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If evolution is true ...
March 9, 2006
2:30 am
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Worried_Dad
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Besides, what are you gonna do if we find buried in our DNA a coded message that says "H. sapiens, copyright 3 million B.C. Microsoft A.I. and Time Travel Incorporated."

March 9, 2006
8:04 am
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WD,

{Seekerw,

You wrote : "You say that evolution is supported by a huge body of scientific evidence. Am I supposed to believe you on blind faith? Where's this evidence you speak "

I think you know better than to stoop to that level of rhetoric.}

A layperson, presumably, reviews enough of the evidence, if only a tiny portion of it, to decide for themselves if something is true. I only wanted Kathy to tell us some of the specific evidence that convinced her to believe in evolution.

I know I've been a bit hard on Kathy on some other threads lately, and I hope I haven't been too hard. However, I think this is a reasonable request.

{It is not fair for you to pretend that you dont know that the relatedness of existing life forms is overwhelingly accepted by the vast majority of life scientists.}

I never pretended anything of the sort. But this relatedness does not support evolution over creationism. I could easily say that God designed life this way.

{I may as well say "When you say that the molecular weight of water is 18 grams per mole and that a molecule of water is composed of two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen, am I supposed to accept what you say on blind faith?"}

This is a specific assertion I can check out. And yes, I have to accept it on blind faith, ultimately, because I don't have the means to prove it for myself. It's not a general statement.

{And the answer still is....ONE explanation offers a fully understandable natural mechanism...while the OTHER explanation offers as a mechanism "Then, a miracle occured and is still occuring."}

Here's the real crux of the matter. I believe that God has endowed us with enough intelligence to allow us to understand the natural processes through which life works. Otherwise, life scientists would be out of a job.

But just because we can understand how it works, doesn't mean we necessarily know how it all started. Evolution assumes it all started by itself; creationsim that God started it. Science cannot tell us whether God or nature got it all started.

Some people claim we shouldn't have too much faith in God because we can't know everything about him for ourselves, at least not in this life. We also shouldn't have too much faith in science, because it has its limits.

Seeker

March 9, 2006
8:30 am
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WD,

My original intent of this thread was this: if evolution is true, without having a designer in the picture, then all of our emotions, all of our being, all of our functioning, all boil down to chemical reactions between molecules.

Since molecules obviously don't care about anything, then neither should any specific arrangements of them, such as the arrangements in which living matter is arranged. I could have billions and billions of zeroes, but no matter how they're arranged, their sum is still zero.

In other words, molecules didn't originally conspire together to arrange themselves into a fashion that would make themselves into a living organism. They just happened to fall into such an arrangement, and somehow became "alive" and wanted to continue living.

This doesn't strike me as being logical, especially since just after death, the molecules in an organism don't care to try to maintain their arrangement, but allow themselves to decay and return to the earth.

Evolution, without a designer, can't seem to explain why anything cares about itself, much less about anything else.

Seeker

March 9, 2006
10:15 am
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Hi Lolli,

{I personally believe in evolution. I think if you look at skeletal remains of "cavemen" you can see evolution with your own eyes. It really doesn't need to be scientifically proven, at least not to me.

The DNA of humans and chimpanzees matches at 99%.}

I respect your beliefs and appreciate your sharing them. I'm not too familiar with cavemen anymore, like I used to be, so I can't comment on that. As for the DNA, well, human and chimp DNA could have been designed similarly, whether by evolution or by a designer.

I'm not trying to change your mind, either. Like all of us on this site, I suppose, I just can't resist speaking my mind.

Take care, Seeker

March 9, 2006
10:55 am
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Hi again Lolli,

I'd fallen behind in replying to people on this thread, and found some more I'd like to share with you.

May I correct you on something first, on something you posted to OMW earlier? I have talked about the Bible on this site and you may have seen that before, so I can see why you may have thought I did so again here. But I've been deliberately avoiding bringing up the Bible on this thread. I want to approach evolution from a logical and scientific point of view.

{why is SO hard to believe in evolution or that living matter formed from non-living matter, but it is so easy to believe that a man was made out of dirt and his wife made out of his rib? I don't get it.}

Life is incredibly complicated. Even a single cell is as complicated as an industrial plant.

