My opinion is that evolution is the pre-eminent scientific theory that is the most contradictory to a literal reading of the bible. Modern revival christianity seeks a christian worldview in all things, and it's my experience that they regard the separation of church and state as a troubling inconvinience to their ultimate goal - the establishment of the US as a christian state.
When you get right down to it, scientific historicity (which encompasses biology, geology, paleontology, etc.) is the one thing that directly contradicts a literal reading of the bible. Evoltuion, though, is the subset that they dislike the most because the adamic fall in Genesis is one of the major foundations of their religion, and evotion directly contradicts that account.
I think more fundamentalist chrsitans have convinced the majority of moderate christians that they can't believe in both jesus and evolution, which is why almost %50 of americans hold to some kind of creationist view. Guess we have some work to do.
Interesting. I wonder if it's a result of living in a post-rationalist world, where two things are generally held to be true by the majority of lay people: 1) that scientific learning is something to be respected (almost to the point of veneration) and 2) scientists cannot always be trusted (a result, I think, of Cold War paranoia and a blaming of science for horrible weapons). It is the first idea that makes pseudo-science and it's proponents want the veneer of science for themselves, and the second idea that allows them to do so, by the implication that scientists themselves cannot be relied on to truly determine what is science and what is not. Hence things like the courts being used to force creationism into schools, for instance.
Just some unfounded speculation on my part, but something I've been chewing on for a while, re: the question "why does pseudo-science persist?"
The weird part about all this is that technically, the Theory of Evolution isn't really about the origin of life, only its development.
But then again, Creationism is a kind of blanket model, with ramifications for chemistry, biology, geology, astrophysics, and a whole host of disciplines. But I guess "Creation Vs. Cosmological Origins, Stellar Development, Planetary Science, Geohistory, Molecular Chemistry, Paleontology, and Evolution" makes for an awful long tagline.
For instance if we would deny creation by God, then we would also tend to deny creation by humans, and continue on to tend to deny choice by humans.
That doesn't make sense to me. Saying "there's no creative god" doesn't suggest that creativity doesn't exist. I does suggest that only humans (that we know of) are capable of it to a significant degree, and thus it should be prized and protected.
I had to know much more about life, and this Theory alone could offer very little with regards to the big picture as I needed it. My research showed that the TOE does not provide overpowering evidence for this development, in and of itself, nor, and most importantly, does it provide any evidence for, or even seriously address, the Origins of life.
To the contrary, I find that the evidence for evolution as the mechanism for the development of living things to be quite overpowering. Natural selection and random mutation together form a highly robust mechanism capable of giving rise to function to a great degree. This has been demonstrated over and over.
it is also showing that the systems of life are Enormously complex, with many of the profession claiming irreducible complexity within many of those systems, which is of course an impossiblilty in all Darwinisms.
I'm not impressed by so-called "irreducible complexity" arguments. Generally the argument is something like this: "An eye is complex and if you take out the retina, it doesn't work. Therefore it's irreducible." Which of course is fallacious because there are parts of the eye, without which it will still function. Not well, but it still works enough to provide an advantage.
I mean, a building is irreducibly complex in a lot of ways, but yet, buildings are constructed from scratch. How? Using scaffolds, for instance. Those biochemical pathways we observe today which are so complex that they fail if a single step is removed, have by no means always been so. Many of our biochemical pathways contain built-in redundancy. Potentially, an "irreducibly" complex system could be "bootstrapped" via a simpler, more redundant, less efficient system which then evolved (via the loss of redundancy) into the system we see today. It would be a kind of biochemical "scaffold", if you will.
Just speculation, on my part, of course. But just because a system is irreducibly complex now, doesn't mean that it has always been that way.
When I personally attempt to view the TOE as fact, and then carry its philosophy with me in the direction of the Origins of Life, I quickly come to realize that, without question, I would have to believe in Nilallism as well, to be able accept the TOE as my explanation to the development of life.
That's only true if the origin of life is relevant to the meaning of life. I don't see this to be the case at all. They don't seem at all related to me.
Thus the two camps will continue to try and explain these Origins, and the politicizing will continue.
You're definately right about this. To me, though, it comes down to this (especially in terms of science education): Are we going to allow knowledge to be freely disseminated and explored, and accept whatever philosophical consequences that entails; or are we going to allow knowledge to be shackled by those who fear its consequences?
But I do appreciate your viewpoint. While the theory of evolution itslef says nothing about man's place in things, the obvious conclusion from it is that we're pretty unique in a very, very large cosmos. Personally I think that makes human life and thought all the more precious, as we're the only life in several billion miles with the ability to percieve meaning in the universe.
[This message has been edited by crashfrog, 05-01-2003]
Evolution says that the oceans are about 3 billion years old, yet there is only enough sediment to account for about 62 million years.
Is yet another person ignorant of plate tectonics/geology? Not to mention that evolution per se makes no claim about the age of the oceans (or the age of anything, for that matter.) Dating and age claims are generally geological.
For that matter, I'd like some idea of how you're arriving at that calculation. For instance I'm not sure which ocean you're referring to. The Atlantic is probably only 100 million years old or so, inferring from the models of continental drift I'm looking at (http://pubs.usgs.gov/publications/text/historical.html). You're probably referring to the Pacific ocean.
As for the accumulated sediment, the ocean floor is in motion - being created at rifts and being subducted back into the Earth at trenches. Therefore I would propose that what's happeing is that any given area of the Pacific floor is only around long enough to accumulate some 67 million years' worth of sediment before it's subducted back into the mantle. That's just my guess.
Noah's flood could have upset things a little don't you think
I do think. It would have upset the fossil record's generally well-reserved sorting. It also would have upset an ark full of animals. That's just two things it would have upset and already it's enough evidence to discard the idea of a Noahic flood.
For that matter, I'd like some idea of how you're arriving at that calculation.
Our friendly nieghborhood admins may have a point. If you would like to explain your calculations (or present the source for them), I think you'd best be served to start a new topic to do so. Since we're totally off-topic at this point.