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Desperate Times for Darwinism?

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Chris Freeland, Mar 13, 2005.

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  1. Jim Parker

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    Very true - as of yet. Genetics is where computers were in 1960. Just give them some more time. Maybe 50 years or so? :)

    Now there's a fringe group. I couldn't remember the referance, so I had to look it up. Thanks for reminding me of them. :p



    Was it Wang Chung? I can't remember who did it, so looked up a Wang Chung web site and didn't find it listed. It doesn't really matter, just a little joke anyway. :)
     
  2. Danny R

    Danny R Goblin the Pug DBSTalk Gold Club

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    but don't you realize that allowing something in principle and admitting that it did happen thousands and millions of times just to make one significant change in one thing and this leads to all we observe on earth are two different arguements.

    Yes I realize it, which is why I say argue them separately. Saying life is impossible because of the 2nd law of thermodynamics is simply false and just shows a very poor understanding of science. If you can't understand a basic principle such as the 2nd law, why should we believe anything you have to say on other scientific principles? Doing so only weakens one's argument.

    Arguing that life is improbably is a totally different argument, and entirely different from the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

    and shutting someone up (who is not being abusive or obsene) only leads to lack of what we are here for. Now, who's next?

    I didn't "shut anyone up". If anything, I gave good advice on how he should argue the point in the future. If you want to have a debate, the first rule of thumb is to call folks on any bullshit, and make certain that nobody uses information that is blatantly false.

    Very true - as of yet. Genetics is where computers were in 1960. Just give them some more time. Maybe 50 years or so?

    Personally I think the point will come where people will be manipulating genetic code as easily as they manipulate computer code. In fact, the two should complement each other, as theories on how we keep digital information intact could be applied to genetic code and help prevent decay and thus aging. Our bodies are notably ineffecient at protecting our genetic code from mutation, oxydation and change from division to division, let alone direct attacks such as virus infiltration. I can imagine a day when each section of DNA has an added "parity" bit or the like and our DNA is fully protected.
     
  3. rickfromthesticks

    rickfromthesticks AllStar

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    OK, you've made me feel welcome, thank you. I have not lurked around here much, I came to investigate something about my dbs and did not know the potpourri forum was here. Therefore I am ignorant of the ongoing discussions but appreciate an opportunity to add my 2 cents worth. I have discussed this at length in "real" life.

    If it is scientific arguements you are looking for, there will be no definitive answers as neither side can prove their case. Getting back to the original article, it states that Darwinians are on the defensive and this is true. One of their real problems is the lack of observed evidence and the incredulity of all the random events needed to bring nothing to what is observed. As math has improved the calculations require older and older universal timelines. When I was a kid the universe was hundreds of millions of years old. Then it was a billion years old. Then 3 billion, then 10 and now 15. Is science really getting better or am I really that old? What is really driving these numbers is the math of evolution. Were the best scientists of the 1960's blathering idiots? No, but now the Darwin supporters know that life as we know it could not have happened any quicker than the age of the universe, so their "science" has to allow that. The intelligent design folks are pointing to all the false or arranged evidence (as the article gives examples) that are not only unsupported, but are really counterproductive to real science. The evolutionists are having a hard time with real challenges because for decades no one in the scientific world has had to even answer questions because the professional organizations such as the journals that publish research would not entertain anything that would dispute evolution.

    Evolution is going on trial in Kansas, it is being compared to the Scopes trial and I for one am looking forward to see what happens. Specific representatives from all sides are going to present their evidence before this big school board, but national coverage is going to make it a worldwide event. Is this general knowledge, or did I just catch it because the Kansas City Star is linked to my home page?
     
  4. spanishannouncetable

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    "Turning Japanese" was an 80's classic from The Vapors.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Danny R

    Danny R Goblin the Pug DBSTalk Gold Club

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    the incredulity of all the random events needed to bring nothing to what is observed

    Now there you have hit upon a real problem. Simply put you are quite right that evolution is incredible to believe.

    However, so is relativity.

    So is a round earth thats not at the center of the universe.

    The bronze age people thought lightning was equally incredible.

    So yes the science is complex and difficult to imagine. But that doesn't mean its not true or requires a diety of some sort to explain it. But humans find comfort in assigning higher powers to those things that defy easy explaination. Evolution has proven no different.

    When I was a kid the universe was hundreds of millions of years old. Then it was a billion years old. Then 3 billion, then 10 and now 15. Is science really getting better or am I really that old?

    Depending on how old you are, the former is the correct answer... science is getting better.

