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Creation vs. Evolution

Which view is yours?

  • Athiestic Evolution

    Votes: 6 27.3%
  • Thiestic Evolution

    Votes: 5 22.7%
  • Young-earth Creation

    Votes: 6 27.3%
  • Old-earth Creation

    Votes: 5 22.7%

  • Total voters
    22

joxy

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I forgot to comment on your posting that was mainly concerned with the biblical account of creation and the lineage of man.
The Hebrew words you mention and their definition have been widely quoted in postings here from other contributors, and,
of course, the precise meaning of words in terms of translation is always a difficult process, and all the more difficult when it involves a form of language written over two thousand years ago.
The point, though, is that none of that matters!
The relevant book, as has been pointed out here many times, is not a book of history, or of science. It is a work of literature,
of poetry. The precise meanings of the words and the description of the process of creation are not matters subject to technical or scientific discussion.
The same applies to the story of the flood. Many civilisations contain similar stories. It is another piece of literature, of poetry.
Of course it is a simple fact that floods of all sorts have taken place throughout history, on every scale imaginable, even up to world-wide; but that doesn't matter. The work of literature isn't a scientific account of one specific instance of such an event.
Again, those "three verses" that tell us how many generations of men there had been up to that point: pure poetry, totally irrelevant to any statistical computation.
And please remember, this is joxy, a profundly religious person, writing!

Back to the fish and monkeys!
And back to Encarta:
<Macaque, common name for certain Old World monkeys that live in a great variety of habitats, primarily in Asia. The macaque known as the rhesus monkey, much used in medical research, is found throughout India.....">
<Blue Moki, fish found in southern New Zealand waters....
Red Moki, fish found in the warmer waters of northern New Zealand....>
So, there are monkeys in India; there are moki(es?) in New Zealand.
Your heading places "mokies" in India.
You fell off your chair laughing at the error; and I happily join you in that position.
You apologised for the error: no need, as I enjoyed it, but thank you anyway. :)

When I was looking for your comments on an earlier posting I was referring to #216 about the fossil record.
 

joxy

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My postings today in this thread are:
208
210
216
219
223
They are each distinct and most of them are quite brief.
My computers remain in their uninjured condition, pending further instructions.
 

Gothmog

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Number 223 was infact the second of a double post. I have sent you a PM explainging this. :) I am sure that this is due to some fault and not deliberate.
 

Walter

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Aragorn21 said:
Ok, well, I believe that God created the earth in long periods, like I said. He spoke, and things came about, then he let it take it's natural course. For instance, he created the trees, then let them grow and reseed for a while.
OK

There's a few translations from Hebrew about the creation of man, The first description uses the Hebrew verb asah, which is most often translated "to make" or "to produce." The word tend to imply the creation of something from pre-existing materials. The second description of the creation of man uses the Hebrew word bara, which is most often translated "to create." It nearly always refers to acts done by God and usually refers to the creation of something brand new. And the third description of the creation of man uses the Hebrew word yatsar, which is most often translated "to form" or "to fashion." Like the word asah, it usually refers to the formation of something from pre-existing materials. The descriptions from Genesis indicate that man is both a new creation and at least partially based upon a previous design. Genesis 2:7 indicates that man was formed from the "dust of the ground" - indicating creation was based upon pre-existing material. What was the nature of this "dust?" It could refer to creation based upon a previously-used body plan or genetic design. This would explain why human DNA shares similarity with the DNA of chimpanzees and other apes.
You already elaborated on the terms bara and asah in a previous post (there you 'borrowed' from Ankerberg I take it). Now you add yatsar (from godandscience.org, I think). What I find somewhat irritating is, that you now seem to involve in a literal interpretation of Genesis, but IMO if you do this, you should also note and be able to explain (or explain away) – at least to yourself - the various contradictions, discrepancies and inconsistencies of Genesis, because if we are to examine Gen 1:26-27 and/or 2:7 in a literal way, we cannot ignore the rest of Genesis.

Now picking bits and pieces from Genesis and to compare those with bits and pieces from scientific evidence and then starting to philosophize about possible connections will neither bring you to a consistent worldview, nor will it help you to get closer to what really happened, I'm afraid.

