Evolution Can't Make Up Its Mind

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Administrator2, Dec 31, 2001.

  1. Administrator2

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    [Watch, in the following exchange, the tone of the evolutionist responses. When the mocking statements were deleted from this exchange, over half the evolutionists’ responses were gone. There is still enough left to see the tactics used here, however.]

    DON
    When I was in elementary school, I was taught that the universe was 20 billion years old (give or take....). Last summer, a group of scientists using the Hubble telescope re-calculated and determined that the universe was only 15 billion years old. A group from NASA looked over their work, and pointed out that the first group had used an assumption in one part of the equation, and using what's considered a constant instead, came up with only 12 billion years old.

    A few years back, they found a bird-like dinosaur skeleton with feathers. The missing link! they cried. Earlier this year, I saw an article that said they proved that the feathers had fossilized on top of the skeleton.

    Radioactive dating is all messed up for most of us laymen. Mount St. Helens blew up, what? about 15 years ago? Yet some form of radioactive dating showed that it blew up over 300 years ago....

    The coelecanth fish was supposed to be extinct millions of years ago. Instead, not only do they find a live one a couple of years ago, about a year ago they find a fish vendor in a street market selling a whole bunch of the things (reports are, they don't taste good, and eating them works similar to eating a laxative).

    A couple of months ago, they ran a check on the two Pioneer satellites that had left the solar system...except that they couldn't find them. They had calculated speed and trajectory, and neither satellite was where they were supposed to be. Instead, they found them closer to the solar system than they were supposed to be.
    Currently, the hypothesis is some gravitational pull that we haven't discovered or figured out yet....
    2 days ago, I ran across this article: http://www.cnn.com/2001/TECH/science/10/19/pakistan.lemur.ap/index.html

    The big kicker in this article is found in paragraph 8: If the teeth (supposedly olders than any lemur fossils currently known) found in Pakistan are real, the entire theory (of lemur migration to Madagascar) is again thrown into doubt. The teeth also are very similar to the teeth of modern lemurs, suggesting the animal may not have evolved much over millions of years. For that, scientists have no explanation. (emphasis mine)


    JOE G MEERT
    ....because science can't make up its mind.

    Of course they can. Evolution is not in doubt. Where you see fault, I see discovery. When I was in elementary school, computers filled entire buildings and they did not have anything close to the memory or speed of my HP calculator! Should science have simply quit once it made one calculator or is the improvement worth the effort. The suggestion is that your post indicates you thought it was!

    You must try to keep up with the literature more closely and read a little more carefully.


    Radioactive dating is all messed up for most of us laymen. Mount St. Helens blew up, what? about 15 years ago? Yet some form of radioactive dating showed that it blew up over 300 years ago....

    I hate to bring you the bad news, but St. Helens has blown her top more than once (how do you think the mountain got to be a mountain!). As for your assertion that radiometric dating is all messed up, how do you explain the massive concordant datasets?


    The coelecanth fish was supposed to be extinct millions of years ago. Instead, not only do they find a live one a couple of years ago, about a year ago they find a fish vendor in a street market selling a whole bunch of the things (reports are, they don't taste good, and eating them works similar to eating a laxative).

    Yes, science makes new discoveries. Would you prefer that they stick to the same knowledge we had 4000 years back?


    A couple of months ago, they ran a check on the two Pioneer satellites that had left the solar system...except that they couldn't find them. They had calculated speed and trajectory, and neither satellite was where they were supposed to be. Instead, they found them closer to the solar system than they were supposed to be.
    Currently, the hypothesis is some gravitational pull that we haven't discovered or figured out yet....


    Once again, you seem to be indicating that because science has not figured something out completely, it should not be trusted in anything.


    2 days ago, I ran across this article: http://www.cnn.com/2001/TECH/science/10/19/pakistan.lemur.ap/index.html
    …For that, scientists have no explanation.


    Are you sure about that? I can think of several reasons why the lemurs might show up in Pakistan. Can you?
    All scientific theories have doubts, that's the nature of science. You bemoan this imperfection, but you sure are willing to use its methodology in other areas of your life! Ever used aspirin? It's not 100% effective you know. Next time, you might want to wait!
    You've already decided what you believe and the evidence is not really that important
    to you.


