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Author Topic: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve  (Read 13674 times)

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Offline The OverlordTopic starter

63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« on: February 12, 2009, 04:33:56 AM »


Speechless...utterly speechless.

What amazes me is that a country that has prided itself on academics and innovation can still give itself such a back eye on the world stage with crap like this. We've stopped drawing our maps with Here Be Dragons on the fuzzy blue parts beyond national coastlines, but this isn't too far off.

Let me explain it to those who might be reading and just haven't gotten it yet-


The theory of evolution is that; a theory. It is incomplete; that's why it's a scientific theory and not a scientific law. Evolution is a jigsaw puzzle with most of the big pieces lying on the table, with the rest scattered about as scientists slowly fit them in. We don't have the entire picture, but we know what it generally looks like.

It's as Doctor Jones put it in my environmental science class a few years ago; evolution is not a perfect, all-encompassing theory, but we have the big pieces and know a lot of it's correct. What the hell does she know though? She's only a research scientist at the renowned Atlanta CDC.

What does evolution have to support it? Only stacks and stacks of scientific research, strata and fossil records, and generations of brilliant, dedicated men and women in the field that cracked open the world to understand what made it tick.


What does creation have? An old book written ages ago by many (mortal) authors each with their own agendas, and hordes of the faithful that believe if they click their heels three times and wish real hard, there's no place like Eden.


Homo Sapiens came into the world in the last quarter-million years, and in more recent eras we haven't evolved massively; it's believed you could teach an Ice-Age man to use a laptop. We did NOT evolve from apes, we all are primates, bitter pill for some to swallow perhaps, and we branched off from common ancestors.


Evolution is real, and it's not an ancient force that sculpted life eons ago; it's very much alive and well today, thank you. Diseases like polio and TB which we believe we have eradicated have returned in more virulent strains. Cockroaches and other vermin become more resistant to poisons. Normal cells mutate into cancerous cells; mutation is one of the driving forces of evolution. The fact that evolution is imperfect is the reason it also works so well.


Quote- evolution is "a theory, not a fact [and] ... should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered."

Actually it's a theory BASED on facts, and much of it is correct. It is a working model, but it's the best model we have. The mythology in your holy book doesn't float, for more reasons than I could go into right now without mucking up my own thread.


http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1105/darwin-debate-religion-evolution


Quote
Almost 150 years after Charles Darwin published his groundbreaking work On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Americans are still fighting over evolution. If anything, the controversy has recently grown in both size and intensity. In the last five years alone, for example, debates over how evolution should be taught in public schools have been heard in school boards, town councils and legislatures in more than half the states.

Throughout much of the 20th century, opponents of evolution (many of them theologically conservative Protestants) either tried to eliminate the teaching of Darwin's theory from public school science curricula or urged science instructors also to teach a version of the creation story found in the biblical book of Genesis. The famous 1925 Scopes "monkey" trial, for instance, involved a Tennessee law prohibiting the teaching of evolution in the state's schools. (See The Social and Legal Dimensions of the Evolution Debate in the U.S.)


But beginning in the 1960s, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a number of decisions that imposed severe restrictions on those state governments that opposed the teaching of evolution. As a result of these rulings, school boards, legislatures and government bodies are now barred from prohibiting the teaching of evolution. Teaching creation science, either along with evolutionary theory or in place of it, is also banned.

Partly in response to these court decisions, opposition to teaching evolution has itself evolved, with opponents changing their goals and tactics. In the last decade, some local and state school boards in Kansas, Pennsylvania and elsewhere have considered teaching what they contend are scientific alternatives to evolution -- notably the concept of intelligent design, which posits that life is too complex to have developed without the intervention of an outside, possibly divine force. Other education officials have tried to require schools to teach critiques of evolution or to mandate that students listen to or read evolution disclaimers, such as one proposed a number of years ago in Cobb County, Ga. It read, in part, that evolution is "a theory, not a fact [and] ... should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered." The Cobb County disclaimer and a number of other efforts have been withdrawn following successful court challenges by proponents of teaching evolution.

Recent public opinion polls indicate that challenges to Darwinian evolution have substantial support among the American people. According to an August 2006 survey by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, 63 percent of Americans believe that humans and other animals have either always existed in their present form or have evolved over time under the guidance of a supreme being. Only 26 percent say that life evolved solely through processes such as natural selection. A similar Pew Research Center poll, released in August 2005, found that 64 percent of Americans support teaching creationism alongside evolution in the classroom.

This view is not shared by the nation's scientists, most of whom contend that evolution is a well-established scientific theory that convincingly explains the origins and development of life on earth. Moreover, they say, a scientific theory is not a hunch or a guess but is instead an established explanation for a natural phenomenon, like gravity, that has repeatedly been tested through observation and experimentation. Indeed, most scientists argue that, for all practical purposes, evolution through natural selection is a fact. (See Darwin and His Theory of Evolution.) These scientists and others dismiss creation science as religion, not science, and describe intelligent design as little more than creationism dressed up in scientific jargon.

So if evolution is as established as the theory of gravity, why are people still arguing about it a century and a half after it was first proposed? (See Evolution: A Timeline.) The answer lies, in part, in the possible theological implications of evolutionary thinking. For many, the Darwinian view of life -- a panorama of brutal struggle and constant change - goes beyond contradicting the biblical creation story and conflicts with the Judeo-Christian concept of an active and loving God who cares for his creation. (See Religious Groups' Views on Evolution.) In addition, some evolution opponents argue that Darwin's ideas have proven socially and politically dangerous. In particular, they say, the notion that more resilient animals survive and thrive ("survival of the fittest") has been used by social thinkers, dictators and others to justify heinous crimes, from forced sterilization to mass genocide.

But while theologians, historians and others argue over evolution's broader social impact, the larger and more intense debate still centers on what children in public schools learn about life's origins and development. Indeed, the teaching of evolution has become a part of the nation's culture wars, manifest most recently in the 2008 presidential campaign, particularly in the attention paid to Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's statements in favor of public schools teaching creation science or intelligent design along with evolution. And while evolution may not attain the same importance as such culture war issues as abortion or same-sex marriage, the topic is likely to have a place in national debates on values for many years to come.






« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 04:40:21 AM by The Overlord »

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2009, 05:09:11 AM »
A theory in scientific terms is something quite different to a theory in ordinary usage, and the creationists hope if they talk fast and loud enough, they can confuse enough people into believing them.

Offline Trieste

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2009, 05:52:21 AM »
It's as Doctor Jones put it in my environmental science class a few years ago; evolution is not a perfect, all-encompassing theory, but we have the big pieces and know a lot of it's correct. What the hell does she know though? She's only a research scientist at the renowned Atlanta CDC.

Should be noted that unless her area of research is specifically evolutionary microbiology or some such, she's not entirely likely to know any more on this than the average layperson. Science is a field of foci - you can know an awful lot about and be brilliant in something like genetics, and know nothing of evolutionary science. Considering that she was teaching an environmental science class - which, to the average passerby, will sound like an ecology class - if you want to appeal to her authority, it would be wise to state if she has any.

I'm not disputing you, per se, just pointing it out.

Offline Sabby

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2009, 07:19:34 AM »
...over half of Americans refuse to evolve... well, I hope their next order of business if to refuse to breath

Offline Oniya

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2009, 07:50:31 AM »
I like the fact that they mentioned the theories of gravitation.  Of course, since that's only a theory, we should also teach that it is possible for them to jump off a cliff and not fall.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2009, 08:39:28 AM »
I believe The Onion did an article on Intelligent Falling some time ago :)

Offline Avi

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2009, 09:15:41 AM »
I try to reconcile the two perspectives with this:  Evolution is so beautifully engineered, so utterly perfect that it is incredibly unlikely to me that it all just fell into place randomly.  Therefore, I believe that God is the mechanism behind evolution, and he's looking at our debate and going "Seriously, guys... what's wrong with you?"

Offline Oniya

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2009, 09:43:02 AM »
I try to reconcile the two perspectives with this:  Evolution is so beautifully engineered, so utterly perfect that it is incredibly unlikely to me that it all just fell into place randomly.  Therefore, I believe that God is the mechanism behind evolution, and he's looking at our debate and going "Seriously, guys... what's wrong with you?"

That's actually the kind of thinking I can really respect.  I knew a fundamentalist who reconciled the six days of creation with evolution by using a rather clever definition of 'day'. 

What it comes down to is actually thinking.

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2009, 09:49:35 AM »
That's actually the kind of thinking I can really respect.  I knew a fundamentalist who reconciled the six days of creation with evolution by using a rather clever definition of 'day'. 

What it comes down to is actually thinking.

My sister did the exact same thing.  What's a day to God?  For all we know, Creation is true, but a day could be a billion years to God.  The Bible itself says human existence is but a blink of the eye in God's perspective, so a day could be really, really long from His point of view.

Offline Caehlim

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2009, 10:25:33 AM »
The theory of evolution is that; a theory. It is incomplete; that's why it's a scientific theory and not a scientific law.

Sorry, I'm about to be pedantic, but since this is a thread about science...

A theory is not an incomplete work within science, nor will it ever become a law no matter how much more complete it becomes.

A law explains the whats of the world. Newton's laws of gravity describe what happens to objects (they fall down).

Theories deal with the hows and whys. Einstein's theory of gravity describes why objects move the way they do (because of the curvature of spacetime).

Neither of these is in any way better or more complete than the other. Just because they manage to be treated as a law or theory does not mean that they are correct either. Both Einstein and Newton were on the right track, but these days we've had to update and replace their laws and theories to keep up to date with the cutting edge of the latest work in quantum physics.

Also it's important to note that in most of these cases the law comes first, then someone develops the theory. It's very easy to notice that objects fall, it's a lot more difficult to figure out exactly why. So no, evolution will never be a law.

Offline Caehlim

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2009, 10:35:08 AM »
Evolution is so beautifully engineered, so utterly perfect that it is incredibly unlikely to me that it all just fell into place randomly.

Most of a parent's children dying so that the strongest can survive to carry their genes to the next generation is perfect?

The majority of mutations causing deaths, tumors or cripples and only a lucky few being of benefit isn't random?

Useless vestigial remains perpetually with a species because evolution can only move a single step at a time is well engineered?

Evolution is a horrible, disgusting process of pain, death and extinction which shows no caring or compassion. It's important to study because it's what is really out there, but it's far from good or perfect. I can only hope that it's random, because the idea that any intelligence would deliberately inflict this on lifeforms is a thought of unbearable cruelty.

Offline Lithos

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2009, 10:39:21 AM »
I try to reconcile the two perspectives with this:  Evolution is so beautifully engineered, so utterly perfect that it is incredibly unlikely to me that it all just fell into place randomly.  Therefore, I believe that God is the mechanism behind evolution, and he's looking at our debate and going "Seriously, guys... what's wrong with you?"

I do not see anything perfect or pretty in evolution, and if you take a real look at it, neither will you. It is just how things (by observable evidence) are. All living creatures us included have horrible flaws, but we do fine enough to survive. Still we have a lot of parts that we never even use anymore, some mechanisms in our body that are more of hindrance than help, our bodies are fit to inhabit only small part of our planet on our own.. the list of flaws goes on and on. Evolution sadly does not lead even close to perfect results, and if we really are image of god, then our god is far, very far, away from perfect.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 10:43:48 AM by Lithos »

Offline Silk

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2009, 11:08:47 AM »


lets hope evolution takes out the "weak" minded as well as the weak physically to do us a favor so humanity can take a step in the right direction

Offline Caehlim

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2009, 11:20:54 AM »
lets hope evolution takes out the "weak" minded as well as the weak physically to do us a favor so humanity can take a step in the right direction

That's harsh.

Humanity is a species of great potential, all of us, and I like to think that medicine, education and a culture of strong morality will make our genes irrelevant. Just like someone born without legs can have prosthetics or a wheelchair built by our science, someone who is born "weak of mind" can still make a great deal out of their lives with good education and a system that takes care of them.

I do not want our "greatness" to be achieved by abandoning people and leaving them behind if they can't keep up. We, as a species, have the power to achieve pretty much anything we desire. We've split the atom and mapped the genome. Our only hurdle that remains is the morality to use this power with responsibility. I don't think this last hurdle will be achieved by allowing people to die.

Offline Zakharra

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2009, 11:52:29 AM »
I do not see anything perfect or pretty in evolution, and if you take a real look at it, neither will you. It is just how things (by observable evidence) are. All living creatures us included have horrible flaws, but we do fine enough to survive. Still we have a lot of parts that we never even use anymore, some mechanisms in our body that are more of hindrance than help, our bodies are fit to inhabit only small part of our planet on our own.. the list of flaws goes on and on. Evolution sadly does not lead even close to perfect results, and if we really are image of god, then our god is far, very far, away from perfect.

  As a evolved species, we are damned near perfect. We've expanded to live within nearly every enviroment on this planet. Adapted to many different conditions. We are physically weaker, slower and very fragile to everything else. We damage easily, have no fur or hides to protect ourselves, but we are at the top of the food chain.  We are creatures of our world, a product of nature and life.

 Are we perfect? Not really, but we are the most successful predator in the history of the world. Evolution is concerned about one thing only. The species, not indivuals. By itself, nature is very cruel and uncaring, but ever adapting.

Offline Lithos

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2009, 11:57:31 AM »
  As a evolved species, we are damned near perfect. We've expanded to live within nearly every enviroment on this planet. Adapted to many different conditions. We are physically weaker, slower and very fragile to everything else. We damage easily, have no fur or hides to protect ourselves, but we are at the top of the food chain.  We are creatures of our world, a product of nature and life.

 Are we perfect? Not really, but we are the most successful predator in the history of the world. Evolution is concerned about one thing only. The species, not indivuals. By itself, nature is very cruel and uncaring, but ever adapting.

We are far from perfect, but at the moment we are best and that is what really matters. Evolution is not about being the best possible, but being better than the competition.

In shorter form, we are far from perfect species, but we are definitely uncontested at top of the food chain, which is quite good place to be :)
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 12:51:46 PM by Lithos »

Offline Zakharra

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2009, 12:29:36 PM »
 I can't really argue with that.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2009, 12:33:51 PM »
Its simple Evolution is the apparent manifestation of how live became what is is today along secular lines.

Intelligent Design is the action of faith that using logic to consider that a creative force was indeed behind Evolution.

In the end we can indeed accept the former as fact and the later as fact, leaving the truth to the Creator when we get to the next world and find out.

Its not something that anyone of faith has to believe in or not, for example a devout Christian can believe in evolution or not its not that which saves souls but believing in God and the redemptive blood of Jesus as they teach it. I assume other faiths are similar to one degree or another.

In any case is it still not a miracle worthy of awe be this an act of chance or an act of a creative force?

Offline consortium11

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2009, 12:49:13 PM »
One thing to consider is that the Catholic Church has long been one of the longest supporters of evolution with both classical thinkers such as St Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas, as well as Gregor Mendel, pretty much the father of genetics.

While there are some issues combining original sin/Adam and Eve with Evolution, it's a bit of a semantic issue.

As creationism generally turns into a debate about Abiogenesis rather than about evolution/"darwinism" it's worth noting it was Georges Lemaître... a Catholic Priest... who first proposed the Big Bang.

Offline Oniya

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2009, 12:50:18 PM »
In any case is it still not a miracle worthy of awe be this an act of chance or an act of a creative force?