Actually, I tend – like joxy and most others around here – to see Genesis as a ceation myth. And as such it should be seen in the context of other creation myths of the same era and region (where it fits in quite nicely, btw.) and not be taken as a literal account, but if you wish to do so, you should at least be fair to yourself and recognize the pitfalls of such an approach. You sure are intelligent enough to free yourself from the influence of the information you achieved from these creationalist sites and read Genesis on your own with an open mind….

The Bible does give an idea of how many generations have lived under God's commandments. At least three verses in the Old Testament indicate that humans have been around for at least 1000 generations. Since a biblical generation is usually listed at 40 years, this would suggest that modern humans have existed for at least 40,000 years.
Same as above and it does not match with the fact that biologically "modern humans" have existed much longer, probably 150.000-200.000 years (cf. Eriols remarks about mytchondrial Eve; even though parallel examination of the male y-chromosome leads to different results). Nor is it congruent with the account in Genesis. Abram's exodus from Mesopotamia can be correlated with some probability to the exodus of a Hebrew tribe which moved from Mesopotamia to Canaan early in the 2nd Millennium BCE and calculation of the generations mentioned from Adam to Abram brings us closer to 4.000 BCE (and roughly the date archbishop Ussher calculated) than to 40.000 years, I think…

Then there's the great flood of Noah. Now I'm not 100% sure of what I believe on that, whether it was a world-wide flood, or a local flood, but world-wide in judgement. I used to believe that the flood took place world-wide, but it seems that the majority of scientific date points elsewhere. once out of the arc, the human population began to spread out, and adapt to their different environments.
So far there is no scientific evidence of a worldwide flood ever since dry land appeared and we can be sure that there was no worldwide flood at the time Genesis suggests it was. There were, however, regional floods and at least one of them might qualify to have caused the accounts of the Mesopotamian (cf. Atrahasis) and Biblical flood, which are – in substance – most probably different accounts of the same flood. Newer research (cf. W.C.Pitmann & W.B.F Ryan Noah's Flood) correlates both accounts with a flood which occured at the Black Sea in the 6th millennium BCE and during which the level of the Black Sea was raised within a very short timespan for some 150 meters, destroying much of the then existing and prosperous civilization in the fertile regions around the Black Sea. It appears more than likely that those people, who escaped the flood and lateron settled in the fertile cresent preserved the memory of this flood in their accounts...

Does that cover everything?
Well, not really, since you don't say anything in particular – except for the trees - about how and when the universe or our earth, the forms of life, etc., came into existence. Maybe you try – not for us here, but for yourself – to construct an account of the history of the world, which is consistent in itself and in accordance with your beliefs and with – so called – "scientific reality". I am sure this could bring you to a greater understanding of not only our world and nature, but also to the core of your own beliefs: an omnipotent creator who maybe did not "design" our world in minute detail, but rather who "designed" and "created" the "laws" which brought this world into being and which led to its current state of being, including ourselves.

On another plain, it sure would be interesting – as joxy suggests – to ponder and discuss the creation vs. evolution of mankind on a more metaphysical plain and dedicate some attention to the attempts of defining and explaining our "soul" or "spirit" or "mind". Also such a discussion would not interfer with a scientific view of the physical or biological evolution of our world and mankind....

----

Aragorn21 said:
Originally Posted by Robert Locke
...
thank you sir. You summed it up nicely.
Nicely yes, maybe, but most probably not correctly... (for a somewhat more balanced view maybe cf. http://www.freethoughtdebater.com/FLockeResponse.htm )
 
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Athelas

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This thread topic is akin to asking whether you believe the earth is flat or spherical. Seriously. :eek:
 

Aragorn21

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You already elaborated on the terms bara and asah in a previous post (there you 'borrowed' from Ankerberg I take it). Now you add yatsar (from godandscience.org, I think). What I find somewhat irritating is, that you now seem to involve in a literal interpretation of Genesis, but IMO if you do this, you should also note and be able to explain (or explain away) – at least to yourself - the various contradictions, discrepancies and inconsistencies of Genesis, because if we are to examine Gen 1:26-27 and/or 2:7 in a literal way, we cannot ignore the rest of Genesis.
Yes, I bored some stuff from some different sites. But I'm confused, where did I "involve in a literal interpretation of Genesis"?

