Was Darwin Wrong?

Was Darwin Wrong?The work of the 19th-century English naturalist shocked society and revolutionized science. How well has it withstood the test of time?

Evolution by natural selection, the central concept of the life's work of Charles Darwin, is a theory. It's a theory about the origin of adaptation, complexity, and diversity among Earth's living creatures. If you are skeptical by nature, unfamiliar with the terminology of science, and unaware of the overwhelming evidence, you might even be tempted to say that it's just a theory.

In the same sense, relativity as described by Albert Einstein is just a theory. The notion that Earth orbits around the sun rather than vice versa, offered by Copernicus in 1543, is a theory. Continental drift is a theory. The existence, structure, and dynamics of atoms? Atomic theory. Even electricity is a theoretical construct, involving electrons, which are tiny units of charged mass that no one has ever seen.

Each of these theories is an explanation that has been confirmed to such a degree, by observation and experiment, that knowledgeable experts accept it as fact. That's what scientists mean when they talk about a theory: not a dreamy and unreliable speculation, but an explanatory statement that fits the evidence. They embrace such an explanation confidently but provisionally - taking it as their best available view of reality, at least until some severely conflicting data or some better explanation might come along.

The rest of us generally agree. We plug our televisions into little wall sockets, measure a year by the length of Earth's orbit, and in many other ways live our lives based on the trusted reality of those theories.

Evolutionary theory, though, is a bit different. It's such a dangerously wonderful and far-reaching view of life that some people find it unacceptable, despite the vast body of supporting evidence. As applied to our own species, Homo sapiens, it can seem more threatening still.

Many fundamentalist Christians and ultra-orthodox Jews take alarm at the thought that human descent from earlier primates contradicts a strict reading of the Book of Genesis. Their discomfort is paralleled by Islamic creationists such as Harun Yahya, author of a recent volume titled The Evolution Deceit, who points to the six-day creation story in the Koran as literal truth and calls the theory of evolution nothing but a deception imposed on us by the dominators of the world system.

The late Srila Prabhupada, of the Hare Krishna movement, explained that God created "the 8,400,000 species of life from the very beginning," in order to establish multiple tiers of reincarnation for rising souls. Although souls ascend, the species themselves don't change, he insisted, dismissing Darwin's nonsensical theory.

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  1. SweetLeaf

    Seriously? The fact that "Was Darwin Wrong?" is a national geographic show tittle is baffling to me.. Evolution is a proven fact, I still don't know why creationist still debate this. Evolutionists have been very clear about this distinction of fact and theory from the very beginning, if only because we have always acknowledged how far we are from completely understanding the mechanisms (theory) by which evolution (fact) occurred. Darwin continually emphasized the difference between his two great and separate accomplishments: establishing the fact of evolution, and proposing a theory--natural selection--to explain the mechanism of evolution.

    It is time for students of the evolutionary process, especially those who have been misquoted and used by the creationists, to state clearly that evolution is a fact, not theory, and that what is at issue within biology are questions of details of the process and the relative importance of different mechanisms of evolution. It is a fact that the earth with liquid water, is more than 3.6 billion years old. It is a fact that cellular life has been around for at least half of that period and that organized multicellular life is at least 800 million years old. It is a fact that major life forms now on earth were not at all represented in the past. There were no birds or mammals 250 million years ago. It is a fact that major life forms of the past are no longer living. There used to be dinosaurs and Pithecanthropus, and there are none now. It is a fact that all living forms come from previous living forms. Therefore, all present forms of life arose from ancestral forms that were different. Birds arose from nonbirds and humans from nonhumans. No person who pretends to any understanding of the natural world can deny these facts any more than she or he can deny that the earth is round, rotates on its axis, and revolves around the sun.

  2. SweetLeaf

    *title

  3. Mindaugas

    When National Geographic asks such a question.. without even watching the doc it's pretty obvious what the answer will be ;-)
    Let's see..

  4. SweetLeaf

    "When National Geographic asks such a question.. without even watching the doc it’s pretty obvious what the answer will be ;-)"

    PBS, Science Channel, History, and even Discovery have already done a litany of great Darwin/Evolution docs/series. I just never expected such a fence-sitting title such as this to come from NG. I haven't yet watched it, I am sure it's pro Darwin, it's just the title that irked me.

  5. Bad_conduct

    He proves the first two points, but he doesn't put the last point about Natural Selection in cement.

    Human's disprove that theory. We keep our weak and allow them to reproduce.

    I agree, animals certainly do allow dominate characteristics to take over when in the right environment, but where is the evidence of one species changing into another?

    I'm not certainly not a creationist, but DNA doesn't change, no matter how much you breed.

  6. Ramus

    @Bad_conduct
    Im sorry but you are wrong, DNA does change. DNA from parent to child is not 100% the same, 1 part of the parent gene may read CCATG but when its copied to the child it may read CCAGG. Otherwise there would be no parkinsons disease or aspergers syndrome etc and we would all look exactly the same. You dont see sudden transformations in the fossil record because BIG changes take a LONG time, I dont know about you but I havent seen a human with wings yet.

  7. AtheistHorde

    "I agree, animals certainly do allow dominate characteristics to take over when in the right environment, but where is the evidence of one species changing into another?"

    "I’m not certainly not a creationist, but DNA doesn’t change, no matter how much you breed."

    I'm going to attack the second statement first. DNA DOES, in fact, change over time. Not what it is or how it works, but if DNA were always the same, we wouldn't have different species and everyone would look exactly like their parents, which means that every person in the world would look exactly the same if we all came from the same parent (Adam.) How else do you explain that people can do DNA tests for something as seemingly insignificant as paternity. Everything about your physical being is described in your genetic code and that's why it is different from everyone else.

    Now, you ask for evidence of one species changing into another. It's everywhere. You'll be very discouraged if you believe that it happens in the snap of your fingers. There are traits that survive hundreds of thousands of generations that give certain species a better chance at survival in their habitat. Some of these traits may be augmented or diminished by infinitesimal changes in the genetic code. These augmentations may be better suited to the habitat, giving those augmented of that species a better chance at survival and reproduction, and, given enough gradual change, descendants of that first augmented of that old species will no longer be able to breed with descendants of the others who were differently adept. BAM! New species.

  8. over the edge

    @ bad conduct
    first they showed a creature with both gills and legs that is some evidence of a creature evolving to another. the doc was roughly 45min and there is no way to give all the evidence in that time.there are many other docs on this site that give other and more of the evidence you seek. if you wish you can look up the e-coli evolution experiment which shows one species changing to another in the lab. i may be misunderstanding your last comment and if i am i apologize, but DNA changes with every generation an offspring's DNA is a combination of both parents along with a chance of mutation as well from neither parent

  9. Bad_conduct

    The Stickle Back got me.

    I'm in.

  10. AtheistHorde

    @Ramus
    Thank you for getting to the point more concisely and eloquently than I. Not to mention, quickly. I fear I may be verbose but I couldn't leave those statements unchallenged.

  11. retek

    Of course DNA changes! Why do you think it wouldn't?

  12. Ramus

    @AthiestHorde
    I think Bad_conduct has been converted. Aaaaaaahh 1 more potential creationist bites the dust, 2 billion to go. Although if evidence was found to support a white bearded guy sitting on a cloud making animals from mud and telling people he loves them and then sends them to hell to spend eternity burning and screaming; i might be convinced. But theres more chance of me winning the 2011 Miss Lovely Legs competition.

  13. monkey

    Today I have lost so much respect for National Geographic ! Just the fact of aknowledging there is a dabate about Evolution is so wrong. Just cos there is some nutjobs in the USA dosent mean there is two sides to an argument.

  14. jack1952

    DNA does change. My DNA is different than my father's and my mother's. My daughter's is different again and my grandchildren's DNA is different again. These changes are minute, yet they can be seen in any DNA lab. That is what helps determine guilt in modern crime fighting.
    A lion and a tiger can breed and give birth to a cub. However, the cub will be sterile and unable to breed. This is because the lion's and tiger's DNA is very close, yet not close enough to maintain a bloodline.If you trace their ancestry back far enough will find a common ancestor. Somehow a group of these ancestors became isolated and eventually, over time, developed into the two different appearances we see now. The day will come when their descendants will no longer be able to interbreed. This is because the minute changes in DNA, over time, will have changed enough to not allow this to happen. The horse and donkey are also another example. Their offspring is called a mule, which is also sterile.
    I hope that I have clarified this for you.

  15. Atrophy

    The title is designed to attract more viewers... If they called it 'Darwin was right about evolution' for example, no creationist would watch it...

    As for putting natural selection in stone, Its not a point that can easily be proven in the scope of a few generations but it did mention that variations in genetics that help or hinder a species determine its success. It later went to explain how genetics can vary and why certain changes can persist with the stickleback fish example. That puts it in stone for me.

  16. jack1952

    Dear monkey.
    There IS a debate and should be discussed. If we don't then the creationists will win by default. Open discussion educates. Without education, this debate will never end.
    It's not only Christian fundamentalists who object to evolution. Muslims are even more vehement in their objections. See "The Bloody History of Communism" and it will show how Darwinism led to the atrocities committed by communist governments. This documentary is in an Islamic perspective.

  17. Atrophy

    Afterthoughts:
    Humans have, for the most part defeated the main stream of evolution with our technology and adaptability. But this doesn't mean we have stopped evolving through natural selection, only that we have slowed down by allowing 'bad genes' to persist for more generations.
    I personally know a couple people who have never had wisdom teeth develop where mine were so impacted my dentist said it wasn't a question 'if' they became a problem but 'when' they became a problem.

  18. SweetLeaf

    "The title is designed to attract more viewers… If they called it ‘Darwin was right about evolution’ for example, no creationist would watch it…"

    This is true, I guess i don't have the marketing mind set to notice the real reason behind it. Which could very well be a good thing.

  19. bob

    fulk, i had the hope of seeing some new stuff, controversial theories or what not
    but this just sad, the level is so terebly... kindergarden stuff

  20. Ramus

    @jack1952
    I think debating is ultimately pointless as no matter what evidence you put to a creationist it wont change their mind. Those with a scientific mind look for evidence and make a judgement based on that evidence, those with a religious mind tend to just accept what they are told. You may aswell tell the sun to stop shining.

  21. TheQueenOfCheese

    yeah...we should just give up sharing the knowedge and instead build a pedestal out of it, where we can all sit, look down at the creationist breeding and grin to ourselves as their iq decreeses and we can oberve evolution at work. all this should be followed by installing a great pink 'we told you so' neon
    cause its not like they make brainwashing documentaries that use twisted logic and disregard scientific evidence, right? right? cause no one ever came across 'scientific' videos of 'darwin as wrong' or 'darwin deception' etc. riiighhht?

  22. TinaB

    @Ramus & Co.
    I agree with Jack1952, that "Open discussion educates." Contributions like yours can never be pointless. Yes, creationists will likely never change their minds, but their children and others on the fence need information. Knowledge is powerful, contagious, and ultimately the intelligent come around. I see it more often now - the Internet, YouTube, social networking, and various media have all have played a huge role in helping to expose ignorance. Atheists and Agnostics have come exploding out of the closet and we are witnessing the birth of a revolution in our lifetime. That rocks!

    Speaking of "out of the closet", I watched Sean Penn in the film Milk last week and felt a camaraderie of sort, with the gays that started a revolution in San Francisco - one man, Harvey Milk, got the snowball rolling down the rainbow mountain…so to speak. Things have propelled forward for them ever since (in the US). Their battle is obviously not over…and neither is ours. However, the ball of spaghetti flies! Reliable stats have shown a continuous decrease in the religious…this might include a few creationists that finally woke up and smelled the coffee, right? Or the bull****. ;)

    I'm not as intelligent, or educated enough in certain sciences, as many of you. And that is exactly why I come here. Great docs and great peeps!

  23. Ramus

    @thequeenofcheese
    Im trying to figure out if your for or against the evolution law (yes I consider it a law not a theory), if it was called darwin is wrong it would be in the religious category not the science category. You can only be "brainwashed" by something on the tv if you watch it, but then if your watching a science doc you already have a predilection for science so theres no need to brainwash. If you dont want to be "brainwashed" by science ummm....... dont watch it. And for the matter, yes there are anti evolution docs..... just not in the SCIENCE category.

  24. Sarah99999

    By definition the intelligent designers are WRONG!
    If, as they say, the only way life was possible, because it is so complex, is that there MUST have been a Creator . . . Is based on its own logic, false!

    The so called CREATOR must be even MORE complex to have created life this complexity.

    The Intelligent Designers give us a perfect argument for evolution!

  25. riley

    the problem with arguing with those deeply offended by, opposed to, unable to conceive of the natural selection process probably boils down to this:

    they are not of a mind to look at the world as it is - many processes are slow, requiring many human lifetimes, or even genus lifetimes, to manifest.

    however, just for fun - look at dogs, and what's been done with them in just a few thousand years - mainly, just a few hundred.

    they imagine stacking an analogous non-human process up over thousands of those periods (millions of years, then) and IMAGINE what sorts of changes might occur.

    or, if you imagination fails you ---- GO TO THE ZOO (and look, especially, upon the monkeys and apes)!!!!!

  26. Robert Allen

    Excellent documentary. Its rudimentary nature makes it perfect for the high school (or junior high school)biology classroom, not to mention a gathering of creationists.

    I am also impressed with the blogs submitted, not a creationist or little ID person among them.

  27. BobbyD

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say no?

  28. Mar Masson

    It is becoming evident that Top Documentary Films are not sticking to what their name suggests. By even considering faith based organisations as a source of intelligence is an insult to modern day education and any person who has been able to think for himself. Why ohh why? Maybe because Judaism, Christianity and Islamist feel threatened. Is this a modern day version of trying to spread the word? The proper and correct word for them should be DELUSIONISM.

  29. chairman

    @ramus-quite succintly put,thank you.I DO remember that white bearded man in the clouds,though.George Carlin.How I
    miss that nasty, venomous old man!Sorry the doc was a dissapointment to the more erudite cognescenti as you clearly represent,Bob,do rembember that this is a kindergarten populace vis a vis evolution/creation issues and if the discussions are too austere for the general then it's just a big ship on dry land

  30. anurag

    J.B.S.Haldane,a British-born geneticist and evolutionary biologist. He was one of the founders (along with Ronald Fisher and Sewall Wright) of population genetics.wrote about the similarities between darwinism and dasavatara.and he proved that ancient scriptures do prove that Darwin theory was right.

  31. human

    one of the speaker looks like wolverine

  32. Olu

    That Darwin guy from almost two hundred years ago happens to be smarter than most alive today. Where is the natural selection theory in this? Of course I believe in evolution, am just being sarcastic here.

  33. joe

    people are really decieved who believe we came from monkeys,why has not any ape develope in the last 5000.00 years,why are humans the only one that has developes,get real,god created adam in his image not apes.he made man trusties over all his creation,except for becoming extinct ,there is know other creature that has develope,wich creation has made clothing for itself or look through a telescope to find a cure for a disease,there a leaste a thousand reason to set humans apart from all other creation,plus there has humans bones found much earlier that been supressed in the scientific community,it is shocking common sence and reasoning is out the window with alot of people,even though gods says he has cursed some people to act like apes or swine,when the last time you seen and other creature read a book or teach a language,we have a concious and intelect animals do not have,all are inter connected all species get its proper food for its kind and programmed to eat and sleep in its enviroment,or was tht all just a random accident too.

  34. human2

    i will introduce a new theory a divine directed evolution, wa la where is my nobel price?

  35. chickenpants

    i like horses.

  36. Reasons Voice

    Firstly to those attacking the film; Watch it! Don't see the title and assume it is creationist theory. The title was selected most likely to draw those who are on the fence in to show them the darwinist evolutionist side and it's supporting facts. To the one who criticised TopDocs; If you don't like the site please find another one to visit. What you think of as educational is not. To just simply surround ones self with ideas and people who always agree with them is stagnation of the mind and takes you nowhere. Only by observing the opposition and hearing their voice do we learn.
    Ok all that being said; The human body is in itself evidence of evolution. Not even in the evolution from primates sense or fossil record sense. One of you mentioned wisdom teeth, add to that the appendix which at one time was a secondary stomach if you will. Both of those now functionless parts were essential to us when at one time we consumed much more raw plant material in our diet. Look into the corner of your eyes. That pink bit by the bridge of your nose. That is the carruncula* (sp?) it is the last vestigial bit of a third eyelid much like seen in reptiles and amphibians. There are so many physical aspects of the body that point to its once being in a different form. Some would argue that even the change in average hight just within the last 200 years is an evolutionary change. Even if that natural selection is only the result of "chicks dig tall guys". In a few thousand years we may be a hairless skinny little platform carrying around a grossly oversized cranium with amazingly nimble fingers thanks to text based communications.

  37. futurepeople

    thats right chicks love those with big sticks . for those with small sticks dont feel sad that you are not part of evolution.

  38. Robert Allen

    @Joe:

    Your spelling and English composition match your ignorance of evolution and to set the record straight, man and monkey share a common ancestor. This is altogether different from positing that one evolved from the other.

  39. Ramus

    @joe
    "why has not any ape develope in the last 5000.00 years"
    Did you watch the documentary or are you just trolling? Watch the part where they show planet history as a tower the size of the Empire State Building, human recorded history, which is around 5000 years, is the same thickness as the paint on the roof. It is like sitting watching a plant for a day, not seeing it move upward and then claim plants do not grow. Try studying some science my friend (and maybe English grammar while your at it).

  40. riley

    joe is actually toki from dethklok, on a rant

  41. hanshenning

    Either creationists don't understand what a theory is (tho it's very well and understandably explained by SweetLeaf) or what evolution is - or they won't!

  42. wcudavid

    I agree that DNA changes. But why is it that one assumes that it only has to change in one one direction? I think it is a rational, but naive assumption that changes that occur always produce a superior species. For example, I think that the pollution in our environment and our foolish lifestyles we live are affecting our DNA in the opposite direction.

  43. SweetLeaf

    Natural Selection is cleverly referred to by Richard Dawkins in the title of his famous book as The Blind Watchmaker. Meaning, It (Evolution) has no goal in mind. In a sense, genes have the goal of reproducing. It is merely because they happen to have the property of self-replication, and that those that are better at it than others will eventually be more numerous that they seem driven to reproduce. Natural selection, on the other hand, has no future in mind. Every creature that ever lived was at its time, the peak of its section of the evolutionary tree. We can only consider our ancestors "less evolved" because we have the luxury of having been born after them.

    Humans and other apes share a common ancestor, and all modern apes are just as far evolved from our common ancestor as we are, just in a different direction.

  44. Reasons Voice

    @Wcudavid; The reason why it appears that DNA changes only for the positive is natural selection. A negative adaptation will lead to extinction. Only an advantageous mutation will survive to be passed down and change a species. Climate based natural selection shows us this. In tropical environments leaner body types are the norm while in colder climates more fatty tissue is dominant. Those are opposing adaptations. The same need to regulate body temperature is what leads us to Elephants with enormous ears while seals have just about no ear at all. As to what you say about humanity and pollution. Well the polution issue could be debated of course but lets assume that we are on a path toward a smog filled wasteland. Any genetic change we develope that ensures survival in that new environment is a positive change. As long as humans survive and thrive on the planet it is impossible to say we are developing "Negative DNA Changes"

  45. Aimor Wiesly

    A note To Everyone who Comments

    While i stand niether here nor there, while you all crowd on one side of an argument diliberatly smashing even an honest question that might question the "grand theory of evolution" i can only sit in amazment at your arogance. What ever you call your selves, let me let you in on your appearance from the outside.

  46. Ramus

    What Reasons Voice said. Well put by the way. Im still only on chapter X of the Origin of Species, for those wanting to understand these theories (Laws) then read chapter III, The Struggle for Existence and chapter IV, Natural Selection. Darwins book goes into more detail than can be found on any doc here. I would like to point out though that for the first time in human history we are at a point where we directly effect evolution, more specifically, survival of the fittest. It should now be termed survival of the richest.

  47. Aimor Wiesly

    Your anger, viement hate, and even cynasim to any with a different opion borders on the salem witch trials. with the people ive met while diverse in religion and nationality i have never met a more hatefull group, you border on persecusion with one foot off the cliff. be weary of your attitude, i will never return, and my view of the "accepted science" has changed, if this is what those who believe in evolution are like, i will run in the other direction, and be glad of it.
    -Aimor

  48. Robert Allen

    @Aimor Wiesly

    From your two E-mails, I gather that you are dyslexic. I recommend having this taken care of before you try tackling evolution or anything requiring intelligence;otherwise, you will subject yourself to the opporbrium which you complain of and yet so richly deserve.

    Farewell,

    Member
    The Hateful Group

  49. Ramus

    @Aimor Wiesly
    "borders on the salem witch trials"?
    Over exaggeration I think. You really need to calm down and, to be honest, your rant sounded more hateful than anything on this page. Also if your basing your world view on what people say and not what you find out for yourself you really have no course to complain in the first place.

  50. Imightberiding

    @SweetLeaf

    You probably noticed by now; The title is actually "Naked Science: Was Darwin Wrong? by, Why Evolution Is True." First off, I would presume "Naked Science" would be a clue. Second, "Why Evolution Is True" would be another.

    You appeared to be fairly worked up with your first comment. You then noticed the marketing angle & I am sure you revisited the title again & realized what it really said. I trust you ultimately enjoyed the doc as I am certain I will & we all have the great creator Vlatko to thank for that. I usually scan the comments prior to watching so I know what I'm in for.

    Cheers!

  51. Imightberiding

    @Aimor Wiesly

    You're going to "run away & never return"? It's your choice but you will miss out on future elucidation, edification & education that may help you to "evolve" into a better, more knowledgeable & ultimately wiser human being through all the wondrous sights we behold here at Top Docs in the films that Vlatko makes available to us.

    I guess it really is survival of the fittest buddy. Sometimes thick skin can go a long way in a survival situation. Please don't be afraid to learn.

  52. riley

    @aimor un-wisely

    there is no coherent argument against evolution, no evidence against it.

    only ignorant, arrogant refusal to face the facts, to absorb the evidence, to educate oneself on scientific processes of long duration, such as the cosmological or geological or radiological or biological we KNOW to be at work around and within us.

    all at the same time accepting uncritically and wholesale the notions written in a book long ago, and un-edited in any substantive way for millenia.

    this all-too-commonplace resistance to fact and slavish acceptance of fable habit of mind ticks people off. me included.

    if someone is half-witted, they should treated kindly. if someone has the equipment but refuses to use it to look clearly at the world they are so fortunate to inhabit, that just comes across as ungrateful, a waste of potential, of the precious gift of consiousness.

  53. jack1952

    @riley

    Great point. Science is like a murder mystery. Evidence stacks up and it all seems to point at one individual as the guilty party. Then a new, crucial piece of evidence is uncovered and we find that we were wrong all along.
    Science looks for new evidence on a continuous basis. New evidence either refutes or reinforces conclusions that were made in the past. That doesn't make the scientific process wrong. It tells us the pursuit of knowledge is an ongoing journey, with the stops and starts inherent in a journey. It doesn't reach a destination and then is never to be examined again. It is a fantastic book but it can't be the final statement.

    I think it neat that I can respond to a post that was dated tomorrow. I guess I'm a pretty simple guy.

  54. riley

    jack

    maybe you've explained it better.

    the day i encounter at least a single person who seems to have been convinced by anything i or anyone i know has said or demonstrated to leave off of fundamentalism, my confidence in the appeal of reason would improve.

    for anyone who is truly open-minded, but not convinced - consider the whales/dolphins, bats, flightless cormorants

    clearly, these animals have evolved from some earlier form quite different in habitat, pre-existing form & function.

    whales have vestigal limbs, bats 'wings' are made of an adapted hand, flightless birds clearly must have at one time been derived from related species capable of flight. in the case of the cormorants, such species still abound. in the case of the bats & whales - the pre-existing species have gone extinct, but are present in the fossil record.

    all of this, and a universe of other reinforcing observations including molecular studies, flatly contradicts a static creation model.

  55. Robert Allen

    @riley

    You might also mention genetic switches to account for vestiges.

    One clarification with respect to birds, the last remaining dinosaurs, the evidence shows a progression from flightless to flighted and back to flightless. In other words, the emus, ostriches, etc. are later developments.

  56. Mar Masson

    @Reasons Voice

    I could not understand the argument, logic or the point of your first comment.

    People that can not listen to reason or argument seem to come out with similar phrases that you did "if you don´t like it go somewhere else".

    It seems very contradicting that you then come with the following statement: "To just simply surround ones self with ideas and people who always agree with them is stagnation of the mind and takes you nowhere. Only by observing the opposition and hearing their voice do we learn." Duhh.

  57. Reasons Voice

    @Mar; My first comment had three arguments. 1; That the title to the film was not a direct indication of the content. 2; that people who want to go on a hate filled rant, based on the title of a film they did not watch, Because that title differs from their own personal beliefs are blind ignorant fools. And 3; is self evident and if you don't get it well I am sorry for using a coralary argument that you could not comprehend. Most others here seem to have gotten it's gist so don't mind me if I don't cater to you.

  58. Imightberiding

    @ everyone

    I say we should cut "Joe" some slack. Obviously english is not his first language. I have no idea where he might be from or which language is his first. For all we know, he may be fluent in several languages & english is just something he picked up during a "Mensa International" sponsored weekend retreat. He is most likely a very intelligent, rational individual & was I'm sure, only following protocol by using english on this site. It was evidenced in his comment that he clearly has a casual if not careless relationship with the English language. This would then lead me to believe that his primary native tongue is, here I am being entirely presumptuous, something other than english.

    As to his knowledge of several languages, logic demands that such an erudite comment as his could only be authored by someone with an intellect capable of mastering many languages & loosely tossing about in as many as one would care to learn in a few spare hours. This explains the rudimentary grammar, spelling & conceptualization skills used in his comment. It is unfortunate that it appears he inadvertently stated the exact opposite of what this poor man must have surely had in mind & tried to convey. His attempt at english, as pathetic & humiliating as it must have been for him was certainly far beyond my abilities to pick up a fifth, sixth, or even twelfth language over a weekend. All in all we can take comfort in the knowledge that he is most likely just as frustrated as we are with his ideas & comments in the way that they came across as completely backwards & with little or no comprehensible clarity.

  59. nico

    this is englands god and now they have china to contend their brainchild.
    good luck
    darwin is absolute medieval barbaric folly of the middle ages.
    just like there reasoning of nuclear energy reflects their barbaric ancestors of reasoning of charlemagne of the middle ages-- brute barbarians with no love for reason or philosophy like the greeks and romans.
    this is the basis of marxism, and that is why the romans and greeks had an empire for over1500 years together and the english had one for 200 years and and unlike the romans and greeks exploited the masses based on darwinistic ideas that third world people were still animals

  60. jack1952

    I don't understand the philosophical reasoning behind Roman gladitorial combat. I suppose the Romans and Greeks didn't exploit their slaves either. Barbarism is a human trait, not English or the product of Darwin's ideas (I'm not English). Darwin released his book in the 1850's; nowhere near the middle ages and closer to the end of the English empire.

  61. Ramus

    @nico
    "Englands God" "Darwin is medieval" "Scientific reasoning is Marxism" "Third world people are animals"
    I would like to know where you got this information?
    I'm English and I feel that saying the theory of evolution is our god is mental. As jack said The Origin of Species was published in 1859 - a bit after the Medieval period. I really couldn't understand the second paragraph at all. And yes I think 3rd world people are animals, just like me and you and everyone else in the world, what are you? Vegetable? Mineral?

  62. creyente

    Darwin is wrong ask his followers what he has to say about the water the sun and the gallaxy, can we survive without the sun what Darwing have to say about that, listen we are a creation and came from a creator he's name is Jesus Christ. when you die if you do not repent you will go to hell you are not coming back to dabate about darwing theory you are going straight to hell with your body Darwing and his stupid theory ask the 3,000,000, Jew if Darwing open the Red sea when they were followed the enemies. listen repent Jesus Christ is God and if you do not repent you and who ever do not follow christ will burn in hell is garantee.

  63. Atrophy

    @creyente
    At least it will be warm !

    Without the sun our galaxy wouldn't have formed and we wouldn't be here to debate our survival without it.
    If indeed there is a great creator, he used science and evolution to create us and everything in the universe, he is lying to you and everyone else wholesale or you are misinterpreting what is written in scripture.

    I will present my arguments.
    1) Based on the evidence, our science and evolution is real, tangible and testable.
    2) If God indeed did wink and flash everything into existence in 6 days + 1 for tea and a breather then he is lying wholesale for planting the evidence as we find it. 'God made it that way' doesn't fly with me.
    3) A being so profoundly intelligent and powerful as to create a universe and everything in it would still find it difficult to it into writing that we would understand. Just as a grade school student would read a calculus text and see numbers and some familiar symbols, that student will still get most of it wrong.

  64. Atrophy

    Make that last comment by me as @ all bible thumpers. I would rather not single any one person out as there are many who irk me with their unwavering religious views.

    @creyente
    To directly comment to your post, As I learned it, God created everything, Jesus was his mortal son sent to the earth to save us from our sins. Jesus didn't part the red sea for 3 million Jews, maybe a couple hundred. 3 million could have turned around and cut the army down themselves.

    Darwin explains to us his views of evolution, species change and survival. He does not discus the greater functions of the universe, for that there are other scientists.

  65. Harvard

    For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools...

  66. Charles B.

    Harvard: Amen. Romans 1:20-21.

  67. Tiercel

    Faith=Clinging to a belief despite the contra-indications of common sense.

    The veracity of evolution & the emergence & inter-relations of the species is there for all to see. No movement in "mysterious ways". No religious sleight of hand. "it just is!" For instance the carpal bones of the hand exist in a similar form in mammals, birds, fish, reptiles & amphibious. The fore-foot of a lizard, dog, horse, frog, newt. The flipped of a whale or sealion, wing of bat or bird. All adapted to a different purpose. But all contain a bone structure indicating a common ancestor.

    The continued denial of evolution & natural selection as mere "theory" is a monumental avoidance of the facts. Tantamount to sticking your fingers in your ears & screaming "can't hear, won't hear, la la la laa la!! It is willfull ignorance! That this ignorance comes, not from some poverty wracked tribe in Afghanistan. But from those who have had every advantage of modern education makes it all the more shamefull!

  68. Atrophy

    @ Harvard
    Is that preaching or a carefully selected verse ?

  69. Imightberiding

    It seems likely that nico & creyente are attending the same ESL school as our friend Joe who commented earlier in this section about this doc. Surely if they could comprehend their own remarks, they would be aghast to learn that what they meant to say was entirely opposite & perhaps even slightly less comprehensible than intended. More power to you guys! Keep honing those english skills & before you know it, you will be able to understand what you are saying.

    @ Harvard & Charles

    Your cherry picking of scripture from the new testament of the christian bible does anyone very little good. That passage which presumably Paul was writing to some of his Roman friends & acquaintances, has nothing to do with creation or evolution. It is about Paul's desire to save first the Jews & then secondly the Gentiles from their sinful desires & shameful lusts.

    Having nothing to do with this documentary, I can't help but think the only reason you mentioned it was to once again use this medium as your soap box. I applaud your determination & I what I trust to be an honest desire for your fellow man's well being. I would also add to this; I do not think your approach is going to net you much of a harvest. Quite the opposite in fact as I am certain you are thoroughly putting off more people than not. Here's an idea that might please several of us, help those of us who are lost & solve the problems of access to your soap box. Why don't you invite those who are interested or in need of some sort of spiritual guidance once & for all, & I mean once & for all not several repeated offers to an email address, telephone #, or web site where you can really discuss these issues & not waste your time & ours on this site dedicated to the docs, all made available to us that we all look forward to each week. That said, of course I would strongly recommend the site's permission prior to making such a request or advertisement. Of course you & your friends have been advertising all along with a product that rarely pertains to the doc at the time.

