Here we go again with the big bang has nothing to do with your theory.
Yes, that's right, Big Bang has nothing to do with the ToE... And you better get used to it, because you're not in any position to redefine what the ToE says.
Let's try this again, the ToE says that once life got started, it evolved by means of random mutation and natural selection. Whether or not the universe came into being through the Big Bang, was created by some form of god (or gods), or hatched from a frickin' egg makes no difference whatsoever, the ToE only says that after life (in whatever way) came into being, it evolved. Evolution doesn't have to account for the origin of the universe anymore than heliocentrism has to, or the theory of gravity has to.
It seems you're confused. The ToE doesn't state that there is no creator(s)/god(s), and as such it does not have to explain a godless universe. The theory of Evolution is not equivalent with atheism, however much you want it to be...
I am going to take this piece by piece. Maybe through repitition it will sink in? Please forgive me if parts are oversimplified (I am a biologist, not a physicist). I am sorry for the length, but it is neccessary.
I didnt answer Crashfrog because there was no need to. Everything he said sounded like nonsense to me.
Exactly. Because you don't understand it at all. It makes perfect sense to me and, apparently, the majority here.
Lord Kelvin - Evolution must occur? What does that mean. Yes it can occur without natural processes and that is if a creator has made all. As the Bible suggests of course.
The first and second laws of thermodynamics both support and predict the mechanisms by which evolution occurs. Energy cannot be created or destroyed but can be changed. Whenever energy is changed (converted to work, stored chemically, etc.) there is a loss not of amount of energy but in the quality of energy. This means simply the amount of useful energy in a system declines. As organisms we are constantly striving to add energy to our open systems (eating, photsynthesizing). We are, in effect, holding off the increase of entropy in our systems by increasing it elsewhere (think of a cow as a highly organized system, as humans we turn this system into shoes, glue, and feces and at the same time maintain our bodies at equilibria). This loss of useful energy means that there is not ever quite enough to go around. A percentage of any population will not be able to absorb enough energy from the surrounding environment to both maintain equilibrium and reproduce. Those individuals either go extinct or, occassionally, find a new way to extract energy that frees them from competition. This is evolution by means of natural selection. I first learned this officially in freshman level biology, are they not teaching this in college anymore?
Here we go again with the big bang has nothing to do with your theory. You have to realise that the foundation of your theory lies in its origins.
What?!! Almeyda, explain to me the process of making parchment and distilling dyes for ink. Can you do it? Can you show that those processes were used to write the original texts of the Bible? Does not knowing the physical origins and methodology of writing invalidate the Bible in your mind?
We are discussing biological evolution. By definition this includes the causes and mechanisms by which allelic frequency changes occur in a population and examinations of the sum of those changes over time as shown by genetics and morphology. I might read an article on a big bang model or an origin of life model, but they have nothing to do with biological evolution any more than ancient paper making techniques have to do with theology. Biological evolution begins with the first organism with the ability to replicate. Please try to think about this, let evolution be defined by those people who study it not by a minister who never spent one credit hour in a graduate level evolution course.
Do you realise how simple it is to make up stories about how natural selection gives rise to higher and higher forms.
As one of those 'story-tellers' I take extreme offense. You mean easy as in re-reading 150 years worth of background literature to make sure you are not re-inventing the wheel. You mean spending weeks looking at existing models and coming up with experimental designs for your organism that can potentially disprove each model. Doing this with a limited budget and limited time? You mean easy as in crash-learning on your own complex techniques in max-liklihood statistics, population genetics, or biochemistry because if you don't you know one of your reviewers will spank you on it? What about writing an article that can potentially embarrass you for the rest of your life but you have to do it anyhow to call yourself a scientist. I agonize over every step, from writing to submission to peer-review to publication. Then I really begin to worry. Tell me Almeyda, you seem to speak from experience, how easy is it to come up with these stories?
But evolution is not even passed the first stage on how it all started. And thats why evolution is still a theory
Nope. That is not true, and not at all why evolution is a theory. I am sure you have been informed about the definition of a scientific theory as compared to the use in popular jargon.
My argument is that the chances of life evolving. And the universe making itself are very very high. It is a big matter of belief and faith.