    JOHN BOY
    When I was in elementary school, I was taught that the universe was 20 billion years old (give or take....). Last summer, a group of scientists using the Hubble telescope re-calculated and determined that the universe was only 15 billion years old…

    Let’s see. This is about astronomy and astrophysics and has nothing to do with evolution, which is biology. Hmm… Also, science changes as new information comes in. That’s what separates it from dogma.

    Here’re a couple recent articles about feathered dinos. As far as I know, they are still valid.
    BBC "Feathered Dinosaurs" link http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1081000/1081677.stm
    "Feathered" Fossil Bolsters Changing Image of Dinosaurs http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2001/04/0425_featherdino.html


    Radioactive dating is all messed up for most of us laymen…

    First, radioactive dating has nothing to do with biology. Wrong branch of science.
    Here are some links about your apparent misunderstandings about radiocarbon dating:

    A Radiometric Dating Resource List http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/8851/radiometric.html

    Radiometric Dating A Christian Perspective http://asa.calvin.edu/ASA/resources/Wiens.html


    The coelecanth fish was supposed to be extinct millions of years ago. Instead, not only do they find a live one a couple of years ago…

    I musta missed that part of evolutionary biology which said if a lifeform that was believed to be extinct is still around, evolutionary theory has failed.
    BTW, the "modern" coelecanth has several morphological differences from its ancient and "extinct" brethren.


    A couple of months ago, they ran a check on the two Pioneer satellites that had left the solar system...except that they couldn't find them…

    Which has what to do with evolution, exactly?


    2 days ago, I ran across this article: http://www.cnn.com/2001/TECH/science/10/19/pakistan.lemur.ap/index.html

    Let’s see. New evidence came in that may cause rethinking about the origin of a particular primate species.
    Y’know, I bet there is a LOT of stuff scientists don’t have the answers to, yet…


    So why don't I debate evolution any more? Because it's a scientific theory that has yet to be proven beyond doubt, and until scientists can make up their mind to the point that my mind will be convinced, there's just no sense in wasting my effort.

    Is there ANY scientific theory that is "proven beyond doubt"? Just curious. I bet you'd be surprised to know how many different theories of gravity there are floating around out there (pun not fully intended ).
    You seem to have a rather fuzzy notion about what is and is not part of evolutionary theory. Astronomy, physics, et. al. are NOT directly a part of evolutionary theory. Most of your post is irrelevant to the question at hand of evolution.


    JOHN WELLS
    However, since astronomy and physics are pertinent in the old earth / young earth debate, which does have relevance on evolution's integrity, those disciplines are fair game.


    DON
    Gentlemen, you've proven my point better than I'm able to.

    Your insistence that my showing examples from several different disciplines doesn't apply, and the areas that do apply are "easily" explained...merely shows your tendency to hold (religiously, one might say) to your own closed minds on the subject.

    Why does gravity apply? Why does the example about the age of the universe apply? Because these all point to areas that we are teaching our children as fact, when in reality we should be prefacing each and every statement--including those about evolution--with "it is currently believed."

    Science relies on the imperfect human mind. Perhaps one day, many, many moons from now, we might obtain all knowledge and have all understanding; until then, it is best that we NOT teach absolutes, but teach to question everything....


    JOHN BOY
    Originally posted by John Wells:
    However, since astronomy and physics are pertinent in the old earth / young earth debate, which does have relevance on evolution's integrity, those disciplines are fair game.


    Only in the very, very broadest sense. All sciences are reliant upon findings in other fields of science. The fact that findings in other branches of science agree that the Universe/Earth are all very, very old does help support evolutionary theory, which itself needs a lot of time to work its stuff as we understand it. But evolutionary theory has to stand on its own in the field of biology, which is the domain it occupies.

    One can make an argument that the age of the stars is supported by the length of time it appears life has been here on Earth as evidenced by the geologic record. However, that is a rather circuitous route to go. Better off just sticking with direct observations in the pertinent fields of inquiry, right?

