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Author Topic:   Evolution vs Creation
sonofasailor
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 147 (14918)
08-06-2002 6:12 PM


I am a new member and wish to learn more from everyone on here about evolution. I have read all the basics, but get lost in the jargon of what scientists talk about. I am often confronted about evolution, and would truly love to learn from you guys. I have read some of the topics on talk origin and have tried to read most of your replies in previous threads.

I was hoping someone could help explain more on the origin of species and how it might have evolved through macroevolution. I read the talk origin thread on misconceptions of macro, but wish someone could be patient with me and explain in simple English.

I often get the comment that evolution can’t be proven and if I believe in it, it must be only a faith. Personally, I would rather listen to scientists with empirical data and testing of evidence to draw conclusions over any propaganda about an invisible man in the sky.
Could someone help with the items below in common language?

1. Abiogenesis – How did it start and evolve?
2. Evolution – How did animals get upright, how did we go from the seas to land, how and why did we deviate into humans and chimps?
3. Evidence of an older earth - How can I contradict creationists and what formula is correct in determining it.
4. How do I know Radio carbon dating is accurate in its dating techniques?
5. How can I prove evolution?

I am asking help from all of you. I thank you for your time. Erik


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by mark24, posted 08-06-2002 7:06 PM sonofasailor has not yet responded
 Message 3 by Quetzal, posted 08-07-2002 7:41 AM sonofasailor has not yet responded
 Message 8 by Brad McFall, posted 08-07-2002 1:56 PM sonofasailor has not yet responded
 Message 102 by Wertbag, posted 03-17-2004 9:50 PM sonofasailor has not yet responded

  
mark24
Member (Idle past 3752 days)
Posts: 3857
From: UK
Joined: 12-01-2001


Message 2 of 147 (14920)
08-06-2002 7:06 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by sonofasailor
08-06-2002 6:12 PM


quote:
Originally posted by sonofasailor:

I was hoping someone could help explain more on the origin of species and how it might have evolved through macroevolution. I read the talk origin thread on misconceptions of macro, but wish someone could be patient with me and explain in simple English.


Hi Erik, welcome to the boards J. I’ll try & help where I can.

Firstly, it is thought that species don’t evolve by macroevolution. A possible exception may be polyploidy (where your entire complement of chromosomes double). The most commonly accepted definition of species is the BSC (biological species concept). It basically states that when two populations become reproductively isolated, they are different species. How may this come about? Well, there are several possibilities, almost all of which require barriers such as mountains, waterways, seas, huge distances etc. So, when population A of a species becomes isolated from other population B, no sharing of genes can take place. As a result, accumulated mutations in population A can never reach population B, & vice versa. As mutations accumulate, there comes a point where the two populations do not produce fertile young (infertile hybrid, such as a mule, from a crossing of a horse & donkey), or cannot produce live young at all. When this diverging process reaches the point when the best result of a cross of any member of populations A & B is an infertile hybrid, then the two populations can be said to be reproductively isolated, & therefore two separate species (under the BSC) in their own right. At this point there may be little physical difference between the two species, & they may be difficult to tell apart. As this diverging process continues they won’t even be able to produce hybrids at all.

Since conditions on different sides of the “barrier” may be different, therefore different selective pressures act upon our new species forcing new adaptions & change, this process if continued long enough, may result in macroevolution. Furthermore, mutation is random (in the sense you cannot predict where the next one will occur), so species A may get a beneficial mutation that B never sees (remember genes can't be shared between populations now), or the mutation may not even be beneficial to species B because it's environment is different.

Limbs become fins, fins become limbs etc. Note that macroevolution wasn’t involved in the actual speciation event, but was the result of much longer accumulation of mutations.

quote:
Originally posted by sonofasailor:

I often get the comment that evolution can’t be proven and if I believe in it, it must be only a faith. Personally, I would rather listen to scientists with empirical data and testing of evidence to draw conclusions over any propaganda about an invisible man in the sky.

No science can be “proven” with 100% accuracy. Gravity isn’t, the existence of electrons isn’t, nor is evolution.

