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Re: Evolution discussion

Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 3:39 pm
by Pet Hog
Mountaineer wrote: Thank you for the reply.  It is very interesting, a very interesting hypothesis.  The second subject dealing with thalidomide makes sense.  I can buy that one as I expect it is reproduceable in a controlled experiment (Yuck to ponder the ethics of that one!).  The first, as I said, very interesting hypothesis.  But to me, it does not seem nearly as likely as God's story to us on how it happened (the fishes taken in the context of the whole universe and everything in it and how that universe operates on a razor's edge).  Thanks again for taking the time to respond.
You are welcome.  I'm not a geneticist, but I believe my "very interesting hypothesis" is, in a nutshell, the theory of evolution, which, as far as I am aware, has not been disproved experimentally.

I have a question for you, Mountaineer -- and for anyone else who doesn't believe in evolution.  If you and I were brought back to life a million years from now, do you think we would we recognize every species of animal and plant on Earth, unchanged from how they look today?  Would there be any new species?  That is, will evolution occur in the future, even though it hasn't in the past?  I am presuming that God makes no interventions and that today's living creatures just keep on reproducing with their current DNA.

Re: Evolution discussion

Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 5:14 pm
by Benko
Pet Hog wrote: You are welcome.  I'm not a geneticist, but I believe my "very interesting hypothesis" is, in a nutshell, the theory of evolution, which, as far as I am aware, has not been disproved experimentally.
Because there is no proof that it is wrong it must be true? 

Evolution explains a lot and to that degree "works".  But there are some whopping holes i.e. things that it seems very unlikely to be explainable by the same mechanism that explains the rest.  Anyone can be convinced of anything but that does not mean it is true.

Re: Evolution discussion

Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 5:20 pm
by Desert
dualstow wrote:
Desert wrote: So somehow this ... would have to deliver benefits exceeding its costs.

But is that how nature works? Or does a mutation just have to confer an advantage over the critter's peers, in say avoiding prey, attracting mates, finding food.
In fact, 5% of an eye is an extremely complex system that would require (if one has faith in time and mutation) millions of years to form.
... Perhaps it started as just an opening.
It's just an arbitrary number. It may have been started by Stephen Jay Gould. Can't remember.

I think most scientists agree that it likely started with a light-sensitive patch of skin or other exterior tissue. Nothing complex.
Yeah, I didn't intend to be offensive about the 5%, I just wanted to try to state just how complex the eye and optic nerve, etc. really is. 

And regarding a light-sensitive patch of skin, I think such a structure would be extremely complex.  Maybe not relative to other body structures, but still enormously complex.  Where does the faith in random mutation over long times come from?  It's an interesting theory, but it simply makes no sense to me.  And of course none of it begins to explain the formation of the first living, reproducing cell.  How in the world could that just happen?  A reproducing cell ... thing of the enormous complexity in that. 

By the way, I'm currently reading a book by atheist author Thomas Nagel called "Mind & Cosmos, Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False."  It's been a great read so far; I'll write a bit of a summary here when I'm done reading it. 

Edited to add this link with a brief description of irreducible complexity, and the complexity of a single celled organism. 
http://www.ideacenter.org/contentmgr/sh ... php/id/840

My take on evolution is basically this:
1.  The basic concept makes little to no common sense.  Mutations are overwhelmingly negative, not positive, and the series of positive mutations required to produce even small improvements in a life form are extremely unlikely.
2.  Evolution depends on the existence of reproducing life in the first place.  It's not sensible to believe that the level of complexity contained in a single-cell, reproducing organism somehow just happened from some sort of soup. 
3.  Evolution depends on long time frames to do the heavy lifting.  The more preposterous the claim, the more zeroes behind the number of years it forces.  But time by itself does not produce complex designs.  In fact, entropy increases over time, and order decreases over time. 
4.  Evolution was birthed by man's need to explain the wonder of ourselves and our surroundings in the absence of a designer.  It's the foundation of humanistic, materialistic thought.  There is a lot riding on it, and the huge secular "science" industry will do anything to support it and defend it, even in the face of huge problems or holes in the evidence.  But they must support it, because if it dies, there isn't much to take its place: we're then down to aliens or God. 

Re: Evolution discussion

Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 5:30 pm
by Mountaineer
Pet Hog wrote:
Mountaineer wrote: Thank you for the reply.  It is very interesting, a very interesting hypothesis.  The second subject dealing with thalidomide makes sense.  I can buy that one as I expect it is reproduceable in a controlled experiment (Yuck to ponder the ethics of that one!).  The first, as I said, very interesting hypothesis.  But to me, it does not seem nearly as likely as God's story to us on how it happened (the fishes taken in the context of the whole universe and everything in it and how that universe operates on a razor's edge).  Thanks again for taking the time to respond.
You are welcome.  I'm not a geneticist, but I believe my "very interesting hypothesis" is, in a nutshell, the theory of evolution, which, as far as I am aware, has not been disproved experimentally.

