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Author Topic:   Most convincing evidence for evolutionary theory
Doddy
Member (Idle past 3986 days)
Posts: 563
From: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 01-04-2007


Message 1 of 189 (398495)
05-01-2007 1:25 AM


I'm sure many of you, the members of this site, have spent a long time debating with creationists. You probably know what sort of things they ignore, what things they won't understand, and what things they don't want to know.

So, taking all this into account, what is your personal opinion regarding the evidence for evolution? What piece of evidence have you been successful with in debating creationists? Perhaps you have an 'old faithful' example, maybe a transitional or a homologous structure, that always does the trick. Maybe you once were a creationist, and some amazing evidence did the trick. Or do you think that nothing works, and the only way for a creationist to work things out is to come to the realisation it himself (or herself)?

In my opinion, I don't think genetics, atavisms, radiometric dating, fossils or biogeography are very useful evidences, because they are too complicated for creationists to comprehend. Too often, they will resort to a creationist website instead of trying to understand it. Also, I used to think that structural homology was better evidence, but I came across a creationists who said that "A modern Corolla and a Camry share the same design, because they are both made by Toyota" so that stopped that line of reasoning. Personally, I'm now giving up on evidence-based approaches, and am going on the defensive: just refute creationist claims until they realise that they are wrong, and let them work it out from there.

So, this is why I wanted to start this thread. Help re-inspire me that creationists can, sometimes, understand and be convinced by evidence.

PS:I hope this topic hasn't been done recently. Actually, I you know of it being done at all, please link to it as I would appreciate reading it.


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AdminNosy
Administrator
Posts: 4754
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Joined: 11-11-2003


Message 2 of 189 (398509)
05-01-2007 2:09 AM


It has been done
Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

This has actually been done before. But in a short search I didn't find it. It's been awhile anyway.

Edited by AdminNosy, : No reason given.


  
mark24
Member (Idle past 3272 days)
Posts: 3857
From: UK
Joined: 12-01-2001


Message 3 of 189 (398525)
05-01-2007 3:49 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Doddy
05-01-2007 1:25 AM


Doddy,

The statistical congruence of cladograms based on different datasets, & the congruence of cladograms with stratigraphy. That is; the order of first appearance in the rocks with the cladogram order of appearance.

Not that I've ever been successful with this, since they simply won't/don't grasp the enormous evidential quality of the correlations. Apparently massive correlations are dismissed as mere coincidence.

Mark


There are 10 kinds of people in this world; those that understand binary, & those that don't
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Nuggin
Member (Idle past 570 days)
Posts: 2965
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Joined: 08-09-2005


Message 4 of 189 (398532)
05-01-2007 4:04 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Doddy
05-01-2007 1:25 AM


What piece of evidence have you been successful with in debating creationists?

Gotta go with archaeoptrix on this one. Though, by saying that, I mean the whole host of fossils demonstrating feather evolution.

It's great to watch the fundies turn chicken on this topic (Could not resist!).

"It's a bird"
but it has teeth
"It's a lizard"
but it has feathers
"it's a lizard that died on top of a bird, so it looks like 1 animal but in fact it's two."
We have dozens of these fossils.
"Um, I think I left the oven on. I gotta go."
Very well then.


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Quetzal
Member (Idle past 3949 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 5 of 189 (398546)
05-01-2007 10:11 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Doddy
05-01-2007 1:25 AM


Damn. I was going to say biogeography and convergent evolution until you posted:

In my opinion, I don't think genetics, atavisms, radiometric dating, fossils or biogeography are very useful evidences, because they are too complicated for creationists to comprehend.

With that stricture, I guess I can't think of anything that would instantly turn on the light for a creationist. It is, in essence, the key problem in the debate: evolutionary theory is relatively simple in concept, but extremely complex in detail. If they don't buy the concept, they're never going to "get" the details. Creo websites with their contentless pablum and rhetorical essays are (to paraphrase myself on another thread), "ever so much easier to swallow".

You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him think.


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Fosdick 
Suspended Member (Idle past 3577 days)
Posts: 1793
From: Upper Slobovia
Joined: 12-11-2006


Message 6 of 189 (398551)
05-01-2007 11:02 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Quetzal
05-01-2007 10:11 AM


Quetzal wrote:

You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him think.

