"If evolution is (true)/(not true)....

Discussion in 'Science' started by Alcott, Jul 8, 2005.

  1. Alcott

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    I have an idea based on the thread in Baptist Theology and Bible Study entitled "IF evolution is true,..." Suppose we use this new thread under Science here to pose legitimate questions from the perspective of whether evolution is true, or the perspective of it not being true. Then anyone who is sure they know a reasonable, logical answer may post it, including one that you think is better than a previously posted answer.

    For examples, I will pose 2 questions we may have dealt with before, but not too recently...

    1) If evolution is true, why do humans have such a low tolerance for untreated water? IOW, why does raw water from lakes, streams and most natural springs make us sick so easily? How did we manage to successfully evolve before learning to dig wells and use filters and boiling?

    2) If evolution is not true, why do we have an appendix, which does no apparent good and can cause much harm, and can be removed with no negative physiological consequences?

    One additional request: Please debate only the particular subject at hand, and don't just turn this into a typical 'familiar arguments' thread.
     
  2. Paul of Eugene

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    1) If evolution is true, then not only are the animals that drink the water evolving to deal with the pathogens, but the pathogens are evolving to deal with the defenses the animals that drink the water are coming up with. So its not just a matter of solving the problem once, the pathogens evolve to give them new problems.
     
  3. Alcott

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    1)That doesn't answer the question to my satisfaction. Sure, if we conquer the detrimental effects of certain pathogens, then other pathogens or new variations may have an 'opportunity' for new advantages. But it seems that the supposed human ancestrol line would play such a small role in this compared to all of life which must have water that either it's no 'real' problem or else most humans today could get their water untreated from natural bodies with little concern for illness.

    Another question:
    3)If evolution is true, what is the reason the large majority of humans are right-handed? It seems to me that being ambidextrous should an advantage, considering the likelihood of injury to one hand or arm used for throwing, cutting or other precision tasks. Either that, or why are not left-handed and right-handed more equal in distribution?
     
  4. UTEOTW

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    1)I think this would be a multi part answer. Paul captured the first part above. There will be a continuous arms race between the pathogens and the hosts that would lead to some still being able to infect. If they could not, they would tend to die out.

    Second, my understanding is that the immune system is for the most part a general purpose defense and is not genetically tuned to prevent a specific disease though there are exceptions. So some will always get through.

    Next, I think a lot of whether you get sick depends on how much exposeure your immune system has had to the particular pathogen. We have all heard the "don't drink the water" anecdotes concerning travel to third world areas. They are not constantly sick are they? You immune system builds up defenses to thinks which you are exposed.

    Finally, as long as they are only making you sick but not enough to significantly affect whether you live long enough to reproduce, then there may not be much selective pressure to evolve increased defenses to the pathogens.
     
  5. UTEOTW

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    3) This has to be rather speculative but here goes.

    The first possibilty that I can come up with has to do with how handedness is tied into the differing function of the left and right brain hemispheres. People who are right handed are more dominated by their left brain and vice versa. I have read where studies have shown that ambidextrous people have measurable deficencies in verbal, reading and math skills. So this would be selected against. From here you could speculate that the range of mental traits accociated with being right handed confers some small survival advantage.

    The other speculative route is this. Let's suppose there is a gene for right handed and one for left handed and the neither confirms an advantage. The way genetics works still says that one would randomly come to dominate the gene pool. I just cannot remember the name for the term.

    And all this coming from a natural lefty who was forced into right handedness by his father (who was forced into right handedness by his father) and who now has a very strange mix of what hand to use for various tasks. I never know with what hand I am going to eat dinner.
     
  6. Paul of Eugene

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    How about: dividing up the left and right side of the brains gives us some kind of advantage - one side providing verbal proficiency, the other better at non-vebal learning for example - and then this gets pretty much established in the population - and favoring one side comes about as a side affect, no particular evolurionary benefit for that as such, just the things that Do provide the benefit also provided the handiness?
     
  7. Gup20

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    Actually, the appendix has significant function in the lymphatic system.

    Today, the appendix is recognized as a highly specialized organ with a rich blood supply. This is not what we would expect from a degenerate, useless structure.

    The appendix contains a high concentration of lymphoid follicles. These are highly specialized structures which are a part of the immune system. The clue to the appendix’s function is found in its strategic position right where the small bowel meets the large bowel or colon. The colon is loaded with bacteria which are useful there, but which must be kept away from other areas such as the small bowel and the bloodstream.