Agreed - a rainbow is no less beautiful when you know the mechanics of refraction.

Offline Mathim

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2009, 12:55:18 PM »
How are we by any means perfect? We eat and breathe out of the same tube. There are unheard of numbers of diseases and disorders that plague us more and more all the time, keeping well ahead of our medical capabilities. And we spit in the face of "Survival of the Fittest" every minute of every day by inventing wheelchairs, donating blood/marrow, and adopting children. We're a species of hypocrites, so while evolution is something that does make sense, it is by no means a GOOD thing. It just shows us how bad things really are, but puts it in perspective.

Offline Sho

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2009, 04:08:29 PM »
Just have to put in my two cents. Hopefully I won't make anyone mad. :P

As a Christian, it can be a bit hard for me to reconcile evolution and Christianity. I happen to be something of Deist...I believe God created the world, set things going, and then lets things run their course. So, yes, I think God made the world and in doing so made evolution. But since evolution cannot be proven the way that Newton's law can (here's where I'm hoping I don't offend anyone), I don't think there is anything wrong with teaching both options. Rather than forcing children to learn either Intelligent Design or Evolution, I think both should be taught in schools. That way children are able to choose what they feel comfortable believing in, rather than being forced to believe in either one. If they think the proof backs up evolution more strongly, then they can believe in that. If they think that Intelligent Design is more plausible, then that can be their opinion. I don't think its fair to push one option or the other down the throats of children, who, as everyone knows, are easily susceptible. I was raised around both ideas, and was given a fair representation of both. I think that, for me, evolution seems to make sense but I also don't dismiss God having created the world.

It just irks me a bit when I see people pushing evolution as a thousand times better than Intelligent Design. Either way, it comes down to what each and every person believes in on their own...they shouldn't be forced to believe one or the other.

Just my two cents. :)

Offline consortium11

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2009, 04:17:11 PM »
Just have to put in my two cents. Hopefully I won't make anyone mad. :P

As a Christian, it can be a bit hard for me to reconcile evolution and Christianity. I happen to be something of Deist...I believe God created the world, set things going, and then lets things run their course. So, yes, I think God made the world and in doing so made evolution. But since evolution cannot be proven the way that Newton's law can (here's where I'm hoping I don't offend anyone), I don't think there is anything wrong with teaching both options. Rather than forcing children to learn either Intelligent Design or Evolution, I think both should be taught in schools. That way children are able to choose what they feel comfortable believing in, rather than being forced to believe in either one. If they think the proof backs up evolution more strongly, then they can believe in that. If they think that Intelligent Design is more plausible, then that can be their opinion. I don't think its fair to push one option or the other down the throats of children, who, as everyone knows, are easily susceptible. I was raised around both ideas, and was given a fair representation of both. I think that, for me, evolution seems to make sense but I also don't dismiss God having created the world.

It just irks me a bit when I see people pushing evolution as a thousand times better than Intelligent Design. Either way, it comes down to what each and every person believes in on their own...they shouldn't be forced to believe one or the other.

Just my two cents. :)

Just a quick point, Evolution doesn't deal with what created the world or any other questions about "how it all began", so acceptence or denial of evolution has no baring on the creation of the world.

Offline Sho

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2009, 04:21:32 PM »
Oh, I understand that it's not about how the world was created. But a lot of people seem to think that holding the idea that God created the world or has a hand in how things play out currently is somehow irreconcilable with the theory of evolution. Personally, I believe in both. I just think that each option should be taught to kids. They should make their own decisions. I feel like people should always know both sides of an argument, and then they can choose which side to support.

Offline consortium11

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2009, 04:52:34 PM »
I'm not sure: is abiogenesis (the first life forms) or even big bang (which started out as a catholic theory) really taught to kids to begin with? Because those are the theories that generally conflict with Creationism (and even they can be reconciled to an extent).

I think my stand on the arguement is quite simple. There's very little scientific evidence putting the hand of a creator in evolution, where as there is for the "darwinist theory" (and I dislike that term). I'm all for choice, but creationism isn't a "science" and as such should be taught in religious study type classes, not a science class.

I think the other issue with creationism is this: what would the reaction be if it was taught as the evil emperor Xenu created the world and the creatures rather than "God"... would it have the same support.

I'm a diest, in that I believe there is a "god"... by which I mean a concept we as of yet have no understanding of which could be the matrix or we all live in a giant snowglobe etc... which started everything, but I see no need for it to be taught as a science.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2009, 04:54:57 PM »
Oh, I understand that it's not about how the world was created. But a lot of people seem to think that holding the idea that God created the world or has a hand in how things play out currently is somehow irreconcilable with the theory of evolution. Personally, I believe in both. I just think that each option should be taught to kids. They should make their own decisions. I feel like people should always know both sides of an argument, and then they can choose which side to support.

Are you willing to give equal time to the creation story of every other belief system on this planet?

As part of science class?

Offline Caehlim

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2009, 05:26:47 PM »
But since evolution cannot be proven the way that Newton's law can (here's where I'm hoping I don't offend anyone)

I'm not offended but I strongly disagree.

As it happens it can and has been proven (well, so far as anything can be "proven" in science. As you succinctly put it, to the standard of Newton's Laws.), many many times. I have literally seen it happen before my very eyes in bacteria and video evidence of it occurring in birds. Give me a decent microbiology lab and I can show it to you in a few very simple experiments on a bacteria culture.

Evolution is unquestionably real. There is no actual debate on this issue by anyone in this field.

People's religious beliefs are their own concern and I'm quite happy for people to believe in whatsoever religion they wish. However evolution as a biological process is the current science, and as such it is what belongs in a science class.

Telling children that there is any question on this is not true. This isn't the same with all science. Start talking string theory, M-brane theory, non-newtonian gravity or the super-symmetrical model and there are real serious debates within the scientific community. This is not the case within biology and evolution.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2009, 06:26:59 PM »
Should be noted that unless her area of research is specifically evolutionary microbiology or some such, she's not entirely likely to know any more on this than the average layperson. Science is a field of foci - you can know an awful lot about and be brilliant in something like genetics, and know nothing of evolutionary science. Considering that she was teaching an environmental science class - which, to the average passerby, will sound like an ecology class - if you want to appeal to her authority, it would be wise to state if she has any.

I'm not disputing you, per se, just pointing it out.

It's been a good three years or so since I took the class, I forget her exact area(s), but believe me, she knew magnitudes more than the ordinary layperson.



Either way, it doesn't matter in the long run. Gravity is still a theory. We know it's an actual force, we just don't understand its rules 100%. There are discrepancies in the movements of celestial bodies and spacecraft; planets and long-duration probes like the Pioneer and Voyager series, that astronomers have noted over years. Observations of Voyager 1 and 2 have showed the probes coming up short in their predicted paths out of the solar system, at equivalent rates over the same observational periods. Same with many of the planets; these are extremely small perturbations in orbital paths, but they are measurable and they are real.

What does this mean? it means we either don't completely understand the effects of gravity on solid objects, or there are other forces acting that we're not observing or comprehending at play. This is the reason that while we all know gravity exists, our current body of knowledge is still a theory of gravity, not a scientific law.

Nobody, however, is disputing the existence or effects of gravity, and guess what, the sum knowledge of evolution is just as plentiful as for that of gravity.


Here's the points that I believe are crucial here, in the article-

Quote
The answer lies, in part, in the possible theological implications of evolutionary thinking. For many, the Darwinian view of life -- a panorama of brutal struggle and constant change - goes beyond contradicting the biblical creation story and conflicts with the Judeo-Christian concept of an active and loving God who cares for his creation. (See Religious Groups' Views on Evolution.) In addition, some evolution opponents argue that Darwin's ideas have proven socially and politically dangerous. In particular, they say, the notion that more resilient animals survive and thrive ("survival of the fittest") has been used by social thinkers, dictators and others to justify heinous crimes, from forced sterilization to mass genocide.

First of all, much of the bible is mythology; that may be an ugly admission for many, but there it is nonetheless. On the first point, where science is contradicting scripture, I must once more invoke the late Carl Sagan. The science of the bible is based on that of ancient Babylon, some six thousand years old. It was the best science on the planet at the time, but we've learned something since then. There's no surprise, then, that there's conflict with a holy book written millennia ago based on obsolete science.

Secondly, to directly quote Dr. Sagan; "science is after what the universe is really like, and not just what makes us feel good".

When the brutal struggle of evolution is discounted because it contradicts the Christian concept of an ever-present, happy funball god, that's a problem. If these truths are socially or politically dangerous, we must ask for whom are they socially or politically dangerous. Certainly not for the common people, who can always benefit from the truth. But perhaps for the institutions that would dispense information and would-be truths, who aren't interested in the truth; they're interested in control. As long as they've got the masses listening to them, they'll have it. The truth will set you free.

The argument of survival of the fittest being misused by dictators and despots is a desperation grab, at best. In fact it's laughable. This is like saying a handful of people in society have misused guns by killing other people, therefore guns must be bad for everyone. It's doubly hilarious when you consider the fact that all these listed atrocities; heinous crimes, from forced sterilization to mass genocide, have all been committed in the name of Christianity and other religions as well.

Christianity, having been an underground cult during the Roman era got its day in the sun, throwing off the shackles of barbarism and oppression of Rome, and over the centuries, became the very thing it sought to defeat in the end. Funny how things work out like that.

Their agenda is based on personal gain and not empirical evidence, and therefore disqualifies itself. To any sane and discerning mind, the 'science' of our holy books collapses in the face of true science.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 06:31:22 PM by The Overlord »

Offline consortium11

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #28 on: February 12, 2009, 07:00:20 PM »
Once again to quickly point out, the Catholic Church has accepted evolution and has done for years, and it was a monk who discovered genetics and a priest who theorised the Big Bang.

The largest single Christian group in the world accepts evolution: evolutions main opponents are a small localised sect of Christianity. To phrase the disbelief of evolution as Christian vs Secular is similar to phrasing the current Islamic fundamentalist issues as Islamic vs Non-Islamic or even the current financial crisis as bankers vs non-bankers... it is a vast over-simplification that obscures the arguement.

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #29 on: February 12, 2009, 07:04:21 PM »
What I want to see is a good old-timey religion that calls you a sinner and a heretic for saying the world is round and the earth revolves around the sun.

Now that is conservatism I can at least partially respect for the pure fact of its sheer stubborn-ness and dedication. It would also prove that an entire sect would be able to laugh at itself, which is only a scattered, individual phenomenon at the moment.

Offline consortium11

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #30 on: February 12, 2009, 07:07:58 PM »
Well there's the Westboro Baptist Church for old fashioned idiocy and calling people heretics... and they certainly are stubborn and dedicated.

Unfortunately, they're not laughing at themselves...
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 07:36:19 PM by consortium11 »

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #31 on: February 12, 2009, 07:22:41 PM »
Well there's the Westboro Baptist Church for old fashioned idiocy and calling peope heretics... and they certainly are stubborn and dedicated.

Unfortunately, they're not laughing at themselves...

They're about the only ones not laughing at them though :)

Offline Mathim

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #32 on: February 12, 2009, 07:31:04 PM »
I'm not sure: is abiogenesis (the first life forms) or even big bang (which started out as a catholic theory) really taught to kids to begin with? Because those are the theories that generally conflict with Creationism (and even they can be reconciled to an extent).

I think my stand on the arguement is quite simple. There's very little scientific evidence putting the hand of a creator in evolution, where as there is for the "darwinist theory" (and I dislike that term). I'm all for choice, but creationism isn't a "science" and as such should be taught in religious study type classes, not a science class.

I think the other issue with creationism is this: what would the reaction be if it was taught as the evil emperor Xenu created the world and the creatures rather than "God"... would it have the same support.

I'm a diest, in that I believe there is a "god"... by which I mean a concept we as of yet have no understanding of which could be the matrix or we all live in a giant snowglobe etc... which started everything, but I see no need for it to be taught as a science.

I was taught all of that in seventh grade history in public school. We studied major world religions because they had such a big impact on world history, so yeah, we had to learn about creationism, towards the middle of the year. We learned about Darwin in our first week.

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #33 on: February 12, 2009, 07:39:23 PM »
Speaking of...

Happy 200th birthday, Charlie! :D

Offline Mathim

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #34 on: February 12, 2009, 07:42:39 PM »
LOL, just thought of something.

Who here has read about the Darwin Awards?

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #35 on: February 12, 2009, 07:45:13 PM »
Read the site and have 4 of the books :)

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #36 on: February 12, 2009, 07:49:10 PM »
Well there's the Westboro Baptist Church for old fashioned idiocy and calling people heretics... and they certainly are stubborn and dedicated.

Unfortunately, they're not laughing at themselves...


That's OK because we are.


WBC are the looniest pack of bigots and morons I've ever come across; I'd say go visit their site if you need more than my word, except I'm sure they'll revel in the publicity of a few more hits. The font page is pretty much an adult version of a five-year old's list of taunts and names, and a virtual dare for anyone to do something about it.

I might have missed it in the news, but I'm surprised that the URL is allowed to exist without prosecution. godhatesfags.com

You can sure bet if the URL was godhates(fill in the blank with your ethnic or racial slur of choice) was posted up, a dozen civil rights groups would be all over it, and well they should be. The URL alone should qualify as a hate crime.


Given the way they mess with the families of deceased soldiers, the true surprise is that none of them have been shot yet. But I suspect they're the type that want to be martyred for the 'cause'.  ::)

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #37 on: February 12, 2009, 07:53:16 PM »
Speaking of...

Happy 200th birthday, Charlie! :D

Wow...that's true is has been 200 years.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_darwin

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #38 on: February 12, 2009, 08:03:17 PM »
Once again to quickly point out, the Catholic Church has accepted evolution and has done for years, and it was a monk who discovered genetics and a priest who theorised the Big Bang.

The largest single Christian group in the world accepts evolution: evolutions main opponents are a small localised sect of Christianity. To phrase the disbelief of evolution as Christian vs Secular is similar to phrasing the current Islamic fundamentalist issues as Islamic vs Non-Islamic or even the current financial crisis as bankers vs non-bankers... it is a vast over-simplification that obscures the arguement.


Yeah the Catholics have figured it out, but yet they still have this notion that the wine and styrofoam wafers miraculously becomes the blood and cadaverous flesh of Christ, I digress but go figure.


I don't aim to pick on any denomination here, but compared to other world religions; Islam, Hinduism, etc., the majority of the religious in the US are a Christian offshoot, and thus by the charts are the majority of the naysayers here on evolution.

Seems Buddhists and Hindus are the most open to the truth, if the numbers are accurate. Whereas despite all its posturing, Islam is still struggling with the reality of the universe, but I am aware that varies by region and nation. There's no possible way you can stack all Muslims into one pile.


No real surprise with the Mormons and Jehovah's Witness though. They may not be crazy-with-a-ticking-bomb-crazy, but they're just plain crazy.


Offline consortium11

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #39 on: February 12, 2009, 08:17:02 PM »
I've always been partial to godhatesshrimp spoof site

And equally amused that godhatessweden isn't a spoof... especially as the person Phelps set it up in support of ended up thinking Phelps was a loony.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #40 on: February 13, 2009, 03:50:13 AM »
As far as the evolution/creation debate:

1) I've seen plenty of intolerance and intransigence on both sides of this one.  I see "creation scientists" who put science through acts of absurd contortion to force the evidence to conform to a literal six days of creation.  I've seen scientists and a scientific establishment implacably (and irrationally) hostile to the very notion that there even just might possibly be some sort of higher intelligence or supreme being of any kind.

