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Author Topic:   Basic Fundamentals of THE Debate (now open to anyone)
RAZD
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Posts: 15881
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Joined: 03-14-2004
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Message 1 of 121 (335604)
07-26-2006 11:49 PM


Basic Fundamentals of THE Debate and Myriad Misconceptions

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only


Starting a new threvad for the purpose of discussing the all issues in the following post that do not apply to the thread in question, so we won't get in trouble with admins ....

From Message 81

I had prepared the following response, but have since noticed that this appears consistent with creationist positions elsewhere on the site so I hope it is not too repetetive. I suppose that happens commonly on forums like this, but I will continue to read to become more familiar with what is being said elsewhere.

First of all, I want to thank everyone for their warm welcome including Faith and yourself (Razd). I hope to try to respond in a timely manner to these posts, but it will obviously not always be possible. Thanks for the tips on using the forum as well.

While I had considered a point by point response, I decided this would be long and fruitless (although I will make a few exceptions) because the majority of your counter discussion is simply the result of us not having a common understanding of each other’s positions and definitions. If we can’t even agree on what is Evolution and what is Creation, all of the debate in this forum won’t get us anywhere.

The first sentence in your response is much more appropriately applied to your position, not mine, so I’ll repeat it here with appropriate modification. “Of course [this is evidence for evolution], because you can define “evolution” any way you want to and make it fit.” It is intellectually dishonest to define Evolution as change over time. Who could possibly disagree with that? Your second definition from the dictionary (a.) is better, but you notice it also does not mention mutations as a mechanism (simply natural selection) which you scolded me for not mentioning.

Now, I realize there is a very broad range of beliefs across the entire spectrum on both sides. However, here is the definition of Evolution and Creation which in my experience are the most commonly accepted:

Evolution: ALL life has descended over millions of years by purely naturalistic means from a common ancestor which itself came from non-life. That statement is the initial and un-provable axiom for which evidence is sought. The mechanism commonly proposed for evolution is mutations coupled with natural selection. In order for this concept to be valid it must account for the formation of new and different genetic information over time.

Creation – God created the universe and all life approximately 6000 years ago according to the historical account from the bible which includes the occurrence of a worldwide flood. That statement is the initial and un-provable axiom for which evidence is sought. The original created kinds of organisms were genetically information rich allowing them to adapt successfully to diverse and changing environments through natural selection/mutation. This process entails the shuffling and loss of genetic information within their kind (to the point where many organisms can no longer successfully adapt to their environments and have become extinct).

Note that the initial axioms or presupposition are un-provable largely because they pertain to historical, not operational, science and no one was there to witness the actual events. However, Christians believe they do have an eyewitness account in the bible which provides a more logical foundation for their presupposition.

Whether you agree with those definitions or not, you can see that within their context, the finch article fits much better with the creation model than with the evolutionary one, primarily since it demonstrates that change does not require millions of years to take place. It is not evidence for evolution since the change has not added additional genetic information that wasn’t already present but is required for true evolution to occur.

No one, particularly any informed creationist, is arguing that natural select and mutation do not occur. In fact, you notice that it is a foundational mechanism of both positions. However, there has NEVER been any observed change in the direction of adding new information that evolution requires. It is mere speculation and hopeful thinking that changes within species has been extended to account for the formation of entirely different type of organisms.

And make no mistake. This article, while it talks deceptively about “micro-evolution” is being touted as proof of the “real” thing to the uniformed – the evolution that changes a dinosaur into a bird (or the other way around, depending on what article you read).

That is why it is dishonest to call this type of change “micro-evolution” because it is only evolution in the general sense that we have begun to use the term such as in the statement “automobiles have evolved over time”. No one will argue that if I wait long enough my VW bug will change into a BMW. I say this merely for humor so don’t fixate on this statement if you decide to respond.

Now, I do need to respond directly to just a few of your assertions for completeness, but I will not expound upon them since this post is already getting long.

You say:

And that [finches turn into alligators] is not what the theory of evolution claim, so it seems you do not understand what evolution really is.

No? Than it is not me that misunderstands what evolution is. I used a facetious example, but that is exactly the claim of evolution – that a single celled organism in some primordial soup eventually turned into a professor, creating all of life as we know it along the way.

You disagree that the foundations of modern science did not come from creationists? A large number of some of our most venerated scientists (including recent ones) that laid the foundations of most if not all of our major scientific disciplines found no conflict between science and creationism. Your assertion that geo-centrism or flat earth notions were perpetuated by Christians is false. These concepts are found no where in the bible. However, scientific thinking has always changed over time as more evidence is discovered or postulated. It is obviously how we interpret this evidence that accounts for our differences.

Lastly, you say the following:

Because you can cite {SOME} evidence for a position does not make it true or valid, most especially when you ignore {OTHER} evidence that disproves the position. The denial of {CONTRADICTORY EVIDENCE} means that the position is false, regardless of any claims otherwise, until such time as you can show how the evidence is wrong or explain it in terms of the position claimed.

Please! I am not trying to prove creationism, simply by this single post. The evidence in my opinion is simply overwhelming for creationist theory. Contrarily, evolutionists are experts at ignoring the evidence (i.e. it only takes 10 or 20 samples to find the one that will conform to the correct pre-conceived time when attempting to date them). Whatever happened to the concept that science was the search for truth? I am not aware of a single piece of evidence that “disproves” creationism. On the other hand, I challenge you to come up with any examples of observed changes in nature which increase informational (genetic) content. They should abound if evolution is true. Transitional forms in the fossil record should also abound, but evolutionists are hard pressed to come up with even a few controversial examples. And what about soft tissue which is now being found in a large number of fossils? It is simply impossible that they could be millions of years old. How about that for ignoring the evidence? Those are just a few of literally thousands of examples.

By the way, as we understand more about genetic theory, evolutionists are beginning to abandon the concept of natural selection/mutation as the mechanism for evolution so you may soon find yourself with a completely bankrupt hypothesis (I dare not call it a theory, since the evidence does not support it).

I hope I have addressed the bulk of your objections. These posts are supposed to be fun, so perhaps I’ve taken the liberty to be a little more “forward” than I might otherwise. However, I have attempted to be as accurate as possible. It is not my intention to offend (and I have taken no offense). We should all be searching for the truth, not just for a good argument (although I expect some are in it just for the argument).

Respectfully…mw

I will take these issues to start with (keeping others for later to keep the debate simple)

(1) Definitions.

If we can’t even agree on what is Evolution and what is Creation, all of the debate in this forum won’t get us anywhere.

Agreed, which is why we use standard definitions whenever possible. Creationists, it seems, tend to use a lot of non-standard definitions, often designed (by creatortionistas) ...

