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Author Topic: Evolution and Religion  (Read 16552 times)

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Offline Alsheriam

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #25 on: December 06, 2010, 07:48:34 PM »
What?

What he said.

One to two hundred years ago, people used to dream about an enlightened society where the vast majority of people could read and write. We're there at the literacy part, and yet human society is hardly enlightened.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2010, 08:05:50 PM by Alsheriam »

Offline Oniya

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Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2010, 08:00:23 PM »
The ramp theory is generally accepted, although there is some difference of opinion on the configuration of the ramps.  As for cutting the blocks the most practical method currently theorized is the use of quartz sand poured between the cutting edge of a drill and the granite, allowing the harder quartz to provide the necessary bite.

As for the people who built it, this site is far more in depth than anything I could fit in a post. 

Offline mystictiger

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #27 on: December 06, 2010, 08:16:17 PM »
The fact that they bring in expert witnesses kind of makes an argument that they care a bit more than a 'box that says "Proof".'  Otherwise, the lawyer could simply enter the test results as evidence and not have to deal with the trouble and expense of dealing with expert witnesses.

The reason that they have an expert is entirely to do with procedural rules, and has nothing to do with the comprehension of either the test or the expert speaking to it. Rather than having a test that the court doesn't comprehend, they now have an individual that they don't understand. The judge determines which expert he finds most credible, not which evidence they find most believable - thus a convincing liar would probably be more useful as an expert than an unconvincing truth-teller.

In the worst cases, the courts reject experts that they can't even pretend to understand - ""To introduce Bayes' Theorem, or any similar method, into a criminal trial plunges the jury into inappropriate and unnecessary realms of theory and complexity, deflecting them from their proper task.".


Offline RubySlippers

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #28 on: December 06, 2010, 08:25:09 PM »
God created the Earth, Life in All Forms and the Universe as we see it in six days ,literal 24 hour days, and rested on the seventh day. Anything that might not fit that is a mystery of God why He decided for example to make such infinite galaxies or make genetics to appear to support ancient lines of humans going back ages. But Ussher's chronology which I support as at least in the ballpark places the age of the Earth at around 6000 years but it could be more or less but not billions of years.

I don't oppose the natural sciences mind you they are orderly under the will of God, and should be taught just when you tell me man is millions of years old I simply disagree. The universe appears old because that was God's will likely to make natural law fit and perhaps for the creation of other intelligent life in other places which is Bible Neutral but would explain why there are so many galaxies but it could just have been it amused God to make a huge Universe bcause its pretty and does Him glory.

Offline mystictiger

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #29 on: December 06, 2010, 08:33:23 PM »
And God created dinosaur skeletons to test the faithful.

Offline Alsheriam

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #30 on: December 06, 2010, 08:48:06 PM »
"God created Arrakis to train the faithful."



I'm sorry... I couldn't help but to think of that Dune reference. XD

Offline Jude

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2010, 09:37:41 PM »
That's because the day/night cycle was the first thing created.  The "myth" specifically refers to each day of creation as a "day and a night, one day".    Given the probability of evolutionary theory as so far past impossible (try 1 in 10^50), I'll stick with the other side.

But feel free to pick the side you want as we no more know for sure how the universe came into being then we do how the Egyptians built the pyramids.
Which creationist blog did you pull that number from out of curiosity?

In so much as you believe it, I wonder why you think you know more than the combined intellectual might of the scientific community.  You would think that if what you said about the probability thing was actually true, then evolution wouldn't be as widely accepted as it is.  In saying that you've chosen the more logical path on a scientific matter over people who dedicate their lives to a rigorous study of scientific truth, you're epitomizing the arrogance of ignorance -- unless you've conceived some sort of system that is far beyond their understanding.  So, I'm wondering, what's your formal training in science?
God created the Earth, Life in All Forms and the Universe as we see it in six days ,literal 24 hour days, and rested on the seventh day. Anything that might not fit that is a mystery of God why He decided for example to make such infinite galaxies or make genetics to appear to support ancient lines of humans going back ages. But Ussher's chronology which I support as at least in the ballpark places the age of the Earth at around 6000 years but it could be more or less but not billions of years.
I'm sorry, but you're wrong.  There are multiple lines of scientific evidence that place the age of the universe, and earth, far longer than 6,000 years.  There's nothing even remotely factual about the claims of young earth creationists, and since it steps out of the realm of religion and tries to make claims which are objectively false, there's no reason I should tolerate it.
I don't oppose the natural sciences mind you they are orderly under the will of God, and should be taught just when you tell me man is millions of years old I simply disagree. The universe appears old because that was God's will likely to make natural law fit and perhaps for the creation of other intelligent life in other places which is Bible Neutral but would explain why there are so many galaxies but it could just have been it amused God to make a huge Universe bcause its pretty and does Him glory.
You have a right to disagree, but when you disagree with that which is basically provable fact, then it's clear that your ideologies are warping your ability to perceive truth -- that should be something of concern for you.