    I am just another regular person who enjoys these documentaries & the discussions that follow. Please allow all of those & myself included who crave knowledge to have access to it without the constant barrage of advertising.

    Thank you. I sincerely wish the best for you in your journey. I don't say "good luck" very often so I will say instead; do your best (but try not to annoy everyone along the way). :-)

  70. Imightberiding

    @Atrophy

    Just guessing, but I don't think Jesus was around during the old testament times. Probably one of your other well know bible characters involved in this story. You might want to think about that. I find reading & research works well for me.

    Cheers! :-)

  71. Imightberiding

    After rereading my previous comment directed at Harvard & Charles & any other like minded person for that matter, I believe I misspoke. Rather than using Top Docs as a platform even as a one & last time attempt as a launching pad to direct people to your own site, I think it would be a courtesy to all if you just started your own "information" channel without advertising here about your agenda.

    It does not have to be said that unless you are an experienced, trained expert on the topics by which you wish to school others, it would be a tragic waste of time & gross misdirection for those who do seek enlightenment. There are already far too many unchecked "experts" spewing forth with poisonous ideas & schemes who daily take advantage of the gullible & naive. I trust you are knowledgeable enough to not add to this list.

    I am only one person & just this past year had the pleasure of discovering this wonderful site that is Top Docs, but I'm certain that I speak for more than just myself when I kindly request that you check your religious convictions at the door. Let's all enjoy the show. For many, religion is like sex & politics, a private matter sometimes discussed among loved ones & friends.

    Again, do your best, follow your heart & all that but...... inappropriate, repetitive insertion of one's religious beliefs more often than not will annoy not convert. It is the very idea that you feel the need to convert, that comes across as nothing more than an undeserved sense of self importance/superiority or at best hubris.

  72. Wcudavid

    A while back I posted this question: I agree that DNA changes. But why is it that one assumes that it only has to change in one one direction? Reasons Voice answered: The reason why it appears that DNA changes only for the positive is natural selection. A negative adaptation will lead to extinction. Only an advantageous mutation will survive to be passed down and change a species.

    I understand the logic of this. But even if there were failed adaptations, there would need to be some record of these. So, for example, one would expect to find fossils and bones from all these failed experiments. And yet when a new fossils and bones are found, it is always assumed that these are the records of development to a higher species. If mutations go both ways, where in the earth are those remnants of nature's failed experiments?

    I do believe that the issue is more complex than it is currently being portrayed - on both sides of the fence. Science and religion are ultimately based upon philosophical assumptions. These assumptions significantly affect how one views the evidence. To say otherwise is being intellectually dishonest.

    What shouldn't happen is that the conversation becomes a matter of who can shout the loudest.

  73. Robert Allen

    @wcudavid

    You pose an interesting question. Extinct intermediate species of which we have a considerable number could be considered either adaptive successes or failures and notice, these were often not unearthed in the sequence of their evolution and hence not necessarily considered "records of development to a higher species." The discovery of the velociraptor is an example on point.

    However, I need to ask you if you are seeking long or short-term failures? After all, considering how long they lasted, the dinosaurs could be considered long-term failures for at the end, they were unable to adapt to the changing environment and hence became extinct.

    You're right, there is a difference between the scientific and the religious approaches (I hesitate to employ your term philosophy) towards evidence. The scientist draws conclusions from the concrete, the religionist from the fanciful.

  74. DaRool

    And stuck again in a yes-no debate. As always. I really think people on both sides of the debate should try to get a bit more of a bird's eye view.
    First of all. Disproving god is impossible. For the strongest atheists among us: what proof do we have that he didn't set off the big bang with a supersized fire-cracker. None. Okay, chances are as good as zero but the denile WILL GET YOU NOWHERE in the debate! Everyone with faith in God will by default deny everything you say and you're whole point in the discussion will never be made/accepted.
    Much more important in the discussion is to get people to understand what science is.

    science is nog a philosophy

    science is not a religion

    science does not even contain facts!

    Science (as monty python once beautifully stated) is only a model.

    A model of reality. A big bunch of human-discovered/invented/postulated statements that .............in the end does make, shall we say at least a bit, of sense. It does make sense in that extent that we have been good enough in predicting the future that I can sit here pushing my fingers on some patches of plastic and this causes you on the other side of the world (or next door) to read what I wanted to say! That is just amazing! people denying science should not pick up that little piece of plastic in their pocket and speak to it as if their wife/mother etc was in there.

    In my opinion the whole debate should focus much more on showing that most definitely a whole bunch of these man-made claims (science)can be used for PREDICTING THE FUTURE. It is only a model but a pretty useful one. Whether you think some guy invented the earth 6000 years or longer ago or not, you're telephone works!!

  75. Ezra Pound

    "Evolutionists have been very clear about this distinction of fact and theory from the very beginning, if only because we have always acknowledged how far we are from completely understanding the mechanisms (theory) by which evolution (fact) occurred. Darwin continually emphasized the difference between his two great and separate accomplishments: establishing the fact of evolution, and proposing a theory–natural selection–to explain the mechanism of evolution.
    It is time for students of the evolutionary process, especially those who have been misquoted and used by the creationists, to state clearly that evolution is a fact, not theory, and that what is at issue within biology are questions of details of the process and the relative importance of different mechanisms of evolution. It is a fact that the earth with liquid water, is more than 3.6 billion years old. It is a fact that cellular life has been around for at least half of that period and that organized multicellular life is at least 800 million years old. It is a fact that major life forms now on earth were not at all represented in the past. There were no birds or mammals 250 million years ago. It is a fact that major life forms of the past are no longer living. There used to be dinosaurs and Pithecanthropus, and there are none now. It is a fact that all living forms come from previous living forms. Therefore, all present forms of life arose from ancestral forms that were different. Birds arose from nonbirds and humans from nonhumans. No person who pretends to any understanding of the natural world can deny these facts any more than she or he can deny that the earth is round, rotates on its axis, and revolves around the sun."

    Well said SweetLeaf, It is a fact! Anyone who has ever studied the science or even watched a layman documentary on evolution and still clings to their theism, must seriously lack in acumen.

  76. Robert Allen

    @Daroo!

    What do you mean science does not contain facts--that's what it's based on and that's what it draws its models from.

  77. Robert Allen

    @Ezra Pound

    Wonderful presentation!

    I can't believe that your real name is Ezra Pound, one of the biggest phonies who ever lived.

  78. Reasons Voice

    @wcudavid; What you are saying is true. There have been dead end species and non-advantageous mutations. Some are documented such as the short faced bear which was dominant for a time but then was later out-competed by the ancestor of the modern brown bear. I am sure that there have been a great many side branches that did not pan out. What is little understood in fossil record is that maybe one in a billion bones will be fossilized. Thats why it is a miracle that we have as much info as we do from fossils. Also why most fossils come from specific regions such as the bad lands of new mexico where conditions at the time were good for fossilization to occur. If a divergent species occured and was not advantageous enough to propagate widely, it is not unusual that we would never find evidence of it.

  79. Robert Allen

    @wcudavid

    Luckily we have plenty of fossils of the various types of short-nosed bears. However, I wonder if this species could be considered a non-advantageous mutation. As I understand, it thrived for over 2 million years before, as you mentioned, giving way to the smaller, modern brown bear.

  80. Reasons Voice

    True @Robert; I was just looking for a well documented species that died out when it's specific adaptations became less advantageous and allowed for it to be outcompeted. Also if a new species is discovered and they only have say one specemin often it's not publicised untill further substatiation can be found. Thusly a one off mutation species could be lost in the mix of undeveloped specimens.

  81. Robert Allen

    @reasons voice

    In light of your discussion, what about the giant aurochs?

  82. SweetLeaf

    @Ezra Pound

    Thank you.

    @Robert Allen

    I'm not the biggest Pound fan either, but the only phony aspect of Pound i can recall was his accent. He did give rise to James Joyce and also the imagist movement which led to our modern poetry. For that I feel he deserves some approbation.

  83. Robert Allen

    @SweetLeaf

    I don't claim to be a poet, but I can write the type of tripe he spewed out--and this is not my proudest boast--as a matter of fact, it's not even a boast.

    If I remember, just about all of Pound was no more than self-aggrandizement, even his ostensibly given rise to James Joyce.

  84. SweetLeaf

    @DaRool - "Science (as monty python once beautifully stated) is only a model."

    Models are the building blocks of science. Science is an epistemological discipline, a discipline which takes as its defining principle that the determination of "scientific knowledge is only through experiment/observation. Scientific knowledge is observational data. Scientific Theories are systematic predictions of outcomes of experiments. In short a Theory predicts or describes what happens.

    Evolution, for instance, is an established scientific model that explains observations and makes predictions through mechanisms such as natural selection/sexual selection.

  85. Atrophy

    @ Imightberiding
    Ah yes, Moses, I stand corrected.

  86. Kelvin

    @sweetleaf "It is time for students of the evolutionary process, especially those who have been misquoted and used by the creationists, to state clearly that evolution is a fact, not theory, and that what is at issue within biology are questions of details of the process and the relative importance of different mechanisms of evolution. It is a fact that the earth with liquid water, is more than 3.6 billion years old. It is a fact that cellular life has been around for at least half of that period and that organized multicellular life is at least 800 million years old. It is a fact that major life forms now on earth were not at all represented in the past. There were no birds or mammals 250 million years ago. It is a fact that major life forms of the past are no longer living. There used to be dinosaurs and Pithecanthropus, and there are none now. It is a fact that all living forms come from previous living forms. Therefore, all present forms of life arose from ancestral forms that were different. Birds arose from nonbirds and humans from nonhumans. No person who pretends to any understanding of the natural world can deny these facts any more than she or he can deny that the earth is round, rotates on its axis, and revolves around the sun."

    AAI 2009?

  87. Reasons Voice

    giant aurochs. I'll look it up at work tomorrow get back when I know more on it.

  88. Wcudavid

    @Kelvin,your list of facts are not helpful. They only shut down, rather than facilitate, the discussion. Besides, what you are saying has been said long ago in this thread.

  89. Robert Allen

    @reasons voice

    While you're at it, you might want to consider an article which appeared yesterday announcing a recently discovered pair of albino kookabaras, the only known ones in existence. Without human intervention, their coloration would have rendered them easy prey. Although they're certainly not fossils (at least yet), would you consider them one of nature's failures?

  90. Robert Allen

    @Wcudavid

    Although Kelvin's list of facts is (your grammar's showing) not helpful to you, you have not disproved any of them.

  91. Wcudavid

    @Robert Allen That's not the point of my comment. Shoving facts down people's throats and pointing out people's grammar errors does not help. It is strident and unproductive, and it shuts down any discussion. Think of your father yelling at you. He may have been right, but you weren't about to listen to him. And you probably got angry and dug in your heals. So listing facts isn't going to change anyone's mind.

  92. Imightberiding

    @ most everyone who has commented in the latter part of this discussion

    Fantastic! I openly admit that I lack the depth of knowledge on this topic that the majority of you display. I do not make this statement sarcastically. I am fully sincere when I say; I have truly enjoyed reading your comments. It is exactly this that makes Top Docs a primary destination for this frequent traveller of the internet.

    My two cents worth:

    @ Robert Allen

    It has always been my thinking that it is exactly this "bravado", "self-aggrandizement", or "mental/philosophical machismo" that made Pound accessible to far more people than he otherwise would have been had he taken a more gentile, introspective approach to his work. After all, this was some time ago. A few generations make all the difference in one's acceptance & remember, he did it & he did it first not you. Please, no offense intended. Like your opinion, this is mine.

    @ Wcudavid re: Kelvin's list of facts

    I have to point out how Kelvin's statement regarding the age of our earth sparked a distinct & immediate guttural reaction from myself. Whether you liked or didn't like what he said or disproved him or not he definitely brought home the point to me regarding the age of our planet. Something we can all agree on, it's really quite old in so far as our perspective is concerned. I had a rare moment of clarity (for me anyways). At the exact same moment that I read his comment about the age of the earth & its liquid water, I simultaneously took a sip of tea I had just made. 3.6 billion years old & guess what, the water was still fresh! What a wonderful planet we live on.

    Thanks for another good one Vlatko.

  93. DaRool

    @ Robert Allen:

    Science contains a ton of observations that give us an indication of reality approximately work. At the end of the story every now and then our understanding of how that reality works is altered, leading to a better understanding, or maybe better put better predictability of that reality. Every piece of the model will eventualy be altered by minds that think thoughts not previously stumbled upon by others. string theory?, unification theory? dark matter? maybe someday someone can prove the big bang was 3 days earlier than planned which then egain will raise the question who planned it anyway!

    @ Sweetleaf:

    Am I missing something? In my oppinion everything you write can be summarized in : It's only a model.
    A model which is built up of all the different pieces of the puzzle which have been "discovered"/ postulated in labs, classrooms brains and occasionay under apple trees. All of these observations come together as one big model of how reality works, a machine if you will. Throw in an experiment and it will throw out an outcome. if the outcome is not what we can actually observe there must still be something wrong with the machine for it is supposed to predict the future. In practice the model seems to be doing pretty good.
    Much better in my opinion than mumbling some inner wish to one of the big bearded ones in the sky.....

  94. Robert Allen

    @imightberiding

    Bravado, self-aggrandizement and mental/philosophical machismo are fine if you have something with which to back them up, e.g., Wagner, Cellini. Unfortunately Pound was no more than a self-deluded poobah.

  95. Robert Allen

    @wcudavid

    Never mind the etiquette. What matters is that you are still unable to disprove Kelvin's facts.

  96. Wcudavid

    Since we are having so much fun... (and I am being serious) ... I'll stir the pot again.

    Trying to understand the past, which no one of us has ever experienced by the way, is akin to having an ant on the back of an animal. It can't see the animal directly other than a small patch of skin. That small patch of skin might look like an elephant. It may feel like an elephant. It might even smell like an elephant. All those are facts! But it might be something else - like a rhinoceros.

    Let's hope we are not under the animal when it's defecating!

  97. Reasons Voice

    @Wcudavid;

    You are absolutely right our knowledge is minute where the past is concerned. I too become skeptical at times when things get extrapolated on. A small scrap becomes a whole story sometimes with little to explain it. Take the computer rendering of an entire skull from just a small portion of it's base. In all honesty those renderings could be wrong. For years we had a dino we called brontosaurus. But uhh ohh one day we find a complete skeleton and discover the old one had THE WRONG HEAD. Brontosaurus no longer exists and thus was born the brachiosaurus.

    @Rober Allen;

    Have not yet looked up your first example. As to the albinos, yes those would definitely be selective mistakes as they would be easy prey without protection. If we are looking for examples of human intervention changing the process of natural selection we need look no further that the laps of rich women. Chihuahuas, Yorkies, Puggles, and tea cup poodles, can you honestly believe these adorable little critters could ever survive as a feral species?
    Natural selection runs on trial and error. Climate, Predation, and ability to find food are the foils against which all species must contend. If a mutation of any kind does not advance for the better in any of those areas the species or sub-species will die off.

  98. Wcudavid

    @Reasons Voice - Newtown's Laws provide a classic example of an explanation that is mostly correct. However, the real situation (as per the Theory of Relativity) is much more complex. And I am absolutely certain that something else will come along that does an even better job of explaining the physics of our universe. But that requires a a willingness to think critically about the explanation we have and an atmosphere that allows for open discussion.

  99. Reasons Voice

    Absolutely right. Open discussion and interchange of ideas is essential to expansion of knowledge. I support that expansion in every way. Like you said though Relativity was an expansion of newtons law. However Newtons law still holds true. I think the same could occur with evolution. We may learn more and expand our knowledge but still the theory will remain sound.

  100. ha pakal

    a 'scientific theory' is a body of knowledge developed to explain observable facts.

    We have cellular theory, atomic theory, gravitational theory, electromagnetic, etc etc. For something to be considered a theory is no small thing..It means it must satisfy all of the requirements we need to explain..and do so more successfully than any other hypothesis.

    Theories are not just groups of propositions but must satisfy the whole range of demands, critiques, and criticisms of scientists the world in order to finally become accepted by the scientific community

    evolution happens and we can see the results of it in nature (even if we cannot watch it as it happens) it is an observable fact we wish to explain. Natural Selection is the mechanism Darwin postulated as the blind molder driving evolution.

    We use the word 'theory' to never forget that nothing is certain in science. (that would be dogma, not science) That the very real possibility exists that new knowledge will replace pre-existing concepts because they shed even greater light on our subject/

    *People interested in learning more should check out videos by Aronra & Potholer54 on youtube - they are really worth viewing and PACKED with information.

    cheers.

  101. ReligionIsntAllBad

    Ahahaha ... it is SO HARD to read the creationist comments above and not immediately think they are trolling on purpose. I think it is perfectly fine to be religious, but it is not very fine to ignore truths and shout your dogma back at them. If your religion features outdated myths, you should consider an upgrade ... or a less literal translation of its religious texts :D

    I do have one hangup though, as I feel ’random’ mutations are not a sufficient explanation for diversity even given the INCREDIBLE amount of time life has had to diversify. The idea that species just accidentally develop useful mutations is not very compelling to me. Not that I have any other great explanations myself :)

    By the way there is also a fairly lengthy article from this particular issue of NG which is freely available to read online if anyone is interested. Google for it :P Enjoy :)

  102. Robert Allen

    @Religionisntallbad

    Hear! Hear! The early Christians, such as St. Augustine, knew the pitfalls of a literal reading of the Bible and therefore, railed against it. Religious fundamentalism is a late development which started, in all places, in this country.

  103. Atrophy

    @ReligionIsntAllBad
    I agree, one can believe in god and all that but there's so many that will get in your face because you think differently.

    In religious terms; God gave you eyes to observe, Ears to listen, a mouth to speak and a brain to think for yourself. God gave us choice, use it.

    'I do have one hangup though'
    Adaptations seem to favor the environment the creature is subject to leading to a possibility that on some level the environment, as opposed to solar radiation and such, triggers mutations over time as well. Dog breeds with webbed paws and even some humans which have more webbing between toes and fingers than usual, not referring to Syndactyly, but in the case of 2 of my cousins who spent most of their spare time, from infancy, in the pool had more webbing between fingers and toes than anyone else I know as well as a tremendous lung capacity.

  104. awful-truth

    Debating whether evolution is a fact would be pointless, evidence leaves this question undeniable. (human genome project) what I find interesting is the idea that this removes the possibility of intelligent design from the equation. This parallels the debate that existed regarding relativity and quantum mechanics. Einstein's own theory predicted quantum mechanics yet his religuous belief prevented him from accepting the idea of "chance" in the universe. How ironic now that science should consider any chance of intelligent design as an impossibility. One thing I have come to understand is that they both co-exist simultaneously. Darwin's book is called the origin of the species, not the origin of life. The concept of god isn't the problem, it is what we have been indoctrinated in to believing what exactly that is as the root of the problem. When people get rid of the notion that god is all knowing, they will realize that evolution may be but an aspect of intelligent design, and perhaps people will quit implying disparity where none exists!

  105. Joe

    Was Darwin Wrong?
    Short answer: No.

  106. Ron

    creationists would not have lasted past about 5 minutes
    way too much rational thought process and science involved to show that over hudreds of millions of years things on the planet have evovled just as Darwin thought through his own analysis.

    Another great doc that uses science to show how it all came to be.

    If there is a god who created god? If there is a heaven where is heaven? The universe is so vast I want to know where heaven is.

  107. Robert Allen

    @Ron

    I can't tell you where heaven is, but the other place is far more interesting and easier to get to. Take the road to purgatory and follow the descending fork.

    If heaven's a garden, the other place is an amusement park.

  108. Atrophy

    Much easier to get to really... Just make a rational, scientific comment on a religious comment and you've earned a free ticket, all expenses paid.
    At least its warm !

  109. Wcudavid

    @Ron - You asked the following: If there is a god, who created god? A similar question can be asked: If there is evolution, how did it start? Evolution implies that there had to be something prior to evolution, since something had to evolve.

    So where did that something come from? (Even if life ("organic material") was created out of inorganic material, how was the inorganic material produced?) Evolution does not have a good answer to this question. Nor should it. Otherwise it would be a religion. But that is where the concept of a creator makes sense.

    Einstein understood this.

  110. Atrophy

    You want to have the beginnings of the universe explained then. OK
    It all begins with the big bang thory, a single point of energy infinitely dense that exploded, filling the universe as we understand it with energetic particles. As they cooled they condensed into gasses and condensed further to form stars which produced the heavy elements such as iron etc. after billions of years the stars died, exploded and sent solid matter and some gasses into the universe to once again condense into planetoids and smaller stars. It just so happened that chemical reactions occurred on one (or more) of these planets to produce rudimentary life which (on this mudball) eventually evolved through evolution and random mutation into us.

    While my explanation of it is rather crude, it covers the basis of the whole process as science understands it. There are multiple Docs on this site that cover each area of the process in depth.
    Maybe there is a creator that orchestrated the whole thing, I wouldn't know, but what we see indicates he hasn't had any direct involvement since the point at which the known universe began and by no means formed everything complete in 7 days.

  111. Robert Allen

    @atrophy

    Your exposition is excellent; there is nothing crude about it.

    Actually, God created the earth, etc. in 6 days (Why did it take him so long?). Remember, he rested on the seventh. By the way, can you imagine a god resting?

    Deism forever!

  112. Wcudavid

    @ Atrophy - The question begs itself: Where did the "single point of energy infinitely dense" come from? There is no way that science can ever explain the very beginning of matter. But I really don't think that is the purpose of science. I do agree that that that is probably how our universe was created.

    I also believe that there is a creator that not only started it, but is still involved in what happens here. There is no way to convince somebody of that. That is a matter of faith. But I don't think that this a ridiculous as you might believe. Think about all the things we believe in that we have never actually seen. Psychology studies the mind and the factors that affect our behavior. All those factors can only be indirectly inferred and measured. We talk about intelligence, but there is no way to actually see intelligence. But we accept that it exists by faith based upon evidence.

    My faith is not blind belief. I see evidence of the existence of a creator; both in nature and in my life. But it is not clear cut. If it were, it wouldn't be faith. I do know that there is no way to explain the beginning of matter without some form of a creator.

    @Robert Allen - I don't believe that the whole universe was created in six days. First of all, if you read Genesis, it only talks about our little part of the universe. Secondly, it is not a science text, but a religious text. We don't know how much time elapsed between the creation of heaven and earth until God said "let there be light." And what did that really mean: Let there be light? Was light as a entity created, or was the sun formed? And what is heaven? Etc. Thirdly, evidence points to a much longer existence of the universe. The length of the time it takes light to travel to our earth from galaxies far, far away support a longer existence of the universe.

    I agree with you that if there is such a powerful god, he could have created our solar system in less than six days. But that god could also have done it in six days if he wanted to. But again, the belief in a creator god is a matter of faith, not science.

  113. Robert Allen

    @wcudavid

    By correlating what you see and feel to a made-up cause is blind faith and of the worst kind. At least a scientist can say I don't know--and speaking of knowing, you don't know that there is no way to explain the beginning of matter without some form of creator and neither do I!

    Because faith lacks intelligence, it's despiccable.

  114. Atrophy

    The origin of matter was explained in the big bang, but the origin of that singular point of energy and WTF did the universe expand into is really where science takes a step back and shrugs.

  115. Ramus

    @Wcudavid
    Evolution is a biological theory, as you say it explains organic structures. It's purpose is not to explain where inorganic structures come from. That is physics, the atoms that make chemicals and hence life, originated inside stars. Every atom in your body began life inside a star. If you want to appoint a creator for life on earth you wont find it because it blew up billions of years ago. Saying god did it, for me, is a lazy cop out.

  116. Robert Allen

    @Atrophy

    At least science shrugs when it does not know. While it might conjecture, at least it endeavors to reason directly from the evidence.

    Once again, you did a fine job of encapsulating the big bang theory.

  117. Lisa

    Oh dear......Sir Isaac Newton was a creationist......now what?

  118. Robert Allen

    @Lisa

    Nothing. He was a wonderful mathematician.

  119. Ramus

    He was also an alchemist which the church would have locked him up for.

  120. Lisa

    But how can we respect his work if he foolishly believed in Creation? "He sought understanding of the nature and structure of all matter, formed from the "solid, massy, hard, impenetrable, movable particles" that he believed God had created." According to most of the comments here, if Newton were responding to the Documentary in this forum he would be blasted out of the conversation....
    @Ramus - fortunately for us he was smart enough to keep his research into Alchemy a secret from the church! His writings on the subject weren't discovered for at least 100 years after his death. Perhaps they can posthumously lock him up! LOL. There was much ignorance into things unknown.....as there still is today.

  121. Ramus

    @Lisa
    If I remember rightly he was interested in alchemy because he wanted to find god. Newton, like all geniuses, was not like you and me in his thinking. I think there are many sciences where you can still have a belief in a god, evolution probably isn't one of them.

  122. Wcudavid

    @Robert Allen - If you possessed any intellectual curiosity, you would be interested in finding out why I believe the way I do. You are judging me and my faith without actually trying to understand it. You do not know what my faith is based on and if it is "blind." Nor do you really want to understand my perspective. That is not science. That is dogma.

    @Ramus - Simply saying god didn't do it is a intellectual cop out. Where did the stars come from? So far I haven't heard any plausible explanation of the origin of matter. At this point, my faith is as good as your unbelief.

  123. Robert Allen

    If I'm mistaken, it's because so far you've expressed nothing more than blind faith. Hence, it is pedestrian dogma and I have no intellectual curiosity about it.

    Once again, at least the scientist admits when he doesn't know something such as the origin of matter and does not try to make up an explanation.

    Faith, no matter the type, no matter the justification, is simply a crotchet and yours is significantly beneath scientific skepticism.

  124. SweetLeaf

    @Atrophy

    For the origin of that singular point, I like Lee Smolin's "Cosmic Natural Selection" theory, it gives an ingenious Darwinian spin, and reduces the apparent statistical improbability of our existence. Smolin's theory says, universes give birth to daughter universes which vary in their laws and constants. Daughter universes are born in black holes produced by a parent universe, and they inherit its laws and constants but with some possibility of small random change or mutation. Those daughter universes that have what it takes to reproduce (last long enough to create black holes, for instance) are, of course, the universes that pass on their laws and constants to their daughters. Stars are precursors for black holes which are considered the birth events. so universes that have what it takes to make stars are favored in this cosmic Darwinism.

    If you want to know more about this theory, the physics for instance, i suggest you read Smolin's book "The Life Of The Cosmos". It's one of my favorites!

  125. Wcudavid

    @Robert Allen - And all you have done is to state all your "facts." If yelling the loudest, stomping your feet and thumbing your nose is the essence of intellectual debate, then I concede. You have won! I am yours!

  126. Ramus

    @Sweetleaf
    As with all theories of this kind there is a problem. Where did the parent universe come from to give birth to the daughter universe? But I do like that theory.

    @Robert Allen
    Forget it mate, Wcudavid has been brainwashed into believing a fairy story about invisible malevolent gods, arian type beings with wings, wizards and murderers who say "Its ok its gods will". He's lost in a world hidden in a wardrobe where common sense no longer exists. Quite how modern man believes this nonsense is beyond me.

  127. Robert Allen

    @Ramus

    You're right. I like what Richard Dawkins once said. To paraphrase, why do people dream up such fairy tales when the real thing is much more fascinating?

  128. Atrophy

    @sweetleaf
    I had been considering something similar after watching a few of the black hole vids on this site but don't so much like the idea of a box within a box within a box concept this creates.

    I like the idea that a black hole could create a big bang by finally sucking up so much matter it collapses on itself and explodes onto a new universe, that they 'recycle the universe' so to speak... Its efficient and puts nothing to waste which is the nature of evolution.
    Now the interesting part is the idea that a black hole actually creates matter on its event horizon, one particle and one anti particle which normally collide and wink out of existence in free space are diverged by the gravity, one goes into the universe, one into the gravity well. But that's a subject for a different topic.
    If there is a god by science's definition, hes a remnant of an ancestor universe flying around in a space ship beyond the edges.

  129. Wcudavid

    @Robert Allen - Matthew 7:6

  130. Ramus

    @Wcudavid - Lord of the Rings 8:195

  131. Vlatko

    Hahaha... good one @Ramus.

  132. rasputin

    to whom it may concern,
    religeon has its merits that is for sure. so does science. however fanatically ramming an argument down the throats of opposing individuals is not going to settle anything now, is it? i am fascinated by the whole evolutionary process and in particular the Lenski Experiment. If ever proof were needed then surely it comes pretty close.
    to use football (that is the one played with your feet not your hands)as an analogy, my team are with me until i die. it hasnt changed since day 1 and no ammount of pontificating to the contrary can get me to switch allegiance to the unwashed that play down the road. so there you have it. they (creationists) are unlikely to change their stance and to be fair to them it's their choice (usually)and i respect that. there will be a few who will jump ship just like (back to football again) the multitude of chelsea/man utd fans who appeared when the trophies did. however the slighly more worrying aspect to this seemingly obvioous debate is the fanatical and downright dangerous way that creationists are refusing even basic concessions such as the fossil records etc. it appears to me that they are taking the stance of closed mindedness akin to (and do forgive my bringing this up) the german public's, during WW2, with apparent disbelief that atrocities such as the death camps/systematic extermination of innocents could ever take place under the wonderful mister hitler. Im not pointing fingers at the germans but merely using it as an extreme example of a blind leading the blind mindset. like i said, worrying.

    love the site Vlatko

    peace.

  133. yuri

    You all are trying to simplify something that is far from so simple as "natural selection"!... I am not a creationist either, but I do not believe that mankind has figured out how organisms evolve. The first point I would like to make, is that life cannot just come into existance all on its own -that something non-living cannot come to life, or bring about life in a non-living world -so forget about the missing link between man and apes, I would be more interested in the missing link between non-life and life... Also, I know exactly what Bad_Conduct meant by DNA not changing -any suttle changes in DNA, such as those seen between generations, are not significant enough to support the theory of natural selection -which is why species exhibit the same key characteristics for hundreds of thousands of years, even under varied environmental changes, and then suddenly become extinct when the change in environment becomes too dramatic. On the otherhand, dramatic changes in the DNA of an organism, or mutations, usually result in a detriment to the organism's health, survival, and reproduction (such as a child with down syndrome) -and even in instances where it does benefit the organism, because of its rarity, it is difficult to pass on through reproduction... Also, for scientists to say that handicaps such as a peacock's feathers are "evidence of the bird's good genes", sounds completely ridiculous to me -not only is this reverse natural selection (according to natural selection, we reproduce with those who are more capable of survival, so why would a handicap be a sign of good genetic make up? and how would the birds with such handicaps even be capable of surviving in the wild longer than those without large, extravagant feathers?)... Once again, I am not a creationist, and I cannot give you an alternative to natural selection, but I am more than certain, that Darwin was WRONG WRONG WRONG.

  134. yuri

    @Wcudavid
    Don't always feel the need to argue your point - just as they say religious people are stuck in thier ways - ATHEISTS ARE STUCK IN THIER WAYS TOO - and would have a NERVOUS BREAKDOWN if they ever found out that they were wrong. That's the problem with atheists though - they become so arrogant that they look at everything with a narrow mind... You are able to comprehend every bit of scientific evidence that they present to you, however, you still disagree with the controversy at hand because there is OTHER evidence that you rely on - THIS is the evidence that the atheists DO NOT comprehend- spirituality baffles an atheist in a way that language baffles an animal -they don't quite understand it, and that is their fear, that is their science.

