False ideas about evolution
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05-05-2011, 08:14 AM
False ideas about evolution
There is a lot of misinformation out there about what evolution is and how evolution works. Some of these misconceptions are the result of bad information and some are the result of complete misunderstandings/misinterpretations. I wanted to start a thread where we can discuss questions that we have been asked that display ignorance and misunderstanding of evolution. This is primarily the result of discussions on the forum "Evolution is a Fairytale" that I have been banned from now, not real sure why but I can only guess they did not like my explanations using real science. Also worth discussing are answers that have been given to you by ID/creationist supporters on these matters that also display a lack of fundamental understanding. I hope that this thread will help shed light on what the misconceptions are that are out there so we can all be aware of them and know how to address them.

I'll start.
"If we evolved from monkeys then why are there still monkeys?"
Pretty common and I am sure this has been addressed on this site before but we did not evolve from monkeys. We share a common ancestor.

"Living fossils disprove evolution."
No. There is no such thing as a living fossil. Organisms that seemingly defy evolution are a myth. All species have undergone changes through time. Any species that remains static runs the risk of extinction. Some species may not change much over the course of millions of years but the variation still exists. Cyanobacteria, the horseshoe crab and any other example have evolved through time but due to their adaptations to their environment the changes needed are miniscule or are evident only in genetic information which is not preserved in fossils (typically)

What else you guys got?

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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05-05-2011, 08:35 AM
RE: False ideas about evolution
Lovely, I have to say, I really like this idea. Sadly, my schooling in evolution is rather pathetic. Where I'm from, teachers/instructors treat evolution like a hot potato(we are mostly Creationists, so I don't blame them), and books can only go so far.

TheBeardedDude Wrote:This is primarily the result of discussions on the forum "Evolution is a Fairytale" that I have been banned from now, not real sure why but I can only guess they did not like my explanations using real science

And yes, I'm pretty sure the reason why you were banned is because you actually know your stuff. I'll post again later once I find some good stuff.

I don't believe Jesus is the son of God until I see the long form birth certificate!
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05-05-2011, 08:48 AM
RE: False ideas about evolution
Well, you might as well put the entire version of Richard Dawkins' book, 'the greatest show on earth' here. He kind of explained everything in it and refuted the silly creationist views.
There's no use in preaching to the choir. Most of us understand and accept evolution.

The real challenge is making creationists look beyond their precious holy book. There's a dutch proverb that says "Wat baten kaars en bril, als den uil niet zienen wil" (roughly translates as: "Glasses and a candle don't help when someone refuses to see").

If you say we share a common ancestor, they'll say they want proof. If you find the bones or fossils, they'll say there are gaps. If you find more fossils, they'll say there are even more gaps. If you prove everything right, they'll just ask:"Why do you hate Jesus? He died for your sins! How can you be so cruel?".
And if they don't use that, they'll refer to some pseudoscientists like Dr. (sic) Kent Hovind and the likes.

There is enough proof of evolution and the likes. the real challenge is to educate and convince people there isn't any evidence foor the great flood, talking snakes or unicorns. And if they start questioning those silly ideas, maybe then they will look a bit further.

"Infinitus est numerus stultorum." (The number of fools is infinite)
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05-05-2011, 08:50 AM
RE: False ideas about evolution
(05-05-2011 08:48 AM)Thammuz Wrote:  Well, you might as well put the entire version of Richard Dawkins' book, 'the greatest show on earth' here. He kind of explained everything in it.
There's no use in preaching to the choir. Most of us understand and accept evolution.

The real challenge is making creationists look beyond their precious holy book. There's a dutch proverb that says "Wat baten kaars en bril, als den uil niet zienen wil" (roughly translates as: "Glasses and a candle don't help when someone refuses to see").

If you say we share a common ancestor, they'll say they want proof. If you find the bones or fossils, they'll say there are gaps. If you find more fossils, they'll say there are even more gaps. If you prove everything right, they'll just ask:"Why do you hate Jesus? He died for your sins! How can you be so cruel?".
And if they don't use that, they'll refer to some pseudoscientists like Dr. (sic) Kent Hovind and the likes.

There is enough proof of evolution and the likes. the real challenge is to educate and convince people there isn't any evidence foor the great flood, talking snakes or unicorns. And if they start questioning those silly ideas, maybe then they will look a bit further.

Not denying that but I just want to see what you guys have personally experienced. I am still reading The Greatest Show on Earth.

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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05-05-2011, 08:52 AM
RE: False ideas about evolution
(05-05-2011 08:50 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Not denying that but I just want to see what you guys have personally experienced. I am still reading The Greatest Show on Earth.

