Need a few pointers regarding evolution.
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01-11-2011, 06:02 PM
Need a few pointers regarding evolution.
Hello! I'd appreciate some help here. I'm still learning the intricacies of evolution by natural selection. I have a friend at school, who's extremely intelligent (book smart; has the highest GPA in our school's history...) who doesn't believe in evolution and accepts intelligent design.

He says that Pangaea can explain why there's so many different species in different parts of the planet; also can explain why the Galapagos Islands have those isolated species that Darwin worked with.

He also says there's no evidence for evolution whatsoever and that scientists just conform with it because they don't believe in God.

Any points I can refute him on? I told him we have transitional fossils of species, the fossil record, the logical process of evolution - he wouldn't have a word of it.

Thanks!
Eric.
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01-11-2011, 06:07 PM
RE: Need a few pointers regarding evolution.
I recommend two things:

1) Read "The Greatest Show on Earth". It will give you all the info you need. Even if it doesn't help with your debate, you will likely enjoy the book.

2) Accept that there are some people who will go to the ends of the earth to find evidence to back up their conclusion instead of making a conclusion based on the evidence.

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01-11-2011, 06:12 PM
RE: Need a few pointers regarding evolution.
(01-11-2011 06:07 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  I recommend two things:

1) Read "The Greatest Show on Earth". It will give you all the info you need. Even if it doesn't help with your debate, you will likely enjoy the book.

2) Accept that there are some people who will go to the ends of the earth to find evidence to back up their conclusion instead of making a conclusion based on the evidence.

1) I recently bought that book and I plan on reading it very soon!

2) I know what you mean. Had a girlfriend exactly like that. Which reminds me of a cartoon I saw (I think on here) that read "Scientific Method - 'What conclusion can we come up with that fits the facts?' / Religious Method - 'What facts can we find to fit our conclusion?'"
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01-11-2011, 07:12 PM
RE: Need a few pointers regarding evolution.
Talk Origins

Suit up, boyo! Big Grin

Intelligent Design presupposes Intelligence. We ain't that smart yet, to meaningfully define Intelligence - ID crowd is Intelligence in retreat, so they can't be right.

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01-11-2011, 07:50 PM
RE: Need a few pointers regarding evolution.
(01-11-2011 06:02 PM)Alaskan Atheist Wrote:  Hello! I'd appreciate some help here. I'm still learning the intricacies of evolution by natural selection. I have a friend at school, who's extremely intelligent (book smart; has the highest GPA in our school's history...) who doesn't believe in evolution and accepts intelligent design.

He says that Pangaea can explain why there's so many different species in different parts of the planet; also can explain why the Galapagos Islands have those isolated species that Darwin worked with.

He also says there's no evidence for evolution whatsoever and that scientists just conform with it because they don't believe in God.

Any points I can refute him on? I told him we have transitional fossils of species, the fossil record, the logical process of evolution - he wouldn't have a word of it.

Thanks!
Eric.

Definitely read up and do your homework. Not for him- for yourself. It never hurts to learn for yourself.

I'm curious though, is he a young earth creationist? If so, how can he even begin to support the idea of Pangaea? In the 6-10 thousand years of young earth creation (less considering it would have to be after the flood), then the continents seem to have enormous overboard motors strapped to them for easy locomotion. It's a wonder we even bother with flights across the Atlantic- we could just wait for Spain to sidle up to Georgia. You could spend an afternoon in Corunna and then step back over to Savannah. But really, that's a ridiculous notion.

Clearly he can't be a young earth creationist, just an intelligent design believer. God created the earth and man, not using the literal Genesis story- but instead he drove evolution over millions of years. Finally achieving man in the image of himself- built through millions of years of birth and death, tossing away the prior failed attempts at likeness with each successive generations. Eventually a human was born, a mutation from a prior species. That human we later called "Adam". But then, where does the sinful nature of man fall into this story line? I thought the Bible taught us that we were born into sin- all of us are sinners, no matter how good of a person we are. Why? Because Eve ate of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, against god's command. So which human was Eve anyway? Was it a female of the prior species or did a female human mutate at exactly the same time?