2) To a large extent, it's a specious divide, as there is plenty of room for evolution in the universe of a Creator.

3) The argument is often motivated more by politics than fact.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #41 on: February 13, 2009, 07:01:38 AM »
I would like to point out your average believer in a faith rarely thinks that much about it. I'm reading a book now 50 reasons people give for believing in a god by Guy P. Harrison I got from the library. Among them as these are all real reasons as people told him over the years.

My god created the universe.

My god answers prayers.

Better safe than sorry.

Believing in my god makes me happy.

My god makes me feel I am part of something big.

I want eternal life.

etc.

They are not interested in actually thinking about their faith, any evidence science puts out on evolution or nuances of theology. Mostly it appears to be gut reactions and what people like, believe or desire to believe. So when a Creationist discounts Evolution they likely see Intelligent Design as a viable alternative that makes sense to them and they overlook clearly points of fact that they don't agree with. God made the universe, the world and us is about the basic level of common thought by a typical Young Earth Creationist.

So how is science supposed to fight faith at that level its so simplistic as to be almost a perfect defense against Evolution?

I may think about faith at a higher level as do many of you but that is not true of the majority of Americans it seems.

Offline Mnemaxa

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #42 on: February 13, 2009, 08:44:44 AM »
A non-beliver asked a Zen Buddhist, "Where is the proof that God exists?"  The Buddhist pointed at the sun.  "How can you not believe?" he asked.  A believer asked the same monk, "So you believe that God created the universe in six days?"  The monk asked him, "Which universe?"  A third person, overhearing this, asked the monk, "How can you believe in God, yet not believe in the word of God?"  The monk shrugged and replied in a straightforward manner, "God doesn't use words."

I, for one find no conflict in the idea that the universe is both random and unplanned and that there was a force that caused it to exist.  The lack of proof for either of those things is overwhelming, compared to the amount of proof that there is to make either fact true.  We, as a species, are fundamentally flawed in out attempts to learn about the universe because there is so much we cannot sense or detect.  As a result, it takes us decades and even centuries to observe certain phenomena simply because we lack the means to do so. 

Evolution is one of those forces that we CAN detect, observe and quantify.  We alter the environment, and the things that live in that environment change to survive better in it over the course of their generations.  This doesn't preclude the idea that a creator of some sort was directly involved.  However, the idea that we just suddenly existed because god said so is a little harder to believe.  There are too many conflicting creation myths; and if one of them is being taught, they all must be given nods to.  Freedom of religion is a right the country is founded on; to say 'the Christian creation myth is solely correct' violates a great many principles, including the freedom of religion, as well as common sense. 

But then, common sense is in short supply currently, especially in America.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #43 on: February 13, 2009, 09:40:25 AM »
Why just Americans I read in the paper today 43% of Brits, where I believe Charles Darwin was born - believe in a Young Earth creation around 10,000 years or so ago.

My point stands in that you can show every bit of evidence For Evolution and people seem to still believe there was a device creation of some sort. Even I accept Evolution as the visible evidence of how life matured still believe a creative intelligent force started this at least, biogenesis and evolution to most people are necessarily linked at the hip.

Can any scientist with the same assurances that Evolution has prove how life began that for me is the key question? I have not seen it yet demonstrated naturally that life begins using natural forces alone as far as I can tell.

Offline The Great Triangle

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #44 on: February 14, 2009, 12:39:32 AM »
Concerning humanity, I find it strange the emphasis that people put on death concerning the theory of evolution.  By all accounts, religion is an excellent evolutionary adaptation.  It encourages people to form stable, homogeneous family units, and potentially to have greater numbers of children.  Additionally, it helps integrate people into communities, which quite often form support networks which can help them to reproduce or better nurture their children.  Naturally, if scientific ideas threaten the basis of this adaptation, or are perceived to do so, religious people will protect their evolutionary advantage, especially because evolutionary science provides them with no direct advantage, even if the science based on it does reward them.  The same way I find it impractical to think in terms of actual human anatomy, but can still benefit from medical science. 

(Of course, nonreligious folk are gradually creating their own behavioral adaptations, such as forming groups of close friendships that create the sort of extended family unit that the religious community provides for a religious individual.  It sort of makes me want to write a story about a future where humanity has evolved into two separate races.  The religion believing Templars, and the non religious Lillim.  *laughs*  Naturally, the Templars would have a stable society at about an 18th century tech level, and the Lillim would have an anarchic and dangerously creative (and also likely violent) society.  :)) 

As for the issue of abiogenesis, there have been experements which have suggested if you seed a fair amount of carbon into a natural environment which is friendly to carbon compounds, you'll eventually get amino acids.  However, I've heard from a creationist that if you use the conditions existing on earth before life evolved, the primary organic compound you get is formaldehyde.  I'm not sure whether this is actual science, however.   

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #45 on: February 14, 2009, 08:32:34 AM »
I can't recall the name of the man who did the early-Earth experiment and got basic amino acids, but I know his experiment has been scrutinized by many scientists, and was taught in my (equivalent of) Bio 101 class. It's considered a traditional part of evolutionary science.

As far as formaldehyde, I'm not really sure where that one actually comes from, but I will note that formaldehyde is crazy-eazy to form. It's what actually makes drinking methanol (CH3OH, also referred to as "wood alcohol", I think) so unwise; while ethanol (CH3CH2OH; what's in our drinkable alcohols) metabolizes into acetaldehyde (which is the intermediate that causes hangover symptoms) and then into acetic acid (active ingredient in vinegar), methanol metabolizes into formaldehyde (CH2O) which can be further oxidized by the body into formic acid (CHOOH). All of this stuff is highly toxic (poison dart frogs make use of formic acid from their diet of insects to produce their [in]famous poison, I'm told) and very, very easy to make with basic, basic enzymes present in the body - or things present in nature.

Amino acids are more complex, and possibly require a bit more time; considering that life supposedly evolved over a long, long, long time, it's possible that at first, all we did get is formaldehyde. But nature gets bored, and if you let a reaction go for too long, you sometimes get some pretty strange results.

*rereads* Er. Sorry about the minor chembabble. >.>

Offline RubySlippers

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #46 on: February 14, 2009, 08:47:45 AM »
Until a scientist can using the basic elements of life, create amino acids and evolve them into at least some sort of simple life form that would be considered such I and many other will not be convinced about "natural forces" creating life without some sort of assistance as in a creative force outside the process. And I and most other cannot ignore the fact without that you can't evolve anything now can you? Again scientists may split this up most lay persons and those with any reasonable logic cannot I treat them as part of the same theory and idea. And abiogenesis is a major hole to me that science has yet to explain in a testable and real way.


Offline Trieste

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #47 on: February 14, 2009, 08:51:10 AM »
Uh, well, they've gotten to the amino acids part.

The rest of it, you'll have to wait a couple billion years, in case you forgot.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #48 on: February 14, 2009, 09:17:55 AM »
Can you prove your god exists, in a testable and verifiable way?

"Because <Holy Book> says so" is not proof btw.

Offline consortium11

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #49 on: February 14, 2009, 11:20:34 AM »
Can you prove your god exists, in a testable and verifiable way?

"Because <Holy Book> says so" is not proof btw.

If you can prove the Christian God exists, he's not the Christian God.

"Beyond all human understanding" and all that jazz.

You can't disprove him either (although you can never prove a negative), and a number of leading scientists believe in a creator of some sort using occam's razor.

As I said, I'm a deist, but it doesn't change the way I live my day to day life whether a "god" does exist or not.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #50 on: February 14, 2009, 11:28:54 AM »
Technically I believe a scientific theory can never be proven, but only disproven.

But if the creationists want evolution 'proven', then they get to play by the same rules, and 'prove' their god first. :)

Offline ZK

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #51 on: February 14, 2009, 11:47:04 AM »
To me, I don't believe humanity evolved the way it has. In actuality, I believe it was created. But, I'm not saying by a divine power either. Just all the different forms of skeletal structures on the planet that has been found over the years suggest different humans (or at least humanoids) with the homo sapien skeletal structure not related to any other. Goes hand in hand with my rather oddball sci-fi setting, but also a bit of a belief.

Perhaps humanity in itself was an experiment itself and failed. As humans seem to be the slowest to adapt to settings that are -not- forced by themselves whilst animals and such adapt and evolve in various forms by both mentality and on a genetic front as well.


Humanity as the failed science experiment! Wheee.

Offline SomethingWycked

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #52 on: February 14, 2009, 11:16:27 PM »
Technically I believe a scientific theory can never be proven, but only disproven.

But if the creationists want evolution 'proven', then they get to play by the same rules, and 'prove' their god first. :)

What needs to be understood, though, is that a scientific theory isn't just a random jumble of ideas that people hope to prove.

A 'theory', as it is understood by science, is one of the highest titles that can be given to any idea supported by facts. A 'hypothesis' is an idea that we're guessing at, and trying to disprove or find some facts to help support. A 'theory' is something that has been looked at from every angle, and while we can't prove it, neither is there a significant issue with it that would make the idea be immediately discarded.

Personally, as someone's said before early in the thread, I'm of the mind that if there is a creator, they did everything this way on purpose.

I also believe if there is a creator, they have a sense of humor. Take a good look at the duck-billed platypus and tell me I'm wrong  ;D

« Last Edit: February 14, 2009, 11:17:55 PM by SomethingWycked »

Offline Oniya

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #53 on: February 14, 2009, 11:26:37 PM »

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #54 on: February 14, 2009, 11:56:51 PM »
Jesus:  Daddy!  Look what I made!

God: Yeah, but is it venomous?

Offline Mnemaxa

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #55 on: February 15, 2009, 12:11:19 AM »
God: Yeah, but is it venomous?

Actually, yes, yes it is.  With one of the most agonizing venoms on the planet, no less. 

But why on earth would an aquatic animal develop venom spurs on it's hind legs? 

To stab things chasing it in the water. 

Someone's screwing with us here.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #56 on: February 15, 2009, 06:37:21 AM »
I also believe if there is a creator, they have a sense of humor. Take a good look at the duck-billed platypus and tell me I'm wrong  ;D



I believe it was Robin Williams who said the platypus is proof that god does drugs  ;D

"We'll take a beaver, slap on a ducks bill" *takes a draw on a suspicious cigarette* "It's a mammal, but it lays eggs." *giggles* "Hey Darwin, fuck you!" *laughs again*

IIRC, it was the Live at the Met show from about .. hmm.. 84 or so?

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #57 on: February 15, 2009, 07:04:53 AM »
Technically I believe a scientific theory can never be proven, but only disproven.

But if the creationists want evolution 'proven', then they get to play by the same rules, and 'prove' their god first. :)

Because when it is proven, it becomes scientific law.


Agreed; you can't spin the truth on good faith alone.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #58 on: February 15, 2009, 07:06:56 AM »


I also believe if there is a creator, they have a sense of humor. Take a good look at the duck-billed platypus and tell me I'm wrong  ;D



And a very warped one at that, if you stop and think about it.




EDIT- Oh man...speaking of twisted humor, this came to mind. Best argument ever for the dark side, that was not given by a Sith-



(Note: profanity in video, don't watch if you don't want to hear it)


[youtube=425,344][/youtube]
« Last Edit: February 15, 2009, 07:17:38 AM by The Overlord »

Offline Mnemaxa

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #59 on: February 15, 2009, 07:23:04 AM »
Because when it is proven, it becomes scientific law.

That's what happened to Einstein's Theory of Relativity, E=mc^2.  They recently proved it, so it is no longer theoretical - it's fact.  The energy that they couldn't locate at first is actually found in the vibration of the atomic structure itself.

Which brings us to the next question....how could something like THAT happen by accident?  The universe is really damn organized.  At the same time, there is so much improbable randomness that is clearly not planned out.  And why would god build an entire universe simply around the only sentient life in it?  That makes even less sense. 

"I'm gonna mess with these guys and make the universe REALLY BIG so they can't find me!" 

Evolutionarily speaking, we can't be that stupid.  Oh wait, yes we can! Nevermind.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #60 on: February 15, 2009, 07:32:10 AM »
That's what happened to Einstein's Theory of Relativity, E=mc^2.  They recently proved it, so it is no longer theoretical - it's fact.  The energy that they couldn't locate at first is actually found in the vibration of the atomic structure itself.

Which brings us to the next question....how could something like THAT happen by accident?  The universe is really damn organized.  At the same time, there is so much improbable randomness that is clearly not planned out.  And why would god build an entire universe simply around the only sentient life in it?  That makes even less sense. 

"I'm gonna mess with these guys and make the universe REALLY BIG so they can't find me!" 

Evolutionarily speaking, we can't be that stupid.  Oh wait, yes we can! Nevermind.


If I understood it correctly, the famous formula was finally proven, and if there is a god then bless him for Einstein, the man was incredible...nearly a century later they finally can prove him right. As I was saying, the formula was proven, but Relatively as a whole is still a work in progress.

I think it was Sagan that says finding a finely-tuned watch implies a watchmaker, but it's not necessarily so with the cosmos. I've heard him described as an atheist, I'm not sure if that's entirely true but he did reject common dogma wholesale. On the other hand I think Hawking was a little more theologically leaning in his theories. The jury is still out for me after everything I've seen and read on the topic...yes it makes fundamental sense that such organization that such laws and organization didn't just spring up out of nowhere, but then that's the more or less the notion of the Big Bang; the universe more or less sprang up out of nothing.

Offline Mnemaxa

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #61 on: February 15, 2009, 07:55:19 AM »
The big Bang is decidedly less popular than some of the other ones - the one of newest being oscillatory universe theory.  Brane theory is also amusing.

From my perspective there is a creator.  But it isn't the god as Christians (or 99.9% of other religions) contrive it to be.  It designed perfectly these universes, ordered and disordered to proceed just so, evolution and mysteries all.  Then it left, or was, perhaps part and parcel of its creation.  Evolution is correct.  So is the random occurrence of life on earth or anywhere else.  The potentials were created, and that's all.  Even the universe was created as a potential that may or may not have occurred in any number of ways.  This universe happened to occur just so, in these ways, and this is how it works - all by accident that was made as a potential.  If the things that caused this universe to exist in the ways it does had not, then it - and we - would not exist.  Why?  Because the creator likes surprises perhaps.

No proof.  No reason.  Just happened.  But it happened because the potential, somewhere, somewhen, existed.

Offline Lithos

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #62 on: February 15, 2009, 12:25:19 PM »
There is no somewhen. Time is something that was created with the universe just like all the basic forces, and before its existence did not exist at all, so it is impossible that there would be "when" outside the scope of our universe. We will never have any way to comprehend anything that has existed before our universe did, as our observations and thinking are constrained to forces and dimensions that exist in our universe. If we take concept of god as something that can never be comprehended by man at all, then anything before the birth of our universe definitely falls to that category. Also, discussion about anything outside the scope of our universe is quite pointless for the very same reason :p

Offline Silk

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #63 on: February 15, 2009, 08:20:19 PM »
but then that's the more or less the notion of the Big Bang; the universe more or less sprang up out of nothing.