    Before radioactivity was fully understood in the early 20th century, the age of the earth was based solely on erosion and sedementation patterns. This theory however is very flawed because it depended on such patterns being uniform over time.

    When early radioisotope dating was developed, the ages given didn't match the earlier dates and thus the results were discredited. Only in 1925 was the radioisotope dating considered reliable enough to revise the Geological Time Scale.

    Different isotopes are only useful back to a certain amount of time. Carbon 14 dating for instance only dates things back thousands of years. Thus when K-Ar dating was developed after WWII lead to a new revision of the GTS in 1964, pushing the timespan further still.

    Ultimately however dating or planet is only possible to a certain extent. To prove something is old, you have to find a rock of that same age. Beyond a certain point any age dating becomes impossible, as the earth is not a static body that hasn't changed, but is still quite active. Old rocks are destroyed and new rockes formed. To get beyond the age of the oldest rock, you have to look outside our planet.

    Here to science has also improved over the years. We are really just barely beginning to explore our neighbors in space, with each trip unfolding tons of more information previously not even imagined. Hubble alone has vastly expanded our concept of the size and age of the universe, thus calling for longer timespans.

    now the Darwin supporters know that life as we know it could not have happened any quicker than the age of the universe, so their "science" has to allow that

    You are putting the cart before the horse. The age of the universe is unrelated to the biological theory of evolution, and the dating principles involved are entirely independent and stand on their own.

    Life is NOT as old as the universe. Far far younger in fact, at least on this planet.

    The intelligent design folks are pointing to all the false or arranged evidence (as the article gives examples) that are not only unsupported, but are really counterproductive to real science.

    Yes science has had frauds. Interesting thing about it however is that fellow scientists have been the ones to discover and refute those folks, and then worked so that the accurate data was well known.

    Creationists on the other hand likewise have their frauds and gross misrepresentations (Dino blood, Paluxy footprints), and many of these are still used as "proof" even today, despite being discredited already. This is no different than the 2nd law argument above, where creationists keep bringing it up when its obviously not relevant.

    Evolution is going on trial in Kansas... Is this general knowledge, or did I just catch it because the Kansas City Star is linked to my home page?

    Probably not general knowlege yet. I'm aware of it because of coverage over at Panda's Thumb.
     
  6. MarkA

    MarkA God Bless America! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    Well, I won't get into the argument about Creation vs. Evolution (I'm a Creationist). But seriously - at least come up with something more sensible than Darwinian Evolution, which just sounds downright silly when talked about. The best example I have (designed to be such) of just how silly Darwinian Evolution is, is the song "Chicken Soup" by childrens musician Alan Root (though he's a kids musician - he's got real credentials in this field - he majored in geology and he taught college geology).

    Now is evolution real? On a micro level, of course (evolution within a species, natural selection). That's an observable fact. On a macro level (between species)? I don't believe so, but there's a lot of evidence both ways. If it is true, did Darwin have things even close to correct? Absolutely not, his theories sound incredibly silly in fact. I've talked to a geology professor at a (secular) university I attended who acknowledged that Darwin didn't exactly get it right. She defended Darwin to a greater degree than I would, but did acknowledge there's a lot of flaws and holes in the theory and presented me with some alternative theories; which do make more sense.
     
  7. astrotrf

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    Evolution really had nothing to do with this changing of the cosmological timescale. It was a well-known conundrum in astronomy for quite some time that the oldest stars in the universe appeared to be older than the universe itself. Measurements of the "Hubble constant", directly related to the age of the unverse, gave widely separated results depending on exactly what observational evidence was used to deduce the value.

    These problems all went away, slowly but surely, as we gained better knowledge of the universe. Nowadays, many widely different methods of gauging the age of the universe are all in general agreement.

    The thing the "intelligent design" advocates (and non-scientists in general) don't seem to be able to grasp is that they are not the only ones to "point out the false or arranged evidence". If the situation were truly as unambiguous as they make it out to be, there would be legions of evolutionary biologists just waiting to pounce on this putative bad evidence.

    It isn't like you have to sign a pledge in blood to become a scientist, you know. Scientists are always on the lookout for flaws in theories, their own as well as somebody else's. Witness the recent debates on whether dinosaurs were or were not warm-blooded, whether T. Rex was a hunter or a scavenger, whether birds are evolved dinosaurs, etc.

    The idea that evolutionary biology marches in lockstep, unquestioning, focused only on the narrow road straight ahead, is simply ludicrous.

    It could only be believed by religious advocates, who in fact *do* march in lockstep, unquestioning, focused only on the narrow road straight ahead.