Same as above and it does not match with the fact that biologically "modern humans" have existed much longer, probably 150.000-200.000 years (cf. Eriols remarks about mytchondrial Eve; even though parallel examination of the male y-chromosome leads to different results). Nor is it congruent with the account in Genesis. Abram's exodus from Mesopotamia can be correlated with some probability to the exodus of a Hebrew tribe which moved from Mesopotamia to Canaan early in the 2nd Millennium BCE and calculation of the generations mentioned from Adam to Abram brings us closer to 4.000 BCE (and roughly the date archbishop Ussher calculated) than to 40.000 years, I think…
Actually, they believe it to be about 40-100,000 I believe. According to http://anthro.palomar.edu/homo2/sapiens_culture.htm "Early modern Homo sapiens in Africa and Southwest Asia 100,000 years ago made tools that were similar to those of the Neandertals and other late archaic Homo sapiens. Around 75,000 years ago, these were mostly simple Mousterian-like Levallois flake and core tools. However, by 40,000 years ago or a bit earlier, modern humans began producing new kinds of artifacts that were revolutionary enough to warrant their being placed into a different Paleolithic stage--the Upper Paleolithic."

Indeed, Archbishop Ussher dated Earth’s origin at Saturday, October 9, 4004 B.C. by adding up all the genealogies presented in the Bible. These calculations were soon incorporated into the notes of virtually every English Bible - soon becoming equivalent to what "the Bible claimed" about the creation date of the earth. However, there are problems with this interpretation. There are provable gaps in at least some of the Old and New Testament genealogies. (godandscience again)

So far there is no scientific evidence of a worldwide flood ever since dry land appeared and we can be sure that there was no worldwide flood at the time Genesis suggests it was. There were, however, regional floods and at least one of them might qualify to have caused the accounts of the Mesopotamian (cf. Atrahasis) and Biblical flood, which are – in substance – most probably different accounts of the same flood. Newer research (cf. W.C.Pitmann & W.B.F Ryan Noah's Flood) correlates both accounts with a flood which occured at the Black Sea in the 6th millennium BCE and during which the level of the Black Sea was raised within a very short timespan for some 150 meters, destroying much of the then existing and prosperous civilization in the fertile regions around the Black Sea. It appears more than likely that those people, who escaped the flood and lateron settled in the fertile cresent preserved the memory of this flood in their accounts...
Yes,there is no doubt that a large flood happened. But it was most likely (probably even definately) on a local scale.

Nicely yes, maybe, but most probably not correctly... (for a somewhat more balanced view maybe cf. http://www.freethoughtdebater.com/FLockeResponse.htm )
Contrary to what Locke cites Denton as saying, the fossil record has amassed far more evidence than is necessary to prove that all life is in fact related through common descent. None of this evidence puts descent with modification in doubt at all—quite the contrary: the number and range of transitional forms is now quite large and still growing. But the proof that evolution has occurred goes far beyond the fossil record.
Woah...is he going to back any of that up? I have still not seen a good transitionary form. (All I quoted of him was on the fossil record, so that's all I'll deal wiht...)

Well, not really, since you don't say anything in particular – except for the trees - about how and when the universe or our earth, the forms of life, etc., came into existence. Maybe you try – not for us here, but for yourself – to construct an account of the history of the world, which is consistent in itself and in accordance with your beliefs and with – so called – "scientific reality". I am sure this could bring you to a greater understanding of not only our world and nature, but also to the core of your own beliefs: an omnipotent creator who maybe did not "design" our world in minute detail, but rather who "designed" and "created" the "laws" which brought this world into being and which led to its current state of being, including ourselves.
:/ That would take...a long time. I dunno, I might try, I'm still in the middle of school and stuff though, so we'll see I guess.

On another plain, it sure would be interesting – as joxy suggests – to ponder and discuss the creation vs. evolution of mankind on a more metaphysical plain and dedicate some attention to the attempts of defining and explaining our "soul" or "spirit" or "mind". Also such a discussion would not interfer with a scientific view of the physical or biological evolution of our world and mankind....
That could be interesting...
 

joxy

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Athelas said:
This thread topic is akin to asking whether you believe the earth is flat or spherical. Seriously. :eek:
Yes indeed, seriously.
The thread's title proposes a contest which doesn't exist, and the content argues a case which has for long been won.

