I'm having problems believing in evolution
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08-12-2016, 12:37 PM
RE: I'm having problems believing in evolution
Someone explained to me one time that if evolution weren't a fact we would always look exactly like our corresponding male or female parent. We would always be a carbon copy of them. There would be no variation.

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08-12-2016, 12:37 PM
RE: I'm having problems believing in evolution
As others pointed evolution isn't matter of belief, it is fact.

About your doubts - read Coyne, Nye and Dawkins. Their books should illuminate you.

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08-12-2016, 12:43 PM
RE: I'm having problems believing in evolution
(08-12-2016 11:56 AM)Ask21771 Wrote:  1. All the genetic evidence (from what I know of it) could be explained by common design

RNA is made up of 4 chemical bases. I remember reading about a study awhile back that showed exactly how it's possible for 2 of the 4 bases to have formed simply by the right elements coming together in combination with sunlight. I was left with no doubt that the other 2 bases formed in a similar way and it's just a matter of time before we understand exactly how. With RNA being precursor to DNA, this would have been the very beginning of life itself on this planet. Presumably therefore, all life that currently exists here originated in this manner. So it is no mere coincidence that there is a commonality between all living things, but design has nothing to do with it. Evolution accounts for all the varying directions in which life forms developed from this common beginning.

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08-12-2016, 01:09 PM
RE: I'm having problems believing in evolution
(08-12-2016 12:04 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  
(08-12-2016 11:56 AM)Ask21771 Wrote:  I want to believe evolution is real but I'm having two major problems

1. All the genetic evidence (from what I know of it) could be explained by common design

2. All the fossils used for evidence could just be fossils of similar now extinct species

Is there anyway to disprove either of my problems

1) no it can't. The reason it can't be ascribed to common design is that there is no evidence of a designer to ascribe it to. Also, it would require a huge coincidence that organisms just happen to be genetically similar enough in a way so as to simulate common descent. Another objection is that humans are supposed to be above animals and not animals themselves (at least to the adherents of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) and the genetic evidence shows that we are unambiguously animals.

2) also not true. We have fossils of extant species and we have fossils of species that have no living relatives and have had no living relatives for hundreds of millions of years. And once again, the appearance of fossils in the fossil record would have to just coincidentally agree with the genetic evidence showing the evolutionary relationships. Also, we can date the ages of the rocks and see how much time the sedimentary record represents.


I recommend reading "Bringing fossils to life" by Prothero and "Historcial Geology" by Wicander. They are both geology/paleontology textbooks you can find used copies of for pretty cheap.

I'm sorry I don't understand the answer to my second problem
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08-12-2016, 01:22 PM
RE: I'm having problems believing in evolution
How complete is the fossil record
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08-12-2016, 01:46 PM
RE: I'm having problems believing in evolution
(08-12-2016 01:22 PM)Ask21771 Wrote:  How complete is the fossil record

Read the books and watch the videos.

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08-12-2016, 01:48 PM
RE: I'm having problems believing in evolution
Hello! Big Grin

Welcome to the forums. Smile

(08-12-2016 11:56 AM)Ask21771 Wrote:  I want to believe evolution is real but I'm having two major problems

1. All the genetic evidence (from what I know of it) could be explained by common design

2. All the fossils used for evidence could just be fossils of similar now extinct species

Is there anyway to disprove either of my problems

IN relation to (1)... there are so many ways to take this.

As in what 'Design' do you speak of/see? As has been asked, what about all terrible genetic problems that happen simply because the genetic copying process can stuff up. Not to mention cancers which are another form of both inheritable problems and 'Happens due to age or environment" problem. I'm sure there are oodles of other examples people will/can give if you ask.

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Um... if I ever see something like a T-Rex wandering around? Yah, nothing like such critters is currently found any where on the planet. The best you have is the celocancth and the amazingly luck plant clone the 'Wolomi pine'. So, (2), no there are not lots of things walking around which match fossils found all over the place.

(08-12-2016 01:22 PM)Ask21771 Wrote:  How complete is the fossil record

The fossil record is not 'compete' depending on your definition of the word 'complete'.

It is, however, interesting that people have still NOT found fossils of certain animals any where except within the layers they should be found in. As in no rabbit bones in fossil beds with devonian critters.

Also that people can and have made predictions of the types of critters you might find in layers of rocks which have been dated to a certain time. Easy thing to name is Tikktalikk though I'm sure people have gone and looked for different critters and found similar.

Hope that helps. Smile

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08-12-2016, 01:54 PM
RE: I'm having problems believing in evolution
(08-12-2016 11:56 AM)Ask21771 Wrote:  1. All the genetic evidence (from what I know of it) could be explained by common design

The distribution of endogenous retrovirus insertions in the DNA of primates can't be explained by common design. Unless of course the designer wanted it to look like we share a common ancestor with other species. In which case he/she/it is a fucking asshole.

