Evolution's starting point
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01-11-2011, 10:09 AM
Evolution's starting point
People who believe the Bible’s account of creation say the the theory of evolution is false. Secular scientists who reject the Bible say that we see evolution going on around us all the time. Both of these groups are correct because the word “evolution” has more than one meaning and there is more than one kind of evolution.

The evolutionary process we can see is called natural selection. When some individuals are better adapted to their environment than others they are more likely to survive and produce offspring. If members of a species are found in a variety of different environments the characteristics that aid survival may be different in different areas and over time the organisms in each location will come to differ from each other as well as from the parent species. One obvious example of this is the various breeds of dogs that exist. Some of the breeds are the result of intentional breeding by humans but this merely speeded up a process that was already going on in nature. This kind of evolution is a proven fact and those on both sides of the debate agree that it exists.

Evolution is also the name given to the theory popularized by Charles Darwin, that life began with a singled celled organism and this organism is the ancestor of all the different kinds of life that exist today. The real disagreement is over whether this theory of origins is true.

The Bible gives us a different account of the origin of life.

Quote: And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
Genesis 1:20-25

According to the Bible all the varieties of life that exist today are descended from these original kinds. The Bible doesn’t say how many kinds there were but the number was small enough so that Noah was able to take a pair of each of them on the ark.

We have no way of observing the process of creation but perhaps by examining exactly how evolution works we can reach a conclusion as to which explanation is more likely to be true. One way to do this would be to look at how the various breeds of dog came into existence.

Dogs differ greatly from each other in size, appearance, and other characteristics. But no matter how much they differ all breeds have two things in common. All the genes they possess existed in their common ancestor and each breed has only a small part of the the genetic variation that their ancestor possessed.

The common ancestor of dogs must have descended from another organism that was even more genetically complex. If we carry this process back we find that life must have started with a life form that was extremely complex genetically and possessed the potential of producing a great variety of descendants. This is exactly what the Biblical account of creation says happened.

But how could this process begin if life began with a single celled organism? Natural selection would be impossible because there would be nothing to select from. Before natural selection could begin the original organism would have to somehow develop into a much more complex kind of life by acquiring completely new characteristics. This kind of evolution has never been observed.

Rejecting the idea of a creator raises another problem. How could this original life form come into existence in the first place? When Darwin published his theory it was believed that single celled organisms were very simple but as we have learned more we have learned that they are much more complex than was once believed. If life were as simple as was once believed the idea that it came about by chance wouldn’t be so farfetched but we now know that even the simplest form of life is too complex to have been the result of chance.

God's invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.
Romans 1:20 ESV

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01-11-2011, 10:45 AM
RE: Evolution's starting point
We must always remember that it is difficult to observe a process that takes as long as evolution does. The fact that we have not witnessed it isn't a fact against evolution at all it's just one of the difficulties scientists face when trying to prove it. There are fossil records showing transitionary stages but none as far back due mostly to the difficulty in finding actually intact fossils. It's a rare thing to actually find an intact fossil and that's because the situation has to be just right to make one. Not only that but it has to continue to be perfect until found and that doesn't happen as often as people assume. Also the older the specimen is te less likely you are to find a solid specimen due to changes in the earth over time.

The question I have is if the world over can agree that dogs have an evolutionary process due to breed combining and our own tampering then how come we can't come to the same understanding of humanities role in this? The same evidence can be witnessed in us whenever we take to people and make a baby. The baby will have features of both parents which is an example of evolution. Not only that but science can accurately predict some of the features the child will have before birth occurs. It confuses me that people can accept one proven truth over another equally proven truth simply because it involves them. Humans are animals too whether people want to believe it or not. Personal truth is different than universal truth.

Evolution is not he science that tries to tell us how everything began. Let's get that out there. It's only the science that shows us how we as a species got here from what we were. There are other sciences out there tryin to figure out what happened to earth to start the cycles of life. They don't know for certain but they have many ideas all of which are sound scientifically speaking. I don't know them all.

Before life on earth there was likely nothing on the planet. Before the planet there was space debris smashing around in space looking for a place to settle. Before that scientist say there was likely a large bang. They beleive this likely using all sorts of science I don't yet understand and of course basic math. I'm ok with basic math Smile they use the math to map out projections. Hoping to find a starting point and what they found was a potential universal starting point. Suggesting a common ancestor much like us humans in the tree of evolution. What caused the big bang no one knows. Maybe it was god, not many say that this is impossible. Mostly the ones who do are ironically religious. Because they refuse the idea of a big bang even though the bible never describes what let there be light looked like maybe it was a bang. I don't follow that string of thought as I personally find it to be a logical fallacy. Maybe there wasn't even a big bang because technically it could have been something science has never seen which is why they never say something is 100% concrete, because saying something you can't completely prove is true is silly. Scientist leave that for the religious. Sorry for the jab but I couldn't help myself I feel silly.

