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Author Topic:   Basic Fundamentals of THE Debate (now open to anyone)
MurkyWaters
Member (Idle past 2511 days)
Posts: 56
From: USA
Joined: 07-21-2006


Message 6 of 121 (350142)
09-18-2006 11:37 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by AdminNWR
09-13-2006 1:04 AM


Re: MURKYWATERS .... CALLING MURKYWATERS ...
I greatly apologize for taking so long to respond. I hope to be engaged in a more timely fashion in the future but life is unpredictable. I obviously got sidetracked with some personal issues that didn't allow me to focus on this and when I got back to it, my response got very lengthy. I have now completed my response in Word but it may take a few days to convert it over to the html required by the forum. If you have a suggestion for doing that quickly, it would be welcome. I know that I can paste it in and test it, but that process can be time consuming. I hope my response will be worth the wait. Again, I apologize. Please keep the debate open to wait for my post. Thanks much.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by AdminNWR, posted 09-13-2006 1:04 AM AdminNWR has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by AdminNosy, posted 09-19-2006 1:05 AM MurkyWaters has not yet responded

MurkyWaters
Member (Idle past 2511 days)
Posts: 56
From: USA
Joined: 07-21-2006


Message 8 of 121 (350476)
09-19-2006 8:18 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by RAZD
07-26-2006 11:49 PM


Re: Basic Fundamentals of THE Debate and Myriad Misconceptions

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only


In addition to the starting post in this debate, I have also made reference to RAZD’s last post before it was transferred to the great debate here.
Message 98

(1) Response to Definitions

I want to again apologize for taking so long to respond. I read your reply (the initial posting in this debate) with some consternation. My purpose behind this debate was an attempt to focus on where our disagreements really lie. I see way too much debate about semantics or things people actually agree on.

Should we avoid the inflammatory? Perhaps not. I’m sure I will end up responding to some of your accusations in similar fashion. It’s not that I’m offended. It’s just that it causes us to get sidetracked. For example, while your definition of “creatortionista” may be clever you must realize that since we are coming from different perspectives we are likely to have similar but opposite experiences. I, in kind, feel that evolutionists have misrepresented the truth, state things that are falsified by readily observable evidence and do not correct their error when it is pointed out. In fact, while you may simply be referring to people in this forum or others you have talked to, evolutionists historically have refused to even entertain any other interpretation of the evidence no matter how compelling since the alternative to evolution is simply unacceptable to them (a recent example is soft tissue found in dinosaur bones). This is born out by countless “properly in context” writings from many of the most respected propagandists of evolutionary thought who have recognized the major shortcomings of evolution including Darwin himself.

And as far as “misrepresenting the truth”, I’m sure you are aware of the countless hoaxes that have been perpetrated in the name of evolution including the majority of supposed human ancestry, embryonic recapitulation and the peppered moths. To teach examples such as these and other evolutionary religion in our schools years after they have been discredited is not only unethical but the height of hypocrisy. Creationism alone was once taught in State run schools and now that the shoe is on the other foot, it is the ultimate of censorship to not even allow discussion of the problems with evolutionary conjecture.

Finally you say that you want to distinguish between the honest and dishonest creationist. Are you saying there are no dishonest evolutionists? It would be an easy task to line them up in droves. The only motivation creationists have is a search for the truth, one which has cost many their job or position. Unfortunatley there is a host of political, financial and emotional motivations for dishonest evolutionists. I think we can concede that the vast majority of the “masses” on both sides tend to believe what they read or hear and are simply misled. While each of us may feel the other side is being misled, I would contend that simply due to shear volume alone that most of the misleading is being done by evolutionists since the mainstream media and scientific establishment are so biased.

Ok, that’s the end of my rant. So you see what you’ve done.  I’ve already gotten off on a tangent. Let me get back to “definitions”.

Theory of Evolution

I can certainly appreciate the work you did in researching the “definitions” for evolution and creation, and I’ll assume for the moment that you are well intentioned, but I have a lot of problems with what you have said. You feel that creationists have “misrepresented what the science is really about, so we need to be careful and use what can readily be validated by a common source as a real definition”. I hope to show that it is evolutionists, not creationists, which have misrepresented the science. In addition, apparently your view of a “common source” is one in which your definition resides.

Do you really think that evolutionists are consistent and haven’t used a lot of “non-standard” definitions? Definitions come from places other than dictionaries, and for someone that thinks wikipedia is suspect, you’ve sure referenced it a lot. I’m much more concerned with what is being taught in our schools in textbooks. In addition, there are books written by renown evolutionists as well as what we see in magazines such as National Geographic and on TV specials. I’m sure you have seen some of these materials and will recognize that they have not all used your standard definition. If any of these sources have misrepresented what evolution is about, I haven’t heard any cries from evolutionists to the contrary.

Note that the full definition given for Biological Evolution from Wikipedia includes “Evolution…is the source of the vast diversity of extant and extinct life in the world; all contemporary organisms are related to each other through common descent, the products of cumulative evolutionary changes over billions of years.” Of course, common descent means that ALL life descended from a single common ancestor (also from Wikipedia).

Your own definition from Encarta says that “evolution seeks to understand the biological forces that caused ancient organisms to develop into the tremendous and ever-changing variety of life seen on Earth today…and how different species are related through complicated family trees that span millions of years.”

For kicks, let’s look at a few others:

http://www.lexicon-biology.com/biology/definition_45.html
Evolution is the process that has led to the appearance and transformation of living species on earth. The first living beings – undoubtedly very rudimentary cells , algae, or bacteria – appeared 3.8 billion years ago. Since then, life forms have diversified and adapted to their environments. All living species today have, therefore, the same origin.

The Berkeley series for “understanding evolution for teachers” http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/IIntro.shtml states that “the central idea of biological evolution is that all life on Earth shares a common ancestor… Through the process of descent with modification, the common ancestor of life on Earth gave rise to the fantastic diversity that we see documented in the fossil record and around us today. Evolution means that we're all distant cousins: humans and oak trees, hummingbirds and whales.”

The textbook “Modern Biology, Its Conceptual Foundations” by Elof Axel Carlson, defines evolution as “evolution: a theory of complexity in the organization of life from the origins of life to the present with the premise that all life is related by common descent to the first forms of life on earth.”

“Barnes and Noble Thesaurus of Biology” defines evolution as “evolution: the process by which more complex forms of life have arisen from simpler forms over millions of years” and significantly defines adaptation as “adaptation: a change in a characteristic of an organism that improves it chances of survival and producing offspring in a particular environment”. In other words, “change over time”.

The “Concise Dictionary of Biology” (Oxford University Press) defines evolution as “The gradual process by which the present diversity of plan and animal life arose from the earliest and most primitive organisms, which is believe to have been continuing for at least the past 3000 million years.” Apparently a favorite of evolutionists, talk.origins also made this reference (and a few others), despite the fact that he may have disagreed with them. At least this dictionary is being honest about what evolution really means.

The university of Michigan teaches that Darwin's theory of evolution has four main parts: 1) Organisms have changed over time (of course), 2) All organisms are derived from common ancestors (and I would add the Darwin postulated a single common ancestor or prototype), 3) Change is gradual and slow, taking place over a long time (some scientists speculate billions of years) and 4) The mechanism of evolutionary change was natural selection (which we now know is insufficient by itself). Clearly, Darwin’s purpose was to develop a materialistic explanation of the ORIGIN of species (not merely that “things change”). http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange1/current/lectures/selection/selection.html)

Finally, the “General Theory of Evolution” (GTE) was defined by the evolutionist Kerkut as “the theory that all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form.” This I believe should be our goal, to define a general theory of Evolution and Creation, not merely their components.

One purpose in listing those many definitions is to demonstrate that there is an overriding theory and meaning to evolution which surpasses just change over time. That change over time is necessary for evolution to take place is indisputable, but it is not evolution in itself, it is only part of it. You cannot divorce the mechanisms from the theory. You cannot find any treatise on evolution, even if it was defined as “change over time” that will not go on to explain what that really means, namely that all life on earth descended from a common ancestor and including the origin of life from non-life.

In addition, this demonstrates that there is not universal agreement that evolution is simply change over time. You imply that evolutionists don’t use different definitions and then you go on yourself to declare that “Part of the problem is that there are two “evolutions””, “the mechanism” and “the science”. Sorry, but this is simply double talk. You say that “change over time” isn’t your contention, but the contention of “the science”. But then you go on to say that change over time is “the mechanism” (which naturally would be part of the theory), NOT “the science”.

In addition, you say that evolution (“the science”) is “the study of evolution”. Which evolution is that? You use evolution to define evolution. You say it’s easy to confuse the two. No wonder it’s confusing. And the point is that it is purposely MEANT by evolutionists to be confusing. You accuse me (or the general creationist), of the logical fallacy of equivocation. LOL! This is exactly what evolutionists have been doing for years now and what you have just done, perhaps inadvertently. You say that evolution (M/E) is change over time, find an example of change over time and then declare that evolution (S/E) has been proved. The truth is that only “change over time” has been proved, which everyone, including creationists, agrees with. However, the false implication is that evolution (molecules to man) has been proved. This is why my claim that evolutionists can change the definition to suit their argument is born out by the facts.

Finally, even if were to agree that “Science” defines evolution as “change in species over time”, that doesn’t make it correct or any less misleading and it would still remain a valid point of debate. Perhaps part of the problem is that the definition we should be discussing is for a comprehensive theory of evolution, not simply the mechanism of evolution. That is what will allow us to compare and debate creation theory and evolution theory on an equal basis. I will get back to that issue with much more clarity later, but first I’d like to address the definition of scientific Creation Theory.

Defense of Creation Theory

You state that my definition of Creation Theory is logically false because it excludes other creation and religious beliefs. This is the one of the most absurd statements I have ever heard. There are as many beliefs as there are people in the world. Using the exact same logic, your definition of evolution is logically false because you haven’t included all of the other evolutionary and religious beliefs. In fact, I believe that evolution is a religion. Since you haven’t taken that belief into account, your definition is false! Of course, that is nonsense. I’ll continue by simply following your line of logic.

Let’s first look at the “disambiguation” of evolution. Evolution may refer to:
1) Any of the individual Natural Sciences
2) Social Sciences
3) Religion/Philosophy
4) Media
5) Various

When we look at Religion/Philosophy we find:
• Evolution (theology), the belief that the universe came into existence from nothing at all or from some pre-existing matter or energy (i.e. big bang)
• Evolutionism, the belief that the universe, life and humanity came into being through purely natural means
• Evolution Festival, a yearly naturalist music festival which happens in NE England
• Evolution (philosophy)

We can then go on to list some different kinds of evolutionism:
• Neo-Darwinism
• Punctuated equilibrium (a way to explain the fact that there are no transitional forms in the fossil record)
• Directed Panspermia (aliens did it!)
• Chemical Evolution
• Memetics
• Marxism
• Communism, Fascism, Nazism
• Hinduism
• Theistic evolution
• Progressive Creationism
• Jewish Creationism

Why would you include Theistic “evolution” and some of the others on your list? I don’t want them any more than you do. They believe in evolution, don’t they? Therefore, they are just as at home on the evolutionist list as they are on the creationist list. These people have compromised the truth to accommodate fallible man’s philosophies that constantly change. The point is, if you think some of those on the list don’t belong there, I feel just as strongly about your list.

Let’s stick with Creation Science, not philosophy. It’s not a small part of creationist thinking. It has a huge following, but even if there was only a handful of people that held that belief, so what? By that logic, Darwin’s ideas or any new philosophical or scientific ideas should be dropped since they normally do not have a large initial following. Darwinism has had a hundred year’s head start over Creation Science. CS is fully supported by Science, having NO conflict with real operational science (you have implied that there is a conflict). The fallen world today is exactly what you expect to find based on the historical account in the Bible and sound scientific research.

Comparison of Creation and Evolution Theory

I think things can be made much clearer by comparing Creation Theory and Evolution Theory side by side.





Creation Theory Evolution Theory
God created the first living kinds approximately 6000 years ago. Life arose from non-life billions of years ago by purely naturalistic means.

Both of these statements are beliefs, faith or religion. It is the starting axiom or un-provable assumption for each theory. They are historical and cannot be proven since no one was there to observe it happening (although creationists believe they have a reliable eye-witness account from the Bible which provides greater plausibility to the creation account).

This beginning statement of Creation theory is not my contention, but the contention of God. I am only repeating His words which He has provided to us through the Bible. I say this primarily to compare what you said in referring to evolution that “It is not my contention but the contention of the Science”. So many have unfortunately replaced God with fallible and ever changing Science. Science should be correctly utilized to substantiate God’s word and discover the consistencies of the rules God put in place (as did the original founders of much of Science), not compromise God’s word in an attempt to fit it into man’s fallible fantasies.

You have said that this part of the creationist view is “based on a personal belief and not on having any evidence. There is no restriction on who, what, where, why or how {creation} was accomplished”. Note that this statement applies equally well with the evolutionist side of the equation. In fact, reputable scientists have proposed that aliens or spores from other planets seeded the earth. Pretty much anything might be dreamed up with no evidence at all for how life may have begun. I completely disagree that the creationist position has no evidence. And if you’re not going to debate seriously...”last Thursdayism”? I didn’t pick 6000 years out of a hat, for goodness sake. The historical Biblical account has been shown to be extremely reliable and well documented. However that’s a different discussion.

You have also stated that these are “beliefs that can evolve with time (and knowledge).” This is blatantly false for creation science but extremely applicable to evolution. Science changes its mind almost daily. First we were told you should eat eggs, then years later they cause heart attacks and currently that you should eat as many as possible, all based on the evidence of the day. You, yourself have admitted this. I’m not criticizing, because that’s what science is about. However, why put your heart and dreams on the fallible beliefs of scientists that change with the wind (and normally don’ even agree with each other). On the other hand, the historical biblical account of creation has remained the same since God first gave it to mankind 6000 years ago.

Now, I am perfectly aware that you and other evolutionists will insist that abiogenesis is not part of evolutionary theory. This is most likely due to the fact that it flies directly in the face of science and the law of biogenesis. However, evolution was proposed as an explanation of how all the diversity of life came to be. It would be difficult for anyone seeking answers not to ask the question where the first life form came from. If you extrapolate backwards to the beginning of life and run into a brick wall, how can you accept the path you are on? And as a materialist you cannot be opening the door to God creating the first prototype, since it would then be no stretch to say He created the first few thousand kinds of living things. So instead, this issue is ignored. You can be sure if there was a plausible explanation it would be held up as PROOF OF EVOLUTION! In fact, this did happen when scientists first attempted to create life from non-life. This is another indication that evolution is not just change over time.

In addition, evolution hinges on the belief that the earth is billions of years old. These cannot be treated separately since if the earth is proven to be young, evolutionary theory collapses. That is why evolutionists ignore literally dozens of young earth dating methods and cling essentially to one (all of the radioactive methods combined) to which false assumptions are made to provide an old age. Examples of evolution occurring quickly support the creation model. Exceptions like punctuated equilibrium or hopeful monsters have to be postulated to explain the fossil record in order to maintain the evolutionary story, while it is in complete harmony with creation theory.

What we see commonly happening in the media today is that an evolutionist will compare the Creationist’s starting axiom, calling it “religion”, to “Change over time” and calling that “science”. This is blatantly false since we are not comparing the same things.
You insist on removing the philosophical concepts of abiogenesis and billions of years from evolutionary theory yet unfairly insist that I include the origin of life in creation theory. Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way. If you insist that evolutionary theory start with its first prototype from which all life evolved, then it is perfectly valid for me to start with the original created kinds without any explanation necessary as to where they came from. Now, I don’t agree with excluding it since both scientific research and the evidence is used to support the initial presupposition of any theory. But let’s continue anyway to see where this goes.

Now that we are at the same starting point, we can continue with our comparison.





Creation Theory Evolution Theory
Initial created kinds reproduce after the flood to populate the earth, “adapting” to their environments quickly through natural selection to produce much variability but only within their kinds. Overall, however, life is deteriorating from its initial perfection through mutations, re-shuffling and loss of genetic information. All life we see today arose from a common ancestor (original “prototype”) by purely natural means. This occurred through a very slow and gradual process of natural selection coupled with mutations which has produced completely new and more complex genetic information in subsequent generations.

Based on what we observe today together with sound operational science you would expect that the first created life forms would reproduce after there kind, adapting to their environments and producing much variability but only within their kinds as they populated the earth after the flood. Overall however, living things are deteriorating from their original perfection in accordance with the 2nd law of Thermodynamics. Mutations along with natural selection and in accordance with genetic theory and other sound scientific and observable theories of adaptation would result in the reshuffling and loss of genetic information within their kinds. Some species would loose their ability to further adapt to changing conditions and become extinct.

The process described above is equivalent to the evolutionist’s hypothesis that all life we see today arose from a common ancestor. However, these genetic mechanisms have never been observed, it is not supported by the fossil evidence and is contradictory to relevant scientific principles including the 2nd law of Thermodynamics. Apparently, according to your prior comments, since this is the theory of common descent and not evolution you are insisting that this should be excluded from the definition as well. To make our arguments equivalent, I will therefore also exclude the above from creationist theory.

Let us continue.





Creation Theory Evolution Theory
The change in species over time. The change in species over time.

This is the definition of Evolution as suggested by you and the only thing you were willing to include in the definition and so to compare things equally and fairly, the definition of Creation Theory ends up being identical. Therefore, the change in the beak sizes of finches on the Galapagos Islands PROVES CREATION THEORY. Yeah!!!

I think it is obvious from this discussion that the debate lies in the prior assumptions, not in change over time. I would hope that for no other reason than to have something to debate, you would be willing to modify your definition of evolution since as it stands we are in complete agreement that things change over time (but not that it should be called evolution). Perhaps if we call it “comprehensive evolutionary theory”, you would be more willing to include more.

However, implicitly hidden in each of those identical definitions is something that makes them different. Evolution requires a certain type of change (addition of new genetic information) not just any change, to make the prior assumptions true. This difference can never be discussed if the prior assumptions are not included in the definition of evolution theory. Many evolutionists do this purposely in order to deceive the public. Because the regular person on the street not involved in the debate overwhelmingly accepts my definition for evolution, there is currently a public relations campaign going on to redefine evolution in a deceptive way. Therefore, it is not creationists that are intentionally promoting misconceptions, as you have accused them of doing, but rather the evolutionists. Creationists are simply trying to obtain a level playing field and discuss the real differences.

Notice that in my response, I have basically proceeded along the lines of your response but turning things around. It is fascinating and clear that we have very different world views. I have always felt that it is not the evidence that sways a person to one of these positions, but their prior worldview disposition. At some point we should explore that further. Nevertheless, it is unfair to compare my philosophical views with your views of science. I believe in science as much or more than you do (but not to the point where it is treated as God). We have at our disposal the same observable science and evidence but interpret them differently and so come to different conclusions.

Definitions


Obviously then I have some disagreements with your conclusions on what definitions we should use for further debate. I have no problems with your definition of Natural Selection since this theory does not conflict with Creation Theory. I also don’t have issues with your definition of Common Descent or Abiogenesis, but of course Creationists disagree with these theories.

Regarding OEC, this should just be removed from the list as it really has no applicability and doesn’t enter into the debate. These set of beliefs are basically an attempt to compromise true Creation and Evolution by people that are more willing to trust in men’s fallible beliefs rather than God’s Word. They belong just as much on the evolutionary side as on the Creation side. However, I do have some issues with your definitions of OEC and YEC. You go out of your way to point out that these are “Christian” or “Fundamental Christian” beliefs. This is inaccurate as these concepts can be believed by any logical thinking person regardless of religion and it is unnecessary to label it as such. Now, once they see the historical and scientific evidence, they may logically go on to believe other things about Jesus, but it’s certainly not a pre-requisite. I didn’t see you applying religious labels to the evolutionary beliefs such Atheism, Materialism, Naturalism or Secular Humanism which is really the ultimate source of evolutionary myth.

In addition you say “the earth…can be as old as it appears”. I agree that it appears old…about 6000 years old. However, I suspect you meant billions and therefore I object to that in the definition as well. The earth does not in any way appear to be billions of years old, especially if you understand the science behind it. While it is important to point that out, it should be mute since we ought to remove this definition from the list anyway.

So let’s clarify the remainder of the definitions and add a few. These are my suggestions for further debate:

• Evolution (general) - In the general sense and vernacular this is “change over time” which recognizes that many things are changing and have changed such as automobiles, home design, people’s thinking, stars, animals, plants, people and so forth.

