Misunderstanding of the theory of evolution by creationists.

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Jitro
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26 Aug 2012, 9:59 pm

That it talks about the origin of life, the Earth, the stars, and the universe, not just how life changes over time. It doesn't. It only does the last.



LKL
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27 Aug 2012, 1:51 am

true. Part of the problem is that the word 'evolution' is used with different meanings outside of the field of biology; astrophysicists, for example, talk about 'stellar evolution,' when stars obviously do not (cannot) evolve on a biological level.



Kraichgauer
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27 Aug 2012, 2:06 am

Creationists are stuck with a pre-scientific age mindset, which includes the belief that unless you take the Biblical creation account 100% literally, you can't be a real Christian.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer



Jono
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27 Aug 2012, 2:09 am

I've started another thread about a video series that I saw on Youtube about this and other falsehoods that creationists spout but no one has replied to it yet:

http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt207960.html



Kraichgauer
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27 Aug 2012, 2:16 am

Jono wrote:
I've started another thread about a video series that I saw on Youtube about this and other falsehoods that creationists spout but no one has replied to it yet:

http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt207960.html


There, I just left a comment.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer



AngelRho
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27 Aug 2012, 6:12 am

Jitro wrote:
That it talks about the origin of life, the Earth, the stars, and the universe, not just how life changes over time. It doesn't. It only does the last.

No life = No Evolution. The problem of origins is at the heart of creationism. Anti-creationists--really, anti-Christians--grossly misrepresent evolution to say God didn't create anything, or that God isn't necessary to create anything, which is a falsehood from the Christian perspective. They are using an interpretation of data from the physical world to tell religious people what they ought to believe about spirituality, and it should come as no surprise to anyone that believers are going to show some resistance to that. An empiricist whose work has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with avoiding it should stay out of theology.

As to evolution itself--essentially you're having to trace back origins of species back some billions or more of generations back some four billion years to common ancestors, eventually you get to a point where there wasn't life to begin with. So what gives rise to the first organisms and kicked off evolution to begin with? "Well, we don't know, because evolution doesn't address that problem," is what you seem to be saying. Refusal to address the mechanism for evolution (a viable origins theory) isn't going to strengthen your case before creationists.

So if evolution doesn't address origins of life itself, then the creationists COULD very well be right by saying God created everything. If creationists might be right about life origins, that is, God created the universe and everything in it, then they could be right about the Bible. And if that is true, then it is possible that evolution proponents could be wrong.

Clearly evolution is insufficient to address the debate of life origins. If you're going to prove creationists wrong, you HAVE to PROVE an alternative theory--not a hypothesis--to conclusively show spontaneous life origins. EVEN IF you can do that, you still have yet to prove that supernatural influence had nothing to do with it. If empiricism isn't equipped to take on theology--and it isn't--then it cannot dictate to believers what they should/shouldn't believe.



Aldran
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27 Aug 2012, 6:47 am

Have to throw another perspective in here....

For all the angst that people seem to carry around for the "Creation vs Evolution *debate*", why can't we all just admit that nobody really just *knows* the answer, and let the scientists go work on developing technology that might be able to shed some light on it, and the Christians to continue their belief? IE, why can't we all just agree to disagree until someone has something constructive to prove to someone else?

I used to sit in on various levels of honest debate over creation vs evolution, and at the end of every single one (That didn't devolve into insults of one form or another), both parties just come up with "well, neither of us were actually there so we don't REALLY *KNOW*".

To answer my earlier question myself, Belief begets zealotry, whether you believe in one All Might or one Big Bang.... Why can't we all just cut the crap and go back to our forms of worship (The Christians to their alters, the scientists to their electro-chromatographs?).

I can get into why we all dont really know anything... Though alot of it can be summed up with "Belief can only replace knowledge until someone gets smart enough to go find out for sure"..... But in this case, technology being what it is today, I think were in for a long wait to empirical evidence one way or another..... If you really want a fun thought, maybe we should start taking bets on whether the scientists will beat the 12/31/12 "End of the world" date (Sarcasm, meant to point out the futility of arguing over beliefs)...... They sure better crackin in that case (More sarcasm).....

And no, Im not a christian, I do however consider myself to be very practically minded....
Aldran



Jono
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27 Aug 2012, 6:56 am

AngelRho wrote:
Jitro wrote:
That it talks about the origin of life, the Earth, the stars, and the universe, not just how life changes over time. It doesn't. It only does the last.

No life = No Evolution. The problem of origins is at the heart of creationism. Anti-creationists--really, anti-Christians--grossly misrepresent evolution to say God didn't create anything, or that God isn't necessary to create anything, which is a falsehood from the Christian perspective. They are using an interpretation of data from the physical world to tell religious people what they ought to believe about spirituality, and it should come as no surprise to anyone that believers are going to show some resistance to that. An empiricist whose work has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with avoiding it should stay out of theology.

