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Evolution vs. Creation

Scatha

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The theory of evolution is not a leap of faith, but a science in it's own rights. The pieces of a puzzle slowly being put together, not unlike the decoding of the human dna.
 

Gothmog

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Elessar II said:
Speaking of leaps of faith. What do you call evolution?
A leap in the dark?

Not a leap of faith? You evolutionists have more assumptions than we creationists!!
Of course evolutionists have to make more assumptions than creationists.

Creationists only have to account for Six Days ;)
 

Tarlanc

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Elessar II said:
Speaking of leaps of faith. What do you call evolution?
You are perfectly right. Science is just another belief.
Because of my study of Biochemics and Biology I am absolutely convinced of the evolution. All pieces fit perfectly and even new found evidence (on the field of genetics for example) is found to fit. Because of that I am sure that life on earth evolved from unicellular organismas that lived billions of years ago on this planet.

But of course this is just faith. I believe in this theory. And no matter how many pieces of evidence are found, we can never be sure that this theory is correct.
But as long as nothing is found that proves that the theory of evolution is wrong (i.e. as long as noone travels back in time some 6000 years and interviews finds Avam and Eve) I will believe in it.

And I am sure that you will believe in creation with the same kind of faith. As long as noone proves without any doubt that god does not exist or that he did not create life you will believe in creation.
 

Mrs. Maggott

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Tarlanc said:
You are perfectly right. Science is just another belief.
Because of my study of Biochemics and Biology I am absolutely convinced of the evolution. All pieces fit perfectly and even new found evidence (on the field of genetics for example) is found to fit. Because of that I am sure that life on earth evolved from unicellular organismas that lived billions of years ago on this planet.

But of course this is just faith. I believe in this theory. And no matter how many pieces of evidence are found, we can never be sure that this theory is correct.
But as long as nothing is found that proves that the theory of evolution is wrong (i.e. as long as noone travels back in time some 6000 years and interviews finds Avam and Eve) I will believe in it.

And I am sure that you will believe in creation with the same kind of faith. As long as noone proves without any doubt that god does not exist or that he did not create life you will believe in creation.
And yet, science itself has genetically traced human ancestry back to one woman whom those involved rather whimsically named "Eve". Indeed, this was a front cover issue for Time Magazine not too many years ago!

As for the "six days" you mention in your post: again you are taking into consideration only those who take the entire Bible literally. As an Orthodox Christian I can assure you that the Orthodox Church does not do so nor does the Roman Catholic Church. Certainly, there are passages of Scripture that are literally true, but there are other passages that are considered parables - illustrative stories which encompass truth but are not themselves literally true (like the prodigal son). The "six days" of Genesis is by no means accepted as six twenty-four hour days by all Christians. Ergo, it is unwise to attack those who believe that the cosmos was "created" (rather than simply spontaneously occurring out of nothing by random chance) by addressing only those who believe in a literal translation of Genesis. It really doesn't address the point, which is as I have already stated (and that even atheistic scientists such as the discoverers of the DNA molecule have admitted) that the possibility of life arising "randomly" or "accidentally" is far too great to be acceptable to science itself. Indeed, science itself has postulated that the chances against life arising "spontaneously" is 10 to the 40,000 power. Since 10 to the 50th power is as much "random chance" as science will allow for any cosmological event, it becomes painfully obvious that the spontaneous appearance of life is unacceptable not just as a matter of "religion" but of "science" as well.
 

Scatha

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Ahh yes, Mrs M, we are perfectly aware that the bible also states that 1000 days are like one and one like a thousand days. ;) However science is the contradiction of the bible.

As for you Tarlanc, 6000 years would not cover it. There are much older civilisations then a mere 6000 years old. The middle east has cities founded as old as 6000 years before christ.
 

Mrs. Maggott

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Scatha said:
Ahh yes, Mrs M, we are perfectly aware that the bible also states that 1000 days are like one and one like a thousand days. ;) However science is the contradiction of the bible.

