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If evolution is true ...
March 22, 2006
2:58 am
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on my way
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Hi WD,
I would like to hear about fossil genes. I don't know what they are. They seem to be a contradiction to me as fossil seems a dead thing and gene, I interpret as something alive.

I have always been a lover of science. Always did well in school in all science, and I have no idea how or why. Maybe because I paid attention. But in my old age, well not that old, I don't think about it much anymore, and it would probably do me good if I did.

And I do like your idea of being able to discuss science without getting emotional or hurtful about it. I think a few posters here were sncerely interested in possibly appraoching the biology of it. I can understand your frustration if you have such knowledge...science has so many differnt avenues and if one does not know what they are talking about I suppose it takes much patience to steer it back around. One reason I left this thread as I was beginning to feel like a troublemaker due to"lack of knowledge".

You are right, God could have done it anyway he wanted to, and passing around ideas as to what or how would have kept it more sane maybe.

March 22, 2006
8:49 am
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WD,

It must be frustrating to see religious people get so intent on defending their beliefs they resort to unfair methods to get across their points or refuse to listen to science.

I get feeling out of sorts when I see people claim that evolutionary theory proves there's no God, or claim that it shows there's no need for God and so assume there's no God, and this assumption goes unquestioned.

I really didn't know as much about evolution as I thought I did when I started this thread. I was reacting to the anti-God bias I seem to detect whenever I hear people advocating evolution, and was wondering if I could deflect that.

Also, I'm prone to despair at times, and thought why should I care if I even exist if there's no God and no immortal soul. Hence the opening about why should molecules care to even be in a living state.

I've done more research on evolution since, and have learned a lot.

Like OMW, I respect science. As you observed, science can tell us something about the way God worked. Some of my musings about the creation process must sound far-fetched and an attempt to maintain religious dogma.

But I have long held some pretty unconvential ideas about creation and Christianity in general, and I offer these musings in all sincerity. I know I can't prove them, but I do want to see if I can't present a theory of creation that's backed up by evolutionary evidence.

I had no idea you're an ordained minister. I was wondering if you might be Jewish. I mean this as a compliment. I have great respect for the Jews.

I'd like to write more about my comments on the apology thread. Right now, I have to run.

Take care, WD.

Seeker

March 23, 2006
5:34 am
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Worried_Dad
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It is amazing what a little whining can accomplish. Thank you, SeekerW and On My Way, for responding positively and eloquently to my heartfelt...whining. Im kidding a little, it wan't just whining or "all" whining. It was also bitching. And complaining. And pleading.

Pleading. I have pleaded with you and I feel as if you are responding positively to my plea to let our differences in culture style, intellectual outlooks and faith systems to take a "back seat" in this special place where we can do things that we cannot do anywhere else.

If a physicist and a biologist can get along, anything is possible.

I love it when we get to take a break from the really hard stuff and kick around material that is intellectualy and esthetically fascinating like evolution. It helps us sharpen our thinking and communication skills, and it can help us bind--even if it is traumatic bonding. 🙂 !!! That was a joke, sort of.

I guess I do have an agenda after all. I want joining to triumph over splitting. I want friendship to triumph over selfishness and lonelieness (which are the same thing.) I want knowledge to trimunph over ignorance. I want wisdom to triumph over foolishness. I want innocence to triumph over cynicism. I want justice to triumph over injustice. I want Good to triumph over Evil.

I want coke to triumph over pepsi.

March 23, 2006
8:09 am
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WD,

That is such a refreshing post. Thank you. As far as good triumphing over evil, and knowledge over ignorance, etc., I heartily agree. Let's fill up our mugs with Coke and toast to that! :o) (Actually, since I hardly ever drink either coke or pepsi, or any soft drinks at all for that matter, Coke will do just as well for me.)

I want to learn more about evolution. I never got into life sciences unless you count paleontology, which was one of my favorite subjects as a kid.

I don't want to learn about it so I can refute it. I might make an occasional comment about creation, but mainly to check a possible scenario against evolutionary theory. As I mentioned, I have some off-the-wall beliefs about creation, and believe it's possible to know some of the specifics of how it was accomplished, and I'm wondering how/if evolution would support my beliefes. I don't want that to be the focus, however.

I can't prove anything I might say about creation and we all know each other's viewpoints by now. I don't feel the need to defend creation any more. If it really is true, it will defend itself without my help.

What you said about fossil genes intrigued me, and thanks OMW for also asking about this. I thought that when fossils form, the original material from the dead organism was replaced by rock. Wouldn't the rock replace the original gene material as well? I'm not arguing; I want to know.