Offline Noelle

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #32 on: December 06, 2010, 09:43:54 PM »
That's because the day/night cycle was the first thing created.  The "myth" specifically refers to each day of creation as a "day and a night, one day".    Given the probability of evolutionary theory as so far past impossible (try 1 in 10^50), I'll stick with the other side.

But feel free to pick the side you want as we no more know for sure how the universe came into being then we do how the Egyptians built the pyramids.

Sorry, but I also have to third the sentiment -- what?

Have you done any research? About pyramids, about the universe, about any of this? Please do cite your source of where you got your figures about the purported impossibility of evolution and while you're at it, I'd be utterly tickled if you could provide a similar source that mathematically calculates the statistical probability of an invisible being that is all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful, and all-eternal that not only bends, but defies all natural laws -- laws it supposedly created, but enabled man to do things such as load up two of every species on the earth on a boat and have a little trip and leaves no tangible evidence in its wake. Surely if you can hold science to its own scrutiny (as you should), then you should perhaps measure the 'other side' by the same measures. I think you'll find it's just a little more than 'picking sides'. This isn't about the formation of a kickball team.

What I mean to say is that just because a particular issue doesn't have a solidly-confirmed conclusion doesn't mean any old crackpot theory used to explain it is gonna cut it. We don't exactly know what's on the other side of a black hole, but when it comes to deciding which answer makes more sense, I'm probably going to go with the theory that it's a singular converging point of super-compacted matter that has been torn apart by crushing gravity over the thought that it's a portal to a world that's made entirely out of candy and is inhabited by AK-wielding Nordic bikini warriors. We don't exactly know how the pyramids were built, but chances are pretty darn good that they used planes (Oniya's post addresses this a bit) and it wasn't a group of bored extraterrestrials playing Tetris on our land.

The whole 'debate' between science and religion, as others have pointed out, does not have to be the dichotomy some make it out to be -- by all means, I am not here to make anyone give up religion because I don't think it's right or even necessary and plenty of people of faith have reconciled science and religion for themselves, but it's also ridiculous to pretend that something with a substantially larger amount of evidence is equal in theory to the other.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2010, 09:47:14 PM by Noelle »

Offline mystictiger

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #33 on: December 06, 2010, 10:01:18 PM »
Quote
That's because the day/night cycle was the first thing created.  The "myth" specifically refers to each day of creation as a "day and a night, one day".    Given the probability of evolutionary theory as so far past impossible (try 1 in 10^50), I'll stick with the other side.

The very fact that you put a probability on something means that it is possible ;)

Quote
I'm sorry, but you're wrong.  There are multiple lines of scientific evidence that place the age of the universe, and earth, far longer than 6,000 years.  There's nothing even remotely factual about the claims of young earth creationists, and since it steps out of the realm of religion and tries to make claims which are objectively false, there's no reason I should tolerate it.

You cannot assert that someone else is wrong absolutely, merely within your own paradigm / frame of reference. You and RubySlippers just have a very different idea of what 'proof', 'truth' or 'fact' are. She's described her own epistemology and ontology - that what is written in a series of books is more 'true' than that which we can deduce or induce from observable reality.

The problem here isn't one of rightness or wrongness, but rather of utterly incomensurate paradigms of knowledge. Arguing about such things is fruitless - you might as well try and convince them that their favourite colour isn't what they say it is. Their position will be just as inaccessible to logical critique.