Here's the most important part of your question. What happened before. And the answer is.... Wait for it.... No one knows or truly has the foggiest. But I would assume that there was another universe full of other things that died and beyond that there was more. Because like you said once we thought single called organisms were much simpler than we do now. That is true with everything. So I would guess our universe origins probably don't have a beginning. Or an end. As horrible as that is. But it should be a driving factor for all species to keep looking and learning. Instead of finding ways to seperate ourselves an kill one another.

On a side note I heard this the other day and it is bugging me for some reason. Your thoughts on it would be welcome. "what if the light at the end of he tunnel is actually the light at the end of the birth canal?"

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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01-11-2011, 10:46 AM
RE: Evolution's starting point
Quote:The Bible doesn’t say how many kinds there were but the number was small enough so that Noah was able to take a pair of each of them on the ark.
Am I to take it that you literally believe that Noah stuffed everything onto the ark?

Quote:we now know that even the simplest form of life is too complex to have been the result of chance.
You are mistaken. Evolution is not a chance mechanism. There have been multiple books written addressing this fallacy.

If "we" now know that life is "too complex" to have evolved from a simpler form, please point me to a reference, since I do not. By the way, an acceptable reference would be for example, a mainstream biology journal. And since it is the royal we who *know* this, you will admit that this must be the opinion of a majority of scientists and specialists who study the origins of life, not merely one or two.

Suppose that I give you your point though, or at least one of them. Let's say that there was a creator. What makes you think it was *your* God and not... one of the Hindu Gods? or Allah? Those guys have got holy books too.

These are not original arguments that I'm presenting here. These are all points which have been made time and again.

I like your sig by the way.
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01-11-2011, 11:11 AM
RE: Evolution's starting point
Ooooh, Theophilus, Theophilus. I have to give you credit for trying.
It's one of your better attempts; starting with scientific facts and slowly stuffing it with religious crap. Just like mixing Brussels sprouts with mashed potatoes to make it look acceptable and maybe even somewhat tasty. But in the end, they are just Brussels sprouts that will make you produce farts capable of piercing even the toughest underwear (not based on a true story Tongue ).


(01-11-2011 10:09 AM)theophilus Wrote:  Evolution is also the name given to the theory popularized by Charles Darwin, that life began with a singled celled organism and this organism is the ancestor of all the different kinds of life that exist today.

Darwon quoted: "Therefore I should infer from analogy that probably all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth have descended from some one primordial form, into which life was first breathed."

It's possible that the first lifeform was somewhat similar to a modern single-cell organism, but that's besides the field of study of evolution. You are talking about abiogenesis, which is a completely different field of study. That should also answer the questions at the end of your post.


...

(01-11-2011 10:09 AM)theophilus Wrote:  The Bible gives us a different account of the origin of life.

Quote: And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:20-25

It's nice of you citing this passage. However, it doesn't prove a thing. It categorizes animals in a rather rudimentary form, that's all. You still have to refer to the 'Goddunnit' argument, which is invalid in scientific discussions.

But let's ignore this quote for the time being and read a bit further.


...


(01-11-2011 10:09 AM)theophilus Wrote:  According to the Bible all the varieties of life that exist today are descended from these original kinds. The Bible doesn’t say how many kinds there were but the number was small enough so that Noah was able to take a pair of each of them on the ark.

Ok, so you're actually saying that:
-dinosaurs evolved after the flood?
-humans and dinosaus co-existed?

Now, that must've been some happy times, the Rexie the T-Rex sleeping in Noah's back yard. I never read anything about tyrannosaurus or velociraptor attacks in the Bible, though. And those were mean hunters...


Another flaw is that it your claims are disproved by radiometric dating. I know you want to use 'special pleading' for an 'accelerated radioactive decay', but that claim hasn't been proven either. Nevertheless, I know you'll ignore; just be aware that wa don't fall for it.

More important is the fact that if dinosaurs evolved AFTER the flood, as well as all the other animals, then 6500 years is lightning fast. Even the most optimitic evolutionist wouldn't dare to claim that modern species evolved in such a ridiculously short timeframe. But then again, I suppose you'll use the "evolution warpjump theory" for this one.