Enjoy the book then. One of the best I've ever read.
And yeah, on second tought, it might be fun to add some stupid statements. Could help with the debating.

"Infinitus est numerus stultorum." (The number of fools is infinite)
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05-05-2011, 08:59 AM
RE: False ideas about evolution
(05-05-2011 08:50 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Not denying that but I just want to see what you guys have personally experienced. I am still reading The Greatest Show on Earth.

I'm still reading it too, it's very interesting. Gave me a new perspective on evolution and all the little details of it.

Alright, I saw this said at Evolution is a Fairytale. That a scientist can adjust the numbers in radiometric dating to fit any model and still make it look consistent. I'd like to know if anyone knows the mechanics of this. I know how radiometric dating works, and I'm thinking they are using different half-lives? Or do they say it's the initial amount that can be tweaked?

@Thammuz: I don't think the purpose of this thread to convince others here of evolution, but more to provide knowledge of what the evolution-creationism debate is about and what Creationists say.

I don't believe Jesus is the son of God until I see the long form birth certificate!
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05-05-2011, 09:05 AM
RE: False ideas about evolution
(05-05-2011 08:59 AM)ashley.hunt60 Wrote:  Alright, I saw this said at Evolution is a Fairytale. That a scientist can adjust the numbers in radiometric dating to fit any model and still make it look consistent. I'd like to know if anyone knows the mechanics of this. I know how radiometric dating works, and I'm thinking they are using different half-lives? Or do they say it's the initial amount that can be tweaked?

There is also a creationist theory about accelerating half-life to a certain point. That way young earth creationism would make sense. Of course, the theory is based on nothing and it would mean that God is deliberately trying to fool us.

"Infinitus est numerus stultorum." (The number of fools is infinite)
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05-05-2011, 09:18 AM
RE: False ideas about evolution
(05-05-2011 08:59 AM)ashley.hunt60 Wrote:  
(05-05-2011 08:50 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Not denying that but I just want to see what you guys have personally experienced. I am still reading The Greatest Show on Earth.

I'm still reading it too, it's very interesting. Gave me a new perspective on evolution and all the little details of it.

Alright, I saw this said at Evolution is a Fairytale. That a scientist can adjust the numbers in radiometric dating to fit any model and still make it look consistent. I'd like to know if anyone knows the mechanics of this. I know how radiometric dating works, and I'm thinking they are using different half-lives? Or do they say it's the initial amount that can be tweaked?

@Thammuz: I don't think the purpose of this thread to convince others here of evolution, but more to provide knowledge of what the evolution-creationism debate is about and what Creationists say.

Spectre implied that some organization called RATE is purposing accelerated times of decay. I have no idea how that would work and they have never published in any peer reviewed science journals so I have never seen their work.

The fitting the data to make an age is truish. There are techniques for extrapolating ages out of radiometric dating when the numbers are less than ideal. This is typically due to either mixing of magmas, or the release of daughter isotopes. In a situation where magmas mix there can be a spread of data if older grains are incorporated into the rock along with the new young grains. There are analytical ways to deal with that however. The release of daughter isotopes could be caused by heating the crystal to temperatures that are high enough to allow the radioactivley formed daughter isotopes to be released from the crystal lattice. This causes the crystal to appear to be much younger than it really is.

If anyone knows where to find this RATE committees "research" I would enjoy seeing that.

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
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05-05-2011, 12:22 PM
RE: False ideas about evolution
Some gems I've heard are :

Irreducible Complexity
There's Micro-evolution but no Macro-evolution
Fossils are fake and scientists fail to admit they are wrong
Fossils form very rapidly not over millions of years

@bearderddude
Are we supposed to answer the issues ourselves or let other forum members answer ?

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05-05-2011, 01:13 PM
RE: False ideas about evolution
(05-05-2011 09:05 AM)Thammuz Wrote:  
(05-05-2011 08:59 AM)ashley.hunt60 Wrote:  Alright, I saw this said at Evolution is a Fairytale. That a scientist can adjust the numbers in radiometric dating to fit any model and still make it look consistent. I'd like to know if anyone knows the mechanics of this. I know how radiometric dating works, and I'm thinking they are using different half-lives? Or do they say it's the initial amount that can be tweaked?

There is also a creationist theory about accelerating half-life to a certain point. That way young earth creationism would make sense. Of course, the theory is based on nothing and it would mean that God is deliberately trying to fool us.

I observed that when creationist argue that the 2nd law of thermodynamics makes evolution impossible, they would never assume that this law has changed over time. But when it comes to half-lives it is perfectly okay to assume (on no rational basis) that the laws of quantum physics changed for no particular reason. it's so typical.

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