    However, I'm sure you'll agree that the current position of the Pioneer spacecrafts has absolutely no bearing upon evolutionary theory. I'm sure, if pressed, you'd also admit that most of the list is generally irrelavent to the support/disproof of biological evolution.

    It seems little more than the argument: Scientists have been (and currently are) wrong about stuff, therefore evolution is wrong, too, no doubt. Seems a very specious syllogism to me (and, I assume you as well).


    Originally posted by Don:
    Why does gravity apply? Why does the example about the age of the universe apply? Because these all point to areas that we are teaching our children as fact, when in reality we should be prefacing each and every statement--including those about evolution--with "it is currently believed."
    Science relies on the imperfect human mind. Perhaps one day, many, many moons from now, we might obtain all knowledge and have all understanding; until then, it is best that we NOT teach absolutes, but teach to question everything....


    Perhaps we should also begin each statement when meeting someone on the street with something like this: "Even though we don't know about the objective nature of reality--for this world could be nothing more than a hallucination or some other simulation, like "The Matrix"--it appears that you are standing before me and, that being the experience from my rather meager senses (which at times can be fooled), I do wish you a 'good morning...'" And so on.

    Sorry, Don, but you're playing a semantic game, here. Science has a different version of the word "fact" than you seem to be using. The THEORY of Relativity is a FACT in physics. I bet almost EVERY physicist you ask would say Relativity is a FACT, but it isn't PROVEN, yet. Wonder why that is? It has something to do with the FACT that you don't PROVE things in science.

    Your version of the word "Fact" seems to be synomous with the word "Proven". That isn't the case.
    BTW, science, by its nature (no pun intended), is tentitive. Yes, I'm sure they would qualify every statement with "To the best of our current understanding..." and so on, but that rather complicates language unneccessarily (as exampled above).

    The best of our current understanding is that lifeforms evolved from previous lifeforms and all lifeforms on Earth are interrelated with each other through common ancestors. The amount of evidence that supports evolutionary theory (in the fossil record, in our genome, in morphological comparisons, et. al.) is so great that it is generally accepted as a fact within science. Kinda like that whole Relativity and Quantum Mechanics thing.

    That being said, can evolutionary theory be wrong? Yes. It is under rigorous testing every time a new fossil is discovered, a genome is analysed, a lifeform is classified. So far, Evolutionary theory has withstood the test of time and looks to keep passing those tests into the forseeable future. But, if a primate fossil is discovered in a pre-Cambrian shale evolutionary theory goes "KER-PLOOEY!"

    In science, everything is questioned all the time. It is part of the process of learning. If it weren't the case, we'd still be accepting Aristotle’s contention that women have fewer teeth than men, that the Sun goes around the Earth and so forth. Science is antithetical to dogmatism as you describe it. Science doesn't work the way you seem to think it does.

    There is no theory too sacred that every young buck (or doe--I'm not sexist ) who wants to make a name for themselves isn't gunning to overturn it and get themselves world-wide recognition and a Nobel Prize or two. That includes Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, and, yes, even Evolution.

    The fact that evolution hasn't been overturned yet speaks volumes to the stability of the theory. However, it doesn't mean that it can NEVER be overturned. Lots of luck to the people whom are trying, though--they're gonna need it!



    JOHN PAUL
    JM: Of course they can. Evolution is not in doubt.

    Evolution may not be in doubt, but evolution is just a change in allele frequency over time. What IS in doubt is the starting point and the extent that this evolution takes place. Direction is also a question. Even though the theory of evolution does not speak of a direction, the way the ToE is being applied on this planet definitely implies simpler organisms 'evolving' into more complex organisms. Natural selection is NOT enough to account for that type of evolution.

    John Boy, several times you and other evolutions have told me to reject the ToE is reject all science. Now you say the ToE is a biological theory and is not relevant to other science fields. So which is it?



    JOHN BOY
    What IS in doubt is the starting point and the extent that this evolution takes place. Direction is also a question. Even though the theory of evolution does not speak of a direction, the way the ToE is being applied on this planet definetly implies simpler organisms 'evolving' into more complex organisms. Natural selection is NOT enough to account for that type of evolution.