• Adaptation – General evolution applied to biological systems resulting in “change in species over time”; the processes by which life forms adapt to their environment (observed fact, not theory).

• Evolution (hypothesis) - The {hypothesis/belief} that all the living forms in the world have arisen over billions of years from a single common ancestor which itself came from an inorganic form.

• Evolution (science) – The body of scientific research (including observed facts and theories such as adaptation, natural selection, common descent and abiogensis) interpreted to validate the evolutionary hypothesis (above).

• Creation (general) – To cause to exist, bring into being. To produce through artistic or imaginative effort.

• Creation (theory) – The theory that God created the first kinds of life approximately 6000 years ago according to the historical eye-witness account recorded in the Bible. Much of the life we see today is the result of these created kinds adapting to their environment and populating the earth after the flood.

• Creation (science) – The body of scientific research (including observed facts and theories such as adaptation and natural selection) interpreted to validate the Creation Theory (above).

These definitions are concise, specific and non-ambiguous. However, I can talk all day without any hope of resolution about how the concise and specific definition of an orange compares to the concise and specific definition of an apple. So, more importantly these definitions are comparable which provides an equal and fair footing for debate. We are now able to compare evolutionary religion/philosophy with creation religion/philosophy and evolutionary science with creation science. Now we can have a real debate about the differences between the two theories. Also, I’m sure you’ve noticed that I have called evolution a hypothesis and creation a theory. You had them reversed. I truly believe the evidence overwhelmingly supports creation and so my order is deserved. However, I’m perfectly willing to compromise and call them both either hypothesis or theory.

I do disagree with your definition of evolution which in reality is simply adaptation, not REAL evolution as defined by most sources and touted by the leading evolutionists and the media. Your definition of change over time came about recently along with genetics which provided an opportunity for evolutionists to deceptively counteract the popularity of alternative theories such as Creation. There is no evidence that the changes observed today are capable of accounting for the diversity of life from a common ancestor or even a change in an organism from one kind to another.

You say “For instance we were discussing the {Evolution} of beaks on finches on one of the islands of the Galapagos chain -- the observed change in species over time…not common descent.” This is exactly the point! Without a bat of an eye, the discovery was touted as confirming “Darwin’s theory of Evolution”, NOT the “change over time” evolution but “we all descended from a common ancestor” evolution. I saw no letters to the editor by outraged evolutionists insisting this was only proof of “change over time”.

There would be no creation-evolution controversy if evolution is only change over time and if evolutionists only reported factually on the observed variations within living kinds. However, they insist seemingly every where and every time as we have seen with the finches and with television animated specials on extrapolating these observations with no evidence to often times ridiculous and fantastic levels of evolutionary change. Have you seen the whimsical creatures we would expect to find on other planets or in the future? We have only observed subspeciation (variation within a kind) which is exactly what you would expect and predict from the creation model, never transpeciation (change from one kind to another) which has never been observed and which the fossil record does not support.

Scientific American at least admits that “change in species over time” refers to “micro-evolution” not “macro-evolution” with evidence for the latter (the “real” evolution) drawn only from the fossil record or comparative DNA studies. It also admits that micro-evolution is only evolution (in their minds) at all because it “may” be a prelude to speciation (more specifically it would have to be transpeciation). Creationists have no problem with speciation if it is within their kind (like species of dogs). After untold generations and mutations of fruit flies, nothing but fruit flies has ever been obtained. That is why micro-evolution is not evolution at all but merely adaptation.

I hate to keep pressing this, but it not only seems obvious to me but it is a crucial difference. Let’s just do a little word substitution here. When an example of change over time is touted as proving evolution, do you really think they are saying “This example of change over time is proof of “change over time”! How profound! To use the finch example, do you think they are saying that “Galapagos finch beaks have changed over time proves that finch’s beaks “change over time”? Duh. What they are saying is that the discovery that finch beaks change over time is proof that all life on earth has evolved from a primitive ancestor. We all know full well of this deception but evolutionists are using semantics to avoid the truth. As far as I’m concerned, the definition of evolution is whatever is being taught in our schools and promoted in the media and that corresponds to what I have provided above and throughout this response.

Recommendations


Of course, my first recommendation is that you agree with everything I’ve said. 
We all know that won’t happen.

One of my reasons for entering this forum was an attempt to distill what the debate is really about so we can discuss rationally and minimize semantics and arguments over things that we actually agree upon. I would think you’d also want to do that if you are sincere in seeking the truth.

While there are many points of contention, a very significant one is the idea that evolution is “change over time”. I’ve spent a considerable amount of space in this response refuting that claim. I know it may be difficult because there are some evolution propagandists as well as science texts which have touted this deception. However widely it may be proclaimed, that doesn’t make it any less dishonest. I would ask you to sincerely consider this for our future debate. If we cannot get past this, we will need to be very specific in the future (I suggest you replace “evolution” with “change over time”) so this distinction is clear.

What I believe we need to do is settle upon definitions for a “comprehensive theory of evolution” and creation so that there is little room for deception and/or misunderstanding and so that they can be compared and to allow debate on a level playing field. I have made a first attempt in this response. Any brief synopsis of evolution or creation must include its key features to be understandable. It also must recognize that evolutionary belief is a complete explanation of where everything came from. In this discussion we have been focusing on biological evolution and I’m fine with that to restrict the scope. I did find it curious that you did not reference a theory of evolution in your definitions. I hope you are willing to tackle this.

My last recommendation is to take just a piece of this at a time. This response ended up being way too lengthy and taking too long. I apologize for that. However, I’ll respect whatever decision you make on your response. Afterwards, I’ll try to split things into manageable pieces (assuming we continue with this, which I would like to do). Ok. There you have it. Have fun.

Additional Responses


Because the above response is already long, I’ll only briefly address your other issues for now and expand later. I feel that the definitions are a pre-requisite to some of these other discussions.

(2) The age of the Earth


If that is your preference, I’ll take an initial look at the dates and dating forum. However, if that discussion becomes relevant some of it may bleed over into this discussion. And don’t be getting all high and mighty. I have not even responded yet and you’re talking about check mate. I will also be asking about age correlations that invalidate an old earth. Since these are only theories, it’s usually the preponderance of the evidence that counts. There is rarely a silver bullet. Evolutionists are experts at ignoring evidence and cherry picking. They ignore a plethora of young earth dates to focus on the only one that shows an old earth (the cumulative radioactive methods) using invalid assumptions. I doubt I will find an exception here.

(3) What evolution “says”


I was beginning to feel bad about some of my potentially inflammatory comments in (1), but no longer. I think I’ve covered most of this sufficiently in my larger response above. I understand evolution all too well. If evolution “says absolutely nothing about what [finches] will change into”, as you contend, then postulating that they may change into alligators is a perfectly logical and valid possibility. If evolution does not contend that man has evolved from an ape-like ancestor then you have been living in a cave yourself. I cannot believe that if you asked that question (Does evolution contend that man has evolved from an ape-like ancestor?) of any number of people on the street (that have heard of evolution) that most if not all would answer a resounding “yes”. And the reason they would answer “yes” is because of what they’ve been taught in school or told in the media, in textbooks, on TV, by evolutionary proponents and scientists. Then you can start your hand waving to say “wait, wait, that’s not what evolution says, it only says that things change. We could have evolved from a turnip. We don’t know anything about where things came from, just that things change. There, you feel better now?” “Whew, fooled them, didn’t I”.

In addition, I find it humorous that it is you that is showing an ignorance of creation theory having put up a straw-man in your response and therefore using another logical fallacy yourself.

(4) “Information”


You are being very hypocritical in most of your responses. You have just said that “you cannot claim anything about how much or how little is involved and whether or not it is increasing, decreasing or staying static”. If there is no mechanism to show it hasn’t happened there certainly isn’t one to show it has. Making the claim that a change in the size of a finches beak means that we evolved from a common ancestor without any means to document it, means that it is a bogus argument intended to deceive. I believe I explain this in greater detail in (1). Although I will respond in more detail in the future, for now all you have to do is use your common sense. A finch has a beak, maybe long, maybe short. I don’t see it sprouting anything new that isn’t already included in a finch.

(5) Creationists did it first


For someone that thought this was a waste of bandwidth, you sure spent a lot more of it on this than I did and then completely missed the point. It certainly wasn’t my implication that all of science had been founded by creationists. That would be silly. However, my point is that the men who founded many of the principles of modern science (including natural selection which is why it was important to show that Darwin didn’t invent the theory) saw no conflict with creation and observable operational science, simply because there is none. It is when real science is abandoned to make wild speculations regarding the interpretation of the evidence that evolutionist run into trouble. I believe I expand on this further in (1).

I did not make those statements to prove evolution is false or creationism is true. You are again putting up a straw man in order to easily knock it down. I see that you are constantly referencing the “logic”. You seem to have a misunderstanding of operational science (real science that is testable, repeatable, falsifiable…) and origins “science” which is really not science in the classical sense at all. Speculation about our origins is unrepeatable and un-provable. It is the preponderance of the evidence supporting any theory that gives it credence. It is unnecessary and in fact impossible to prove creation is false and evolution true (or the reverse) in order to make assertions that support or detract from either.

You do make a good argument about how everything we know about biology and science in general could be thrown out tomorrow. That being the case, why would you want to bet your everlasting life on it?

I will take your advice to try and reduce future arguments (after this one) to manageable pieces as I’ve already recommended in (1).

I hope you enjoyed all of this. I’ll wait for your response. You seem to be a little quicker at this than me considering the number of posts you have made. …mw

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by RAZD, posted 07-26-2006 11:49 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by RAZD, posted 09-21-2006 12:00 AM MurkyWaters has responded
 Message 51 by RAZD, posted 02-20-2007 10:34 PM MurkyWaters has responded

MurkyWaters
Member (Idle past 2511 days)
Posts: 56
From: USA
Joined: 07-21-2006


Message 10 of 121 (353382)
10-01-2006 1:27 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by RAZD
09-21-2006 12:00 AM


Re: Definitions first - the baby step.
My first impression is that if we both keep doing very long posts, very little will be accomplished.

You’re probably right, but you’re not following your own advice with this response (unfortunately, I haven’t either, although I’m trying to ignore some of it). It doesn’t help when people purposely use derogatory terms such as “creatortionista”. I see nothing dishonest (and you have not demonstrated anything dishonest) with creationist logic. It all depends what your viewpoint is. As I’ve already stated, I feel the reverse is true. Some people, including myself, just happen to disagree with you. Apparently, because you can’t defend your arguments, you have to resort to name calling. Not an acceptable strategy in a debate. In addition you make inflammatory comments such as:

Nice little passive aggressive christian ad hominum and non-sequitur plus the logical fallacy of appeal to consquences -- ya gotta love people that think their belief applies to everyone, and wrap up three logical fallacies in one phrase to do it.

You keep appealing to these logical fallacies every opportunity you get, even when it’s inappropriate. It appears that you have been often accused of logical fallacies yourself and are simply lashing out. There is no purpose in that. It is merely a tactic to intimidate, usually by someone who thinks very highly of himself. We all have beliefs and opinions but there IS TRUTH and someday we are all “probably” (added to account for other beliefs which I have no obligation to do) going to find out what it is one way or another. There are no logical fallacies in my statement. I merely made a statement of fact and then asked you a question. I’m assuming that your logical fallacies are sincere errors (at least for now). Simply pointing out that something doesn’t follow is sufficient rather than getting all high and mighty. If anyone is committing non-sequitor, it is you. I said nothing about thinking that my belief applies to everyone. That’s an assumption you made. I have no idea what you believe. Your label would seem to indicate that you are a deist, but it doesn’t necessarily follow that you hold to all deist beliefs.

In any case, I think it is a perfectly valid reaction for someone not to trust a source that has consistently proven to be unreliable. That Science changes its mind every week is an acceptable part of the process for many. However, that science has frequently made statements that something is a FACT (or that something has been PROVEN, particularly related to “origins” studies) when it is no such case, is inexcusable. Therefore, it is logical to question the extent to which we should trust Science with our most valuable possessions. While I believe there is someone of higher authority in which to place our trust, I would sooner trust my own logic and reason rather than appeal to the authority of “Science” (particularly when we are talking about origins). Finally, we all make logical fallacies and for the most part they are unimportant. Darwin himself appealed to the future when arguing that evidence in the fossil record would someday be discovered to support his theory. Unfortunately for him, we have yet to see this evidence.

Evolution theory says no such thing. This is abiogenesis. Evolution starts once there is life for the forces of mutation and natural selection to operate on.

So there IS something called evolution theory? What is that? More specifically, what is the “Theory of Evolution”. I’ll repeat that you did not include a “theory of evolution” in your definitions and I’m not sure I saw it anywhere in your initial response. Is there such a thing? If so, what is it?

scientific terms are defined by the science, not by people outside the science…It's not a matter of putting it up for a vote. The definition of evolution is the change in species over time. This is how the scientists use the term.

What is “the science”? Who are people outside of the “science”? Wow, baby steps is right. Before we can define what evolution is, must we define what “Science” is? Who or what is the authority of science that you are appealing to? While there are some authoritive scientific organizations out there, I’m not sure any have the authority to officially declare something one way or the other, and even it they did, it doesn’t make it right. You have already stated that’s not what science is about. How can scientific opinion change (which it does) if one must hold to the official statements that have already been made without question? Scientists happen to disagree with your assertion that evolution is merely change in species over time. Apparently YOU think it is up for a vote…is it what the majority of scientists say?

This is the kind of thing that creationists do when they don't use the correct scientific definitions of the terms, but start changing them into strawman versions based on their misunderstanding (at best).

You keep repeating this accusation of a “strawman”, but you (and “evolutionists”) do exactly the same. Apparently both of us (especially you, based on the number of posts in this forum) have had some past experiences that may have “tainted” our opinions about “Creationists” or “Evolutionists” (unfortunately also subject to “strawman” definitions). Perhaps we can mutually agree to reduce our accusations of “them”, which is unproductive, and focus on what you or I have said directly? Now, having said that, there may be times when it is germane to refer to a body of people that hold certain opinions. Let me suggest we use “Creationist” to refer to scientists who believe in creation theory and “Evolutionist” to refer to scientists who believe in evolution theory. Those beliefs are apparently yet to be defined. In addition, while I don’t discount anyone’s opinion (apparently you do), this at least narrows the scope down to people that we know are reasonably well informed on the subject. We may disagree with their positions, but at least we can refer to them with respect.

Lastly, I’d withhold judgment on who misunderstands what. I know all too well what evolution is.

Please. Your opinion is of no value to the scientific definitions and usages.

Likewise. Of course, now that I know that your opinion is correct and mine is of no value, that certainly clarifies some things for me regarding evolutionists (and perhaps deists).

You also jump to an invalid conclusion when you suddenly talk about Darwin's "purpose" -- his purpose was to scientifically explain how the diversity of evidence that surrounds us happens - on a daily basis and on a long term basis. This is what science does.

Oh, that’s what science does? If you don’t think scientist’s observations and conclusions aren’t affected by their world-views (particularly when it applies to non-operational science like origins), you have been roundly deceived. In addition, have you talked with Darwin lately? We can only surmise his purpose by what he wrote and through historical references, some of which are up to interpretation. I would simply ask therefore - What does “ORIGIN of species” mean if it isn’t meant to explain the Origin of species?

The number of times creationists try this logically false inversion is almost a 1:1 ratio to the number of creationists. Of course NO religious beliefs are included in the definition of evolution -- it is science not faith.

Ha! You’re a real card aren’t you? The number of evolutionists that try this logically false inversion (treating evolution as “science”), is almost a 1:1.5 ratio to the number of evolutionists. Fortunately, there are a significant handful of honest evolutionists who do admit IT IS a faith. I can provide a half dozen or so quotes from famous evolutionists and a lot more with some research, which clearly indicate that this is so (do I need to?).

saying something does not make it so

But if a scientist says it, it does make it so? You don’t believe God; I don’t believe your scientist. I won’t suggest who is more authoritative. Besides, a great number of scientists agree with me.

You are of course free to believe any number of false things you want to -- but that is the definition of delusion. Notice these distinctions:

faith - belief without evidence
delusion - belief in spite of evidence to the contrary
science - knowledge based on evidence and logic

…as are you free to believe any number of false things you want to. What a ridiculous statement to make. Obviously we disagree, so that makes ME delusional? I haven’t seen someone so full of himself in a long time. And do you really want to get into the definition of Science? Let’s make something perfectly clear. We are talking about origins “science” (“studies” would be more accurate), NOT operational science. The origins of life CANNOT be proven to others by science (although God can easily prove it to you). No one was there to see it happen and it is not repeatable or subject to normal scientific rigor. That is why it is faith. The best example that comes to mind is this which I’m sure you’ve heard before – if a frog turns into a prince instantly, it’s a fairytale, but it if takes a million years, its science?

The religion of evolution is naturalism. Since I couldn’t put it better myself, I’ll quote Dr. Gary Parker “evolution is based on fossils we don’t find and on genetic mechanisms that have never been observed. The case for creation is based on thousands of tons of fossils that we have found and on genetic mechanisms (variation within kind) that we do observe and see occurring every day. As a scientist, I prefer a model that is based on what we do see and can explain (creation), rather than one that’s based on what we don’t see and cannot explain (evolution).” I am as much or more a fan of science as you are. From the standpoint of weighing the evidence, it is you who are required to have faith (belief without evidence) and continue to believe in spite of the evidence because the predisposition to your religion of naturalism prevents you from considering any alternative. Evolution is faith, not science.

This is not to say that I am avoiding these issues [peppered moths, human ancestry, old earth] but that they have already been answered elsewhere.

I doubt if they’ve been “answered”. I’m sure they have been debated. I’m fine with avoiding or postponing those.

This makes it okay for creatortionistas to be dishonest? The fact that 'dishonest evolutionists' are exposed by scientists rather than creationists would also have nothing to do with the argument eh?

You never seem to get the point. You were the one that brought up the dishonesty card, not me. I never implied it was ok for anyone to be dishonest. It is a matter of record and a fact that evolutionists have been dishonest. That creationists are dishonest is only your opinion. And, I’m sorry, but creationists are scientists too. It doesn’t matter who exposed them. What does matter is that it took 40 years because of the zeal of evolutionists to believe a lie in order to substantiate their fantasies. Which, by the way, happens with almost every discovery that subsequently ends up being discredited after others get a chance to look at it (and after many have been purposely deceived). You never see a retraction.

OK, from now on I will attempt to ignore everything except the definitions, as it appears that you still don't have it right. It seems self evident to me but let’s start again perhaps in smaller steps. Every quoted explanation and logical argument that I provide, you respond with “Oh, that’s simply change over time”, when it is nothing of the sort. No one has denied that evolution INVOLVES change over time. However, it is obviously much more than that. Because parts of evolution have been given different names (like common descent), doesn’t separate them from the overall theory.

For example, here is a repeated quote from one of the sources I gave earlier:

“Evolution is the process that has led to the appearance and transformation of living species on earth…All living species today have, therefore, the same origin.”

Your response – “All this is saying is that evolution is change in species over time”.

What? Are you reading the same thing that I am? A process that has “led to the appearance” means life from non-life. And it clearly states that all life on earth has the same origin, which means that common descent is part of evolution. The rest of the definitions are similar. If you don’t like these, I can come up with hundreds more.

As far as Kerkut goes, do you disagree that he was a scientist? If not, who is? Need I remind you that he was an evolutionist? Or perhaps let me save you the effort – I suppose anyone who disagrees with you is not a scientist?

Let’s start with what I believe is a statement of FACT:

The word “Evolution” (synonymous with “Theory of Evolution”) is universally accepted as a naturalistic explanation for the origins and subsequent diversity of all life on earth over billions of years.

In fact, the word “evolution” is commonly used as a complete explanation of where everything (including the universe) came from. While (as I have shown previously) there are many meanings to the word evolution, by itself the presumed connotation is usually biological. For the sake of argument, let’s ignore abiogenesis (something that has been show to be statistically impossible), for the time being so as not to get distracted. However, it does include all related sub theories and processes that supplement the overall theory such as natural selection or common descent. Let’s examine several reasons why this statement is true.

