Biological evolution: Are origins important?

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Administrator2, Feb 15, 2002.

  1. Administrator2

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    JOHN PAUL

    What difference does it make at what
    organism, population of organisms or populations of
    organisms, life (as we today classify it) started
    andevolution began?

    Looking at this evolution v Creation (and to a lesser
    extent ID) debate I see one of the main differences is
    the starting point for evolution. Also it is not
    whether or not evolution, as in the change in allele
    frequency over time, occurs or not, but to what extent
    can an organism, a population of organisms
    orpopulations of organisms evolve.

    That said, does knowing something's origins, aid in
    any way, someone's ability to understand its function,
    deduce its (a) purpose and conduct proper
    maintenanceon it?

    IMO- Absolutely NOT. Does 'knowing' an alleged common
    ancestor aid, in any way, cancer research?
    AIDSresearch?

    So which is more important? Knowing something's
    origins? Or knowing how it functions so you may
    attempt to maintain it (as required)? I'll go with
    the latter.

    What would change in our way of maintaining life if it
    were proven that we are here by Divine intervention
    (i.e. Common Creator) pretty much like the Bible says?
    I'll tell you what I think would change- we would know
    an organism was confined. In knowing that I believe we
    could better figure out how bacteria and viruses
    evolve and therefore be more able to counteract that
    ability. How so? Predictability will be increased due
    to the limit we would have knowledge of. Computer
    simulations could be made showing all possible viable
    mutations (and combinations of mutations) an organism
    could handle and what mutation (combination) caused
    what effect. (I wonder if anyone has done that with
    amino acid sequences. Load one in a computer, allow it
    point mutations and see when it breaks down) And then
    how to alter that effect if it is detrimental. (But
    that will only work if there is a limit and we
    know what it is.)

    The point of this discussion is to show that if
    origins of life, procaryotes, eucaryotes, metazoans,
    etc. are not important to discovering an organism's
    (or just biochemical) function and how to maintain
    that function in the event that it requires
    maintenance, then why is today's ToE so important to
    evolutionists. And why is it forced on kids in science
    class? Shouldn't we better prepare our children, our
    future, with sciences that can be applied and
    operational sciences? Do you think guys like Tesla,
    the Wright brothers, Edison, Bell et al. needed the
    ToE to make the advances that they made?

    God Bless,

    John Paul
     
  2. Administrator2

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    THE BARBARIAN

    John Paul:
    The point of this discussion is to show that if
    origins of life, procaryotes, eucaryotes, metazoans,
    etc. are not important to discovering an organism's
    (or just biochemical) function and how to maintain
    that function in the event that it requires
    maintenance, then why is today's ToE so important to
    evolutionists.


    Because it's the only theory so far that adequately explains the evidence.
    Of it's impossible to understand how biochemical functions are related in
    different organisms. Probably not as big a thing for just one organism.
    Still, it's a good thing that evolutionary theory can tell us about the way
    antibiotic resistance works; doctors using the theory have worked out
    treatment protocols to minimize the evolution of resistance among bacteria.

    Evolutionary algorithms, using natural selection, are now being used in
    design. (Ironic, isn't it? Evolution leads to design, not the other way
    around) Circuits are now being designed by evolutionary processes that
    produce much more efficient results than designed ones.

    JP:
    And why is it forced on kids in science class?


    For the same reason English and Math are "forced" on them; people who are
    educated are more capable at living.

    JP:
    Shouldn't we better prepare our children, our future, with sciences that can
    be applied and operational sciences?


    So we shouldn't teach them about stars and planets? Even if evolutionary
    theory were not being applied in a number of applications,
    it would still be important to learn about it.

    JP:
    Do you think guys like Tesla, the Wright brothers, Edison, Bell et al.
    needed the ToE to make the advances that they made?


    About as much as Watson and Crick needed a phonograph or a biplane.
    Alternating current was useful in some applications, though. That is the
    function of engineers; to provide the tools by which science can be
    advanced, and to learn from science so that their craft can provide useful
    new devices.

    [ March 01, 2002, 11:45 AM: Message edited by: Administrator ]
     
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    HELEN

    Evolutionists generally shy clear of origins because they can’t explain
    them. That is why so many of them will say that evolution is only about
    what happened AFTER life got started. Creation, on the other hand, is
    primarily ABOUT origins.

    And this makes Pat’s response above kind of funny, because I have seen
    him arguing parts of your points before, when asked about origins! But I have noticed that there seems to be a knee-jerk reaction among some evolutionist apologists regarding anything a creationists says. It's strange.

    As far as the question brought up by John Paul’s post, I think he has a
    real point: the argument over origins really has nothing to do with how
    something functions now and what we have to work around now. However
    knowing origins, would, as he mentioned, give a much more accurate
    predictability where the limits of an organism’s variation potential was
    and therefore give us more workable knowledge in knowing how to deal
    with it.

    [ February 16, 2002: Message edited by: Administrator ]
     
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    RADIOCHEMIST

    Shouldn't we better prepare our children, our
    future, with sciences that can be applied and
    operational sciences? Do you think guys like Tesla,
    the Wright brothers, Edison, Bell et al. needed the
    ToE to make the advances that they made?



    None of the ones you mention above were working
    in biological science, so they certainly didn't
    need evolution in their fields. But what about
    Pasteur, Mendel and biological scientists? Can you
    say that evolution would not have been important
    to Pasteur, had he known about it?
     
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    FROGGIE

    John Paul stated, "That said, does knowing something's origins, aid in
    any way, someone's ability to understand its function, deduce its (a)
    purpose and conduct proper maintenanceon it?. . .IMO- Absolutely NOT. Does
    'knowing' an alleged common ancestor aid, in any way, cancer research?
    AIDSresearch?"


    JP-as a biologist, of course I disagree. Epidemiological studies of HIV
    require accepting evolution. Cancer? Well, the lab across the hall from
    studies proteins in a parasite called Toxoplasma Gondii, which are
    important in cell cycle control. They are studying the evolutionary
    patterns of these genes. Perhaps understanding how the proteins work in
    various organisms will help us understand how they work in humans, and lead
    to cures.

    Also, I believe that studying how we evolved from our primate ancestors will
    someday give us insights into our behavior, such as territorial aggression,
    adultery, drug addiction. Chimps have some of our traits--definitely
    territorial aggression. And their cousins the bonobos are not violent, but
    they are very "promiscuous." Understanding how humans adapted specific
    traits of their ancestors to survive can help us understand and perhaps help
    cure our social ills.

    I am currently debating a creationist at II. When I ask him questions such
    as, "Why do Africans have a high rate of sickle cell anemia," or "Why do the
    Pima Indians have a high rate of diabetes?" his answer is consistently,
    "Because of the Fall." Well, even if that is true, this blanket explanation
    has not been helpful in elucidating specific cures or treatments for the
    Africans nor the Indians. What about evolutionary theory? Remember,
    evolutionary theory is rather simple (although the details can be rather
    complicated): populations struggle for survival since their capacity to
    breed exceeds the resources available, and beneficial traits get passed on
    to help a population adapt to its environment.

    In humans, there is a working theory about sickle-cell anemia and malaria. A
    mutation in hemoglobin causes the protein to aggregate and causes a disease
    called sickle-cell anemia. However, it seems that a carrier of the disease
    is more resistant to malaria. This is a case where the same mutation can be
    beneficial in one instance (living in a malaria-infested region) yet harmful
    in another (living in the USA).
    http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/blood/sickle/sca_fact.pdf.