{I define "creatortionista" btw, as a site or a person that intentionally distorts and misrepresents the truth, states things that are falsified by readily observable evidence and who do not correct their error when it is pointed out to them. I do this to draw a distinction between honest creationists and the ... dishonest (to be polite).}

.... to misrepresent 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.

Like Dictionary.com.

Wikipedia.org may be used with the caveat that it is an open source website subject to change, intentional misrepresentation or whimsical hacking type editing, and that any disagreement about it's material needs to be then substantiated by a more robust source (another on-line encyclopedia). Personally I find it useful as a "weathervane" of the common understanding of things, but prefer other standards where available.

The first sentence in your response is much more appropriately applied to your position, not mine, so I’ll repeat it here with appropriate modification. “Of course [this is evidence for evolution], because you can define “evolution” any way you want to and make it fit.
(color highlight for empHASis).

Obviously this is part of the issue right from the get go, eh? Let's look at the definition I used for evolution:

RAZD writes:

Message 9:

Evolution is change in species over time

And I also gave the dictionary definition of evolution:

For instance - dictionary.com defines evolution as:
ev·o·lu·tion
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.

My definition matches the standard biological definition 3a, albeit a trifle simplified, so I in fact have not changed it to suit my argument -- you can insert definition 3a into my argument and it remains the same.

Therefore your claim that I can change the definition to suit my argument is not born out by the facts.

For chuckles we'll also look at wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution
In biology, evolution is the change in the heritable traits of a population over successive generations, as determined by the shifting allele frequencies of genes. Evolution is potentially the source of the vast diversity of life: theoretically all contemporary organisms may be related to each other through common descent as products of cumulative evolutionary changes over billions of years
(bold in the original, color highlight for empHASis)

{abe}NOTE: wikipedia article has already changed this paragraph -- the article is in a constant state of flux from people making changes, which is why it is an unreliable source ... :D

This from Encarta On-Line Encyclopedia
http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761554675/Evolution.html

Evolution, in biology, complex process by which the characteristics of living organisms change over many generations as traits are passed from one generation to the next. The science of 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. It addresses how, over the course of time, various plant and animal species branch off to become entirely new species, and how different species are related through complicated family trees that span millions of years.

Note the distinction between the evolution of species and the science of evolution -- it is easy to conflate these two distinct usages of the word.

The first sentence can be rephrased as the change in species over time ... {/abe}

Notice that it says that evolution is ... basically ... the change in species over time, and that this change in species over time is potentially -- through the {mechanism\theory} of common descent -- the source all diversity in life as we know it.

Now let's turn to your definitions:

However, here is the definition of Evolution and Creation which in my experience are the most commonly accepted:

Evolution: ALL life has descended over millions of years by purely naturalistic means from a common ancestor ...


From the start we see that what you think is "evolution" is NOT in the proper definition but the theory of common descent -- a theory based on evolution being true and then taking it back logically to previous ancestral relationships. This is a common misconception on the part of creationists (and one that is intentionally promoted by creatortionistas).

... which itself came from non-life. ...

And this is abiogenesis and not evolution -- because evolution is change in species over time there must be a {species\life}at the start for evolution to apply. If you use the correct definitions you do not fall into these (semantic\conceptual) traps.

... Creation – God created the universe and all life approximately 6000 years ago according to the historical account from the bible which includes the occurrence of a worldwide flood. ...

This too is a (logically) false definition, false because it excludes many forms of creation beliefs, excluding other christian beliefs as well as all other religions.

Again, dictionary.com defines creation as:

cre·a·tion
4. Creation The divine act by which, according to various religious and philosophical traditions, the world was brought into existence.
(bold in the original)

Note that this definition shows that the fundamental christian creationism "creations" is but ONE type of MANY various religious and philosophical traditions.

Thus my Deist definition of creation is perfectly valid, as is a Theistic definition, as are any variations on a theme christian definition to suit whatever personal christian belief is held -- it is a definition based on personal belief and not on having any evidence. There is no restriction on who, what, where, why or how {creation} was accomplished - it could have been last Thursday in accordance with the belief in "Last Thursdayism".

Notice that you can change what you mean by {creation} -- what happened when and to what degree -- and it is still valid by this definition, because it is based on {your} religion and philosophy -- beliefs that can evolve with time (and knowledge).

What you really mean is {fundamental christian young earth creationism creation}, a fairly small subset of {creation}

For chuckles we'll also look at wikipedia:

And the first thing you get is a "disambiguation" page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creation
Creation may refer to:
* 1 Natural sciences
* 2 Religion/Philosophy
* 3 Arts
* 4 Media
* 5 Various

Where we select {Religion/Philosophy} to get:

* Creation (theology), the act by a god or gods of bringing the universe into existence from unlimited energy, e.g (Isaiah 40:26) rather than from "nothing".
* Generally descriptions of creation are the act or results of bringing something into existence from nothing at all, or from some pre-existing matter or energy.
... o Creationism, the belief that the natural universe, life, and humanity were created by a supreme being's supernatural intervention.
* Creation Festival, a yearly Christian music festival which happens in the Eastern and Western parts of the United States
* Creation (philosophy)

And now we have a choice:

(a) Creation (theology)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creation_%28theology%29

Creation is a doctrinal position in many religions and philosophical belief systems which maintains that a single God, or a group of gods or deities is responsible for creating the universe. Creationism affirms this belief, but the doctrinal belief is not necessarily synonymous with creationism. (philosophy)
(bold in the original)

Which takes us back to (and confirms) the dictionary.com definition, OR

(b) Creationism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creationism

"Creationism" can also refer to origin beliefs in general, or to an alternative of traducianism.

In the Abrahamic religions, creationism is the belief that humans, life, the Earth, and the universe have a miraculous origin in a deity or supreme being's supernatural intervention. This intervention may be seen either as an act of creation from nothing (ex nihilo), or as the emergence of order from pre-existing chaos (demiurge). In modern usage, the term creationism has come to be specifically associated with the brand of conservative Christian fundamentalism which conflicts with various aspects of evolution, cosmology, and other natural sciences that address the origins of the natural world.)

(bold in the original)

It then goes on to discuss different kinds of creationism:

4 Types of creationism
4.1 Young Earth Creationist
4.1.1 Modern geocentrism
4.1.2 Omphalos hypothesis
4.1.3 Creation science
4.2 Old Earth Creationist
4.2.1 Gap creationism
4.2.2 Day-age creationism
4.2.3 Progressive creationism
4.3 Theistic evolution
4.4 Neo-Creationism
4.4.1 Intelligent design
5 Jewish creationism

(It does not discuss Hindu Creationism, which holds that the scientific age of the universe is much too young.)

