Evolution, Is it Fact or Fiction?

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Cannoneer
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Evolution, Is it Fact or Fiction?

Postby Cannoneer » 2013 Jan 12 10:08

Would anyone like to ring in on this subject?
Do you believe in creation or evolution? Does matter to you either way?
Personally I do not think evolution is a viable aternative to creation. There are too many flaws in the theroy.
Darwin claimed that the fossil evidence would back up his theroy, but it clearly has not done so.

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Neck-aint-red
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Re: Evolution, Is it Fact or Fiction

Postby Neck-aint-red » 2013 Jan 12 11:44

You're pulling our chain, right?

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Cannoneer
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Re: Evolution, Is it Fact or Fiction

Postby Cannoneer » 2013 Jan 12 17:01

No, neck-aint-red,
I'm not pulling your chain, but your statement is rather vague.
Does it imply I'm the only one in this forum who believes in creation?
On the other hand does it imply that no one here believes evolution?

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Wise One
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Re: Evolution, Is it Fact or Fiction

Postby Wise One » 2013 Jan 13 00:31

Americans have a long and sad history of belief in hocus-pocus — from burning "witches" in Salem, to criminalizing biology teachers in Tennessee.
This is yet another way we pretty much look like fools to the rest of the world.
Why are we declining relative to other countries in economy, health outcomes, etc.?
A preference for fairy tales over reality among too many of our citizens has a lot to do with it.

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"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Cannoneer
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Re: Evolution, Is it Fact or Fiction

Postby Cannoneer » 2013 Jan 13 01:19

Food for thought concerning the fairy tale wise one.

Go on line and look up flowers that impersonate female bees and wasps. Then explain how the plant that cannot see or smell is able to mimic not only the females look, but also it's smell in order to get pollinated.
By the time the plant evolved this ability in order to be pollinated it would have become extinct.
Just one of my many reasons for believing in ceration.
Some of us think the folks on the other side of this debate haven't really looked at all of the evidence.

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Wise One
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Re: Evolution, Is it Fact or Fiction

Postby Wise One » 2013 Jan 13 15:28

cannoneer wrote:Then explain how the plant that cannot see or smell is able to mimic not only the females look, but also it's smell in order to get pollinated. By the time the plant evolved this ability in order to be pollinated it would have become extinct.

This argument has two logical fallacies:
  1. The organism does not need to "see or smell" in order to mislead another organism which can "see or smell". It only needs to survive. Some random evolutionary changes are helpful to survival because they fool the senses of predatory organisms.
    • Early dinosaurs could not fly but an ability to leap ever great distances proved beneficial to some species. Over thousands of millennia some evolved into the birds we see today.
    • These plants cannot "see" but survive better because animals that would eat them can see and confuse them for rocks.
  2. Incremental evolutionary changes, random and usually small, accumulate over thousands of generations if they are beneficial. Changes that prove to be beneficial have greater survival rates, those that do not disappear. While a resulting evolutionary feature may be complex, it had many baby-steps along the way.

cannoneer wrote:Some of us think the folks on the other side of this debate haven't really looked at all of the evidence.
Well of course. In science nobody ever has "all the evidence" and some evidence may even be contradictory. The best we can do, and can ever do, is to judge as best we can what the preponderance of the evidence supports. To most educated people evolutionary theory is not a close call, not at all.
Other examples?
  • The theory of classical mechanics put forth by Newton is excellent and explains enough to get a spacecraft to Mars with an accuracy of a foot or so.
  • But it is not perfect, so Einstein tweaked it with his theories of special and general relativity so that it now explains not only ordinary phenomena but also those involving high velocities and masses.
  • But it is still not perfect, so Schrödinger, Planck, Bohr, Heisenberg embellished both classical and relativistic physics with an overlay of quantum mechanics that also explains sub-microscopic phenomena and interactions between matter and radiation.
Thus it goes in all sciences, incremental advances in understanding.