Besides that: if the flood really occured, it would be a disaster to vegetation and marine life. Ok, you'll claim plants were resistant to salt or fresh water, as well as the fish that inhabtied the seas at the time. And the Grand Canyon will be the geological evidence, even though that "argument" has been debunked a thousand times.


Let us continue with your rambl... I mean literary work Big Grin


...


(01-11-2011 10:09 AM)theophilus Wrote:  The common ancestor of dogs must have descended from another organism that was even more genetically complex. If we carry this process back we find that life must have started with a life form that was extremely complex genetically and possessed the potential of producing a great variety of descendants. This is exactly what the Biblical account of creation says happened.

Where does the Bible state exactly that? I read your post from Genesis 3 times, but I couldn't find that statement. Please give the correct verse where everything is explained in the terms you mention.




A few additional notes:

-I don't know how everything started, but the Bible has proven itself to be of no scientific value whatsoever. Even if it contains some thruth here and there, that doesn't make it a valid source. If you missed the Bible contradiction on the TTA page, here's the link. I can provide many more.

-I know it must be hard for you to accept reality. I would also like a loving god that takes care of us all. Apart from the fact that he isn't really doing a good job, should he exist, others and myself have rejected him not because we hate him or because we are uninformed. We just realized it didn't make any sense. It was tough for some of us, realizing the futility of our existence and the frailty of life. But that's still better than lying to yourself.

PS: I know I act like a dick towards you sometimes, but that's what you get when spouting this nonsense.

"Infinitus est numerus stultorum." (The number of fools is infinite)
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01-11-2011, 12:05 PM
RE: Evolution's starting point
“The evolutionary process we can see is called natural selection. When some individuals are better adapted to their environment than others they are more likely to survive and produce offspring. If members of a species are found in a variety of different environments the characteristics that aid survival may be different in different areas and over time the organisms in each location will come to differ from each other as well as from the parent species. One obvious example of this is the various breeds of dogs that exist. Some of the breeds are the result of intentional breeding by humans but this merely speeded up a process that was already going on in nature. This kind of evolution is a proven fact and those on both sides of the debate agree that it exists.”

Natural Selection is not the only mechanism that facilitates variation.
Breeds of dog are artificial selection by man and most breeds have been manipulatively bred for a specific function. Without man the disparity of dog breeds seen today would not exist.

“Evolution is also the name given to the theory popularized by Charles Darwin, that life began with a singled celled organism and this organism is the ancestor of all the different kinds of life that exist today. The real disagreement is over whether this theory of origins is true.”

It has already been pointed out in an above post, but Darwin hypothesized that all life would share a common ancestor under his hypothesis of descent with modification through natural selection, Darwin was very careful not to use the word evolution. Darwin never hypothesized the origin of life, only the existence of the first organism. For the hypothesized mechanisms that may have produced the very first organisms see “abiogenesis.” And this is not the main controversy. The main controversy is the denial of evolution.

I won’t repost the quote from the bible because it is irrelevant in any discussion on science because it is a text written by ancient nomads who believed the Earth to be flat, that there were only 4 elements (Earth, air, fire and water), that lighting and storms were the product of supernature and not nature, that the sun revolved around the Earth, the Earth was hollow, there were communities in the clouds, dragons, unicorns, etc, etc.

“According to the Bible all the varieties of life that exist today are descended from these original kinds. The Bible doesn’t say how many kinds there were but the number was small enough so that Noah was able to take a pair of each of them on the ark.”

Kinds is a term with no definition. I have heard other creationists refer to kinds as male and female. I believe you started a thread on this where I addressed my concerns for “kinds.” Please refer to those arguments for why the argument of variation based on “kinds” is bullshit.

“We have no way of observing the process of creation but perhaps by examining exactly how evolution works we can reach a conclusion as to which explanation is more likely to be true. One way to do this would be to look at how the various breeds of dog came into existence.”

And yet people describe creation in the bible? So, which is it? No one observed it or someone observed it?

“Dogs differ greatly from each other in size, appearance, and other characteristics. But no matter how much they differ all breeds have two things in common. All the genes they possess existed in their common ancestor and each breed has only a small part of the the genetic variation that their ancestor possessed.”

All of your genes existed in your ancestors, but that does not mean that any individual ancestor of yours was more genetically diverse than you.

“The common ancestor of dogs must have descended from another organism that was even more genetically complex. If we carry this process back we find that life must have started with a life form that was extremely complex genetically and possessed the potential of producing a great variety of descendants. This is exactly what the Biblical account of creation says happened.”