And so, finally we get down to:

Young Earth Creationism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creationism#Young_Earth_Creationist

Main article: Young-Earth Creationism

The belief that the Earth was created by God a few thousand years ago, literally as described in Creation according to Genesis, within the approximate timeframe of the Ussher-Lightfoot Calendar or somewhat more according to the interpretation of biblical genealogies. (They may or may not believe that the Universe is the same age.)

As you can see the definition of evolution was quite concise and specific while the definition of creation allows a wide variety of beliefs and convictions, and that what you meant by your definition of creation is the Young Earth Creationism ("YEC") version ... and that even there, some disagreement over what it involved persists.

For the purpose of any further debate I suggest you use:

  • Evolution: the change in species over time (observed fact, not theory)
  • Evolution (science): the science of studying evolution, including theories on natural selection, common descent and the like, but excluding abiogenesis.
  • Common Descent: the theory that all species may be related by having evolved from a common ancestor
  • Natural Selection: the theory that {time & space specific} unfit individuals are less successful surviving and reproducing than more {time & space specific} fit individuals, and that this filters all random mutations so that {fit} ones are passed on to the next generation while {unfit} ones are removed from the population -- for that {time & space specific} set of conditions.
  • Abiogenesis: the theory that life evolved from activated chemicals in a prebiotic soup.
  • Creation: the {hypothesis\belief} that the universe was made, created, by a supreme {being\force\etc}
  • Creationism (general): the {hypothesis\belief} that {creation} (see above} is true
  • YEC - "Young Earth Creationism" - the fundamental christian belief that the universe etc was created (mostly complete)* some 6000 years ago. (* allows for "micro"evolution within kinds).
  • OEC - "Old Earth Creationism" - the christian belief that the universe etc was created but that the age of the earth and the universe can be as old as it appears, that genesis is not {literal}.

You can also see how these definitions compare to the ones in the Forum Glossary:
http:///WebPages/Glossary.html

The reasons for using these definitions are because they are (a) concise (b) specific and (c) non-ambiguous. Things needed for concise, specific and non-ambiguous debate.

Notice that I distinquish between {Evolution} and {Evolution (science)}. This is because a lot of people use one when they mean the other and vice versa, and this leads to confusion (it's called the logical fallacy of equivocation when such interchanging is done intentionally).

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. We also discussed how the theory of Natural Selection was demonstrated by the observed facts. We were not discussing abiogenesis or common descent.

{end rant #1 :rolleyes:}

(2) The Age of the Earth

To use the YEC argument you have to go to Message 1 and explain the Age Correlations that not only show an old earth but invalidate the concept of a young earth.

This is where all the evidence comes into play - you don't get to choose which evidence you use. If evidence exists that invalidates your concept then it is a false argument until you can refute the evidence, and denial (or hand waving etc) does not count as a refutation.

Consider this like a chess game and you are in check - you must remove the check before you can proceed with your game. You have to deal with the evidence that the earth {CAN'T} be only 6000 years old.

Do NOT answer here but go to the thread in question and deal (a) with all the evidence listed and (b) with why it correlates to the same ages when there is no reason for it to do so if the age were NOT correct.

Note: I will take refusal to answer as - not tacit, but solid - evidence that you cannot refute an old earth nor the falsification of a young earth. This may seem harsh, but refusal to deal with being in check usually brings a swift end to the game of chess.

{end rant #2}

(3) What Evolution "says"

You say:
And that [finches turn into alligators] is not what the theory of evolution claim, so it seems you do not understand what evolution really is.

No? Than it is not me that misunderstands what evolution is. I used a facetious example, but that is exactly the claim of evolution – that a single celled organism in some primordial soup eventually turned into a professor, creating all of life as we know it along the way. .

I need only point out that what Evolution "says" is that species change over time. This is the standard definition as established above.

It says absolutely nothing about what it will change into or how long it will take to change -- it ONLY says that it will CHANGE.

It certainly does not say that if we started all over again (from some original life form or forms -- at least you started with a single celled organism this time :D ) that we would end up with humans debating over the internet. It certainly does NOT say that finches will turn into alligators -- you may claim it is a "facetious example" but what it demonstrates is an ignorance of what evolution is about, and about what evolution "says".

This type of argument is called a strawman argument and it is another logical fallacy.

{end rant #3}

(4) "Information"

However, there has NEVER been any observed change in the direction of adding new information that evolution requires. It is mere speculation and hopeful thinking that changes within species has been extended to account for the formation of entirely different type of organisms.

Show me how to measure the information in every organism, some kind of {information metric score value}, then we'll talk about what the evidence shows.

Until you have a mechanism that results in some {information metric score value} you cannot claim anything about how much or how little is involved and whether or not it is increasing, decreasing or staying static.

Making this claim without any means to document it means that it is a bogus argument intended to deceive.

{end rant #4}

(5) Creationists did it first

Message 16
I’m almost certain that you’ve heard of Edward Blyth. Blyth was a creationist who, according to the article below, “wrote three major articles on natural selection that were published in The Magazine of Natural History from 1835 to 1837”. Note that Darwin’s work wasn’t published until 1859. “The leading tenets of Darwin’s work—the struggle for existence, variation, natural selection and sexual selection—are all fully expressed in Blyth’s paper of 1835”.

I'm also aware that his father, Erasmus Darwin, had written about natural selection.

I also aware that Robert Chambers wrote "Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation" in 1844, and that Alfred Russel Wallace was breathing down his neck while he kept his manuscript in his desk.

So?

This does not in any way demonstrate that

(1) Evolution is false (rather it demonstrates that a large number of people were coming to the same conclusions based on the evidence, the conclusion that evolution was true), OR

(2) Creation(ism, Young Earth) is true.

Without demonstrating BOTH of these things, the argument is a non-sequitur -- a logical fallacy, a detraction from the argument -- it's a waste of bandwidth.

You disagree that the foundations of modern science did not come from creationists?

I thought this was the argument of the Russian Oligarchy ... that they did it first ...

I disagreed that ALL the foundations of ALL modern sciences came ONLY from creationists. That was what you claimed. It is false on many counts ...

See http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/e/evolutio.htm

Anaximander is often regarded as a precursor of the modem theory of development. He deduces living beings, in a gradual development, from moisture under the influence of warmth, and suggests the view that men originated from animals of another sort, since if they had come into existence as human beings, needing fostering care for a long time, they would not have been able to maintain their existence. In Empedocles, as in Epicurus and Lucretius, who follow in Hs footsteps, there are rudimentary suggestions of the Darwinian theory in its broader sense; and here too, as with Darwin, the mechanical principle comes in; the process is adapted to a certain end by a sort of natural selection, without regarding nature as deliberately forming its results for these ends.

... and the argument is also totally and completely irrelevant to what the science becomes.