As for you Tarlanc, 6000 years would not cover it. There are much older civilisations then a mere 6000 years old. The middle east has cities founded as old as 6000 years before christ.
You also have to remember that it wasn't until the Arabs that the concept of zero was introduced. That means that large numbers were simply not in the mindset of the civilizations that existed at the time the Bible - or at least the Old Testament - was written. For instance, there were "magical" or "symbolic" numbers such as the number 40 (remember the 40 days of Noah's flood) which represented so much more than the simple result of multiplying four times ten. Therefore, when you see 40 mentioned in Scripture, it bears so much more than a mere mathematical meaning. In the same way, when Scripture says that a thousand years is as a day and vice versa, you are commenting upon not a literal number of years vs. days, but rather of a very long period of time which the Hebrews and their contemporaries would understand as being represented by the term "a thousand years".

What on earth would Scripture have gained by speaking in terms of billions or even millions of years when such a concept was beyond the ability of the people to whom it was aimed to conceive? It would be like speaking in algebraic terms to six year olds. It is not that the people of the Old Testament were stupid, they were merely an archaic people who would not have been able to understand today's sophisticated scientific concepts; it would have been beyond them. Thus, to read Scripture in terms of today's much more sophisticated understanding of the cosmos is to place it at an extreme disadvantage which is basically unfair. It would be akin to judging Winnie the Pooh by the same standards that one uses for Shakespeare. Indeed, it would even be worse for the people of the Old Testament lived in a world devoid of many of the scientific concepts which we take for granted today.
 

Tarlanc

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Scatha said:
As for you Tarlanc, 6000 years would not cover it. There are much older civilisations then a mere 6000 years old. The middle east has cities founded as old as 6000 years before christ.
Yeah, right. From the scientific point of view I agree with you. I also know that there were human bones and tools found that are 2 Million years old. But according to the creation-theory (as far as I remember) the world is not more than some 6000 years old.
That means that the heathenish scripts that tell of ancient civilizations are merely myths and the C14 method to evaluate the age of organic compounds is error prone. Because of this you'd just have to travel back 6000 years to see Adam and Eve.

But as I am convinced of the evolution-theory I would like it much better if someone traveled back 10000 years to the first human villages and thus proved the error of the Bible. I mean, the spheric shape of the world and the Heliocentric model are proved already. It's just a matter of time until the evolution will be proved, too. But as long as it takes we can wait and disuss in here ;)

As for the genetic trace to 'Eve' that may be true. It is possible to trace back human genes to ancient humans. They are our forefathers (and -mothers) after all. But with the same method genes from human were traced back to prehistoric rats, to bacteria and even simpler forms of life. This suggests an evolution fro these organisms to me.
But it could also be a forced coincidence God has created to fool us. To give the ones that don't want to believe in him something else to believe. Something like a temptation. An everyone that believes in these faked eveidences has no true faith.
Just another possible explanation for fossils, pylogenetic trees and the multitude of Galapagos Finches.
In this case, I would be the fool and pay in hell for my distrust in the power of God. But this risk I can take.
 

Mrs. Maggott

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You are being too exclusive in your labeling. The real difference between "creationists" and "evolutionists" is not what you think. Many people (and Christian denominations - how I hate that word) believe that the cosmos was "created" by an eternally existing, benevolent (all good, all loving) omniescient, omnipotent Being; that, in fact, the universe has not existed (nor will it continue to exist) forever, nor did it arise "accidentally" or by random chance. These same people believe that this Being whom they call God takes an active interest in His creation, that He created man for a specific relationship with Him and that, in the end, He will establish a "Kingdom" wherein creation will exist in perfection together with those who are deserving of residing in that perfected Kingdom in the relationship that God originally intended for us as His sons and daughters.