See: evolution in any textbook. Genetic diversity alone does not account for the disparity of organisms on Earth. Environmental variation as well as combinations of genes also contributes a great deal. Mutation, back-mutations and insertions by viruses are all mechanisms by which genetic material can be altered within a population.

“But how could this process begin if life began with a single celled organism? Natural selection would be impossible because there would be nothing to select from. Before natural selection could begin the original organism would have to somehow develop into a much more complex kind of life by acquiring completely new characteristics. This kind of evolution has never been observed.”

An organism needs only to be able to survive in its environment. Competition and a changing environment on top of asexual reproduction producing genetic errors is more than enough time to produce appreciable variation. The first Eukaryotic cell was likely no more than a symbiotic relationship between multiple single-celled organisms. (The fact that mitochondria and chloroplasts have their own DNA).

“Rejecting the idea of a creator raises another problem. How could this original life form come into existence in the first place? When Darwin published his theory it was believed that single celled organisms were very simple but as we have learned more we have learned that they are much more complex than was once believed. If life were as simple as was once believed the idea that it came about by chance wouldn’t be so farfetched but we now know that even the simplest form of life is too complex to have been the result of chance.”

So you claim that we know what constitutes an organism that is to “complex?” The irreducible complexity argument has been shown wrong in numerous ways, no need to repeat them here (as I am sure they will fall on deaf ears). And the assumption that only a creator can explain the origin of life is fallacious. You have drawn a conclusion before considering the evidence.

You have presented the same arguments over and over again and more often than not you do not even reply to the opposition. If you are here only to proselytize then I will stop wasting my time reading your dribble.

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01-11-2011, 01:09 PM (This post was last modified: 01-11-2011 01:12 PM by houseofcantor.)
RE: Evolution's starting point
Spin 'em. Tongue

I have the Pure Number hypothesis; from extrapolation, evolution begins at singularity. Big Grin
(01-11-2011 10:45 AM)lucradis Wrote:  On a side note I heard this the other day and it is bugging me for some reason. Your thoughts on it would be welcome. "what if the light at the end of he tunnel is actually the light at the end of the birth canal?"

Having both been there, and a knowledge of YHWH that goes beyond mere religion - YHWH don't let his monkeys die in the dark, is my hypothesis. Big Grin

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02-11-2011, 10:24 AM
RE: Evolution's starting point
(01-11-2011 10:45 AM)lucradis Wrote:  On a side note I heard this the other day and it is bugging me for some reason. Your thoughts on it would be welcome. "what if the light at the end of he tunnel is actually the light at the end of the birth canal?"

There is a similarity between birth and death. When we are born our body leaves our mother's womb to enter into a new life. When we die our soul leaves this material world for a new kind of existence.

(01-11-2011 10:46 AM)morondog Wrote:  If "we" now know that life is "too complex" to have evolved from a simpler form, please point me to a reference, since I do not. By the way, an acceptable reference would be for example, a mainstream biology journal. And since it is the royal we who *know* this, you will admit that this must be the opinion of a majority of scientists and specialists who study the origins of life, not merely one or two.

I should have said that it is obvious that life is too complex to have evolved by chance. Most scientists who contribute to the mainstream scientific journals begin their studies with the assumption that everything can be explained without any need of a creator. If they begin with this assumption they have to believe the Darwinian concept of evolution whether it is supported by evidence or not.

(01-11-2011 11:11 AM)Thammuz Wrote:  It's possible that the first lifeform was somewhat similar to a modern single-cell organism, but that's besides the field of study of evolution. You are talking about abiogenesis, which is a completely different field of study. That should also answer the questions at the end of your post.

The two fields are connected because life can't evolve until it has been created.

Quote:Ok, so you're actually saying that:
-dinosaurs evolved after the flood?
-humans and dinosaus co-existed?

Now, that must've been some happy times, the Rexie the T-Rex sleeping in Noah's back yard. I never read anything about tyrannosaurus or velociraptor attacks in the Bible, though. And those were mean hunters...

But don't all cultures have legends of dragons? Have you considered the possibility that dragon is just another name for dinosaur?

Quote:Another flaw is that it your claims are disproved by radiometric dating. I know you want to use 'special pleading' for an 'accelerated radioactive decay', but that claim hasn't been proven either. Nevertheless, I know you'll ignore; just be aware that wa don't fall for it.

I have discussed that subject in this thread.

http://thethinkingatheist.com/forum/Thread-Age

(01-11-2011 10:09 AM)theophilus Wrote:  The common ancestor of dogs must have descended from another organism that was even more genetically complex. If we carry this process back we find that life must have started with a life form that was extremely complex genetically and possessed the potential of producing a great variety of descendants. This is exactly what the Biblical account of creation says happened.