I seem to recall that one as: 'You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think.'

—HM


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RAZD
Member
Posts: 19756
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 5.5


Message 7 of 189 (398559)
05-01-2007 12:25 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Doddy
05-01-2007 1:25 AM


The Best Example is ...
What piece of evidence have you been successful with in debating creationists? Perhaps you have an 'old faithful' example, maybe a transitional or a homologous structure, that always does the trick.

I don't believe an iconoclastic dogmatic creationist can be convinced of anything that doesn't meet their narrow view of the universe. There are people that believe in a flat earth at the center of the universe, and nothing will disabuse them of this delusion.

You probably know what sort of things they ignore, what things they won't understand, and what things they don't want to know.

As in anything and everything that contradicts their narrow dogmatic iconoclastic view of the universe?

Also, I used to think that structural homology was better evidence, but I came across a creationists who said that "A modern Corolla and a Camry share the same design,

As do Hondas, Mazdas, Mercedes, Volkswagens, Chevrolets, etcetera, because of cross-fertilization of design ideas within designed and manufactured objects. You can even run a cladogram on designed elements to see where certain things crop up in the process, with several design elements being common to certain manufacturers and others being common across the board. The result will not be a cladogram such as you find for life. Look at rear-window wipers for instance. One year volvo came out with one. The next year nearly everyone had one. That is how design works: good ideas are used wherever they would benefit.

... what is your personal opinion regarding the evidence for evolution? What piece of evidence ...

What's the best example of evidence for evolution?

Life.

Not one element within that sample set contradicts the theory of evolution. The amount of evidence that supports evolution is every single living thing we know of on earth and every single ancestral record we can find.

Enjoy.


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Replies to this message:
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Clark
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 189 (398575)
05-01-2007 2:48 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Doddy
05-01-2007 1:25 AM


Deep Time
If you're dealing with a YEC, the TOE itself is probably not the place to start. The first thing I would start with is deep time, and as evidence, I would point to the stars. Just take them outside and point to the blurry patch that is the Andromeda Galaxy which is 2 million light years away. Without getting into details, that is really the simplest thing to show someone and it's very accessible and immediate.

For the TOE, I know you discounted biogeography, but that is also pretty straight-forward and easy to understand (marsupials, Darwin's finches, ring species).

For human evolution, I'm partial to Lucy. She's a hominid that is fully bipedal, but otherwise very chimp-like.


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petrophysics1
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 189 (398583)
05-01-2007 3:19 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Doddy
05-01-2007 1:25 AM


I think it is quite difficult to argue on the internet, there being such a large amount of misinformation and/or omission of information.

However taking someone into the field to actually look at the rocks will quickly result in their understanding they have been lied to by creationists. It's what happened to the ICR lads who went into the oil industry. Something about reading a book or listening to someone explain something that is very different than having to think and solve that problem yourself.

Largely the YECs who show up here have never actually had to solve a real world problem in geology or biology. If they did they would know how inane they sound.

As far as evolution goes I like to use the 5 great extinctions (End Ordovician, Late Devonian, End Permian(96% of marine species gone and about 70% of land species, End Triassic, and End Cretaceous) After each, over time, many new species were evolved replacing the lost biodiversity. Was each of these a "special creation" or is there just some natural mechanism at work?

Have a look at the graph of "shelly" marine families at the bottom of this link.

http://eesc.columbia.edu/courses/ees/life/lectures/lect06.html

Pretty hard to claim that after every time families were lost, God started creating new ones.

But like RAZD I don't think it will make any difference here. It could with the lurkers, but we'll never know.


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subbie
Member (Idle past 37 days)
Posts: 3508
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 10 of 189 (398598)
05-01-2007 4:19 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Doddy
05-01-2007 1:25 AM


Junk DNA
Can't recall where, but I recently saw something about junk DNA that was rather compelling. The gist of it was the way you can trace the evolution of junk DNA through various species as confirmatory evidence. The power of it, it seems to me, is that I can't imagine what possible design inference anyone could come up with to explain why related species have related junk DNA since, by definition, it serves no purpose in being there. About the only thing that seems even possible to me is the old fall-back argument that his lordship put that in there as a way to test our faith.