Only an infintesimal percentage of all the possible arrangements of the molecules that comprise a single cell are capable of being alive. Assuming all arrangements of the same molecules are equally likely, which is a standard assumption of thermodynamics, the chances of even a single cell in your body being alive is incredibly remote.

When you consider all the I-don't-know-how-many cells there are in the human body, the odds of them all being assembled together is effectively zero. This is true even if a deliberate process like evolution exists to slowly and carefully piece people together over the eons.

Since a creator, assuming he exists, isn't comprised of the same kind of matter found on earth, the same laws that apply to our bodies don't necessarily apply to his physical makeup.

This is why I find it easier, from a scientific standpoint, to believe in creation rather than evolution.

{Secondly, who says an amoeba cares about anything...or that it should care about anything? It just is.}

If an amoeba doesn't care, why should it care to evolve into some higher state? It seems it should be content to remain an amoeba, or even to disintegrate back into the elements.

It does disintegrte back into the elements when it dies, but why then does it care to reproduce and perpetuate itself? It would be much easier for it to just live out its own life and die.

Please let me know if you have any more questions.

Seeker

March 9, 2006
11:38 am
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Worried_Dad
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Seeke wrote:

Your argument "Since molecules obviously don't care about anything, then neither should any specific arrangements of them" is not strong. You may as well say "IF a collection of metal gears and wheels and levers doesn't keep time, then when you assemble them into a Rolex, the Rolex also should not keep time."

Or you may as well say "since the molecules of water in the air do not cause things to float then when we put a bunch of them together to form a lake, things should also not float on them."

Or you may as well say "the glass jars and wires in my garage do not give off light, even when I sit them next to an electrical outlet. So if I put a wire in an evacuated glass jar and connect it to an electrical outlet it shouldn't give off light."

Collections of interacting objects have different properties than the individual objects by themselves, that's all.

And it is also questionable just what "caring" means.

"then all of our emotions, all of our being, all of our functioning, all boil down to chemical reactions between molecules"

There you have it. The molecules do not care. The process you call "caring" is also a mechanical function--like a wind up clock. When we see a snake, adrenalin is released from our adrenals and we feel afraid. When we see a baby, oxytocin and prolactin is released from our brain and we feel protective. When we pick the baby up endorphins are released from our brains and we feel love. When our wife comes into the room our testosterone receptors in our brain make us feel like killing snakes and making more babies.

March 9, 2006
3:41 pm
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seeker,

just sign on to the library of medicine and do a literature search on evolution. You will find 1,000s and 1,000s of published scientific studies that support evolution.

I have been to numerous scientific meetings and I can guarenttee you that scientists are extremely rigourous in examining each other's research. Also, in my experience with publishing papers in scientific journals, the editors of these journals are very rigorous in accepting papers for publication.

The more respected the journal the more strict standards they have about research before they are willing to publish a study.

I have been in the scientific field for over 20 years.

I don't see you citing any published research to support your claims.

I do NOT believe that God created DNA or that God created science.

I once came across a book published by some christian group (I don't remember the name of the book). I was alarmed by the fact that it was full of blatant lies about the theory of evolution. It twisted facts and distorted research, took things completely out of context and clearly was not written by reputable scientists.

This kind of thing totally turns me off and makes me feel repulsed by heavy duty christians trying to peddle their religious beliefs.

I found this book to be nothing but christian propaganda.

I do not believe there is a heaven and hell. I do not believe there is a devil.

I do beleive in quantum physics and universal energy that connects all things.

When I think of my god, my spirituality I am refering to this universal energy. Not the god in the bible or the god jeus christ talks about nor the god christian religions talk about.

March 9, 2006
4:29 pm
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guest

"There's no advantage gained by believing in God. I think like a scientist"

You think like a scientist

They have to have evidence to believe - right?

So some hundreds of years ago everybody thought the earth was flat and you would fall of when you come to the end (scientists)

And then the scientist discovered the earth is round. So THEN EVERYBODY believed the earth is round.