Actually the theory is that it is a reccuring cycle, eventually everything will lose its propulsion and be dragged back down to the sun, creating a new black hole, but when the mass cannot be containted anymore its spits it out again in a new big bang.

that's the proposed idea anyway

Offline MHaji

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #64 on: February 28, 2009, 01:29:12 AM »
Geneticist here with some evolutionary background.

Evolution is not abiogenesis. We may never know exactly how life began, though there are some reasonably decent models. For example, it looks like DNA evolved from RNA, but explaining where that RNA came from is trickier. In other words, if you want to believe that God created the very first life, feel free to. I don't hold with arguing from authority, but Darwin did mention that possibility at the end of The Origin of Species.

On the other hand, the evidence that all life evolved from simpler ancestors is extremely solid, and I've yet to see a convincing counterargument. Some ID arguments are based on oversimplifications, some are based on appeals to the unknown, and one common one is based on a clear misconstruction of entropy and information theory. This makes me a little unhappy. You can believe that there was a Divine guiding hand involved if you like; that's untestable, so there's no scientific reason not to believe it. But it's not science, and shouldn't be taught as such.

SUMMARY: Abiogenesis: Unknown, with some decent but incomplete models.
Evolution: Solidly supported.
Intelligent Design: Can't be disproven, but not science.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #65 on: February 28, 2009, 05:03:08 AM »
Actually the theory is that it is a reccuring cycle, eventually everything will lose its propulsion and be dragged back down to the sun, creating a new black hole, but when the mass cannot be containted anymore its spits it out again in a new big bang.

that's the proposed idea anyway

Actually it's a tad more involved than that...


Dark energy, whatever exactly that is, is not only expanding the universe every moment but that expansion continues to accelerate. This will drag everything in the cosmos further and further apart, until we get to what at least one theory is calling the Big Rip; essentially the end of everything.

The acceleration will continue until it affects smaller and smaller structures. At a very far point in the future, perhaps a trillion years, the expansion will outrace the quantum level, spreading the component particles of atoms apart until the strong force that holds nuclear bonds together severs, destroying all matter. The universe, or so the theory goes, will have started in the Big Bang; a singularity of infinite density and zero volume. It will end in a singularity of a flat, empty universe; infinite volume and zero density.

Plug in brane theory; the idea of these titanic membranes or cosmic domains that repeatedly converge and separate from one another, and the Big Bang might be only one of many...perhaps one of an infinite number of preceding universes.

The cycle may take a trillion years, but once the Big Rip or something like it occurs...colossal forces will rebound the branes, causing another crash of energy and matter to bloom into existence. The next universe to come.  :-\




Interesting thing...IIRC, by ancient Mayan belief, we're already into the fourth or fifth universe...

Offline Mnemaxa

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #66 on: February 28, 2009, 11:51:58 AM »
Interesting thing...IIRC, by ancient Mayan belief, we're already into the fourth or fifth universe...


Fourth world.  The fifth will "drown in the poisons of it's own making".

Offline RubySlippers

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #67 on: February 28, 2009, 12:55:36 PM »
But do we need to be taught Evolution or ID as far as I can tell one can study the basics of biology what we see now with no concern for any evolutionary inclusion we did that in the Christian School I attended. And at least medical doctor I go to even admitted Evolution is not necessary for the study of medicine at the levels your talking about. Bateria and viruses change and adapt to treatment is about all he has to be concerned with what most would call microevolution. If its controversial in schools just don't teach it if parents don't like it its America the schools should stay neutral on any matter that may offend at least a reasonable number of parents if they are publically funded.

I know a local white nationalist family that wants their child not taught about Black History Month since they find it offensive and to leave such persons in a general review course of history when such persons warrant it, as an example they stated: If a black man did something that warrants inclusion due to historical or culteural achievement in our childs fifth grade class then include him, but why have a whole month dedicated to one race?

The same here there is no reason to include evolution unless one reaches college and is studying to be a palientologist or something specialized that must deal with it if its offensive to half the population exclude it in K-12. If course we libertarians hate the government even having free public schools in many cases so we think the system itself is not necessary but just making a case for just excluding this and ignoring the issue.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #68 on: February 28, 2009, 02:56:54 PM »
Fourth world.  The fifth will "drown in the poisons of it's own making".

Ring a bell, anyone?


Of course, they could have been speaking metaphorically, the way we refer to First World, Third World, etc.

Offline Trieste

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #69 on: February 28, 2009, 02:02:27 PM »
Ring a bell, anyone?

Well, there's Rome, and then there's that whole thing where people mention that the Japanese brought bombs down on themselves. Could mention the empire of ancient Egypt ... or the Mayan Empire itself.

It rings many bells. A symphony of bells, in fact... like generalized prophecies are, you know, supposed to do.  ::)

SUMMARY: Abiogenesis: Unknown, with some decent but incomplete models.
Evolution: Solidly supported.
Intelligent Design: Can't be disproven, but not science.

We should get a philosophy major in here to turn them into those little squiggly lines and prove it mathematically wrong. I would enjoy watching that. I always enjoy watching them turn words into numbers and then file them into a REALLY COMPLICATED long division problem. :D

But do we need to be taught Evolution or ID [...]

Short answer: Yes, lest we become undereducated neanderthals and fall further behind the (first-world) global education level.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #70 on: February 28, 2009, 02:22:38 PM »
Well, there's Rome, and then there's that whole thing where people mention that the Japanese brought bombs down on themselves. Could mention the empire of ancient Egypt ... or the Mayan Empire itself.


Well, what chiefly comes to my mind with that phrase is this entire thing we call the modern age. We're poisoning the Earth, we're poisoning ourselves and our children, we're poisoning our minds with useless ideologies such as rampant consumerism and extremist theologies.

Offline MHaji

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #71 on: February 28, 2009, 03:43:13 PM »
Quote
But do we need to be taught Evolution or ID as far as I can tell one can study the basics of biology what we see now with no concern for any evolutionary inclusion we did that in the Christian School I attended.

Evolution is the basics of biology. It's what causes everything from species to the parts of cells to the sequences of proteins to make sense. Studying biology without understanding evolution is like studying physics without understanding energy conservation or calculus. Yes, you can plug in some equations and learn some facts, but there's no scheme to tie it together.

For example, you may have learned that some organisms have nuclei, and some don't. In order to answer the following questions, you need a basic grasp of evolution:

1) Why do all mammals have four legs (or, in the case of bats, two legs and two wings that have leglike skeletons), and all insects have six legs? This doesn't seem like a "college-level" question; it's straightforward if you've studied evolution at all.

2) Why do we classify species in terms of genus, phylum, kingdom, domain, and so on? Before Darwin, it was based on how they looked, pretty much, but now it's based on how they evolved. If you learn about animals and plants without understanding evolution, it'll end up being pure memorization, as opposed to a real grasp of why they're classified the way they are.

3) Why are RNA and DNA so chemically similar to each other?

4) Why does the sequences of human proteins resemble those of chimp proteins more than they resemble those of fish proteins? Why do the degrees of similarity in sequence resemble the inferred trees of descent we get from the fossil record?

If you study biology without evolution, it's going to be mostly just memorization.

Quote
And at least medical doctor I go to even admitted Evolution is not necessary for the study of medicine at the levels your talking about. Bateria and viruses change and adapt to treatment is about all he has to be concerned with what most would call microevolution.

Microevolution is evolution. The term "microevolution" is generally not used by scientists; it's an ID ruse intended to convince people that somehow changes between species are fundamentally different than changes within species. This is simply wrong. It's possible to observe speciation (macroevolution) in a lab. The ID response is that you "never see someone evolving a new leg in the lab;" never mind that you can mutate a fly in such a way as to give it two extra wings.

A doctor who doesn't understand that "microevolution" is no different from "macroevolution" does not understand evolution. The rapid sequence change of HIV is the same process that leads to the development of new viruses - which should prove an awful surprise to him.

Quote
If its controversial in schools just don't teach it if parents don't like it its America the schools should stay neutral on any matter that may offend at least a reasonable number of parents if they are publically funded.

Some people find any number of things offensive. Quite a few parents are offended by the fact that non-Christian religions are mentioned and discussed in History classes, not to proselytize, but simply to explain the impact they had. Should we censor those segments of our history textbooks?

Strict mass rule is not a good idea when it comes to public education; it has a poor track record of respecting divisions between church and state, and the rights of minorities. Simply put, allowing any proportion of the population - even 63%! - to impose a particular religious view in a public science classroom is unacceptable. The theory of evolution has nothing to say on the existence of any god or gods.

Quote
I know a local white nationalist family that wants their child not taught about Black History Month since they find it offensive and to leave such persons in a general review course of history when such persons warrant it, as an example they stated: If a black man did something that warrants inclusion due to historical or culteural achievement in our childs fifth grade class then include him, but why have a whole month dedicated to one race?

Why have eleven months devoted to white people? "Historical or cultural achievement" has always been defined from a white, western perspective. If you insist on the traditional standard there, you'll automatically exclude quite a few students, who will never get positive role models to counter the dubious view of black people perpetuated throughout the media.

Quote
The same here there is no reason to include evolution unless one reaches college and is studying to be a palientologist or something specialized that must deal with it if its offensive to half the population exclude it in K-12.

Okay. What about my state, where it's offensive to less than half the population? Is the cutoff 50%? 60%? 25%? And it's not just paleontologists who use evolution. Geneticists like me use it. Molecular biologists use it. Even biochemists have to think about it if they plan on reconstituting an enzyme mixture using proteins from multiple species.

Quote
If course we libertarians hate the government even having free public schools in many cases so we think the system itself is not necessary but just making a case for just excluding this and ignoring the issue.

Private schools should be run on a Libertarian basis, and teach what they wish. Public schools, on the other hand, absolutely must not allow any particular religious group to filter the teaching of science through their lens.

(Incidentally, this includes atheism; an evolution class in high school should not teach that evolution "disproves" or "is evidence against" the existence of any god or gods. It should be presented factually, not as religious philosophy.)

Offline Inkidu

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #72 on: March 07, 2009, 09:50:12 AM »
I believe in evolution, like Overlord has pointed out, there is too much evidence to support it, but I also choose to believe in God. I believe, evolution fits into His greater plan (though I'm not quite sure how) there are a few days between every beast and man. However, how long is a day to a being like God? He might have decided to do away with some of his animals or they died out as he was making the world. There's just not enough pieces fitting together.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #73 on: March 07, 2009, 07:20:56 PM »
I believe in evolution, like Overlord has pointed out, there is too much evidence to support it, but I also choose to believe in God. I believe, evolution fits into His greater plan (though I'm not quite sure how) there are a few days between every beast and man. However, how long is a day to a being like God? He might have decided to do away with some of his animals or they died out as he was making the world. There's just not enough pieces fitting together.

I don't believe the two are inherently incompatible, at least for me it comes down the agnostic principle- it's not necessarily the existence of god that is being questioned, but rather the definition of god, which is always given by his would-be mortal representatives (and no matter what you think your holy books are saying, they're not invoking the almighty directly).

Doctor Carl Sagan said seeing clockwork precision in the universe around us implies the existence of a watchmaker, but it's not necessarily the case given what we know molecules can do given a few billion years to play around and assemble.

Stephen Hawking said it's not very useful to speculate what god may be able or not be able to do, rather, we should examine what he actually does with the universe we live in.

I'd try not to put too much stock in taking Genesis word for word, it's nearly impossible to miss it's just one huge metaphor, making that argument how long was a day as old as the hills and not very useful either. 


As far as extinction goes, I think the conflict arises from this notion that god would want everything to survive. Knocking another hole here in the concept of an ever-present god, perhaps that's what the laws of physics are for: God started the universe but gave it laws to keep from mothering it 24/7/365...it's been demonstrated to be an extremely efficient but imperfect system. Things can die out if they don't adapt...might be a lesson in there for us as well; we shouldn't assume if we frack up badly enough that he's going to save all our asses.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #74 on: March 07, 2009, 07:47:39 PM »
Well the two main arguments I hear are the "As it is in Genesis." and "If God is perfect then every animal would stay as put."

1. The Bible is and has been a spoon for the vast sum of knowledge the universe contains. It's spoon feeding a primitive people things they would never comprehend. I do believe every event in the Bible happened but I am not sure how it happened. If the Red Sea parted right down the middle with room for the fish to swim around then it happened now whether or not that was an earthquake or an unseasonal drought is unclear. I think the Bible is a better moral guide than a historical account.

2. As for argument two. Perfection is inevitably a process. God is constantly becoming more perfect. What was perfect twelve seconds ago, or twelve nths isn't what is perfect now. That is what I believe made in His own image means that we have the capacity to make ourselves more and more perfect like he does.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #75 on: March 07, 2009, 08:15:39 PM »
Surely something that is by definition perfect has no need to change? I don't think its possible to become more perfect that perfect already is.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #76 on: March 07, 2009, 09:02:59 PM »
Surely something that is by definition perfect has no need to change? I don't think its possible to become more perfect that perfect already is.
But what is perfect never remains so. Thus the need to become more perfect. At a point God might have been imperfect. He attains and maintains.


Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #77 on: March 07, 2009, 09:40:36 PM »
I believe that's a potential flaw in the argument; we're assuming god is perfect, and I am making no such assumptions, based on what we see around us.

The universe is highly orderly, nature is extremely efficient, but they're not perfect.

We're making the assumption that god is perfect, therefore the universe should be.

I say, maybe god isn't perfect. If he's not prefect he can't make perfection.

Or perhaps he is perfect but simply elected not to make the universe perfect. He could have made us perfect too then, and I know there's the whole argument on free will and final judgement...yada yada, but thing is we have no possible way to know if any of that's true. We can only chose to believe it or not.


But I ask you all; being as we are not perfect and haven't really seen it, how do we really know what perfect is? Would we know perfection if we saw it? Don't answer too quickly...the answer might be trickier than you think.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #78 on: March 07, 2009, 10:12:36 PM »
Well that's why I believe Hell is more than fire and brimstone. Maybe hell is seeing God in his perfect glory and then being banished from it for all eternity. That would seem pretty hellish by anyone's standards.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #79 on: March 08, 2009, 03:24:41 AM »
Well that's why I believe Hell is more than fire and brimstone. Maybe hell is seeing God in his perfect glory and then being banished from it for all eternity. That would seem pretty hellish by anyone's standards.

Plausible. I no more go for the fire & brimstone description of hell than I do the clouds & harps depiction of heaven. It all may have gone far to win the masses over in the Medieval world...but that was nearly a thousand years ago.

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #80 on: March 08, 2009, 07:03:10 AM »
But what is perfect never remains so. Thus the need to become more perfect. At a point God might have been imperfect. He attains and maintains.

I thought one part of the definition or character of the christian god was the he was perfect? It seems to be so from the ones I see posting elsewhere.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #81 on: March 08, 2009, 07:22:23 AM »
I thought one part of the definition or character of the christian god was the he was perfect? It seems to be so from the ones I see posting elsewhere.

Which I'd take as an opinion and not a learned fact.

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #82 on: March 08, 2009, 07:37:10 AM »
When you're talking about religion, its all opinions really :)

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #83 on: March 08, 2009, 07:38:42 AM »
When you're talking about religion, its all opinions really :)

True enough.