First, I have provided at least 8 sources that define evolution this way. I can provide hundreds more if that is not sufficient including quotes from some of the most famous evolutionists of the century. Look, your definition arose in the 1980’s and is quoted rather liberally since then, not because it was correct, but that it could be something more “operational”, particularly with the advent of genetics. Nevertheless, I believe I have and can continue to show that not all scientists agree with this definition. In particular, it is NOT what is commonly told to the public. Another good example is Al Gore’s contention that the vast majority of scientists believe in global warming when it is not even close to the truth. Rather than appealing to the authority of some scientists, we should be debating whether the definition is appropriate or not.

Second, it escapes me how you can imply that any of these are attempting to convey that evolution is ONLY change over time. The central theme of every description of evolution in every media that I have ever seen (even internet evolution propaganda go on to explain what they mean) has been that evolution is responsible (through any number of mechanisms) for the diversity of life on earth over billions of years.

A current example can be found here regarding the CBS pole entitled “Majority Reject Evolution” (emphasis mine).
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/10/22/opinion/polls/main965223.shtml

So, how do they define human evolution? The choice asked of participants was – “Human beings evolved from less advanced life forms over millions of years”? They DID NOT ask, “Have human beings changed over time?” If they had, the response would have been 100% affirmative and of course evolutionists would have been saying “See, everyone believes in evolution!” This is exactly the response they are now attempting to elicit with their deception of “change over time”.

Third, change in species over time is an observation or requirement but it is NOT a “mechanism” of evolution as you contend. Mechanisms might be mutations or natural selection. These mechanisms result in observable (or theoretical) change. It is deceptive to define evolution as an obvious observation and then say it is proved when that obvious thing (in this case “change”) is observed. What is the theory that you are attempting to substantiate through this observation? The observation itself? In other words, the observation of change in species over time proves change in species over time? Of course not! Obviously they’re trying to show that all life evolved from a common ancestor over millions of years.

In addition, you don’t say “a balloon is something blue. Therefore, since the sky is blue, it’s a balloon”. You obviously need to say a little bit more about balloons to define what they are. I don’t think it is necessary for me to list any more explicit sources for the correct definition of evolution since I contend that everyone really defines it this way even if they attempt to be deceptive. In fact, while obviously not on purpose, I contend that you have defined evolution this way. Why? Simply because if you need to explain the definition, then the explanation not only deserves to be part of the definition but ought to be, if the definition by itself is either unclear or insufficient. In the case of your definition, it’s both.

Fourth, regardless of whether you believe in creation or evolution, simple logic tells you that
“change over time” DOES NOT imply that all life on earth came from a common ancestor over millions of years. In other words, it IS NOT a sufficient condition as you contend. All it tells you is that species change over time. In fact, that things change has never been in contention with creation scientists. Whether you want to believe it or not (and obviously you do not), there is a least a possibility that there are limits to this genetic change. This, of course, is consistent with all of the observed evidence and in fact there is no evidence to suggest that limits do not exist.

Let’s get more specific by looking at your “Bzzzttt error” definition from the Berkley series (which, by the way clearly states in their explanation that “Biological evolution is not simply a matter of change over time”). I’ll repeat the definition you quoted here:

“Biological evolution, simply put, is descent with modification. This definition encompasses small-scale evolution (changes in gene frequency in a population from one generation to the next) and large-scale evolution (the descent of different species from a common ancestor over many generations)”.

Ahhhh…and there it is! EVOLUTION encompasses “small scale EVOLUTION” and “large-scale EVOLUTION”. Of course, these are commonly referred to as Micro-EVOLUTION and Macro-EVOLUTION. However, there are several logical fallacies here.

Small scale Evolution DOES NOT logically imply large scale Evolution. These are 2 very different things. The first is largely being researched through genetics, while the later through the fossil record. The connection between the two has yet to be demonstrated, but the term “Evolution” is supposed to encompass both of these parts. Therefore, the first use of the term Evolution is being used comprehensively to explain the diversity of all life while the subsequent uses of the word evolution are used differently to explain different parts of evolution. This is the fallacy of equivocation. By using the word Evolution (the broader term) to explain small change, you are making the presupposition that evolution has been demonstrated without the need for proof or evidence.

This is the kind of thing that evolutionists do when they don't use the correct definitions of the terms, but start changing them into strawman versions based on their desire to “prove” evolution without evidence (at best).

Ok, based on your subsequent reply, we’ll see if any of this has made sense to you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by RAZD, posted 09-21-2006 12:00 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by RAZD, posted 10-01-2006 1:22 PM MurkyWaters has responded
 Message 12 by RAZD, posted 10-01-2006 8:41 PM MurkyWaters has responded
 Message 17 by RAZD, posted 10-07-2006 7:04 PM MurkyWaters has not yet responded

MurkyWaters
Member (Idle past 2511 days)
Posts: 56
From: USA
Joined: 07-21-2006


Message 13 of 121 (353529)
10-01-2006 9:04 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by RAZD
10-01-2006 1:22 PM


Re: response part 1
Murk is fine. Man, you are fast. I marvel at your ability to respond so quickly. I guess you’ve been at this longer than I. Nevertheless, don’t expect the same speed of response from me. I just don’t have the time or ability. That was a compliment to you, by the way. For the most part, I will simply respect your right to have an opinion on many of the spurious matters we have gotten ourselves into. If I do respond, I will attempt to be brief, which I admit is sometimes hard for me. But hey, that’s part of what this is for.

As far as “creatortionista” goes, I stand by my comment. This debate is supposed to be between you and me and perhaps as I’ve stated earlier we should stick to responding to the comments we have made ourselves, not by others that we have put a label on. I have no idea what specific individuals you may be referring to by your derogatory term. You talk about “their” arguments, but those arguments could just as well come from reliable sources or myself. I do not consider myself a “creatortionista” and the implication from you is that I am if you are criticizing an argument I have made which you feel this group has made.

As far as Carl Baugh goes, I am unfamiliar with his website or claims, so I cannot comment directly. I suppose each of us may be somewhat selective in the perception of “deceptions” from the other side. However, to me this is peanuts compared to the deceptions from the evolutionist side of the table. You see arguments time and time again that have long been discredited by evolutionists themselves and they have a much broader and accessible platform from which to preach in the liberal media and biased science journals. I think it is safe to say that their will always be crazies on both sides. Let’s evaluate the arguments and evidence by themselves and not discredit them because the source may be suspect (another logical fallacy). In the meantime, do I need to come up with a derogatory term for the many dishonest evolutionists?

The basic premise of science is that it MUST change when evidence invalidates the theory, and that every time it DOES change that is because it is engaged in doing science and not in bolstering up some dogmatic belief or other.

I respect the fact that you have passion (a strong belief) about science, but I fear it is misplaced. I only wish what you say is true. I respect science as well and for the most part it is true regarding “operational science”. However, in regards to origins, I think you are very deluded in thinking science is not biased. I would be glad to demonstrate at some future time if and when we discuss evidence how scientists investigating “origins science” have either ignored or hide contradictory evidence, cherry picked results, repeated tests until they got the results they were looking for and so forth merely to bolsters their dogmatic belief in naturalism. While in recent times, science has seemed to become wedded to this religion, there is no requirement of naturalism in true science.

Thus you are criticising science for doing science when you complain that it "changes its mind every week" (which is certainly an overstatement, if nothing else -- an element of the "argument from incredulity" logical fallacy handbook)

This IS NOT a logical fallacy of argument from incredulity if it’s not incredulous. Again, that is your opinion. I would not be surprised at all if I could pull up a news article every week claiming how science is rethinking its position on this or that. Don’t know if I could actually find the time, but perhaps I’ll keep my eyes open. I’m not criticizing science. I am fully aware of the process of science. But you are talking about “operational science”, the science that has brought us medical breakthroughs and technology that has enriched our lives, not origins studies (“science”) which cannot undergo the full rigors of scientific investigation.

Biologists consider the existence of biological evolution to be a fact. It can be demonstrated today and the historical evidence for its occurrence in the past is overwhelming. However, biologists readily admit that they are less certain of the exact mechanism of evolution; there are several theories of the mechanism of evolution.

Perhaps I started us on this track, but until we can discuss the evidence, talking about it in general terms gets us nowhere. The quote above is ridiculous even by your own standards. Here is a perfect example of evolution being touted as a “fact” when it is simply fantasy (yes, I’m using the same logical fallacy he is). You say that no scientist claims that a theory is “proven” and yet your source says it is a fact. I sincerely believe that the historical evidence overwhelmingly supports the creation model and essentially disproves evolution (at least to me). To say it’s a fact but then admit they don’t know how it happened is wishful thinking.

Evolution is the species change over time, the theory is that this change is the result of mutation and natural selection, that such change can result in several species evolving from a common ancestral species, that such daughter species can diverge (change over time) away from each other, and that this divergence of species over long periods of time can explain the diversity of life we see.

So far there is no evidence that invalidates this theory [of evolution].

I don’t think I agree with your last statement, but let’s save that if and when we talk about evidence. Because I am running out of time, I will come back to your “theory of evolution”. Perhaps by defining this first, it might be a way for us to come closer to agreement (although perhaps by only a tad).

Please show one that claims it is NOT change in species over time. Your previous attempt did nothing of the kind, as the actual sites linked only showed general concordance with the concept of change in species over time.

Again, that evolution involves change in species over time is not disputed. My dispute is that this is an insufficient statement to define evolution which I believe all of the sources and logic have supported.

There is a strict definition of the straw man fallacy. It is not an "accusation" to point out how an argument fits that definition and how it is a false representation. You claim equivalence but have not demonstrated such to be the case. You claim I have committed straw man fallacies but have not demonstrated that to be the case.

Look, I really do respect your desire to follow correct logic. However, your complete overdoing of the subject is not productive. Constant allegations like this are very high minded (and that’s not a logical fallacy). You have to remember that many of the fallacy allegations you are making are only fallacies if the party committing the error is doing it knowingly. You say my definition is a strawman because it’s not the right one. Well, you know what? I say your definition is a strawman because it’s not the right one. You’ve given no more demonstration of that fact than I have. Now where has that gotten us? The only thing it shows is that the accuser is arrogant. If there was a clear right and wrong, we wouldn’t be having this debate.

Also, I assume you have not read my entire response yet, so you will see how I have supported equivalence very clearly and perhaps will respond in part 2.

Have fun. …mw


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by RAZD, posted 10-01-2006 1:22 PM RAZD has not yet responded

MurkyWaters
Member (Idle past 2511 days)
Posts: 56
From: USA
Joined: 07-21-2006


Message 14 of 121 (353542)
10-02-2006 12:17 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by RAZD
10-01-2006 8:41 PM


Re: response part 2
Ok, look...all this discussion of the evidence is unproductive and time consuming unless you want to switch the debate topic. I’m parroting because you are making accusations and unsubstantiated illogical assertions simply based on your personal biases.

You apparently believe that the evidence overwhelmingly favors evolution and creationists have ignored evidence that invalidates their theory.

I believe that the evidence overwhelmingly favors creation and evolutionists have ignored evidence that invalidates their theory.

Therefore, because of your bias you make accusations that I’m delusional, a creatortionista, making logical fallacies, appealing to authority etc. If you put yourself in my shoes, I can make EXACTLY the same claims of you. You have not substantiated any of your irrational claims because you’re talking about some strawman creationist out there that may have nothing to do with our debate. I’m not sure how we got on this track, but the debate is at least not yet about the evidence to support either side. Until we get there, we have to assume there is sufficient evidence to at least convince the 2 of us of our positions.

Having said that, I want to respond briefly to a couple of specifics. You were the one that began appealing to the authority of “scientists”, not me. If it is valid for you to say that scientist believe this or that, then it is valid for me to do so as well. Should we not quote anyone then? I’m not saying that facetiously. I’m curious. Some of the most highly respected evolutionists of our time have said one thing or another. You firmly agree with them and will quote them if you agree with their opinion. However, if it doesn’t agree with your opinion, then you dismiss it as appealing to authority or nonsense. You would think regarding someone that had devoted most of their life to the study of evolution and would have a pulse on what evolutionists really felt, that their opinion would bear some weight?

Would that turn the science of evolution into faith?

It already is. That’s the point honest evolutionists are trying to make.

Would it make the evidence of evolution disappear?

What evidence? (Obviously that’s another debate)

As far as Parker goes, you can denigrate anyone’s character as you have done without regard to his argument – another (sigh) logical fallacy that you have made. I was quoting him so that I would not be plagiarizing and that is all. He expressed my beliefs perfectly. That quote could have come from me, but I didn’t want to just copy it. However, if you prefer, I will do that in the future. There is no appeal to authority here whatsoever. I have neither the time nor inclination at this time to investigate his character or the accusations that you have made. If it becomes relevant, I will and perhaps some dishonest evolutionists as well.

One point about misrepresenting quotes – this is similar to a strawman argument. A creationist provides a quote from a leading evolutionist and then it will be held up as being misrepresented or out of context. However, that’s only valid based on what point you think the creationist is trying to make. More often then not, the dishonest evolutionists are the ones missing the point. I don’t want to spend the time at the moment looking into “fit splendidly with creationist tenets” quote, but on the surface, it appears perfectly valid to me. No one is asserting that Gould is a creationist or supporting creationist theory. Punctuated equilibrium has been proposed precisely because of the lack of evidence for evolution in the fossil record, which happens to fit splendidly with creationist tenets. If you want to spend the time to go there, I’ll look at it in more detail, but we’ll be getting distracted from our goal.

I notice that you didn't refute the comments I made regarding faith and science (even though you quoted them):

You have not shown that science is based on faith or dogma or any other component of religion:

Faith is very complex, so I think there is much more to it than simply belief without evidence. However, for the purposes of this debate (or at least as far as I can tell), I agree with these definitions in principal. I think I have stated several times, that I have a firm conviction to science and respect it highly. All the good things you have said about “real” science, I agree with. My disagreement is how it has been misused, particularly in the origins debate.

I never said that science is based on faith, dogma or any other component of religion, so you are purposely setting up another straw man. I said that EVOLUTION is faith, not science. And I was not using Parker to prove anything. “I” (ME, MYSELF), believe that evolution is faith because of the statement I made in the third paragraph of this response. You believe creation is faith for the same reason. Since you are refuting something I never said, I will ignore the rest of your rant on this subject.

And thank you for your concern about whom I should watch out for. Would you like the favor returned?

Lastly, just so I’m not accused of ignoring things, there is the issue of Piltdown man. You have not spent much time there either and I think it would just be another distraction for us. However, I will say this. The issue is so much larger than Piltdown man. If “scientists” really sought the truth instead of substantiation for biased viewpoints, then the hoax would never have occurred in the first place. Mistakes can be made, but are usually corrected in a reasonable amount of time. Have you looked at a biology textbook lately? Hoaxes are still being taught. While I have seen factual information on the piltdown hoax, I’ve not seen anyone willing to address the real issues.

Need to hit the sack. I'll wait for your response on the definitions. See Ya…mw


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by RAZD, posted 10-01-2006 8:41 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by RAZD, posted 10-02-2006 10:01 PM MurkyWaters has responded

MurkyWaters
Member (Idle past 2511 days)
Posts: 56
From: USA
Joined: 07-21-2006


Message 16 of 121 (355011)
10-07-2006 4:45 PM
Reply to: Message 15 by RAZD
10-02-2006 10:01 PM


Re: consolidating reponse parts 1 and 2, part 3 still to come
Much of your response continues to argue in circles because we disagree on what evolution is. You say this or that about evolution and I don’t agree because that’s not what I consider evolution to be. I think I’ve presented solid evidence in support of my definition of evolution. Even if we can’t come to agreement on that first, than at least we should acknowledge the other person’s position to avoid this purposeful argument over semantics.

Let me expound on each of our positions. Since you don’t appear to want to state it plainly, I will go ahead and summarize your position based on what you’ve written so far.

When I say “evolution”, I am talking about the ToE, which states that all life on earth arose from an original common ancestor over millions of years which itself came from non-life. I (and of course creation scientists as well) consider speciation that we observe today (including the Galapagos finches and many other examples) to be “Adaptation”. It proves NOTHING about evolution as I have just defined it. It is just as essential to creation theory as it is to evolutionary theory.

On the other hand, when you say “evolution”, you mean adaptation (as I’ve mentioned above and defined previously), which in your mind somehow proves “evolution” (as I’ve defined above and previously). You notice that I was forced to use the word “evolution” twice with different meanings in stating your position and have therefore used the logical fallacy of equivocation. To state it another way, since there is no evidence that “micro-evolution” implies “macro-evolution”, you define evolution to encompass both. Therefore, when the observed change has occurred (micro-evolution) the false implication is made that “macro-evolution” has been proved.

I have attempted to state the positions plainly, with explicit references to meanings so that we are not talking about two different things and implied definitions are not being referenced. Of course, I will never agree to use the term “micro-evolution” to refer to adaptation since it contains the word “evolution” giving the impression that the “real” evolution as I have defined it has been proven if “micro-evolution” is observed.

This is why we are arguing in circles. Your arguments are true using your definition of evolution but are false if you use my definition of evolution. That is precisely why you won’t accept my definition in this debate. For example, using my definition I have shown clearly that Evolution is Religion. If you define evolution as adaptation, then of course it is science (as well as creation). I will be glad to respond to your rant regarding the religion of evolution if you interpret my response with respect to the appropriate (my) definition of evolution (whether you agree with it or not). However, in all likelihood, if I responded at this time, you would simply disagree based on your definition, which gets us back to square one.

I do not consider my definition dishonest or misleading in any way. It is simply stating what any person on the street would understand evolution to be. It is what I have been taught in school all my life and what is still being taught today and what is being described in the media and in scientific journals. It is not a creationist tactic or any scheme to portray something it isn’t. Until I entered this forum I had never heard anyone argue otherwise. And that is good. My purpose in getting involved here was to be exposed to contrary arguments and evidence.

On the other hand, I DO consider it purposely dishonest - knowing full well what people understand evolution to be or perhaps to put it another way what the implications of evolution are - to portray it as simply change (which we have always observed and know is fact) and therefore state that evolution (which includes macro-evolution) has been proved every time this simple change is observed. This is purposely misleading people to accept something as “fact” when it is no such thing. It is misleading people to accept a “religion” which is antithetical to the God of the bible and has little to do with real (operational) science.

Biologists consider the existence of biological evolution to be a fact. It can be demonstrated today and the historical evidence for its occurrence in the past is overwhelming. However, biologists readily admit that they are less certain of the exact mechanism of evolution; there are several theories of the mechanism of evolution.

The evidence is a fact, the validity of the theory is uncertain. Theory is based on facts, evidence, things that are known.

Speciation has happened, it is recorded, it is documented, it is fact. There have been changes in species over time, thus evolution HAS occurred, it is recorded, it is documented, it is fact. This is not theory, this is not fantasy, this is fact. It exists, it is real. It is as real as tree rings, as real as the orbits of planets around stars, as real as the universe.
They do NOT say that the theory is fact, they say the evidence is fact.

Let’s make something else very clear. We all have the same evidence, the same facts, and no one including me is arguing over the facts. The “interpretation” of the facts is what we disagree with. Speciation is a fact. However, it demonstrates creation, not evolution (as creation scientists define them). The quote above clearly states that biologists consider “evolution to be a fact” and the MECHANISMS to be in question. They said NOTHING about EVIDENCE.

Opinion is not evidence. I have yet to see any real evidence that invalidates evolution. What I have seen is false arguments that presume to invalidate evolution, but they deal with false definitions of evolution or transitional fossils or the like. They are logically false arguments that don't prove anything, other than possibly the naiveté, inexperience, gullibility or ignorance (or combinations) of the people who accept them.

You spend pages arguing that I’m only voicing my opinions and this ridiculous notion that I’ve used Parker’s quote as evidence to substantiate my opinion and then you make a statement like the one above in which you do exactly the same thing. You provide absolutely no evidence to support your claims. Now, having said that, please don’t. I would be very interested in what evidence you think invalidates creation and I could list all the evidence I feel invalidates evolution. Perhaps we should do that. But that isn’t our mission at the moment. I think we should do that, but only after we’ve set the ground rules which may or may not include consensus on definitions, but it must include acknowledgment of our respective positions (as I’ve started above).

I would like to put this issue with Parker to bed however. I was in no way (and I thought that was clear), using his quote to substantiate my opinion. Your rant on Parker (in regards to my quote) was totally unnecessary. I simply made the same statement that you just made above and that is as follows: I have yet to see any evidence that invalidates creation theory. I will also go on record to say that I have yet to see any evidence in favor of evolution. The fossil record for instance overwhelmingly favors creation. That is why I feel evolution is a fairytale for grownups. Neither one of us have gotten into the details of the evidence to demonstrate why they feel the way they do (yet).

