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vejlin

Happy Darwin Day!!!

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There are lots of ways to discuss what evolution actually means. Are we talking about humans going from Neanderthals to Homo Sapiens? Are we talking how dogs and cats and cattle etc evolved into what they are today? Or are we talking about how life first appeared on the Earth however long ago?

 

I have read articles and books and watched documentaries galore about this stuff, and I am in a time crunch right now, so all I can do is attempt to go from memory with no links to back me up. :down:

 

But, I think what Gimp is trying to talk about is the first appearance of life argument. There is no real proof that evolution is what caused life to happen. But, at the same time, there is no proof that some other sentient being(s) put life here either. That could be God, Allah, Bhudda, E.T., Predators, Random Alien Race X. Who is to say we weren't a bunch of space colonists via the USS Noah's Ark and it crash landed here, without their homeworld knowing where it landed? :lol: Or we could made up icky yucky ooze. Ewwwwwwww... ::P::lol:

 

There are so many theories about what was and what should have been etc etc and there is no real way to tell unless said sentient being(s) show up and declare that they were the ones who started the whole thing. Otherwise, we'll just have to agree to intelligently and politely disagree. ::):

 

Wild Bill :blues:

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Maybe it's just me but since this is a Darwin topic I just assumed that we were talking about natural selection/survival of the fittest + mutation type biological evolution. Which unless I'm missing something assumes life to begin with. I'm not familiar with evolution being used to explain how the first lifeforms emerged.

Edited by vejlin

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Or are we talking about how life first appeared on the Earth however long ago?

 

Evolution does not cover this.

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Evolution also doesn't cover humanity, reasoning, spirit, will, justice, and most importantly, morality. Evolution and survival of the fittest is always embraced more tightly, and perverted into pseudo-science, by those wanting to justify mass murder.

 

The eugenics of killing whomever one deems to be an idiot may actually weaken the gene pool in ways we can't even see.

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Yep, actual origins of life is covered in something called Abiogenesis. Evolution isn't concerned with how life started, just how it got from simple cells to the complex biodiversity we have today.

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Evolution also doesn't cover humanity, reasoning, spirit, will, justice, and most importantly, morality. Evolution and survival of the fittest is always embraced more tightly, and perverted into pseudo-science, by those wanting to justify mass murder.

 

The eugenics of killing whomever one deems to be an idiot may actually weaken the gene pool in ways we can't even see.

 

 

While it is true Social Darwinism has been used in this fashion, One of its earliest intentions was to justify why some businesses flourished, and others failed during the Industrial Revolution. In other words why it's ok for the "strong" to eat the "weak", and why failing businesses deserve to be destroyed. Guys like Rockefeller ate this kind of theory up! Knowing that, how many Social Darwinists do we have here who want to see those weak American motor companies get theirs ! See, some of you are social Darwinists and you didnt even know it. :blush:

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Yep, actual origins of life is covered in something called Abiogenesis. Evolution isn't concerned with how life started, just how it got from simple cells to the complex biodiversity we have today.

 

I have heard that Darwinists treat evolution as essentially the same thing. This is why they are attempting to push the theory of intelligent design out of the classroom at any level. :unsure:

 

I am going to have to look up Abiogenesis just to see what it is. I have never heard of it. ::):

 

Of course, if I have heard wrong, please, point me to a website or a book that I can read to further educate myself. I'm not against learning something new. ::D:

 

Wild Bill :blues:

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wouldn't call myself a Darwinist (whatever that is), but I do think evolution as a general concept works and has been shown to work in countless contexts (everything from virus becoming resistent through genetic algorithms in computer science). Biological evolution is as far as I know the best explanation we have for the origins of species that doesn't involve pulling something supernatural out of a hat.

 

My position is not faith based however, it is based on tons of evidence. If a new theory comes along that explains things better I'm all for switching to that. Intelligent design quite simply doesn't deliver at all in that department.

 

I am very much against intelligent design being taught as science, just like I'm against geography teachers telling my kids there isn't consensus that the earth is roughly spherical in nature. I'm not saying intelligent design can't be the truth, I'm saying that until there's evidence supporting ID it shouldn't be taught as a scientific theory.