Quote
I'd be utterly tickled if you could provide a similar source that mathematically calculates the statistical probability of an invisible being that is all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful, and all-eternal that not only bends, but defies all natural laws -- laws it supposedly created, but enabled man to do things such as load up two of every species on the earth on a boat and have a little trip and leaves no tangible evidence in its wake.

Presumably the probability of that is 10^50 -1 in 10^50. Imagine if you'd put a dollar on those odds...
« Last Edit: December 06, 2010, 10:06:16 PM by mystictiger »

Offline mystictiger

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #34 on: December 06, 2010, 10:47:03 PM »
The whole probability garbage is from articles like this one.

Articles like this one explain why the probability arguments are bogus.

EDIT: And now for something on irreducable complexity (and my bad spelling).
« Last Edit: December 07, 2010, 12:02:07 AM by mystictiger »

Offline Noelle

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #35 on: December 06, 2010, 10:52:52 PM »
Y'know, the thing about it is that I'm an agnostic. Totally open to the fact that there might be a higher being (or not), but too unconvinced of all things presented to me to be able to say I can know for sure that there is or isn't.

You're right that you can't really convince people who aren't using the same lines of logic as your own to come to their conclusions, but the problem comes in that not all lines of thinking are equal in real validation or just reality in general. It's the same issue you run into when you get people who sit and wonder "what if everything we know is a facade and what if science is totally wrong about everything?" Well, what if? Then nobody knows anything and up could be down and so forth, but the fact is, it takes a pretty big stretch of thought and delusion to bridge the gap of inconsistencies that comes with it, what with considering science has done an awful lot for not knowing anything. Maybe it's infinitesimally possible, but it's most definitely not probable. Sure, you can think fossils were buried in the earth as some big treasure hunt from the holy Jefe himself and that carbon-dating is one big illusion because that god sure is a trickster, but really, you can explain just about anything away if you take enough steps...in exchange for a less and less probability and occasionally just plain absurdity.

I mean, really, if you're not going to bring logic to a logical debate...knife to a gun-fight and all.

Edit: Mystic, that creation site reminds me of that YouTube video series on how peanut butter disproves evolution and how bananas are proof of the existence of god :| Kirk Cameron, why?!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZFG5PKw504#
Proof Of God: The Banana - The Atheist's Nightmare?
« Last Edit: December 06, 2010, 10:56:52 PM by Noelle »

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #36 on: December 06, 2010, 10:55:43 PM »
I should have also dropped this off with the other links this morning: PhyloIntelligence
A nice, compact library of evidence for evolution in simple terms.

It is further notable that this very topic is the subject of Dawkin's latest work The Greatest Show on Earth, which discusses these matters in a manner divorced from his usual atheism.



So I think it is pretty clear that this divide exists, but I think we are loosing sight of the ever important why. Vague convictions and unlikely numbers are being lobbed about, but it might be more fruitful to look at what's at stake.

On the one hand, a mountain of evidence, on the other...what?

Is it merely a fundamentalist sentiment and desire for biblical literalism/infallibility? Why?
How exactly is this related to the clearly intimately connected young Earth theory?
And to toss one of Darwin's own observations in there: "We can allow satellites, planets, suns, universe, nay whole systems of universes, to be governed by laws, but the smallest insect, we wish to be created at once by special act." Why?

Numerous other phenomenon of physics, chemistry, and biology are not mentioned in scriptures, why not just as well deny them?

Online Doomsday

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #37 on: December 07, 2010, 02:46:50 AM »
Given the probability of evolutionary theory as so far past impossible (try 1 in 10^50), I'll stick with the other side.

What?

Offline Bayushi

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #38 on: December 07, 2010, 03:49:39 AM »
No, the mechanics are very much observable, and those observations are part of the factual record. Mutations are fact, gene fusion, replication and division is fact. Speciation has been observed and thus is fact. Natural selection has been observed and is a fact.

The only part of evolution that is not empirically observable is common descent - since we weren't around four billion years ago to see life begin. The geological record is still fact, however.

Unfortunately, you just ran into a scientific fallacy.

There is no such thing as no such thi... sorry.

There is no such thing as a scientific "fact".