    A new
    gene has recently been discovered which seems to confer malarial resistance,
    but does not have the devastating effects of sickle cell anemia. Medical
    researchers are currently using these detailed studies from evoluionary
    biologists to provide explanations and cures for both diseases.

    There are similar theories about diabetes, and other nutritional diseases.
    One theory is that diabetes evolved in feast-or-famine type populations,
    such as Native American tribes. One particular tribe is the Pima Indians in
    Arizona, who have a very high rate of diabetes--over one/half of adult Pima
    Indians suffer from this disease. This NIH link explains:
    http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health/diabetes/pima/obesity/obesity.htm


    We have a long way to go in our understanding of how nutrition, cholesterol,
    digestion, metabolosm, ect, all interact to cause disease. Evolutionary
    studies like the one above will help us understand the paradox of diabetes,
    "the French paradox," and many other unanswered questions. Remember these
    studies only came about because of the theory of natural selection and
    adaptation.

    So, yes understanding evolution can, does, and will cure human diseases, and
    much more. Like--give us ideas on how to save biodiversity or how to grow
    better crops. But even if it didn't, so what? There are a lot of
    scientists who study phenomenon that will not cure cancer tomorrow. Like
    people who study black holes. But we have decided as a human race that
    learning about our world for the sake of just learning, is a noble and
    worthy pursuit.

    Also, it is my belief that the Evo/Cre controversy is contributing to the
    dumbing-down of our education system. Teachers are afraid to teach
    controverial issues, so instead they require their students to memorize the
    names of animals instead of teaching them how science works. If you look at
    the issues that our children are going to have to deal with--stem cell
    research, cloning, DNA testing in crimes, they need to be more educated
    about biology. Many facets of biology necessitate an understanding of at
    least microevolution in order to be used. The RFLP analysis which helps us
    convict criminals based on DNA evidence relies on genetic principles that
    are linked to evolutionary theory.

    John Paul stated, "then why is today's ToE so important to
    evolutionists. "


    Have any of you ever watched "The X files" with a scientist? It is a very
    annoying activity. They will point out all the flaws, like "There is no way
    that Scully can determine a protein sequence by looking under a light
    microscope!" I become upset at this show because first of all, it's not
    that hard to get the details right. Second, shows like that mislead the
    public about science, what science can and can not do, and what scientists
    do. True, it is just a show for entertainment, I realize that. But
    scientists all over the world are irritated with misrepresentation of their
    theories and work. Just like lawyers are, I'm sure, if Law and Order uses
    the wrong motion in a case or something.

    Why are scientists like this? Because overall, scientists are interested in
    seeking and promoting the truth. Please read my reply in "a change in
    position, a testimony" for a much longer treatise on what a scientist is.
    Evolution is not a conspiracy of evil atheists, it is a scientific truth
    known to the scientific community for over 100 years that works very well to
    explain the evidence. Therefore, scientists want people to accept this
    basic scientific tenet, and to stop mis-representing what evolution is, and
    what it isn't, to our children.

    I will not send my child to a school where the teacher teaches that "the
    moon is made of green cheese," even if you could demonstrate to me that
    believing the moon is make of cheese is not detrimental, or even if it made
    us feel better to believe such a theory.

    froggie
     
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    PAUL OF EUGENE

    Of course the origin of life is an important area of interest to science.

    We just don't have a scientific answer yet, that's all

    And I believe God was involved and if science comes up with a scientific answer I will still believe God was involved since God is the God who made all the laws of science.

    I get the impression some people around here would go up to a crossword puzzle fan and chide him for not finishing the whole thing while he's still in the middle of working on it.
     
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    JOHN PAUL

    John Paul:
    The point of this discussion is to show that if
    origins of life, procaryotes, eucaryotes, metazoans,
    etc. are not important to discovering an organism's
    (or just biochemical) function and how to maintain
    that function in the event that it requires
    maintenance, then why is today's ToE so important to
    evolutionists.

    Pat:
    Because it's the only theory so far that adequately
    explains the evidence.


    John Paul:
    There are millions, if not billions, of people who
    disagree with that. There isn’t any evidence that life
    originated via purely natural processes, so we can
    cross that one off. If life didn’t arise via purely
    natural processes, how did it arise?

    So what does the evidence tell us about what started
    the evolutionary process? How did that population of
    organisms just happen to have the ability to
    self-replicate get here, what, exactly, were they and
    how would that theoretical musing of the unobserved
    and unverifiable past, help us?

    Right now the current ToE says the apparent design in
    living organisms is illusory and the apparent
    progression of life in the fossil record is real. That
    stance is considered scientific.
    IDists (and Creationists) say the apparent design is
    NOT illusory and Creationists say the apparent
    progression in the fossil record is. However this
    stance is not considered scientific. Go figure.

    What I’m trying to say is the ToE may be believed to
    be the only theory so far that allegedly adequately
    explains the evidence, but that would only be because
    all other explanations are excluded a priori.


    Pat:
    Of it's impossible to understand how biochemical
    functions are related in
    different organisms.


    John Paul:
    How could we tell the difference between a Common
    Creator relationship and a common ancestor
    relationship, and why would it matter? Truthfully I
    think looking at life’s relationships via a Common
    Creator scenario may help us to decipher the genetic
    code, which could be analogous to a computer code.
    http://www.arn.org/docs2/news/approachingbiology041701.htm

    Approaching Biology from a Different
    Angle



    Pat:
    Probably not as big a thing for just one organism.
    Still, it's a good thing that evolutionary theory can
    tell us about the way
    antibiotic resistance works; doctors using the theory
    have worked out
    treatment protocols to minimize the evolution of
    resistance among bacteria.


    John Paul:
    But that has nothing to do with origins. We don’t have
    to know the origins of bacteria or insects in order to
    study their resistance to antibiotics and pesticides.
    Some history of the organism is always helpful, but
    theoretical musings of the unobserved past are no
    substitute for hard data.


    Pat:
    Evolutionary algorithms, using natural selection, are
    now being used in
    design. (Ironic, isn't it? Evolution leads to design,
    not the other way
    around) Circuits are now being designed by
    evolutionary processes that
    produce much more efficient results than designed
    ones.


    John Paul:
    Actually Pat, evolutionary algorithms, using natural
    selection, refined the design. Ya see Pat, I
    work with FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays). The
    example you are talking about uses a FPGA. It is a
    designed device. It can be changed via a program which
    would alter the internal pathways of specified input
    signals to specified outputs. Also the program can
    only alter the FPGA if certain conditions exist, and
    some/ most/ all, have to power cycled before any
    alteration takes affect. Other ‘IA’ (intelligent
    agent) interactions were required for the evolutionary
    algorithm to work.
    Refining designs and intelligent agent interaction is
    not the debate.


    JP:
    And why is it forced on kids in science class?

    Pat:
    For the same reason English and Math are "forced" on
    them; people who are
    educated are more capable at living.


    John Paul:
    I understand what English and Math bring to the
    knowledge table. I am still trying to figure out the
    ‘value’ added by the alleged ‘knowledge’ gained by a
    rigid materialistic naturalism PoV when it comes to
    evolutionary biology. It is pretty much a given we
    can’t apply those standards to life’s origins, so what
    does it matter so much to the alleged evolutionary
    origins?
    That is what education is about, isn’t it? Increase
    our knowledge, therefore making us less ignorant.