Quote:Where does the Bible state exactly that? I read your post from Genesis 3 times, but I couldn't find that statement. Please give the correct verse where everything is explained in the terms you mention.

I should have said that this process in consistent with what the Bible says.

(01-11-2011 12:05 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  And yet people describe creation in the bible? So, which is it? No one observed it or someone observed it?

This description was based on what was revealed by God.

God's invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.
Romans 1:20 ESV

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02-11-2011, 12:14 PM
RE: Evolution's starting point
Theophilus wrote:
“We have no way of observing the process of creation but perhaps by examining exactly how evolution works we can reach a conclusion as to which explanation is more likely to be true. One way to do this would be to look at how the various breeds of dog came into existence.”

TheBeardedDude Wrote:
And yet people describe creation in the bible? So, which is it? No one observed it or someone observed it?

Theophilus wrote:
This description was based on what was revealed by God."

So, your original statement implies we need some mechanism to obtain information about the creation, despite the fact that god was there and could have told us more than what he did. You are aware of the fact that no one here believes that the creation is true or possible, right? The natural laws of the universe do not apply to supernatural phenomenon (like god or the creation) and therefore any proposed supernatural event is not only unlikely but as far as we know it is impossible. And a separate natural explanation for the beginning of the universe, the origin of our solar system, the origin of Earth, the origin of life, the evolution of all life from a common ancestor, etc, etc all fall within the realm of natural explanations. You put forth archaic ideas that violate the laws of nature and require "faith." That is, they require belief without evidence. So, in your search for evidence, are you not violating your faith? That is, by looking for evidence you are confirming your doubt about the bible.

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02-11-2011, 02:52 PM
RE: Evolution's starting point
(02-11-2011 10:24 AM)theophilus Wrote:  I should have said that it is obvious that life is too complex to have evolved by chance. Most scientists who contribute to the mainstream scientific journals begin their studies with the assumption that everything can be explained without any need of a creator. If they begin with this assumption they have to believe the Darwinian concept of evolution whether it is supported by evidence or not.

I have heard this argument before. I think it's that these scientists come to a conclusion that you do not like. They are experts in their field. You do not dispute that quantum mechanics is a true description of the world (edited: of the atom), despite the fact that those scientists uniformly do not assume God. Or do you so dispute?

I decry the use of the word obvious. What's obvious to you is not obvious to me. I find it non-obvious in the extreme, and I'm not just saying that. What's obvious to me is that our imaginations are limited, so *every* statement, including obvious ones, must be carefully checked. When I check your obvious statement I feel very uncomfortable and believe that it should be further investigated. You are free to provide further justification.

Please note that I am not asking that you should be an expert in your field before commenting on any topic. But I think that to make a sweeping statement that *all* of these scientists are making a basic error, without offering any reason for that statement, is short-sighted and an insult frankly, to the fine minds who devote their lives to studying this stuff in depth, which you so cheerfully dismiss as folly.

Furthermore, please state your reason for taking the Bible as an authority on this? You appear to be going to absurd lengths to make everything fit into the Biblical account. You must have some justification for this? Or do you just know that the Bible is true?
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02-11-2011, 03:21 PM
RE: Evolution's starting point
I also adamantly agree with morondog on the issue of "obvious" observations/assumptions. To me it is "obvious" that the universe behaves in a way that suggests it is completely devoid of a creator and/or guiding hand. That is not an observation that you would likely say is obvious. You would probably also say that the bible is "obviously" correct, despite the fact that I would say it is "obviously" incorrect. What is obvious to an uneducated child is also not likely to be obvious to an educated adult (Santa for instance).

Morondog also makes another excellent point in that you assume that these scientists all start off with some assumption that Darwin must be correct and (not through Darwin's work) that god must not exist. This is the most ignorant statement you have made to date. I say ignorant rather than stupid because you cannot assume to know any individual scientists starting assumptions nor their motivations. Take me for example: I started off my journey through science with the assumption that god did exist and that the bible was largely true. Through my own observations, classes and my own research I have rejected that initial assumption and now believe god to be a figment of the imagination and the bible to be a collection of bronze age myths.

I also no longer expect actual responses to any of the above flaws in your arguments because you are obviously doing nothing more than starting threads on here that are copied and pasted from your own blog. Your reasons for being here are not to debate and by extension you are obviously not willing to admit the possibility that you and the bible may be wrong.

Theos blog where all of his threads are cut from.
http://clydeherrin.wordpress.com/

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