Garfield

March 9, 2006
8:43 pm
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Hi Kathygy,

First off, let's make sure we agree upon the definition of the word "evolution". I believe the word refers to the concept that more complex life forms, such as man, arose from less complex forms, such as amoeba, trilobites, fish, etc., and nothing more or less. Is this what you also mean by that term?

I don't believe the term "evolution" refers to natural selection, which is variation within species. True?

I further understand that "evolution" says nothing about the existence of God, one way or the other. True?

{just sign on to the library of medicine and do a literature search on evolution. You will find 1,000s and 1,000s of published scientific studies that support evolution.}

Thank you for referencing these. I wasn't sure if you were accepting the evidence on blind faith or not.

I'm a bit puzzled because I've never seen any indication before, in any of your other posts, that you have such a scientific background. Would you be willing to tell me more about it, and of some of the papers you've published?

I have no doubt that there is a great deal of rigor in the scientific community; science could never have advanced as far as it has if there wasnt'. What is your point about this rigor? That we can rely upon the published evidence for evolution?

Not being in a scientific field per se, I'm not familiar with much current research. This is why I don't cite it. I have a BS in physics and some grad school, and have self-studied a few other scientific fields.

{I do NOT believe that God created DNA or that God created science. }

I'm not trying to convince you that he did.

What are some of the "blatant lies" about the theory of evolution this book by the Christian book espoused? I don't want to believe in any lies myself.

The theory of evolution should stand or fall upon its own merits, and not upon those of the people who either advocate or denounce it.

I also believe in quantum physics, and am open to believing in this universal energy. You'll find I'm pretty open minded.

{When I think of my god, my spirituality I am refering to this universal energy. Not the god in the bible or the god jeus christ talks about nor the god christian religions talk about.}

Okay, along with my coat and hat, I'll check my Bible at the door before stepping inside to visit with you. Sound fair? :o)

March 9, 2006
9:03 pm
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WD,

{You may as well say "IF a collection of metal gears and wheels and levers doesn't keep time, then when you assemble them into a Rolex, the Rolex also should not keep time."}

The gears and wheels don't care if they are assembled as a Rolex or not. It's an outside intelligence who arranges them in this fashion.

{Or you may as well say "the glass jars and wires in my garage do not give off light, even when I sit them next to an electrical outlet. So if I put a wire in an evacuated glass jar and connect it to an electrical outlet it shouldn't give off light." }

True. But it would take an outside intelligence to assemble them together in this manner. The wires and jars don't choose to do form themselves like this.

The point I'm making is that it takes some outside agency, such as a designer (whether it's God, people, a mysterious thing called "evolution", etc.) to put molecules together into anything other than a random fashion.

{And it is also questionable just what "caring" means. }

"caring" means wanting to do something enough to expend an effort to make it happen. Molecules don't care how they're arranged; they only do what they're told, figuratively speaking.

My point is that life as we know it could not exist without the presence of some outside agency, such as God or some mysterious process we call "evolution".

Seeker

March 10, 2006
9:34 am
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SeekwerW,

We've been over this before, but some basic definitions.

Evolution: A change in gene frequency within a popluation of organisms.

Natural Selection: An phenomenon whereby some genes are observed to be reproduced at a greater frequency than others while some genes are reproduced at a lesser frequency.

It is thought that all life forms on Earth share one or a few common ancestors. The varieties of life forms is thought to be the result is of evolution of earlier life forms driven by mutation, natural selection, immigration, emmigration, genetic drift, etc.

The whole question and theory of how did life on Earth originate is a whole separate question from the question of how did we get the variety of life forms we see today. Some scientists believe that life orginated on earth from pre-biotic material. Other scientists believe that life on earth or perhaps merely complex, self-reproducing, self-assembling prebiotic molecules was imported from outer space by means of cometary or meteorite impact. Others wonder if early life on earth was deliberately or accidentally brought here by alien visitors, perhaps dumping their flying saucer septic tanks into the early oceans.

The important thing is to remember that the origin of life and the origin of diversity are two separate issues.

March 10, 2006
9:48 am
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One question at a time. You asked why do our brains "act like" they care when our individual parts do not. (Not that that has anything to do with evolution.)

