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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoSeRider View Post
    What I fail to understand is, why do people feel evolution is repulsive?
    That's the real question right there. This isn't a matter of disagreement. It is indeed repulsion. It is repulsive because it does not fit the specifics of a scheme that has already been accepted without question. Anytime we discuss these issues between science and "creation science" we fail to first identify the gulf in our accepted terms of discourse. Thus no conclusion can ever be made and people are being baited into arguments that no one will win. This gulf is one of method.

    The goal of "creation science" is to selectively find data that fits a very specific scheme of understanding. It also exists to find the anomaly which will provide an excuse to throw the whole scientific scheme out the window, bypassing reexamination, revision and just ending up with the conclusion that the earth is 6 thousand years old and snakes could talk. It's backwards science as the conclusion has been reached before the analysis. The goal was never to objectively seek truth and build understanding from the ground up. Ultimately what's so repulsive about secular scientific practice is that it does not deal in absolutes and when contradictory data emerges, it results in the scheme being modified and not data or models being thrown out. That is why our current scheme of understanding no longer fits that of the church. The story that the natural world tells us is not subject to the conclusions we make. It is not simply good enough in the parameters of science to believe something because "the bible told me so."

    This is why this discussion is going no where and will not go anywhere. Even when LaPalida shows up and starts heroically kicking ass. Really all I'm left with is the annoyance that the science enthusiasts here cannot discuss the current events we find interesting without some fundamentalist feeling threatened. And of course this just results with the interjection with the same stale regurgitated party lines. i.e. "If we came from monkeys, how come monkeys are still making more monkeys?" and you start to hear all kinds of phony distinctions like micro and macro evolution. Don't kid yourselves, the only reason "micro evolution" is acceptable to you is because we have actually been around long enough to observe it. And because we have documented it, replicated it and found medical application for it, a small surrender was required on the part of the church. What is not realized is that the distinction we make to classify one species and distinguish it from another are completely arbitrary and exist for human convenience only. We know that life has great capacity for change should environmental pressures be present. It's simply a matter of time. Slight changes that occur over generations will never stop adding up.

    Last edited by N D Hill; April 30th, 2008 at 02:20 PM.
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  3. #32
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    I've never understood the 'no evidence for evolution' thing. Theres news all the time about new interesting evidence... and then behind the scenes the science journals are rife with more boring evidence.

    This one was pretty cool:
    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...evolution.html

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    Because faith used (correct tense?) to hinder science. I guess it's just a swing back of the pendulum when it comes to intolerance of opinions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua Fountain View Post
    There are certain "evidences" that lend support to natural selection and speciation from a general kind. There are not any evidences, not ONE that any kind has changed to another or that life has spontaneously generated on its own, that are subject to experimentation and observation.
    Totally untrue. Apart from the fruit flies that i mentioned (which have changed widely enough to be considered different species in the same family, as well as lab mice), we have one spectacular example at our feet. Domesticated dogs. Granted, we played a heavy hand in their evolution, but they literally *evolved* to work in a somewhat symbiotic relationship with us.

    Not only that, but viruses and diseases evolve at ridiculously rapid rates, though whether or not they count as 'life' is another question.

    Discounting the entire area of fossil evidence is also somewhat absurd, unless you expect us to build time machines to go back and watch it by ourselves. It might turn out that we got some of the ideas wrong, but that doesn't mean we can't attempt to reach an understanding of the world with what is given to us.

    Personally, I totally don't understand the evolution/god dichotomy. I'm agnostic myself, so it's not like i care, but evolution doesn't leave god out of the question. Just kind of gives him a really beautiful way to do things, don't you think?