Yes Parker is asserting that Gould is saying the evidence supports creationisms better than evolution, because that is ALL that his quote contains and ALL that Parker discusses about the quote.

I feel you are wrong on this. I have looked into many quotes like this (but not this specific one). You are again presenting a strawman of what you think creationists are trying to demonstrate by these quotes (your opinion) and then saying they are being dishonest. They are not asserting that Gould feels the “evidence supports creationism better than evolution”. Gould is an evolutionist for goodness sake. It would be inconceivable for him to even consider the possibility of creation. They are saying that by Gould’s own admission, evolutionists are willing to believe evolution despite evidence to the contrary. I’ve read the entire discourse on talkorigins about this and it is totally unconvincing that creationists have used this quote dishonestly. All while I was growing up I was told and you yourself have maintained that evolution is a slow gradual change (in fact “genetic” change) from one form to the next. The fossil record does not support this (in fact species appear suddenly fully formed) and so Gould and others have contrived PE to explain it. Have I stated that incorrectly?

I once did quite a lengthy review on a book in support of evolution. It seemed that almost every other page contained some statement on how impossible evolution was, and yet the author consistently affirmed his belief in it. Amazing! While the number of creation scientists is growing, there is significantly more research being performed by evolutionists. All a creation scientist needs to do is take that same research and interpret the evidence (the facts) properly to support creation rather than the convoluted way it must be twisted to support evolution.

So tell me, how does Piltdown being a hoax perpetuated on scientists disprove evolution? Does this make the theory invalid? No. Does this change the evidence FOR evolution in any way? No. Does it demonstrate that evolutionists purposefully engaged in the hoax? No. Does it even demonstrate that the evolution of man has not occurred as currently considered? No.

I find it astonishing that you are actually trying to make a creationist “hoax” on some obscure website equivalent to evolutionist ones that were taught for years in textbooks as proof of evolution. Evolutionist hoaxes are in the media, taught in our schools, portrayed as facts and used deceitfully in court cases. Even today, every time some hoax is portrayed as real, it is splashed across the headlines as proof of evolution, but rarely a retraction to be seen except in some obscure technical journals which few people read.

TODAY, we still see in churches of evolution (museums) and in textbooks, the progression of modern man from primitive apes, when most of those caricatures are simply from some scientist’s imagination created from the remains of a tooth or other such “evidence”. And those progressions often still contain the hoaxes. There is yet to arise any non-disputable example of a missing link. By evolutionists own dates, the human fossil record is completely random with the most modern remains being dated with the oldest ages and the most primitive remains dated with the most recent ages. Scientists simply cherry-pick the samples that will fit into the evolutionary progression and ignore the rest. And then use nothing but extinct apes to fill in the blanks. Yes, perhaps fraud occurs on both sides, but the creationists ones are not plastered on the airwaves as proof of creation.

“So tell me, how does Piltdown…disprove evolution?” Perhaps by itself, no, but taken with all of the rest, I would contend yes. “Does this change the evidence FOR evolution in any way?” Since Piltdown was held up as evidence, yes it most certainly does. There is now LESS evidence for evolution. Remember, even examples by evolutionist’s standards for the missing link are few and far between. One that is disproved just reduced the evidence by sometimes 100% at the time. “Does it demonstrate that evolutionists purposefully engaged in the hoax?” At least a few did. “Does it demonstrate that evolution of man has not occurred as currently considered?” Absolutely! There wasn’t evidence before that and now there is even less. It is a well documented fact that significant sums of money await anyone who finds the “missing link” (which is still missing). This tends to perpetuate fraud. There is simply no evidence to begin with, so every example that is disproved is a significant blow to the theory. Since the evidence fully supports creation already, frauds are not required on the creationist’s side.

While you may feel compelled to provide your response #3, I suggest without regard to definitions, that we at least acknowledge clearly the position on each side as I have attempted to do at the beginning of this response. Perhaps that will at least provide some progress and a basis for future more productive debate. …mw

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only


This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by RAZD, posted 10-02-2006 10:01 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by RAZD, posted 10-07-2006 9:10 PM MurkyWaters has responded

MurkyWaters
Member (Idle past 2511 days)
Posts: 56
From: USA
Joined: 07-21-2006


Message 19 of 121 (362531)
11-08-2006 12:02 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by RAZD
10-07-2006 9:10 PM


Re: review of reply to response parts 1 and 2
Hey, sorry I’ve taken so long. I just need to put some finishing touches and formatting to my response and so I should have it posted soon. Unfortunately, it will be lengthy. You do not need to respond quickly. I’d much rather you read it carefully as I’ve tried to summarize all my arguments in the hopes that we can draw closer to a conclusion. In whatever way you respond and if we decide to continue, I have vowed to myself to take it in small chunks from now on so that we can respond in manageable pieces, so don’t be surprised if I ignore superfluous issues in the future as well. Of course, I have a few sidetracks in this response too, so I’m not scolding. Talk with you soon. …mw
This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by RAZD, posted 10-07-2006 9:10 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by RAZD, posted 11-08-2006 5:53 PM MurkyWaters has responded

MurkyWaters
Member (Idle past 2511 days)
Posts: 56
From: USA
Joined: 07-21-2006


Message 21 of 121 (363304)
11-11-2006 10:07 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by RAZD
11-08-2006 5:53 PM


Re: moving on
This is actually a response to your prior 2 posts “response part 3” and “review of reply to response parts 1 and 2”.

In regards to this definition which I originally supplied - “Evolution…has led to the appearance…of living species on earth”, you say:

You have selected parts that do NOT go together. This is quote-mining and misrepresentation.

I can’t be accused of quote mining, when I was the one who supplied the full quote in the first place! The rest of your interpretation is simply that, your interpretation. Nothing in the rest of that definition contradicts the quote above.

Personally I think the wording is poorly chosen but the intent is fairly clear: evolution is the cause of diversity of life since the first life appeared 3.8 billion years ago. All life forms since then have diversified and adapted to their environments.

So then we are in agreement regarding the definition of evolution? Also that all life forms have “adapted” (which is the proper definition for “changed over time”)?

You have no other quotes to back your false interpretation of evolution: all the others you quoted are clearly, distinctly and unambiguously about change in species over time. All the ones I have presented are clearly, distinctly and unambiguously about change in species over time. The preponderance of evidence -- even including your interpretation of the above definition -- is that evolution is about change in species over time.

First…I have no other quotes to back my interpretation? How many do you want? 100? 200? Is this a contest as to who can find the most definitions? I suspect I would win that one, and I’d be willing if it even had a chance of making a difference. However, I really think we have enough already, particularly if we look a little closer at the ones you have provided.

Second…are you reading my arguments at all or the definitions for that matter? There is no question that any usage of the word evolution in any context in which it is used involves change over time. That is the definition of the general usage of the word which I have clearly stated and for which I have no disagreement. My point is that this is not sufficient to describe what the theory of evolution is. You have just agreed that the definition above defines evolution as the cause of all diversity of life from a common ancestor over 3.8 billion years. The rest of my definitions are essentially identical. They all clearly, distinctly and unambiguously state that evolution is about much MORE than just change in species over time which I will further expound upon in this post.

I also never disagreed that there are some definitions that could be misinterpreted to support your viewpoint, particularly more recent ones with the advent of genetics which is now being used to disguise the “real” evolution (and for which all scientists do not agree). If you dig further, you find that these “shortened” definitions have hidden assumptions which are usually explained later in the text and therefore cannot stand on their own. However, I believe the vast majority still clearly support my point of view. Our discussion therefore should be about discussing the merits of the definitions and which is most appropriate, not about who can find the most references. Nevertheless, let’s take a closer look at the definitions provided by you.

American Heritage Dictionary:
http://www.bartleby.com/61/64/E0256400.html
quote:

3. Biology. a. Change in the genetic composition of a population during successive generations, as a result of natural selection acting on the genetic variation among individuals, and resulting in the development of new species. b. The historical development of a related group of organisms; phylogeny.

This reference also includes “A gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form.” This makes it clear that evolution is much more than simply change over time. A certain type of change is required that makes it more complex and “better” and results in the historical development of an entire group of organisms.

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary:
http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/evolution
quote:

4 a : the historical development of a biological group (as a race or species) : PHYLOGENY b : a theory that the various types of animals and plants have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in successive generations

This source also includes “a process of continuous change from a lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex, or better state.” Again, indicating a certain type of change, not just any change. In addition, the historical development of a biological group infers its origins, not just any change.

encarta.msn.com/.../dictionaryhome.aspx
quote:

1. BIOLOGY theory of development from earlier forms: the theoretical process by which all species develop from earlier forms of life. According to this theory, natural variation in the genetic material of a population favors reproduction by some individuals more than others, so that over the generations all members of the population come to possess the favorable traits.
2. BIOLOGY developmental process: the natural or artificially induced process by which new and different organisms develop as a result of changes in genetic material

Notice that “all species” have developed from earlier forms of life. Also not just ANY change is valid but a certain type of change is required that results in “new and different” organisms.

http://www.askoxford.com/dictionaries/?view=uk
quote:

1 the process by which different kinds of living organism are believed to have developed, especially by natural selection.

This says nothing about what evolution is. The process by which different kinds of living organisms developed could be popping out of rocks despite the fact that it is “especially” by natural selection. Dictionary definitions are usually not complete but an attempt to summarize to the fewest words which often create ambiguity and are therefore not the best source for complex scientific issues. You’re beloved talk.origins disagrees with definitions from dictionaries and encyclopedias as well.

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/
quote:

the way in which living things change and develop over millions of years, or a gradual process of change and development:
Darwin's theory of evolution

Notice this definition includes “millions of years” as an essential part of the definition. It also states that it is everything contained in Darwin’s theory of evolution, which if expanded appropriately includes everything I have been saying.

http://www.ultralingua.com/onlinedictionary/
quote:

The sequence of events involved in the evolutionary development of a species or taxonomic group of organisms;

Again dictionary definitions are not the ideal source for complex scientific concepts. Evolution is now a “sequence of events” which I’m not sure agrees with either of our positions (ie it’s not the change, but the events themselves). It then uses the term in the definition it is trying to define. This is similar to several other definitions you quoted which I’ve not bothered to reference.

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/
quote:

a gradual process of change and development
(SPECIALIZED) Evolution is the process by which the physical characteristics of types of creatures change over time, new types of creatures develop, and others disappear.

Note that “New types of creatures develop”, not simply the change in the beak size of a finch (which remains a finch), is essential. Also, it’s interesting to note that this definition concludes that evolution is the cause of the disappearance of species from which others have evolved. Many organisms thought to have been extinct, from which modern species have developed, are often found alive today. In addition, many fossils finds are nearly identical with their modern counter parts. The creationist explanation for this is much more satisfying and logical than the evolutionist’s which tend to become very convoluted.

http://www.onelook.com/
quote:

A general name for the history of the steps by which any living organism has acquired the morphological and physiological characters which distinguish it; a gradual unfolding of successive phases of growth or development.

Note that this includes the “history of the steps”, not just any change. Of course, this history by inference with the other definitions includes it development from a common ancestor billions of years ago. This is similar to several other definitions you’ve supplied, so I’ve not bothered to reference them.

http://www.allwords.com/index.php
quote:

3. biol. The cumulative changes in the characteristics of living organisms or populations of organisms from generation to generation, resulting in the development of new types of organism over long periods of time.

Again, notice that “new types of organisms” must result “over long periods of time”. This would ELIMINATE the Galapagos finches as examples of evolution which neither resulted in a new type or organism nor did it take a long period of time. Thank you. This should put that thread to rest.

http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary.asp
quote:
2. a process of development in which an organ or organism becomes more and more complex by the differentiation of its parts, a continuous and progressive change according to certain laws and by means of resident forces.

Notice that the organism must become “more and more complex” and “change according to certain laws”, again indicating that a certain type of change is required, not just any change. This is common with many of the definitions.

http://www.reference-wordsmith.com/archword/dict.html
quote:

A theory of biology about the gradual or rapid change of the form of living organisms throughout time that reflects adaptive change; it is the theory that all forms of life derive from a process of change via natural selection.

Again, evolution is “the theory that all forms of life” have resulted from a process of change, not just any change.

http://www.gardenweb.com/
quote:

Organic evolution is any genetic difference in organisms from generation to generation.

I had to highlight this one. This is hardly a reliable or universal source and I have to believe you must find this definition to be as ridiculous as I do. Nevertheless, is this what you really believe? Irrespective of definitions, I assume you believe that all life on earth evolved from a common ancestor. Do you really believe that any genetic difference in organisms in a following generation proves or even implies that all life on earth evolved from a common ancestor? This is a “design” feature for organisms to adapt to their changing environments. Otherwise we would all have been extinct long ago. In fact many genetic differences do in fact result in disease or deformity. Instead of “evolution” they would more likely result in extinction.

So, what can we conclude? Dictionary definitions are typically not technical, incomplete and abbreviated. You have presented these as valid definitions of evolution. Therefore, if we consolidate the definitions to make them complete, the consolidation ought to be valid as well. These definitions in summary define evolution as consisting of the following essential components:
1) A slow gradual process over many generations and millions of years
2) A specific type of change which transforms a simple form into a more complex and significantly different or new type of form, not just any change. (As the American Heritage Dictionary states “A gradual process by which something changes into a significantly different, especially a more complex or more sophisticated form. Biology (evolve): to develop by evolutionary processes from a primitive to a more highly organized form”.
3) The complete historical development of all species on earth from their origin

So thank you. These dictionaries overwhelmingly support my definition of evolution. They clearly, distinctly and unambiguously state that evolution is much more than simply change over time. It must be a certain type of change which supports the development of all life on earth from its origins billions of years ago, which is the definition I have been promoting from the very beginning.

All the common dictionary definitions talk about change in species over time and none talk about the origin of life on earth.

I’m not sure what you mean by “origin of life on earth”, but a significant number of your definitions defined evolution as the complete historical development of species. An equivalent way of wording that is “from the species origins”. So in that respect, absolutely yes, they did talk about the origin of life on earth.

Now, on to the encyclopedia descriptions…One of your encyclopedia definitions contained the following line and I would like to clarify before I go on:

as opposed to belief in the special creation of each individual species as an immutable form

Creation scientists believe nothing of the sort and have never believed this, certainly not since Darwin’s day. This is a straw-man promulgated by the media and evolutionists to deceive. Any, even superficial, reading of the Bible makes it clear that the world created by God approximately 6000 years ago was very different than the fallen world we live in today including ourselves and the many living things that inhabit the earth with us. The flood in particular, completely changed the landscape of the earth. The original created kinds have adapted to the world’s environments resulted in various species within their kinds. God did not create them as “immutable” but having the full genetic ability to adapt and change within the limits of their kind.

None the less, even accepting that some definitions may include origins in them, this does not mean that ALL definitions include origins: certainly the vast majority do not.

Wait a second! It is valid to combine definitions as I have done, but it is not valid to simply remove things. Some may not mention origins outright, but that doesn’t mean it’s not valid. I would contend that most if not all of these definitions since they discuss the origin of all life on earth, are talking about origins. Ones that do not aren’t necessarily inferring that it’s incorrect. As you’ve noted, some definitions DO explicitly mention origins and specifically life from non-life such as the one below.

Encarta Encyclopedia, 1998:
“Evolution, in biology, the complex of processes by which living organisms originated on earth and have been diversified and modified through sustained changes in form and function.”
Neverthless, the encyclopedia entries you have provided as well as mine overwhelmingly support my definition of evolution, not yours. Almost “universally”, they included these essential features in their definitions:
1) All life on earth have descended from a common ancestor (“origins of life”)
2) Evolutionary change has been occurring over billions of years
3) Over the course of time “entirely new” species have developed indicating that a certain type of change which supports the rest of the theory, not just any change, is required.

Based on this rudimentary review it is fairly obvious that the overall "universally accepted" definition of evolution is change in species over time.

Based on the more in-depth review that I have just done, it is overwhelmingly obvious that the overall “universally accepted” definition of evolution is the one I have continued to propose, namely that the theory of evolution is “All life on earth has arisen over billions of years from a single common ancestor [which itself came from an inorganic form]”. I’ve bracketed the last part since as I’ve stated previously, I think we need to save that one until we can agree (or disagree) on the rest of it. Therefore, any change that we observe must be of a type which supports the theory to be valid evidence for it. The “science” of evolution has proposed various mechanisms such as natural selection, mutation etc to explain how evolution may have occurred.

It does not include the origin of life on earth as that part is definitely NOT "universally accepted" by all definitions.

As I’ve already shown, the definitions certainly do include the origins of life by referencing the complete history of life. Several even specifically reference the origination of life from non-life.

Also, I think you may have a misconception regarding the phrase “universally accepted”. The implication is that my statement is universally accepted by “someone”, not by “definitions” and I thought that was clear. Besides, why do you feel the sources you site are universally accepted? I don’t accept them (at least not all of them). Talk.origins apparently does not accept them (at least not all of them). Universally accepted means that “people” accept it. So, even for those people who believe in evolution, are you telling me that they do not accept that it is an explanation for all the diversity of life from its first appearance? Are we quibbling over the word “origins”? For goodness sake, Darwin used this word in HIS definition of evolution!

Without a single exception, my statement regarding evolution is what I was taught in school, what I have seen in the media everywhere and what every person, both creationist and evolutionists that I have ever come across have understood. I find it difficult to believe that you would not accept evolution as a naturalistic explanation for the origins and subsequent diversity of all life on earth over billions of years (regardless of definitions).

However, my personal experiences are not necessarily indicative of what other people may have experienced. I am not aware of any specific polls that have asked people explicitly to explain the theory of evolution. However, Poll after poll after poll regarding people’s feelings about evolution define evolution my way in some fashion similar to what I have done. The purpose of this was not to demonstrate that polls are accurate in their definitions. They define creationism incorrectly as well. The point is, if YOUR definition of evolution was “universally accepted” than all they would have needed to ask is do things change. But they did not do this. The reason they did not do this is because that is an insufficient definition of the theory of evolution. Polls need to add “do you believe humans evolved from apes over millions of years” and other such things. This is the “common” or “universally accepted” definition of evolution. It provides enough information so that people know what the heck you are talking about.

In fact, the word “evolution” is commonly used as a complete explanation of where everything (including the universe) came from.
See equivocation.
http://onegoodmove.org/fallacy/equiv.htm

This is NOT equivocation. I am getting tired of quoting references. It should be unnecessary in this case since I doubt you will find even a single exception. Evolutionists themselves and a multitude of references that we’ve already made and ALL complete discourses on evolution including wiki lump all of the kinds of “evolution” including cosmic, chemical and biological and perhaps others as a complete naturalistic explanation of the origin of the universe and all life on earth. They will commonly define evolution and then break it apart into the various disciplines.

Note that I have said before - and repeat here - that many 'evo' people (even ones that should know better) equivocate between the science of evolution and the mechanism of evolution. The word means different things in those two contexts.

The mechanism is about the change in species over time - yes, by mutation and natural selection and genetic drift, etc - but nothing more nothing less.

The science is about all the theories surrounding that mechanism that can then explain the diversity of life as we know it.

I have never heard of this differentiation (except in this debate) and to be honest, I simply don’t understand your point or the differentiation except as an instrument of deception. You say that creationist use the word incorrectly but then admit that there are various uses of the word that are so confusing even evolutionists get them wrong. The Theory of Evolution is NOT a mechanism, it is a theory. Evolution consists of MECHANISMS like mutation, natural selection and genetic drift that explain the theory. The theory already explains the diversity of life as we know it. The SCIENCE exists to study and research evidence in an attempt to support the theory or disprove it. Along the way, additional mechanisms or sub theories may be proposed to better explain the evidence.

Now, in fact, there ARE 2 uses of the word. One is evolution in the general sense of the word, which was used long before Darwin’s time. That is, simply that things change. Applied to Biology this is change in species over time. Again, no one is disagreeing with this use of the word. The other use refers to the “theory of evolution”, the definition of which is what this debate is about. Many people confuse these 2 uses of the word. Because of this confusion, I prefer to use the words “adapt” (see definition for adapt below), or simply change when referring, for example, to the Galapagos finches.

From America Heritage Dictionary “ Adaptation – Biology: An alteration or adjustment in structure or habits, often hereditary, by which a species or individual improves its condition in relationship to its environment.” Also from B&N Thesaurus of Biology cited previously: “Adaptation: a change in a characteristic of an organism that improves it chances of survival and producing offspring in a particular environment”.