I suppose I should be pleased to know that anyone actually reads the bible, and especially that any young person does so.
However, I am beginning to understand why my own church was once so reluctant for people to do that without guidance.
I've described it as a work of literature, but it isn't really that - it's a whole collection of separate works of literature, and it is likely that most of the individual works, in turn, had a multiplicity of authors.
It would obviously be impossible for such a variety to show consistency in terms of facts, as if the whole were a work of history or of science, and, of course they don't.
There is some historical basis for it all, no doubt, but that is not what really matters. The only thing that matters from the point of view of faith is that it shows, whether by direct reporting or by allegorical representation, the consistency of God's love for his creation and of his message to whose with whom he has entrusted it. To attempt to analyse it, to try to establish its consistency or literal accuracy, perverts that purpose, and comes near to blasphemy. Bishop Usher did not realise that; 150 years later we ought to realise it, and ought not to be concerning ourselves about floods or plagues of locusts.

What might be valuable would be, as Walter suggests, to accept that the creator's mechanism produced the situation we see today, and to consider instead matters that seem to be altogether outside the scope of science: the nature of the mind and the existence - or not - of the soul. Maybe there was a unique special act of creation that converted us from homo s.s. into what we are today.
 

Aragorn21

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I am forced to disagree with you as to the mechenism with which God created the earth...but does that really matter? Does it matter how God created things? Whether he did it all at once, or gradually, I don't think, really matters all that much. Either way, it was Gods doing. Right?
 

Eriol

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Mrs. Maggott said:
On the contrary! "Natural selection" would not! Prey animals only thrive when there are the optimum number of predators to "weed out" the old, the sick and the unfit. Too many predators, of course, would lead to extinction. But too few lead to unsuitable animals entering - and weakening - the gene pool, to starvation as numbers grow to be more than the environment can support and to disease which often wipes out not only the unfit, but those animals who form the strong core of the breeding stock. This was made eminantly evident in the American West which suffered from an unnatural increase in the deer population that followed the destruction of wolves and cougars, the species natural predators. The animals became so numerous that they ruined their environment, became ill because of starvation and died in far greater numbers than would ordinarily have been the case if nature's "balance" had been maintained.
Sorry, but no. As you say very well, absence of predation may result in overgrazing. Since the scenario I was talking about (the first colonization of land) involves unlimited resources, this is not a problem (note that the deer population had many competitors, including human beings -- predation is not the only way in which two species can interact, and it is not even the most common one).

The colonization of land by large vertebrates would be an invasion into an ecosystem free of predators and competitors, with unlimited resources. It is like the introduction of rabbits and sheep in Australia (just one of many examples) -- and it always results in overwhelming success.

Aragorn21 said:
I honestly don't see what was so ignorant about my statement. And I'm not criticizing the theory, I was asking a simple question. I just thought that being hunted for millions of years would eventually lead to extinction.
Well, all species of animals (excluding top-of-chain predators like tigers and white sharks) have been hunted for millions of years. That didn't lead them to extinction.

Predation, as I just said, is not only NOT the most important interspecific interaction, it is not even the most common. Extinctions are almost always the result of competition or habitat exclusion.

Predators are inefficient. Even classy ones like lions have a success rate much smaller than 50%. It's easy for prey to escape them (that's why they focus on the young, or sick -- they surely would prefer to eat mature, big, and healthy prey, but they usually can't get them).

I must admit, I haven't read much about plant evolution... How did the plants spring up was my question. Where did the seeds come from?
The first plants didn't have seeds. It's a fairly modern achievement.

And then, how did the fish evolve to be able to eat the plants which had sprung up? (and that wasn't the main point of my paragraph there..)
It's food. Organic :D. There is no need for exquisite adaptations; the land plants were close relatives of the water plants.

Exquisite adaptations came later, after the plants developed exquisite adaptations to protect themselves from grazing; what is called the environmental arms-race.

yes, I read the link, and that's what it said. It, of course, didn't say that natural selection was a diety. :p But that seems to be this jist I'm getting. How would natural selection just know that the little 5% of the eye would eventually be useful to the organism?
Natural selection is so far from a deity that it doesn't "know" anything. It doesn't have to "know". You begin with a "blind" animal; one without photosensitive cells. Then, by mutation, it develops photosenstive cells; that's 5% of an eye. Does it help it? I don't know; natural selection doesn't know. It depends on its environment. It may be a cave fish; if so, then it doesn't help it, there is no selection pressure, and the mutation is as likely as not to be eliminated. But if he lives in an environment with light, it is extremely likely that it will help it, and be selected for.

No one is "knowing" anything.

