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Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Bravus, Sep 10, 2008.
(just to quarantine the contagion away from all other threads)
OK, 7 looks, no posts - this bish obviously needs a seed. Here ya go:
See, here's why I try not to debate evolution: a whole lot of misconceptions are tied up here, based on a lack of real understanding of the geological record and evolutionary theory. I'll give it a go, but it's not easy.
(Again, no insult or attack at all is intended by making that observation: there are a *million* things I know little or nothing about, and that doesn't make me a bad person or anything.)
The geological column of fossils starts with only very simple organisms down the bottom - no cats or dogs or horses, just simple shellfish (some of the first things that could form fossils) and so on. As we move up through the layers there are more and more fossils of more and more complex creatures, up until we reach the major dinosaurs. Then there is a bit of a major extinction and the mammals start getting bigger and more complex, then we start to see things that become more and more human, with humans only very recently.
There are not half-cat/half-dog fossils, or any other kind of 'transition species' fossils, but evolutionary theory never predicted there would be - in fact it predicts the opposite: a species has to be viable for millions of generations in order to be able to evolve, so strange maladapted creatures wouldn't be expected. But there are things that are like horses but smaller and simpler, leading up to larger and more complex horses and zebras, for example.
You're correct that the vast majority of mutations are unfavourable, but the tiny minority that are favourable lead to enhanced survival for creatures having them, giving them a better chance of passing on their genes. It takes millions of years and millions of tries, but favourable mutations do occur and do get passed on.
We can certainly discuss evolution if anyone wants to, but dismissing it on the basis of not understanding it at all is not a basis for discussion.
The problem is that a lot of people who argue against the theory of evolution will then turn around and argue that dinosaurs were on board the Ark. There is overwhelming evidence to support evolution, its just in some people's interest to obfustacate in the name of their religious teachings.
This phrase has always rung true for me:
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. Galileo Galilei
do we come from apes ?.
No, they come from the same decendants we do.
yeah thats right... fish
And women were made from ribs
Based more than anything, I think, on the inability of most to comprehend the enormity of the geological timescales that are required for tiny incremental changes to ultimately create new species.
EDIT: Grammar, clarity.
And it's easier to say that goddiddit
One more seed from the other thread:
There are a number of possible positions on the origins of the universe and life in it:
1. The whole universe was created about 6000 years ago.
2. The universe was created billions of years ago but earth and life on it were created about 6000 years ago.
3. Earth and life on it were created millions of years ago.
4. Life on earth has evolved over millions of years. God sparked off the first life and has taken an active role in directing evolution (theistic evolution).
5. The universe was created by a Big Bang about 14 billion years ago, earth was created by natural processes about 4 billion years ago, life arose by natural processes about 3 billion years ago and has evolved to its present state.
You'll see that 4 out of those 5 options (which don't include other religions) have a role for God and a belief in God implicit within them. You may also notice that as you get further down that list you get closer to what is supported by the evidence in the world we see around us, although that evidence will not allow you to distinguish between options 4 and 5.
So the point is that there are many people who believe in both God and evolution. And among those who believe in creation, there are actually a variety of beliefs about issues like the age of the universe.
oh yeah.. do continue
this is who I imagine I am arguing with.
and those are the people with all the nukes
Two more ideas to kick into the mix here (and I realise that at this point I'm monologuing more than dialoguing):
1. The universe could, philosophically speaking, have been created 5 minutes ago. If God wanted to implant memories in our minds, there's no reason at all that the universe has to be older than 5 minutes - and there'd be no empirical test that could tell us that that was the case. Think about that for a bit.
2. From a general relativity perspective, the 'light from stars has been travelling for millions of years' argument can actually be challenged. In general relativity there is no space where there is no mass. It takes the mass of the stars to create space, and also the mass of the photons travelling between them. So if God decided to create the universe 6000 years ago it would already have been full of photons between the stars and us, so there'd be no delay in the stars becoming visible.
Virtually all positions on origins have to deal in some way with the 'created mature' argument. In the creation story, Adam and Eve were not created as newly fertilised ova, they were created as adults. So presumably the newly created trees had rings in them suggesting they were however many years old, and so on.
That's uncontroversial, but when you get to fossils and the geological column you either have to (a) believe that all scientists are members of an evil plot to conceal the truth or (b) believe in a trickster God who created a world recently but very carefully constructed a geological column that suggests it's much older.
I don't actually have a firm position on origins myself: there are too many possible options. All I can do is toss out ideas, and try to help each side to understand the other better, so that we get real debate rather than a clash of strawmen...
and what about those who dont beleive in god, mother nature, apes, electric cars and the like. if it was not due to the amount of work i see before me i would be in for more of a discussion on this one.
Heh, someone who doesn't believe in electric cars (I've driven one) is someone who has more interesting challenges than origins!
My mum is christian disagrees with evolution and she always told me that dinosaurs were extinct because they couldn't fit on the ark and drowned...
... she did also tell me to shut up when I asked why the bible mentioned animals but not dinosaurs... (or does that sentence belong to the other thread?)
Bravus - you love cans of worms don't you?!?!
Come on, OldBellHelmet!
Let's just put a bit of energy in.
I'm sure if we discuss it and provide links to some evidence, we can all reach an agreeable and accurate conclusion of how life came into being!
Don't give up now!
We're closer than we realise, I reckon!
The aliens opening up from the interdimensional portal from the particle collider will tell us!!