    If you say so. I have absolutely no problem with theistic evolution. If you want to believe that God(s) directed evolution, go right ahead. You won't get an argument out of me. Personnally, I have yet to see any evidence that shows the naturalistic explanation is insufficient. But, on this topic, our standards of judgement differ quite a bit, I imagine.

    I did NOT say to reject Evolutionary Theory is to reject all of science. To a certain extent, all fields of scientific inquiry are interrelated with one another. You can't have geologists saying the Earth is only 4.55 billion years old and astrophysicists saying the universe is only 6,000 to 10,000 years old. That would be, um, problematic. Findings in geology, astronomy, and even biology all agree that the Earth is FAR older than the YEC boundary. If ToE was contradicted by findings in unrelated fields of geology or physics, there would be drastic changes to one theory or the other.

    To use an image that Thomas Lewis used, science is not like a tinker toy construction: you cannot just pull out one theory here and another there and plug another one into it. Science is more like a spider's web: each strand is dependent upon another for security. If you remove a strand, you must replace it with one that equally or better supports findings in those other fields.

    This is where YEC runs into so many problems (and thus, ultimate, rejects all of science, more or less).
    YEC doesn't just have implications for biology/evolution. The changes they want to make in biology must then reinterpret geology, which has implications for astronomy and astrophysics, which has implications for physics and chemistry, and so on the dominoes fall. I can't think of many MAJOR fields of science that aren't in significant error if YEC is correct. Can you?

    Evolution DIRECTLY only applies to biology. As such, talking about stellar formation in the context of biological implications is a route that is rather off on a tangent and irrelavent area.
     
  2. Administrator2

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    JOHN PAUL
    I, on the other hand, have yet to see any evidence that shows the naturalistic explanation is sufficient. Nothing I have read or been pointed to shows that a single-celled organism can evolve into anything other than a single-celled organism. Sure we have the volvox and slime molds but those are not indicative of evolution.

    What if I may ask, in biology shows the Earth to be far older than the YEC boundary? And by geology I assume you mean our understanding of geology and the dating method is the maligned radiometric dating methods.

    Funny thing is there are YE Creationists who are astronomers, physicists, geologists etc. How do they manage to function?
    There are Creationists with advanced degrees in many scientific fields that are functioning OK. Also I don’t think the errors are that significant but shows that we are just lacking in knowledge. That is why we keep looking.


    EDGE
    Originally posted by Don:
    Gentlemen, you've proven my point better than I'm able to.
    Your insistence that my showing examples from several different disciplines doesn't apply, and the areas that do apply are "easily" explained...merely shows your tendency to hold (religiously, one might say) to your own closed minds on the subject.


    What they are saying is that many of the problems you cite are independent of biological evolution. That means that biological evolution does not influence the calculations for the age of the universe based on astronomical observations.

    If you are waiting for everything to be proven, then you've got an awfully long wait.
    What area of study does not rely on the imperfect human mind? Are you saying that we shouldn't teach any theories? Should we not teach history? Economics? I infer from your statement that you think creationists should question the bible. Do you see how silly your line of thought gets? It is clear that your problem is not with science or with evolution.



    JOHN PAUL
    The amazing thing is many advances in science were made by very religious people. Newton, Pasteur, Copernicus, Mendel et al., all believed this universe and all that is in it, yes including us, was Created by the Lord our God. Knowing this did NOT deter them from conducting science.

    Don, I understand your PoV. I also say that some sort of disclaimer should be attached to science books that would state something like- " as we understand it now, with the methods currently available and excluding anything not deemed 'natural'" Also we would need to define 'nature' and how it came to be. Just because we don't understand something we slap on the tag of 'supernatural' and exclude it from science even though it may be indicative of reality.

    Again I ask: if the 'natural' explanation is not indicative of reality, what good is it?


    JOE MEERT
    Originally posted by John Paul:
    The amazing thing is many advances in science were made by very religious people. Newton, Pasteur, Copernicus, Mendel et al., all believed this universe and all that is in it, yes including us, was Created by the Lord our God.
    Knowing this did NOT deter them from conducting science.


