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Author Topic:   My Book On Evolution
dwise1
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Posts: 4215
Joined: 05-02-2006
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(1)
Message 31 of 40 (875864)
05-08-2020 1:01 PM
Reply to: Message 26 by Phat
05-03-2020 11:50 AM


Re: How Long Have You Been Working On This Book?
Did they respect you enough to never actively try and convert you?

The hard-sell proselytizing of the Jesus Freaks circa 1970 changed in a few ways. I already discussed one way in how it became less virulent over time as those fundies started having a life with family, career, homeowning, etc.

Another way is to re-enforce their hypocritical persecution fantasies. Looking back, I can see the seeds being planted, but I wasn't around to observe as those seeds took root and grew into weeds that choke out and kill any good fruits there may have been.

Here's a short essay on that subject:

quote:

Why do people get angry when I try to share the word of God with them? I only do it because I care about them deeply and don't want them to end up in hell. I feel like some people avoid me because of this. Is there any way to get through to them?

by Doug Robertson, studied at University of Maine
Updated Dec 11 2018

 
The entire process is not what you think it is.

It is specifically designed to be uncomfortable for the other person because it isn't about converting them to your religion. It is about manipulating you so you can't leave yours.

If this tactic was about converting people it would be considered a horrible failure. It recruits almost no one who isn't already willing to join. Bake sales are more effective recruiting tools.

On the other hand, it is extremely effective at creating a deep tribal feeling among its own members.

The rejection they receive is actually more important than the few people they convert. It causes them to feel a level of discomfort around the people they attempt to talk to. These become the "others". These uncomfortable feelings go away when they come back to their congregation, the "Tribe".

If you take a good look at the process it becomes fairly clear. In most cases, the religious person starts out from their own group, who is encouraging and supportive. They are then sent out into the harsh world where people repeatedly reject them. Mainly because they are trained to be so annoying.

These brave witnesses then return from the cruel world to their congregation where they are treated like returning heroes. They are now safe. They bond as they share their experiences of reaching out to the godless people to bring them the truth. They share the otherness they experience.

Once again they will learn that the only place they are accepted is with the people who think as they do. It isn't safe to leave the group. The world is your enemy, but we love you.

This is a pain reward cycle that is a common brainwashing technique. The participants become more and more reliant on the "Tribe" because they know that "others" reject them.

Mix in some ritualized chanting, possibly a bit of monotonous repetition of instructions, add a dash of fear of judgment by an unseen, but all-powerful entity who loves you if you do as you are told and you get a pretty powerful mix.

Sorry, I have absolutely no wish to participate in someones brainwashing ritual.



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driewerf
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Posts: 17
Joined: 08-14-2010


Message 32 of 40 (879787)
07-22-2020 2:51 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by mike the wiz
03-21-2020 11:01 AM


Hi Mike, i have many issues with your "book". I will try to go through them one by one.

The very first thing that strikes me in your "book", is the complete lack of references. You cite or credit no single source for the facts you use.

Edited by driewerf, : No reason given.


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Sarah Bellum
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Posts: 615
Joined: 05-04-2019
Member Rating: 1.4


(1)
Message 33 of 40 (879805)
07-22-2020 4:36 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by mike the wiz
03-21-2020 11:01 AM


The scientific evidence for evolution is a fascinating topic, from Darwin and others' researches in the 19th century to 20th and 21st century discoveries. Here's a brief summary:

What is evolution in the first place? When an animal such as a horse, whale, dog, chicken, shark or beetle is born (or hatched, as the case may be) it becomes a member of one more generation in a long sequence of generations reaching back into the far distant past. What did those ancestors of long-ago generations look like? How are the different living things you see around you related?

Take the example of the horse or whale or other mammal. The first fossil evidence of mammals is from the Triassic Period, when the reptiles still ruled. The early mammals were small (often described by paleontologists as "shrew-like" or "mouse-like" animals) and certainly far different from the horses, whales, elephants and other mammals we see today. So we have evolutionary change over many generations. The most important evidence for evolution is the simplest: go from point A, an ancestor, to point B, a creature living today of much different form than that ancestor.

What do Creationists think happened to get from point A to point B? Millions and millions of miracles, over millions and millions of years, creating new forms of life in the precise order that matches the fossil record and the DNA evolutionary tree? Why weren't whales created at the same time as fish? Surely if they were created ex nihilo, it would be strange to create all those land mammals first, then create the forms with vestigial limbs, then finally the fully aquatic forms . . . exactly in the order of their evolution.