  135. Robert Allen

    @yuri and @wcudavid

    Spirituality is not evidence. It's simply another way of saying "Don't use your mind?" As such, it is anathema to thought and therefore garbage.

  136. Atrophy

    @Yuri
    Look deeper.
    Evidence of evolution through genetic selection is evident all around us. The peacock with its bright and massive plumage uses it to 'impress' its potential mates, the biggest and brightest display is the one that gets to breed. Its natural selection. Dogs, how many breeds are there these days ? Almost all bred from a base species for hundreds of years by man, natural selection, if you want to consider humans as a force of nature in its own right or selective breeding if not, either way, same result. Antlered animals such as moose and deer etc grow massive set of antlers, for what, to compete for mates, the biggest racks are indicative of a stronger specimen and what happens, larger racks over generations of selective breeding. We may not be able to define exactly what drives genetic changes to occur weather through random mutations, environmental triggers etc. But, we have overwhelming evidence that they DO occur and their propagation throughout a species has to do with factors of natural section, the survivability and breedability of said organism.
    The only alternative to natural selection is intelligent design which is basically creationism.

  137. roodolpt

    earth is round, rotates on its axis, and revolves around the sun can be observed

    evoloution has not been observed

    show me the real inbetweeners then and now

    if evoloution is true fact undeniable where are all the TRUE
    CLEAR UNDENIABLE Without a shadow of a doubt TRANSITIONAL SPECIES the world should be bursting at the seams with them never mind the fossil record

    show me the money and i'll believe

    evoloution is the only theory and it will endure untill there is a better one

  138. Robert Allen

    @roodolpt

    Have you ever had difficulty gettng rid of cockroaches because later generations develop an immunity to toxins used on earlier generations?

    Hav you read or heard anything about antibiotic-resistant bacteria? Why do you think they have become this way?

    If you cannot see these as concrete examples of evolution, then you're pathetic. And, by the way, I have chosen these examples because they can be observed!

    If you want to see some real in-betweeners (transitional specimens), visit a museum and hopefully you'll see that the world is indeed bursting at the seams with them!

    Not only do you appear to be ignorant, but illiterate as well.

  139. Atrophy

    @roodolpt
    Observable evolution. Pretty much all domestic animals.
    Human intervention in sexual selection has produced a large variety of separate breeds. While I don't think we have caused any observed speciation in this yet tho.
    Another is a series of salamander species in a geographic ring (I think in western US) while neighbors are capable of viable offspring, those further apart cannot interbreed, the ones in between are effectively transitional species. They have diversified as they spread further through habitable territory. There's a doc on here that mentions them, cant remember which one tho.

  140. over the edge

    @ roodolpt
    almost everything is transitional it does not appear exactly as it did in the past and will most likely appear different in the future. if you are looking for a croca-duck they don't exist.evolution is a gradual process over long periods of time. but some examples for you in modern times are wings on flightless birds,hind leg bones in whales and humans have many. how about the tailbone,wisdom teeth and appendix. or if you wish to see observed evolution look up the E. coli long term evolution experiment. and to say evolution is only a theory is wrong .evolution is a fact the theory is Darwin's explanation of evolution. and to suggest weakness by the word "only" means you don't understand how hard it is to reach the level of theory in science

  141. John R

    people who believe in creationism are those that need to be taken out of the gene pool. People who blindly believe in the fairy tales of the bible are those whose intelligence would not let them function in society without welfare programs, dumbed down colleges and hiring policies that makes it illegal to not hire someone due to their stupidity. We all say that the followers of Nazism were stupid or brainwashed. But go to any Baptist, Pentacostal etc..service and use see the same group dynamics occuring. People screaming, fainting and rolling around the church.

  142. Ramus

    @Yuri
    Can you please show me the evidence for a bearded guy sitting up in the clouds making people out of mud? Can you please show me evidence of resurrection? How about plane old turning a stick into a snake? No? Thought not.

  143. Ramus

    @Atrophy
    Lol. Now all they need to do is add some flesh and make it slither along the ground biting peoples ankles.

  144. Luai Alrantisi

    I am a Muslim, and I strongly believe in Evolution, and I always have hard times when I come to discuss this issue with the people around here.

  145. yuri

    @Ramus
    To assume that I believe that we were "made from mud by a bearded man in the clouds" only further demonstrates how narrow minded you are...
    You can't even distinguish RELIGION from SPIRITUALITY.
    All you know is what you have been taught in schools -when was the last time you did any personal research, or even a little independent thinking?
    I couldn't even have an intelligent conversation with you because all you know is mainstream science, and that's all you WANT to know, that's all you are interested in. Which is fine, but you bore me, and I don't find your sarcasm amusing, only ignorant.

  146. yuri

    @Rober Allen
    Being spiritual does not mean being ignorant at all. Being spiritual means to question science. To ask one's self, "Can ALL things be answered through the scientific method?" "Can ALL things be measured and calculated and predicted?" Are all things within our realm of comprehension?... It is not ignorant to believe that there is more to the universe than can be explained.

  147. yuri

    @Atrophy
    You still don't see what I meant to demonstrate through my example of the peacock. It is a fine example of "reverse natural selection." According to natural selection, such a handicap as the bird's extravagant feathers, would greatly decrease its chances of survival. Therefore, such a handicap should not "impress" the female bird, but instead, "warn" the female bird of the male's poor chances of survival. It's like saying an albino man's appearance impresses a woman. According to natural selection, handicaps should not impress the opposite sex - traits exhibiting health and fitness for the environment should only impress the opposite sex, thus increasing the offspring's chances of survival.

    I hope you see what I mean. And there are still other logical reasons why the theory of evolution and natural selection seem incomplete or incompetent to me.

  148. Robert Allen

    @Yuri

    All things scientific can be answered only through the scientific method. There is no other way!

    What scientific matters we don't know now, we might know in the future or perhaps not at all. At least the scientist admits when he does not know.

    So-called spirituality has no place in science!

  149. Loveresearch

    I think we are bashing without evidence.

    When looking at evolution there is more to it than what the general population learns in HS Biology classes or BIOL 101. First you should be able to distinguish between micro and macro evolution. (Evidence supports micro...macro not so much though as pointed out Mr. Dawkins worships the idea). Then you should be able to give your opinion (if you believe in macroevolution as to which basic type: gradualism or punctuated equilibrium. If you can't do this, you are not ready to enter this discussion. Too you should note that while Mr. Dawkins likes to think he can include both views into one slightly altered theory the views of gradualism and punctuated equilibrium are really quite opposing views making it rather impossible.

    Upon finding your answers you may be surprised to note that while Mr. Dawkins and his "band of prophets" worship the idea of gradualism, paleontologists are scratching their heads because there just doesn't seem to be any evidence!

    "Eldredge and Gould not only showed that paleontologists had been out-of-step with biologists for decades, but also that they had unconsciously trying to force the fossil record into the gradualistic mode. The few supposed examples of gradual evolution were featured in the journals and textbooks, but paleontologists had long been mum about their 'dirty little trade secret:' most species appear suddenly in the fossil record and show no appreciable change for millions of years until their extinction."

    Dr. Donald Prothero

    The major problems with gradualism is that it is not reflected in the fossil record. By far, the fossil record is extremely discontinuous. There are a few examples of gradualism, but they are the exception. Even the most famous example of gradualism (the horse) suffers from a lack of intermediates for most species.

    "At their best, Schlichting and Pigliucci's discussions force biologists to face a fact whose magnitude has been obscured by a good deal of wishful thinking: Our understanding of phenotypic evolution remains appallingly weak."

    Dr. Allen Orr (Department of Biology, University of Rochester)

    Although molecular biology has been used to hasten research in many fields of biology, it has failed to confirm the evolutionary mechanisms proposed by Darwinian theory:

    "Attempt to detect adaptive evolution at the molecular level have met with little success."

    Dr. Paul Sharp

    "The results of molecular genetics have frequently been difficult to explain by conventional evolutionary theory"

    Dr. J.A. Shapiro

    "Every step in evolution, from a darkening of a moth's pigment to the development of the opposable thumb, is caused by a change in molecules. But biologists have rarely traced adaptive changes to their molecular roots in genes and Organic compounds made of amino acids arranged in a linear chain, joined together by peptide bonds between the carboxyl and amino groups of the adjacent amino acid residues proteins."

    Dr. Elizabeth Pennisi

    An analysis of the tree of life at its most basic level (kingdoms) indicates that organisms do not share common descent. A few dozen microbial genomes have been fully sequenced determining the order of nucleotides in a DNA or RNA molecule, or the order of amino acids in a protein molecule and the results indicate that there is no clear pattern of descent. Certain species of Archea ("ancient bacteria that are best known for living in extreme environments) are more closely related to species of eubacteria ("common" bacteria) than they are to members of their own kingdom. In fact, many microbial species share genes found in eukaryotes (non-microbial organisms characterized by the presence of a nucleus in the cell).

    Modern molecular biology tells us that modern humans arose less than 100,000 years ago (confirmed by three independent techniques), and most likely, less than 50,000 years ago. This data ties in quite well with the fossil record. Sophisticated works of art first appear in the fossil record about 40,000-50,000 years ago and evidence of religious expression appears only 25,000-50,000 years ago. Such a recent origin date for modern humans precludes any possibility of any previous hominids being our ancestors, since Homo erectus died out 300,000 years ago, and Homo neandertalensis has been proven to be too genetically different from us to have been our ancestor. Where does this leave the evolutionists and their descent of man theory? Well, they can always fall back on their favorite line - "the fossil record is just incomplete." For more information read the paper, "Descent of Man Theory: Disproved by Molecular Biology."

    Evidence = gradualism-- WRONG! Punctuated Equilibrium --fits the fossils.

    I have taken up a lot of room and don't wish to write a book. Modern discoveries in quantum physics (law of thermodynamics, radiation echo, gravity, quarks, etc) coupled with this more realistic view of evolutionary theory (not the wishful thinking presented to you via Dawkins and your hs biology class which worships him) would seem to allude to a deist worldview at the very least. If you take a second and exam evidence outside of science (lets be real science is a very limited discipline if you disagree feel free to look up the definition and educate yourself on the philosophy of science) such as history, archaeology, anthropology, etc. you will find overwhelming evidence for the Christian viewpoint. Not to mention, the science fits nicely with the Genesis story.

    Before you bash the other side please make sure you educate yourself. Understand that in the world (where perhaps not in the U.S.A you are the minority).

  150. Loveresearch

    P.S. as for Mr. Allen's comment about spirituality having no place in science you might note that science is a product of Christianity. You might also note that there is a difference between the ideas of philosophical and methodological atheism. (Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, etc. like to put forth the idea that one leads to the other. This is a fallacy. Look it up. Thanks.)

  151. Robert Allen

    @Loveresearch

    That many scientists came from a Christian evironment is undeniable--Galileo, Darwin, Mantell, etc. However, to assert that science is a product of Christianity goes against history. Throughout history, it's been a struggle between science and supposed Christianity, not a cooperation, not a nurturing.

    No evidence of gradualism (intermediary species)? When was the last time you visited a museum?

    I mentioned nothing about philosophical and methodological atheism and couldn't care less about them. So why bring this up?

    Religion (even deism) has nothing to do with and no place in science. As far as a "Christian" viewpoint, I have no idea what you mean.

    One more thing: At least the qualifications of Dawkins and crew are beyond question, what about those whom you have taken up so much space quoting?

  152. Ramus

    @yuri
    “Can ALL things be answered through the scientific method?” I would have to answer with a big fat "YES!"
    You call me ignorant when all you want to do is believe what someone else told you is correct. I look for answers and make my own judgement about things. Your right - I dont know the difference between religion and spirituality and neither do I want to. I consider listening to someone spout from a book that hasnt changed in millennia "boring".
    You make the assumption (like all religees) that I have not looked into religion as something I want in my life, I have. And I have decided its BS and I want nothing to do with its false promises.

  153. Loveresearch

    Actually, science did grow out of Christianity. Given the modern attitude of historians and philosophers (Mr. Dennett and Mr. Onfray the only two of the "prophets" who claim to know anything about history, philosophy, or theology included) believe that it would have been impossible for modern science to develop in any other part of the world. Their strict religions of law (Christianity is unique in that it is a religion of creed not law--if this is confusing to you look it up) and limited access to Greek Academia would have rendered it hopeless. Our modern science has been built upon two basic pillars Ancient Academia and Christian reasoning.

    There has not always been a struggle between science and Christianity. It troubles me that this has become an assumption in our society. In fact, the first scientific laboratories where an actual physical part of the church or a church affiliated university (this came a bit later). As for the inquisition (this is what most people are thinking about) you should educate your life on the not so terrible fate suffered by Galileo and why his sentence was afforded him. He followed copernicus in that he believed that the sun not the earth was the center of the universe, but there was little evidence to support his assertion at that time. Being that he was Christian and was in fact admired by the pope, he confronted the pope with his findings. The other Christian scientists around rightfully doubted him as they had a rather significant amount of evidence in support of the fact that the earth was the center of the universe (the sun moves through the sky, birds are not flung from the face of the planet, etc.) So, it went against the body of literature which had been built. This happens today and is preached to scientists--"The theory/model/prediction should fit into the bigger body of literature to be most successful. Though it is a rare case, we must also be willing to change the way we view the other data in light of the new data if necessary. This is always a difficult battle" (Dr. Sibicky, MC). This may be exactly what is happening with evolutionists today! Anyway...the church, because the controversy was so great asked Galileo to not speak of his findings outside of the scientific realm until there was a greater consensus. He agreed, giving his signature, but then was caught teaching his findings anyway. This is the reason that he was ultimately put on a type of "house arrest" (not so terrible a punishment, eh? He was even allowed to research other things while on house arrest!) Basically, he didn't get himself in trouble because he was a scientist breaking the mold. He got himself in trouble because he breached a contract with the pope who reasonable asked him to gather more evidence and win over a larger percentage of the scientific community before the whole world would be forced to reconsider their worldview.

    As for gradualism, I don't know if you have been to a museum lately either sir. That is not the point. If you had gone you might notice the sparsity of intermediary species. Many of the displays (read closely) will likely admit to having "fake" animals t show how the transition would likely have been. Also, before you make such assertions you should really consider consulting a paleontologist instead of assuming that a biologist such as Mr. Dawkins really knows (fossils = not the biologists' realm) evolution is a biological theory supposedly supported by these fossils (yes there was promise in the beginning when both sets of scientists could claim the fossil record incomplete, but now the paleontologists--those who actually study the fossils-- will tell you that this is no longer the case and there is minimal support for gradualism. Biologists have even admitted embarrassment when it has been called to their attention that the text books they are using to teach still have within them models of the bio-genetic law... definitely outdated and falsified... this is not biologists fault per se but they should really tell the textbook company to remove things from the latest addition instead of just adding. When the science doesn't fit its time to switch. SHOW ME THE DATA!

    Don't get me wrong, I believe in evolution. I just think that the world should consider the actual evidence instead of regressing in age to 15 years where they can bash someone for having faith in God. (This was an aside)

    As for philosophical versus methodological atheism we have been talking about it just without using the correct terminology. A comment that "spirituality has no place in science" alludes to this. While I agree that in science we must take a methodological view of materialism/naturalism/determinism (atheism) --we do not want scientists who cannot figure something out to throw there hands up and say "it must be a miracle" and leave it-- this is must different that the idea of philosophical atheism which would claim that this view is necessarily correct outside of science. Science is meant to study what is material. I am sure that the civil war happened because it was recorded well in history not because of science. I am sure that there is a place called Japan though I have never been there, why? Through other means. True I see that existence in an ultimate Being is different in that I cannot go and verify its existence as I can Japan, but the concept is the same. If the science points to the idea of a Creator/Designer/Necessary Being then that is where it points. Should I list again the latest finds in physics to show this is the case? There are many scientists who are converting and are converting specifically to Christianity because the Genesis story follows the science. Science is limited and cannot answer all of our questions so a philosophical atheism doesn't make sense.

    Another thing: the qualifications of Dawkins as a biologist is without question. He is ignorant of history/theology/philosophy but attempts to speak to it. Given the fact that most scientists are allowed little education outside of their discipline, his words should be taken no more seriously than that of the average joe on any other subject. As for your final point, I quoted PhDs from various disciplines.

  154. over the edge

    @loversearch
    firstly macro-evolution is mostly accumulated micro-evolution. the evidence for gradual change is everywhere look at the human body we still have tailbones,wisdom teeth an appendix and so on,how about flightless birds or hind leg bones in whales.now on to your quotes Dr. Donald Prothero never states that gradualism doesn't happen. and gould rails against the creationists for mis-using his findings quote" * The creationists' need to invoke miracles in order to compress the events of the earth's history into the biblical span of a few thousand years;
    * their unwillingness to abandon claims clearly disproved, including the assertion that all fossils are products of Noah's flood; and
    * their reliance upon distortion, misquote, half-quote, and citation out of context to characterize the ideas of their opponents. " the rest is quote mining and doesn't warrant response.
    to quote you "Actually, science did grow out of Christianity"
    that made me chuckle the Christians burnt the library at Alexandria the greatest accumulation of knowledge at the time.they suppressed any view that contradicted the church and during the crusades the destruction of knowledge was well documented and are you saying the church hasn't had book burnings. if you haven;t guessed i am an atheist but i will give credit where it is due and the Muslims saved much of the ancient knowledge we have today from the Christians. lastly you list the supposed gaps in the fossil record and the tree of life.yes there are gaps but not as many as you seem to suggest and there are many examples of transitional fossils for anyone who wishes to look. the tree of life not only has the fossil record but genetics and other disciplines backing it up. now a question for you when you say genesis is compatible with science you cannot be speaking in a literal form. if you are show me the scientific proof for a six day creation, a worldwide flood , a talking snake and so on. if you are saying the bible can be interpreted to be compatible i will say that horoscopes can be interpreted to be true that doesn't make them scientific.

  155. Ramus

    @Loveresearch
    Any chance you can paraphrase? Or write your essay somewhere else and provide a link. Its a comment box not a soap box.

  156. yuri

    I agree that spirituality has no place in science - but I also believe that all things cannot be answered through science. Science is a MAN-MADE concept - it is not absolute by any means - PEOPLE CHOOSE TO EXCEPT SCIENCE AS THE ONLY MEANS OF EXPLAINING OUR UNIVERSE. Like I said before - if something is beyond our level of comprehension, then that does not make it non-existant, it simply means that we will be unable to explain it.
    And I do not use any bible or religious scripture or belief of any sort to explain evolution and the origins of our universe either.
    I simply believe that mankind has not reached its peak of enlightenment.

  157. yuri

    @Robert Allen
    -my mistake, but the above comment is for you =)

  158. yuri

    @Ramus
    Everything I said just went completely over your head, so I have no comment for you.

  159. Robert Allen

    @loveresearch

    As for your statement that science grew out of Christianity, see the response of Over the Edge. I admit that unlike Over the Edge, I did not chuckle--it was not worth the effort.

    I would like to know how Archimedes as well as the ancient astronomers, etc. with theses similar to those later developed by Galileo grew out of Christianity. Did mathematics grow out of Christianity as well?

    You glibly gloss over Galileo's confrontations with the inquisition which forced him under torture (or perhaps theat of it) to recant--fortunately he recanted his recantation, pope or no pope.

    Consistent with the mainstream philosophy and politics of Galileo's time, the general belief (so ardently defended) was that the earth was the center of the universe--after all, the church had to be the center of everything, so why not)when actually there was no evidence for it (I don't consider the scriptures evidence). By basing his conclusions on observation albeit with limited resources (i.e., science)and not dogma), Galileo found himself at such grave cross-puroses with the church that even the de Medici's (I believe it was Lorenzo) could not extricate him from the ecclesiastical clutch.

    By the way, if science grew out of Christianity and if Christianity were so supportive of science as you would have us believe, why should Galileo have fallen under the yoke of the inquisition in the first place and why should he have been escorted to the heaven (as you describe it) of house arrest?

    In short, your convoluted account of Galileo's tribulations amounts to no more than an ecclesiastical apologia. In short, it is a DISTORTION.

    Unlike you, I don't believe in evolution--evolution is a fact! As for your denial of intermediate stages, as Over the Edge points out, there are fewer gaps in the fossil records than you would have us believe, A DISTORTION. Perhaps microbiology might prove enlightening to you.

    Why don't you more accurately call the "fakery" you find in museums what it is, representation? A DISTORTION.

    As Over the Edge points out, you have misquoted Dr. Prothero or quoted him out of context which amounts to the same thing. A DISTORTION This reflects upon all your other mined quotations.

    While you do not consider Dr. Dawkins to be a historian, theologian (by this I mean one with a knowledge of belief systems) or a philosopher (by this I mean one with a knowledge of philosophies), he seems to do awfully well for one with an apparenty limited grasp of these subjects.

    Why do creationists distort and lie? I'm not saying that scientists don't--there's the Piltdown man, but when they do (however infrequently by comparison with creationists) they are no longer regarded as scientists. I am not calling you a creationist or intelligent design person yet for I cannot figure out where you stand.

    P.S. What is "Christian reasoning?"

  160. Ramus

    @yuri
    You seriously think your archaic ramblings went over my head? On the contrary, they went in - screamed "What the f@#&! GET OUT!" and promptly left by the nearest exit. I sincerely hope they will invent a pill for those that believe in these daft fairy stories.
    It annoys me when the religious come onto these science docs just to spout their spiritual mumbo jumbo. If you want to believe in fairies, fine, just stop trying to infect the rest of us that actually like to think for ourselves.
    Also you stated that science is man made...... umm and religion isnt? When are you going to understand that religion is what we had before we could explain things through the use of technology. Hence it is outmoded and deserves to die.

  161. Pyrrhus

    Creationists seem to think that if Darwin were wrong they would, consequently, be right. Creationist spend the predominant amount of their time and energy attempting to find holes in Darwinian science rather than presenting concrete evidence in favor of Creationism. Were it possible to find one, undeniable, demonstrative piece of evidence that contravened, utterly, the Darwinian explanation for how species come into being, such a fact would amount to exactly ZERO evidence in favor of Creationist claims.

    If Creationists wish to be taken seriously, they must: present a detailed hypothesis; produce evidence in support of said hypothesis; employ the hypothesis to make predictions which withstand testing via reproducible experiments; submit the now testable hypothesis for subsequent peer review to establish not only that the hypothesis has indeed withstood all experimental testing but that, in addition, it has done so to the EXCLUSION of competing hypotheses.

    The short and sweet of it is that, just as one, single, indisputable, repeatable test contradicting our current understanding of how species come into being would destroy that explanation, so too will just one, single, indisputable, repeatable test contradicting Creationism destroy the Creationist explanation.

    The former has never been accomplished, despite 180 years of constant effort to shatter the construct, whereas the latter has been accomplished many times over. Violations of the Creationist 'hypothesis' arrested from the data are easy to demonstrate and can be reproduced by any 3rd grader.

    Does this mean Creationism is wrong? NO. However, it DOES mean that Creationism is religious in nature, having nothing whatever to do with science.

    The problem I have with Creationists is not that they believe what they believe but that they insist it is science and that, as such, should be presented in the science classrooms of our public schools alongside evolution as a viable alternate explanation as to how species come into existence.

    I find it revolting that in 2011 we are obliged to waste precious time proving the obvious: that Creationism is religion; that it belongs(if anywhere) in church; that it is not science; that it is, and should remain, illegal to teach it in our public schools.

    What is it about 'NO' that Creationists do not understand?

    If part of the Creationist FAITH is that Creationism is 'science' then, fine, Creationists can open private schools and teach away to their hearts content that Creationism is the correct explanation of how species come into being and that such an explanation is 'science'. But that taxpayers should foot the bill to have such ideas taught in our publicly run and funded institutes of learning is beyond ludicrous: it is sickening!

    People at the forefront of both the Creationist and ID movements have a single-element agenda: the destruction of the present secular principles of governance to be replaced by a Christian-Judeo based theocracy. The Creationist and ID communities wish to convert the United Sates into a kind of 'Iran à la Christ'.

    Over my dead body!

    In some sense, I am happy to see science and revelation at war, because science will win. Science will conquer revelation, once and for all. Science is the ONLY means by which we as a species can move further and further away from that which is demonstrably false.

  162. Loveresearch

    I suppose my last post was deemed too terrible to be allowed. I will try something different then as I wish not to retype it entirely. Let me address the theist.

    I started this journey to of intellectual investigations to confirm my atheism. Hawking quoted by Ian Barbour writes "The odds against a universe like ours emerging out of something like the Big Bang are enormous. I think there are clearly religious implications." He furthers this in "A Brief History in Time" stating "It would be difficult to explain why the universe should have begun in just this way, except as an act of God who intended to create beings like us." Physicist Freeman Dyson writes "The more I examine the universe and the details of its architecture, the more evidence I find that the universe in some sense must have known we were coming." Nobel Prize winning scientist Arno Penzias who provided strong support for the Big Bang in the first place said, "the best data we have are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of moses, the Psalms, the Bible as a whole."

    A believer need not fear that scientific investigation will undermine the divine; if God is truly Almighty, he will hardly be threatened by puny efforts to understand the workings of His natural world. There are mathematical principles and order in creation. They are positive evidence, based on knowledge, rather than assumptions based on (a temporary) lack of knowledge. While the inability of modern science to develop a statistically probable mechanism of the origin of life is a weakness, this is not the place to place a gamble on your faith.

    Evolution as a mechanism can be and is likely true, but that says nothing of the nature of its author. You should be more in awe not less. Many people who have considered all of the scientific and spiritual evidence still see God's creative hand at work. Freeing God from the burden of special acts of creation does not remove Him as the source of the things that make humanity special and of the universe. It merely shows us through what means. Dobzhansky, leading biologist of the 20th cent, was a Christian and said, "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." Remember all that talk about Galileo? How the heliocentric system caused such a ruckus? Many were threatened by this as they believed that it countered the bible but now we know that if seen in a different light those same passages ring true to Galileo's predictions. Couldn't this be the same with evolution? Galileo himself was a believer and said, "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."

    Dawkin's claim that science demands atheism is false. Stephen Gould, who second to Dawkins is probably one of the greatest advocates of evolution chastised Dawkins for his implication of methodological atheism necessarily leading to philosophical atheism:

    "To say it for all my colleagues and for the umpteenth millionth time: Science simply cannot by its legitimate methods adjudicate the issue of God's superintendence of nature. We neither affirm nor deny it; we simply can't comment on it as scientists...(here he gives examples of great Christian scientists--it is lengthy)...Either half my colleagues are enormously stupid, or else the science of Darwinism is fully compatible with conventional religious beliefs--and equally compatible with atheism."

    "Those who choose to be atheists must find some other basis for taking that position. Evolution won't do" (Dr. Francis Collins)

    "As believers you are right to hold fast to the concept of God as Creator; you are right to hold fast to the truths of the Bible; you are right to hold fast to the conclusion that science offers no answer to the most pressing questions of human existence; and you are right to hold fast to the certainty that the claims of materialistic atheism must be resisted. But those battles cannot be won by attaching your position to a flawed foundation" -Collins

    In the words of Ben Warfield, "We must not, then, as Christians, assume an attitude of antagonism toward the truths of reason, or the truths of philosophy, or of science, history, or criticism...None should be more zealous in them than we. None should be more quick to discern truth in every field, more hospitable to receive it, more loyal to follow it, whithersoever it leads."

    I pose to you the idea of Theistic Evolution (BioLogos)--this is the dominant position of serious biologist who are also believers such as Asa Gray (Darwin's chief advocate in the USA). It is easy to look up. If you would like an explanation I can offer it but I have taken up significant space.

    The God of the Bible can also be seen as the God of the genome. He can be worshiped in the church or in the lab. His creation is intricate and beautiful--and it cannot be at war with itself.

  163. Robert Allen

    @loveresearch

    Is there no end to your quote mining, complete with distortions. You have proved or disproved nothing. Why not spend your time doing something constructive, like learning more about the nature (not your so-called philosophy) of science which seeks not to answer all questions, but only those idiomatic to it.

  164. Atrophy

    Is there no end to people writing books instead of comments ?
    We should have a character limit or something :P

  165. over the edge

    @Loveresearch
    please stop taking quotes out of context. the hawking quote especially angered me. instead of placing a wall of text i suggest anyone interested please read the whole book or at least look up the entire page that this quote is stolen from and then tell me if he thinks god is necessary. the one thing that you did get right is atheism has nothing to do with evolution. but neither does theism so i will make you a deal i will keep atheism out of it if you keep theism out of it. deal? we can just discuss the science then and see where we stand

  166. Atrophy

    Anyway, a more substantial comment.
    @Yuri
    "You still don’t see what I meant to demonstrate through my example of the peacock. It is a fine example of 'reverse natural selection.'"

    It should be noted, that there technically ISN'T such thing as reverse natural selection. What you refer to is sexual selection. A peacock with its over sized and colourful feathers denotes a stronger specimen emphasizing the animals strength to carry it, genetics for its size and nutrition/general health by how full it is. If it was indeed detrimental to the birds survival then the tail feathers wouldn't be able to get so large.

    Refer to human males and their obsession with large breasts. Technically an A cup is all you really need for breast feeding and entertainment. Larger breasts can cause neck and back problems, athletic activities become difficult (even painful), they can affect posture as well as cause depression. Not my idea of positive evolution, but I like to look anyway :D

  167. Ramus

    @Atrophy
    Good points and I like large puppies too :)
    I think people tend to distance ourselves from the rest of the animal kingdom when in fact we are animals too. But evolution gave us extraordinary brains so we can now ask questions about everything around us.
    Religious belief requires very little intelligence so in a sense it is closer to being animalistic reaction than any sphere of thought. I've noticed the religees tend to quote a lot rather than have any individual ideas. Saying the same thing for 2000 years cannot be helpful for progression of the species.

  168. Loveresearch

    You hit the nail on the head neither atheism nor theism has anything to do with science because they are philosophes.

    Note: Hawkings was not quoted out of context. I did not claim that he believed in God. I simply showed that he does not find it an irrational belief.

    As for evolution, fossil records, quantum physics I don't know that we would necessarily disagree from the Big Bang onward. Humans evolved from an ancestor we shared with a Chimp long ago. (New creationists take note--this is not a point of argument it is well documented. Any serious scientist would likely tell you that evolution is as close to truth as science can claim to get.) As for the fossils there have been recent discoveries of intermediary species though they are few. Still it is promising. What is more promising is genetics which screams that evolution is correct. The idea of micro and macro evolution is arbitrary. If you believe in speciation you have admitted to the system which is what gives rise to macroevolution. Mathematics explains ever law beautifully (of which we have knowledge). Do not claim that because science has not uncovered it it will not be uncovered in the future (Intelligent Design).

    What cannot and has not and will not likely be explained is the entirety of consciousness. The identity of "I" the narrative self is so beautiful. I work in a group of neuroscientists who will readily admit that our neurons shouldn't add up to this yet we persist daily. Consciousness coupled with universal subjective yearnings which counter that of darwinian prediction are elegantly woven into the machines we refer to as bodies. It is truly astonishing.

    As for religion not helping the progression of species I would simply like to point out that atheism is failing in the darwinian sense. Over twice as many children are born to religious people than to atheists. At the very least there is some type of positive attribute which makes it valuable in the survival of the species. Atheism seems to be less "fit".

  169. Robert Allen

    @loveresearch

    When you look at it, every species is transitional.