    Through the cells in these lymphoid follicles, and the antibodies they make, the appendix is ‘involved in the control of which essential bacteria come to reside in the caecum and colon in neonatal life’. Like the very important thymus gland in our chest, it is likely that the appendix plays its major role in early childhood. It is also probably involved in helping the body recognize early in life that certain foodstuffs, bacterially derived substances, and even some of the body’s own gut enzymes, need to be tolerated and not seen as ‘foreign’ substances needing attack.


    SOURCE

    My question, then, is:

    "If evolution is true, why is it entirely contradicted by the whole of scripture?"

    Genesis 1-11 gives us the real story.
    Countless prophets (and Jesus himself) quote Genesis 1-11 as literal history.
    Countless apostles and disciples quote Genesis 1-11 as literal history.
    Everything in scripture supports a view of Genesis 1-11 as literal history.

    Or how about this question:

    If evolution is true, how could there be death before sin?

    Or how about:

    If evolution is true, where are the missing links?

    Or:

    If evolution is true, what mechanism caused it to defy the astronomical mathmatical odds against it?

    What about:

    If evolution is true, why do you believe in God?
     
  8. JamesJ

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    Absolutely one of the most important questions of our time. If evolution is true, then there is no God and we don't have any need to be saved from anything because there is no judgment, etc.

    Right on Gup20 !!
     
  9. Paul of Eugene

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    I've never understood why the assertion that if evolution is true there can be no God can be made with a straight face. I can understand a man who asserts that it disagrees with the Bible as he understands it. But it is certainly possible to think of God as not being tied down to that private interpretation. In light of that possibility, what is it about accepting evolution that requires one to give up on the idea of God?
    Why can't it easily be considered another viewpoint of how God chose to arrange things? The question answers itself. The concept is perfectly simple to entertain, to accept, to believe. The accusation is nonsense.
     
  10. UTEOTW

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    Simply put, those who insist that if evolution is true then our religion is false but then fail to be able to show how the diversity of the evidence is better explained in a young earth paradigm undermine our our religion and fight the battle for the militant atheists who wish to see our religion, all for that matter, discredited.

    And how often do YEers here make some YE assertion and then disppear when it is challeneged? How many threads can we find here that they abandoned when they could not suport their assertions or when they were shown to be full of holes?

    This does nothing but hurt us. If you believe in a young earth based on your personal faith in the matter, that is wonderful. If you take it further, however, and insist that the data supports you too but cannot demonstrate this to be true, then you cause problems in my opinion.
     
  11. Gup20

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    If evolution is true, then there is no need for God. If everything occured naturally, then God did not create us... nature created us. If nature created us rather than God, then nature owns us rather than God. That would mean that we are not purposefully created, and our status is no different than that of a rock, a tree, or anything else that nature created. As a matter of fact, if we come from Apes and other creatures... they they are our creators, and they are our gods. We should then, indeed, worship a golden calf, or worship the sun.

    However, if we are a special creation made with a purpose directly and intelligently by God, then we are His creation. He decided our purpose and destiny. He decides our role and relationship to the rest of creation.

    Moreover, the Bible is the reason we believe in God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit. If we cannot trust the Bible regarding our beginnings, how can we trust it regarding our endings? How can we trust it regarding Jesus?

    The most obvious reason is that isn't what He said He did. Genesis tells us what God says He did. I choose to believe my Creator at His Word. But if you really think about it... If evolution is true it undermines all of scripture.

    Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

    Act 17:23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
    24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

    The truth of who God is - the very definition that Paul uses - is that of the diety whom is the Creator. If you believe in evolution, you turn the truth of God into a lie and define the creation as the creator.

    What is the effect? Death before sin, natural law instead of Godly law, and no basis whatsoever for morality. How can you change the world's view of morality (for example homosexual marriage) if their view of morality is based upon natural law - the thought that they are a result of nature rather than direct creation by God - and are therefore subject only to "what seems natural" rather than what God says is right?
     
  12. Alcott

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    Most sites one may look up indicate the appendix may have had a function in digesting cellulose [primary structural component of plants], which would indicate a change in food choices of our ancestors, which perhaps did not come about abruptly, explaining the remaining organ. Regardless, if its function is "significant," it should follow that there would be significant effects from removing it, and there are none [other than the guarantee that its propensity for disease will no longer be a bother to the patient].
     
  13. Gup20

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    This really depends on 'when' you remove it. It performs a very specific task in early life - a task that is vital to a healthy adult life.