There is more evidence for evolution in the simple fact that we see it happening all the time, all around us. It seems unlikely that God would use miracles to create new species in the distant past, but nowadays allow species to evolve naturally, not bothering with miracles anymore. For examples, we have:

- A new species of Buffalo grass evolved that can tolerate soil contaminated with mine tailings.
(http://education.nationalgeographic.com/...opedia/speciation)

- The worm Nereis acuminata (http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2409766?sid=2110604...)

- Madeira island house mice Speciation: more evidence ignored by intelligent design
and Are new species still evolving? › Ask an Expert (ABC Science))

- A flower called the "American goatsbeard" (Evolution: Watching Speciation Occur | Observations)

Do a web search on "examples of observed speciation" to find more examples, if you like.

Then there is the distribution of life forms on Earth. Of course, one would expect polar bears and penguins in cold climates, camels and cacti in hot climates. But why do we find penguins only in Antarctica and other regions in the southern hemisphere, but not in the north? Why should there be no camels in the deserts of North America? Alfred Russell Wallace typically gets second billing to Darwin, because of the fame of Origin of Species, but he is justly famous in his own right. Among other things, he studied the geographic ranges that species inhabited. The Creationist idea that different species were created especially for particular climates and environments was shown to be incorrect when Wallace observed that mountains and rivers marked the boundaries of the ranges of many species. He discovered that there were regions that were similar, but inhabited by very different animals.

Then there are the "evolutionary leftovers" that indicate the living creatures we see around us weren't created totally new, but instead bear evidence of change from earlier forms. The "panda's thumb" is a popular example. Notice that these are NOT imperfections (the argument with Creationists - if any - who believe that all of the created life forms are without blemish is a different argument) but traces of ancestry remaining in the body of the organism. The most glaring example, of course, is the eyes of blind cave fish. Why would they have been "created" by God with vestigial eyes? There are many other examples: the laryngeal nerve, the appendix, whale hip bones and vestigial leg bones, goose bumps and human body hair, kiwi bird vestigial wings, vestigial crab tails, vestigial koala caruncles, etc.

Then we have evidence from DNA. Chromosome #2 in humans is the most famous example: fused from two chromosomes that are separate in chimpanzee DNA, showing a common ancestor of humans and chimps.

There are other more subtle DNA traces showing common ancestry. Some of our genetic material is "pseudo-genes," genes that no longer code for a protein because of a mutation, and so are "inactive" bits of the DNA code. Consider DNA as instructions for assembling complex machines, because that's what DNA is: instructions for the chemical reactions of a developing organism. If two similar machines have similar instruction manuals, then they might have just got nearly the same wording because the machines have similar functions. But suppose the instruction manuals have the same typographical or grammar errors? Then we would expect the manuals to come from a common source. In the analogy, this would represent a common ancestor in the case of living creatures. A concrete example is the gene for synthesizing vitamin C. We need to consume vitamin C because our gene is inactive. Mapping such genes shows the common descent of humans and other primates, but demonstrates that other mammals (the guinea pig is one example) are further away on the evolutionary tree. The same pseudogene is present in humans and primates, but the guinea pig has a different pseudogene. "Intelligent Design" might argue for similarities in the active DNA code between humans and chimps, and dissimilarities between human and guinea pigs, but the inactive part of the DNA indicates the branching of the evolutionary tree.

More DNA evidence is provided by endogenous retroviruses. The following is quoted from Human Evolution: Endogenous Retroviruses prove that humans and chimps share a common ancestor.

quote:
Endogenous retroviruses are the remnant DNA of a past viral infection. Retroviruses (like the AIDS virus or HTLV1, which causes a form of leukemia) make a copy of their own viral DNA and insert it into their host's DNA. This is how they take over the cellular machinery of a cell and use it to manufacture new copies of the virus.

Sometimes, the cell that gets infected by such a virus is an immature egg cell in the ovary of a female animal. Such cells can be stored in a state of suspended animation or dormancy for as much as 50 years before they complete meiosis and become mature egg cells ready to be fertilized. Because they are dormant, gene expression is suppressed and the infection cannot take over the cell and kill it. If that egg later matures and is fertilized, the newborn organism will have that endogenous retrovirus in every one of its cells, and so will all of its descendants.

Every viral infection is unique. The complete genome of an animal is so huge, and the insertion point of a virus’s DNA is so random that it is statistically impossible for any two individuals to have the same exact endogenous retrovirus in the same exact spot on the genome unless they both inherited it from a common ancestor who had the original infection. And the infection of a germ cell is so rare that ERVs make up only somewhere between 1% and 8% of the entire human genome.