    I have no idea on what do you base your statement that over twice as many children ae born to religious people than to atheists? Even if is true (which I suspect it is), it does not suggest a positive attribute making it valuable to the survival of the species; it merely attests to the age of religion (of all types) versus the age of modern atheism. Who knows how this proportion might change in the future?

  170. Ramus

    On the point of intermediary species, EVERY animal is intermediary. The notion that one animal has one trait and gives birth to an animal with another trait is nonsense. Change is gradual over many 10s or even hundreds of generations. This is the main argument of the creationists but anyone with a bit of sense can see a fish just doesn't suddenly give birth to another fish with legs.

  171. over the edge

    @Loveresearch
    if your last response was your first i probably would not have responded to you .even tho i still have some problems with what you said most of it seemed well thought out. then you said it "intelligent design". I do not fully understand what your take on it are so this is not a personal attack. but it has been proven that their textbooks are just the creationist books with god or creator changed to designer, the people high up in the group are the same ones from creationism, and in a court of law the judge (a christian) stated it is about god. so with that said science by definition tries to explain the natural world using natural occurrences and a creator or designer are supernatural by definition so they are not scientific. your last point on children being born into religious families is probably correct but studies show that the world percentage of christians is dropping and atheists are growing as the stigma of being atheist drops so even tho these children are born to religious parents doesn't mean that they are going to be religious

  172. Loveresearch

    As far as Christianity falling (becoming less apparent or popular) is not true. It is true in Britain and the U.S. but the new stereotypical Christian is brown, yellow, etc. As far as any reference to New World Creationists or Intelligent Design, the intention was to send a message that might be equal to yours. You cannot support your ideas. You are in fact doing more damage to your faith, not less by going against science. As I quoted before, many scientists find the two to be entirely compatible...as do I (a scientist myself).

    As for intermediary species...this was support for you. Why are you picking an argument over terminology that is so petty? Perhaps you are not worried about defending science but like the 'New Atheists' you are defending Enlightenment ideals. I can't know that is your motive but it seems to be theirs. Dennett offers this admission blatantly.

    As for population, it was meant to be ironic not the cause of some clash of the titans.

    I encourage each of you to pick up the book by Vox called "Irrational Atheist" (Please Don't Take Offense!) He is not trying to prove his religion is correct. He points out that most atheists and theists actually don't get the whole Star Wars Episode of Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, Onfray vs. The rest of the world. I don't either... it is a great book.

    I have no bones to pick with atheists. I believe we were given free-will to exercise it. Live and let live, but don't be over zealous. When the 'New Atheists' try to save the rest of the world from themselves (they have waged war against not only Christians, but also agnostics, Jews, Muslims,Hindus, and Buddhism is questionable depending upon whether you are talking to Dennett or Harris) they have picked a fight. I think Vox represents my view well. The book is about 250 pages give or take.

    As for me, I have to get some research together or my PI is going to find some creative way to punish me...perhaps mice duty this weekend? Dreadful. Hasta Pronto.

  173. SweetLeaf

    @Loveresearch

    Sorry but Vox Day is a hack! I got about half way through his book "Irrational Atheist" then violently threw it across the room, frustrated that i had spent money on this ****. Vox twists Dawkins' words in order to make the latter sound dishonest. He quotes out of context (like why Dawkins rated himself a 6 on the scale of disbelief instead of a 7). He uses colorful adjectives to describe his enemies, and straw-mans every argument out there to serve his purpose. Seems to me like the author uses a very immature, childish and petty way to attack those he doesn't agree with--even though the book starts by saying that everyone wants to be left alone. This "book" is a joke, front to back (or middle), and the author is a walking contradiction. You want to read a good book on atheism? Then pick up Sam Harris "The End of Faith".

  174. over the edge

    @loversearch
    according to the UN ,American government ,Canadian gov,British gov the level of christians are falling (i will post studies if you disagree but please look it up for yourself first to avoid unnecessary text) please shoe me a published document to show the contrary. i have no faith so you saying i am damaging my faith is irrelevant you say there are scientists that support design and i agree but show me 1 just 1 peer reviewed paper stating design as an alternative

  175. Loveresearch

    I think that we are both confused. I am not claiming that you have faith. I was specifically addressing people of faith who adhere to the intelligent design or new world creationist denominations. I guess my real intention is not to address atheists. It is in fact to address those Christians who are so fundamental that they are taking all of the Bible's passages as literal (Augustine would beg you not to as would I) it is naive--these would be the new world creationists. Intelligent design was a more valiant attempt beginning 15 years ago by a lawyer. This is precisely why it has argued the position it has. Science does not have to answer to the same laws as lawyers do in the court. Missing evidence doesn't kill the theory. This is faulty logic in scientific terms. Intelligent Design is the "God of the Gaps" theory and it sucks. Both views only hinder the Christian faith--all faiths really. All humans regardless of their position see the world. They synthesize the info and can see the evidence points toward evolution, toward the modern findings of quantum physics, to the age of the earth as science declares it. To deny this hurts your position. You are undermining yourselves.

    As for your request for a peer reviewed paper. There should not exist one peer reviewed paper alluding to God. This is not the goal of science. Science is meant precisely to deal with the material world. The idea of a designer is beyond that. I do not ask scientists to resist methodological atheism. In science, our reports should not reference God unless you care to put him in the acknowledgments. This does not mean, however, that the naturalistic evidence does not support the idea of a Creator/Designer/Necessary Being/Etc. Scientists as Gould put it, cannot comment on it. All of this is true.

    As for the Christianity rise/fall. As of 2008 what I have presented to you was the case. I will read a bit more as to the estimates of 2010.

  176. Vitor Mendes

    I would love to know why is that people believe the bible is holy when anyone could have wrote it and say it was a fact and those same people dont believe in what science says after so many hard work researching and thinking and reasoning. It just doesnt make sense to me. well...

  177. Robert Allen

    @Vitor Mendes:

    Don't try to make sense of it. You're dealing with people.

    Please titivate your grammar and spelling.

  178. rasputin

    @ Robert Allen

    who are you the bloody grammar police? give it a rest won't you. If you were talking face to face with someone would you constantly point out grammatical errors, or as more as likely not? i think not
    let the guy have his opinion and leave the grammar issue alone, it is VERY BORING.

  179. rasputin

    P.s
    (also @ Robert Allen)

    in one of your posts you mispelled "are"

    Egg on face? :P

    see? irritating isn't it?

  180. Robert Allen

    @rasputin

    Your speech and your writing identify you (irrespective of typos). Therefore, the issue is boring (i.e. irrelevant) only to those like you.

  181. rasputin

    @ Robert Allen

    calm down dear. I find your posts well informed and clearly you aren't an i@#$%, however the petulant highlighting of grammatical errors belies one of such intelligence. The topic has many contributors from around the world and this is what makes sites such as this more enlightened than the comments section on You Tube, for example.
    I, as a native speaker of English, find it very arrogant of folk who are clearly well versed in such a beautiful (and evolutionary :P) language, that come onto message boards and nitpick on such trivial matters such as grammar.

    If grammar is your bugbear, start a campaign, write a book, run for president but come on man, honestly?

    My point is Mr Allen, dont you find it hypocritical in the slightest, that you are singling out one guys shaky grasp of the language yet your posts are guilty of the same?
    I'm not a nasty bloke and i am genuinely intersted in what/why you feel the need to do so. I suppose the coin could be flipped and you could ask me why i take it upon myself to call you out , that is your right and i'm damned if i will try to take that from you.
    I do hope you can see my p.o.v just as i can see (yet dont fully understand) yours.

    all the best to you
    R.

  182. a fellow human being

    soooo... you guys haven't done the scientific research yourselves and so easily and quickly accept what the scientists say in documentaries and books without seeing the evidence for yourselves.

    yet you claim you will only believe in God if you saw him with your own eyes!

    some of the scientific research is based on assumptions because creating a formula to explain, for example, the age of the universe, you need to make certain assumptions. its not a simple 1+1=2. there's no way you can ascertain all the components in a formula of this complexity and so the scientists make some assumptions.

    we can't even understand the human brain and yet you guys are so sure about understanding the universe and how it came about. these are still not concrete facts because there are still some doubts. these 'holes' are filled up by making certain assumptions, mainly on what cannot be readily explained.

    instead of thinking that there are aliens and other 'Earths' out there, why not think that we are special and unique? why not think this way.. wouldn't it be absolutely amazing if we were really the only one of a kind living in the only Earth in the whole entire Universe? why put yourselves down and make yourself seem small, unimportant and just another face in a crowd?

    on this Earth we already know that every single human being is unique and so everyone is special in their own way. furthermore, the human body is complex and every single part has a function.. from the network of nerves to the eyebrows, the human body is perfect in every way. if evolution was real, why and how did we end up with eyebrows?? besides providing expressions for our faces, you might say to keep the sweat from running down into our eyes. so i guess evolution meant that, over the course of millions of years, the human body focused its energy to evolve and grow hair above our eyes just to get rid of that little annoyance of sweat. and i guess that evolution gave us pubic hair to keep our genitals warm but not our fingers or toes.

    isn't it amazing that pure perfection resulted from nothing? evolution could not have directed us. please wake up, people!

  183. Robert Allen

    @as a fellow human being

    Congratulations, your post qualifies as one of the most unintelligent, unknowledgable ever to appear on this site.

    1. You know nothing about radiometric dating which is based on known rates of radioactive decay. I won't try to explain it to you because you are probably unable to grasp it, but Wikipedia has an excellent article.

    2. You imply that because we don't know everything about the brain, we know nothing about the universe. There are indeed gaps and we probably won't know everything, but with time and brainpower, we will know more.

    3. "Why not think that we are unique and special" does not even rise to the level of a hypothesis. Why not think that the moon is made of cheese? What not believe in banshees?

    4. If science has proved one thing it is that all forms of life are related and that man is no more than another creature. Uniqueness has nothing to do with it--each chimpanzee is unique too.

    5. What do you mean by "the human body is perfect in every way?" It, too has its limitations: are we as strong as a horse, swift as a gazelle--can we fly like a bird?

    6. To say that evolution stands for the proposition that "the human body focused its energy to evolve and grow hair above our eyes just to get rid of that little annoyance of sweat" displays an abysmal lack of knowledgeof the mechanism of evolution. Again, as with radiometric dating, I won't try to explain it to you, but there are many fine, enlightening works.

    6. What is "pure pefection?" For that matter, what do you mean by "evolution could not have direct us?" and what makes you think so. Get it straight, EVOLUTION IS A FACT! THE MEANS IS A THEORY, that is a scientific theory, i.e., the perponderance of the evidence supports and continues to support it.

    Many hav awakened--just simply not in the way you would like, thankfully.

  184. Vlatko

    Well said @Robert Allen. Just to add something.

    @a a fellow human being,

    There were three revolutions so far.

    1.The first one was with the Copernicus. Copernicus said that the earth is not the center of the universe and that the Sun is not revolving around the Earth, on the contrary the Earth is revolving around the Sun. The Earth was dethroned. That was very humiliating for the human mind, because when the Earth was the center of the universe the man was also the center of the universe.

    Everything was revolving around the man and the man’s Earth. Suddenly the Earth is not the center at all - not that is not in the center anymore, but is revolving around such insignificant star.

    It is so insignificant, almost like it doesn’t exist. It's a mud ball orbiting an average main sequence G2 star in the Orion arm of some minor galaxy in the backwash of the Virgo Superclaster.

    2. Then Darwin came and said that man is not connected with the Devine, but with the animals. He is not successor of God, he is only a link with the monkeys, baboons, chimpanzees. He is only a link in one very long animalistic process. This is the second revolution - very humiliating , very ego-destroying.

    The Earth is not in the center, the man is not just a little below the angels but he is only a little above the animals and nothing else, even that “little above” is not certain. And the man is dethroned. He is just one animal.

    3. An than came the third revolution, that one of Freud, who said that man is not conscious being - he is in the hands of subconscious forces. So, Aristotle was absolutely wrong, according to Fraud, when he said that the man is rational being. Man is not! Man is the most irrational animal. He is not rational because the whole work of his mind is subconscious.

    He falls in love, he fights, he earns money, he worries without any rationality. He is the maddest animal. One thing that is sure about him which is very exceptional is that he believes in certain things which are not. That is the only exceptional thing about the man.

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

    Wake up. We’re only stardust. Life is a but a fleeting dream, an insignificant sliver of worldline twisting through spacetime. All you touch and all you see is all your life will ever be. All those… memories will be lost in time, like tears… in rain.

    We’re just arbitrary subunits of a quivering biomass fighting the ravages of increasing entropy in a harsh unforgiving environment, trying desperately to evade the inevitable degeneration to thermodynamic equilibrium long enough to propagate our genetic information.

    You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everyone else. And some day, man will be gone. There will be nothing to show that we were ever here… but stardust.

  185. Robert Allen

    @Vlatko

    Thank you for your additions. I concur with two out of three of them.

    As for Freud, etc., I really don't know--I regard psychiatry as more of an art form than a science. Hence, many of the conclusions reached, especially by Freud, seem fanciful at best.

    In a simple way, I define rationality as going logically (read deductively) from A to B to C. All I can say is that mankind seems to be rational when it wants to be, so perhaps Aristotle and Freud are both right.

  186. Epicurean_Logic

    Well said guys and from another point of view.

    @a fellow human being

    Your argument that

    'you guys haven’t done the scientific research yourselves and so easily and quickly accept what the scientists say in documentaries and books without seeing the evidence for yourselves.'

    irks me on so many levels because for any individual to understand high level evolutionary Biology is like sitting and reading all the small print on your current account information booklet and then doing the same for your saving account and then your ISA and then your mortgage… and then reading it all backwards just for the hell of it. You get the picture? There is too much information out there. An individual will know it all with great difficulty.

    Do you know anything about Hamming codes, Cyclic codes or Duel codes? And yet you have heard of and use compact discs. Do you know anything about quantum mechanics? And yet you happily use your computer. Do you know anything about generating and storing electro-magnetic energy and yet you wash your clothes in a washing machine and benefit from a steady supply of electricity in many ways.

    Conclusion: In this world of highly specialised human endeavour it is IMPOSSIBLE for the non-specialist to know every detail of a scientific idea and 'see all the evidence for yourselves' that includes Evolutionary Biology.

    You benefit from peer reviewed science. To say otherwise is ridiculous. On the other hand a belief in god is a completely subjective state of mind and the many intelligent Christians here on TDF have attested to this point. How do I benefit from your belief? You benefit from my hamming codes. I see the results and benefits of our science. Where are the results and benefits of your subjective belief?

    So, you can now please turn off and disconnect all your electricity because you do not understand the fine details of electro-magnetic energy and while your at it throw all your CD's and DVD's in the bin and while you at it go and live in a cave because you don’t understand the fine details of Architecture and Masonry. Is this making any sense to you? I am ramming the point home for dramatic effect and so that you can never again present this misleading over-generalised argument into a public arena.

    You don't need to 'see the evidence' of a hamming code to benefit from it. You don't need to understand quantum mechanics to benefit from it and you certainly don't need to understand Evolutionary biology(a 3 year university degree followed by a 1 year masters followed by a 3 year Phd) for it to explain why you are here. Although it is great when people actually bother to try and educate themselves on these matters. They certainly don't need people like you denigrating their honest attempts to learn!

    When you produce a peer reviewed article demonstrating that god exists we can continue this discussion and while you are at it could you please explain to me how you can be so certain that 'evolution could not have directed us. please wake up, people!'? I very much doubt that you have any specialized education on the subject that qualifies you to make this statement. Do you?

    Just because YOU do not understand the fine details of Evolutionary Biology it doesn't mean that it cannot explain why we are here. There are gaps in the fossil record but as Vlatko demonstrated on another page only 1 in a billion bones remain intact and are found by us in the fossil records. Of course there are gaps. Duh!

  187. a fellow human being

    @ Robert Allen

    Congratulations on being the most annoying and i@#$%^& a person can be. I don't even know why I'm wasting my time responding to your immature and inferior opinions, but I guess it's my duty as a fellow human being to inform my ignorant brothers.

    1. Since you seem to already know about radiometric dating, I'll get straight to the point. Carbon-14 dating uses the assumption that the ratio of C14 to C12 in the atmosphere has always been the same as it is today. It is possible that this ratio is not constant, which would make knowing the starting amount of C14 in a specimen difficult or impossible to accurately determine. Furthermore, the Earth's magnetic field is decaying which means it was stronger in the past and so would have resulted in a smaller production of C14 in the atmosphere. If the production of C14 in the atmosphere was less in the past, dates given using the carbon-14 method would incorrectly assume that more C14 had decayed out of a specimen than what has actually occurred. This would result in giving older dates than the true age.

    2. Yes, with time and brainpower you will know more, but unfortunately you yourself will never know in your lifetime and is most definitely impossible with your narrow-minded thinking.

    3. "Why not think that we are unique and special" was not meant to be a hypothesis. I just wanted to offer a different view on life but it seems too much for your narrow mind to comprehend. Is this view as far-fetched as the moon being made of cheese? It is equally possible to the idea that there may be aliens out there so why be so opposed to it?

    4. Yes, all living things are related but in a way that you will probably never accept. And when I said that we are all unique, I meant we have our own unique mind and features. There are no 2 people in this world that look and think exactly the same. And yes, you are right, every living thing on this Earth is unique, just as every planet in this Universe is unique.

    5. When I say "the human body is perfect in every way", I didn't mean we are superhumans. You seem to only read in parts which is probably why you're a little ignorant. I did mention that every single part in our body has a purpose and the design of the body and its complex and 'perfect' functions could not have been directed by evolution. Go back to reading your comic books and fantasy novels and stop wasting everyone's time.

    6. You making excuses to not explain evolution and radiometric dating to me shows your own inability to fully understand the subjects. So stop being immature and start being open-minded to other people's opinions.

    7. Please research more on evolution before declaring it being a fact. People do make mistakes. Scientists are not always 100% correct. Just as a person can be wrongfully jailed after being tried by a jury, even with all the evidence presented. Like I said, some assumptions are used in scientific research to fill up the unexplainable 'holes'. By the way, the number 7 comes after 6 if you don't know the numbering system.

    You have indeed awoken, but 'on the wrong side of bed', unfortunately.

  188. Robert Allen

    @a feollow human being

    The responses of epicurean-logic and Vlatko clearly demonstrate that you're the one who is immature and narrow and therefore your opinions are concomittantly inferior.

    First of all, please don't try to show me about radiometrics. From your statement, you are obvious untutored in exponential decay which is basic to the science (Yes, it is a science in every sense of the word). Secondly, in assaying age, a radiometrist will employ several different tests and techniques, not just one. Third, you write, "This would result in giving older dates than the true age." How do can "true age" be determined without radiometric testing?

    Difference in view doe not imply probability, possibility or in you case, intelligence. "Why not think that we are unique and special" sounds just as puerile and inane as when you first posited it. Why not believe in the devil? Why not think there is more than one god? These are certainly different views, so what? Not one of them is provable (or disprovable) and has no place in a discussion of science.

    The uniqueness which tout to bolster man's alleged superiority is merely the result of nature's inability to make exact copies. You will find this same uniqueness (pardon the oxymoron) in, for example, macawas and zebras.

    Perhaps you weren't referred to superhumans when you exposited "the human body is perfect in every way." However, how can you expect to be understtood when you are unale to express yourself clearly? No you lower your understanding by another notch with "every part of the human anatomy has a purpose. Does the word "vestigial" mean anything to you? What about the hair on your head or your appendix?

    I am proud to take a dim view of opinions such as yours based on ignorance and half truths and whether someone of your caliber considers this immature is immaterial to me. Face it, EVOLUTION IS A FACT, the only open questions are as to its mechanisms.

    It delights me to no end that you find me annoying. By the end of my life, I stand a good chanceof having obtained greater and deeper knwoeldge which is more than I can say for stagnant little you.

  189. a fellow human being

    @Robert Allen, Vlatko and Epicurean_Logic

    You guys are so anti-God that you absolutely refuse to look at a different perspective and fail to understand what I'm talking about. You twist my words and point out selective parts in my discussion, without considering the whole picture, as well as putting words in my mouth just to make yourself seem more superior.

    Am I really talking to a bunch of teenagers? Why should I waste my time discussing with one-tracked minds?

    Forgive me if I fail to explain myself properly what I meant in my previous postings. Yes, evolution is real but not in a way you think. Its mechanisms are in doubt so it cannot be said as a concrete fact.

    If you guys read back on your postings, you contradict yourselves on many occasions and highlight unnecessary and information which clearly shows your misunderstanding of what I'm trying to say. Your minds are too set on your own thoughts that you furiously oppose anyone who beg to differ.

    God loves you and forgives those who want to be forgiven. He receives those who believe in him and his son Jesus Christ, who sacrificed himself on the cross, into his kingdom of Heaven.

  190. Vlatko

    @a fellow human being,

    I had to moderate your comment quite a bit. I removed all the offensive ad-hominem words and sentences.

    Please refrain calling people (including me) idi*ts, monkeys etc. Tackle the arguments if you are capable of doing so.

    P.S. And no we are not teenagers, at least I'm not.

  191. Robert Allen

    @a fellow human being

    We are superior because at least we can express ourselves clearly and essay as much logic and reason as we can on a scientific subject. This is more than I can say for you.

    Your statement that evolution cannot be a "concrete fact" (Is there such a thing as an unconrete fact?) because some details of its mechanism are still unknown is tantamount to impugning the existence of thought because we do not know everything about how the brain functions. You fail to understand that evolution is a proven result from which the cause(s), as we now know them, have been deduced from the evidence, not the other way around.

    Believe what you want about God, but don't insult me by trying to pass your comic book conceptions off as rational thought. Remember, THEOLOGY AND EMOTION ARE INCOMPATIBLE WITH SCIENCE! If this seems anti-God (whatever that is)to you, I know that I have hit home.

    To elaborate on Vlatko's reply, I do not believe that you are capable of tackling arguments in general other than with pathetic, unintellectual rant and dogma.

    Pathetic

  192. rasputin

    this "fellow human being" chappy is missing a whole load of points methinks. I have been following this thread for ages now, and i have learned a hell of a lot. The main thing i have picked up upon is that creationists are very defensive when faced with facts.
    am i right in saying this, but do christians not assume anything with regards to their beliefs? that cant possibly be true c an it? i mean its perfectly natural for a guy to die, be buried and then just get up and ride on up to heaven, making a quick stop along the way, shooting flames hither and thither, to tell his cronies not to worry everything is gonna be good when he comes back in an indeterminate ammount of time to gather up the chosen few?
    i may have got it wrong but then again im sure they have a perfectly reasonable and provable explanation for this.
    A fellow human being- please enlighten me, nay PROVE to me god exists.
    evolution is fact, and im proud to be cousins with a nut scratching monkey
    R.

  193. Loveresearch

    With regards to Christians beliefs, I believe it is easy for many atheists/materialists to look at a fundamentalist view of the faith. There are very few Christians that I know who would claim that the world was truly made in 7 days or that evolution somehow threatens their faith. It is easy for people to point to the New Creationist/Fundamentalist view and refute it, but this is because it is true these people believe blindly. They perhaps study the bible, perhaps not, but they don't do it within the context of other things. This is where they fall short.

    The idea that God exists is not irrational. It cannot be proven. True it takes faith to believe it, but what is faith really? It is not blindly following something. It is taking all the evidence into account and constructing a belief that though there may be doubt is not without its foundations. Is it not as easy to say that believing in evolution is based in faith? You have never seen evolution, have you? Can we really see or experience half the things science tells us are true? The expanse of knowledge is so vast that none of us could possibly know the entire breath of what is there and few minds can fathom the true implications of the theory of relativity, time-space, quarks. So, you place your trust/faith in other people to put it in layman's terms for you. Isn't this a sort of faith?

    I think people are making an irrational jump. The layman has been tricked by this New Atheist assumption that science = atheism. This is craziness. I don't know if you have actually taken the time to pick up "Letter to a Christian Nation", "The God Delusion", "Breaking the Spell" or "God is not Great", but if you do and really look into the research you will find from Hitchens a complete academic dishonesty, and contradictions among the others. They discount each others arguments. Daniel Dennett really presents the most arguments most worthy of consideration and yet they too are faulty.

    It takes as much faith to not believe in God as it does to believe in Him.

  194. Robert Allen

    @Loveresearch

    At least science does its best to go from A to B to C or perhaps vice versa. A theological concept does not.

    Reliance/trust is (should be) supported by evidence. Faith is not. That's why most of us consult with physicians, auto mechanics, computer experts when the need arises.

    Quite frankly, I'm indifferent to the existence of a supreme being. One way or the other, I just go on living my life insouciant to man's place/purpose in the universe and unlike most, do not hesitate to admit it. I know my own wants and this mundane parochialism is good enough for me. Therefore, faith is irelevant to my existence. However, it does gall me when faith is confounded with fact, intelligent design being a flagrant culprit.

    The concept of a supreme being (or many) is simply the outcome of our inability to regard events as other than cause and effect. As I understand it, in the Greek of Homer (7th century BCE), it was impossible to express oneself as the agent of obligation--there was no way of saying "I have to go." There had to be an outside agent,i.e., something/someone bade me go. (I wonder if the same is true for ancient Hebrew.) This extreme example of cause and effect certainly provides a theological slant worth looking into: god (the gods) as grammatical necessities.

    All in all, I have to admit that your post is one of the more intelligent of the theologically-based ones to appear on this website and thus it is a pleasure to respond to it.

  195. wq

    oh my gosh this is driving me nuts. To everyone who keeps throwing the old "evolution isn't true because we didn't come from apes".

    Well guess what? we did NOT come from apes. Apes and our early ancestors shared a common ancestor. What part of COMMON ANCESTRY do you NOT understand?

    No extant species can be the common ancestor of other species therefore now that there are humans and various kinds of primates, our common ancestor has been gone for an incredibly long time.

    we may not know who/what the original common ancestor was but we CAN go back on phylogenetic trees to see how different species (branches) eventually merge to a node. we also know how many genes we have TODAY are variations of an ancestor gene. we know this because multiple species have either the same gene or very similar genes therefore once upon a time, we must have gotten that gene or gene family from an ancestor.

  196. Robert Allen

    @wq

    Just one question. You stated, "No extant species can be the common ancestor of other species" and cite passage of time as a factor. WOuld you say this is true of microscopic creatures which alhough they don't in general live long, reproduce rapidly?

  197. Epicurean_Logic

    @ a fellow human being,

    I am not anti-god. I just don't believe in god or for that matter in anything that I can't touch, taste, smell, see, hear or deduce with the mind.

    I appreciate the ethical discussions and lifestyle choices made by Christian's but trying to shoot down a very well established scientific idea like evolution because it interferes with your religio-philosophical convictions is just plain wrong. It's like Copernicus and Galileo all over again.

    When you raise an argument that evolution must be wrong because there are gaps in the fossil records or that the are gaps in our knowledge of how each and every special transformation takes place you aren't actually saying anything useful. It is pretty obvious that these gaps in our knowledge exist for many reasons, not in the least that we are searching for evidence over billions of years and billions of square metres. Can you not see why there could possibly be gaps?

    Using the analogy of a dinosaur picture jigsaw puzzle. Can you really not tell that is depicting a T-Rex just because there are a few pieces missing? Even when the rest of the picture leads to this conclusion and is a remarkably consistent depiction of a T-Rex?

    Can you please postulate an empirically based answer for how we humans and the remarkable variety of species that co-exist on the earth got here? A one sentence answer like 'god did it' will not suffice.

    We are related to the primates, we have a part of our brain that we share in common with all primates and we even look alike.

    Do the math.

  198. Loveresearch

    @Epicurian Logic

    Have you ever seen evolution? Really? Or have you just seen evidence suggesting evolution? As an evolution supporter myself, I would like to know where and when you saw it, why you didn't document it, and why you haven't sent such info to press right away?!

    Your argument is just as flawed as our friends. If we could see evolution (you did say you only believe in things you can see) then there would be no debate. Dr. Dawkins himself would never dare claim such a thing and I venture to say that he is much more qualified to speak to the topic than you are (though his crazy attempt at history and philosophy also fail miserably I respect him for his contribution to the biological sciences).

    The fact that we look alike does not win the evolution argument (do the math). The theory itself accounts for the fact that the environment selects for certain features and so it is possible that two species could be extremely similar (aka look alike) but not share the common ancestor you refer to. (Though I suppose if you buy into evolution --there are good arguments against it outside the fossil record, if you need a short book lets exchange e-mails, people tend to get upset when this stuff gets too long--you must concede that we all came from on spec of something somewhere or the aliens did it.)

    Would you like to provide me an argument for how life and all the species that contain it were made? Evolution accounts for life onward, but not for life's beginning. I would like an empirically based evaluation of that, aliens and multiverses just wont do! Oh yeah and the postulate that organic came from inorganic...well lets just say that one seems to be very dead. (You make just as many assumptions as any of the rest of us if you cannot. Thanks for playing the elementary math game!)

  199. Robert Allen

    @loveresearch and Epicurean Logic

    Question: Isn't the presence of bacteria-resistant organisms which you hear so much about now a fine and observable example of evolution and especially survival of the fittest as used by Herbert Spencer and later incorporated by Drawin into the fifth edition of "On the Origin of the Species?"

  200. over the edge

    @loversearch
    evolution doesn't try to explain how life began and that fact isn't an argument against it. i have never witnessed evolution personally but i can see it's remnants within my own body (wisdom teeth.tailbone,appendix),as well as the museums full of fossils showing the fact of evolution.there is also dna evidence. look at the species of dogs that humans have created by selectively directing evolution ourselves or many experiments performed by scientists. my favorite being the e-coli evolution experiment where evolution is witnessed and recorded for all to see. now they were not personally witnessed by myself but are you claiming that all these scientists are lying? what is your evidence for your alternative? it is easy to attack others without defending yourself.and you were right in an earlier post that science does not equal atheism but by definition science tries to explain the natural world using natural causes. god is considered supernatural and therefore god has no place within science

  201. Julian

    Its a cause and affect argument. If it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck it is a duck. nope wrong, because we can't be certain. some animal we don't know of may do all those things but its not a duck. However based on that logic we know nothing (well almost nothing) and we turn into a bunch of evangelical Christians that believe I am jr jr jr jr jr mr adam. And yes offense intended!

  202. Loveresearch

    Julian

    Cause and effect argument, but Mr. Berkely and Mr. Hume had a point and being as though my work is the area of the mind/consciousness I feel obliged to say that all of your laws, your science, etc are all in your head. Grab a an apple now change the lighting in the room, Do you still see it as green or red? Yep, but you shouldn't. The mind is a most delighful thing! I agree it is not entirely useful or practical to work from a humian perspective but you must keep in mind its implications if you are to wager yourself in such a divine argument.

    By the way, the majority of the christians in the world are neither evangelical or catholic.

    Over the edge

    Agreed. Evolution does not try to explain where life comes from therefore it is not support for either side (which was the point of my post). I am not claiming that in fact you should seek all knowledge (this is impossible..obviously) nor am I demeaning the fact that we place faith in the work of other people, but it is a type of faith. It also takes faith to believe in multiverses, aliens bringing life, something coming from nothing, or complete nothingness. Faith is a word generally associated with organized religion but faith is not equal to religion and its definition would be appropriate in reference to all of the aforementioned beliefs posed by atheists. Faith means taking all the evidence in context and comparing it to whatever it is you are making a decision about but can never prove and saying all of this points here. Faith should not be blind, but I will concede that sometimes it is, but not as often as you might think.