The answer is that interacting collections of objects have different properties than isolated objects. An ocean is different than a water molecule. A hurricane, which is made up primarily of nitrogen and water, is very different than a molecule of nitorgen or a molecule of water.

Some people question whether non-living matter can form complex structures just by means of simple chemistry and physics.

We can see that very simple atoms, hydrogen atoms, can spontaneously condense to form stars, where nuclear fusion creates more and more complex and heavy atoms.

Molecules can and do self-assemble into quite complex structures. Lipd molecules spocntaneously assemble into structures that resemble cell membranes. Viruses often have a beautiful icoshedral chape that is caused by the self-assembly of molecules of their protein coats.

There are deposits of clay that undergo natural selection to form remarkably complex and beautiful structures whose form is determined by "genetic" information stored in defects in their crystalline structure. Some scientists believe that those clay deposits actually are a form of life and may in fact represent the ancestor of organic life on earth.

March 10, 2006
9:56 am
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There is a field of artifical intelligence that uses "selection" and evolution of very simple bits of code whiche "evolve" into very complex porgrams to produce software that can do some remarkable things.

Such software can design electronic circuits, even robots.--computers have designed complex electronic circuits that have then also been designed and patented by human beings. It's just pure, dumb software, but it creates electronic circuits that are so complex you would think a human being would have to have designed it.

March 10, 2006
12:57 pm
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eve
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<<>>

Walked into that one, WD 🙂

I think that molecules and their interactions are not nearly as simple as gearwheels. So the analogy should propably read: a collection of potted plants doesn't make a meadow, but the same plants left to themselfs in a field will arrange themselfs to form a meadow. In a way that will profit not only the gras and the daisies and the dandelions, but also a huge variety of bacteria, fungi, worms and insects that live in the ground and on the plants. Without any real evidence that the gras is acting intelligently.

March 10, 2006
1:14 pm
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seeker,

I do not want to go into my background as a scientist or name any papers I have published because that would ruin my anonymity and this is an anonymous web site.

I have not had any need to talk to talk about myself as scientist and I want to protect my anonymity.

In response to the person who claimed that Darwin took back his position on evolution on his death bed:

"it has been supposed that Darwin renounced evolution on his deathbed. Shortly after his death, temperance campaigner and evangelist Lady Elizabeth Hope claimed she visited Darwin at his deathbed, and witnessed the renunciation. Her story was printed in a Boston newspaper and subsequently spread. Lady Hope's story was refuted by Darwin's daughter Henrietta who stated, "I was present at his deathbed ... He never recanted any of his scientific views, either then or earlier."

As to how I define evolution:

"Darwin's Basic Premise

1.That biological types or species do not have a fixed, static existence but exist in permanent states of change and flux;

2.that all life, biologically considered, takes the form of a struggle to exist -- more exactly, to exist and produce the greatest number of offspring;

3.that this struggle for existence culls out those organisms less well adapted to any particular ecology and allows those better adapted to flourish -- a process called Natural Selection;

4.that natural selection, development, and evolution requires enormously long periods of time, so long, in fact, that the everyday experience of human beings provides them with no ability to interpret such histories;

5.that the genetic variations ultimately producing increased survivability are random and not caused (as religious thinkers would have it) by God or (as Lammarck would have it) by the organism's own striving for perfection.

The effect of all these points was to move man away from the center of creation and imply that God could hardly be nature's driving force. These are direct quotes from Darwin's book Origin Of The Species, in which he outlines his theory."

March 10, 2006
2:03 pm
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Y&R and seeker,

Sorry I'm not sticking to the exact topic here. Also I guess all the rest of you are enough for this debate.... so I'll slip out. All I wanted to hear was the benefits gained by believing in God.

