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Author Topic:   A question about evolution
Micah8294
Junior Member
Posts: 6
From: United States
Joined: 01-31-2017


Message 1 of 55 (798295)
02-01-2017 4:19 PM


Hello, I am not a scientist by any means but I hope someone can explain this to me so I can understand.

Why is it that certain animals have evolved features for cold weather (such as thick fur) but humans like Eskimos have not? Contrarily, why is it that a people that have been living in a hot climate for many generations (like Africa) developed black skin instead of something more helpful like white or more reflective skin to help cool them off?

Just a question, thank you to anyone willing to help me out.


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AdminAsgara
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Posts: 2071
From: The Universe
Joined: 10-11-2003


Message 2 of 55 (798297)
02-01-2017 4:25 PM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the A question about evolution thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.

Be nice folks.

Edited by AdminAsgara, : No reason given.


    
dwise1
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Posts: 2671
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.8


(2)
Message 3 of 55 (798298)
02-01-2017 4:29 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Micah8294
02-01-2017 4:19 PM


Sorry, but I had written responses to the original OP.

this is a topic that i've been bouncing around my whole life, always losing my faith then gaining it back again.

Why? I mean, if repeatedly having your YEC beliefs disproven causes you to lose your faith, then shouldn't you be asking yourself the real questions?


  1. Why do I keep losing my faith?
  2. Does my faith really have to depend on the contrary-to-fact claims of YEC?
  3. Why should my faith have to depend on the contrary-to-fact claims of YEC?
  4. What does it really mean when YEC turns out to be false, which it always does?

Those are the real questions that you should be asking.

Here's a hint: many of the opponents of YEC here used to be YECs themselves. I'm sure that they could help you with those questions.

As for myself, yes, I do happen to be an atheist. I have been one for over half a century having left Christianity because I had started to read the Bible and quickly realized that I just couldn't believe what I was reading. Then half a decade later (c. 1970) the "Jesus Freak" movement exploded on the local scene centered at Chuck Smith's Calvary Chapel and I learned a lot about their beliefs as a "fellow traveller". That knowledge informed me that I really couldn't believe that stuff, thus strengthening my atheism immensely. At the same time I encountered YEC claims for the first time and they were so blatantly false that I knew that there was nothing to YEC -- one of the claims was that a NASA computer in the mid-60's had found Joshua's Lost Day; see a Christian's essay on that, Thoughts on "Joshua's Long Day" by Dr. Allan H. Harvey.

You may also want to read Dr. Harvey's other essays which I link to at http://cre-ev.dwise1.net/links.html#HARVEY (I just put that anchor in the page, but won't be able to upload it for two days, so if that takes you to the top of my links page all you need to do is to search for Harvey). Science and Christian Apologetics is pertinent since it discusses how "creation science" both robs Christians of their faith and creates unnecessary obstacles for non-believers keeping them from ever considering Christianity. I would also highly recommend his A Personal View of the Evolution Issue, especially the last section, "Relating Science and Faith". He discusses "God of the Gaps" in that last essay and in another one, What Does "God of the Gaps" Mean?, which is also pertinent since I have seen "God of the Gaps" used many times in "creation science" and "intelligent design" is based firmly on that false theology -- basically, it's "We don't know therefore goddidit. Oops! Now we do know so that disproves God."

When I encountered "creation science" again a decade later, I was surprised that it was still around. Assuming that there might be something to it after all, I started to study it. I very quickly learned that it was all false claims and deception. Then I learned that it causes many Christians to lose their faith. Even professional creationists at Answers in Genesis warn of the dangers of using false YEC claims, though they don't realize that all YEC claims are false (see Dr Jonathan Sarfati and Dr Don Batten on my quotes page). In the nearly four decades I've been studying and discussing "creation science" I have encountered such horrific creationist dishonesty, immorality, and hatred that I thank God {grin} every day that I'm an atheist and have been saved from the insidious corrupting influence of "true Christianity". My creation/evolution web site at http://cre-ev.dwise1.net/ is dedicated warning Christians about the corrupting influence of "creation science" and in which I say the same things that those professional creationists say, for which "true Christians" have flamed me mercilessly with their "Christian love" in "drive-by" hate emails.

For a more complete telling of my tale, refer to my essay, How I got started and why I oppose "creation science". I wrote and posted it to CompuServe nearly three decades ago at someone's request.