Unless you are able to be omnipresent, and witness every occurrence of a scientific theory at work (even gravity, good luck on being around for every occurrence of that one), then you cannot prove beyond dispute that the theory is a fact.

Until you have done that, any theory is exactly that: theory.

Gravity is still a theory. The sun rising in the morning is still a theory. There is no way to prove that gravity has always existed, and will always exist.

The same applies to evolution. This coming from someone who believes in Evolution, but not in biblical theory. It just cannot be proven.

Online Vekseid

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #39 on: December 07, 2010, 05:53:54 AM »
That's because the day/night cycle was the first thing created.  The "myth" specifically refers to each day of creation as a "day and a night, one day".

Day is, by definition and empirical observation, when the sun is shining, driven mostly by the rotation of the Earth. If that mechanism is not driving the day-night cycle, there is no reason to assume any sort of 24 hour period.

Quote
Given the probability of evolutionary theory as so far past impossible (try 1 in 10^50), I'll stick with the other side.

Whoever told you this lied to you. That argument was created to attack abiogenesis, not evolution. The theory of evolution is about The Origin of Species, not the origin of life.

It's not even true in the first place, but abiogenesis is a separate topic of discussion. Start a new thread if you want to argue that.

Quote
But feel free to pick the side you want as we no more know for sure how the universe came into being then we do how the Egyptians built the pyramids.

Evolution is completely separate as a theory from the Big Bang. They are not related, although they occasionally borrow terms from each other, which confuses people, but they are not the same.

Again, separate thread (though I owe a post on relativity and that too, oi).

If you are going to argue for creationism, you will find yourself much better received if you work to understand the subject matter - most of it really is not that difficult.

If you have a question, ask.

There is no such thing as a scientific "fact".

A fact is a piece of data. Observations of mutations, speciation, and so on are empirically observable, are not particularly difficult to observe, and have been observed in such immense quantities that yes, they are facts.

The most basic definition of evolution is the change in allele frequency in a population over time. The alleles governing eye and hair color, for example, have a slightly different frequency (1/3rd for brown eyes, 2/3rds for blue eyes) than my parents (1/4th brown, 3/4ths blue). That's an oversimplification, of course - there are multiple genes covering eye melanin. But saying that it did not drift between generations would require that those frequencies somehow be the same - which for my particular situation is actually mathematically impossible.

It's actually impossible for evolution not to take place between my parents and their children, unless they somehow, by social and medical miracle, have another child. You cannot construct an alternate scenario.

Nature never says yes, only 'no' or 'maybe', but you can get enough 'no' answers to lock parts down pretty thoroughly. : )

Quote
Gravity is still a theory.

No, gravity as it is commonly described is a law, which is simply a rule by which observations (facts) seem to follow in every observable instance. There's no explanation for why gravity is what it is.

You may be thinking of Einstein's general theory of relativity, which is a theory, albeit a very well supported one, which proposes that gravity's mechanism is actually a sort of curvature in spacetime.

Quote
The sun rising in the morning is still a theory.

That the sun rose yesterday is a fact. That the sun will rise tomorrow is simply a prediction - a reasonable guess that precludes say, a rogue black hole slamming into Earth or the Sun at a high fraction of c before it rises.

Quote
There is no way to prove that gravity has always existed, and will always exist.

That's why it's called a law, in general, and not a theory. We can't really explain why gravity 'is'. We see it quite often, and make incredibly precise measurements about it, but its exact mechanism is still hidden from us. Actually figuring it out for sure would require a particle accelerator the size of a small globular cluster - not particularly likely any time soon!

Especially with this economy, to paraphrase Hawking.

Einstein's GTR shifts this into saying that concentrations of mass-energy warp spacetime around themselves. It still doesn't explain why that happens.

Quote
The same applies to evolution. This coming from someone who believes in Evolution, but not in biblical theory. It just cannot be proven.

As I mentioned, things that are observed are still a part of the factual record. The only part of evolution that is impossible to observe is common descent. Common descent is, for the most part, what creationists are arguing against, anyway.

Offline mystictiger

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #40 on: December 07, 2010, 08:22:10 AM »
Quote
Gravity is still a theory.

Something being a theory doesn't make it bad. What you might call 'good' scientific knowledge is something that can only be falsified, but never proved correct.