As to evolution itself--essentially you're having to trace back origins of species back some billions or more of generations back some four billion years to common ancestors, eventually you get to a point where there wasn't life to begin with. So what gives rise to the first organisms and kicked off evolution to begin with? "Well, we don't know, because evolution doesn't address that problem," is what you seem to be saying. Refusal to address the mechanism for evolution (a viable origins theory) isn't going to strengthen your case before creationists.

So if evolution doesn't address origins of life itself, then the creationists COULD very well be right by saying God created everything. If creationists might be right about life origins, that is, God created the universe and everything in it, then they could be right about the Bible. And if that is true, then it is possible that evolution proponents could be wrong.

Clearly evolution is insufficient to address the debate of life origins. If you're going to prove creationists wrong, you HAVE to PROVE an alternative theory--not a hypothesis--to conclusively show spontaneous life origins. EVEN IF you can do that, you still have yet to prove that supernatural influence had nothing to do with it. If empiricism isn't equipped to take on theology--and it isn't--then it cannot dictate to believers what they should/shouldn't believe.


We do not need to understand the origin of life in order to understand how life evolves and diversifies. Evolution is supposed to explain the diversification of life, not the origin of life. By contrast, theories meant to explain the origin of life are called abiogenesis, not evolution.

And no, abiogenesis does not imply that life appeared spontaneously as it very well of been a gradual chemical process over billions of years that went from non-living organic chemicals to the first proto-cells to the first living cells. Your argument that if we don't know the answer to something, then we may as well say God is responsible is the classic god-of-the-gaps argument. Just because we don't know how something happened does not mean God did it.



Hopper
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27 Aug 2012, 7:02 am

As far as I've understood all this, the gist should be that a supernatural presence or such is not something which can be talked about scientifically. So, science should concern itself with what can be tested. Seeing as there is no empirical test (afaik) for a supernatural creator, it should have no mention within the context of a scientific theory. Hence, creationism or intelligent design or what have you have no place in science lessons. If someone wants to disparage scientific enquiry because of that, that's up to them. But they're likely hypocrites.

There are scientists who talk about the origins of the universe, and there has been a huge misunderstanding and misuse of evolution time and again. But in itself it is, as Jitro noted, an explanation as to the mechanics of how life changes over time. It's actually rather modest, and doesn't look to speak about the origin of life. There are random mutations, and if those mutations prove numerous and beneficial enough to give the, uh, mutated the edge in terms of survival, they prosper. Of course, mutations don't have to be beneficial to survive, they just don't have to be a hindrance - hence, the appendix.

Theology and Empiricism don't really have a lot to say to each other. If one thinks life was created because of God's love, and the other because of some physical/chemical reaction however many billions of years ago, then what can they say? Before such a conversation, you'd have to set a lot of ground rules and definitions. Which doesn't happen. So people shout at each other.

People can believe what they want - heaven knows they do anyway. I've found a strange irony in a lot of recent Christian talk where they make an appeal to some sort of subjectivism. But a belief in itself doesn't have any weight, and there is no a priori reason to privilege theology or Christianity.

Where evolution can be backed up (as it can), it contradicts some readings of the bible (and doubtless many other creation origin stories). And at that point it is a matter of choice. Does the believer value Empiricism or scientific enquiry in any form? If not, and the answer to any question you might pose them is 'it was God's will', so be it. But if they do, then they might want to look at what and why they believe.

The Creationists could be right, sure. I doubt it, but who knows - life is damn weird. But why the Christian creation story? There's thousands of them, all over the world. Why not one of those?



Last edited by Hopper on 27 Aug 2012, 7:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

Chevand
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27 Aug 2012, 7:16 am

AngelRho wrote:
Clearly evolution is insufficient to address the debate of life origins. If you're going to prove creationists wrong, you HAVE to PROVE an alternative theory--not a hypothesis--to conclusively show spontaneous life origins. EVEN IF you can do that, you still have yet to prove that supernatural influence had nothing to do with it. If empiricism isn't equipped to take on theology--and it isn't--then it cannot dictate to believers what they should/shouldn't believe.


Why, exactly, should we obliged to work from a point of taking creationism as the default "correct" model of the origin of life, and try to prove evolution? What you seem to be saying is, creationists don't have to prove their views to evolutionists. Speaking from a scientific perspective, I think that's a rather unfair double standard, given that creationists have a built-in way to dodge any concerns raised by empiricists. We have to come up with all sorts of hard data based on observation to make our points, and all you have to do to invalidate it all is assert that God exists outside of any empirical system humans could possibly devise. We can't observe Him, we can't measure Him, and we can't ever possibly comprehend Him because we're only human. That's a bit like playing soccer and allowing one of the teams (but not the other) to keep the ball in play out of bounds. You're saying the rules of the discussion don't apply to you.