    Source

    ‘My surgeon’, he wrote, ‘told me I wouldn’t miss [my appendix] because it no longer serves a purpose in humans.’ Whitten’s surgeon was repeating a long-discredited argument for evolution—the belief that the appendix and many other parts of the body are useless ‘vestigial’ organs, which our evolutionary ancestors needed but which we no longer do.

    ‘Your surgeon was a little out of date’, replied Chicagoan Kathleen James in the pro-evolution magazine’s questions-and-answers column. ‘Although it used to be believed that the appendix had no function and was an evolutionary relic, this is no longer thought to be true. Its greatest importance is the immunological function it provides in the developing embryo, but it continues to function even in the adult … . The function of the appendix appears to be to expose circulating immune cells to antigens from the bacteria and other organisms living in your gut. That helps your immune system to tell friend from foe and stops it from launching damaging attacks on bacteria that happily co-exist with you.’1

    James also mentioned why the appendix can be removed without harming us: ‘By the time you are an adult, it seems your immune system has already learned to cope with the foreign substances in the gastrointestinal tract, so your appendix is no longer important. But defects in [the appendix and other] immune sampling areas may be involved in autoimmune diseases and intestine inflammation.’

    Johan Uys of Bellville, South Africa, also weighed in on Whitten’s question: ‘In humans, [the appendix] was thought to have no physiological function’, Uys wrote. ‘However, it is now known to play a role in fetal immunity and in young adults. During the early years of development, the appendix functions as a “lymphoid organ”, assisting with the maturation of B lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) and in the production of immunoglobulin A antibodies [both of which help fight invading germs]. In addition, at around the 11th week of fetal development, endocrine (hormone-producing) cells appear in the appendix. These cells produce peptide hormones that control various biological mechanisms.’


    The basis of the evolutionary argument is that - since as an adult, the appendix can be removed without consequence - it must be some kind of remnant or vestigial organ which demonstrates some idea of built up mutational junk. This is false. Without the appendix in early development, your immune system would be at a severe disadvantage. The appendix has a function... a very important function in the development of a person's immune system. It's evolutionary role of a useless remnant of evolution is falsified.
     
  14. JamesJ

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    It is my opinion that those who choose to believe that God used evolution as part, or all, of His method of creation are as ones that James wrote about... Double minded. They want the praise of God, as well as men.
    God tells us that He will confound the wisdom of the wise. He tells us that man's wisdom is foolishness.
    He said that he formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into into him the breath of life. Then He said that he caused the man to fall into a deep sleep, took one of his ribs, and formed woman.
    That's not evolution... That's the Creator immediately creating what we are, fully formed.
     
  15. Gup20

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    Indeed if you take the Bible first, you don't get anything even remotely resembling evolution. It's only after imposing man's ideas on scripture that Biblical creation is suddenly "not good enough".

    By the way - the Word tells us the end result of a double minded man -

    Mat 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

    In my opinion, this is exactly what happens. First, a person believing in evolution rejects Genesis. Having done so, they are now open to rejecting other parts of the Bible they deem 'non-literal' or 'a little bit off'. Eventually you have folks like the Jesus scholars rolling their marbles out and coming to the conclusing that only a small handful of verses in the Gospels are actually inspired truth.
     
  16. Paul of Eugene

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    Indeed, if you take the Bible first, you can't get anything even remotely resembling the idea that the rotation of the earth causes night and day. It's ony after imposing man's ideas on scripture that biblical "rising and setting" is suddenly "not good enough".

    And that is documented historically, including Catholic opposition to Gallileo and Protestant opposition to Copernicus.

    Today, the science has won the field on this issue and everybody re-interprets scripture to agree with the science, no problems at all doing that.

    But the funny thing is - they say its wrong to do that kind of thing, even though they are doing it. Go figure.
     
  17. Gup20

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    The earth rotating around the sun is not contradicted by scripture. As long as something does not contradict scripture, it is within the realm of possibility, and open to scientific interpretation. The geocentrism issue is an example of eisegesis. However, evolution directly contradicts the scripture in many, many places.

    If you could find a scripture that says "the sun revolves around the earth" there might be a contradiction. But all you have is poetic passages that could be interpreted either way and whimisical philosphy not directly from scripture.

    In contrast we can say that the evolutionary conjecture that the earth is billions of years old is false because the Bible does directly say that the earth was created in six days. Hermeneutically we can also see that the only possible interpretation for 'days' is literal days.
     