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    What baffles me yet is why people argue about it when there is clearly no convincing either side of the other's position. I'm from rural Texas, and I learned pretty early on not to bother with trying to explain anything requiring scientific thought processes to properly understand. People like mental shortcuts, handy ways of compressing or ignoring information so they don't have to think as much about anything that doesn't directly relate to getting their jollies. Thinking scientifically is not something the vast majority of any population can just do because of an article or forum post. This is a fundamental problem with science education in this country- it's too concerned with teaching "facts" (in quotes to avoid arguments) and figures and generally neglects to teach children how to think scientifically, that is, to avoid assumptions and absolutes. I couldn't care less whether schools teach evolution, but I'd certainly be outraged if they taught anything of a religious nature, such as intelligent design. Teach kids to understand how science works and they can make more informed decisions about nearly everything in their lives.

    And relating to the original topic: This is one of many recent nails in the coffin of the ol' bird mystery. I've been enjoying dinosaur tandoori for years, stickin' it to the sauropsids. They held us under their scaly feet for eons, and now we have our revenge! They are the ones who are delicious now!

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    Quote Originally Posted by M.C.Barrett View Post
    What baffles me yet is why people argue about it when there is clearly no convincing either side of the other's position.
    The reason for debate in a public forum is not necessarily to convince the other party in the debate, but to convince spectators who may not be participants. Furthermore, people's opinions and beliefs can and do change (I've seen it happen here), but only can if they are actually exposed to information.


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    Have fruit flies evolved into other species, not just different families within the same species? Diseases/ viruses mutate quickly but do they actually EVOLVE? Just curious!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkWinters View Post
    Have fruit flies evolved into other species, not just different families within the same species? Diseases/ viruses mutate quickly but do they actually EVOLVE? Just curious!
    That all depends on where you want to draw the arbitrary lines that separate one species from another. As if our methods of classifications don't simply exist for the convenience of those guys who stick the pins through bugs and hang them on the wall. In simple terms, do things change on a small scale? Yes. Will things stop changing when they hit that imaginary line we drew? What do you think?

    Last edited by N D Hill; April 30th, 2008 at 02:41 PM.
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    Viruses totally evolve. They'll become completely seperate things that are untreatable by the methods used for the one before.

    The whole reason people are worried about Avian Flu is that it might evolve into something that can cross species boundaries. So, yes, viruses evolve. The real question is whether viruses are life, or whether they lend evidence to the subject as a whole, which isn't totally certain.

    As for fruit flies, they've grown apart enough to count as separate species, but still fall under the same family.

    My problem with a lot of the in-lab experiments is that by nature, we change the outcome. Real evolution could be happening right now, in jungles or the ocean, but we'd come across it and just call it another species, since we can't exactly trace every animal on the planet and their bloodlines and see what happens.

    We don't even know all the species that are living on the planet now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkWinters View Post
    Have fruit flies evolved into other species, not just different families within the same species? Diseases/ viruses mutate quickly but do they actually EVOLVE? Just curious!
    "Species" is a human concept. Even the standard definitions like "able to produce fertile offsping" get fuzzy around the edges (see ring species).


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    There is a pretty decent documentary released back in 2006 called "A War on Science: Evolution vs. Intelligent Design" that addresses some good issues. A very VERY informative watch imo.


    (It is a series of 6 videos)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua Fountain View Post
    Evolution = metaphysical not empirical science based upon the wishes, hopes, and desires of the atheistic community (which is a majority in the scientific world) shoved upon the rest.
    If this is true, then why are there scientists who are Christian and also accept evolution?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua Fountain View Post
    Any science that comes out that might lend credence to Creationism is not published in notable media or is outright hidden because of that fact. In fact many scientists have lost their positions and credibility for simply publishing material that went against the status quo even though it was impeccibally worked through the scientific method. Why? Because it would provide fodder for the creationist camp.
    Please provide some proof of this. Especially about the "many scientists who have lost their positions."

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkWinters View Post
    Have fruit flies evolved into other species, not just different families within the same species? Diseases/ viruses mutate quickly but do they actually EVOLVE? Just curious!
    Here, I'll do you one better than fruit flies.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/horses/horse_evol.html

    The horse fossil record is incredibly indepth and the various branching of their evolution is pretty well understand. Its THIS kind of thing that makes it 'The Theory of Evolution' rather than just a hypothesis. Scientists no longer argue about the existence of evolution; they argue about the systems it works through.