    JP:
    Shouldn't we better prepare our children, our future,
    with sciences that can
    be applied and operational sciences?

    Pat:
    So we shouldn't teach them about stars and planets?


    John Paul:
    Why would you say that? The stars and planets can be
    observed. Someday we may visit them. You know, rocket
    science stuff. At that time we may be able to verify
    what we have speculated about down here, looking up.


    Pat:
    Even if evolutionary theory were not being applied in
    a number of applications,
    it would still be important to learn about it.


    John Paul:
    Things change Pat. No one is questioning that.
    Changed from what (sure I am a descendant of
    someone, but is it necessary to speculate if my
    species is descended from another, very different
    looking species?)- Low importance IMHO (clarification;
    knowing ones genetic lineage is useful especially when
    dealing with genetic diseases; finding out we were
    designed as human beings may help us decipher or
    genetic code)- changing to what- definitely
    matters more- what causes the changes-
    important- what affects the changes- also
    important- if a change comes and we can’t adapt to
    it can we devise something that will allow us to
    survive
    - very important.


    JP:
    Do you think guys like Tesla, the Wright brothers,
    Edison, Bell et al.
    needed the ToE to make the advances that they made?

    Pat:
    About as much as Watson and Crick needed a phonograph
    or a biplane.
    Alternating current was useful in some applications,
    though.


    John Paul:
    Did Watson & Crick need to know the origins of the
    double-helix in order to spot it or study it? Perhaps
    if they understood life was the product of design
    they, or someone else, would have spotted it sooner.
    Maybe we would also understand its role much better
    than we do.

    To further my point was the ToE helpful to Mendel,
    Pasteur, Einstein or Hawking? (the point being that
    theoretical musings of our alleged biological history
    really don’t matter as much to science as
    evolutionists would have people believe)


    Pat:
    That is the function of engineers; to provide the
    tools by which science can be
    advanced, and to learn from science so that their
    craft can provide useful
    new devices.


    John Paul:
    No Pat, that is the function of scientists. These guys
    also happened to put on an engineering hat to bring
    their ideas to life. Just because they did that
    doesn’t diminish the science behind their ideas and
    the scientific method employed to do just that. I
    guess you think rocket science isn’t really science
    either, just a bunch of engineers providing tools.
    I have always looked at engineering as a way to prove
    science. If science were just theoretical musings, it
    would be philosophy. We wouldn’t have any physical
    bridges but we could argue about their need and the
    possibility of their existence. [​IMG]

    To further my point for starting this thread, I would
    say that we don’t have to know the origins of DNA in
    order to decipher the genetic code. Just like I also
    don’t have to know how C++ originated or who invented
    it in order to read (decipher), write (design), and
    modify a program in C++. However, to re-iterate,
    knowing it was designed may help us better understand
    its function.

    God Bless,

    John Paul
     
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    JOHN PAUL

    John Paul:
    Shouldn't we better prepare our children, our
    future, with sciences that can be applied and
    operational sciences? Do you think guys like Tesla,
    the Wright brothers, Edison, Bell et al. needed the
    ToE to make the advances that they made?

    radiochemist:
    None of the ones you mention above were working
    in biological science, so they certainly didn't
    need evolution in their fields. But what about
    Pasteur, Mendel and biological scientists? Can you
    say that evolution would not have been important
    to Pasteur, had he known about it?


    John Paul:
    As stated in my opening post:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Looking at this evolution v Creation (and to a
    lesser extent ID) debate I see one of the main
    differences is the starting point for evolution. Also
    it is not whether or not evolution, as in the change
    in allele frequency over time, occurs or not, but to
    what extent can an organism, a population of organisms

    orpopulations of organisms evolve.
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    What I am getting at is- is it sufficient to know that
    evolution occurs without having to know at what
    theoretical point evolution started? Do we have to
    theorize a boudary doesn't exist in order to study
    germs and understand immunology? Can we get by with
    what we can observe, test and verify?

    Pasteur was a contemporary of Darwin. From what I
    understand he knew of Darwin's work and dismissed at
    least the conclusion- that life's diversity owes its
    common ancestry to some unknown single-celled
    organism.


    God Bless,

    John Paul
     
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    JOHN PAUL

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>John Paul stated, "That said, does knowing something's
    origins, aid in any way, someone's ability to
    understand its function, deduce its (a) purpose and
    conduct proper maintenanceon it?. . .IMO- Absolutely
    NOT. Does 'knowing' an alleged common ancestor aid, in
    any way, cancer research? AIDSresearch?"

    Froggie:
    JP-as a biologist, of course I disagree.
    Epidemiological studies of HIV require accepting
    evolution. Cancer? Well, the lab across the hall from
    studies proteins in a parasite called Toxoplasma
    Gondii, which are important in cell cycle control.
    They are studying the evolutionary patterns of these
    genes. Perhaps understanding how the proteins work in
    various organisms will help us understand how they
    work in humans, and lead to cures. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    John Paul:
    But what do theoretical musings of an alleged common
    ancestor have to do what you just stated? From my
    thread opening post:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Looking at this evolution v Creation (and to a
    lesser extent ID) debate I see one of the main
    differences is the starting point for evolution. Also
    it is not whether or not evolution, as in the change
    in allele frequency over time, occurs or not, but to
    what extent can an organism, a population of organisms

    or populations of organisms evolve.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    That is to say I also accept evolution. It’s
    when the starting point(s) of evolution and the extent
    of evolution are dogmatically stated and not to be
    questioned, is when I have a problem with acceptance.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>froggie:
    Also, I believe that studying how we evolved from our
    primate ancestors will someday give us insights into
    our behavior, such as territorial aggression,
    adultery, drug addiction. Chimps have some of our
    traits--definitely territorial aggression. And their
    cousins the bonobos are not violent, but
    they are very "promiscuous." Understanding how humans
    adapted specific traits of their ancestors to survive
    can help us understand and perhaps help cure our
    social ills. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    John Paul:
    But what if we find out that chimps are the way they
    are from observing humans? And it has nothing to do
    with common ancestry? Perhaps a group of bonobos
    observed Cagligula in action, brought that back to
    their respective groups and it spread. [​IMG]

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Froggie:
    I am currently debating a creationist at II. When I
    ask him questions such as, "Why do Africans have a
    high rate of sickle cell anemia," or "Why do the
    Pima Indians have a high rate of diabetes?" his answer
    is consistently, "Because of the Fall." Well, even if
    that is true, this blanket explanation has not been
    helpful in elucidating specific cures or treatments
    for the Africans nor the Indians. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    John Paul:
    I agree. Specifics would be more helpful. The
    Creationists’ position is, let’s go research the issue
    and find those specifics and solve this dilemma.
    Whether Africans, Prima Indians and all humanity owe
    their common ancestry to Adam & Eve or some unknown
    population(s) of primates, would only matter if we had
    Adam’s, Eve’s or that unknown population(s) of
    primates’ DNA so we could compare. But seeing that we
    don’t, we should be able to make due with what we do
    have, can observe and can verify.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Froggie:
    What about evolutionary theory? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    John Paul:
    I think you are missing my point. There are parts of
    the ToE that are good and parts that are totally, like
    unnecessary. Most (maybe even all) of the good parts
    are substantiated by the evidence, whereas the
    unnecessary parts are actually theoretical musings.
    Even though theoretical musings are nice, perhaps
    philosophy would be a better venue to discuss those.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Froggie:
    Remember, evolutionary theory is rather simple
    (although the details can be rather
    complicated): populations struggle for survival since
    their capacity to
    breed exceeds the resources available, and beneficial
    traits get passed on
    to help a population adapt to its environment. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    John Paul:
    The point is, does that mechanism really account for
    the diversity of life from some as yet unknown
    population(s?) of single-celled organisms, that just
    happened to have the ability to self-replicate? You,
    being a biologist, certainly must appreciate the
    complexity of the cell and the processes of mitosis &
    meiosis. The only place we see this is in living
    organisms. What is the advantage of theorizing that
    life (and its diversity) is due to purely natural
    processes rather than life was Created or designed?