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #84 on: March 08, 2009, 08:07:35 AM »
Plausible. I no more go for the fire & brimstone description of hell than I do the clouds & harps depiction of heaven. It all may have gone far to win the masses over in the Medieval world...but that was nearly a thousand years ago.
Well again it's spoon feeding. How do you tell someone that this thing is so horrible unless you compare it to being burned alive for all eternity, and the opposite of that. How do you tell someone something is so great unless you can compare it to golden streets and gates made of a single large pearl?

The point behind God perfection is a matter of belief, of course the majority of the universe is belief, arguably all of it. Are we so sure of our existence? So the belief in an all-knowing, benevolent, perfect being is as comforting to some people as cold, hard science, but it's still all belief.

"To be is to do." Descartes
"To do is to be." Aristotle 
"Shoo be do be do." Sinatra

Banking on the third there for sure. The point is you have to believe in what's right because at the end of the day... God only knows.

Offline ILoveDetailedRP420

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #85 on: April 30, 2009, 02:27:27 PM »
I try to reconcile the two perspectives with this:  Evolution is so beautifully engineered, so utterly perfect that it is incredibly unlikely to me that it all just fell into place randomly.  Therefore, I believe that God is the mechanism behind evolution, and he's looking at our debate and going "Seriously, guys... what's wrong with you?"

Lol, thank you for saying that. This is exactly how I feel. I think most christians believe in evolution. I mean you seriously think 63% of America refuses to believe in a theory so proven as evolution. I know athiests like to make fun of Christians, but stereotyping every Christian to be a creationist (believing the earth was created 6000 years ago) is a very biased opinion to me. Sorta like the conservative talking heads and Fox news portray every democrat as a bleeding heart tax and spend liberal. I mean by saying all Christians are creationists your saying 63% of all Americans don't believe that dinosaurs existed. At most 2-3% of American's are creationist, and I hope that is a little high; I mean obviously the universe is billions of years old.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #86 on: April 30, 2009, 03:23:59 PM »
Lol, thank you for saying that. This is exactly how I feel. I think most christians believe in evolution. I mean you seriously think 63% of America refuses to believe in a theory so proven as evolution. I know athiests like to make fun of Christians, but stereotyping every Christian to be a creationist (believing the earth was created 6000 years ago) is a very biased opinion to me. Sorta like the conservative talking heads and Fox news portray every democrat as a bleeding heart tax and spend liberal. I mean by saying all Christians are creationists your saying 63% of all Americans don't believe that dinosaurs existed. At most 2-3% of American's are creationist, and I hope that is a little high; I mean obviously the universe is billions of years old.
In the grand scheme of things the age of the universe is much like the age of a woman, indeterminable without asking and you know there's know point in doing so. ;D

Offline tesseractive

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #87 on: April 30, 2009, 06:22:54 PM »
A friend I used to know was a creationist. Smart guy, too, and really nice -- the kind of person who will go way out of his way to help you move when he doesn't even know you very well.

Anyway, he happily acknowledged all the evidence, but believed that the Earth was created 6,000 years ago -- and that God had created the Earth with all those fossils and everything already in place. It's not that he didn't understand science, it was that he really, really believed the Bible was true. He believed it so strongly that he felt he had to find the best explanation he could that was still compatible with what he believed.

Christian fundamentalists get a bad rap, but the ones I've actually met have invariably been people trying to take care of their families and live right as best they can based on their teachings, and I can't find fault with that regardless of someone's political views.

Offline Oniya

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #88 on: April 30, 2009, 10:40:26 PM »
In the grand scheme of things the age of the universe is much like the age of a woman, indeterminable without asking and you know there's know point in doing so. ;D

*Adds to quote file*

Offline Inkidu

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #89 on: April 30, 2009, 11:21:03 PM »
*Adds to quote file*
Yay I'm quoted. *Busts out the champagne*

Offline Serephino

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #90 on: May 01, 2009, 12:12:19 AM »
I also believe in both.  I think God created everything, and then tweaked a little here and there every so often.  Honestly, what are the odds of life actually coming into existence and cells coming together to create a living organism?  Even scientists say that there is an energy coming from living tissue that they can't explain.  They can't explain how or why living cells are alive, so there is something out there.

And honestly, what would life be like if everything were perfect?  Has anyone seen the movie Stepford Wives?  If I moved into a town like that I'd run away screaming.  If you didn't make mistakes how would you learn?

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #91 on: May 01, 2009, 08:09:24 AM »
but believed that the Earth was created 6,000 years ago -- and that God had created the Earth with all those fossils and everything already in place.

I am immediately compelled to ask why. Within the set of rules placed on nature, god made the fossils appear far older than they really are, and one must ask, to what end? Just to screw with us?

That's the thing that bothers me about the ones that just can't get themselves to question dogma no matter what. The evidence is right there in front of your face, should you choose to look at it. Proper empirical method is to shape your understanding off the observations, not shape the observations to somehow fit what you believe is true.


If one can go so far that god created evidence in paleontology and archeology to appear older than it is just because, it's just as easy, if not easier, to doubt the very existence or definition of the said god that did it. It's a vicious little circle with those folks.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #92 on: May 01, 2009, 08:23:31 AM »
To me science is just another religion with more of a practical application in day-to-day life. It tells people what to think and how to act and says it's correct. So what's the difference? I've been looking for a book but have yet to find it. Science is a Sacred Cow.

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Offline Zakharra

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #94 on: May 01, 2009, 08:36:00 AM »
 Science is provable, and repeatable, under specific therums and hypotenuses, to either be disproven or stand as proven theory (scientific theory which is as proven as we can get at this moment, and not conventional theory which is essentually a guess). Science is based off of observed fact, not guesses from a book that has been rewritten numerous times and suffered from every translation.

 That being said, there are people who use it like a religion and a stick to beat people with.

Offline Oniya

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #95 on: May 01, 2009, 08:48:02 AM »
Saying this as one who trusts science - with any science, even math, there are certain facts that simply cannot be proved, and must be taken 'on faith' in a manner of speaking.  For example, given a line AB and a point C not on the line, you can draw exactly one line parallel to AB through C.

There are geometries that don't accept this, and at the time they were discovered, they were considered almost heretical.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #96 on: May 01, 2009, 09:11:48 AM »

Offline Inkidu

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #97 on: May 01, 2009, 09:16:24 AM »
Science is provable, and repeatable, under specific therums and hypotenuses, to either be disproven or stand as proven theory (scientific theory which is as proven as we can get at this moment, and not conventional theory which is essentually a guess). Science is based off of observed fact, not guesses from a book that has been rewritten numerous times and suffered from every translation.

 That being said, there are people who use it like a religion and a stick to beat people with.
Science isn't even certain gravity is real. Eisenstein proved his theory about the whole space warp thingy (Come on I'm not an astrophysicist) The light bends around an eclipse, and even Veks posted that thing about the curved laser? So who's right? The staunch in the the scientific congregation will say Newton the protestant will say Eisenstein. The parallels are scary.   

Offline Oniya

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #98 on: May 01, 2009, 09:23:22 AM »
I'd try a collegiate library.  It looks like it might have been a textbook at one time.

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #99 on: May 01, 2009, 09:26:21 AM »
I'd try a collegiate library.  It looks like it might have been a textbook at one time.
Maybe I'll just get a job this summer and buy it off Amazon. I'm a little too busy to peruse too. ^w^;

Offline Zakharra

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #100 on: May 01, 2009, 10:13:39 AM »
Science isn't even certain gravity is real. Eisenstein proved his theory about the whole space warp thingy (Come on I'm not an astrophysicist) The light bends around an eclipse, and even Veks posted that thing about the curved laser? So who's right? The staunch in the the scientific congregation will say Newton the protestant will say Eisenstein. The parallels are scary.


 Our understanding of the universe and physical world around us changes as we learn more. Science is always expanding and growing and some things change as they are discovered. But it is all provable and can be repeated by other scientists. It's also the basis for our modern technology.

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #101 on: May 01, 2009, 10:20:25 AM »

 Our understanding of the universe and physical world around us changes as we learn more. Science is always expanding and growing and some things change as they are discovered. But it is all provable and can be repeated by other scientists. It's also the basis for our modern technology.
I didn't say it was changing I said you're arguing over it like a piece of Dogma. Every religion impacts it's environment. Whether they're the ruling class, or are the source of knowledge for that century or they're the basis for modern technology. Not all of which is exactly the smartest idea ever had.

Offline tesseractive

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #102 on: May 01, 2009, 10:56:47 PM »
I am immediately compelled to ask why. Within the set of rules placed on nature, god made the fossils appear far older than they really are, and one must ask, to what end? Just to screw with us?

I'm certainly not here to defend his line of reasoning, but I feel certain that he personally would say that the Bible teaches that we won't always be able to understand God's reasons for doing things. And yes, I'm aware that this allows someone to sweep pretty much any objection under the table, regardless of evidence.

That's the thing that bothers me about the ones that just can't get themselves to question dogma no matter what. The evidence is right there in front of your face, should you choose to look at it. Proper empirical method is to shape your understanding off the observations, not shape the observations to somehow fit what you believe is true.

Pretty much all of us bring some kind of dogma to the table, to varying degrees.

I don't know what anyone else around here believes, but personally, I believe human beings have souls. I can feel this to be true deep down inside myself. If someone were to come forward with a scientific study claiming to prove conclusively that there can be no such thing as a soul, I would flatly doubt every aspect of that study, and look for some explanation other than the one the authors claim. I believe in what I can feel far more than I believe in scientific studies.

And if something claiming to be God showed up at some point and had Godlike powers and such, wouldn't atheists be entitled to have their doubts and explore all sorts of alternative hypotheses beyond the one that seems overwhelmingly obvious to the true believers? This is not merely because they are being good scientists, but because they have genuine beliefs that are at odds with what everyone else considers to be the best theory to fit the facts.

If even that doesn't grab you, what if someone purported to show scientifically that in fact, there is nothing wrong at all with killing other people -- it should neither be encouraged nor discouraged. Could any non-sociopath really consider such a result with complete scientific dispassion?

If one can go so far that god created evidence in paleontology and archeology to appear older than it is just because, it's just as easy, if not easier, to doubt the very existence or definition of the said god that did it. It's a vicious little circle with those folks.

It's only a vicious circle if your goal in life is to try to go to people and prove to them that their religion is wrong. Otherwise, people just believe what they believe, and vive la difference. It doesn't seem any different than American Indian tribes or Hindu gurus having beliefs that you might not agree with, except that Indian tribes and gurus are generally exoticized and cool, and Christian conservatives are too close to home.

In any case, if that is your goal in life, I have to say that it seems a bit unkind, not to mention quixotic.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #103 on: May 02, 2009, 02:17:55 AM »
To me science is just another religion with more of a practical application in day-to-day life.

That argument comes up every so often, and in a sense it's true because science and religion are both trying to answer the same big questions. However, science is the only entity that is actually doing something about it (including religionists who are turning to science for answers), and not just referring to a 2000+ year old book and assuming the answers are all correct. In that regard, science is the one 'true' religion.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #104 on: May 02, 2009, 02:56:35 AM »
I'm certainly not here to defend his line of reasoning, but I feel certain that he personally would say that the Bible teaches that we won't always be able to understand God's reasons for doing things. And yes, I'm aware that this allows someone to sweep pretty much any objection under the table, regardless of evidence.

 


Problem with that is that it’s an assumption. No more, no less.

I’ve once heard someone define agnostics as people who don’t commit to organized religion because they feel that god simply can’t be explained in terms and detail that many faiths do.

I can tell you that is a generalization and doesn’t cover it across the board. I for one don’t believe something is automatically woogly-woogly mumbo-jumbo just because the answer appears unattainable.

I believe everything can be explained with enough information, even god. I don’t subscribe to any religions because logic tells you they can’t be completely right, since they’re all pretty much in mutual disagreement. For any one of them to assume they have the answers, and many of them do, is the height of arrogance.

Even more so, I’m not for sale. I don’t fall in line and follow a code and fly someone’s flag because they believe they know better than me. For all they know, I know best for me, and experience has shown me I often do.





It's only a vicious circle if your goal in life is to try to go to people and prove to them that their religion is wrong. Otherwise, people just believe what they believe, and vive la difference. It doesn't seem any different than American Indian tribes or Hindu gurus having beliefs that you might not agree with, except that Indian tribes and gurus are generally exoticized and cool, and Christian conservatives are too close to home.

In any case, if that is your goal in life, I have to say that it seems a bit unkind, not to mention quixotic.


No, I wouldn’t say that’s my ‘goal in life’ but I will say if you want to discuss your religion and want to do it without extreme scrutiny and debate, then it’s for the best that you do it without me present.

Give me your temple of beliefs and I’ll rip it down and deconstruct it block for block, and I’ll do it without fear of offending what you believe.

I won’t do that out of malice or to be an instigator, or anything so basic and petty. If your faith is founded on anything solid at all, it should be able to stand up to aggressive debate. If you as representative of your faith can’t debate it without being offended, then you’re ill-suited to defend it in the first place.


This being said, I’ve been accused of being overly aggressive in this forum to the point of rudeness. No one here really understands my motives on this, not a single one of them that called me out on it.

What many religionists have in debate is their ‘safe corner’. That’s what incenses me in debate more than anything. Playing the ‘offended card’ is done as easily and as flagrantly as calling the race card these days, and in debate, it’s a safety corner I won’t allow anyone to have.

Any my rationale is very simple and clear on this: Science doesn’t get a ‘safety zone’ against the opposition, so nor should religion. It’s bad behavior on the part of some religionists, and for those of us that are willing to critically debate, I’ll snatch your safety cards away. Science and religion should be able to debate on an even keel, otherwise they aren’t on an even keel.



Offline Inkidu

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #105 on: May 02, 2009, 07:49:56 AM »
That argument comes up every so often, and in a sense it's true because science and religion are both trying to answer the same big questions. However, science is the only entity that is actually doing something about it (including religionists who are turning to science for answers), and not just referring to a 2000+ year old book and assuming the answers are all correct. In that regard, science is the one 'true' religion.
I would like to throw some interesting conjecture at you. I'm not saying it's true.

Unlike God (Who is perfect, and stands outside of the universe. You wouldn't expect the writer to live in his book?) everything in the universe has a flaw. Science supports this with Hiezenwhatsits uncertainty principle. (Nothing can work 100% right 100% of the time.) So if everything in this universe is invariably flawed. At the core of the universe is one giant flaw that will in consequence prove all science wrong. So believing science is still an act of faith.

Offline Oniya

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #106 on: May 02, 2009, 08:08:04 AM »
Heisenberg.  Also, sometimes seemingly contradictory assumptions can be equally valid.  As a concrete example, no two walls in a house are actually parallel, since we're living on a spheroid.  However, since the scale is so vast, we can assume that they are.  If you extend a 'vertical' line in Indiana and one in Ohio, they will diverge as they go up, and converge (near the center of the Earth) as they go down.  If you start at the North or South Pole, three right angle turns will get you back where you started.


Offline Inkidu

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #107 on: May 02, 2009, 08:16:28 AM »
Heisenberg.  Also, sometimes seemingly contradictory assumptions can be equally valid.  As a concrete example, no two walls in a house are actually parallel, since we're living on a spheroid.  However, since the scale is so vast, we can assume that they are.  If you extend a 'vertical' line in Indiana and one in Ohio, they will diverge as they go up, and converge (near the center of the Earth) as they go down.  If you start at the North or South Pole, three right angle turns will get you back where you started.
Well this still more or less fits the  conjecture if everything in this world is so contradictory (Contradictions aren't supposed to exist in reality) then how can science be right?