Offline Brandon

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #41 on: December 07, 2010, 08:48:54 AM »
The only way to collect data at all is to observe it, meaning every piece of data that we have on evolution is observable data.  I think you're confusing the term "observable" with something like "first hand account."  Either way, what you said isn't true.  Evolution has been directly observed many times.  A lot of the reason people oppose evolutionary theory is that they haven't seen studies that support evolution strongly, so they assume they do not exist (largely because they want to believe that conclusion).  A little bit of research to the contrary shows a whole lot of evidence in support of evolution (more than any laymen would want to review for certain).  This is why it's important to come to an issue without your personal biases in play, because if you don't stop to wonder "I am I wrong" then look for evidence that could prove that you are wrong, then it's pretty easy to avoid seeing the information that shows you are wrong if it exists.There is plenty of evidence that human beings have continued to evolve.

I think my main thought can be summed up with one sentance: Where is the proof?

I learned the basics about evolution both in my high school and college level biology classes and the theory has never made full sense to me. I still think the theory is possible but something about it makes me doubt that the theory is totally right. Back then I asked the same kinds of questions I have here and I was basicly told that I either had to take it on faith or to shut up. The cynic in me often says that its sciences "God did it!" answer and frankly Im tired of accepting that answer.

Evolution says creatures can evolve to overcome selective pressures, not that they will.  Even if we assume that it's even easier for sturgeon to overcome the presence of pollution than the presence of salt, it's all a matter of chance.  Without chance, no species would ever go extinct, they would simply change into another species, which isn't what evolution claims at all.

Are you joking? No really, are you? I ask because that sounds crazy. We talk about evolution being the key of how life was created and now were delegating it purely to a species being lucky enough for the Evolution to take place instead of something hard wired in our genes to say when Evolution does or doesnt happen?

Skepticism isn't a bad thing, but it's important to actually educate yourself on the matter thoroughly before coming to a conclusion.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/lessons/from-wolf-to-dog/lesson-overview/4783/

Simply follow the above lesson and you'll learn about that study that exposes how dog evolution probably occurred, as well as an independently verifiable case of dog evolution.

I will go over the lesson and watch its videos later tonight when I have more time. However this jumps out at me right now

Students will be able to:

Explain that all dogs evolved from wolves;

We have had many discussions around here about how science and teaching science is objective in its observations about data. This class requires that evolution be accepted for a passing grade. That is not objectivity. However just like I did for my biology classes I can think like evolution is a fact even though my observations tell me its missing something

As far as the conflict between religion and evolution goes, I keep as far away from it as I can until religion influences people to attack science.  I don't care if religious people feel challenged, intimidated, or upset by evolution.  That's an internal debate they can work out however they like until they start throwing stones at what is a solid, ingenious theory backed up by mountains of evidence.  It's not my place to criticize whatever theological justifications they came up with in order to make their religion jive with evolution.  It isn't even my place to attack religions on the basis of a conflict with evolution; I don't think that's going to bring about any positive change, so I don't understand what purpose it would serve.

Creationism, attempts to censor science textbooks, and outright denial of scientific fact by public figures however is not acceptable.  It isn't until religious forces attack science that it's really important for advocates of science to strike back, until then it's needlessly antagonistic to draw out supposed conflicts between religion and science.

As I said before the social attacks go both ways. The problem is not innately religious doctrine or scientific discovery. The problem is the attitudes portrayed and actions taken by the extreme sides of each group.

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Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #42 on: December 07, 2010, 08:56:26 AM »
I think my main thought can be summed up with one sentance: Where is the proof?

Attempting to produce verifiable proof for the deity of your choice might prove even trickier.

Offline Noelle

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #43 on: December 07, 2010, 09:35:36 AM »
If I can just get this out of the way, cutting a well-documented act in nature with a ridiculous amount of evidence supporting it with something so simplified as "but it's just a theory," tells me that there is a basic lack of understanding of what a theory is (amongst other terms, such as 'fact' and 'law') and the process something goes through to be worthy of consideration. As I mentioned in a previous post, "theory" is not the same throw-about term in science as it is in common parlance. There's even been a thread made and stickied in Elliquiy U that discusses this.

That line of argument doesn't work.