Whether modern geology was first founded by christians that believed in a young earth (until they could no longer reconcile the evidence they saw with the belief) has no bearing on the direction, evidence and theory of modern geology. Science follows the evidence, not the dogma of whoever "started" it.

Whether evolution was first founded by Darwin, or Blythe or Wallace or some native kid in Argentina that told it to Darwin is totally irrelevant to what the science is about today -- all of those possibilities would still end up where we are today, because that is what the evidence shows, not any dogma or belief or conspiracy etcetera.

We could throw out everything we know about biology and science in general, and then after we had overthrown the theocratic oligarchy that made such a thing happen, we would re-discover the evidence and recreate the theories, because that is where the evidence leads.

{end of ran #5}

These posts are supposed to be fun, so perhaps I’ve taken the liberty to be a little more “forward” than I might otherwise.

Likewise.

While I had considered a point by point response, I decided this would be long and fruitless ...
... but I will not expound upon them since this post is already getting long.

If you want them shorter, then only make one unsubstantiated assertion at a time.

As in pick one subtopic above and write a paragraph that specifically presents evidence that supports your position.

Enjoy.

GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only

Edited by RAZD, : speelink erorr.

Edited by AdminNWR, : Mark as great debate thread

Edited by RAZD, : added comment re wikipedia change

Edited by RAZD, : opened title to other creos. per Message 75

Edited by RAZD, : Title update

Edited by RAZD, : removed S1WC from title, that part moved to new thread, see Message 86

Edited by RAZD, : now open to anyone
admin should move to "biological evolution" forum


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we are limited in our ability to understand
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Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by MurkyWaters, posted 09-19-2006 8:18 PM RAZD has responded

AdminNWR
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 121 (336428)
07-29-2006 6:46 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

Promoted as a Great Debate topic. Set your own pace as you participate in this debate.

I placed a header line at the top and bottom of the opening message. I suggest you both do the same, to remind other EvC debaters that they should not attempt to post in this thread. For your reference, here is the line I used:

<H2>[color=red]GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only[/color]</H2>

Edited by AdminNWR, : No reason given.


To comment on moderation procedures or respond to admin messages:
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  • Replies to this message:
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     Message 4 by RAZD, posted 09-12-2006 9:34 PM AdminNWR has responded
     Message 101 by RAZD, posted 07-10-2007 9:58 AM AdminNWR has not yet responded

    RAZD
    Member
    Posts: 15881
    From: the other end of the sidewalk
    Joined: 03-14-2004
    Member Rating: 1.7


    Message 3 of 121 (336502)
    07-29-2006 9:26 PM
    Reply to: Message 2 by AdminNWR
    07-29-2006 6:46 PM


    Thank you -- as I opened it is up to MurkyWaters to reply.

    GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only


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    we are limited in our ability to understand
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    RebelAAmericanOZen[Deist
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    to share.


    This message is a reply to:
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    RAZD
    Member
    Posts: 15881
    From: the other end of the sidewalk
    Joined: 03-14-2004
    Member Rating: 1.7


    Message 4 of 121 (348527)
    09-12-2006 9:34 PM
    Reply to: Message 2 by AdminNWR
    07-29-2006 6:46 PM


    MURKYWATERS .... CALLING MURKYWATERS ...
    .... anyone know what happened?

    Maybe we want to move this out of the Great Debate due to absence of debate ....


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    This message is a reply to:
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    AdminNWR
    Inactive Member


    Message 5 of 121 (348611)
    09-13-2006 1:04 AM
    Reply to: Message 4 by RAZD
    09-12-2006 9:34 PM


    Re: MURKYWATERS .... CALLING MURKYWATERS ...
    Maybe we want to move this out of the Great Debate due to absence of debate ....

    I would be inclined to close this thread. It was oriented to debate a particular member, who has apparently chosen not to participate.

    If anyone else really wants this moved for open debate, then can comment in Proposed New (Great Debate) Topics. I'll delay closing for a few days, to await any such comments.


    To comment on moderation procedures or respond to admin messages:
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    MurkyWaters
    Member (Idle past 2476 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

    AdminNosy
    Administrator
    Posts: 4742
    From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Joined: 11-11-2003


    Message 7 of 121 (350156)
    09-19-2006 1:05 AM
    Reply to: Message 6 by MurkyWaters
    09-18-2006 11:37 PM


    .Coming from word
    This message was composed in word and just copied and pasted into the post window. There seems to be no formatting problems.

    This paragraph is separated with a double enter.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 6 by MurkyWaters, posted 09-18-2006 11:37 PM MurkyWaters has not yet responded

    MurkyWaters
    Member (Idle past 2476 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

    RAZD
    Member
    Posts: 15881
    From: the other end of the sidewalk
    Joined: 03-14-2004
    Member Rating: 1.7


    Message 9 of 121 (350875)
    09-21-2006 12:00 AM
    Reply to: Message 8 by MurkyWaters
    09-19-2006 8:18 PM


    Definitions first - the baby step.

    GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only


    okay. That's a start. Unfortunately I am travelling now and have limited time and access.

    My first impression is that if we both keep doing very long posts, very little will be accomplished.

    That said, there are some errors I saw in a brief review, that are due to NOT settling on the definitions first.

    Evolution Theory
    Life arose from non-life billions of years ago by purely naturalistic means.

    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. It's like trying to do chemistry with only protons, neutrons and electrons but no atoms: doesn't work.

    {abe3}None of your definitions state this erroneous strawman, and certainly none of mine. The only place it comes from is creatortionista sites that don't understand or willfully misrepresent what evolution is about. If you disagree, then you need to show evidence otherwise - so far that is lacking.{/abe3}

    This may sound like a small quibble but it is an essential part of the debate: scientific terms are defined by the science, not by people outside the science.

    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).

    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.

    All this is saying is that evolution is change in species over time, and taking a broad view of the scale of what has occurred. This is addressing evolution since the first appearance of life, and that all the subsequent diversity is the accumulation of change in species over time.

    So far evolution -- as the change in species over time -- is sufficient to explain that diversity of life and the known interconnections between different life forms.

    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.”

    BZZZZZZTTTT!!! ... Error ... Error ...

    From the site you linked it clearly says:

    quote:
    The Definition:
    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). Evolution helps us to understand the history of life.

    And this very clearly says that the definition is still the change in species over time. Again it is looking at the broad base of evidence of change in species over time -- long periods of time, but the essential mechanism involved is still change in species over time. This is sufficient to explain the evidence.

    What you quoted from is under Explanation and is getting into the theory of common descent, which is based on evolution (change in species over time), but notice the arrow at the side of each graphic and the words "Change through time" ... so we are still dealing with the definition of evolution as being the change in species over time.