EDIT: World meaning universal area of existence. Just in case that causes confusion.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2009, 08:19:18 AM by Inkidu »

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #108 on: May 02, 2009, 08:26:33 AM »
I would like to throw some interesting conjecture at you. I'm not saying it's true.

Unlike God (Who is perfect, and stands outside of the universe. You wouldn't expect the writer to live in his book?) everything in the universe has a flaw. Science supports this with Hiezenwhatsits uncertainty principle. (Nothing can work 100% right 100% of the time.) So if everything in this universe is invariably flawed. At the core of the universe is one giant flaw that will in consequence prove all science wrong. So believing science is still an act of faith.

It's an act of faith if we can't trust our own senses and the use of them as we examine the universe around us. Things like scientific laws aren't a matter of belief or subjective; within the rule set of our perceptions they are correct.

The thing is, if we can't even trust our perceptions, then we can trust absolutely nothing. We cannot trust in science, we cannot trust in religion, we cannot even trust in the belief that we're even here having this conversation at all. We might not even exist in any way which we understand that word. If the universe is inherently flawed, we cannot even trust the definitions of the words we're reading now.


Also; the notion that god is A) perfect and B) stands outside the universe is conjecture. In the case of B, not even the cutting edge scientists and mathematicians can say what that means for certain. In the case of A, we're making the assumption that god is perfect, when (and I wish not to rehash an old thread topic) we don't truly understand the implications of perfect any more than we do the concept of infinity.

And...an imperfect creation would not require a perfect creator. Am I implying that god is imperfect and flawed? At the very least we should remain open to that possibility.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2009, 08:28:49 AM by The Overlord »

Offline Inkidu

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #109 on: May 02, 2009, 08:35:13 AM »
It's an act of faith if we can't trust our own senses and the use of them as we examine the universe around us. Things like scientific laws aren't a matter of belief or subjective; within the rule set of our perceptions they are correct.

The thing is, if we can't even trust our perceptions, then we can trust absolutely nothing. We cannot trust in science, we cannot trust in religion, we cannot even trust in the belief that we're even here having this conversation at all. We might not even exist in any way which we understand that word. If the universe is inherently flawed, we cannot even the definitions of the words we're reading now.


Also; the notion is A) perfect and B) stands outside the universe is conjecture. In the case of B, not even the cutting edge scientists and mathematicians can say what that means for certain. In the case of A, we're making the assumption that god is perfect, when (and I wish not to rehash an old thread topic) we don't truly understand the implications of perfect any more than we do the concept of infinity.

And...an imperfect creation would not require a perfect creator. Am I implying that god is imperfect and flawed? At the very least we should remain open to that possibility.
I believe God is perfect I don't know about god (It's really like calling white black).

You're right we've never seen perfect. That's one of the most appealing things about God. I do however understand that, like infinity that goes on forever though I can't exactly comprehend forever, perfection is obviously a process of becoming more perfect because things change. In many ways the theory of natural selection also supports this. The most fit and the more perfect survive. The rest fall by the wayside.

I think you're wrong we don't exactly trust our perceptions we believe them to be true and then we trust that belief. I can believe in God without believing in my own perceptions. Do I believe in them? Yes, if only to make my life easier. I can believe in something that is above what I see, hear, taste, touch, and smell. That's sort of what it's all about. All belief is assumption that things are correct, in a way.

Offline tesseractive

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #110 on: May 02, 2009, 10:23:26 AM »
I believe everything can be explained with enough information, even god. I don’t subscribe to any religions because logic tells you they can’t be completely right, since they’re all pretty much in mutual disagreement. For any one of them to assume they have the answers, and many of them do, is the height of arrogance.

Even more so, I’m not for sale. I don’t fall in line and follow a code and fly someone’s flag because they believe they know better than me. For all they know, I know best for me, and experience has shown me I often do.

Great! I wish you the absolute best of luck in your search for truth. I'm kind of a religion of one myself, so I won't be the one to tell you that you have to follow someone else. I will say that a community of faith can be a powerful source of personal strength, but that doesn't mean you should adopt a religion you don't believe in.

No, I wouldn’t say that’s my ‘goal in life’ but I will say if you want to discuss your religion and want to do it without extreme scrutiny and debate, then it’s for the best that you do it without me present.

Give me your temple of beliefs and I’ll rip it down and deconstruct it block for block, and I’ll do it without fear of offending what you believe.

I understand your impulse, but I'm just not interested in debating my religious beliefs, which is why I don't usually stop by this particular forum. I have seen what I've seen and experienced what I've experienced, but I know that things I can feel are not reasons for you to believe anything.

This being said, I’ve been accused of being overly aggressive in this forum to the point of rudeness. No one here really understands my motives on this, not a single one of them that called me out on it.

What many religionists have in debate is their ‘safe corner’. That’s what incenses me in debate more than anything. Playing the ‘offended card’ is done as easily and as flagrantly as calling the race card these days, and in debate, it’s a safety corner I won’t allow anyone to have.

I'll be honest: in terms of tone, I think you come off as angry and even rude at times. I don't think that's necessarily your intent, but that's how it reads to me. That doesn't mean the points you make are any less valid, but it will affect how people react to them, because people are not just logicians.

You might simply try to be as civil as possible. Assume the person you are talking to is intelligent and well-meaning, and couch your arguments in terms of offering them things they may not yet have thought of themselves. If you maintain this tone, you may notice people reacting to the very same points in a rather different light.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #111 on: May 03, 2009, 02:26:48 AM »
I understand your impulse, but I'm just not interested in debating my religious beliefs, which is why I don't usually stop by this particular forum.



I am using ‘you’ in a general and generic sense, as in you, anyone that wants to debate, not anyone specifically.



I'll be honest: in terms of tone, I think you come off as angry and even rude at times. I don't think that's necessarily your intent, but that's how it reads to me. That doesn't mean the points you make are any less valid, but it will affect how people react to them, because people are not just logicians.

You might simply try to be as civil as possible. Assume the person you are talking to is intelligent and well-meaning, and couch your arguments in terms of offering them things they may not yet have thought of themselves. If you maintain this tone, you may notice people reacting to the very same points in a rather different light.


The only religionists I am angry with are the ones that want to pass or effect laws that either have an impact on others or myself. That includes anything from deciding the definition of marriage to whether people should be able to drink in a given county or a particular day of the week. If a faith wants to impress that on me, even in law, I am the opponent of that faith.


I’ve grown up with a Catholic upbringing as a child; attended a Catholic elementary and high school. I was surrounded by people who really, honestly thought they had they had the answers, who thought they knew best for me.

In the end, turns out they knew jack shit.


I stepped outside of the box, and saw things from a wider perspective, and not filtered through the lens of theology. What I’ve come to realize is that many members of Christian denominations are like doctors, who are trying to diagnose an illness you have and prescribe a cure. The irony is that some of them are unknowingly the afflicted that need the real help.

If you want to save my soul and convert me, understand that I’ll desire to educate you and bring you out of ideological darkness. Sure, it’s a circular argument and a matter of perspective, but I’ve seen both sides of the coin. What I’d like to do is help a few others see them as well.

I just don’t brook foolishness in debate. If you tell me that the Earth is under 6000 years in age despite all the mounds of evidence otherwise, you won’t really be taken seriously. Sometimes you have to just open your eyes. :/

Offline tesseractive

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #112 on: May 03, 2009, 01:30:03 PM »
The only religionists I am angry with are the ones that want to pass or effect laws that either have an impact on others or myself. That includes anything from deciding the definition of marriage to whether people should be able to drink in a given county or a particular day of the week. If a faith wants to impress that on me, even in law, I am the opponent of that faith.

I am on your side on all of those issues. However, I would like to offer the suggestion that getting angry doesn't really benefit anyone, yourself included. The two ways you can overcome laws like those are to find an accommodation both sides can live with, or to become the majority and change the laws. Anger plays into the hands of the fearmongers and polarizers, while empathy builds bridges and influences minds.

I certainly understand the impulse to anger -- I think we all do. But it may not achieve what you want.

I’ve grown up with a Catholic upbringing as a child; attended a Catholic elementary and high school. I was surrounded by people who really, honestly thought they had they had the answers, who thought they knew best for me.

In the end, turns out they knew jack shit.

I stepped outside of the box, and saw things from a wider perspective, and not filtered through the lens of theology. What I’ve come to realize is that many members of Christian denominations are like doctors, who are trying to diagnose an illness you have and prescribe a cure. The irony is that some of them are unknowingly the afflicted that need the real help.

People who have power over others but fail to wield it wisely can be found in religion, politics, business... pretty much anywhere. I don't see that as a mark against all institutions, but as a mark against those individuals.

Most people, whether religious or not, will readily admit that they don't have all the answers. But using what you do know to try to help others is actually a trait we could use more of, as long as it's gone about the right way. And yes, it's easy for someone to make mistakes and hurt more than they help, but the only way to avoid making mistakes entirely is to not attempt anything at all.

Finally, it's healthy to see things without having them filtered through the lens of a particular theology. Exploring the lenses of lots of different theologies may also be useful, for those so inclined. But you might be surprised at how many religious people ended up with the beliefs they did after taking the same hard look at the world that you have and coming to their own conclusions, which, in turn, led them to a church. That doesn't mean they're right, but it does mean that they're not generally just church-robots, indoctrinated from birth with no thoughts of their own.

Offline MercyfulFate

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #113 on: May 08, 2009, 02:49:00 PM »
When did ignorance in America become cool? It makes my head hurt.

Offline ChosenbyRuin

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #114 on: May 28, 2009, 08:22:39 PM »
ooo an anti creationist rant. Sign me the hell up. "You don't have any transitional fossils, so it must be wrong!"
"Oh, so if we find them, we were right? Here they are!" *dump truckload of fossils on creationist

Offline Caehlim

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #115 on: June 04, 2009, 01:35:26 PM »
"You don't have any transitional fossils, so it must be wrong!"
"Oh, so if we find them, we were right? Here they are!" *dump truckload of fossils on creationist

Well, every transitional fossil found means two more 'missing transitional fossils' exist between the new fossil and what came before and afterwards. Unfortunately we'll never have a fossil of every single creature who ever existed. Fossilization just doesn't work that way, so it's a ridiculous thing for creationists to ask for.

Offline Jude

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #116 on: June 11, 2009, 09:04:22 PM »
The real reason why so many people don't believe in evolution is because the true power of science lies in application, and there's no solid applications for evolution.  Until evolution brings us an ipod, a cure for obesity, or a new car I don't think the populace is going to accept it because there's no benefit for believing in it.  The same goes for global warming or any other scientific truth which tests our belief system.  Humans are very stubborn and hard to de-indoctrinate.

Offline Gunslinger

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #117 on: June 14, 2009, 05:51:27 PM »
Guys, what are you arguing about!!! Evolution cant happen because peanut butter never evolved!!!

Peanut Butter, The Atheist's Nightmare!

Offline Indigo

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #118 on: June 14, 2009, 05:56:28 PM »
hah!....as if the rest of humanity was willing to evolve more...

*snickers*

Give us a break now.

Offline consortium11

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #119 on: June 14, 2009, 07:56:54 PM »
Guys, what are you arguing about!!! Evolution cant happen because peanut butter never evolved!!!

Peanut Butter, The Atheist's Nightmare!

That could be the greatest video ever

Offline Margie

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #120 on: June 14, 2009, 08:59:02 PM »
I love how people (including other Americans) like to take cheap shots like this. I've heard countless little statistics like this before, some say it's as high as 72% of Americans that don't believe in evolution. While America does have the highest population of creationist, they're the minority even here. Even a lot of militant atheists will admit to this. Common sense should tell you that if most Americans were creationists, then shows like the Simpsons and Family Guy wouldn't get such high ratings.

Interestingly enough, we also have the highest number of the militant kind of atheists in America. They're also a minority. Point being, don't be so ignorant and hypcritical. The majority of American critics on this specific issue are either right here at home, have adopted American culture or are letting militant Islam fuck them in the ass (Europe). The thing they have in common is that none of them know what they're talking about.

The real reason why so many people don't believe in evolution is because the true power of science lies in application, and there's no solid applications for evolution.

Actually yeah, nothing in biology makes sense without applying the theory of evolution. Bacteria and other simple organisms are a great example. It's evolution we can observe in real time. Someone explained it this way. In science, a theory can also be an area of study within science. Or in other things. There's a theory of music, which studies music obviously.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2009, 09:00:15 PM by Margie »

Offline Serephino

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #121 on: June 14, 2009, 10:19:48 PM »
While the peanutbutter theory is a bit....  well I don't know what you'd call it...  it does make a valid point.  All life on earth has come from either sexual or asexual reproduction.  While climates and conditions change over time, it isn't that much different than when life first appeared (we think), so why isn't more life spontaneously appearing left and right?

So how were the first signs of life created?  The cold hard fact is that since all that was around was dirt, water, and single celled organisms if the evolution theory is correct, nothing was recorded and there is no way of knowing for sure. 

Arguing about religions is pointless because there is no way to prove God doesn't exist.  Sure, science has proven many things and made many discoveries, but maybe God set it up that way and we just figured it out.  It is impossible to prove one way or another.

I'm a firm believer in going with what works for you.  We are all shaped by our experiences.  I know I have a soul because I can feel it.  I know ghosts exist because I've had many experiences with that as well; unless there's a scientific theory to explain why objects at rest would suddenly fly across a room at me that I'm not aware of....

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #122 on: June 14, 2009, 10:27:13 PM »
Umm...evolution has alot of applications.  The dog that sits in your lap versus the one that guards your house is one example.  Also a deeper understanding of antibiotics and new procedures in handling their distribution.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2009, 10:28:57 PM by Asku »

Offline Inkidu

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #123 on: June 14, 2009, 10:37:55 PM »
ooo an anti creationist rant. Sign me the hell up. "You don't have any transitional fossils, so it must be wrong!"
"Oh, so if we find them, we were right? Here they are!" *dump truckload of fossils on creationist
Everyone knows aliens just put those there to confuse us. Much like the duck-billed platypus (which is strange that they call it the duck-billed platypus because I've never even seen a regular platypus, but I digress.)

As I said a while back I believe God created every animal he thought should be conducive to mankind's existence that doesn't mean he didn't scratch off dinosaurs or let them evolve into birds or marmots or what have you between day A and day B. After all what is a day to an omnipotent, all-powerful being?

Quote
Umm...evolution has alot of applications.  The dog that sits in your lap versus the one that guards your house is one example.  Also an understanding a deeper understanding of antibiotics and new procedures in handling their distribution.
That's painting it rather broadly because that isn't even technically natural selection that's husbandry, and I would like to see a little less antibiotic the last thing we need are more super bugs. Evolution doesn't really have a practical application, that's like saying art to someone and expecting the Mona Lisa. (See how I tied the art thing back in, damn those speech classes paid off. XD)

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #124 on: June 14, 2009, 10:44:50 PM »
Arguing about religions is pointless because there is no way to prove God doesn't exist.  Sure, science has proven many things and made many discoveries, but maybe God set it up that way and we just figured it out.  It is impossible to prove one way or another.