    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Froggie:
    In humans, there is a working theory about sickle-cell
    anemia and malaria. A
    mutation in hemoglobin causes the protein to aggregate
    and causes a disease
    called sickle-cell anemia. However, it seems that a
    carrier of the disease
    is more resistant to malaria. This is a case where the
    same mutation can be
    beneficial in one instance (living in a
    malaria-infested region) yet harmful
    in another (living in the USA).
    http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/blood/sickle/sca_fact.pdf.
     
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    POIKILOTERM

    The point of this discussion is to show that if
    origins of life, procaryotes, eucaryotes, metazoans,
    etc. are not important to discovering an organism's
    (or just biochemical) function and how to maintain
    that function in the event that it requires
    maintenance, then why is today's ToE so important to
    evolutionists.



    I think that this is a most important question: Why bother with science
    that has little apparent practical value to a non-scientist? I think that
    the question is asked in all seriousness is deeply troubling. I invite you
    to look at the Nobel prize medal: it shows the allegory of Nature, being
    revealed by Science. Why do we bother to try to do this? Because that’s what
    science is: the use of human reason to reveal nature. Science is not
    engineering, that seeks only to do useful stuff: it is simple rigorous
    inquiry into questions of empirical fact. It leads to odd and puzzling
    answers, some of which are disturbing to our emotional security. But they
    are the answers of science, and that is the reason why they are taught in
    science class.

    If you, or anyone else, do not like those answers, then I urge you to
    formally educate yourself in biology and chemistry, and perform the research
    that will allow them to be legitimately and rigorously challenged.
     
  11. Administrator2

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    HELEN

    Just wanted to weigh in with a few thoughts here…

    Froggie, you said that studies of HIV require accepting evolution. I
    assume you are simply talking about variation, for the HIV virus is,
    first of all, RNA-based and not DNA-based and, secondly, remains HIV,
    despite the variations. Since no one is arguing variations, how is it
    then necessary to ‘accept evolution’ as apart from simple variation?

    Yes, of course understanding how the proteins work could very well lead
    to cures, or even vaccines, but none of this has to do with the
    so-called “evolution” of this virus – only what it is today and the
    variations we see now.

    I do have a question for you – if you are going to presume (which you
    do) that we are simply a variety of ape, so to speak, then why should
    you attempt to either ‘understand’ or ‘modify’ any human behavior. We
    are what we are via evolution in your worldview. The insects and
    bacteria, by far the most ‘successful’ of all life forms, have no need
    to analyze themselves – why should we? And what on earth brought about
    this desire to analyze ourselves or find ourselves less than what we
    think we should be in any given case? I find nowhere in the rest of the
    physical world anything near this characteristic.

    Why call what has evolved “social ills”? We study primates and do not
    consider anything they do to be socially ill – why consider ourselves
    that way?

    You might tell your creationist opponent on the other board this, from
    another creationist: “Because of the Fall” is too general an answer, no
    matter how true, to be of any help in any discussion or medical
    research. From a creation point of view, the perfection of the original
    creation has degenerated quite a bit, and certain mutations have become
    predominant in certain populations, such as diabetes with the Pimas and
    sickle cell among Africans. These are mutations which have established
    themselves to some degree in certain populations. The FACT of these
    mutations may be due to the Fall, but the mutations themselves need to
    be studied so that we can help one another to the best of our
    abilities. (Is the third allele you mention in sickle cell the C
    allele? If so, it is recessive and not much help.) However, mutations
    are not a matter of evolution here, but of degeneration from a better
    set of individuals/populations. If diabetes and sickle cell are the
    results of evolution and therefore to be studied in that light only,
    then they should not be fought, for they are eliminating unfit members
    of the populations, are they not? Isn’t this what evolution is all
    about?

    The only reason to fight them is if they actually do represent genetic
    failings and degenerations, which is what the creation model is all
    about. Evolution posits, instead, that we are improving.

    How? Where? Documented presentations such as “Man and Microbes”
    strongly disputes the idea that somehow we are getting better!

    You wrote, “We have a long way to go in our understanding of how
    nutrition, cholesterol, digestion, metabolosm, ect, all interact to
    cause disease.”

    Please consider that it is the malfunction of these things which
    contribute to diseases and problems. Nutrition by itself does not cause
    any disease, nor does digestion or metabolism. These are processes of
    life. Cholesterol is under intense scrutiny as the extrapolations from
    the earlier experiments may not be true. Diseases/disabilities/physical
    problems are caused by either external agents overpowering the life
    processes or by the internal causes associated with the malfunctioning
    of something contributing to those life processes. The life processes
    themselves do not cause disease.

    You stated that studies to do with diabetes, “the French paradox” etc.
    “only came about because of the theory of natural selection and
    adaptation.”

    Baloney. People have been studying health for a lot longer than the
    theories of natural selection and adaptation have been around! In
    fact, it was people who established the necessity of creation, such as
    Redi and Pasteur, who helped us understand that rats did not evolve out
    of rags or flies out of meat. It was the very FACT of creation by KIND
    that was the key to understanding and treating diseases! One kind of
    thing does NOT change into another and that is the only reason we are
    able to attack diseases at all in the first place! We get variations of
    HIV or the flu or colds or whatever, but we recognize what they are as
    discrete problems and not problems of one sort evolving into diseases or
    problems of another sort.

    Froggie, in working in your lab every day, you are depending on the
    validity of the fact that what you are working with is going to stay
    essentially the same every time you repeat an experiment or try a new
    stimulus on a population of bacteria or whatever. If those bacteria
    were actually evolving, your experiments would mean nothing tomorrow!
    But that is not what we see. We honor those of you who have the
    incredible patience to do the unbelievably boring (sometimes….often….)
    lab work which does yield answers where diseases and such are
    concerned. But if evolution were true, that would really be impossible,
    for what you discovered yesterday about a population of bacteria could
    be completely invalid in a year after they had mutated into something
    else!

    You might fight the concept of ‘kind’, but you not only work with it but
    depend on it daily.

    You said that it is your belief that the ‘Evo/Cre controversy is
    contributing to the dumbing-down of our education system. Teachers are
    afraid to teach constroversial issues, so instead they require their
    students to memorize the names of animals instead of teaching them how
    science works.’