Ridiculous arguments of the following kind hold great sway among conservatives:
  1. If an explanation doesn't explain everything, it explains nothing.
  2. If a proposed measure doesn't solve the entire problem, it must be rejected and we can't solve any part of the problem.
The last one is particularly popular among gunnies.
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Crux
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The contradiction?

Postby Crux » 2013 Jan 13 16:38

If there is one. There are vast swathes of Christians, even in America, that don't see a conflict between the fullness of creation, a creators wisdom and complexity of creative mechanisms, and evolution as one way the created creation, works.

One can be a Christian and "believe" in evolution! Or, they may not. I have never seen the myself, a problem here.

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Wise One
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Re: Evolution, Is it Fact or Fiction

Postby Wise One » 2013 Jan 13 22:50

You and I agree on that — there need be no contradiction between science and religion. In at least two ways:
  • One can accept religion as metaphorical, and as a conveyance for ethical principles; or
  • One can regard them as utterly unrelated, one as fiction and the other as realism.
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Cannoneer
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Re: Evolution, Is it Fact or Fiction

Postby Cannoneer » 2013 Jan 14 10:26

wise one wrote,

"This arguement has two logical flaws.
1. the organism does not need to "see or smell" in order to mislead another organism which can "see or smell" iy needs only to survive.
Early dinosaurs could not fly but an ability to leap ever great distances proved beneficial to som species. Over thousands of millennia some evolved into the birds we msee today.
"These plants" cannot "see" but survive better because animals that would eat them can see and confuse them as rocks.
Incremental evolutionary changes, random and usually small accumlate over thousands of generations if they are benefical. Changes that prove beneficial have greater survival rates, those that do not disappear. While a resulting evolutionary feature may be complex, it had many baby steps on the way.

If you are as well educated in all sciences as your post implies you must be aware of the following.

1. Evolution is still only a theroy, not fact.

2. So far the fossil evidence does not support it.

3. Nothing in nature goes from simple to complex.

4. Small incremental changes.

Consider the eye or ear. Both very complex, and no benefit to any life form at all from the various parts until all the parts are in place and working properly.

Then consider reproduction. single cell life reproduces by dividing. Try taking that in two seperate sets of small incremental changes that must arrive in the same place at the same time. (just a bit of humor)

I would mention that calling anyones religious beliefs fairy tales or is an insult.

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Crux
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Insulting?

Postby Crux » 2013 Jan 14 11:50

AO? :lol: Yes he is. At times. I refuse his suggestion that we agree.
Wise One wrote:You and I agree on that — there need be no contradiction between science and religion. In at least two ways:
  • One can accept religion as metaphorical, and as a conveyance for ethical principles; or
  • One can regard them as utterly unrelated, one as fiction and the other as realism.

Your either or bottom line is lacking. Oh. But this is your trap oh arrogant one. You seem always to think everything you think is WISE TRUTH. You are deluded in this...

The WISE one... :laughing:

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Wise One
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Re: Evolution, Is it Fact or Fiction

Postby Wise One » 2013 Jan 14 12:01

cannoneer wrote:1. Evolution is still only a theroy, not fact.
ALL science is theory, attempts to explain facts. So it is with chemistry, physics, astronomy, geology, and biology, etc.

cannoneer wrote:2. So far the fossil evidence does not support it.
You are wrong. Support for evolution is HUGE in the fossil record. Perhaps you are confusing completeness, an ideal that can never be achieved, with sufficiency.

cannoneer wrote:3. Nothing in nature goes from simple to complex.
Many things in Nature go from simple to complex. Yes, the total entropy of the Universe goes only in one direction, but there are many local deviations where entropy goes in the opposite direction. All life dies and reduces its complexity in decay, but it is also born and increases its complexity while alive. There are many cases of organisms evolving before our very eyes, increasing their complexity in response to environmental stimuli, for example bacteria in hospitals which evolve new defense mechanisms to add to their old ones, against our antibiotics. Fruit flies are favorites as experimental organisms among evolutionary biologists because only 10 days separate generations so a 3 year experiment would give over a hundred generations of evolutionary data on what a response is to some environmental change. Mammals like us move slower in our evolution, but move we do.