 

Take Gimp's post and see why I don't think ID should be taught as a scientific theory. (I know his post was aimed at ToE originally)

 

At the risk of this devolving into something for the beekeepers:

Spend some time trying to find out why a theory that has been researched for over a century can still have no verified positive evidence other than belief by those who support it, and still be treated as the only truly valid theory.

 

That's a better definition of a religion than a scientific theory.

 

The last time I was in taking science classes at the university, they still taught that theories had to be supported by evidence, and were only valid so long as they were supported by all the evidence obtained.

 

If contradictory evidence was found, the theory had to be corrected to match the relevant facts.

 

If no evidence was found, the theory was supposed to be acknowledged as unproven, and an open scientific evaluation should be continued to find other theories to explain things.

 

Religion can be based on faith over fact. Science is not supposed to be treated the same way.

 

While I do think ToE delivers loads of evidence, I've yet to see anything from the ID camp.

Edited by vejlin

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Well let's not split this into two separate camps. There are many hardcore scientists who believe in evolution and God. These same people would say their knowledge and belief complement each other.

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oh I'm not rejecting religion or ID as valid things that someone can believe in. I'm saying ID isn't science. Very different thing to say.

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Actually, anyone who believes in Evolution from a scientific standpoint wouldn't attempt to lump evolution and the origins of life, the universe, and everything together; it's all different fields. From what I read on a lot of Creationist material they seem to lump it all together, and when they present it as, "Evolution can't explain how all matter in the universe got here, or how life started," if they quote mine scientists who agree (since, well, it's true, evolution can't because it's not supposed to), the strawman argument gets knocked a bit. That being said, there's a lot of really crappy information floating around the "Evolution" camp, and plenty of people who mistakenly think Evolution does cover the whole shebang; at that point I think people should list it as Science vs Creationism as opposed to mistakenly calling such positions Evolution vs Creationism.

 

The reason why ID wouldn't be valid from a scientific standpoint is the very reasoning Gimp stated; there's a solid, documented process information has to be put through before it can be considered good science. Any theory that overtakes another _has_ to explain why the other theory looked like it was correct, and tests have to be created, performed, and repeated conclusively proving that the old theory does not work where the new theory does. ID/Creationism is another way of seeing how everything can be created, which is true, but what it can't do scientifically is prove that the Theory of Evolution is wrong while also explaining how everything in Evolution has held up to all methods prior.

 

I personally don't understand why faith can't account for Evolution and God; after all, people who don't believe in Evolution don't necessarily believe the earth is the flat, central point of the universe, with all the stars suspended overhead.

 

A good website I've found is Talk Origins. It explores many sides of the Creationism vs Science with well-founded arguments and loads of citations.

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This is why they are attempting to push the theory of intelligent design out of the classroom at any level. :unsure:

 

No, it has more to do (as others have said) that ID is not science.

 

My background is Catholic, and the doctrine of Catholicism does not dispute either evolution, or ID. But rather embraces both. One of the worlds biggest Christian sects affirm to that. The debate between ID and Evolution has, in the end, nothing to do with the idea of ID, but rather an attempt to inject religious belief into education where, frankly, it does not have a place. I will more than likely be sending my daughters to Catholic School, where they will probably have a Theology class. If the class decides to teach ID in theology class (as I'm sure they will), that's fine as long as it is not presented as scientific theory.

 

The thing is, there really can't be a compromise between the two sides on this. If there is, it undermines the very basic elements of scientific inquiry.

 

Damon.

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Hm, I guess I should say as well I have no problem at all with people's beliefs on tons of things. People whose personal faith encompasses different views than mine on how stuff got here, or what happened to it when it did, are perfectly fine. When information is mis-stated, or incorrect, though, I'll try to correct it or present arguments along that vein (i.e. Evolution != Abiogenisis, no proof for Evolution, etc.).