    Froggie, if a student is going to be proficient in any area of study,
    the vocabulary and basic facts are essential. High school students are
    in NO position to decide about anything like stem-cell research or
    anything else – they are still trying to figure out who THEY are! Just
    getting them to understand the basics of biology is a year-long task.
    And until the basics are learned, and until they have the maturity to
    consider certain ethical questions, which they don’t as teenagers, then
    to criticize any education system for them NOT being able to consider
    these things is not even in the realm of reality. The education system
    cannot determine the rate of mental maturity of a young person. It can
    only work with what’s there. As a retired biology teacher of this age
    group, I can guarantee to you that simply getting the basics of cell
    biology, genetics, organic chemistry, classification, and human anatomy
    all done in one year is quite enough without asking them to consider the
    questions which those much more educated and experienced are grappling
    with. Oh yeah, biology teachers here in California are now also usually
    responsible for the ‘health’ issues formerly referred to as ‘sex-ed.’

    Now what was it you wanted these fifteen and sixteen year olds to
    analyze??? The girls are far more interested in who is wearing what to
    the Prom and who is going with who and the boys are either discussing
    sports or what girl to target for a play. Not all. Most. We have to
    teach through screens of hormones, preoccupations, breakfasts of Coke
    and chocolate, parents getting divorces, friends in the hospital or
    morgue from auto accidents, romantic traumas, and studying madly for a
    test in the next period’s course. These kids are trying to survive.
    They are not equipped to analyze anything. Getting them to learn basic
    facts is a job that takes the full year in any one basic science course.

    It is asking them to use their mixed-up minds to analyze without the
    facts known that is dumbing down education! Teaching them the basics
    never dumbed down anything.

    And teaching them that there is a sacred cow of an idea which may not be
    challenged is not helping to increase science education either. Instead
    it is treating science as a religion and the scientists as priests who
    cannot be questioned in their statements. That’s NOT science. That is
    bringing YOUR belief system into the classroom under the pretext of
    science. Teaching the controversy – or simply acknowledging that there
    IS a controversy, never dumbed down anyone either. Instead it gives
    them the freedom to look at data from different points of view and to
    BEGIN to analyze things on their own.

    If evolution is true, then you needn’t fear the conclusions they will
    come to, need you? You are the one who stated, “overall, scientists are
    interested in seeking and promoting the truth.”

    And that means testing it against opposing ideas in light of the data.
    Kids will never learn to seek the truth if they are informed that “here
    is the truth and you dare not question it.” Why be curious after that?

    To use your words, “I will not send my child to a school where the
    teacher teaches that ‘evolution happened and no challenges will be
    accepted’ even if you could demonstrate to me that believing evolution
    is not detrimental, or even if it made us feel better to believe such a
    story.”

    As it is, I do feel that evolutionary ideas are detrimental and do not
    make us feel better anyway.

    To Paul of Eugene: Yes, God was involved and did make all the
    laws of science. He also told us there were boundaries within which
    scientific truth could be found. Why accept the first and reject the
    second?
     
  12. Administrator2

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    THE BARBARIAN

    (John Paul asserts that since we don't know how life started, we can rule
    out a natural cause for it)

    Maybe in preChristian Norway, we'd hear some pagan say "There isn't any
    evidnece that lightning originates by purely natural processes, so
    Thormustadunnit." But that's neither logically justified, nor is it good
    science. That assumption goes to the very heart of the problems that
    scientists have with ID.

    The point of evolutionary algorithms is not that the are done inside
    processors, but rather that they are capable of finding much more elegant
    and effective solutions than can be designed. Indeed, there are some
    problems that probably can only be effectively handled by such processes.

    I grant you that a Perfect Designer could do better at design than humans,
    but He also would be able to produce better evolutionary processes than we
    can. So that isn't any comfort for ID, either.

    John Paul, you ask how to tell genetic evidence for evolution from genetic
    evidence for creation.

    Common Creator can't explain psuedogenes, or why we have the remains of a
    chimp telomere in one of our chromosomes, the one that looks exactly like
    two chimp chromosomes fused together. Makes no sense from a "designer"
    approach, but makes perfect sense in an evolutionary perspective.

    You suggested it was a waste of time to educate our children in anything but
    applied and operational science. That would exclude, for example,
    astronomy, because there is no operations we can perform on stars or planets
    at this time.

    [ March 01, 2002, 11:46 AM: Message edited by: Administrator ]
     
  13. Administrator2

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    JOHN PAUL

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>The point of this discussion is to show that if
    origins of life, procaryotes, eucaryotes, metazoans,
    etc. are not important to discovering an organism's
    (or just biochemical) function and how to maintain
    that function in the event that it requires
    maintenance, then why is today's ToE so important to
    evolutionists.

    poikiloterm:
    I think that this is a most important question: Why
    bother with science that has little apparent practical
    value to a non-scientist?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    John Paul:
    Because someday it may have practical value to a
    non-scientist? [​IMG]

    I couldn't tell you how many of today's gadgets are
    the result of scientific research that at the time
    didn't appear to have any practical value.

    Let me ask you this, if it were proven that life could
    not have arisen via purely natural processes, would
    the pursuit of life's purely natural origins still be
    considered 'science'? And if it were proven that life
    was designed by an Intelligent Agent, would you still
    consider the pursuit of that origin to be
    un-‘scientific’?

    Theoretical musings are great, for what they are. I
    would rather my tax dollars were spent on other
    objectives. If you want to pursue these unverifiable
    musings, please by all means, proceed. But do so with
    private funding and stop preaching them to our
    children using those tax dollars (or at least give
    them the alternatives).

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>poikiloterm:
    I think that the question is asked in all seriousness
    is deeply troubling. I invite you
    to look at the Nobel prize medal: it shows the
    allegory of Nature, being
    revealed by Science.

    Why do we bother to try to do this? Because that’s
    what
    science is: the use of human reason to reveal nature. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    John Paul:
    And what we have revealed so far is life didn’t
    originate via purely natural processes. Time to let
    someone else step up to the plate and have a swing.
    That means putting the resources behind this effort.
    If life is designed let someone have the resources
    necessary to figure out that design. If the genetic
    code is analogous to a computer code free up the
    resources for that research. If it takes someone
    versed in encryption, bring them on board too.
    Why limit your resources to a one-way dead-end
    street?
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Poikiloterm:
    Science is not engineering, that seeks only to do
    useful stuff: it is simple rigorous
    inquiry into questions of empirical fact. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    John Paul:
    Science should be about discovering truths.
    “Science is the search for the truth,” chemist
    Linus Pauling, winner of two Nobel prizes. (you seem
    to like the Nobel prize)
    Does that mean the search for the truth only under a
    materialistic naturalism framework? And all
    conclusions must be based upon that PoV? Sorry, I
    don’t live in China, the old USSR or Nazi Germany. I
    will let the evidence take me where it leads me.

    Doesn’t sound like today’s ‘science’ is very
    objective. Hopefully all that is about to change.

    Also engineering is applied science. Engineers even
    put on the scientist cap and scientists put on the
    engineering cap. How do you think technology came
    about? Without technology, science wouldn’t be able to
    do as much as it now does. Science is more than
    theoretical musings of materialistic naturalism.
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Poikiloterm:
    It leads to odd and puzzling answers, some of which
    are disturbing to our emotional security. But they
    are the answers of science, and that is the reason why
    they are taught in science class. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    John Paul:
    Perhaps it is time to re-define science, or rather put
    it back the way it was and should be. Newton wasn’t
    bothered by the knowledge he was part of God’s Special
    Creation and the same goes for scientists up until
    Darwin’s time. Then all of a sudden that became a bad
    thing.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Poikiloterm:
    If you, or anyone else, do not like those answers,
    then I urge you to formally educate yourself in
    biology and chemistry, and perform the research
    that will allow them to be legitimately and rigorously
    challenged. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    John Paul:
    I don’t mind your answers. I just don’t see how they
    pertain to the topic.