cannoneer wrote:4. Small incremental changes. Consider the eye or ear. Both very complex, and no benefit to any life form at all from the various parts until all the parts are in place and working properly.
This often-repeated canard really puzzles me. Some bacteria, with no complex eye, nevertheless are responsive to light as a stimulus. Other organisms have crude eyes that are poor image-formers. As organisms accumulate small changes, sometimes complexity results (eyes of mammals) and sometimes simplicity results (we now have only a vestigial remnant of a tail called the coccyx). A tenth of an eye is better than no eye and served our biological ancestors well enough at the time to give them a leg up over the competition, and it has improved since.

cannoneer wrote:Then consider reproduction. single cell life reproduces by dividing. Try taking that in two seperate sets of small incremental changes that must arrive in the same place at the same time. (just a bit of humor)
I am not following your point on this one.

cannoneer wrote:I would mention that calling anyones religious beliefs fairy tales or is an insult.
Perhaps, as is deriding people who do not embrace religious conventions.
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Crux
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hmmmm

Postby Crux » 2013 Jan 14 12:04

Hey. AO you did a fine job with TONE...

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Cannoneer
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Re: Evolution, Is it Fact or Fiction

Postby Cannoneer » 2013 Jan 14 15:14

All science is not theroy, but I give up wise one. It's impossible to argue facts with someone who speaks Ex cathedra.

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Wise One
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Re: Evolution, Is it Fact or Fiction

Postby Wise One » 2013 Jan 14 17:18

You are puzzling me. I am a scientist and delude myself into believing that I know a little something about my profession. And, yes it really is true that all science is theory.

The business of a scientist is the systematic study of facts (data), first to organize them and then to gain an understanding (theory) of what they signify.

One uses theory to predict what will happen under changed circumstances, those that depart from those pertaining to the original data.

For example, we develop a theory of gravitation that seems to work well in describing how an apple falls from a tree or the tower of Pisa, and then use it to predict how a spaceship looking nothing like an apple will behave traveling in interplanetary space at speeds and conditions unlike any on earth.

A good theory has predictive powers, often working both ways in time. For example, we can apply the theory of celestial mechanics to data on Neptune's orbit to deduce where it will be exactly 500 years from now, and also where it was exactly 500 years ago even though we have no data from those times. Forensic evolutionary biologists can map the structure of a person's DNA, compare it to other human DNA and to animal DNA, and use theories of genetics and evolutionary biology to trace past human migration patterns and genetic relationships between man and other animals.

:coffee:

(And they probably wouldn't even let me into a cathedral.)
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Cannoneer
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Re: Evolution, Is it Fact or Fiction

Postby Cannoneer » 2013 Jan 14 18:56

You puzzel me also Wise One. All of that learning and knowledge and you believe this all just happened.
If that is so you have more faith than the christians that you think believe in fairy tales.
I'm just a not really over educated old man but If I ever get to Virginia again I think I'd like to meet you and have some long talks.
However I'm sure neither of us will change what the other believes.

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Wise One
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Re: Evolution, Is it Fact or Fiction

Postby Wise One » 2013 Jan 14 20:48

It would be interesting!

I think you put your finger on a sore spot when you spoke of "belief."

A "belief" requires no evidence. Indeed it can never be proved. I "believe" green is lovelier than purple but there is way ever to prove me more correct than another person who believes the reverse. Ditto for religions.

I do not "believe" in evolution. I have seen mountains of evidence that support this as the most plausible explanation among alternatives, so that is why I accept this theory. As with all theories, it will stand so long as it explains and is consistent with most of the data. Also as with all theories, it will be modified or fall as new and more compelling data require.