In fact, it is an absolute requirement of a scientific theory that it have potential falsifications. That is, certain predictions, which if borne out require the theory to be thrown out, or at the very least modified. It is for this reason that creation science isn’t science, you cannot falsify what you cannot observe, namely God. If you have a potential falsification, then it stands to reason that you can't be 100% sure of something. This may sound strange, science being the accumulation of knowledge, but has a tenet that says you can never have 100% accurate knowledge???!!! It simply ensures that all scientific theories are potentially subject to change.

quote:
Originally posted by sonofasailor:

Could someone help with the items below in common language?

1. Abiogenesis – How did it start and evolve?
2. Evolution – How did animals get upright, how did we go from the seas to land, how and why did we deviate into humans and chimps?
3. Evidence of an older earth - How can I contradict creationists and what formula is correct in determining it.
4. How do I know Radio carbon dating is accurate in its dating techniques?
5. How can I prove evolution?

I am asking help from all of you. I thank you for your time. Erik


I’ll have a quick stab at 2 & 5. Others are better qualified to answer the others.

2/ This is a biggy, so I’ll try to answer simply. Not sure of your first point, define “upright”. Humans & chimps were thought to have diverged (I am a deviant, but that’s another story!) from a common ancestor with apes several million years ago. What made us walk upright? The world was undergoing a period of deforestation, so the forests were getting crowded. There is an obvious advantage to leave the forests rather than to face extinction. How did this occur? Probably chance got involved, & we just got lucky! Perhaps we already at that time foraged on the ground for much of the time, & this coincided with deforestation. If your habitat is disappearing & you already live for much of the time on the forest floor, it’s not so bad. There is, however, a significant advantage to being able to see for some distance over the grasslands, & so avoid predators, basically, we became the savannah ape.

5/ You can’t prove evolution, see above. You can, however, look at the many evidences, & conclude that evolution occurred beyond reasonable doubt.

Mark

------------------
Occam's razor is not for shaving with.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by sonofasailor, posted 08-06-2002 6:12 PM sonofasailor has not yet responded

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 4429 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 3 of 147 (14949)
08-07-2002 7:41 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by sonofasailor
08-06-2002 6:12 PM


Hey sonofasailor - Welcome aboard!

I understand where you're coming from. It is pretty hard - at least at first - to rebut a lot of the creationist arguments. Not because they're valid, but because they cover so much territory from so many disciplines that even specialists have trouble answering them all. It because especially confusing 'cause creationists often use the jargon and even the findings of science as "evidence" for their own views. Which would be okay except a lot of times these evidences are distorted or misinterpreted. However, they are often esoteric, and without a specialist's knowledge it's often hard to see where they're wrong. I can relate to your problem. I simply stand in awe of the geologists when they're taking apart an argument - I don't even know what half the terms mean.

As to your questions, I'd love to help out. However, each one of those requires volumes to respond! There are a couple of approaches to take if you're really interested in getting into the evo/cre debate (Warning: It can be addictive in it's own right!):

1. You're going to have to do a lot of reading, I'm afraid. Fortunately, there are a ton of good, easily understood books out there that cover the key points. My suggestions would be: Douglas Futuyma's "Science on Trial", Niles Eldredge's "Triumph of Evolution", Carl Zimmer's "Evolution", and Richard Dawkins's "Climbing Mount Improbable" and "Blind Watchmaker". Again fortunately, you'll find that a lot of the more common creationist arguments are simply rehashes of the exact same material. Once you learn the problems, it's fairly easy to spot repeats by someone else. One of the great things about THIS board is that there are quite a few very intelligent posters from the "loyal opposition", so the arguments seldom get stale.

2. When you encounter something that you don't understand somewhere, come here and ask for specific help. It's easier to answer a particular question if it is less broad. There are a lot of folks here you can tap for information.