If two humans have the same identical ERV, it is proof that they are descended from a common ancestor. And if two different species have the identical ERV, it is proof that they too are descended from a common ancestor. In humans, there are about 30,000 different ERVS embedded in each person's DNA. Except for those later duplicated by a duplication mutation, all of them record unique infections of a single ancestral individual. Now here is where it gets really interesting.

There are at least seven different known instances of shared ERVs between chimps and humans... i.e. ERVs which are the identical viral DNA inserted into the identical spot of the genome. 100% of all chimps and 100% of all humans have these same ERVs. This is only possible if 100% of all chimps and all humans are descended from the single individual that had these original infections.

They are proof that humans and chimps share a common ancestor.

In a 2000 paper published in the journal Gene researchers identified ERVS shared by different primates and used them to assemble a family tree of monkeys apes and humans.

Reference: Lebedev, Y. B., Belonovitch, O. S., Zybrova, N. V, Khil, P. P., Kurdyukov, S. G., Vinogradova, T. V., Hunsmann, G., and Sverdlov, E. D. (2000) "Differences in HERV-K LTR insertions in orthologous loci of humans and great apes." Gene 247: 265-277.


Even at the level of single-celled life, there is interesting DNA evidence. Cellular structures such as mitochondria or chloroplasts have their own DNA, distinct from the DNA found in the cell nucleus. This is evidence for the evolution of the first single-celled life, cells with no nucleus or organelles, into more complex forms. Chloroplast DNA, for example, is evidence of a photosynthetic cyanobacterium that was engulfed by an early eukaryotic cell to form a larger symbiotic organism that could photosynthesize.

Then, of course, there are other interesting facts about the genetic material of living organisms, such as the chromosome count. If life were designed from some Divine blueprint, we would expect the more complex organisms to have more DNA and therefore more chromosomes. And Man, of course, at the top of the heap, according to Genesis, and made in God's image, should have the most: toolmaking skills, memory, brain, long life, the immortal soul, and, of course, a body larger and more complex than almost all of the millions of other organisms on the planet. For some organisms, this pattern does indeed hold. Myrmecia pilosula, an ant species, has only one pair of chromosomes and the individual workers, being haploid, have only one chromosome (not even a pair!) each. Small creature, small amount of genetic information. But when we look at even smaller creatures, we find, to our surprise, examples like Amoeba proteus, a microbe with more than 500 chromosomes! And so it goes. Humans have 23 chromosome pairs, one less than chimpanzees (see the example of chromosome #2 above) and a lot less than Ophioglossum reticulatum, whose 630 chromosome pairs make this lowly fern the reigning champion.

Even for structures of living organisms that don't fossilize well, such as the heart or the eye, we can see the pathways of evolutionary change in the organisms that live today. This is not to say we, with our complex four-chambered heart, are evolved from some modern species of amphibian or fish alive today, of course. Living species are all leaves on the evolutionary tree, with the branches down below showing where different forms of life diverged. But modern forms of reptile, amphibian, fish and others can show us the path evolution took along those branches.

The mammalian four chamber heart is slightly different from the reptilian three-and-a-half chamber heart, which is different from the amphibian three chamber heart, which is different from the lungfish heart, which is different from the agnathan two chamber heart, which is different from the paired contractile aorta of the amphioxis, which is different from the single contractile aorta of the hemichordates. Then there is the earthworm who does not use an actual heart; it has one or more small muscular areas capable of contracting and pushing the blood and then reabsorbing it as it filters back.

Finally, consider the timeline of life on Earth. The simplest living things, the primitive unicellular organisms of billions of years ago, took the longest to develop! Why would that be? If a supernatural force were involved, why would it take so many hundreds of millions of years to develop the earliest single-celled life forms, while far more complex organisms, like Archaeopteryx, Australopithecus, Rhynia gwynne-vaughanii, Miohippus, Ichthyostega, Hylonomus, or cynodonts were "created" in the blink (on the geological time scale) of an eye? Seen as a natural process, however, the timeline of change is easy to understand: it takes a long time for nonliving chemicals to develop into living organisms, and it takes a long time for single-celled organisms to make the great leap to combine into multicellular life, if there is no supernatural intervention prodding them along.

Is the Origin of Species miraculous? In the sense that the birth of a child is miraculous, yes. Complex and marvelous, it is true, but also natural, following natural principles of the universe. "Speak to the earth and it shall teach thee."