Imperfect as they may be, I believe what my senses tell me, most of the time. I believe them much more strongly than things I hear from secondhand sources. Secondhand sources, however, are unavoidable insofar as learning about the world is concerned. My question to you, as one of the faithful, is-- what reason do you have to believe in what you believe? The Bible and Darwin's On the Origin of Species are both books. Darwin's book is based on much more recent secondhand accounts, and doesn't require suspending one's disbelief to accept virgin birth and talking serpents; that is the reason I personally see it as a more reliable source of information. What makes you gravitate to the Bible as the more reliable source of information out of the two?


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ruveyn
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27 Aug 2012, 7:39 am

Kraichgauer wrote:
Creationists are stuck with a pre-scientific age mindset, which includes the belief that unless you take the Biblical creation account 100% literally, you can't be a real Christian.

-Bill, otherwise known as Kraichgauer


These people have made an idol out of the Bible. Bad move.

ruveyn



naturalplastic
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27 Aug 2012, 9:10 am

Semantics altert!

The word "evolution" simply means "gradual change over time" as opposed instantaneous creation(as in Genisis), or as opposed things being frozen unchanging forever, or as opposed sudden revolutionary change.

The word was in the dictionary long before Darwin.

For centuries there were in fact dissenting thinkers who even applied the word to the origin living species and suggested that living species evolved- long before Darwin ( his own grandad was an early evolution proponet).

What Darwin's real achievement ( and that of Wallace independently) was to come up with a mechanism that would drive this supposed evolution- that being natural selection.

But even in Charles Darwin's own time there were rival schemes to explain evolution- like Lamarkian evolution (inhertence of aquired characteristics.

But natural selection (later coupled with Mendelian genetics into the 'modern synthesis) won out.

So yes- when folks speak of "evolution" today -they generally mean biological evoluton through natural selection.


So- yes stars dont "evolve" like species through natural selecton.
Though they certainly do 'evolve' in the older colloguial sense of the word.

But even before Darwin there was the trend in geology and other sciences toward the belief in "gradualism" (as opposed to biblical style sudden creation and sudden catrastrophisms)- that the earth is probably old and that non living geologic features change slowly through time through erosion and deposition and the like.
Darwin's theory of evolution fit right into geological gradualism.

So you might say stellar evolution is a form of "gradualism". But you cant go around saying stars "gradualate" because there aint no such word.

So stars "evolve".

But though they dont "evolve" like living creatures they certainly dont pop into existence within a single week because a diety snaps his finger either.

You could say "god created the stars" but the steps he went through to create them doesnt resemble the narrative in Genisis.



ruveyn
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27 Aug 2012, 9:22 am

naturalplastic wrote:

You could say "god created the stars" but the steps he went through to create them doesnt resemble the narrative in Genisis.


According to the Rashi (R. Schlomo Yitzchak) the book of Genesis was a just so story made up to establish two things.

1. God made the world, therefore He is the owner.

2. Being the Owner, God can give pieces of the world to whomsoever it please Him to do. I particular it makes the claim of Isaac's descendants on the Holy Land legitimate.

To put the matter bluntly, Genesis is Zionist propaganda from the earliest days of Zionism.

Anyone who take a propaganda pamphlet as a factual description of the Earth and how it was made is very foolish.

ruveyn



6655321
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27 Aug 2012, 9:42 am

The theory of evolution does not address the first origins of life on this planet. It isn't about strengthening any cases--it just doesn't do that. Expecting it to explain the origins of organisms from non-living matter and energy is like expecting it to explain why organisms don't float away into space before they can evolve. It is outside the scope of the theory because it is a qualitatively different thing (the theory of gravity can explain why the organisms do not float away into space).

Evolution by natural selection explains how the descendants of organisms change over generations via adaptations to their environments. Some of them change a lot over a lot of generations. Others don't change very much. Other lineages die out because their descendants cannot adapt.

Evolution happens. This is a scientifically proven, verifiable fact.



ruveyn
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27 Aug 2012, 1:23 pm

6655321 wrote:
The theory of evolution does not address the first origins of life on this planet. It isn't about strengthening any cases--it just doesn't do that.


Darwin made that point clear in -Origin of Species-. Read his closing pages out loud.

The theory of descent with modification driven by natural selection only accounts for -changes- in life forms, not their origin.

ruveyn