Likewise there's just no way to prove God exists at all, at least not in any of his commonly accepted forms.

I find myself largely agreeing with how the late Dr. Carl Sagan looked at it. In essence, even Sagan, described by some as a staunch atheist, said he'd love to believe there's an omniscient and caring father figure god out there as religions like to portray god, looking out after us all, but there's just zero evidence for it.

Similar questions have arisen in my family regarding my aunt's terminal cancer. Some will argue about the notion that it's simply 'someone's time to go'. But my other aunt, the one who runs around here in the land of Jesus fish on the back of SUV's with her retorting Darwin fish with legs said on the topic- shit happens.

When the universe does things we can't deal with and can't comprehend, some of us want to find comfort in describing it as 'magic' a.k.a., the result of a divine will. By making a person's illness or death part of some great cosmic scheme, some of us derive a mental foundation on which to operate. It somehow makes the loss of a loved one more meaningful.

Believe you me, now going through a second experience of watching cancer grind down a family member, I do understand this fundamental human need to take solace in something during trying times.


But at least as important, I am concerned with this playing away of the truth as a result. I have no wish to knowingly live in an imaginary bubble, even if it is a prettier place.

Offline consortium11

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #125 on: June 14, 2009, 10:46:46 PM »
While the peanutbutter theory is a bit....  well I don't know what you'd call it...  it does make a valid point.  All life on earth has come from either sexual or asexual reproduction.  While climates and conditions change over time, it isn't that much different than when life first appeared (we think), so why isn't more life spontaneously appearing left and right?

So how were the first signs of life created?  The cold hard fact is that since all that was around was dirt, water, and single celled organisms if the evolution theory is correct, nothing was recorded and there is no way of knowing for sure. 

Arguing about religions is pointless because there is no way to prove God doesn't exist.  Sure, science has proven many things and made many discoveries, but maybe God set it up that way and we just figured it out.  It is impossible to prove one way or another.

I'm a firm believer in going with what works for you.  We are all shaped by our experiences.  I know I have a soul because I can feel it.  I know ghosts exist because I've had many experiences with that as well; unless there's a scientific theory to explain why objects at rest would suddenly fly across a room at me that I'm not aware of....

Which all falls down at the very first hurdle when they use the term "evolutionist".

The Abiogenesis/Creationism debate is a very very very different debate from the Evolution/Creationism one... but it's a point that seems to fly over the head of a lot of people involved.

Offline Oniya

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #126 on: June 14, 2009, 10:50:15 PM »
Everyone knows aliens just put those there to confuse us. Much like the duck-billed platypus (which is strange that they call it the duck-billed platypus because I've never even seen a regular platypus, but I digress.)

http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/trees/beetles/platypus.htm  It's a little known fact that the name had already been given out when George Shaw tried to assign it to the oviparous mammal, which is scientifically known as Ornithorhynchus anatinus.

So now you've seen at least the back end of a 'regular' platypus.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #127 on: June 14, 2009, 10:55:17 PM »
That's painting it rather broadly because that isn't even technically natural selection that's husbandry, and I would like to see a little less antibiotic the last thing we need are more super bugs. Evolution doesn't really have a practical application, that's like saying art to someone and expecting the Mona Lisa. (See how I tied the art thing back in, damn those speech classes paid off. XD)

Selective breeding is an aspect of natural selection.  Husbandry is merely the application of that aspect of natural selection, a practical application to breed animals that fulfill certain roles in our society.  Also, the understanding of evolution has contributed to doctors prescribing antibiotics less as we now know that bacteria are evolving to defend themselves against those antibiotics.

Offline Gunslinger

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #128 on: June 14, 2009, 11:25:10 PM »
It takes a lot of time to understand even small parts of evolution. It just made my head hurt of questions that people brought up on this topic. If you can put aside the religious zeal of anti evolution, and read some material about it, you will find out some simple facts. The breakthroughs in biology and medicine would be impossible without the theory of evolution and research that goes in to the theory.

Have a read sometime:

http://evolution.berkeley.edu/

Offline RubySlippers

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #129 on: June 15, 2009, 09:50:58 AM »
Does all this matter your average citizen doesn't NEED evolution lets look at this at a simple level. If your a typical worker in say a store selling goods do you need to know much about evolution?


Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #130 on: June 15, 2009, 09:52:46 AM »
You need to know why you take all your antibiotics and understand when your doctor describes hereditary problems.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #131 on: June 15, 2009, 10:02:14 AM »
Not at the macroevolutionary level for anitbiotics I just care they make me better and I don't create them a tiny number of people do. For hereditary problems I just need to know if I have a baby their might be a problem because of some problem. That is microevoulution which Creationists accept its similar to animal breeding and what your talking about here limited understanding.

I'm not arguing against Evolution just your average person has no major need for knowledge of it or to even accept it as true as far as the full implications of the theory, micro and macro evolution.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2009, 10:03:23 AM by RubySlippers »

Offline Oniya

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #132 on: June 15, 2009, 10:16:54 AM »
for anitbiotics I just care they make me better and I don't create them a tiny number of people do.

Actually, this is a good example of why the average person should know about - at the very least, natural selection.   The reason that there are all the new antibiotic-resistant strains running around (MRSA is the one with the most press) is because Joe Average gets a staph infection, takes about half to three-quarters of his antibiotics, feels better and stops.  Maybe he figures he'll save the methicillin for when he has a different infection and save on prescription costs.  He feels better, so he doesn't go to that follow-up appointment and have his lab-work done - why spend all that money on the doctor when you feel fine?

What he doesn't know is he's only killed off most of the staph bacteria.  The rest have a certain level of resistance.  They breed, passing on that resistance.  Joe Average gets sick again from the new, stronger generation.  Lather, rinse, repeat, and after a few go-rounds, you end up with an evolved strain of bacteria that thumbs its figurative nose at doctors while sipping methicillin cocktails.

If the average person understands this process, they understand why it's important to take all the antibiotics and go to the followup visits to make sure the infection is wiped out.  Otherwise, they might be tempted to save a few bucks now and end up paying a lot more later - as well as create a public health hazard. 

Offline RubySlippers

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #133 on: June 15, 2009, 01:21:09 PM »
The doctors tell you to take all the medication, they do that for a reason. So the doctor should be faulted for not having a staff person call after a few days to make sure they know that. I wouldn't blame evolutionary theory that is bad medical care not informing the person. Then having say a nurse do a follow up.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #134 on: June 15, 2009, 05:12:17 PM »
And if a person has no concept of why they should take all of the medication, then they won’t.  People would take antibiotics till they felt better and then simply stash the rest for another time.  That just makes good sense really since..hey I bought all these pills and now I feel  better so save them in case I get sick.  Except, with an understanding of evolution, they will know that these pills might not work next time because the bacteria are adapting to the medication.

Also you are making the assumption that the problem is people forgetting to take their medication, which I’m willing to bet they didn’t forget to do when they felt sick.

Offline Trieste

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #135 on: June 15, 2009, 05:38:19 PM »
The doctors tell you to take all the medication, they do that for a reason. So the doctor should be faulted for not having a staff person call after a few days to make sure they know that. I wouldn't blame evolutionary theory that is bad medical care not informing the person. Then having say a nurse do a follow up.

It's the doctor's fault that you don't take the meds they give you to make you feel better? There is a reason they put "take one by mouth twice daily for ten days" on antibiotics, as opposed to something like "take one by mouth every four hours or as needed for pain" on painkillers. The doctor should not have to hunt you down to make sure you took your little pillsy-willsies, and he should not have to prod you into going to your follow-up. It's your health; it's your responsibility.

For someone who argues against nanny government, you sure want an awful lot of oversight. You're going to have to be a lot more careful with contradictions like that if you still intend to run for public office.

It takes a lot of time to understand even small parts of evolution. It just made my head hurt of questions that people brought up on this topic. If you can put aside the religious zeal of anti evolution, and read some material about it, you will find out some simple facts. The breakthroughs in biology and medicine would be impossible without the theory of evolution and research that goes in to the theory.

Have a read sometime:

http://evolution.berkeley.edu/

Thank you for this link; I found it really interesting.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #136 on: June 15, 2009, 08:58:30 PM »
I would call it a reminder, my doctor always drops me an e-mail to see how I'm doing under a course of treatment its doing her job. And this is not the government doing this its a service from my medical primary care provider who coordinates my care with all my doctors. So its important they stay informed and see if I have any problems.

Offline Serephino

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #137 on: June 15, 2009, 09:54:25 PM »
Likewise there's just no way to prove God exists at all, at least not in any of his commonly accepted forms.

I find myself largely agreeing with how the late Dr. Carl Sagan looked at it. In essence, even Sagan, described by some as a staunch atheist, said he'd love to believe there's an omniscient and caring father figure god out there as religions like to portray god, looking out after us all, but there's just zero evidence for it.

Similar questions have arisen in my family regarding my aunt's terminal cancer. Some will argue about the notion that it's simply 'someone's time to go'. But my other aunt, the one who runs around here in the land of Jesus fish on the back of SUV's with her retorting Darwin fish with legs said on the topic- shit happens.

When the universe does things we can't deal with and can't comprehend, some of us want to find comfort in describing it as 'magic' a.k.a., the result of a divine will. By making a person's illness or death part of some great cosmic scheme, some of us derive a mental foundation on which to operate. It somehow makes the loss of a loved one more meaningful.

Believe you me, now going through a second experience of watching cancer grind down a family member, I do understand this fundamental human need to take solace in something during trying times.


But at least as important, I am concerned with this playing away of the truth as a result. I have no wish to knowingly live in an imaginary bubble, even if it is a prettier place.

Well, there are things science can't explain.  They can look at a living cell and they have no idea how or why it's alive.  There is an energy in living creatures science just cannot pinpoint or explain no matter how much they try.

That might not be concrete proof God exists, but it is proof that there is more out there other than cut and dried laws of science.

Offline Serephino

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #138 on: June 15, 2009, 09:58:44 PM »
Not at the macroevolutionary level for anitbiotics I just care they make me better and I don't create them a tiny number of people do. For hereditary problems I just need to know if I have a baby their might be a problem because of some problem. That is microevoulution which Creationists accept its similar to animal breeding and what your talking about here limited understanding.

I'm not arguing against Evolution just your average person has no major need for knowledge of it or to even accept it as true as far as the full implications of the theory, micro and macro evolution.

I'd say if the average person was more educated we'd have less idiots running around.  Knowledge is power.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #139 on: June 16, 2009, 04:09:54 PM »
Well, there are things science can't explain.  They can look at a living cell and they have no idea how or why it's alive.  There is an energy in living creatures science just cannot pinpoint or explain no matter how much they try.

That might not be concrete proof God exists, but it is proof that there is more out there other than cut and dried laws of science.

Not necessarily. This is assuming there exists permanently inexplicable portions of the universe that we can never tally up, but I disagree. Given enough time, I believe we’ll figure it all out. Once we’re at a exponential rate for the sum knowledge of the species, and I think we’re close or at that already, it’s only a matter of time.

And this is a obvious direction to take here. We can look at the cell and say the DNA in the nucleus is writing all the instructions for the cell, the mitochondria are generating the energy for the system, etc.

We can explain how all the base function work that keep the cell alive and moving…but what makes it GO?

The same can be said of large-scale organisms such as ourselves…what actually makes us go?


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vital_force

Vitalism

‘a doctrine that the functions of a living organism are due to a vital principle distinct from biochemical reactions’

‘a doctrine that the processes of life are not explicable by the laws of physics and chemistry alone and that life is in some part self-determining’


Perhaps this does not mean something that is excluded from scientific scrutiny or explanation, but perhaps this is a whole new field within science that we have yet to tap. Right now it’s more metaphysics than anything, but just because we can’t explain it yet doesn’t mean we won’t be able to explain it at all.

And just because we can’t explain it yet doesn’t automatically make it god. I believe it was scientist Richard Dawkins that said doing just that; passing off the unexplainable as god and therefore unknowable to us, is the equivalent of throwing in the towel.

Offline Caehlim

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #140 on: June 17, 2009, 02:14:29 PM »
Well, there are things science can't explain.  They can look at a living cell and they have no idea how or why it's alive.  There is an energy in living creatures science just cannot pinpoint or explain no matter how much they try.

Where'd you get that idea?

Long story short a living cell is alive because of proteins which are formed thanks to the self-replicating chemical nature of DNA.

RNA Polymerase creates mRNA and tRNA from the DNA within the nucleus. Ribosomes use mRNA and tRNA to assemble amino acids into polypeptide chains and thus make proteins. Ribosomes found within the Cytosol produce proteins used within the cell, while Ribosomes in the rough endoplasmic reticulum produce proteins designed to leave the cell or facilitate the transition of materials between the inside and outside of the cell in a controlled fashion.

These proteins engage in a variety of chemical reactions that maintain what you would call the life of the cell. Were these reactions to cease, the cell would be dead.

Lifeforms contain all 8 forms of energy; kinetic, potential, thermal, sound, light, elastic and electromagnetic. Some of these energies more than others.

However the concept of 'Vital Essence' or any form of special energy responsible for differentiation of living from non-living matter, dates to about the era of Phlogiston and the Universal Aether and is no more accurate than either.

Offline Trieste

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #141 on: June 17, 2009, 02:17:00 PM »
I could not have said it better myself. Bravissimo, Caehlim.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #142 on: June 17, 2009, 02:17:56 PM »
Where'd you get that idea?

Long story short a living cell is alive because of proteins which are formed thanks to the self-replicating chemical nature of DNA.

RNA Polymerase creates mRNA and tRNA from the DNA within the nucleus. Ribosomes use mRNA and tRNA to assemble amino acids into polypeptide chains and thus make proteins. Ribosomes found within the Cytosol produce proteins used within the cell, while Ribosomes in the rough endoplasmic reticulum produce proteins designed to leave the cell or facilitate the transition of materials between the inside and outside of the cell in a controlled fashion.

These proteins engage in a variety of chemical reactions that maintain what you would call the life of the cell. Were these reactions to cease, the cell would be dead.

Lifeforms contain all 8 forms of energy; kinetic, potential, thermal, sound, light, elastic and electromagnetic. Some of these energies more than others.

However the concept of 'Vital Essence' or any form of special energy responsible for differentiation of living from non-living matter, dates to about the era of Phlogiston and the Universal Aether and is no more accurate than either.
Better one, what's that white light people sometimes see when they are dying?

Offline Caehlim

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #143 on: June 17, 2009, 02:25:17 PM »
Better one, what's that white light people sometimes see when they are dying?

A side effect of the process called Anoxia (or lack of oxygen). Basically it's a natural reaction to the cells in your brain choking to death once the air is cut off. The chemical reactions fail in ways which produce various brain glitches. Also partly from the Pineal gland releasing the hallucinogen DMT into the brain.

Near Death Experiences are experienced in an identical fashion within centrifuge machines for training jet pilots and astronauts, for purely biological reasons.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #144 on: June 17, 2009, 02:42:22 PM »
A side effect of the process called Anoxia (or lack of oxygen). Basically it's a natural reaction to the cells in your brain choking to death once the air is cut off. The chemical reactions fail in ways which produce various brain glitches. Also partly from the Pineal gland releasing the hallucinogen DMT into the brain.

