Selective Evolution
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28-05-2011, 11:20 PM
 
Selective Evolution
Ive been probing the people I work with about their ideas. At least one guy knows I'm an atheist. He is pretty tolerant actually[a creationist as far as I am aware]. I feel somewhat like the guy who keeps bringing things up, but I feel this situation is too valuable a personal experiment to let go to waste.

Anyway. The subject of evolution came up today. After we waded through the whole 'coming from monkeys' bit and I threw in some stuff about bacteria and vaccines, I got them to 'the point'. This seems to be the furthest I have been able to push a religious person thus far.

'Evolution works for everything else. Just not humans. God made us in his image.'

Has anyone else come to this wall? If so, how do you deal with it? A barrage of facts or a quoting of scripture to first show that the bible does not disallow evolution followed by careful prying at the cracks. Or have you found that it simply isn't worth the effort at this point?
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29-05-2011, 03:36 AM
RE: Selective Evolution
Actually you got to the core of the issue.
That's why some refuse to accept evolution. They think humans are divine as opposed to just another animal on this planet.
We are apes. We evolved from apes. Show the creationist the fossil record of the human race , the tree of primates and how we branched of and the DNA evidence that shows we share 98% of our DNA with chimps. If they still deny it , it's because of self-centered arrogance.

We're just animals. It sucks that we don't have a skydaddy but that's just what we are. A mere animal who has more mental capacity than other species.
And historically , gods were created in the image of men. Each culture made a god represent their ideals and their view of life.
The ancient gods explain natural events and encourage debauchery and orgies while the abrahamic god represents the jewish nomads that settled in Israel and their views on sexuality , food consumption and the world.

The effort may or may not be worth it. The only reason to believe you were created at this point seems to be arrogance to me. Confused

Atheism is a religion like OFF is a TV channel !!!

Proud of my genetic relatives Big Grin
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29-05-2011, 04:46 AM
RE: Selective Evolution
Then why do men have nipples? Bring up the other useless body parts.

If God made a design that can't evolve, I wonder why he didn't fix the flaws (or why did he screw up in the first place?). Or isn't he perfect?


Robin Williams gives a good explanation for the design of human reproductive organs:




"Infinitus est numerus stultorum." (The number of fools is infinite)
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29-05-2011, 04:54 AM
RE: Selective Evolution
Arguably, you did quite well to get that far. I'm not sure that you would be able to get any further, given they're creationists. I suppose you could ask why evolution couldn't happen with humans and other organisms, or why god couldn't have created us in his own image and then evolution took its course changing us a little.

I think its important to remember that evolution by natural selection happens all the time. Its continuously scrutinising every generation, and its not as though it could possibly affect only bacteria and viruses, and yet not us.

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use." - Galileo

"Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do." - Voltaire
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29-05-2011, 05:19 AM
RE: Selective Evolution
My first thought in this case is that the burden now falls on them to come up with an explanation of what the difference is between our DNA and everyone else's that makes ours the only one which does not mutate.

Debunking this claim should be pretty easy. It is obvious to everyone that not all humans are the same. We have great geographical variation in mutations. Examples that come to mind are skin color, height and amount of red blood cells.

I want to rip off your superstitions and make passionate sense to you
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29-05-2011, 06:22 AM
 
RE: Selective Evolution
@gaglamesh731: I was wondering how far to push them at once. I figured I could wait a few days before bringing it all back up. Or hopefully let them bring it up. I gave 'homework' to one of the guys at work. He said he would research evolution. Im a bit worried about him googling it and finding the 'right' links on his own, but we will see what he gravitates toward.
But yes. God made man in his image. Surely we can't be that alike everything else on Earth! We wouldn't be special then. Which is ridiculous. We are all the more unique and beautiful in light of our ancestry and relation to the world in my opinion.

@Thammuz: Hah! I almost brought the nipples up. I was so close, but I decided to holster it for later.

@ Daemonowner: Thank you. I was going to segway from how bacteria evolve to resist some of what we throw at it, to us becoming resistant and see what they think about that. I'll do it next time it comes around.
That reminds me though. I brought up natural selection. One of the guys actually said something along the lines of 'If we were born of natural selection, then we would still be living in caves because its all survival of the fittest and we would be killing off the weaker people.'
I know that I shouldn't have any reason to be amazed, but its just hard not to stop and blink sometimes.
I tried to explain how natural selection and survival of the fittest works, but I'm doubtful he was open.

@ Norseman: I could do that. I feel it would come off as more aggressive though. I especially fear the 'I have faith God didnt make man out of goo.' Or something similar. At that point I'm attacking their faith, which will just make them shut down. I'm trying to be very passive in this. So perhaps I just give them much too little credit, but I fear that faced with the burden of proof they would simply turn to 'faith' and my window of chance would be gone.
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29-05-2011, 08:57 AM
RE: Selective Evolution
(29-05-2011 06:22 AM)Cube Wrote:  One of the guys actually said something along the lines of 'If we were born of natural selection, then we would still be living in caves because its all survival of the fittest and we would be killing off the weaker people.'
I know that I shouldn't have any reason to be amazed, but its just hard not to stop and blink sometimes.
I tried to explain how natural selection and survival of the fittest works, but I'm doubtful he was open.

You can explain to him that being an aggressive person does not necessarily constitute an evolutionary advantage. We know this because most of us are not very aggressive, but for someone who does not accept evolution this would be a circular argument.
This question is best handled with statistics. If you kill of another member of "the tribe", you remove one of your competitors from the gene pool. The problem is that aggressive encounters are never without risk. While removing one of many competitors you are risking the life of the only person in the world carrying all of your genes, namely yourself. Because of this natural selection adjusts our aggression level to a point where the cost/benefit equation equals out.
The aggression level is lowered further in a close community like a caveman society where anyone you meet is likely to be either a somewhat close relative. The cost of killing someone increases the more closely related you are to them, because they are statistically more likely to carry more of the same genes as you do.

I want to rip off your superstitions and make passionate sense to you
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29-05-2011, 03:22 PM
RE: Selective Evolution
@Cube
Expalin that proper research is done in peer-reviewed journals and studies.

Evolution has been observed in the laboratory :
http://myxo.css.msu.edu/lenski/pdf/2004,...Lenski.pdf

Also observe the difference between a hypothesis and a theory.
Quote:'I have faith God didnt make man out of goo.'
Evolution is NOT abiogenesis.
Evolution is a theory that explains diversity of life.
Abiogenesis studies how a self replicating organic molecule can arise from non-life.

Atheism is a religion like OFF is a TV channel !!!

Proud of my genetic relatives Big Grin
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29-05-2011, 03:27 PM
 
RE: Selective Evolution
@ Norseman: I had begun to make the case that we are tribal and thus we benefited more from helping one another than indiscriminate killing. I was also going to make the point that his take on survival of the fittest was off kilter, but he had to go.

@gaglamesh731: I understand this. However, at this juncture in the discussion, if I start throwing around words like abiogenesis, I'm going to totally lose them. I literally have to act like I'm teaching children. Only these are children who 'know' how the world works. But I can see the cracks in their walls. Just have to pry at it when I see them again.
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29-05-2011, 04:09 PM
RE: Selective Evolution
@Cube
I never meant to imply you didn't know - sorry.
I just wanted to make sure that he got those concepts right.

Atheism is a religion like OFF is a TV channel !!!

Proud of my genetic relatives Big Grin
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