    Robert Allen
    What a fine example it is! I don't believe evolution to be in competition with religion. If anything in science might conflict with religion it is, for me at this moment, free-will vs determinism. As a recently used-to-be determinist myself (as far as human conscious prcesses are concerned) I am a bit confused as to what this means for the neurosciences, psychology, biology in some respects. The evidence building up in neuroscience and psychology are pointing to this idea called self-determinism in which nearly all human behavior can be predicted through culture, biology, etc; however it cannot be entirely determined suggesting free-will. It is very interesting Mr. Allen I beg to say as interesting as your bacteria.

  203. Julian

    @ loversearch
    My science is in my head as much as as other's religious point of view is, to some degree. I agree some things we have to take with a little faith (scientific axioms) but that the world was created in 6 days and this intelligent design nonsenses requires a quantum leap in suspending basic reason.

    I understand that most Christians aren't evangelical but they seem to be the stubbornly naive ones that make me want to cry. I remember working with a geologist that believed the 6 day creation story and earth was 6000 years old (whatever the old testament says). Not sure how good he was at his job. lol.

  204. Loveresearch

    Julian

    First of all most Christians I know do not believe that the earth was created in 7 days. This just doesn't make sense. Agreed. I would say a majority of Christians are right there with you. The idea that the bible cannot be figurative is a joke. If every word were meant to be literal none of it would make sense. For instance there is one passage that says that Israel was lifted by the hand of God. Now, we know that this does not literally mean that some hand reached into the universe, down to earth, and lifted up a piece of land. It is ridiculous to even think. That is why the archaic Christianity presented to you by Dawkins and his worshipers is easy to attack. This is not Christianity. Jesus himself uses allegories.

    Fundamentalists and New Creationists give me a headache as well. The Design fans make me shake my head, but they at least acknowledge science in some form though it is wrongly. A more comprehensive view of Christianity is out there but is little talked about or attacked because well honestly there is nothing to fight about. It is completely compatible with science and thus the media has nothing to say, nor do any of the New Atheists. They instead create the illusion of this ABC bible belt view of Christianity as the norm. This makes me sick.

  205. Ryan Jones

    Well, the short answer is "no, Darwin wasn't wrong."

    Anyways...

    Bought "Origin of Species" today in a local bookshop for only £8.99, and was delighted to find that "Voyage of the Beagle" was included in the text for free.

    Mentioned in the foreward (which I'll quote from right now since the book is beside my PC) is the following text:

    "At the time, after the initial shock, most intelligent Christians accepted Darwin, knowing that there are other ways than literal ones of reading the bible, or any other religious texts. There was in fact no incompatibility between evolution and faith until the 1920s and the rise of American fundamentalism: creationism and in 1908s mutation(in a nice demonstration of evolutionary adaptation) into intelligent design."

  206. Loveresearch

    Bravo! Mr. Jones, I like the way you think! lol

  207. Ryan Jones

    ps: introduction was written by Ruth Paden.
    Ruth Padel is a prize-winning British poet and author, Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Zoological Society of London. This year she is Writer in Residence at the Environment Institute at University College, London

  208. jack1952

    Creationists have only one statement that could realistically be taught in the public school system.

    That statement is "There are people and religions who believe that a supreme being created the universe".

    After that only science can explain the how and when of that creation. If the supreme being does exist maybe he will explain it to us some day in the future when we are deemed more worthy. Until then all we can do is observe and draw conclusions from those observations.

    Is Darwin wrong? Maybe, but reading a religious text will never provide an answer to this question.

  209. Epicurean_Logic

    @ Loveresearch,

    To clarify. The full quote was,

    'I just don’t believe in god or for that matter in anything that I can’t touch, taste, smell, see, hear or DEDUCE WITH THE MIND'

    I do not and never claimed that I can see evolution taking place. Although @Robert Allen's example of bacteria-resistant animals seems to be a good example.

    Those baby monkeys are so cute: If we share physical (the old mammalian brain) and genetic information with other mammals what could possibly be so strange about deducing that we are related? This rationale also extends to other creatures on this planet. What is the best, nay, the only way that we can make sense of this common relationship to other creatures on this planet? Well it is pretty obvious isn't it? Any alternative suggestions? Is Darwin wrong?

    You are a believer in god and evolution. That is why you dispute the organic from inorganic postulate. This is a common type of backward thinking, formed in arrogance that the church and its acolytes have been putting forward for millennia; we will concede a little ground to you non-believers but just so long as it doesn't encroach on the God-did-it domain of dogmatic certainty. Why not just go the full Monty and look for an empirical first cause of life? This saves on an irksome magical answer which leaves most rational people wholly unsatisfied. If the human race had adopted the lets-accept-magical-answers policy from the start we would probably still believe that the sun revolved around the earth.

    I claim that it is exactly the search for empirical answers that keeps the human race moving forward and also that it is the dunno-so-God/magical force-did-it mentality that holds us back.

  210. Epicurean_Logic

    Belief in science vs belief in religion.

    Faith is a base definition that is so fundamental as to be un-provable:

    Euclid (science) called it a postulate, I believe that a circle is a continued line with a point within from which all lines drawn to the boundary are of equal length. Can I measure every line from the center and prove this to be true? No. Do I believe it to be true. Yes. Because of the way the circle was constructed (with a compass). This type of faith is a postulate and we use this information as a base and create an entire body of consistent work that is dependent on it. This is the way in which belief works in science. If this is true then that must be true...

    Now, lets contrast this kind of belief with a belief in a creator. I believe that God exist outside of the human concept of reality:

    How is this a fundamental statement at all? What useful knowledge can we deduce from this statement? Do we have any evidence to suggest that this is true? Can we produce a consistent body of work from this statement?

    Religious belief is a fundamentally different type of belief. It's not a postulate at all. It is a dogmatic...

    Determinism vs Free will looks at the problem on a social level. Determinism vs Randomness looks at the bigger picture. Both are interesting and I am curious to know about your thoughts and findings.

  211. Old Git Tom

    No, sorry, can't sit thru another apologia for Darwin's brilliant but flawed theory. And natural selection was Blyth's theory, actually. Nor can I stomach the diversion of an examination of the theory, on its own scientific merits, into yet another science versus religion wrist-wrangle. An adequate & serious movie critique has yet to be made, IMHO. OGT

  212. somebody

    To all religious people. You are ridiculous. Knock it off! It's not real.To all the science goons. You are equally ridiculous. STFU. You want the answers to life, here... here's the answers to life: Eat (Survival), F*** (Pass on genes so your kids can repeat), Sleep (Regenerate), Drama (Entertainment, so you don't f'ing kill yourself). Whaa-laa! The cycle of life. Figured it out for you in one sentence.Now go out, have a beer, make mistakes, live life, and die! *cheers*

  213. robertallen1

    I prefer to treat Euclid's statement about the circle as a definition more than a postulate (After all, if the lines were not of equal length, it would not be a circle.) and as you correctly indicate, a whole body of consistent work emanates from this definition. Let me add that two consistent bodies emanate from the Euclidean and non-Euclidean definitions of parallel lines.

    Contrast this a definition of a creator as something (someone?) existing outside the human concept of reality. By this definition, something (someone) which (who) exists inside the human concept of reality cannot be a creator which leaves out all artists and scientists, not to mention the very act of birth itself. In short, such a concept goes nowhere.

  214. Verokomo

    "All things are in flux; the flux is subject to a unifying measure or rational principle. This principle (logos, the hidden harmony behind all change) bound opposites together in a unified tension, which is like that of a lyre, where a stable harmonious sound emerges from the tension of the opposing forces that arise from the bow bound together by the string"
    — Heraclitus

  215. BaBa7

    Darwin was right - "He said that if the cell was complex instead of simple, his theories would fall apart." Why didn't this program discuss "irreducible complexity"?

  216. Epicurus

    because irreducible complexity has been shown over and over again to not exist.

    If you even think of bringing up Michael Behe i just beg you to first google to see how many scientists have discredited his claims.

    you will even find some good youtube videos showing the bacterial flagellum to not be an irreducibly complex organism.

    he also never said that if the cell was complex that his theory would fall apart. that is completely false.

  217. Epicurean_Logic

    That there are things outside of the human concept of reality is undeniable, although I claim that they are meaningless unless they directly or indirectly affect us. Whereby they eventually fall into our range of detection.

    We can all agree that things that are just beyond our physical reach like mind, feelings and thoughts exist because we can indirectly detect their effects upon us. When it comes to God... Hmmm... things get a bit trickier and we have to invoke the non-scientific definition of belief based on absolutely no facts whatsoever.

    Again. Belief in science is a fundamentally different usage of the word to the way it is used in religion.

  218. robertallen1

    Your last statement goes to the heart of science v. religion rendering one superior to the other.

  219. Epicurean_Logic

    Tom. Do you have an alternative to "Darwin's brilliant but flawed theory"? What is it that offends you about Darwins T.O.E?

    In previous posts you openly declare your lack of background in science and yet Darwin's T.O.E. seems to poke you in the eye like, well, a toe in the eye. Why?

    Your rhetorical skills are plainly on display for all to see and I appreciate them as much as the next guy. Verbosity aside, I just want to get down to the crux or your argument.

  220. robertallen1

    In re Behe--he is also a liar, as evidenced by his discussion of the flagellum--he knew better than what he posited.

    "Irreducible complexity" is a contradiction in terms for by definition, complexity is reducible. Primary numbers are irreducible, composite numbers are reducible forms of primary numbers--i.e., no composite number is irreducible. To illustrate further, complex numbers are reducible, e.g., 2i=2*sq.rt.(-1).

  221. robertallen1

    Do you mean apology or apologia? The former implies atonement, the latter merely means an explanation or elucidtation.

  222. Old Git Tom

    Some think that creation proves the existence of a creator to be axiomatic. I don't see it. Regress problem: if a cause has a prior cause, it cannot be first cause.

    I tend to see creation as inherent & imminent in the universe. It is the first principle & drives all. That's metaphysics, not physics, however much the high-energy hounds are chasing it! It is the hidden force of evolution, as elusive as gravity particles, but more powerful (it created gravity).

    I certainly don't see a limitless 2-dimensional Euclidian plane, nor the stuff that numerals are made of - primary postulates, & so unprovable, I conclude in my m/physical way. OGT

  223. robertallen1

    I wrote nothing about a two-dimensional Euclidean plane and what I wrote about numbers (numerals to you) you missed entirely.

    I wish you would learn to read and for that matter to write clearly.

    P.S. Metaphysics leaves me cold.

  224. Old Git Tom

    Roberallen1,
    I wrote & meant ‘apologias’, which covers both sound & unsound varieties.

    "I wrote nothing about a two-dimensional Euclidean plane and what I wrote about numbers (numerals to you) you missed entirely."

    You wrote about some Euclid geometry, which is configured on a limitless, 2-dimensional plain. In the context of the discussion about postulates, this is a pretty imposing & non-provable one. Very like numbers, or numerals, if you insist on nit-picking. Where do numbers go when we are no thinking about them? I am on-topic, as you feign not to comprehend.

    "I wish you would learn to read and for that matter to write clearly."

    And I wish you would drop the ‘scientific’ imposture of insisting on your own definitions of terms, thereby avoiding the substance of a statement you cannot refute.

    "P.S. Metaphysics leaves me cold."

    That’s probably becoz you don’t know what it is. Large lumps of astrophysics are metaphysical in character. Like so many here, you need to get out of the Victorian antique shop. The materialist fantasy of hard evidence underlying reality is long past – what used to be called scientific positivism. Like Darwinism, it is a walking corpse-zombie. OGT

  225. Old Git Tom

    Roberallen1,
    I posted a lengthy reply, which apparently Disqus failed to transmit. Can't be bothered to repeat. OGT

  226. robertallen1

    Once again, you need to write clearly--and let me add, meaningfully.

    How do the concepts of sound and unsound varietes (whatever they are) fit into the scheme of apologia (an explanation or exposition) versus apology?

    Where does anything go when we're not thinking about it? (What this has to do with numbers is beyond me.) For that matter, where does your lap go after you stand up?

    What is a limitless two-dimensional plane? Are you aware that Euclid also wrote about solid or three-dimesional geometry and that the number of planes is unlimited?

    By its nature, science is materialistic and the profusion of what you describe as scientific positivism (one of your few clear terms) militates against your closing statement.

    All in all, you cloak your ignorance in high-sounding but meaningless statements such as "Large lumps of astrophysics are metaphysical in nature."

    Learn first and write later, not vice versa.

  227. Epicurean_Logic

    Well, after extensive, if somewhat haphazard research. The bottom line in the determinism vs Free will debate comes down to the somewhat disturbing fact that strict determinism negates the possibility of free will: If everything is 'written in the stars' then where is freedom?

    Looking at things more deeply it is clear that we are all products of previous experiences. The set of choices is finite but the order and number of choices are programmed (probably by behaviourism and DNA) into the individual. So again, to what extent is the choice free?

    Eggs, bacon, sausage, chips, mushrooms and black pudding? No sausage for me, I had a bad one when I was 12 and have gone off them ever since. Double bacon instead!

  228. Epicurean_Logic

    OGT,

    So, put simply you prefer some biological explanation other than natural selection to account for the diversity of species. Even though evolution is the most encompassing and widely accepted explanation we have; explains observed phenomena to a high degree of accuracy and produces testable results that positively support the hypothesis.

    You support an evolution of the theory of evolution? An updated re-modelled version?

    I cannot accept that natural selection is a totally redundant theory and I find it difficult to follow your objections to it. Some of your facts are a little bit sketchy and your sources are not the most credible. I guess that you are a bit of a rebel at heart and get off on going against the grain; if that is the case then good on you but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    The process of inorganic matter becoming organic matter is still a mystery. I like Douglas R. Hofstadter's "strange loops" as an explanation for encoding self-awareness and defining meaning.

  229. Old Git Tom

    Epicurean_Logic,

    “So, put simply you prefer some biological explanation other than natural selection to account for the diversity of species. Even though evolution is the most encompassing and widely accepted explanation we have; explains observed phenomena to a high degree of accuracy and produces testable results that positively support the hypothesis.”

    Natural selection (NS) has majority following, agreed, as does folly (Erasmus). You are free to follow the herd.
    NS is not ‘the most encompassing’ theory. Sheldrake’s theory is more so. There may be others for all I know.
    I have cited sources for evidence (missing post now restored) that does not support NS. It’s unfortunate that you dismiss it so lightly.

    “You support an evolution of the theory of evolution? An updated re-modelled version?”

    Evolution, conceived metaphysics-fashion, as a fundamental principle of the universe, does indeed have the capacity to change itself. Time IS change, & evolution is change over time.
    Ergo 1, w/out evolution of some kind, no time, no universe.
    Ergo 2, creation/creativity/evolution is written in the fabric of the universe.
    Ergo 3, w/out creation/creativity, w/out ‘the new’, there is no evolution, no time, no universe.

    “I guess that you are a bit of a rebel at heart and get off on going against the grain; - - “

    Both psychologistic & patronizing!

    “The process of inorganic matter becoming organic matter is still a mystery. “

    And must remain so within Darwin’s Victorian Antiques shop, since w/out the fundamental duality of life/matter, the theory dissolves. It is desperately dependent on that continuing, ‘mystery’! OGT

  230. a_visitor_to_your_planet

    Please note: This post is not pro-anything. It's just a few observations that I trust are relevant to the discussion.

    1. Of course Darwin got stuff wrong. He was unqualified as a naturalist except by virtue of rather limited experience; he had none of the advantages available to modern scientists; he ignored Mendel's work on inheritance even though Mendal sent him a copy of his findings; and he ignored the information that carefully-bred fancy pigeons tend to revert to the form of their "rock pigeon" ancestors if breeding restrictions aren't enforced on future generations.
    In fact Darwin wasn't a scientist at all in the modern sense and it is unrealistic to judge his work by modern standards.

    2. I loved these quotes by awful-truth and Ezra Pound a few months back:

    "Anyone who has studied the science or even watched a layman documentary on evolution and still clings to theism must seriously lack in acumen"
    EP

    awful-truth cites the Human Genome Project as evidence for his pro-evolution beliefs.

    What neither of them seem to know about is the fact that Francis Collins, Director of the US National Human Genome Research Institute, describes himself as a Christian and calls DNA sequencing "The Language of God" in his book of the same name.

    Collins is NOT a creationist, he is a theist.

    3. Whilst genuine science is NOT a religion, there is plenty of reason to think that - for many people - evolutionism is. Dawkins, for example, has describe it as being akin to "blaspemy" (his word, not mine) to doubt any part of science.

    Likewise a past editor of the prestigeous science journal "Nature" (John Maddox?) once told a BBC interviewer that he would like to burn all books which supported creationism as heretical!

    4. One other crucial fact that Darwin failed to demonstrate was his concept of indefinite radiation, which would remove a key stumbling block that remains to this day. That is, whilst evolution in the sense of "change" is clearly going on all around us, evotion in the sense of accumulated mutations leading from something like green algae in some notional "primeval soup" up to the massive diversity of life forms that we have today is not so easily justified.
    In fact scientists who stick to the facts, such as Douglas Fukuyama, have acknowledged that the processes that have previously been thought of as the basis of diversification are simply not adequate to have brought about this degree of change.

    AFAIK, no one has yet come up with a widely accepted alternative explanation.

  231. Epicurus

    If you dont think Darwin was a good naturalist or scientist you clearly have not read his works. it doesnt even really deserve to be dignified with a response.

    also wht is wrong with saying creationism is heretical? its a turn of phrase first of all just meaning the whole IDEA of creationism goes against the basic principles o f science like being falsifiable and testable for example. If people wanted to teach that storks bring babies then that would be deemed heretical.

    and maybe you should try using some actual academic credible sources.

  232. Epicurean_Logic

    Tom,

    Following the thread of this conversation is like negotiating an escape from the Minotaurs maze.

    Here are a few facts:

    1. In biology, and specifically genetics, epigenetics is the study of heritable changes in phenotype (appearance) or gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence. The prefix epi means over or in addition to and thus epigenetic traits exist on 'top of' or 'In addition to' the traditional molecular basis for inheritance. In short epigenetics does not discredit traditional genetics but applies alongside or in addition to it.

    2. Perry marshall is a google adverts 'communication expert' and not a credible scientific source. His Atheist riddle has been debunked and slapped about all over the shop.

  233. Old Git Tom

    Yes, exacty! Modern research violates Darwin's original principle, that acquired characteristics are not transmitted. How you moderns juggle with the DNA mechanisms is irrelevant, since genetics as we u/stand did not exist in D's day. It's a matter of principle, not mechanism, I repeat.

    That's all I'm saying. The theory is FUNDAMENTALLY obsolete. Ie., D was once 'right', but is no longer right. The theory needs reformulating in the light of modern knowledge. What we do not want is this continuing worship of D as a saint of secular science, eternally & sacredly correct. That's dogma, not science.

    Marshall's qualifications are in info technology, which bear directly & validly on contemporary genetic studies.If his proposals have been rejected, as you airily suggest, "all over the shop", I see nothing of that sort in the posts on his site.

    Darwinians are over-fond of gesturing in a cavalier fashion to 'majority opinion', & 'refutations' that on careful reading are nothing of the sort.

    IMHO, your difficulties in countering my arguments originate in Darwin's flawed & now outmoded theory. Please, don't flog yourself to death trying to defend it. Think up s/thing better. That's how science progresses, by continually thinking the unimaginable - via 'heresy'. OGT

  234. Old Git Tom

    Epicurus,

    “i really have no clue what you are talking about.”

    Patently: dogmatism has that effect – paralyzing cognition (perception is concept-dependent). You apparently have no grasp what the word ‘theory’ means. It does not mean a handy elasticated portmanteau that can accommodate any amount of contradictory evidence. You cannot change a theory to fit mounting counter-evidence, yet claim continuity. In science, theory is evidence-led, not vice-versa.

    “like i cant believe you are trying to promote a "scientist" who believes in telepathy.”

    A poor shot; you are like those who could not accept Newton’s theory of gravity – an ‘occult force’, an invisible force that acted at a distance. Just like the popes of old, your kind has anathematized Sheldrake & attempted by nefarious means to silence him. Sheldrake accepts evolution, as do I, but not natural selection as the major force. His morphic fields theory addresses the yawning gaps in Darwinism, However viable, it is a radical alternative to NS. If you cannot see this, I wonder.

    As for telepathy, modern quatum physics happily accommodates particle inter-action, quite independent of distance & time (maybe). Biology is stuck with pre-1925 Victoriana.

    Sheldrake has published supporting experimental data on ‘super-sense’ in animals, & human aggregates. Of course, the Darwinian establishment howls & attempts to discredit this evidence. He has batted away all, even if these efforts lack the massive PR & research funds backing Darwinism. As with the former popes, for every Gallileo, they could marshal a thousand scholars, priests & inquisitors.

    I did raise a query earlier as to what theory of behavior evolution applied in Darwinism. How is behavior transmitted generationally? Genetically? If so, this raise big problems for Darwinians as materialists. If genetic ‘matter’ can embody quasi-memory-come-intelligence, bang goes the fundamental dichotomy between life & ‘dumb’, inanimate, material environment (life-form & niche).

    As I challenged, how do you derive a materialist-monist theory from a dualism (NS)? You Darwinians have deep problems. Denying them is an option, but not a scientific one. OGT

  235. Vlatko

    OK @Old Git Tom.

    Since you bash Darwin so often, can you clearly state what is your "theory"?

  236. Old Git Tom

    Robertallen1,

    “Where does anything go when we're not thinking about it? (What this has to do with numbers is beyond me.) For that matter, where does your lap go after you stand up?”

    You are being disingenuous, & irritating. What has a ‘lap’ got to do with it (I can do it too). As a materialist, you have to decide whether numbers are real (so locatable in the universe), or products of human mind. Bit like God; I mean, simple-minded arguments against, from materialists, see? Good show!

    “What is a limitless two-dimensional plain.”

    An imaginary but necessary postulate of many Euclidian proofs. Where triangles & squares strut their stuff. See the connexion? Good show!

    “By its nature, science is materialistic and the profusion of what you describe as scientific positivism (one of your few clear terms) militates against your closing statement.”

    ‘Scientific positivism’ is an uncountable noun, singular, so there cannot be a ‘profusion’. And further, wrong: very wrong: by its nature science is both materialist & idealist. Current biology is laggardly materialist, cutting-edge physics is preponderantly idealist.

    If you think my closing statement was in contradiction with s/thing earlier, please write how, & clearly, please. My mind-reading charg is $15 per hour, even if not much to read.

    By the way, it is a basic courtesy to put the name of person addressed up top. Hope you were writing to - OGT

  237. Old Git Tom

    Vlatko,
    there is no onus on me to provide a theory to replace Darwinism. That is biology's job, which it is conspicuously failing to do. I don't 'bash' Darwinism, I merely list its self-contradictions. Brutally unkind of me, you think? Take a look at the ruthless rascals. I think Darwinians are numerous, fat, & sassy enuf to 'survive'.
    So my verdict on natural selection is 'fail'. On the God versus Darwin debate, I conclude 'not proven' for both camps. OGT

  238. Old Git Tom

    DARWIN'S TAUTOLOGY

    Darwin’s original theory specified that life-forms adapt to relatively unchanging material environments. This is plausible. Obviously fish with fins are adapted for life in water, & camels for life in a dry desert. But this apparently powerful support withers on closer examination. These characteristics of fish & camels are necessary to their existence.

    Note the sleight of hand. If you substitute the word ‘existence’ for ‘survival’, the consequent idea of ‘struggle’ is less persuasive. And without the necessary ‘survival’ characteristics, the creatures would not exist to need explanation. Darwin Mk 1 explained nothing.

    Eg., for diversity, Darwin proposed the mechanism of Natural Selection. He did not invent evolution theory. That had been around since the ancient Greeks. NS purported to explain the origin of different species, not that diversity existed. That was a matter of ordinary observation (tautologies are not false, just trivial or empty). So the existence of different species was hung on the idea of competitive struggle & different environmental ‘niches’ (a later word).

    Note well the circularity: fish are different from camels becos of their differing environments. But every naturalist knew that already. ‘Adaptation’ is a slippery word-substitute for a condition of existence. Camels could not exist in seas, nor fish in deserts.

    A tentative theory was buttressed by verbal sleight-of-hand, not empirical evidence. And Darwin was a good enuf scientist to claim only a theory.

    As far as niches go, later Darwinians’ only means of definition was the particular creatures living in them. Circularity again – conceptual niches defined by organisms, & shape of organism defined by niche. So far, round & round the circularity bush. But now we get to NS as a difference-shaping theory.

    The struggle invoked by NS is far too crude & vague to adequately underwrite Darwin’s proposal. There is certainly competition between individuals & different species, but there is also complex cooperation & symbiotic inter-dependence. And also certainly, biology is aware of this complexity. The trouble is, Darwinism is inadequate to encompass it.

    Nor do differential reproduction rates explain much. Sex is merely yet another condition of mere existence. Eg., deer; greater sexual success of one stag has little or no impact on the herd. The ratio of dominant to passive males tends to remain constant. Neither behavior pattern is eliminated by ‘struggle’. Altho excess populations do indeed lead to crashes, the next trope is revival. Else, the species would not exist, & sexual reproduction would not be a viable condition of existence.

    An alternative notion to the above is a species eliminated by excess sexual activity. Do we know of any species that sh*gged itself into extinction? OGT

  239. over the edge

    @OGT
    you stated "not empirical evidence. And Darwin was a good enuf scientist to claim only a theory." first he had evidence for natural selection. Darwins finches are a perfect example different adaptations of these finches for different environments and food sources. second problem with that sentence is yes it remains a theory the explanation (darwins theory)of a known fact (evolution) remains a theory same a germ theory ,theory of gravity. nuclear theory .... they remain a theory so as not to be set in stone so they will change as our understanding changes. which brings me to my next point you seem fixated on the original understanding ,definitions and knowledge at the time of the theories origin but the theory itself evolved over time and our understanding today is much better. next "one stag has little or no impact on the herd" that is ridiculous that one stag gets most if not all of the breeding opportunities and therefore the traits that made him the alpha have a much higher chance of being passed on. so the impact on that heard might be minimal but repeat that "selection" over many generations and the herd now has more of the good traits suited for survival. you twist words and make demands of evolution it never stated . lastly you state "but there is also complex cooperation & symbiotic inter-dependence. And also certainly, biology is aware of this complexity" these traits are totally in line with the theory two or more species having a symbiotic relationship is advantageous for all involved and only goes to show yet another adaptation

  240. Old Git Tom

    Darwin's finches are very slight evidence for natural selection. So some have bigger beaks, whatever, than others? They are still finches. It's a giant speculative leap to use that as proof that fish can evolve into camels.

    Of course science progresses, except in biology, where the faithful still bang their heads before the idol of Darwin, the prophet of eternal truth.

    You evade my point about deer, which was that whatever the degree of sexual competition amongst stages, the ratio of dominant to passive males remains constant. Ergo, 'struggle' is not a serious factor of selection.

    You & I agree that biology is aware of the complexities of symbiosis & group survival. The difference is, I am aware that Darwinism is too crude to explain it. Biology clings to the obsolete theory.

    And as I said, there is no way to refute natural selection, since at heart it is a tautology, in the way I explained. Up to you to refute that. OGT

  241. Vlatko

    @Old Git Tom,

    You say: "On the God versus Darwin debate, I conclude 'not proven' for both camps"

    Those two are incomparable. The first one is Dogma and the second one is a tool. It's like comparing "fairytale" to a "transistor".

    So do you think that the whole scientific establishment is in some kind of "trans"... seduced by this guy Darwin so they can not see the "light".

    Do you really think that the majority of the sane scientific world is in delusion by strongly agreeing with Darwin?

    If you thinks so, and clearly you do, you should tell us what do you actually believe in. What is your principle?

  242. GoughLewis

    Hey Vlatko... I really admire what you are doing here. Could you go approve my recent comments please, ... haha

    You have put together so many interesting films, like this one here ....how do you do it!

  243. Old Git Tom

    Vlatko,

    “You say: ‘On the God versus Darwin debate, I conclude “not proven' for both camps" “

    “Those two are incomparable. The first one is Dogma and the second one is a tool. It's like comparing ‘fairytale’ to a ‘transistor’. “

    I’ve said & explicated, Darwinism is actually dogma, & antique dogma. But beyond that, trad religion & creation myths offer obviously non-rational accounts for the universe & contents. Dm offers a profoundly inadequate account, even as science. That’s the basis of my comparison, & it’s not a debate I’m terribly interested in, since it properly involves some rather deep philosophy. Few are interested. Most want some quick soundbites, preferably with hooters & butts attached.

    The religious have ‘faith’, & most ordinary people have faith in Dm, w/out realy understanding it. Few do. But it would be a mistake to claim all critics of Dm come from the religious side. As I said, the first published theory of natural selection (not called that) came from a devout Christian. Darwin read his book.

    “So do you think that the whole scientific establishment is in some kind of ‘trans’... seduced by this guy Darwin so they can not see the ‘light’. Do you really think that the majority of the sane scientific world is in delusion by strongly agreeing with Darwin? “

    Some scientists are embarrassed by biology’s sectarian ultra-conservatism. But within biology, to speak up is to invite career demolition – as happened to R Sheldrake. Dm has become entrenched for non-scientific, social, political, & funding reasons. So cogent criticism tends to come from outside the ranks of professional scientists. You have to know a fair bit about 18C - early 20C history to know how Darwinism got such a tenacious grip on science & the wider world.

    I suspect you have a rather naïve view of scientists. They are not the lilly-white knights in ivory towers they like us to think! They can be really ruthless with rebels who step outside ‘consensus’. Old example was brilliant astronomer Fred Hoyle. A more recent victim was Victor Clube. Dare we mention Nikola Tesla?

    “ - - you should tell us what do you actually believe in. What is your principle? “

    If you’re gagging for it, but hardly relevant! My best guess is that creation/creativity drives evolution, & is inherent/imminent in the universe, & has been from the first – whatever that ‘first’ might be. Some think it was a ‘big bang’, others blame an old, bearded gent in a nightshirt. Take your pick, & thanks for the vids (& fish?!). OGT

  244. Old Git Tom

    Epicurus,

    in your reply -

    "...as for your darwins tautology claim which was HILARIOUS btw... "

    Sadly, this mis-citation is quite typical of Darwinians' in discussion. They are apparently happy to cite anything of a vaguely authoritative nature, & preferably in multiples. As I said before, I have wasted much time on such, which on laborious reading, do not actually support what is claimed.

    Your ref addresses an alleged tautology (re 'fitness') that has nothing to do with my post. That pointed to the more fundamental, & subtle, conflation of 'existence' with 'survival'.

    The word 'survival', a priori, implies competition, or struggle against odds. That was one of the things Darwin had to prove. Mere existence of differing species needs no supplementary argument or proof.

    OGT

  245. Old Git Tom

    Epicurus,

    Not the actual issue I raised, but re your cited Wilkins on ‘fitness’.

    “ 'Fitness' to Darwin meant not those that survive, but those that could be expected to survive because of their adaptations and functional efficiency, when compared to others in the population. This is not a tautology, or, if it is, then so is the Newtonian equation F=ma [Sober 1984, chapter 2], which is the basis for a lot of ordinary physical explanation. “

    Lovely example of muddled ‘double-think’!
    He introduces a hypothetical - “those that could be expected to survive because of their adaptations and functional efficiency” . But who is expecting what, exactly? On what basis? How can ‘functional efficiency’ be a invariable, except as represented by some animal that exists?
    Then he refers ambiguously to - “others in the population.”
    Now since all are presumably of the same species, with the same characteristics, what are these ‘others’? Does he mean some hypothetically-adapted variant? If so, he is defining ‘fitness’ by reference to two hypotheticals.