I have a question for you, Mountaineer -- and for anyone else who doesn't believe in evolution.  If you and I were brought back to life a million years from now, do you think we would we recognize every species of animal and plant on Earth, unchanged from how they look today?  Would there be any new species?  That is, will evolution occur in the future, even though it hasn't in the past?  I am presuming that God makes no interventions and that today's living creatures just keep on reproducing with their current DNA.
My honest answer is "I haven't a clue".  As I said earlier, I do believe in micro evolution (e.g. we are taller as a species now than we were 700 or 800 years ago as indicated by the size of medieval armor).  And, we can observe how other plants and animals can change in a few decades.  But for "the theory of evolution" meaning we descended from apes and such, I do not believe it is even a theory - it is just an hypotheis.  I'm talking about the species jump stuff here ... like we evolved from protoplasmic slime.  I really do not think so.  To me, educated in science and engineering, that is way too much of accepting speculation outside the boundaries of established science and what we know to be true to be plausible.  You may wish to read the rather exhausting "Figuring Out Religion" thread to get a better understanding of my journey and my worldview.  I'm as happy to speculate about weird stuff as the next person, but when it comes to matters of ultimate importance, like where will I spend eternity and why do I believe that, I've got to go with the most probable answer, and the conscience, intelligence, and discernment ability that has been given to me by God.  Thanks for asking.

... Mountaineer

Re: Evolution discussion

Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 6:48 pm
by Pet Hog
Benko wrote: Because there is no proof that it is wrong it must be true? 

Evolution explains a lot and to that degree "works".  But there are some whopping holes i.e. things that it seems very unlikely to be explainable by the same mechanism that explains the rest.  Anyone can be convinced of anything but that does not mean it is true.
I'm not saying that evolution is true.  It is theory, just like any other scientific theory, and until it is proven false, it cannot be said to be untrue.  It's just the basis of the scientific method.

"Anyone can be convinced of anything but that does not mean it is true."  That's exactly why I'm not religious.

Re: Evolution discussion

Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 7:19 pm
by Pet Hog
Desert wrote: My take on evolution is basically this:
1.  The basic concept makes little to no common sense.  Mutations are overwhelmingly negative, not positive, and the series of positive mutations required to produce even small improvements in a life form are extremely unlikely.
Quantum theory makes no common sense.  The theory of gravity makes no common sense.  The theory of relativity makes no common sense.  Unless a theory makes common sense, it cannot be true!
Desert wrote:2.  Evolution depends on the existence of reproducing life in the first place.  It's not sensible to believe that the level of complexity contained in a single-cell, reproducing organism somehow just happened from some sort of soup. 
Evolution does not explain the origin of life, or the big bang.  It is a separate theory.  Again, you argument is that it is not sensible.  I think it is a better theory than, "God did it -- and don't ask any further questions!"
Desert wrote:3.  Evolution depends on long time frames to do the heavy lifting.  The more preposterous the claim, the more zeroes behind the number of years it forces.  But time by itself does not produce complex designs.  In fact, entropy increases over time, and order decreases over time. 
The second law of thermodynamics states that, in a closed system, entropy increases over time.  The Earth is not a closed system because it has an external power source, the Sun.
Desert wrote:4.  Evolution was birthed by man's need to explain the wonder of ourselves and our surroundings in the absence of a designer.  It's the foundation of humanistic, materialistic thought.  There is a lot riding on it, and the huge secular "science" industry will do anything to support it and defend it, even in the face of huge problems or holes in the evidence.  But they must support it, because if it dies, there isn't much to take its place: we're then down to aliens or God.
I think there is more riding on religion than there is riding on science.  If a scientific theory is proved incorrect, it gets modified or forgotten.  I think we have a way to go before it comes down to aliens or God.  By the way, you made me laugh about the "huge secular science industry."  Federal science funding in the US is $70 billion.  The net spending of the Catholic Church (for example) in the US is estimated at $170 billion annually.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_po ... ted_States
http://www.economist.com/blogs/newsbook ... ch-america