    Terry
     
  8. jonstad

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    Aloha Rick!:sunsmile:

    Danny, as usual, has done a fine job explaining your reservations. I'd just like to address several points.

    There IS no "lack of observed evidence" either for natural selection OR evolution. Neither is there any lack of experimental or archeologic evidence favoring both as highly probable and likely. As for "observed", I previously mentioned bacteria that's become resistant to antibiotics and HIV virus that mutates nearly as fast as we can develop treatments for the latest strain. This might be considered as fantastic as humans becoming immune to cyanide or strychnine, or becoming impervious to bullets. But in fact, it's just an adaption to environment just as humans adapted when our ancestors left Africa. As they moved away from the tropics, their skin got lighter and they grew less tall. And here's why. Vitamin D is produced when sunlight strikes our skin. And that is a good thing. But too much vitamin D can be toxic over extended periods. Therefore when living in the tropics, it's better to have a dark skin to block some of the sunlight. Conversely, as one moves north or south there is less direct sunlight, so a lighter skin color allows for the same amount, just the right amount, of vitamin D, especially when more skin is normally covered the farther one ventures from the equator. And I think we can all agree the rule of thumb is the farther a native population is from the tropics, the lighter shade of their skin. Also, higher latitudes are normally colder. A short, stout body shape allows for less heat loss then a tall, slender one. Archeologic evidence indicates the average height of native Europeans is about six inches less then their ancestors of 20-30 thousand years ago, shortly(no pun intended:D) after our species first arrived in Europe.(sorry Bogy, you're obviously a throwback;)) There are very few Eskimos in the NBA!

    Why did this happen? Because it was advantageous in higher latitudes to be short with light skin. Advantageous for what? survivability and it's close cousin, reproduction.

    And this leads to my other point. Natural selection and evolution are not "random events". The clue should be in the very name itself, "SELECTION". Traits that are advantageous to survival and reproduction are naturally selected. I assume you can see the logic of this. Any species at a disadvantage to survive and reproduce will probably soon be extinct. So evolution, the cumulative result of natural selection is not random at all. It is very intensely directed to survival and reproduction. Again, as would logically be the case.

    What IS "random" are the various attributes and occasional mutation naturally selected. Contrary to popular belief, "mutations" are not the primary driving force behind evolution. In any sizable species population there will occur by chance a number who are less prone to certain diseases, toxins, etc. As long as the particular disease or toxin is not prevalent in the species' environment, it's no problem for anyone. If however there is an introduction of the disease or toxin, especially over extended periods, those with resistance are LESS likely to die and therfore MORE likely to survive, reproduce and pass on the resistance to their offspring. Whatever is left of this species will eventually ALL be resistant. And the same paradigm extends to other environmental factors. Giraffes are not found roaming Siberia because their ancestors evolved in the ecological niche of African savannas and scrub land and adaptations were selected NATURALLY for survival and reproduction there. Again, not random at all, very directed for survival and reproduction in a defined habitat.

    And the same applies to bacteria finding themselves attacked by antibiotics and HIV under siege from our various treatments. And it holds true for short, light-skinned Europeans too.

    Someone mentioned cattle and dogs as humans taking advantage of "natural selection". This is grossly NOT true, albiet an understandable mistake. Modern cattle and dogs are the result of artificial, DIRECTED selection. And we were pretty clumsy at it. For most of the time we "selected" solely on the grounds of how docile, how fat, or how well they took to training and direction. Yet in only a few thousand years we have developed species that only superficially resemble their wild ancestors. A few short millenia past, the ancestors of chihuahuas and dachshunds were WOLVES.:eek2: So given some direction, astounding results can be achieved in a very short time. And there are no directions more compelling then survival and reproduction. It is no surprise then what diversity of life we find after hundreds of millions of years of natural selection directed in such a manner. In fact it may be surprising there is not MORE diversity of life. And there is! Just look at the fossil record. Nearly all species that ever existed are now extinct. The few that remain are the "fittest" to survive and reproduce in Earth's current environment and habitats. Exactly what Darwin and the laws of natural selection would predict.
     
  9. HappyGoLucky

    HappyGoLucky Banned User

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    Sorry, but you're wrong. Next!
     
  10. HappyGoLucky

    HappyGoLucky Banned User

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    It was The Vapors, not Wang Chung.
     