    The people who are formally educated are doing a great
    job of showing us purely natural processes can’t
    account for the origins of life. And why do you think
    only biology & chemistry are required to understand
    life?
    http://www.arn.org/docs2/news/approachingbiology041701.htm]

    Approaching
    Biology from a Different Angle


    Just so we have this straight- I am all for science
    doing what it supposed to do- search for the truth.
    Why? Because it is out there and it will not be
    constrained by the narrow vision of materialistic
    naturalism.


    God Bless,

    John Paul
     
  14. Administrator2

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    JOHN PAUL

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Pat Parson: John Paul asserts that since we don't know how life
    started, we can rule
    out a natural cause for it. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    John Paul:
    In reality, the science that has been conducted pretty
    much demonstrates that life did not arise via purely
    natural processes. It is pretty obvious that DNA & RNA
    can’t survive long enough outside of the cell to do
    anything and there is no evidence that either could
    originate outside of a living cell. Kind of a big
    catch-22.
    Put all the amino acids, that are the alleged
    ‘building blocks of life’, in a flask and see what
    happens. Do you think what we can’t do in the ideal
    conditions of a lab could have occurred in the
    supposed harsh conditions of the early Earth (speaking
    in evolutionary time scales)? We can bypass millions/
    billions of years of supposed evolutionary history by
    already having the amino acids at our disposal,
    combining them at will and in different scenarios.

    And if we could verify (without a shadow of a doubt)
    that life could NOT have originated via purely natural
    processes, what in biology would change? (trying to
    get back on topic)
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Pat:
    Maybe in preChristian Norway, we'd hear some pagan say
    "There isn't any
    evidnece that lightning originates by purely natural
    processes, so
    Thormustadunnit." But that's neither logically
    justified, nor is it good
    science. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    John Paul:
    I guess if you ignore the work already done in finding
    life’s origins you might have a point. Science has
    shown us that lightning does indeed (as far as we can
    tell) originate via purely natural processes. Science
    has been unable to show us that life can originate via
    purely natural processes. Quite the opposite has
    occurred.
    Substantiating evidence. Either you have it or you
    don’t. In this instance, as with the common descent
    premise, the substantiating evidence is nowhere to be
    found.
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Pat:
    That assumption goes to the very heart of the problems
    that scientists have with ID. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    John Paul:
    It’s not as simple as you make it out to be. In
    preChristian Norway they had no way of telling how
    lightning originated. Also lightning doesn’t exhibit
    CSI (complex specified information). When applied to
    Dembski’s filter it doesn’t make it to the 3rd
    decision box (the box that would determine design).
    If you apply all we know about detecting design, THEN
    throw in ‘there isn’t any evidence that X could
    originate naturally’, the design inference cannot be
    ignored. No one said to skip the steps before making
    that statement. Process flow is very important.
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Pat:
    The point of evolutionary algorithms is not that the
    are done inside processors, but rather that they are
    capable of finding much more elegant
    and effective solutions than can be designed.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    John Paul:
    Pat asserts that since one evolutionary algorithm
    refined the design of one circuit that humans would
    not have been able to come up with the same design. He
    also appears to ignore the fact that the original
    circuit and the EA itself were both the product of an
    intelligent agent.
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Pat:
    Indeed, there are some problems that probably can only
    be effectively handled by such processes. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    John Paul:
    Could be true, but that has nothing to do with origins
    and why they are important to biological evolution.
    (which is the topic of this thread)
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Pat:
    I grant you that a Perfect Designer could do better at
    design than humans, but He also would be able to
    produce better evolutionary processes than we
    can. So that isn't any comfort for ID, either. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    John Paul:
    ID says nothing about evolutionary processes. It is a
    given that evolutionary processes cannot design
    anything from scratch. It can refine a design though.
    IDists and Creationists don’t debate that.
    About humans- this has been said before- what we
    observe today is the result of the evolutionary
    process you think so highly of. The only humans that
    were designed would be the originals. The rest are
    error filled ancestors of that original design.
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Pat:
    John Paul, you ask how to tell genetic evidence for
    evolution from genetic evidence for creation.
    Common Creator can't explain psuedogenes, or why we
    have the remains of a chimp telomere in one of our
    chromosomes, the one that looks exactly like
    two chimp chromosomes fused together. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    John Paul:
    Why can’t a Common Creator explain that? Is all we
    have your word for that? Is that in the highly coveted
    peer-reviewed journal?
    Mike Brown states,

    “So I think there is a mechanistic process that
    has produced many of the Pseudogenes that we have,
    rather than a random process. If the Pseudogene is
    truly defective and if the mutations are truly found
    in patterns (not random), then the idea that it's a
    common mechanism is possible. Viruses have enzymes
    that, under the same conditions, do repeatable
    reactions.
    If the DNA in Humans, Chimps, Monkeys, etc., are very
    similar, then if they are all infected by the same
    virus, would we expect the virus to do the same thing
    in the different species? I think so.

    The "dreaded endogenous retroviral sequence common to
    both chimp and human DNA" is probably the major
    example of Common Mechanism. Viral enzymes (proteins)
    react with specific DNA sequences. If both chimp and
    human DNA have the same active sites, I would expect
    the viral proteins to react in the same exact way to
    both human and chimp.
    Common descent or common Ancestor is not the only
    answer.”


    However, I’ll wait until we decipher the genetic code
    before I label anything a ‘pseudo-gene’ and conclude
    that is only evidence for common descent. Anyway, it
    appears they don’t make much sense from an
    evolutionary/ common descent perspective. Why would an
    organism keep something that requires energy to
    duplicate but offers no apparent benefit? And if it
    does offer a benefit there is nothing ‘pseudo’ about
    them.

    As far as I can tell the only way to use pseudo-genes
    as evidence for common descent is to first assume
    common descent.

    Here’s a Creationist’s look at the so-called
    ‘pseudo-genes’: Pseudogenes and Origins
    http://www.grisda.org/origins/21091u.htm

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>

    Pat:
    Makes no sense from a "designer" approach, but makes
    perfect sense in an evolutionary perspective. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    John Paul:
    You should have said, if these so-called pseudo-genes
    have no function and it can be verified that common
    descent is the only possible way for their existence,
    makes no sense from a "designer" approach, but makes
    perfect sense in an evolutionary perspective.

    If you can prove that Adam & Eve had these so called
    ‘pseudo-genes’ you may have a point. Good luck.
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Pat:
    You suggested it was a waste of time to educate our
    children in anything but applied and operational
    science. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    John Paul:
    Theoretical musings are nice but perhaps best saved
    for philosophy class. Or perhaps start another class
    called “unverifiable theoretical musings”. Some kids
    may be interested but this class is definitely not for
    everyone and definitely shouldn’t be in a biological
    science classroom, regardless if it allegedly deals
    with biology.
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>
    Pat:
    That would exclude, for example, astronomy, because
    there is no operations we can perform on stars or
    planets at this time. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    John Paul:
    No it would not. Like I said before and you
    conveniently ignored:

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR> Why would you say that? The stars and planets
    can be
    observed. Someday we may visit them. You know, rocket
    science stuff. At that time we may be able to verify
    what we have speculated about down here, looking
    up.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    To further that point, Pluto’s orbit comes to mind. No
    one has observed Pluto complete an orbit of the Sun.
    However we can infer it will by observing it. Someday
    that inference will be verified by observational data.
    However those observations cannot tell us how Pluto
    originated or how many orbits it has completed.