    Yes, including the fact that the earth is old and no global flood occurred. Many scientists today are christians. There seems to be this prevalent myth among ye-creationists that all scientists who think the earth is old, evolution happens and there was no flood must also be atheists. This is a lie!

    Creationists play up this aspect of science all the time (just look at this thread). They mistake the cautious, self-correcting method of science with complete doubt. Science is an asymptotic approach to truth. You and Don and Wells like to fault science for that, but you are always willing to use the imperfect products of science (like the internet)!
    The very fact that you typed this message and it appeared as you wanted (despite the errors in transmission) tells you that the natural explanation produces! it works just fine and like it or not, you just pretend the benefits aren't there!


    JOHN PAUL
    I guess our definitions of the word ‘fact’ are very different. Or maybe it is the definition of the word ‘old’. As to the Global Flood how do you suggest we go about ‘disproving’ it occurred?

    Many scientists today are christians. There seems to be this prevalent myth among ye-creationists that all scientists who think the earth is old, evolution happens and there was no flood must also be atheists. This is a lie!

    I don’t know about being atheists but I would doubt the sincerity of their Christianity if they did not believe in the Word of our Lord.


    … scientists cover this cautious approach in their classes.

    If I fail to realize it, that is because I have yet to witness it. What you said is good in theory but reality tells me something very different.
    Science doesn’t care about the ‘truth’, as I have been told thousands of times on other boards. And finally my field is electronics and electricity. Trying to compare the science that goes into technology with the alleged science that goes into the theory of evolution is far worse than any apples / oranges comparison. How dare you smear empirical science with your nonsensical comparison.
    The fact that I typed this message has NOTHING to do with whether or not nature played a role or not. It definitely doesn’t answer anything on how nature came to be or if we are here via purely natural processes or if the ToE is indicative of reality.


    EDGE
    Science doesn’t care about the ‘truth’, as I have been told thousands of times on other boards.

    What do you mean by this. I have never heard that science is not concerned with the truth. What truth are you talking about? You are not clear on this.




    JOHN PAUL John Paul
    Talk to the evolutionists who post on the NAiG & OCW DBs. That is where I was told that.
    It is not correct to compare an empirical science that leads to applied science to any historical science.


    JOE MEERT
    I guess our definitions of the word ‘fact’ are very different. Or maybe it is the definition of the word ‘old’. As to the Global Flood how do you suggest we go about ‘disproving’ it occurred?

    It has already BEEN disproven. There is no need to retrace the steps again. read the literature.


    If I fail to realize it [that science is presented cautiously in education] that is because I have yet to witness it. What you said is good in theory but reality tells me something very different.

    you mean you've failed to look for it.


    Science doesn’t care about the ‘truth’, as I have been told thousands of times on other boards.

    Show me someone who has told you such a thing. Science is about approaching truth. It is an imperfect endeavor (much like literal translations) so it can never achieve truth, but it does draw asympotitically toward the 'truth'.


    Trying to compare the science that goes into technology with the alleged science that goes into the theory of evolution is far worse than any apples / oranges comparison.


    Again, I can't help it if you fail to grasp scientific history. Do you think that computers come from Radio Shack?


    The fact that I typed this message has NOTHING to do with whether or not nature played a role or not. It definitely doesn’t answer anything on how nature came to be or if we are here via purely natural processes or if the ToE is indicative of reality.

    I didn't say that it has anything to do with evolution. It has everything to do with the validation of the scientific methodology and the fact that while you constantly bemoan science, you are quite content to share in the fruits of someone else's labor!.


    HELEN
    I curious about how you think evolutionary theory contributed to technology, Joe? Don't you think technology is possible without evolutionary theory?


    DANEEL
    Science does not teach. People do not teach. Students learn in spite of their teachers. At least they should. Students should be open minded enough to question material and to understand how science and the scientific method works. They should know the difference between hypothesis and theory. Theories are useful things but not set in concrete. They can be modified and refined. Theories can even be refuted and new ones take their place. In order to do this, however you must come up with a better theory that explains what we observe not simply say you don't see how the current theory works.