    Unfortunately, I realize many are just going to read 'talkorigins' and completely disregard it. Please, actually take a look. The article gives numerous references. The funny thing is, if there was suddenly irrevocable proof that evolution was false, scientists would be quite ready to accept it. The same happened with aether or even Einstein's static universe model that got pushed out by the big bang. Science ACCEPTS that it can be wrong. But with evolution we have so much evidence for it that its simply willful denial to say otherwise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoSeRider View Post
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZFG5PKw504

    He failed to mention that the 'Peanut Butter' was hermetically sealed by a machine made by man and purchased before the expiration date.

    Purchase the peanut butter after the expiration date, like 2 to 5 years, and you'll see lots of shit in that jar.

    Creationist metaphors usually suck......Actually, my metaphor sounds better.

    Made then created.
    Your metaphor sounds better? yeah, keep telling yourself that. "Purchase the peanut butter after the expiration date, like 2 to 5 years, and you'll see lots of shit in that jar." That doesn't really prove your metaphor to be better. Also, it being hermetically sealed doesn't have anything to do with the metaphor being bullshit, if anything it reinforces the theory.

    As stupid as "the peanut butter theory" sounds isn't really easy to disprove, which is why a bunch of old shits ten times smarter than any of us who have dedicated their life to science still argue about it to this day. Yeah, it will get mold and rot after a few years but only because of outside contaminants getting in; it isn't new life inside being created, and it's never happened before.

    That's what the argument is all about. If new life could just create itself from heat and pressure, then the canned foods business would not work. That's what the argument is saying is that if theory of life coming out of nowhere from a lightning bolt in a pond of dirty water is true, then canned foods would be a huge source of new life because the circumstances in which something is canned and pressurised is exactly the same.

    I am not trying to insist that evolution is wrong or creationists are wrong, i'm just throwing that theory out there for people to chew on.

    the video of debate:


    And a soupcan just for good measure.

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    It is really bad form to not attempt to understand your opponent's position in a debate. The "irreducible complexity" argument of ID takes five seconds to understand and is easily vaporized by any recent talk by Craig Venter you want to watch. Mr. Venter is just one among thousands around the globe who are conducting rigorous genetic-based evolutionary research as we speak. If you aren't aware of this genetic research, then don't pretend that you are even part of the scientific debate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua Fountain View Post
    There are certain "evidences" that lend support to natural selection and speciation from a general kind. There are not any evidences, not ONE that any kind has changed to another or that life has spontaneously generated on its own, that are subject to experimentation and observation.
    Theres a couple of things I'd like to address here. First being, and this is something that creationists can't seem to ever remember, the Theory of Evolution is NOT the theory of how life STARTED. It's a theory that attempts to explain the development of speicies from other forms of life. There are hypothesies out there attempting to explain how life came about, but they ARE NOT EVOLUTION. So before you launch into the whole "So evolution says we came from lighting striking a mud puddle" crap realize that evolution in no way says that. We can talk about self-organization, emergence, and abiogenesis if you like though, as I rather like those topics as well, but I don't imagine theres as many pre-loaded arguements for the creationist on the go to reach for there.

    I find your statement a bit confusing as well. You admit to their being evidence for natural selection and specieation, but that there is no evidence that one thing has changed into another. You are right...because it doesn't work that way. You're probably never going to find any "inbetweens" because the differences might be so subtle as to not have survived the fossilization process, so great that they're simply identified as a separate species, or just haven't been preserved or found preserved in the fossil record. What exactly would this evidence look like to you? Its not going to be a half this half that, because thats not how evolution and spiecies change works.