Seeker

March 26, 2006
1:27 am
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Hi Seeker,

Well, as long as you allow that Coke and Pepsi might be "equally" refreshing! 🙂

Hey, I just took a break for a few days because I was tired, my feelings were a little hurt, and I had to work on my new references and essays for this threas. I have to be at my best for you guys, because for all of my whining and bitching about the agony of having to go over this stuff with non-biologists (oh, the horror of having to sully my pure biological science typing fingers with non-biologists, oh the humanity, oh pity me,) you are rather sharper and a heck of a lot nicer than what I get in other places about this stuff.

And there were other threads that drew my attention. So I just posted the apology theory thread, figured you would look at it, look at my apology and go "oh yeah...that."

The reason I posted an apology in another thread is that I didn't want to go cheaply--I really did go off on you there in a totally underserved travelling rant and it actually was hard on you --you deserved the full, actual apology, otherwise I would have been a big fat liar. Just saying "uh, sorry" would have been so cheap.

I didn't expect that "other" people would comment much on that thread-- I experienced their "kudos" as trying to help me save face despite the gargantuan dimensions of my error. It was sort of embarrasing, really. Oh well, I had it coming.

Anyway, I think I hear where you are coming from science/faith wise RE evolution and I am ok with that. Seems like we sort of understand each other, and I feel like we mutually respect each other here. To me, the flippin miracle is that so many different viewpoints can be jump into this little protoplasmic pool and that we can still come out of it feeling good about each other. That is NOT "people pleasing." It is respect.

Think about it. This is one of the most divisive issues of the early 21st century, and WD, Seeker, OMW, Kathy, Eve, and probably some others have really mixed it up here while remianing rather civil.

To me, that is the "We" in AAC.

((SeekerW, OMW, KathyGY, Eve))

March 26, 2006
11:30 am
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WD,

I saw this that you posted on one of your other threads:

{"Leadership" is a secondary issue, kind of like the hanging "fossil genes" cliffhanger in the evolution thread--that one can just hang for now.}

I thought the "fossil genes" was very pertinent to this evolution thread. I asked it in all sincerity.

Are you saying you prefer to handle the issue of site guidelines before getting back to this? I hope you intend to get back to this when the dust in all settled, because I'd like to continue the discussion.

March 26, 2006
3:53 pm
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On my way said,
"Evolution: In its simplest form, evolution states that something came from nothing.

Creation: In its simplest form, creation states that something came from something."

If something came from something, then where did God come from? It seems that from the creationist's perspective they assume that God just "is" and always has been. Where is the proof in that? They base an argument on something that cannot be proven to even exist.

This is my personal opinion here: I think it is a mistake to try to use any brand of religion to explain the origin of the universe or the origin of life. Theologians base everything on conjecture, on what they "feel" might have happened. How can you put any kind of scientific trust in a book that was written by men thousands of years ago? Other than just "taking their word for it" what are they basing their information on? So what if they say it was "inspired" by God. How do WE know that? They could have been hallucinating or even lying about it just so they could convince others to believe in what they were touting. Look at how many hoaxes exist today. Do you really think the men of long ago were not capable of the same deception? The fact of the matter is that we simply cannot know. Therefore I don't accept the creationist's notions because they aren't based on anything factual or scientific.

Evolution itself has been proven time and again from fossils and DNA alone. The only thing that hasn't been found is physical proof of the exact point where what we know as "man" came into being. But just because those fossils have not been unearthed yet, does not disprove evolution. It is the only thing that is keeping it as a theory as opposed to being called a fact.

People seem to have a difficult time accepting that there are just some things that cannot be known at this time. They feel compelled to explain how the universe came into being without having the tools to do so. Scientists are working on it but they may never be able to answer all the questions. But for creationists to take an ancient book written when people thought the earth was flat, and to use it as the platform for all their belief in how the world came into being, just makes no sense whatsoever.

March 26, 2006
3:58 pm
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Hi Seeker,

Oh yes, I will get back to the fossil genes. I've been working on a good way to express it. Then I got all distracted by a little lynching party. I'll get back to this one real soon.

March 26, 2006
5:26 pm
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Loralei,
on another thread maybe....What kind of God do you not believe in?

Sorry WD...please back to the FOSSIL GENES!

March 26, 2006
9:53 pm
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WD’s evolution lecture series continues.

But before we can have a good knock down drag out about fossil genes and evoltuion, we need to have a brief introduction to cell biology.