My argument is it is irrelevant the odds for or against either point. The universe exists and life evolves (I have seen the latter). It is a statement of faith on my part that I believe the liklihood of the first point to be very high and an inevitable consequence of universe formation. With a sample size of one universe it remains faith for me.
No these scientist did not make the groundwork for evolution. They made the groundwork for biology....Biology is biology and can used to support any theory creation or evolution.
Okay, I am exercising patience here. Have you read any of these scientists' work or at least a good solid summary of them? Linnaean classification proposed (and not entirely originally) that organisms that were closely related shared structures more in common than those not related. Exactly how organisms individually created could be related was problematic until functional evolutionary models were devised. But Linnaeus certainly laid the groundwork for phylogenetic relationships in organisms.
Biology is both dependant upon and completely supports the ToE. It only supports creation if you ignore paleontology, genetics, biochemistry, ecology, ontology, and pretty much the rest of the field. To date, despite thousands of YEC posts, articles, books, etc., I have not seen one single testable coherent creationist hypothesis that explains any single (let alone most or all) major concept in biology. None.
AiG have biologists. Every other creation scientific community have them. We have them down here. Theres creationists many countries. Fully qualified scientist working on a different theory about the past
If we eliminate the diploma mill 'biologists' and high-school level biology teachers the number of creationist biologists plummets. If in those that remain we look only at evolutionary (as in by training) and organismal biologists the number approaches zero. I have personally met several cell-mol guys (cellular and molecular biologists) who are either creationists or highly sympatico. Of course, I even met a cell-mol guy who was (I am ashamed to say) a group selectionist. Saying there are thousands and demonstrating that fact are very different things.
The best part of this phenomenon is when Creationists trot out scientific theories and principles from the other sciences, which are based on the very same scientific methodology that gave rise to the ToE, then warp them with illogic, and try to use them to invalidate evolution.
Look at this statment (used a million times in this forum I'm sure) for example:
quote:First Law of Thermodynamics: This is the law of conservation of matter and energy. Matter and energy can change from one to the other. But matter-energy can neither be created nor destroyed.
The author concedes the truth of the first law of thermodynamics, which invalidates Creationism in itself; but to circumvent this conundrum, he then states that this law does not apply to the supernatural thereby proving a creator.
Excuse me? This answer is not logical at all. This law does not imply or infer a supernatural entity; I submit that it in fact implies the opposite: matter and energy were not created by anything, they have always existed (Please note I'm not arguing big bang here, only demonstrating the faulty reasoning of this individual).
Then he follows this statment with:
quote:The general theory of evolution, the big bang, and other such theories only try to explain how life was formed out of unorganized non-living matter and energy. They provide no clues at all as to how all of the matter and energy came into existence in the first place.
This demonstrates the obvious ignorance of what the ToE does and does not do - namely, it does not provide an explanation of 'how life was formed.'
While one can, no doubt, argue that this individual is an ignoramus and is not intentionally trying to be deceitful, my point is that Mr. McGee got this argument from somewhere else - like a 'scientific creationist' or, perhaps, an actual scientist who DOES know that these arguments are faulty, wrong, and dishonest.
Perpetuation of arguments of this type exist only to sway, even trick, the ignorant who don't know enough, or care enough, to question what they are being told. Throw in some actual science, a half-nod to reason, and a healthy appeal to emotion, and most people fall for this garbage.
The reason I began reading this site is because I was/am ignorant of basic concepts evolution that I could not adequately answer the questions that I had when I was confronted (more like inundated)with these arguments.
I'm glad that I am better able to combat ignorance, and I am not surprised that the majority of the creationists I see here continue to prove Lithodid-Man's point simply by the content of their posts.
I'm happy to say I have learned a great deal from you people; both evolutions and creationists. Thanks.
This message has been edited by custard, 05-26-2004 07:10 PM
This message has been edited by custard, 05-26-2004 07:12 PM
Custard, I've enjoyed reading your posts. Welcome to EvC.
When I first got interested in natural history, I decided to start out reading two books on the creation-evolution debate, one from each side. Abusing Science: The Case Against Creationism (1983) by Philip Kitcher and Darwin on Trial (1991) by Phillip Johnson. Taken together, they support the position taken by you and Lithoid-man, that creationism is based on deceit.