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Sarah Bellum
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Posts: 615
Joined: 05-04-2019
Member Rating: 1.4


(1)
Message 34 of 40 (879838)
07-23-2020 2:17 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by mike the wiz
03-21-2020 11:01 AM


You write
quote:
So the point I am making is that there seems to be stages that would have to exist which were not complete as designs even if they were viable according to evolution. So for example, if something is evolving from forelimbs which are legs with feet, into wings, or evolving into fins, the "fin" design would be incomplete, and the "wing" design would be incomplete, respectively, if they were heading in that direction evolutionarily. But of course, you have to prove there is a viable, "middle", it's not enough just to claim these things existed.

Where am I going with all this? Well, the point is that both the LIVING record and the FOSSIL record, both show an absence of any evolution that is "in the middle" of evolving any sophisticated anatomy. We only find things at the, "complete" stage of design.


This is the old "Where are the missing links?" creationist argument. Archaeopteryx and similar "in the middle" fossils are plentiful. We also see contemporary forms that exhibit a continuum of forms. For example:
quote:
Even for structures of living organisms that don't fossilize well, such as the heart or the eye, we can see the pathways of evolutionary change in the organisms that live today. This is not to say we, with our complex four-chambered heart, are evolved from some modern species of amphibian or fish alive today, of course. Living species are all leaves on the evolutionary tree, with the branches down below showing where different forms of life diverged. But modern forms of reptile, amphibian, fish and others can show us the path evolution took along those branches.

The mammalian four chamber heart is slightly different from the reptilian three-and-a-half chamber heart, which is different from the amphibian three chamber heart, which is different from the lungfish heart, which is different from the agnathan two chamber heart, which is different from the paired contractile aorta of the amphioxis, which is different from the single contractile aorta of the hemichordates. Then there is the earthworm who does not use an actual heart; it has one or more small muscular areas capable of contracting and pushing the blood and then reabsorbing it as it filters back.



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Sarah Bellum
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Posts: 615
Joined: 05-04-2019
Member Rating: 1.4


(1)
Message 35 of 40 (879840)
07-23-2020 3:05 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by mike the wiz
03-21-2020 11:01 AM


You write
quote:
We can now create an argument thus;

- Evolution depends on there existing a common ancestor, and for evolution to be scientifically viable there must be a way for this ancestor to arise which is some sort of abiogenesis.
- Abiogenesis is reasonably false therefore evolution is not scientifically viable.


Haven't some creationists, when faced with evidence for evolution, back-pedaled and said, "OK, things evolved, but my god created the first microscopic life on earth, which everything else evolved from, because life can't develop naturally?"

Apparently, you're not that kind of creationist?

Your argument that life cannot develop on a large planet with an enormous variety of chemical resources, huge supplies of energy, whether from the Sun or from internal sources such as hydrothermal vents on the sea floor, and billions of years to wait is the usual bald, unsupported, statement that complicated structures cannot develop naturally.

But look at the timeline: at one point, billions of years in the past, there was nothing but a cloud of gas and dust and then some time later, there was early life on the planet! You're claiming that it couldn't have happened naturally because the exact mechanism of the development of life hasn't yet been completely laid out. (The experiments by Stanley Miller and Harold Urey at the University of Chicago and later by Jeffrey Bada and Jim Cleaves at Scripps Institution of Oceanography are good starting points. Look them up.)

So what is the alternative? A miracle? Obviously not!

Your argument makes as much sense as someone in 1850 saying that the Sun must require a miracle to shine because the mechanism (nuclear fusion) by which the Sun produces energy was not then known to science.

Tell me, if you lived in 1850 and someone asserted that there are angels in the center of our Sun pumping out the energy required to keep it shining, how would you answer them?


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Sarah Bellum
Member
Posts: 615
Joined: 05-04-2019
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 36 of 40 (879894)
07-24-2020 1:29 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by mike the wiz
03-21-2020 11:01 AM


You write
quote:
The obvious conclusion is that micro evolution's superficial changes do not represent even in portion, any macro evolution that would suffice to the size of the claim correspondingly. This deductive reason is unavoidably against evolution leading to the conclusion that scientists, for whatever reason, are treating evolution as a special case, they're treating it by a double standard because they believe it is the only scientific way to explain life. If evolution was wrong, it would make them look stupid, so it's for human reasons they argue that evolution is a well scientifically proven case. How can it be? Logical notation informs us that this axiom must be observed and evolution is no special exception! If we observe this axiom, evolution is not sufficiently proven.
Scientists have observed far more than "superficial" changes. Evolution of new species is well documented:

- A new species of Buffalo grass evolved that can tolerate soil contaminated with mine tailings.
(go to page 2 of http://education.nationalgeographic.com/...opedia/speciation)

- The worm Nereis acuminata (http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2409766?sid=2110604...)