    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

    Now you are editorialising inside the quoted material :rolleyes:. Please. Your opinion is of no value to the scientific definitions and usages.

    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.

    Still this 'definition' (although it is rather loose to characterise it that way) is still change in species over time.

    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.

    That's Kerkut's 'general' theory, rather than the theory of evolution.

    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.

    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?

    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.

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

    At this point I am ignoring everything except the definitions, as it appears that you still don't have it right. Once we get over that hurdle then we can go back to the rest of your post.

    So far all you have presented reinforces the basic definition that:

    Evolution is the change in species over time.

    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

    See comment at top.



    {abe2}

    Note that what I quoted from your post at the top,

    Evolution Theory
    Life arose from non-life billions of years ago by purely naturalistic means.

    is NOT the definition of evolution by any of these sources. This is NOT discussuing evolution but something else. Portraying it as {evolution} is therefore misleading, false and a strawman setup.

    You also stated in your reply post:

    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.

    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.

    This portrayal of evolution as "a religion" just indicates that you can't seem to conceive of a manner of thinking that is not based on "a religion", not that this assertion is true or even close to factual, unsubstantiated assertions to the contrary not withstanding: saying something does not make it so. (That is why we need to use the real definitions, and not creatortionista ones eh?)

    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
  • 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.

    We can deal with this issue later, after we settle on the definition of evolution, but if you are in a hurry on it, take the false assertion of pepper moth hoax to the appropriate Peppered Moths and Natural Selection, where you will find that the 'hoax' is the false portrayal of what the pepper moths represent -- by creatortionistas. Answer on that thread if you want to pursue this.

    You can also search the site for Haeckel and see what has already been covered instead of recapitulating it all over again.

    And if you are still in a hurry to discuss "the majority of supposed human ancestry" you can reply to the {composite\Lucy\Little-Foot\Australopithicus} was bipedal (seeing as Lucy - fact or fraud? is still closed). Again the real issue is what the evidence shows, what the theories actually state and what it is that the creatortionistas portray as 'hoaxes' actually represent.

    You also seem to take issue with billions of years of geological history of this planet and billions of years of astronomical history of this universe. We can deal with this issue later, after we settle on the definitions. If you are in a hurry on this issue you can reply to Age Correlations and an Old Earth: Version 1 No 3 (formerly Part III).

    This is not to say that I am avoiding these issues but that they have already been answered elsewhere.

    Are you saying there are no dishonest evolutionists? It would be an easy task to line them up in droves.

    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?

    The question is whether you can distinguish between the honest ones and the dishonest one. The way you do that is look at how they use the terms and see if it compares with the definitions, see how they use evidence and see if it compares with reality ... and we're back to square one: without agreement on the definition I would be talking about {evolution} as defined by scientists and you would be talking about {something else while pretending it is about evolution}.

    Communication means using the words to convey their meaning.

    After we settle what the definition of evolution is then we can proceed to the definition of creation.
    {abe2}



    Enjoy.

    GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only

    Edited by RAZD, : changed subtitle

    Edited by RAZD, : added between lines at end

    Edited by RAZD, : tyop, added paragraph, and some paragraph breaks for clarity


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    This message is a reply to:
     Message 8 by MurkyWaters, posted 09-19-2006 8:18 PM MurkyWaters has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 10 by MurkyWaters, posted 10-01-2006 1:27 AM RAZD has responded

    MurkyWaters
    Member (Idle past 2476 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

    RAZD
    Member
    Posts: 15881
    From: the other end of the sidewalk
    Joined: 03-14-2004
    Member Rating: 1.7


    Message 11 of 121 (353459)
    10-01-2006 1:22 PM
    Reply to: Message 10 by MurkyWaters
    10-01-2006 1:27 AM


    response part 1

    GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only

    Welcome back Murk (if that is okay with you, otherwise I'll keep with MurkyWaters).

    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.

    Two points:

    (1) My definition of "creatortionista" involves a specific subcamp of creationist and not all creationists, so in replying only regarding "creationist logic" is a strawman, not addressing the point.

    A creatortionista is someone like Carl Baugh or Ron Wyatt, that posts absolute fraudulent hoaxes as the truth -- in spite of being corrected, not only by evidence and scientists, but even by other creationists. Someone who continues to post false, fraudulent or misrepresentative material after it has been demonstrated to be false, fraudulent or misrepresentative, is a creatortionista.

    (2) There is no special "creationist logic" (or "evolutionist logic" for that matter), there is just logic: it doesn't matter what the argument contains, just that IF the precepts are true and IF the structure is valid THEN the conclusion is {true\valid}.

    I have no problem with the proper employment of logic and evidence by anyone supporting a creationist position. I have used quotes from creationist websites, and see no problem with that when it can be demonstrated that the evidence is factual and the conclusions are logical.

    If anything, my purpose in identifying 'creatortionista' as a subcamp of creationist is to warn you (and others) that there are unscrupulous and dishonest {people\websites} that seem to support a creationist position, but in truth only support lies and hoaxes and contain false, fraudulent or misrepresentative material -- and that as a result nothing from their sites can be trusted: the material needs to be verified by other sources, to the point where using the other sources would be a better support of the argument than to include the creatortionista material (why quote something correct from a fraud site when you can find valid references elsewhere eh?).

    As I’ve already stated, I feel the reverse is true. Some people, including myself, just happen to disagree with you.

    I'll be happy to exclude material from any website that you can demonstrate refuses to make corrections when they are shown to be wrong (by evidence and logic, not just by assertion, of course).

    Apparently, because you can’t defend your arguments, you have to resort to name calling.

    Carl Baugh, case in point:

    Please see Glen Kuban article, "Man Tracks? A Summary of the Paluxy "Man Track" Controversy" (Copyright © 1992) and NCSE article refuting Baugh's mantracks evidence, from Creation/Evolution journal, Issue 15 (Volume 5, Number 1 - Winter 1985). Both links show that the claim for human footprints is false and unsubstantiated by any hard evidence. Note the dates.

    From "Creation Evidence Museum" -- Baugh's website:

    quote:
    As you browse our pages you will receive educational information presenting scientific evidence for creation and design by a personal Creator. This scientifically chartered museum was established in July of 1984 for the purpose of research, excavation, and display of scientific evidence for creation. The Museum's team, led by its Founder and Director, Carl Baugh, Ph.D., has excavated eleven dinosaurs (Acrocanthosaurus, Stegosaurus, Allosaurus, etc.), 475 dinosaur tracks, 86 human footprints, 7 cat prints, and other fossil remains - all in Cretaceous limestone. Excavations were professionally documented along the Paluxy River and various other international locations.
    (color mine for empHASis). This was taken from the website today, demonstrating that he is still perpetuating this fraud on the public, fourteen (14) years after Glen's article and twenty one (21) years after the NCSE article refuted the "evidence" as being a fraud.