Please stick around. There is a lot for us to discuss.


This message is a reply to:
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dwise1
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Posts: 2671
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.8


(2)
Message 4 of 55 (798300)
02-01-2017 4:33 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Micah8294
02-01-2017 4:19 PM


Your original questions:

1. couldn't a lot of geology theoretically point towards a worldwide flood

No. When geology started out that is exactly what they were looking for, evidence of Noah's world-wide flood. They couldn't find any such evidence. It simply does not exist. The evidence does show a long and complex geological history.

The closest thing we have to a world-wide flood is the rising of sea level by about 200 feet due to the melting of the ice sheets when the last ice age ended about 13,000 years ago. That has caused several land bridges to become submerged along with a lot of coastlines; eg, the Persian Gulf, which is about 100 feet deep at most, used to be dry land. And thanks to climate change, we're seeing that happen again.

2. how do evolutionists overcome the issues about the age of the earth (i'm sure you've heard the arguments)

We have no problem with the age of the earth. How do YECs overcome the issues about the age of the earth? Oh yeah, they either go into extreme denial or lose their faith.

I actually find this topic to be the most fun as well as the easiest to refute, plus the refutations are much more clear and undeniable. Unfortunately, I have found that creationists will avoid young-earth claims like the plague, which tells me that they also have realized that it is the weakest part of their claims. For example, I had been carrying on a twenty-year correspondence with a local creationist activist who is most definitely a young-earther (that was even the reason he had converted in the first place), but in all that time despite my repeated attempts to discuss young-earth claims with him he has steadfastly refused to engage.

I have also found that if I suggest a particular young-earth claim for discussion, the YEC will immediately claim that he doesn't believe in that claim or has never heard of it before. Frankly, I think I'm being lied to. So I have learned to ask the YEC to present a young-earth claim for us to discuss -- though again they will twist and squirm as they avoid even that.

So then, hoping for a different experience, I hereby ask you to present a young-earth claim for us to discuss.

3. why is it that animals living in cold environments evolved thick fur to keep them warm, but people (such as Eskimos) have not?

Could you please explain how your particular understanding of evolution and how it works would lead you to think that there's any problem there? At the very least, please outline the sequence of events that you imagine to have taken place in the arrival of humans to the Arctic and the arrival of other mammals along with their evolving thick fur.

A very basic statement about evolution is that it involves changes within a population over many generations. Every generation requires a finite amount of time, t, so if a particular change takes n generations to establish itself in a population, then the amount of time required would be nt. Generating an example via argumentum ex culo (ie, pulling the numbers out of a body orifice), if a change takes 1000 generations and a generation takes 20 years, then it would take 20,000 years (100020) for that change to evolve.

So, what would be needed for non-human mammals to adapt to the Arctic? Thicker fur, of course, along with some other adaptations. So what would that take? Well, to start with, almost all mammals have fur, though there are some exceptions. Even though humans do not have fur, we are still covered with body hair, though most of it is often too fine to be seen by the casual observer. So as non-human mammals migrated farther north towards the Arctic they were already adapting to periods of cold that got longer and colder as they migrated farther north. It shouldn't take much for fur that already exists to become thicker; it even happens to individuals as the seasons change.

But humans evolved their relative hairlessness in tropical Africa where that hairlessness allowed them to cool off through their most of their surface area. That is why people can run long distances but other mammals with fur cannot -- and why you should not take your dog jogging on a hot day. Furthermore, as humans migrated out of Africa into other climates, they adapted to those new climates through their technology instead of having to evolve new traits. Of course, humans in those new climates have adapted in various ways, most notably in skin color (ie, high levels of melanin protect the skin from the tropical sun, but are not needed farther north where the sun is not as strong and where high levels of melanin would be detrimental by preventing the production of vitamin D). As I understand it, the Eskimos' general body shape is shorter and rounder which reduces the ratio of surface area to volume thus making it better at retaining body heat (a tall skinner person would experience hypothermia more readily and in less time).

Also, humans in the Arctic are relatively recent, dating back about 10,000 years. Too little time for a fairly radical change such as switching from hairlessness to sporting a fur coat to evolve. Nor would there be any selective pressure for such a change, since technology provides humans with that fur coat; ie, clothing made from animal furs.

