Thanks for the explanation. It has been 30 years since my last biology course and a lot has happened in the field since then. I am trying to bring myself up to date as time allows. I have found this site to be of help.
I can agree that creating a cell in a lab does not make evolution more or less likely, at least if one defines the debate of evolution to be one of what happens after life already exists.
I don't want to make any comment on God right now. Perhaps later in the Faith and Belief forum. ""
I just wanted to point out a pattern in the "evolution" of the position of creationists to the theory of evolution. Does it seem to anyone else that they seem happy to keep raising the bar everytime a step forward is taken in substantiating the theory?
For example I love how they usually insist they have no problem with the concept of microevolution (now that it has been highly substantiated) but draw an imaginary line at macroevolution. Surely change is change, and if you extend the time scale involved you extend the scope of the changes. Its like arguing over the length of a piece of string. A- "It's long". B- "It's short!"
But that isn't the main point of this area of the forum, but extends the main point on the recent creation of viruses from scratch. The creationists again choose to enforce an imaginary line between living and nonliving matter, even though the definition of viruses has always been contentious and their close relation to living systems cannot be disputed.
The future of the debate is obvious. When "macroevolution" is demonstrated they will fall back on the direction of macroevolution being divinely inspired or on the origin of life being divine. When bacteria are created from scratch they will insist that the design of life is divine and scientists are merely copying it. Even creating a new form of life wouldn't prove that some sort of intervention wasn't involved in the beginning of "natural" life. The discovery of extraterrestrial life will demonstrate god's universal presence.
The issue will remain contentious. As a race we have trouble reaching a consensus on such trivial things as Elvis being alive or dead, so how can we possibly hope to convince anyone about what really happened billions of years ago? In the end how important is it really?
quote:Originally posted by Tranquility Base: You really want to a length of string debate do you? There are a hundred good reasons to expect there to be a sharp discontinuity between allelic variation and the origin of new genes.
But you've yet to give us anything concrete-- like a precise divider between macro- and micro-, or a definition of kind.
Excuse me but Creationists have known evolution occurs for at least 200 years. The debate isn't about micro or macro either. If you read talkorigins on the topic macro is evolution at or above the level of species. Linneaus knew that species were not indicative of the Created Kind. He placed it at the level of genus. That alone says Creationists agree with macro as defined at TO. (this is also part of the deception used by evolutionists)
What Creationists debate is the formation of new structures such as arms, legs, spinal cord and brain from an alleged organism that didn't have them.
What is the barrier? Limits exist in life so why is life itself supposed to be an exception? The barriers would be (at least) 1) irreducible complexity; 2) protein structure; and 3) information.
I really wish evolutionists would learn what it is they are debating against. This misrepresentation of the Creationist & IDists position screams of ignorance and does nothing but distract from the debate.
Yes, by macro I am meaning my own definiton which I have given here before. There is nothing wrong with having my own definiton of macro becasue there is no agreed dfinition in the mainstream literature either! As genomes get reeled in and developmental biology becomes better understood we will all get a pretty good handle on it IMO.
I agree that macro essentially comes down to novel limbs, organs, physiological systems, cellular systems and gene families.
This message is an example of what Singularity was talking about; the "moving bar". After having spent the time this weekend to research many links and messages both here and at the BB offered by Mr. John Paul, he is not going to win any converts here. I am more than surprised at the tenor and methods of the group of people espousing “creationism” or intelligent design. My group went through an extremely rigorous, step-by-step, and focused review by expert peers in elucidating the quantum roots of magnetism. Where do we find this rigor in the creation-oriented links provided to the Board? One example is the 47,000-mile tear in the Earth’s surface in a Sarfatti discussion. My personal compliments to the high level of rigor and patience in arguments presented by Professor Page and others in debating the case for evolution.
My unsolicited recommendation to the practical is as follows: Avoid becoming charmed by innuendo, manipulative phrasing, and suckered by rhetorical questions. Stick to a discussion of the facts, theories, or step-by-step process (theory as defined in the English language. See below.).
(the-o-ry (the-re, thire)n.pl. the-o-ries. 1. Systematically organized knowledge applicable in a relatively wide variety of circumstances, especially a system of assumptions, accepted principles, and rules of procedure devised to analyze, predict, or otherwise explain the nature or behavior of a specified set of phenomena. Such knowledge or such a system. Late Latin theoria, from Greek, from theoros, spectator :, probably thea, a viewing + -oros, seeing.