 

ID being taught in classrooms is a whole 'nother big kettle of fish, if you ask me. Scientifically it's really hard to make a case for ID, because so many things are designed so poorly. My favorite is the Urethra in males going through the prostate gland; mine's still healthy, mind you, but having a collapsible tube going through a gland prone to infection and swelling, especially as age kicks in, seems a bit shoddy ::D:. In physics you get immersed in the gamut of competing theories when you start delving into Quantum Mechanics; no one theory explains everything well, so you have to get exposed to them all (super string, M-theory, and the dozens of others I know I'm missing). ID doesn't get the same treatment as Evolution because it doesn't compete scientifically. There aren't gaping holes Evolution can't explain that ID does. There aren't instances where tests have been devised that prove Evolution part of the time and ID others.

 

Of course, to me, that's a good thing. Scientists readily admit nobody's been able to devise any tests that could conclusively prove, beyond doubt, that supernatural entities of any type didn't create everything, which to me leads to Faith being able to coexist with Science for those so inclined along with those who choose just one or the other.

 

Oh, and I was going to say, Wildbill, that it's more correct to say educators and scientists are pushing hard as they can to keep ID out of classrooms at every level, rather than push it out? From what I understand ID proponents are going to school boards trying to get it in rather than keep it in.

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I have no problem keeping religious belief and science separate, and would be happy to see our universe explained better. Science and religion do not have to be adversarial concepts. Most people who embrace science and religion can accept that a creator would be creating a functional universe with laws that allow that universe to function without requiring continuos intervention.

 

Darwin's basic concept on natural selection is really just common sense observation of the world: if things change, what works best in the new conditions will thrive, and what doesn't work as well will have a harder time. Natural selection and evolution were tied more due to politics than science.

 

There is increasing fossil evidence that suggests the theory of evolution has validity, but still nothing established as a definitive link. Circumstantial evidence suggests, but does not establish, causality. There are still organisms that are problematic, at best, for the theory of evolution to explain (ex: the bombadier beetle). Mutation is one thing, but it leaves a variation of the same organism. Evolution is the change to an identifiably different organism, and is much harder to show. With all the 3 day generations run through fruit fly experiments, we've only gotten fruit flies at the end. The still existant gaps in the fossil record make proof from that arena difficult, as well. Evolution is the leader in explaining how many things may happen, but it is still unproven, as it contains those issues.

 

For those who are older, abiogenesis used to be lumped in with the study of evolution. Separation of the two is a much newer concept. Abiogenesis was originally used to refer to spontaneous generation of life from inanimate matter (maggots appearing in old meat, etc). The term still fits what is being researched, but it does give it a colorful history.

 

I don't have serious issues with evolution; it may or may not be the mechanism in place. I have serious issues with people who insist anyone who doubts it is an uneducated fool. Science should always doubt until some positive verification is obtained. The cutting edge of science should always have a gamut of ideas on the table, or people are being poor scientists.

 

Realistically, my biggest contention comes from they way beaurocratic educational systems push some theories, while denying others equal time, or more importantly, research funding.

 

Global warming got thrown into the conversation, and it raised my hackles further. Governmental intervention has raised global warming to the point that many people assume it is considered a completely verified event, yet a significant portion of the scientific community has raised extreme doubts about it, including some members of the team that helped with the reports that mutated politically into Gore's Nobel Prize fiasco. I'd thought to comment on that more directly, but decided it was going too far off topic.

 

It would be wonderful if we could establish a separation of science and state. Governmental intervention causes inequities in research funding to award those who follow politically accepted theories, and can even lead to the stupidity of trying to legislate science (how many remember the attempt to legislate the tomato to be a vegatable?). When scientists are faced with going with politically accepted theories, or not having research funds, which way do people expect them to go?

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"When scientists are faced with going with politically accepted theories, or not having research funds, which way do people expect them to go?"

I would cite stem cell research here as a fine example. I think the underlying cause of contention is a general lack of understanding of the term "Theory". The way political and religious leaders throw it around dilutes the meaning of the word to somewhere around "educated guess" But electrical theory has provided us with reliable power for a few generations now, and gravitational theory has a big boost everyday when the sun keeps coming up. Things we take for granted are often "only theories", but that word carries a great deal of weight in the scientific community.

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