Ok so you guys say its Health. I found the article:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33...../newsweek/

>>>> Using brain scans, researchers have discovered that meditation can change brain activity and improve immune response; other studies have shown it can lower heart rate and blood pressure, both of which reduce the body’s stress response. <<<<< I had heard children are happier if they have imaginary friends than no friends at all. Imaginary doesnt mean they really exist. Some health benefits may be there but it doesnt show God exists. But you guys got me yes. There _may_ be some benefits. That doesnt convince me however about its truth because benefit doesnt mean its true. Anywway, you guys carry on, I see its getting busy here :D. __seeker__, >> Being atheist caused a darkness in me. << I dont think you were a true athiest because you mentioned that deep down inside you knew he existed. Maybe its because you're terrified of the possibility of you disbelieving in God. You have more money now, eh? Thats not valid. There's many rich athiests and poor religious people. ___Garfield____, I dont know what that scientist example you gave proves. Ok you're saying the scientists may discover tomorrow that evolution is wrong. Well this that happens, we cant speculate. Besides evidence keeps mounting for evolution.

March 10, 2006
2:13 pm
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kathygy
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garfield,

it would take more than one day for scientist to gather enough evidence to support the notion that the theory of evolution is wrong.

There would be scientists that still support evolution and those who support a new theory. But it would take a very long time for scientists to come to a consenus about a new theory.

Even if scientist did come across some convincing evidence for another theory I can guarentee you it would have nothing to do with GOD.

So what's your point???

March 10, 2006
10:40 pm
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Oh, seeker,

I see you acting out in this thread in ways that are not worthy of you.

You were kind of mean to kathyG, kind of snide, questioning her truthfulness regarding her scientific background and then basically asking her to prove it by providing a list of publications.

In my opinion, that is not the AAC way. For that kind of behavior check Craigslist science and math forum, where you can meet talented scientists, mathematicians, loonies, and all sorts of rude people.

I don’t have a problem questioning people’s reasoning and references, but it is a kindness to just allow that people are sincere when they talk about their backgrounds. You say that you have a degree in Physics, and I see no reason to make you “prove it.” I just accept that you do.

Remember we just had a talk about scholarship, intellectual honesty and “Quote Mining?”

You wrote: “Dr. Steven Gould , Professor at HArvard University, and an evolutionist said "One hundred and twnety years of fossil research after Darwin, it has become abundantly clear that t eh fossil record will not confirm this part of Darwin's prediction. A species does not arise gradualy by the gradual transformation of its ancestors." Even he does not beleive and says evolution doses not work.”

Remember the first rule? Check to see if the person quoted actually said what you say they said.

The quote you provided is not actually from Stephen Gould at all. Instead it is from

Eldredge, N. and Tattersall, I., The Myths of Human Evolution, 1982, p. 45-46
(See http://www.talkorigins.org/faq.....rt1-2.html )

Furthermore, the “quote” is not a quote at all, but is severely edited and mutilated so as to intentionally make it seem as if the authors intended to say something very different, even the opposite of what they actually meant to say.

Neither Stephen Gould, nor Eldredge and Tattersall have ever tried to give the impression that they believe that evolution is not real and “does not work.”

You may as well say that “just because” the Catholic Church has taken the position that Evolutionary Theory is scientific and that “Intelligent Design” has no place in science curriculum for young people, that that means that the Pope claims that there is no such thing as God.

But that would be dishonest. Because you can believe that Evolutionary theory is good science, and still be a good Catholic, believe in God, the Holy Trinity, the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection, the whole shebang.

We need to be civil and polite—even loving if we can manage it, while we discuss emotionally sensitive topics.

I implore you; do not allow your “faith” to inspire you to acts of unkindness or dishonesty. I tend to believe that you did not “intend” to be dishonest with your false “quote,” but vulnerable people could have been mislead by your words. Be careful.

And please start checking these types of quotes with Google;

Use “Quote Mine Project” and “Evolution” and the name of the author in question to check if the quotes you are giving are valid and really mean what the authors intended to say.

March 11, 2006
12:50 am
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Kathygy

I believe evolution is still taking place. There is no question in my mind.

The evidense is there - no doubt.

Scientists changes there minds as they get new information.

If we look for 'psysical' evidence to proof the existence of God I am sorry but there is non I can think of.

The one has nothing to do with the other.

My whole believe is based on seeing things spiritual.

Thanks for the reply

Garfield

March 11, 2006
2:40 pm
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Kathy,

I understand your wanting to protect your anonymity. Can you give just a little of your background, though; the field of science you're in, maybe one of your favorite projects? I simply want a better understanding of who I'm talking with.

