, much of the scientific community is not tolerant of the puruit of intelligent design. I don't care if they bother to pursue it themselves or not, but the intollerance is nothing short of irrational.

Barb said...

Can you really imagine the common ancestor of a beetle who happens to be the first to possess the ability to ignite his own gas for an explosion against predators? Can you really??? Why did only this one creature develop this peculiar trait from his parent ancestors who did NOT have the trait --nor the gene for it. Happenstance, of course, that such a gene should mutate to cause a race of such beetles. From generations of beetles who do not have an ability to ignite their own gas "evolves" magically a gene for the right amount of gas and an ignition system to make an explosion. Yeah, right!

At the very least, a designer would have to come up with this, to have it happen from either "natural selection" or mutation. NOthing entirely "natural" i.e. without design, about it.

"Nothing comes from nothing" says the song in Sound of Music. How in heck does the gas and ignition system of one race of beetles ever "evolve" from creatures who don't have that ability anywhere else in the family? The gene for it had to be in the parent --by design code in the parental DNA. Unless the gene for a normal back-end and no ignition system mutated--and why such a remarkable mutation occuring in nature without a designer?

So tell me about some good mutated genes that occur naturally in humans. If they are neutral, neither good or bad, what are examples of those? You mean they are inert? Or are they merely theoretical also?

Another Serious question for my education: I'd say that when mutations happen in bugs, it's not for human good but part of sin's result in pestilence against us --pestilence whose insecticide-resistant, antibiotic-resistant descendents mutate genes for survival--or do they? is this really mutation or is it survival of the fittest who inherit the genes carrying the trait for resistance from their rare immune parents who survived the human remedy to kill them? (as in the lizard examples you presented.) Which is it --natural selection or a mutation?

Even at that, how can we see such a thing as entirely without design or designer?

Barb said...

If cells don't become more complex with successive generations, how can you say all the diversity of life came from one single celled amoeba?

I agree, that cells don't become more complex --they become simpler --not passing on all the genes from parents --and not acquiring new ones by mutation --but yes, from mating --but still not more complex overall--not gaining new info but losing old --except for the new that comes from mating.

so how do you explain the one-celled beginning for all life?

Barb said...

IIB: Every animal you see today has been evolving for EXACTLY THE SAME AMOUNT OF TIME AS HUMANS.

What???

All from one amoeba? I guess I understand what you are saying --that we all had this same origin at the beginning of life? and thus have all evolved from the same source together by the same time frame. Not that each animal in its present form has been existant the same length of time --that wouldn't be evolution's theory, would it?

kateb said...

I think it's clear to say that in the attempt to make their argument some irrational statements have been made.

1. evolution is not a premise

Of course it's a premise. It's the premise that; (m-w.com)a proposition antecedently supposed or proved as a basis of argument or inference

2. This is a 'belief' or a 'religion'. Atheism in itself is a faith. It is a belief in the non-existence of God. This is faith.

3. Over all - the concept that the human brain can understand the concept of time, on God's level - is ridiculous.

We have had the explanation, in terms of 'time' and creation, laid before us in terms that our minds are capable of understanding.

For a human to understand time on the level of God, would be akin to sitting a dog in front of a typewriter and expecting it to type out a letter.

God talks to us in terms that we, His children can understand. Beyond that, this is why it is called faith.

If people choose not to believe, why wouldn't they be allowed to do so? As followers, we are only obligated to see that the Word is made available. We aren't obligated to ascertain that people accept it. If we seek to do this, we won't spread the word, we'll only be bogged down with those who won't believe. Who choose not to believe. This is their right.

As much as we enjoy a relationship with God, the Son and the Holy Spirit, there are those who see it, have the opportunity and refuse it.

This is their choice. Sad as it is, it is their choice.

Masoni said...

Barb, I'm only going to respond to one of your first questions in this post because I couldn't bring myself to respond to all of it. I assume you know my views well enough to know that this post annoyed the hell out of me.

You CAN see evolution at work today - look at bacteria. Bacteria evolves daily, becoming resistant to more and more antibiotics and such. Why do you think drug companies need to create more powerful antibiotics and medications.

And you can't see fish becoming monkeys because evolution on that scale occurs over millions and millions of years. Plus, the changes are so gradual that they wouldn't even be recognizable over the course of a human lifetime.

Feel free to reply on my blog; I might be writing something to clear up popular misunderstandings of evolution sometime soon. Thanks, M.

Barb said...

Dear Masoni, It's too bad that you don't read the whole thread here --or even my first post. If you did, you'd know that I also referred to the thousands of daily mutations OR natural selections and thus, the evolution of bacteria --and the fact that they are STILL BACTERIA!!!! No matter what!!!! NO matter how many generations evolve. And we know all about the necessity for new antibiotics because of these adaptations of bacteria.

WE KNOW THERE IS what is called Micro-evolution --within a taxonomic group --but no one has seen evidence of macro-evolution from one taxonomic group to another. If it EVER happened in the past, it should be an ongoing process observeable today --just as microevolution is in your bacteria example. Just as the lizard examples in the Harvard study cited here by Anonymous. Lizards are still lizards and bacteria still bacteria. You have no proof of evolution between taxa nomic groups. Fossils are not proof --only proof that a creature can resemble two tax. groups --not proof of common ancestry.

DNA in common, not necessarily proof of ancestry as much as proof of common design code by an intelligent designer.

kateb said...

Barb - you silly thing. Why would you think that someone would need to read or even understand something prior to commenting on it?

If that was true so many uninformed commentators would just have nothing of value to say...