    So why study astronomy (& astrophysics)?- It’s called
    ‘preparation’.


    God Bless,

    John Paul
     
  15. Administrator2

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    PAUL OF EUGENE

    From Helen to me:
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>To Paul of Eugene: Yes, God was involved and did make all the
    laws of science. He also told us there were boundaries within which
    scientific truth could be found. Why accept the first and reject the
    second?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    What difference does it make what we accept as to the boundaries of what science can discover? We'll only discover no more than we can anyway. Maybe we'll miss less truth if we don't stop seeking on general principles.
     
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    THE BARBARIAN

    It's no good to simply assert that there is no way life could have started
    by natural means. That cannot be known at this time. However, I remind you
    that once lightning was thought of as magical too, because it could not be
    otherwise explained.

    If you have some actual data to prove that it couldn't have happened this
    way, I'd be interested in seeing it.

    Do you think it's significant that your belief is more common among
    engineers than among people who actually know something about biology?
    Again, I'd like to see some evidence. And keep in mind, if life started
    naturally, it would almost certainly not begun with DNA or RNA.

    As you said, substantiating evidence is required. Show me some.

    Presently, we have no way of telling how life may have originated. But the
    "God of the Gaps" argument is a very exposed position to take. We have
    learned about a great many things formerly thought to be directly caused by
    God.

    In fact, humans can't come up with the same design, because it found a way
    to use some unknown effect of the circuit in the process. We don't know
    what that effect is. We don't even know how it works. And since I
    personally know that the universe was the product of an intelligent agent, I
    have no problem with God creating the kind of universe that would permit
    such wonders to evolve.

    ID does not limit itself to biological entities. The fact that this device
    does what ID declares to be impossible is sufficient.

    If you mean there has to be a universe first, that's true. How the universe
    is accounted for varies. Why not just accept that God made the universe,
    and it brought forth living things?

     
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    SHUANR

    Concerning HIV, an issue for scientists was determining where this apparently new virus came from. It seemed to just pop into exisatence from nowhere. Scientists using the tools of evolutionary biology (cladistic analysis etc) traced its first appearance among humans to Central Africa in 1959. Scientists also discovered that it was a virus that originally affected monkeys, which adapted via a mutation to affect humans.This discovery isvitally important for tracking thespread of this diseadse and for determining how to treat it
    Yes, John Paul, origins are as important sometimes as life or death.
     
  18. Administrator2

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    MR. BEN

    Paul States:

    The point of this discussion is to show that if
    origins of life, procaryotes, eucaryotes, metazoans,
    etc. are not important to discovering an organism's
    (or just biochemical) function and how to maintain
    that function in the event that it requires
    maintenance, then why is today's ToE so important to
    evolutionists. And why is it forced on kids in science
    class? Shouldn't we better prepare our children, our
    future, with sciences that can be applied and
    operational sciences? Do you think guys like Tesla,
    the Wright brothers, Edison, Bell et al. needed the
    ToE to make the advances that they made?


    Mr. Ben Replies:

    Paul, it's likely that in the future, all complex systems will be designed using a variety of evolutionary techniques. The dramatic increase in efficiency of systems designed using mutation and selection are quite important when you consider the economy of the future.

    Here are some of the future industries which presently use evolution in their research right now:

    1. Optimal mechanical design and engineering (aircraft design, ship hull design, etc.)

    2. Software development

    3. Industrial production and manufacturing efficiency

    4. Drug research

    5. Robotics

    6. Neurology and artificial intelligence

    Why do these industries or research concerns use evolution? For the same reason that biological organisms are dependent on it. Only evolution is capable of solving large N variable optimization problems. These NP hard problems just are not ammenable to closed form 'designed' solutions, They must be iteratively discovered through evolution's "trial and error" process. (Incidentally, nature itself as it stands today is almost certainly such a problem, and mathematically could not be designed closed form by any designer which does not violate the basic axioms of mathematics).

    If we fail to teach our children about evolution and how it works, we are dooming the United States and its economy to second class status in the future. Without the ability to use the power of evolution in future industries, we will fall behind.

    ----------------------------------

    Ultimately, as evolutionary design techniques and processes move into the mainstream of engineering and mechanical design we will probably see the gradual decline of Creationism. After all, with everyone familiary with how evolutionary design works, and able to easily spot its hallmark attributes, it will be obvious to anyone that biological organisms were designed the same way.
     
  19. Administrator2

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    FROGGIE

    John Paul stated, You, being a biologist, certainly must appreciate the
    complexity of the cell and the processes of mitosis &
    meiosis. The only place we see this is in living
    organisms. What is the advantage of theorizing that
    life (and its diversity) is due to purely natural
    processes rather than life was Created or designed?


    Interesting discovery I made last week: The two men on this earth who
    probably know the most about DNA (that molecule that allegedly MUST be the
    product of Design), James Watson and Francis Crick. . .They won the Nobel
    Prize for elucidating the structure of DNA, and have spent their entire
    lives studying it. . . they are both atheists.
    The advantage of theorizing anything is that the theory might be
    correct.

    John Paul stated, That is to say I also accept evolution. It's
    when the starting point(s) of evolution and the extent
    of evolution are dogmatically stated and not to be
    questioned, is when I have a problem with acceptance.


    Ok JP, I'm a little confused now. Are you talking about abiogenesis, or
    macroevolution? Up until this point, I thought you were talking about
    macroevolution.

    Sure, you can accept microevolution, but not macroevolution. Equally, you
    can believe that gravity is what causes your pencil to drop to the floor,
    but disbelieve that gravity holds the solar system together. That's fine,
    if you only want to study pencil dropping. But if you ever want to
    speculate about a larger system, you are going to be in trouble.

    You see, the same processes that evolved to give the Pima Indians that
    thrifty gene are the same processes which caused humans to evolve
    from other primates. Random mutation and natural selection. One is just on
    a larger scale.

    Onto the post from Helen:

    An RNA-based virus can evolve. All you need for evolution is a nucleic acid
    which encodes for a selectable phenotype and has the potential for
    variation. The single-stranded RNA genome of HIV has this capability, so of
    course it can evolve. And it has. There are two strains of HIV now. HIV-2
    I believe, is more resistant to anti-aids drugs.

    Call it whatever you want. Evolution IS only variation + natural selection.

    I've noticed from debating people at infidels that many creationists are
    surprised at the simplicity of evolutionary theory. They are like, "that's
    it? Just variation, and selection of variations that are more
    advantageous?" and we infidels are like 'yep that's it' and they are like
    "Wow, I accept evolution now, so . . . do I have to like worship Satan now
    or something?" ;)

    Ok so it doesn't go exactly like that. But the idea of natural selection is
    a simple one--and yeah, you could just call it variation. But imagine that
    variation occuring over millions of years, and you get a variety of
    variations (descent with modification).