    From AIG "Arguments we think creationists should NOT use" article:

    quote:
    Some of Carl Baugh’s “evidences” for creation.
    We are sorry to say that, while AiG thinks he’s well meaning, Baugh unfortunately uses a lot of material that is not sound scientifically. So we advise against relying on any “evidence” he provides unless supported by creationist organizations with reputations for biblical and scientific rigor. Unfortunately, there are talented creationist speakers with reasonably orthodox understandings of Genesis who continue to promote some of the Wyatt and Baugh “evidences” despite being approached on the matter.

    ie -- AiG says to find your material from other websites than take anything from Baugh or Wyatt.

    Is that argument defended sufficiently for you to acknowledge that indeed Carl Baugh fits the criteria of "creatortionista" -- rather than just "name-calling"?

    You can also see what AIG thinks of Ron Wyatt in the same article. There are others.

    The point is that there are creationists and there are creatortionistas, and that not all creationists are creatortionistas.

    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.

    One could also say it is important not to trust any one site, that you should be able to find corroborating material from a number of other sites ... as a start.

    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.

    See Definitions, Daffynitions, Delusions, Logic and Critical Thinking. for discussion of why I think this is important if not crucial to the debate. You'll notice that you engage in another logical fallacy in implying motivations that attack the messenger and not the message (ad hominum). I'll leave this issue on that thread rather than extend this reply further (and yes it will get long ... )

    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.

    The basic premise of science is that we look at evidence, make a theory to explain the evidence, derive a test condition from the theory to test it's validity, run the test and evaluate the results. If the results invalidate the theory, then you discard or modify it and generate a new theory that explains the previous evidence PLUS the result of the previous test, and repeat. If the results validate the theory, then you add the results to the evidence and make further predictions to test the validity of the theory.

    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.

    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)

    There is also a difference between fact and theory:

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolution-fact.html

    quote:
    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.

    No scientist claims that a theory is "proven" as all you can achieve is {valid according to currently available evidence}, although you can disprove theories (and they frequently are, by scientists pursuing science).

    All that being said, I agree that some people do overstate the case at times. In (any) science there should always be a caveat: "according to the currently available evidence." There should always be the caveat that they could be wrong (see the issue of "courage" on the {Definitions, Daffynitions, Delusions, Logic and Critical Thinking} thread.

    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?

    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.

    This is essentially what the encyclopedia entries cited in the OP address (rather than the definition of evolution itself). Note that wikipedia has changed again ...

    quote:
    In biology, evolution is the change in the heritable traits of a population over successive generations, as determined by shifts in the allele frequencies of genes. Over time, this process can result in speciation, the development of new species from existing ones. All contemporary organisms are related to each other through common descent, the products of cumulative evolutionary changes over billions of years. Evolution is the source of the vast biodiversity on Earth, including the many extinct species attested in the fossil record.[1][2]

    For the sake of the argument I will stipulate that the last two sentences should be clarified with the caveat "according to the currently available evidence" -- as noted before I don't consider wikipedia to be the last word on any topic, it does have some useful information, and it is the most up-to-date source on new information, but it is also subject to flux (especially in areas under debate).

    This doesn't mean that the statements are false, as there is no evidence that shows that to be the case. It also doesn't mean that the statements are true, just that they are valid conclusions based on the current available evidence.

    Who are people outside of the “science”?

    Scientists "in the science" are the ones doing studies, testing theories and publishing papers in scientific journals dedicated to the science in question -- the ones using the definitions to do further research. Do they disagree? yes. Do they disagree over definitions? yes - but they are clear about what they are disagreeing on, and not asserting that the definition is something else and that this new definition makes the other position false.

    Dawkins and Gould on "punkeek" is a classic example of such disagreement, but neither one disagrees that rates of evolution changed at different times in the past.

    Scientists happen to disagree with your assertion that evolution is merely change in species over time.

    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.

    You keep repeating this accusation of a “strawman”, but you (and “evolutionists”) do exactly the same.

    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.

    Your claim of equivalence is just (another) unsupported assertion until you actually demonstrate it to be the case.

    I'll get to the rest later.

    Enjoy.

    {abe} I have changed the subtitle to {response part 1} to break up the lengths of these posts and continue response in {response part 2}

    GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only

    Edited by RAZD, : changed subtitle

    Edited by RAZD, : added banners


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    This message is a reply to:
     Message 10 by MurkyWaters, posted 10-01-2006 1:27 AM MurkyWaters has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 13 by MurkyWaters, posted 10-01-2006 9:04 PM RAZD has not yet responded

    RAZD
    Member
    Posts: 15881
    From: the other end of the sidewalk
    Joined: 03-14-2004
    Member Rating: 1.7


    Message 12 of 121 (353527)
    10-01-2006 8:41 PM
    Reply to: Message 10 by MurkyWaters
    10-01-2006 1:27 AM


    response part 2

    GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only

    Ha! You’re a real card aren’t you? The number of evolutionists that try this logically false inversion

    I begin to wonder if you are just parroting phrases. This is just more unsubstantiated illogical assertion.

    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?).

    Would that turn the science of evolution into faith? Would it make the evidence of evolution dissappear? Would it stop the earth in its tracks? No. And the appeal to authority is just (sigh) another logical fallacy.

    But if a scientist says it, it does make it so?

    Just their saying it, no (hence the appeal to authority is a logical fallacy).

    BUT

    When a scientist says that the data that results from a the test of a theory validate the theory or invalidate the theory, they are presenting the evidence and the logical conclusion that results.

    Likewise, when someone substantiates their position with evidence that validates their position and refutes all evidence that invalidates it, then they are presenting the evidence and the logical conclusion that results.

    But when someone ignores evidence that invalidates their concept they are NOT presenting evidence OR making a logical conclusion.

    What a ridiculous statement to make. Obviously we disagree, so that makes ME delusional?

    No, what makes a person delusional is maintaining a belief in the face of invalidating evidence. The person who is not delusional either adjusts his thinking in the face of invalidating information, OR they find evidence that refutes the invalidating information.

    But they DON'T just assert that it is wrong or invalid, they actually DEMONSTRATE it: they present the evidence and the logical conclusion that results.

    The religion of evolution is naturalism. Since I couldn’t put it better myself, I’ll quote Dr. Gary Parker ...

    Aside from the issue of this being another logical fallacy of the appeal to authority, Dr. Parker is free to say what he wants -- it doesn't change the science done by scientists. He also apparently is quite "free" with what he says:

    http://www.theistic-evolution.com/parkerdebate.html

    quote:
    These are my findings as best as I can report them. I will draw my own conclusions below. If you wish to draw your own conclusions without being influenced by mine, skip this next section.