(This is a simplified account -- note that photosensitive properties are found in bacteria and protozoans, so that there is no need for a "mutation" strictly speaking, most likely the protozoan ancestor of that animal already had some kind of photosensitive property).

It doesn't seem to deal with every subject...or not that I see anyway.
Well, ask about those you don't see. Will you be annoyed if I just quote from that link the answer to it?

:D ;)

Seriously, that link has lots of info about this. And I'm sure you can easily find more.

Well yes, I do admit I have much less knowledge about biology than most (if not all) biologists...I've been aware of that for quite some time now. :p (I do highly doubt it's 99% though..)
Don't doubt it. Creatonism is a uniquely American phenomenon -- and it is closely linked with some versions of Protestantism, not all. There are probably less than 50 (!) non-American Creationist biologists in the world. I can tell you about ecologists: I've been in international meetings, and the number is not 99%, it is 100%; I've never met anyone, read any paper, or heard about any ecologist who disagreed with evolution.

Biologists who support creation say you're wrong...so...that doesn't really mean anything.
Well, I wouldn't say it doesn't mean "anything". Arguments from authority are weak, I agree, but only to a point. Their weakness is no reason to disregard what is considered "state-of-the-art expert consensus".

Even biologists who are creationists have to agree that the consensus is evolution. And this means something.

I do not think it suggests that at all! Saying that God created every single bread of dog for instance, would suggest that, but the majority of creationists do not support that. God works through both his miracles and nature.
Then why do you doubt it when a scientist (of any kind) tells you that he has evidence for natural process X to have worked in instance Y? Why do you assume (without any reason) that this could not have happened -- that a miracle is necessary to explain it?

I ask this of you, but I could ask this of Michael Behe. This is the central problem of Creationism, Intelligent Design, etc.

What about the fossil record? Why does it not show the progression it would have to if evolution were indeed a fact?
It shows the progression it would have to show :D. It really does. The fossil record is probably one of the strongest arguments for evolution. It shows intermediary forms, an increase in diversity, stasis of species over long periods... everything that modern evolutionary theory predicts about it.
 
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Eriol

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Mrs. Maggott said:
Strict "Darwinian" evolution has been in large part abandoned by modern science. Indeed, without taking the matter of "Cause" (ie. the existence of God) into consideration, it is generally admitted that life not only "sprang up" quickly (and early in the planet's history), but that it appears various species (or at least of those for which there is an ongoing fossil record) also "sprang up" without any evidence of links between previously existing species and the new creature. The "whys" and the "hows" this series of events occurred remain a mystery but certainly the theory of an ordered and steady evolution espoused by Darwin has long ago been proven at best simplistic and at worst totally wrong.
Not at all. Modern evolutionary theory is profoundly Darwinian.

Must I say once again that the origin of life is not a problem for Darwinism? Darwin specifically left that out of his theory.

Robert Locke said:
The first big problem with evolution is that the fossil record increasingly does not, honestly viewed, support it, a fact that famous Prof. Steven Jay Gould of Harvard has described as "the trade secret of paleontology."
Well, it takes a lot of "non-familiarity" (is this a word?) with Gould's writings to take this as an indictment of evolution. Gould was speaking about his own (with Niles Eldredge) theory of Punctuated Equilibrium. I need not (or should not need) emphasize that Gould is a Darwinist, and he believes that his theory is Darwinist -- and most importantly, every evolutionist on earth views this as a technical matter within Darwinism.

What the fossil record does not support is the notion (defended by Darwin, but not equivalent to "Darwinism") that evolution must be gradual. Darwin was smart, but he wasn't perfect -- no one is. What we know now (note, by observations, not simply theoretical speculation) about speciation, and particularly about the role of geographic isolation and small populations in fostering evolutionary change, leads us to a model which fits the fossil record perfectly.

Darwin didn't have these data available.

This is a discussion on the rate and mode of evolution, not a discussion on whether evolution is correct or not. Frankly, this discussion is over -- just as over as discussions about a flat earth. I don't make this comment to annoy you, Aragorn21, I'm just stating a fact about science nowadays. Are creationists smarter than all other scientists everywhere? This weird notion shows a great lack of insight into the workings of the scientific community, in which everybody is trying to outsmart the others, and the weirdest your theory is, the best :D. As long as it fits the data. If there were any chance that creationism could be seriously considered, it would be.