Kitcher's book remains one of the best books I've ever read on any subject. Alas, it's out of print, but copies seem to be easy to find at local libraries. Kitcher goes through the history of the life sciences as well as the philosophy of science itself, in order to lay the foundations of his support of evolution as a valid scientific construct. Kitcher assumes the reader understands philosophy and has at least a working knowledge of history, which makes Abusing Science a challenging but rewarding read. He describes Darwin's theory and explains the rational basis of his inquiry, then discusses the slew of subsequent research that confirms Darwin's conclusions. He then describes creationism in the context of empirical evidential inquiry, pointing out its scientific shortcomings. Then he wraps up by discussing the false dichotomy between religious faith and scientific endeavor. Kitcher is rational and comprehensive, his perspective is balanced and straightforward. I couldn't recommend this book highly enough.
Phillip Johnson's work, on the other hand, is incendiary and emotional but masquerades as the voice of reason in a culture of ignorance. It's written for people with little or no understanding of history or philosophy. His caricature of evolutionary theory (not to mention his bizarre redefinitions of complex subjects as materialism and naturalism) is indistinguishable as the subject Kitcher discussed with such care and patience in his work. Johnson's insistence that evolution is unsupported by evidence shows his glaring lack of a realistic grasp of scientific methodology. Perhaps most significantly, Johnson puts words in the mouths of people like Darwin, Thomas Kuhn, and Stephen Jay Gould that were exactly the distortions that Kitcher condemned. Johnson's fantasy of evolutionists as a sinister secular priesthood supporting the sham philosophy of Naturalism in a vast conspiracy is utterly comical.
I've read many other books on the subject since then, but those two works defined my introduction to the creation-evolution controversy. I realized it was a one-sided issue very early.
While reading other sections on the forum I discovered some posts by Almeyda in the forum 'Is it Science?' topic 'The religious nature of evolution...' where punctuated equilibrium is mentioned several times. The following are from messages 21 and 40:
The fossil record was a problem well now we have puntuacted equilibrium etc
i would like to see the geologic stratums full of intermediate links (no bogus puntuated equilibrium theories),
Rather than going off-topic there I thought this reference to Eldridge and Gould was a great illustration of this topic (thanks again Almeyda!)
I am going to go out on a limb and guess that these references to PE are refering to the straw man constructed by Gish, Hovind, etc. rather than the actual Eldridge and Gould (1972) paper. Please correct me if I am wrong, Almeyda. Here is a summary of what (I think) you mean by PE.
PE was constructed because in the 113 years since Darwin there were no intermeditate fossils. So Eldridge and Gould resurrected Goldschmidt's 1940's hopeful monster hypothesis with some modern revisions. So Eldridge and Gould claimed that there were no intermediate fossils because evolution is directed by fantastic macroevolutions. One day a fully formed bird hatched out of a reptile egg and so on. Do I have it right?
So, to continue with this topic, if this is what you believe PE is about it is clear that you have never read the original paper but are merely expressing the falsehoods started by other YECs and proclaiming (by omission of reference) them to be your own. There are two important points here. One is that it is academically dishonest to crtiticize an idea based upon someone else's criticism if you do not reference your source (This is assuming that you didn't come up with your opinion of PE as "bogus" on your own from a reading of the primary literature. If I am wrong I am sorry and welcome hearing detailed critiques). The second is the YEC's on this forum are doing themselves and their cause a huge disservice by blindly repeating the same misquotes, proposing the same strawmen, etc. from their blind and ignorant (more likely corrupt) leaders. It takes very little effort to confirm these statements. The web is filled to the brim with PDF versions of primary literature. If not there then there is the tried and true method of going to the library. At the very least look at the ideas as synthesized in more popular works and websites.