    Newton’s Second Law (F=ma) is nothing like this shambles. It is derived from hard data & measurements. F (force), mass (m) & acceleration (a) are not hypotheticals. Given values for any two, you can derive the third.

    Not so with Darwin. If it were a theory like Newton’s, the direction & speed of evolution could be predicted. It can’t. Whatever happens in evolutionary history, & whatever fantastical life-forms exist, they cannot violate Darwinism. Not becoz it is wrong, but becoz it is tautological, & really explains nothing, like “I am my mother’s daughter”. OGT

  246. Epicurus

    you found it a muddle because it didnt conform to your bias and you didnt understand it.

    i dont think anyone understands what you are saying half the time and the reason is because you dont really understand the thing you are saying is wrong. your entire view of what evolution is and how it works on all levels and what natural selection is, is very shallow.

    you try to sound smart but come off confusing and that is a clear sign of someone who doesnt know what they are talking about. how about addressing the things being said to you instead of just dismissing them then repeating yourself.

  247. Old Git Tom

    Epicurus,

    your latest post addresses none of the substantive issues & criticisms I put, significantly. I'd suggest it is you who does not really u/stand either me or the Darwinism you claim to support. This comes as no surprise to me, I've met that kind of reaction before. Being in the majority tends to make for complacency & inability to comprehend other points of view.

    If you want to, or can, respond: as I said, Darwin elides or confuses 'survival' & 'existence', thus nullifying the claims for natural selection theory as science. OGT

  248. Anthony Pirtle

    Its not really worth it, Epicurus. Arguing with folks who refuse to accept the truth of the most successful theory in all of biological science is like arguing with a holocaust denier. Facts won't dissuade them because they aren't coming at the question from a position of wanting to understand. They don't oppose evolution on scientific grounds, though they often couch their arguments in scientific terminology, so no amount of scientific evidence will convince them.

  249. DReadrush

    Interesting doc, yet sadly raises the question of why we still question the relevance of evolution through natural selection....... though I guess questioning is a selection pressure we apply to our ideas.

    In any case, and responding to a long-winded thread re. epigenetic: epigenetics does not challenge or refute Darwinian evolution via natural selection. Epigenetics describes molecular factors or processes that are mitotically stable and that regulate genome activity independently of DNA sequence. This latter is critical - epigenetic influences do not modify the code or DNA sequence, thus cannot mutate/modify code to alter protein structure/function. Epigenetic control presents environmentally sensitive signals that acutely modify the level of expression of extant code (ie. increase/repress expression of unaltered genes or code). These effects seem restricted to select gene groups and outcomes. Epigenetic control can thus be understood as a means of providing select and acute adaptive responsiveness to acute environmental stimuli. Epigenetic control is evidenced in humans, for example, via analysis of the impacts of pronounced parental dietary changes (eg. starvation during World Wars) on complex traits and disease phenotypes in offspring.

    In addition to not altering DNA sequence, epigenetic control is also not transmitted through successive generations, only recent generations linked to exposure to the environmental stimulus. How trans-generational is epigenetic control? Environmental perturbations to a pregnant mother (starvation, toxin exposure) exposes not only maternal tissue, but the embryo and the next generation germ-line. Exposure of a non pregnant mother exposes the offsprings germ line. Thus, there is apparent passage of effects through several generations, but no prolonged multi-generational propagation of epigenetic control beyond these. Epigenetic changes are ultimately transient, and the capacity of epigenetics to function as an evolutionary force is thus negated. In short, these responses contribute a Lamarckian adaptive (not evolutionary) process, co-existing with but not negating or replacing the Darwinian modality of evolution.

  250. Old Git Tom

    JHeadrush,

    thanks for your thoughtful comment. I bow to your superior knowledge of epigenetics, yet remain sceptical. You at least concede that the basic building block of Darwinism has shifted. Characteristics acquired in life are transmitted to the later generations, if not in the full Lamarkian sense; just 'a little', & not for many generations. I'll settle for that.

    Yet you are no further forward than Darwin was, apparently, puzzling over his 'fancy' pigeons that reverted to feral prototypes when humans ceased selectively breeding them. Ie., if some fundamental genotype is iron-bound & unchangeable, how then can any adaptation take place?

    The idea of piecemeal, survival-positive mistakes taking place in reproduction is looking less likely. Studies from info technology reveal the fantastic complexity & integrity of how info is encoded, transmitted, & decoded genetically.

    Uncomfortably for Darwinian-materialists, genetics is showing itself as information processing, not the random interaction of inanimate chemicals & matter. Wherever coding & decoding take place, some intelligent agency is required. The intangible 'message' must be extracted from the material medium.

    This poses a philosophical problem for materialists. Insofar as some quasi-intelligent powers are attributed to matter, Darwinism wilts. Its basis is a fundamental dichotomy between life & matter. Matter as environment 'shapes' the life-form by their inter-actions - not the other way round.

    I'm open to enlightenment, but not to dead-as-a-cod-on-a-slab Victorian materialism. OGT

  251. robertallen1

    All your posts are the same: drivel, drivel, drivel.

    Why can't you write clearly? Is your anfractuous language a camouflage for your lack of depth, understanding and intelligence or is it merely a transparent attempt to pass yourself off as a person of education and discernment?

    Ostensibly to impress, you cull phrases, words and concepts from hither and yon with only a vague comprehension of them and the little you manage to assimilate, you distort and misrepresent et cui bono?

    All in all, you are too illiterate and ill-informed to argue with any cogency against evolution of which you do not have even a rudimentary understanding. So why not give up the ghost and quit while you're behind?

  252. Old Git Tom

    If you have anything to contribute on-topic, I'll read it. If you don't like the style or content of my posts, ignore them. OGT

  253. robertallen1

    @OldgitTom

    The problem is your posts have no content so to speak and thus you have nothing to contribute except drivel, drivel, drivel.

    Again, you resort to anagogics to cover up your ignorance.

  254. jonathan jackward

    unified field of consciousness

  255. boldj

    This film " Was Darwin Wrong" is only a pretext setting up a false notion
    that a Creationist viewpoint might be expressed. It is or should be obvious
    to anyone that Evolution is so incredibly wrong and that there is some truly
    anti-human purpose behind it. Darwin's book on Evolution originally had an alternative title having more to do with the superiority of the western Anglic
    peoples than the real study of Nature. I suggest anyone who watches a modern nature documentary notice the the actual people who populate the lands are regarded as pests or enemies of conservation. Is this an accident?

  256. pkunzip

    What is faith? It's taking all the evidence provided, carefully weighing their significance and then throw it all away and stick. If someone comes along to debate, fend them of with a sword of ignorance.

  257. Sieben Stern

    PFFT. Of course darwin was wrong. EVERYONE knows we were made from the blood of the god Kingu by Ea after Marduk defeated Tiamat. sheesh.

  258. Ange Patrick Aka

    none sense

  259. Juan Salazar

    who designed the way the ichneumon wasp's larvae devours alive their hosts?

    or the way Great White Pelicans feed their chicks with pre digested Cape Gannet chicks?

    Human eyes are poorly dessigned compared to octopuses eyes, why a creator would choose to put an inferior design on us?

    the only satisfactory answer to this questions is evolution by natural selection, not a creator (a callous and negligent creator it would seem).

    By the way, mutations are not randomly spread, they are randomly generated and then only spread if they are advantageous to the specific conditions of each individual.

    the evidence is overwhelming

  260. Graeme Berg

    This is of no interest, both creationosts and evolusionists are wrong. They might thouch some truth here and there, but reality is that we dont know how life came into being, and at least not the meaning of it. We try to explain big issues based on a very narrow understanding of the universe. It wont work, you can always theorize, but thats mainly it.

  261. robertallen1

    No, you're wrong.

    Evolutionists (and please learn to spell the word) are not concerned with how life came into being (abiogenesis), but rather with how it evolves--that's it!

    Creationists (and again, please learn to spell the word) simply posit a fairy-tale which they call the truth. At least evolutionists rely on facts.

    I wish people like you would read up before keyboarding their ignorant posts.

  262. Guest

    (From a French girl) Here are some of your past mistakes in parenthesis and in one case a parenthesis in your parenthesis. This is only from Fry's Planet word...imagine if i had gone further.

    *While "ain't" might appear in their (conversaion), the chances are slim that it will appear in their formal writing.
    *Had you read Mark Twain with any thoroughness, you would have realized that his "language play" (occurrs) mostly in his dialogue. The narrative sections of "Tom Sawyer" and "Huckleberry Finn" are in basically conventional English.
    *I never said any such thing. I merely stated that you are branded by the way( )speak or write.
    *Frankly, I really do not believe that you called the English Department at your local university for you would not have received the answer which you allege you did and you omitted the name of the university, the person (you spoke to you) and this person's position or qualifications.
    *You missed the point. I clearly indicated that I was speaking only of the present and only of the phrase "I could care less." At this time, "I couldn't care less" is far more in use than its pseudo opposite, especially in formal writing. Thus, both are not equally acceptable. Of course, some sarcasms and inaccuracies (we say we cross a bridge when actually the (brudge) crosses the river) come to be accepted locutions, but that has nothing to do with what I was writing about.
    * I do not agree. I regard it as an affectation and it is certainly not acceptable in formal English.
    Of course, I speak only for (othe) present.
    *However, there are a number which take a Latinate route, but in most cases this boils down to Greek. For example, delirium tremens, the first part of which comes from the Latin lira, a furrow, which can be traced to the Greek. The word tremens, while directly from the Latin, has Greek (roos). In dementia praecox, the first part is from the Latin word for mind which is a virtual lifting of the Greek word and the second part from the Latin word to cook which in a roundabout way came to the language through the Greek.

    As for the rest i'll let you search yourself, i am tired of giving attention to your anal details. This man is obviously not English but you are.
    az

  263. robertallen1

    Well then, don't.

  264. Guest

    That is a mirror for you at! Look in it, perfection is hardly ever achieved!
    az

  265. robertallen1

    Thank you for taking time to point out these typo's (that's all they are, not errors of usage or patent misspellings). I have already corrected a few. I strive for 104% and if I hit 98%, I'm happy.

    Once again, I appreciate your effort and should you find any more, I would be indebted to you for bringing them to my attention.

    Keep up the good work.

  266. Guest

    fairy tale no -
    az

  267. Guest

    If, as Uriah Heep's Very 'eavy... Very 'umble , you ever "keyboard" heavy or light accusations make sure you spell humble the right way.
    az

  268. ali ahmadi

    thereis no proven explanation of a monkey turning in to a human this is just a "THEORY" which is a stuppid . like 1 gold coin in a million chances are 0. Evolutionist should seriouly try to find a way of proving the DNA change.

    minor evolution is accpted and proven because EX) a person from germany goes to africa eventually through cource of time he will be darker some of his featurs may change this is because of the surrounding environment .his descendants lets say in about 20000 years on would be a africaner version.

    major evolution . have you or anyone seen a fish turn in to a pig etc? DArwin is saying change of type. whilst "minor" is just a change of genes in 2000000 years to protect you because of surrouding environment

    ponder about what i have said!!!!

  269. robertallen1

    Monkeys and humans share a common ancestor--monkeys don't turn into humans--and yes, it has been proven.

    Also, look up the scientific meaning of the term theory, as opposed to its colloquial meaning.

    Maybe you had better read up on evolution and science in general before making such idiotic and ignorant statements.

  270. SGari

    ******"The late Srila Prabhupada, of the Hare Krishna movement, explained that God created “the 8,400,000 species of life from the very beginning,” in order to establish multiple tiers of reincarnation for rising souls. Although souls ascend, the species themselves don’t change, he insisted, dismissing Darwin’s nonsensical theory."

    Interesting how an observation or finding may be interpreted by different people/groups in different ways. Even by the paragraph above, one can read a hint of evolution - "...in order to establish multiple tiers of reincarnation for rising souls". By established Vedic belief (I don't prefer "Hindu", for the word means more regional than a belief system), in the hierarchy of "souls", humans ("man") is the highest. "Reincarnation" can be interpreted to mean many things, so I will let it be.

    Another interesting (and very powerful) phrase from age old Indian teaching is "Vasudeva Kutumbakam" roughly translating to "earth is one family". I know I know - the phrase has shot to prominance from Panchatantra, a collection of short stories written 1000s of years back - each story with a teaching. This phrase has been used in a negetive way in Panchatantra, so there may be more skeptics of the phrase than supporters :). But the phrase is originally from Hitopdesha, and earlier work and has been made as a statement.

    All this CAN be interpreted to mean that species don't "change", they evolve. Meaning - gradually, over a period of time that is beyond human life-spans, species adapt to the changes and develop new attributes or drop existing ones that may be useless in the current or prospective future environment. By doing so, physical and biological charecteristics (may) change. The same specie from some other part of the earth may not see the necessity to change as the environment around it has not changed that much. Or, at a later period of time, conditions favorable to the first specie may come back, so the first specie evolves out of something else while the second specie continues to thrive. Therefore you may see cases of both the species existing at the same time.

    All above is still theory, and is so far acceptable till something new discovered spoil the applecart. Which is fine. Religion is a very powerful tool, but has to be used with caution by leaders as well as followers. Same is the case for aethists. The nudges, pulls and pushes by one on the other is required and should be welcomed, else we as humans will stop evolving.

    Relegious? Aethist? Naturalist? I don't know. But I think we owe this much to ourselves.Anyone who is on the internet has enough resources at hand to go thru all viewpoints and make a decision by themselves.

    SG

  271. Santiago Jarrín

    Maybe is our conception of god that is wrong, if you think in nature forces as the creator there is, you have a god, a regulator and a creator, and is nature it self, something like temperature being the left hand, radiation the right hand, gravity, mmm the third hand :), and so on, then you have a creator force, do we know it is concious? no... but is a creator, a regulator is omnipotent, and all that characterisitics... I think is our vision of god a problem we want a creator with a human face like in religion but maybe is not that way. What is fantastic is to notice how this particles in the universe have this inherent characteristics when they are exposed to different situations, an atom of something if you put enough pressure turns into something else, if is mixed with another things explodes, and so on. So what is fantastic is that there exist a universe with potential in itself to become in the way it is. and if you notice, conciousness is actually one of the billons of possibilites inside these crazy tiny particles.

  272. robertallen1

    What are you writing about or do you even know? This is gibberish.

  273. Winston Smith

    We dont come from monkeys but as members of infraorder Catarrhini we are monkeys. And this has been proven beyond any reasonable doubt. Our DNA is almost 97% the same as that of chimpanzees. In science a 'theory' is the highest form of proof one can get! You would have to get into complex mathematics to go any higher. A 'theory' in scientific nomenclature means: 'a coherent group of tested propositions that can be used as principles of explanation and prediction for a class of phenomena.' We are also all very closely related. In fact, no two humans are farther apart than 50th cousins from one another and most of us are closer.
    Watch Evolution Made Easy on youtube: watch?v=7w57_P9DZJ4&

  274. Winston Smith

    Darwin did not come up with the idea of evolution. Not by a long shot, the idea, as far as we know, goes back to the ancient Greeks. His grandfather wrote about evolution actually. What Darwin gave us were the mechanisms which drive and shape evolution; namely, descent with modification and natural selection. He didnt know about DNA but he deduced that there must be some mechanism through which familial traits get passed along to offspring and future descendents. And when those traits are favorable to survival it is those animals that get to reproduce and so pass those favorable traits onto their young.

  275. robertallen1

    Mr. 1984:

    Three questions:

    1. What do you mean by "complex mathematics?"

    2. Speaking of 50th cousins, I wonder what is the closest blood relationship one person can have to another to avoid producing genetically deficient offspring.

    3. Speaking of mathematics, is there a formula for establishing the point at which a species becomes so far removed genetically from its forbearers that it can no longer mate with members of that species and thus becomes a different species?

  276. robertallen1

    First learn to read and write, then begin the process of education. After success in all three, then make your claims--IN THAT ORDER!

  277. Joe Manning

    There's nothing to ponder, Ali, Ahmadi, as you have said nothing. You are talking out of your ass and you know it. The fact that you don't know what a scientific theory is, is proof of this.

  278. robertallen1

    Right you are--and that is why I hate the term Drawinism--it's evolution.

    But could you please enlighten me on something? Which of the ancient Greeks, or for that matter of the ancient world, set forth the concept of evolution?

  279. Jesse Royal

    Yes i know that there is a great deal of evidence of evolution. But here is a nice question for all of you ppl out there, couldn't the so called "god" create us to evolve. I have yet to see this question thrown out there so give me your thoughts.

  280. Epicurus

    well just to let you know the question has been put forth.

    and you are right a god could have created life to evolve. but again what evidence do we have for that?

    its just saying some magical being that can do anything did what we dont yet know. it seems intellectually lazy

  281. brian rose

    If God created evolution, then he certainly didn't INTEND for it to result in anything. Lets do a thought experiment: when the first jellyfish evolved (and thus 1st organisms with 2 cell layers... a big deal) they would have looked around and said "Gee! We're the most complex organism thats ever existed, and by a large margin. Therefore we must be special, and the 'goal' of evolution."

    You probably know where I'm going with this, so I'll cut to the chase. A time will surely pass in this universe when 1 billion years has passed from this very moment. When that moment passes the accumulated evolutionary trend (Eukaryote-Porifera-Echinodermata-Chordata-Vertebrata-Gnathostomata-Tetrapoda-Amphibia-Reptilia-Mammalia) will have amassed such greater complexity that Homo sapiens will seem as quaint as a jellyfish.

    If God created evolution, then he did not intend for human beings to be his ultimate creation, and we are thus not the center of the universe.

  282. robertallen1

    So could the tooth fairy.

  283. robertallen1

    Well put. We are just one link on the evolutionary chain.

  284. Achems_Razor

    Who's god? your god? what does your so called god look like, is god a female, male, an it?

    You have to show empirical evidence first that your invisible god is a moving grooving entity that is real, not a figment of your imagination before you even come up with such an obscure statement.

  285. nate_171

    atheists always forcing there beliefs on other pityful

  286. Bran Deditems

    There is no mention of dinosaurs on the Bible. If Noah housed Dinosaurs then there would of been nothing left at all but the dinosaur. Really?

  287. true infidel

    nate. athests do not have a belief to force on anyone .i domt belive in any religons god. the truth is we dont know the truth. but i do belive that we dont complitly die

  288. true infidel

    that common ancestor may be obama

  289. robertallen1

    You've taken away my desire to evolve.

  290. JR

    You can twist anything you want into that logic. If God created us through evolution, then it could just as easily be a computer simulation instead, or a flying pink unicorn, or any number of things. They all bear equal weight because they are all just as likely, and just as irrelevant. Then you also need to show what created that being/entity, and what created whatever created it, and on and on. If you want to claim that a god created us with evolution, you have to explain it with observations and logic, just like any other idea, but you can't. It's a pointless exercise in circular logic.

  291. Kateye70

    Oddly enough, I believe Santiago Jarrin is trying to express the Gaia hypothesis.

    The "creation force" (or Gaia), operating through such forces as temperature, radiation, gravity, etc.--all the natural laws at work together--to create life as we know it. He stipulates that it is not necessarily a conscious being deliberately planning results, which we observe and call god(dess), and goes on to say that it is our need for a human face which anthropomorphizes this force. I think he also delves into quantum physics, but that's beyond me. =)

    (For those not familiar, from the Wiki for Gaia hypothesis: "The Gaia hypothesis, also known as Gaia theory or Gaia principle, proposes that all organisms and their inorganic surroundings on Earth are closely integrated to form a single and self-regulating complex system, maintaining the conditions for life on the planet.")

    P.S. Yes I know this is an old comment, but I found it intriguing =)

  292. robertallen1

    Then let him express it clearly.

  293. Kateye70

    Perhaps English is not his first language and he did the best he could.

    I found his idea intriguing.

  294. robertallen1

    If he cannot write clear, acceptable English, he shouldn't be writing in English at all. In addition, metaphysical ideas are a dime a dozen and, quite frankly, I find nothing intriguing in them.

  295. mudshark23

    This is what you do all day?

  296. robertallen1

    Is this your idea of an intelligent comment?

  297. ali ahmadi

    yes u replied well in general people say we are directly from chimpanzees /monkeys . yes we have similarites but we r completley different species !!! theory : dictionary describes : A SUPPOSATION or systam of ideas intended to EXPLAIN something esp one based on general principals independant of the thing to be explained . ie. darwins theory of evolutiion . yes HUMANS are .1 of a DNA apart (i thnk it was .1 it was somethng in those lines) so the DNA similarity would be for me becasue we are humans + adam and eve / adam and hava (islam )

    note brother smith im very new to this all but i can tell when something is beeep .:D (u urself seem like ur not as belifafied (if thats a word????

    xoxoox new learneee

  298. ali ahmadi

    forgot thnk for vieo recommend to anyone

  299. ali ahmadi

    ??? confused :I could u be more elaborate ::
    xoxoxo
    (i really like this site the viewees challenge u which i love !!!

  300. robertallen1

    Now that you've learned how to use a keyboard and press the send button, how about learning to write in standard, not pidgin, English?

  301. ali ahmadi

    i dont know what a scientifc thory is .........:0 im broken on the inside :( but thats what so many sources have said. well thnx for pondering on that i havnt said anything . but its important that u actually thnk about what i have said ::::::::~)

  302. over the edge

    coresai went to your link but i quit after the third time is brought up the origins of life as a problem for evolution. clearly the maker of the link has absolutely no desire to be honest or understand the theory (or both). just so i know why is "What about another recent failed Darwinian prediction, that of junk DNA? It's interesting to see how as we advance, as we make new scientific discoveries, science hammers another nail into Darwin's coffin." please put it your own words (so i get an understanding of your knowledge of the theory) links are welcome but please show me you understand what you are linking to. so why is junk dna a nail in Darwins coffin?

  303. robertallen1

    Have you ever read a biology book in your life? Except for the junk contained on creationist websites, what have you read about evolution and Darwin? If the answer is nothing, why are you making all these uneducated and false statements, for example, the ones about chimpanzee DNA and failed Darwinian preductions? Now why does Mr. Smith seems intelligent and informed and you don't?

  304. Tronald dump

    All religion is the biggest game of telephone ever played. Remember telephone, in school we would all sit in a circle, one kid would whisper to another kid a certain line or phrase, and by the time it got to the last child the phrase was different or not even close to the beginning phrase. Now if you look at religion, the kids are popes, emperors, kings and queens, all using the guise of faith th push through an agenda. Jesus was just a man, and his name wasn't Jesus Christ, it was more along the lines of Jakob Ben Yosef, and guess what, he just wanted people to be nice to each other and share and help those in need, and to treat others with respect. Instead we learn that he is a magician that walks on water and makes loaves and fish appear. What a joke, same goes for other deity based faiths. Your telling me Jews that your god is so petty you'll go to hell for eating the wrong thing, and Muslims your god is so petty that you can't cu your hair or other Muslim things I don't know much about. Open your eyes people, Darwin might not be 100 percent wright , but religion is 100 percent corrupt and wrong, deal with it.

  305. UnnQommon

    @Jesse Royal hat you propose is what most mainstream religious groups believe. It is entirely plausible that an almighty creator god created the raw firmament and rules by which it could unfold. I find this scenario more plausible (although I still don't believe in a god) because a god who is constantly interfering and changing the rules sounds like a god who doesn't know what he's doing.

  306. docoman

    G'day UnnQommon, welcome to TDF.
    Which 'mainstream' religious groups believe that? Is that what they teach?

  307. a_visitor_to_your_planet

    Uncommon
    What Jesse is talking about os generally known as "theistic evolution". I'd love to kow what grounds you have for saying that it is "what most nainstream religious groups believe". Did you or someone else do a survey or something, ecause whilst I know that there are indeed some "modernist" Christians, a smaller percentage of Muslims and some more liberal Jews who might think that way I seriously wonder if you'd be able to muster a majority in any of those groups.
    By the way, IMO there are no dinosaurs in the Bible because they had come and gone by the time Adam and Ever were expelled from Eden.
    The Genesis account says that God created the Earth, populated it with fishes, birds, animals, etc., and only then created human beings. Moreover he created the "Garden of Eden" for Adam and Eve which was apparently separated from the rest of the world in some manner.
    If one accepts the idea that in the Genesis account "yom" means "an unspecified period of time" then it could a have been a VERY long time from the creation of the world to the creation of human beings - during which all kinds of events could have occurred. And Adam and Eve could have been in the Garden of Eden for a VERY long time (being originally immortal), oblivious of the things going on in "the outside world" between the time they were created and the time they left Eden.
    And anyway, the Bible is quite clearly NOT designed to serve as a history or science textbook but as a record of the developing relatiuonship between God and mankind. Trying to find fault because it ISN'T a scientific document is like blaming a dolphin for not being a horse.
    Nor do you don't have to believe the account in Genesis is true in order to understand that it is coherent within itself and conforms to the writer(s)'
    intended purpose..

  308. robertallen1

    Coherent within itself? There are two accounts of creation in genesis and they contradict each other. Just which god are you talking about and what's so "developing" about this relationship? How do you know the writer(s)' intended purpose?

  309. oQ

    The theory of evolution is our best explanation for the facts of evolution, it will not be proven wrong, it is obvious why, it works!
    But it will be "modernized".
    Can we prove physical evolution wrong?
    I doubt it to the point of saying NO.
    Can our reality be proven to be more than we make it to be?
    I don't doubt it to the point of saying YES.
    1i

  310. robertallen1

    And your point is?

  311. a_visitor_to_your_planet

    Robertall1
    Well, half right.
    There are two accounts of the creation, but they are merely diffrent in their degree of detail. And no cotradictions, that I know of. If yu are sure there is why not specify the difference instead of making vague allegations? I'd certainly like the details).
    See what happens when you try to be clever. God is thje NAME of God as described in authenticChristian (Bible-based) teaching. God with a lower case "g" is the "job description".
    Read the Bible and if you have *at least* average intelligence (which I assume you do) you'll be able to see how the religious practices, laws, etc. develop over the course of the Old Tesament (through several covenants) leading to the final covenant realised through Jesus Christ.
    I don't KNOW the writer(s)'s intention, I just assumed that he/they did what thgey intended to do. Is that a problem?
    Once again, you don't need to believe the narrative to understand it.

  312. a_visitor_to_your_planet

    Sorry, Achem
    Who says that anyone has to provide more evidence of the existernce of their God than there already is.
    If you don't want to believe, don't. That's your right.
    If you're not sure you might, for example, ask yourself when consciousness and intelligence (in ythe broad sense) came from in a universe which is made entirely of insensible (albeit highly varied) particles.
    JAT

  313. robertallen1

    In Genesis 1:
    Day 1: Sky, earth, light
    Day 2: Water, both in ocean basins and above the sky
    Day 3: Plants
    Day 4: Sun, Moon, stars
    Day 5: Sea monsters, fish, birds, land animals, reptiles, insects, etc.
    Day 6: Humans
    Day 7: Nothing (the Gods took the first day off anyone ever did)

    Genesis 2,
    Earth and heavens
    Adam,
    Plants
    Animals
    Eve

    Talk about contradictions!!!

    " . . . you'll be able to see how the religious practices, laws, etc. develop over the course of the Old Tesament (through several covenants) leading to the final covenant realised through Jesus Christ." That's not what you wrote earlier, to wit: "And anyway, the Bible is quite clearly NOT designed to serve as a history or science textbook but as a record of the developing relatiuonship [SIC] between God and mankind."

    "Nor do you don't have to believe the account in Genesis is true in order to understand that it is coherent within itself and conforms to the writer(s)' intended purpose." Yes, I have a problem with that. Claiming that you know the writers' intentions when you really don't makes you a liar.

    It's clear that you don't know what you're talking about.

  314. robertallen1

    And just which evidence is this?
    If you can't provide empirical evidence for the existence of your god, your claim is as fraudulent as your god of the gaps argument.

  315. Achems_Razor

    You explain where consciousness and intelligence come from since you know so much about the workings of the universe.

    Is it because your gods breathed it or spoked it and it became so? or other such unmitigated nonsense?

  316. a_visitor_to_your_planet

    Achem
    Sorry, you're asking me to indulge in "God of the Gaps" thinking,which I have never supported.
    I'm not TELLING you anything, I'm just asking you to think for yourself.
    This is something Christians allegedly cannot do, yet the practice of answering a question with a queston (and usually, as in your own post, an insult) is typical, it seems, of atheists and other non-believers whenever they are presented with a perfectly reasonable question for which they have no answer.
    By the way, my question was entirely rhetoical, I don't presume that you are bound toanswer me.

  317. a_visitor_to_your_planet

    Hi Winston

    You wrote:

    "Our DNA is almost 97% the same as that of chimpanzees"

    1. Our DNA is also 50% the same as bananas. To borrow a famous debating question, "Are you banana above the waist or below?"

    Also:

    "In science a 'theory' is the highest form of proof one can get"
    If this is so, could you please explain why, for example, "Boyle's Law" isn't called "Boyle's Theory"?
    Presumably someone in the scientific community thinks there is a difference, wouldn't you say?

  318. a_visitor_to_your_planet

    Hi Robertallen
    First, thank you for your lists. I guess it's been so long since I heard the "contradiction" allegation I'd forgotten what it was (and I really did want to know).
    In fact there is, as I said, NO CONTRADICTION if you read Genesis 2 in a rational fashion. You *seem* to be assuming that things appeared in the order they are mentioned without any reference to the full text around them.
    .
    1. Writing an outline followed by a second writing giving more details on specific points is a structure repeated a number of times, not only in Genesis 1 & 2.
    .
    2. Despite your criticisms of other people's use of the language, I suspect your ALLEGED contradictions are merely misunderstandings of the language used in a couple of verses:
    Because Adam is NOT presented as having been created before plants or birds/fish/animals, only before Eve:
    (a) Genesis 2:5 does NOT say "there were no plants", it says that "no plants had sprung up" and explains why. So whilst there were no "full grown" plants there were who knows how many dormant seeds ready to spring up when watered. And please don't say that "seeds" aren't "plants". That's sheer pedantry, and the Bible isn't a textbook..
    (b) You say that Adam was created before animals, but check the actual wording of Genesis 2:19. It says "Now God HAD (past tense) formed ... all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air" WITHOUT specifying exactly WHEN this had taken place AGAIN (since that information is already available in Genesis 1:20-25).
    .
    3. As regards the creation of Eve, check Genesis 1:27-28. This exactly fits the structure I describe above. First the very basic details - God made Adam and Eve - in Genesis 1, and then the detailed version - why Eve was ceated, how (essential details only), etc. - in Genesis 2.
    .
    So where, I wonder, are the "contradictions" you insist upon but didn't precisely describe. Perhaps there's something elst that I've missed so far?

  319. Achems_Razor

    Yes, you are doing your god of the gaps claim, you brought up the existence of your god, of which you offer no proof, and then asking the question of whence consciousness and intelligence originated from, you do not know, so you give the distinct impression that your GOD must be responsible.

    Think for myself? that's a good one.

    And right away referring to me uttering an insult, you religee's always play your persecution card, don't you?

  320. a_visitor_to_your_planet

    Robertallen

    "And just which evidence is this [for the existence of God]?"

    Let's see. Here's a start:

    The entire universe is supposed to be composed of nothing but particles (of various kinds). Particles have no consciousness, no intelligence, they just are.

    How, then, are the particles that make up a human head able to comprehend the universe around them (albeit very incompletely).

