OT - For those that like political discussion on rmr - you can even discuss religion with this one



Or, (with apologies to Clarke) "Since I can't understand it, it must be magic."
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Dan Cox wrote:

Your argument, in a nutshell, is as follows:
"I can't figure out how it happened. Therefore, Quaquiutu the Ubiquitous must have done it. (Fill in whatever deity or tribal image you feel comfortable with.)
ID is decidedly NOT science. It fails on a number of criteria.
In order for a theory to be scientific, it must be observable and measureable. When somebody advances a "scientific" theory that cannot be measured in any manner, it is not science. It is something far less than science.
A scientific theory must be verifiable and falsifiable. The facts leading to the conclusion must be independently repeatable. "A miracle occured" or "Harry Potter waved his magic wand and made it so" cannot be independently verified or repeated.

Now hold on there, buddy. The poorly and inaccurately named Big Bang theory is the result of scientific observation that continues today. The evidence in favor includes the expansion of the universe and the background radiation left behind from The First Event. (I like that name a lot better.)

That's nice. Now prove it. Show me your experimental data and/or quantitative observations. Show me the numbers.

Once again the latter-day luddites are using the word "theory" as synonymous with "it's just a guess." Science doesn't work that way. Science demands facts. A hypothesis does not advance to the level of theory until it has facts to back it up and can be used to predict behavior. It is NOT just an opinion.

So am I. But I don't mix religion and science. We used to do that. Let's not forget that Galileo was tried and convicted of publishing heresy, (i.e., the heretical and scripturally erroneous notion that the Earth is not the center of the universe) and scripture was used to convict him.
Antway, what better proclaims the glory of God? A universe that's less than 10,000 years old? Or a universe that's at least 15 billion years in the making?

Which proves nothing. It is the preponderance of evidence that proves the theory. By your logic, atomic theory proves nothing because it has so many gaps in it, and it cannot reconcile with special relativity and quantum theory. This will, of course, be of infinite comfort to the good people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Bill Sullivan
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The Rocket Scientist wrote:

And since the scientists who study this have yet to fully explain it they daily refer to a theory as a fact.

No one has observed evolution. Breeding for a desired result is not evolution. Evolution says one thing became something else entirely.

And no one has verified evolution or the creation of life in the beginning. They have discovered a number of species some of them agrueably related but they have not proven in the labratory or elsewhere that one thing changes into another thing entirely.

I don't think anyone really questions the event of the big bang, that wasn't my point.

I don't need to, it's one of the 'big ideas' in physics, and if Michiu Kaku thinks it's a swell idea then I'm inclined to agree with him.

So why do we still call it a theory? Why not hte law of evolution as someone else has suggested?

I never said in any post that I believed in history as portrayed in the bible and neither does ID although that is what it has been associated with. ID simply says that a watchmaker of sorts had to have a hand in the process, it doesn't say it did it in 6 days ad nauseum.

Um apples and kumquats. Trying to agrue something by comparing it to something completely unrelated just doesn't do it for me. Bombs work, so do nuclear reactors, I don't think there's much new to discover there....
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Ya know, this whole thread is turning into a Monty Python skit.
"To be sure, Darwin's theory of evolution is imperfect. However, the fact that a scientific theory cannot yet render an explanation on every point should not be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis, grounded in religion, into the science classroom or to misrepresent well-established scientific propositions."
"Yes it can!"
"It can't!"
"It can too!"
"No, you can't!"
"Yes, I can!"
-ding-
"I'm sorry, your time is up."
"But I'm not done arguing!"
-silence-
Bill Sullivan
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Dan Cox wrote:

This is just so wrong.

See above.
Just where did You get the idea that, "Evolution says one thing became something else entirely."?
You are not identical to Your parents. You are also not, "something else entirely". Now imagine, say a million generations down the "road", how big a difference there could be between Your parents and those Coxs 20 million years in the future?
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Dave Grayvis wrote:

You start with a single celled organism and somehow that became a human being,, that's what I'm referring to and that's what I don't buy. And in regards to the 20 million years question: That's just it we don't know, just as we do not know that everything that preceeded us indeed resulted IN us. I'd really like to believe that evolution as it is taught explains it but for me it doesn't. Life is just too complex, hell the fact that we're sentient throws a whole nother 'monkey' wrench in the works when nothing else on the planet is.......
I do think that some of the processes that are said to have occurred did, but I do not think they happened by chance. It is interesting to realize that if it is so against the odds for life to even occur which is what they always seem to state then why do we have the abundance and variety of life that we do? You would think that one thing would have succeeded and that would be all, not this plethora of successful creatures. That's a hell of a lot of luck. Think also of all the little customized adaptations that creatures have. It just makes no sense to me that they somehow created those for themselves even with random mutation because even with random mutation you'd have to have enough of them with the same mutation to breed a new line of 'critters'. One fish is born for instance with a glowing dangling bit off the top of his head in the deep ocean,,so he lives better because he can trick other little fish in to looking at it which he promply eats,, he may pass that mutation on to his kids but they by themselves can't create the new species,, they'd be inbred,, and the mutation would disappear when they breed outside the family line. Every single successful mutation has to happen on a widespread scale to succeed. That single element has never been explained in anything I have read or seen on the various tv programs. And, that same happenstance has to happen for EVERY single other animal on the planet in different USEFUL ways.
Some would argue that looking at it in the way I do is a on a Micro scale as opposed to a Macro one but I disagree. I've pointed out how you must have successful mutations in enough of a population for every creature to successfully generate an improved version. I 'believe' there is simply a serious breach of logic in the whole arguement which is frankly why we still refer to it as a theory even today.... (As I already mentioned somewhere else, we do know there were probably a lot of things that didn't succeed, because everything that is not here,, didn't,, but an awful lot of things somehow still managed to.)
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Dan Cox wrote:

No, A single celled organism evolved into another single celled organism, eventually evolving eventually into a multi celled organism, still not human. At that point, both single cell and multi cell organisms would exist and their similarities would be great, but You still would not have "human beings".

Yes, it is amazing how much can happen in 3.5 billion years

3.5 billion years.

Do You really think that happened overnight?

Extinct species, far outnumber existing species.
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On Wed, 21 Dec 2005 22:31:01 GMT, Dave Grayvis
Not sure about that. Since I had kids, it has occured to me (several times) that you become your parents. Only question is weather you evolved to that state or you were born that way and never realized it.
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Not one shred? It seems you haven't been looking too closely. There's plenty of evidence to support the theory of evolution.
Granted, it doesn't *prove* evolution. But that's the nature of scientific theory. All you can do is gather evidence that gives you confidence that your theory might be the correct one, or else contradicts your theory and forces you to modify it or abandon it. No scientific principle is ever "proven", and there isn't a shred of evidence anywhere that will prove *any* scientific principle.

Not true. Have you read Darwin?

This is reminiscent of the old creationism argument that no "transitional" forms occur in the fossil record. If a transitional form were to be found, the argument would be shifted to demand a *new* transitional form between the new discovery and established species. Similarly, if a dog produced something different, creationists would merely argue that it was a *mutant* dog and not a non-dog (or some such thing) -- even if changes occurred dramatically and suddenly, which evolution generally does not support (if I may ignore punctuated equilibrium for a moment).
Oh, and by the way, transitional forms *have* been found. Scads of them. Some quick examples:
Mammal-Primate: Cantius, Palaechthon, Pelycodus, Purgatorius.
Reptile-Mammal: Biarmosuchia, Haptodus, Procynosuchus, Varanops.
Reptile-Bird: Coelophysis, Compsognathus, Deinonychus, Oviraptor.
Amphibian-Reptile: Hylonomus, Limnoscelis, Paleothyris, Proterogyrinus.
Fish-Amphibian: Cheirolepis, Eusthenopteron, Osteolepis, Sterropterygion.
Here are lots more: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-transitional.html

Evolution can predict whether or not certain things will be true. For example, if the principles of evolution are correct, we should expect to find certain things in the fossil record, or to observe that animals (or genetics) follow certain rules. Lo and behold, they are and they do. This gives us confidence that we are on the right track.
What predictive ideas does creationism hold that can be tested?

No, it doesn't. This is a gross oversimplification from the creationist camp.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics teaches that everything tends towards *equilibrium*, not chaos. Complex, organized structures arise spontaneously all the time that are closer to equilibrium than their individual parts were: crystals, for example, are *highly* organized structures.
The unfortunate thing is that a mixture of gases in a closed chamber or miscible liquids tend to approach equilibrium by getting all mixed up, a state that certainly seems much more chaotic than organized; the layman sees this, is informed that entropy has increased, and equates "entropy" with "chaos". It ain't necessarily so.

Kent Hovind? Are you effin *kidding* me? Even as a creationist, I'd be embarrassed to be allied with the man in any sense. He has committed income tax fraud; has been accused of assault; has an illegitimate doctorate; and has multiple times refused to stop spouting misinformation to his adherents, even in the light of *directly observable evidence* to the contrary. If he has ever taught *anyone* (as he claims to have done -- physics for high school students, yet!), I suggest those students re-learn what he has handed them with actual *fact*.
This page has much evidence and many links to get you started: http://home.austarnet.com.au/stear/kent_hovind_page.htm
And here's a blow-by-blow critique of his points in a single lecture: http://www.geocities.com/SouthBeach/Pier/1766/hovindlies /
If creationism is a matter of faith for you (as it appears to be for Hovind), let me try to gently reassure you that Genesis is not as definite as Hovind and his ilk might like to think. Without straining too hard, I can give you *four* distinct theories of the origin of the Universe that are fully consistent with Genesis and the rest of the Bible, some of which fit the Bible and available natural evidence even better than Hovind-style creationism.
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tai fu wrote:

What's pathetic is that the fundies claim creationism is a matter of faith.
It isn't faith.
It's denial.
Other than a collection of writings that require one to take a leap of faith in order to accept, the story of Divine Creation has not one shred of evidence to support it. Not one.
As far as intelligent design goes, I can refute the entire notion quite easily. What kind of designer would run a waste disposal line right down the middle of a major recreational area? Certainly not an intelligent one.
Bill Sullivan
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The Rocket Scientist wrote:

If life is the result of Intelligent Design, someone please explain the platypus to me...
Mario
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Mario Perdue wrote:

"Tom Wates once said "There's no devil, its just god when he drinks." Ever think then, if god drinks, he might get stoned... Look at a platypus...I think you think he might." - Robin Williams
;)
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Mario Perdue wrote:

Here's a better one. If there is a God and he created us in his own image then why is it that we're such smelly unclean creatures in our natural state? Some liberals like to say that the fact that we have bowel movements and menstrual cycles proves there is no God. I have to agree on that to a certain extent. If God created us in his own image then he must be pretty smelly. Some would say though that 'his image' means a 'thinking creature' which is probably more correct and is in line with ID. ID merely says that adjustments were made along the way and probably got the ball rolling in the first place. It doesn't say that whatever was a part of ID still plays an active hand, just as God doesn't seem to be playing too much of an active hand these days or in the past for the matter.
Another interesting question. If evolution is true then why do we still have organisms like amoebas etc? Shouldn't all life have naturally evolved beyond that primitive state by now? It's a real lapse in the logic.
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Dan Cox wrote:

Evolution and extinction, are two different things.
When You were born, did all Your blood relatives become extinct?
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Dave Grayvis wrote:

My relatives are equal to me, I am not an improved copy I guarantee it! lol An amoeba however is an example of that which we for some reason moved on from, so if it wasn't successful and we were, why does it still exist? the dinosaurs don't exist, and neither do countless other unsuccessful organims. Amoebas are just darned lucky little bastards I guess. Since the processes that started single celled organisms etc etc were a singular event it seems to reason that since those processes no longer occur we shouldn't have simple oganisms anymore. Unless there is no evolution in which case it explains why we still have basic life forms. Arg. You know, I don't think anyone has ever shown evidence of new life being created on earth today through natural processes............Oh darn I just gave somebody more ammo.
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Dan Cox wrote:

You are not an exact copy of Your parents. Your DNA, although similar, is not identical to any of your blood relatives. (excluding identical twins, of course)
Both evolution and extinction are driven by environmental conditions. Just because some amoebas were subjected to changing environmental conditions, does not mean that all amoebas in all ecosystems would mutate or become extinct.
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On Wed, 21 Dec 2005 20:22:47 GMT, Dave Grayvis
<snip>

Correct. And, who says we're descended from the Amoeba that happens to be around today? That particular Amoeba just took a different evolutionary path that worked for its species' particular situation(s).
Personally, I'm descended from the Yeti anyway... dunno what the rest of you folks' problems are...
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Not necessarily. Globally, whole species do not change. Local concentrations of species do. There was probably a time in the past in which something resembling the amoeba somehow got separated into two groups, and one group changed and evolved into something else because of an envrionmental change. Such an evolution might not be noticable, because it might not have required a change in structure or appearence.
There is only a tendancy to evolve when the environment dictates it! It does not have to happen spontaneously or without reason. Read Darwin's paper, it makes a lot more sense.
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Brian McDermott wrote:

But the only way for evolution to occur is through mutation caused by radiation(From what I've read and seen on various science shows). A fish cannot simply decide to breathe because his water hole is drying up one day. The mutation has to coincide with the environmental event and that in itself throws in a whole new level of randomness. Plus, you have to have had a significant number of fish for example with the same gene that allows air breathing to create a new viable gene pool AND they all have to breed with one another,, they can't be isolated in seperate physical regions of the world.
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It does not *have* to be cause by mutation, but it *can* be caused by mutation. As I've said, the environmental factor is the main player, hence the name "natural selection."
A certain environmental event can cause certain individuals in a poplation to be favored over others. On a micro-scale, imagine a population of a particular species of insect. These insects can come in two colors, tan or green. Now imagine that these insects live in a grassy field, where both green and brown grasses can exist, allowing the bus to blend in and avoid predators.
Suppose that one day, something caused the grass' water source to dry up permanently. Perhaps a river got diverted or whatever. Now that the green grass is gone, the green bugs stick out like sore thumbs on the tan-colored earth. The tan bugs, on the other hand, still blend in relatively well. The green ones get eaten up because of their lack of camoflague, while the tan ones live on and reproduce. The bugs with the "tan genes" will be favored, while the ones with the "green genes" will be eliminated from the gene pool after a few generations. The end result is a species of only tan bugs.
That was micro-evolution. The same thing can, and does happen on a much larger and longer scale.
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