I am going to use popular language and mainly stick to a middle school-high school level here, so you geneticists out there, please don’t lambaste me. I am starting simple, and by the end, everyone who wants to be a genetic engineer will be one. And I will use humor, metaphor and analogies as communication strategies, not to mention tension-relieving strategies. I will use crude, cartoon like models that let us build more complete and accurate models as we go along.

Human beings are animals. We aren’t minerals, or plants, or bacteria, or fungi; we are animals. Each of those life forms has differences that are obvious on a large scale—most adult human beings weigh more than one pound and can walk and talk. Most mushrooms weigh less than a pound and cannot walk or talk. Bacteria are even tinier and stupider than mushrooms. That sort of thing. There are fundamental differences between the Kingdoms of life that are even more basic than size or complexity, that you can see at the microscopic and chemical level.

And there are similarities between organisms of all kingdoms of life. The most important thing that is shared by all the kingdoms of life is that we are made of cells. On earth, “life” means “cellular life.” We are cellular life forms.

Viruses, are not cells, and most biologists so not consider viruses to be, strictly speaking, “alive.” Viruses are thought of mainly as, well, nanomachines. As a rough analogy, a virus is to a cell, what a computer virus is to a desktop computer.

So what is a cell?

First let’s describe an animal cell in cartoon form. The simplest animals are made of one cell. We call them “protozoa.” A cartoon amoeba might be thought of as a bag of jello, containing another bag of DNA.

Like Jello, we are mostly made of water—and so are cells. But in addition to water, cells have salts dissolved in their water. And cells have three main components. First is lipid membrane—the bag that holds the jello is called the “cell membrane.” The cell membrane keeps the cells guts from gooshing out and keeps dirt and crap from getting into the cell. I hate it when that happens.

How can it do that? Have you ever heard the phrase “oil and water don’t mix?” Same with lard, butter, grease, gasoline and that nasty black stuff that comes off of the bottom of my lawnmower. Cell membranes are made of fatty molecules called “phospholipids.” Phospholipids are long chains of carbon atoms that resemble detergent molecules—they mainly do not dissolve in water, except at the very end, where this is a phosphate group.

The middle of the long phospholipid back bone is “hydrophobic” and does not “like” to be in contact with water. When you get a bunch of phospholipid molecules together they line up like toy soldiers pressed together so as to minimize contact of the hydrophobic part of the molecule out of contact with water, forming a sheet of lipid that can curve into a spherical shape. You can arrange two concentric layers of these spheres to form the “phospholipid bilayer” that is the membrane of every cell. At the microscopic level, a cell membrane really resembles a soap bubble.

So our cell so far is a sphere of jello surrounded by a soap bubble.

And inside that bag of jello is another soap bubble containing a package of DNA.

There is one more main ingredient to cells, and that is protein. Protein molecules are what do the work of living things. Protein molecules form a skeleton inside the cell that can give it stiffness, strength and shape. Proteins inside the cell can act like little teensy conveyor belts and cables that haul things around from place to place inside the cell. And proteins can embed themselves in the cell membrane to form pores that can allow nutrients and minerals to get into the cell and waste products to leave the cell. Proteins also are what mainly compose enzymes that allow chemical reactions to happens.

So there you have it—our first cell. There are a few other secret ingredients, but a cell is mainly Water, Lipid, Protein, DNA, and a pinch of salt. It’s amazing that they taste so good.

Every animal cell whether from an amoeba, a giraffe, or human being has this basic form. A human being, in fact, might be thought of as a big clump of gooey slimey amoebas that have stuck together and formed a colony. Eeeew!

Before we can go on to evolution and fossil genes, we need to talk a little bit about just what is a protein and just what is DNA.

Be sure to tune in next week for: “The DNA-Protein Connection: Coincidence or Conspiracy?”

March 26, 2006
10:02 pm
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WD,

Thanks for the lesson. I never took life sciences past General Ecology, so this is new to me.

Two comments:

{Bacteria are even tinier and stupider than mushrooms. }

Isn't this against site guidelines??? We shouldn't call ANYTHING stupid, including bacteria and mushrooms. They have rights and feelings, too. Repent, repent, WD!! :o) :o)

{“The DNA-Protein Connection: Coincidence or Conspiracy?” }

or Co-dependency? :o)

March 26, 2006
10:07 pm
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Ah, right you are Seeker.

What I meant to say is that bacteria are "academically challenged."

March 26, 2006
10:08 pm
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WD,
The way you described protein and its effect on a cell, explains very well how eating protein builds cells in our bodies that enhance our body structure.

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