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08-12-2016, 01:57 PM
RE: I'm having problems believing in evolution
[Image: evampid_zps62lpjnxq.jpg]

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08-12-2016, 02:19 PM (This post was last modified: 08-12-2016 03:10 PM by TheBeardedDude.)
RE: I'm having problems believing in evolution
(08-12-2016 01:09 PM)Ask21771 Wrote:  
(08-12-2016 12:04 PM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  1) no it can't. The reason it can't be ascribed to common design is that there is no evidence of a designer to ascribe it to. Also, it would require a huge coincidence that organisms just happen to be genetically similar enough in a way so as to simulate common descent. Another objection is that humans are supposed to be above animals and not animals themselves (at least to the adherents of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) and the genetic evidence shows that we are unambiguously animals.

2) also not true. We have fossils of extant species and we have fossils of species that have no living relatives and have had no living relatives for hundreds of millions of years. And once again, the appearance of fossils in the fossil record would have to just coincidentally agree with the genetic evidence showing the evolutionary relationships. Also, we can date the ages of the rocks and see how much time the sedimentary record represents.


I recommend reading "Bringing fossils to life" by Prothero and "Historcial Geology" by Wicander. They are both geology/paleontology textbooks you can find used copies of for pretty cheap.

I'm sorry I don't understand the answer to my second problem

"I'm sorry I don't understand the answer to my second problem"

Your second problem indicates that the fossil record is full of similar (to modern animals) animals that just happen to be extinct. There are multiple issues here:
1) the fossil record is also full of a lot of animals that aren't similar to living taxa and have no close relatives to living taxa.
For instance:
The Ediacaran fossils
Tribrachidium
[Image: tribrachidium.jpg]
Cyclomedusa
[Image: cyclomedusa.jpg]
Dickinsonia.
[Image: dickinsonia2.jpg]

Weird Cambrian faunas:
Anomalocaris
[Image: anomalocaris-500m-year-old-predator-1.jpg]
Pikaia
[Image: bs07.jpg]
The Archaeocyathids
[Image: Archaeocrack.jpg]
[Image: archaeocyathid.GIF]

The Silurian Eurypterids
[Image: Eurypterids_fromTony.jpg]

Big Carboniferous insects
Meganeura
[Image: meganeura-monyi.jpg]
Arthropleura
[Image: Arthropleura.png]

You'd think a person would have noticed anyone of those, but even if not there are even more still among other lesser known groups, like the Brachiopods. There are entire orders of brachiopods that haven't been seen in over 250 million years at least. Such as:
the Atrypids
[Image: spinatrypa_spinosa_fossil_brachiopod_ny1.jpg]
the Orthids
[Image: orthids.gif]
Productids
http://natural-history.uoregon.edu/sites..._P8610.jpg

Basically what it boils down to for the above examples is that these species have abundant fossil records (some are more rare than others but I don't think I posted anything that has only a singular specimen discovered). So if all of the taxa just went extinct and left behind "similar" taxa, then these groups (and many more) disprove that. There is nothing in the ocean similar to the Anomalicarids or the Eurypterids. Yes, we still have centipedes and dragon flies, but never has any insect anywhere near that large coexisted with humans (none got that large in the last 250 million years either). You don't see any of the mammals that predate humans either on land, like the ancestors of the horses or whales:
[Image: 300px-Equine_evolution.jpg]
[Image: 64f55e8ef8cdda6baf9685edd7563455.png]

and 2) the fossil record shows pulses of mass extinction:
Seen below as the number of families over time by Jack Sepkoski (only for the marine fossil record)
[Image: 067-marine_extinctions-sepkoski.png]

What is also seen in the fossil record (and is also shown in that figure above in a way) is that the dominant groups of organisms change through time too, both on land and in the oceans. Brachiopods dominated in the Paleozoic, but are a fraction of their diversity today (most of the orders went extinct). Trilobites were their most diverse and abundant in the Cambrian, but have been extinct ever since the end-Permian mass extinction.

What this means is the fossil record shows two things that must be considered coincidences by creationists who dispute evolution. First, it must merely be a coincidence that the appearance of taxa in the fossil record agrees with the genetic data. Meaning that taxa that are shown to be closely related with one group being ancestral via genetics, show up in the fossil record with the ancestral form appearing first. You'd expect at least one reliable occurrence of the opposite if these were just coincidences. Secondly, the fossil record (along with the sedimentary and geochemical records) shows us that diversity isn't static through time and that mass extinctions can decimate groups. These mass extinctions helps explain why certain taxa are no longer around and why certain taxa are. For instance, why are brachiopods a minor component of the modern diversity? Because the end-Permian event was highly selective against taxa that aren't well buffered against changes in pH. Why are dinosaurs not around still (minus the birds)? The nuclear winter-like scenario created by a large bolide impact decimated their climate and the base of the food chain, creating an ecosystem-wide collapse that killed off their populations. The vacancy of niches left behind were eventually occupied by mammals who then took over and radiated in the Cenozoic.

Using evolution, we can explain patterns seen in the fossil record. Without evolution (using this "common design"), all of the patterns and complimentary pieces of data, must simply be coincidental to the point of simulating the exact patterns you expect via evolutionary predictions.

"How complete is the fossil record?"

No one really knows but 99% of the taxa that have probably ever existed have probably left behind no fossil record (at least none that would allow their identification. Many may have left traces but two different animals can create similar traces. So when identifying trace fossils, they get their own classification and are often not able to be tied to a specific organism).

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