This definition of adaptation would seem to fit the Galapagos finches perfectly and correspond directly with “change over time” (but not evolution). It is not technically incorrect to say that the Galapagos finches have evolved simply because evolution means change over time in the general sense of the word and in this case applied to biology. However this demonstrates nothing about the “theory of evolution”. The only connection is that change is an essential part of the theory of evolution. However, it is also an essential part of the theory of creation.

Therefore, showing that things change (whether birds or automobiles) is, by definition, demonstrating they have evolved, but it does not demonstrate “evolution” as referring to the theory of evolution. As I’ve already demonstrated, if the change in Galapagos finches proves evolution, it also proves creation since change is an essential part of both theories. Therefore, change is NOT sufficient to describe or define the theory of evolution since you would also be describing the theory of creation or the theory of automobile design. I don’t know how to make it any clearer than that.


For the sake of argument, let’s ignore abiogenesis (something that has been show to be statistically impossible), for the time being so as not to get distracted.
There is no such thing as being statistically impossible. This is a logical fallacy.

You may disagree with it, but it’s not a logical fallacy. Obviously, nothing is theoretically impossible, but statisticians place a limit on what is practically impossible and I if I recall correctly the odds against abiogenesis is greater than the number of atoms in the universe! That further supports the fact that biogenesis is a scientific “law”. However, that was just a side comment and I’m perfectly fine with tabling that.

(2) If we ignore abiogenesis that means we must start with life already existing, whether by creation or by abiogenesis. Otherwise you are begging the question by allowing one and not the other in the debate.

I have no problem with assuming the existence of life on a primordial or freshly created earth and discussing the evolution of life since then.

Yes, I agree. When I was talking about origins of life in my original post, I meant from the first prototype. Despite the fact that many definitions do reference origins from non-life, my purpose in ignoring abiogenisis for now was because I felt we would get sidetracked on another major debate without finishing the first one. Some evolutionists seem to be fairly passionate about not including abiogenesis in the discussion of evolution. However, without fail, they will always compare evolution as a factual easily observed “scientific” change over time with creation as a “religious” belief in a supernatural creation. Obviously that’s comparing 2 different things as you’ve noted above, so I do appreciate your recognition of comparing apples to apples.

However, while I wanted to put abiogenesis aside for now, I believe there is good reason to include it and I would still like to debate whether that is appropriate, after we finish this part. Clearly abiogenesis is a significant part of evolutionary theory. While it has been relegated to its own “evolution” (chemical), this is a sub-theory of evolution, not a separate one. It is so closely related to biological evolution it is always discussed on any treatise on biological evolution. “Chemical” evolution is not general chemistry! It is specifically focused on the evolution of biological life (not chemicals). Therefore it deserves a place in the theory of how life evolved. It has only been pushed aside because there is no evidence to support it. However, you can be assured that if any was found, it would be touted as proof of “evolution”.

In addition, while technically unnecessary in a comparison of creation and evolution, it provides a more intellectually fulfilling discussion and allows us to compare the theories in total. Origins science is not blindly following the evidence. It is an attempt to seek answers to life’s questions by people biased with their own worldviews. How can you even consider evolution from a common ancestor if you have no idea where it came from in the first place? How can you base life’s decisions on something for which no evidence is found? If abiogenesis did not happen, then the rest of evolutionary theory is totally bankrupt. Therefore, they are integrally connected and you cannot ignore how the first life came to be as part of evolutionary theory. Darwin himself speculated on this aspect in his own theory.

Then we can discuss the evidence for "micro"evolution in genetics and in the fossil record.
The purpose will be to fully define what "micro"evolution is and what "micro"evolution is NOT.

“Micro evolution” is NOT evolution, Period. There’s nothing left to discuss. It is simply the ability of organisms to “adapt” to their environment. Evolutionists admit that they do not find any evidence for “micro-evolution” in the fossil record. Only evidence for Macro evolution could potentially be found there and of course, that does not exist either. It is common knowledge that both living species today and the fossil record do not support evolution. For example, one the most famous evolutionist of our day, Ernst Mahr admits the following in his book “What evolution is”:

“Wherever we look at the living biota, whether at the level of the higher taxa or even at that of the species, discontinuities are overwhelmingly frequent. Among living taxa there are no intermediacy between whales and terrestrial mammals, not between reptiles and either birds or mammals. All 30 phyla of animals are separated from each other by a gap. There seems to be a large gap between the flowering plants and their nearest relatives. The discontinuities are even more striking in the fossil record. Few species usually appear in the fossil record suddenly, not connected with their ancestors by a series of intermediates. Indeed there are rather few cases of continuous series of gradually evolving species.”

Change within kinds over time, mutations and natural selection are all observed facts. None of them support molecules to man evolution. I have stated all of this repeatedly. I will try to make it clear another way. The definition you have been trying to pass on as the definition of evolution is “micro-evolution” (observed and factual “adaptation” of species to their environment). The Berkeley definition of evolution (and most others as we’ve seen) clearly state that evolution is much MORE than this because it also encompasses Macro-evolution. You cannot properly define evolution without including the macro concepts. By ignoring macro-evolution in the definition, you are switching definitions midstream and are guilty of equivocation.

We can agree that your definition is not supported by dictionaries, encyclopedias, and scientific glossaries of terms. We can agree that your definition is not used by scientists engaged in the scientific pursuit of evolution. We can agree that your definition does not apply to evolution.

No we can’t agree. I think I’ve clearly shown that all of these are completely false statements. My definition of evolution is supported by every source cited. To say that all life on earth having evolved from a common ancestor over billions of years “DOES NOT APPLY TO EVOLUTION” is one of the most ridiculous statements I have ever heard. You simply have to be living in a fantasy world to believe that and quite frankly it is indicative of someone trying to avoid the real issues which are indefensible. In other words, you don’t want to define evolution the correct way because if you do, there would be no evidence to support it.

We can agree that you are talking about a typical creationist strawman - that evolution = abiogenesis ... purely and only abiogenesis.

This is simply shameful. Never in any of my debate have I implied that evolution is purely and only abiogenesis, in fact just the opposite, and is surely not the stance of mainstream creation science either. Talk about strawmen and misleading arguments! As I’ve said on several occasions, I’ve suggested that we debate abiogenesis as a separate issue. Let’s make it clear, in the end I believe life from non-life ought to be part of the definition and many sources do include it, several of which I have already supplied. But to get off on that tangent when we haven’t even agreed (or agreed to disagree) on the rest of the stuff seems totally unproductive to me. On the other hand, you have not responded to the core of any of my arguments, insisting instead on quoting definitions add nauseum which in the end support my viewpoint anyway.

Please tell me the falsifiable test for the "creation theory" cited here. If there is not such test then (1) it is not science and (2) it is not a scientific theory -- it is just a "feel good" concept.

Since you have apparently tested creation theory and found it false, you tell me. And what is the falsifiable test for the theory of evolution? If anything is a “feel good” concept, it is evolution.

Gosh, every one of the dictionary definitions listed in the previous post (that define evolution as change in species over time) are dishonest representations ... every single one of the encyclopedia articles (that discuss evolution as change in species over time) is dishonest in it's representation of evolution science ... and every glossary of terms listed in the previous post (that define evolution as change in species over time) are dishonest representations ... and only YOU know the truth.

No, YOU are now being dishonest by misrepresenting those definitions as I have clearly shown. The majority of the dictionary definitions listed in the previous post did NOT define evolution as merely change over time. All of the encyclopedia articles were not being dishonest because they did NOT define evolution as simply change over time. Since you must feel only YOU know the truth, you are simply ignoring the obvious facts. You can believe your false definition all you want, but as you have often and generously noted, that doesn’t make it so.

Yes, two fraudulent specimens outnumber the hundreds of fossils that have been discovered since and that were foundational in proving that it was a hoax.
Then there is all the evidence that has been discovered since it was exposed. There is now MORE evidence for evolution (the real definition evolution) than ever before, and it grows every year.

You have got to be kidding! Every day, evolution theory is collapsing on the weight of evidence against it. Hundreds of fossils that support human evolution? These hundreds of proposed missing links in their day have now been discarded. There is still not a single one that is not controversial (Famous evolutionist Ernst Mayr admits this in his book previously cited). The only thing one really finds is either remains of humans or extinct apes. Two fraudulent specimens? There have been many more than that. We could debark on this tangent, but it would be unproductive to our current topic and as you note has been discussed elsewhere.

Ok, so where does all of this leave us? You have totally avoided any real arguments regarding the merits of the definitions and simply continue to site references. Your purpose may have been to show that everyone defines it your way, but you have failed miserably. In fact, we see that just the opposite is true as these sources overwhelmingly support my position. To be more specific - dictionary definitions, encyclopedia articles, glossary terms, science journals, newspapers, polls, TV series, textbooks, scientists and the general public all agree overwhelmingly that the definition of the theory of evolution is much more than simply change over time. In fact, all these sources conclude that the definition must contain the following key features:

• A certain type of change that supports the development of molecules to man, a directional change from simple to more complex and significantly different forms, NOT a cyclical change like the beak sizes of Galapagos finches where drought resulted in a slight increase in beak size but the change was reversed when the rains returned.
• All life on earth has developed from a single common ancestor
• A slow gradual process over many generations and billions of years

The only sources to disagree are a handful of dishonest hardcore evolutionists and internet propaganda sites intended to deceive the public, affect public policy and retain funding for pet projects. In addition to the characteristics above, I would also include that life arose from non-life but again, we can debate that at another time.

It is clear that not all scientists, such as Dr Ernst Mayr, involved in the study of evolution agree with the definition of evolution as change in gene frequencies. He says that this is because the change must be directional, not neutral to be considered evolution which supports my position. What is quite humorous is that he defines evolution as “The gradual process by which the living world has been developing following the origin of life”. This definition is so broad that it could also be perfectly suitable for the definition (at least partial) of creation theory, as even you have suggested (that is, following the creation of the initial kinds). One of the reasons he feels comfortable defining it this way is that he considers evolution to be a fact without any viable alternative. Therefore he simply states the obvious. This is as striking example of how scientist’s philosophies influence their interpretation of the evidence and not the other way around.

I do note that he excludes abiogenesis. However, it is clear from this definition that since evolutionists propose that life originated billions of years ago and all life on earth as we see it today arose from this original form since then, that he is implicitly including these concepts in his definition. Even his definition is a very far cry from simply change over time.

It is clear that not all scientists agree with what evolution is or rather should be defined. I personally believe that the majority of scientists and educators do not believe evolution to be a fact. With threats from the scientific establishment that anyone disagreeing with their position will be fired, I don’t think many scientists or educators will be open with their opinions. It is interesting that conservatives are frequently accused of censorship. You’d think that science would encourage diverse thought, but that apparently only applies if you agree with their liberal positions.

I’d like to point out a couple of more things regarding what scientists believe evolution to be. That a theory must be acceptable to contemporary scientists to BE acceptable is circular reasoning. Many of these so-called definitions are blatantly self-serving (especially with a highly liberal media and a materialistic scientific community) and sometimes contradictory, as we have seen. The fact that some scientists define it this way and some that way isn’t as relevant as the reasons WHY they define it that way. It is enough to say at this point that there may be some disagreement and therefore we should debate the merits of the definitions themselves.

Since I have convincingly proven my case in that the vast majority of sources define evolution correctly as I’ve previously stated, we could probably end the debate at this point. However, I’ll be generous and continue because we really haven’t debated the merits of the definitions. I thought this was going to be a debate between you and me? Instead, the bulk of your argument has been that you’re going to define it your way because “someone said so”. Well, WHY do they say so and what do YOU say? And before you say it, what you and I feel IS important. If everyone simply followed others around like lemmings, there would be no new ideas, would there?

It’s not that sources shouldn’t have been part of the argument or are irrelevant since we needed to confirm that there is indeed some (albeit in the minority) disagreement on the true definition of evolution. But now having confirmed that, can we actually debate the appropriateness of the definitions? Can you actually defend your position on its merits? For example, respond to these questions:

• WHY do YOU define evolution as simply change over time?
• Do you disagree that all life on earth “evolved” from a common ancestor over billions of years? (All sources that I know describe evolution this way regardless of “definitions”). If not, why would it be incorrect to include that statement in the definition if that is what evolution really means?
• Do you disagree that change must be directional and support the movement from simple to more complex organisms? If so, how do you justify defining evolution as simply any change when that change does not create new features and support the notion that all life evolved from a common ancestor?
• Why is it not dishonest to define evolution as any change, even though that change does not support molecules to man evolution?
• You have said that it is not important what the majority of people believe evolution to be. Why is it not dishonest to teach my definition of evolution in schools and have it pronounced in the media, but then define it a different way for the sake of argument?
• Why do you specifically NOT want to define evolution my way despite the fact that it is universally defined that way in all of the available sources that we have looked at? Is it because there would be no evidence to support that definition?
• Do you disagree that observed changes in species today can not be extrapolated back to include the evolution of all life on earth? If so, why?
• Can you provide any examples (beside propagandist evolutionary internet sites with no official affiliations), where evolutionary scientists have protested against sources which characterized evolution as “all life on earth evolving from a common ancestor over millions of year”, as misrepresenting what evolution is all about?
• Since nearly everyone agrees that things change over time, why do you suppose that recent discoveries of species changing over time would be so newsworthy?
• You have continued to skirt my assertion that change in species over time is simply an observation or requirement and NOT a “mechanism” of evolution as you contend. I contend that it is deceptive to define evolution as an obvious observation and then say it is proved when that obvious thing (in this case “change”) is observed. What is the theory that you are attempting to substantiate through this observation? The observation itself? In other words, the observation of change in species over time proves change in species over time? Please respond.
• I have contended that “change in species over time” is insufficient by itself to define evolution. In your attempt to explain what that means (because it requires explanation), you have basically ended up using my definition on several occasions. Why then is it incorrect to include this brief explanation within the definition if the definition itself is unclear and insufficient? To make it perhaps a little clearer, the response of someone completely unfamiliar with evolution when presented with the definition of “change in species over time” will usually be “of course species change over time!” However, it would be a surprise to them if you subsequently stated that this meant that all life on earth evolved from a common ancestor over billions of years since the definition doesn’t state this.

OK, the best I can tell from all that you have said so far is that you are trying to equivocate “microevolution” as “Evolution”, whereas I consider Evolution to be the “Theory of Evolution” or “Macro-evolution”. In addition, I have stated that micro evolution is NOT evolution because it does not support macro-evolution. As I have shown, all sources we have looked at would at least consider “Evolution” to be either macro-evolution or encompass BOTH. Attempting to pawn off microevolution as “Evolution” is using the worst type of dishonest equivocation. You parade an obvious example of change in species over time with which no one disagrees and which is simply an adaptation of a species to their environment as an example of “evolution” and then with triumphant waving of the hands declare that this proves that all life on earth has evolved from a common ancestor by purely naturalistic means over billions of years.

It is a relatively simple matter to show that the change in species over time that we have observed is not in the direction required for real molecules to man evolution to take place. Therefore, the burden of proof is on the evolutionist to demonstrate this connection (between adaptation and evolution). However, this connection can never be observed in the “short” period of our lifetimes since evolutionists falsely insist that the earth is billions of years old and the evolution of new features takes millions of years (how convenient). Macroevolution can only really be observed from the fossil record and it has also failed miserably to support the theory.

By defining evolution as simply change over time, you are assuming the other real evolution to be a fact (or as I had stated in my original post, the un-provable presupposition)! That’s why you don’t think it’s necessary to mention it in the definition because it can just be implied. But change over time says nothing to the reader that would imply that all life on earth evolved from a common ancestor billions of years ago. If it were not stated in the definition, you wouldn’t know that this is what you really mean.

In fact, as a creationist, I would whole heartily accept and embrace your definition of evolution if that’s all you meant by it. I can accept your definition of evolution and still accept that God created the initial kinds 6000 years ago since they have been “evolving” within their kinds since then. There is no conflict there at all. It is simply using a different presupposition. But this is obviously not what evolutionists believe. So if you can believe either creation theory or evolution by accepting that species change over time, how can this be a definition of evolution alone!?

By scientists assuming “real” evolution is a fact, which I have documented several times and which is commonly emphasized in the media, this becomes the presupposition of their theory which must be taken on faith. Since it is assumed to be true by faith (and not part of the definition you have proposed), than any example of change over time is naturally a demonstration of evolution in your mind. However, to a skeptic, this is naturally being dishonest by not mentioning what the real implication is in the definition since it can either be the evolutionary presupposition or the creationist one.

Therefore it is totally obvious that due to a complete lack of any real evidence, evolutionist must resort to falsely equivocating adaptation (a fact) with evolution (a presupposition) to claim any support for the theory. And they do this, not because of the evidence, but because their worldview demands that God cannot be part of the equation. They see no other viable choice or alternative to take and therefore some have resorted to dishonesty to satisfy their own naturalistic cravings and to justify lifestyles without a God to answer to (many evolutionists have even been quoted admitting this). Unlike many evolutionists, creationists recognize that a life philosophy does not come from the evidence, but rather the philosophy is brought to the evidence and used to interpret it. To think otherwise is the epitome of naiveté.

The Bible says “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” This is so true today. Do you gaze upon Mount Rushmore and say “Isn’t it amazing how millions of years of wind and erosion have carved these faces into the mountain side!” or when you find an arrowhead, “isn’t it amazing how millions of years of wind and erosion have carved this arrowhead!” No, you immediately recognize that certain things have been designed. Why in the world, when we look at living things, which are millions of times more complex, do we not recognize a designer! Michael Behe in his book Darwin’s Black Box, makes a wonderful case of how even the simplest living organisms are irreducibly complex. It is simply impossible that all of the intricate and multiple components which each depend on each other could have evolved independently. To think that our brains, millions of times more complex than any supercomputer designed by man, could have evolved by random chance is the epitome of vanity.

It only takes a single example of something that could not have evolved to disprove evolution and I believe Behe provides a plenty of them. Now, unlike you, I understand that we are NOT talking about operational science here. Belief hinges on the preponderance of the evidence and therefore proof or disproof is impossible. Evolutionists will simply say we just haven’t figured that one out yet. That might be ok, but the problem is, hardly anything is figured out when it comes to evolution.

To be honest, I’m getting tired of this. You know very well what evolution is and what its implications are. I challenge you to find even a single treatise on evolution that doesn’t describe evolution my way. Some may start with your description, (but rarely call it a definition) and then they will simply go on to describe the “real” evolution. Therefore, that description appropriately belongs in the definition for this and all of the other reasons I have stated. Please respond to my actual arguments and not simply appeal to authority or ignore evidence by blindly stating that everything means “change over time” without providing any logical argument as to why.

This is obviously long enough and I’m tired of writing. See ya. Have fun with this and God bless. …mw


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by RAZD, posted 11-08-2006 5:53 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by RAZD, posted 11-12-2006 2:16 PM MurkyWaters has responded

MurkyWaters
Member (Idle past 2511 days)
Posts: 56
From: USA
Joined: 07-21-2006


Message 23 of 121 (365362)
11-22-2006 11:15 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by RAZD
11-12-2006 2:16 PM


Re: moving on ... at a snails pace maybe, but moving ...

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only

Did I say I was going to try and be concise? Oh well…

So we can agree that the process of evolution (PoE) is change in species over time, that this is pretty universal in all definitions of evolution, even if some definitions add other things or state it in rather ambiguous terms

No. There is the “theory of evolution” and then the supporting mechanisms or processes of natural selection, mutation, genetic drift and whatever else to support and explain how the theory has resulted in its outcomes. As I stated in my last response, there are 2 uses of the word evolution, one is the theory of evolution and the other is the general dictionary definition of change and you are attempting to falsely equivocate the two. For example, an announcer on the news the other day stated that our troops in Iraq have “evolved” into no longer leading but rather assisting the Iraqi forces (a process of change in the general sense). Does this prove that our troops have evolved from a common ancestor over billions of years? Obviously not, any more than changes in finches show that finches have evolved from a common ancestor. There must be a certain type of change that supports the theory. Everything changes. That is what the WORD “evolution” means, but it has absolutely NOTHING to do with the “Theory of Evolution”. My understanding is that we were to be discussing the definition of the “Theory of Evolution” in this debate, not a general dictionary synonym for change.