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    Evolution and the origin of life are two separate (related, but separate) issues.
    And if there's one thing the last 250 years have shown us, it's that falling back on the God of the gaps is a losing proposition.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtZealot View Post
    That's what the argument is all about. If new life could just create itself from heat and pressure, then the canned foods business would not work. That's what the argument is saying is that if theory of life coming out of nowhere from a lightning bolt in a pond of dirty water is true, then canned foods would be a huge source of new life because the circumstances in which something is canned and pressurised is exactly the same.
    Im in shock. I don't know how I feel about abiogenesis (I'm not even sure I really care), but are you really comparing a hypothesis about hundreds of millions, perhaps billions of years of slow chemical reaction with shitloads of energy being poured into it (the earth is NOT a closed system) to a sealed can on the shelf for a month or two?

    This would be like saying cheetahs can't fly because canned food can't. The analogy is ridiculous. It just amazes me that of ALL the possible critiques of abiogenesis, people keep gravitating back to this absurdity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post

    Hi BuckWeisel!

    Hey there buh-uh-uh-uhhhdy! I was beginning to think you'd never post in here .

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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtZealot View Post
    As stupid as "the peanut butter theory" sounds isn't really easy to disprove, which is why a bunch of old shits ten times smarter than any of us who have dedicated their life to science still argue about it to this day. Yeah, it will get mold and rot after a few years but only because of outside contaminants getting in; it isn't new life inside being created, and it's never happened before.
    That's an impossible statement to back up. Nobody is checking jars of peanut butter for new life. Even if self-replicating molecules were generating in every jar of peanut butter, nobody would even notice. Not that we'd expect there to be new life there anyway. The conditions on early Earth were slightly more complex than peanut butter + light.

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    Daestwen - I guess my confusion is the difference between evolve and mutate. Hell, maybe there is no difference?

    Elwell - great link. I didn't know there was so much gray area as far as species goes and that defining a species was such a problem. Interesting!

    wassermelone - I'd never heard of cladogenesis before. I thought of evolution as being a linear concept, expecting to see lots of progression in fossil record (or as Cthogua put it 'inbetweens') until the animal is as it is today, which for the most part isn't there. Very informative.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 0kelvin View Post
    Just because a black hole hasn't appeared in your house doesn't mean there's no such thing as black holes.

    I dunno about you, Eric, but I have like... eight black holes in my house.

    Where else would I keep my stuff?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkWinters View Post
    Daestwen - I guess my confusion is the difference between evolve and mutate. Hell, maybe there is no difference?
    Well, the confusion is warranted. Mutation often leads to evolution, or at least is a factor in it.

    For example, if a mutation gave me the ability to fly, you'd probably expect a lot more of my dna floating around later, because of the advantage that might have. (Or, instead, i might be killed reeeeally early on and that step would be halted forever.)

    A better example is if a mutation caused me to be able to see extremely well in the dark. I would then have a better chance at surviving and thus passing on my dna.

    Those mutations, though often small, kind of pile up after a few generations, and sometimes go so far as to create a new species. It's not like every member of the species kind of ups and goes "Well, we're dolphins now, but I feel like evolving into bottle-nosed sharks! ready everybody? GO"

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    Evolution, simply put, is a catchall phrase for the cumulated adaptations within any given genus or group which often (though not always) results in a species branching.

    Evolution is NOT advancement, nor is it linear. It is dictated by the environment in which your species of choice finds itself in, and so is driven solely by the environmental needs of the group in question.

    I know National Geographic was slammed earlier on in this thread, but here's an article that may, or may not be of interest:
    Lizards Rapidly Evolve After Introduction to Island

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oregano View Post
    Evolution.... It is dictated by the environment in which your species of choice finds itself in, and so is driven solely by the environmental needs of the group in question.
    Genetic information from one microbe may join with information from another simply out of proximity.

    At least Icarus tried!


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    Quote Originally Posted by kev ferrara View Post
    Genetic information from one microbe may join with information from another simply out of proximity.
    that sounds more like reproduction than evolution to me.


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  31. #57
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    WTF????

    I know I shouldn't be shocked anymore about the misunderstanding, the fucking absolute ignorance, that some people have about science and how it works, but what the hell?