Offline Jude

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #44 on: December 07, 2010, 12:33:03 PM »
I think my main thought can be summed up with one sentance: Where is the proof?

I learned the basics about evolution both in my high school and college level biology classes and the theory has never made full sense to me. I still think the theory is possible but something about it makes me doubt that the theory is totally right. Back then I asked the same kinds of questions I have here and I was basicly told that I either had to take it on faith or to shut up. The cynic in me often says that its sciences "God did it!" answer and frankly Im tired of accepting that answer.
If you'd like to list your specific concerns I can address them one by one.
Are you joking? No really, are you? I ask because that sounds crazy. We talk about evolution being the key of how life was created and now were delegating it purely to a species being lucky enough for the Evolution to take place instead of something hard wired in our genes to say when Evolution does or doesnt happen?
I get the feeling you don't really understand evolution, so I will try and explain it to you (granted, though I have studied it fairly thoroughly, I'm sure I won't get it 100% right and someone else will probably correct any mistakes I make).
I will go over the lesson and watch its videos later tonight when I have more time. However this jumps out at me right now

Students will be able to:

Explain that all dogs evolved from wolves;

We have had many discussions around here about how science and teaching science is objective in its observations about data. This class requires that evolution be accepted for a passing grade. That is not objectivity. However just like I did for my biology classes I can think like evolution is a fact even though my observations tell me its missing something
The class is aimed at 5th to 8th graders, so it doesn't really explain evolution to someone who is hostile to the idea as much as it explains to someone who is open minded and ready to receive the idea as the strongly verified scientific theory that it is.  That link is not a link to a thesis on why evolution is right aimed at a hardcore evolution denier.

Anyway, here's my explanation of evolution:

DNA is the genetic blueprint which is used in cellular construction.  Information is encoded in it that determines in what way the cell assembles itself.  DNA contains all of the necessary instructions as to how to put the various cells, tissues, and organs together so that you get a functioning organism.  However, DNA is not an unchanging, constant strand of data.  Because it is a physical object, it is subject to all sorts of manipulations and influences which can change the underlying information that the DNA contains.

Whenever a creature reproduces there is the capability for mutations to occur, but there are other ways in which abnormalities can arise.  Cancer for example, in many instances, occurs when DNA becomes partially corrupted (to think of like data on a computer) so the cells that arise during creation are alien and do not function well with the rest of the organism.  Certain types of radiation can result in DNA mutation (which is simply variation from the organism's original DNA).  Every change in the DNA is basically a mutation that can give rise to different traits.

Oftentimes these mutations do nothing.  Sometimes they result in the manifestation of incredibly negative traits (and the organism that evolves these traits subsequently dies off quickly).  However, rarely, genetic mutations result in the creation of a new trait that gives the organism that is built from it an advantage over its brethren who are operating on the old genetic code.  If the advantage is significant enough it serves as an adaptation, which can result in the organism out-competing other members of its species.  This means that all of its offspring will outperform the offspring of its inter-species competitors, and in time, the prevalence its genetic material will come to be dominant over the old DNA code.  In time, if the adapted trait is useful enough, all surviving members of its species will possess this trait, because of the significant advantage in terms of survivability, and thus mating and transmission of the genetic code brings about species-wide progress:  also known as, Evolution.

This effect is well established in experimental trials even in quite simple organisms, wherein for example certain types of e-coli were able to acclimate themselves to an atypical environment so that they could feed on substances that they did not normally consume.
Here's a very good source that explains in laymen's terms what has been observed in terms of e coli evolution:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._coli_long-term_evolution_experiment
The official site is here:  http://myxo.css.msu.edu/ecoli/

Multiple lines of evidence now support evolution.  From genetics, to fossil evidence that charts the growth and separation of species, to geological bits that help us track how population shifted from locations in order to trace evolution back and forth, the data collected by every scientific discipline agrees that evolution definitely took place.  The so called "missing link" is simply a matter of resolution; we can already trace the path that our ancestors took such that humanity was able to exist, but scientists are constantly trying to find evidence of creatures that help trace it smoother and finer.  Despite popular perception, there is no one missing link, just tiny gaps in the evolutionary record that are constantly being filled by new and emergent research.