Non-human mammals in the Arctic are also relatively recent arrivals, having been blocked by the ice cap during the ice age. However, in their case they already had fur coats so evolving thicker coats was a relatively minor adaptation. In addition, they lack technology so evolving adaptive traits is their only recourse.

I am looking forward to you suggesting a young earth claim for us to discuss. I believe that you should propose a new topic for it.


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Theodoric
Member
Posts: 5603
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 5 of 55 (798302)
02-01-2017 4:37 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Micah8294
02-01-2017 4:19 PM


It infuriates me when these, I am too lazy to do my own research, topics come up. You radical theists think you have answers that no one has thought up before and you are going to show us atheists the light and led us to jeebus.

Have you heard of Google? How about Bing? I bet even Siri could answer these.

quote:
Black skin is advantageous in Africa because it prevents sunburns, which can make it difficult to perform basic necessities, such as hunting and gathering. A lack of skin pigment can cause vision problems, and dark skin protects sweat glands from being damaged by the sun. Excessive UV rays from the sun can hinder neural development. Dark skin helps to protect the body's folic acid supply, which promotes neural development.
Scientists conducted studies on people in Africa with albinism. The studies showed that albino people in Africa usually died from skin cancer. The studies also showed that albino people in Africa developed lesions sooner than white-skinned Americans due to the amount of outdoor labor performed in Africa. In the past, if people in Africa had pale skin, they would develop skin cancer at a rapid rate, and not be able to survive. The result is that people with dark skin were more likely to pass on their genes, eventually resulting in a dark-skinned population.

https://www.reference.com/...ans-black-skin-7ff23aa3a3150497
Took me 20 seconds to find.
quote:
Mongoloids evolved hairlessness to keep clean while wearing heavy garments for months without bathing during the Ice Age.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongoloid#Features
That took 3 minutes.

Next. Or can we be done now with your silly gotcha questions. Your originally topic title betrays your motive.


Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.


This message is a reply to:
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PaulK
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Posts: 12260
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


(1)
Message 6 of 55 (798304)
02-01-2017 4:38 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Micah8294
02-01-2017 4:19 PM


It is hard to be certain about what happened, or why certain things did not happen.

Firstly, humans are naturally without fur, and probably wouldn't gain much benefit from it because humans have technology - like clothing that compensates for the problem. I'd also suggest that the animals living in the Arctic have generally been there rather longer than humans. (I wouldn't be surprised if the Inuit have some variations that help in their environment but I have to say that thick fur would be a surprise to me)

With regard to human skin colour I should point out that white skins are the more recent development. White skin - especially the fairer varieties - is more prone to sunburn, which would seem rather a significant disadvantage. It may also protect against skin cancers caused by exposure to UV light.


This message is a reply to:
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Tangle
Member
Posts: 4299
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.6


(1)
Message 7 of 55 (798305)
02-01-2017 4:40 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Micah8294
02-01-2017 4:19 PM


Hi Micah, welcome.

When man went to the moon, he didn't wait to evolve a method of breathing withou oxygen did he? He built a space suit - it was quicker. Similarly when man left Africa, putting on clothing was quicker than growing body hair when moving north. Our skills were in thinking and tool making.

African people have black skin because it contains a pigment called melanin which protects the skin from the UV rays from the sun. It's why fair skinned people like me go red and blister if I don't use skin protection creams and why I eventually go brown if I'm more careful.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien.

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


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ThinAirDesigns
Member
Posts: 558
Joined: 02-12-2015


(1)
Message 8 of 55 (798306)
02-01-2017 4:54 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by PaulK
02-01-2017 4:38 PM


That was my thought -- we evolved the ability to use brains and tools in such a way that we can put on a coat in the cold and take it off in the heat (in a far more thorough manner than an animal can through shedding). This adaptability provides a strong evolutionary advantage to being forced into more specific habitat.

JB


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Micah8294
Junior Member
Posts: 6
From: United States
Joined: 01-31-2017


Message 9 of 55 (798307)
02-01-2017 4:55 PM


Thank you for the honest response and thanks for not bashing my faith like most atheist have in the past.

However, I've been born into a Christian household and raised a Christian. So that "God exists in the back of my head" feeling will never go away I'm sure of it, I will always think someone is watching. And for now I have decided to keep my faith. (I'm sure you all know who Kent hovind is, he has a lot to do with my faith in God)

What do most people in the evolutionist community accept as the most "solid proof" for evolution and against creation?