    1. Gary Parker's claim fails the "multiple witnesses" test of Deuteronomy 19:15. Other eyewitnesses and participants do not confirm his version of events. At the very least, the events and viewpoints expressed were more complex than his simple caricature.


    http://www.asa3.org/archive/asa/199803/0260.html

    quote:
    Dr. parker does NOT posess a Ph.D. He received his Ed.D. in Biology from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana in 1973. Checking the web site for Ball State shows that the Ed.D is in science education with a specialty in biology. It qualifies one to teach biology at the community college level or biology methods at the university level. His minor (15 credit units) was in geology. As furhter example of stretching credentials, Dr. Parker's dissertation title was "The relationship of programmed instruction to test and discussion performance among college biology students". Not exactly a biology disertation, but probably a nice science education dissertation. It is a bit misleading to say he received a doctorate in biology/geology. Dr. Parker has called himself a geologist and paleontologist, but 15 credit units of course work does not make one a geologist or paleontologist (my Ph.D. minor was mathematics, but I would never call myself a mathematician).

    and from AIG Bio

    quote:
    Dr. Parker began his teaching career as a non-Christian and evolutionist. The details of his spiritual and scientific conversion, From Evolution to Creation (available as a booklet and DVD), include comic incidents. For example, he was a participant in a debate where his science department, defending the Bible, debated the Bible department, which was defending evolution!
    (at least they get the degrees right eh?).

    finally from Talkorigins quote mine project:

    quote:
    This one is interesting because the dishonesty of the quote mine was exposed at least as far back as 1984 in an article, "Scientific Creationism: The Art of Distortion" by Laurie R. Godfrey that appeared in Science and Creationism (Ashley Montagu, ed. 1984. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 167-81). That was, in turn, a revision of an earlier article, "The Flood of Antievolution" that had appeared in Natural History, vol. 90, no. 6, pp. 4-10. Specifically, Godfrey addressed the use of this quote (along with David Raup's widely mined "120 years after Darwin" quote) by creationist Gary Parker in "Creation, Selection, and Variation,"(*) that appeared in the Institute for Creation Research's newsletter, Acts & Facts in 1980 and which is still available.

    (*) "Creation, Selection, and Variation,":

    quote:
    As Gould says, our ability to classify both living and fossil species distinctly and using the same criteria "fit splendidly with creationist tenets."

    Yep misrepresentative quote mine still being used today. The full Gould quote is found on the talkorigins site, along with further discussion showing how his comment is linked to his theory of punctuated equilibrium and NOT to creationism.

    So tell me, is "Dr" Parker lying, forgetful or incompetent? Or is he just another creatortionista?

    FYI: From the home page of ASA: Science in Christian Perspective

    quote:
    The American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) is a fellowship of men and women in science and disciplines that relate to science who share a common fidelity to the Word of God and a commitment to integrity in the practice of science.

    So it is not some evilutionist that is debunking Parkers credentials but a christian organisation of scientists. There is a lot of good material on this site in a number of different fields.

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

    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

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

    quote:
    religion –noun
    1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
    2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.
    3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions.
    4. the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion.
    5. the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith.
    6. something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice.

    quote:
    science –noun
    1. a branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws: the mathematical sciences.
    2. systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation.
    3. any of the branches of natural or physical science.
    4. systematized knowledge in general.
    5. knowledge, as of facts or principles; knowledge gained by systematic study.
    6. a particular branch of knowledge.
    7. skill, esp. reflecting a precise application of facts or principles; proficiency.

    There is no comparison between science and religion, they operate on different levels, and answer different questions in different ways.

    Net result - your quote is meaningless on a number of levels: Your source has misrepresented the truth and continues to do so, using his opinion is not evidence, and he is, by definition (not because I say so), wrong.

    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. ... That creationists are dishonest is only your opinion.

    See above and in part one where such dishonesty is documented. Note FURTHER that what I said was that creatoirtionistas were dishonest creationists, and that you would do well to steer clear of dishonest creatortionistas ... like "Dr" Parker, Carl Baugh and Ron Wyatt (and others).

    It is not my opinion, it is documented fact. Deal with it. They are misrepresenting the truth to YOU, not to me.

    It is a matter of record and a fact that evolutionists have been dishonest. ... 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).

    It doesn't matter that evolutionists exposed frauds perpetuated in the name of evolution and NOT creationists? I presume you are talking about "Piltdown Man" the creatortionista poster child when you say "40 years" -- have you looked at the facts?

    You never see a retraction.

    You've never seen any evolution document that discusses the deplorable result of the Pildown Man hoax?

    OK, from now on I will attempt to ignore everything except the definitions, as it appears that you still don't have it right.

    I'll save that for {response part 3} so that we can keep some of these issue seperated.

    {response part 1} is essentially about creatortionistas being dishonest creationists with Carl Baugh as an example.

    {response part 2} is more about creatortionistas being dishonest creationists with "Dr" Parker as an example.

    Both also deal with further logical fallacies and failed arguments.

    Hopefully in {response part 3} we can get to some real issues dealing with the evidence.

    Enjoy.

    GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only

    Edited by RAZD, : added banners


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    This message is a reply to:
     Message 10 by MurkyWaters, posted 10-01-2006 1:27 AM MurkyWaters has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 14 by MurkyWaters, posted 10-02-2006 12:17 AM RAZD has responded

    MurkyWaters
    Member (Idle past 2476 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 2476 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

    RAZD
    Member
    Posts: 15881
    From: the other end of the sidewalk
    Joined: 03-14-2004
    Member Rating: 1.7


    Message 15 of 121 (353775)
    10-02-2006 10:01 PM
    Reply to: Message 14 by MurkyWaters
    10-02-2006 12:17 AM


    consolidating reponse parts 1 and 2, part 3 still to come

    GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters only

    First things first.

    Therefore, because of your bias you make accusations that I’m delusional, a creatortionista, ...

    Please stop misrepresenting my argument. I have not said YOU are, rather said what behavior is delusional or creatortionista. The only way this applies to you is if you engage in this behavior -- the old "if the shoe fits" bit -- but I have not said you do.

    The ones I have said are creatortionistas are Carl Baugh, Ron Wyatt and "Dr" Parker -- based on the evidence of their false and misrepresentative statements. The jury is out on some others, like S1WC, as it is possible he will see the validity of changing his "essay" to reflect the real world evidence and not his false view of it.

    Unless you are one of these four people discussed on this thread I have not called you a creatortionista.

    Nor have I said anyone specifically is delusional, just what delusional behavior would be.