    If you want absolutes don't ask science. Ask religion. It has the answers. Science has only questions.


    Helen
    Students can refuse to learn in spite of their teachers, but I would like to think we have contributed a little to the process through the years.
    IN the meantime, please remember that students from the earliest years are taught to consider their teachers authorities. Teachers correct papers. Teachers determine what is right or wrong in terms of responses. Teachers hand out the grades. The incentives to believe the teacher are not only high, but well-ingrained by the later years.

    Kids who question are often sent to the office or even kicked out of class altogether. I know there are plenty of examples of that in our school district, and I daresay wherever you are, there are examples in yours, too. The pressure is on, and turned up on 'high', to conform to the existing paradigm.

    And science has only questions?
    Great, then we can question evolution. What? Not in the schools? That's religion?

    Oh my.....


    JOE MEERT
    …how you think evolutionary theory contributed to technology, Joe? Don't you think technology is possible without evolutionary theory?

    I am curious to know where you think I made this claim. Once you show me where I made this claim, I would be happy to discuss it further...............


    THE BARBARIAN
    Science has been going with the "natural explanation" for many years now. What good is it?
    Let's see..
    One answer is at your fingertips. We've learned how to make computers out of dirt.
    I bet you could come up with a lot more, if you'd think about it.


    JOHN PAUL
    It [a global flood] has already BEEN disproven. There is no need to retrace the steps again. read the literature.

    Thanks for the non-answer. How do propose we disprove an act of God? You can’t have it both ways. On one hand you say acts of God are not falsifiable but with the other you say one act has been falsified.


    The 'word of the lord' does not mention gravity or quantum mechanics.

    No but it DOES say something about the Special Creation.


    The 'word of the lord' is not universally accepted as truth.

    So now truth has to be universally accepted for it to be so?

    I WANT a well taught science class, but instead I get this evolutionary dogma forced upon our children.
    The problem is the theory of evolution has little to do with science IMO. Especially not the type of science that has brought forth technology. Further if I bemoan the theory of evolution does NOT mean I bemoan science. And finally, if someone else didn’t come up with the gadgets I use, I am the type of person that would have.


    Science has been going with the "natural explanation" for many years now. What good is it? Let's see.. One answer is at your fingertips. We've learned how to make computers out of dirt.

    Sand and not dirt, would be more like it. However my question was pertaining to the subject of this debate which is Creation/ evolution. But I can see why you would want to divert to technology.


    THINKPLEASE
    I curious about how you think evolutionary theory contributed to technology, Joe? Don't you think technology is possible without evolutionary theory?

    My answer to that question would be that evolutionary theory has contributed large amounts of data to the field of genetics and biotechnology. Without the TOE people would not have been as half as excited about genetics in general, and we might not be as far along as we are in those particular and related fields.


    MILAN
    So why don't I debate evolution any more? Because it's a scientific theory that has yet to be proven beyond doubt, and until scientists can make up their mind to the point that my mind will be convinced, there's just no sense in wasting my effort.

    First off: the fact that science is constantly revising its models is a positive attribute. Science is a rational endeavour, and it is therefore healthy that the acquisition of new evidence and the development of new techniques leads to a better understanding of the world and its workings. Only dogmas based on blind faith do not change. Science is based on the application of reason to the available data, and consequently it is subject to revision and continuous polishing.

    Secondly, evolution is a fact. We don't know all the details of the molecular mechanisms that underpin evolution, but that it occurs is a fact beyond discussion. No serious scientist argues this. Have a look at any issue of Nature or Science to see current examples of research papers about evolution, and how what we know about evolution is used to develop new technologies to generate better enzymes by methods like directed evolution by gene shuffling, for instance.
    For general information on the subject have a look for instance at www.talkorigins.org.

    Thirdly, the public debate about evolution is essential, especially in the USA, where fundamentalist groups with political clout have been trying to introduce the teaching of religious dogma disguised as science in the school system. It is absolutely crucial that the public be educated in scientific areas so that it can have an informed opinion about these political issues.

    [ December 31, 2001: Message edited by: Administrator ]
     

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