In addition, there is really no such thing as the “process of evolution”. Similar to evolution, the word “process” is used in definitions because ALL change is a process. We go through a process of aging. There are chemical processes and so forth. So in a general sense, evolution is a process, but what makes this particular process special? That’s exactly what the definition is for. It might state “evolution is a process by which all life on earth has developed from a common ancestor over millions of years” or “a group of processes by which living organisms originated on earth”. Many definitions do not even use the word “process”. So by itself, “process of evolution” cannot stand on its own. You must specify in the definition what makes the process of change unique. Then you are defining the theory of evolution.

You wanted a universal definition, and to get this you do not consolodate, sum, compile, include, add up -- but cut away extraneous elements, find the common denominators, the minimum elements that are common.

No. If one person defines a dog as “a hairy creature” and someone else defines it as “a creature with sharp teeth” and we know both statements are true, then we can say a dog is “a hairy creature with sharp teeth”. The problem is that you are cutting away “extraneous elements” that are absolutely essential to the definition to suit the convenience of your argument. If the definition of evolution is that all life evolved from a common ancestor billions of years ago, you cannot simply boil this down to “change”. That is the crux of my argument. These 2 things are NOT the same. It’s not that saying “a dog is a hairy creature” is incorrect, but that alone fits the definition of a rabbit as well, the same as “change in species” fits the definition of creation or adaptation or whatever other change you want to promote.

You keep stretching this point beyond what the words say. They are talking about evolution from {A} to {B}, taking any known starting point {A} and investigating the changes that get you to known ending point {B}.

Then a starting point {A} at the origin of life and an ending point {B} of today would be perfectly valid then, wouldn’t it? In addition, many definitions were perfectly clear that they were talking about the origins (not necessarily abiogenesis), of all life on earth. I have a question for you. Do you believe that all life on earth evolved from one or more common ancestors over billions of years? If so, what would you call your belief if someone asked? Would your answer not be “evolution”?

Placing fossils in evolutionary trees like horses or apes is completely arbitrary. I could throw out a bunch of hardware fasteners like nails and screws and they could easily be placed into an evolutionary pattern without regard to the fact that they all had a common designer. No one would seriously think that a screw (because it is much more functional) evolved from a nail because they recognize that they were both designed by an intelligent source. There is no reason to believe that the various horses or apes did not actually live at the same time. While some evolutionists may still believe in horse evolution, many agree that this sequence is merely a just-so story. We have huge and tiny horses living today, but no transitions to other forms.

As you have noted, this clearly demonstrates the lack of transitional forms in the fossil record. All of these horses are still horses and all of the apes are still apes, similar to species we find today, with no transition from different forms. The situation is even worse with the evolution of man. Man has “specieated” to the various races around the world but the original man was MORE advanced than we are today considering the many mutations and loss of genetic information and adaptability that has occurred since. Certainly, there is no evidence that we have evolved from ape like ancestors. All in all, this evidence fully supports the creation model.

I do stand corrected in that evolutionists will tout examples in the fossil record such as these as proof of “evolution”. However these are merely examples of variation within a kind and do not demonstrate real molecules to man evolution. Again, this is an invalid equivocation.

I realize that both of us have been touching upon the “evidence” in a general sense and perhaps making some sweeping statements. I’m ok with that, but as you have often pointed out, there are other discussions/debates on these topics to look at the specifics.

In this regard we can say that the Theory of Evolution (ToE) is that the process of evolution (PoE) can be applied at any level of the record of life and it will be sufficient to explain the changes observed at that level: that no other mechanism than change in species over time will be needed to get from specimen {K} to specimen {Q}.

You are convoluting terms and making things as difficult as possible for someone to understand what the theory of evolution is actually stating. First, you’re using the word evolution to define evolution.

Second, as I pointed out earlier, there is no such thing as THE “process of evolution”. You are falsely equivocating a general term of change over time with the specific Theory of Evolution which consists of mechanisms or processes used to explain how all life on earth developed from a common ancestor over billions of years. It is completely invalid and illogical to make the statement that “Change is species over time” is “sufficient to explain the changes [in species] observed”, which is what you get if you simply substitute your definition of PoE into your statement. Observing change is NOT sufficient to explain the change!

Third, as I pointed out in my last post, “change in species” is an OBSERVATION, NOT a mechanism, NOT evolution. It may be the result of processes or mechanisms such as natural selection, mutation etc.

Fourth, you can fantasize all you want about how specimen {K} changed into specimen {Q} (with no specimens in between and no evidence to support it beside speculation), because there was no one there to have seen it. This is origins studies not operational science since it cannot be tested or repeated. It is an equally valid proposition to say that an ape and a man had a common designer rather than one evolving from the other. Which proposition does 1) The written historical records, 2) The fossil records and 3) Current day observations, support more fully? Obviously, my opinion is overwhelmingly Creation.

This still does not require a single ancestor species in the remote past, but it does indicate a high probability of a small set of ancestral species

While I realize your not going back far enough to include the origin of life, the chance of ONE ancestral species developing from nothing is infinitesimal (impossible by most accounts). The chance of a “small set” is billions of magnitudes smaller. How can you even entertain this possibility? Wouldn’t you say Faith in a creator who’s provided us with a history of life in his written word would be much more reasonable than the Faith required to believe a “small set” of ancestral species developed from a lifeless rock?

For now I also want to note that there is often a confusion between the Science of Evolution (SoE) and the Theory of Evolution (ToE), and this confusion is not limited to creationists or laypeople.

We can regard the Science of Evolution (SoE) as the overall application of the all the theories, of ways and means for life to change and diversify and spread

It seems to me that the theory that creationists really take issue with is the theory of common ancestry, NOT evolution (ToE) per se. Time and again we see creationists say "well that is just microevolution and creationism includes microevolution" - the issue is "macroevolution" and this is really about the theory of common ancestry eh?

This is really semantics. Evolution is not a branch of science, it is a theory (or as more accurately characterized by Karl Popper as “a metaphysical research program”). Biology is a branch of science. When does the study of a theory become large enough to be called a science? The operational aspects, mechanisms or sub-theories which can be observed in the present day, I would call science such as natural selection and genetics because they can be directly observed, repeated and tested. However, the theory of evolution is origins studies, not real science since it cannot be observed happening, cannot be repeated or directly tested.

Without getting into the definition of science (woa be to us), I’m open to calling both evolutionist and creationist activities “science” such as creation science or evolution science. However, you are elevating evolution to much more than it is. If evolution would be disproved tomorrow (which I have stated many times is impossible because it is a philosophy), then scientists would be studying adaptation as part of creation science instead. Biology (a branch of science) would continue, but not evolution. Evolution is not a branch of science, it is a theory and is completely unnecessary to the “operational” sciences and has brought no value to society. In fact, it has been quite detrimental in every way both philosophically and practically.

I understand that sub-theories come and go. Obviously natural selection wasn’t sufficient on it’s own to explain evolution. The fossil record is insufficient to demonstrate evolution, so punctuated equilibrium has been proposed. The theory of evolution isn’t persisting because of the evidence, it is persisting DESPITE the evidence because the alternative is unacceptable. It is because of their worldview, not because of the evidence.

Having said all of that, I agree that “scientists” study aspects of the theory of evolution. However, the vast majority of the activity is involved with present day operational scientific mechanisms and sub theories as I’ve stated that have nothing to do with real evolution. Any references made to the real evolution are always speculation and hand waving. Any time discoveries are made (such as the finches) you will always hear terms like “If”, “Could have”, “maybe”, “supposed”, “possibly”, “many believe”, “is thought to have”, “might prove” etc without any real evidence to back up those claims.

Bottom line, “Evolution” is a theory. The “Science of Evolution” has “evolved” to include all of the mechanisms, processes and sub-theories used to explain the theory of evolution, that is, how evolution has occurred and produced its supposed results. This certainly would INCLUDE the theory of common ancestry. If you believe evolution is a “process” of “change in species” over time from any point {A} to point {B}, common ancestry is simply an application of that process anyway. So, no matter how you look at it common ancestry is integral to the theory of evolution and therefore perfectly valid for creationist to object to it and evolution as a whole (since they do not consider present day change as demonstrating evolution).

And I don't think you will find many evolutionists debating on this forum that subscribe to this straw man caricature of creationism [immutable forms]. We've all moved past that naive view.

I’m very glad to hear that. However, I see it repeated in the media quite often.

No, it is a logical fallacy: it is either {possible/probable} or it isn't, and the word "impossible" says that the probability is absolutely zero, not any number above zero.

We may be arguing semantics here, but like you, I find it hard to just set this aside even though it doesn’t impact our argument. When I have time, I may take a look at your thread, but our disagreement has nothing to do with your take on the possibilities. NOTHING is impossible. NOTHING has a probability of absolutely zero. However, the probability of waking up tomorrow and finding that my old leaky Ford has magically transformed itself into a Ferrari, while much higher than abiogenesis, is still extremely low. So low, in fact, to be “practically impossible”. The probability of being hit by lighting every day for an entire year (and still live) is “practically impossible” (but still much higher than abiogenesis). The point at which we would say something is practically impossible has been defined by mathematicians as something like 10**-20 (-20th power). That is, the probably is so low, we’re not likely to experience it in the lifetime of the universe. I believe the probably calculated for abiogenesis is something like 10**-2000. I’m not arguing whether the probabilities are true, just that it’s NOT a logical fallacy. Scientists define limits like this all the time for the convenience of the science. Another good example is the use of “infinity” (nothing is infinite).

Not to make to fine a point of it, but I have already offered to start with the precept that evolution is only microevolution (MiE) - as change in species over time - and see where that leads with the evidence, and what keeps it from becoming macroevolution (MaE).

I would be happy to start with the precept that evolution is only macroevolution. We already know that what keeps microevolution from becoming macroevolution is the fact that it is not evolution.

Science is post supposition. It takes evidence, then builds a theory that is consistent with and explains the evidence, then makes predictions of new evidence that will be found, and finally tests the theory against the new information to see if the prediction is accurate.
The difference does not come from a priori assumptions that frame how evidence is viewed, but from an attitude of evaluating the evidence, developing theories from the evidence and then testing and attempting to invalidate the theories without needing a suspension of disbelief and without denial of evidence that does invalidate the theory.

Science is a post supposition? You are living in a dream world and have opened a can of worms. This is not only idealistic but blatantly false, particularly and especially for origins studies that ARE NOT repeatable as is operational science. You are comparing real operational science that can be validated and tested by the “scientific method” with origins studies, which cannot. This is another invalid equivocation used by evolutionists to deceive the public into thinking that evolution is “science”. Evolutionists ASSUME evolution to be true and then interpret the evidence to support the theory and their particular bias according to their worldview and ignore evidence which does not fit.

For some reason you seem to think that the fossil evidence can be “tested”. However, this is a fallacy. It cannot be tested, it can only be INTERPRETED according to a certain framework. No one was there to see it happen. You have a very high regard for the scientific process, as do I. But you are being naïve to think it can be applied to origins studies. Evolutionists interpret the evidence according to the framework of naturalism. It is assumed that things made themselves, that no divine intervention is allowed and that God has not revealed any knowledge of the past in his word.

While this is only an example from personal experience without specifics (although I assure you that I can dig them up), I have read many books by hardcore evolutionists. WITHOUT exception, seemingly on every other page they will lament the fact that the evidence for evolution is lacking or that the probability is miniscule or other such statements and yet in the next breath, they will say it MUST have happened, solely because of their worldview, not because of the evidence. In fact, one book that you’ve no doubt heard of is “Climbing Mount Improbable”. If it’s so improbable, why does he believe it? To be honest, this should be blatantly obvious, but I’ll provide a few additional illustrations. First, let’s look at some quotations:

• The anti-creationist science writer Boyce Rensberger admits: “At this point, it is necessary to reveal a little inside information about how scientists work, something the textbooks don’t usually tell you. The fact is that scientists are not really as objective and dispassionate in their work as they would like you to think. Most scientists first get their ideas about how the world works not through rigorously logical processes but through hunches and wild guesses. As individuals, they often come to believe something to be true long before they assemble the hard evidence that will convince somebody else that it is. Motivated by faith in his own ideas and a desire for acceptance by his peers, a scientist will labor for years knowing in his heart that his theory is correct but devising experiment after experiment whose results he hopes will support his position.” Anyone familiar with or who has been involved with scientific research in a leadership role knows this to be true.

• Consider this incredible statement from Ernst Mayr regarding the first formation of life. Mmmm, I wonder why he’s discussing abiogenesis in his book entitled “What evolution is”? “In spite of all the theoretical advances that have been made toward solving the problem of the origin of life, the cold fact remains that no one has so far succeeded in creating life in the a laboratory. However, the production of life cannot be too difficult, because it happened on Earth apparently as soon as conditions had become suitable for life, around 3.8 billion years ago. Unfortunately, we have no fossils from the 300 million years between 3.8 and 3.5 billion years ago (italics mine).” Even though we (intelligent beings) have been trying for 100 years, it MUST be EASY because it’s already happened (no less than by random chance!)! If that’s not a statement of philosophical FAITH, than I don’t know what is!

• Michael Ruse (professor of zoology and leading anti-creationist) states in the National post: “Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. I am an ardent evolutionist and an ex-Christian, but I must admit that in this one complaint…the literalists are absolutely right. Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today…Evolution therefore came into being as a kind of secular ideology, an explicit substitute for Christianity.

• Professor Richard Lewontin (a renowned champion of neo-Darwinism) wrote ”We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”

• Evolutionary biologist Richard Dickerson says “Science is fundamentally a game. It is a game with one overriding and defining rule: Rule #1: Let us see how far and to what extent we can explain the behavior of the physical and material universe in terms of purely physical and material causes, without invoking the supernatural.”

• Hubert P. Yockey (a non creationist) in “Information Theory and Molecular Biology” states “Although at the beginning the paradigm was worth consideration, now the entire effort in the primeval soup paradigm is self-deception on the ideology of its champions. The history of science shows that a paradigm, once it has achieved the status of acceptance (and is incorporated in textbooks) and regardless of its failures, is declared invalid only when a new paradigm is available to replace it. Belief in a primeval soup on the grounds that no other paradigm is available is an example of the logical fallacy of the false alternative.” (underline mine)

• Pièrre-Paul Grassé, one of Europe’s greatest zoologists and Chair of Evolution at the Sorbonne University, Paris, openly admitted that he did not know how particles-to-people evolution could have happened. In his 1973 book he wrote: “Through use and abuse of hidden postulates, of bold, often ill-founded extrapolations, a pseudoscience has been created. … Biochemists and biologists who adhere blindly to the Darwinist theory search for results that will be in agreement with their theories. … Assuming that the Darwinian hypothesis is correct, they interpret fossil data according to it; it is only logical that [the data] should confirm it; the premises imply the conclusions. … The deceit is sometimes unconscious, but not always, since some people, owing to their sectarianism, purposely overlook reality and refuse to acknowledge the inadequacies and the falsity of their beliefs.”

• Richard Dawkins applauds evolution because he claims that before Darwin it was impossible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist, as he says he is. Another evolutionist has said that the reason evolution became so widely accepted is that it allowed them more freedom to exercise their sexual lifestyles.

• Speaking of atheists, a survey of all the National Academy of Sciences members in biological and physical sciences resulted in just over half responding: 72.2% were overtly atheistic, 20.8% agnostic, and only 7.0% believed in a personal God. Whatever you want to feel the cause and effect to be, the point remains that the vast majority of the promulgators of evolutionary philosophy do not believe in God.

• Richard E. Leakey in “The Making of Mankind” states “Biologists would dearly like to know how modern apes, modern humans and the various ancestral hominids have evolved from a common ancestor. Unfortunately, the fossil record is somewhat incomplete as far as the hominids are concerned, and it is all but blank for the apes. The best we can hope for is that more fossils will be found over the next few years which will fill the present gaps in the evidence.” The author goes on to say: “David Pilbeam [a well-known expert in human evolution] comments wryly, “If you brought in a smart scientist from another discipline and showed him the meager evidence we’ve got he'd surely say, ‘forget it: there isn’t enough to go on’.”

Speaking of the evidence, let’s take a look at evidence for some obvious bias:

• The fact that so many living creatures are similar to each other (like apes and man for example) is wonderful evidence for a common designer. If you look at anything designed today (planes, for example), it makes perfect sense that a designer would have used the same successful features in his creation. Do you think a Boeing 747 “evolved” from a Cessna or were they both designed by a common designer? This would be predicted from the creation model. Yet, evolutionists instead put living things arbitrarily into an evolutionary pattern instead based on no more evidence than their presupposed bias.

• Even the simplest forms of life are irreducibly complex with apparatus working together that could not have evolved independently. They are numerous examples of this that I’ve seen over the years for which evolutionists simply wave their hands and say it MUST of have happened somehow.

• Evolutionary theory predicted a fossil record abundant with transitional forms between various kinds of creatures, even among creatures living today. Instead we find that organisms suddenly appear in the fossil record fully formed with no transitions between kinds. What is the evolutionist’s explanation? Unbelievably, they still hold to the notion that the fossil record is simply incomplete, doing a complete reversal of their position on what you’d “expect” to find only because they didn’t find what they wanted. However, the evidence is in complete harmony with the creation model.

• The fossil record is clearly layered in ecological zones, not “time” zones with sea creatures being buried first in the worldwide flood while larger animals and man appear at higher elevations. Organisms are often found out of place in these layers mixed with other creatures of a completely different “timezone” (and of course the complete geological column is found no where on earth). These layers have been deposited quickly and catastrophically all over the world even capturing animals in the midst of eating others. These layers usually do not show signs of erosion between them indicating they were laid down quickly on top of each other, not over millions of years. The layers are often significantly bent indicating that this occurred when the layers were still soft. In addition, trees and other objects are found upright through “millions of years” of layers. I’ve never heard a reasonable evolutionist explanation for all of these phenomena. However, they are in complete harmony with the creation model.

• Soft tissue and blood cells have often been found in dinosaur bones. Do you think they might consider that they are not very old? NO, they conclude that there must be some amazing way in which they have been preserved for millions of years!

• There are dozens of dating methods that indicate a young earth. Essentially one (the cumulative radioactive methods) can be interpreted to give an old age for the earth. Which one do you think they choose? These same methods give a young age for the earth if you simply choose different assumptions that are just as valid. Samples of known recent age repeatedly show dates of millions or billions of years. If samples of known age cannot be reliably dated than why should we trust samples of unknown age? There are numerous stories of samples being dated that have come up with dates not “acceptable” with the evolutionary picture. Samples continued to be dated until the “right” age is arrived at. Cherry picking isn’t very scientific.

• Dates of hominid remains (by evolutionist own published dates) are completely random with samples of the oldest fossils in the evolutionary tree being found in the most recent materials and essentially modern man being found in the oldest beds. Evolutionists simply cherry pick the samples to come up with an evolutionary tree and ignore the vast number of other samples. This is well documented. No one cares to look at the evidence in total to see if it fits the evolutionary model, because the alternative of belief in God is unacceptable.

The science of physics includes all the current theories of physical relationships from quantum mechanics to relativity to big-bang and ekpyrosis. We don't try to invalidate physics, but each and every one of the theories is up for grabs.

Here is my clinching proof that evolution is a FAITH. You have elevated evolution from a theory to a “Science” comparable to physics which CANNOT be invalidated. You have suggested that science changes with the wind as new evidence is introduced, but that the “fact” of evolution can never change! This statement alone is proof that evolution is a Faith or presupposition to all of the research and theories designed to support the theory.

So what do you say, can we start by discussing "Micro"evolution - "MiE"?

I’ve already answered this question fully in my last post. I do not disagree that some have begun to use the term microevolution to refer to evolution on a “small” scale. Notice what I just said? Micro-“evolution” is “evolution” (the real evolution) on a small scale. This is how it is frequently described and that is falsely equivocating the two terms. An assumption of faith is made that if we observe small changes this proves that “real” evolution is a fact. However, all that has been observed is small changes. Microevolution is NOT evolution on any scale. It is simply an observation of change. This change MUST demonstrate the appearance of new features, not only to the particular creature being observed but also to the entire biosphere to be considered evolution (which is what MUST have happened in the past for evolution to have taken place).

I don’t disagree with the characteristics of microevolution that you have listed. However, this has nothing to do with the real evolution and I don’t see the purpose of continuing down that path. No one disagrees that things change, only that observed changes have anything at all to do with evolution, which is that all life has evolved from a common ancestor over billions of years. Let’s face it, you object to my definition because it would invalidate “small change” examples as proof of evolution and relegate evolution to what it really is - a religious philosophy. This is an overt attempt to cover up the truth to the public by stating that evolution is a scientific fact when it is neither scientific nor a fact.