    Ok, look...all this discussion of the evidence is unproductive

    Or it cuts to the heart of the matter, by discussing what is good evidence and what is not good evidence (or any kind of evidence at all).

    From Message 13
    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.
    (color mine for emPHAsis on the part you are missing .. )

    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.

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

    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.

    As far as Parker goes, you can denigrate anyone’s character as you have done without regard to his argument – another (sigh) logical fallacy ...

    Actually I also demonstrated that his argument was WRONG by the definitions of science and religion -- there is no comparison or common ground. The fact is that science is not religion, by definition and by practice.

    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.

    (1) Evolution is science, you have not demonstrated that it is not. (2) You still have not demonstrated that evolution has the elements of religion. You claimed

    Message 10
    The religion of evolution is naturalism.

    But you have not demonstrated -- in any way -- what (a) this "religion of naturalism" is, or involves, and (b) that this definition applies to evolution in a way, that does not apply to a single other branch of science.

    Evolution does not claim to be about philosophical or religious truths or their explanations, but about scientific evidence and the validity of theories -- like any other science. Evolution fits the definition of science, it does not fit the definition of religion, therefore this assertion is false.

    The fact remains that neither you nor "Dr" Parker have demonstrated ANY similarity between evolution and religion -- all you have presented is opinion -- and instead of providing evidence for your opinion, you provided the opinion of someone else, someone who also provides no evidence for their opinion.

    The fact that he is a demonstrated misrepresenter of facts says that he is also most likely to misrepresent the facts again, because he has gratuitously, and repeatedly misrepresented the truth on other closely related issues. He is a repeat offender.

    So the only evidence you have presented is the asserted opinion of someone with a reputation of making false statements. HIS repeated bad behavior is what denigrates his opinion, not my portrayal of it.

    And when the ONLY thing you present as evidence for your claim is someones opinion, then that puts the validity of that opinion on the table for discussion and dissection.

    Bottom line: his opinion means absolutely nothing. ... At best.

    Evolution is science, it fits the definition of science.

    Evolution is not religion, it does not fit the definition of religion.

    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.

    If this is the only evidence you have to substantiate your opinion then you don't have much to rest on, do you? Saying something does not make it so, thus to substantiate a position you need to provide real evidence for it.

    quote:
    evidence -n
    1. A thing or things helpful in forming a conclusion or judgment: The broken window was evidence that a burglary had taken place. Scientists weigh the evidence for and against a hypothesis.
    2. Something indicative; an outward sign: evidence of grief on a mourner's face.
    3. Law. The documentary or oral statements and the material objects admissible as testimony in a court of law.

    Opinion is not evidence. False opinion is not even worth consideration.

    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.

    It seems valid to you because it is designed to seem valid to you -- that is the dishonesty of the quote mining process. 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 suggest you DO find the time to look into it -- if nothing else to see if you can prove me wrong eh?

    You think you know better than to accept such a silly assertion as actually being Gould supporting creationism, but then you also say "it appears perfectly valid to me" ... you have swallowed the lie.

    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.

    Let me quote from anglagard's excellent response to SW1C on this issue:

    Message 48
    Point 11:
    Piltdown man was an ape’s jaw placed with a human skull, but for 45 years paleontologists called it ape human, and they wrote about 500 books on it! [4]

    False, actually “Piltdown Man” was strongly challenged since its discovery by a host of suspicious scientists. From http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/piltdown.html
    quote:
    The reaction to the finds was mixed. On the whole the British paleontologists were enthusiastic; the French and American paleontologists tended to be skeptical, some objected quite vociferously. The objectors held that the jawbone and the skull were obviously from two different animals and that their discovery together was simply an accident of placement. In the period 1912-1917 there was a great deal of skepticism. The report in 1917 of the discovery of Piltdown II converted many of the skeptics; one accident of placement was plausible -- two were not.
    It should be remembered that, at the time of Piltdown finds, there were very few early hominid fossils; Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens were clearly fairly late. It was expected that there was a "missing link" between ape and man. It was an open question as to what that missing link would look like. Piltdown man had the expected mix of features, which lent it plausibility as a human precursor.
    This plausibility did not hold up. During the next two decades there were a number of finds of ancient hominids and near hominids, e.g. Dart's discovery of Australopithecus, the Peking man discoveries, and other Homo erectus and australopithecine finds. Piltdown man did not fit in with the new discoveries. None the less, Sir Arthur Keith (a major defender of Piltdown man) wrote in 1931:
    It is therefore possible that Piltdown man does represent the early pleistocene ancestor of the modern type of man, He may well be the ancestor we have been in search of during all these past years. I am therefore inclined to make the Piltdown type spring from the main ancestral stem of modern humanity...
    In the period 1930-1950 Piltdown man was increasingly marginalized and by 1950 was, by and large, simply ignored. It was carried in the books as a fossil hominid. From time to time it was puzzled over and then dismissed again. The American Museum of Natural History quietly classified it as a mixture of ape and man fossils. Over the years it had become an anomaly; some prominent authors did not even bother to list it. In Bones of Contention Roger Lewin quotes Sherwood Washburn as saying
    "I remember writing a paper on human evolution in 1944, and I simply left Piltdown out. You could make sense of human evolution if you didn't try to put Piltdown into it."
    Finally, in 1953, the roof fell in. Piltdown man was not an ancestor; it was not a case of erroneous interpretation; it was a case of outright deliberate fraud.

    Additionally, my research using WorldCat, the catalog of all cataloged books, indicates only 50 books were written on Piltdown Man. Your source is plain wrong.

    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.

    Like I said, it is a creatortionista poster child, blown more out of proportion by creatortionistas than by evolutionists.

    Fraud happens, it is a human thing eh? We learn from it to avoid those that perpetuate frauds on others, those like Carl Baugh and Ron Wyatt and "Dr" Parker. But fraud proves nothing, except possibly the naiveté, inexperience, gullibility or ignorance (or combinations) of the people who accept them.

    Nor does the existence of fraud disprove theories not based on the frauds -- evolution is not based on Piltdown man or Haeckel 's etchings or anything else creatortionistas can dredge up. Cold fusion does not disprove physics eh? Nor does Baugh's footprint hoax disprove creation, just HIS credibility.

    Evolution is the change in species over time, the theory is that this applies to all life, and it is based on evidence that change is species over time HAS occurred.

    But we'll get to that in {response part 3} ... (if we ever get there eh?)

    Enjoy.

    GREAT DEBATE - RAZD and MurkyWaters ONLY


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    This message is a reply to:
     Message 14 by MurkyWaters, posted 10-02-2006 12:17 AM MurkyWaters has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 16 by MurkyWaters, posted 10-07-2006 4:45 PM RAZD has responded

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