{As to how I define evolution: "Darwin's Basic Premise"
... }

I'm confused. I don't know if our definitions agree. Would you clarify?

Are you stating that evolution took primitive, single-celled life and, by random processes over milions of years, caused that life to become more and more complex till we have what we do today?

March 11, 2006
2:54 pm
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Worried_Dad

{We've been over this before,}

I don't remember it. In any event, I was asking Kathy; she might have a different understand of the term than you do. I see that she does. But you're welcome to reply.

{Evolution: A change in gene frequency within a popluation of organisms.}

What does this mean? It doesn't seem to imply that simpler life has to change over time into complex life forms. Right?

As for the issue of how life began in the first place, I had intended to ask you for some time, but you must have read my mind. Thanks for posting about that subject.

I have no doubt that molecules can form quite complex structures, including those that look like cell membranes and DNA. But to go from these components to even a single-celled organism seem like quite a stretch. How would you explain how that might have hahppened?

Seeker

March 11, 2006
3:00 pm
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Guest,

I'm afraid nothing I say will convince you that believing in God will bring benefits. If you don't believe my own witness, I don't know what else to say.

Peace to you,
Seeker

March 11, 2006
3:28 pm
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Seeker,

You are correct, evolution does not require or imply that organisms become more complex over time. And for the most part, MOST organisms have NOT become more complex over time--they stay just the same, or even evolve into simpler, less complex forms. Yes, evolution frequently leads to less complexity.

For example, whales and snakes have no use for legs, but they do have leg bones. Sometimes a whale will be born with strikingly complete legs, even feet. If whales were created complete and perfect for their environment, it is hard to understand why the creator would find it neccesary to give them the genes required to make legs and feet.

Chickens and frogs do not have teeth. But they do have the genes required to make teeth--some mutant chickens develop teeth during development and it is possible to give frog jaws the correct developmental cues that cause them to reactivate previously dormant genes for tooth formation.

And human beings are sometimes born with actual tails, complete with tail bones, and tail wagging muscles.
I just don't see why an intelligent designer would include all of these extra genes that driect the development of structures that an animal never needs.

I can see how evolution would lead to deactivation of genes that cause the formation of structures that are no longer useful.

http://www.talkorigins.org/faq.....avisms_ex1

March 11, 2006
3:33 pm
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WD,

{You were kind of mean to kathyG, kind of snide, questioning her truthfulness regarding her scientific background and then basically asking her to prove it by providing a list of publications.}

I'm not questioning her truthfulness. I never asked for a list of her publications or for her to prove anything to me. It was a simple request for information.

You're reading too much into what I'm saying. I only want to get a better idea of who I'm talking with, from a human perspective. I am interested in people. I told her a bit about my own background earlier.

Did you notice earlier I asked her where the "tons of evidence" was she claimed for evolution? She told me of the library of medicine site, and that satisfied me. I didn't need to ask further on this.

I thought she was a layperson. So did you, remember? You told me she was. I was operating off that assumption.

You can call me rude if you want. Go ahead if it makes you feel better.

She didn't tell me what field she's in. Life sciences? Medicine? Her specialty? What's her favorite project she's worked on? Most scientists like talking about that sort of thing.

If I'm guilty of anything, it's of wanting to know more about her than she might be willing to share. And how could I know if she's not willing to share a little more if I don't ask? Perhaps I should be content with what she's willing to tell me, but there's no need for you to make an issue about it.

If she didn't like it, I hope she'll tell me about it directly.

Okay, so maybe the "quote" I quoted from Steven Gould was wrong. I trusted the source. I quoted it in good faith. You don't have to accuse me of dishonesty. You built up a case for me possibly being dishonest and then said you didn't think I was. The effect was the same.

March 11, 2006
3:58 pm
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Why is it that people who the people who advocate evolution also seem to be anti-Christian? Can somebody explain this?

I thought scientists were supposed to be objective and detached. Evolution per se seems to say nothing about God. The gene frequency changes and what not -- why can't God, if he exists, have designed evolution into life?

Just because evolution claims there doesn't have to be a God doesn't mean it's says there is no God, right? The first doesn't necessarily lead to the other.

I don't get it.

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