If anyone can find a site that explores this idea I'd appreciate looking at it.


Those who would sacrifice an essential liberty for a temporary security will lose both, and deserve neither. -- Benjamin Franklin

We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat


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Simonsays
Junior Member (Idle past 4182 days)
Posts: 29
From: Ca., U.S.A.
Joined: 05-01-2007


Message 11 of 189 (398623)
05-01-2007 7:40 PM


copyright enfringement
Hi all,
This is my first time at this site. Subbie beat me to the punch with his junk DNA post. Subbie, I saw an article at I believe the "Talk Origins" site on Copyright Enfringement and junk DNA. Basically, you can spot a copy vs. an original creation by the copy having a (specific) error at the (same) site as the original document. The article gave an example from I believe the 1940's of a copyright case concerning a yellow pages book. Apparently it's quite common for publishers to insert erroneous data into their books to try and catch plagerists.(It's easy to see how this can apply to DNA.)
I also like starting with a "deep time" argument when talking to Creo's...Unfortunately, with Y.E.C's no evidence will be enough I'm afraid.
If there isn't already a book out there intitled "Evilution; Hear no Evol, see no Evol, speak no Evol", then there should be.
    
Doddy
Member (Idle past 3986 days)
Posts: 563
From: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 01-04-2007


Message 12 of 189 (398624)
05-01-2007 7:40 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Quetzal
05-01-2007 10:11 AM


Language and Images
Quetzal writes:

You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him think.


That is ever so true. However, there must be some methods that are more effective at getting said "horse" to think.

You mentioned "contentless pablum abd rhetorical essays". Do you think that we should change our language from that of concise scientific prose to something more akin to a convincing and persuasive discourse?

PS: I once had a creationist who had much the same problem with me as I had with him. He refused to use logical reasoning and observation of the evidence, and I refused to use faith in scripture. Ultimately, the problem was that I thought what I could reason from the evidence was more true than what I could read (and interpret) in the Bible, but he thought the other way around.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him believe your dogma.


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Doddy
Member (Idle past 3986 days)
Posts: 563
From: Brisbane, Australia
Joined: 01-04-2007


Message 13 of 189 (398626)
05-01-2007 7:51 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by subbie
05-01-2007 4:19 PM


Re: Junk DNA
Not meaning to hijack this thread (if there is too much debate, I'll find/start another thread for this) but the problem with Junk DNA, as I experience it, is that increasingly more of it is found to have function. There is a professor at my university, Prof John Mattick, who is a proponent of this hypothesis that most junk DNA is actually doing something (read his piece in the journal Science here). He is pretty famous overseas (with publications in Nature and Science) let alone here, which leads to a problem if I try bring up junk DNA as an argument with creationists around campus (who tell me that God made it work like that, and how slow scientists are to only just now be working that out).

Edited by Doddy, : punctuation


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Simonsays
Junior Member (Idle past 4182 days)
Posts: 29
From: Ca., U.S.A.
Joined: 05-01-2007


Message 14 of 189 (398627)
05-01-2007 7:58 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by RAZD
05-01-2007 12:25 PM


Re: The Best Example is ...
Ahh, the common designer reply to the structural homogony argument.One of the problems with that reasoning is that the presumed designer is omniscient,omnipotent,and omnipresent...He would not be (limited) to the kind of design we see in nature.(I.e. descent with modification)
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Zhimbo
Member (Idle past 4089 days)
Posts: 571
From: New Hampshire, USA
Joined: 07-28-2001


Message 15 of 189 (398628)
05-01-2007 8:03 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by Doddy
05-01-2007 7:51 PM


Re: Junk DNA
Well, there's Junk DNA - generally non-coding DNA, some of which does have some "purpose", arguably - and then there's Junk DNA.

Having a broken gene for vitamin C production makes no sense any way you slice it - except evolutionarily.
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section2.html#mol_vestiges

Having retrovirus segments in common with close evolutionary relatives in the same location, ditto.
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/section4.html#retroviruses


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