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Author Topic:   Questions on Evolution.
Posts: 8971
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003

Message 10 of 43 (168192)
12-14-2004 4:22 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by CreepingTerror
12-14-2004 4:13 PM

improbablity of what
My bad about the Chimp thing. So can we give a rough estimate to the improbability of evolution?

Improbability of what exactly?

Obviously any one individual organisism is hugely improbably -- pick a number 1 in 10 ** 20 or so?

The probability of you is about zero. You are highly improbable. So what?

Improbablilty of the path that evolution has taken over the last 3 some billion years?

1 in 10 ** 100 or 1000 or 10,000 maybe? So the particular probablility of the life that currently exists is the improbability of you multiplied by some collossal number. So what.

This message has been edited by NosyNed, 12-15-2004 12:09 AM

This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by CreepingTerror, posted 12-14-2004 4:13 PM CreepingTerror has replied

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Posts: 8971
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003

Message 26 of 43 (168351)
12-15-2004 12:49 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by CreepingTerror
12-15-2004 12:29 AM

Re: improbablity of what
Creeping Terror CT writes:

To me, it seems to come down to a matter of faith. I mean, evolution is still theory. We're not completely sure. Jump me if you want, but that's how I see it. Fine there's a lot of evidence, but we're not completely sure.

CT writes:

Good post, except for the part where you told me to shut up because I'm not as smart as you. It's a good thing that everyone doesn't apply to your thinking, or no one would learn anything. Just so I'm not open to the interpretation that I am trying to tell everyone that they are wrong, and that I am not trying to learn:

You were not told to "shut up". It was suggested that you not make what sound like firm, solid statments when you don't know very much about the subject. It is, by the way, apparent from what you have posted so far that you know very, very little indeed.

The "that's how I see it" is a hint of the problem. A more appropriate position is that you understand that "we" are very sure indeed but that you would like to understand the why behind that. It is always fair and a good idea to understand why someone accepts something (or doesn't) before you come to some tentative conclusion of your own.

You might also note the context that you are discussing this in. We get a steady stream of fundamentalist, literalists through here who think that after spending an hour reading a few creationist sites (that, incidentally have lied about the subject) that they know it all and can overturn a couple of centuries of work by many very smart, dedicated and honest individuals (of whom a large fraction are believers)..

Some people here are a bit sensitive after wasting time on such very closed minded, uh, mmm hard to be polite, jackasses. If you think Rrhain was being rough on you then you'd better thicken your skin a bit. He (and others) have been far worse.

Just remember, it is almost always the ideas that are being shredded and not the individual. At least, not if the individual does show some willingness to read, think and learn.

This message has been edited by NosyNed, 12-15-2004 01:02 AM

This message is a reply to:
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Posts: 8971
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003

Message 28 of 43 (168363)
12-15-2004 1:01 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by CreepingTerror
12-15-2004 12:35 AM

Macro Harder?
Is it harder to change "species" or does it just require more time?

That is actually a very good question. For one reason, if the species line is crossed then the much larger changes between higher taxa isn't so hard given enough time.

However, if speciation hasn't happened then (and there is a mountain or research on this) there are evolutionary forces that would tend to homogenize the population involved.

In other words to get a speciation event (it is argued) requires something to separate a population. The typical example is geography; they have to be kept separate.

However, lots of things can cause this separation. If birds sing a different song they may not mate. Even though they would produce perfectly viable offspring if they did.

I don't remember details but there is some parasite of some mmm fly? I think. That changes the reproduction in some way (good isn't this, fuzzy as hell) that means that an indivdual infected with the parasite can only successfully breed with an other infected individual.

This can separate the population into two and allow full speciation to take place.

There are cases of "instant" speciation where a plants get a chromasomal mutation that means they can not longer reproduce with the other "kind". This can happen in one step.

And so on and so forth.

So let's back up.

"Micro" happens all the time, every individual is different from others. They have some mutations. However, if there is no speciation event or some kind of separation the mutations will spread through the population and it will stay somewhat uniform.

That, by the way, doesn't mean that these changes can't gradually pile up so that an individual of the population that is around 10,000 generations from now would still be the same species as the starting population.

If however, there is something to separate the population into two different ones for awhile then speciation, it seems, can happen pretty quickly.

Once you have separate species the changes can not longer be smoothed out between them and over a long enough time very, very large changes happen. Obviously something as large as reptile to mammal doesn't happen in only 1,000's of generations.

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Posts: 8971
From: Canada
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Message 33 of 43 (168379)
12-15-2004 1:25 AM
Reply to: Message 29 by CreepingTerror
12-15-2004 1:08 AM

Difficult for you
Apologies, I read to much into that. I think my mind is trying desperately to hold on to the beliefs that I've had my whole life. Ugh, the funny thing is that I thought that I was open minded about this whole thing. The problem that we as fundamentalists have with the whole Evolution side of things is that almost all of us see it as a direct attack on our faith, that God didn't create the universe, an idea reinforced by the fact that evolution has been a secular institution for a very long time, and most of the proponents of it are athiests or agnostics, or whatever people say when they don't believe in God.

We begin to run off topic but .....

Not having been a believer (but many here have been) it is hard for me to totally understand how difficult it is for you. However, I do think I can understand a bit and sympathise.

Many Christians (some of my best friends are you know ) are very much against the literalists "cults" (as some call them) because of the damage they can do to a person's faith.

The literalists paint this simplistic view of both the world and God and then (just to top it off) lie about much of it. When a reasonably intelligent individual is subject to this for their whole life there is a danger they will lose their faith when they gain more knowledge.

Evolution is not a secular institution. It may be less than half of biologist, geolgists and the like that are believers but it is still a largish minority. Reasonably sophiticated believers, theologins and church leaders have no problem with it. Thus a majority of believers accept the science behind biology, geology and cosmology.

It is the few that cower in fear of the light of knowledge. It maybe that some had their faith damaged by the discovery that the Earth is not the center of the solar system. A very weak faith indeed. It maybe that some would have their faith damaged by an understanding of physics and/or biology and/or geology. A very weak faith indeed.

Don't blame the atheist or the scientists for this problem. Don't blame the enlightened theologians or believers for this problem. Put the blame where it belongs. It belongs with those who are unable to grasp the true scale of the creation. The blame belongs with those who worship a book rather then God and wish to believe in the simple story told there rather than the grand story written into the creation itself. It is the fault of those who cower in the dark and run from the light of knowledge. It is the fault of those who lie about our understanding of the natural world and set up children entrusted to them for a possible loss of faith when exposed to the truth.

This message has been edited by NosyNed, 12-15-2004 01:26 AM

This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by CreepingTerror, posted 12-15-2004 1:08 AM CreepingTerror has replied

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Posts: 8971
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003

Message 35 of 43 (168384)
12-15-2004 1:35 AM
Reply to: Message 34 by CreepingTerror
12-15-2004 1:28 AM

Remember we have heard the line about "evilution" being the cause of all of societies ills over and over and over.

I (even as an atheist) agree that something is lost from the community when the gathering together that a church can be is weakened. Myself, I don't want belief in the supernatural to be the basis for this sinew of the community but I don't know what else we have to replace it as yet. For this reason I (somewhat) encouraged my daughter to go to church when she wanted to look into it. I also tried, actively, to get my son to go to church groups. However, it didn't "take" at all.

My daughter, especially, spends far too much time on the internet (as I do ) and her exposure to Christianity has been way too much of the fundy sort. I have to remind her not to judge all by the totally nonsensical things that are put forward by those that she is exposed to.

If the devil is at work against Christianity the most powerful of his minions aren't the atheists.

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