This is really where it starts to fall apart for me. The beginning. God is not all-powerful if he must use the forces of nature, and death, and destruction of billions of living creatures to ultimately reach his creation's goal. He's not all-knowing if that creation got out of control and people turned bad and he had to slaughter them all and start over. He's not loving if death, pain, misery, destruction, famine, pestilence, etc. are all such an enormous part of the creation equation. It's just more likely that he doesn't exist at all. The simplest answers are the natural ones.

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01-11-2011, 08:04 PM
RE: Need a few pointers regarding evolution.
If you wanna burn up some brain cells... Big Grin

I originally liked Intelligent Design. Six days later, that ship wrecked on the reefs of Godel's Incompleteness, the science of emergence, deterministic chaos, and self-organization.

And alla King's Men, cannae put that ship back together again. Cool

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02-11-2011, 05:04 AM (This post was last modified: 02-11-2011 05:18 AM by mysticjbyrd.)
RE: Need a few pointers regarding evolution.
(01-11-2011 06:02 PM)Alaskan Atheist Wrote:  Hello! I'd appreciate some help here. I'm still learning the intricacies of evolution by natural selection. I have a friend at school, who's extremely intelligent (book smart; has the highest GPA in our school's history...) who doesn't believe in evolution and accepts intelligent design.
That just means he studies a lot, and has a good memory. Not much more.

Quote:He says that Pangaea can explain why there's so many different species in different parts of the planet; also can explain why the Galapagos Islands have those isolated species that Darwin worked with.
Plate tectonics, including the formation of Pangaea, explains why the same species are on different continents. That isnt a creationist argument though, so I am not sure what that has to do with anything.

I do not know anything about the geological history of the Galapagos Islands, but I fail to see how Pangaea is directly related to the diversity of species amongst the islands. Nor do I see how that in any way that could be used to disprove evolution.

Quote:He also says there's no evidence for evolution whatsoever, and that scientists just conform with it because they don't believe in God.
Evolution by natural selection is likely the most proven theory in existence. Why? Because religious nuts such as your friend have been trying to prove it wrong for 150+ years.

The evidence is everywhere...including your biology book.

J.B.S. Haldane, when asked what evidence could destroy his confidence in the theory of evolution, famously said that the discovery of a fossil rabbit in Precambrian rocks would be enough to destroy his belief in evolution.

And that is true, that is just how easy it would be to disprove the theory of evolution. Yet it has never happened.

All scientists are not atheists, well that one is easy to disprove. There are lots of scientists who are religious, even more who believe in some form of god (Universal God). Why would these theist scientist conform to this theory if they knew it was a hoax? And furthermore, why would the atheist scientists support evolution if they knew it was wrong? They are forgoing overnight stardom, the noble prize, and millions in potential funding. Are they working for Satan? That is utter nonsense.

Quote:Any points I can refute him on? I told him we have transitional fossils of species, the fossil record, the logical process of evolution - he wouldn't have a word of it.
So he used the Republican approach, do not formulate any sort of argument, just respond with "NO!".


All those claims arent even arguments, its just crazy unsubstantiated bull shit. Unfortunately he has completely closed his mind to any sort of reasoning. When they start claiming the scientists work for Satan, well its pretty much a lost cause. No amount of evidence you show him will accomplish anything.

One last thing, you cannot defeat an illogical position using logical arguments. Which basically means, it does not matter how many facts your bring to the table, one magic card(FAITH) trumps them all.
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02-11-2011, 08:03 AM
RE: Need a few pointers regarding evolution.
He does realize that Pangea was some 300 million years ago...right?

Is this place still a shithole run by a dumbass calvinist?
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02-11-2011, 08:34 AM
RE: Need a few pointers regarding evolution.
@ The Bearded Dude - I sure hope so, and if I tell him hopefully it'll make him realize that evolution has made progress from 300 million years ago, so his argument is invalid regarding Pangaea providing the explanation of all the different species on earth right now.

@ mysticjbyrd - Thank you! That outlined it perfectly! Thanks again! Smile And thanks for the laugh (via logic) about the scientists forgoing stardom. Tongue

I'll talk with him today and tell you how it goes when I get home. Thanks to everyone that replied!
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02-11-2011, 06:57 PM
RE: Need a few pointers regarding evolution.
Richard Dawkins latest book called "The Magic of Reality" does an outstanding job of explaining evolution in simple language with easily understood analogies. He also discusses the creation myths of many different religions. I'm sure your friend will agree all the myths are silly. Tell him that's how you feel about his story.
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