You wouldn't believe the strange things espoused by the young bulls in science, aiming to reach the ranks of the great :D. Creationism, however, isn't one of them; as the flat earth isn't. There is a reason for that; those tons of data I mentioned earlier. (I think it is easier to believe in a flat earth; but then again I know the data, you don't. Why don't you believe in a flat earth by the way? NASA photographs can be forged, you could easily read the bible in a way that prevents a moving Earth... why not?).
 

joxy

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Eriol said:
Creationism is a uniquely American phenomenon.
Which is why I was astonished to find it even being discussed here! I simply hadn't realised it existed anywhere.
Of course, I had to restrain myself from pointing out the fact ( :eek: ), so now I welcome its statement from within.
 

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joxy said:
Which is why I was astonished to find it even being discussed here! I simply hadn't realised it existed anywhere.
Of course, I had to restrain myself from pointing out the fact ( :eek: ), so now I welcome its statement from within.
I'm Brazilian, and I live in Brazil. In case you don't know ;).
 

Aragorn21

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First off, I'm not going to comment on the what biologists believe what. It's not important in this debate. I also won't comment on some other stuff that really isn't all that important.

It's a fairly modern achievement.
what do you mean by this? Do you mean it's been shown that plants can grow without first being seeded? If so, how?

Natural selection is so far from a deity that it doesn't "know" anything. It doesn't have to "know". You begin with a "blind" animal; one without photosensitive cells. Then, by mutation, it develops photosenstive cells; that's 5% of an eye. Does it help it? I don't know; natural selection doesn't know. It depends on its environment. It may be a cave fish; if so, then it doesn't help it, there is no selection pressure, and the mutation is as likely as not to be eliminated. But if he lives in an environment with light, it is extremely likely that it will help it, and be selected for.
It seems like you're just repeating yourself now. We both agree that 5% of an eye is no good, correct? Since 5% of an eye is no good, why would it be selected? What good does it do the organism that mutated it?

Seriously, that link has lots of info about this. And I'm sure you can easily find more.
I'm kinda busy with school ATM, but I'll keep browsing.

Then why do you doubt it when a scientist (of any kind) tells you that he has evidence for natural process X to have worked in instance Y?
Because that instance Y is probably so very unlikely to ever have occured, that it would just seem crazy to me to believe that the instance ever existed.

This is the central problem of Creationism, Intelligent Design, etc.
Not intelligent design. ID does not seek to find proof of a literal interpretation of Genesis.

It shows the progression it would have to show . It really does. The fossil record is probably one of the strongest arguments for evolution. It shows intermediary forms, an increase in diversity, stasis of species over long periods... everything that modern evolutionary theory predicts about it.
On the contrary, it shows no progression. It shows no progress from simple to complex, and it shows no progession from one species to another. I do not believe it is one of the strongest arguments for evolution, it is, in fact, one of evolution's biggest problems.


Punctuated equilibrium requires the occurrence of two unlikely events. First, a number of beneficial mutations must accumulate in a small number of individuals. Since the mutation rate is low, the species' population must be large in order to accumulate any beneficial mutations (most mutations are neutral and the remainder and mostly detrimental). Next, these few individuals must become genetically isolated from the larger population (species sorting). Without genetic isolation (usually involving geographic isolation) the multiple mutations, needed to produce the punctuated appearance of a new species, would never get co-expressed. Therefore, punctuated equilibrium requires the unlikely events of multiple mutations in presence of a few individuals of large population, and the unlikely genetic isolation of these specific individuals from the vast majority of the main population. Although it is possible that such unlikely events could occur by chance occasionally, punctuated equilibrium requires that these unlikely events occur all the time, as revealed in the fossil record. Punctuated equilibrium truly is a faith in the miracles of chance.

A recent study destroys the idea of species sorting. Instead of becoming a new species, populations that suffer drastic reductions in numbers are characterized by decreased genetic variability and an expression of detrimental genes. This happens because normally heterozygous (containing 2 different alleles of each gene) individuals become homozygous, due to inbreeding. As a result, detrimental, non-expressed, recessive genes become homozygous and, therefore, are expressed, resulting in a less fit population. The study examined the effect of a 35-year population decline of greater prairie chickens on their fitness and fertility. The results showed that population decline and isolation of the prairie chicken led to decreased genetic variability, reduced egg viability (from near 100% to less than 80%), and a decline of fertility rates (from 93% to 74%). Only after human intervention (which brought in genetically diverse individuals from other areas) did the population begin to recover. This study calls into serious question species sorting as the underlying mechanism of punctuated equilibrium.