Those who "believe" in creation theory are unable to offer evidence that convinces me and most other educated people that they are on the right track. But a scientist must always be open to considering new data and new explanations, so give it your best shot.

:coffee:
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Cannoneer
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Re: Evolution, Is it Fact or Fiction

Postby Cannoneer » 2013 Jan 14 21:26

Most of what I believe is based on evidence. One verse in the bible has God saying "Come let us reason together."
If you are truely open to new evidence and have not looked into it, much of the bible is fulfilled prophesy, and some of it is amazing.
For an additional mind blower check out the bible code. The trial run on it was to check out the names of a number of prominent deceased jews. The bible code found them all in skip codes with information that included their names, dates of birth, and dates of death. That's only the beginning.
But somehow based on your last post I think you're above looking into it.

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Re: Evolution, Is it Fact or Fiction

Postby Coondog » 2013 Jan 15 12:58

Study, if you will, the Periodic Table of the Elements. This is pure, basic science. Observe that, ordered only by atomic number (# of electrons), characteristics line up in groups: liquids, solids, metals, variable valences. This does not seem to me to be completely random, suggesting that there is some order to things.

"If all the elements are arranged in the order of their atomic weights, a periodic repetition of properties is obtained. This is expressed by the law of periodicity."
Dmitri Mendeleev, Principles of Chemistry, Vol. 2, 1902

Order suggests design. That design, which reflects the inherent nature of the universe, may reflect a higher order of cognizence than we can comprehend. God, maybe?

If so, there remains a bunch of unanswered questions. Philosophically speaking, it is inconcievable that God would create a universe that operates inconsistently with his/her own inherent nature. Therefore, a study of physics may well put us closer to God, in whatever form that exists, than the study of manuscripts penned by relatively primitive cultures.

If we are to put faith in ancient scripture, we must wonder why all creatures were originally created male and female except man. If we denounce the concept of evolution, where did Cain's wife come from? Is creation permeated with the very essence of God, or is he/she something external that simply watches and presumably occasionally and mysteriously intervenes? Or, like a castle in the sand, have we been created and abandoned to the whim of the tides?

And, if hell is eternal torment and heaven is populated with people like Jerry Falwell, what's the difference?

Coondog :hum:

I'd like to say I know, or believe, but, in lieu of certainty, my state of enlightenment cointinues to evolve.

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Wise One
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Re: Evolution, Is it Fact or Fiction

Postby Wise One » 2013 Jan 15 14:20

coondog wrote:Order suggests design. That design, which reflects the inherent nature of the universe, may reflect a higher order of cognizance than we can comprehend. God, maybe?

Can't rule it out. Can't prove it either. This wrangle is eternal to the human condition.

Do we have a chicken and egg problem? Order frequently appears in Nature but consider alternatives:

For example, most critters (including us) have legs of equal length. Does that indicate beautiful and ordered symmetry imposed by a benevolent god? Or does it merely indicate that those with legs of unequal length ran badly, got dispatched by passing carnivores, and thereby subtracted unequal leg lengths from the gene pool?

Does Nature count numbers? Or is the arrangement in serial sequence of the periodic table of elements (1,2,3,4, ...) merely a human construct? Nature surely populates atomic electron shells by the numbers, but the ordering of elements by those numbers (noble gases, rare earths, metals, might be just a human invention that suits our convenience.

It's all so confusing.

:coffee:
"If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like Donald Trump."

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Coondog
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Re: Evolution, Is it Fact or Fiction

Postby Coondog » 2013 Jan 15 15:36

I dunno! The elements are ordered according to observable properties. That's why I suggested a study rather than a casual glance. Valences! Now, we can render it indeciperable by shortening or lengthening the horizontal or vertical display, but the fact that they CAN be ordered as commonly presented says something.........

Mathematics, I hear, is the language of the universe.

Coondog :dontknow:

My doctor tells me that one leg is shorter than the other. Yet, I survived! Superior intellect? Divine intervention? Well, that's another question, eh?