Skeptics of evolution call out gaps in the record as evidence of the theory's failure, but when those gaps are filled (as often occurs) they never actually back up and give science credit.  They are motivated ideologically, and fundamentally unscientific in their criticisms.  So instead of admitting fault, they either point to a different gap entirely or simply zoom it in further to find a tinier hole.  Not only is it unrealistic to expect that we will find every separate subspecies that led to the formation of the genetic material that describes human beings, but it's a grand example of the goalpost fallacy.  For all the years it has been attacked, evolution has only gotten stronger as the data pool has continued to grow and grow.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2010, 12:42:26 PM by Jude »

Offline Oniya

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Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #45 on: December 07, 2010, 12:38:11 PM »
Just as a note, the mere existence of strains such as MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus), and VRE (Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus faecalis) is evidence of evolution in bacteria.  These antibiotics did not exist prior to pharmacology, and by people failing to take antibiotics as directed, the microorganisms that had a randomly higher resistance to them were given the chance to survive and multiply.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #46 on: December 07, 2010, 01:07:17 PM »
Just to tack onto Oniya's point here: the germ theory of infectious disease is "just a theory" but you don't see people running around claiming it is ungodly. Indeed, the Bible (particularly the gospels) tell us that illness is caused by unclean spirits and demons. So why isn't it a tenet of the church that germs can't cause disease and why don't Christians picket medical schools and try to force them to "teach the controversy"?

Further, as I mentioned before, people seem just fine tacitly accepting the theory of evolution when it is presented as part of germ theory (e.g. the need to get new flu shots every year because of the virus evolving, the rise of bacterial resistance which Oniya has just pointed out again, etc.).

Scientific theories are born out by evidence, this is why they are no longer hypotheses. What is it about the theory of evolution that causes it to specifically become such a target? And why is it only when it is singled out (e.g. not part of germ theory, or the domestication of species, etc) that it generates controversy?

I still fail to see the actual conflict that arises between religion and evolution beyond a (to me, seemingly absurd) desire to take creation stories as literal truth. Is there more than that?

Offline mystictiger

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #47 on: December 07, 2010, 01:16:50 PM »
The answer is that yes, it is all about Biblical inerrancy. biblical literalism.

No matter how much or how good the evidence provided is, it still conflicts with the underlying premise - what the bible says is true. What the bible is silent on, however, doesn't really matter.

It's possible to conflate the germ theory with evil spirits - you can synthesise them together into a "the truth of the bible was being expressed to a primitive people" kind of way. You can't synthesise biblical creation with evolution - the two are utterly antithetical.

As far as I can tell yes, it is that absurd.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2010, 01:32:06 PM by mystictiger »

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Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #48 on: December 07, 2010, 01:23:54 PM »
I asked a friend this question once, wanting to understand his view on evolution vs. creationism. He replied, "What is a day to God? To us, it's 24 hours, but who knows, to God a day could equal a million years or even a billion years. So sure, God could have done it all in seven days if a day to God equals a million years in human created time."

One of the best answers I ever heard. Doesn't quite explain evolution, but puts things in a little bit different perspective.
I like this one...
science and religion can go hand in hand I think.
They conflict, but as long as it's healthy debate like I see here. It seems good to me.

Offline Lord Drake

Re: Evolution and Religion
« Reply #49 on: December 07, 2010, 01:44:39 PM »
I usually keep the hell away from the Politics/Religion forums but this one is interesting... and also I cannot avoid thinking about Terry Pratchett's hilarious discworld setting where the Gods actually created the mountains and put into them seashell fossils just because they wanted to prank people.

Anyways.

One thing that I personally have always wondered about is why people thinks that a divinity should give us an actual science book. Ok... it is true that if someone believes in a God, he usually thinks that said God does as He likes.... but still I have this image in mind of the divine being sitting down in front of His people and rather than giving them moral laws, He starts talking about atoms and elements...

I actually agree completely with DarklingAlice, failing to see the conflict between religion and science... I personally think that science has the potential of taking away superstition from religion... but this is just me. I think that the penchant for taking the Bible literally is an heritage of the Middle Ages and of a period in which there were intestine struggles inside the Church (these usually were done upon an interpretation of a part of the scriptures...).