Let’s try to bring this to a close. It appears that your suggestion going forward is to attempt a definition of “microevolution” and then discuss the “evidence”. However, we’ve not finished defining evolution and our debate regarding the definition should really not hinge on the evidence, despite the fact that we’ve been flirting with it on a regular basis.

Historically, a belief in long ages for the earth and a materialistic explanation for how life on earth came about was the foundation of Darwinism. This foundation cannot be separated from the theory evolution. “Microevolution” is simply natural selection at work. It is “adaptation”. It is the ability God designed into his creation that allows organisms to adapt to changing environments. This adaptation or “change in species over time” is always in the direction OPPOSITE of what is required of evolution. This change MUST be measured against a yardstick, which is the “definition of the theory of evolution” that I have been espousing, to be considered evolution.

If I let my Volkswagen sit in the driveway for years until the doors rust off, that is a change in my car over time, but is it evolution? Obviously not! However, if it develops a hybrid engine by itself and turns its body into a sleek Ferrari, then it is evolution. Change in species must support the theory that all life on earth evolved from a common ancestor over millions of years, otherwise it cannot be considered evolution. That is the yardstick, the definition of evolution against which it must be measured. If scientists ever demonstrate an example of change that supports real evolution (that is that all life of earth evolved from a common ancestor over billions of years), then they can call that particular example evolution. However, finches, bacteria and moths are not examples of evolution and to insist that they are is deceitful.

On the other hand, you have still failed to address any of the arguments I have made in support of my position. The position you haven taken supports what I have been saying all along regarding what evolutionists do. You are implying that any observed change in species proves that all life on earth descended from one, or now perhaps several, common ancestors over billions of years because that change can simply be extrapolated backward to some distant past. This is a completely invalid assertion and hinges on having a presupposed FAITH in evolution to be believable.

To close, I suggest we proceed by having you address the logical arguments that I have made in support of my definition, which I feel are compelling, and answer the questions that I have posed. I can attempt to restate them again, perhaps more succinctly, if you’d like. Evidence comes afterward, and only if it’s not being discussed elsewhere, if we can ever get to that point. I initially entered this forum to hear what arguments evolutionists would propose in response to the vast and overwhelming array of evidence to the contrary. The majority of that discussion is obviously in the evidence, but it hinges on the definitions first. While you have confirmed what I expected to hear on this particular topic, my ultimate purpose in participating further would be to have the definitions on this forum modified to accurately reflect the true definition of evolution so that everyone can debate on equal footing instead of having it biased in the evolutionists favor. At minimum I’d expect an evolutionist and creationist set of definitions. Regards…mw.

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only


This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by RAZD, posted 11-12-2006 2:16 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by RAZD, posted 11-22-2006 11:19 PM MurkyWaters has not yet responded
 Message 25 by RAZD, posted 12-10-2006 11:42 AM MurkyWaters has responded

MurkyWaters
Member (Idle past 2511 days)
Posts: 56
From: USA
Joined: 07-21-2006


Message 26 of 121 (373218)
12-31-2006 5:27 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by RAZD
12-10-2006 11:42 AM


Re: Getting back on track

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only

You know, sometimes things happen. Sorry it’s been so long, but I hope this post begins to direct us back to the core of the debate. This post is a combined response to your last 2 (24 and 25).

But in neither case have you started with a definition of "dog”

I most certainly have. It is totally reasonable that if you asked someone what a dog is they might say “a small to medium size animal with sharp teeth” or whatever. But that’s completely beside the point which apparently you are missing – that is you cannot take a bunch of descriptions of evolution, each of which is different and simply strip out the characteristics that don’t suit you. You cannot say that they are all just change over time, because some “change over time” is very different than other “change over time”.

But the fossil record is not needed to show that evolution occurs: we can do that with experiments and observations in today's world.

You are again playing with the definitions. There are NO experiments or observations in today’s world that can show evolution has occurred because it supposedly happened in the past. It is only occurring today by YOUR definition, not the real one. Darwin himself recognized the importance of the fossil record as the most serious objection to his theory. After millions of fossil finds they still do not support the theory as Darwin lamented “Why is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links?” I personally consider the fossil record as an invalidation of the theory. However, the point is that if Darwin considered the fossil record essential, how can you state it is not needed? So if evolutionists needed to rely so heavily on the fossil record before, what has changed? Apparently you want to redefine evolution to suite the lack of evidence! Therefore, Of course the fossil record is not needed, because you’ve changed the definition!

What the fossil record really is, essentially, is a prediction test of evolution: evolution predicts that any gap in the fossil record was filled by intermediate organisms…Tiktaalik.

We seem to be delving far from definitions, but at the risk of starting another side track, I’ll respond briefly. If the fossil record supported evolution, it should be abundantly evident. Instead, only a handful of highly debatable transitional forms have ever been found. In fact, by many evolutionists’ own admissions, there is not even a single clearly evident transitional form. This is further substantiated from all of the overt celebrating of the supposed transitional form Tiktaalik, a relatively recent discovery, so we’ll just have to wait until the hype dies down and it’s shown to be another piece of non-evidence. Coelacanth was once considered an extinct transitional form that lived 70 million years ago because of its “feet” until it was discovered to be living today using its lobed fins to swim around like a regular fish! All that Tiktaalik appears to be is another example of a lobe-finned fish.

You must remember that Evolutionists are desperately looking for evidence to support their theory and so will interpret any find in that way. Clearly all current life on earth could be arranged in an evolutionary pattern, but this is completely without evidence. If you took a fossilized snapshot of all life on earth today it would look very similar to the current fossil record and would be interpreted by evolutionists in exactly the same way – bacteria evolving into amoebas evolving into fish evolving into lizards evolving into birds etc. even though everything was “created” at the beginning of our snapshot. It’s so clearly evident, if you look at the evidence with a different presupposition, that most of the fossil record is simply a snapshot of life that was abundant on the earth at the time of the flood and it’s after effects with relatively rare fossilizations of higher life forms occurring afterward.

Regarding the probability of evolution you say:

"Defined" by creationists and IDologists in order to promote a straw man argument involving the use of completely invalid calculations as some kind of mathematical "proof" of reality.

First of all, the limits of probability are not defined by creationists, they are defined by mathematicians. Second, the calculation of evolutionary probabilities, are not invalid simply because creation scientists may have come up with them (which may or may not be the case). In fact, if they did they have certainly been promoted by others as well. I don’t know what calculations you are looking at, but the ones I have seen are completely reasonable by any standards. For example, the random chance of correct alphabetic sequences of only 27 characters is astronomical. To consider the chance of even the simplest DNA sequence creating itself is mind boggling. I don’t know much about the international society for complexity, information and design but they don’t seem like a creationist organization and they have a detailed paper on the calculation of one of these probabilities here: http://www.iscid.org/pcid/2002/1/4/mullan_primitive_cell.php.

To be honest, I have NEVER read an evolutionist paper on this subject where they didn’t lament the fact that the chances of abiogenisis was astronomically small, but always believe it anyway simply because it “must” have occurred, not because of the evidence but because if it did not, then their world view collapses. I provided a quote from Ernst Mayr in my last post. “Intelligent” scientists have been attempting to do this unsuccessfully in the laboratory for a hundred years now, and we are to believe that it just happened by chance? Even if they were to do it, all it would probably prove is that it takes an intelligent designer to create life. The more we learn about the intricacies of even the simplest organism, the less the probability becomes.

Anyway, this is completely off the subject of our definitions. I’ll read your forum on this sometime in the future, but for now I need to spend my time keeping the definitions going.

The best a mathematical model can do is model reality to make predictions: if those predictions are matched by reality then the model can be used to make more predictions, but if the model fails to predict reality then the model is invalid, not reality.

Since the model predicts that it is impossible for life to have evolved from non-life, and indeed it has not, then I would say it confirms reality and the law of biogenesis (again).

Why should one creature change the whole biosphere? Where does evolution even come CLOSE to claiming this "biospheric" effect?

I think you misunderstood. Back in the days of the supposed primordial soup, there were no birds, mammals, bacteria etc. The features that arose in these evolved organisms (such as feathers, blood cells or flagella) were completely new to life on planet Earth (the biosphere), never having been seen before, not just a re-shuffling of information already present. Do we observe today the formation of completely new features in animals that we have never seen before? It’s hard to imagine what these might even be. The discovery channel has done a pretty good job if you’ve ever seen their flights of fancy (fiction) regarding future “evolved” creatures. Have we perhaps seen an owl develop a new “flashlight” appendage on their heads made up of a completely new living luminescent material that reflects off a bony mirrored background that directs the light so they can see their prey better? Maybe an animal that has evolved a new purple blood and organs that absorb and convert sound waves into nutritional needs? We’ve had billions of years. If the universe is so fertile where are all the silicon based or other non-carbon based creatures like the Star Trek’s Horta? Oh wait….the average length of beak finches fluctuate!!! That PROVES evolution so we are SURE to see new creatures like that someday. Let’s invent more things and portray them as facts on the discovery channel!

Did you not agree that microevolution was change in species over time? …And you are still conflating your personal inflated definition of "real evolution" with macroevolution levels of change… Let's investigate the limits of MiE first…Take this as your opportunity to prove that [the appearance of completely new features] cannot happen in any of my examples.

I’ve already clearly and unequivocally shown that the definition of “real evolution” is not my “personal” one as it is substantiated by every source we have looked at. By definition, microevolution is not “real” evolution. You’re putting the cart before the horse. It’s interesting to talk about the evidence, but it isn’t and should not be required to define what evolution is. In fact, evidence can be used to support evolution, but not before we’ve defined what evolution is. I’ll respond briefly to your post on Foraminifers out of courtesy to the work you put into it, but I don’t plan to proceed down those lines because it is simply a distraction from our main discussion. You are avoiding the real arguments regarding the definitions so I will suggest we take it a step at a time in that direction instead which I’ll further elaborate on later

Regarding the Foraminifers, I’m surprised you have raised this example. You have just finished telling me that the fossil record is not necessary to confirm evolution and the first example you raise is from the fossil record. You just don’t seem to get it regarding the fossil record. We are looking at evidence from the past. You cannot prove or disprove anything. It is only the preponderance of the evidence that matters. All evidence is INTERPRETED by the presuppositions that you hold. If this were not true you would no longer believe in evolution because the fossil record taken as a whole overwhelmingly supports the creation model.

The Chalk beds (consisting of forams, among others) were laid down during and shortly after the flood in “blooms” due to vast amounts of decaying matter which could easily account for incredible numbers of extremely small organisms (procreating like bacteria) being laid down in various stages of development due to rapidly changing temperatures, food sources etc. While I don’t have time for further research now, I am very suspect that these “species” are that distinct, just like the geological column which is found no where on earth. I believe these creatures are usually considered index fossils so I am also very suspect that age determinations are accurate and probably circular as well since these beds cannot be dated directly. “Billions of years” dating methods are a joke as they are extremely inaccurate, almost always determined by cherry picking the “appropriate” dates, are completely inconsistent with each other, and consistently date items of known recent age at millions or billions of years. In addition, some forams have re-appeared in the fossil record after disappearing which some evolutionists have argued refutes Darwinism. Some research has been done on how Forams support an ecological zonation model (rather than time zones), but I have no time to check this out right now. Perhaps that is insufficient for now, but this topic deserves its own thread and I would be perhaps willing to participate after we finish this one. If we do it now, we’ll never finish the definitions. Overall, I find it unconvincing.

Nevertheless, there are a few interesting observations in the thread itself that deserve a moment of reflection. It’s interesting that general uniformitarianism has given way to various catastrophic theories that are mentioned, while no one wants to admit the flood is the obvious one to harmoniously explain all the evidence. If it is true that the Foram findings uphold Darwin's lifelong conviction that "nature does not proceed in leaps," but rather is a system perpetually growing in extreme slow-motion, then this makes the fossil record much less believable with its many gaps and much more easily explained with the creation model. However, as the article goes on, the concept of evolution is so plastic it can account for absolutely any evidence. This is because it is really a closely held philosophical belief with no need to conform to the facts. Therefore, some creatures experience punctuated equilibrium and some don’t, some species must become extinct to evolve into others and some don’t etc.

Ok, let’s review what we’ve said about definitions and take this a small step at a time. First, I would like to confirm that we are even attempting to define the same thing. My arguments have revolved around the definition of the “Theory of Evolution” NOT “processes” or the “science”. Although I’ve never seen any importance placed on these distinctions in the literature, apparently I need to confirm it here.

By the way, as far as I’m concerned any discussion of evolution is completely irrelevant except for it’s implications to the origin and meaning of life. It’s a waste of time to argue for arguments sake. Most thoughtful people at some time in there lives wonder about why they are here and where they might be going. Evolution is an alternate explanation for the creation event. Evolution greatly impacts our thoughts and influences our behaviors, good or bad. All prolific evolutionary writers have clearly recognized this.

While our debate has focused on biological evolution, scientists pull the concept of evolution together into a comprehensive explanation for the origins of the universe and everything we know through purely naturalistic means. This is extremely relevant to our understanding of why people believe what they do. It often has little to do with the evidence. It is also extremely relevant to biological evolution. If the universe did not come about by itself (rather it was created by God), there is no reason to believe that life came about by itself. If God created the first prototype, there is no reason to deny that he created the first kinds instead. Therefore, arguments against other forms of evolution are also arguments against biological evolution. If abiogenesis is impossible then discussions of biological evolution are totally mute.

Ignoring that for the moment, however, let’s continue in small steps...You have ignored the majority of my arguments, so I really insist that you respond to the following if we are to keep this going in the right direction: Your contention has been that the theory of evolution can be stated as “Change in species over time” (I’ll abbreviate this to CISOT). If evolution is CISOT, then changes in moth, bacteria and finch populations (and others, for which no one including creationists disagree), have proved evolution to be true and therefore evolution is a fact, not a theory. Not only is it a fact, but it cannot be disproved. It cannot be considered a theory since there is no falsifiable test. You have admitted this already by conflating evolution with a branch of “science” which can never be disproved. So if evolution is a fact, then why do definitions state that it is a theory? Why is there any debate about this topic at all? When exactly did it become a fact? Are sources simply out of date and haven’t caught up to recent research?

Have a happy and blessed New Year! (Sincerely)….mw

p.s. It’s interesting that we really know little or nothing about each other. Is that intentional? I feel like I’m breaking a rule if I ask. Is that the case? I suppose if we find out that one of us is a senior PHD scientist and another one a young bum on the street with internet access, it might bias our outlooks, even though the arguments should speak for themselves. I will be the first to admit that I know far from everything about this subject, but have a passion for it and am open to any rational discussion (or irrational, I suppose, if it’s not prolonged!).

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only


This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by RAZD, posted 12-10-2006 11:42 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by RAZD, posted 12-31-2006 9:37 PM MurkyWaters has responded
 Message 28 by RAZD, posted 01-01-2007 9:33 AM MurkyWaters has responded
 Message 50 by RAZD, posted 02-18-2007 1:50 PM MurkyWaters has responded

MurkyWaters
Member (Idle past 2511 days)
Posts: 56
From: USA
Joined: 07-21-2006


Message 29 of 121 (373484)
01-01-2007 5:58 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by RAZD
12-31-2006 9:37 PM


Re: Getting back on track? or still dragged back off track?
I haven't - I've used the ones common to all the definitions.

False. Most definitions said nothing about ANY change over time. There were very specific about the type of change necessary.

False. The evidence for speciation is overwhelming to the point where even creationist websites like Answers in Genesis do not contest that it occurs.

You are taking my words out of context and missing the point as usual. Where did I say speciation has not occurred? It most certainly has. If you would have bothered to read further, the point of my comments was that evolution “is only occurring today by YOUR definition, not the real one”. Websites like AIG do not consider change in species over time INCLUDING speciation to be evolution and THAT is my point. Speciation is an important part of the creation model, which allowed the created kinds to ADAPT to their environment. It is NOT evolution. Even then, it is occurring today at much lower levels than in the past due to the accumulation of genetic mutations and LOSS of information that had previously allowed for this adaptation.

Fossils are not needed to show that evolution occurs, but they do show that evolution has occurred, they are a test of evolution: if evolution were not the case then there is no reason for the fossil record to show such a consistent long term trend and the relationships of organisms to organisms that exist.

The fossil record does NOT show that evolution has occurred and shows no such consistent long term trend. The relationships between different kinds of organisms is a fantasy of evolutionists. You missed the point of my argument again – If you took a snapshot of life as we know it today, it would look no different than the fossil record and would be arranged by evolutionists as having evolved when the truth is that it was created when we took the snapshot. There is no evidence that one kind of organism evolved into another.

Evolution is abundantly clear in the fossils that we do have. Every single fossil is a transitional.

No, they obviously represent very distinct kinds (see the argument I just made above). This is not my opinion, it is the opinion of every popular evolutionist writer out there, some of which I’ve already quoted to you. I’ve also quoted Darwin who recognized the deficiency in the fossil record. Gould said, “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology”. That is why there is always so much excitement when a supposed transitional form is found, much less a transitional sequence. Where are the transitional sequences between the distinct kinds of animals? Where are the half-legs, half-wing kinds of creatures? You are in denial of evidence that the vast majority of evolutionists recognize.

And even in the event that something occurring was highly improbable, once it HAS occurred the probability that it HAS occurred is 1.0.

That’s a hoot. What is your evidence that it HAS occurred?

Perhaps you just haven't read enough. You might try reading them from original sources instead of "filtered" through creationist propaganda sites.

Don’t patronize me. I have read original sources, many in their entirety. They are chock full of whimsical fantasizing with very little evidence and a very dark purposelessness to existence.

How insulting. Not just to me but to every scientist in the field. You are the one in denial of the evidence, as demonstrated by the forams. Science is NOT based on presuppositions, it is based on evidence and logical deduction of where the evidence leads, testing of those deductions to see which are valid, in the process finding more evidence, and using all the past knowledge of evidence and deductions to make the next deductions to test and evaluate. Creationism on the other hand is nothing BUT presupposition, especially presupposition in denial of evidence to the contrary.

How hypocritical! I’m NOT supposed to be insulted when you say that I am deluded and gullible and that creationism is nothing but presupposition? You are the deluded one if you think scientists do not hold presuppositions. It appears you haven’t read their works or followed their methods of inquiry or you would know this. Every scientist in the field does not happen to believe in evolution. Apparently by your arrogant opinion only scientists that believe what you believe are not deluded. Creationism is science as much as evolutionism is with scientists using the same tools and the same methods of inquiry. And evolution’s presuppositions are just as much religious as creationism’s are. Were you there when the world was created? Or in your framework, were you there billions of years ago when the first life appeared? No one can know for sure unless an eye witness tells us (which creationists have). Knowing the fallibility of science and the many errors which have been made in the past (for which you have already admitted), how can you be so pompous as to blindly follow every supposed conclusion without question that it could have happened any other way?

Sorting that cannot be duplicated by any random mixing of sediment and forams, as the different foram skeletons have the same basic density and thus would be randomly distributed throughout every single sedimentary layer found on earth. You would also have to compress 500,000 years of evolution into one year. That's 1370 years worth per day, 57 years worth per hour or about one years worth per minute.

There would be little random mixing if the bloomings occurred after the main flood event and there is no reason that they couldn’t have taken much longer than a day to settle. Scientists have calculated that this is feasible based on the capacity of the sea and the amount of sediments. Adaptation doesn’t take 500,000 years. Evolutionist have recently shown that finches can speciate in less than 100 years, remember?

What you believe is irrelevant… Again you are insulting scientists that spend their careers on this work. You do not have a clue what you are up against, but feel free to blithely dismiss the work of others based on your BELIEFs…Because you have been so freely insulting of the life work of thousands of dedicated people I'll be blunt: you are also either in denial or ignorant of the evidence for an old earth, an earth billions of years old. The concept that is a joke is the Young Earth concept of fundamental creationists.

The way I and most other people that I know use the phrase “I believe” is equivalent to “I recall” and that’s the way I was using it. Then you go on to confirm that my recollection is absolutely correct in that they are indeed index fossils, so I’m not sure what has gotten your goat in that regard.