Again, welcome aboard!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by sonofasailor, posted 08-06-2002 6:12 PM sonofasailor has not yet responded

  
sonofasailor
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 147 (14956)
08-07-2002 10:23 AM


Thank you both for your responses. I will be around for quite some time. I may not participate in the conversations, but I will be reading the material. Mark, you did a great job of starting off with information and examples that I can understand. I thank you for it. I spend a majority of my time defending evolution on a sports board as it veers off track from subject to subject. I then progressed to a community board with various topics. I found myself in a war (only of words) with many creationists. It became a cut and paste war. I don’t think either side progressed to an accurate and decisive answer. A few great debaters and others misrepresented information through me in for a loop when I couldn’t answer some of their questions. I sat on talk origin for weeks and became almost as lost as I became educated.

For years, I had my own assumptions of the world. Now, as I exit college, I see and read more about evolution and how my assumptions appear to be correct. I enjoy the subject of evolution vs. creation. It has already become addicting. The above topics I mentioned will help me explain and understand the theory better.

Thank you Que. I have already asked for the Richard Dawkins book for my birthday. I will keep a heads up on the other titles you mentioned. I definitely don’t mind the reading. It is the jargon and language that is giving me the headaches, based on a very limited science background.

Oh Mark, about the comment with humans becoming upright, I was wondering how we got from nothing, to some type of species in the ocean, to that species making it on land, to an animal that walks upright. I would love to know what started the process of life on earth and the end result of humankind.

I thank you all for taking time out of your life and explaining things in a kindergarten format. I will be around and appreciate all your help. I am getting married Saturday, so I will be gone for a week on the honeymoon. As you can see by my quick response, I am beyond just curious. Thanks guys and gals, Erik


Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by Quetzal, posted 08-07-2002 11:26 AM sonofasailor has not yet responded
 Message 6 by mark24, posted 08-07-2002 11:57 AM sonofasailor has not yet responded
 Message 7 by Andya Primanda, posted 08-07-2002 11:59 AM sonofasailor has not yet responded

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 4429 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 5 of 147 (14966)
08-07-2002 11:26 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by sonofasailor
08-07-2002 10:23 AM


Congrats on the wedding! Long life and happiness to you both (been married for 13 years next month).

If you want a good "primer" on the cells-to-modern life question, the Zimmer book I mentioned is one of the best I've seen. It should be available in most decent libraries. When you're ready to get more "technical", I've got another list for you (Wilson, Mayr, another Zimmer, etc).

Glad to have you around.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by sonofasailor, posted 08-07-2002 10:23 AM sonofasailor has not yet responded

  
mark24
Member (Idle past 3752 days)
Posts: 3857
From: UK
Joined: 12-01-2001


Message 6 of 147 (14968)
08-07-2002 11:57 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by sonofasailor
08-07-2002 10:23 AM


Sonofasailor,

Don't have a great deal of time at the moment, the evolution of man from from single cells is probably running before you can walk!

I can however recommend an excellent book, by Arthur N Strahler. Science & Earth History, The Evolution/Creation Controversy. I warn you now, it's a whopper, but will ground you in pretty much every aspect of the debate. It's a hardback, 500 pages, & cost about 30 quid (70-ish USD). It's what got me started, & I refer to it all the time.

Mark

------------------
Occam's razor is not for shaving with.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by sonofasailor, posted 08-07-2002 10:23 AM sonofasailor has not yet responded

  
Andya Primanda
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 147 (14969)
08-07-2002 11:59 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by sonofasailor
08-07-2002 10:23 AM


And you might like the Talk.origins archive for specific info. They are the ones who drag my soul into the battle against creationists of all stripes.

btw, sometimes I envy you guys. Western (American&etc) creationists have had their fair share of worthy opponents, while Harun Yahya the Turkish creationist run rampant through the Muslim world from Morocco to Indonesia and nobody (except me, as far as I know) cared to counter his arguments...