Another study showed that low relatedness (high genetic diversity) is favored in social insects. This low relatedness improves the fitness of the colony, but prevents the kind of species sorting expected in punctuated equilibrium.

Frankly, this discussion is over
It isn't over till the fat lady sings. ;)
 

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Aragorn21 said:
what do you mean by this? Do you mean it's been shown that plants can grow without first being seeded? If so, how?
Ferns do it, all the time. The first land plants were ferns.

It seems like you're just repeating yourself now. We both agree that 5% of an eye is no good, correct? Since 5% of an eye is no good, why would it be selected? What good does it do the organism that mutated it?
No, I am not repeating myself; if I am, you are not paying attention :D. I did not agree that 5% of an eye is no good; my point is the opposite. It is that 5% of an eye is plenty good. Refer back to the paragraph about how it would help any being in an environment with light.

Because that instance Y is probably so very unlikely to ever have occured, that it would just seem crazy to me to believe that the instance ever existed.
You speak without knowledge, Aragorn21... you say it is "unlikely", while those who studied the matter say that it is certain. Not merely "likely", mind you.

Don't let your limited imagination get in your way :D. Study more about statistics (and check that old link for the number of mutations required from an eyeless state to a fully working vertebrate eye, you'll see it is easy).

Not intelligent design. ID does not seek to find proof of a literal interpretation of Genesis.
The claim of ID is that phenomenon X couldn't happen by a natural process. In other words, it is evidence of intelligent design (by a Creator).

It does not seek to prove the literal Genesis, but it surely seeks to limit God's power to working through miracles, instead of through natural processes ;).

On the contrary, it shows no progression. It shows no progress from simple to complex, and it shows no progession from one species to another.
Well, the real fossil record, out there, shows all of that :D. I'm sorry for the flippant tone, but it is the truth. It begins with bacteria, then protozoans, then algae and invertebrates, then vertebrates and land plants... if you don't see that this is "progress from simple to complex", it's not my fault.

Also, the number of species shows an enormously clear trend towards increase. Check it out.

I do not believe it is one of the strongest arguments for evolution, it is, in fact, one of evolution's biggest problems.
Such as?

Sorry, there is nothing problematic in the fossil record for Evolution.

Punctuated equilibrium requires the occurrence of two unlikely events. First, a number of beneficial mutations must accumulate in a small number of individuals. Since the mutation rate is low, the species' population must be large in order to accumulate any beneficial mutations (most mutations are neutral and the remainder and mostly detrimental). Next, these few individuals must become genetically isolated from the larger population (species sorting). Without genetic isolation (usually involving geographic isolation) the multiple mutations, needed to produce the punctuated appearance of a new species, would never get co-expressed. Therefore, punctuated equilibrium requires the unlikely events of multiple mutations in presence of a few individuals of large population, and the unlikely genetic isolation of these specific individuals from the vast majority of the main population. Although it is possible that such unlikely events could occur by chance occasionally, punctuated equilibrium requires that these unlikely events occur all the time, as revealed in the fossil record. Punctuated equilibrium truly is a faith in the miracles of chance.
Where did you find this? It's amazing. Aragorn21, what you call "an equilibrium in the miracles of chance" has been observed dozen of times. I'm not talking about the fossil record here. Alopatric speciation, which is depicted in your site as "unlikely", is by far the commonest sort; it happens everywhere, all the time.

Your sites simply refuse to check any facts, apparently. It's all a bunch of forged NASA photographs :D.

A recent study destroys the idea of species sorting. Instead of becoming a new species, populations that suffer drastic reductions in numbers are characterized by decreased genetic variability and an expression of detrimental genes. This happens because normally heterozygous (containing 2 different alleles of each gene) individuals become homozygous, due to inbreeding. As a result, detrimental, non-expressed, recessive genes become homozygous and, therefore, are expressed, resulting in a less fit population. The study examined the effect of a 35-year population decline of greater prairie chickens on their fitness and fertility. The results showed that population decline and isolation of the prairie chicken led to decreased genetic variability, reduced egg viability (from near 100% to less than 80%), and a decline of fertility rates (from 93% to 74%). Only after human intervention (which brought in genetically diverse individuals from other areas) did the population begin to recover. This study calls into serious question species sorting as the underlying mechanism of punctuated equilibrium.
No, it calls into serious question the sanity of the people writing this. To think that alopatric speciation could be modeled by a decimation of a population calls their sanity into very serious question. There is nothing requiring "drastic reduction in numbers", only your guys' whim.