By the way, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Don Batten on AiG does a really nice job of summarizing PE, including mentioning that it has nothing to do with Goldschmidt. They interpret it in a creationist light, which is fine because the concept is put forth more or less fairly and well researched (I mean they represent PE fairly with all of the facts, they just draw different conclusions than I would. THAT is approaching science!). Kudos to Don Batten and AiG. (ref below)
Eldredge N and Gould SJ (1972) Punctuated equilibria: an alternative to phyleticgradualism. In: Models in Paleobiology, edited by T.J.M. Schopf. FreemanCooper, San Francisco, CA, pp.82-115.
The Word of the Lord - Kelvin Was Not a Creationist
PHYSICS - Newton, Faraday, Maxwell, Kelvin
Here's what Kelvin said in the presidential address to the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 1871, according to Stephen G. Brush:
"How, then ... did life originate on the earth? Tracing the physical history of the earth backwards, on strict dynamical principles, we are brought to a red-hot melted globe on which no life could exist. Hence, when the earth was first fit for life, there was no living thing on it. There were rocks solid and disintegrated, water, air all around, warmed and illuminated by a brilliant sun, ready to become a garden. Did grass and trees and flowers spring into existence, in all the fullness of ripe beauty, by a fiat of Creative Power? Or did vegetation, growing up from seed sown, spread and multiply over the whole earth? Science is bound, by the everlasting law of honor, to face fearlessly every problem which can be fairly presented to it. If a probable solution, consistent with the ordinary course of nature, can be found, we must not invoke an abnormal act of Creative Power."
He proposed that seed-bearing meteoritic stones first brought life to earth. He stated:
"From the earth stocked with such vegetation as it could receive meteorically to the earth teeming with all the endless variety of plants and animals which now inhabit it, the step is prodigious; yet, according to the doctrine of continuity, most ably laid before the Association by a predecessor in this chair [Mr. Grove], all creatures now living on earth have proceeded by orderly evolution from some such origin." -- Lord Kelvin
Kelvin accepted evolution, but rejected Darwin's proposed mechanism for evolution, largely because there didn't seem to be enough time based on known physics of Kelvin's time - the later discovery of radioactive matter negated Kelvin's objections on that score. But unless creationists have embraced panspermia within the last few hours, Kelvin was not a "creationist" in the standard meaning of the term. "Theistic evolutionist" seems to best fit his views.
Source: "Kelvin Was Not a Creationist", by Stephen G. Brush, Creation/Evolution, Spring 1982, Issue VIII, p. 12, available from the National Center for Science Education. For an online copy of the C/E journal, see: http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/8052_issue_08_volume_3_number_2__12_4_2002.asp Ellipses are as in Brush's article. Brush's source was Victorian Science, by Basalla, Coleman and Kargon, eds., 1970, Garden City NY, Anchor Books, pp. 125-127.
This message has been edited by Ediacaran, 06-06-2004 06:34 PM
This message has been edited by Ediacaran, 06-06-2004 06:36 PM
One of Darwin's greatest successes was showing the reason for the hierarchy of the Linnaean system. Darwin had one Figure in On the Origin of Species, the evolutionary tree figure, which successfully accounts for the Linnaean pattern. Darwin's work also accounts for the similarity the Linnaeus noted between humans and other apes (but which he classified separately for the reasons he gives in the following quote):
"...I demand of you, and of the whole world, that you show me a generic character ... by which to distinguish between Man and Ape. I myself most assuredly know of none. I wish somebody would indicate one to me. But, if I had called man an ape, or vice-versa, I should have fallen under the ban of all the ecclesiastics. It may be that as a naturalist I ought to have done so." -- Carrolus Linnaeus, who developed the scientific binomial classification of taxonomy, in a 1747 letter to J.G. Gmelin, as quoted in Edward L. Greene, "Linnaeus as an Evolutionist", Proc. Washington Acad. of Scis., XI (March 31, 1909), 25-26, as cited in The Death of Adam: Evolution and Its Impact on Western Thought, by John C. Greene, 1959, Iowa State University Press, p. 184.
Odd, that sure doesn't sound like most creationists I've heard.
Hey, honest quote mining can be fun; too bad the creationists don't do so honestly.
(Full disclosure - I've only read the John C. Greene material, and tried to convey that in the citation, but here it is explicitly for those creationists who haven't learned to cite sources. See, that wasn't too hard to do, was it? Now, if creationists could learn to do so ...).