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by sonofasailor, posted 08-07-2002 10:23 AM sonofasailor has not yet responded

  
Brad McFall
Member (Idle past 3589 days)
Posts: 3428
From: Ithaca,NY, USA
Joined: 12-20-2001


Message 8 of 147 (14973)
08-07-2002 1:56 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by sonofasailor
08-06-2002 6:12 PM


So I guess I do not understand for sure if you mean evolution as is taught in schools or as a process of biological change? I appreciate your interest in perfering metadata etc on this issue and that had always been my position of the science involved but there is a problem of affording access even to the information that is contained in the public interest. I had data relevant to this quesiton but was prevented even after I paid IVY LEAGUE fees to add it to the collective database. I am free do so if I had even more money than it took 20 yrs to get but I think that is a bit steep for the new comer to the nature as I got it for free from Father Time. I am not being elliptic here I truely am not sure what involution you are most interested in. If all you want to do is to learn how the present evoltuionary theory cycle of theory and expt is actually done the controversial aspects of evolution that often emerge on a site like this would not be the place to start but rather to end in your search for this truth while you are seeking it but there is some error that can even be examined in the words of both evoltutionists and creationists if you are discerning enough to leave mother earht out of it. Just a thought more later. Brad.

This message is a reply to:
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sonofasailor
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 147 (16111)
08-27-2002 10:24 AM


Dont forget about me guys. If anyone can still help with the questions I asked above. Sorry, I have been gone on my honeymoon.

Erik


Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Fred Williams, posted 08-27-2002 7:11 PM sonofasailor has not yet responded

  
Fred Williams
Member (Idle past 3412 days)
Posts: 310
From: Broomfield
Joined: 12-17-2001


Message 10 of 147 (16125)
08-27-2002 7:11 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by sonofasailor
08-27-2002 10:24 AM


Dear Erik,

There is a reason none of the evolutionists could give you a straight answer. It is because there isn’t one. Defending evolution requires telling stories. It takes a fairytale to “defend” a fairytale.

quote:
I was hoping someone could help explain more on the origin of species and how it might have evolved through macroevolution. I read the talk origin thread on misconceptions of macro, but wish someone could be patient with me and explain in simple English.

Evolutionists attempt to redefine the definition of evolution to be true by default. I wrote a short article illuminating this equivocation:

http://www.evolutionfairytale.com/articles_debates/evolutiondefinition.htm

quote:
I often get the comment that evolution can’t be proven and if I believe in it, it must be only a faith.

Evolution can’t be proven because it is set up to not be falsifiable. And yes, it requires incredible faith to believe we evolved by mud naturalistically. I can’t say it better than Lord Kelvin, who wrote “The atheistic idea is so nonsensical that I cannot put it into words”.

quote:
Personally, I would rather listen to scientists with empirical data and testing of evidence to draw conclusions over any propaganda about an invisible man in the sky.

Your statement is *precisely* why evolutionists believe in evolution – not because of evidence, but because they want to. They willfully suppress the truth (see Romans 1).

quote:
Could someone help with the items below in common language?
1. Abiogenesis – How did it start and evolve?

Evolutionist answer: [insert fairytale story here]
Creationist answer: Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

quote:
2. Evolution – How did animals get upright, how did we go from the seas to land, how and why did we deviate into humans and chimps?

Evolutionist answer: [insert fairytale story here]
Creationist answer: See my article on mutation rates and explain to me how it could have happened:

http://www.evolutionfairytale.com/articles_debates/mutation_rate.htm

quote:
3. Evidence of an older earth - How can I contradict creationists and what formula is correct in determining it.

Evolutionist answer: Radiometric dating
Creationist answer: Evolutionist answer is built upon unprovable assumptions. That is why 20 year old rocks from Mt St Helens can yield dates in the millions of years. Also, 90% of all chronometers contradict evolutionist answer, such as “not enough helium in atmosphere”, “comets should not exist”, etc.

quote:
4. How do I know Radio carbon dating is accurate in its dating techniques?

Evolutionist answer: I want my mommy.
Creationist answer: Carbon dating does not work much past 50K years, so it isn’t a tool of the evolutionists in supporting their low-grade hypothesis. Creationists note that C-14 is often found in Carboniforous layers, yet there should be no detectable carbon in rocks that are supposed to be millions of years old.

quote:
5. How can I prove evolution?