  18. Gup20

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    In keeping with thread topic -

    1. If evolution is true, then there is no need for Jesus to physically die.

    2. If evolution is true, then there is no need for a virgin birth.

    3. If evolution is true, then Jesus is liar.

    ------
    1.
    Jesus physically died because physical death is the result of sin. Romans 5:12 says that by one man (Adam) sin entered the world, and death came because of that sin. Evolution supposes that there was death for billions of years before man came upon the earth (as does theistic evolution). If evolution is true, Jesus wouldn't need to have physically died. His death was an atonement for our sin. If physical death is not the result of sin, but has always been here, then Jesus would not have needed to physically die. If Jesus only came to save our spirit, there would be no need for his physical death.

    --------
    2.
    The reason for the virgin birth is to show that Jesus was God, but he was also man. If evolution is true, and Adam was not the first man, and eve was not "the mother of all living human beings", then Jesus would not have needed to be born of a virgin woman. Jesus would have had to have been born with the genes from all the separate races or species of human. Otherwise, his salvation is only for those represented by his gene pool (Jews). If there were "many Adams"... then there would need to be "many Jesus".

    -------------
    3.
    Jesus said:

    Mar 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.

    If evolution is true, creation would have started 11 billion years ago. Male and female human beings would have existed for 50,000 years. On the scale of 11 billion, that puts the creation of man as a minute blip at the end of creation. However, if "the beginning" was a six day period at the front of 6000 years, then man and woman have truly been here from the beginning.
     
  19. Alcott

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    How does this apply to the meaning of the word "day" in Genesis? "For in the day you eat it, you will surely dies." Yet Adam lived a long time after eating the fruit.

    Then so save our spirits, He had to die spiritually, right?

    What?? He was born of "Adam's seed" no matter if he was born of a virgin or not, as the woman to whom he was born is that. What does that leave in your reasoning, except maybe something in the direction of being born "free from original sin?" If that's your belief, then you where you need to go, and it ain't a Baptist message board.

    Another "What??" The fact is He was not born "from all the separate races....of human." And if his 'representation of the gene pool' includes only the Jews [tribe of Judah], does it extend to the other Israelites? He said specifically he came to "the lost sheep of Israel." If you think you must somehow (gene pool or not) become a Jew before you can be saved, then that's another place you need to go to that ain't a Baptist message board.

    Whether you believe in creation literalism or not, man and woman were not here from the beginning[/i]. The earth existed for God to form the man from, thus he was preceded by something. By that reasoning, automobiles have been here 'from the beginning,' since the materials of which they are made were here.
     
  20. Paul of Eugene

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    The earth rotating around the sun is not contradicted by scripture. As long as something does not contradict scripture, it is within the realm of possibility, and open to scientific interpretation. The geocentrism issue is an example of eisegesis. However, evolution directly contradicts the scripture in many, many places.

    If you could find a scripture that says "the sun revolves around the earth" there might be a contradiction. But all you have is poetic passages that could be interpreted either way and whimisical philosphy not directly from scripture.

    In contrast we can say that the evolutionary conjecture that the earth is billions of years old is false because the Bible does directly say that the earth was created in six days. Hermeneutically we can also see that the only possible interpretation for 'days' is literal days.
    </font>[/QUOTE]I'm Sorry, Gup, but you are not a fair judge of that because you already know the sun goes around the earth and you therefore interpret scripture according to what you really know. But if we go back in history to when the issue was still in doubt as to the science of the thing, then we listen to the voices of the literal minded interpreters of that day, and another message comes out. The literal interpreters of the days of Gallileo and Copernicus stood up and quoted scripture with all the righteous indignation at their disposal against the upstart notions of people who believed mere evidence is enough to convince anybody of the truth.

    Of course, you know exactly how they felt - you carry on their tradition today!

    They had iron clad verses to back themselves up in rejecting the science of their day:

    Eccl 1:5
    5 Also, the sun rises and the sun sets;
    And hastening to its place it rises there again.
    NASU

    What could possibly be a more literal statement? Do you think this is just poetry, without having a literal meaning that is intended to convey truth behind it? Why do you even entertain for a little moment of time the idea this is not a literal passage?

    We all know the answer. Because you have allowed your scientific knowledge to overcome the need to literally interpret scripture.

    Well, the evidence from the fossils, from the genetic studies, from astronomy, from geology, from paleontology, from chemistry, from physics, from so many different sciences in so many different ways has converged to inform us today that all life is of common descent and the earth is really billions of years old, and the universe including many of its stars is billions of years older yet.

    It's ok to allow truth to help us understand how to interpret the bible. You do it with regards to the rotation of the earth and therefore it seems to me it ill behooves you to forbid others from doing the same thing when they have become convinced by the evidence from God's own universe about its age and evolution.
     

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