Not everyone who holds this belief, however, ascribes to a literal translation of Genesis which puts the creation of the universe at some 6,000 years ago. Many creationists are not at all uncomfortable with the concept of a many billion year old universe and solar system including the earth. The "nuts and bolts" of creation they are quite willing to leave to science (and God). Where they disagree with many (not necessarily all) "evolutionists" is their (our) belief that the universe is not simply some sort of cosmic accident, the random act of "nature" (to use a word that often substitutes for God in many evolutionists' dictionary of terms). Furthermore, many evolutionists reject any concept of a "Creator" and still less, one who is able and in fact, does interact with His creation - including us.

Thus, the real difference between "creationists" and "evolutionists" is not process but cause - and especially Primary cause. Indeed, many so-called evolutionists actually do believe in God, they simply cannot accept certain fundamentalist translations of Scripture which limit the understanding of the process. As such, to my mind at least, they stand more in the "creation" camp than in a strictly Darwinian "evolutionist" camp which rejects the concept of a Creator outright.

So you see, it is not nearly so "black and white" as you might think. At times, the boundaries between the two camps become quite elastic.
 

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The group of 'creationists' you just descirbes does, however not deny evolution. The only difference between me, as an atheistic evolutionist, and them is just the belief in God as an active part in the evolution.

I'd like to give an account on the three general views I see:

Atheistic view:
Men evolved by random mutations and perpetual selection of the fittest individuals. It was pure accident that in this process there was created the human. Had some small parameters been different there would be no humans today and some intelligent kind of reptile or bird would have evolved to an intelligent life form. Or no intelligence would have evolved at all.
But whatsoever mankind is and what chain of accidents lead to its creation, humans are just another race of mammals and the only difference between humans and primates (or other animals) is the slightly higher evolved brain that enables it to solve complex problems and speak. There is no such kind as a supernatural being or soul.

Modern theistic view (just had no better name for it):
Men evolved from animals as Darwin proposed and several fossils have shown to be true. But it was no chain of accidents that lead to this evolution but it was a process willed and conducted by God, who formed these beings after his image. He who also created the universe used evolution as a tool to create humans and eventually gave them a soul. Thus mankind is not only an animal but the result of a 3 billion years' enterprise of God to create Man and a world of animals and plants to serve him.
The story of Adam and eve is just a parable monitoring the creation of men by God and his fall through his abused ability of free choice.
Thus the fossils found all over the world and the genetic proof of the cloes relationship between men and monkeys is not contradicting the existence of God. it just demonstrates to those who can see his huge power.

Creationist view:
The Bible contains the word of God who is the truth. It was written by those delightful men that were able to hear the voice of the creator and thus it contains only the truth. The world was created in a six-day act and Adam and Eve were the first human beings. They lived some 6000 years ago as the Bible teaches us. The C14-Method, the historical accounts of 10'000 year old civilizations and astronomy are error-prone.

Do you agree with this. Mrs Maggott? I think the modern theistic view is the one you pointed to, wasn't it?
 

Mrs. Maggott

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It is rather more involved than that. For instance, the concept that "creation" took place not in six literal days but perhaps over uncounted eons is not at all new; the early Church - as evidenced by Orthodoxy in the East and Catholicism in the West (early) - were not "literal creationists" or, at least, the Church certainly made no doctrinal statements referable to an insistance that its members had to believe the creation account literally. In other words, how one considered creation came about - literally or otherwise - was at the discretion of the individual believer. The more literal interpretation of the creation account arose in the West after the schism between the two Churches - East and West - in 1054 A.D. in the medieval Western Church and was continued to a greater or lesser extent after the Protestant Reformation. So it could easily be postulated that literal creationism is the more modern of the two concepts.

Secondly, the creation of sentient Man is considered to be an act of God in the Church as, in fact, is all of creation. How exactly this came to be is not elaborated in Scripture (there was no need as I have formerly pointed out), but it is understood that Man was created for a special place in creation. He is not an accident nor is anything else that "is", but a Divine Plan involving the active participant of the Creator as well as creation itself. The story of Adam and Eve is not so much of a creation but a redemption story. It illustrates the "fall" of man; that is, our separation from our Creator Father which arose when the first man with whom this "connection" took place chose to follow his own will rather than God's. The story of Adam and Eve has to do with our relationship to God, not why, how and when man as a species came into existence. The Church teaches that at some point in our history, God initiated a relationship with mankind - and that's what the creation account in Genesis is all about. It ain't biology or geology, but theology.