Another study showed that low relatedness (high genetic diversity) is favored in social insects. This low relatedness improves the fitness of the colony, but prevents the kind of species sorting expected in punctuated equilibrium.
Ugh. That hurts. Social insects have a particular kind of sexual reproduction, which ensures that all insects in the colony are related, as sisters -- and you tell me that "low relatedness is favored"!!

In Mars, perhaps. Not here. This is by far the most egregious error I've ever heard about in a serious (?) site; the haplodiploidy (if I remember the name correctly) of social insects is so well known!

It isn't over till the fat lady sings. ;)
Frankly, if you'll begin to quote sites that mention how the favored habitat of whales is in the mountain forests of Africa, it will be over soon, and I'll find better things to do with my time. For this is the size of the blooper about the social insects; it is beyond belief. It is so weird that I would like to see the source. It certainly doesn't say what you say it says.
 

Mrs. Maggott

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It is not true that creationism is peculiar to America or Americans. When Darwin's theory was first voiced, it was English churchmen who spoke out strongly against it. Americans at the time may have as well, but I would say that the vast majority of those holding Christian views in Darwin's time took issue with his statement regarding the implications of his theory on the origin of the species known as man.

It would be false to conclude that only Americans - and Americans of a particular Christian denomination - had a problem with Darwin's implications. Indeed some of the best refutations of the belief that creation - including life - arose "spontaneously" are Roman Catholics and the group involved distributed a tape on the issue many years ago which was excellent.

But I believe that we are mixing oranges and apples in this discussion - and getting confused thereby. There are a great many aspects of this discussion that are getting mixed together like a salad. First and foremost is the aspect of the origin not only of life but of the universe itself. Darwinism is inextricably involved in that although Darwin might not have theorized on the matter specifically. The mere fact that his "theory" implies a "natural" progression rather than a "created" one, affects the matter of the origination of all things. Furthermore, at the time Darwin advanced his theory, the humanists at the time adopted it as a refutation of the existence of God and not just the Genesis account of creation.

Secondly, is the matter of how things progressed once they existed and this is more to the point of Darwin's theories. No matter what anyone says, strict Darwinism is not accepted by most scientists. They do not doubt that species "evolved", but there is great doubt that one species "evolved" into another over the passage of time. The absence of so-called "missing links" in the evolutionary chain and the apparent "sudden arising" of various life forms has made formal Darwinism obsolete. Therefore, although present theories of evolution continues to make mention of Darwin as a sort of "founder" of the genre, I doubt very much if - were he alive today - he would recognize them as his own.

Thirdly, there is the argument that arises among the "orthodox" on both sides that one must choose one side or the other of the debate; that is, that one cannot be a "believer" in both God and evolution. As I have pointed out in previous posts, that, of course, is not true. Many believers - myself among them - have no problem with God going about His business in such a way that the earth is older than the 5,000 or so years that some British bishop computed from the Genesis account back in the 1900s! So it is possible to at once hold religious beliefs and scientific ones - although it tends to stifle debate on these issues as most debate revolves around the presence - or absence - of a Creator in the grand scheme of things.
 

joxy

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Eriol: Yes, I did know you are not in the US, so that "from within" was an error. I'm still glad it was you that said it, though!

Regarding the fact of the matter, whether Creationism is a US phenomenon, I have to say that as far as I am aware, it is
now a fact, though of course its origins were elsewhere.

It is not an issue to my church, as a recent pronouncement quoted here confirms.

Aragorn21: It looks as if you haven't taken up my point about statistics, that it is a very complex and indeed difficult subject,
and one that produces some remarkable but very interesting factual results. Eriol has suggested that you should "study more about statistics", and has referred to something that seems "unlikely" but can actually be shown to be "certain". I'll repeat the point: that the vast stretches of time and space introduce into the statistical equations factors which far outweigh what look like low "odds" in the possibilities of apparent chance occurrences.
You commented to Eriol: "We both agree that 5% of an eye is no good, correct?" immediately after giving a quotation from him that :"....if he lives in an environment with light, it is extremely likely that it will help it....". I know you're busy but I don't see how you could have missed that.
 

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