    What makes us human? I don't know. I will say though, that just because
    religion produces an answer, does not mean they are correct. Also, you are
    confusing the science with the application. Scientific study does not
    produce the morality. Evolutionary biologists do not look to apes for
    examples of moral behavior, but simply explanations for it: "We have violent
    tendencies because we evolved from territorial chimps." Just like a doctor
    doing a physical--"your throat is sore because you have a bacterial
    infection." These are not moral statements in any way, nor should they be.

    If we do decide as a society, however, that we want to improve our 'social
    ills,' and that learning why we have these ills is a key to that
    improvement, than it is a moral pursuit to seek the answers. But the
    answers themselves are simple facts. Is this making sense?

    The fact that we can analyze ourselves can speak for itself--we can do it,
    so it must be important! Actually, if we did evolve 'self awareness,' than
    we should see a gradient of more self aware organisms as we look forward
    through evolutionary history. We do. Chimps can recognize themselves in a
    mirror, and have a greater degree of awareness than, say, a mouse.

    Again, I don't know. And again, just because your religion gives you
    answer, doesn't mean it is the correct one.

    No, evolutionary theory makes no moral statements. If a population has
    evolved, it has done one thing and one thing only: improved its reproductive
    success by adapting to its environment. If you think that reproductive
    success makes us 'better,' than you are way better than me. I have no
    children. ;) (See how silly this sounds!)

    Incidentally, we have evolved better disease-fighting capabilities than our
    ancestors. However, the little buggers evolved too.

    Actually Helen, biologists do have to worry about evolution. First of all,
    the fact of random mutation means that you will get revertents of your
    mutant bacteria or viruses, and you have to periodically test them to make
    sure they haven't evolved resistance to the antibiotic, or evolved a new
    trait which confuses your results. Because of evolution, it is important to
    keep stocks in the liquid nitrogen of the "original" or what we call
    "wild-type" organisms of bacteria, viruses, and cell lines. My friend who
    works with mice recently informed me that some strains of lab rats and mice
    are considered new species, and can no longer breed with their "wild"
    couterparts. Lab mice have also evolved new specific behaviors that give
    them advantages in the lab setting. This means that we can't always assume
    that an experiment that works on "balb-C mice" will work on all mice. My
    friend down the hall deals with this issue, and I can find some references
    for you if you like. Human cell lines will also adapt to the tissue culture
    environment, and their genes do mutate and evolve. Evolution is the reason
    that I cannot use my MA104 cells after passage 70 or so, because they have
    adapted too much to tissue culture and are no longer a good representation
    of a real monkey kidney cell.

    As to your statements on the education system. . . I can simply say this:
    Thanks to, in part, the efforts of my biology teacher, who was not content
    to simply teach us the facts but also taught us theories, I pursued biology
    as a career and now I am entering medical school. I am not opposed to
    people challenging a scientific theory, as long as it is done with science,
    not religion or "feel good" rhetoric. After all, trying to refute a theory
    is exactly how science works.

    Here's a question for you--how would you feel if science classrooms suddenly
    allowed all the different religious creation stories in? I have a
    feeling your tune about 'giving every theory a chance' would change. . .

    froggie

    [ February 23, 2002, 11:23 PM: Message edited by: Administrator ]
     
  20. Administrator2

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    JOHN PAUL

    John Paul:
    Thank you Shuanr for an honest attempt to answer my thread starting post. What you have pointed out shows it may indeed be important to know an organism’s history. At least as much as we can observe. But do we have to know how life originated or what the alleged original population(s) of organisms where in order to conduct HIV or AIDS research? Is it necessary to theorize that all of life’s diversity owes its common ancestry to this (these) alleged first population(s) in order to properly conduct such research? Would it matter to this research if life was Created, Intelligently Designed or arose via purely natural processes?

    (You know what I read about HIV? It may not cause AIDS. Something like only 10% of HIV people get AIDS. If that does indeed turn out to be the case, is it a disease at all? If it’s not a disease what is it and what causes AIDS? Maybe HIV is a necessary piece to the AIDS puzzle?)

    That a virus remains a virus is not the debate. That a virus can mutate is not the debate. When I watched the PBS series Evolution they discussed AIDS. They showed it wasn’t that the virus mutated to protect itself from the drugs. It showed that there already existed in the population, certain viruses that were already immune and that when the drug wiped out the non-immune virus, the other one just stepped into a vacated niche. Once there, they multiplied at will.

    Also in the same series Dennett stated there was no way to predict what would be selected for in any given environment. I take it he meant in an evolutionary (materialistic naturalism) scenario. What I’m getting at is knowing an organism’s history, according to Dennett, might not help us in predicting its future.

    What if it turns out that biological viruses can be dealt with the same way computer viruses are dealt with, but since no one is teaching that in schools the person that could do such a thing is never exposed to it.
    Why do evolutionists seem determined to keep all the eggs in one- materialistic naturalism basket?

    * * *

    from a second email

    Mr. Ben Replies:

    (John) Paul, it's likely that in the future, all complex systems will be designed using a variety of evolutionary techniques. The dramatic increase in efficiency of systems designed using mutation and selection are quite important when you consider the economy of the future.

    Here are some of the future industries which presently use evolution in their research right now:

    1. Optimal mechanical design and engineering (aircraft design, ship hull design, etc.)

    2. Software development

    3. Industrial production and manufacturing efficiency

    4. Drug research

    5. Robotics

    6. Neurology and artificial intelligence

    Why do these industries or research concerns use evolution? For the same reason that biological organisms are dependent on it. Only evolution is capable of solving large N variable optimization problems. These NP hard problems just are not ammenable to closed form 'designed' solutions, They must be iteratively discovered through evolution's "trial and error" process. (Incidentally, nature itself as it stands today is almost certainly such a problem, and mathematically could not be designed closed form by any designer which does not violate the basic axioms of mathematics).

    If we fail to teach our children about evolution and how it works, we are dooming the United States and its economy to second class status in the future. Without the ability to use the power of evolution in future industries, we will fall behind.


    John Paul:
    That’s all fine and dandy Mr. Ben, but what does it have to do with the importance of origins to biological evolution? That is the topic of this thread, not whether or not evolutionary processes can be observed and whether or not studying & understanding evolutionary processes are of any importance.

    Why is only the materialistic naturalism view on evolution the only one considered to be ‘science’? Why is only considering the materialistic naturalism’s PoV on origins the only one worth pursuing?

    ----------------------------------
    Mr. Ben
    Ultimately, as evolutionary design techniques and processes move into the mainstream of engineering and mechanical design we will probably see the gradual decline of Creationism.


    John Paul:
    Ultimately the opening of Darwin’s black box will lead to the decline of materialistic naturalism and an increase to the numbers of IDists.

    Mr. Ben:
    After all, with everyone familiary with how evolutionary design works, and able to easily spot its hallmark attributes, it will be obvious to anyone that biological organisms were designed the same way.


    John Paul:
    What we will find (and are finding) is that evolutionary processes can only refine an existing design but can’t design anything from scratch.

    So Mr. Ben, what difference would it make if life was Created, Intelligently Designed or arose via purely natural processes? (And that the evolutionary process took over from there) Do you think it would affect the industries you mentioned?
    Do you think it would affect research? To me the benefits of looking at life as a product of intentional design has many benefits over looking at life as a result of purely natural processes. More often than not, intentionally designed objects have form, function and purpose. If that is the case with intentionally designed biochemical systems, once we look it that way, it should be much easier to figure out what those are.
     

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