Finally, the simple fact is that according to science, life cannot have "randomly and/or spontaneously arisen". The odds against such a thing happening is 10 to the 40,000 power. Since the largest "odds" acceptable by science (NOT religion) for events on the cosmic scale is 10 to the 50th power (terrestial odds are even smaller - 10 to the 15th power), obviously science is forced to admit that life didn't just "spontaneously" happen. Indeed, Dr. Francis Frick (I think that's his name), the co-discoverer of the DNA molecule with Dr. James Watson - an atheist and an evolutionist - admitted that the DNA molecule is entirely too complex to have been the result of random chance. When queried about where life on earth came from if that were the case, the good Doctor opined that aliens came by and dropped it off! However, even that pat (and rather trite) explanation was refuted when a local English clergyman asked the Doctor where then did the aliens came from!

There is simply no sense in any debate about strict Darwinian evolution vs. a Primary Source to creation in ignoring the fact that the odds against things being what they are are simply too high to accept! One may posit that the Creator simply "created" and then left creation to develop on its own (Thomas Jefferson's view), but one cannot continue to make the assertion that everything that was, is and/or will be is simply the result of random chance or spontaneous events. Science itself has rejected that determination albeit it has yet to embrace any other.
 

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Of course the odds against the evolution of life on a planet (or even against a planet to have the right properties for it to happen) ar awfully high. And had I not witnessed myself that there is life on Earth, I would never believe it.

Life came into being. But it did not happen until at least one billion years of molecules reacting with each other in the seas without life being the result. If you consider the amount of molecules in the ocean of the young earth, the fact, that each molecle interacted several times per second with neighbouring molecules and this to happen for more than a billion years, the chance of 1 : 10 to 40'000 is not that small anymore. And finally it did happen.
The odds against a man hit by a lightning is small, too. But tell this to one of the hundreds of victims ;) The chance for someone to win in the lottery is 1 : sveral millions. But it happens almost every saturday.
It is not impossible for RNA molecules to be created by chance. And it is not impossible for them to interact and reproduce by interacting. But it is so improbable that it is really surprinsing it happened.

Strange luck is, in my opinion, as much a plausible cause for life coming into being as God. I know that I must offend everyone that believes in God with this statement. But this is my belief.

P.S.: The guy was named Crick, not Frick.
 

Mrs. Maggott

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Crick. Right. For some reason that man's name continually escapes me. I can remember Watson, but no matter how many times I hear his name - the next thing I know it's gone. I shall have to make an association with it so that I can recall next time especially as he - an evolutionist and, as yourself, an atheist - was forced to admit that DNA could simply NOT have arisen "spontaneously" or by random chance even over the course of the life of the universe. And that, it would seem, is as good as it's going to get! You have a scientist of no mean reputation who prescribes to all the "non-religious" orthodoxy and he admits that it couldn't have just "happened" no matter how many millions of years went by. Of course, you can continue to believe otherwise - that is your "God given" right. But all I know is that were I in your position it would certainly give me pause.... ;)

Also, 10 to the 40,000 power is a heck a of lot more than a million - or even a billion or a trillion - to one! That's 10 x 10 40,000 times and I have no idea what that number would even be called, still less what it represents!
 

Tarlanc

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Mrs. Maggott said:
...was forced to admit that DNA could simply NOT have arisen "spontaneously" or by random chance even over the course of the life of the universe.
Crick just made the assumption that DNA did not arise spontaneously. Today we do have evidence that it did not. The first life-forms were not DNA-based but were RNA-organisms. And these organisms eventually built the first DNA-molecules and proteins.