Re: Evolution discussion

Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 7:46 pm
by Desert
Pet Hog wrote:
Desert wrote: My take on evolution is basically this:
1.  The basic concept makes little to no common sense.  Mutations are overwhelmingly negative, not positive, and the series of positive mutations required to produce even small improvements in a life form are extremely unlikely.
Quantum theory makes no common sense.  The theory of gravity makes no common sense.  The theory of relativity makes no common sense.  Unless a theory makes common sense, it cannot be true!
Desert wrote:2.  Evolution depends on the existence of reproducing life in the first place.  It's not sensible to believe that the level of complexity contained in a single-cell, reproducing organism somehow just happened from some sort of soup. 
Evolution does not explain the origin of life, or the big bang.  It is a separate theory.  Again, you argument is that it is not sensible.  I think it is a better theory than, "God did it -- and don't ask any further questions!"
Desert wrote:3.  Evolution depends on long time frames to do the heavy lifting.  The more preposterous the claim, the more zeroes behind the number of years it forces.  But time by itself does not produce complex designs.  In fact, entropy increases over time, and order decreases over time. 
The second law of thermodynamics states that, in a closed system, entropy increases over time.  The Earth is not a closed system because it has an external power source, the Sun.
Desert wrote:4.  Evolution was birthed by man's need to explain the wonder of ourselves and our surroundings in the absence of a designer.  It's the foundation of humanistic, materialistic thought.  There is a lot riding on it, and the huge secular "science" industry will do anything to support it and defend it, even in the face of huge problems or holes in the evidence.  But they must support it, because if it dies, there isn't much to take its place: we're then down to aliens or God.
I think there is more riding on religion than there is riding on science.  If a scientific theory is proved incorrect, it gets modified or forgotten.  I think we have a way to go before it comes down to aliens or God.  By the way, you made me laugh about the "huge secular science industry."  Federal science funding in the US is $70 billion.  The net spending of the Catholic Church (for example) in the US is estimated at $170 billion annually.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_po ... ted_States
http://www.economist.com/blogs/newsbook ... ch-america
You're correct regarding entropy; if we draw the control volume including the sun, it's true that the sun's entropy can increase while the earth's decreases.  But where does all this energy from the sun come from, and where does our control volume boundary end?  I guess the evolutionist would argue that it doesn't matter, the sun is just there (magically), and we'll draw our control volume around the earth/sun combo, and declare that entropy on earth can decrease.  And that's true, thermodynamically.  But evolutionists still have to figure out where the sun's energy is coming from; in other words, where did all that order originate. 

Now, regarding gravity, relativity and quantum mechanics, please don't compare them to evolution.  Evolution, at best, is some sort of "historical science."  In other words, no experiments produced in the present day confirm the hypothesis.  The others started as theory, and have been supported with real data. 

And finally your comments regarding the spending of the Catholic church versus the government ... did you even read the links you posted?  Neither are particularly relevant to the discussion, when I look at the links.  You're really going to include $99 billion of healthcare spending in your comparison?  Or $24B of Air Force funding?  Neither have anything to do with this.  You'd be better off looking at public education funding, where evolution is relentlessly preached. 

Re: Evolution discussion

Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:00 pm
by Desert
A bit more on Nagel:

http://life.nationalpost.com/2013/03/23 ... darwinism/

The evolution proponents are very concerned with anyone questioning their fragile belief system. 
Now evolutionary science, in its opposition to creationism, is staking out a similar position in the culture wars. In the absence of Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins is emerging as the anti-pope of a New Atheism, whose orthodoxy inspires the brutal treatment of heretics, even as it lures adherents into a simplistic, unreflective, fanciful faith in its own methods.

Re: Evolution discussion

Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:11 pm
by Snoopy
No, you've once again proved God's existence! :)

doodle wrote:
Snoopy wrote: If all life has indeed evolved from some giant bag of particles, then logically, no rational thought is possible.

Therefore, because one is even able to state the proposition, "God does not exist", he thus proves God's existence.
Unicorns do not exist.....did I just prove their existence?

Re: Evolution discussion

Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:19 pm
by dualstow
Desert wrote: A bit more on Nagel:

http://life.nationalpost.com/2013/03/23 ... darwinism/

The evolution proponents are very concerned with anyone questioning their fragile belief system. 
Now evolutionary science, in its opposition to creationism, is staking out a similar position in the culture wars. In the absence of Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins is emerging as the anti-pope of a New Atheism, whose orthodoxy inspires the brutal treatment of heretics, even as it lures adherents into a simplistic, unreflective, fanciful faith in its own methods.
Dawkins can be harsh for sure, but unreflective? Nah.

Re: Evolution discussion

Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:37 pm
by moda0306
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=epLhaGGjfRw

An interesting lecture by my man Tyson. This has been going on for centuries, and by insanely SMART people.  Once we don't understand something, "God did it."  Until we finally figure out that it is completely natural with a new well-tested theory.
Snoopy wrote: No, you've once again proved God's existence! :)

doodle wrote:
Snoopy wrote: If all life has indeed evolved from some giant bag of particles, then logically, no rational thought is possible.

Therefore, because one is even able to state the proposition, "God does not exist", he thus proves God's existence.
Unicorns do not exist.....did I just prove their existence?
Can you enlighten us with how making an argument is a proof of God's existence?

Re: Evolution discussion

Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2014 8:59 pm
by Benko
moda0306 wrote: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=epLhaGGjfRw

An interesting lecture by my man Tyson. This has been going on for centuries, and by insanely SMART people.  Once we don't understand something, "God did it."  Until we finally figure out that it is completely natural with a new well-tested theory.
Leaving god (skynet, Hal, etc way aside...)
So until the theory arrives which explains things it is OK to say we don't know/understand, right?
As opposed to being branded a denier for pointing this out.