  11. HappyGoLucky

    HappyGoLucky Banned User

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    There is no such thing as "micro" and "macro" evolution. Those terms were invented by religionists, not scientists. Because the religionists could not explain away the observable effects of evolution in certain cases, they came up with a term they could use in order to cover up their own flawed reasoning.
    Darwin merely presented the concept of natural selection. The actual origins of evolution theory were already present long before Darwin, and like any other scientific theory it is continuously altered and adapted to account for further research and data. The theory now is little like the theory 50 years ago, some things that were accepted then are not now, and many things that were not even dreamed of then are taken for granted now, etc. That's the beauty of science: constantly reinventing itself to account for all observable data.
     
  12. djlong

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    If you accept the idea of evolution from unicellular to multi-cellular life - evolving new species is *child's play* compared to that.
     
  13. Jim Parker

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    Just a few thoughts to add.

    "Is science really getting better....."

    Yes! It is absolutely amazing how much science has advanced in the last century. Not only is it increasing, it is increasing at an exponential rate. To simplify it, the knowledge base is not growing in a straight line. i.e. 1 unit of knowledge (lets call that "K"), 2k, 3k, 4k, 5K over a given time span, it is 1K, 2K, 4K, 8K, 16K. And it shows no sign of slowing down! This is, of course, a generalization as different fields of knowledge are growing at different rates. New technologies like molecular biology and computers are growing very fast, while steel is not.

    Compare that to religion, where it is 1k, 1k, 1k, 1k, 1k :D for the last 2000 years (I am assuming the religion is Christianity). Pardon me will I put on my flame proof suit. :lol:

    "The evolutionists are having a hard time with real challenges because for decades no one in the scientific world has had to even answer questions because the professional organizations such as the journals that publish research would not entertain anything that would dispute evolution. "

    Your logic is faulty. Just because the scientific journals are not publishing anti evolution articles does not mean that it is because there are no answers to the questions. The scientific journals are not publishing flat Earth articles either.


    The argument that it is so very improbable for life to have developed by chance alone that it could not have happened at all is full of logic flaws. Very unlikely events happen to us every day of our lives. The key factor is that there are so many events that COULD happen, that unlikely events DO occur.

    Consider a simple example: You are stuck in a traffic jam. On your right is a blond lady driving a BMW with the license plate BIMBO. To your left is an 18 wheeler with Safeway on the door. In front of you is a young man with a beat up VW van that is blowing blue smoke out the exhaust. Behind you is a business man driving a Mercedes and talking on the cell phone.

    What are the odds that that exact combination will occur? Beats me, :confused: maybe a trillion to one, but there it is.

    Or: You go to church Sunday. What are the odds that everybody will be sitting in the exact order that they are? You could say that only God knows. :) However, if somebody was good at math and knew how many people were in church, they could figure it out.

    There are so many ways that various carbon, hydrogen, oxygen etc. atoms could combine into molecules, such as amino acids and our DNA, that the odds of a self replicating molecule being created are not so high after all.
     
  14. RichW

    RichW Hall Of Fame/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    You guys need to read up on "hox" genes.
     
  15. Bogy

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    I used this in a sermon a few weeks back, and I don't remember it exactly, but currently knowledge doubles about every 10 years. I think it is by about 2012 that knowledge is expected to double every 18 months. Half of what you learned yesterday will be worthless in five years, either because it is outdated or further study has shown it to be untrue.

    No flames, but it depends on the Christian, or preson of faith. I heard a Rabbi last Friday declare that religion is a living thing, always changing and developing. This is the same attitude I and my denomination have.

    Actually, in many churches I could predict with pretty good reliability EXACTLY where 90% of the church would be sitting any given Sunday. :D
     
  16. Jim Parker

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    Hi Bogy
    I have a hard enough time keeping up with the advances in electrical construction, and it does not move nearly as fast as many other fields.


    I freely admit that this was a bit of bear baiting on my part. Just wanted to see what responses I would get. :)

    We are creatures of habit, arn't we? Myself included. This is completely different than the being creatures of Hobbit. :lol: Sorry, just couldn't resist that pun. :p
     
  17. Jim Parker

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    OK, I was not familar with the term, so a bit of surfing found:

    homeobox genes: A set of genes that are important in developmental patterns. These establish segments in an embryo that may become specific organs or tissue types. In general, "homeotic" genes are genes that control the development of organisms, and "homeogenes" or "homeobox genes" are the subset of homeotic genes that contain "homeoboxes". "Hox" genes are a subset of homeogenes that determine positional cell differentiation and development. Mutations in Hox genes result in the conversion of one body part into another: for example, in the fruit fly Drosophila, a specific Hox mutation results in a leg developing where an antenna would normally be.


    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/04/index.html

    I saw a good example of this the other day. A Creationist made a complete ass of himself. :D
     
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