Also, 10 to the 40,000 power is a heck a of lot more than a million - or even a billion or a trillion - to one!
Yes, it is. To be exact it is 10^39'994 times more than a Million ;) But it still is not impossible. Just quite improbable.
 

Mrs. Maggott

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Tarlanc said:
Crick just made the assumption that DNA did not arise spontaneously. Today we do have evidence that it did not. The first life-forms were not DNA-based but were RNA-organisms. And these organisms eventually built the first DNA-molecules and proteins.


Yes, it is. To be exact it is 10^39'994 times more than a Million ;) But it still is not impossible. Just quite improbable.
And yet it is the position of the present day scientific community that the acceptability of any "odds" for something happening is no more than 10 to the 15th on earth and 10 to the 40th cosmically. That is not my opinion, but the "rules" by which scientists play the game. Of course, one single instance of something might arise uniquely, however, we aren't talking about one single instance but rather of an entire series of things happening which led to creation as it presently exists. And whereas one might be willing to allow for a greater possibility than 10 to the 15th or the 40th power for a single incident, I seriously doubt that anyone would abandon a specific accepted scientific principal merely to avoid the possibility of there actually being a Primary Cause for the universe and everything in it other than simple random chance. Of course, if one is truly wedding by faith to the belief that there can be and in fact is no such Primary Cause, then it may be that one will also be willing to abandon science as well as traditional religion.
 

Khôr’nagan

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Sorry I haven't posted before this, but I've been very busy.

To address what was said ages ago, I said that changes happen without the need to do so and that's evolution. That is correct, because errors in gene duplication are the cause for mutations and mutations are the basis of evolution. A major part of evolution is that changes happen that don't help and sometimes hurt the organism, but that organism dies off because it's weaker and therefore that organism's mutation is not passed on. Only beneficial mutations are passed on because (typically) only beneficially mutated organisms survive in order to do so.

And I am aware that you can believe in both evolution and god. I believe that if god exists and did spark life, then that's all he did: get it going. As in, start the big bang. Then evolution did happen as thought, and yet god still exists. (I think I've said this before...)

But anywho, I don't mean to offend anyone, but personally I think that most of the things in the Bible are not true. I believe it's simply a made-up history for a made-up belief that there's an omnipotent being that created them, and people made that up because they wanted to feel important or special in an existance within which they appeared very small. It's in human nature to explain things around them, and before practical means of doing do developed, people fell back upon super-natural causes. And those things in turn led to the developement of super-natural beings who did all this and/or created it all. It's just people trying to make themselves feel significant when they were not, and in some cases beliefs have managed to spread and survive through thousands of years and became major religions.

I believe Jesus may have existed, but I also believe that he was delusional or just a really good con-artist (or whatever) and claimed to be the son of God, and people just sort of believed him and magnified everything he did, often spreading untrue tales of miracles he performed and whatnot. True things may have been included throughout the Bible as actual people did write it, but they exaggerated it (or possibly it was exxaggerated by whoever translated it from hebrew or latin or whatever people wrote it in). The Bible's just a collection of myths and legends based upon real occurances but made to look miraculous and spectacular.


And if you can't even say that all this is a possibility, regardless of whether you believe it's true or not, then there's no way that anyone can convince you otherwise. If you believe in something and will continue to do so regardless of whatever "facts" are presented, then it's pointless to argue with you, because you won't budge on the issue or accept reason. If you can't at least admit that God might not exist, then there's no way you can ever be cured of that belief, just as there is no way to cure someone of the belief that god does not exist if they won't admit that it's possible. Anything is possible, and if anyone here doesn't think so then nothing can change that and you should not interfere with this discussion, because others that are less stuck in their ways could have something to gain from this whereas you would only disrupt it.

I don't mean to sound pompus or anything, but just think: if there's no way you will ever change your mind about something, why bother arguing about it at all? Present your position and evidence and be done with it, and let people who are unsure argue about what the think, because that way an argument can be most productive. But anyways, I'm done saying my two cents, and need not post anymore concerning this matter.

Namárië!
 

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