By clicking your shoes together 3 times and praying to the good witch of the west. Then start telling stories, like how the fossils support evolution *despite* what the evidence clearly says:

http://www.evolutionfairytale.com/articles_debates/fossil_illusion.htm

quote:
I am asking help from all of you. I thank you for your time.

I was more than glad to help!

May the storytelling begin!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by sonofasailor, posted 08-27-2002 10:24 AM sonofasailor has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
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 Message 14 by mark24, posted 08-28-2002 8:11 AM Fred Williams has responded
 Message 16 by nos482, posted 09-09-2002 8:06 PM Fred Williams has responded
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Randy
Member (Idle past 4804 days)
Posts: 420
From: Cincinnati OH USA
Joined: 07-19-2002


Message 11 of 147 (16132)
08-27-2002 10:18 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Fred Williams
08-27-2002 7:11 PM


So Fred again says that evolution is a fairy tale. Hmm. What are some things we might find in fairy tales?

Fairytales often have talking animals like perhaps a talking snake? Does evolution say that a snake could talk? Or is that a claim from Biblical literalists like Fred?

How about Sons of God mating with daughters of men to produce giants in the earth? Is that a claim of science or is it found in the Bible? Sounds like a fairytale to me.

How about a person changing into something like stone or maybe a pillar of salt? I don’t remember reading about this happening in a science textbook but you find similar themes in many fairytales.

How about people living to great ages? Does evolution say that people used to live 6 or even 9 hundred years or is that fairy tale found somewhere else?

How about someone surviving in the belly of a whale or was it a great fish? I remember seeing something like that in some Disney movie on a fairytale and reading about Jonah in the Bible but I don’t think you’ll find it in a biology text.

How about someone stopping the sun? I don't think any science text says that such a thing could happen but it could happen in a fairytale.

How about representatives of all the animals on earth going to one place two by two to get on a boat for a yearlong ride with a 600 year old man and his family and then repopulating the entire earth? That sure sounds like a fairy tale to me.

So just try to keep straight who is really pushing the fairytales around here.

Of course Fred knows full well that evolution could be falsified. He just can't deal with the facts that evolution has not been falsified and is continually strengthened by new research while young earth creationism has been falsified for about 200 years. What makes it worse for him and other YECs is that the original falsifiers of the young earth myth started out sharing it. However, they were honest scientists and realized that their data didn't fit their myth. YECs have taken a big step backwards in deciding to accept the myth and reject the data.

You can look at a thread on another part of the board to see some of Fred's nonsense about the fossil record being trounced. I am surprised he keeps bringing this up since the fossil record so clearly falsifies the flood myth.

http://http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=page&f=8&t=49&p=9

and you can look at the section on dating and ask some questions if you want to see Fred's claims about dating refuted.

Randy


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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John
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 147 (16133)
08-27-2002 11:34 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Fred Williams
08-27-2002 7:11 PM


quote:
Evolutionists attempt to redefine the definition of evolution to be true by default. I wrote a short article illuminating this equivocation:

http://www.evolutionfairytale.com/articles_debates/evolutiondefinition.htm


If you read Fred's article you will notice that it is he who is playing with the definition of evolution.

quote:
Evolution can’t be proven because it is set up to not be falsifiable.

Not true. Evolution can be falsified. And it can be easily falsified, in theory. The problem is that to falsify it you need EVIDENCE that contradicts the theory, and there isn't any.

Several times on this forum, in fact, the evil-utionists have given the creationists a checklist of ways to falsify the ToE.

quote:
Your statement is *precisely* why evolutionists believe in evolution – not because of evidence, but because they want to. They willfully suppress the truth (see Romans 1).

Lets not forget about evidence. It does have weight in these sort of things.

quote:
Evolutionist answer: [insert fairytale story here]
Creationist answer: Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

LOL

quote:
Evolutionist answer: [insert fairytale story here]
Creationist answer: See my article on mutation rates and explain to me how it could have happened:

http://www.evolutionfairytale.com/articles_debates/mutation_rate.htm


Why don't you read Fred's article and ask some specifics?