    From that same basis, how do any of these particle collections ("collocations of atoms" as Bertrand Russell called them), comprehend a non-material concept such as beauty?

    "If you can't provide empirical evidence for the existence of your god, your claim is as fraudulent"
    Would you care to produce empirical evidence in support of that claim?
    Looks fraudulent to me. In fgact I don't think you understand what the "God of the Gaps" argument actually is, do you.
    For your edification, and to help you to avoid showing yourself up in future (on this point):
    The claim that if science cannot explain something or other then "God must be responsible" is not only false, it is potentially self-defeating. It was rejected on those grounds at least as far back as the 18th century by the clergyman, Thomas Burnett.
    The difference between that and what I said above is that I do NOT claim that God accounts for the gaps in our scientific knowledge - I claim that he is the creator of the universe and all it's scientific "laws" and is therefore the irreducable foundation for ALL scientific knowledge, both the things we have already discovered AND all the things we have yet to find out.
    I invite you to produce empirical evidence that contradicts that claim.

  321. Achems_Razor

    No one has to prove anything to you about your gods, you made the claim, the onus is in your court for you to show empirical evidence that your invisible god is the numero uno!

  322. a_visitor_to_your_planet

    Robertallen

    "Which of the ancient Greeks, or for that matter of the ancient world, set forth the concept of evolution?"
    IIRC, Professor Ernst Mayr cited Epicurus. But he claimed that all evolutionist hypotheses prior to Darwin argued that evolution involved conservation rather than progress.

  323. a_visitor_to_your_planet

    True Infidel

    "athests do not have a belief to force on anyone"
    With respect, an atheist who says they don't know is an agnostic, NOT an "theist".
    Atheists believe that:
    There is nothing beyond death.
    That there is NO God (in the sense of a supreme being/creator/planner/designer of the universe)
    That sooner or later science will explain everything, and better than any religion ever did.
    And that evolution explains most things already as far as any kind of life form is concerned.
    That any god (see above description) is a superstition and therefore anyone who believes in a god, especially a personal God, isn't playing with a full deck.
    Now it may be that you can find someone who says they are an atheist but doesn't agree with one or both of the last two beliefs, but I can't say I've ever found one yet, in person, on the media or in book form. And I've been looking for a long time.

    As to not forcing their beliefs, you cannot be serious. They already have a "summer camp" in America where children are taught to reject any kind of religious thinking.

    But that's just neutral atheism, so it isn't called "ramming it down the kids' throats"!

  324. a_visitor_to_your_planet

    Brian Rose

    "If God created evolution, then he did not intend for human beings to be his ultimate creation, and we are thus not the center of the universe."
    I completely agree.
    I don't believe God "created" macroevolution (though microevolution - previously known as "adaptation" like a pretty well supported notion.
    BTW, you do know that evolution simply means "change", don't you. Evolution can go in any direction so long as something changes.
    Having said that, I'd love to know where you get the idea that religious people, especially Christians think that Earth is the "center of the universe". It certainly isn't from any statement in the Bible. Indeed, sinc e the Bible isn't a cosmology textbook it's quite possible that there are many other planets where there are followers of - in Christian terms at least - bona fide God-given religions.
    Trouble is, atheists apparently can't think that far outside the box and it seems they don't think we can either.

  325. a_visitor_to_your_planet

    Oh dear, Robertallen
    Don't you loose your grip easily.
    Coresa's post contained not one word of untruth.
    Indeed, in the case of the comparison between chimp and human DNA it looks as though the earlier figure of 98% similarity might have been deliberately misleading in the way in which the data to be compared was selected (not an uncommon event in science - see the story of how Sir Arthur Eddington selected his evidence to support Einstein's theory of relativity, for example).
    Perhaps you don't even know enough genuine information to realise that pure Darwinism was pretty much dead in the water by the 1920s. It took Sewall-Wright's introduction of mathematics and the concept of "gewnetic drif" to revive it, but only conditionally.
    The so-called "Darwin Wars" have been going on - between bona fide scientists - for several decades now. One proof of which is a recent letter to a national newspaper which questioned the scientific value of the concept of "natural selection" as an explanatory notion. It was signed by over 90 Ph.Ds.

  326. docoman

    You said;

    "The Genesis account says that God created the Earth, populated it with fishes, birds, animals, etc., and only then created human beings. Moreover he created the "Garden of Eden" for Adam and Eve..."

    Gen 2:15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

    Hardly sounds like it was FOR Adam and Eve, they were the groundskeepers it says.

    And your analogy of dolphin/horse and the Bible's errors is absurd.
    Why is it too much to ask, when it's said that it's the 'word of God', to actually get it correct? It was the 'science textbook' of it's time was it not? And why all the so and so begot so and so ... etc if it's not about history?
    It's been treated by believers as if it is, you seem to.

  327. a_visitor_to_your_planet

    Achem

    "you brought up the existence of your god, of which you offer no proof, and then asking the question of whence consciousness and intelligence originated from, you do not know, so you give the distinct impression that your GOD must be responsible."

    Sorry? On what grouds do you argue that the can only be two options?

    l"Think for myself? that's a good one."

    Yes, I think it is.

    "you religee's always play your persecution card, don't you?"
    What persecion card? I only referred to your attempt to be insultig in the context of your comment about religion being nonsense. So far I haven't seen anything in your posts that accurately reflects any of the major religions.

  328. docoman

    Gen 2:19 (KJV) And out of the ground the Lord
    God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

    What past tense? As you already pointed out, in Gen 1 it says the animals were created before man, but Gen 2:19 does not give that impression at all.

    One more problem with your 'dinosaurs evolving outside Eden' theory... it says in Gen 2:19 .... God formed EVERY beast of the field. Not some, but every one. No mention of things like dinosaurs. Also, when did Adam name the dinosaurs if they evolved later on? EVERY living thing was created in 6 days Genesis claims.

  329. Achems_Razor

    Baloney, my supposed insult you took personally, and how can I accurately reflect any of the major religions, when I think they are all bunk. you seem dishonest.

    State the other options besides the two, you are referring too.

  330. docoman

    As you are the one making the assertion, it is on you to provide the evidence that it is so, NOT for others to disprove your assertions.
    I invite you to produce empirical evidence that proves YOUR claims.

  331. a_visitor_to_your_planet

    OK Epicurus

    "how is junk dna a failed prediction? oh maybe you are talking about the latest findings...well perhaps you should give this a look"

    So I've read it. So what do you think it proves?

    It looks, to me, like an excuse rather than an explanation of anything, and here's why:

    For some time past the existence of so-called "junk DNA" has been touted as proof of evolution - just like vestigial organs were once presented in the same manner, and with just as much confidence.
    .
    Once upon a time there were supposedly around 180 of these "vestigial organs". Last time I looked there were just 12, and there may be even fewer by now.
    .
    Junk DNA, likewise has been touted as proof of evolution, purportedly providing evidence that change at the genetic level does indeed occur - here's some that didn't get cleaned up.

    But guess what, when contrary evidence - non-evolution-friendly evidence - comes in we start getting "Oh, I never liked that name anyway" and "well no,, of course it isn't junk. Evolution might use it again."
    .
    Dream on, baby!.

  332. docoman

    About your point (a), plants and seeds.. if everything was created in 6 days, what did all the herbivores eat while these 'possible dormant seeds' germinated and grew? Where did the 'birds of the air' nest while the trees grew for example? etc etc.

  333. docoman

    Hmm, what's with the "Dream on, baby!" comment, when you were supposedly offended earlier by someone saying they thought religion is nonsense.
    It's ok for you to be precious, but also ok to be equally 'supposedly offensive'?
    How does that work, unless you're being hypocritical?

  334. oQ

    I think his description fits what A LOT of atheists would claim though. Scholars may have expanded on the meaning while blending atheism and agnostism but it hasn't reached the mass yet.
    1i

  335. oQ

    What is a personal GOD when you follow a religion?
    1i

  336. docoman

    I can agree with that, 'a lot', but that's not what he/she said. a_visitor said,

    "Now it may be that you can find someone who says they are an atheist but doesn't agree with one or both of the last two beliefs, but I can't say I've ever found one yet, in person, on the media or in book form. And I've been looking for a long time."

    They infer that it's more then just 'a lot' with that paragraph, while you'll see easily in the link I provided it is not that simple.
    Edit- read that link mate, I'd say Dawkins is 'reaching the masses', but that's only an opinion. I could be wrong. Either way it shows a_visitor hasn't looked very hard.

  337. robertallen1

    I don't know is a perfectly good answer and it beats hands down inventing some third party.

  338. over the edge

    you are arguing science and you do not know the difference between a law and a theory? "facepalm: i will generalize for you

    a law is usually a mathematical equation that provides a specific outcome given specific data within a narrow set of parameters.

    a theory is a collection of data/laws/observations that describe a phenomenon occurring in nature as a whole supported be a large body of evidence. a theory will never become a law.

  339. oQ

    This thing about God creating man first was written by a patriarchal take over.
    1i

  340. robertallen1

    The first question is patently silly.

    Where did Winston equate theory with law?

  341. over the edge

    i agree. are you familiar with Lilith ? some believe her to be Adams first mate but she left out of refusal to be subservient to him.

  342. oQ

    I disagree. If he cannot write clear, acceptable English to YOU, he should keep writing as much as he wants....and so it is for anyone who comes on TDF.
    Who are you to say to people not to write here because their English proficiency is not to your liking.
    This is a world accessed site and i suppose Valtko is happy to have anyone express their thoughts, providing they remain civil (you know the word, don't you?).
    1i

  343. oQ

    I suppose it would depend on who he relates to, what he watches and what he reads.
    1i

  344. robertallen1

    A plant cannot exist until it has sprung up--and seeds are not plants--and nowhere does the word "seed" or anything like it appear in the passage. Then after stating that no shrubs had sprung up, the passage goes on, "THEN the lord god formed a man . . . " {NIV} [emphasis added]. Clearly there is a chronological connection. Don't try to lie your way out of it.

    "Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[g] and then closed up the place with flesh. THEN the Lord God made a woman from the rib[h] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man." [NIV] [emphasis added] Clearly chronological and clearly Eve was created after the wild animals, the birds and Adam.
    Contradictions are contradictions no matter in what far-fetched manner Christian apologetics tries in its dishonest way to explain them away.
    Now, what did Christ say on the cross?

  345. oQ

    This brings to mind Hermaphrodite plants, you know what plant i'm talking about.
    1i

  346. robertallen1

    Your are the one making the claim; the burden of proof rests on you. Trying to pass it off on someone else not only exposes its vacuity, but shows you up for the fraud you are .
    What you claim is only so much garbage; it's what you can prove and so far you have proven nothing.
    And by the way, which god are you talking about, yours?

  347. docoman

    Which is why anecdotes like those are not reliable as evidence.

  348. robertallen1

    1. All that binds modern atheists is their refusal to believe in a supreme power without convincing evidence. This is not the same as claiming there is no god or that they don't know if there is a god (or two or three of them) although the latter comes a lot closer to the concept than the former.

    2.. "That sooner or later science will explain everything, and better than any religion ever did." Just what is everything? One way or the other, as religion has never been able to explain anything (much less everything), this isn't much of a claim.
    3. " . . . that evolution explains most things already as far as any kind of life form is concerned." Ever heard of Kenneth R. Miller, Francisco Ayala and Theodosius Dobzhanski, all major evolutionary biologists, the first two Roman Catholics, the latter a lifelong member of the Eastern Orthodox Church, the farthest thing from atheists.

    4. What is the name of this summer camp and are children being forced to go there? Is it worse or the same as "Jesus Camp" [see the documentary on TDF]? In addition, when was the last time you saw professed atheists going door to door proselytizing? When was the last time you saw professed atheists crusading to have atheism taught in schools? When was the last time you met a professed atheist who favored the banning of religion?
    Painting all atheists with the same brush reveals the extent of your ignorance and dishonesty. Religious thinking is indeed a contradiction in terms.

  349. robertallen1

    Once again, what you believe is only so much garbage. It's what you can prove and so far all you have proved is that you don't know the first thing about biological evolution which does not distinguish between macro and micro evolution--at least in the sense that you are obviously using the terms.
    And speaking about thinking "outside the box" (whatever that means, just how do you tell a bona fide god-given religion from its opposite?

  350. Pysmythe

    Which made her (what else?) a demon, of course... Lilith. What a tickly connotation the name has. I've always loved it, myself.

  351. oQ

    The name Lilith always reminded me of before life or after life...the void, the terrifying thought of Nothingness....the demon of life.
    1i

  352. robertallen1

    And just what is "pure Darwinism?" And just how does genetic drift (which you obviously know nothing about except for what you have read on creationist websites contradict the concept of natural selection?

    From Wikipedia (sources in article. "It has been claimed that Eddington's
    observations were of poor quality and he had unjustly discounted simultaneous
    observations at Sobral, Brazil, which appeared closer to the Newtonian model,
    but a 1979 re-analysis with modern measuring equipment and contemporary
    software validated Eddington's results and conclusions. The quality of the 1919
    results was indeed poor compared to later observations, but was sufficient to
    persuade contemporary astronomers. The rejection of the results from the Brazil
    expedition was due to a defect in the telescopes used which, again, was
    completely accepted and well-understood by contemporary astronomers." In
    short, he did not select his evidence to support his data and in short, you have
    lied. Furthermore, where is the tie-in to the computation of the 98% genetic similarity between chimpanzees and humans--"might have been" says absolutely nothing.

    "The so-called "Darwin Wars" have been going on - between bona fide scientists - for several decades now. One proof of which is a recent letter to a national newspaper which questioned the scientific value of the
    concept of "natural selection" as an explanatory notion. It was signed by over 90 Ph.Ds." For your information, In a 1986 amicus curae brief signed by 72 US Nobel Prize winners, 17 state academies of science and 7 other scientific societies petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court in Edwards v.Aguillard to reject a Louisiana state law requiring the teaching of creationism. This was the largest collection of Nobel Prize winners to sign anything up to that point, providing the clearest statement by scientists in support of
    evolution yet produced. "Fact, Fancy and Myth on Human Evolution," Alan J. Almquist, John E. Cronin, Current Anthropology, Vo. 29, No. 3, pp. 520-522. This beats hands down your 90 Ph.D.'s (who knows in which fields) writing to some unidentified national newspaper and even assuming that all 90 of these Ph.D.’s were biologists, this accounts for only a sliver of the number of biologists in the U.S. alone which gives the lie to your "Darwin Wars."
    It's amazing and disgusting the lying, fraud and cheating that religees will engage in to support their empty and ignorant claims.

  353. robertallen1

    And just how do you distinguish between a major religion and a minor one? One way or the other, the common thread running through all religions (even Buddahism) is a belief in the supernatural for which there has been no evidence.

  354. robertallen1

    The term "junk DNA" was simply coined by the media for DNA which does not encode protein sequences. By the way, this DNA comprises 98% of the human genome. While some sequences may have no biological function for the organism, such as endogenous retroviruses, many types of noncoding DNA sequences perform important biological functions, including the transcriptional and translational regulation of protein-coding sequences.
    In all, you are as ignorant about "Junk DNA" as you are about vestigial organs (and where you got the number 12 is beyond me--"the last time you looked" doesn't begin to come up to a source), just as you are ignorant about almost everything else, but what can one expect from someone who gets his "information" from creationist websites?
    Another post reflecting the wilful ignorance of a typical religee.

  355. robertallen1

    I am and this vixen sort of throws a monkey wrench into everything, doesn't she?

  356. Achems_Razor

    Define "the void," define "nothingness"

  357. Pysmythe

    To me, She brings to mind a man's ancient fears and even jealousies about the awesome power of the Feminine. She demands not only being dealt with on equal terms, but quite possibly a very delicious occasional subservience to Her that makes all of my nether regions, physical and mental, tingle with delight and anticipation.
    Whip me!

  358. oQ

    consciousness is void of being in it's pure form...therefore being represented by nothingness.
    1i

  359. oQ

    That is if you think of here as a female but i doubt that the ancients thought of her as a women, more like a representation of an energy.
    Of course this remains an opinion.
    1i

  360. robertallen1

    Just what are you talking about. Complete gibberish.

  361. oQ

    My point is as clear as this one .
    1i

  362. Achems_Razor

    Ha, Ha, robertallen1 beat me to it, I have not a clue to what you are saying, sorry. Please reiterate.

  363. Pysmythe

    Thanks for that bucket of cold water! Hopefully, you were smiling when you threw it, lol.

  364. oQ

    Hear it from a scholar....
    Documentary The Quantum Activist, and if you DO watch it in it's ENTIRITY, 'll be happy to discuss what you think of it.
    1i

  365. robertallen1

    Which is?

  366. robertallen1

    Obviously you can't explain it which means obviously that you don't understand it, but have simply copied.

  367. Achems_Razor

    I have seen it before, besides all the deities, spirituality, what do you garner from the quantum mechanics aspect?

  368. a_visitor_to_your_planet

    Robertallen
    You certainly can roll out the atheist aggression that is so often substituted for rational argument. But you also have the standard tendency for self-defeat.
    Whilst flashing your supposed knowledge I notice that you ceiticise me for failing to provide a source, but where are the sources for any of your claims?
    Looks to me that you are one of those people that thinks that cutting and pasting information proves you know what you're talking about.
    Sorry, I'm not buying. There's absolutelyno reason for aggression and invective (i.e. bullying) when you genuinelyknow your stuff. Just look at the difference between Dr Dawkins when he's working about biology and related subjects, and Mr Dawkins when he's arguing outside his field of expertise. No comparison.

  369. robertallen1

    For one, Wikipedia contains detailed articles on junk DNA and vestigial organs on wikipedia, complete with sources. I don't care what you are "buying." Let's see you demonstrate that you know what you are talking about by refuting any of my statements anent DNA and vestigial organs--and I don't mean with "information" gleaned from creationist websites.
    Frauds such as you deserve every ounce of aggression and invective which can be heaped upon them.
    P.S. What makes you think I'm an atheist?

  370. a_visitor_to_your_planet

    oQ

    "Can we prove physical evolution wrong?
    I doubt it to the point of saying NO."

    Of course no one can PROVE evolution wrong. Even showing that x, y or z is possible now doesn't PROVE it happened in the past.

    It is worth remembering, therefore, that all of the evidence on alleged evolution has to be interpreted. Thus some evolutionists (maybe the majority?) assume that the fossil record indicates fairly steady progress. Yet if we take the fossil record at face value it actually seems to indicate a series of quite lengthy periods when very little happened, interspersed with short periods of quite high activity - Gould & Eldredge's "punctuated equilibria".

    Neither interpretation is written in stone, and even Dawkins admits that the Darwinian model may one day have to be abandoned.

    Just one point you may or may not want to take note of:

    Your comment:

    "Can we prove physical evolution wrong?
    I doubt it to the point of saying NO"
    Is an example of what is known as an "argument from personal incredulity" (or personal belief). And whilst of course it's absolutely fine that you have a personal opinion on these matters they in no way contribute to the discussion unless you can back them up with some kind of supporting evidence.

  371. robertallen1

    Which didn't you provide a source for Dawkins' alleged statement that the Darwinian model may one day have to be abandoned? Clearly the mark of a deceiver.

    "Of course no one can PROVE evolution wrong." Really, now. "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case." Charles Darwin, Origin of the Species. In addition, if a man were born with a tree growing out of his head, evolution would be disproved.

    Which modern mainstream evolutionists claim (or even assume) that the fossil record indicates steady process, especially in light of the Cambrian Explosion (which took about a brief two million years) and what makes you think they might be the majority?

    As usual, you don't know what you're talking about.

  372. a_visitor_to_your_planet

    Robertallen

    I loved this comment, it is so typical of the level of, or rather lack of insight displayed by many atheists:

    "but what can one expect from someone who gets his "information" from creationist websites?
    Another post reflecting the wilful ignorance of a typical religee."
    1. I don't get any information at all from creationist websites. In fact I don't think that - in the 15+ years that I've been working online - I have even visited a creationist website.
    2. In any case YOU have absolutely no idea whether I get any information from creationist websites and this is an entirely stereotypical assumption - an example of VERY lazy/sloppy thinking indeed.
    3. I do, however, do a certain degree of research using books by genuine, well-established authors. These are some of my "creationist" books:
    The God Delusion, The Blind Watchmaker, River Out of Eden, The Selfish Geneetc., by Richard Dawkins.
    The Triumph of Evolution and the Failure of Creationism, Niles Eldredge
    Hens' Teerth and Horses' Toes, Ever Since Darwin, Bully for Brontasaurus and several others y Stephen Jay Gould
    Evolution (university level text book) Mark Ridley
    Evolution and the Myth of Creationism, Prof. TimBerra
    Finding Darwin's God, Kenneth Miller (professor of biology at Brown University)
    The Emergence of a Scientific Culture, 1210-1685, Stephen Gauhroger (professor of history of philosophy and history of science at theUniversity of Sydney)
    God: the Failed Hypothesis and The Folly of Faith,, Victor Stenger (emeritus professor of physics, University of Hawaii)
    The Non-Existence of God, Martin and Mornnier. (A collection of essays by atheists in which they attempt to disprove the extence of God.)
    How We Believe and The Believing Brain, Michael Shermer
    he Creation, On Being and others by Peter Atkins

    And more.
    I have made this list entirely from books that are in easy reach of where I'm sitting (on my desk or within six feet of the desk). The "and more" covers books outside that radius

    To save you the risk of embarrassing yourself, I was joking about them being "creationist" books, so you might want to check them out on Amazon before making any daft comments..

  373. robertallen1

    Then your posts should be more informed than they are.

  374. Epicurus

    lol nothing you have said has shown evolution to be wrong.

    keep showing your ignorance when it comes to biology.

  375. a_visitor_to_your_planet

    Hi TRonald

    Hey,

    A. "his name wasn't Jesus Christ"

    Of course it wasn't.

    1. Jesus is the TRANSLATION of his first name, which was in fact more likely to have been Joshua than Jakob.

    2. "Christ" isn't a name sat all, it's a description meaning "anointed one". So it if you want to be pedantic it should be "Jesus *the* Christ.

    B. "or other Muslim things I don't know much about. Open your eyes people, Darwin might not be 100 percent wright , but religion is 100 percent corrupt and wrong".

    So you don't know too much about Islam, there's no evidence you have much accurate knowledge of authentic Christian teaching (.i.e. the contents of the Bible); and I'm guessing there are plenty of religions you don't even know the name of. For example, do you know what is different about an orthodox Jewish kitchen?
    IIRC, ideally a Jewish home should have TWO kitchens. One where meat and related products are processed, one where dairy products are processed..
    If the house doesn't have two kitchens then the one kitchen should have two separate processing areas. And meat products and dairy products should be in separate fridges/freezers.
    If the kitchen isn;t big enough for two work areas, the one work area shouls only be used for one group of products at a time, and properly cleaned after each. And two fridges/freezers.
    And if you can't afford two fridges/freezers you should purchase products from each group on the day of use and keep them separate.
    If you can't shop daily and have to keep food in a single fridge or freezer, at least keep the two kinds of product saway from each other (use a divider or put them on different shelves).
    And if you think that's way OTT, forget it. It's very good hygene, especially since no human beings knew about bacteria and how they could contaminate food until many centuries after these rules were introduced.

    It's a bit puzzling, then, that you claim to know that "religioo is 100 percent corrupt and wrong".
    Since it seems to be evidence that you don't have much accurate knowledge of maths, either.
    JMO.
    (It would be interesting to know what you mean by "religion" in this context, because if you're simply saying that there are lots of corrupt people going around calling themselces Jews, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons, etc., then no argument. But that's a comment on human behaviour, NOT on the religions themselves.
    For example, the Qu'ran says that Muslims should respect "the people of the book", which includes both Jews and Christians, as well as Muslims, But not all Muslims honour this rule. Does that mean that Islam is corrupt and wrong. Of course not. You're talking sabout human behaviour, not about Islam itself.

  376. Achems_Razor

    Who cares! you are wasting pixel space.

  377. over the edge

    yes she does. that is probably why she isn't brought up much by the religious

  378. a_visitor_to_your_planet

    1. "All that binds modern atheists is their refusal to believe in a supreme power without convincing evidence"

    Don't be silly, dear. Someone who simply holds a "gimme evidence and I'll believe" is an agnostic, NOT a "modern" atheist.

    You are simply taking the oft-used path in an attempt to talk your way out of facing the logic of your own position.

    Atheism is a religion, and "modern atheism" as you call it, "New" atheism as I call it, is a particularly "fundamentalist" version of atheism.

    2. "Just what is everything? One way or the other, as religion has never been able to explain anything"

    Everything? See, for example, hardline reductionist Peter Atkins in debate with William Lane Craig. Available on YouTube.

    Religion may not explain anything to you. But since you (i.e. atheists) are in a definite minority, there are now, and have been for thousands of years, a very large majority of people for whom religion has indeed provided explanations.

    As the old saying goes, you can't plese ll of the people all of the time, and only a complete twit would try."

    3. " Ever heard of Kenneth R. Miller, Francisco Ayala and Theodosius Dobzhanski, all major evolutionary biologists, the first two Roman Catholics, the latter a lifelong member of the Eastern Orthodox Church, the farthest thing from atheists."

    Well I've read Miller on his "religious beliefs", (see my booklist). They don't seem to go a long way beyond belief in the Virgin Birth. Though I can only go on what he says in his book, so maybe he does believe other stuff as well.

    The problem with all three is - AFAIK - that they adhere to belief in evolution as he origin of the human race and not the Genesis account. But the Genesis account is the only account that makes sense of the rest of the Bible. So in what sense do they describe themselves as "Bible-believing Christians"? And if they aren't "Bible-bekieving" Christians, in what sense are they Christians at all?

    BTW, "when I say "Bible-belieing" I do NOT mean taking every word of the Bible literally. As William Jennings Bryan explained at the Scopes trial, he read the vrious parts of the Bible as they are meant to be taken. Some are clearly metaphorical, some are poetry and so on. And as lot of it is straight narrative and IS meant to be taken as a genuine - but NOT exhaustive - historical narrative.

    For a rather good explanation of the contents of the first few chapters of Genesis I'd recommend "Genesis in Space and Time" by Francis Schaeffer.

    "Painting all atheists with the same brush reveals the extent of your ignorance and dishonesty."

    When was the last time you saw me "ainting all atheists with the same brush"- in the way that you have done on several opccasions in regard to Christians?

    I deliberately refer to "some" or "tendency" and so on. Not least because I see two very distinct types of atheists.

    There are the moderates who hold their beliefs without needing to force them on anyone else, don't feel threatened by people who don't agree with them, and can discuss both their own views and contrary views without resorting to insults, ducking and diving, etc.

    Then there are what I call "New" atheists, such as certain people on this forum, who seem to be in a semi-permanent state of anger, which is apparently their primary source of motivation.

    This applies not only here but on other "New" atheistr dominated forums. It seems that the most active people in these groups are totally unwilling to hold a rational discussion, or maybe they can't, due to their unusual state of arousal over anything religious.

    "When was the last time you saw professed atheists crusading to have atheism taught in schools?"
    Check out the number of recommendations on atheist books, such as "the God Delusion", and in online and other book reviews, which call for those books to be required reading in schools. Don't bet they won't get their way, despite being in a significant minority.

    "When was the last time you met a professed atheist who favored the banning of religion?"
    .
    Okey. Up until now I thought you were just overplaying the role of Devil's Advocate, and I enjoy an argument, if it has at least the possibility of an interestiung.useful conclusion.. But if you can seriously ask that question I'm simply wasting your time and mine by talking to you any more.
    The answer to your question is that there are any number of "New" atheists who are demanding restrictions on religion in general, and usually on Christianity in particular.
    These people, amongst whom I include Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, the late Christopher Hitchens, Peter Atkins and others, are actively working to exclude all signs of the Christian religion from public life.
    .
    In the UK nurses in many hospitals have been told they cannot allow patients to see if they wear a crucifix around their neck. It must be kept inside their uniform. Public servants have been told that they must refer to "the Winter Holiday" rather than Christ,mas in case they upset people of other faiths, or none at all.
    Likewise, in the US public servants have been banned from wishing people Happy Christmas, because that allegedly discriminates against anyone who isn't a Christian (like Christians are the only people who wish anyone a Happy Christmas).
    Perhaps the most extreme example involves atheist author Sam Harris, who argued in one of his early books that it might become necessary to execute people, not for what they had done, but for the "dangerous" things they thought.
    Harris didn't explain who was going to read people's minds, or who would judge whether someone's thoughts were dangerous enough to warrant execution, but in contecxt it was unmistakably clear that the thoughts he had in mind were religious ideas, belief in God, etc.
    Anyway, I've stayed on the forum far longer than I intended when I first joined, and I really see no reason to stay. So I'll bid you adeiu and hope, in all seriousness, that you atart reading a sufficiently varied selection of books to helf you break out of the mental cage you've put yourself in.
    All the best
    TLS

  379. a_visitor_to_your_planet

    oQ

    "What is a personal GOD when you follow a religion?

    From a Christian perspective there are theists.
    Deists believe n a Supreme Being who created he Universe and everything in it. But after setting the whole thing going, rather like a gigantic and highly complex clock, the Deist version of God left the universe to get on with things with no further input - no relationship to mankind.
    This is an "impersonal God".

    Theists believe that the creation process is accurately, but NOT exhaustively described in Genesis, and that human beings were intended to live with God in a personal relationship, and that even after he Fall - which created a separation between God and human beings -, God had a solution which would allow the recreation of that personal relationship.. Hence a 'personal God/..

  380. a_visitor_to_your_planet

    docoman
    Sorry, I don't get your point.
    I said that there COULD be exceptions, and I *thought* I m,ase it clear that I was talking about my personal experience, NOT something like "my certain knowledge".
    If that wasn't clear to you please acceptmy apology.

  381. robertallen1

    1. The modern atheist position is a lot more rational than that of the religee—belief with evidence, unbelief (or disbelief) without it.

    2. Name me one thing that religion has explained as opposed to winging it as it has goes along conning its way through hordes of
    the gullible and the uneducated. Except
    for topics requiring expertise such as science, truth is not determined by the greatest
    mass of credulous hoi polloi.

    3. Your posts reveal that you don’t know enough about evolution to refute it and even if you could, your god and your bible do not win by default. Francis Schaeffer was simply another cheap evangelical Christian who placed his religion before his scholarship. So recommending him as a source for understanding Genesis is simply your way of proselytizing and you’re not fooling anyone.

    4. My references to Miller, Ayala and Dobzhanski as well as the other very fine scientists who happen to be Christian give the
    lie to your statement about my painting all Christians with the same brush. The first paragraph of the post to which this is a response gives the lie to your denial of painting all atheists with the same brush.

    5. Just who is pushing to have “The God Delusion” required reading in schools? Not citing a source is so typical of you and your clade.

    6. While restrictions should be placed on
    religion in general (and particularly Christianity because it is the majority
    religion), for it has no place in public schools, governmental assemblies or legislatures, in short, as you put it, in public life, not one of those you mentioned advocates banning it altogether.Just another lie.

    7. Where in the United States have public
    servants been banned from wishing people a merry Christmas or is this yet another unsubstantiated allegation? Or is one more lie?

    8. The ignorance of science and the bible reflected in your posts constitute prove positive that you have merely listed the books
    you claim to have read which, together with everything else renders you a liar,
    a cheat and a fraud.

  382. a_visitor_to_your_planet

    docoman

    This is a bit self-defeating, isn't it?