    You know, I'm pretty mild-mannered and laid back, but nothing gets me going like seeing the same creationist/ID/"Evolution isn't science" crap getting repeated ad nauseum.

    Full disclosure: I have a PhD and a Masters in evolutionary biology. And I have also read up on pretty much anything that the intellectually vacuous (and scientifically dishonest) proponents of ID have vomited out. So I consider myself an expert on that, as well. I will answer any questions anyone has that I'm able to answer, but I am sick to death of dealing with the same useless, ignorant claims over and over and over and over again. I am just tired of it.

    1. Evolution is both a Fact and a Theory.

    I capitalized these because they are important. Evolution is a fact because it has been observed in the laboratory, and in nature, and is absolutely observable in the fossil record. We know that evolution happens. It happens all the time. It's still happening. It's gonna keep on happening.

    Evolution is also a theory. We can observe that evolution happens. But the question is 'how does it happen?' That's the theory part. That's why we call the full theory "the theory of evolution by natural selection" - it's the 'natural selection' part that's key. Because the fucking fact of evolution is not an issue. Others have already gone into why a scientific theory is such an awesome and important concept, so I won't re-hash it.

    2. Speciation (or so-called 'macroevolution') has been observed many, many, many times. In lots of different things. We've also observed the evolution of new structures, including things which creationists would say are 'irreducible'.

    First, there is no distinction between 'micro'- and 'macro'-evolution, at least, not in the way it's used by creationists. And I absolutely don't get the whole "Oh, I believe in micro but not macro" cop-out. As a colleague once said: That's like believing in inches but not miles. It doesn't make any sense. Also, please don't say, "But the fruit flies were still flies, right? They didn't turn into something else!" Evolution doesn't work that way. If the flies actually turned into a cat or some shit, then that would actually be evidence against evolution. And who gives a shit about species concepts anyway? It's all man-made lines and boundaries - nature doesn't give a shit.

    3. The theory of evolution has almost nothing to do with how life began. It only addresses the process of change in life.

    4. Evolution is undirected, but it is not random. Sure, mutation, genetic duplication, transposition, etc - all those processes that add genetic variation - are random. Natural selection is a totally non-random process.

    5. The theory of evolution by natural selection has been tested, critiqued, bitch-slapped, spit-upon, beaten, refined, argued, agonized over for over 150 years. And we still use it. It fucking works.

    Creations science/ID/ETC... have given us absolutely nothing in terms of real science, ideas, advances, new medicines, etc, etc, etc. They have nothing to offer.

    6. I forgot what 6 was supposed to be...RAARRRRRgggghhh!

    7. The fossil record is awesome! It absolutely supports that evolution happened.

    Don't be talking shit about it. We have plenty of 'transitional forms' (another term I hate). The fossil record is exactly what you'd expect from a random, incomplete, imperfect, absolutely totally due to chance series of snapshots of our history. I'm amazed we have so much great stuff fossilized at all.

    Anyway, ask any questions you want. I won't be able to answer all of them because there have been hundreds of thousands of papers and research contributed by thousands of scientists for decades all showing how and why evolution works.

    I promise to try to be polite.

    Also, the point of the paper in the OP was to show that the protein extracted from fossilized or ancient sources would work just like protein from living animals in terms of constructing a phylogenetic tree. Which is pretty cool.

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  33. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefooted View Post
    I have a PhD and a Masters in evolutionary biology. Also I'm totally fucking awesome at art.
    I made an addition. Screw Elwell, we should be making Bluefooted is awesome jokes.

    I heard that Bluefooted evolved from a seperate, much smarter line of apes.

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  34. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefooted View Post
    but nothing gets me going like seeing the same creationist/ID/"Evolution isn't science" crap getting repeated ad nauseum.
    heh, same here.. but I usually don't bother answering and just stay angry for the rest of the day.
    This renewal of obscurantism is such a disrespect to all the great people who spent their whole lives fighting for knowledge.

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    Awesome, awesome post, Blue.

    Somebody: we need an evolution smilie!

    ~Oreg.


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