Near Death Experiences are experienced in an identical fashion within centrifuge machines for training jet pilots and astronauts, for purely biological reasons.
One theory. There's still no conclusive proof.

Offline Caehlim

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #145 on: June 17, 2009, 02:51:23 PM »
One theory. There's still no conclusive proof.

Agreed. However there is more proof for this theory than any other competing theory so I am happy to consider this as the most likely explanation until further information comes to light.

YMMV.

(Besides NDEs makes no sense from a religious perspective. Why would an infallible God not realize that people were going to be revived and put on the "welcome to heaven" light show early? Why wouldn't God communicate with people whenever he damn well feels like it, rather than waiting for some symbolic 'near death' moment to share universal truth? Even if I were a christian I wouldn't associate NDEs with religious experience).

Offline Inkidu

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #146 on: June 17, 2009, 02:58:50 PM »
Agreed. However there is more proof for this theory than any other competing theory so I am happy to consider this as the most likely explanation until further information comes to light.

YMMV.

(Besides NDEs makes no sense from a religious perspective. Why would an infallible God not realize that people were going to be revived and put on the "welcome to heaven" light show early? Why wouldn't God communicate with people whenever he damn well feels like it, rather than waiting for some symbolic 'near death' moment to share universal truth? Even if I were a christian I wouldn't associate NDEs with religious experience).
You assume it's a mistake. I think it's all about opportunity really. Still there are plenty of answers we don't know or even have a guess for. Is there something on the other side of a black hole? Where is the exact center of the universe? 

Offline Oniya

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #147 on: June 17, 2009, 03:01:40 PM »
To be fair, many of the NDEs I've read about include the message 'it's not your time yet' or some variant. 

Of course, as Goedel's incompleteness theorems and the Agrippa Trilemma put forth, there will always be something that is unprovable, if only because every source used for rationalizing something will, in itself, need to be rationalized.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #148 on: June 17, 2009, 03:05:27 PM »
To be fair, many of the NDEs I've read about include the message 'it's not your time yet' or some variant. 

Of course, as Goedel's incompleteness theorems and the Agrippa Trilemma put forth, there will always be something that is unprovable, if only because every source used for rationalizing something will, in itself, need to be rationalized.
Well it's like I put forth with the order of operations thing.

Parentheses, exponents, multiply, divide, add, subtract from the left to the right. Why is it like that? Does physics demand this, no. It was arbitrarily decided by some match committee and as such requires a lot of faith that you ain't doin' it wrong.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #149 on: June 17, 2009, 03:07:20 PM »
Where'd you get that idea?

Long story short a living cell is alive because of proteins which are formed thanks to the self-replicating chemical nature of DNA.

RNA Polymerase creates mRNA and tRNA from the DNA within the nucleus. Ribosomes use mRNA and tRNA to assemble amino acids into polypeptide chains and thus make proteins. Ribosomes found within the Cytosol produce proteins used within the cell, while Ribosomes in the rough endoplasmic reticulum produce proteins designed to leave the cell or facilitate the transition of materials between the inside and outside of the cell in a controlled fashion.

These proteins engage in a variety of chemical reactions that maintain what you would call the life of the cell. Were these reactions to cease, the cell would be dead.

Lifeforms contain all 8 forms of energy; kinetic, potential, thermal, sound, light, elastic and electromagnetic. Some of these energies more than others.

However the concept of 'Vital Essence' or any form of special energy responsible for differentiation of living from non-living matter, dates to about the era of Phlogiston and the Universal Aether and is no more accurate than either.

Nice textbook post, and it explains the mechanics of life, but not what was being discussed above.

What I think we’re talking about is the life force, the soul, whatever you want to call it, and it massively predates the phlogiston and the luminiferous aether, existing in the beliefs of most civilizations and culture over recorded time.


When you factor in those cases where someone dies despite their health being otherwise, or a case where the doctors say a patient is terminal and a lost cause, yet they pull through, something is missing.

Either those textbooks on the mechanics of biology are missing crucial lines, or there’s something more to life than we can currently perceive and quantify.

Factor in some of the cutting edge theories involving consciousness and cosmology, and there are hints that what we observe is linked to us. Lab experiments prove that results DO differ on whether anyone’s observing or not. There’s still a grand mystery here that needs unfolding…it’s more than a question of what life is, it comes down to what existence itself is.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2009, 03:08:59 PM by The Overlord »

Offline Inkidu

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #150 on: June 17, 2009, 03:10:47 PM »
Great reply, Overlord.

Offline Caehlim

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #151 on: June 17, 2009, 03:19:09 PM »
Still there are plenty of answers we don't know or even have a guess for.

That's true. Keeps things from getting boring at least.

Quote
Is there something on the other side of a black hole? Where is the exact center of the universe?

Hell, we don't even know if either of those questions mean anything. Universes may not have centers and black holes could be even weirder than we already imagine and lets face it... that's pretty weird already.

(In fact one theory I heard is that the curvature of space-time means that the true center of the universe is outside of it).

Yes, there's a lot of mystery in the universe. But I think religion has to be about more than pointing at a mystery and saying "God did it". I think religion is an entirely different way of looking at the universe that isn't necessarily about correct answers or science.

And to try to round this back to the original topic, evolution isn't all that mysterious. We've got a pretty good understanding of biology now. Most of the mystery in biology these days is restricted to the human proteonome or the neural aspects of psychology.

The real mysteries are in particle physics, dark energy and the birth of the universe. I can't wait to see what the LHC finds out.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #152 on: June 17, 2009, 03:21:58 PM »
Well it's like I put forth with the order of operations thing.

Parentheses, exponents, multiply, divide, add, subtract from the left to the right. Why is it like that? Does physics demand this, no. It was arbitrarily decided by some match committee and as such requires a lot of faith that you ain't doin' it wrong.

Some of it does require a leap of faith. In a college math class I had a real conceptual issue with the zero exponent. An exponent is a value to the power of something, OK fine, then how can a value, any value except zero, to the power of zero be anything?

It should be zero, but the textbooks say it’s 1, and my professor could tell it was bugging the shit out of me, and he told me the very same thing: Some things you have to take on faith.

That was the point I realized just how conceptual some of the allegedly hard numbers in mathematics are. Zero, after all, is as much an abstract concept as it is a numerical value, the Mayans were the first to derive it, but not all cultures. We can say we understand zero, but we don’t really understand zero…not entirely.

This shape, 0, we give to a concept to allow some sort of workable solution in our math. I realized it’s likely the zero exponent comes to one because within the modern set of mathematics we use, that’s what made the most sense. It fits, but not quite…I expect it might not be so in all forms of math.


And the reason that a ‘math committee’ made the rules as they are is for the very same reason we’re all speaking English. Without hammering the numbers, some of them real and some of them conceptual, into a defined language, how else could even mathematicians communicate with one another?

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #153 on: June 17, 2009, 03:23:17 PM »
Great reply, Overlord.

Thank you.

Offline Caehlim

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #154 on: June 17, 2009, 03:45:03 PM »
Nice textbook post, and it explains the mechanics of life, but not what was being discussed above.

I explained exactly the questions that were asked. How and why cells are alive and what forms of energy they contain.

I'm not trying to be pedantic here. But I am trying to follow ockham's razor, "do not suppose plurality without necessity". Until you can justify that there is some necessity to suppose there is an additional phenomena beyond those I've described and explained, there is no reason to debate the nature of this phenomena.

Quote
What I think we’re talking about is the life force, the soul, whatever you want to call it, and it massively predates the phlogiston and the luminiferous aether, existing in the beliefs of most civilizations and culture over recorded time.

Soul yes, life-force... not really. At least in my opinion. It wasn't really until the beginnings of chemistry that people started to wonder how humans and diamonds could be composed of the same atoms and yet somehow experience such a considerable difference in behaviour. This was answered mostly over the last century or so.

The conversation was definitely leaning towards life force, which is why I answered the way I did. If we're talking 'souls' then I'd have answered differently.

(Incidentally when it comes to souls... I don't really know. Maybe, maybe not. There are a lot of questions I'm still grappling with in the domain of consciousness. But not when it comes to basic biology and 'life force')

Quote
When you factor in those cases where someone dies despite their health being otherwise, or a case where the doctors say a patient is terminal and a lost cause, yet they pull through, something is missing.

In my opinion, that's like supposing the existence of air spirits because sometimes the weatherman gets their predictions wrong.

The human body is a complex system of myriad atoms. Predicting complex systems is the domain of statistics. Trying to determine a persons chances with statistics will provide you with the correct answer for most of the people, most of the time.

Doctors try to understand a person's outlook by measuring their heart-rate, taking a few X-rays and maybe a very very expensive lab test or two. It's pretty similar to trying to determine what's going on in every air cell in the atmosphere with a few barometers and a weather balloon.

Quote
Either those textbooks on the mechanics of biology are missing crucial lines, or there’s something more to life than we can currently perceive and quantify.

What otherwise inexplicable phenomena require some form of life force or soul to explain?

Quote
Factor in some of the cutting edge theories involving consciousness and cosmology, and there are hints that what we observe is linked to us. Lab experiments prove that results DO differ on whether anyone’s observing or not.

To the best of my knowledge these sorts of lab tests are regarding 'observation' and not 'human observation' if you understand my meaning. On the same level as heisenberg's uncertainty principle. I may well be wrong, my knowledge of the more quantum level phenomena is a bit lacking. If I am wrong can you point me towards a source for this?

Quote
There’s still a grand mystery here that needs unfolding…it’s more than a question of what life is, it comes down to what existence itself is.

Existence I totally agree. Life... less so. It's pretty clear what life is, at least in my opinion, and you have to push things pretty far to down into the atomic or astronomic levels before you really hit the grand mysteries.

As always, YMMV.

Offline Caehlim

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #155 on: June 17, 2009, 03:48:50 PM »
That was the point I realized just how conceptual some of the allegedly hard numbers in mathematics are. Zero, after all, is as much an abstract concept as it is a numerical value, the Mayans were the first to derive it, but not all cultures. We can say we understand zero, but we don’t really understand zero…not entirely.

I agree. Mathematics has always boggled me on some of these points.

It drives me crazy that (theoretically) there is no possible system of numbering in which you wouldn't have both rational and irrational numbers.

It seriously makes me wonder if we're doing the whole thing wrong.

Edit: There's some proof for this, to do with the Pythagoras' theorem and the square root of negative 2 but I don't remember it unfortunately. As I said above, mathematics can really boggle me.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2009, 03:51:00 PM by Caehlim »

Offline Oniya

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #156 on: June 17, 2009, 03:57:12 PM »
Rather than going into a probably really off-topic explanation, I'm just going to drop a couple of quotes, identify myself as a part-time math scholar, and let it go back to evolution. ;)

Quote
Suppose we loosely define a religion as any discipline whose foundations
rest on an element of faith, irrespective of any element of reason which
may be present. Quantum mechanics, for example, would be a religion under
this definition. But mathematics would hold the unique position of being
the only branch of theology possessing a rigorous demonstration of the fact
that it should be so classified.
- De Sua, F. (1956)

Quote
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and confine man in the bonds of Hell.
- St. Augustine 

And finally,
Quote
Wir Mathematiker sind alle ein biszchen meschugge.
(We mathematicans are all a bit crazy).
  -- Lev Landau

Offline Inkidu

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #157 on: June 17, 2009, 07:12:52 PM »
I don't deny evolution. It's too obvious to ignore. I do dislike that people spout off Darwin's theory of the former as fact. It is just that a theory, and though scientific theory is still a little more tested than your average theory it can still be proven wrong quite easily and they spout it off wrong. The most common mistake I hear is:

"Darwin states we evolved from monkeys."

Well first he said apes.

"Okay apes still."

Well he actually said apes and man shared some common ancestor a.k.a. the missing link.

Personally I would hope it would be the great prehistoric mammoth wombat from what would become Australia. That would be really cool.

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Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #158 on: June 17, 2009, 07:32:30 PM »
Pshaw...evolution is for living, molecular, chemical, spiritual, environmentally motivated beings....oh wait!   :P

sighs...I will never never never understand the gap between religion and science.  I mean...rather, I know why it is...humans being humans and all.  ::)  I simply just don't comprehend it...but then again...I usually can't comprehend -or rather scoff at, gotta be honest- the tribulations regarding such things.

...yet for all I know...that is, in itself, a necessity of growth, whether physical or spiritual, or both.

So be it.


Offline Caehlim

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #159 on: June 18, 2009, 12:01:42 AM »
I don't deny evolution. It's too obvious to ignore. I do dislike that people spout off Darwin's theory of the former as fact. It is just that a theory

I have already explained on this thread what a theory is, in my first post. I'll repost it to save people from going back 6 pages.

Sorry, I'm about to be pedantic, but since this is a thread about science...

A theory is not an incomplete work within science, nor will it ever become a law no matter how much more complete it becomes.

A law explains the whats of the world. Newton's laws of gravity describe what happens to objects (they fall down).

Theories deal with the hows and whys. Einstein's theory of gravity describes why objects move the way they do (because of the curvature of spacetime).

Neither of these is in any way better or more complete than the other. Just because they manage to be treated as a law or theory does not mean that they are correct either. Both Einstein and Newton were on the right track, but these days we've had to update and replace their laws and theories to keep up to date with the cutting edge of the latest work in quantum physics.

Also it's important to note that in most of these cases the law comes first, then someone develops the theory. It's very easy to notice that objects fall, it's a lot more difficult to figure out exactly why. So no, evolution will never be a law.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: 63% of Americans Refuse to Evolve
« Reply #160 on: June 18, 2009, 02:03:52 AM »
I agree. Mathematics has always boggled me on some of these points.

It drives me crazy that (theoretically) there is no possible system of numbering in which you wouldn't have both rational and irrational numbers.

It seriously makes me wonder if we're doing the whole thing wrong.

Edit: There's some proof for this, to do with the Pythagoras' theorem and the square root of negative 2 but I don't remember it unfortunately. As I said above, mathematics can really boggle me.

Starting delving into things like fractal mathematics and the Golden Ratio.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractal_mathematics

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_ratio

The spiral that forms from the 1:1.618 ration and repeats throughout nature can be seen in most plants, in the slope of the branches or leaves that spiral off a parent branch.

Oh but wait, it gets better.

Studies in forests have revealed that various flora is not placed randomly; even among different species of trees, there are regular unit placements in the trees; something that is not evident to the human eye but has been found by careful measurement. This is economy of space for nature, by using the same forms at different scales and repeating them, more efficiency for the information stored.




The evidence strongly suggests that mathematics are embedded into the fabric of nature, that these are not human constructs, but discoveries of things that exist around us.


Like I said, zero isn’t just a value, it’s an archetype, an icon. If you have ten dollar bills in your hand and give them away, you have zero dollars. That works easy enough, but the true scope of zero, of absolute nothing, and its opposite number, pun intended, infinity still escapes us This is why I got into vigorous debate in a prior thread that we can understand the concepts of zero and infinity, but being finite creatures, we cannot truly understand them.


Mathematics I believe is a universal language, but we humans still speak it poorly in some regards. Our math as it is simply fails to measure up to some of its grandest concepts and assertions.

But we’re getting closer.


The golden mean

Arthur Clarke - Fractals - The Colors Of Infinity 1 of 6

« Last Edit: June 18, 2009, 02:06:16 AM by The Overlord »