    " Either way it shows a_visitor hasn't looked very hard"
    HBow do YOU *know* that?
    It is perfectly true that I don't go saround interviewing hundreds and thousands of atheists, but why on earth would you think that I would?
    I have indeed talked to atheists wherever I came across them, over quite a few years. And I have read a number of books, mainly by "New" atheists, and I've spent quite a lot of time over the last year or two on various atheist discussions online. But that is the extent of any "research" I have done, and that is where I derivedf the ideas as to what atheists seem to believe.
    The notion that I implied that I had spoken to "a lot" of atheists is:
    (a) Purely the creation of your own brain. At no time did I CLAIM hat I had spoken to "lots" of people. That, as you nearly said, was YOUR IMPRESSION.
    (b) Moreover the word "lots" is virtually meaningless, at least in this context.
    Can you put a number, or at least a range on the word "lots" in this context?
    Apart from anything else it is surely a very relative term. If I did something like serving in a busy shop or driving a bus then "lots" would be at least a hundred people a week. If I worked in an up-market antique shop then I might not see more than ten or twenty people in a week. In hat case 5 people in a day would be "lots".

    Likewise you later talk about what I've said in relation to "evidence".
    Again this is purely YOUR fantasy. Because I wasn;t offering objective "evidence", which is why I qualified my comment up front. I was just offering a description of my personal experience - based on empirical observations.
    What I said is indeed "true", but as I pointed out, it is true IN MY EXPERIENCE. NOT as a globally verified "fact".
    May I suggest that our communication would be a lot more effective if you asked what I meant, if you weren't sure (and I'll do the same), rather than jumping to conclusions and then expecting me to fit in with whatever you have imagined.
    Ta..

  383. over the edge

    you state " all of the evidence on alleged evolution has to be interpreted." no i doesn't and i offer you a challenge. if i can show you an observed,repeated and fully documented case of one species evolving into another species would that convince you?

    also please show me where Dawkins stated "Dawkins admits that the Darwinian model may one day have to be abandoned" because while i agree in the sense that if evidence is given that proves evolution wrong it will have to be abandoned or revised. i suspect you are not giving enough context to the quote.

  384. a_visitor_to_your_planet

    docoman
    Again you demand that reality fit with whatever is going on in your head:
    "Why is it too much to ask, when it's said that it's the 'word of God', to actually get it correct?"
    "When it's said"?
    When it's said by whom? In relation to what? And what SPECIFICALLY are you claiming is incorrect?
    "It was the 'science textbook' of it's time was it not?"
    Absolutely not. How do you justify that claim?
    "And why all the so and so begot so and so ... etc if it's not about history?"
    It IS about history, but it ISN'T a history textbook either. The genealogies in the Bible are there to illustrate relationships, NOT as exact, exhaustive records of certain family trees. That's one reason why the idea that the world started in 4004 B.C. is not true,and why the genealogies in the New Testament don't match. The contain the information the author believed was relevant, NOT all the information that was available.
    "As you seem to."
    As I seem to what?
    Think back to your school days. Did your history textbook, even, contain ALL possible information, or just the few relevant bits?
    I was a history teacher in a 6th form college in the 1980s. That meant that all of my students would be taking exams. So do you think I taught them EVERYTHING in the curriculum? Not a chance. I read old exam papers, found out the topics most likely to come up in yje exam, found 3 very likelies and two not quite so likelies. Then I taught tose five topics. And because exam boards are so lazy, or wetre then, those three, plus one of the other two, came up summer and autumn, every year.
    The Bible, likewise, doesn;t bother wth whsat Goliath had for breakfast the day before he was killed, nor the details of DFavid's training schedule that made him so expert with sa slingshot. It drops all the irrelevances and just gives the information were really NEED to know. Except in the places where that's not what it's doing. As in the Song of Solomon, for xample.

  385. oQ

    and i add "Can our reality be proven to be more than we make it to be?
    I don't doubt it to the point of saying YES."
    If consciousness is the ground of all beings, it is quite unexceptional that physical evolution is exactly as it has been supported by the scientific academy. We made it be that.
    1i
    ...until we make it be something else....in a long long long time from now.

  386. oQ

    Somehow you made me think how strange and beautiful that a caterpillar and a butterfly can represent the same species.
    1i

  387. robertallen1

    I asked him the same question to which I have not received answer, perhaps because there is none. That is not to say that I don't harbor your suspicions as well.

  388. oQ

    a point .
    1i

  389. a_visitor_to_your_planet

    docoman

    "Gen 2:15 And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it."
    And this, you claim, shows that the Garden wasn't created for Adam and Eve, Adam was just the groundsman.
    Well, if - like Robertallen - you interpret everything to fit your own agenda with no attempt to learn anything then I guess that is, for both of you, just what will happen.
    It's a pity, but it isn't my purpose to ram anything down your throats. So I guess I'll just let you get on with your work.
    Bye niow.

  390. over the edge

    well thank you. nature is a wonderful thing.

  391. over the edge

    i have yet to receive a reply to any of my posts directed to this poster. but he/she has had many different posters addressing his/her posts so i will be patient.

  392. robertallen1

    "It [the bible] drops all the irrelevances and just gives the information were really NEED to know." So we really need to know next to nothing about Jesue's formative years. I guess that's why the protogospels were not included in the canon, i.e., they, like the Gospel of Judas, contain information we really don't need to know. I guess that's why Lillith is not mentioned in the bible. She is a woman we really don't need to know anything about.

    "That's one reason why the idea that the world started in 4004 B.C. is not true,and why the genealogies in the New Testament don't match. The [SIC] contain the information the author believed was relevant, NOT all the information that was available." Just another counterexample to your claim that the bible is coherent within itself. By the way, how do you know which information was available to the authors of the bible.
    More silliness.

  393. robertallen1

    OUR reality cannot be more that what we make it to be. Your question is intrinsically senseless and your post complete gibberish.

  394. docoman

    Don't hold your breath waiting for a decent answer. All I've received from them so far is misdirection and assumptions, nothing addressing the questions on topic.

  395. docoman

    Lol. I suggest you read your last paragraph and apply it to yourself.
    Have a proper read where the term 'a lot' started here. It makes your ramble about it towards myself irrelevant. I know what the term means, despite your assumptions and misdirections.

    And if you do read the thread, you'll also see I understand what an anecdote is, rendering the rest of your ramble irrelevant as well.

  396. robertallen1

    Switching the question to one of agenda exposes your inability to respond to Docoman. And speaking of agenda, we all know yours, but just what do you think is mine and for that matter, Docoman's? .
    From your posts, you're too ignorant to be able to teach anyone anything.

  397. oQ

    never say cannot. Once you're gone the world will keep turning.
    1i

  398. robertallen1

    You missed the word "intrinsically." OUR reality cannot be more than what WE make it to be. OUR--WE, get it?

  399. docoman

    And you're not interpreting all of the Bible to fit your agenda? Honestly?

    I interpreted it exactly as it was written, not what I want it to be.

  400. oQ

    "Can our reality be proven to be more than we make it to be?"
    At this very moment there are people who have come to realize that our reality is much more than the mass make it to be.
    1i

  401. over the edge

    i have noticed. maybe my lack of a reply is a blessing in disguise.

  402. robertallen1

    So did I and it caused him premature menstruation.

  403. robertallen1

    You still don't get it. OUR reality is what WE make it otherwise it wouldn't be OUR reality.

  404. docoman

    Anecdotes combined with analogies, nice try. That in no way explains why an all-knowing, omnipresent deity would get things wrong in their 'divinely inspired' scriptures. Or condone abhorrent behaviour like slavery for example.

    Why did we NEED to know the set prices for slaves?

    Why did we NEED to know that it's fine to buy slaves from other nations around them, but not of their own?

  405. docoman

    At least that's a change from what seems to be their premature revelation... ;)

  406. docoman

    Hmm... is someone that believes in Sikhism a theist too?
    Do they believe the 'Genesis account ' of creation as you state theists do?

    It also seems you missed oQ's point.
    How is it a 'personal God' if you're told what to think and believe by an organised religion, or some other person/people?

    (I know what you think, I read what you said and I understand what you mean, it's not new to me. You missed her interpretation and hence point. Too busy trying to be an apologist it seems to me)

  407. a_visitor_to_your_planet

    Docoman

    "Hmm... is someone that believes in Sikhism a theist too?
    Do they believe the 'Genesis account ' of creation as you state theists do?"

    Do you bother to read anyone else's posts.? It is your atheistic cplleagues who have been claiming that they know about things they don'y know about.

    I know nothing about what Sikhs believe, not even whether they have a God or gods. So the answer to your question is "I don't know".

    What a pity you and your colleagues don't face the fact that even in combination your total knowledge of authentic Christianity is virtiuallynil and your comments amount to nothing more than attempted bully and equally *attempted* point scoring.

    Your post regarding my reply to oQ is a typical example of these facts.

    "How is it a 'personal God' if you're told what to think and believe by an organised religion, or some other person/people?"
    The God derscribed in the Bible is *personal* because he is available for one-on-one relationships with individual human beings. As distinct from an "impersonal God" such as the deist version of God that I described.
    I have no idea what you mean by your question since Christianity is NOT "an organised religion". In authentic Christianity coming to gether is for the purposes of "fellowship", not for the purposes of being regimented.
    Having said that I totally agree that there ARE organizations which act as you say, and claim to be Christian. I'd say, check what they DO, not what they say. If the leaders/cvlergy/priests try to tell those lower down the hierarchy what to think and do then its a pretty safe bet that whatr they are offering ISN'T genuine Christianity.
    Anyway, I'm afraid my perception of this forum is that the atheists at least (i.e. the one's I've actually seen in action, have little interest in reasonable discussion and a lot of interest in vacuous point scoring.
    Having said that, yes, I realise that some participants are more obviously negatively inclined. But what rational point is there for any level of aggressive, bullying behaviour?
    In my experience such groups actually run out of steam quite quickly and then dspend periods lying dormant until someone with non-atheistic beliefs comes along and the bullies spring out of the woodwork.
    Which is why I'm withdrawing from the group..
    For which reason there's no point writing any more posts to me - I won't receive notifications, I won't read them, and I won't be answering them.
    Au revoir
    Hi ho saucer, Away!!!

    "

  408. robertallen1

    "What a pity you and your colleagues don't face the fact that even in combination your total knowledge of AUTHENTIC CHRISTIANITY is virtiually nil and your comments amount to nothing more than attempted bully and equally *attempted* point scoring." [emphasis added] What accounts for the more than 1,000 sects of Christianity--or is yours the only "authentic" one?

    "In AUTHENTIC CHRISTIANITY, coming together is for the purposes of "fellowship", not for the purposes of being regimented." [emphasis added] Tell that to a Catholic, a Methodist, an Episcopalian, a Lutheran.

    "Having said that I totally agree that there ARE organizations which act as you say, and claim to be Christian. I'd say, check what they DO, not what they say. If the leaders/ clergy/priests try to tell those lower down the hierarchy what to think and do then its a pretty safe bet that what they are offering ISN'T genuine Christianity." Who empowered you to establish the shibboleth?

    "Anyway, I'm afraid my perception of this forum is that the atheists at least (i.e. the one's I've actually seen in action, have little interest IN REASONABLE DISCUSSION and a lot of interest in vacuous point scoring." [emphasis added] This from someone dictating on what constitutes "authetic Christianity."

    Talk about misplaced hubris and wilful ignorance!

  409. docoman

    You make many assumptions, and have gotten quite a few incorrect.

    Yes, I read all the posts that were up at that time.
    I brought up Sikhism to give you an example of where your definition of what a 'theist' is, doesn't work.
    I added a question to what oQ asked you, because after reading your reply it seemed you missed what I thought her point was. And if it wasn't exactly what she meant, I was interested in what you'd say to that implication of her question.
    Your statement about what anyone knows about "authentic Christianity" completely depends on your particular interpretation of what is an authentic one. I have no idea of what you've decided is an 'authentic Christian', would it be correct to think that you believe you are one? If yes, then it's obvious that a number of posters here have some knowledge of what you're on about, but just disagree with you on some things, myself included.

    You've had a bit of a cry, saying you came here for some rational discussion but got attacked etc... if you slowed down, engaged with the people here properly then you'd find you've made many assumptions that are wrong. The most common one is what others believe. You'll find you were talking with more agnostics then atheists, but your style of assuming you know what everyone believes without asking doesn't allow you to learn that.

    I think this is the 3rd time now I've read you say 'good bye', so whatever... stay or go, I don't care mate, that's your choice.

  410. Tronald dump

    Yo all religion is made up by man to control man. Opiate of the masses. Open your eyes.

  411. Bell Catkins

    I just love atheists talking about the "ignorant masses" and how they're "conned" into believing in God. This is just a clear case of these posters trying to elevate themselves by degradating others in absurd blanket statements. That statement discounts all the doctors, lawyers, teachers, scientists, and other highly educated people who DO believe in God. I have an I.Q. in the 130's and I believe in God, which rules out being part of the "ignorant masses", so the only other explanation (which has also been spouted on here) is that I'm insane. Too all the kiddies secure in their atheistic belief (or non-belief, if you prefer) here's a little tip: You don't know everything. Wiser and more intelligent minds than yours have come to the conclusion that God does exist. Closing your mind to possibilities is the worst way to go through life. A little skepticism is certainly healthy, but to come out and say, "There is no God," is hubris at its worst.

  412. over the edge

    i do not think i have been " trying to elevate themselves by degradating others in absurd blanket statements" i have asked questions corrected mistakes and asked for evidence. bringing up others with high I.Q.'s who agree with you does not make a claim true. Newton was an Alchemist, many believers of every faith are intelligent in many areas but according to the holy books all but one of the gods are false at best. i do not close my mind to possibilities but i refuse to believe something without conclusive proof. do you have any? what god are you proposing to be true? and please point me to the posters here who claimed "There is no God,"? while there might be one or two the vast majority do not claim that.

  413. Achems_Razor

    Really??... "Wiser and more intelligent minds than yours have come to the conclusion that God does exist"??

    Well let me say...Wiser and more intelligent minds than YOURS have come to the conclusion that there is no proof for the existence of your gods!

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_atheists_in_science_and_technology

    And before you even start you are showing your insecurity by adding ad hominem remarks. And bragging about your big I.Q., who cares?

  414. robertallen1

    To hell with your IQ. Let's see your proof.

  415. docoman

    Hmm, you think an IQ score in the 130's rules someone out of being ignorant in one or more areas it seems. Amusing. Does the phrase 'appeal to authority' mean anything to you? Did logical fallacies come up in any of your tests too? lol, it certainly did in your post.

    Personally, I especially liked the parts where you said, "This is just a clear case of these posters trying to elevate themselves by degradating others in absurd blanket statements." then go on to attempt to do that yourself. And your little tip, "You don't know everything", but then say "Closing your mind to possibilities is the worst way to go through life.", after you've obviously closed out the possibility that there is 'no God'. Nice little oxymoron you've got going there mate.

    To claim 'there is a God, and it's MY VERSION' as most believers in organised religion do, shows more hubris then 'there is no God'. Because, not only are you discounting the possibility that there is no God, you're also discounting every other version of God or Gods that's been proposed. At this point in time there is no proof for either view, they're both faith based conclusions, rendering your last sentence not only incorrect, but also quite ironical. And as per usual with 'believers', very hypocritical.

    Welcome to TDF Catkins, I look forward to reading more humorous posts if you're not too much of a puS$y ;).

  416. jackmax

    130 is that your weight as you have not shown any intelligence from your first post.
    Until you or any other religee produces evidence to the magic man your thoughts and theories are nothing more than hot air.
    I'm not saying that there is no magic man, I'm saying the magic man you and all religees believe are wrong and all the evidence I've been able to research has lead to this evaluation. If you have read the book of lies (bible) with your said I.Q. should be able to see the flaws as most agnostic, atheist or anti-theist have.

  417. Schwoggle

    Wasn't this documentary made by you, Mr. Allen? Glad to see that you think it's excellent?

  418. Animalia

    I think Darwin got it wrong folks. Evolution lacks some real solid evidence (macro-evolution). No observable change in a kind of animal, unfortunately. Micro-evolution along with natural selection exists and is observable, but I just can't plain seem to understand why the scientists go on to believe that a miracle happened, namely how one species jumps a notch and becomes another. I would really like to see some evidence of this, but no one yet has presented any to me.

  419. Samuel Morrissey

    What is the difference between macro and micro evolution?

    What is a 'kind'?

    What is a miracle?

    Why should anyone 'present' you with evidence, can you honestly say your own personal search is complete?

  420. Animalia

    U see right there the gun is blown. Everyone asks me these types of questions and never give me a shred of evidence. just sayin. And please don't post a wikipedia article.

  421. yellowmattercustard

    You and I probably wouldn't agree on the time of day but I stand with you on that wikipedia syndrome.

  422. Animalia

    Haha LOL that comment made my day :)

  423. Samuel Morrissey

    You see right here the problem you are having is down to your arrogance. A great many conscientious hard working people applied themselves to the question you are asking, over hundreds of years explorers, naturalists, archaeologists and other scientists have traversed the globe researching and cataloging life in all its myriad forms as well as whatever evidence that is left behind after many thousands of years. Evolution is their collective answer. If you truly think you know better, let's hear it! What research have you done?

    It is entirely inappropriate to assert that there is no evidence - just looking at fossils and studying living creatures was enough to convince Mr Darwin amongst others that evolution is indeed the creator of all the myriad forms we mistake in our brevity to be distinct, and label them species. A long time before that a certain Gregor Mendel had spent a lifetime diligently recording the exact mechanics of trait inheritance in garden peas. Since their times the fossil record has expanded beyond recognition, The discovery of DNA, its decoding and analysis has proven that many distinct species share parts of their genetic code with other distinct species (this is a gross simplification, the ratios and exact similarities and differences in plain genetic code quite clearly indicate evolution at different rates and different directions from an earlier distinct genome. Also analysis of all known species is involved in these calculations and the power of modern computing should not be underestimated). For simplicities sake, dealing exclusively with any 2 species the only possible explanation for this is that the 2 currently distinct species shared a common ancestor I.e. in generations past they were indistinct from each other. In short, every new piece of evidence uncovered since the pioneering work of Mendel, Darwin and a great many others has firmly corroborated evolution as a practically flawless explanation of the observed facts.

    Take note, that I am not asserting that evolution is either true or false - I am explaining to you why your post is incoherent, and why I felt compelled to reply with a few honest questions. If you want a rational discussion then you must tell me exactly what would be 'evidence' for evolution that you deem acceptable, then maybe I or someone else could point you to it, or explain why you are mistaken in assuming that 'would' be evidence.

    The mistake I think you are making is fundamental and not uncommon nor hard to make. Your use of the words 'kind' and 'species' indicate to me that you think one or the other has a clear definition when in fact they do not. 'kind' is especially ambiguous and should be avoided altogether, while species is ultimately arbitrary and can change in exact meaning depending on who is using it in which context. The reason you think there is a clear definition is because in your mind you see 'species' as distinct from each other, and you see them as unchanging because your own life is fleeting, but this is merely your arbitration on the definition of species.

    So I'll ask, can you tell me in your words :

    What are species?
    What is/would be acceptable evidence for evolution?
    What are ring species?

  424. Samuel Morrissey

    Well, you seem sincere in your reasoning. That or you are attempting to baffle me with some rather laughable distractions. Dinosaurs and humans alive together? giants? These are false stories designed to appeal to your sense of mystery, and you would do well to recognise them for what they are - otherwise harmless fantasy becomes insidiously compelling when presented as truth. Truthfully the world around us is more mysterious than we can possibly imagine, yet fantasies offer a shortcut to a temporary alternative that is appealing for its simplicity.

    Reality trumps fantasy anytime though.

    In the case of giants, there are a large number of physiological reasons why humans do not grow much taller than just under 7 feet. I do not have the time to go through them all here, suffice it to say you should read about vascular systems, blood pressure, blood volume, heart capacity, skeletal structures and loadings, muscle efficiency, skin thickness & tightness, long neurons, etc. etc.

    In short, anything that resembled a human of much greater height (10+ feet) would by necessity have to have major structural differences in all of the above, simply being bigger is impossible, look up gigantism for the long explanation of the biological problems. Such a creature could certainly not be considered human, not to mention that there is no convincing evidence of any such organism.

    In the case of the footprints, there is no way of proving that those are human footprints, apart from basic observation not supporting it - the dinosaur print was made by a creature with a mass many times that of a human, which is directly proportional to the depth and area of the imprint. If the so called 'human' print was (even a giant) human it would be much shallower or non existent - an upright creature like a human has much less mass than a long tailed lizard like a bipedal dinosaur for the same height. The footprints were in all likelihood made by another creature with an oversized but similar footprint outline to a human footprint.

    Back to the original discussion, You deny all fossil evidence because you say:

    'Simply because you can't prove a dead creature had any successful or reproducing offspring. Nor can you prove it is the ancestor of anybody, no matter what way you look at it.'

    No one is claiming that the individual fossilized creature was able to reproduce when it was alive, nor place it exactly on some family tree. What fossils combined with geology tell you is that a certain species (of which the individual fossil is a member) existed in a certain area, through a variable time period in the past, in sufficient numbers to leave any number of fossils due to the specific geological conditions at the time and place. These variables can and do change as new evidence becomes available but for the greater part it amounts to merely narrowing down and refinement. Occasionally a major new find will alter things in great detail, and with every step we get closer to the truth.

    Another misconception you have is that evolution deals with individual creatures, when it deals only with populations. On this family tree entire species are individual members.

    You refuse DNA evidence as you say:

    ' just because we share about 95 percent of our DNA suggests 2 things, One, we share a lot of biological functions, so most of the coding would be the same, and 2, it could prove an intelligent designer.'

    You assume that the amount of shared DNA between species is the only point worth considering? Actually the exact ratios between any 2 given species all indicate gradual progression in 2 directions at different rates from a more or less distant earlier configuration. with species of the same family it is even easier to deduct and with greater accuracy, I.e the ancestor of all great apes can be predicted to have existed at a relatively recent time period, and skeletons have been found that resemble what we might expect such a creature to look like dating within our predicted time period. This is just one isolated example, and there are many others. No one is claiming that this is proof, but it is supporting evidence for evolution whether you accept it or not.

    in regard to the 'designer intelligence' it is completely irrelevant. Yet another common misconception, evolution does not explain the beginning of life, DNA or anything, it exclusively describes the process by which it changes over time. As a hobbyist programmer I can tell you that DNA is fundamentally dissimilar to computer code. Error is a necessary part of the system rather than a fatal flaw. DNA codes for individual proteins, nothing more nothing less. Even if it was designed, evolution is how it works, not how it began.

    I have no desire to argue the existence of mythical deities with you. I find it strange and a touch hypocritical that you criticize evolution asserting there is no evidence then offer god as an alternative. I've looked at the evidence for both, on one side there is a mountain, on the other there is oft malevolent fantasy masquerading as truth. If god did it, how did s/he do it? who will appoint themselves to tell us that? If god arbitrates species development, how does s/he do that? Need we worry about the extinction of native species as long as god decides? what is your evidence for these assertions?

    before I go on about the definition of species, ring species, and why they are practical proof of evolution I must insist you explain to me;

    The distinction between macro and micro evolution and why it is important?

  425. over the edge

    please limit any further posts to one or two links (as per comment policy) thanks

    while i am typing i have a few questions

    1 how do you know " Now the reason none of the evidence is recent, is because they cover up any new evidence found by these giants because it contradicts their theory of Evolution."?

    2. please scientifically define "macro-evolution" as you state is hasn't happened i assume you can define it? please refrain from the word "kind" as it is not a scientific term

    3. how can you believe in "Noah's flood." and "now man is very old, as the evidence placed forth by Michael Cremo suggests, even 2 billion years old" at the same time?

  426. Animalia

    lol thanks for the notice, my bad.
    1) There are some ordinary folks who reported finding giant human skeletons and then having (in one case) a squad of 6 US army officers coming over the next day to seize the dig site. Steven Quayle has received phone calls and emails from people who had this happen to them. Now i understand that i can't prove any of this, but I believe what they say.
    2) Macro-evolution? How can i explain this.... I guess I mean a dog species arising from a cat or vice versa.

    3) I know right? The thing is, I might disagree with fellow Cremo here on the age of the bones he is finding, but they are still found in supposed "precambrian" layers and such, suggesting evolution never happened. I agree with him on that point.

  427. over the edge

    1.sorry i believe nothing without proof

    2. evolution never claimed "a dog species arising from a cat or vice versa." and if that happened then evolution would be proven wrong. anyway an example is not a definition. if you cannot define it how can you oppose it?
    3. so you pick and choose what parts fit your preexisting conclusions and disregard the rest? that is the best way to never learn anything new.

  428. Samuel Morrissey

    Firstly something you should understand about me. I couldn't care less which adaptation of Judaism you subscribe to. It is entirely irrelevant to me. It is important to remain civil on a public forum and we do our best, so I thank you for it and you're welcome. I will do my best to answer your examples in reverse, though you have not answered my question.

    '3) Is it coincidence?'

    The funny thing about coincidence is how do you rule it out? for example, let's say you were driving into town in a hurry, late for work. On the way you pray for a parking space and when you get there your favourite spot is available. Did the prayer work or was it coincidence? Is it not reasonable to assume that sometimes there will be a parking space whether you pray for it or not? how can you tell if it was one of those days? You say coincidence is impossible, therefore when it occurs you are biased to interpret it in a way which flatters your personal belief, and this is blinding you to any honest attempt to determine the truth of the matter.

    '2) The word day or days occurs 365 times throughout the Holy Quran, and Month occurs 12 times.

    Unimpressive. The number of days in a year is roughly 364.25, and months are arbitrary traditional divisions. It would clearly make more sense to declare 13 months of 28 days (4 weeks) each. It is implausible that the writers were unaware of these facts but I guess it's hard to infer fractions with an integer word count.

    '1)The word (Sea or Water) is mentioned 32 times in the Quran, and the
    word (Landmass) is mentioned 13 times in the Holy Qur'an, if we add them
    together we will get 45.

    This proves nothing and does not support the conclusion you made which is; evolution is false. Natural philosophers from many nations a long time before your prophet had worked out to an impressive degree of accuracy all of the mathematical concepts you claim for the Quran, namely the Romans, ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Sumerians etc. It was known at the time of your prophet that the earth was round and that the oceans covered most of it. Lucky or educated guess? bit of both I'd wager.

    As for your links, which are for the most part scans of 100 year old American Scientist articles, while I am sure the engineering sections are of reasonable quality, tales of giant skeletons were not uncommon back then when it was more rational to believe at least in the possibility of giants having existed. American Scientist was in the business of selling papers. A great many images circulate the web today appealing to not only peoples sense of mystery but their religious persuasion also and most if not all can be shown to be fake, photoshopped, contemporary, or otherwise unsatisfactory. You see it because you want to see it, because it confirms your divine revelations. Same for the pyramids. All are built near ancient waterways. Massive stones can be water born on reed rafts and rudimentary floats. Using a system of channels and locks these could be lifted to any height, and positioned with great accuracy as the water drained out. The cranes would lift the water to fill the locks, not move the stones. There is plenty of evidence that certain channels were dug for the ingress of the larger individual stones.

    'I will not bother to answer your question, the difference between macro and micro evolution is clear and it is very important because it macro-evolution hasn't been observed.'

    If it is as clear and important as you say then you should be able to explain it easily. I contend if you will not answer; you do not know, it is not clear, it is not important.

    Salaam.

  429. Animalia

    Interesting post, yet i have not read anything worthwhile that refutes my post. Like i said, i gave you a few examples and there are plenty more, however way you put it. Considering that Muhammad supposedly 'wrote" the Quran or is the author, then you should know he was illiterate, unable to read or write, and furthermore, in his first 13 years of spreading Islam, he and his followers were persecuted and sustained horrible ordeals and yet here we have the text he wrote. If he indeed wrote it, it should be rubbish indeed, however we find a wise and touching spoken words in the Quran. Anyways, what i posted should warrant further investigation, unless of course, you have already decided that God doesn't exist, for you which you cannot prove. It is not many deities by the way, it is only One deity, call him God, or Allah, or Thor, it remains One creator. I certainly hope you will not stop here and wish you luck in your research. I certainly won't stop here. Salaam brother :)

  430. Animalia

    Hello.

    1) That's only expected.
    2) Evolution claims a common ancestor to every single organism, so while a dog will not give birth to a cat it suggests that they both evolved from a different creature millions of years ago.

    3)You don't have to agree with everything someone says. All scientists disagree on many points, but they also agree on many others.

  431. over the edge

    please let me know if you plan on defining "macro evolution" or not. here is one i found on "Biology Online" please let me know if you agree? if not please specify why.

    "Macroevolution involves major evolutionary changes at or above the level of species. It is contrasted with microevolution, which is mainly concerned with the small-scale patterns of evolution within a species or population."

  432. Tobias MacRobie

    I'd agree, Darwin was wrong in that compared to today, we have considerably greater understanding of the mechanisms. Darwin HAD to make assumptions, some of which had to be modified. Just like religion, when met with the inconvenience of real truth, will invariably recess further into the realm of the unknown in order to satisfy exclusive claims to knowledge of "the beyond".

    Well, at any rate, proof is out there Ani, you really do just have to look for it. Everything from the origin of DNA on Earth to those supposed "spontaneous" leaps you assume with macro-evolution, turned out to be gradual, if sometimes punctuated, alterations in body mechanics. Sure, we will never have every evidence linking every little bit together, but what we do have is knowledge of the process. If the process can be reproduced, then it's pretty solid.

    RNA from sunlight and basic chemicals? Yea, that happened. Other bits from chemosynthesis? Yep. RNA replicating into chains? Yep, that one too. Chains becoming redundant patterns? Yep. Those patterns get something like cancer and mutate? yep. The mutation proving to be successful during a punctuated event of extinction, rendering the previously most successful genetics as vulnerable?

    Yea yea, list goes on and on, all the way up to you and me. You want proof of punctuated change, as spontaneous morphology? You won't find it. You will find the triggers for gradualism in punctuation, catalyzed by elimination of competition, among other factors. It's not probable that any of us will survive the next episode of earth's mass extinctions, but if you do, and happen to see the changes in the electromagnetic properties of the planet, the full chemical alteration of our atmosphere and its pressures, perhaps you might have time to observe those species which are most able to thrive in such a new environment. Meanwhile, the previous ill-adapted apex beings of the planet will begin to look rather ill-fit, decrepit, emaciated.. conditions ripe for mutation or death. Your body convulses with toxic inhalations, your skin sears with heat. Maybe your eyes glaze and the lens is reshaped. How do these things turn into morphological changes? It doesn't have to be via genes passed to offspring. New genes may form, unknown to us today, that can be passed along.

    So intelligent design? Did this designer happen to change the blood of arctic fish into anti-freeze just recently? As far as I knew, the ID argument suggests a single creation. Oh, so now the fish is a pre-programmed outcome of ID, it was part of the plan all along. There's that adaptability of assuming knowledge of the unknown. If you think you know, that's great. Just don't try to refute reality with the unknown, because that just makes you look like a fool. I think Tenzin Gyatso would agree in at least as much as that science and religion both pursue the truth, excepting religion presumes knowledge, that is later proven or disproved by science. It's all in keeping with the tradition of scientists, whose primary goal is to find contradictions in any knowledge.

    So, Ani, you have found some contradictions, now you must rework a hypothesis, propose it, have it subjected to concerns, have those concerns evaluated for merit, incorporate those ideas which are of merit, represent the idea, and continue to do so for eternity. That is the "theory" of evolution at work. haha

  433. Animalia

    LOL nice reply by the way. We can have this conversation in person after we both die ;)

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