As far as beliefs go, your response is disdainful and condescending. This debate is between you and me – what YOU believe versus what I believe. You (as well as I) may base your beliefs on many possible sources including the work of scientists, but in the end it is YOU who chooses to believe it is true. What gall and arrogance to suggest that what I believe is irrelevant (based on the work of scientists), but what you believe is not! And you know what? Just so happens that not everyone agrees with you, including scientists. I don’t think I have had a discussion with anyone quite as egocentric as you. If what I believe is irrelevant, it most certainly is true for you as well. However, I hold that everyone’s beliefs are relevant, if not to anyone else, certainly to themselves since beliefs have consequences.

I don’t blithely dismiss anything. My beliefs are based on scientists that have spent their careers on this work, so if I am insulting your scientists, you are insulting mine. You are the one that has no clue what you are up against. I may disagree with the ideas of fallible men (and the vast majority of evolutionists are atheists), but you are up against the word of the almighty God who created you. Whether you choose to believe Him or not does not change the truth. I’ll be blunt: you are also either in denial or ignorant of the evidence for a young earth, an earth approximately 6000 years old.

By the way, your attempt at intimidation is a failure. All this has shown is that you are willing to be ignorant of and deny evidence of the real world to maintain your delusions. The logical conclusion based on all the evidence is that evolution is a falsified concept, invalidated. Since you seem to be ignoring the issue of definitions, I have to assume you’re fighting back like a cornered cat because you do not have a satisfactory answer to my questions.

I've set aside the majority of your arguments until we can sort out the basis of the debate, because so much of them are based on your misconceptions of evolution, the age of the earth, etcetera.

The basis of the debate is your misconceptions regarding the definition of evolution. Definitions do not depend on the evidence, so you are simply avoiding an argument that apparently you cannot defend. Since the evidence seems to be a sore point for you, I suggest we abandon evidence completely. Unless it has some direct relevance (or I just happen to feel like it), I will no longer be responding to any “evidence” until we can agree on the definition of evolution (to which the evidence pertains). To be honest, it seems unlikely at this point, but definitions nevertheless are the topic of this debate.

Yes the evidence you cite demonstrates that evolution is a fact in those instances. It does NOT demonstrate that it is a universal fact. It does not demonstrate that the theory that all species change over time is a fact.

Where does the theory state that it must be universal and that ALL species must change over time? There are numerous examples that evolutionists have cited of organisms that have remained the same since they first appeared in the fossil record (or for millions of years). Then there are always the many embarrassing examples like the coelacanth that was thought to have been extinct. Are you suggesting that these examples invalidate the theory?

False. All that is needed is one instance where it is invalidated… it doesn't' mean that the theory cannot be invalidated.

What would invalidate it then? And I will ask again… If evolution is a fact (which therefore cannot be invalidated), then why do definitions state that it is a theory? Why is there any debate about this topic at all? When exactly did it become a fact? Are sources simply out of date and haven’t caught up to recent research? Please respond or concede.

Sincerely…mw


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by RAZD, posted 12-31-2006 9:37 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by RAZD, posted 01-01-2007 11:56 PM MurkyWaters has responded

MurkyWaters
Member (Idle past 2511 days)
Posts: 56
From: USA
Joined: 07-21-2006


Message 30 of 121 (373487)
01-01-2007 6:09 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by RAZD
01-01-2007 9:33 AM


Re: Timeline #1: Earth > 8,000 years old
This post is completely irrelevant to my quote regarding “Billions of years” dating methods as this is not one. Plus it is completely irrelevant to our topic regarding definitions, so I will not respond further except to say that there are different interpretations of this data. If you are truly interested in the truth, I will be glad to respond in the future at some time.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by RAZD, posted 01-01-2007 9:33 AM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 31 by RAZD, posted 01-01-2007 11:55 PM MurkyWaters has responded
 Message 33 by RAZD, posted 01-01-2007 11:57 PM MurkyWaters has responded

MurkyWaters
Member (Idle past 2511 days)
Posts: 56
From: USA
Joined: 07-21-2006


Message 34 of 121 (373703)
01-02-2007 1:08 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by RAZD
01-01-2007 11:55 PM


Re: Dealing with the evidence
I didn't say it was. It's the first base, a foundation on which to build a solid understanding of the actual age of the earth.

How does evidence that the earth is young support the contention that it is billions of years old?

You also won't deal with forams without bringing up the age of the earth, therefore the next step is to deal with the age issue.

No, my response to the forams was abbreviated as to not get distracted down that road. It was only meant to show that there are other reasonable explanations possible. Dealing with the age issue first is irrelevant and detrimental to our topic.

You won't move off the pot on definitions, even when I propose using my definition only for "micro"evolution.

Yes, and you won’t move off the pot on evidence because you don’t seem to have a response to my questions regarding the definitions. What exactly does “using my definition only for ‘micro’ evolution” mean? I’m fine with that IF you tell me what your definition of “molecules to man” evolution is? Then, I’ll understand that you mean “adaptation” when you use the term “micro-evolution” (even though the term is misleading by including evolution in the context) and that you mean “molecules to man evolution” when using the term “evolution”. Then we can proceed on what evidence supports or invalidates evolution (“molecules to man” evolution) including examples of adaptation if you think it does.

It seems that your primary response is not dealing with evidence. There is fantasy and there is reality. Shall we see which is which?

I get the impression that you want to move on to something where you think it’s going to be a slam dunk and don’t have to think anymore, perhaps in areas where you have material already prepared. Well I have news for you…the “evidence” isn’t going to be any easier than the definitions.

I’m not shying away from the evidence. I’d just like to do it in an organized and fair fashion AFTER we’ve defined what we are providing evidence FOR via the definitions. For example, you can provide all the evidence you want which supports adaptation (like the forams, horses, moths, finches) because this is wonderful evidence in support of the creation model. However, it says NOTHING about molecules to man evolution. There are, of course, side issues in these discussion like the age of the earth that we can deal with as well. For example, evidence that the earth is young would invalidate the theory of evolution since the process would have taken billions of years to accomplish (something which is not lost upon evolutionary proponents of an old age).

My suggestion (and perhaps this has been done already) to deal with the evidence AFTER we’ve finished the debate on definitions is to create a comprehensive list of evidences that each of us feels invalidates the other’s theory and supports our own. While I’m sure each of us could put together a straw man list to start things off (straw man not being used in a negative sense as it normally seems to be), I’m thinking it would be more interesting and complete for each of us (at their discretion) to invite others to participate in a separate string to gather and organize this list. I realize there are a few on the net, but they don’t seem to be very specific. Then we could alternate discussion of topics which seem most interesting to us, probably with ones we think are the most heavy hitters. I think this is a fair approach which avoids one person endlessly taking pot shots at the other and avoids us getting sidetracked on issues that are irrelevant regarding support of our main contentions.

You need to deal with the reality of evidence that REFUTES a YEC world and a WWF before you can proceed with any claim that you have evidence FOR those concepts. (from prior post 27)

Not true. What all scientists do (in areas such as origins studies, especially evolution, as opposed to operational science) is begin with their presuppositions, with the actual hypothesis being part of these. Then they gather evidence in support of the hypothesis (and also, whether overtly or subconsciously in support of the other presuppositions). Once they feel comfortable that their hypothesis is well founded, they deal with evidence which may invalidate it later. Many times, when the presuppositions have gained solid support or if there are no other viable alternatives, evidence which may invalidate the theory are simply ignored or pushed under the table until some new discovery is found to help. Looking at data which invalidates the theory is definitely NOT the first step. Otherwise, the theory may not have gotten proposed in the first place.

There is a plethora of evidence out there. Evolutionary scientists consider evidence in SUPPORT of the theory and evidence which is currently UNANSWERED (there is NO evidence which invalidates the theory as far as they are concerned). Evidence which invalidates the theory is usually ignored at first until some plausible explanation (with little or no actual evidence) is provided (like “ALL fossils are transitional”). Then they spend billions of tax dollars on these dead ends, like SETI (a related but non-evolutionary example).

I don’t know why you’d expect me to behave any differently. Not all of this is necessarily bad. Immediate explanations for every bit of evidence out there is not always available, although current contrary research, identification of presuppositions, inconsistencies and errors are much easier to identify. Because a complete alternative explanation is not immediately evident or heavily supported doesn’t mean the theory is invalidated. Theories regarding origins cannot be proved because no one was there to see the actual events occur. Evidence is interpreted based largely on un-provable presuppositions. The preponderance of the evidence in support of multiple conclusions is more appropriate for origins studies. I think either one of us could come up with some interesting stories of conclusions that were reached based on the “evidence” that turned out be 180 degrees from reality (including hoaxes) when the actual truth was discovered. While fictional, I do have a favorite and entertaining story here if your interested - http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs/1247.asp

Sincerely…mw

Edited by MurkyWaters, : No reason given.

Edited by MurkyWaters, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by RAZD, posted 01-01-2007 11:55 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 35 by RAZD, posted 01-02-2007 10:33 PM MurkyWaters has responded
 Message 36 by RAZD, posted 01-02-2007 11:32 PM MurkyWaters has responded

MurkyWaters
Member (Idle past 2511 days)
Posts: 56
From: USA
Joined: 07-21-2006


Message 37 of 121 (373872)
01-03-2007 12:34 AM
Reply to: Message 32 by RAZD
01-01-2007 11:56 PM


Re: Still stuck on definitions.
Still stuck on definitions.

Definitions are the topic of this debate, not the evidence. You have continually refused to respond to my questions regarding the definitions. Would you like to concede that you don’t have an answer? We can agree to disagree, however that’s somewhat empty when you have refused to respond. Nevertheless, I will agree to do that if you feel it’s at that point. If that’s the case, we can both provide a summary of our positions and end it (or continue with a few rebuttals). If we can’t change the posted definitions on this forum, this may at least result in dual creationist/evolutionist definitions.

Please go back and read the definitions again, you are just plain wrong.

Please read my response regarding these definitions. You are just plain wrong. They clearly differentiate between the kind of change necessary as demonstrated in my prior post here:
Message 21.
It was unnecessary to repost all of the definitions again. I’ve clearly refuted this silly concept of ANY observed change as being evolution both through sources and logic.

In addition, many biologists have reached the same conclusion. While it is a number of years ago now, in November 1980 a conference of some of the world’s leading evolutionary biologists, billed as ‘historic’, was held at the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History on the topic of ‘macroevolution’. Reporting on the conference in the journal Science, Roger Lewin wrote: “The central question of the Chicago conference was whether the mechanisms underlying microevolution can be extrapolated to explain the phenomena of macroevolution. At the risk of doing violence to the positions of some of the people at the meeting, the answer can be given as a clear, No.”

Again the definitions given in message 17 were ALL the ones I could find on the internet. They ALL address the issue of change over time in one way or another.

Yes, one way or ANOTHER, “Another” being the specific type of change necessary for evolution to occur.

Speciation IS evolution.

Speciation is NOT evolution. Species are a taxonomic differentiation provided for classification reasons. There are various birds, for example, that are considered different species for which the only difference is a variation in song or minor color hue (ie “yellowish” versus “brownish”). These may be classified as different species, but they are still birds, not even just any bird, but the same kind of bird. A change to a different KIND of animal would be regarded as evidence for evolution.

You need to get the point of understanding that if you are arguing against evolutionary biology you WILL USE the definitions of evolutionary biology OR you are arguing against SOMETHING ELSE. The "real" definition of evolution is the one evolutionary biology uses: simply stated it is change in species over time (or some more complex variation on that theme, like change in frequency of alleles within populations in succeeding generations etc). The list above confirms this.

The list above confirms that the definition of the theory of evolution is that all living forms in the world have arisen over billions of years from a common ancestor which itself came from an inorganic form. It is the definition that evolutionary biology uses. You are mistaken.

Again, lets use that definition, confine it to "micro"evolution, and see where that leads us as we look at the past - the fossil record of the progress of evolution in time. What are you afraid of? Reality?

Reality supports the creation model. What are YOU afraid of that you need to provide a bogus definition of evolution to support your case? Why should I agree to use a definition that is false?

Please. Stop with the misrepresentation of the truth. What Gould was arguing FOR was punctuated equilibrium - evolution. This is "quote mining" again, and it is just plain false representation of what was said.

I’m attempting to ignore the majority of your rantings on the evidence, but I must interject here. This is neither a misrepresentation of the truth, or quote mining. He said what he said. It is irrelevant what he was arguing FOR. I am not using the quote to represent him as a creationist or even to suggest whether he believes the fossil record supports evolution or not. This is an observation he has made, pure and simple – that transitional forms are extremely rare in the fossil record - like it or not. He is not the only one. A significant number if not all prominent evolutionists (I have quoted others including Mayr very clearly in previous posts) have said that transitional forms are almost non-existent in the fossil record. How insulting to say these scientists are wrong! Not just to me but to every scientist in the field who have spent their careers on this work!

Gould can also be wrong

If Gould can be wrong, so can you. Data/evidence are facts. How they are interpreted is fallible.


That’s a hoot. What is your evidence that it HAS occurred?
We are here. Either by evolution from abiogenesis developed life, evolution from space seeds, or evolution from created life. IF we are here by evolution from abiogenesis developed life THEN abiogenesis HAS occurred. In that event the probability is now 1.0. That is reality. Math cannot rule out that possibility.

The fact that you would even mention the ridiculous idea of panspermia illustrates how difficult a problem the origin of life has become for evolutionists. I think we can rule that one out because it’s simply pushing the problem to another planet. No, math cannot rule out any possibility. It can only tell us the probability of an outcome. It is not enough to say you ASSUME it is true because “we are here” without any evidence, for goodness sake. If you believe in abiogenesis, then you can also believe in the tooth fairy since both have the same probability of being true.

Simulate it. Run an experiment and duplicate it. Do the actual WORK instead of positing fantasies based on your presuppositions. That is how science works.

Great! Let’s see your duplication of abiogenesis. Let’s see your duplication of an amoeba changing into a dinosaur. That’s how science works, huh? Where are they? Let’s see the actual work instead of posting fantasies about your presuppositions.

And you post this nonsense…

Nonsense is apparently in the eye of the beholder.

the whole concept is based on the presupposition that the flood occurred.

The whole concept of evolution is based on the presupposition that it occurred through only naturalistic means over billions of years.

The point is that what you - or I - believe is irrelevant to what is the reality. You can believe that the earth is flat and that the universe revolves around it, but that will have zero effect on what really happens in the universe. What you can do is test your beliefs against reality, and when your beliefs are contradicted by evidence you can either discard or revise the belief based on the evidence or you can discard the reality. Your choice.

I agree. However, evidence regarding origins is interpreted according to your presuppositions since no one was there to actually observe the events. It takes a lot of evidence to change those presuppositions when the alternative is something that a person cannot accept (like the 70% atheist scientists who cannot believe in God). In addition, NO ONE, not even dedicated scientists can do ALL of the research themselves. In the end, they must accept or “believe” the results of others (who are fallible) instead of God’s word. When an attempt is made to actually duplicate experiments by others, many are found to be faulty and beliefs are adjusted.

The absurd claim that forams date the sediments and then the sediments date the forams…

The claim that index fossils date the sediments and sediments date the index fossils is valid. The complete geological column is found nowhere on earth. Because some prior dating was done, it is almost never questioned for subsequent discoveries. When they do, they often find dramatic differences in the ages. The absolute age is not relied upon for operational science as it is really not important. It matters only to satisfy fantasies regarding evolution. Perhaps we can discuss this further when/if we explore the evidence.

Sorry to burst your balloon, but those species have evolved over time.

They have not evolved, but they have adapted. This is not my observation, but the observation of evolutionists. They use words like “have remained essentially the same” or “almost identical” etc. Insects caught in amber also come to mind as a good example. I didn’t mean to imply that there couldn’t have been slight changes. However, in either case, “almost identical” does not confirm that evolution took place.

They either evolve or they become too susceptible to disease and parasites and predators that DO evolve and they go extinct. The fossil record shows this again and again. We observe this in our own lives with diseases evolving.

Yes, this is another confirmation that mutations, disease etc demonstrate how the population is running down, becoming less able to adapt from the originally created robust kinds, not upward, more complex, directional evolution.

LOL. Nice try. This is a new one for Thread A Guide to Creationist Tactics I believe.

Mmmm. Is there a guide for evolutionist tactics? If not, I’ll have to start one. I have plenty of material to use from this debate.

You have presented NO evidence, just a series of ad hoc arguments, and YOU refuse to accept the definition used by evolutionary biology. Now you want to abandon evidence altogether ... and rely on what? Fantasy? You need to make a decision whether you are going to move on to actually discuss evidence or whether you will remain in willful denial or ignorance or just keep dancing around the issue and never address it.

You are the one who refuses to accept the definition used by evolutionary biology. You are the one who is dancing around the issue. You are the one who has presented NO evidence. I have repeatedly asked questions regarding the definition of evolution that you refuse to answer, assumedly because your definition cannot be defended logically. It is blatantly obvious that we cannot discuss evidence if we do not know what the evidence is for or against. That will only take us back to the beginning of this discussion when finches were raised as an example of evolution (which they are not) by who’s definition?


What would invalidate it then?
Fossil evidence of Homo sapiens during the age of dinosaurs or some other equally anachronistic find of a too modern fossil in too old a location.

OK. We have those and they have been roundly ignored by evolutionists who simply cherry pick the ones that fall neatly into the model. Actually, it makes perfect sense that we would not find many fossilized remains of people with dinosaurs. People would be much more mobile, climbing or escaping to higher elevations before they were trapped by the waters. Those that didn’t make it probably wouldn’t be around the dinosaurs. In addition, there were not as many people around at that time and many remains are probably in areas that are more politically and geographically inaccessible.

To be honest, I don’t’ think we’ll ever find a silver bullet for either side. This is a testimony to the wisdom of God. He wants us to trust his word. He told us exactly what happened, but we refuse to believe him and instead trust in our own wisdom, which He says, is foolishness to God. By the way, trusting in our own wisdom is very different then sound scientific research to discover the wonders of God’s creation.

Genetic evidence that shows wholesale horizontal transfer for a feature between species rather than descent from a common ancestor.

I’m not sure what you mean, but we do have many examples of supposed parallel or multiple evolution and also evidence of transfer of features between bacteria rather than descent. Neither of these features has been used to invalidate evolution.

A hopeful monster sudden appearance of a whole new species with a completely new feature with no evolutionary predecessor.

The fossil record is rift with those. In fact, that IS the fossil record. Wouldn’t Abiogenesis qualify as well? An “amoeba” (or whatever) has completely new features compared to the rock it evolved from. Nevertheless, this does not invalidate evolution. This concept has been proposed as a potential mechanism of evolution to explain the lack of transitional forms in the fossil record. Another example of how “plastic” the concept of evolution is which can conform to any evidence that is found (because the evolutionary concept is not based on the evidence). If you were talking about the appearance of a living specimen, it would be hailed as confirmation of this evolutionary feature. On the other hand, since we know this is essentially impossible, this is just a red herring example with no relevance to actually invalidating evolution.

There are many things that would invalidate evolution, but the list is much smaller than it was due to the number of times such things have NOT happened.

No, it’s rather due to the ability of evolutionists to rationalize. Yes, there probably are many, but you have not listed any that could actually be used. A valid example would be a tree positioned through sediment layers. These have been found and invalidate the concept that those layers were laid down over millions of years. Instead, the flood model makes much more sense of the evidence. I would be happy to provide additional examples when/if we get to the evidence. But I’m not going there until we finish the definitions even if it’s to agree to disagree.

Bottom line, these examples probably would not even invalidate my definition, and certainly they say nothing about yours. It is a FACT that species change over time. If that is evolution, what else is left to prove?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by RAZD, posted 01-01-2007 11:56 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by RAZD, posted 01-03-2007 3:52 AM MurkyWaters has responded

MurkyWaters
Member (Idle past 2511 days)
Posts: 56
From: USA
Joined: 07-21-2006


Message 38 of 121 (373875)
01-03-2007 12:38 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by RAZD
01-01-2007 11:57 PM


Re: Timeline #2: Earth > 10,000 years old
Gee, can you slow down! I'm probably going to have to take another short break soon and I may not be able to keep up so it will get confusing. Thankfully, this post is another on the evidence which is irrelevant to our topic of definitions. I've suggested a way that we might proceed with the evidence in another post. ...mw
This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by RAZD, posted 01-01-2007 11:57 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by RAZD, posted 01-03-2007 3:53 AM MurkyWaters has responded
 Message 47 by RAZD, posted 01-28-2007 2:34 PM MurkyWaters has not yet responded

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