Btw I'm a forum noob, what does YEC stand for?


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Theodoric
Member
Posts: 5603
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 2.9


(1)
Message 10 of 55 (798308)
02-01-2017 4:58 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Micah8294
02-01-2017 4:55 PM


What do most people in the evolutionist community accept as the most "solid proof" for evolution and against creation?

Start a new topic.

I'm sure you all know who Kent hovind is

Yup a convicted charlatan, unrepentant tax cheat and felon.

Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Micah8294, posted 02-01-2017 4:55 PM Micah8294 has not yet responded

    
Micah8294
Junior Member
Posts: 6
From: United States
Joined: 01-31-2017


Message 11 of 55 (798309)
02-01-2017 5:00 PM


Response to "Theodoric"

I am not trying to catch anyone in a "aha!" Or step on anyone's beleifs, I just honestly want some answers to questions I've had over the years. Please keep this a civil debate, I'm new to the forum and I haven't quite heard all the theories and explanations that are going around thank you


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Theodoric
Member
Posts: 5603
From: Northwest, WI, USA
Joined: 08-15-2005
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 12 of 55 (798310)
02-01-2017 5:08 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by Micah8294
02-01-2017 5:00 PM


I am keeping this civil. Why would you pose these questions here when it has been shown you can get the answers in a quick google search? You obviously are looking for some sort of debate. Don't hide your motives, that is unseemly. You are the one coming in professing your religion and "challenging" atheists.

Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Micah8294, posted 02-01-2017 5:00 PM Micah8294 has not yet responded

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 12260
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


(2)
Message 13 of 55 (798311)
02-01-2017 5:11 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Micah8294
02-01-2017 4:55 PM


YEC is "Young Earth Creationist" and we use that term to distinguish them from the Old Earth Creationists, like Hugh Ross (of Reasons to Believe).

It is quite possible to be a Christian without being a Creationist and, well Creationists often don't seem to be very good Christians - you will probably find that you have been given a lot of misinformation, for one thing. To be honest, if the religious aspect is important to you, I suspect you might get more out of theological discussion rather than scientific.

Young Earth Creationism is thoroughly refuted by the evidence for an old Earth (see RAZD's dating thread which got a bump today)

The main lines of evidence for evolution are :

Taxonomy - the Linnaean hierarchy is a fairly natural outcome of evolution but rather surprising otherwise.

Biogeographic distribution of species - this was the big one for Wallace, who independently came up with much the same theory as Darwin. Things like the unique species found on islands, or the big division of the Lombok line.

The fossil record - the fossil record outright tells us that the species present on Earth has changed over time, and the ordering strongly supports evolution. There are also some really striking examples of transitional fossils. The fossils showing how the mammalian jaw was rearranged is a good example.

In more recent decades genetic evidence has been added to the list, and it still supports evolution.


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Micah8294
Junior Member
Posts: 6
From: United States
Joined: 01-31-2017


(2)
Message 14 of 55 (798312)
02-01-2017 5:15 PM


Yes, I am looking for a debate. But as far as my question goes it's pretty reasonably been anwered.
I just think that human interaction and dialogue helps me understand better than a Google search. That's the whole reason I joined the forum.
I don't mean to flaunt my beliefs around, but I want to be honest upfront and let everyone know what I believe in beforehand as not to try to sneak up on anyone
Thank you all for your answers

Edited by Micah8294, : No reason given.


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Coyote
Member
Posts: 5529
Joined: 01-12-2008
Member Rating: 2.8


Message 15 of 55 (798314)
02-01-2017 6:02 PM


For answers to questions about human races, see Stanley Garn's book, Human Races.

The original edition can be found on the web for free:

https://archive.org/details/humanrace00garn


Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

Belief gets in the way of learning--Robert A. Heinlein

In the name of diversity, college student demands to be kept in ignorance of the culture that made diversity a value--StultisTheFool

It's not what we don't know that hurts, it's what we know that ain't so--Will Rogers

If I am entitled to something, someone else is obliged to pay--Jerry Pournelle

If a religion's teachings are true, then it should have nothing to fear from science...--dwise1

"Multiculturalism" demands that the US be tolerant of everything except its own past, culture, traditions, and identity.


  
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