[quote][b]That is why 20 year old rocks from Mt St Helens can yield dates in the millions of years.[/quote]

[/b]

This is one of the most pervasive of creationist lies. 20 year old rocks date in the millions of years IF YOU USE INCORRECT TECHNIQUES to date them.

quote:
Also, 90% of all chronometers contradict evolutionist answer, such as “not enough helium in atmosphere”, “comets should not exist”, etc.

There is no helium problem. The stuff escapes at the poles just fine. and I have no idea what the comet problem is about.
Evolutionist answer: I want my mommy.

quote:
Creationists note that C-14 is often found in Carboniforous layers

Cite please, Fred.

quote:
May the storytelling begin!

It already did, Fred--- with your post.

------------------
www.hells-handmaiden.com


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Fred Williams, posted 08-27-2002 7:11 PM Fred Williams has not yet responded

  
R. Planet
Inactive Member


Message 13 of 147 (16142)
08-28-2002 12:47 AM


Fred’s article has already been demolished in the thread Randy provided a link to. One thing I don’t see mentioned there is something that was pointed out to Fred when he provided this same article during his brief but heavy handed moderating on the old OCW board. In that thread someone questioned him about the validity of this quote from his article:

“The alleged ape-man ‘Lucy’ is another example championed by many evolutionists, but disputed by other qualified evolutionist scientists. Renowned anatomist Lord Solly Zuckerman once scornfully denounced A. afarensis as nothing more than a “bloody ape”! 10
10 Roger Lewin, Bones of Contention, 1987, p.164, 165

That question, indeed the entire post was deleted. I can only assume because that poster dared to point out Fred’s own sleight of hand ness.

This is how the actual quote from Zuckerman as recounted in Bones of Contention reads:

“One of the ironies of this occasion, which is usually little mentioned, was the surprising haste with which Zuckerman was prepared to accept Leakey's presentation. His Lordship's scorn for the level of competence he sees displayed by paleoanthropologists is legendary, exceeded only by the force of his dismissal of the australopithecines as having anything at all to do with human evolution: "They are just bloody apes," he is reputed to have observed on examining the australopithecine remains in South Africa.”

Leakey‘s presentation was on skull KNM-ER 1470 assigned to Homo habilis. The presentation was made in 1972 at a meeting associated with the Royal Zoological Society in London. Zuckerman’s made the “they are just bloody apes” statement before A. afarensis was even discovered.

No matter how you view this it’s clear Fred has misquoted his source. But then that’s nothing new for a creationist.


  
mark24
Member (Idle past 3752 days)
Posts: 3857
From: UK
Joined: 12-01-2001


Message 14 of 147 (16167)
08-28-2002 8:11 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Fred Williams
08-27-2002 7:11 PM


quote:
Originally posted by Fred Williams:
http://www.evolutionfairytale.com/articles_debates/fossil_illusion.htm

I was more than glad to help!

May the storytelling begin!


Fred,

http://http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=8&t=49&m=7#7

Regarding the fossil "illusion".

Mark

------------------
Occam's razor is not for shaving with.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Fred Williams, posted 08-27-2002 7:11 PM Fred Williams has responded

Replies to this message:
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Fred Williams
Member (Idle past 3412 days)
Posts: 310
From: Broomfield
Joined: 12-17-2001


Message 15 of 147 (17016)
09-09-2002 7:48 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by mark24
08-28-2002 8:11 AM


LOL! Erik, you asked some good questions to start this thread, and here we are a month later and all the evolutionists here *still* have not provided the evidence you requested. Like I said earlier, it is quite difficult to defend a fairytale, it requires years of practice! I'm surprised they did not at least try their just-so stories. Now that I have pointed out that they still have not answered your questions, I'm sure the stories will start to flow!

Erik, if you are still around you need to ask yourself if you want to believe in evolution because of evidence, or because you just want to. You've already admitted you want to believe in evolution. It's your choice now whether you will because you are honestly compelled to do so based on the "evidence".


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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