- Madeira island house mice Speciation: more evidence ignored by intelligent design
and Are new species still evolving? › Ask an Expert (ABC Science))

- A flower called the "American goatsbeard" (Evolution: Watching Speciation Occur | Observations)

Do a web search on "examples of observed speciation" to find more examples, if you like.

But what do you think resulted in the appearance of new species over time throughout Earth's history? Miracles? Should we make a "special exception" for divine intervention?


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Sarah Bellum
Member
Posts: 615
Joined: 05-04-2019
Member Rating: 1.4


(1)
Message 37 of 40 (879897)
07-24-2020 3:55 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by mike the wiz
03-21-2020 11:01 AM


You write
quote:
Imagine you see in the distance a bridge that APPEARS to be designed. How can we know whether it appears to be designed and is or only appears to be designed but isn't?

Let us suppose that we were to study this "bridge" and find out that it belongs to a large herd of "bridges". Suppose also that we observe these "bridges" copulating and giving birth to small "bridges" that grow up and repeat this reproductive cycle. Suppose also that we survey the geological record and find, going back in time millions of years, fossils of "bridges" changing over time as we dig into deeper and deeper strata.

Of course this hypothetical doesn't occur with bridges. But it does hold true for living creatures. That is why we say bridges were designed and living creatures evolve.


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Sarah Bellum
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Posts: 615
Joined: 05-04-2019
Member Rating: 1.4


(1)
Message 38 of 40 (879919)
07-25-2020 12:03 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by mike the wiz
03-21-2020 11:01 AM


You write
quote:
A more realistic expectation might be that evolution could only produce a bipedal ape that does not have a full conscience of morality, spirituality, can write and talk, and have a level of intelligibility more consistent with over-design beyond need. Or another possible reasonable prediction is that evolution if it did create an intelligent person in the human kind, would also produce 678 more species on the human level.
You give no reasons for these "expectations"! It would be more logical to say that such traits as the ability to talk and think would be positive traits, things that would enable an organism to survive.

Then you argue that if such traits were to develop they ought to develop 677 additional times. Perhaps they will, though the competition between the Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon would indicate that to be unlikely. On the other hand, there is a continuum of communication and mentality throughout living species. Bees communicate, apes organize, birds build nests, etc. Now these are not exactly the same as human abilities, but they show that this kind of thing has indeed developed over time.


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Sarah Bellum
Member
Posts: 615
Joined: 05-04-2019
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 39 of 40 (880008)
07-27-2020 5:44 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by mike the wiz
03-21-2020 11:01 AM


You wrote
quote:
A correct prediction for evolution according to logical rules, is actually that if the fossil record is a history of how evolution designed everything that exists, then we would expect to see in that record that history of evolution. How it designed wings, arms, legs...etc.....but what we see is completion. Even the Cambrian phyla are disparate, with no ancestors. All designs fully formed and viable. Where are the trial and errors?

If you mean by "errors" the organisms that aren't viable, then we wouldn't expect to see too many of those. Dogs might be born without limbs from time to time, but they aren't likely to survive and certainly aren't going to produce many descendants that will plop down in the mud and leave their bones in the fossil record.

But if you mean variation instead, the fact that descendants can be different from their ancestors, we see an enormous variety. Just look at all those horse ancestor skeletons (gradual progression from small, multi-toed creatures to larger, single-toed ones) or the great variation in forms produced in the 20-million-year period known as the "Cambrian Radiation" about half a billion years ago.


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Sarah Bellum
Member
Posts: 615
Joined: 05-04-2019
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 40 of 40 (880055)
07-28-2020 2:13 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by mike the wiz
03-21-2020 11:01 AM


You wrote
quote:
If Darwin's brilliance was divergence, even if the direct evidence would be to find such common ancestors which they have not found, then surely convergence is in the same manner of superlative in the opposite direction, a disastrous ad-hoc turd for evolution-theory, and it's great weakness.
Darwin's brilliance included a number of different ideas. Offspring will vary: a population of living organisms is not a group of carbon copies. Traits of individuals are passed to descendants. Enormous numbers of offspring are produced, far more than can be expected to survive, let alone reproduce. Finally, the traits that give individuals with those traits advantages will be more likely to increase in the population. The only way "divergence" comes in here is the variation in a population. This, of course, does not mean that over time populations of different living creatures won't evolve similar traits. The opossum has an opposable thumb just like we do, for example, but that isn't evidence contrary to Darwin!

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